After my grandma Alma passed away, my life felt as though it had come to drastic changes. I was now living in our front house without grandma Alma, and I knew she was not coming home from the hospital, or even doing an overnight stay for her employer. Grandma was a nanny for a local lawyer and his wife. She would clean, cook, and care for their children. At times she'd stay the night at their home whenever they’d go out of town on business trips. This night though, I knew Grandma wouldn't be coming home, ever. Aunt Cindy slowly transitioned her stuff into the house, and within a few months my uncle Ryan moved in. He was going through a divorce, and aunt Cindy invited him to move into her house in the back, so he did. At first, uncle Ryan pretty much kept to himself. He would travel back and forth cross country truck driving, so he wasn't always home. At times, in passing through town he'd call aunt Cindy to meet him at his girlfriend’s house in order to drop off clothes, or other items he would request from his house. This went on for a while, and then uncle Ryan was suddenly home more often. He would even bring his oldest son, cousin Junior over for weekend visits every so often. That summer, Junior stayed with us. I could tell he wasn't happy about it. Junior even punched another kid in the nose while we were spending our routine summer days at a local community center. We don’t know what exactly happened. Junior was sitting all to himself on a picnic table like he had the past few days, until I saw staff members running towards him. I thought something had happened to him, until I saw the other kid crying and holding his nose. Junior got kicked out for that fight, and then he seemed a bit happier. That evening I'd asked him, “What happen Junior?”
“I told him to leave me alone, he didn't listen,” he said.
“Oh, I see,” I replied. Junior smiled after that. When I was younger, grandma Alma would take us on trips to uncle Ryan’s. I always enjoyed seeing my cousins Junior and his older sister Lori. They were always nice and never fought with me. Lori was much older than me, but a kind spirited person. She still is ‘till this day. At first, things with aunt Cindy were normal. I kept to myself, and she stayed away; unless she had to talk about something with me. A few months after grandma Alma’s death, I started to get sick. I never wanted to eat; I was never hungry. Then as weeks proceeded, I got to the point that when I did try to eat, I would just puke it back up. I didn't want to eat at all after that. I was afraid to regurgitate the food. I just hate to vomit. After a few days, aunt Cindy must have noticed, because I was then forced to sit down and eat at meals. Even when I said, “I’m not hungry.” After my throwing up was heard, or should I say witnessed, I was taken to be seen by the medical doctor. Who then referred me to a child psychologist. I was then weighed and told I was underweight. The psychologist informed me that until my weight and other behaviors were corrected, I would be seeing him twice a month. The sad part of all this, we had to come up with seventy-five dollars each visit. Unfortunately, medical did not fully cover the costs. I overheard aunt Cindy talking to my mother in regards of financial assistance. Like always, “I don’t have any money,” she would say. This happens to be her famous quote when it comes to financially supporting me. Uncle Ryan, my hero assisted aunt Cindy with the funding in order for me to get treatment. I went through a few months of treatment with aunt Cindy’s motherly attention, which lead to my weight gain. Her homework was to help me by doing motherly things with me. The feeling of abandonment was the trigger for my depression. As the doctor informed aunt Cindy, “She needs a mother. So far, the only mother’s she has ever known are no longer around,” he said. Aunt Cindy did her best to play that role. At times, things weren't the greatest with aunt Cindy. Her oldest son would always try to get me into trouble. Sometimes, lies were told against me, or he’d start something that I’d finished. And yup, you guessed it, I’d get into trouble. I feel as though, all my life I have fought to defend myself. If not physically, it has been verbally. When I feel I am accused of something, and I know I am innocent, I will get defensive and try to argue my point. Of course, I am then even more accused because of this action. Honestly, I do not know how to lie. My facial expressions of disappointment in myself show, and a few hours later I will confess the truth, because my conscience will constantly nag at me. As I got older, it felt as though things got worst. I felt alone, misunderstood, and unwanted. I felt as though I couldn't do anything right, and I most of all I felt as though I did not belong. On occasion I would actually sit in grandma Alma’s alter and ask God, “Why me? Why give me to this family, most of all to this mother that left me so easily?” By the time I was eighteen, I was so over my life, and I just wanted to get out of aunt Cindy’s house and that town as soon as I could, whenever or however it was possible. See the reason life sucked so bad, was because I wasn't allowed to go out with my friends. If I was granted that wish, I had to be home within two hours. I wasn't allowed outside, unless someone was with me. Luckily for me, we had no car. Therefore, walking to and from school was my freedom to get out, and explore. Of course, aunt Cindy had me on a timer, but sometimes if the timing was right, I’d stop and chat with my friends. At times I’d stop at their house for few minutes on the way home. Sometimes I’d get into trouble, and sometimes I didn't. However, I have to confess, sometimes getting into trouble for that brief moment of freedom was worth it.