All that buildup, all that anxious waiting. Well, Tiny came home. It was awful. All she did was cry, day and night. Sounds of wailing, sobbing, crying all day long. I thought the noise would never stop. Tiny was tired, I was tired, and my Mom was tired, but there was no break. At least I could escape going to school, but I still heard the crying in my head. I couldn’t concentrate, I was exhausted.
I helped with the cooking and the cleaning. Seems I never did anything right. Terrible times, none of us could cope. And my parents started fighting and that made it even worse for me.
As Tiny got older, crawling around the house, she smelled everything. Food, people, floors, doors, windows, the crib, everything. Still older, one day she climbed out of her crib. She went into the bathroom, got Crest toothpaste, baby powder, and Comet cleanser. Yes, the washed her crib, my mother’s mahogany furniture, the windows, the floors. It took weeks to get it all cleaned up .I can still see vividly that mess.
Then we found her in the little pantry, somehow she had scraped open the wall and ate what was inside. Mom called the doctor and he said her body was craving lime? Yuck. By the time she was three or four, when Mom washed the sheets and took them outside to dry, Mom got a phone call and had to go inside. I was sent out to watch her, but she had already washed the sheets through the ashes from our basement stove. How could she have dragged those heavy sheets by herself? By the time she was five she was into all my things. She followed me everywhere, and still she smelled everything!
To be so happy to have a baby sister, to feeling guilty, to feeling invisible, to being exhausted all the time. Always babysitting, cooking, cleaning. No time for friends, for homework. By this time who cared, not me.
Scared, lonely, upset and crying myself, headaches, I couldn’t cope either.
So when I was sixteen, I confronted my mother. “Mom either I have a nervous breakdown, or I quit school. Your choice.”
I had wanted an education, I wanted to go to college. I wanted to learn. I looked into my mother’s sad eyes, and she shook her head, “I guess you have to quit school.
Summing up my teen years:
Broken dreams, yanked out of my life due to circumstances beyond my control. Whereas once I was encouraged to dream, I was suddenly thrown head first into life.
Come back and read my next chapter of life: Sweet Sixteen, Not For Me