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Thursday, August 12, 2010

8th grade

  This is one of 15 post about my childhood...
Buried alive in 8th grade....

  The year in question is 1980. I am 13 years old. I am living with my mother and her third husband. My friends found my step-father fascinating, me ... not so much. Why??? did they find him fascinating.. because he owned a Porsche and a Ferrari and was about 5 feet tall and wore lifts. One time my mother and step-father went away.. and I was left alone, with neighbors to check on me.. for 2 days. My friends.. most of which were boys.. begged me to take the Porsche for a drive, I told them ... I disliked getting in trouble... and no way.. that I couldn't even drive... my friends that could drive.. said.. we can drive it... but I knew my step-father had written down the mileage.. and had marked the driveway with a chalk like substance...He was a very paronoid man.
 Leaving my grandmother to live with my mom was not a decision I had taken lightly... but my mother had told me she wanted to make it up to me... all the times she was not there for me... so I gave her a second change....My mother worked directly with an architect to design her dream house. She added mirrored fireplaces and a large back deck...She planned a huge walk in closet for herself and my room. She was very proud of the finished product and so was I. It became a ritual to visit the land when they purchased it.. then come to see the foundation poured... and then the walls, and then the windows... IT was always fun. One night we found beer cans inside and that meant teenagers had gotten in... and that was very upsetting... to learn that they were hanging out in our new home... before we were... and could possible damage it... Finally we moved in.
  My room was big and I enjoyed the idea of living in a new neighborhood and having a "second" chance with my mother. I had a very usual peppermint breeze of self-confidence... moving into this house and knowing I would be following my mother's rules continued this breeze. I began to collect unicorns while living with  my mother. My room at my mother's sticks in my mind... The ceiling and walls were snow white... My pink shelf that my grandfather made me was laden full of porcelian and glass unicorns... My bed was not my canopy... and I did not make it ever but, it was cozy.... I had an area of my room that was a floor to ceiling book case that was overloaded with books... that spilled off onto the floor...
 ( here is a picture of my bed with no mattress cover... and My clothes and belongings... strewn all around... but you can clearly see the obsession with unicorns)( the picture got stained...sorry)
  This excessive collection of items began my desent into the pack rat world. I collected swatch watches, unicorns and clothes....Maybe pack rat is not the word that people use now, the TLC channel showcases a show called Hoarding.... and I believe for many years... I was a hoarder. It is believed that hoarding is a subtype of OCD that begins around the age of 12. Some hoarders are also complulsive shoppers, my mother was never a hoarder... in the sense of mess... but I remember her buying 12 nail polishes in one day... I thought that was excessive. It's also believed that hoarders begin hoarding from stressful life events... divorce... loss of possessions or fire. Some mothers who were always need... become hoarders.. when there last child leaves for college... empty nest... syndrome... Some say hoarders are filling a void.. I believe I was... My loss of my family feeling and my grandmother, who lived only 20 minutes away.. but our rituals and traditions were no longer. Some believe the cause of this is genetic... one parent has to have this...trait... My grandmother is and was a magazine, and newspaper hoarder.. she had closets and closets of articles she wanted to read or pictures she could not throw out. Some say hoarding is a variant of ADD.. and how they want to throw it out.. but it an add person has trouble making decisions to throw it out.... I have had memories attached to pictures and things and I felt if I threw out a note from someone from 10 years ago, or a picture... then a piece of me would also be lost. Later in life this behavior spiraled out of control... in a self-destructive manner... but we are still talking about 8th grade....
  I had many friends in 8th grade.. especially for someone who had already moved 6 times by the time I was in 8th grade. Most of my friends however, were boys. I liked talking to them, they did not gossip, did not want to go shopping and liked to go down to the creek and fish or look for things. I became a bit socially withdrawn and did not go to many parties or events. I liked to stay home in my neighborhood or have people to my home. I also loved to read. Judy Blume was one of the first real chapter book authors I read. I read Are you there, God it's me Margaret? in 8th grade... You could hear me in my own private bathroom saying,
 I must ...I must.. I must... increase my bust... and trying to do exercises to pump up my breasts.. I was always an A cup... and in 8th grade I was no cup. I read Judy Blume's book Forever after the first book and wow... I had no idea... the book would be about that.... It was an eye opening experience. My mother talked about sex in our home.. often... and neither my father on weekends or my mother during the week was shy to discuss, being safe, what it's like and the enjoyment I would some day have from it.. I couldn't stand when they discussed it... but to this day... I think it's better to talk about it, and not make it taboo. I had not had any serious boyfriends or even been interested in sex by 8th grade, call me a late bloomer... My locker did not adorn any  posters from Teen Beat... boys or "men". I was just interested in staying fit, getting a tan ((not on my face), swimming  and exercising my mind by reading. ( the above picture is me in my third or fourth apartment in my 20's... still having problems with my clothes....hoarding) ( incidently this year- 2010 I finished my last year of DBT Dialectical behavior therapy- which helped me kick my hoarding habits) I am much better at organizing closets... and not collecting things.. but I need to remind myself often... when out ... and want to buy something... or if someone is getting rid of something.. not to say,'yes, because I can use it or make something out of it....I tell them to donate it to a church or charity.
  So eight grade did not bury me alive... and all in all I enjoyed 8th grade, even with a new house, new pets, and a new step-father.


Crystal said...

My grandma was a pack rat- mostly pictures and family momentos, and that has certainly passed to me. I don't think its an issue now as much as just a pain when I was in school. I had a walk-in closet that was overflowing with clothes and other odds and ends which I regularly purged of stuff to keeo it from getting any crazier! I still won't throw away pictures, but moving around and living in apartments with no storage space, has definitely helped me learn to keep it in check as an adult!
Wow, I had never heard that hoarding or being a pack rat could be a genetic thing. Interesting!

Anonymous said...

enjoyed visiting your site, great job

Holly said...

Hi my friend...I have been missing in Action. Thankfully not because the craft supplies in my garage fell on my head. You are making me have flashbacks here - so much of what you talk about in the 80's is familiar. I totally believe hoarding is about so much more than stuff and a little ADD mixed in...I just cannot make up my mind...I hoard, I cleanse (but never enough to be on one f the shows! - The house is is the garage!).

I didn't even recognize your blog!

cheri said...

Janna said...

I really enjoy your story telling. I think girls this age always seem to cover their wall in something.

I found the story/description of your step-father very alive.

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