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Chapter 3: Age 6

This is the year that I hold dear to my heart. I don't remember much, but the ones that are in the surface of my thoughts, are valuable. I was going to miss out another year of kindergarten because of the same reason as the last, we were moving again. My grandmother, Tina, would not have that. She convinced Zach and Brenda to allow me to live with her, so my schooling can be started. My uncle was in the last grade of the same school I was enrolled in. He would be there when grams picked me up from the kindergarten area of the school. I had many friends, I had a loving family surrounding me there. My cousin, Jason, who was only a year older than me was my best friend. We always played together, always pulled pranks. His brother Tom would follow us everywhere, I didn't mind. He was so small and cute. Jason wasn't particularly happy about it, we had to make sure he stayed out of trouble. I had to do the same with my siblings, it was refreshing to keep an eye on your cousin and not your siblings. At least here, it wasn't completely our responsibility. Mainly us keeping him company and giving their parents a break. For fun we dressed him up in dresses, made tiny pigtails with his hair. It eased Jason's anger. His father had abandoned him as well. He sort of understood me, and I sort of understood him. But that similarity was what brought us to be best of friends.

The first time I was ever stung by a bee was in school. I sat at the top of the slide, watching a bee buzz around me. Before then I had no idea how painful they could be. The teacher was hollering up at me, telling me to slide down and give the others a turn. I ignored her and lifted my hand, allowing the bee to land on my finger. I watched as it crawled to the base of my index fingernail.

"Pretty." I had said out loud. It was then that it stuck it's stinger in my finger, causing me to scream and shake it off my hand. I went down the slide crying, holding my finger. The teacher led me to the nurses office, and told me to wait there. I sat and looked around, I hated the smell of the place. It was uncomfortable to me to sit there, everything was made of metal. The nurse came in and took the stinger out of my finger with tweezers. She was very nice, telling me that I was being brave by sitting still even though I was crying. Moments like those are never forgotten. In my life, I learned to cherish the people who had patience with me, the ones who were kind. As my story unfolds, you will understand why these trivial memories, aren't so trivial.

The one thing that my grams loves to remind me of, now that I have a toddler, is that I was a very tough child to handle. She and her husband, my grandpa Phil, would have to step outside of their home while I threw one of my tantrums. She said that they had police show up, checking to make sure that they weren't harming me, because the neighbors would get worried. I don't remember receiving spankings from her, but she told me that she had. Then she sent me to my room. While I sat their and screamed and let out all my anger, they would stand outside to show their neighbors that they were not beating me. They would join my grandparents, showing sympathy and apologizing. They also wondered why I would throw such a tantrum. How could a six year old be so angry?

When I told my grandma that I was abused growing up, she didn't believe me. She believes that I made it up, over exaggerated. I almost believed it was all a lie, over the time the memories faded, not seeming like it was just yesterday anymore. They stopped being so fresh when I moved out. Even though I almost believed it was a lie, I couldn't. Why would I lie about something so big, why would I be so angry with kids at school for saying they were abused at home so openly? Throughout my
life, I kept it to myself. I was asked about my bruises and I gave them the story Brenda wanted me to give. I had not told a soul until I was eighteen, out of the house, safe. Even then I only told one person. Today, only my closest friends know, I still don't feel comfortable sharing it. Maybe that's why I'm so angry. Because I haven't shared enough. So much is going on even now, my family is the most dysfunctional that you will ever meet. I may be a little dysfunctional myself, I have my problems. But I am truly proud that I have learned patience raising my siblings that I don't get angry with my child. I feared that I would give up and leave like Katie, but I know that I could never do that to my girl. I am now ranting, I guess it's a filler in the chapter now. I don't want to delete this, but all will be explained later on.

Anyway, I believe it was this year that my grandmother has been convinced that I over react, over exaggerate. "I can't help but think when you say they beat you with the belt, that they actually just hit a little harder than intended." She had said. I'm sure my six year old self was fresh in her mind, considering how horrible I acted when I was in a bad mood.

"No, the belt issue was recent enough to be fresh in my mind. Brenda gave it her all, not even aiming for my behind. Dad would at least aim, and he didn't swing as hard as he could. Grandma, I would laugh when he spanked me with the belt because it was so weak, I had to eventually pretend to cry over time so he would stop." I had told her. I will admit, I do over react, I even catastrophise. But when I tell my friends a funny story, for example, "Everybody was staring and then they all laughed!" I would make sure to say, "Okay, maybe not everybody. But most who were in earshot." I'm one of the most honest that you will ever meet. I lie sure, but I learned over time that lying isn't worth it. One lie can turn into a chain of lies, and eventually you won't be able to keep your story straight. I'm also terrible at lying, anyone can hear me lie and I can see it on their face that they know. Usually then I come clean, but I admit some times I stick to the story. This story, is not a lie. I don't even mind that some of my friends think I'm full of shit, because I know the truth. The love of my life believes me, and he is there for me. I hate that my past reflects on now, I feel like I can never escape it. But he is there, he doesn't turn his back, he doesn't call me a liar, and his eyes tell me that he knows I'm not full of it. In the last chapters you will understand why it reflects even now. And see I'm rambling again, it will happen quite often.

I remember at the end of this school year, I did not want to move back home. I missed my family, except for Brenda, but I wanted to stay. I didn't want to keep moving around, keep losing my friends, keep making new ones that I would lose in the end. I wanted stability. Who doesn't?

Submitted: September 14, 2013

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