If you are a sympathetic person, you may need a Kleenex, as this posting consist of some pretty traumatic events.
I was born into a home consisting of a father, mother, and 1.5 year old sister. Life before my personal cognition has never really been explained. But from a young age I knew something wasn’t right. I knew the look in my mom’s eye wasn’t supposed to be there. I was about 3 when my father was first arrested for driving while intoxicated and more than likely a paraphernalia charge as well, spent a while in Greene County Jail and my mom took us to visit him a few times.
I remember a time when my mom called a family meeting and she held a bag of white powder in her hands attempting to answer me and my sister’s flood of questions, as my dad entered the room his jaw dropped, snatched the bag and fled to the garage. Mom instructed us to gather a bag of clothes and a few toys and my dad came charging back into the house. This was the first time I vividly remember the abuse. Mom was screaming in pain and for us to hurry, my sister was shoving things into a duffle bag and my dad was ruthlessly abusing my mother, as I sat in the middle of the chaos just crying.
Another time my father was to be watching me while my mom and sister ran to town, I realized he had left and ventured over to my grandmas (she was our neighbor) to see if he was there. I walked into the garage and he and a friend were huddled in the corner holding glass tubes and mixing things together, my dad darted over to me and covered my nose and mouth and walked me back home explaining that I couldn’t be in there.
And there was a time my mother put a restraining order against him and he was not to be around us without a police officer. Well, my mom was over that, we had to cover all the windows and keep it a secret that dad was coming over for dinner.
But the most distinct traumatic time I remember was when dad stumbled in off his high throwing around anything in his reach screaming that I was not his daughter, that I didn’t look like him, that I needed to find out who my father really was while continually following me around our home throwing objects at me. My sister reassured me that I was, in fact, her sister and that dad was just “talking crazy” as she comforted me in the corner.
The abuse, manufacturing, and addiction stopped once we welcomed my baby sister to the family. My family switched to a more stable structure and we became “normal”. My father became a truck driver whom was on the road Monday – Saturday. I became a very involved in multiple activities due to the positive and able environment I was part of. My mom worked full time and balanced all of our activities. Life was great.
The content peaceful life was only present for a couple years as my dad once again lost his temper, this time, onto my elder sister. His anger resulted in chasing her with a chain saw in the back hay field, knocking her to the ground and pinning her there. This event caused more uproar in my life over any other past experience. This event was a turning point. This event was the end of the Stevens family. We moved out of our house and into my maternal grandfathers, my father turned himself in, and the department of human services had been contacted. I went from being your average high school freshman cheerleader dating a football player to sitting in an office being told I cannot see my father. I was told I needed to see a counselor. This was when my symptoms became clear to me. This was when I continually told I was being “overly dramatic”. This was when I would continually cry in the middle of class. This was when I realized I was depressed. I began a journal filling it with all of my thoughts and feelings and the first time I felt that ending my life would be better than continuing to fight. This all continued for a while, my parents were living separated and in the process of a divorce, I was scheduled weekends with my father.
One morning dad and I were talking over breakfast and I asked him to promise me that he would never lay a hand on us again. And he crossed pinkies and sealed it with a kiss. A couple hours later I was blocking my baby sister from the sights of our father on our mother, I was using my adrenaline to physically lift my father off her and screaming to the tops of my lungs. I somehow managed to get him out our front door before I collapsed and the panic attack set in just seconds before I was picked up off the floor by a man in blue. I was comforted by an officer while I viewed my battered mother holding my innocent sister both uncontrollably crying. I was being asked a multitude of questions over the series events as I was shaking without control. Then my cellphone rang, “Grandma Shirley” my paternal grandmother. I went into my bedroom away from the various strangers that had entered my home. And she spat out the words, “You need to ask your mother who your real dad is.” And from there my memory blacks out. I have no memory of the rest of the conversation nor when the officers all left. I snap back as I’m sitting crossed legged on my bedroom floor with my mother and we held hands and she looked at me and said, “We don’t know who it is but we know who it could be.” Conversation continues as my mind races with pictures of my past filling my head with loads of questions over the matter. My life until this day had been a lie. My family knew of the possibility and masked the reality in order to keep a “normal family” And the worst part, my possible father lived across the street from the home I was raised in. As if I wasn’t already mentally unstable, now, I was doomed.
My father was incarcerated in a state detention center over a variance of felony charges. Social workers became more active in our home and they kept pushing me to receive services and I kept pushing myself further and further away. My first mental breakdown happened when I was home alone with my thoughts. I was literally drowning from all my feelings and emotions. A friend called me in the middle of the chaos as I was literally about to cut into my skin just to feel something. She saved me. As I continued down that path I lost many friendships due to my continuous trials of trying to feel something. I became a pot head because I felt that being high was a cure. I began to smoke cigarettes because I felt it eased my anxiousness. I dated guys whom used me for their personal pleasure and nothing more. I became a new person and left the preppy cheerleader I once was. I moved out of my mother’s home and in with my paternal grandmother which only enabled me into more risky behavior. I had recently begun a relationship with my potential biological father, we would chat over Facebook messenger about very simple things in life. I went over to his house to babysit my potential newborn brother and began being present in their lives.
In the spring I moved back into my mother’s home and rebuilt my relationship with her. My mother had begun to date and left me home alone every weekend. I had begun to attend youth group and quickly became attached to the sense of home I felt with the leaders and peers. I had stopped using marijuana but still continued to smoke. I began surrounding myself with a few old friends and attempted to become a normal teenager again.
I remember I was shoveling snow with my mom and she asked me how I felt about getting a paternity test to see if my potential dad was my biological father. My concern was not being accepted by the family I was raised in anymore. My sisters reassured me that they wouldn’t love me any different. And my paternal uncle’s family made it clear that I would always be their niece. A few weeks later we were swabbing our mouths and mailing it off. I never knew nerves until this. I was so excited to finally find the truth about who I really was. Results came back, I was biologically a Wilson and was blessed with an entire family whom welcomed me with open arms.
..to be continued