I didn't have a bad childhood.
I didn't have an awesome childhood.
I don't really know where to rate it.
It's hard to say what is "normal" and what isn't.
My life started out with my mom being married to my biological father (who was in the Army) and us living in a few places.
At the time I had an older brother (by 4 years) who was fathered by my mother's 1st boyfriend at 18. My father was her second an she had me at 22.
Living in Germany, 4 years later, my next brother was born.
I'm not really sure when the abuse started but I do remember it shortly after we came back to the US.
We lived in Oklahoma. I can remember my Big Wheel, my Cabbage Patch doll and I can also remember hiding under the table when daddy came home.
I can remember seeing him beat her. I can remember him trying to beat me because I refused to let him hold me. I remember protecting my brother.
I can remember looking at my mother one day and asking when we were going to leave daddy.
I remember my mom packing a bag and leaving everything else behind.
We hopped on a bus and rode back to DC to say with my Grandmother.
At some point during all of this me and my younger brother became the best of friends.
We have a connection that I can't seem to explain.
Years later we have watched our mother remarry. Have another son (10 year younger than me) and gain a step-son as well.
I am not close with any of them to include my oldest brother. I don't really remember him through my childhood.
Part of that is because at 12 he lied to our school guidance counselor and said that our mother abused us. We were taken away from her for a short period and shortly after he went to live with is father.
I can count on 1 hand the amount of times I've seen him since then.
My point is, my family is far from perfect.
I am not close to any of them. I don't talk to my grandparents or uncles. I don't know where my cousins are.
My younger brother just got out of a detention center and may or may not graduate high school.
My oldest brother just got out of jail for beating his wife, again.
And my stepbrother, well, lord knows what he's up to.
But then we have Dyon. How I love him so. He is my family. And I am his.
He was headed down the wrong path but I grabbed him by the throat and showed him a different life.
He joined the Marines. Words cannot express how proud I am of him.
A few weeks ago he returned from Iraq and then he flew into DC to be with his family. Me.
He stayed with me up until yesterday. He will be going to Afghanistan in April.
While he was here he saw my mom once and I don't think he saw my father or brothers at all.
I am not surprised but it still stings. He pretends it doesn't bother him, but I know him better.
I have to make up for his family. I have to be his mom and dad when my parents are too busy with their own lives to remember they have children.
I hugged my brother yesterday morning before he left for his flight. I gave him a kiss and whispered in his ear how proud I am of him.
He needs to hear that.
No family is perfect and I try to remind myself of that. But I have my own little perfection and he'll be leaving for war soon and taking a piece of me with him.
#tbt: friendship in the ethiopian countryside
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