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Dada. Papa?

Clementine
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Joined: Apr 2010
Trudi made a comment on one of my layouts.,  she said that our dad must be so proud of us.   harty tee har har.    I come from a mixed up family with 12 children in all.  

Julie.  Helen.  and myself, We sisters are very close.   Even though Helen is nearly 12 years older then me and I am nearly 12 years older then Julie.   And we all have different dads.   We also have a lot of brothers thrown in the mix.   and 3 other sisters too.     Helens dad died in a logging accident.   Then came my dad.   He died in an airplane crash., but not before he fathered 6 children and abandoned them.    I still liked him though.    Julies dad who was my stepdad eventually shot himself .   One of our brothers (mostly Julies brother) also killed himself.  I won't say how.   Another of our beloved brothers accidently killed himself with drugs.    We've had a rough road.   But hurray for our histories ., they make us who we are!  

Anyway...  it was the mention of dads that sparked this story.    It's ok to laugh at the absurdity of some of these events.  

My little sister Julie was about 12 yrs.  old and had never dared bring any of her freinds home because Fred, her dad and my stepdad was a raging mean  alchoholic.   
One of her little freinds in particular kept asking why they always went to her house and not Julies house.  Julie always managed to avoid the subject until one day they were riding their bikes around the neighborhood and her little freind insisted that she wanted to see where Julie lived.   So peddle peddle to Julies house they go.    They pulled up and stopped their bikes in front of the house just in time to see my mom burst out of the front door running  with Fred poised in the doorway yelling and calling her a filthy name and he hurled a plate of spagetti at her.   

The girl never asked to come over again.  in fact her parents didn't LET her come over again.    
When we recall this incident we marvel at the timing.
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orachel
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Joined: Apr 2010
rofl...sad and tragic and funny all at the same time. I think we've all got a few gems like this in our family history.
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naughtsncrosses
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Joined: Apr 2010
I read somewhere that childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to recover from.  In many cases that's sadly true.

Clem, you've had it rough.  That you have made it through the other side says buckets about you and your love for your siblings - and I'm so glad you had at least two that you are close to.  Having an inner core makes life the more bearable - and if they understand what you're going through it's like going through a refiner's fire:  it makes you all the stronger.

BIG HUG!!
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Clementine
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
Hi Rachel    yes we all do have these gems in our family history. sure makes life interesting!   

I've heard that too Edeena.,  and another thing I've heard is that The Statute of Limitations on our childhood traumas has expired.    That saying helps me remember that life is to live NOW.  

I know  a woman here in our small town (Janey) ) who is very funny and upbeat and positive.   All of her brothers and sisters are funny and friendly too.   She told me some stories of home life while she was growing up.. all the while laughing about it., and I thought.... wow... that stuff is actually rather horrifying.   but funny none the less I guess.  

I believe children develop coping mechanisms,.
and to lift ones mind up above the din and look down upon the scene as a greek god might  ., and marvel at the crazy human antics is a pretty healthy way to cope.  

This woman told me that her mom and dad were always fighting and breaking up and getting back together.   they were both heavy drinkers.   One time her dad left and got another girl freind.. Because they all lived in the same small town the mother suffered anguish over this development.    But the dad and mom still played their little game of torturing each other and they still got together and had affairs even with his girlfreind in the picture.   

