The hospital experiences were only a portion of the negative experiences that shaped my early life. When I was about five-years-old, the conflict between my mom and dad escalated to the point that my mom finally decided to move out. I recall the frantic screaming that night. I am not sure of the time, but I know it had to be late given that everyone else’s lights were turned off in our subdivision. During this domestic brouhaha, my mom was feverishly putting our clothes into black garbage bags as she was moving toward making her get-away. At that point, she had had enough. That would be the last night my family and I slept under the same roof. At the age of five, my life had changed forever.
Dealing with the trauma of surgeries and their consequences at the age of five, I also had to then grapple with divorce. My mom did her best, but she was also saddled with some problems. There was no sense of security in my life as the typical support structures simply weren’t there. I lacked the secure environment when both parents were present. Due to their divorce, my home now consisted of my mom and brother as well as my grandparents. We moved in with them right after my parents were separated. This move provided stability for us during the year we lived with them.