Around this time I finally got to meet my siblings and go to my dads house for the first time. I was so excited. I felt happiness and a sense of completion. Getting to know the other side of what makes me, me.
I met my step mom, my 2 older brothers and my older sister. It was awkward at first because no matter what, I’m going to ride for my mom! So being older, I think I always had a defensive attitude. But eventually I learned to love everyone for who they were to me.
My sister called every day leading up to meeting. I was so excited to have an older sister. She would do my hair and get us matching sneakers and shirts and take me to the high school games. She wasn’t ashamed of me and that I will forever hold dear. Out of everyone on my dads side, I’m closest to her. She still shows up for me to this day and I don’t have to question, I know she always will.
I was happy to spend time with my dad. I was named after my dad. We have always had a special bond from the beginning. I remember going many places with him on the truck. My brother and I would take turns riding up front, dad would feed us good food and we got to see some amazing places. From Ohio to New York to Florida. We took family trips to Disney, which will always be some of the best memories. I definitely get my passion for travel from him.
No matter the absences, he’s still my dad and there have been times he has come through for me when I’ve made mistakes. It took me a while to look at it like that though. I held a lot of grudge and hurt for a long time. But all that did was hurt me in the long run. Projecting that pain in hurtful ways held me captive from who I knew I could be. In the end, I will never give up on my dad. I am forever a piece of him.
Entering into middle school, I remember being happy. Having my mom, my dad, good friends and making the cheerleading team, I started feeling confident. But that ship soon sailed.
When I look back on middle school I just cringe. They were some of my worst years emotionally. Boys definitely didn’t take a second look at me, cheerleader or not. The people I had gotten so close to, I was drifting from. I remember getting cheerleading uniforms and the girls whispering comments about mine because of the size. I went crying home to my mom. She said words to me that means so much now. “Chesney, either you suck it up and stop caring what people think, or if you don’t like it, change it.”
So that’s what I did. I had a great cheerleading year. I just went back to being in my own glory, the space I’ve always known. Ignoring my friends, my family. Everyone. I got so caught up in my space at the time that I stopped wanting to be noticed. To be seen. I started dressing in boys clothes at one point. As my mother would say, “you were from one extreme to the next” lol. And that is nothing but the truth. By the time middle school ended I was cheering again and showing off my newly developed cleavage. Lol.
I was finding a part of myself then, I see now as I look back. But when high school came, it was a whole different ball game. I had started losing weight, got back connected with my people and started being rebellious. I was straight A student my whole life until 9th grade. I think subconsciously I was tired of being good. I felt like it never got noticed. My greatest quality was how smart I was. I didn’t understand the value of that then.
Although I brought my grades up and continued to be an honor student the rest of high school, I still found my own ways of being rebellious. My mother had a strict curfew and I hated it. I tried to find ways around it. Looking back I know she was trying to protect me, but that’s where the start of our arguments grew.
As my life began to unfold as a young woman, I had the mindset that I knew it all, and that I could do anything on my own. Needless to say this mindset and attitude changed the course of my life….