Short Story of My Life – The Daydreamer

Last term I took a writing class and we were given the chance to write our own essays. My ended up being 20 pages long and I always thought while writing it how I’d eventually end up saving it on my blog. It’s almost my birthday and what better way to celebrate than with the story of my life. Written by me! If you actually read it, thank you for taking the time.

The Daydreamer (part 1)

Growing up, I never understood why exactly I was different than the other kids. I knew something was different and knew I didn’t have my own parents, but I never felt that different until I entered fourth grade.
In the winter of 1985, I was born, a dreamer from the start. I had two parents. Michael and Martha Lesney, who were married years earlier. I was their fifth child. By the time I was born their marriage had started to dissolve and there wasn’t much time for the five children they had brought into this world. Seventeen months later there would be drastic implications because of their irresponsibility, I was granted as a ward of the state of Oklahoma and went on to live in foster care. I didn’t know much about what was happening at the time, other than the fact that I still had my sister Amanda.
She and I have always been together, she’s always been the one constant thing in my life. I remember bits a pieces about those years, swinging on swings with my sister, running in the grass; she tells me stories about how I used to eat ants. Most of my memories are brought on by photographs or stories that are told to me. Many of which I dream are good ones, I know those are only in my dreams. Most of my days were filled with empty promises, new homes, new families, and new children to play with. Robbie was a sweet kind elderly woman, but she ruled the home with a heart of gold and the discipline of a soldier. Of my first memories was a fall night in which my sister and I decided to open up one of our oversized stuffed animals and string its contents around our bedroom. After the tantrum I threw the entire night, Robbie placed me outside in the backyard for punishment. To this day there was no rhyme or reason for it, being three years old I don’t see how I could make anything of this situation. Amanda talked to me through our bedroom window allowing me to feel like everything would be alright. And it was.
Looking back I don’t remember most of my first seven years of life. In 1989 I finally had a real family. My uncle had promised my father years before that he would take my sister and me to live with him. My father always had this hope, that one day we’d all be together again. My aunt and uncle had trouble conceiving years before and I was supposed to be adopted by them at the time of my birth. My mother always had this hope that we’d stay together as a family so when I was born she couldn’t let me go. My aunt and uncle did end up conceiving one child, my brother Joshua.
Life in the 80’s was pretty normal, my parents provided us with a lifetime of memories. I knew they weren’t my real parents they were my aunt and uncle, yet somehow I longed that they were mine. I grew up in an upper class community, where all the houses were perfect, the families were perfect, and their lives were perfect. I wanted to have that. In many ways I did, I had two loving caring people in my life who gave up so much to have me in theirs. There still was this empty place. My dreams couldn’t materialize my own family, happy and perfect like everyone else. My dreams were just that, only a daydream. A moment of time in which everything was what I had wanted it to be, normal. Who were my parents, and why couldn’t they be here?
My biological father always tried, I give that to him. I knew who he was. He came to visit when I was in second grade, of course turning my already fragile life upside down. I would daydream in class about him coming to my upcoming “Three Little Pigs” play where I played the third pig. He’d watch on and be so proud of me. I would daydream about him taking my sister Amanda and I away and we’d live in this big house together. I have always been a dreamer. It’s part of who I am so when he left I continued to dream. He’d be back, that’s for sure.
When I started fifth grade life was pretty much back to normal. I was quickly headed to the ragged teenager I would become, except this time my father came back. He had come to live with us in California from his home in Florida. He left his new family, new child, to finally be with us again. Trying to escape a situation he had and finally trying to better his life. My parents wanted my dad to live his dreams, to have his family and children and they allowed him to return to our home. See they are very forgiving people, too had dreams. They wanted us to be happy, because for so long they watched me live with this empty piece. Their heart had always been in a place of peace, not counting on daydreams but living in the reality of what our life was. I could see hope in their eyes, ready to let us go when the time came. Together again as a family we would all be in our rightful spots in the world. My father quickly fell into old patterns, going out at night and working hard during the day. I think because he was working my parents let him get away with a lot. They had never known how to deal with an addict. How could they control this foreign man? The day my father came I remember coming home from school anxious to see the man of my dreams.
The moment he arrived I remember my mom went out on our front porch to talk to him; she set some ground rules telling him he was not going to control us. The concern was written all over her face; here he was again turning our life upside down. My sister and I still needed some sort of sense of normalcy. It all played out so differently in my dreams.
From that moment on my father came and went. He helped build a house down the street from ours and my parents seemed so proud of him. My underlying hate for him growing stronger by the day, I let him know at every point I could just how much he hurt me. All the while I just wanted to be normal. I wanted him to be normal. To love me. To hold me.
One night he drank too much. My sister and I were asleep when he came in the door. My father was constantly looking for guidance, always trying to please someone else hoping it would help him find is happiness. His dreams of what could be always overpowered his life. That night he went up and woke up my parents who were fast asleep. I remember feeling afraid as he started to yell “I am not an animal” the words ringing in my ears as I can still hear them today.
The day he died will live with me forever, even more so then they day my parents left. I, to this day can still smell the autumn breeze that was blowing that day. If I had known what would happen that very day the cool breeze would have overshadowed my father’s scent. He smelt of beer and cigarettes and the greasy hair product he had used that morning. I had gone asking for the treat he had promised me without thinking these would be the last moments I would ever see my father.
I left to school that day feeling triumphant; I had won the battle that morning. I had my candy, to which I would never eat again. That day was a good one for me, that piece of normal had seemed to seep through. This could be it! My dreams could come true.
Overly excited about our day Amanda went to go wake up our father, when she came back her face was a shade of pale yellow. “I think he’s dead.” Amanda said.
Amanda had always promised we’d be okay but now everything was gone.
He was gone. My dreams were gone.

