Funny thing is when I got my first job I was 15 and I went to the mall with my first paycheck and I spent it on toys for me and my sister. I bought toys that you would buy for a 5 yr old, but my mother never bought us anything like that. There always seemed to be enough money for beer and cigarettes, but never enough money for presents and groceries.

I saved up and after a few months me and my sister went clothes shopping. It felt so good. Just thinking about it now makes my eyes well up with tears. We had been through so much and we felt so beat up in life, neglected, and unloved, but when I bought those toys and we went clothes shopping and to the movies and for ice cream sundaes, other than my children being born those few days during my childhood were probably my happiest. Little things that most people take for granted, we relished in and I'll never forget how happy my baby sister looked.

Wow! Too much to think about. (Tears) When I was 18 I got my own apartment. It was a dingy little shack in South Philly, but it was mine, at least for a month until the rent was due again, and I went and got my sister and she came to live with me. My mom put up a fight but I threatened to go to the cops about all the stuff she had allowed her boyfriends to do to us and she never even said goodbye. We left that night and as for me, I never went back.

I can remember the both of us just comforting each other after waking up in the middle of the night with nightmares and night terrors. I tried to protect her when we were young because I was older but I was still smalled than the 30-something yr old men who were abusing us. We kept all the doors and windows of my apartment locked and just like when we were kids we slept in the same bedroom and we sang happy songs until we fell asleep. Sometimes we felt safer that way, which was much better than the times living with my mother because we never felt safe.

Sorry, I'm rambling. It's just that this topic brought something out of my cellar tonight. Thanks for doing that.

Martin

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Please call me Martin. One of my abusers would call me "Marty" and it just brings back too many awful memories.

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.- Winston Churchill