One of the many moments that formed my childhood was a repetitive moment I felt I was trapped in each and every day. My family owned a maroon GMC Yukon, and this was our large family car. If you aren’t familiar with the interior shape I will go ahead and explain it to you. The interior features three rows of seats. The first row is of course the drivers seat, and the second row was made up of two chairs as well. There is an isle between the two middle seats which allows room to move into the third row. The third row is a cramped back seat with your typical middle seat which was too small to fit a real human (AKA adults simply didn’t fit well).
My place in our family car was in the far back row. Now I know what you’re thinking, that it couldn’t be that bad. The problem here was that my younger brother and I who were not my step mom’s children were forced to sit at the back of the car. There were many occasions where it was only she and I in the vehicle and she would make me sit back there instead of in the passengers seat closer to her. I was to sit tight and not make any additional sounds that would bother her (Such as singing). If I began to hum or sing along to a song that came onto the radio, she would tell me to stop and that she didn’t want to have to listen to my annoying voice. She also would try turning up the radio very loud since the speakers were next to my face. She made a point to tell me that I wasn’t good at singing and that no one wanted to hear it.
Another thing she didn’t like were any types of perfumes or smells. One time I can think of is when I applied some mascara before we left the house and on the car ride to school she complained the entire time. She said that I didn’t care enough about her feelings to stop wearing things that bother her head (She had migraines occasionally). I apologized repeatedly, but apologizing to her never did any good anyway. She would roll down the windows when she knew I had spent time to fix my hair for school in the mornings. I guess she thought doing so would alleviate the smell? I have no clue.
This went on for years. My step mom hated me and I was very aware of it. She would use car rides as a chance to relentlessly complain about/to me. She would talk to my younger sister and step brother about stupid things that my little brother and I had done to annoy her. She also would use these car rides to ask my younger brother and I trap questions. She would ask questions that made no sense like “Do you just love chaos?” or “Why do you want to cause problems with this family all the time?”. She always seemed to accuse me of wanting chaos. I never wanted chaos, I simply wanted it to end.
Do you realize how hard it was to explain to someone when they asked me why I always sat so far away from the front of the vehicle? I usually would just tell people that it was my spot in the car. I tried to come off with as normal of a life as possible. I sometimes have a hard time knowing and understanding exactly why I didn’t just say something to her. I imagine it might have made things worse. You get Stockholm syndrome, and you just want to please the person torturing you.
Part 4 coming soon.