Christmas – Age 9

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The Christmas after I turned 9 was especially special for my parents. I found out why I had been spending so much time with my grandmother. Turns out, my parents were busy working on having Dave adopt me and make me his legal daughter. I always had a father on my birth certificate, Jay Berman. I always hoped to meet him. It’s possible that he’s not even my biological father. My mother is such a pathological liar that I would have to do a paternity test no matter what.

They tried to make this Christmas especially special. They even thought it would be funny to have me unwrap about 20 lumps of coal. They always had a way of inflating the gifts under the tree. There’s no telling how much debt they went into every holiday but I imagine it was a lot. It wasn’t mostly stuff that I wanted but rather stuff that I needed: underwear, socks, clothes, etc. As I got older I would get makeup and personal care items. They would pepper in some toys and things that I really wanted, like Barbies and accessories. This year there was a huge box holding the pile of presents up, leaning against the wall. After all the other presents were opened, then they let me open that one. I dug through several feet of newspaper, tons of packing, more wrapped pieces of coal then there it was at the very bottom…. a framed adoption certificate. I burst out in tears. Dave hugged me and held me and reminded me that now I was officially his daughter. What my parents never knew what that those tears were not tears of joy. They were tears of, “oh shit! I BELONG to him now! I’m never getting out of this!”

I was beginning to have feelings that something wasn’t right especially after the DFS visit. My grandmother also kept reminding me that it was wrong. I eventually stopped telling her anything so she would bother me about it. She also began to tell me more about how abusive my mother was to me when I was a toddler. She always told me the story of when she was spoon feeding me and I didn’t want anymore. She got angry and shoved the spoon in and then yanked it out, cutting the corner of my mouth. She did that right in front of my grandmother. She said that she would never forget it and that’s when she knew that my mother was an evil person.

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