So after my parents sold their first house, much to my mother’s displeasure, and we moved into the “old”, new house, things started to change. I was only about 6 years old but I could feel it. The aura in the house changed. Some good things did happen there; I joined the Brownies and for the first time in my life felt accepted somewhere and I also met a girl named Nancy at school. Nancy had to wear leg braces for a problem she had, I can’t remember what it was, and shared with me that she had an older brother who died by getting kicked in the head by a horse. Nancy and I spent all our free time at school together; so along with having Nancy at school and Cindy and Terry who lived across the street from me, at the age of 6 I actually had some friends and it felt good. My dad also got me a dog, a rescue, named Boots. He was a chihuahua and he adored me! He followed me wherever I went. If I went across the street to Cindy’s house he would wait on that porch for me no matter how long I was there…he was very loyal to me!
But then things started to change. First, my uncle, the husband of my mom’s biological sister, died tragically in a car accident when she was pregnant with her third child. I had never heard of death before and this was all a bit confusing to me. I remember all the sadness and uncertainty and also all the confusion surrounding the car accident. I don’t think they really ever found out the truth about what happened. I know that my dad stepped in, helped her to find a home for her and her children (they were living in an apartment at the time of the tragedy), a house that remains in their family to this day. It was just months of sadness.
Up to this point, my dad had been in the Navy. Now my memory is a little fuzzy as to the exact order that everything happened, but I will do my best. As I stated in my earlier blog, “Gimme Shelter-NOT”, I was dealing with an extremely overprotective mom and she really did not allow me to do anything, even when it came to housework. She even took care of feeding Boots. After a while, my mom started feeling nauseated every time she had to feed him and she said she wanted Boots removed from the house. I was absolutely heartbroken, still am to this day. We then found out my mom was pregnant with her second child, so that is probably why she was getting sick. Why my dad did not step up to the plate and say he would feed Boots or why they did not teach me, I have no idea. I just knew my beloved Boots was gone. I was FURIOUS with my mom.
Also about this time I was hearing stories about my parents. My grandmother told me that my dad was getting ready to leave my mom until they found out she was pregnant. Like I said, I knew I could feel something strange in the air, maybe they were fighting and subconsciously I knew it, though I never really saw it personally. I asked my mom about this, about my dad leaving, and she denies it, but my mom denies lots of things, it is how she copes. I believe my grandmother and feel there was something going on between them at that time.
This was also the first time I started to become rebellious and getting punished for my behavior. I had a bicycle and was allowed to ride it on my street only, but a friend from school lived a couple of blocks away and had asked me to come over. I asked permission first, and when denied and being frustrated and tired of not being able to do what my peers did, due to my mom’s overprotective nature, I went anyway. Of course, my parents found out and that is the first time I can remember getting a spanking from my dad. He talked to me first about the situation and why I did what I did. He advised me in advance I would be getting a spanking and I got it. He did not hit me hard, but just the shock of getting my first spanking ever I balled my eyes out!
My second act of rebelliousness was not eating a family Portuguese recipe for pea soup-not split pea soup-but pea soup. It was disgusting to me and I refused to eat it. Now, this was the first time I experienced my dad’s anger. He was so upset with me and told me I would not leave the table until I ate it. But it was the ANGER that shocked me; my dad had never acted that way toward me before. He left the kitchen and my mom and I sat in there until she let me go to bed. I did not eat it and have not since!
During this time there were a lot of changes. When I was seven years old my mom gave birth to my little sister. Now, my mom had apparently tried for years to have a second child after I was born, but it just never happened. When she did find out she was pregnant she was already six months into her pregnancy, so this did not give me a lot of time to adjust or ask questions. I just know I was told I would be having a little brother or sister and before I knew it, my sister was here. I had been an only child for seven years and I was not sure what this meant to me or what role I would play in all this; I was massively confused.
Also during this time my dad decided to leave the Military and became an insurance salesman for a very well known insurance company. I think this caused a lot of friction between my parents also. I know my dad did not work there long when he decided to open his own insurance agency. Now I know for a FACT that this caused many, many problems with my parents. I will get into that in my next blog!