Well... it was Christmas time.    You know what happens at Christmas.   the family gets together!    Well dad invited mom over .. you know because he loved her and was stringing her along., and also because he had forgotten while being drunk that he had also invited his bimbo girlfreind over.    So boy oh boy were both women surprised to see the other there.    A fight broke out between them.    and it wasn't just a word fight.   Hair pulling.  kicking.  fists.  the works.   Jane laughs at the memory.    Her mother ended up in jail because the dad got shot in the leg with a gun the mother was waving around.    Some Christmas.   I thought Jane and her siblings should get a prize for being able to laugh about that one.
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eryn
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
wow. these stories make my childhood seem positively happy and normal...which it wasn't quite.
I love reading your stories Clementine...you have such a way with words and a positive attitude about the things that bring most of us down. hugs
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Fifi
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
There was a kit that came out recently titled "We all have a story to tell" or something like that!  I think that's a given for all of us, but some more than others.  If you have the right attitude and the drive you can make it, especially if there's a little humor thrown into the mix.  Surviving is a part of life...I think you should be the posterchild!  Duke Ellington used to sign his LPs "love you madly,"  I won't go that far, but I will say lovin' ya big time you wonderful survivor, you and your stories are the best and I'm sure we all appreciate the sharing.  Or, thanks for being you!  (((Hugs
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Clementine
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Joined: Apr 2010
Hi eryn.  what's normal?   It's all relative don't ya think?  There's no way anyone could have had a perfect childhood unless they had perfect parents and who's perfect on this screwed up world?    Our family was considered very poor and our mother would lose control regularly and be mean to us.    I'd look wistfully at families that had presents under Christmas trees and a father who went to work in the morning and actuallly came back home again in the evening and be kind of jealous.   But when I heard stories that came out of those perfect appearing homes I was agog.    Spankings?  premeditated?   wow.   I felt sorry for those kids.   I'd much rather have a mother who just went beserk.   At least I knew she didn't plan it.
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Clementine
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
My mom was married at the age of 16.    Grandma had a farmhouse and no way to make money after her husband -my grandpa who I never knew- kicked the bucket.  So she rented her  upstairs rooms to loggers.   One logger aged 25 or so took advantage of the fact that my little mama would sneek up the stairs to see him.   Well she got pregnant and they got married., but she was awfully young and so wouldn't stay with him and kept running back to the farm to grandma.  

Well... one day he says to mom and grandma... Lets go for a ride!!   He packs them up in his jalopy and he starts the engine but mom says Wait!  i forgot something!   She jumps out and runs up the stairs to get her scarf or whatever and lo and behold there was a fire in the closet.    Turns out her loving logger husband had intended to burn the house down.  Yep, if she won't stop running back to the farmhouse... he'd burn the damn farmhouse down!
He didn't last long though.   Mom had that baby (my sister Helen) and two months later poor Bill the logger was killed.   He was a tree topper.  In Washington state the trees were so tall that before they were cut down a very large portion on top had to be cut off first.   His job was to climb up there and do it.  Well I won't bother telling you about the accident because you'd have to understand the many ways trees can act after being cut.
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eryn
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Joined: Apr 2010
You should write a book Clementine..seriously.
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Kazadoodle
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Joined: Apr 2010
Clementine, your childhood sounds as dysfunctional as mine.

I won't share here, as it's your corner, but safe to say, it was a trip.
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Clementine
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Joined: Apr 2010
Actually Kazadoodle.,  i'd preferr it not be my corner., but OUR corner.
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Clementine
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Joined: Apr 2010
I feel rather self conscious talking like this.   but what the heck.   my daughter Hanna has been on me for years to tell her stories about myself and my family. her ancestors.  She wanted me to get to it!  before i got senile.   ha ha.   well too late.  

This comes to mind..
Before my dad left for good he just kept leaving.   He'd go to work in the morning and there was no tellin when he'd come back.   It could be a month.  it could be 5 months.   He'd just quit his job and off he'd go.   Oh how I'd love to be that way.   But it leaves others in a bind.   I remember several times having to pack up in the middle of the night because dad was gone,  the rent was due and no money soo.. what choice did mom have but to skeedaddle?   We lived in cars a lot.   Tents too.   The tents were fun.

I've rambled.   I wanted to tell a funny story.   One time my mom and dad went to see a movie in a theatre.   During the movie dad tells mom that he needs a pack of cigarrettes and will be right back.    But he didn't come back.   She didnt' see him for two months.

Going to get a pack of cigarrettes?  Do people really say that and then leave?   And who on this earth but my mom would have that particular line used on her twice?

