I feel like no story could be complete without some sort of proper introduction. I especially think this is necessary for a story in which someone is giving advice or voicing opinions and I do both. These are the chronicles of an unreluctant dater and her eventual happily ever after…hopefully! (fingers crossed)
I am a twenty seven year old woman who spent the first half of my 20’s despising dating and everything else that goes along with it. For the majority of my adolescent life, I was in constant monogamous relationships. From the age of 13 to 21, I had not spent more than two weeks being single. Crazy right? I guess you could call me a relationship whore! (Actually, I would prefer if you didn’t) I am and always have been searching for my happy ever after and for reasons not yet mentioned, I have always thought happy ever after depended on a man.
Now for the reasons not yet mentioned. I am the baby of three in my family. My older brother and sister are technically my half siblings. My mom and their dad spent a large chunk of their adolescents, twenties and thirties tied to each other regardless of their waning feelings for one another. Out of their marriage came my brother and sister and many years of drama and heartbreak were to follow. I’m sure there were a lot of good times as well but I have yet to hear about them.
After their divorce, the three of them spent some time alone but it wasn’t long until my mom moved on. She took like a scene out of Desperate Housewives and started spending time with her gardener. A pool table, some tequila, a hot summers night later and ta-da; enter me! Just kidding! I think they went on a few dates before I came along.
My parents fell madly in love and to this day my mom swears up and down that my dad was “the one”. They fell hard and fast but due to their 20 year age difference, it was poor timing. My parents tried to work it out but were unable to do so. My mom was a divorcee with three kids and my dad had just turned 21 and was unable to keep a job.
They say people can’t remember things that happened when they were young, however, I’ve never agreed with this. I will always remember the last time I saw my dad. A dramatic chain of events led to a door slamming in his face and every moment of that day and the ones proceeding is ingrained in my mind. I was only two years old but I remember it like it was yesterday.
My parents were only together a short time after I was born before they officially parted ways. They had an unofficial joint custody arrangement that for the most part was working out. However, one day, it was my dad’s turn to take me back to my mom’s house but he decided it would be a better idea to take me on a sporadic road trip without telling anyone. Smart right? Nah.
He packed me and his new girlfriend into his little yellow pickup truck and took us for a day of fishing. I remember him catching a tiny fish and his girlfriend demanding he put it back in the water. I remember sitting on a huge mound of rocks on the side of a lake. I remember eating an entire pack of Oreos and getting sick in his truck because he forgot to pack food for me.
The next day, he took me back to my mom’s house where she had spent two days panicked and afraid she would never see me again. He laughed at her. My mom took me by the hand, told him he would never see me unsupervised again and slammed the door in his face. I was two years old. At the time, I don’t think my mom was thinking at all but in the grand scheme of things, she never thought he would interpret or react the way he did.
My dad took my mom’s statement as “you’ll never see her again,” and instead of fighting for his daughter, he accepted this. Never once did he try to see me or make an effort to fix things. He never said goodbye. I will never forget watching him walk casually back to his truck, getting in and driving away without hesitation. I still believe to this day that my mom was in a way offering him an out and he gladly and quickly took it.
After my dad left, my financially unstable mom remarried once again. My siblings, mom and I left our little city home and moved to the country into my new dad’s house. At this time, I was only three and for all intensive purposes, this man was my father. He was the father figure in our household for just over ten years. My personal memories of him and his role in my upbringing are far from positive. From the earliest I can remember, he was nothing but toxic. I remember the angry lines in his face, the way he smelled of car oil and cigarettes and the fact that I for the life of me cannot remember ever seeing a smile on his face. This man, who posed as my father from three to thirteen, wanted nothing to do with me. He did not treat me as his child or care for me. He did not hug or comfort. He did not love me and he most definitely did not want me and he expressed his feelings for me, or lack there off, in the most horrific ways.
Of our life in the country, my memories are full of yelling, crying, fighting, mind games and packing overnight bags, emptying them and repacking them once again. I know things were not bad the entire time. I also carry happy memories of a childhood lived in the outdoors where I was free to run and go wild. I remember my horses and all the rest of the animals on our farm. I remember playing in the mud and sprinklers like a child should. In a sense, the country lifestyle and being outside was my escape. Anything in the world was better than being inside of the heart-breakingly toxic home I was raised in. Because of this, I remember having to grow up way too fast because there was no other way to cope with the things happening in front of me.
My mom was and forever will be the savior of my family. Despite the goings-on in our household, she did her absolute best to keep a roof over our head, our bellies full and happiness in our sights. I by no means am saying that I had a bad childhood or upbringing. Had it not been for my mom working as hard as she did for us, none of us would be where we are today. My father leaving me, and the unfortunate entrance of my evil step-daddy were the somewhat demise of our childhood, while my mom remained our angel.
Things definitely took a turn for the very worst before any sunshine was to be seen. An angry man became an angry man that drank which soon turned into an angry man who drank and released his anger both mentally and physically on those around him who were much too small to fight back. Things eventually became so bad that my oldest sibling, my brother, moved across the country to try and get some distance. After ten years of ups and downs, my mom could no longer take it and we finally moved away. One day while my ex-step daddy was at work, we packed everything up and moved back to our little city.