After leaving my siblings behind I was plagued with guilt. There were several times that I was considering going back several times. I would go to bed and cry myself to sleep because I just missed them so much. We would visit and I would not want to leave them but I knew deep down that it was the right thing to do. I needed to spread my wings and fly on my own.
Starting school in such a large school was scary for me coming from a small town. I enjoyed the small town atmosphere, where you knew everyone, and everyone knew who you were. In a large school you are left with the students that you are in class with and that is pretty much all. I did make some great friends at this school and still friends today.
I knew I had to take school seriously if I wanted to become someone, so I tried my best. I was living with the sister of Dick’s and she was a alcoholic also. She did work and after school I would be home before her and have to have my chores done. It really made me angry that I had to do chores and her daughter that was 19 years old did not have to do any. After a few arguments I just did them it was not worth all the tension. I did enjoy my stay there, even though it was brief. I lived there from September to Feburary.
During my time there I did have friends and did go out to see them. This one day I went over to my girlfriends place and she and a guy friend were drinking. I did not drink, I was scared of the consequences. When it was time to go home Dick’s sister came and picked me up. She said that I was drinking and I could not live with her anymore. I did not understand I told her I was not drinking, I even said smell my breath, it just was not good enough and I was on my way to my cousins place to live.
Thank goodness was all I was thinking that I had somewhere to go, I believe in divine intervention and this was one of those times. I moved into their small house, I had a room in the basement. I hate basements but did not complain. I had a big bed and was happy to have a place to stay. It was difficult though, as they had 2 young daughters also. I tried to fit into the family but it just did not seem to work.
It wasn’t long after I moved in with the family that mom died. All that ran through my head was I predicted it 6 months earlier, did I cause this to happen. I was in shock and could not believe that I was right in my prediction. I felt like I was cursed to have this knowledge of her death. Then again it may have been my guardian angel telling me to be prepared. I can say that now but back then it was difficult to put it is perspective. I also was thinking how could she do this to the kids, they are going to feel so lost. Where do we all belong now? At least when our mom was alive we knew where we belonged, even if it was totally dysfunctional. Now I really was on my own in this big world, wondering where it was going to take me.
Going to the funeral was a shocking moment for me. I wanted to see mom in the casket, and Tammy came with me. I wanted to see her one more time. It was painful to do but I knew I would regret it if I didn’t. I already knew that she died of a drug overdose, but I did not realize how old she would look. Looking at her in the casket was surreal for me. She did not look like the mom that I knew. Her hair was grey, and she was wrinkled like a old woman. I still to this day can see her there. She did have bruises on her neck I am not to sure where they came from, and she was in a grey outfit. What a symbolic outfit for her life, there was no black and no white, no good and no bad in her life. During her life she did not say sorry for anything that had happened to us, and it seemed that she did not have any remorse. I just could not understand why she would do that to us, and not acknowledge the effect it had on us and our little family. All that I knew for sure is that it was too late for the “I am sorry” as she was dead, and going into the ground.
Going to the burial is the worst part of the funeral I think. It really is the last place that you say your good bye and know that you will not see them again in this life time. I think I was numb, but I will never forget the pain Tammy felt that day. When the casket was going into the ground she was crying and screaming, totally lost control of her emotions. Our aunt holding her tight just let her cry and scream for what felt like a life time. After the casket was at the bottom of the grave Tammy calmed down and we all left the grave yard. I do not recall what happened after that, I must have blacked it out even to this day.
I had a boyfriend and my cousin did not approve of this young man. It was always an issue between the two of them, they just locked horns. I even had my own phone line in the basement where I would talk to my boyfriend for hours until I would almost fall asleep. This one day he came to pick me up and my cousin and her family were not home. My boyfriend and I went for a walk around the school, when we came back towards the house we saw my cousin running into the house. We knew what she was thinking, and we laughed until we got to the house. I looked at her and asked if there was a problem and she said no. I always had respect for other peoples places and their rules, but she did not trust me. I did not want to have sex in that house it just did not feel right. It felt forbidden, and it was.
At the end of the School year, my cousin stated that it just is not working out staying at her place. She found me a place to go where I paid rent for a bedroom and that was all. I went to this town house and there was a lady there with her husband and daughter. All I could think was where the hell am I, and how could she do this to me. This family had animals and were not the cleanest people out there. The husband reminded me of Harvey with his grey hair and beady eyes. Thank goodness I had my boyfriend still and he would pick me up and take me away from this place. Also I was not there very much either cause I was working to support myself. I knew down deep that if I wanted to make it I would have to get a better paying job, but none came up that I could do while I was finishing high school. I thought that I may have to stay with these people while I was going through school, and was prepared to do so as a last resort, then the bomb shell came. They were moving to a town outside Edmonton, now what do I do. I need to finish high school, so I asked a friend if I could stay with her and her family until I get enough money ahead to get a place of my own. Thank goodness relief raced through me as her parents said yes.
I had to wait till I turned 18 to apply for social services to support me to finish school. During my waiting time i spent it with my friend and her family. The tensions started to get high when I realized that my friend was going out with more than one guy. She was seeing a lot of guys and I only knew of her boyfriend from school. This did not sit well with me at all, and told her to tell her boyfriend or quit seeing the other guys. The problem was that her parents did not know about the boyfriend at school. I knew I had to do something and I was going to quit school and get a full time job. The mom of my friend took me to the job and sat me down along with the boss and said “she needs to finish school and she can not do that if she is working full time.” Basically she quit the job for me, and said that I could stay with them until social services are able to help support me. This seemed like forever, I just would stay down in the basement, you know how much I liked them, but still wanted to be by myself. I basically ended up coming home to sleep, and that was all. I would spend my evenings with my boyfriend, and my days were at school. The tensions were getting higher by the day I just was not able to take the pressure, I was about to blow if I did not get out of there.
Finally my 18th birthday came and I was looking for a place to live. By the middle of the month I had found a small bachelors suite, big enough for me. I did not know how I was going to do this but I knew I had enough money from social services to pay my rent and my job could pay the rest. I’m not saying that it was easy just that I had a plan in my head. The first weeks I slept on the floor with my boyfriend as I could not afford to buy a bed. I did not mind as it was my place and no one could take that away from me except myself. I went to school and worked my way through school. I spent 2 years in that apartment and enjoyed every minute of my life there. My boyfriend and I had a good life. He had his job with his father and I worked at my job, he would always pick me up from work and go out for coffee. I couldn’t ask for things to be better.