I could begin to relax at times and feel alittle accepted by my new family at fourteen. Sometimes I did feel loved... at least a little bit. Life got so bad at Grandma Alma's and George's and ... I thought I'd rather die than to live any longer there. Those were very dark colors in my life... I had heard of suicide somewhere... maybe another kid that made fun of me told me to go kill myself that I was no good there. I can't remember all what happened and at the moment I am trying to peep all around a memory that I never think back to... so, some of it's blocked. I do see a young,overweight girl, though pretty (I looked like my beautiful mother).... it didn't matter because I was 'fat'. Not grossly fat but, chubby-fat.
Anyway, I see this young girl who loved to draw and color and make her own paper dolls by designing little outfits that later as an adult I 'recognized' in a catalog... I can't remember it exactly now, and it seemed sort of a naughty catalog. When I remember the name I will tell you. I would draw my pretty girl and cut her out with scissors and then, draw and color the clothes the colors I loved ...and cut them out too... then, I would fold the little tabs to hold the dresses on my paperdoll. I dreamed of being a fashion designer one day and my Grandmother Lola told me later that she'd send me to fashion design school in New York when I graduated school. That's another story for a later time..........
Anyway, I was in the dirty, cold bathroom at Grandma Alma's house where there was only cold water that came out of the sink and bathtub... I learned to hold my breath and jump into the cold water at Grandma Alma's so, I could take a tub bath... usually George would heat up water on the stove for me to add cold water to ..to make the water just warm 'enough' to take my bath. George dipped snuff and he'd spit on the white commode and he couldn't see... and it'd be all over the commode. He didn't know. The bathroom was out on the back porch that was scary at nighttime... big rats would jump off the wardrobe sitting there, making my heart pound so hard. There were some kind of insects that I call 'kadiddle-hoppers', never knowing what they are really called... I just know they looked like little pink-stomached fat people and their eyes would look straight into mine! I was terrified of those kadiddle-hoppers! I have battled more than one in my life ... and battled hard with my wits and my emotions! To this day... when I see one... I become weak in my stomach and I feel a fear ... and know somehow I'm going to win and not let the kadiddle-hopper get the best of me. I really have to take time to get brave... because I could never let one jump on me... it'd be over for me, I know I would faint! I have to sneak up on it and be ready to just deliver one death blow! I feel that shaky feeling in my stomach again.... that's how strongly I feel about them. At Grandma Alma's and George's home... there were things to be afraid of, both human and animals and insects.
They never had a choice in the matter... the only people who would try to clean their house was her grandchildren... Sylvia and I.. or Linda and I. We would put clorox and soap on the white tile floor in their kitchen and scrub until it sparkled.. we did pretty good as children.
Some of the most fun I had was next door at my Aunt Ruby's house... her house was always spotless and I loved to be there until I heard the words I always dreaded to hear, and I heard them many times....'Faye, get your ass up to Grandma's'. Anyway, I was wanted at times because I helped to iron for her 6 children and her and my uncle Pee Wee. I also, helped Sylvia to clean house. They had a big, white tile floor in the kitchen that Sylvia and I would have such fun cleaning......with clorox and washing detergent! We were so young and never realized how we'd look doing this... just so innocent............we would take our clothes off and put them neatly in the next room so, the clorox wouldn't take the color out of them! We would skate on that white, tile floor with our bare feet as long as we wanted... the suds were white and just so magical! We would laugh, and scream and fall down and it was a wonderful time we looked forward to! We locked the doors so, no one could come in the house and 'track up the floors' until they dried.... that's 'what we said', ha!
I remember I never wanted to be dirty but, a child doesn't know anymore than it's taught......... and only learns by watching and listening. I tried to watch and listen so much in my life and made many mistakes I wish I could take back now. I can say it's shaped me into a very good person who cares for people, animals and children... though... sometimes I can be mean and say mean things.... I am always thinking later of how I sounded so, I'm big enough to take back some things if I feel I was wrong and unfair.. some things I never take back because I know I'm right and they are deserved. I just try to never get in that situation from the beginning.... because you see......... there are many people that I know who aren't the people everyone else knows.
