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personal Narrative Continued by alaughinhereye on Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:10 pm
When I was in 3rd grade, my mom started attending Good Shepherd Episcopal Church with her boyfriend Steve in the fall of 1990. We met him in August of 1990. They announced to my brother, Andrew, my sister, Sara, and I that they were engaged over Christmas break. We moved to his house in March of 1991 and they were married on April 6, 1991. Steve had three kids too and had only finalized his divorce from his ex-wife, Veronica, at the end of May 1990. Veronica, is bipolar and had spent the last 10 years of their marriage in and out of the hospital after suicide attempts. More than once her kids had come home to find their mom in a puddle of blood on the bathroom floor and had mopped up her blood and bandaged her and called 911. Steve wasn’t a bad man, but he is a genius who is sarcastic, funny, dry, rigid, spiritual, arrogant and extremely protective of my mother; and he had very high expectations of us and was severely traumatized by his ex-wife and by his own sister Cathy’s suicide when she was 19, such that the mental illness manifesting in his own son Adam, age 15, my bother Andrew, age 12 and myself, age 8, brought out the worst in him; which only served to worsen our mental/emotional states. My mom had broken things off with Bill, her abusive ex-fiancé in March of 1990 and we were all still struggling to find our grasp of reality and the whirlwind marriage further destabilized us to the point that over the next few years, I started losing time and forgetting to do things like bathe and eat. When I did eat I was a binge eater. I didn’t brush my hair. I spent a lot of time staring, crying or begging for attention. My mom worked 60-80 hours a week, and when she came home often times, she was too tired to notice. After school, my older brothers were in charge and they were both struggling with mental illness and adolescence. When the parents (that is what us 6 kids of the blended family called them) were home, I was in trouble. When I got into trouble with Steve, I would yell back, because that was how it had always worked with my mom, but Steve took over the discipline because he didn’t approve of the way my mom dealt with it. When I raised my voice at my brother or sister he called it noise pollution and would ground me to my room. When I tried to argue my side he called it impertinence and would start by adding days then weeks, then months to the grounding. After a while, I was only allowed to come out for school and family dinner. I had no friends at school because I smelled and I cried a lot and when I wasn’t crying I had no idea how to relate to the other kids. Then the time came that my food started being brought up to my room on a tray and set outside my bedroom door. At that point I was finishing up 4th grade.
I don't remember my brother Andrew much that year. I think he spent most of his time hiding in his room. Things didn't get bad with him until I was in 5th grade. It was somewhere in there that he started blacking out in rages and started dissociating into his alters and I started trying to kill myself. I don't know if it was the antidepressants the doctors were trying out on me starting at age 9 or the horrific violence, or both. But for most of 5th grade, I was pretty intent on dying and the only one who paid enough attention to me to notice was Andrew, but that was when he was himself and not his alters.
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