||February 20th, 2017 Monday|| I've been trying to write an entry about some things I remembered recently, but it's too difficult right now. So I'm going to put that aside. I don't think I'm going to forget anytime soon. I'll try that again another time. I do want to record it at some point. I'm not actually sure if the main thing I remembered is particularly creepy or just plain weird, but it disturbed me at the time it popped back into my mind. The reason writing up the vague details about that one memory is causing me so much problems is because other memories pop up into my head and I feel like I need to sit there until I record everything, which is just too draining. When I look back at my childhood, there's some pretty disturbing thoughts in there. I was suicidal starting at age nine, and really suicidal, like daily considering it, by age 11. That's absurd. (And lines up perfectly from when we moved away from my great-grandmother and roughly around when she died. How about that.) At the time, I knew something was wrong with me, but I couldn't really grasp what it was. I was also constantly afraid of someone coming in my room at night and either trying to kill me or rape me. This fear extended to my own parents, either the raping part or the killing. I was afraid of my father before I was in kindergarten and terrified to be alone with him. I had a vague concept of what rape was really early on, but I don't know why I did. I don't think anything happened to me at any point? It feels like that's connected to someone else. But I definitely had a fear as a young child, since I had these weird memory gaps, that something like that or witnessing something was somewhere in my past. That's been hanging over my head most of my life, that there's something really disgusting hidden in my mind. Now that I'm older and can look back and realize the strange way I view memory and dreams and the present as this ongoing disassociative state, it just seems more likely and I really don't want to remember if that is in there. I know exactly when the memory gaps starts. 1994. They start at night. I can vaguely recall the beginning of that memory, and it is my first memory that's at least partially in third person. The beginning of the memory is not though. It's actually from a normal perspective. I'm standing in front of my parents bedroom door and the door is open. Then there's sort of a blank in time...? And I'm in my bedroom trying to cover my ears and my dad's yelling (I've blanked out the words too) and I hear someone being hit a lot and my mom crying. This is the part where it's in third person, and I can see myself all curled up in bed trying to be as small as possible, and then I can't remember falling asleep either. It like it blanks out again after that. And then there's only a handful of memories from that year after that point even by age 5. I have no idea what happened in between me standing in front of their bedroom and me being in my room. I don't remember crying at the time. I was more scared and shaking, but no tears. I'm pretty sure I know what likely happened in between those gaps, but I don't think seeing that would bring me any peace. I wish I could forget all of it entirely. But while I think I should pity my mom, and in a way I do in the same way I pity my father for what his father did to him, I can't really forgive them for what they've done to me. When I was eighteen, I remember thinking, "The reason I understand the pain you've been through so well is because of what you did to me". I honestly thought many times as a child that both my parents would have no qualms killing me if I upset them too much, and because of what they had told me about what the world was like when I was really young, I honestly believed no one would care at all. So if I didn't mind, I would cease to exist and my parents wouldn't be punished. It's not like my fear wasn't unwarranted either. My father once had to be stopped from trying to kill off the residents of an entire apartment complex and he didn't give a fuck about potential consequences. He also put several people in the hospital when he was a kid/teen and had a long history of violence. My mother, obviously, was also violent towards me. They both got some weird enjoyment out of physically punishing me and playing weird mind games with me. What I really don't understand is that these behaviors, the violent part at least, just sort of stopped at some point. I know it stops once they start trying to be friends with other parents after we moved the second time, but it's just kind of weird to me. I never stopped being terrified as a child though. I've been coming to terms and letting out a lot of anger over what happened in my childhood, at least in regards primarily to my parents, so I can move on. I wasn't allowed to have much of any emotions as a child, and whenever I've interacted with my parents as an adult, they still try to suppress me from expressing any emotions outside of happiness and apathy. My mom goes into a panic mode if there's even the vaguest hint I might be stressed and then basically forces me into