1971, I turned seven years old that summer and I’d be starting the 2nd grade. My older sister would turn nine that year and be in the 4th grade. My younger sister would be four. This was the year that we finally wouldn’t have to live with relatives anymore. We were getting an apartment of our own. Mom finally had a job and could afford a place for us. I can’t remember who took care of us while she was working though.
It was time to start school and I was still a sad little girl. I was introverted, shy and scared, and very lonely. I still missed my dad so much. I was meek and timid. The girls, it seemed, never liked me. In fact it was as if they hated me. I never did anything to them. I learned not to even look at them. One glance could get me slapped. And it did. Plenty of times.
I do remember one small boy though, who was very nice to me. We became good friends and then he was my boyfriend. I remember one time in the play ground; he gave me a kiss on the cheek. That was the one time that I actually felt special. We left that school that year and I never saw him again.
Mom was gaining weight by this time and was meaner too. She was constantly yelling at us for something. We could never play when she was home. We would either get smacked, pinched, or she’d pull our hair. We could never slip and chew with our mouths open just once, or we’d get slapped. She was getting miserable.
During this time is when I became so afraid. Scared of my own shadow. Scared to be alone and scared to be with people. I wanted to hide all the time. I cried all the time. I withdrew into myself because it just seemed everyone in the world was so mean. Everyone except for my sisters.