Biographical Non-Fiction posted April 21, 2017 Chapters: Prologue 1 -2- 3... 

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...the third child cast into the dysfunction

A chapter in the book Grammy's Memoirs

Accidental baby

by Mustangpatty1029

This is my story. I intend to leave these chapters for my grandchildren. They should know about Grammy's life, and the roots of the family. History should never be ignored.
I was, for all intentions, a happy baby.  The entire neighborhood was excited about my birth.  It seemed that everyone had their own children the same ages; the average was eight years old.  I was to be the baby of the block.
My brother was nine and my sister was seven.  Though the stories I heard told of my big brother being excited, he didn't pay very much attention to me.  My sister was livid.  She actively hated the sight of me, and though I don't remember what she did to me as a baby, I know all too well of her abusive nature during my teens.
Stories of a cute and cuddly baby are only told by the neighbors.  All I ever heard from my own family was that I was a holy terror.  They had spoiled me when I was tiny, so my demands for that same attention began to get on their nerves when I was about six months old.  As I grew into a toddler, I developed the bad habit of holding my breath until someone paid attention to me.  Looking back, I think it was a cry for help.
There are very few pictures of me as a small child, and even fewer as a baby.  I found out this was because my mother and father didn't own a camera.  The snapshots I do have come from my grandmother and aunt.
My memories of early childhood are fragmented and blurry.  I do remember the fighting, the screaming, and being so scared, I could hardly breathe.  One vivid memory features a gleaming butcher knife wielded by my father, and another has my mother wearing a bandage across her face. 
The abuse my mother suffered was secondary to my brother's fate.  I can remember him running to get away from a hammer, and him spending the night in the rafters of our garage.  He wasn't a big kid, and my father was a drunken bully.  I didn't know about the abuse my sister suffered, but I was aware that she started smoking when she was about ten years old.  I could always smell the smoke on her, and I hated it when she picked me up.
Responsibility for me often fell to my brother and sister.  I'm not sure if my mother was simply tired of motherhood, or if she didn't like me, but my siblings were ordered to keep me occupied.  This led to scary results.  One day, my brother and his friends took me and my carriage up to the top of the hill at the end of our street.  There was just enough of an incline to cause havoc.  They let go, and the buggy careened down the hill and through the intersection at the bottom.  Thank goodness no cars were coming.
Frustrated with my childlike beliefs, my brother revealed the lack of a real Santa Claus to me when I was only five years old.  My sister ordered me to my room whenever my parents left her in charge of me.  I was often spanked out of frustration by my mom.  It didn't seem to matter who frustrated her; I was just an easy target.  My dad seemed to be the kindest, unless he was drunk.  I remember being kicked out of the way when I tried to stop him from hitting my brother. 
Resentment for me grew and by the time my father left when I was almost nine, my family blamed me for most everything.  I guess I was a better target than my dad; I couldn't cause the physical damage he did.  My self-esteem was very low, and everything that came after only added to my depression.
Left to my own devices, I turned to books at an early age.  We didn't have much in the way of reading material in the house.  There was half of a set of encyclopedias; the other half presumably still at the A&P Supermarket.  We didn't get the newspaper, and my mother didn't own any novels. 
Despite the lack of reading material, I started to teach myself to read.  With a little help from my amused father, and my constant stream of questions, I learned words.  It was easiest where there was a picture beside the term, and my first conquest was 'elephant.'  I loved the way it sounded, and since I really couldn't read, I made up the facts while I studied the letters I knew.  Books were my first friends. 



The photo is of me when I was about three months old. My grandmother paid for the professional photographs.

Writing this chapter was very hard, and this will probably be the only chapter focused on these early years.
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