My story begins before I was born with my mother’s story. She came into this world as a result of an abusive marriage. My grandparents immigrated to the US from Hungary while pregnant with my mother. Soon after she was born her mother (my grandmother) abandoned her and left her in the hands of her father who was very abusive. I have been told by other family members that she might have been raped amongst other types of abuse. When she neared adulthood her father remarried. The woman he married was very sick and cruel herself. I’ve heard stories of how they took the hinges off of my mother’s bedroom door and “examine” her because they thought she was being a loose girl and doing drugs. After my mother became old enough she finally left (or was kicked out, I’m not sure which). Unfortunately, she ended up on the streets and turned to prostitution as a means of fending for herself. She did tell me that she got pregnant before she had me and had an abortion but it wasn’t enough for her to get off the streets. She’s also told me of some of her drug use at that time. One story involves a trip where Jesus comes to visit her. She still believes it was divine.
She got pregnant with me when she was 21. According to her, she had been off the streets for a while and in a relationship with my biological father but was dishonest and didn’t tell him of her life on the streets. He eventually found out and kicked her out (pregnant) because of her dishonesty and he thought she was still doing it for money. She had told me once that he demanded a paternity test but she refused. In her mind, she refused because she didn’t need him and wasn’t going to be told what to do. (As you read more of my stories, you will see much of this thinking throughout her life) She was forced to move back in with her parents since she planned on keeping me. They took her in a helped her take care of me. I don’t know of any abuse during this time. At some point in my infancy, the step-mother passed away from a terminal disease. Soon after my grandfather and my mother (and me) took a trip to Oklahoma City to visit some Hungarian friends.
During this trip my mother met a young man who was the step-son of one of my grandfather’s friends. His name was Dave. He was a little bit older than her but they were the only ones out of the group in their 20’s. They got to know one another and spent a lot of time together since my mother didn’t know anyone. The trip overall was supposed to be a few weeks but was cut short when my grandfather decided to up and leave for home on the east coast. Instead of waiting for my mother to come back to the friend’s house, he called Dave’s house and informed her that since she had a boyfriend, she had a place to stay and he would not be taking her (or me) back home with him. He abandoned us in Oklahoma with no money, no place to live and no family or friends. Dave was in a relationship with another woman and had no intentions of beginning one with my mother but immediately felt bad for her and opened his home for her to stay until she could figure something out.
Dave had just recently gone through a nasty divorce where he had to relinquish all his parental rights (aka. lost his kids). That was his 2nd marriage. The relationship with the other woman dissolved and Dave and my mother found themselves in a relationship of convenience. My mother still convinces herself that she fell in love with him, but Dave has told me differently. When I was nearing two, he applied and accepted a job as a manager at a steak house in Kansas. It was a few hours away and he intended on a permanent move. He gave my mother the option to join him or stay in OKC and start her own life. She opted to come with him. They ran the restaurant together. It was a win-win for the both of them. She had a job and he had another contributor of income for the time being so he could get settled. Not too long after they moved, the owner of the restaurant informed them that the small Kansas town looked down on folks that were unmarried but living together. They needed to tie the knot or the steak house would lose business from the mostly Christian townspeople. So, they got married soon after in a shopping mall. Ironically, I yelled “shut-up” the whole time. I was two.
Dave had no intentions of this marriage being forever. In his mind, this was purely out of convenience for my mother because she needed help getting on her feet. My mother didn’t see it that way. She was in love and this was forever. Forever, ever.