saying "no, I'm fine" to calm her down (even if it's something as insignificant as "there's an exam coming up, it's probably hard") and then proceeds to tell me about how stressful her life is after she calms down and I can't really be stressed because my life is so peaceful. WTF is that manipulative bullshit. Why is this a contest? And my father just straight up goes to "you can't feel stress because my life is worse than yours" just like when I'd have any kind of health issue and mention it. They both skip straight to "my pain is worse than your pain" if I mention any discomfort. I'm not trying to compare or say I'm worse off than anyone. This is basically like yelling at someone for saying "ow" when they tripped over something because the person who saw it broke their arm once. This journal has been helpful in letting me be allowed to have those feelings I wasn't allowed before and get them out. Because of my parents, especially my father's, random outbursts of violence and emotions, and seeing that my brother eventually came to also display this behavior, I was also always afraid I'd become some kind of monster too. That if I didn't keep everything locked away inside all the time, I really would explode too and hurt someone. I've had to work on anger issues since then to actually properly manage my emotions, because duh, holding all emotion inside doesn't work. Eventually, it has to come out or it comes out in ways that aren't appropriate for the situation once it finally does come out. But I've come to realize I'm not going to become them. My fears over that, my decision to try to sort out my emotions and deal with them, my decision that I will eventually cut them out of my life forever, the reason that exists within me is because I absolutely do not want to be them and even if I mess up from time to time, I'm never going to be them. The more time I don't interact with them, the more I can't stand to be around them. I know in the future, someone's going to get on my case about how family is so important and more important than friends or whatever despite no one having any say in what random pair of individuals created them or who any of those people are connected to. And I'm not going to care. I don't owe my parents anything. They've been telling me I owed them since the day I was born. I owe them for them providing me with the very basics that the law requires them to give me and if they did not, someone else would still be required to give me those same things until I was an adult. That's not special. That's not love. That's covering your ass to make sure you don't get a child neglect charge. My main fantasy as a child was hoping that the hospital made a mistake and gave me to the wrong family. I always associated with orphan characters in movies and shows because I did not view my own parents as truly being my parents. As much as media tells everyone constantly how great parents are, and how the bad family members are always non-blood relatives, could you really blame me? Even now, the idea that it's all been some mistake seems like such a pleasant thought. I didn't intend for this entry to focus on this stuff. I don't know where I was really going with this. But now I feel like I can more vaguely address that recent memory stuff. The one that was bothering me so much doesn't bother me as much now to write, and I think I can skip most of the details. -When I was really young, my father required us to all go to my grandfather's house across the street for breakfast because he was getting a ride with him for work. My parents gave me no time to get ready for this and would never wake me up early, or at all. They would roll up my unconscious body into my comforter and carrying me across the street by basically turning my comforter into a big sack. I'd wake up as my dad was toting me around. They wouldn't let me out of the comforter until we were in my grandparents living room, and he'd just drop me on the floor. It would be so early in the morning it was still dark out, and the comforter was pretty thick, so I was just being carried around, all scrunched up in total darkness. It was hard to breathe. My parents wouldn't bring a change of clothes for me or a brush or a toothbrush. My dad would try to convince me and everyone else that the whole thing was something I really enjoyed and asked him to do. When I would complain, he would ignore me, so I'd just pretend to like it. -My brother always destroyed everything. He would never be punished for destroying something, and he would immediately be given a replacement item. He destroyed at least two TVs, two mattresses, a sofa, and at some point his entire carpet. The carpet was not replaced because we were about to move anyway.The replacement item would always be something of a higher quality than the thing he broke. My brother also was so lazy at night until some point in middle school, he wouldn't go to the bathroom at night. He would just piss off the side of his bed. Seriously. My mom would occasionally yell at him for doing it, but only when his room really started to smell, and that was the end of the