As I move forward in this moments of my early childhood. I have had to reflect on some things over the weekend about my chapter 1. I was feeling so incredible vulnerable and naked. I had this moment of panic that EVERYONE was going to see this. Which is kind of funny because I am writing a book to where the public is going to read it at some point.
I felt a great overwhelming support from all my followers both new and continued. Not much about the past is ever really easy. There are moments of love and laughter. Good memories that have stuck. I just don’t want you all to think that I am stuck in the past because I am not stuck there. Thank goodness right. There are not many of us who would choose to go back to the past. I mean, sure we make jokes about things we would change. Thinking about it though. I see the grace of God that has been with me the whole time.
Grace and forgiveness. I think that is where I want to take us today.
So there was this one weekend my sister went to her dads. It was my baby brother, my mother and me. I was playing in my room when my mom entered the doorway. She told me to get my shoes on that we were going to the store to get ice. So I got up and started looking for my shoes. Well I was looking and would find one shoe but not the other. Find a separate shoe but not its partner. I mean looking back at it now I can kinda giggle. I mean who loses one shoe? Just one shoe of each pair of shoes I had. Leave it to me to accomplish this flawlessly.
My mom however at the time didn’t think it was such an accomplishment. I heard her footsteps coming to my room. I am starting to feel stressed and scared. She said ” let’s go,” which turned into ” where are your shoes?” to “you have a minute to find them or I am leaving without you!”speech. The absolute terror I had in my heart that my mom was leaving without me was so overwhelming that I just started crying. I tore through everything I had in my room. She came back in without my brother on her hip this time. The look in her eyes scared me. For the first time I am actually scared of my mom.
She pushed me so hard that I hit the back of my head on the wall as I fell. Then the assault that came after that, I was in shock! As she furiously hit me I was crawling to find my shoes which was only pissing her off even more. I was a moving too much but that didn’t stop her assault. It didn’t stop the rage that she had against me. I just wanted to please her and find those shoes so she would be happy again.
The hot tears running down my aching face. The stiffness I felt all over, but yet I am still tearing a part my room just proclaiming that I can’t find any of my shoes. She is yelling at me and I can’t hear anything she said until at the end. ” You better find a pair of shoes by the time I get back, OR else!” as she points her long finger at me. She and my brother walked passed my window, and they drove off. I cry even harder now. She left me. She left me because I am a bad child who has lost all her shoes.
As I write this out I am sitting her reliving this moment. But lets look at what is really happening here to all of us. There is stress, trauma, fear, rejection, shame, guilt, disappointment, sadness, breakdown of trust and abandonment. There is pain there at the time. Physical pain. My goodness my head hurts so bad, I am finally calming down. You know that cry that is so bad that at the end you can’t get all your breathing under control and you make that noise. You know that noise. I feel my eyes getting heavy. I just want to sleep now. I hurt all over but I need to find those shoes. I am full of fear that I won’t find them by the time she gets home and she will hurt me again.
But my eyes are so heavy and there is no where else to look. I have found every shoe I own. I have them lined up neatly, but I don’t have their partners. Maybe she will be happy with what I did do. I just need to close my eyes. I hurt…* Car door slams shut* I don’t move from my bed I don’t feel so good. * front door opens and shuts* She walks to my doorway. I am so scared but I can’t move. I have accepted my fate with my mom. She looks down at me and asked me if I had found my shoes. I told her no. The hot sting of tears are forming and running down my cheeks. She throws the bag of ice on my face, and tells me to put it away and that I am not to leave my room.
I just lay there and cry. She hates me. I must be a horrible person. I wait to hear her door close on the other end of the house. It is safe for me to go out there to put it away. I go back to my room and lay down. The whole thing plays over and over in my mind. I can’t stop crying. Over and over as it was playing I am just telling myself that I was just not a good kid and my mom doesn’t love me. I cried myself to sleep apparently because I woke up in fear when I heard my mom come to my room telling me dinner was ready. I think it was hard for my mom to look at me after that happened. I was covered in bruises and I was sporting a pretty impressive shiner.
Oh my goodness the pain is too much. My whole face and body hurt. I am unsure how to be around my mom. I suppose anyone would be after something like that. It was almost like I hit the save button on what not to do. I will say this, I have not lost a single pair of my shoes since then. I have been very diligent and mindful as to where I put my shoes. In fact I have developed a great habit, I will literally take off my shoes in front of the door, or in the middle of the room. Man it irritates everyone except me. I am totally laughing about it as I write this out. The frustration on everyone’s face is comical at times, but I know where my shoes are. Unless they are moved by someone then I am on the hunt.
My mom and have talked about this incident a few times and we don’t ever talk about the details of the abuse that happened that day. I see the pain she feels when she recalls the moment. I see the emotions that she goes through as we laugh and giggle about me losing one shoe to every pair of shoes that I owned.She ended up locating most of my shoes from all over town. School, neighbors houses, the babysitters.
I see that she has shame and remorse about what has happened. I know that she does know what she did and how it has shaped my life. But at the same time my child self doesn’t know what is going on in her path. My child mind tells me that my mom hates me and that I am no good.
I feel from this moment in my life as a child this incident was the crack in the vase,if you will. I feel like the first time you do something that is intoxicating you have made it ok to do it again. I can tell you every time that she beat me. The things she would say to me, and how that affected my daily life. I know the things that stress her out and not to do those things. Some of the things that happened were excessive punishments. To put it mildly. I remember the first black eye she gave me. That was the only time she ever said sorry to me. I feared those footsteps to the back of the house. Because I knew that they were coming for me. Every bad thing I ever did was going to be beaten out of me into submission.
