Updated: Aug 18, 2020
The saga continues...
Thelma spent her early years in a neglectful and abusive household from what she told me when I was a child. My mom would often remind me of how lucky I was and tell me of how her mother would lay on the couch all day eating candy that was never shared with her children and coloring in coloring books while little Thelma was made to tend to housework and babies that my maternal grandmother produced like a factory with her 3rd husband (though paternity in the family was often questioned) a blind TV repairman (he had literally had his eyes blown out of his head by a firework, no joke) and Ham radio enthusiast who had a penchant for mishandling children in all sorts of unseemly and awful ways. Why is it that people that don’t deserve to have children or are not capable of being kind often have a plethora of them?
Side note: My mother told me most of these stories from what she called her “wallow” a fitting name for the human sized divet in her own sofa. This is not a judgement, just pointing out the irony that can happen in ones life especially when you can’t see past your own sorrow and depression and the main counselor and support is your unqualified child.
I will share a couple of incidents from her earlier life, they are in no way everything but you can imagine how awful and scary living in this way would be for a child who knows no other way to exist.
One day Thelma threw up her oatmeal at the table, her mother told her that she would not be able to leave her chair until she ate her regurgitated breakfast, her older brother ate it so Thelma could finally leave the table, she was never able to stomach oatmeal ever again. Her stepfather got angry at Thelma another time and picked her up by the hair and punched her while she swung in his grasp. When he tried to rape her (I believe she was around 14) she ran away. Thelma turned herself into Juvenile Detention Hall, her mom showed up with another baby and wanted her to come home to tend to him, Thelma declined and opted to go into the foster care system, a brave and wise choice in my opinion but a decision that would forever leave her with a sense of guilt that she did not stay to protect her younger siblings.
I am not sure when Thelma started going by the name “Teddie” but I assume she may have chosen or was given that moniker around the time she went into the system. I don’t know too much about this time except there were at least a couple of different homes and she went to a couple of different high schools. She dodged perverts and experienced kindness (not in the same house) she also learned about brushing her teeth and met a boy who she would get together with a couple of times throughout her life and would have a starring roll in some awful shit that would happen later.
When Teddie was around 16 her dad contacted her and brought her to South Dakota to live on the Air Force base with him, his lovely wife (who I recognize as my true grandmother) and their two sons. This time in Teddie’s life was a golden one, she would often tell me of shenanigans with girlfriends, ragers that she threw (almost) unbeknownst to her parents (if it wasn’t for that missed hole with an empty beer can in it that had been punched through the wall) or different boys she dated. My mom loved telling me of the story where she got in a car accident, ended up in the hospital and 3 boys that she was dating simultaneously and unbeknownst to them, showed up at the same time (later 2 of them came back, this made her quite giddy).
Teddie loved this family but I think she always felt that they couldn’t really love her, a feeling of unworthiness. she convinced the woman who truly was a mother to her to have another baby, which she did, a sister. Teddie started college and was engaged to a man in the Air Force, my mom showed me a picture of him when I was in grade school, he was coldly handsome, she said that after her older sister came to visit and he had met her he had decided he wanted to break up because my aunt was overweight and he was afraid Teddie would get fat, however he raped her before saying goodbye... Yeah, rape seems to be a theme. Most of her other stories about her time in South Dakota with her dad and that side of her family were idyllic and full of longing, it was a place where she shined. When her dad gave her a gift of a one-way ticket back to Portland, instead of thinking that he wanted her to come back home when she wanted, she took it to mean that he was rejecting her again, that he wanted her to go away and not come back, and so she did. She wouldn’t go back to the happiest place that she would ever live until her second husband and 9 years of me later but we will get to that another day.
That’s all for now.
Until next time ❤️
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