punishment. Then she'd clean the floor for him. When they threw out the sofa he destroyed, when I was waiting for the bus (it stopped in front of our house), a guy I'll call HP lifted up the cushions to check if any spare change had been left in it before the thing got trashed/taken. He found a folder underneath one of them filled with weird shit. Like stuff about how to cheat in school, how to manipulate teachers emotionally, how to cause riots at school, and the most disturbing element of all--how to create bombs at home. HP showed it to me, this guy I'll call HJ (AKA the creepiest dude I've ever met) and HJ's friend. We were all like WTF, and HP asked if I knew anything about it. I said it was my bro's couch and HJ was like maybe some weirdo in the neighborhood stashed it there. I kept it and brought it back in the house later to ask my brother about it. He claimed he didn't know anything about it, but then he kept the folder. I eventually found it again in his room when he made a deal with me to clean his room in exchange for something (I don't remember what) and threw it away. Yes, I did tell my parents about this. They decided HJ's guess was the most likely truth. My brother also tried ripping up things a lot. The first time I beat him in a YGO game, he tried to rip up my BEWD like he was fucking Kaiba in episode one because it was "unfair" I beat him with that card. Sometimes he would shut off the console if we played a game together and I won. He also bent up some of the boxes I kept my YGO cards in out of rage for me beating him. When I showed my parents what he did to my BEWD (basically it had a bend so deep down the middle part of the paper split open) just because he lost a game, they told me it was "just a card". I asked if I could get another Kaiba starter deck to replace it, and they said no, but did at least buy me card protectors. As for the boxes he bent up, they told me it was my fault for not being more careful with who I let handle them. Despite him taking them without permission in the first place. -My dad constantly tries to gaslight everyone about my mom getting cancer. When I was in 8th grade, my mom was rushed to the hospital because she was suddenly bleeding insane amounts of blood and NOT at a time she should have even been having her period. The doctor determined she had ovarian cancer, and needed an immediate hysterectomy to save her life. My dad, since like a month after she got out of the hospital started going on about how he did tons of research online about how unnecessary the procedure was if it wasn't cancer and it totally wasn't cancer because plenty of women totally get tons of strange anomalies there and it's totally never cancer. At some point, he pretty much acted like ovarian cancer wasn't even real. They just wanted his money and made up her having cancer. In his version, she went to her regular doctor who decided to check on her ovaries for no reason and recommended her for surgery, and then she got surgery because she likes spending all his money and she never really had cancer. Except you know, she went to the hospital immediately. I had a teacher in eighth grade bring me outside of class to inform me my mother had called the office and told them that she had just been put in the hospital and the doctor thought it might be cancer. She was already in surgery by the time I was getting out of school that day. I can remember exactly which teacher had that talk with me. That would not be the end of various physical issues my dad would claim people made up for attention despite obvious medical evidence. -My dad always supposedly did all this research on things when it came to medical stuff and why you shouldn't do whatever surgery. My dad used to always go on about how if my great-grandfather had just listened to him he wouldn't have died in the hospital because the doctors just wanted to give him an unnecessary, dangerous surgery and take all his money when he could just easily heal from his issue on his own. My great-grandfather had cancer too and was aware the surgery would be risky and chose to take that risk. It didn't work out, but to suggest my great-grandfather could have healed his own cancer without medical intervention is beyond absurd. I would say this was a coping mechanism for my dad, but he kept talking about this years later and this started BEFORE my great-grandfather died. My father would hound him constantly about how if he gets this surgery, he's absolutely going to die. One has to wonder if this stress contributed to him not pulling through...It certainly couldn't have helped things, at the very least. He was still ranting at him about this the night before the surgery, when great-grandfather really should have been trying to relax and prepare for the next day. He used to complain that my great-grandparents being in and out of the hospital all the time was itself some grand conspiracy by doctors to steal their money. Dude, I'm pretty sure old people being at the hospital a lot is from being old. When he retells this story to people, he never mentions that my great-grandfather had cancer, just like he