Tag Archives: My Story

My Story – Part 5

24 Oct

This is the second incident that I remember from when my dad and FSM were still dating.

Part 5

This happened at around the same time as the two previous entries. I had been singing my entire life. It was and still is my one great passion, and I happen to be pretty good at it too….or at least, I must be fairly good to have made it into the youth choir for the area where I lived. I lived and breathed that choir. All my best friends were there, and I couldn’t wait for choir practice every Friday….and I couldn’t wait for the trip to Thailand that was planned during my second year in the choir.

I nearly jumped out of my skin the moment I found out that we would be going overseas. It was like a dream come true. A dream that nearly got killed….

I told both my parents that the choir was going abroad, and that it would cost R5500 for me to go along. (about 3 of the kids had to stay behind in the end because they couldn’t afford it) We started with passport and visa applications immediately, and my parents arranged that each of them would pay half of the trip fees. It was close to December and I was starting to think about getting a job for spending money. Then Dad said the he and FSM needed to speak to me.

They sat me down in the lounge on a bright and sunny day, and told me that I couldn’t go. They gave me reasons why, but I was so devastated that I can barely remember what they were. Everything was ruined!! The one thing that I wanted more than anything in the world had been destroyed.

It was around this time that my relationship with my mom started getting better too. (in hindsight, she probably saw an opportunity to win me back, but I didn’t see it that way back then) I told her that my dad had said that I couldn’t go because he couldn’t pay his half. I was completely crushed. I didn’t count on Mom’s resourcefulness. Somehow, she managed to make a plan to pay the full amount, as long as I worked part-time during the holidays for spending money. My life had meaning again!!

About a month before I was set to go to Thailand, Mom decided to take me to the doctor to have him look at my skin. I didn’t have acne as such, but I did have a problem skin and it was starting to eat at my self-confidence. Dad must’ve authorized it because I was on his medical aid. The doctor prescribed Roacutane.

I was almost halfway through the three month treatment when the date of my trip to Thailand arrived. I asked Dad if we could get a renewal on my prescription as I would be running out halfway through my trip. And for a second time I was told no. This time it was because my portion of the medical aid had been used up. I decided that I wouldn’t let this ruin my trip and left it there.

The next ten days were those you read of in fairytales. I saw things that blew me away and had experiences that I can’t describe to anyone. The memories I have of that trip are ones that I will cherish for the rest of my life, because they offer me a bright light in the midst of dark times. I forgot about everything that had gone on at home and had the time of my life. Which is probably why I was so unprepared for what happened when I got home…..

I was ten years old when Mom’s cat died from a dog bite. I absolutely adored cats, and my parents got me a cat of my own after Katie died. He was the cutest little black cat with only a white spot on his tummy and his throat. His face resembled that of a mouse, so we called him Mickey.

For six years, Mickey did everything with me. I was the only person who could pick him up. He only slept on my bed and he only came when I called him. I loved that cat more than anything and when I came home from Thailand, he was gone…..

While I was away in Thailand, Dad had decided that he couldn’t spend every weekend at FSM’s house, and leave our dog and cat alone at the house….so they had to go. He (always having been more fond of dogs) arranged with Mom to give Hitler (our gorgeous 2-year-old German Shepherd whom I loved almost as much as Mickey) to friends of hers on a farm. Mickey, on the other hand, would be put down.

I came home exhausted from jet-lag, only to find that my darling cat was missing!! Thankfully, my darling mother had come to the rescue again and arranged that my grandparents would adopt Mickey so that he wouldn’t have to be put down.

It wasn’t very long after this that I decided that I couldn’t stay with Dad anymore. At the end of that same year (and after four months of therapy) I moved in with Mom.

Dad’s one condition for letting me move was that I would quit the youth choir…..

Have a good weekend.

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My Story – Part 4

19 Sep

It’s been a while….

Part 4

Things started settling into a routine. Every second weekend we would be at Mom’s, and every other weekend and during the week at Dad’s. Weekends with Dad started meaning weekends in Boksburg at FSM’s house. It just seemed more convenient….she had the space, and the mall was within walking distance form the house, so us kids kept ourselves busy.

I distinctly remember two incidents from the same time as the drug episode, though I don’t remember exactly in what order they took place, or exactly how old I was at the time. This is the first one.

