I was so excited to have a little sister. Now I had someone to spend time with! Because lord knows I was lonely. I was a neglected only child living with junkies. I forgot to mention earlier that my mom and dad got divorced when I was about 4. My mom and her new boyfriend (*I will refer to him as my stepdad throughout my blogs as that is what he came to be) were the parents of my new sister. My mom was actively seeking treatment at the time, but it didn't last long before she was using again. I have many memories of violence, stress, and sleepless nights. My mom and stepdad had people in and out all hours of the night. There were many times that I would feel the need to protect my sister. These were not good people in our house. I remember being told to stay in our room many times. When I would hear fights going on I would try to play the tv louder to drown out the scary sounds. Over time I developed a coping mechanism where I would twist my hair and yank it out in one spot when I was stressed. I always had a bald spot on one area of my head.
In the mornings, my mom and stepdad would be passed out cold. I could never wake them up, and it was always dark from the blankets on the windows. I would wake up and try to find food for me and my sister. Mainly, we ate cereal all day as that's all I knew how to make, and dishes were rarely clean, so we would eat from the box often. I missed many days of school in elementary due to not being able to wake them up, and we moved so much I never really had a chance to get settled into a school.
During this time in elementary, my anxiety was so high that I would barely speak in school. My report cards were mostly good but stated that I would not speak up in class much and missed a ton of school days. I never talked to others about things because I was told not to. I knew that the way we were living was not right, but for some reason the child in my just wanted to protect her parents.
People who are emotionally neglected as children grow up to be adults, like me, who must deal with the consequences. Because our emotional needs weren't validated as children, we may not know how to deal with our emotions when they occur. This rang true for me and I had so much to unlearn.