A House Is Not A Home

Growing up in a family with 7 kids, I was next to the youngest. I grew up in a very dysfunctional family if you can really call it a family. With so many people around, I felt very alone. I really feel like we were just all living under the same roof. There didn't seem to be any love, shared meals or goodnights. The words "I love you" were never spoken. and I felt like it was "every man for himself".

My oldest sister is the most immature of all of us. She got pregnant at 18 and married quickly I think at some courthouse while we were at school. There was no wedding. She had the baby and lived close by in an apartment. I would walk there after school (I was 6). Then another year or 2 later, her husband was sent to prison for some theft. She was expecting again and moved back home with us. Needless to say, she grew up (?) resentful, feeling cheated by life, very petty, blaming everyone. I remember a lot of yelling and cussing in the house. My mother was the babysitter so she would run around with her friends from high school. She eventually moved out and got another apartment.

My mother died a few years later, I was twelve. She had a cerebral hemorrhage that led to a stroke. A machine was doing the breathing for her. We were all home when the hospital called at 6pm to say she died. My father had to go to the hospital, and for some reason I went with him. When we got there, she was in bed wearing a white sheet up to her chest. I started crying and my father said "What are you crying for?" (my mother just died, and was dead in front of me!)

After the funeral and weeks after visiting relatives left, I took it upon myself to start washing dishes, cleaning, and doing the laundry (all the things Mom used to do). We went to eat out a lot, Dad cooked on weekends, no one spoke or comforted anyone and Dad really did nothing to keep Mom's memory alive.

In September I started 7th grade and met my first boyfriend. We went steady until the summer (coincidentally until day Mom had died). I continued to do the chores I had taken up. All my friends had their mother, I was the only one who didn't. I felt that the experience of losing my mother aged me and made me very responsible and not a carefree giggly teenager.

I went to school every day, did homework until all hours of the night. I would wake up in the middle of the night to either do homework, projects, or study for a test. My boyfriend would walk me home everyday, and we would sit on the sofa and listen to music. Very innocent stuff (thank God). We didn't really talk, just sit kiss and change songs on the record player.

At the time when he stopped calling me, I just accepted it. No crying or stuff. Just a quiet acceptance. Since my mother died, I guess losing him seemed kinda natural.

Well the rest of my early teens was pretty much the same way. I remember I would regularly read the obituaries! I didn't really get asked anywhere very much, maybe because I was more mature, serious, and didn't really know how to have fun. This continued until the summer of 10th grade.


invisible321 invisible321
51-55, F
1 Response Jan 18, 2013

wow just wow.... great heartfelt story invisible....
I do understand growing up in a household where the words "Ilove you" were never heard. I sure as hell make up for it now, I tell my kids everyday, yes every single day. You really can't hear or say those words enough or too much to anyone :)

I hope you take time for yourself now. We should all put ourselves first every once in a while

Hello my friend,
I was determined to do the opposite of everything I grew up with (without).
Change begins with us. Takes strength to break the cycle.

yes that is what I have been trying to do since I left home.