There was this time that she just got done doing laundry and she would always have all our piles separated neatly. Shirts, pants, dresses, folded socks and underwear. She would ask us,my sister and me, to please put them away.Not me. nope nope nope. Almost everything I did was half done. Thinking about it now,I I did it because I wanted to. There wasn’t a hidden meaning to me not doing it, I just didn’t want to. That it was just too much work. In reality it really isn’t. She did the hard work. We can empathize when it comes to laundry. Anyway there was the first time that she asked me to bring her my dirty laundry.
I kind of panicked a little bit. I hadn’t picked up my dirty room nor my laundry but if I don’t produce that laundry basket I am going to get my ass handed to me….again. This was a weekly thing that we have done. It was a habit now, I do something bad, Kristal gets her ass handed to her. Oh Kristal didn’t do the dishes correctly like she wanted, Kristal gets her ass kicked again. Anyway, I hadn’t put away the clothes from last week away. To me here is the funny part, and this is something that I still do to some degree. The clothes that were left behind was one jacket that I needed hang, which was literally a foot away from the laundry basket. Two shirts and a few pair of leggings. Still folded, I stuffed them in-between all the dirty clothes. I casually put the laundry basket where it was to be and walked away.
I even had a very brief moment of second guessing. But NOOOOO I made a choice to hand over that laundry basket anyway. I went back into my room and moments later I heard those foot steps heading my way. I knew exactly why she was coming. SHE KNOWS!!! So she comes into my room and has the clothes. She asked me if they were clean. I lied. NOOOO mom they are dirty. She gave me that look of ” Oh no she didn’t!” commence the angry mom look. She asks me again, I lie again. Not a smart move. She walked over to the hanger and hung up the jacket yelling at me…” IS IT SOO HARD TO HANG THIS UP KRISTAL? ITS RIGHT HERE! LOOK KRISTAL! IS THAT SOOO FUCKING HARD?” Then she walks a few more feet to my shelves where I kept my clothes, and she put the leggings and shirts there and said the same thing.
I was calm and soft toned when she was yelling at me, that seemed to put the cherry on top for her current mood. She is really pissed. I am sitting on the ground watching her closely, she’s coming for me and it will be same and I was right. She grabs me by my hair and drags me to the same spot in the living room. Right over the heater vent closest to the kitchen. She would throw me there and choke me until I would pee in my pants or pass out. The rage that would come out of her was unreal.
In this case, I peed she got off me. Telling me the usual. I was worthless. How her job was more important than me, and how I can’t do simple things. I was stupid. Finally she would tell me to clean up the mess, and go to my room.
So lets talk about me as a child. I did not make things easy for my mom. Like ever. From the moment that I was born. I was independent from the get go. I came into this world when I was ready. That is what I joke to my mom about. I have always seen the world through different eyes than most people I know. I couldn’t ever conform into my moms ways and the way she wanted things. It wasn’t with the lack of trying but I felt that it wasn’t me. I mean, I would tell her the truth and she wouldn’t believe me. Its funny now because even now today she still won’t believe some things have happened. Maybe it was because the first time I went to school, I made up a very convincing story.
She was doing dishes,and she asked me about my day at school. I was in kindergarten mind you. I told her it was good until the principle hit my hands with a ruler. Oh my gosh that still makes me laugh. Who would think of something like that….. Yours truly… Kristal. She was furious, but it wasn’t at me. That felt good. I was getting positive attention. It was like a drug. That feeling wore off as soon as she said that she was going to my school to talk to the principle. Well crap. I knew I was in trouble and I think she sensed that I was lying but my story was so convincing, I still kept to my story, in fact I was adding to it. I don’t remember what I said but I am sure that it was good.
The next morning we are waiting to be seen by the principle. I was nervous as she was called in. I hear and the way she was talking to him that she was mad and really confused. They finally call me and there he sat with my mom. Thinking about now maybe wanted to be right I wasn’t lying but when he started drilling me with ” which ruler did use?” may have thrown me off. Even then I picked out the ruler and said that it wasn’t him that it was another teacher. I just kept the lie going even after walking the entire school to find a teacher that hit me with a ruler. We got back to his office and he just looked at me and said ” ready to tell the truth?” I guess so. Oh my gosh the look on my moms face after I told the truth. I know now she was embarrassed.
This was a kind of new thing for me. I was getting my mom alone when I did things like this. That is what I was thinking as she was yelling at me on the importance of not lying and how I won’t make friends if I lied and how embarrassed she was that she went in there thinking someone was hurting her child. Weird. That was weird to me because she hurt me?! Anyway I don’t remember what happened after that.
I just know that for my own accountability I did not make things easy for my mom. I was just in my own world. Things were amazing to me. Good and bad. They were things that I was seeing through my eyes and no one to talk to about these things. How was I to know when I didn’t have a balance to keep me accountable?
I will share more stories of all the off the wall things I did that made total sense to me. But before I leave this I want to tell you something that means so much to me now.
At this point in my life, I have come to learn that any attention was a good thing for me. Not always the best choice of how I get it but I got it nonetheless. My mom was alone and so was I. But at this points I learned that The weekends were scary, and put your clean clothes away and finally don’t lose your shoes. Lastly, my mom showed me mercy that day that I lied. She made a choice to teach me a life lesson that really did stick and something I have told my own kids. Those words stuck with me. As I have grown up I have learned that forgivness wasn’t for my mom but for me. I made a choice to forgive my mom and show her grace because I didn’t know her path. I didn’t know the things she was going through as a single parent. I thought our family was normal. I didn’t know anything diffrent. My mom is a power house of a woman and I admire her.