Yesterday I posted Part One of this story, so now it’s time for the continuing saga…

I became the poster child for teen angst.  I didn’t give into brooding or feeling sorry for myself very often, but when I was alone and left to my own devices I went to a very dark place.  Sadly that dark place is still a part of my being and I really try not to go there.  When I do the only person who seems to be able to pull me out of it is the lifeguard friend that I mentioned at the end of the last post.  I really have no idea how he puts up with me, but he does and is still a constant source of encouragement in my life. My world is a much better place with him in it.

There is a song by Generation X, Billy Idols old band called The Untouchables.  I associate everything Generation X with him because he is the one that introduced me to it, along with a number of other awesome punk bands including The Cramps, The Decedents, The Pixies and The Dead Milkmen.  For some reason though, Generation X always takes me back to that time in my life and it’s both melancholy and bittersweet.  These lyrics from The Untouchables always makes me choke back tears because I am deathly afraid that one day I will have to live in a world where he isn’t.

But time is stacked against us
It takes some of us home
Will pick our souls, turn up in you
While it sets me free
old friends young and new, what’ll I do
When you’re gone too

That is the kind of friend he is and it shows the influence that he was in my life at the time.   Life had kicked me and showed me how dark and ugly it could be.  14 years old, found out in the most graphic way what my step-father was and had to listen to my mother’s spin on it all, found out my mother was a whore, one of my best friends was killed and I was pretty much ostracized from society but my consolation prize was a lifeguard.  How ironic.  I had a laugh recently when Mr. Lifeguard told me my step-father reminded him of a mad scientist.

Well…he was mad.  Somewhere around this time he was also diagnosed with multiple personality disorder. The best part of it was his doctor thought he could be “fixed” with therapy and never put him on stabilizing drugs.  Thanks doc.  You have no idea the kind of hell I lived in because of it.

I have never had any concept of time so I don’t know when the following happened in relationship to where I am now in the time line.  I do know that there was abuse going on in the house.  My mother decided that she wanted, no, needed another child.  She had to have her son.  This wasn’t her attempt to fix a broken marriage with a baby as so many do.  This was her self-centeredness rearing it’s ugly head.  Her first child wasn’t what she wanted, and she wanted what she wanted and to hell with everyone and everything else.  My step-father seemed incapable of knocking her up so she tried IVF I believe.  I remember some talk about being able to pick the traits of the child.  It failed and she was told she wasn’t able to conceive.  I really thought that this was a good thing.

And then it happened.  I was hell bent on self-destruction and there was one lone person doing what he could to tie back together the shreds of my sanity and the parental units had no idea what they had done to me even though it was right in front of their face if they had paid enough attention.  The guys that my mother kept company with were losers.  She just couldn’t see it.  One of those guys succeeded in doing what my step-father and IVF had failed to do.  She was pregnant.  She was an alcoholic and pregnant.  Because she was what she was, she had no idea until she was 5 months along.  Who the hell doesn’t know they are pregnant until over half way through a pregnancy? At first she had no idea that she was that far along and said that she was going to have an abortion.  She was three shades of unhappy about being pregnant until the ultrasound revealed she was going to have boy.

Everything was no perfect in her world and I suddenly sucked even more.  She was the master at manipulating people and had everyone believing that she was the perfect mother and I was just an ungrateful brat.

My lifeguard went off to art school, my parents had a nasty divorce and I never seen my step-father again. My mother went on welfare.  To this day I do not understand this.  She had been working, in fact she had three jobs at one point.  One delivering newspapers at night, another stuffing envelopes in her spare time, and she worked at a printing press that printed adverts for the local newspaper.  She was more content to give up all of this and sit on her ass and do nothing and make people feel sorry for her.  The single mother of two children having to live on welfare.  We moved.  I ended up going to 6 high schools in three years.  She sold her food stamps for gas and booze money so there were times there was no food in the house.  If it wasn’t for the free lunch program at school there were days I wouldn’t have eaten.  Hell, even during her gambling days there were times there wasn’t food in the house although she denied this claiming that there was stuff, it just needed to be cooked.

My brother was born when I was 16.  He was born with fetal alcohol syndrome and my mother always swore up and down she had no idea how that happened.  A new kind of weirdness took hold.  I was not allowed near him.  I was not allowed to touch him.  I was told when she died he was getting everything and I didn’t exist.  The guy that I was dating at the time asked me if there was really anything she had that I would want or was worth anything.  There were a few items of value, an antique dresser/vanity that was my great-grandmothers and a couple rings she gave her.  Other than that, no.  When the divorce happened everything was put in storage and she never made any attempt to get it, including my antique upright piano that I practiced on despite being out of tune.  She even gave away my flute because she didn’t want me playing any more.

We finally ended up living in Small Town, not far from that campground we spent so much time at a couple years before.  Why?  Because that’s where my mother’s boyfriends lived and she wanted to be close to them.  My lifeguard lived two blocks in one direction from me and a certain person who went on to become a very popular industrial rock star lived two blocks the other way.  Yes, the two of them were friends.  Very good friends and he was part of the fringes of my world.  His sister hated me with a passion and was a constant bitch to me.

One of the guys that my mother was seeing lived with his sister and her family when he wasn’t driving truck.  His nephew and I became very good friends and I would spend almost  every day with him during the summer and after school until crazy hours of the night.  We were more surprised that he got married and that it lasted two years than when he got divorced and came out of the closet.

My senior year sucked as much as anyone’s senior year in school could suck.

Now that my brother was two, he was suddenly my responsibility because my mother couldn’t find a baby sitter that she could afford with what welfare gave her after she paid the bills where she could go out and drink and be the whore that she had turned into.  Living in a new world, a good number of people that knew were convinced that he was my son and not my brother.  The one gathering – it was a football game – my friends asked me out on…well, it was a combination date and gathering…I had to take him with me.   I found the guy that was supposed to be my date making out with his ex-girlfriend.  None of my friends ever asked me out again.  I didn’t go to prom because my boyfriend didn’t want to take me, because no one else wanted to take me (who could blame them) and I had to watch my brother.  Every Wednesday through Saturday I was his babysitter.  The only time I got to do anything was to go to Wednesday mass with one of my friends.  We were quite the pair showing up at a Catholic Church in our punk attire and weird hair.  Her mother was an Italian immigrant who still held many beliefs of her family and my friend was already engaged because of an arranged marriage.

Oh yes, the friends I had were interesting.  None of them fit the mold of normal.

Graduation sucked as well.  My mother threw me a graduation party the day afterward that only one friend could attend.  I had a party with one person there.  I also left home that day never to return.

The next chapter of this saga is a story unto itself…