Tuesday, June 04, 2024

Everyone Has A Story, Here's One Of Mine

I've been thinking of writing an autobiography or memoir but it just never comes together for me but I figured if I write one story at a time and post it on my blog maybe once a month, I can do that. Maybe one day I'll pull all the stories together and put them in a book but for now I'll just share some stories with you about my childhood. Some of the stories will be happy, some sad and some horrific because that was my childhood. But they will all be real, things that actually happened. If it seems like something that people enjoy reading maybe I'll keep it going. These stories will not be in any kind of order, I'll just write them as they come to me.

My Stepmom

My parents divorced when I was 12 and my dad met my stepmom, Catherine when I was 14 years old. They married when I was 15. Catherine looked down on my mom because at the time my mom was in jail for 6 months for child abuse, child endangerment, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of drugs (PCP and cocaine) We were living in California at the time.

Before my dad married Catherine my brother and I took her aside and told her how my dad used to hit our mom and us. She didn't believe us and even told our dad what we had said to her. He was so mad at us. But hey, we tried to warn her. My half sister, Kathleen even tried telling her that dad hit her mother too but she didn't believe that either. 

After my brother and I got out of foster care we had to go live with my dad and Catherine which she was not happy about because she didn't like us. I didn't know before we moved in with them that Catherine and my dad were doing drugs (speed) at this time. My brother and I slept in the living room on the couches. My brother is 2 1/2 years younger than me. Catherine would stay up all night, come down stairs to the living room and kitchen, turn on the lights, make a bunch of noise and keep us awake all night. So we were always tired during the day at school. 

We weren't allowed to bring anything but 1 bag of clothes and one personal item with us. I brought my grandma's statues. Catherine didn't want our stuff cluttering up her apartment.

While we were living with them my dad hit her a few times so she knew we were telling the truth but she stayed with him. She started doing things to my brother and I though. I had two statues that my grandmother had given me before she got sick. I wanted to keep them in a box so they didn't get broken but Catherine said I should keep them out so they didn't get broken in the box. While I was at school Catherine decided to clean my statues by soaking them in water in the sink and she broke them into several pieces. She said it was an accident but they were broken into several pieces? That was deliberate. 

There was no food in the house except for potatoes and we had no electricity to cook them. So my brother and I would cook a couple of potatoes for ourselves for dinner each night on the apartment complexes propane bbq outside. Any food she did buy she would hide in their room for her and my dad. 

After my mom got out of prison and she moved to West Virginia, we decided to move with her. She was living with my grandma and step grandfather in West Virginia. So we didn't see Catherine or my dad again for a about a year. I wrote to my dad every month though. Catherine would always write something negative about my living situation on the card my dad would send me. 

Catherine never tried to get along with me. But I always tried for my dad. She never liked that I always talked with my dad or called him at work so she couldn't interrupt our phone calls. She would intercept the letters I sent to him and not give them to him at times. 

When I got older she called me crazy, soft, mentally ill, not alright ect. because I had spent time in a mental hospital after I tried to unalive myself. When her mother passed away she inherited some money and my dad won a court case against the place he worked at, they decided to buy a house in Oregon. She told me that when my dad died, I would not be getting the house, that it was hers. I didn't care. Then after me, my brother and our mom moved to Las Vegas, dad and Cathy sold their house and moved here to be closer to us. They bought another place and right away Cathy was saying the house was hers when my dad died. But if she died first my dad said he was leaving the house to me and my brother. She always made a big deal of their house. My brother and I didn't care. As my dad got older, Cathy wanted us around less and less. 

She didn't like that my brother was a CNA , worked in a hospital then a doctor's office and then was a paramedic/firefighter. So he would ask about my dad's doctor visits, health ect. One time she started yelling at my brother when he asked about dad's health too much. She didn't want us around asking questions and she over time drove a wedge between my dad and brother. She made my dad believe that everything my brother did was wrong and no good. 

I saw this happening and knew she was going to do the same thing to me and she did. My dad was 88 years old in 2020 when my late husband, Ken got sick with lung cancer. She chose that time when I was vulnerable, tired and emotionally drained to come at me. She called me one day to ask me about what my brother and I had told her before she married my dad. So I told her the truth that he hit our mom and hit both of us kids. He used to beat us with belts, extension cords, switch from the tree, ect. I missed almost a week of school because I was so bruised one time when I was 9 years old. She thanked me for telling her the truth and then she went and told my dad what I had said. I thought he would call me and tell me he was sorry for what happened when I was a kid, but no he stopped talking to me and I have no idea what Catherine said to him to make him stop talking to me. Then a few days later Catherine called me and told me off, told me I was a liar and that those things never happened that my dad said those things never happened. So she was successful in driving a wedge between me and my dad as well as one between my brother and our dad. So we have stopped talking for a few years. I should have known.

Then in 2023 my brother decided to call my dad and see how he was doing but Catherine had disconnected their phone so we couldn't call him. So my brother called non-emergency and had the police go to their address and do a welfare check on my dad. He was fine and told them to tell my brother he was fine. So my brother wrote a letter to my dad. My dad was happy to get a letter from my brother and Cathy wrote back to my brother. Told him what has been going on, that my dad was in bad health and had some dementia and was nice for the most part and my dad wrote a little something. Everything was fine. 

And then Cathy started writing to my brother without my dad knowing and said a whole bunch of nasty things to him and in each letter she wrote, "And tell your sister to go f*ck herself" 

She wrote to my brother, Billy and said things like, "I don't know why you're writing us now, we don't have any money for you. We can't help you." Just crazy stuff when my brother never asked them for a thing. He just wanted to check on our dad. 

