Living with my aunt was both nice…and not. On one hand, I got to get to know her and her step-daughter. On the other…I got to know her and her step-daughter.
My aunt was a very nice lady in terms of being willing to help people who need it, and very resourceful in how she got things done, but she was a bit of a rough-cut personality with the mouth of a sailor. You could expect to hear the cold, unfiltered truth from her, but not who she was dating at the time. Her “boyfriend” was lacking in basic common sense, was a drunk who never wore shirts and got chest hair in anything he cooked. They fought all the time and, given their ages were in the 50’s range, vented some of their frustrations out towards the then-5 year old girl. They were very sweet to her, and loved her dearly, but just could not match the energy needed to be active with her, and because they got tired so easily, they mostly had her play alone in her bedroom. If they had to get on to her for something, it was usually containing harsh phrases or swear words. All of this, while not being technically abusive, later led to the girl being very mature emotionally, and very sweet to anyone around her, but not very good at thinking things through on a moral basis.
And this was what I was around 24/7 with my children.
Curt and I were already having problems because he wanted to find ways to be intimate and I just couldn’t stomach the thought of it. I hated where I was, I hated the fact that everyone fought all the time, hated that Curt wouldn’t step up and get a job, hated that I couldn’t get a job…I love my family, but I was completely miserable. I wanted freedom.
Finally, after spending so much school and tax money trying to help my aunt catch up on bills that were thousands of dollars behind, I gave up because I realized we were too far away from society to be able to maintain any form of financial stability. Any job worth the pay would be too far to drive, we didn’t have a vehicle that was reliable enough to get there, and the cost of gas would invalidate the pay rate we would receive. Add that to the general cost of the home, maintenance, bills, animal care… It just wasn’t doable. And my aunt’s boyfriend was constantly being arrested for back due child support. This lifestyle was not worth it.
I got a sum of income from tax returns – which upset Gypsy as he had intended to claim the children that year, even though I had them at this point – and I got a Uhaul so I could get us out of there . The most awkward part about it was my aunt didn’t know until I couldn’t get the uhaul truck in the yard backwards, and she had to help as she used to drive semis for a living. *awkward*
She later blew me up on Facebook, insulting me in every way she could, wondering “why I would leave because of a child” – she was under the impression we didn’t like her stepdaughter, or at least, she refused to believe that her behavior was the reason. Regardless, I let the post remain up there, as her prospective employers might see it if they happened to look her up on social media. I ended up deleting it a few years later.
We put everything we owned into storage because Gypsy was accusing us of having bedbugs. We didn’t have any symptoms or anything that would’ve supported his theory, and genuinely looked when he claimed they’d come from us, but we found nothing. Still, to be safe, we fogged our stuff.
After everything was done, we met up with my former roommate/distant cousin to buy from him the 1988 Pontiac 6000 LE that used to belong to my grandmother. I was attached to it because it was the last vehicle my grandfather and I worked on together. I was very careful to only put the car into my name. By this point, we were staying in a hotel where a friend worked.
In March of 2012, I finally got the tubal ligation I had been asking for. They were going to do the surgery the day after my youngest was born, but I had woken up with a breathing problem, only to learn there was water on my heart and I had had a minor heart attack because of it. They had postponed my surgery for 3 months after that, and when I went, I left Curt a detailed map as to my location – a surgery center – so he could have a friend drive him out there to come get me.
Like an idiot, he drove all over the place to every hospital, ignoring my note, and did not pick me up. I had to have the surgery center call my mother instead, who drove me back home. I then caught the bus to the daycare to get my daughter, and the bus driver offered to drive us home for free afterwards because it was very obvious that I had just had surgery. Instead, the daycare center drove us home. When we got there, Curt and his friend were inside, and Curt JOLTED towards me, frantic, “OH MY GOD, YOU’RE HERE! I WAS SO WORRIED!” *queue dramatic scene here* After this, he didn’t even really bother trying to help me regardless of the fact that I was in so much pain.
I decided instead to allow Curt to spend about an hour or so alone with the baby, since she was asleep already anyway, and I paid his friend some fuel money to bring me back to the surgery center to get my car. Once in it, I realized it was the first time I’d had a moment to myself in so long I couldn’t even remember. I was on percocets, so I had to drive carefully and on back roads to avoid high speeds and populated traffic…but I didn’t want to go back home just yet.
My only real reprieve – the one place I always felt safe, where no harm had ever come to me – was the college. And it was close enough to where we were staying that it didn’t take much time for me to go there and back. I figured I could check out the library or visit the tech building for a while and calm my mind a bit.
I would walk through the halls, look at all of the displays in the main entrance, sit at the couches near the elevator and read, listen to music…but today, sitting hurt because of the surgery. I could – but not for long – so I decided to walk around instead.
Professor was here today. Seemed like a nice moment for a talk. He knew that I was…not quite myself today, so I told him the truth: I had had surgery that morning and was on pain meds. He asked if I was driving and I said I was, but not much and not on main roads. He advised me to go back home and rest, but not before we had a decent chat about a few tech ideas I had. I also accidentally let slip a few details about what was going on at home, and he advised me to get away from it.
“I’m working on it” I told him
“Rule number 3” He replied.
‘Rule number 3: Don’t screw up‘, I thought to myself
“I won’t” I smiled.
He walked me out because of my condition, and wouldn’t let me take the stairs. He insisted I use the elevator and that I stay home and rest for a few days. I agreed.
I went back home, fed the baby, and passed out.