My career. Tips and Tricks. Personal ramblings. Jacked up Childhood. Raising a Child. Wine Reviews. A few topics I’ll post about in my blogging journey. The good stuff starts in paragraph 3. Skip ahead f you’d like…
Turning 33 is not something I am dreading but it definitely seems like I should have accomplished more in life by now. I think most of us put this level of pressure on ourselves when we reach our 30s. I hear a lot of people around me saying the same thing. Educated, fearless, gorgeous women saying the same as me. Perhaps that is what is prompting me to write a blog. Like the saying, “if you build it, they will come.” Perhaps my motto would be best fitted to say, “if you write it, you will like it more.”
I’ve been a professional trainer for a state agency for four years. I’ve learned a lot about project management, training, coaching, mentoring, curriculum development, online training, and public speaking. In 2015, I was the president of a conference which hosted 350 attendees. Prior to that, I was in the field as a case worker. I don’t want to get into too many details about my career because this blog is not just about my career. My anticipation is that my blog will inspire more than just career goals. Living a happy and fulfilled life is #1. For some, that means being a stay-at-home mom who is able to do more than one load of laundry in a day without losing her marbles from all the yelling and crying of children. For others, it is finding something that will invigorate the soul to go after a dream which lingers like a stray cat.
Why should you listen to me? What do I know? Who am I? Well, I am an unlikely product of my childhood. Statistics suggest that I should be a criminal like my drug dealing, conspiracy-to-murder mother and her treacherous husband. Let’s look back on my childhood before I divulge the depressing story that has sculpted me. I can’t say that it was all terrible. The first 10 or so years before my mother remarried were decent. My older brother, mother, and I lived with my grandmother in Florida for the majority of the early years. My Nana was 4’11” but could knock you out with an iron skillet for if you let a curse word slip. Strangely enough, Nana was the rock in my life. Sundays after attending the Kingdom Hall were the best days, because she would take me to Luby’s Cafeteria or a small burger joint in Lakeland, FL. Did you catch that? I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness which makes the rest of the story extremely ironic. Jehovah’s Witnesses preach a popular Bible verse that says something like, “be no part of the world just as I am no part of the world.” That implies to not act like a psycho, sell drug, and kill people. Guess my mom skipped reading that verse after being baptized.
Now the good stuff…Life had just started to go well. My mom built a great clientele at a salon. She bought a great house downtown for an excellent, unheard of price. We were doing great! It all went to crap when my mother and I were in a car wreck. Our GEO Metro took a beating when a giant town car slammed us into an Astro van while sitting at a red light. My mother’s health declined which caused her to be unable to continue as a hairdresser. That’s when she met the loser in the alley. For real. He lived in a tiny, shit-hole house that had maybe two bedrooms that he shared with his seven brothers and drunk father. They were “orange grove pickers.” Did you notice the quotes? That’s because they weren’t really orange grove pickers. My mother was desperate. I think the most influential occurrence was the death of dad when she was 14. They were really close. I imagine that would mess me up, too. Of course, she wouldn’t allow me to see my dad. She was insecure, depressed, and had other mental issues that blocked her self-value and ruined her life. Let this story be a warning. Love yourself or you’ll end up with a loser and think that is all you deserve. Then, your kids grow up to be more screwed up than you are!
I told my mother when I met him that he was either a drug dealer or a sex offender. He nailed the drug dealer part. I’ll get to that. He tried to expose himself to me once, so in my eyes, he was a sex offender. Luckily, I didn’t see anything and was able to escape. Now, back to the drug dealer. He was affiliated with the Mexican mafia. He dealt drugs and guns. I remember going into their room once where he lifted up the mattress and dozens of guns were under it. Not just handguns. Assault rifles. As a preteen, I had to go on drug runs with them. Sometimes, I was allowed to take a friend. Going alone scared me. One time, we went to Virginia, and my friend and I had to sit in the back of our van on top of the luggage. The drug dealers were buckled in, though. My mom had her priorities straight! HA!
The monumental moment came when everyone went to prison. Finally, I was free! My mother took me and her niece by marriage to the mall. My mom was buying things for the niece (not blood related-did you get that part)? I was upset that she was not spending time with me. She wouldn’t even talk to me. I decided to annoy my mother until she would agree to take me home. All I wanted to do was see my friends and escape the ridiculous family I was given. We arrived at home and my mom’s husband came out yelling. He was telling her she was supposed to come home later. She said she knew but I was causing her too much grief. We walked into the house and the terrazzo floor was covered in water. It was like the house flooded. I looked at the front door where I saw a bullet hole. There was blood spatter on our ivory furniture and walls. A tall, skinny man was scurrying from the kitchen sink to the backyard with a mop and bucket. I walked through the house and looked out the back door. The yard was covered in red water. Blood and water. Then, I heard that things went wrong and my mom’s husband killed two drug dealers in our home. They were supposed to bring money for the drugs but showed up empty-handed instead. Tisk tisk tisk. Finally, the wives of the deceased reported the missing husbands. It took a while before the police could prove that her husband was involved, so they decided to arrest him for a probation violation. Good plan police. I was thrilled that day! I think it was either possession of a gun or drugs. Either way, it was fantastic! Later, S.W.A.T came in, raided the house, destroyed my closet which I had JUST reorganized, and arrested folks. They raided our house a couple more times until they had enough evidence to arrest my mom. Another happy day.
How did I survive all of that? What about your brother? Well, I was lucky. After living on my own in our house for the summer, DHS finally got wind of the situation and made me move. That was such a fun summer. My mom’s sister in Montana took me in right before I turned 17. I was able to finish high school there. Then, I moved out at 18. I was working full-time at Home Depot as a Flooring Specialist while going to college full-time. I was an independent gal with a downtown apartment. As for my brother. Well, his life is more like a rollercoaster. The kind of rollercoaster that makes you nauseous and causes neck injuries. He was actually there when the murders took place. Someone later told me that the husband said one kid had to stay behind as collateral to make sure my mom didn’t go to the police. Can you imagine being around 14 and witnessing that? Awful! My brother continued with the criminal life and is in prison until 2030. He has his own demons. Thanks mom!
I was very fortunate. Not many people are able to change their likely fate. I had a little bit of support for the first year I was in Montana when I finished high school. Later, I graduated college with a huge student loan debt and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Forensic Science. I’m sure some readers are thinking, “you are educated but have terrible grammar.” Yes, well, I am trying this thing where you type how you talk in order for the reader to see more of my personality in words. It frustrates me, too. Take it down a notch, get some tea, and enjoy my posts.