I grew up with my grandparents. My mom was around but she was 15 when she had me and only 17 when she had my sister so we lived in my grandparents basement. They were very controlling. They lived upstairs with my 2 uncles. One was 3 years older then me, the other 3 years younger. They were the actual children and made sure that we never forgot it. The basement was always freezing. In the summer it was nice to have a cooler place to go but in the winter it would get so cold there would be ice on the inside of the windows. I use to have to sleep with 5 blankets and a sleeping bag to keep warm. They then turned my sisters and my room into a storage room. I got to sleep in a 4 foot by 3 foot closet. At least it was warm, even if I couldn't lay on the floor without being curled in a ball. My sister shared my mom's room.
My mother wasn't my grandmothers actual child either. My grandpa had been married before and his ex wife was and is not a nice women. My mom lived with my grandpa after they got divorced. So when he married my grandma she came along with the package. She always treated my mother rudely because she was the other womens child. That carried over to how she treated my sister and I as well. We lived with my mothers actual mom for a short period of time. But she was not a nice person. If I wouldn't eat my fish she would make me stand in the corner and suck on cloves. For every clove I spit out she would put 2 more in. I still can not eat fish to this day. She would do our hair and curl it. But she always pulled it so hard. If I cried or made any noise she would pull harder or burn me with the curling iron and tell me that if I was going to cry she was going to give me something to cry about. I wore my mom's little sisters hand me downs while we were there. I was wearing one of her dresses that no longer fit her. She got mad and smacked me over the head with the curling iron as hard as she could because it was "her dress". It also wasn't uncommon for us to be locked out of the house so they could have some peace and quiet and we were forced to use the bathroom outside. We moved back to my other grandmas house eventually.
Anytime we needed anything, such as toilet paper, or soap, or feminine hygiene products she acted like it was such a huge burden. We never had the things that we needed. meanwhile she was buying her boys new video games and he like constantly.
My mother has a severe learning disorder. She can not read or spell or do math. She has the intellectual level of a 1st grader. There is no way that she could hold a job. There is a workshop for people with disabilities where they have small jobs that they have people do so that they can work. My grandmother would never allow my mother to do this. She said that she can't work, and that she refuses to drive her into town. We lived half an hour out of town in the middle of no where. When I was in 2nd grade my mom had a break. There was one night my grandmother came down to my room and told me I needed to come sleep upstairs in the living room up there. I didn't want to. I was groggy and just wanted to be left alone. Then my mom came into the room crying so I decided I better just do as I was told. The next day I found out that my mom was hearing things and they were telling her to kill my younger sister. My grandma had brought us upstairs so that if anything happened she would be able to hear. She was diagnosed with bipolar and schizophrenia.
Life went on. She was on her meds and sometimes she wold be on an extreme high or an extreme low. It just became the new way of life. My grandmother too over being in charge of us. My mom slept almost constantly. She wasn't ever really around.
My grandmother was a control freak. We were not allowed to hang out with friends that she didn't hand pick for us. Even then it was rare that we were allowed to socialize. We spent our summers outside on the hiking trails and riding bikes around and around to try to avoid being home. Between my grandmas over controlling tendencies and my mom sleeping constantly. Plus my grandpa had a really bad temper. He use to get mad over the smallest things. You never knew when he would burst. Sometimes he would be completely nice and we would be having fun. Then the next minute he was yelling and swearing at us. Threatening to kick my mother sister and I out of the house. I took to protecting my sister. As my mother wasn't around much to do it and even when she was she did not dare stand up to them for fear they would kick us out. He use to hold me down on the ground and yell at me. I remember crying and screaming for him to get off of me. He would then spit a wad of spit mixed with mucus in my face and laugh before he would leave. At least he never did it to my sister.
At church everyone thought my family was this great family. They all loved my grandparents and thought that they were the most loving perfect people ever. They had no idea. As I got older I tried talking. I tried telling people that things were not okay in our home. No one believed me. Finally they had us talk to a church social worker. The problem was that they allowed my grandmother to stay in the room with us so we were not able to tell them what was actually happening. The wrote down that everything in the home was fine and left it at that.
When I got into high school, I tried harder and harder to tell people. My grandparents just told people that I was going through a rebellious teenage phase and everyone believed them because in their eyes my grandparents could do no wrong.
When I was a sophmore in High school my sister came to me crying. She said that she was scared and that there was a girl who she had named after her. She described her. She then said that the girl was behind me climbing up the wall. There was nothing there. I held her and tried to comfort her the best that I could and told her that she needed to tell mom. She did. She was diagnosed with Schizophrenia as well. Later on down the road she was hospitalized for suicidal thoughts and an eating disorder. It was my job to get her homework for her so she didn't fall behind in school. The first time I went to pick it up her teachers were shocked. She had talked about her sister before. We do no have the same last names though and look nothing alike because we have different fathers. They checked the school records and we were not listed together as siblings. They thought that I was just another imaginary friend that she had.
With my mother and sister both being diagnosed I was terrified that I was going to develop the same thing. Somehow I still haven't. I'm not really sure how that happened. Maybe I just got lucky, or maybe it was because they needed someone to watch over so I was spared. Who knows. I often still worry about if I will develop it or not.
My senior year of High School my oldest uncle was diagnosed with Bipolar. My grandma got even more controlling. After all this was having to admit that her baby wasn't perfect. It didn't matter if my mom and sister were having a hard time. They weren't "actual children" but it was different when it was her son. It was as if the world had ended. She wouldn't let anyone leave. Even our handpicked friends that she chose for us were out of the question. (speaking of hand picked friends, it was the friend that she approved of that was the one that sexually assaulted me)
Later my younger uncle was diagnosed with Schizophrenia as well. I remain the only one to not have developed it out of the people in that home that grew up under my grandparents. I also remain the only one that has ever escaped their over controlling obsessive tendencies.
My uncle was still living at home. She wouldn't allow him to apply for school to go to college. With the end of my senior year fast approaching she put a timer on the computer at home so that I could only use it for a max of 30 minutes. This was to make it impossible for me to fill out college applications, so that I could not leave home. She couldn't stand the thought of not having complete control over everyone in the household.
Over the summer I applied for a job at a fast food place and got it. She allowed me to go only because it was a job and if I had a job that means that I could pay rent. Which means more money for them. Whenever I would go to work my grandpa would drive by to make sure the car was there. they didn't believe I actually had a job. She always believed that I was off with some guy somewhere and that I was going to come back pregnant. Which was the most absurd thing ever because I had been being molested since 4th grade by her so called "friend" that she had chosen for me so I was terrified of being close to anyone. After all the only people I knew were in my family and messed up and abusive or were a friend of them and still abusing me. She couldn't believe that I was not like my mother was at my age. I had to grow up quickly. In order to watch over my mother and sister.