Dream Journal 4/2/2016

My mother and I were on our way to my great-aunt’s funeral (she is still alive in real life). The funeral went by quickly, with people coming up to us and giving us their condolences, and hugging my mom, who was very close to her. My mom and I were talking about spending the week at my grandmother’s apartment with her (she is actually dead, so…) to make sure that she was okay, and I argued that there was no way that the three of us would survive a week in her one bedroom, efficiency-style apartment.

We went anyway. At my grandmother’s apartment, she informed us that we would have to share the love seat in the living room, or sleep on the floor, because there was nowhere else to sleep. My mom got angry and stormed out, and my grandmother sat in her chair by the living room window and lit up a cigarette. I walked out of the apartment and went to explore the building.

My grandmother’s building was exactly the same as it was in real life. She lived on the top floor of a six story apartment building, filled with mostly elderly people, or low-income families. The building was shaped like a “U”, with a courtyard in the center, which was mostly used for smoking. The hallways were as dark as I remember, and a bit gloomy, and I walked up and down the back stairwells, just like when I was a kid. On the floor below my grandmother’s, I stopped to watch a maintenance man unload pallet after pallet of colorful Room Essentials towels from Target, all unwrapped and stacked randomly, which made me cringe.

Blue yellow green yellow blue red pink pink yellow blue green white red…

Something like that.

I stood there and watched him for a while, before returning to my grandmother’s apartment. When I walked in, I found her lying on the living room floor, lifeless. I stood over her, just staring, until my mother came back. She saw her on the floor, and screamed. She started telling me to do something, and I just shrugged and told her to try CPR, but that I doubt it would work, as she was already blue-tinged and cold. She kept yelling at me to do something, so I picked up the phone and called 9-1-1. While I was on the phone with them, my mom left again.

I hung up the phone and walked to the fridge, looking for something to eat. It was filled with grapefruit halves, a half gallon of milk, and coffee creamer. Just like I remember. On her kitchen table was a large, brown paper bag, which was filled with various takeout containers. I opened the top one, which had two large, meaty sandwiches in it. There was a sticker on the container dated from almost a month prior. My mom walked back in just then, and I asked her if she thought the sandwiches were okay to eat, and she knocked the container out of my hands. We stared at each other for a while, then she left again, slamming the door behind her. I picked up the fallen sandwiches, and the brown bag, and placed it all in the kitchen sink.

That is all I remember before I woke up. I vaguely remember something about Jurassic Park, but I don’t know why.

200 Followers

Hello, you beautiful people! I just wanted to take a second to thank you all so much for all of the comments, constructive criticism, personal stories, advice, and laughter that you have shared with me these last few months. Today, I hit 200 followers on this little blog, and I could honestly cry.

I’ve started, trashed, and restarted blog after blog after blog, never feeling like anything that I wrote mattered, or that I would ever get anywhere. 200 followers is just a small milestone in the grand scheme of things, but it is huge to me. Even if you are only here for my daily prompts, or my occasional baby toy reviews, or my rants about social media drama, you have helped me overcome so much when it comes to my writing, how I express myself, and things going on in my life, and I owe you so much for that.

So, thank you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to each and every one of you who have ever glanced at the words that I’ve typed out. I’m just an average girl, living an average life, and the fact that anyone takes any interest in that is mind blowing to me.

You are all amazing, and I look forward to sharing more of my life and stories with you in the future.

Stay awesome, friends.

Jan

Random Prompt | Siblings

“What does having siblings mean to you?”

Talking about my family is, and has always been, a weird topic for me. I’m more than open about all aspects of my life, the good and the bad, but there is something about talking about my family that is weird. I guess I just think my family is a bit weird?

I consider myself as having 6 siblings (some by blood, others by marriage, or something else), though I’ve never really felt a connection with any them. This might be because I haven’t seen any of them in anywhere from 8-18 years (with the exception of my youngest sister, who I saw in 2012 when she was a year old). I’ve spoken to a few of them somewhat recently, but it never seems to go over well. I’ve always wanted to feel that bond that you’re supposed to feel with your partner in crime, your first best friend, your brother or sister. But, it will never happen for me. Get ready, this post is about to take all kinds of turns.

I always claimed to be an only child, despite having a pocket full of sibling-esque people in my life. My mom and my dad had me, and only me, together. During the brief that time my mom and dad were together, my dad cheated on her with another woman, and got her pregnant, resulting in my older half-brother, Dustin.

28131_1295500467094_4299832_n

Dustin is exactly 8 months older than me, and is now 26 and living with his mom is Florida. He has been in and out of jail several times in his life already, and has two baby boys named Phoenix and Ryker, my handsome nephews, who he never sees, because he is a deadbeat, just like our dad. I will probably never meet them. I haven’t seen Dustin since we were 6 or 7 years old (whenever that picture was taken), and I intend to keep it that way.

