The Story Of My Life
My story starts when I was a 4 months old baby and my parents decided to send me to live with my maternal grandparents. My parents were working long shifts and they had no one to take care of me. They were coming to see me every other week while my grandparents and great-grandmother were taking care of me.
I know the grandparents loved me but their methods of taking care of a baby had not been quite smooth. They had a farm and lots of things to do so I was left by myself in the house for hours.
They were just coming to check on me, feed me, change diapers once in a while and then going out again. I remember myself staring at the door and waiting for someone to come in... That is my first memory. I also have great memories growing up in a large yard, with lots of animals.
At 3 years old, my parents decided to take me with them back to the city. They had their own apartment by then, nice furniture etc. I had to go to a weekly kindergarten (they were dropping me off Monday morning and picking me up on Saturday at noon; I was spending the rest of the Saturday and Sunday with them).
That was the worst nightmare for me. I wasn't talking to anyone there, I hated the teachers and caregivers because I couldn't understand why I had to leave my home and live with those people; I hated the children... I hated the 20 beds dorm.
But most of all I couldn't understand why that woman (my mom) wanted me to hug her and was always telling me she loved me, and kissed me. She was almost a stranger. My dad...I know he was always around trying to make me feel better but I don't have too many memories with him from that period.
After 3 months in that place, I got sick. Hepatitis A. I had been hospitalized for 3 weeks. My mom was not allowed to stay with me in the hospital. So, I saw my parents through a small window during those 3 weeks.
The doctors and nurses were nice but I was terrified that I wouldn't see my parents again. After all these my mother took a year off work to stay home with me. I don't know how much that helped with my physical health but psychologically helped me a little.
However, for years I was unable to care for anyone. I have never really loved my parents. I don't hate them but I don't love them the way my brother does. The first person I loved was my 7 years younger brother. However, when he was 1 year old my mom and dad went to work and left me to babysit daily.
I was 8 years old and left alone with a baby. I took good care of him. My mom has always told me that I was cold-hearted while my brother was so loving and happy. I felt so guilty! Even though she was just observing a reality it was so hurtful to tell me that! It made me build huge walls.
For years I had been thinking I was adopted, that could have been an explanation for my lack of feelings, for the way I was.
Later, in my teenage years I've always been afraid that no one would love me or stay with me. I got myself in strange situations with boys and I've never had a boyfriend until I turned 21. Not because I wasn't pretty, or smart.
But I think my attitude was turning people down, I was unable to look into people's eyes, let them know who I really was plus they could disappear anytime and I wanted to save myself from that pain.
12 years ago, I met my (now) husband; after having few relationships that did not work. He has his own issues: an abusive father (emotional and physical abuse towards his wife and children, alcohol, abused by his family, also).
In the beginning, my husband was wonderful. Little by little he got to the point where he is recreating his parents' relationship (except the alcohol addiction).
He's verbally abusive to me and sometimes to our children; he's throwing and breaking things in our home once in a while (3 times during the last 4 years); he wants me to do everything the way he wants; he's mad most of the time... I know I should leave or... At least call the police and have him ordered by a judge to get help.
I can't make myself do that. We are 5,000 miles away from our families; we have friends here but I wouldn't want to rely on them even though they are nice people.
I have a master's degree but no job right now. We both work for our company that involves a lot if traveling on his side while I am at home with the children. I am looking for a job and hoping to save some money and then do something about it.
But deep inside I know I don't want to break my family.
I want to make him change, I want to fix him. I also know that it might not be possible. Having him ordered by a judge to get help might affect his residence rights and I am not sure if I want that.
I don't want to be alone or break my family but I don't want my kids to think this is normal either.