The first one is the most vague. FSM had come over sometime during the week to visit. Most likely after work, as our house was closer to her office than her house. We were all sitting in the lounge watching TV , and having short conversations in the ad breaks. One of the conversations did leave an impression though. I don’t remember what it was about, but I do recall saying jokingly to FSM that she’s not my mother. In hindsight, I can see how that could be seen as disrespectful, but I was also a teenager…which should tell anyone not to take what I say too seriously.

Whatever I said and how, all I know is that it must have offended someone, judging from Dad’s actions the next morning. Up until that point, my father had woken my brothers and I up every morning with coffee in bed. He’d been doing it for years, long before my parents finally separated. He would wake up every morning at 5:30 to go to the kitchen and switch on the kettle, setting the cups as he waited for the water to boil. Then he would come to each of our bedrooms, to wake us up. He used to come to the side of my bed, put down the coffee on my dressing table, switch on the light, and gently put his hand on my shoulder to wake me up. But not this morning.

At 5:30, Dad came into my room, switched on the main light, and told me to go to the kitchen. He did the same with my brothers. I understood the tone of voice he used when he woke us up. He was angry.

I stumbled into the kitchen, still half asleep, with my brothers following closely behind. We knew better than to upset my father too much. We weren’t to old for hidings yet. My eyes weren’t even adjusted to the bright light yet, but my dad was standing there. I remember his tone of voice better than his words or his face. With more rage than I’d ever heard from my father, he told us in no uncertain terms that we were to make our own coffee, and take care of ourselves in the morning….(and these words I remember clearly)….seeing as we didn’t want him to be happy. Why should he bend over backwards for us.

That afternoon when Dad came home from work, he told us that he and FSM had broken up, because we didn’t want her around and we didn’t respect her. That’s why he had done what he had done in the morning. He didn’t say why he had punished my brothers, or if it was my comment that made the two of them fight. I still don’t know what it was.

Less than a week later, they were back together….and happy.

To be continued…..

My Story – Part 3

15 Aug

As promised πŸ™‚

*when Blogger finally decides to work!!*

Part 3

Dad started dating FSM on a permanent basis. When my dad had his weekends with us, we would go through to Boksburg to visit at her house. FSM has three kids of her own; Oz, Porra and Fairy. We got to know them slowly and started getting along. (The innocence of children…*sigh*)

Oz is the eldest sister, and only a year older than me. FSM had a completely different set of rules and morals, and her kids could do pretty much what they wanted….hence why Oz hung out in the dodgiest of clubs at age 17. A month or two after Dad and FSM started dating, I was virtually commanded to go out with Oz, to bond and all.

Now my brothers and I were raised with a fairly conservative set of morals. We weren’t to sleep around, take drugs, drink alcohol without the consent and supervision of our parents, etc. The usual stuff that old school Afrikaans parents teach their kids. Oz’s world shocked me out of that naΓ―ve nutshell. My dad, blinded by lust, agreed that I could have the same curfew as Oz, and because her mom was okay with her staying out until 5am, so was he.

That evening I went with Oz to her best friend’s house. He (E) lived just down the road from FSM, and was like a big brother to FSM’s kids. He was also a drug addict, which FSM was obviously not aware of. We waited at E’s house for another friend of theirs (L) to arrive. L was their good friend and dealer, and he was picking all of us up to go to Flyhouse in Boksburg.

He finally arrived at around 10pm, which I later heard was the time that most clubs really started pumping. There were 5 of us in total – myself, Oz, E, L and another friend of Oz’s, A. We gathered into L’s beat up VW Beetle, and set off for a night of fun, dancing and underage drinking. This was however, not how the evening turned out.

When we got to Flyhouse, the guys went in ahead of us, and myself, Oz and A had to lie our way in. Sadly (or luckily, in hindsight), A couldn’t lie to save her life, and we weren’t allowed inside. This was not a time where every kid had a cellphone yet, so we had to sit and wait for one of the guys to come outside and look for us. The first one to come outside, did so in a very unexpected fashion.

L had been caught dealing Ecstasy and Mandrax in the club by the resident dealers, and they were not happy about it. We sat in the shadows underneath a tree, and watched how they dragged him to a secluded spot. They shifted between searching and beating him, to find out where he was hiding the rest of his stash. After what seemed like an age, they moved to his car and searched every inch of it, taking the spoils for themselves. All the while, we hung back in the shadows, for fear that they might come after us as well. E joined us as we waited for the thugs to finish with L, and he had brought another friend (B) with him.