I learned early that prominent people everyone respected were the very people who would sneak and do things they shouldn't and sometimes... there were little girls who wouldn't tell anyone in those days. Once I did tell... and the grief it caused but, my mother believed me... she had placed me in that situation never thinking something like that would happen. No matter what... my mother did loved me and the times she fought over me.... I see that now... but, I grew up wondering. That particular time... my mother got her boyfriend to take her to the doctor, it was a late appointment and it was dark but, outside I had to wait in the car with him. There were night lights around. I had on a dress and I was sitting there patiently waiting for my mother but, sort of nervous being alone with her boyfriend... there was a gap between the front seats and without warning... I felt his hand reach up between my legs underneath my dress. I closed them tightly and I told him I was telling my mama! I did that one time... and it was awful. I never told her about all the 'others' and how I learned to be afraid of men and their hands... that would sneak out at times they thought no one was looking. I did tell her about one of my uncles who did something terrible to me when I was about 3 years old.... I have that memory of him laying me on the pantry floor and taking my diaper off... just before he did that I could see out the window into the sunshiney day and could see my cousins happily running around playing and I wanted to be with them. My next thought was of the cookie placed in my hand and being in my mouth............................... I feel shaky inside now. I told her about this as an adult, my uncle was dead and she couldn't make a big scene then. It did upset her though.
I had a step-grandfather who wasn't like George....George was real and he was good, and kind. This grandfather liked young women and even dated my aunt who was still a teenager. He would call me to his bedroom where he laid in bed and would call to me 'Faye, Faye... come here'.... and ask me to give him my hand........... he would be there when I was playing in the bathtub and this was before I went to school. I always block out these memories and at the moment ...I feel shaky. I know this 'grandfather' was a good person too, everyone seemed to love him, and I think I did too.
Okay... I just remembered the catalog with some of the beautiful clothes I drew as a young girl never knowing about it until one day I saw a catalog laying on a table .... I picked it up and in surprise I saw clothes like mine, like ones I drew (not the very naughty kind!)... the beautiful colors and designs. It was Fredericks Of Hollywood!
Anyway....as that young girl in the bathroom I remember having a bottle of Bayer asprin and thinking so many things just before I took them. I was thinking that 'now, no one has to be worried about me being in the way and boy, they are going to be sorry when they know I killed myself'.... I remember looking down at all the tablets in my hands through the tears in my eyes and thinking I wished I didn't have to do that... but, life became too unbearable for me, so unbearable that I can't get past the blocks in my memories to 'see' now.. all that lead up to me wanting to die.
I do remember just before ...I was walking over the railroad tracks coming from school and a girl my age ...I can only remember her last name now..it was Collier... called me a 'whore'.... I remember wondering what is a 'whore' and why she would call me that name, I didn't really know her. I remember I told her that I wasn't a whore and I walked on away as she kept saying things... at Grandma Alma's I stopped and went inside and asked everyone what was a whore? Of course, that stopped everyone from talking and they looked at me and began questioning me about why was I wanting to know. I found out that really, honestly.... I wasn't a 'whore'... I didn't know about those things then. It really hurt so bad regardless... because not only did that little girl call me a whore, she called my beautiful mother one, too. I never told anyone... she said her mama said my mama was a whore.
I feel that shaky feeling in my stomach again..... I took those asprin and somehow, it seemed everyone knew it and I was taken to the Emergency Room that later in life I worked in that same Emergency Room.. it still looked the same! My stomach was pumped out and I was so sick. I have a block here... and have a blur of memories surrounding this such as somehow my Grandmother Lola and my daddy was called. I know I ran away at some point and was walking at night on the railroad tracks and somehow there were two officers who took me to the police station. One demanded to know what my name was.... I wouldn't tell him. He told me he'd slap the 'hell' out of me if I didn't. I told him my whole name. I learned later that everyone knew I ran away, it was on the radio.
Somehow, my memories get twisted around.... at 9 years old I was first taken to Grandmother Lola's and that's when my beautiful baby sister, Teresa, was given to Nannie, the kind-voiced woman and I was given to my Grandmother Lola. For a short time I was at my father's house close by with him and my stepmother, and I learned I had 2 more sisters named Sharon and Peggy. I learned from my father that he didn't like me because he said he offered me a piece of candy from a little bag he had...... and I asked for the whole bag. He really must have held that against me because he made me pay for it when I was fourteen and went to live with him.. once again. That candy must have really been a special kind... I can't even remember the name of it. Anyway, my mother came to take me away from there (really she should have left me... I'd been a fashion designer today) and took me to Grandma Alma and George's home... I went from the 'frying pan into the fire'. To this day I hate (not really hate) the faces I still see in that town who mistreated me as a child... their mean expressions when they would look at me making me wonder 'what have I done that's so bad?' It scarred me and the only people that knew just how badly it did was Tommy, and Skip. I carry many scars that are hidden...