So my brother wrote her and tried to be the little brother defending his big sister. So this was one of the letters she wrote back to my brother last year. 

It says, "Ps, thank you for the Christmas card, it came late but it was special for your dad. PS when did Mary and Ken get married? Bill, your dad and I are very glad you have stopped drinking. I am grateful to Sheila for helping and supporting. But most of all I am proud of you, bill for your own strength to stop. I do believe you. Don't be so quick to say that I was disrespectful to your sister. Your dad and I have always given Mary money. A bicycle for Ken, countless gifts, rides to the courthouse, when she needed new pots and pans for Elizabeth, countless gifts!

I always treated your sister with love, generosity and understanding and sympathy for a difficult childhood. I always tried to make her feel better!!! So clear out of the blue, Kathleen says you and dad hate Ken because he has AIDS...

Well I was shocked and very very angry! I told Kathleen we love Ken very much and would never dislike Ken for having aids. and it doesn't matter when Mary said this to Kathleen."

In the left hand margin she wrote, "You can say to Mary you have a cold heart. Things can come back to you at the worst time. Why did you do this? Was it for your own sick pleasure? PS you can tell Mary I will not put up with her anymore. There are consequences for your actions. Don't play the poor little victim. Sorry Ken died But you caused all of this yourself. Liar."

So let me explain a few things...

My half sister, Kathleen is 10 years older than me and we don't talk much. 23 years ago when my dad and I had a fight and my dad was trying to goad Ken into hitting him so he could call the police on him, I told my half sister Kathleen that I thought my dad didn't like Ken because he was HIV positive. I said it one time 23 years ago after a big fight. So my trouble making sister calls my dad 23 years after I said this to talk to him and tells him that she thought dad didn't like him because he was hiv positive. So Catherine used what I said 23 years ago to widen the wedge between my dad and I. That's why she said she didn't care when I said it, because she knew it was a long time ago. I didn't even know that Kathleen had called and said that until my brother read me this letter. Cathy wrote when did Mary and Ken get married because we weren't legally married and she looked down upon that. But we were together for 30 years so I considered us married and referred to him as my husband and she really hated that.

Also I have no idea what "gifts and money" she's talking about since the only gifts she gave me were for birthdays and Christmas. My dad brought over posts and pans when he found out that my daughter moved into a new apartment. I never asked or said anything about her needing anything. They did that themselves so I don't know why she brought that up.

On the top it says, "PS maybe you don't think what Mary said is a big deal but it is to your dad and me. Mary had no right to say those things."

In the body of the letter she wrote, "The fact remains that Mary lied to Kathleen and made Kathleen think that your dad and me were two ignorant people who hated Ken because of him having aids. Your sister saying these things to Kathleen that are totally untrue, made me furiously angry especially after everything we did for her. Oh what would you do??? That is slander. I told your sister exactly what she deserved!! And I told her what she is. It was June 2, 2020 I exactly word for word said: (Way before Ken died) "You are a two faced liar bitch" And Mary owes your dad and me and huge apology. Don't tell me I was disrespectful to your sister!! She lied, I didn't start any of this!! Your sister committed slander and tried to defame our character. Also the last time I talked to Mary, Ken was sick and at home. And he just wanted to relax. No one told us that Ken died!! We didn't find out for more than 6 months later from Kathleen. You can tell Mary we're sad you lost Ken but that has nothing to do with her lying behind our backs. That was a dirty low down way for her to talk about us. So don't be mad at me, don't try to put a guilt trip on us. "

Let me explain some things

It's not slander if it's true. My dad didn't like Ken 23 years ago and told me I should leave him and me and our daughter could come live with him and Cathy, but Ken couldn't come. This was right after he found out Ken was HIV positive. What else could I believe? Of course I thought it was because of that. 

This page says, "Mary Needs to apologize to her dad. I don't care what she says. PS did you get our Christmas card, we sent you one. So now you know some more details. We (your dad and I) thought Ken was home resting. All of this mess is your sister spreading lies!! So don't blame me, blame your sister! I do not tolerate liars!! Mary deserved every word I said to her! And more! Remember this happened June 2, 2020. Ken was sick but we were always asking him how he felt. We loved Ken very much. But the fact that Ken died has nothing to do with Mary's lying. If your dad and I had known Ken died we would have sent our sympathies for Mary's loss. The last time I spoke to Mary was June 2. 2020. I'm glad Elizabeth is doing so well. Sheila must be a very very good person. You are lucky to have her in your life. Again I admire your strength and resolve to stop drinking. You are intelligent and sensitive. I know you are being a good brother to your sister and that is a good thing. But stop telling me I disrespected Mary! Your dad and I just got over having Covid, we did not have to go to the hospital, it took and month but we got better. Your dad loves you. I also send you and BJ and kids love. Cathy"

*Let me explain* First she nor my dad ever told me what my half sister, Kathleen said to them. I didn't know she brought up something from 23 years ago until I read this letter. Why would I tell them Ken had died when they didn't want to talk to me? I saw no reason to. But it also showed that my sister was keeping in touch with them at this time and letting them know what I was saying about Ken. When I read this letter I confronted Kathleen (My half sister) about what she had said to them and she actually told me she didn't say this. But I know she did and she finally said she had once I told her about the letter. I have since stopped talking to her permanently. There was no reason for her to bring up something from 23 years ago unless she was trying to start drama.

I realize this was a long post but I wanted to share what led up to the letters and what I've had to deal with from Catherine all these years. Now that my dad is elderly and has some dementia she's made it impossible for my brother and I to see him.  

She was an awful person when I met her and 40 years later, she still is. 

My dad and step mother the last time I saw them.