Changes In My Family & My Growing

They say one of the most important things in life is family. A family is always supposed to be there for you, there never supposed to leave your side, but sometimes they do. One of the hardest things I have had to deal with is growing up too early. By doing this, it created a barrier in my life and a halt in my creative process. Not everything is as it seems and often, some people carry more than they show. When I turned five my father left my mother for another woman and never looked back. This devastated our family in many ways.

The general attorney told my mom she would have full custody of me, and my younger sister Trinity, age three at the time, and that my father could get us every other weekend and every other holiday. From age five to age eighteen our father got us a total of one time and a nightmare of a week getaway to San Antonio, his new home. The rest of the time my grandmother, Pecky got us. My grandmother always taught my sister and me that a girl can do both a woman and a man's job. Growing up she taught us how to cook and bake. Often, Pecky and I would wait until Trinity fell asleep to bake our little own recipe. She taught us the dangers of strangers and what to do in case of an emergency.

In this case, taking us to the park and mall, teaching us to have fun but to also stay close and be aware of your surroundings. Every Saturday Pecky would take us to dollar tree. During the expenditures, my grandmother taught us the value of money and how to spend it. Every weekend she would give me five dollars to put in my purse, that was my spending money. On Saturday we would go to Dollar Tree and I would use my money for whatever snack or toy I wanted at the time and if I had money left over it would be saved for the next weekend. During these lessons, I paid very close attention and kept the memories close. Growing up without a dad is tough. Knowing your dad left and has another family is worse. That’s where my amazing but brutal step da BJ comes in.

My mother and BJ got together when I was 7. (He is currently still with my mother today.) My stepdad has shaped my life in a number of ways. One being, that’s he always made me help him with a project, whether it was helping him with wiring, helping him measure wood, and put the new floor in. BJ always taught me something new and valuable. He always told us, “I never want you to depend on a man if you need something you should be able to do it yourself.” Which led to me learning how to read a measuring tape, my first oil change, and helping out in the shop.

BJ also made me realize I didn’t need to wait around for a POS dad who was never going to show. This toughened me and made me independent. It also made me realize that the only people who truly had my back were the ones living with me. In school I failed a lot, I didn’t care because I didn’t think other people cared. The one - person I bonded with the most had up and left without even saying goodbye. I hung out with the wrong crowd and retaliated against my mom and school, but they weren't the ones that hurt me. I was just hurting everything else around me because the one thing I needed wasn’t around.

In school, the boys were always afraid of me because I wasn’t afraid to stand up for myself, or let a person know when they were in the wrong. Later leading to zero love interest and a minimal friendship, because of the raging wrath of gossiping teenage girls. My lone wolf independence led me to my Hail Mary. If my nights weren't spent with my nose stuck in a book, I was found working. When I was twelve I got my first job working in a dog kennel, later working my way up to a Veterinarian Technician at a Veterinarian Office at fourteen. At fourteen I opened my very first bank account, being the first one in my class to receive a bank card and ID. This was my first step toward independence.

My second step was discovering alcohol wasn’t for me, every party I attended with my adoptive sisters I was babysitting. I never enjoyed parties and never drank because I was a designated driver. When I'm with a group of friends, I'm known as the mom of the group. This led the way for a straight path for me. I ended up graduating from my High School early, getting to travel, and wind back up in my hometown just in time to go to college and start my career.

Losing my father shaped me in many ways. It taught me never to be scared of the unknown because sometimes it leads you to greater things. Without losing one piece of my life I never would have found the other parts that make me whole, and I never would have found my will to want to continue school. By graduating Kilgore College, I will also be the first in my family to graduate from college with a degree. Growing up without my biological dad did leave me with a lot of emotional scars, but he didn’t stop my growing process and his ignorance will continue to go unnoticed by me while I flourish into a new person.

01 April 2020
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