After dad left for good my mom got together with Fred my step dad.   She refused to marry him even though they had a child together.. my sister Julie.   She said it was because he'd be mean to the rest of us kids.   I'm sure he would have too.   But it wasn't like that marriage certificate made any difference in that regard.   Anyway....

After all of her original children moved out of the house Fred hooks up with another woman which makes my mom crazy jealous so she insists they get married.   Well now the table is turned and he doesn't especially want to get married but does it anyway.    They drove to Nevada and had a quickie ceremony.   Mom said he took off his jacket and threw it on the chair in disgust to let the preacher know how much he didn't want to do it.    I wish so much somesome would do that to me on our wedding day.   I'd double that scene ., raise him 30 and we damn sure would not get married.  

So, they got married and drove right back to Idaho ., he pulls up to the house,  tells her to get out and that he's going to get a pack of cigarrettes!!    Mom said he drove off so fast she didn't even have time to get her purse out of the car.   And off he went to shack up with that other woman.    Mom should not have stayed with him but she did.     

But the point is.,  how many times can that old -going to get a pack of cigarrettes- be used on the same person?    I wondered many times what it was about my mom that made men think they had to trick her in order to get the hell away from her.    But I found out.   As a grownup there were many times that I truly truly wanted to tell her I was going to the store and then drive like a bat out of hell to another state!    Another continent in fact!!
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orachel
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Joined: Apr 2010
Wow...twice with the cigarette thing, huh? Too amazing. I think after the first time i'd stop dating smokers, just on principal. I'm with you on the wedding 'aw hell, no!' thing...wish my ex had done that on my wedding day...aaahhh the misery it would have saved. But then, who knows if i would have found my way here to you guys...probably not actually. Would probably still be working 70 hours a week and healthy, but utterly lacking in any kind of creative stimulation or outlet..not to mention introspection. Boy, thats a toughie. But what happened did happen, and I am here with you wacky wild bunch of creative unique creatures, and i adore every one of you. Especially you, Clementine. You crack my butt right up. (hugs) oh, btw, go get yourself an insider..you just download it for free here, and you can see the writeup they did about your kit etc...

just click the 'download now' button, its a pdf that you read just like a magazine. You might have to register at dst, not sure, but it takes all of a minute.

http://www.digishoptalk.com/index.php?categoryid=11DST Insider August w mention of Clementine's kit tommytown.
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orachel
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Joined: Apr 2010
Oh, by the way, clementine..what software are ya using to design? photoshop? elements? can you use brushes and actions and styles?
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Clementine
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Joined: Apr 2010
I crack your butt up?        Well you crack my butt up too!   I'm glad to know ya.    
That cigarette line must have been popular with that generation because a few years ago i was listening to a blues song that was very funny.    The lady say's in the song..  Lionel..  he say's yes?   Lionel when you left me standing at the back door crying.... Well honey.. i had to go get a pack of cigarettes... and uh.. i got on the wrong bus and ended up in Chicago!
And you had to stay there 30 years!!!    It was so funny to hear that knowing that my two dads both did that to my mom for real.    Oh Rachel Rachel Rachel I'm sorry you have health problems.    did that awful man make you sick?  because if he did I will track him down and clobber him with a two by four.    

I use photoshop CS4.     I feel pretty stupid because i don't know what brushes and masks are.,  i admitted that after sweet little Wildchild put her brushes and masks on the market.   Like what's that?  i ask myself.
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Clementine
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
Whoa........ i gotta go!!!   the grandkids are turning on each other.    They did it earlier today too,  and I solved it by taking them to the river and throwing their asses in.    No. no. no.   I'm kidding!!!!!  don't call the authorities!     I took them to the river and let them swim until they didn't feel so agitated towards one another.
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orachel
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Joined: Apr 2010
rofl...when i was married i had 3 VERY rambunctious step kids...I used to call it 'lessened agression thru exhaustion'..we didn't have a river (which i found hysterical since we lived on River road! lol), but we had a 1/2 acre yard for them to race around in. Playing till yacollapse in big puppy piles of kid is one of the tenants of childhood, i say. Or it should be. Go corral those kidlets! rofl
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LauraPM
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Joined: Jul 2010
I so glad the stories just keep coming....
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Scrappie Irene
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Joined: May 2010
Ohmy, when I read this my childhood seems perfect. Although it wasn't. My father was an alcoholic for 15  years (1974-1989). After work he didn't went home, but to the bar. He always came home in the middle of the night.
Fortunately my dad had to stop for the police after one of his bar visits. He had to go to a special course about alcohol and traffic and he was forced to visit the AA evenings. After that he hasn't drunk alcohol anymore. Since then he's a great dad and I always enjoy to go to Italy with my parents.
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Clementine
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Joined: Apr 2010
Lessened aggression through exhaustion works great doesn't it?   One of my boys had a wee bit of a temper..  he was quite young when I taught him to take it outside and beat the dirt with a stick.    I also told him to go off by himself and talk it over with God until he felt better.    He took my advice!  

