November 5th, 1990 at 10:30am I was born to a married couple in East Meadow NY.
I was the baby they tried for after a still birth that was unplanned. Nursery painted and boy
things waiting on a child that never showed.
So I was a miracle, one that arrived early and barely made a peep at 5ish lbs.
It is very accurate that when I was born I was dramatic.
I opened my eyes and was super alert after birth. Arms swinging around and the funniest expressions as I threw my hands up into the sky.
Now I'm not sure if i believe in time travel or alternate lives. But i do know that holding my forehead and throwing my hands up had to be deep foreshadowing my author set in place for the turmulous ride I would face and the people I would endure for many years.
Humor. And resilience.
If two gifts were given to me when I went earth side, it was those.
The ability to get through anything and get through it laughing all the way.
Laughing at the irony of life. Laughing at the lighthearted things about life, that only I could appreciate because of my awareness of the dark side. The ugly things. The dysfunction.
Laughing was my medicine.
My parents split by the time I was 3. Cathy broke a chair over Charlie's back and he hit her one time back finally. One time too many in his book, because he never wanted to be that guy.
Next thing Cathy did was show up on her own mothers door step with me, begging for a place to stay after we lost our section 8 housing and owned only one duffle bag of things.
My teddy bear was the one thing I brought, my bff since birth who got dragged by the rice filled arm on every adventure I left on.
We spent 2 whole years in an unfinished basement. Now I know where my fear of crickets comes from.
Charlie would come around on some weekends for me.
He was fun. Unstructured. Wild.
With long flowing hair like mine and an unkept place with freedom written all over it.
No rules was synonymous with father.
Cathy hated that.
She hated many things.
Like my golden daddy locks of hair, my laughter at all the things including inappropriate phrases I dragged home, my interest in climbing trees, my obsessive need to talk about all the things, and my "carefree attitude".
Care-free is no way to be in a hard world. Too many bad people and bad things for me to get used to smiling.
She did not have to say it, because her sturn smirk spoke it into our life and relationship.
Every time she brushed my hair into a tight pony, pulling my eyes back and tightening my grip to the chair, she straightened my curls like she was trying to straighten my DNA out.
Be gone with the unruly hair. Be gone with chaos.
Cathy did not sit for tea parties but she did make sure to dress me up in frills, like a 90s Mary Poppins child with the white Lacey socks and patent shoes. A pageant worthy ribbon never met my chest, but words of poise were branded into my soul.
It stuck with me though, her vision of me and who she wanted me to be as a little girl.
So much I developed a double life. Refined with Cathy, unruly with Charlie. Ripped blue Jean's, leather jacket with the broken patch work and exhaust smell. Smelled like hard work and marijuana.
Cathy hated that jacket.
But Cathy worked really hard and always dressed the part. She counted her lashes to perfection and blew out the tight curls in her hair to reform herself into powerful for her day. She was a leader, even when she was the lowest on the chain in her job.
Charlie "made money" but only enough to barely cover expenses while staying with his mother. And he took any job he could get.
Most often working on motorcycles or driving a truck.
Dirt was his job.
And his time.
And his attitude.
Losing a parent as a teen, he replaced his father with chemical coping mechanisms.
Cathy got nose bleeds sometimes. Dry skin. "Hereditary" she said. It took me 12 years to realize what the white brick was in her underwear drawer.
Cathy was not a hugger. Or a kisser.
But she did get me board games, or at least I think it was her. Giving me a way to play by myself and keep busy while being passed between in-law and grandma while she worked.
My favorite 2 games, I can still picture when I close my eyes, were Mousetrap and Don't break the ice.
I learned rather quickly how to strategize and survive.
I screamed and cried the day I started public school. Held my hands to the panels like a death grip. Choking and gasping for air through my tears as I was yanked past the barrier.
I cried having to walk on the sidewalk, afraid I would step on the Ant hills and kill defenseless, innocent creatures just trying to make their way home to their mommies.
I was a weird kid.
Now I know weird is synonymous with anxiety disorder.
J.S. JADED SAVIOR
An excerpt from my Autobiography "Stuck on Pause", coming in Spring 2020. A tale about a girl who lived through birth, divorce, an evil stepparent, child abuse, domestic violence, death threats, gas lighting, sexual assault, teen pregnancy, abortion, court, custody battles, college, narcissistic lovers, and many jaded encounters until finally becoming a mother of 3 and wife.
I am a writer, artist, and Women's Rights advocate. A story teller. An educator. A collector of resources for Trauma Survivors.
A Jaded Savior.
Published by Jean Soto JS Jaded Savior blog: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean Soto, mother of 3 and wife, is a writer + artist in the Hudson Valley, NY community.
Content mention of Rape, Abuse, Neglect, Addictions, Mental Illness, Kidnap, Molestation, Child abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Abortion, birth, body image, gender/identity dysphoria, sexuality, personal trauma, domestic violence and other extremely personal stories. Please practice caution. I am not a licensed physician or mental health professional. No medical prescribing is provided on this site, Only personal insights, experience stories, and advice; All stories published have had prior authorization. Questions? Contact Jean at: email@example.com
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