Eventually, the resident dealers finished with L’s car…..and suddenly everything was happening very fast. L came running towards us shouting that we had to start running. As he turned towards his car, he continued that he would pick us up on the way, but if we didn’t run now, the dealers would shoot us.

The 5 of us bolted across the parking lot and into the street. L came up behind us, and one for one we jumped through the window of his moving car to try and get away. I don’t remember if we tried going to another club from there, but I do remember ending up at L’s house….if you could call a single garage with a wooden side door in someone’s yard a house.

L, E, A, B, Oz and myself bundled up into the tiny area that was not covered by the bed and the cupboard. I was the only one not tripping on something. (Ecstasy being the drug of choice among my compatriots) Somewhere along the way, B had taken a liking to me, and was sitting with his arms wrapped around me. I submitted, because I had no clue what would happen if I refused him.

Seeing as I was the only sober person among a bunch of charged-up junkies, I started getting pretty tired by 2am. I ended up falling asleep next to a sweaty B, who was doing everything in his power not to bite through his own tongue. No-one else slept.

At around 4:15, E and Oz had a moment of clarity, and remembered that we had a curfew. L, every the gentleman, dropped us off at FSM’s house, moments before 5am. E and Oz where still tripping quite badly, and I ended up carrying milk and orange juice from the kitchen to help them get off their high quicker.

I vowed never to use drugs.

To be continued…..

*Oz: her name is the same as an Ozzie city

Porra: FSM’s first husband is Portuguese, and Porra is his only son.

Fairy: My youngest step-sister from that side has a thing for fairies. I think she may be a Wiccan.

E, L, A, B: all their initials. As far as I know, both E and L have passed into the afterlife.

My Story – Part 2

4 Aug

I don’t know how many parts this is going to have yet. You’ll just have to wait and see…

Part 2

Mom moved out again. This time it was for good. She went to stay in Pretoria, close to the man who was the cause of the huge fight that we had the misfortune of witnessing. We’d known that my parents were getting divorced because my mom had fallen in love with another man. They told us that in the beginning. My late night talks with Dad revealed the sordid details….he had caught them together, quite by chance, in a garage parking lot. Hence his hissy fit.

Things went downhill between my mom and I at that point. My dad was quite happy to share every graphic detail of their fifteen year marriage, which I was surprised had lasted that long. Dad had somehow redeemed himself as my hero, and I wanted as little as legally possible to do with my mom.

I recall my father making us a promise. He promised that he wouldn’t date until the divorce was final. He also promised that he would never get drunk in front of us again…I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but the why of his second promised was (and still is) deeply etched into my memory.

Dad rarely stayed out late. He worked fairly close to our house, and we were always together for supper. This night he didn’t come home. Eventually my brothers and I went to bed. It was getting late, and it was a school night. I was a light sleeper, and my bedroom door was directly across from the guest toilet on the kids’ end of the house.

I remember waking up to the most disgusting noise. By that time of my life I had taken to closing my bedroom door at night, a fact that saved me from a much harsher experience. Dad was drunk, and was spilling his guts into the guest toilet. A close family friend was with him. Cleaning up the mess. The image of my father’s feet and his vomit, as seen from underneath my door, is one that I will never completely be able to erase from my mind. He knew we’d heard him. He promised never to get that drunk again.

The divorce finally went through when I was 16 and a few months. It was as if Dad’s closest friend (Uncle Mechanic – UM*) couldn’t wait to set him up with a new lady. Enter Parrot, a sweet, yet naive woman, who seemed to be just what my dad needed. She was a divorcee as well, with one daughter whom she was raising on her own. She seemed to fit right in with the family, and pretty soon her belongings started travelling to our house. Dad was smiling again, and he kept his promises. Everyone was happy….but it was not to last.

Parrot couldn’t match my father intellectually. It’s not something that I hold against him or her. Things just weren’t meant to be. They had one quick fight, and we never saw her again. Within months UM and his wife had Dad on a date with someone else. I knew things would never be the same when Dad told me about their first date.

