We lived with my grandma for a couple years when my older sister turned 17. She was of age to make her own decision on where to live. She wanted to go back to the school she attended her whole life for her senior year and graduate with her friends. It was not long after that when my younger sister wanted to go home to my mothers also. The state put her back in my mothers custody. I asked to stay with my grandparents. I really disliked my mother at this time. I felt betrayed by her. I felt like she chose "him" over us. I didn't feel loved by her at all. My grandparents filled the parent void in my life. I sort of always clung to my grandma, I guess.
My mother tells me she wanted a boy, girl and 2 more boys. Her gift from god was a boy, girl and 2 more girls. She told me I was a "mistake". Ya see, she's a very literal kind of person. She says things that are "unfeeling" without realizing it, I hope. She told me the electric company was supposed to shut her phone off at midnight one night. She was leaving the next morning to return to MO. They didn't shut it off and my father called her 2 hours before she was supposed to leave. He begged her not to leave him...so...obviously, we know she went...and I was conceived. This could be looked at as God's plan for my life. She sees it as his mistake - that word never stops hurting no matter how many times I hear the story. When I was born, she wanted to name me Amanda Lynn but was told my uncle would call me mandolin so she let my father and grandmother name me. I was named Amanda Lee (after my grandmother). When I was two, I went to stay with my grandma for a while - don't remember so not sure how long. When I was 8, my grandma took me to Europe to see my aunt and cousin (A Blast!) but that is something that will always be held over my head because my mother speculates my sister's troubles are a lot due to my grandma playing favorites with me. I do feel I was a "favorite" as hard as that is to admit - on both sides. Maybe because I was easy...I was always well behaved and grades came easy to me. My grandma thought it was important to go to school, read and learn as much as you can. My sister hated school and misbehaved a lot. Maybe it's a catch twenty-two? I don't know but I feel guilty for something I had no control over.
My mother used to say my older sister was "pretty", I was "beautiful" and my younger sister was "cute". How is labeling your children based on physical appearance helpful for their self esteem?
Anyway, my grandma and I were always close. It didn't help my mother and I's relationship out at all, with me living with my grandma. I wouldn't take it back for anything though. She helped make me who I am today. When I was 15, my grandmother became very ill...in and out of the hospital and dialysis treatments. She was exhausted. She was tired of "not living". My mother was in the hospital getting treatment for her bipolar disorder again. I remember her coming to the hospital in shackles. She was able to see her mom before she passed, although not the ideal situation. My grandma died 2 weeks after I turned 16. My family fought hard for my mom to be able to attend the funeral but she got there after the casket was already closed. She sat alone in the funeral home. I don't even know where I was - I don't remember being in there. My cousin and I were in a separate room, I believe.
I was angry and sad. I was scared. I didn't know what to do or what would happen to me. I still had two years left of school. My grandpa and I decided I would stay with him. We were lonely and felt abandoned...afterall, she was our glue. It seemed like everyone came into our home and took "things". My grandma had just passed - why did anyone care about these possessions? Didn't they realize we still lived there? As an adult, I've been told, they were scared when my grandpa passed, his children would not split the "stuff" properly. I understand everyone deals with things differently but that's just not the way I would've liked it to be done.
My grandpa and I became very close over the next couple years...I learned stuff about him I never knew. He was sweet and good to me. Unfortunately, I think, his heart was broken and couldn't go on. He woke me up at 2am and asked me to drive him to the hospital. I was terrified...he couldn't hardly breathe. I called my aunt who wasn't far to come over, after calling 911. He asked me to get his wallet and shoes and socks. I put them on for him. He told me he couldn't breathe and needed to lie down. He stopped breathing right there in front of me, in the living room floor. My aunt had just pulled up. I ran outside screaming...what do we do? I told her we needed to do cpr. She didn't know how so I told her I'd do the chest if she breathed in his mouth. We did it! He started breathing again. The paramedics arrived. The took him in the ambulance. It was raining terrible. We couldn't hardly see the road. When we got to the hospital, the dr came out and shook his head. He didn't make it. We yelled and I even remember hitting him. He said they did everything they could. It was too hard to believe and we just had to see him for ourselves. They let us go back and say our good-byes. Of course, he was already gone by then. We kissed him on the cheek and went home. I was pretty lost after that. One of my friends was very good to me and stayed by my side every day and night. He passed away the week prior to my senior year starting.
My mother went through a depression during my junior year. She literally didn't move from her couch unless she had to go to the restroom. Sometimes she would get up and eat half a bologna sandwhich or take a drink of Dr. Pepper. My mother took my sister out of school. I hated to visit because my mom would just sleep and not socialize with me. I didn't understand it and it would make me angry. My sister was in and out of trouble. She said she wanted to get pregnant so that she had someone all to herself that would love her. She made her dream come true when she was 18, with a 9th grade education. She was in no shape to take care of another person. My mom was back in the hospital to treat her depression. After that stay, we began working on our relationship and building it back.
I met the boy that would one day be my husband - my senior year.