Friday, August 3, 2007

Slice of My Past - Living in a Garage


For a while when I was younger we lived in a camper inside a garage. When I started to remember that time period, I wanted to verify if it was true or not. I spent a few minutes online and found an address and name that matched the area and person I recall. My mother had told us at first that it was our uncle we were staying with, but later said he wasn’t really. There are a lot of memories swimming around from that period. I was allowed inside to sleep on occasions because the owner of the house had a daughter around my age. I slept on her floor.

I had very few toys at that time, one of which was a Speak and Spell. My mother told me that she had sold plasma to get that for me one Christmas as it was the only toy I wanted. She sold blood and plasma on more than one occasion when we were younger. Then, after staying in the trailer and in the house, it was missing. The daughter had all the ‘Speak and’ series (math, reading) and now had the Spelling one too. My mother insists she stole it, and brought it up over and over for a long time. I don’t know what to believe.

My brother was jealous that I got to spend more time indoors than he did. But he was already getting a reputation for acting out a lot. I remember one morning when he slept in late and I heard a lot of cursing. He was swearing in his sleep. Just loud, angry curses. It’s sad to think of an 11-year old boy so disturbed he’s doing that in his sleep. He wasn’t much better when he was awake.

After finding the name and phone number, I wrote this man. It’s funny, I know I’ll never reconnect with my mother, don’t want to. I don’t want to talk to my brother either, not really, as I mentioned before. At least, not now. But this man – I decided that if he was real, than my childhood was validated. Then I really did live in the garage of a house owned by a man who may or may not be related.

I spoke to my friend Xiomara about the letter. The main thing was to not mention the living in a garage while he had a house but to be kind and thankful for having shelter at all. I then asked if he was related, and what he remembered about me during that time and my mother. Once it passed Xiomara’s inspection in terms of not sounding angry or depressed or needy, I mailed it.

Very soon after I got a letter back. It was short, and riddled with misspellings. Yes, the letter said, I am your uncle. Yes, it continued, you lived with us. Yes, I have a daughter and you used to play together. Yes, Yes, Yes. It was real.

As for the questions about myself and my mother? “I don’t feel comfortable talking about her,” was the reply.

But that was enough. It was all real. I really lived in a garage with a bi-polar mother and brother who cussed in his sleep and was beginning to hate the world. This meant there really was a place that had ‘fried fish Friday’s’ that my mom would spit as she said. There was a neat-freak aunt and another aunt that had 21 cats and used to paint my nails and tried to allow me to be a little girl. There was just so much that happened – and it was real.

I look back now and is it any wonder it seems like a movie? I’m doing well living in Manhattan, working 6 days a week, and have constant access to food and shelter and clothes and things that I need. Then I see the past and the dumpster diving and living in garages and cars and hunger pangs and just so much anger and utter confusion and I’m really amazed that that is all part of me.

Picture from http://www.greenleafdollhouses.com/ found via google.

8 comments:

Amel's Realm said...

Ahhh...glad you had a way to prove that it was all true, Vic.

It IS sad what you said about your brother...cursing in his sleep. Oh dear!!!

Yet I'm SO GLAD you've come SO FAR from where you used to be...

dawn said...

I am so happy that you could confirm your past, it's hard not knowing if what the mind is telling you is real or not. Have happy thoughts for the weekend, I'll be back Monday. Oh I have tell you reading your blog has given me the strength to write about some thongs that have been going on in my life. I left a comment on my post. Thank you

Chewy said...

Victorya,
Congrats on making David's "Post of the Day"!

You are so strong to validate your past and very brave to post your stories.

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Yes, sweet lady, the layers are starting to fall into place now, aren't they? I have a lot of patchy gaps in my childhood too. I'm at peace with them now - both my parents are long dead, and I like how my life has turned out, so I count myself lucky, I guess. Thank God nothing lasts forever, eh? I am so inspired by you, have you any idea how brave you are to confront all those demons?? HUGE, my friend!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Congrats Victorya on post of the day. Well deserved.

It's amazing how far you have come. You truly are an inspiration. Have a lovely weekend. F

cherished79 said...

I love the way you write, so sorry it has to be about sad things. Have a happy weekend and keep in touch.

Victorya said...

Amel - Some days I can't beleive how far I've come. I think that's what makes the past seem so foreign

Dawn- hugs to you! I read it and can't imagine going through that. I do hope it works out.

Chewy - thanks for the heads up. It's funny, I do'nt see myself as that strong because I'm doing what I feel I need to do, nothing special, ya know?

Shrink- I'm coming to term with the wholes, and see you as my hope. There are just those 'stories of my past' where all I hear is my mother's voice that I want straightened out. Are they real or her imagination?

fishie! always great to see you, did you survive the storm last night?

cherished - I could say the same about you, your blog is an inspiration.

Mousie/Paisible said...

yes sometimes it's so difficult to take the past out of your head and face it...but it's so important to talk and write about it...once you've said the words you may find a place for them on the shelves in a corner of your head and heart, and you feeel lighter...
all the best from Mousie happy to have met you