I will start off by saying, we moved almost every year of my life. I tend not to remember exactly how old I was and more so remember experiences based off of which apartment we were living in.
Aw so those puke green apartments. I must have been young, maybe around 4th or 5th grade. Around this time in my life my mother was battling her recently diagnosed Bipolar Disorder. She had been diagnosed a few years prior and was in the process of getting help and medication adjustments.
If you are familiar at all with mental health disorders then you know those medications say “therapeutic level achievable after 4-6 weeks of treatment.” Well this was not helpful to my developing young self!
This apartment was a one bedroom, fairly large but still we shared a room divided by one of those ugly room dividers. I can remember hearing my mother cry here and there. I can’t imagine what it was like for her. Battling such a crippling disorder, trialing medication after medication all the while attempting to raise a child.
We went through a lot at this apartment.
The night I crawled under the dining table because my mom was mad and trying to hurt me. She couldn’t reach me under there.
The time the cops came because someone reported a disturbance and my mother told me to tell them everything was OK. I had tears in my eyes but I told the nice cop that we were fine.
But the one memory that sticks the most for me is the time I couldn’t make a damn PB&J. Of all things… why do people put peanut butter in the fridge?! It doesn’t spread if its cold!
Anyways, it was early early in the morning. The sun was barely making an appearance. I was getting ready for school and as usual my mother was still in bed. The rooms were dark, the apartment quiet. The only light was from the dull yellow fixture above the skinny little kitchen.
I’m standing there attempting to spread this cold hard peanut butter across my soft fragile bread and all I was doing was ripping it apart! So as I had learned from watching my mother, when things don’t go right with food, you through a tantrum. So I started to cry.
I was crying and frustrated and didn’t know how to fix my sandwich. My mom heard me desperately asking for help and got up. I could hear the stomping from the bedroom like an earthquake rumbling across the floor. She stormed in so angry with her eyes still swollen and blood shot from being exhausted. As she came at me I couldn’t turn anywhere. I couldn’t hide under anything. Our kitchen was like a hall with a wall at one end. So I moved quickly for that wall and turned my back to her attempting to shield myself.
Then I feel her grasp and her bite. Yes, her bite. She had grabbed me and bit me on my upper back.
I do not recall how this situation resolved. Although I can say, I probably didn’t get my PB&J.