So, back to the Private school Michael and I went. I was in 2nd Grade when I back and soon found that my Kindergarten class mates where in my class. It was easy to blend back in with them and I was good being there. I did well in school. I didn't really get into trouble that I can remember, not like Michael who was really having issues. We found out that he had severe problems with ADD and could not behave in school for nothing. He didn't last long in school that year, and after he physically was trying to hurt the other students and teacher, they pulled him out and I was the only one there. But, for some reason, the adopted parents decided to pull me out too. I kind of went with it, told them that I didn't feel right, being the only one who went to school while the family was home. So, home I went and I never stepped foot in a private or public school ever again. Looking back, I wish I had, I missed my friends and being around people. The second time around homeschooling wasn't fun anymore and there were no more homeschool groups to hang out with. It was just home.
I did have a childhood girlfriend, who I had met in Kindergarten and our families became very close. She had two brothers, one was much older than us and was working at Little Caesar's Pizza, and Kevin was a year younger than her and was Michael's age. The four of us younger kids were inseparable. We started homeschooling the first time around at the same time; in fact it was her mom that inspired my adopted mom to do the whole 'homeschool' thing. When I was sent to private school the second time, my best friend Amanda cried. She didn't want me to go. Needless to say she was very much overjoyed when I came home the second time, to stay.
Soon, the 'spanking' wasn't the only thing I would learn to hate. It would be the 'slapping' me in my face that would start to get to me. I was being slapped in my face for things I didn't understand. I was slapped for looking at my adopted mom the wrong way when she was scolding or correcting me. If I said something wrong, I was slapped. If I looked at her with an angry face, she would slap me. Again, as I got older, those would start to escalate and become beyond physically hurtful.
So, cleaning the church with my dad at age 10 wasn't a big deal, and apparently not a big deal to the staff at the school and church. They thought my brother and I were cute, changing out the trash can liners and vacuuming the rooms, the many rooms in each building. Pretty soon, we knew those buildings like the back of our hands and we knew where every closet and door and room were. I still have it stored in memory what every building looked like, where the bathrooms were, were the secret storage rooms were.
I liked being there cleaning. I was around people again and I wasn't at home where I was soon becoming numb. I didn't want to be there. I didn't want to be around the adopted mother in fear that I would get stuck with endless school work or chores or worse, I would have to see her interact with Matthew. They always 'played' around and spent time together.
While I was cleaning a bathroom, they were talking or doing something together and if the adopted mother was busy, Matthew was 'playing' or watching TV or a movie, something that was a rarity for me, a treat. He was always eating too, whatever he wanted and they would buy him what he wanted. Michael and I had to eat our meals when they were made and served to us. If the kitchen table had a mess of the adopted mother's paperwork on it, we got to eat on the kitchen floor and eat our peanut butter sandwiches, our handful of chips and piece of fruit for lunch and sometimes for dinner.
That was hard too, because I would get hungry. We were only allowed to eat was given to us; sometimes we got to have seconds but not all the time. Soon, I would find where the snacks were hidden at church and when I went with my adopted dad to clean, I would find opportunities to help myself to them. I was hungry. I wasn't skin and bones but I wasn't at a healthy weight either. I was skinny. The adopted mother noticed one day that I had a 'gut' and wondered where it was coming from. She didn't know that I was eating whatever I could find at the church, whether it was left over doughnuts, crackers or whatever it was. My favorite was the goldfish; I loved it when I found the goldfish. It got worse though; I soon was so hungry that I found myself eating from the trashcans, if the trash was fresh. Even at home, I was harboring food, leftovers that I could find and store in my room under the mattress. I would save the ends of the loaves of bread that would get thrown away and eat my stash at night after I knew it was safe to do so. Yeah, it's sad, and nasty. But, I had to. I was afraid of going hungry and later as an adult I would find out that it was a survival mechanism kicking in for something that was going wrong or traumatic and it was most likely the 'spanking's and slapping I was getting.