Before I can fully explain where I’ve been the last few years, you must come to understand where I am truly from. A little background on me that I never really shared back when I started this blog.
Not what you were expecting? Me either, really. I’ve done some research on this topic and was honestly crushed by what I found. Typically those who come from poverty as children, tend to stay living in that life style throughout their own lifespan. Basically, wherever you start out in life, is where you tend to stay in life. I cannot tell you how sad this makes me. Though I shouldn’t really be surprised considering my own life.
My father was.. for lack of a better word, strange at times. I loved him. Most of the time. I miss him dearly, now that he is departed. I’m pretty sure I have mentioned him in my blog before, but not in any detail. He grew up a poor farm boy in Indiana, the second youngest male in a large family of 3 brothers, and 3 or 4 sisters. Honestly, I do not remember the exact number. He never finished school, and neither did any of his siblings. At one point in their lives, my grandparents gathered them all up and moved them to Arizona, where they still reside to this day. The living ones, anyway. His brothers all decided to get good jobs working in the mines and his sisters married well. My father.. let’s just say he had other ideas of how he was going to make his fortune. It was his “dream” that someday while out walking the mountains he would stumble upon a gold stash or a bunch of uncut diamonds just lying there begging him to find them. Try not to laugh. Okay, don’t. It’s funny as hell. He was kind of cuckoo. I truly believe he was born in the wrong era and should have been from the old west days as one of those shabby little gold prospectors.
But I digress.
His lack of work convictions and my lack of any parent other than him, had me growing up at the bottom of the poverty level. We didn’t have a television until I was an older teenager and Christmas was nonexistent in our household. There was no money for such luxuries. I swore that when I moved out on my own and had my own kids, all that was going to change. I was going to get a great education, and have a high paying job and my kids would never want for anything. What a jackass I was.
I’d only been out of high school a few months when I got knocked up the same night I lost my virginity. There is no denying I was a moron. The guy was worthless, but I thought I loved him, and to cut that story super short, 7 years later we had been married and divorced and I was left with 3 children to raise while he went off to the penal system for the remainder of his life. Oh sure he got out here and there but he always went right back in. There is soooo much more to that story in between and maybe someday I will write about all that, but for now, let’s just stick with poverty.
Despite all my bravado and big claims as that wide eyed innocent teen girl, I had not gotten out of the poverty lifestyle, nor was I providing better for my kids than I had had. Oh sure, they got Christmas with decorations and presents and had a TV, so I guess in that respect, they were certainly much better off than I had been, but we were still very much poor and destined it seemed to remain so.
Flash forward another 14 years (and certainly more stories to tell) and I had been married and divorced a second time, with one more child to look after. At this point, I had given up any thoughts of an education and had only been a stay at home mother and wife pretty much my whole life. We were still poverty level, and with no skills or degrees to help me, we again seemed stuck. The worst part of it all was at this point my health began to fail me. I was diagnosed with a multitude of things including type 2 diabetes and was physically in no shape to work. My oldest had dropped out of high school of his own choosing several years earlier and he went to work to support us all. Was I wrong in allowing him to do this? Most certainly, but at the time I saw him as our savior and allowed him to step up and help when I couldn’t.
It didn’t take long though for him to begin to resent his life and me as well. Rightfully so. He deserved a shot at his own life like we all do. But there he was, stuck with the burden of bringing home the bacon so to speak for his mom and siblings. One night, after work, he didn’t come home. There was no call from him, no warning, nothing. He just vanished. A few days later I heard from him and he was just fine. But he had had enough. He was staying with friends and wasn’t coming home again. “It was time he started his own life,” he said. I was torn between understanding and full blown panic at what was to become of the rest of us. He’d given us no time to prepare or make arrangements. He was just gone. Don’t get me wrong, he had every right to be, but at the time I had more than just him to worry about. That was the day I walked away from this blog, and never looked back. Except for a brief pop in once or twice.
Needless to say, we survived his moving on, or I wouldn’t be here today penning this rather long first dip into where I have been. He has since moved to the midwest, is engaged to be married, and has a beautiful 5-month-old baby girl. I love and miss him dearly and we keep in touch frequently. They too… live at the poverty level though. I have failed to protect my children, and show them the way out of Poorville. I have failed to be that role model that I swore to be.