pretends my mom didn't really have cancer. -My grandmother never confessed her own abusive behavior, but she did confess my grandfathers one car ride and how he changed in later part of his life because of a dog. She admitted he always beat their children too hard and just took his anger out on people. (But again, she didn't confess her sins, of course.) And he had been doing it to the dogs too, until one day he beat one of their dogs so severely the dog had to be hospitalized. This incident apparently disturbed him that he was capable of doing such a thing and made him rethink everything he had done his entire life. She also recalled the way the vet looked at them, knowing full well what happened to the dog despite what they claimed. The dog did get better, and he swore he would never lay a hand on anyone, animal or human, ever again. I don't know if he kept that up or not, but he seemed different from then on, so maybe he did change. I don't know. But at the very least he seemed to realize the problem wasn't in other people who needed to be punished, but within himself and his rage. -That time I almost drowned, while my parents complained about me inconveniencing them when it initially happened, my dad used to make fun of how stupid I was after the fact even though the whole thing was his fault in the first place. -My mom once went somewhere with me and my aunt and my cousin Y and we stopped at McDonald's. My mom told me to wait in the car. My aunt asked why since we were getting lunch. My mom said I was too misbehaved to bother with so I should be left alone in the car. They come back later with 3 combos with 3 drinks. I ask where my food is, and my aunt looks and my mom and asked, "I thought you said (name) didn't want anything to eat". My mom says I said that before we left (which I didn't). My aunt says no big deal, just go in and get me food. My mom says there's no time. My aunt counters that there is since she's the one who's going shopping in the first place and my mom was just tagging along. My mom then says she's trying to punish me for not sticking to what I said earlier (which I never said). My aunt counters again that you can't just not feed a five year old lunch. My mom then says she doesn't have the money to pay for my lunch because I said earlier I didn't want lunch so she only brought enough for her to eat. My aunt then says she'll pay for my lunch. My mom then says she'll feed me later and we leave. When we got home, my mom yelled at me for being disrespectful and trying to have my aunt pay for my food. No, she didn't feed me when we got home either. Back then, dinner had to be when my dad got home from work around midnight because he required us to all eat dinner with him. -My aunt used to try to kidnap me when I'd babysit her/she'd babysit me. (What they called it depended on if my grandmother and my mom wanted to belittle my aunt that day, but yes sometimes they'd claim child me was really the one babysitting her because "she's so dumb". My aunt was definitely an adult at this point.) She'd take me out in the city, ditch her jeep, and we'd wander. Often, we'd end up in nice neighborhoods or at gated communities and she'd stand in front of the gates looking in and say, "If we were in there, no one could touch us. We'd be free." Typically, she'd chicken out in the end because she knew she'd get caught if she really tried that, or my grandmother and my mom would roll up in my grandmother's truck all slow, roll down the windows and one of them would be like "what do you think you're doing here". How they found out where we were I don't know, cause we didn't go to the same places. Sometimes, my aunt would try to run away on her own, and I call it that because my family called it that despite her being an adult. She might disappear for three days or so before my grandparents circle of friends patrolled around enough to find where she went off to. They never got the police involved in this. Eventually, someone would spot her and call my grandparents. (My aunt lived with them until she married.) My grandmother would get in her truck, typically bring my mom and sometimes me, and go pick her up. I remember they'd show up the same way. They'd see her and my grandmother would say something like "I'm going to drive real slow when we get close to her to scare her" and then "make sure you say something to her about how she's in trouble". She'd do that and my mom would be all like "oooh you're in so much trouble" (like a fucking child) and my aunt would get in the car and they'd both start yelling at her. They'd try to get me in on it, but I'd just be sitting there confused how an adult can run away and wonder what strange neighborhood we were in. They'd really complain if she was a county or two over. My aunt would just sit in the back with me and stare blankly ahead saying nothing. Sometimes, she would say if she was near her car that she didn't want to leave her car out there and they'd let her drive the car in front of my grandmother's and they'd follow her all the way home. My grandmother would claim my aunt's having "one of her episodes where