Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Story.

When I was 16 years old, I gave birth to my first child. Three months later she died due to complications pertaining to my drug use.

When I was 20, I married and got pregnant on the honeymoon. I had not told my husband that I had stopped taking birth control. My daughter Margaret was born two months after my 21st birthday.

My husband worked in the mines up north, and sometimes I'd follow him with the baby and live in those tiny little camps. Other times, I'd stay closer to civilization and he'd send the money down to us.

I hated being left alone, and would often waste all the money on partying and such.
The marriage ended before Margaret was a year old.

But this story is mostly about my relationship with my daughter. She was a darlin' little thing, looked just like me! I liked to dress her and myself up in matching bikinis and take her to the beach. She was the perfect fashion accessory.

But, I have to admit, sometimes being a single mother would get boring. I was a social butterfly and I wasn't going to let a small child get in the way of life.

Most of the time, I'd just take her along to the parties. She got along great with my biker friends, and would party until the wee hours with us! She was quite the little dancer.

Other times, I'd bring the party to my house.

Partying all the time wore me out though, and I often didn't roll out of bed until past noon. Margaret was pretty self sufficient though. At two, she knew the cul-de-sac like the back of her hand. She would just go outside by herself and find kids to play with. I was so impressed the time she was out playing by herself and got stung by a bee or wasp, and she didn't even really cry! That's my big girl.

She was so used to being on her own in the mornings that she even fed herself breakfast. She would climb on the counter and reach the cereal out of the high cupboard. Sometimes she would have milk with it, but usually she'd just eat it dry. One day she ate a WHOLE box of fruit loops! She would also get herself her own drink in the morning. I think she was three or four that day when I surprised her by actually being up in the morning. She had been looking for a cup for her juice, and was randomly pulling dirty mugs off of the counter in order to find one that was relatively clean. I just didn't have time to do the dishes most of the time! Anyway, she accidently pulled my full coffee cup off of the counter and burned and blistered her hand. She felt so bad for being naughty, and ran outside to cry. I found her outside, and although I was sort of angry, I didn't yell at her, and we went inside and dealt with her hand.

It was during this same time period that I was with my boyfriend Bill. He lived with us and was much more strict with the little one than I was. Whenever Marg was bad, he's whip down her pants, throw her over his knee and give her a few good whollops on the butt. He often left her so sore she couldn't sit properly or sleep on her back. The crying would exhaust her though and she'd be able to fall asleep. Bill had quite the temper. It was scary the time he got mad at me and broke his hand when he punched through the window by the front door. But I kept him around for awhile anyway.

I liked to do fun things with Bill and Marg, and one time we took her to the Disney On Ice capades. We couldn't afford the ticket price though, so we snuck through the back door.

When she was four, Bill tried to teach Margaret how to ride her two wheeler, but after one frustrating day, she told him she didn't want him to teach her, and she taught herself. Once she learned to ride that bike by herself, there wasn't much stopping her. She would take that bike everywhere. She would go visit other kids in the subdivision, and would often stay out until just before dark, when I would call her in. She would tell me of her adventures in the pond, the nearby woods, and going down to the corner store on the highway with her little buddies.

It was around this same time that I got her a kitten. Margaret was bad though, and let her out and she never came back. We never had another pet after that.

In general, Margaret was pretty easy going. There were a couple of times she got very upset with me though. I couldn't find a babysitter one night, so I took her to the bar with me and left her in the locked car. I told her to keep the doors locked and to not talk to any strangers. Several hours later, I returned to the car, and she was PISSED! I told her there was a long line up at the bar and that I was just applying for a job, but for some reason, she didn't seem to buy it. The other time she was angry with me was when I left her at a friend's house for a weekend, but got distracted and didn't return for two weeks. I don't know why she was angry with me! I mean, I left her with a family with kids to play with!

Sometimes, I would take her to my best friend's house. She had a little boy who was half a year older than Marg. They were both around 4-5. My friend and I would do lines of coke at the kitchen table while the kids danced in front of the music station on TV. It was the eighties, what can I say? Sometimes the kids would go into the boy's room where I'm sure they were playing "doctor" or something. How cute. Young kids exploring!

