Third Mental Break

Life can build up slowly to a load roar. What were once soft murmurs of life’s day-to-day struggles can become a deafening roar without you ever remembering the volume increasing.

It seemed one day that my ears burst with the noise of my life. The constant struggle with this thing or that thing became a heavy burden that crumpled my mind. It was done; time to shut down; not really wanting death, but the release of sleep would be just fine. A long, deep sleep, with the promise of better on the other side. A week might be enough, maybe two would be better.

A phone call ending in sobbing tears, and an admission that made my soul scream and my heart feel like it was being ripped from its position in my chest. I let the words I had been feeling – for what I realized was probably months – fly from my mouth. “I want Brian, Ella and Bre to leave. And I don’t want to want that!”

My mom swept down with the aid of a friend and I was taken to the local hospital. I handed over my phone, my purse, and my responsibilities to the promise in her voice that it would all be taken care of. I had to take care of me if I were to remain to even see the pieces of what would be left after this.

This would be my first time in a mental health facility. And I must say, it was not what I expected. The people were nice, but firm. My first 24-48 hours was probably like most peoples’. I was lost, I was weepy, I took Ativan for the first time in my life. I reorganized their entire pile of mixed up puzzle pieces, broken crayons, and coloring sheets. I was started on a sleep aid and I did need it there, as it was never dark, and I shared a room with 5 other girls and their bathroom schedules.

It was day 3 when I could start to think about the pieces of my life. What pieces would I be able to pick up where I had left them and what pieces needed to be left on the ground? I made 10-minute phone calls, attempting to unstress and adjust to medication, while trusting others to put my puzzle together from 3 hours away.

My household turned into an upheaval of stress, fights, and arguments. You see, Tanya had gone away. That person that never said “No” and ran around fixing the sinking ship was gone. The ship was sinking, and the passengers noticed that they were actually in a hurricane. It didn’t help that the 1st mate was telling everyone that the caption had abandoned ship. No one would believe her because Captains do not abandon ship.

When my time was up at the mental health facility, I still refused to come home. I had made some hard, but firm decisions and new I would crumble if I went back home straight away. That the soft murmurs would pull me back down into their rhythm and I wouldn’t notice the roaring again until it was to late. I escaped to my sister’s house, where I remained for about 2 weeks.

Things are still not were they should be, even 2 months after my release. I am still ridden with guilt that I will probably never get over. While I only “abandoned” my birth children for a little while, they have now seen that I am a fragile shell that can be lost. My stepchildren, (I cringe to even call them that. I working so hard throughout the years to make no difference in my heart between birth and non-birth children) have seen that I was incapable of giving them the time, energy and bits of myself I so badly wanted to give them. I failed them, and for Ella that is two mothers failed. She needed me not to fail.

I have a new job. I tried to choose one without death.

I have a new lover, a partner, an old love that was easily rekindled into the burning flame that was there years ago. I feel in love and scared out of my mind at the thought. I chose Brain because being in love is not always a good thing. I was never “in love” with Brain. You lose control in love. You lose yourself in love. You lose who you were and become someone new and sometimes that person is not who you thought you were. In love is terrifying and joyful and passionate, and I am lost.

Unsteady from the start

In this blog I am going to talk about my abuse and how it affects my life now, but I want everyone to understand that how I am now is not shaped by only the abuse I suffered at the hand of Crawford. My young life was filled with ups and downs. I sometimes wonder if my earlier childhood or my emotional instabilities helped Crawford single me out as someone more easily victimized.

I was born to two 17-year old’s and while I don’t remember anything from that time period my mother has told me stories. Everything was not happy and stable. My father was jealous of the attention I received over him. He spent money at the video arcade, even if that meant us doing without. He pinched me when I sang. He didn’t care whether my mother was in the mood for sex or not.

My memories start around the age of 4. I knew who my biological father was, but Mom was remarried to another man. We called him Daddy Scott. I remember some of the arguments Scott and Mom would have. There was a lot of shoe throwing from my Mom and one time a threat of self-harm from Scott that was burned into my young memory. There are also dozens of good memories from that time. Watching Dr. Who, my little brother being born, playing games with other children, washing dishes, my first kiss, tying my own shoes, learning how to whistle and more.

I received my first kiss when I was 5 years old from another 5-year-old. It was a French kiss. We were hiding in a closet in my bedroom. We were laying down facing each other. We started smooching and then he stuck his tongue in my mouth. I asked him what he was doing. His response was, “Counting your teeth”. I look back and think now that someone must have been doing that to him; or else how would he have known?

