I have tried many times over the years to create a timeline starting with major events to chronicle my life.
To remember so many significant events all at once is hard to process, But something in me feels the need; the drive to get it all out, to come clean. I feel these secrets are mine, dirty and tattered as they are. But, they are my memories, the responsibility of the secrets does not belong to me. They are not my demons.
Day 1. Age: 0
Throughout my childhood it was always my grandmother that told me the story of my birth with a reverent glow in her eyes. As an adult I was curious as to why my mother never looked back on that memory with nostalgia, but I guess the answer to that is to come.
My grandparents waited in the lobby as my mother was in the room preparing to give birth to me. My papa went to get coffee and as he rounded the corner to the waiting room he could see nanny crying.
This is the part of the story where papa always interrupted nanny and said, ” my heart sank. I thought something was wrong”.
He ran to her and she wailed “we have a girl. My sweet Colie. Jim, we have a girl!”
Whenever I managed to pry information out of my mother about my birth all she could remember was that I got stuck in her ribs.
I retell these events as they were passed down to me because at 30 years old, I can now see the irony. The stage was set and my birth was an indication of all the things to come.
When I got pregnant at 16 my mother confessed to at least one abortion. My family suspected 2 more. I felt lucky to be alive after hearing that and understood why I always felt rejected by her; I was never wanted to begin with.
I think God took pity on me by giving some sort of foundation with my grandmother. She not only loved me, she protected and defended me. She was a sturdy tree amidst the tornado that was my mothers neurosis.
The characters came into play with the stage being set. Here I was, a Cinderella of sorts. Treated like an outcast by a mother who saw me as a thorn in her side; loved only by the hated grandmother. Hated because of a child’s love; jealousy was my mothers defining trait. The one thing that would eventually be her undoing.