When Margaret was just a little over five years old, I took her to stay for a little while at my mother's house while I took a trip with my then boyfriend to the next province. While there, I got jailed for credit card fraud. I forgot to call my mother to tell her what happened, and by the time I returned, months later, my daughter had been taken away from me and was living with her father in a town hours away.

I was able to keep in touch with her on and off for a couple of years before her new family cut me off for good. When she was 18, she had started looking for me, but I didn't find out until she was 19. After we found each other, we visited a handful of times and I tried to develop a relationship with her, but it was too hard. I stopped talking to her when she was six months pregnant and I have no idea what she's up to these days. I don't know if I will ever try to contact her again, I think it's better to just live my life and not bother her with the details. She turned out just fine, I don't need her to know what a loser I've become.
The story you just read was 100% true, but some details have been changed. Margaret is actually me, and the mother in the story is my mother.

If ONE more person who doesn't know me personally or who isn't a health or child professional tells me that I'm a bad mother, without knowing the full story, I will fuc#ing lose it.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

CeCe~ coming from that kind of background, it's a wonder that you even survived! Don't let any critical bastards get you down. You know what is best for Cherry and you also know the reality that you CANNOT keep a kid safe from everything in life that has an element of danger. You'd have to put her in a plastic bubble and i don't think they come in pink! Keep your chin up and ignore the jerks who doubt your abilities.

Jod{i} said...

Cece-
Not that you needed to do this, but I get it.
Thanks for sharing and getting that point driven home.
Unfortunately there are still going to be those who dont read it for the meaning, they read for the words..And I can almost guarantee, one or two will not read all the way through and make another assumption.

Incredible story and with all that, You've come so far...
Kudos

Jodi

maidink said...

*wants to say something*

*finds no words*

*feels overprotective side emerging*

*gives CeCe a hug*

Darling, you are not your mom. You're there for your child. Cherry loves you, we love you. Stop the labelling, the second guessing, and the doubting and just move on.

*refuses to let go*

CeCe said...

As if I wasn't crying enough already girls. Thanks for the support.

Erin said...

*hug*

You're an amazing person. Your story makes me want to go hug my Mom and tell her thank you.

Ryann said...

Oiy!!

gimme a break. people are f'ing stupid. Kids fall. they climb things, and eat bugs, and jump off things.

You are a good mom. You and your husband are a good family, and good parents. Cherry is a very bright, and determined little girl. She will probably drive you guys nuts over the years with her independence, but that's okay.

I have total faith in you.

*big hugs*

Melora said...

Awww. Cece, I'm sorry about your mom! Sounds to me, though, that you are doing a really good job with Cherry. Not just a better job than your mom did, which wouldn't be saying much, but a really Good job.
My brother and sister-in-law no longer speak to us because they didn't like our parenting style. We Are more laid back than they are, but I think that really we are both within the range of "acceptable" on the parenting spectrum. There will always be people who feel like they need to offer unsolicited parenting advice, but if they express themselves rudely, I would just write them off as nuts.

Mr. Fabulous said...

Hon, I have always had the opinion that you were an awesome mom. And now, knowing this backstory, I have got you even further up on that pedestal.

You have come a long way from where you started. You should be held up as an inspiration.

You rock. Totally.

Sarah said...

Awww... I love you CeCe! And as I said on your old blog, I know that you'll be a million times better as a mother than your mom was. You're already doing a wonderful job. You let your daughter explore and give her reasons to laugh! Despite what certain people may think, it's completely impossible for you to watch your kid every second of her life (regarding the dog poo on spoon incident). Worse things happened to me when I was a kid and I think I turned out all right... and clearly, even the most tragic of childhoods (like yours) doesn't determine how the person is going to turn out. You're a beautiful person. Press on.

CeCe said...

Thanks guys. I would address you all individually, but it's an emotional topic, so I'll just say thanks to you all.

Kim said...

What a childhood. I cannot even comprehend parents like that. I still think you are a great mom and doign a great job.