Story of a Girl
Talk about divorce?
So, my mom & her husband are probably fighting again. And, I'm in my room but I have the door unlocked, & I turned my music off so I could eavesdrop on my mom talking to her husband's uncle on the phone. (6:52PM, I guess she hung up already.) Eavesdropping is actually how I get a lot of my information first-hand, but how else am I supposed to get this kind of information when my family keeps every little thing secret?
Not that long ago, my dad told me my mom would be divorcing her husband, & although I told him I doubted it because it wasn't the first time my mom made that claim, I might just take her word on it.
So, today, her husband came to pick me up from school. Things were just fine, before she arrived. As soon as she came home from work, he told her about a mistake that he made at the bank... Later on, I find out that he had made the same mistake only a few days ago, and my mom was upset that he could be "so stupid to make the same mistake." She was also incredibly pissed because he had bought a "new" van, but it didn't have insurance OR license plates. He's been drinking around with only the permission papers attached to the front window, but my mom says that even with that paper, he can still get a ticket. She didn't want him driving in that van until everything was settled, & MUCH less with the kids inside. And that's exactly what he did today. That just pissed my mom even more. They were going to go somewhere, but while I was washing dishes inside, they came back. He left again, but my mom lingered for a while, & she took out a slip of paper from one of the cabinets. She left, & then he came in. He asked if she had taken anything out of the cabinet & I did her a favor by not saying anything. "Nope, I didn't see anything. I was washing dishes." And then she ended up coming back, & she's been talking with his uncle ever since. She's been complaining about how stupid he's been for the mistakes at the bank, & for insisting on driving the van when his record isn't as clean as he thinks it is.
And, I agree. I haven't seen his record... but I know enough to conclude that he shouldn't be allowed on the streets.
She even mentioned something about hitting the kids, but all I could remember was "Sus golpes los dejan pintados" because that was a really graphic picture for me. And then she mentioned something about him leaving once she had a stable job, & then she said, "It's not like he has a job, anyway."
And I'm just going to take some time to write something about him.
When my mom first married him, my dad questioned me a lot about him. Even though he & my mom had divorced, he still wanted her to be happy, y'know? And he questioned me, to see if he would be a good husband... The first thing I told him was that he had a job at a casino, & in our eyes, that was pretty impressive. And, at the time, I absolutely hated having to live with him & my mom. I HATED him. He hated me too, & we just absolutely did not get along. My mom often forced me to talk to him or help him, but I was always like, "NAH. Naaahh, that's not happening." It was I think in 7th grade that she married that guy, because I remember taking the bus & returning to the house that he lived in with us. Anyway, the first few months into their marriage were awful. I remember them fighting, & I even used a tennis racket to hit him once when he was beating up my mom. And, I know, a tennis racket, really? BUUUUUT, I make the lightest things hurt. (I hit my dad with a sock once. I used enough force to actually leave a mark on his skin)
And, I remember my mom walking me to the bus stop, & he was sleeping on the sidewalk across with a bottle of beer in his hand.
And I remember another fight RIGHT as I was getting ready to walk to the bus stop, & my mom had left my then 5-month old brother asleep in his crib while she went out to get help. And then he was apparently arrested for like 2 weeks & on the Saturday my dad had dropped me off at my mom's house, he was there in the bedroom.
He also had the habit of coming into my room whenever he wanted. Not even a knock of anything, just straight up bust my door open. It did kinda scare me because... I'm a girl. What if I'm changing in my room & he just OPENS my door without warning? The room I had then didn't have a lock, soooo. We eventually moved, and he eventually learned to knock. But their fights didn't get any better. My mom talked a lot about divorce. In 8th grade, I remember we used to live in a really nice condo. There was one night, where my mom & I had picked up Elías from taekwondo practice. And at the time, my cousin Nono (I think he was my cousin, or uncle. I can't remember my relation to him) was staying with us for a few weeks. I don't remember how the fight had started, but my sisters took my 9 month old brother into the bedroom with them. Nono was SITTING on the couch, watching the entire fight break out. Her husband kept grabbing onto my mom's shirt & he even yanked some skin off & caused her nose to bleed. I remember grabbing my English textbook to help defend her, & he even threatened to hit me. My mom yelled at him, something about him going to jail for him hitting a minor, but he said it'd be worth it & he didn't care if he hit me. So then my mom kept trying to push him off of her & she kept screaming for my someone to call the police. And, because Elías has ALWAYS been the male figure in the "family," (regardless of my mom's husband having control, he's not the male figure) he stepped in by punching her husband in the face & pinning him down to the ground. Afterwards, he left the house & we didn't see him until a day or two later.
