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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

#12 Unwanted Memories

These are some things I wrote down last year about this time.  I had been out of the psychiatric hospital for only two months.  I was shaky and typing was hard, so I didn't bother with capital letters or punctuation. Today, I caught myself beginning to clean it up, but my better judgement kicked in.  It is what it is.  So, here goes.  It's a lot, but in  my mind, it needs to be published as one piece.

01/19/09:  when i was  in junior high, it was spread over three different schools - 2 in statsboro ga and one in ft. lauderale. i wanted to be included.  the rich and socially prominent girls kept to themselves.  our little apartment in statesboro meant i couldn't have overnight oompany.  i shared a room with mama.  when I was i eight grade i read a book about a girl who started her own club and i wanted to do that.  i tried.  i wanted the club members to wear circle pins.  i never got it off the ground.  i don't know if i never really tried or if i tried and failed.  i could never afford a circle pin anyway.  in eighth grade i made friends with a girl two years older than i.  she was morbidly obese and i spent lots of nights at her house.  her name was ann.  ann beaver.  she was a kind and loyal friend.  she's dead now, died from complications of diabetes.  she was in a club called fifteen flirting females and she tried to get me in.  i didn't make the cut.  even if i got in we couldn't afford the dues and god knows i didn't have the wardrobe.  i never had  a chance, but i have always made life work for me, and i treasured my friendship with ann and her big sister jane practically adopted me.  she was the first person to recognize that i needed glasses.  they had big rooms in their antebellum house and i couldn't see tv from the sofa so i sat on the floor closer to the set.  the tv in our apartment sat in a table no more than three feet from the foot of mamas bed.  we all watched it there.  i sat at the foot of her bed.  this is all i want to write about this now.  off my meds (almost) and i am digging around in my memory for painful stuff.  i needed a father.  i really needed a father.  he died when i was six.  no wonder i eventually married a man 14 years my senior.

01/28/09:  why now?  why am i having these memories now?  when we lived in ft lauderdale, our house was arranged so that mama had to walk through my room to get to hers.  when she and way (my rich stepfather who she married and divorced twice) remarried, he came down fairly regularly.  when they had sex in the room next to me, i could hear it.  grunts and groans scared me.  i thought i knew what was going on and that made it even more gross and scary to me.  when we lived there we went to the school where mama taught.  it was an exclusive boarding school that had some local day students.  we were thrown in with one of the kellogg heiresses, the granddaughter of the man who invented alka seltzer, diana nyad who would be an olympic gold medalist in swimming, to mention a few.  i had 1 friend, joan tischbourne. she was driven to and from school by a chauffeur in a lincoln town car.   her mother owned dress boutiques in dania and in chautauqua new york where they spent summers.  i learned to eat delivery pizza at her house.  we had never had any kind of pizza except the kind that came in a boxed kit.  she had about 15 times more clothes than i, but she didn't seem to care that i was poor.  i spent the night with her sometimes.  i could never have sleep over company.  i didn't want to.  jesus.  i wonder why.

i had menstrual cramps with my very first period  my first flow was almost like chocolate.  much later i learned i had endometriosis and was lucky to ever have had a child.  that started while we were living on saint simons island georgia before we moved to the apt in statesboro.  we went there for mama to finish her b s and earn a masters.  the cramps were debilitating and i missed school one day at least every month.  in ninth grade mama took me to a gynecologist in ft lauderdale who put me on birth control pills for my cramps.  the dose she prescribed was 10 mg of enovid.  it worked but i almost immediately gained about 25 lbs, which made me feel all the more isolated.  i made good grades but i wasn't excited about school.  i dieted to get off the weight, sometimes eating only green beans from a can for a meal.  it took months to get rid of  the fat.  the dr decreased to dose to 5 mg.  i was still chubby when i went to statesboro on a greyhound bus by myself for spring break.  mama sewed me into my culottes because the zipper was broken.  they were cheap but they were the only thing i had to wear that made me feel like i fit in.  i don't like thinking about how desperate i was to feel like part of a group.  i had a small group in statesboro, but for the entire year we lived in ft lauderdale, i was a loner with one friend.  i started smoking that year and mama told me to smoke in front of her instead of sneaking around.  she wanted a friend instead of a daughter.

ann carol, my therapist, says that mama and way having sex when I could hear them was sexual abuse.  i wonder what she will think when I tell her about playing doctor with my cousins.  i don't want these memories.  i can't seem to stop them from coming to the surface.  they are part of who i am today.  they hurt me and make me feel young and helpless and afraid.  i can't write about this any more.  i don't want to do this.  not now.  not now.

02/23/09:  when i was newly divorced, in early 1972, i gave up the little cottage I rented because I needed to save money.  i liked that little cottage, but I moved in with mama and paid her a much smaller rent.  i was working 3 to 11 at the brunswick hospital with an occasional night shift.  one friend of mother's - at that time she was collecting strange friends - wanted me to pose topless for a "cartoon-like" photo he wanted to sell to a girlie magazine.  i don't even remember the man's name.  mama thought it was a good idea.   i agreed but couldn't do it.  i stood him up.  i was a young single mother, and poor as I was, the idea of posing topless for any reason went against everything i believed.  hell, I was teaching sunday school at the time.  it has always bothered me that mama didn't object, that she didn't tell her friend that she wouldn't pimp out her daughter.  and that's what it really was.  i think she would have wanted some of the money.  no wonder I moved to macon ga where I knew only one person,  a person i could trust.  terrible way to think of mother, i know.  why do i have to remember this stuff now?  i suppose i really am crazy.  i don't need this, nor do i want it.

03/26/09:   Once, way, my stepfather, made a pass at me - or tried to.   Mama had gone to Woodbine to see a friend and asked me to go along.  I said I wanted t go to the beach, and since I was a typical 16 year old, that's what I did.  I was home from the beach before her return, had showered and dressed and all that.  It was spring, and  cool evenings, we had a fire in the fireplace.  I was standing in front of it when Papa approached me and hugged me.  It was not a fatherly hug.  I pulled away and went to my room.  When Mama returned, I told her what happened.  Her response?  "I told you to go to Woodbine with me."  She put all of the blame on me. Jesus.  Who could make up this shit?

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