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  • outofsmallthingsli

My Miserable Life (part I of III)

Updated: Nov 9, 2023


I was unwanted before I was even born. Apparently my arrival into this world did not change that un-wanted-ness. I was not good enough for my birth mother, so I was adopted into another home. My adoptive parents had their own biological baby 10 years prior and were unable (for unknown reasons) to have children after that. They then adopted my next older sister four years later, and me, six years after that. As fate would have it, as soon as they adopted me, my adoptive mother conceived, and my younger sister entered the scene. We were a year and two weeks apart - close enough in age to be considered Irish Twins. My time being the baby of the family was cut short. But that was just the start. After adopting me, my mom had 5 more children within a 10-year time frame, reducing the attention a growing child needs. I was the only one in our family to have such a small tenure as the baby of the family.


I was in second grade when I found out I was adopted. My world came crashing down. I was not a "REAL Raisor” (my maiden name). I was not as good as my parents’ naturally born children. How could I be? People just love their own flesh and blood more. The shame of not being a “real Raisor” was almost constantly on my mind and trying to hide that information from others was exhausting. Because I was adopted, I had to work much harder to gain my parents’ approval. I felt I never measured up. Any time I asked to go play with friends my mom would have me do a chore first. It’s like I had to “buy” any free time I got! I did the lion’s share of work being the oldest of “family #2.” My older sister overheard me quietly chanting, “Terri do this, Terri do that, Terri do everything!” while doing one of the chores I had been asked to do before I could go play. She thought it was hilarious, I didn’t. Of course she thought it was funny, she was not the Cinderella child! I had three younger brothers that had to be pests any time I had a friend over, doing dumb, embarrassing things in front of my friends. My mom did little to keep them from intruding on our space. One of those brothers had a talent for knowing just the right buttons to push to get my goat and he employed that talent every chance he got!


I was a tomboy growing up. My older sisters were beautiful and refined and I was rough around the edges and didn’t have very many soft features. With my flaming rats-nest red hair, splotchy freckled face, gangly legs and ape arms. I even made Pippi Longstocking look adorable - I stood out like a sore thumb. In fact, when people didn’t know my name, they’d just shout out “hey red!” On top of that, kids called me freckle face in grade school. Because of my love of sports, most recesses were spent playing basketball, football, baseball, or some kind of ball with the boys. One time when I was in fourth or fifth grade, I walked into the restroom at school and two sixth grade girls looked disdainfully at me, and one of them snidely said, “boys aren’t allowed in this bathroom!” They laughed together at their funny quip. I quickly walked past them and into a stall so they wouldn’t see the pain their stinging comment caused.


Junior high was kind of a blur and the transition was not favorable. Recesses weren’t the same and I found myself not knowing where I fit in. Social propriety was setting in and I felt pressure to start being more girlish. I remember how pleased my mom seemed when I relented to buying clothes with pink in them and how out of place I felt in pink!


Fast forward to high school. I had still not figured out the transition of wanting to date boys vs the drive to compete with them. Somehow blocking their shots in basketball did not woo them into wanting to ask me out on any dates. Go figure. It certainly didn’t help any that my Irish Twin sister was a boy-magnet. It seemed she was the pied piper for high school boys and she never lacked for that kind of attention. Me trying to mimic her and other “cute” girls to try and fit this mold was so cringy I couldn’t keep it up for long. I was doomed to be a spinster.


Surprisingly enough I did marry. We were young and dumb - mostly me. I was 19, my husband was 23. He was ready to start a family before I was. I just didn’t know if I could be a good enough mom. But, I trusted him and a few years later we had our first child. My husband struggled to decide on what he wanted to be “when he grew up” so he changed majors in college several times. Because of this and starting a family while still in college, it took 7 years to obtain that bachelors degree. We were on a tight budget with only his income because we had decided I would be a stay-at-home mom. We had two children in this time frame. I was not expecting two children with chronic ear infections. I swear half their intake was antibiotics! And those of you who have been through that know what antibiotics do to digestive systems! So, yeah, there was that too. On top of being the primary caretaker, house cleaner, and the endless list of other task-oriented titles, I was Ron’s secretary, typing all of his college papers for him (guys rarely took keyboarding classes, so he was painfully slow). Life was exhausting!


Finally, college graduation rolled around for Ron, but that job we expected to happen after several resumes were sent out didn’t happen. Ron graduated with a degree in business with a finance emphasis. Finance jobs at that time were few and far between. Finally, a job offer morphed, but in a state we didn’t want to live in and not in finance. It was a sales and marketing job. Life is about doing the responsible thing, though, right? So off we went to a state where we made sure our doors were always locked and where our vehicle was broken into.


This first job kept Ron stuck in a marketing career. Here’s the thing about being in marketing. If the budget gets tight for a business, bye-bye marketing department, so we dealt with layoffs throughout the years. My dream of settling into one house our entire married life was shattered. To date we’ve moved 12 times. It’s depleting having to move; leaving good friends and the comforts that come from settling into one place; dragging the kids away from friends they’ve made and the schools they are comfortable with.


Just once I’d like things to go my way, the way I had planned… I could go on with more from the second half of my life but that’s enough depression for one post.


Low Five ☹


You probably noticed there isn't much of a point to this post. This is a series of posts (1 of 3) and there will be a point forthcoming 😊.

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3 Comments


sharris331
Nov 07, 2023

Hey Terri, I was always glad when we were in the same class in elementary school — it was nice having a friend at eye level.

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karenscott10
Nov 07, 2023

Terri. I loved reading this. I love knowing you and all of the things. I can’t wait to read the rest.

Life is hard. I learned a metaphor for hard: hard and refining days. I look to you as one who is refined.


I have such admiration for your intellect and your quickness in helping others. I have been the recipient so many times. Thank you for sharing these details. Love you. ❤️❤️❤️

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8greyhaven
Nov 06, 2023

I think I know where you are going with this. :)

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