So, before I jump into this I should ask you, the reader, if you'd like to respond, to please just sit next to me. I'm actively afraid of sharing my story and being belittled or pitied. Please remember that I survived.
My earliest memory is lying next to my dad in bed. I am three years old We are in our apartment in the city. My little sister is in a room we share down the hall. I'm pretty sure that my mom is heavily pregnant at this point with my soon to be little brother. She is in bed too, sleeping, I think, on the other side of him.
I am curious about my dad's body. He sleeps naked. He has a winky and I've been told it is a boy part but it is so different. I've showered with my mom before. Seen my sister's diaper changes. Seen my own body, obviously. But I still am curious. I reach out and touch it. It moves. How weird is that! I pull my hand away. He takes it and gently brings it back and says "Its ok, I like that" in a voice barely above a whisper.
Several months later I remember lying in my own bed. My sister is sleeping next to me. My little brother is across the room in his crib. I'm am wondering if it is possible to get awinky of my own. I think that must be why my dad is in charge. That must be why my mom babies my little brother and is mean to me and my sister. I wonder what about it makes them special.
Something is wrong with my mom. She never gets out of bed except to use the bathroom. Or to storm into the kitchen and scream at me for making a mess. Or scream at me to keep my little sis (Ls) and little bro (Lb) quiet. She can't stand the crying.
I tried to change Lb's diaper, but got poop on the kitchen floor. My mom backhanded me across the room. I was startled and afraid, but it was my fault. After that I changed it in the bathroom, and wiped it up with toilet paper if any went on the floor.
Lb is 6 months old now. Dad works all the time. Mom pretty much never comes out of her room. We are Jehovah's witnesses, so we go to the kingdom hall (church) kinda often. I sit on the couch reading the story "Each peach pear plum" to Ls and Lb. The couch is floral tith brownish red roses (I think) on a tan background.
We are hungry, so I put my shoes on. I carry Lb down the stairs and Ls walks beside me. Our apartment is on the 4th floor. We walk, well, Ls and I walk down the stairs and go outside. I am carrying Lb and tell Ls to hold my arm because we have to cross the street. We are going to Rusty's house. Rusty is an Irish setter. He's very nice. He has the same color hair as me. The lady that lives at his house has a bunch of boys that live there too. And sometimes their friends are there. They are her kids but they look like grown ups to me. They yell to her "mom! Angel and the babies are here!" Ls doesn't like being called a baby.
I climb the stairs. The lady takes Lb and walks into her kitchen. Her table is round (the one at our apartment is a big rectangle) and she uses a big flour sack towel to tie my brother to he kitchen chair so he doesn't fall off. At my apartment we have a highchair, but we only use it for suppertime because for breakfast I sit on the floor in front of Lb with his back to the cupboard and give him food like that so he doesn't fall bckward. I'm not tall enough to put him in the highchair. We eat at Rusty's house. Sometimes pb sandwiches, sometimes Mac n cheese, sometimes chocolate pudding out of these little glass dishes. The lady is nice. I dropped a little glass bowl on the floor and she didn't hit me. It didn't break but chocolate pudding splatted on the floor and she wasn't even mad at me. She said it's ok, rusty will get it. And he did.
We are done with lunch and go back to our apartment. I carry Lb again and make Ls hold my arm again to cross the street. When we are back on the other side we turn and say bye to the boys. We cross the gravel parking lot to go see the train tracks on the back of our building. Sometimes I tell Ls to put little rocks from the parking lot on the track and we check later and they are just dirt, no rock left. When trains go by we step back to the edge of the parking lot, away from the train. I warm her that trains are dangerous. It could kill us, but we just need to stay back when it goes by.
We get tired and go back inside the apartment. We climb back up all the stairs. Mom is still in her room. Lb has a wet diaper, which is easy to change. I put him on the floor in our room and hand the yucky wet one to Ls to throw away in the kitchen garbage. When she gets back I tell her to close the door. I climb into the crib to get Lb's blankie, then climb back down. Ls gets her blankie and I get mine. We sleep on the floor. I sleep next to the door so I will wake up if Ls wakes up and tries to get out. Or I will wake up if mom tried to come in. We are safe and sleepy. I keep us safe, even when we are sleeping.