In part four, I left out a very important part of my life, school, my mother's form of dissipline, and Jerry’s daughter Melissa that would visit occasionally. 5th grade was the hardest year for me. My mother was in and out of nervous breakdowns, I was being abused, and then there’s all the stuff that was in the last story.
I was very withdrawn in school, which is to be expected. We lived in a richer area of Texas, but I was very poor. Most of my clothes were hand me downs from Jerry’s daughter who was a little bigger than me. His daughter got priority. She didn’t live with us, but Jerry made sure to take care of her.
I remember having one thing that I really liked. It was a leather jacket that used to belong to my mother, before she had gained weight. I loved that Jacket and I remember a girl at school telling me that she thought it was cool. Nobody had ever called me cool before.
One day, Melissa came over for the night, she complained that she didn’t have a jacket. My mother made me give her the leather Jacket. About a month later, we were picking up Melissa from her mom’s house and I went into Melissa’s room to help her get her stuff ready. As it turned out, she had four other jackets, she just happened to like mine.
At Christmas time, I remember going to pick up Melissa and there being this huge decorated tree at her house. Underneath there were tons of presents. Jerry put four presents under the tree for her. I had no tree at my house or presents that year.
Strange thing is, I don’t remember being jealous of Melissa or angry at her. At the time, I think I thought I deserved less. I remember wishing I was her, beautiful and having pretty stuff. I thought I was ugly. I had big ears, a gap, and my hair had been rapidly turning red since I turned 11. Melissa had perfect teeth, big blue eyes, and long brown hair all the way to her butt.
Maybe it was because I had empathy for her too. There was more than one occasion where something with her father and her looked too familiar. I suspected that he was doing the same to her as me. Still I didn’t say anything.
At school I was doing poorly. I was failing everything. Concentrating at school was difficult for me. Often I lived in a fantasy world. I’d make up stories in my head, stories of a different life then I had. Living in my head was also an escape from the cruelty of the other kids. I dressed different, looked different, and I’m sure that I acted really weird.
In school, I hated recess P.E. , and lunch the most. At recess I had to find something to do on my own. Usually I sat on the swing, playing with the sand with my feet while living in my head. At P.E., I was always chosen last. The ones that would get me would always get mad that I was on their team. At lunch there was always a vacant chair next to me.
It was the same with any group projects with any subject. Kids would get upset that I was with them. They were never quiet about it. A boy had come up for a name for me. He called me Uglems and it spread. Other than that, there was a group of girls that used to call me freak. I never said anything back. I was very quiet and withdrawn.
The worst ones were the nice kids, because they’d ask me to play at recess, but it was obvious that they felt sorry for me. They didn’t like or really want to play with me and I could tell. Sometimes that’s worse than those that are mean. Besides, sometimes I had just heard one of the teachers ask them to include me, which was even worse.
What I find very strange is that not one teacher that year took me aside to ask me what was wrong. My teacher even encouraged the kids somewhat. I had to read a report in front of the class. I was so afraid, my voice was quiet and shaky. The teacher kept telling me to speak up, the kids laughed, and I got even more nervous. Finely in an very annoyed voice, the teacher told me, “Just sit down!” I got an F on my project.
Most of my growning up with my mother (I'll share more of this in more detail later) didn't believe in spanking. This was in part, because of the coat hanger incident, where she beat me until I bleed. She was afraid of what she was capable of. Instead, she did so with words. She'd go from not caring what I do and me having no rules, to watching everything I'd do. I'd get in trouble for things that she allowed me to do for long periods of time, I'd get in trouble for having a different opinion than her, I'd get in trouble if I cried at the wrong time, I'd get in trouble for putting something up the way she didn't want it, and many other stupid reasons. Her method of dissipline was degradation. She'd scream at me for hours literally, yelling and lecturing. The only way to stop it was to say what she wanted and how horrible I am. she'd sometimes make me kiss her feet and laugh about it.
Needless to say, I failed fifth grade. Melissa stopped coming over to visit her dad after that year. I’m not sure if it was her choice or her mothers.
I looked up Melissa a few years ago. At first it was for my brother, because I thought he wanted to know his other sister, but I realized it was an excuse, because I had my own selfish reasons. It was always in the back of my mind that something happened to her too. After talking to her, I found out that they didn’t or at least she didn’t admit to it. It was an interesting conversation and healing for both of us I think. Come to find out, her home life was not so great. Her mother and step-father were drug dealers. Her father and my mother baught their drugs from them. She was being abused at home. She had things, but was jealous of me because I had her father. I also found out that Jerry died a very painful death. He had cancer for years and died slowly.
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