They started fighting when I was 5 or so. I can remember the screaming and yelling and anger. I’d usually hide in the hallway and cry. I didn’t know why they fought, just knew they did. My parents started using meth and alcohol around that time, I’m sure that was a contributing factor.

We were homeless when I was in 6 or 7. We lived in a couple tents and a fifth wheel. My father had somehow gotten ahold of an d dumpster, he took the time to line it with plastic and fill it with water, it was our swimming pool.

I remember one day, my parents fight was especially bad. My father attempted suicide afterwards. I remember running into my parents tent to see my mother crying, she was naked, lying on the bed, upset that my father wouldn’t sleep with her. She looked up and saw me and the sobbing got worse. I didn’t know what to do, I was just a kid, I don’t think I could have done anything.

Wasn’t long after that my father had procured a 1979 Bluebird buss. He was in the process of converting it into a motor home, all it was missing was the plumbing. We moved into a trailer park along the river in the foothills of California. Beautiful place if not for all the tweakers.

I remember my older sister, she would have been around 11 at the time, she had stolen one of my mother’s bottles of Hot Damn and snuck off to drink it. She came into the buss and proceeded to puke her guts out. I didn’t know what to think, I never really do.

After the incident with my mother BF (see my previous blog) we moved in with my grandmother. It was my father, us 5 kids, my great grandmother, and grandma. She lived in a 2 bedroom double wide mobile home up in the mountains. Great grandma would get mad at me when I tried to take the garbage out, that was her job, she was old and couldn’t do much, that was what she could do.

My older brother would regularly get in fights in school or with the other neighborhood kids. One day, he grabbed a hatchet and started chasing another boy down the road with it. I remember my great grandma cheering him on from the porch, “go get him!”

My older brother would steal grandma’s cigarettes, I followed suit because he was my big brother. He’d steal her vodka, id follow suit because he was my big brother. He started smoking weed, I followed suit because he was my big brother.

My father eventually got a new girlfriend. We moved around a little. They’d fight pretty regularly. One particular fight ended with my dad running out of the house to stop her from driving off with us kids. He punched out the driver’s window and grabbed the keys. They had a kid together not long after that, a little girl. I was 11.

My dad’s girlfriends mother moved in with us for a bit. She had a bull whip.  If I didn’t do the dishes fast enough, it was the whip, if I wasn’t cleaning the living room fast enough, it was the whip.

When my older brother turned 13, him and my older sister were given the choice to move in with my mother in Hawaii. Naturally they took the chance, I would have.

My father and his girlfriend broke up, she gained custody of the kid, and he found a new girlfriend. We moved in with the new girlfriend at her father’s house.

She had two sons, 6 years old and 7. The older was prone to sleep walking, the younger wet the bed. The one that would sleep walk would usually end up peeing on a wall or something, this was met with a belt from their grandpa. I was worried that if I had slipped up, I’d meet the same, so I kept my nose clean.

When I was 12, my father comes out of the house with tears in his eyes. He gathered up my little sister and brother and myself. Had us sit down and informed us my older brother had passed away. He had just turned 14, he had a girlfriend. Him, his girlfriend, my older sister and her boyfriend were all walking along a cliff side in Hawaii, I’m told the water was calm, people regularly jumped off the cliffs despite the warning signs. It wasn’t a particularly high cliff, the danger was the under toes. He got caught in one. My sisters boyfriend jumped in after him followed shortly by my sister. My brother and my sisters boyfriend didn’t make it but my sister was pulled ashore by a biker. The last thing I said to him was, “I love you.”

  • My father had managed to get himself a fifth DUI. He had been in and out of jail for the 4 years prior, mostly due to bar fights and driving under the influence. He sobered up after a year in county and six months in rehab. By this point I was 14 and had a bit of resentment towards him. He’s not a bad guy really, he’s well loved by the community, he now has 21 years sober, has raised children that weren’t his own, he currently is in his first successful relationship, and is what a lot of folks would call a “good God fearing christian.” I can’t say as I hold his beliefs, I used to, I did. But anymore, if there is a God, I don’t think he cares.
3 Comments
  1. littlewing 3 months ago

    Wow that must have been a lot too unpack.
    How old are you now if you don’t mind me ask?
    Ive been through a few similar things as well. so I can understand the resentment.

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      jibstank 3 months ago

      I’m 35

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    • Author
      jibstank 3 months ago

      It only lightly touches on things. I’m over my resentment now, I’m kinda keeping the family together these days. My father has leukemia now and can’t work like he used to. So now I’m working for his business keeping it afloat.

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