she's not her normal self anymore" and that's why she left and they had to bring her back. They'd claim she had amnesia during that time and the person then was a different personality. Having been out with her when she went wandering, she didn't seem any different and knew exactly what she was doing. I think they wanted me to think she was crazy so I wouldn't think of their behavior as nuts. I knew why she didn't say anything when they yelled at her. I was already learning the same survival tactic. -My happiest early childhood memory is of being in a pool. Which is weird since I can't swim and almost drowned once (like blacked out underwater and everything). My family decided they were all going to a public pool. I was left with my aunt while everyone left us to do whatever. She tried to show me how to float in the pool and we played a game to see who could hold their breath underwater the longest. We held onto the side of the pool until at some point we were holding each others hands underwater. I beat her that last round and she pulled us both back up. That was one of the only time I remember my aunt being completely happy until a brief moment years later when we had some old cartoons on and she burst out into "I Like to Singa". Most of the rest of my memories of her are her trying to smile and laugh before someone quickly belittled her, her being sad, her being scared, or her just being completely empty. After that day, I dreamt of pools often, but only in darkness at night despite it being a bright, sunny day that day. Most of my dreams from early childhood were always at night. -My aunt would have a little burning ritual when she'd break up with one of her shitty boyfriends. (They were all terrible people, and sadly, she married the worst one of all once everyone convinced her she had to because she was pregnant.) She'd take all the letters from them, gifts, and diaries from that time period and burn them outside. She would cry a little, silently, and watch the fire. When it was over, she would dump it all and say, "it's over now" or "that's done". She'd start a new diary after that. My grandmother would constantly go on about how crazy my aunt was for doing this, but I understood as a child this seemed to be her way of coming to terms with the end of the relationship. It didn't hurt anyone, so I didn't see what the problem was. She seemed to get something out of the symbolic, ritualized nature of it. My grandmother would be the one rambling on about the last boyfriend for far longer than my aunt would. Of course, my grandmother would used this as an opportunity to say if she (or my grandfather or MY FATHER) were to pick out a boyfriend for her, she wouldn't keep ending up with all these abusive men. It seemed obvious to me as a child precisely why she had such low self-esteem and kept ending up with people like that. But hey, I guess grandmother who would yell at her that she's a slut for dying her hair blonde and cutting it above her shoulders knows better. -My aunt mostly became empty after she got married. Occasionally, there was emotion, especially if he wasn't there, but mostly she was empty. She seemed like she was somewhere else entirely on her wedding day, like something died in her that day. She's tried to geet away from him since then, but it never lasts. Just like with my grandmother, he always finds her and she always comes back. It doesn't matter how much he beats her, cheats on her, how many diseases he gives her, how much money he steals from her, how much legal trouble he gets her in, how many mistresses she's had to give money, she stays. A while back, she seemed to finally be getting back to her old self and having a bit of confidence again, but then he found her again. Now, he uses her as a puppet to try to get money out of other people so he can pay for his girlfriend's gifts while she humiliates herself. -One of my dad's family's favorite things was to tell my aunt she was ugly when they weren't telling her she was stupid or a whore. Really bizarre coming from my dad who used to sometimes have 3 girlfriends at a time before getting married and had plenty of one-night stands and my grandmother who cheated on my grandfather for a decade while my aunt just had one boyfriend at a time, but there may not always be a long time in between each break-up before a new relationship started. Seemed to me as a kid they called her a slut/whore simply for dating/having sex at all despite being in her 20's at that point. The proof that she was stupid was from her dropping out of high school, but according to my dad's recollection of her in school, they'd been calling her stupid and doomed to fail because she's so dumb since elementary school. My grandmother used to also go on about how my aunt quit ballet because she's so ungrateful, and my dad would rant about it too that she quit (why should he care?) because she's so spoiled. My aunt took ballet because my grandmother put her in it and she only did it for a year, but they were still going on about that when she was in her 20's. For the record, my aunt's not ugly and she looked her best with that