I have trouble deciding how to address my selves. Should I say I did something, when I know it was Sadness? Or do I say we remember that. I is easier for other people. They understand better if I just say oh yes I remember, of course I was there for that….even if it wasn’t really me. It was this body, so that’s kind of like me. Plus saying we all the times sounds insane. More insane than being different people inside one body.
Anyway, before I became we, I grew up in the suburbs of Houston, Texas, in a small town named Deer Park. A city where most people were comfortable middle class, but liked to think of them selves as high-class. They did not look kindly on different. Growing up I had trouble making or keeping friends, so I mostly hung out with my mom. My brother was a little older, and he had his own friends, so he would only play with me, if mom made him. Hanging out with my mom was okay, she always played games with me, and when we went to the store I always got the stuff I wanted. My brother used to complain about this, but my mom always told him, he could have gone and gotten whatever he wanted too, but he chose to stay home. Not that he wanted for anything. He always had the latest video game, and all his favorite foods in the fridge. One reason we always got what we wanted is because my mom felt guilty. A lot. You see. my parents are alcoholics, and with that comes a lot of things dark and grim.
One good thing about it was that I could always blast music on the stereo, and almost always my mom let me play the music I wanted. Marilyn Manson, Staind, Spice Girls, Slipknot, and Eminem…but even if we blared my parents’ choice it was ZZ Top, Pink Floyd, Journey, and Fleetwood Mac, so I didn’t complain much when they wanted their own music on. You would think with all that music we had playing it was one big party all the time. It usually started out that way, with my parents with a couple of drinks, maybe some friends over, most often not, but good times, good moods. That would usually spiral out of control pretty quickly.
My dad worked at a chemical refinery and made decent money. The bills were always paid, the lights were always on, there was always food in the fridge. He was an alcoholic, sure, but he didn’t miss work for it. What I can remember of my childhood with my dad is vague. He was always at work, or in my parent’s bedroom. Sure there were family dinners together most nights, but by the time I was 12 he had major back surgery, and became addicted to Vicodin, and started eating dinner alone in his room. Whatever good times there had been with dad, like when he would point at something during dinner, and then snatch some of your food, while yelling “pizza thief”, that all vanished after his back surgery, from what I remember.
My mom was a stay-at-home mom for most of my memory. There was a brief stint where she was a cafeteria worker while we were in school, but for most of my life my mom was just home. She was very high-strung, and started to develop many phobias and anxieties, which caused her a lot of stress. I think both of my parents remembered being happy when they were teenagers and getting fucked up all the time, and tried to recreate those moments often, but they were older, and it didn’t work out like they wanted. I think they blamed each other for who they had become. And they blamed us kids. We were the reason they weren’t young and cool and fun anymore.
Because of this my parents would start drinking and my dad would usually pass out early, so my mom would come get me and we would go to her friend’s house so that she could continue drinking. My brother never came with us. Looking back, I’m sure I could have stayed home as well, it would have been safer, but it never crossed my mind not to go with her. Even when I was scared. She asked me to go, so I went. We would go through the drive through liquor store and get a fifth of jack daniels or a case of beer, and then pop off to her friend’s house, where we would spend most of the night, while her and her friend got drunk and smoked weed. I would hang out with them most often, until it was time to go home, then my mom, barely able to walk, would drive us home. We always made it back in one piece somehow. Not that we never got into any accidents, but it was mostly hitting drive through speakers, or fast food buildings. Once when we went to rent videos at Hollywood she smashed into someone else’s car and then just took off, while I cried the whole way home. We ran inside, and the people we hit showed up a few minutes later. The employee from Hollywood saw my mom do it, and then told those people our address. My dad talked to them, and gave them $500 to go away and not call the cops.
Most of my childhood was like this. Isolated and alone, usually angry, or afraid. So I started making up world in my head. I read a lot of books, and could watch them like movies while I read. So even when I wasn’t actually reading, I could still escape to other worlds. Mostly I pretended to be a princess, and I built a castle in my mind, where I would play and be free, and just wait to be rescued. I used to sit on the swing in our backyard for hours and hours, and just daydream away, all the screaming and cussing, that came from my angry, drunk parents fighting. My husband thinks this is most likely the root cause of my dissociative identity disorder.