In 2008, and every few years since, he added me on Facebook and gushes about how much he loves me, and how much I mean to him, despite the fact that we have been nonexistent in each other’s lives since… ever. We talk for a couple of days, maybe a few weeks, before he snaps, and says or does something completely stupid, causing me to sever ties with him. Again. Examples include beating his girlfriend/mother of his sons, stalking my fiance and pulling the “big brother” card (a.k.a. inserting himself into my relationship and threatening my partner if he ever hurts me, etc.), or writing me letters from prison, asking me to “hook him up” with one of my hot friends so he can get nudes. Yeah. The guy is a winner. We’re currently not speaking. Moving on!

My mom met a guy named Larry when I was very young, maybe in kindergarten or first grade? Larry has a son who is two months older than me, also named Lawrence (though we always called him Michael growing up, but he has since changed it back). My mom moved us into Larry’s trailer in the woods very early into their relationship, and my life changed completely. They are still together, but were never married, so we actually aren’t technically related, though I still refer to him as my step-brother. Some days, it was neat having someone my age to play with, except for the fact that Lawrence was a spoiled rotten terror who made my life a living hell most days. Things got better as we got older, after I gave him several ass kickings for being a dick to me. We would watch WWE together, jump on the trampoline, and secretly watch South Park when my mom wasn’t home. We even had a few of the same friends in school, and sometimes hung out together. By the time we got to high school, we were almost friends. Until I caught him spying on me getting dressed one day after a shower by sliding the shiny side of a DVD above my bedroom door. We were 18 and had just graduated high school. I told my mom, who shrugged it off and said, “He used to do that to me when he was younger.” and that was that. Luckily, I left for college a week later. I haven’t spoken to him since.

*Sigh*

And now, for some of the sadder stuff.

In 2004, when I was almost 14 years old, my grandmother came to visit from Florida, and took me to visit my dad. This came as quite a shock to me, because I was not aware that he was out of prison, and hadn’t seen him in several years. What was even more shocking, however, was that he had had a baby with a woman who was just a few years older than me (she was 21 when I was 14), and I had a new baby sister named Desiree.

My dad’s girlfriend, Anthena, also had two other girls named Brianna and Miranda, who were around 7 and 9 at the time, who were from two previous relationships (yes, she had them both as a teenager). My dad and Anthena never got married, but I always considered these two girls to be my sisters, even in the short time we knew each other. I mean, my dad did ruin all of our lives, so it made sense.

In the same year, my dad and the girls were evicted, and moved into a campground. Child Protective Services got involved, and found that my dad and his girlfriend were doing heroin, among other things, and that some really, really bad stuff had happened because of it. The three girls were taken from them, and my dad went back to jail. Luckily, all 3 girls were adopted by the same woman and her husband, who have treated them very well. Miranda and Brianna legally changed their names in the adoption process, but Desiree did not. I tried to see them in 2012 when I went back home to visit my mom, but my grandmother told me that I couldn’t. She told me that Desiree, who was going on 9 years old at the time, wouldn’t understand who I was, because she didn’t understand adoption. Yet, she seemed to have no problem understand who our grandmother was… I was also informed that the younger of the two girls was living in an institution for children, and I couldn’t see her. Both of the older girls have since sought me out on Facebook, and we talk occasionally. I haven’t seen any of them since 2008, when I went to Desiree’s birthday party at her adoptive family’s house.

28131_1295502667149_3234609_n

And lastly, we have the youngest, Makaela. Makaela is also my dad and Anthena’s daughter, conceived after the other girls were taken away, and my dad got out of jail. And, just like the others, she was taken away after they both violated their probation and sold/did illegal drugs around the baby, after swearing up and down that they were going to get clean. I met Makaela in 2012 when I went to Maine, and fell in love with her.

11133757_10204092515972661_1696958399865951730_n

Makaela has since been adopted by a loving family. Much like the family of the other girls, her family talks to my grandmother regularly, sharing stories and pictures. My grandmother keeps me in the loop as well. She is 5 years old now, plays soccer, and loves dancing.

12434219_10206892203161662_615786261_n

I hope to meet her again someday, though I’m sure it is unlikely.

So, you can see why the topic of family and siblings is a bit of a downer for me. It makes me so sad that so many people take their relationships with their brothers and sisters for granted, when it could be so much worse. I would love to have a positive, involved relationship with all of Liam’s aunties and uncles… but it just doesn’t seem possible.

And now I’m sad.

Thanks for reading.

Jan