I've got to tell one more daddy leaving story because this has got to be the ultimate in rude behavior if you ask me.   

When mom went into labor to give birth to my little brother Roger dad dropped her off at the hospital then split.   He left town!!    Now mom assumes he went back home to stay with the other kids..  that would be me aged 18 months.  my brother Troy aged 2 1/2.  and my sister Helen barely 13 years old.    We did not have a telephone so mom could not verify that dad was home watching the kids while she was in the hospital.   But why wouldn't he be??    

At the age of 18 months I have a couple broken memories of this time.   And these are my very first memories.    I remember crying while my sister was trying to get me to eat something.   My brother Troy was crying too.   The walls were a grungy green color.   Helen told me later she was trying to make us eat spagetti noodles with caroway seeds on them.   There was nothing else in the house to eat she said.   Helen also said she did not dare go to the neighbors for help because she was afraid they'd call the authorities who would take us away.    She had already done time in an orphanage when she was 5 so she knew what could happen when mom wasn't home.   

After 4 days with dad not coming back to the hospital to pick her up.,  the nurses felt sorry for mom and paid for a cab to take her home.    I remember seeing her walk through the door carrying a bundle.    This memory is of absolute joy for me.   Mom was home!   I cherish this particular memory mostly because of the perspective that is embedded in my mind.   I am so small that everything else is up high.   I love and appreciate the fact that i know what all the other tiny human beings see from way down there.
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mrsaboyer
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
Clementine, do people tell you that you should write a book? Your memories have details that really make draw a picture for the reader. I can see the grungy green walls, the caraway seeds, and the bundle in mom's arms.

One of my very first memories is coming around the corner in our house to find my parents, and Mom had Dad propped up and she was sort of walking him/helping him shuffle out of their bedroom. They had awful shag carpeting in their bedroom, and I remember seeing Dad's feet moving through the carpet. I asked what was going on, and Mom said that Dad took some pills that made him sick and she had to get him to the hospital. I don't know how old I was, but I was too young to think that he had done something on purpose to hurt himself, but I do remember wondering why he'd want to do something like that. I envisioned the "poison" in the shape of candy bugs, like spiders and such. Almost like gummi candies look, although those did not exist then. When I tell people that story, they sometimes tell me I should write a book about my childhood, but... eghhh. I don't wanna.
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Kazadoodle
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Joined: Apr 2010
I think a lot of us could write books about our childhood.  

I know that by the time I was 10, I'd been around the world 2 and a half times, lived on three separate continents and had already attended around 10 different schools.  My parents were not in any kind of military nor were they ambassadors.  My dad was a commercial baker and my mum was an administrative assistant.  

One of my earliest memories is being in a caravan in Tasmania.  We were living there (five of us), because the wife of the caravan park owner fancied my dad, and he flirted with her so we could get it rent free (he was a real flirt, but so was my mum, eh, what can I say?).  We had barely any money (hence the need for rent free or we would have been in the street) and we used to get up early in the morning, go and pick mushrooms on the nearby football field for breakfast and later in the day, we would get mussels off the rocks on the nearby beach.  I remember those trips, they are like snapshots in my head.  I can still the goal posts on the field, the sun on the grass in summer, the frost in the autumn.  The rocks on the beach, the sand, the surf, the smell.