short blonde hair. -My grandfather tried to spank me once. My dad yelled at him for doing it and that only he would ever punish his kids. He would retell this story all the time about how he saved me from my grandfather potentially abusing me. Now, remember, my dad used to sometimes whip me with a switch to make me appreciate that he didn't always use it when I hadn't done anything wrong and at least once actually cut through my skin. (He showed no remorse over that either. That was just more proof why I should be "grateful".) Wow, what a savior. -Often, my mom would dump me at my great-grandmother's house for hours on end even though she'd take my brother places. My great-grandmother would feed me, so that made going to her house better than staying with my mom who would likely keep me out for hours but not feed me anything. And not only that, my great-grandmother would even buy food specifically for me. And she would cook things on the stove for me, like my favorite soup, and she'd make me hot black tea instead of trying to force that nasty sweet tea on me like everyone else did. She didn't have much for me to do, but she did buy me some construction paper and a bunch of crayons. Since she didn't have any toys, she let me play with the figurines she had as decoration around the house, salt & pepper shakers, and any containers she was going to recycle, like empty, washed out medicine bottles and lemon juice bottles. She would be watching her soaps, so I'd play out stories in my head with the horses and pioneer people and bottles. After she died and we went through her belongings, I found a box of all the drawings I gave her. All of them. Despite having giving my mom many gifts over the years, she hasn't kept any of them. I've even seen her throw them away when she'd get into one of her cleaning moods. Also, we discovered great-grandma kept great-grandpa's lesbian porn stash and pin-up collection for...some reason. (Context: the only things of his she kept were his medals/awards, his favorite cane, family photos, and his lesbian porn & pin-up collection.) -Going back to how my mom used to pay for readings about her and that celebrity, the reason she originally made ME learn to read tarot cards was so she could get free readings out of me...even though she still gave herself readings and paid for online/hotline/in-person readings. And yes, the readings were about Mr. Celebrity. But she didn't tell me who I was doing a reading on. She claimed it was a male friend of hers who lived in another state that she rarely got to talk to. One day, she slipped and revealed who it was. No sure we had a ton of movies with him in it. All that time my mom was attempting to use me as some gossip route for her weird obsession. It's extra funny since it's just tarot readings, and ain't nothing magic about 15th century Italian playing cards. -My dad would brag about how he also knows how to read tarot cards and used to give really accurate readings and knows all the meanings, it's so easy. Every time he's given me a show of his "talents", he just makes up stuff based off what's in the picture, and typically completely misunderstands what the symbolism in the picture is supposed to mean. He also doesn't know the names of most of the cards. Not that it matters, it's just hilarious. -My dad used to, once I hit my teen years, get me to tell him my dreams every day because he's totally a master dream interpreter. I don't remember how this started, but it always made me uncomfortable. If I dreamt about going on dates or some sort thing about having a crush on someone, he would tell me I lived my entire life in a fantasy land and needed to get in touch with reality because I was such a loser. If there was even a vaguest hint of anything sexual, he'd really flip out. So I'd censor my dream retellings heavily. Not that I was going to tell him any dreams about blatant sexual stuff anyway, but you know. This all ended when he really got on my case because I had a dream about marrying someone once. It wasn't even a real person, and it was clearly just a silly dream. I think I was around 16 at that point? Maybe 17? I would tell him I don't remember my dreams anymore. I think he really wanted me to tell him my dreams so he could try to analyze me much like how my mom would always read my diaries. That didn't work so well for her either, since I then just invented a made-up language so she couldn't read anything I didn't want her to know about. Surprise, surprise, invading someone's privacy makes them recoil from being open about things even more! -My brother and I weren't allowed to play pretend. If we did, we weren't living in reality. That's how he'd always say it. When my brother got the Sims 3, he was really excited and set up a couple of families. He was doing pretty well in the game and having fun making crazy house designs. My dad would see him playing and tell him "but you know real life isn't that easy like this game, you need to learn what real life is like". One time he did something that he really wanted to show everyone he did in the game (I don't remember what it was), and my