Friday, April 8, 2011

Plains was the best of times and the worst of times in my childhood.

When we had moved to Plains we had moved five times since leaving Grangeville. We left Grangeville in December of 1970 and arrived in Plains in February of 1972. We had been to Arizona and back, we had gone from a large group of 10 close families at our Church, in Grangeville, that did lots of things together to new possibilities. We had been used to playing at each others homes, our parents had card parties, potlucks, just normal families that cared about each other. Plains was a move of new hope. My dad had a friend that lived there and was his new supervisor. He had know him in the Bitterroot. My mom had not know his wife. He had 4 sons and two daughters. His oldest daughter was one day older than me, we had actually been born in the same hospital and had been in the same hospital ward, but our moms had not meant.

She and I became fast immediate friends, our moms did not. My mom did not make alot of friends in Plains, a few good ones, but not like she had had in Grangeville. She began in gossip to us children about the ones she did have, she was nice to them but once they left she said bad things about them. I as a child didn't really understand this, I do know as an adult the patterning  I had learned when she did this took along time to change. I had to learn not to gossip, not be angry and not to take everything personally, I struggle with it to this day and asked the Lord to help me be a better person on a daily basis. I am happy to say I have mostly over come these bad habits. My mother had always treated her sister-in-laws this way but this was new for her to do with friends. My mother gave birth to my sister, Drama Queen, shortly after we moved to Plains. She had been really sick at the end of the pregnancy, she spent most of it in bed and would only drink Coke and not eat anything. She gave birth at home, just as she had with, Little Sister. My mother may have had post partum depression, in hindsight I believe she did, but it didn't help us as children. My mother had probably spent the prior six year in depression from her parents death but this was different.

My mother at best is a very private, non-affectionate person, at worst is verbally abusive and mean. She is a two sided person, to the public she is the most lovely person you have ever meant, the joy people take in my mother has always brought me a sense of pride. She can actually be screaming violently at you and get a phone call and answer it as an angel. She would use a whole weeks food budget to take something nice to a potluck, so people would praise her for it, but we would eat very little all week to make up for it. I love one of the dishes she made more than any other dessert but have never made it, it brings back to many sad memories. I have never purchased a package of macaroni as an adult, I have eaten more macaroni and tomatoes as our only food to last a life time. My mother has never taken responsibility for anything in her life, it was always some one else's fault. My father was always wrong, he always had to bend to her will, he always did and does because he loves her and knows no other way. If you cross my mother it is never pleasant. I never really did until I was 38 and it was finally time to stand up and be my own person. She has never loved me the same since or forgiven me. I am now useful if I have something she wants but expendable if I do not.

My brothers, not all and I won't say who,  were sexually assaulted by my friends brother when when they were between the ages 3 to 9. The molester was 14 at the time. When my parents found out a couple of years later it was not about how do we help these kids, all of them, including the molester, it was how do we hide this from the public. My mother ranted about homosexuals, and the man that had done this to her. She, shortly after finding out, actually adopted the youngest son to my aunt, yes my aunt loved him and in many ways it was better for him but my mom was more worried about him molesting the younger girls than anything else. She had been mean to him ever since Little Sister was born and this ended any love she had for him. One of my other brothers, that mom had a lesser bond with, became lesser in her eyes as well. They had told the father of the boy, he did not get the boy help either, he did however kill himself within 10 years. The boy himself had issues, abused his wife, lost her;  died of a heart attack by age 28, my mother danced with joy the day he died.

My sister was molested by a family member shortly after the boys were molested, she never told anyone, she had seen what had happened with the boys. My mother found out when my sister was an adult, she viciously accused my sister of enjoying it and asking for it, my sister had been 11. I was molested by a man that I baby sit for when I was 14, I did not tell my mother, but had made the mistake of writing it in a diary. My mother read it to all of my siblings as entertainment. I haven't written a personal journal about my life since, until now.

Plains was a wonderful place to grow up. We loved school, we loved the people we, all of us older kids, consider it our childhood home. We didn't get to go to church on Sunday there, there wasn't our church there, but I did get to go to the youth group of a different church and loved it. The minister of the youth group actually married Poppie and I.

My mom had always been jealous of anyone that got to close to my father, she destroyed his relationship with his favorite sister and fought with her for years. She saw that my father and I had politics, love of history and higher education in common, when I get to close to dad, she purposely does her best to destroy or keep the relationship apart. I am probably the most like my father of all my siblings and that doesn't always sit well with my mother. I don't want to end today's blog with the thought that I don't love my mom, I do, she is my mom, I am alot like her, sometime too much. I do know that I am not the mother to my children my mother was to me, yes, I taught all of them to cook, household crafts but I taught them to be their own whole persons. I enjoy their Independence's and successes. I love that they all love me and say they do, they are comfortable hugging and being hugged. I truly do love the one that is mad at me and she even knows she is welcome home for the asking. My children all find my mother to quote them "crazy" but they had her as a grandmother and know what she is capable of. I always try to find the good in her to be with, it is there.

The past is just that, the past, and can't be changed, yesterday is history but even to this day visiting with my mom is always a surprise, she may love you or hate you depending on the day. Just this week I was told by two of my siblings, I have done something, only God knows what, and my mom is mad at me and trying to get them to hate me. I actually have only seen my mom twice, lately, once when I gave her Christmas gifts, and at my nieces baby shower, I sort of wonder what I could be in trouble for this time but as I have, really become an adult with my own life, am not going to dwell on why she is mad now. The bottom line is that in any family each has a truth, all the truths are each individual truths, it doesn't always match up exactly with the other family members truth but both are the truth; but almost always different degrees from each others truth. I come from a family of 14 truths...... tomorrow.


  1. courageous writing.

  2. I didn't mean to be anonymous

  3. I was always taught that there are 3 stories, mine yours and the exact truth somewhere in the middle. In our family growing up and now, though, my mom has always been the voice of reason. The one guaranteed to be honest,selfless and fair.(Though I never know of my dad lying in my lifetime either) We have all been led in greater truth because of her. I was in my 20's when I first realized that all parents did not walk in constant goodwill and truth toward their children. You and other friends have broadened my education about how parents sometimes behave. I know God uses all things to work for our good. I am grateful too. I have made so many mistakes parenting thus far, I am glad God has a plan to use them for good in my children. I am also glad He keeps encouraging me to do better. I so want as I know you do, to be a wholesome and loving influence on my children. We have to just keep on plugging and trusting God to help us :)


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