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Comments

  1. Eileen says

    I had no idea what you had gone through as a child. We as readers who do not know bloggers personally have this perception of what each person is and was…what they must be like. I am so sorry you had to go through this. I myself went though childhood with a parent addicted to alcohol and it is tough to mourn a “NORMAL” childhood. I am looking forward to reading the second part of your life…the part where you found yourself and found happiness in your family and the sister that you still hold dear. I can surely tell with the pain and then the wonder of the gifts you ‘found’ at last, why you and Amanda are such great writers and have such an understanding of other’s feelings.

    I know you have found new dreams to dream, Kristin and that is the amazing part of being given EACH new day!

  2. Amanda @MommyMandy says

    First off cleaning up the bear mess was not fun. Those darn little piles haunt me today, how about when we took our tapes and pulled them all out and wrapped them around our swing set. We definitely were create kids and had to do everything together.

    It’s interesting how different we saw our dad, yet our dream was to just be a happy family together. Oct.2 is a day that I’ll never forget, I was still so angry at him for running my birthday party. During the entire party I kept saying “no, we can’t my dad isn’t here yet”, luckily Aunt Chris has a way with words that are soothing and trusting and promised he would be there as soon as he could.

    The last memory I have of him is one I don’t want. I want to remember the super fun times in his huge truck driving to the store to pick up goodies for us.

    Eileen- you are absolutely right, instead of us acting like the victims and saying “why me” we would rather help others not have to go through pain, we do understand other’s feelings more than maybe others would.

    While there was some pretty crappy parts in our life, I am very thankful for the life I had, growing up with AC & UJ we had much more than most kids, while it seemed unfair a lot of the times, I am glad AC was the way she saw, because it has only made us better parents. I use a lot of the lessons I learned growing up with my girls.

    I could write a novel, but I gotta get the kiddos to school.

    Your amazing and have come such a long way! You have completely turned your life into a wonderful little life, both you and Del have taught each other a lot and in all honesty I can see the change in him (and you) because of you.. and my beautiful nieces.

    I love this post and can’t wait to read more, maybe I’ll write one myself. But I never realized how some of this pain is still raw. Reading a part made me feel like a helpless 12 year old again. It was a time I had no idea how to comfort you and for once I couldn’t tell you it was going to be ok. Your heart was crushed and I don’t think any of us could make you feel ok.

  3. Anne Taylor says

    Thankyou for sharing that with us; it brought me to tears….beautiful

    I look forward to reading more of your story!

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