Anyway, this particular memory is this -  I remember standing near the sink and my mum was pickling cabbage.  She held the jar up and the light streamed through the window, through the jar and made sparkly patterns on the wall opposite.  I was asking about Christmas.  My older brother come in and started telling me off, accusing me of being a spoiled brat (I wasn't). I had an idea money was tight, but didn't get what that had to do with Christmas.   I thought presents come from St Nickolaus, not mum and dad.   My brother was really agitated, sort of shaking (he was on the tall side and super wiry) and my mum was sort of crying, little sparkles on her cheeks because of the sun.  I felt awful and there was a physical heaviness in my stomach.  I didn't understand how my question could cause this.  

I was 3 and a half.
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eryn
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Joined: Apr 2010
all these stories are heartbreaking. Hugs for everyone.
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Clementine
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Joined: Apr 2010
I do find it interesting how a certain scene will get stuck in our heads.    For some reason even though we don't understand what is going on something about it makes an impact.
Like a 3 1/2 yr. old seeing mom shuffling dad through the carpet.   What's to remember about that?   but for some reason the child picks up on the import ,. the profundity of the moment,. and it becomes imbedded in our minds.    I wonder what about that made MrsBoyer remember it.  

I think it's neat how there is a magical element in Kazadoodles memory.   Looking at it we can see it was a tough time for the family.  Mom is sad because she probably wishes things were different and they could have a Christmas.   Brother is so upset he's shaking.  Little innocent girl doesn't  get it.     And yet the glory of the universe shines through the window, passes through the jar and dancing sparkles magically appear on the wall.   Who needs Christmas when all the best most beautiful things in the world are free!!   

It might be heartbreaking and it might not be either.   It just IS.   I really do believe that all things work together for good to those who love life.   And -this too shall pass- always comes to be.   

We are like works of art.  and we are shaped and colored by events.   I'm not sad about my childhood.   It's about perception and expectation.   We expect to have a perfect upbringing.    Dream on people!     We are incomplete.  we are still learning to be who we are.   Our parents?    They are forgiven.   They were not gods.   just little people themselves,., trying to get through life the best way they knew how.
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mrsaboyer
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Joined: Apr 2010
[QUOTE]We are like works of art. and we are shaped and colored by events. I'm not sad about my childhood. It's about perception and expectation. We expect to have a perfect upbringing. Dream on people! We are incomplete. we are still learning to be who we are. Our parents? They are forgiven. They were not gods. just little people themselves,., trying to get through life the best way they knew how.

That is about as perfectly as it can be said, I think. All of the stuff that happened to me in my childhood is part of who I am today. Some of parts along the road were much more difficult than others, but it was all this road, and if I hadn't walked it, I'd be somebody else. I wouldn't be *here,* which happens to be where I want to be right now.  Sometimes when where I am is NOT where I want to be, I have to remember that up the road a piece something wonderful is likely to happen!
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Kazadoodle
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Joined: Apr 2010
We are like works of art.  and we are shaped and colored by events.    I'm not sad about my childhood.   It's about perception and expectation.    We expect to have a perfect upbringing.    Dream on people!     We  are incomplete.  we are still learning to be who we are.   Our parents?     They are forgiven.   They were not gods.   just little people  themselves,., trying to get through life the best way they knew how.


I have to agree.   I'm not sad about my childhood either.  It was what it was.  I got to do and see things that most people don't ever get to see or do.   Through all the moves, I learnt how to adapt to different environments and meet new people.   Through all the taunting I had to endure in some places, I learnt that the opinions of people who don't matter to me are irrelevant (I also learnt that some people love to wallow in their own ignorance).  

There were some really crazy, scary moments in my childhood, and there were some really crazy, lovely moments too.  

As I got older, I learnt that my parents also had dysfunctional childhoods and that they were doing the best that they could, based on their upbringing (which are several stories in themselves).
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