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A Different Kind of Life, Story 1

If You Survive

When I was six years old I wanted to be a nun, and by the time I was sixteen I wanted to be a cage dancer. That's a big leap, but my life was not like most people's. My parents were both one-of-a kind, and they lived life the way they wanted, usually dragging my sister and I behind them kicking and screaming.

I was an odd child, thinking that if I whinnied like a horse and ran really fast that I could turn into a horse. Never seemed to work, but I kept on trying every chance I got.  My sister wasn't interested in turning into a horse and she thought I was crazy, but then I thought she was pretty crazy too.  We were not close at all, even though we shared such a huge secret that was our life.  The gap between us only got bigger as the years went by until we hardly talk to each other.  We aren't angry, we just don't care for each other much.

 My dolls drove her crazy but I always had a whole slew of them with me wherever I went and they all slept with me too. She would wait until I fell asleep and then push all the dolls to the floor so she had room in the bed. My favorite doll was a big rubber Ostrich that I named Ozzy.  I took Ozzy everywhere with me and when Mom said we were moving again, and that I couldn't take Ozzy because he was too big. I went out in the backyard and buried him, telling him that nobody could find him there and I'd be back soon to rescue him.

We usually had no vehicle so walking became a type of entertainment for the entire family. Mom and Dad in front and my sister and I two feet behind them would walk until it was dark; sometimes five or six miles. I remember a lot of times not having a lot of food to eat, and even now I get times when I think I am going to starve to death if I don't go clean out the refrigerator and eat everything I can find.  I should weigh a ton, but it's actually down to half a ton last time I checked.

Shoes are another item that managed to seep into my adult life. We didn't always have shoes and one time had to wear those slippers that had elastic around the top to school.  As a child I tended to turn my feet to the inside and therefore when we did get shoes mine had to be sturdy. I wanted those patent leather shoes with the strap across the foot and instead got the equivalent of military boots. 

I have spent years teetering on heels that are too high, falling flat on my face across my desk at work one day because the platforms I was wearing went out from under my feet when I turned the wrong way. I've had my toes squashed and my heels thick with bandages to cover the blisters.

Clothes are another item that have had me obsessed ever since mom took the first white sheet off the bed where we were renting an apartment, and stuck it in a sink full of Rit Dye. When she was satisfied with the color of the sheet, she would make skirts out of it for my sister and myself. If the drapes were fairly new and we could do without them, we would have jackets to go with out skirts.  I still get excited when I see a clean white sheet and walk past a Rit Dye display.

I tried to join the Marines when I was seventeen, but they wouldn't take me unless I had a high school degree or equivalent.  I got the GED when my second child was on the way, and my Bachelor's Degree when my third child was on the way. I managed to get a Masters without having any more children.

Even though my sister and I had a different life than most people I think we came out okay in the big picture. Nobody has a perfect life and some are worse than others. It's all in how you look at things and how you chose to react.  I have many interesting stories from my childhood, stories I would like to continue to share with the reader, if that is something that anybody would be interested in reading.  It was a very odd life, but I learned many things that most people never are exposed to, and even though some would say my life was a mess, I feel I was given a blessing to have learned about so many things and seen so much at an early age.

Read next: Family Is Family
Denise Willis
Denise Willis

I have a bachelors degree in accounting, and a masters degree in psychology, but art and writing have always been my love.  I have three grown sons, and recently, I finished a novel of around 200 pages finally posted to Amazon.

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A Different Kind of Life, Story 1
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Family Is Family