Maybe you should know me better. Maybe this is that one place where you can see all of me, unknown people of the world. Maybe no one will ever read this. Maybe I am simply talking to myself.
My mother gave me to my father (not her husband) when I was two weeks old; this saved her the embarrassment of having me in the house when her husband returned from overseas in the Navy. Two years later, my father died in a car wreck and two months after that, my mother blew her brains out with a shotgun, while her other three children watched television and baked cookies for my sister’s upcoming 7th birthday. That leaves me just over two years old, orphaned and living with my 81-year-old grandmother. Welcome to America. You’re gonna love this place.
My grandmother loved me but to be honest, she was pretty old, almost blind and unable to care for a precocious child of preschool age. After another heart attack left her unable to care for even herself, I was sent to live with the Devil and His Wife (AKA, my aunt and uncle) when I started first grade. Read “begins life of utter hell”.
For my aunt who hated her mother-in-law and thus hated me, this became a time for her to practice torture and abuse as well as having a free maid living in her household for which she got a monthly check. Pretty good gig, if you can get it, I’d say. Wash dishes, do laundry, cook, clean, dust, vacuum, sweep, mow the grass, dig 12×12 foot holes in the yard to bury trash, and do all of this for twelve people every day. No rewards. No time off. No kindnesses. And for her it also required that she turn a blind eye to gropings of my drunken uncle who constantly sharpened his pocket knife and told me I’d ‘better not tell’ if I knew what was ‘good for me’. I did muster the courage once, when I was 9; she beat me for lying on him. I never told again. He died when I was 15 and I smiled. No one in the house understood why I wasn’t sad.