Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Humble beginnings...or ..horrible beginnings?

Back in the fall of 1981 there was a 15 year old girl that lived in a tiny Maine town.  That young girl was becoming a wild child, full of bitterness and resentment that lead to a life of rebellion.  Seeking comfort and anything to dull the pain of her childhood.  It wasn't until 9 weeks had passed, that she realized she was pregnant.    Due to the illicit drug and alcohol use, not to mention the smoking and partying that were daily parts of her life.  The doctors forced her to get an emergency ultrasound.  They thought the baby was either dead or deformed.  The ultrasound was for them to see if they needed to persuade her to end the pregnancy, to end her child's life.

This young girl, was my mother.

As you can tell, no abortion happened.  No defects or deficiencies were found, and to everyone's surprise, I was healthy.  After realizing the severity of the situation, she was able to then start to protect her body and unborn baby and take me to full term.  The rest of the pregnancy was relatively uneventful for the most part.

But life outside the womb was still not that good.  She had just turned 16 and was forced to drop out of school, and find work to start making money.  The father whom she had been dating, seemingly disappeared from the scene.  She was so angry that he would not return her calls, and that he would just abandon her like this.  What, was he scared?  Did he not want to be tied down?  Not exactly.  But we will get to that another time, the bottom line is, he was not in the picture.

She reached the end of the pregnancy, and the birth day came along, and her father, mother, and one of her brothers were there at the hospital.  She still had not decided on a name for me yet, because she was holding out hope that her boyfriend would come back.  And she had already agreed to name me after him.  I would have been a Junior, but it didn't work out like that.  While at the hospital her mother made an announcement, that I was to be named after both my grandfather and uncle, Oscar Thomas.  This was not my mom's choice, and quite frankly she hated the name Oscar, but did not want to hurt her dad's feelings.  Afterall, despite all the bad he had done in her life, at least he was the one there with her at the hospital right now, right?  It wasn't like my dad was the one there with her...

The birth happened, and when I came out, I was a blue-gray color.  This is not uncommon, but the labor lasted so long, that this was a concern.  My body was limp and lifeless, and I was not breathing.  They tried to spank me but I was unresponsive.  They all thought she delivered a dead baby.  This young girl was devastated, all this for a dead baby.  But one of the nurses refused to give up, and basically started shaking me, and eventually I started to cry.  I have no idea how long this process all took, but it doesn't matter.  It was shortly after this that my mother secretly vowed that my name may be Oscar Thomas, but my name would be Tiger.  It took me half my life before I found that out, and found out why.  She told me that life was hard, and a lot of terrible things have happened to her.  But that I was one of the good things, the best things.  That I would be a fighter, and I would never quit, and I would be a survivor, that I would have a strength.

As time passed, my mother and I stayed at her parents home, and my grandparents were amazing to me.  My uncle also lived there too, as he was still only 14 or 15 years old, and he was my best friend for those first years of my life.  Despite the love my little family gave to me, I still didn't have a dad.

Years started to pass, and I didn't understand why my friends had daddies and I did not.  We didn't talk about it much, but as time passed, my mom just told me that they just did not work out.  That he just didn't want to be with her, and that he left.  Whether it was ever said or not, there was always a bitterness and pain and resentment that came with those conversations.  I grew up to hate the dad that I never had.  The one that walked out on not only my mom, but me.  I never knew what he looked like or anything, just that he was a piece of crap.  Time continued to pass and I grew older, and I still did not have a dad in the picture, and my mom told me that I probably would never see him.  And to a  kid, never seeings someone that you have never met, didn't seem like a problem.  She went on to tell me, that my dad was in prison.  I didn't really understand all that, but he was in prison for dealing drugs.

I have a lot of memories from a very young age, some are more congruent than others, but some are just shards and fragments.  That is probably good thing, because there may be a lot of things that my mind has blocked out.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of things, that it didn' be continued.......