So in comes the step mother… I was 9 years old and she was 17 when my dad married her. She already had a toddler of her own, been in a gang and the father of her son was also in gang, the Latin Kings. I remember one time as an adult, I had asked my dad, “Is the rumor within the family true? That you married her just so us four kids could have a mom?” He just looked at me and gave me this grin that most of my family members give when you know they aren’t telling you the truth. He said, “I love all of you guys.” Well, that was not necessarily the answer I was looking for to this inquiry, but he had chosen to be non-informative. To this day, I wish I would’ve really known that answer, more so, what was he thinking of marrying this young girl.
Now bear with me as I tell this part of my life story. I will try to stay on track but you have to understand, my dad moved around a lot. I don’t think I ever attended the same school for more than two years. For example, besides dropping out my Jr year, I attended three different high schools for freshmen, sophomore and senior year. Not to mention that us three older kids were also still going back-and-forth to mom and dad’s house and a lot of stuff happened. Plus to add to this chaotic, confusing and overloaded information that I’m trying to format, the journal I had with my life stories seems to be missing currently. Some of the stuff I vaguely remember the chronicle order of when it happened…. so I may just have to throw stories out there that might not be in the exact order but hopefully you’ll get the gist of my life.
So to continue, my stepmother got married to my dad and we moved out of my grandma and aunts house. Within their first year of marriage my step-mother had her first child with my dad, a boy (he became a favorite of mine). She was pretty much pregnant every year. After her fourth child with my dad (all boys), she said she had her tubes tied. However. apparently that didn’t work because she got pregnant with twins (yes two more boys). After the twins she became pregnant with the seventh boy, but that brother was a still born and they had him buried on top of my grandfathers grave. At this point, I’d like to say she was done with the baby making but not quite. She got pregnant once more which was her last child with my dad, yes it was another boy. So in the end, she had eight boys with my dad. Our family use to joke that we had enough kids for our own baseball team (laughing).
Now to move away from the baby making machine and move on to her cooking skills. I remember that my step-mother wasn’t such a great cook. One time I remember having burnt pork chops for dinner, what else would I expect, she was only 8 years older than me. I think those bad dinners only made me appreciate the good meals I had at my moms. Most of my life I did get along with my step mother but it’s not like she was a role model. I think the only advice I ever got from her was on contraceptives, which was more like a show and tell. Any memories of doing things with my step mother would of been going to Santa’s Village with the family and when I got my ears pierced. She was the first to do it and she did it the old fashion way, ice cube on the ear and a burnt needle, ouch! I also remember that the older us kids got she played more favoritism to her kids. Example, she would get candy and give it to her kids but hide it from us. During the age of 9 through 13, it was back-and-forth from parent to parent and pretty much feeling like an orphan in a huge family.
Now my step-mothers father was in the plumbing business and that’s when my dad went to go work for him. Her family was originally from Tennessee and she had two sisters and a brother. I know her dad remarried and she had some step siblings, I can’t remember how many. But I do remember going over to her dads house and sometimes spending the night there. This is when I started to get molested by her dad and stepbrother, I believe it was between the age of 10–11 years old. I’m not really sure why I didn’t say anything thing at that time, I guess I was just scared. All I remember is that I would be woken up with somebody fondling me. I would pretend like I was still sleeping and roll around to see if they would stop, but they didn’t. This had happened a few times until I finally stopped going over there. I never told anyone until my 30s, that’s when I finally told my dad. I’m not really sure if he had ever confronted his father-in-law about it and I had never mentioned it again. I remember not too long after I told my dad, maybe a year or two later, my step-grandfather passed away and I felt relieved.
“If you want to know what it’s like to survive hell and still come out shining brighter than the sun. Just look into the eyes of a woman who has survived intense damage and refused to allow it to destroy her softness.” – Nikia Gill