We got a new used refrigerator. The old one got drug out onto the front porch. My mom had recently been bitten by a recluse spider and had been very sick. Spiders were everywhere in Missouri. I especially hated the big black tunnel spiders that covered the front yard. They didn't give a shit who you were, if you walked by their tunnel, they'd jump out at you. Mom said recluse spiders are very small. A hole was rotting out in her back and she needed IV antibiotics so she'd be staying in the hospital a few days. I prayed to go to the Auntie's because I didn't want to be left alone with the Asshole. I spent part of my time with both. My momma had a slow recovery. Her happiness began to slip and fade. I worried about her and about her moods.
One day it finally happened. Auntie and Momma had a bad mood on the same day. My cousin had been over when my Auntie came to get him. I don't know what the blow out was about, but I knew it was over us kids. Both of them were screaming what lousy mother's the other one was. My mom ordered my Aunt out of the house. As mom followed her out the door screaming and cussing, she decided that she'd just push that refrigerator off the porch over on top of Auntie. I drug my sister into my bedroom and closed the door. I watched out the window of my room as my cousin screamed. The refrigerator missed and rolled down the steep hill about half way. I though my Auntie was going to kill my mom. Asshole intervened and it wasn't long before his police buddies arrived. I didn't see Auntie or my cousin for a long time after that. We moved to a duplex across town and I started a new school. I was in the first grade, but I'd done two years of Kindergarten due to being a retarded dyslexic. I wasn't retarded. I was left handed. The bitches at that last school wouldn't let me use my left hand. I was probably a little dyslexic too, but I had come to the conclusion that all adults except my grandma were assholes and bitches.
The new duplex had a garage on each side of it and Asshole worked on cars in his garage. This would be his new place to punish my butt and even though I was used to it, I really couldn't take it when my mom was off the deep end because punishments were more frequent and more painful. My mom had allowed us to get a dog we named Honey. She was a golden retriever. I really liked her. I told her lots of secrets. She always listened. I can't express how important it is to have that kind of trust. It doesn't matter that it's an animal. It's a safe haven and She lived long enough for me to bond with her before getting hit by a car.
My mom decided to let me get a cat after that because I cried after that dog all the time. I named her Josephine. She was a grey and black striped tabby that loved to cuddle. She was even sweeter than Honey. Mom stayed in a bad mood now and things were not going well. She cleaned with bleach until her hands were cracked and I spent a lot of time in the garage. When I wasn't required to be in the garage, I played in my room. The duplex had very dry heat and I often picked my nose until it bled. My mother had a fit and taped socks over my hands day after day if she caught me picking my nose. The socks were embarrassing because the neighbors would see them. Mom would come up with new reasons to be mad at me. The toys weren't put away right or the bed wasn't made just so. She would often come into my room and dump out every belonging I had and scream at me to "start over". If mom got mad, Asshole got mad. The cycle was never ending and one day he got sick of hearing her scream and picked Josephine up and threw her across the room into the wall. She had a seizure and died. I hated him. He was evil and She was miserable. I knew what to do to get mom to be nice to me so I was excited when I fell off the bus and sprained my elbow. Asshole berated me for not tying my shoes, but you know my mom was just as sweet about it as maple syrup. It hurt like hell, but was so worth it.
There were some nice older girls on the bus and I wanted to be just like them. I was beginning to recognize that not all people are "mean". I think those girls were probably nice when no one was looking which was not how things were with people in my family. Mom liked it when I was smart so I worked extra hard in school to learn to read and write. I could add numbers too. She really liked that and said I was so smart. It was one of the few ways I could please her. Momma got me another cat that looked similar to the first one and I named her Josephine II. I just pretended she was the first one and knew my mom would kill the Asshole if he even looked cross-eyed at this one. Everyone was afraid of my mom's wrath that really knew her. My mom said we were going to be moving to Kentucky to her mom's farm and that Grandma had moved there too. I was so happy I was going to be with my grandma again I didn't know what to do with myself.
We all piled into an old truck. My sister had to be in a carseat so I laid in the floorboard between my mom's feet with Josephine as we made the move. Of course, I got carsick and as usual, my mom was as loving as she could be. When we finally got to the farm I rushed into an old farm house with roof shingles for the siding and found my grandma making fried chicken. She was still fat and happy and smiling with her white hair and pink lipstick. She was wearing a moo-moo and smelled of talcum powder. I knew I was going to be okay now and her love and warmth washed over me. I told her I had been baptized recently on my eight birthday and she squeezed me tight and said that was wonderful. Grandma fed us and then the Asshole took me took me into the attic were two bedrooms were so I could take a nap. He said he wasn't staying on the farm with my mom and my sister and me and that he wanted me to know he was sorry for all the things he had done to me and that he'd never do it again. I just shook my head in acknowledgment and let tears roll down my face. I was relieved. Life was going to be okay.