dad really lectured him about how the game is a game and he didn't really accomplish anything. My brother didn't play anymore after that week passed. -My dad used to have this box of scrap wood that he never did anything with but he claimed he totally would some day. They were all oddly shaped tiny pieces. One day when our parents left us home alone for hours, my brother and I decided to get out the tools and build something with some of the pieces. We ended up making this multi-floor building with various rooms, ramps, stairs, and other things. We even found these oddly shaped pieces that we put together to make a toilet and put it one room we labeled the bathroom (with working lid, LOL). We put action figures in the rooms and hotwheels to go down the ramps. Later, we showed it to my dad and he exploded about us wasting his wood (and thus his money) on something so stupid. He was going to use those pieces one day! He told us he was going to throw it all in the trash, which he eventually did but not immediately because he's really lazy. -My parents took a picture of my brother as a toddler while he was naked with some cowboy stuff on so they could show his future girlfriends to embarrass him. Thing is, they're the ones that put him in all that stuff. When they found out he had a girlfriend, they made sure to shove that photo in her face. She was actually creeped out and asked how he was in what looked like a get-up out of some porno and why they wanted her to see his junk, especially at that age. They thought it was hilarious and said if they got married, they'd give her the photo so she could show their future kids. She said she didn't want it and thought my parents were perverts after that. I actually remember them setting him up for this photo and it creeped me out then. I was in the room and was headed back to my room to put clothes on from taking a bath with my brother. (They often made us go to their room after we took baths before we could go and get dressed, I don't know why, the bathroom was in the hall and our bedroom was next to the bathroom) Like he was just out of the bath when this happened and they told him to put on his cowboy stuff and pose on their bed while they got out the camera. He was about two in the photo, so I was around five or six. They still taunt him about this photo and how they'll show it to his next girlfriend. They were even saying as they were taking it that's what they were planning. They were trying to think up other embarrassing photos they could stage to make an album of them, and all their plans involved my brother being naked. They didn't act on these, as they ended up forgetting about the other plans or they just got lazy. In my parents version of the story, this was just something they caught him doing and it was so "funny". But I remember them clearly setting him up. -Some of my other happy memories from early childhood are of me and my aunt sitting in my grandpas back yard swinging on swings and talking about ghost stories until we both ended up creepy ourselves out we'd run back inside the house! I remember one time we scared ourselves so much we ran so fast we were completely out of breath when we go in the house. My grandmother was making biscuits and was like "what happened" and we just looked at each other and said "nothing" then helped make biscuits. -After my aunt married that POS, I spent a lot of time with his daughter, cousin Y. We became good friends and we'd spend a lot of time playing on my grandparents trampoline and she'd show me all kinds of things she learned in gymnastics or show me all these complicated knots and braids she learned and how to blow bubbles with bubblegum. We spent less time together when she was in high school (we had quite an age gap), but I'd still be excited when she'd come over and we'd play games together outside. That was also a fun, happy time, until she had to go away to live with her mother after her boyfriend pushed her down a flight of stairs when he found out she was pregnant. She came back two years later, but ended up with the same guy again and he beat her the second time for getting pregnant. She didn't come back after that and stayed states away. I have a clear memory of going over to my aunt's apartment once to play with her and POS husband started flipping out about something at my aunt and I just remember my cousin Y going dead silent and gently pushing me into the bathroom with her and quietly closing and locking the door. She told me not to talk. She wouldn't let me out until POS husband stopped yelling and left. I remember being terrified, for myself, for her, for my aunt, and for my aunt's children who were out there with her while that was going on. He came back later and gave cousin Y some gifts when he got back and she was practically shaking in his presence. She thanked him and smiled until he left. She asked my aunt to take us somewhere else to go shopping after that. I think that's all I want to post for now. This has still been pretty draining, but I'm glad I did mention some happy things in there even if they're mixed next to all that other stuff.