28 year old Nono couldn't have done what SIXTEEN year old Elías did, right?
There was another night in February-ish. Two Holocaust survivors would be visiting my school to talk about their experiences, & I also had to be present for my presentation of the Holocaust. I was getting ready to leave when they had started fighting again over something I can't remember. My mom put my brother in his stroller; Elías, my mom, brother, & I rode the public bus to school & after the presentation finished at 8:30PM, we walked home. Once we had arrived, there was a lot of tension but it wasn't as bad as it was when we had left.
And there were smaller fights in that house, but I can't recall them. We eventually moved into the house that we got kicked out of earlier in the year, & I think I might have written about them. But I'm not going into detail about those.
But throughout 2012/2013/2014, he's had over 10 different jobs. What exactly does this say about his character? Well, he can't stay in the same job for over three months, it's practically impossible.
Here's a recent example! I mentioned my family talking about moving to Texas, right? He ended up moving to Texas for like 2 or 3 months, & he was working as a delivery man for the company he worked with. He came back here, & then moved to North Dakota for construction work. He recently came back, but he started working at some kind of restaurant... He quit, & moved back to construction. He quit that too, & came back here. He's now working for construction as well, but he also applied at another job... Quit that too. He's still in construction AND he works at the MGM now. He's worked in AT LEAST 5 of the different casinos here.
He can't stay in a single job, he's constantly going around. Because of this, my dad views him as a lazy person. He has no initiative to work, or at least stay in one job. He's LAZY.
Yesterday, my mom asked him to clean the house if she went to work... He made US clean after we came home from school. He washed dishes & mopped the floors while we cleaned the rest of the house. And once my mom had arrived, he said we had helped him... when today was our free day. He couldn't have cleaned in the morning because he was SLEEPING, so he just waited for us to come home so we could do the majority of the work. Does that sound fair?
And now, my mom's talking about him hitting the kids. I'm not gonna say too much on this one... Even ELÍZABETH agrees that he's too harsh on the kids. This was actual conversation I had overhead less than a week ago, I think it was on Saturday night.
*slapping noise, girl starts crying*
Mom: ...Ow, why do you hit them so hard?
Him: How else are they supposed to be disciplined?
Me: There's a difference between discipline and abuse, and that was abuse. You can discipline WITHOUT having to bruise their fragile skin.
I heard that from the kitchen. THE KITCHEN. I heard his hand slap my sister FROM. THE. FUCKING. KITCHEN. That's all the way across the house! Let that sink in.
So not only is he abusive, lazy, & already in trouble with the law... Yeah. He's got an amazing character.
So, IF they're fighting, I'm scared. Growing up watching my parents fight wasn't great. I was the one responsible for my sisters, I was the one to keep them calm when I wasn't calm myself. And I'm slowly having to relive my childhood when my mom's fights are becoming more and more often. How is that supposed to make me feel? Yes, my sisters are much older and they're aware of what's going on... which makes it worse. They KNOW. They're just as scared as I was when I was their age, and now I'm even MORE terrified of their fights. What if one day, he just kills us all? He's got a fucking katana in his storage, & he has like 3 different guns in his closet.
Are those guns supposed to make me feel safer at home when I know that if we piss him off, he can just pull one out & shoot us without warning?
I don't know why my mom married him in the first place. I don't know WHY she's still with him. But he's obviously not helping us make POSITIVE progress in our lives. And, y'know, I know that my mom's purpose of marrying him was so that she could get us all a legal status, but after almost 3 years of marriage, that hasn't happened, no matter how many times she says it will. My sisters and I have all lost hope. I don't know how much longer she's going to fool herself into believing that bullshit she's feeding us.
And, y'know, I'm a bit scared that they might just be divorcing. Because even though he's not helping us progress, he's the one we relied on for income... We've got 4 teenage girls & two babies. A single mother without a stable job. And the husband she used to rely on while she tended to us will be leaving. The one with a legal status.
Just great, right?
It's just fucking great.
Maybe next year, I can get a job. I was hoping I could get a job for MYSELF, but I might just end up working so that we can afford to pay all the bills & have extra money... that is, if I can find a job that's willing to hire a 16 year old. Most jobs here require that you be 17 & a half. I'm barely turning 16 in July...
I'm hoping that he doesn't come home tonight. I don't want to hear any more fighting.
EDIT: So it's 10:16PM & I heard keys slamming. Shit is probably about to go down... and everyone else is trying to get some sleep. If they start arguing while I try to sleep... I don't know, but I'll do something. I'll be super duper pissed that they didn't let me sleep, I dunno.