I woke up this morning thinking about all the addresses on my credit report and I realized that I couldn’t remember the exact addresses of all the places I’ve lived. So I began to recite them in my mind to see how far I could go back. Suddenly I realized that there is a story for every address. From the Taft Homes until this very day there is a story. And so the journey begins.
As a woman and a mother, I struggle with my own childhood and what I experienced as a child. It wasn’t all bad, but what was bad has changed my life forever and is the reason why I struggle with relationships. I am very hard on those I love. I demand loyalty. There are no gray areas. Unfortunately the times my mother wasn’t there for me mentally or emotionally were devastating times for me, and underneath the tough skin hides the scars.It is from the scars that I operate and show my love. It is from the scars that I understand unnecessary pain and disappointment. I am showing you the scars.
I struggle with writing these things because like many I worry about what you will think of me. The stories I could tell you… As a child I can remember playing in the mirror pretending I had a different life. Although I can’t blame everything on my mother. There were times I deliberately disobeyed rules and guidelines like any child trying to find their way. I lied about the homework I didn’t do, and liking the boy down the street and maybe kissing him. I ate the cookies I was told not to eat. At times stayed up too late singing all the songs I learned in school and the limericks I learned from my friends (some with cuss words). I tried on my mother’s lipstick and wore her perfume. I even played in her closet and wore her clothes. But when the boys down the street took me behind the Hickman Center and tried to have sex with me I didn’t tell. I was seven years old and I was scared. Ironically a few days later one of the boys who was involved in taking me behind the building and molesting me went and told my mother what happened. I could remember him threatening me that he was going to tell as if I had did something wrong. I begged him not to but he did. It’s strange now when I look back and realize that he thought I wanted to go with him and the other boy. I just didn’t know how to say no or fight them. I was scared. I was seven. So when my mother asked me what happened I clammed up. I was scared and ashamed because I didn’t know what happened. They grabbed me, and threatened me, and told me not to tell, and I didn’t because I thought I had did something wrong. I am not sure why my mother thought it would be a good idea to take me to his house and confront his parents. I was humiliated. The boy’s mother must have said she would handle it and that was the end of that saga. That young boy who is now a man who is currently serving 65 years to life in the Federal Penitentiary for a long history of raping and molesting children. I often wonder what if my mother had taken what happened to me serious and demanded attention for those boys. Would he be in prison today? Would she had protected other children from the horror I experienced? I would later find out that my mother would never stop anyone from hurting any of us. Maybe she didn’t know how to protect us. Maybe she was afraid. From that day forward she always suspected me of being sexual in a negative way. It was never portrayed to me as something good. She stopped believing in my innocence perhaps because sex was never anything but forbidden and wrong to her… (pure speculation).
Soon after about a month or so later it was my birthday and we had family party. Later that night my mother had a large argument with her boyfriend and her sister. My aunt who had been drinking wanted to take my brother home with her. My mom and her boyfriend objected and it turned into an ugly shouting match and soon the police were called so my mother ran away. She ran out of the house and down the street, and left us kids there alone when the police came. I was so terrified I hid behind the door in the bathroom. A police officer looked behind the door and asked me if I was okay. I just shook my head yes and he left. I was terrified standing there in my night gown alone. I couldn’t believe my mother ran off and left us and I wondered if she was dead or hurt. She came back after the police left and the next morning we left our home and our friends and moved to Chicago.