These last few days I’ve been trying to finally get my basement organized, since we are going on 6 months of being in our house and it’s become the dumping grounds for every thing. I think I have at least fifty amazon boxes down there, if anybody is moving soon. As I’m cleaning, I’ve noticed that:
1.) I keep everything to do with finances. Like every bill, check stub, and receipt from the last 8 years. Why? In case I need to see how much my gas bill was in 2010?
2.) I also keep every card I’ve ever received. I have a good hundred or so now in a separate box.
3.) I’m definetly a sentimenalist. Anything that reminds me of something/someone is packed away so I won’t forget that person or time.
So this is why it’s taken me days to get through this stuff; there is some awesome crap in my basement. Like, so awesome. I found my journal I started in 5th grade, which documents each day what I had for almost every meal. I have cards my great grandma wrote to my mom and letters from my grandpa and so many other things that start to get the brain thinking back on old times. For me, this isn’t the easiest thing to try to process. I came across report cards from elementary school that stopped all progress I was making in cleaning because what I read made me feel so extremely sad.
If you know me, you know I haven’t had the easiest life, and if you don’t, you might know from rumors. It’s sort of like a real life version of “A Series of Unfortunate Events”. My kindergarten teacher, for example, wrote in my review that I was constantly late to school and kept missing days so I was behind, plus I never knew how I was getting home. There were a few times we were homeless. My parents were addicts, my dad was abusive. I don’t want to go through my whole story, but that gives you an idea. In fifth grade, two cops came and pulled me out of class to ask me some questions. The next day, my two sisters and I were staying with what was to become our new family. This was pretty well talked about throughout the school, since the family had 3 kids, each the same age as my sisters and I. Plus, cops showing up to pull someone out of class is going to come with a lot of questions from classmates.
Our new family seemed so great, and at first it was. We finally had a stable environment and we were doing great as far as adjusting to having a whole new life. Our new mom and dad adopted us eventually and we moved into a new house that could fit 6 kids. This was where it started to get a little dark again, and it’s still a little hard for me to write about. While I will always be appreciative for being removed from the deplorable situation we were in, it was another bad situation we were getting to experience next.
The next couple of years started to bring out our new adopted mom’s true personality, and all of the sudden I found myself wishing I would never had said I wanted to leave my parents. Tammy, our adoptive mom, wasn’t so much physically abusive as she was mental. There was a definite difference in the way she treated her biological kids and the way she treated my sisters and I. I again don’t want to go into too much detail here, but to give an idea, I was responsible for meal planning, cooking dinner, cleaning the kitchen (and keeping it clean), doing the laundry and many other Cinderella-ish chores, all while being watched on the security camera she had set up. My dad, who is an awesome guy and was really the only thing that kept me from running away most of the time, divorced her 2 years before I graduated. Of course, my sisters and I chose to live with him, and really life since then has just been normal, finally. Thankfully.
Looking at my daughter after going through all these memories really puts things into perspective for me. I never would have thought when I was sitting in the homeless shelter as a kid that I would be where I am today: happily married 11 years, in a nice house right down the street from my best friend, with a refrigerator and deep freeze stocked with food, money saved, and the most beautiful little girl in the world that is half of me sleeping right next to me. I really couldn’t be more grateful for everything I have, and going through all the skeletons in my basement definitely helped remind me of that.