Sunday, June 26, 2016

He gave me away

He gave me away like I was a box of unsold items from his last garage sale. After he dropped me off, he drove away and didn't think about me again. He wasn't really my Dad, I just called him that. This is how I made sense of it. I was the last thing my mother left before she died. Without Grandma there to remind him, he just couldn't remember why he hung onto me as long as he did. 

My new home was not a bad place to live. It was out in the country with plenty of mud, a creek to fall into and horses to fall off of. I loved that house on Wild Horse.  I learned a lot about what it means to be a sibling and the responsibility of being the oldest. Even though I did a terrible job of being a good example, I loved the idea of being a protector. I was given a piece of power that I am sure I abused. I loved them. I could not allow myself to be loved by them. My wall building skills were stronger than anyone understood. 

I called T and T "Mom" and "Dad."  Those were nicknames now, instead of job titles. I had a "sister" and two "brothers" that I wanted desperately to be "really" related to, but understood the impossibility.  I teased myself with the idea that I could become a full member of their tribe. I wished for it, but there was always that gentle reminder that I wasn't. Introductions with explanations about how I was taken in and the problem of looking entirely different than the rest of the kids were the forgivable, yet painful, reminder that I was not where I belonged.  

"You are very fortunate to have them!" The people would say as I stood in respectful silence. I knew they were right. I was fortunate to have them. I was as greatful as my broken heart could allow. It's hard to be happy and grateful like everyone expects. So I faked it. 

I didn't want to be grateful.  I wanted to be as ungrateful as any other normal and biological child. Being grateful meant that I was unlovable at some point. I was a refurbished child with a no-return policy. Being grateful meant that there were conditions to this relationship. Being grateful meant that I could be put in the next yard sale. This is when I made my first rule - Always have an exit plan. 


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