Welcome back, where did we end? We ended with mom coming out of the hospital and rejoining the family at home . My mom is having to walk with a cane, not doing superb. She’s doing very well at all. But then we got word that her mom had died. My grandmother had been sick. She had cancer, leukemia I think, I don’t remember what kind of cancer, her dying, wasn’t random, but it also wasn’t the best timing. All right.
It was less than a month after my dad died, then my grandmother died. we had to go to Ohio, I don’t really remember how we got there. I just remember we got there. And, once in Ohio, that’s where my mom was from, a little itty-bitty town in Ohio. That was kind of cool. I mean, mind the funeral and everything, as I learned how to play chess, I also learned how to tie a tie.
Back to Asheville I Was in 5th grade, I don’t remember very much. Well, I don’t want to foreshadow too much. But before middle school, life after my dad died was different. My mom changed, she wasn’t… I mean, mind you she was… If you remember, she was always kind of high strung a little bit and she was more the loud and yelling one, and my dad was more the relax, calm down.
But after my dad was gone, my mom, towards me, she changed. not in a negative way, more in like, “Erik, life’s about to get fucked.” Right. “So, I need to teach you everything that you need to know to survive.” I don’t think she trusted much of anything and she was taking a handful of pills everyday just to stay alive. I think she knew that she was going to die soon, or life was never going to be the same as it was before my dad died.
After we got back from my grandmother dying, things went back to “normal”. back to school, all that kind of good stuff. like I said, my mom changed. what she was teaching me, (she was alone, you would think that people would be really supportive, right?) But most people turned their back on my mom, or not just my mom, on us.
My dad was a doctor and had just opened a practice (partnership). They didn’t want to help my dad died too fast, So it would bring up the insurance premiums for all the other doctors. So they were against the million dollar payout or whatever it was to my mom, because they said my dad hadn’t contributed enough to the practice. you learn, everyone wants to say, “Oh yeah, so sorry,” and everything, but once everyone’s tears dry, then that’s how they really act.
My mom became isolated so we became isolated. I could tell, but not tell she was really stressed. she would give me another… I would want to say fucked up life lesson, but it’s not a fucked up life lesson if the things she told me during this span of time, I still keep in my head. And I’m still alive, doing well for myself
She has three kids, one of her kids is black. When there’s a mom and a dad, when there’s two parents trying to raise a black, it’s a lot easier. When there’s just a female, there’s more snickering like, “What is she going to do with him?” all that other kind of crap. people’s true opinions come when people are in need. You would think that people would be more sympathetic, but that’s rarely ever the case. mom sensed this and I’m pretty sure she’s seen, my life was just about to go to fuck. Not even shit, it was about to go to fuck.
she told me how much money I had, she told me what was supposed to happen if she died. she opened up to me more than anyone else. At least, I would think she did because she told me things that my sisters are like, “What?” And I’m like, “She didn’t tell you this?” And they’re like, “No.” So that’s why I’m thinking she opened up towards me.
October comes, almost a year since my dad died. My mom got sick, remember she had to take a handful of pills every day. I’m in 6th grade, 6th grade was different. My teacher was my mom’s friend so I couldn’t get away with anything. My sister was in 8th grade. all the 8th graders knew who I was because I was my sister’s little brother. So it was completely different, right. It was a different environment. But again, that changed rapidly come October. When we got home the ambulance was at the house, we went into my mom’s room, she’s crying and screaming, in excruciating pain. Like, “It won’t stop hurting. It won’t stop hurting.” they have to take her out on a stretcher. I was 11 at this time, so she had an 11 year old, a 13 year old and now a 15 year old. So they took her to the hospital and everything was kind of normal. I mean, she was just going to the hospital so I didn’t think anything too bad of it. I didn’t think any good of it either, but I didn’t think that was going to be the last time she was ever going to be home.
So we stayed at either my aunt and uncle’s house or my neighbor’s house those first couple of days. I think it was my neighbor’s house because they were just nMy sisters and I got an intercom call Thursday during school. The principal calls the Johnson kids to the office. She told us that we needed to go to the hospital, that something had changed and we needed to go to the hospital.
My middle sister lost it. She asked the question, “Is my mom going to die?” The principal told her, “No honey, she’s not going to die.” We just need to get you guys to the hospital. So they packed us up, and we went to the hospital and spent some time with my mom. By this time, they had attached the heart monitors so we could see her heart beating. She couldn’t really talk to us, but I knew it was important for us to be around. My family had been called, Her dad and her brothers, about 11 o’clock at night, they told us we could go home, she looked stable and they didn’t think anything was going to happen.