I had discovered the joy of my own body parts by this time, and I remember masturbating a lot.

Mom and Scott’s relationship eventually broke apart and there was another divorce. I don’t know all the details or remember them. Scott got custody of my little brother, and Mom got my sister and myself. We went to live in a trailer behind my maternal grandfather’s house.

I have a lot of memories from that trailer even though we only lived there a short time. Mom started dating a woman. I don’t remember having any questions about it. I simply accepted like any child whose head has not been filled with preconceived notions about what society says should and should not be.

That woman was my first role model, and I wanted to be just like her. She taught me how to do hand stands. We dressed in jeans and t-shirts. I learned cart wheels. I tried to learn how to pee standing up, but that didn’t work out so well.


I remember a little bit about the time I had my first mental breakdown. (Mental breakdown is a term I am using to describe a period of intense mental and emotional distress. I was unable to properly function in my day to day life.)

I’m unsure as to my exact age. We were kicked out of the trailer and my sister and I went to stay with my paternal Grandparents. I’m going to guess that I was around 8 years old. I remember crying uncontrollably and for seemingly no reason. I cried in school a lot. My teacher would tell me to go wash my face.

My mother has since told me that she took me to see the therapist she was seeing.  He told her that I needed to be back with her. My mother quit the tech school she had started so to better herself, got a job and got a government apartment so we could all go live together again.

Mom dated a woman when we lived in the government apartment. She had seizures, though some of them were faked. A man came into our apartment one day. A stranger and started beating the crap out of my mother’s partner. I still don’t know why, or who he was. I remember him storming in through the front door, hitting her with it as it swung open. If she hadn’t gotten to the bat we had in the pantry, he might have killed her. I ran to the neighbors yelling for them to call the police that a man was beating her up in our apartment.

Mom dated a man when we lived in the government apartment. He had a beautiful Doberman Pincer. We weren’t allowed to have pets, so I was supper excited when he brought him over. He was physically abusive to my Mom and to the dog. I watched him slam them both up against the wall at different times. I remember holding my mother around her chest as she screamed and cried hysterically, drool falling from her mouth. I know she wanted to speak to me, but nothing came out but screaming. I told her it was going to be okay. We were locked in the bathroom of our apartment. He proposed to her and put himself on our government apartment lease. He wouldn’t leave. It ended up that, while Mom never married him, she did have to get a divorce since Common Law Marriage was in affect at that time.

During our time in the apartment I “went with” a new boy every other week or so. I also got my first girl crush. I thought she was the sexiest thing ever. She lived in the apartment complex. There was another kid, a boy, that lived at the apartments complex. I switch back and forth “going with them,” like a yo-yo. I was their first kiss and yes, it was French kisses. We would hide anywhere we could for as long as we could.  Kissing was and still is my favorite thing to do. Toe curling, soft, moist, intimate, pleasure. I believe that if I had known how to go about having sex at that time, I would have gone all the way at 10 years old hiding in a fan fort in the back bedroom with either one of them. I had confidence, and I new I looked all that in my jeans and t-shirts.

Then came Crawford and my second mental breakdown.

The Fairy Tale

My mother meet Crawford Thomas Sparks when I was about 10 years old. He was a well-dressed, well spoken, older gentleman. He seemed pleasant and helpful. He was there to help my mother with the business aspect of a gay support group she was running.

He started hanging out more and wiggling his way into our life.  He would babysit us when Mom went out. We found out quickly you did as you were told, or you got a spanking when he was on watch. This was a vast change considering Mom let us get away with pretty much anything.

I’m not sure when friendship changed over to relationship. Soon there was talk about marriage and moving out of our government apartment to live with him in the Honey House.

The house got its nick name because Crawford had many honeybee hives on the property. He collected their honey and packaged it in bottles labeled Issaqueena Honey. As far as I know no business was ever had from the honey. We ate it ourselves over time. The bees were sold not to long after we moved there.

The Honey House was a little run down, but he promised to fix it up. It was going to be castle like. Each girl would have their own tower where the top floor reached the tree tops. We would live there forever bringing our spouses home instead of moving out to live with them. Our family would blend together into the ideal family and be together forever.

My mother and Crawford were married April 15th, 1992 in the forest on the Honey House property under a dogwood tree. The only others in attendance was Logan, my little brother; Wren, my little sister; Issaqueena, Crawford’s only child and 9 years my senior, and a preacher. We all dressed up with flowers in our hair. The wedding vows were changed upon Mom and Crawford’s behest to not say “Until death due us part”, but instead to say “forever”.