We lived in a small apartment after that 2nd big blue house, after my mother had officially decided my stepfather had used up all his 'chances'. I vaguely remember this apartment, because before long we moved from a 2 bedroom to a 3 bedroom within the same year and within the same complex. I have just a few memories of the smaller one.
I remember it being stocked full of girl scout cookie boxes the year my mom was the 'cookie mom'. And I don't mean the little boxes we all buy from the cute little girls outside the grocery store, I mean the big brown cardboard cases of them piled high as our living room decor for the 'cookie month'.
I also have vague memories of my mom bringing home one of the small handful of guys she began dating. In fact it was the first and last for a long time that she introduced to my sisters and I. I think his name was Mike, he was tall, and I didn't like him! I didn't want my mom going out with anyone! I don't remember specifically doing anything, but I was awfully rude to him I am sure. In fact I believe at another time later, at least one of my sisters was able to spend time with him and my mom while I was at a friend's house because I think it was only me who had the issues with my mom dating. I don't even remember why.
But the most vivid memory I have from this age has to do with scissors. We have all heard our parents shout at us as kids "Don't run with the scissors!" Apparently what my mom should've been saying was "Don't throw the scissors!" I know my sister will not be thrilled I am sharing this, but maybe it will help you better understand our relationship, especially growing up, and it is a part of my childhood. I wouldn't be recording it if I wanted to skip the hard stuff and only write about the 'fluff'.
We shared one of the 2 rooms in our tiny apartment with our new gerbil named Mickey (though he had the same markings as Ashes, my mom said I shouldn't use that name again, it was still a very sensitive subject to me). I don't remember much about how this day ended up where it did, I don't remember what our petty argument was about that day, but my sister Carolyn, who has a temper, and I were going at it head to head. Somehow my grandma had calmed us down a little and we weren't yelling anymore. I was standing near the hallway when Carolyn walked by with a pair of scissors. Not just any scissors though, these were heavy duty ones. I believe my mom used these to cut fabric for sewing and our hair, since they were the sharpest we had. They were heavy too, all metal and thick, not like the lightweight, plastic handled ones I have in my kitchen drawer today. As Carolyn passed I did something, I think I might've stuck my foot out or nudged her somehow, still angry and irritated about our fight, determined to have that last 'word'. And as she reached the other end of the room, after I pushed that button, the one that set her off, she turned and threw these sharp heavy scissors directly at me. They were heavy so as they flew through the air they lost a little altitude and hit me pointy end first in my knee. I instantly dropped to the floor as my knee began to bleed, what I remember as, a gushing river of blood. I was screaming and my grandma instantly appeared over me with a towel to wrap around my knee as Carolyn just sat on the couch and stared. I remember thinking she seemed like she was in a trance when I looked over at her with a look I had hoped would kill through tearful eyes.
I never went to the doctor's office or ER, my grandma and my mom made a makeshift splint using towels and magazines to help me keep my knee from bending and opening the wound back up again. I stayed in bed the rest of that day. I don't know if my mom or grandma ever had a 'talk' with my sister about what she had done, but I do remember when I asked how she would be punished being told "Watching you bleed was punishment enough." Which I was of course appalled by! My sister had just tried to kill me and she wasn't being tarred and feathered for it??!! When did I get to throw scissors at her and get away with it?!
As you can see I was a drama queen from an early age! I still have the scar on my knee today. Its very small and I often forget its even there. I find myself wondering sometimes if the gushing of blood I remember may be my own mind tricking itself. I know it was more blood then I had ever seen at that age, so to a 10 year old it seemed like a 'gushing river', but the scar now is so small it's hard for me to believe that much came out of it! Though I know it hit near the cartilage because I used to be able to see it and it always looked so funny to me, like bones poking through. Just another battle scar from my childhood.
This was the 7th post in a 15 week series I am doing to record my youth with other women. Check it out at