We went to my aunt and uncle’s house and we went to sleep. Around five o’clock in the morning, we were woken up and told we had to go to the hospital immediately, that something had changed and my mom needed us to be at the hospital. We went to the hospital and the first thing we saw was my next door neighbor. He was a doctor as well and he came out, crying. He said, “She’s not going to make it.” we were with her, holding her hand, my family arrived and we watched her go.
Now, my heart hurt so much at the time because everything that my mom was warning me was now coming true and I hated her for it. I hated her so much as she was leaving me. I couldn’t cry. I told myself you could save her if you just tell her that you love her and hold her hand and give her a kiss. I couldn’t do it. I watched my mom die, everything in my life changed the second she died.
Right after she died, war began, back at my house, my home a couple changes were happening.
My mom told me we were going, if anything were to happen and she died, we would be moving to California to be with her oldest brother, he was financially able to take care of us. Well, the State of North Carolina disagreed with that. They said that, yes, he is financially stable so we will give your estates to him to look over. But since you have family in the Carolinas, they will be responsible for your wellbeing. Since our house was bigger than my aunt and uncle’s, they moved into our house. So last night this was my house, tonight this is no longer my house. It looks the same, my bed’s in the same place, matter of fact, some of the food that was there yesterday is still there. But this is no longer my house, it was their house. No longer my rules, it was their rules. it does not matter your mom let me do this yesterday, those were her rules, these are our rules. See how that poses a problem? It was not fun. It was actually miserable. I felt it was worse than jail. I mean, I’ve been to jail a couple times, not for long or extended periods of time, but it was worse because every day was just miserable. Just being yelled at, all the time, being threatened with punishment on a daily basis it was just horrible. It was so miserable to this day I have nothing to do with that family and I never will. I do not want to hear anything about them, I don’t care. If they were on fire, I wouldn’t pee on them. That’s how much I do not care. It wasn’t just because of this small situation. This was the beginning years of straight shit.
It was a miserable living situation. Everything I was accustomed to my entire life changed in my own house, so I was no longer able to do anything that I was able to do before. All the music my mom bought me, they didn’t like so they confiscated it. Anything they did not like, even though I might have had it for years, they confiscated video games, confiscated… being locked in my room was a common thing. So that’s why I’m used to being stuck in a room. I was stuck in a room all the time, under their dictatorship.
After my mom died, school changed as well. They took me out of normal classes in the morning and gave me a personal tutor because “they said” I was too disruptive in class. They made me go to some kind of psychiatrist a little bit but that didn’t last very long because I didn’t want to talk to anybody (my thinking was and still is, can anyone bring my parents back? No! So why worry about things I cannot control? I have problems I can control best to focus on those things.) I just basically felt like my parents were on an extended vacation, maybe that wasn’t the best thing to do. But that’s what I did.
Remember, when my mom died the state said that the money can go to my uncle but we cannot. Well, the family that moved into our house had no money and no job. So we ended up moving to California anyways, so that my uncle that had the money and was able to take care of us and could give my other uncle a job he could take care of us. It would have been a world of difference if what my mom wanted happened. For this reason, that family (my moms brother) was more open and more advanced. Technologically advanced, socially advanced as well a different mindset. When you’re raised by the owner of a company or even the daughter of the owner of a company, it’s a different mentality as being raised by an employee of a company. Does that make sense? My mom came from a family of people that owned things. My dad came from a family of people that didn’t own anything. Two very different worlds. So when I was raised, my mom raised us, the only way she knew how. In the way of an owner, that type of way. Well when she died, the state thought it was more logical for us to go with a family that had nothing. Opposed to a family that was the same as my mom. The best way to put it, if we went with my mom’s side of the family, we wouldn’t have had to use our own money to survive. But with my dad’s side family, we had to use our own money for everything. The house we bought when we moved to California was 25% my house. The car was 25% mine. So basically everything was 25% mine. Part of the reason I have nothing to do with my dad’s side of the family is one day, in middle school, I don’t remember what year, it might have been in 7th grade. I repeated 6th grade. I was looking on a computer. I had to do something and I saw how much money my sisters were paying per month and how much money I was paying. Now mind you, I am at school, I’m not living at home, I live at boarding school. However I’m paying $500, my sisters are each paying $250, but I’m not even living in my own house, I’m living in a dorm. I’m living in a dorm but my sisters are paying half the amount that I’m paying. Is that fair? No. After I saw that, I truly lost all respect for this family. You’re robbing me blind, locking me in my room like a jail cell (in a house I am part owner) and there’s nothing I can do about it. I can do nothing about my own money.