Let me start out by saying that this blog will be long, which is why I've given it parts. It will also contain some very personal and very real emotions and feelings that I've had over the past few years. What I am writing isn't for a pity party, it isn't a story that has been created for enjoyment but it is about my struggles that I personally have had.
I've thought long and hard about what to name this entry. I constantly kept going back to GRACE. I love the acronym for GRACE...God's Riches At Christ's Expense. That's exactly what my journey has been full of. Without Grace I would be condemend to hell.
Let me tell you a little about my past...
I have an amazing mom!!! She did everything for me as a child. Even if that did include working three jobs at once. She put me in beauty pagents, bought me whatever she could and never once did I realize how poor we really were. My father (and I use that term loosly) worked but mom and I never saw the money he would bring in. We lived in a tiny duplex. While my mom was busting her tail working, my father was also working and I would stay with my Nanny (Grandmother.)
Instead of referring to him as my father, lets call him Junior. I don't feel he deserves to be called my father. Junior worked as a security guard for a Ryan's Steakhouse on the North side of town. When his shift ended he was able to bring home leftovers, which he did. They were in a white styrofoam box and he would put his initials on the box with the words, "DO NOT EAT!" My mom and I were left to eat whatever we could afford, which usually consisted of bread and water. On good days, we would get peanut butter and jelly. I remember countless times eating spaghetti noodles with ketchup. Junior would sleep all the time and when he wasn't sleeping he would trash the house that my mom had just worked hours cleaning.
When I was around 5 years old I had to stay with baby sitters if my Nanny was sick. It was then that the sexual molestation began. I can still remember it like it was yesterday. I was told that I was in trouble and if I told anyone that I would get in even more trouble. As a child terrified, I never told and it continued until I was nine years old.
If that wasn't enough, when I would come home from the sitters house I would have to listen to my mom and Junior argue. Sometimes it was over me but most of the time it was over his many affairs. I remember one time walking by their room and seeing Junior with a gun pointing it at my mom.
Mom and Junior eventually divorced and mom remarried my Dad...not stepdad because that's just not sufficient enough for him. His name is Brad and he's amazing! He's my dad through and through! Life wasn't easy but I guess after a divorce it wouldn't be. We moved to a small two bedroom/1 bathroom apartment. We used boxes covered in sheets for end tables. Mom brought my bedroom stuff for me and she and my dad slept on a matress with blankets. It didn't matter what we had, for the first time in my life (at the age of 8 or 9) I had a real loving family and a dad that allowed us to eat and gave me hugs! Of course at first I despised him. I was being fed many lies about him but once I realized that all the words that were told to me were just lies, everything changed.
We moved in with my new Grandparents when I was in the third grade. I began getting very sick and the doctors could not figure out what was wrong with me. I was constantly throwing up and just very weak. My mom came into my room crying and asked me what happened while at the sitters house. When I refused to talk she questioned me and knew the whole story. She told me that it wasn't my fault and that I should never be afraid to tell anyone. A little counseling and things finally settled down. My sickness went away and all was well.
Life was becoming amazing. We moved into our own place and had real furniture. School as a child was fun. I met my very best friend and still to this day we stay in contact, Jessica. She and I were always joined at the hip and I have memories with her that I will forever cherish. School was passing by. Then it was time for sixth grade. I began the school year as Shellie Turner. That is, until a phone call changed it all...