I was about to finish up freshman year of high school when my mom broke the news. Grandma is selling the house and supposedly going to help my mom get her a place. I thought, wow that is out of the blue. What it was about, is my grandmother was jealous my mom and I went to Hawaii the previous year and decided she should also go. She had little to no cash. All the equity is locked in the house. If she wanted to go, she had to sell the home.
My life was about to get turned upside down once again. It had been four years since my parents separated but still no divorce. My mom ate all the money from the sale of the motel, so she had nothing to buy a home. She believed my grandmother was going to help her. She found out the hard way… my grandmother, her mother, was a lying, manipulative witch.
My brother who was also living with us had to figure out where to live. He was more fortunate than us. He was twenty-three and had some choices. He too had a lot of debt from going to college and couldn’t afford to live on his own. He spoke to my dad about moving in with him. My dad sold the motel and moved to Chicago a couple of years prior. I didn’t have much of a relationship with my dad because my mom fed me lies about him. I wish I could have stayed with my dad instead of my mom in spite of not having much of relationship with him.
My life was complete hell a few months before my grandmother sold the house. I couldn’t function. I would go days without showering or leaving home. Nobody paid any attention because of everyone having to scour to look for new living arrangements. My mom and grandma fought constantly. My brother’s mood left him beating me for the slightest wrongdoing. Everyone in the house was on edge. I wanted to shrivel up and die.
I had another suicidal episode. I went into the bathroom and poured out aspirin into my hand. I had a cup of water and was about to shovel a mouthful of pills when the lulling voice echoed in my mind. I heard the voice telling me to put the pills back and put the bottle away. It said to me everything would be alright. I didn’t believe it. I still listened and went to my room. My whole world seemed to be collapsing.
I had a dog named Sandy that my mom bought when I was in seventh grade. I wasn’t partial to dogs, but this one was sweet. She was a mix of collie and something else. I grew attached to her and got the devasting news we would have to give her away. It was another blow to my already broken heart.
My mom found an apartment in the suburbs of Chicago. She felt it would be safer to go to a public school there rather than Chicago. I would be starting my Sophomore year. We went in to talk to the school counselor to discuss my previous high school transcripts. I was nervous because of I flunked religion class at the all-girls Catholic school. I couldn’t deal with retaking a course I thought was foolish. The counselor looked everything over and chuckled about the religion course. He stated this was a public school and religion is not recognized as a credit. It was a huge relief to hear.
I packed stuff intermittently throughout the summer. It was time to get everything my mom and needed and leave. My brother would soon follow, going to our dad’s house. My grandmother found a buyer while all of us were busy. She was ecstatic and looking forward to planning her trip to Hawaii. She also secretly set up for my uncle to receive some money from the sale. We found out later on but we not surprised. My grandmother gave my uncle tons of money throughout the years even though he had a good paying job. My grandma favored him over my mom.
We got settled into our apartment. It was a brand new experience for me. I had never lived in an apartment. It bothered me because we had to share walls, and share a laundry area with other tenants. My anxiety was through the roof. I couldn’t stand coming out of our apartment and possibly running into strangers. Also, the trauma of beginning another school year at a place I knew no one.
My grandmother closed on the house sometime in late October. My mom and I were at the house a few weeks before so that I could say goodbye to my dog. I was thankful a family who owned a farm was taking her, but the experience traumatized me. I was living in Chicago for four years and already had to let go of so many things in my life. As I said goodbye to my dog, my mind flashed to when I said goodbye to my dad. It caused pain both mentally and physically.
My grandmother moved into a condo right near our apartment. It was within walking distance, and neither my mom or I were thrilled. My grandma didn’t want to help my mom, but she expected her to help. I think my grandmother set up a cruise to Hawaii as soon as she got her condo. I remember the following summer she left for two weeks.
When she got back, my mom and I waited for my grandma to brag about her trip. We were shocked when she didn’t say a word. My mom and deduced my grandmother had a miserable time and did not want to talk about it. It was kind of poetic justice since she uprooted all of us so she could have her way.