At my father's home when I was fourteen, I became a very different person. I was back in a wonderful home where there was lots of love, teasing, laughing and happy times...people's birthdays were celebrated........ including mine....... but, I never want a birthday party like that again. The love all around me was for my 'family'... I was just tolerated. I did learn how to iron and starch and make my clothes beautiful from my stepmother, Mary Ruth. I also, learned how to keep an immaculate house. I always worked hard to help around the house and rake all the many leaves outside... we lived in a huge log house with lots of tree... it was so nice. I will give credit to Mary Ruth for teaching me things that made all the difference in my life when I had to ....run away from there, too. Mary Ruth and Sharon and Peggy told a lie on me saying I used my father's razor to shave my legs... I didn't know anyone used his razor. Sharon and Peggy had a bathroom to their bedroom... and I had to share it... the bedroom had 3 beds in it... big and pretty and........ spotless! I think... I think it was Peggy who sneaked into my father and stepmother's bathroom and took his razor to shave her legs with it and... put it back. It caused a terrible thing to happen to me............
I can 'see' Mary Ruth's terrible expression at me in the bathroom demanding me to tell the truth about using my father's razor and I kept telling her I didn't know anything about it. She began slapping me in the face many times and my nose began to bleed. I was in a shock not knowing why I was being slapped.. then.......... for the first and only time.... my father came in like a terrible thunderstorm and it was so bad that even now .... I can see his mouth moving and the thunder and lightening in his eyes.. but, even now in my memory... I can't hear the words he said to me. But....... I will never-ever forget him raising his hand and slapping me so hard across my bloody face, putting me into a shock that took some time to come out of. It caused me to carry a chip on my shoulder and carry a white anger in my heart as a teenager until I was 28 years old. My father slapped me so hard that it shook me to my very core.... and I didn't deserve that. I began making plans to run away... they began to watch me, Peggy and Sharon began spying on me at school to call Mary Ruth or my father if they saw any telltale sign of me running away. I had one friend in school whom I confided in.. her name was Barbara........ she helped me by watching out for me to use the phone to call..... my mother. I cried so much and my mama told me to hold on, she'd be there just as soon as she possibly could. There was a hundred miles between us......
I went home that evening to my father's house and I asked for my Grandma Alma's engagement ring that she'd entrusted me with and wanted me to always have......... Mary Ruth took it pretending she wanted to put it up for me so, it wouldn't get lost, and she took my mother's St. Christopher's necklace and put it in her mosaic box where she had stones she would be turning into earrings for Sharon and Peggy one day......... she said my ear lobes were just 'too big'. I learned later that I had pretty ear lobes! Anyway......... Mary Ruth looked me straight into my eyes knowing I 'knew' she was lying but, 'what can you do about it?'.... she said 'Faye, don't you remember ...you lost them!' I went into another shock... I couldn't believe this woman was telling me such a lie... she was supposed to be..........perfect! I never did get my mother's necklace nor my Grandma Alma's engagement ring. I wonder who ended up with a heirloom that wasn't theirs? My Grandma Alma cried over her ring later and it broke my heart. Mary Ruth, why did you have to do that?
That evening.... 'all hell broke loose'. I saw my mother and Aunt Ruby drive up! I 'knew' Mary Ruth was in trouble now! They got out of the car and everyone began cussing and my mother and Ruby told her they would 'beat her ass'. I was told to run get my clothes and I got just a few things and they weren't clothes. I learned alot about myself from not getting many clothes to carry with me! It was a wonderful knowledge that I had no idea about........... I'll tell about that later. I got into the car feeling so safe and knew 'no one would bother me now'. I went to live with my mother who had a home ..then. She never could keep one long... she tried so hard... my beautiful mother. Her home was small but, spotless and so pretty! I called it the 'Dollhouse'... it was wonderful.... for a time. I got to paint my own bedroom the color I wanted! I painted it 'Electric Pink'!!! To see the color of my bedroom all I had to do was to leave my bedroom door open... and when one looked into my mother's beautiful, soft lavender-colored room.... they would be electrified looking at how bright mine was, ha! At least, it wasn't ...black. We did leave my bedroom door closed, ha!
