I realized in the last blog entry it probably didn’t cast my mom in the best light (unless you’re a ‘wood, at least up until the note at the end.) But really, she was in her early 20’s, had three kids already (two with her,) and one in the oven from a man who had just been convicted a fixed term of life in prison. I’d say that’s a lot to deal with.
In addition, I’m sure more and more of these cathartic releases will not portray her as Mrs. Cleaver. As a matter of fact, they’ll make her look downright horrible. For a while things were pretty horrible, both for her, for me, and for my siblings.
You see, my mom had me at age 14. That’s already stacking the deck against her. She then hooked up with a much older man very active in the Neo-Nazi movement in the LA area three years later (wow, there are some odd memories on my visits to see them as a kid including an armed raid led by a cop in a Dick Tracy-style hat and a trench-coat, and militant Nazi’s doing PT in the back yard, but I digress.) Somewhere throughout her teens, she got hooked on heroin too.
A few years later she then married an ex-convict and they split to both their family’s home stompin’ grounds in the Ozarks. This is when I was uprooted from my idyllic farm life and brought into her life. A couple years later while we were living in a dive in Idaho, this same convict ended up murdering his connection because he wouldn’t front him some heroin (all the parties involved are dead, and I plan on writing about that whole ordeal along with posting excerpts from legal filings… should be a real hoot.)
From there came a string of convicts that were to be my “dad”. Most of them willing to smack me upside the head for one thing or another, along with exercising their little power trips and subjecting my siblings and I to their psychological games. This went on for years until shortly after I turned 18.
I remember a bitchin’ 18th birthday party. Cases of beer, KGB, and tons of my loser friends. It was the end of my “fun” (even though so far it hadn’t been terribly fun,) as not much after, I came home from spending some time at the park to find a note on the door stating basically “You’re 18 now, we’re gone, sell what you can in the house and good luck!”
Nothing teaches you to fly like being kicked out of the nest, eh? Shortly after that though, my mom ended up back in the joint again and my siblings into the foster care system. She got out for a little while, and was then popped again in what was the largest heroin bust in Northern California at the time and went back in again for many years.
I guess I still haven’t really done a lot to redeem her image so far. But I do know she always wanted different for me. I know because there was stuff she would not tolerate in the slightest bit and she responded strongly and swiftly to correct my behavior.
I guess in the end, I turned out all right. She lived long enough to see me become a good husband, good father, and to let me know she was proud of me for choosing the right path. On the other hand, despite numerous invitations I never let my kids stay with her for the weekend.