Future Step-Mom (FSM) worked at a company close to Dad’s office, and everyone from UM’s company knew her as the blonde from the parts shop. She was going through a divorce of her own, and was dating again. UM talked her into going on a blind date with Dad. They met at a bar of her choosing, and ended up getting pretty pickled. She lived in Boksburg and didn’t want to drive home in her state, so Dad, ever the gentleman, invited her to our house. We were at my mom’s at the time and Dad had the whole place to himself.

They eventually got home, upon which FSM promptly made it known that she slept in the nude. You can imagine what happened then…..and FSM became a permanent fixture in our lives.

To be continued….

*names obviously changed – I’ll give a short description of my choice for nick-names whenever I introduce new people.

– Uncle Mechanic: close family friends, who we met through my best friend at school. The dad has his own successful workshop, but still worked on a lot of the cars himself. We still have contact with them.

– Parrot: She had a parrot who stayed with us in the final weeks before the break-up

-Future Step-Mom: as you can well gather, she is now our Step-Mom, to my personal dismay. You’ll see why later.

My Story – Part 1

29 Jul

Some of the people who read this, may not like what I have to say. To all of you, I’m sorry…but this is my story, and it’s time I tell it.

PART 1

My parents first told us that they were getting a divorce when I was 9 years old.

Back then we didn’t know about divorce. No-one in our family had ever been divorced, and none of my friends at school had divorced parents. But my brothers and I cried nonetheless, because Mommy and Daddy didn’t love each other anymore, and one of them wouldn’t be living with us anymore.

Things progressed to the obligatory counselling for us kids. I don’t remember much about it, except that it didn’t last long. Mommy and Daddy somehow miraculously loved each other again, and would not be getting a divorce.

Fast forward 5 years, and we’re sitting in the lounge again….and hearing the same story again. Only this time, we all knew what divorce was.

This is where a lot of my own issues started. Mostly, I haven’t let things that happened during my parents’ 3 year divorce proceedings get me down in everyday life, but I carry the scars nonetheless.

I was 14 on that fateful day in October when my parents finally decided to call it quits for good. My brothers and I were given the choice about where we wanted to live, and seeing as my mom was the one who would be moving out, we all opted to stay together and with my dad, who would be keeping the house.

Things went really well in the beginning. My dad was my idol, and we spent many a night just chatting after my brothers went to bed. I was the woman in the house now, and my dad trusted me enough to tell me things about his and my mom’s relationship. Things a 14 year old shouldn’t really know about her mom, and which I’m not sure were entirely true. But my dad trusted me, and that’s all that mattered at the time.

One afternoon, we were at a very close friend’s house, and my dad came to my brothers and me, and asked us an impossible question: ‘Could Mom come back?’. Seems that she missed us, and her and my dad had sorted out their problems, and she wanted to come back to us. I remember my initial reaction was that of confusion and shock, as opposed to the excitement that you would come to expect. But we said yes…who wouldn’t?

So Mom moved back in, and the world seemed right again…..for 5 months.

I remember clearly when it happened. My dad came home and started throwing my mom’s things out of their room. She followed shortly after and they started having a screaming match in the hallway. In the past, whenever my parents had an argument, they would do it behind closed doors, but as my mom started closing the door and asking us to leave them alone, my dad screamed that we were to stay, and to see what he was doing, and why. Insults were hurled like knives to and fro, with my brothers and I watching every second of it.

After what seemed like an age, we left the room. My brothers ran for their respective beds to cry, and I tried to find help from our live-in maid (who was like a second mother to us). When I came back inside, my mom was in the room with my brothers. Their sobs could be heard down the hallway.

I’d only been in the room for a few seconds when my dad arrived. He screamed at my mom in what is supposed to be a child’s safe haven….and she screamed back through her own tears. It was here that one of my most vivid memories took place. My dad made the unforgivable mistake of asking me what I thought of the whole mess…right there, in front of everyone. I replied with a shout of my own: ‘Why do you always have to fuck things up!?!’ I meant it for both of them, but my dad was the one who stalked off saying that he was the bad guy again, while I collapsed in tears.

To be continued……

(P.S: a lot of this is going to be about my dad. That is not necessarily my intention. I have my issues with my dad, a lot of which are because of the divorce, but I’m in the process of forgiving him for past wrongs. This is part of my healing process)

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