My room was so bright with sunshine and happiness.... I began to learn that I was somebody, and I was beautiful and everyone paid attention to me everywhere I went and at school... the girls were jealous of me and boys began to ask me out. I forced myself to be confident in myself and never would let anyone see all the 'weaknesses' I carried inside.... no one would have ever known then, how afraid I was and how I wanted to be loved and accepted. I was poised and quiet and never got close to anyone. I did have a 'friend' but, it came from having to fight her in the bathroom because she was jealous and angry at me. I whipped her good leaving bruises on her... from my teeth. I got some good licks in, too. The teachers kept us apart and marched us to the office... while sitting there we agreed not to tell people that I whipped her... she had alot of pride and was known as the toughest girl in school and no one crossed her. I was still the 'new' girl in school.
That evening we walked from school together .... and turned heads from all the students! They'd heard about the fight between us... 'now' ..there we were walking together. I'll never forget her for some things that shocked and made me sick to know about her. I was the new girl.. and she didn't bother telling me what she liked to do. I wasn't a 'whore' and didn't know. I 'saw' for the first time what 'bad' girls did when I went on a double-date with her ... I turned around to tell her something funny and... in the back seat she was on her back with her knees in the air and her boyfriend was moving very fast on her... they had their eyes closed.... no one heard me. I opened the door and got out of the car holding my stomach... I became so sick inside and began to shake. I was so upset at seeing that and I began to cry. It was too grown-up for me and that was my 'best friend'.... the guy I was with got out and talked to me in such a kind way and I think to this day, he really cared. I learned not long after that.... I ran away again............ that he was one of the ones who helped to search for me.
I was in the North Carolina mountains... I lived there for 14 years.. I was married and two years later..I had my only child. Stories from this period in time and thereafter... will come.... I didn't live a everyday, normal life at all........... it was colorful and really too many colors for me.... I learned to love 'quiet, good colors'. A young person can get caught up in things that they could never possibly understand... and learn the hard way.. that..that's not the things they want in life. One day I will share them........ but, only some of them. I will go to my grave not sharing many things in my life... I made myself forget them. I don't want to remember them, I'm not strong enough to.
I know when I ran away... my chance of going to fashion design school was gone. Also, my Grandmother Lola had came to take me to Raleigh to buy the most beautiful prom gown in that day and time to wear to my prom.... she bought my beautiful class ring that later as an adult...I had it melted down into a gold nugget and placed on a gold necklace...I wore it until one day I gave it to
Tommy to always wear and know his mother loved him..... he had it on the evening he died. I will say this... Angie did give it back to me and I wear it again. See how everything just came to another path in my life? Everything leads in so many directions in my life.... and my life holds more than just an everyday person's does... I never got to lead a calm, safe 'everyday' life growing up... I never had stability... I knew what it was like to live .. in real fear as a young woman...my life was like a movie. I've always told Skip and Jimmy to write books... they are the writers I wish that I was... they could and can write beautifully. I write in my own way and I won't change it for anyone.... that way I'm always myself and later down the road.... my words are mine... though they aren't perfect. That's not the point here... I'm writing to have fun... but, to do that I have to go through so much 'not so fun' things to get to them. :))) I don't have Tommy now.... and he knew so much of these things... and I thought he would pass on to his children what he knew so, they'd know 'who' their Granny Gee was... but, now ..he is the missing link..... I have to be now. I want to be remembered and I want others to know though I've come through so much... I did grow up to be a very good person. How will my grandchildren and people I know ..ever come to know this if I don't tell them. Tommy can't now... Angie doesn't know me, Kim doesn't know me.......... I never became close to them though, I loved them at one time.
I am going to begin my Sunday now, doing normal, everyday things. :)))))) I am grown up now! Normal, everyday things are 'safe' and makes one feel everything really is going to be alright.
Colors As I Go
grief (32) only child (4) Scary (2) Boiled eggs (1) Distrust (1) Don't call me Faye (1) Dying (1) I hate to be called Faye (1) I'm afraid of the dark (1) Middle age woman (1) Pain that reaches the soul.. can't be seen (1) Running (1) Where did my youth go? (1) dying in a beautiful way (1) life is fragile (1) light on my path (1) my son (1)