Eminem changes people’s lives!
Michelle is a fellow fan who came across my website. She has shared her story with me and I would like to share it (with her approval) with all of you.
Her life has been changed by Eminem positively. Like me, she doesn’t correspond to the ‘ typical teenage Eminem fan ‘.
This is Michelle’s personal story:
“I am a 32 yr old mother of three. My children’s ages are 16, 12, and 7.
Yes, I said 16 and if you can do the math I was 16 when I had him. My mother raised me, but my father was not around much. He always showed up for Christmas and a phone call on my birthday, but that was pretty much it. He did always convey to me that even though we did not see a lot of each other, he loved me and would be there if I ever asked him to. My mother was very materialistic and cold. She very rarely said she loved me or gave me much one on one attention. She did work very hard, but all of her off time was spent with one boyfriend after another. She wanted to be like a big sister more than my mother. She had me when she was young and she was constantly trying to get back her youth that having me had stolen away from her. She blamed me for everything that went wrong in her life. Nothing I could do was good enough. She did not get to do many things that young people do because of me and she wanted those things for me. College, prom, parties, graduation, and all things high school, but even though I understood that she wanted a better life for me than what she had been dealt, she did not tell me why. She constantly lied to me. I was 13 before I knew her true age or when her and my father was married. Mainly because she knew I would do the math and figure everything out. I finally figured it out by looking at her driver license and I found a copy of their wedding invitation at my aunt’s house by accident. Looking back now so many things in my life was a lie. Her family acted as though they were close, but we really only saw each other on holidays. We would go to one of my aunt’s houses and pretend that everything was just fine. That everyone was as pure as the driven snow and not dare talk about anything that was going wrong in our lives. We most definitely did not show any emotion other than the facade of pure happiness. My entire childhood was this way. My feelings were silly, foolish. They did not matter because my mother was always having some other crisis that took precedent over whatever issues I was having. Living this way, I began to believe that I was not important. That everyone else’s feelings and problems were more important than my own. That I should just ignore it and focus on anything but myself and put everyone else first, mainly my mother. As I grew older, she threw more and more on me. I was not a child. I was her equal. By the age of 10, I was paying the bills with checks she left signed for me, making dinner for myself, her, and whatever boyfriend she had, cleaning the house and yard, anything and everything that the mother would usually do. She was never there for me physically or emotionally. She did always provide a roof over my head, food, and clothing. We were not poor, just middle class.
It was around this time that one of my mother’s boyfriends became a permanent live in. At first it was kind of nice, as he seemed decent enough. I got along with him and at first my mother tried to play more of the motherly role to impress him. I can’t say that I didn’t mind that. But, it all to soon faded. My mother’s new live in was a drug trafficker with many problems. It did not seem that bad at first. I was old enough to know about drugs (at least what they told us in school and TV). It started out with me being able to smell them smoking pot. Then after a few months to a year, I would find one hundred dollar bills rolled very tightly into straws lying around the house. Little did I know that the worst was yet to come. The drug problem he had really did not affect me at this point. I knew what was going on, but I just hung out with my friends and played video games. They never did it in front of me and they were getting along pretty well. He would leave for a few weeks at a time every so often. I realize now that he was trafficking. When he would come back he would always have a couple of skuzzy friends with him and many large duffle bags. They would set up shop my mom’s bedroom not to be seen again for a few days and then be gone again. After a few more months of this, my mother and him began to argue. They argued about him being gone, bringing unwanted people around, him cheating, and even the things that I was being exposed to. She did care about what was happening. She was still working very hard and when she was not there I was left alone with these people. She did not like it, however she did very little to stop it. She used but she never did become addicted to anything to the point of having to go to rehab or not being able to function properly. She had a good job and made decent money. Eventually, my mother got her way and her boyfriend supposedly saw the error in his ways. They bought a house together and we moved. For about two months everything seemed ok. He even got a normal job working with his family.
This was the calm before the storm. He would get up say he was going to work then his family would call asking if he was there. He would say he is going to the store and ask if I wanted anything and not come back for three or four days. Amazingly, when he did he would always bring back the candy bar, chips, or soda that I had asked for. It was not long before he was back to where he had started and then some. The smell of pot and rolled up hundreds with cocaine residue on them had been replaced with needles and bent spoons. The semi quiet arguments in their bedroom were replaced with screaming, shouting, and slamming doors. They grew very far apart and he moved into the spare bedroom. He would stay in there for days at a time. She continued to live her life as though he was not there. Even going out and partying with other guys. The only time she would even bother him was when the mortgage was due. He always had money from trafficking and his family sent him a check whether he worked or not. The time I spent awake at night was worse than any nightmare I had while I was sleeping. I would lie awake and wait for the screaming to start or occasionally my mother and I would stand by his bedroom door and wait for it to quit shaking. He got to the point that he would occasionally have seizures and I think he would try to get help, but he would fall against the door and my mother and I could not open it. She would never call an ambulance for fear she would get in trouble. The police however were a constant visitor every Fri and Sat night. She would come home drunk and he would be high. She would bang and scream at his door until he opened it and proceeded to beat the hell out of her. Why she would not leave him alone I have no idea. I would get up and protect her. I would stand between them and drag her into my room. We would call the police and if needed my grandparents to take her to the hospital. He for some unknown reason would not lay one finger on me, but had no problem picking her up and throwing her across the room into the dining room table. This was routine for a couple of years until he finally got caught for trafficking and went to prison.
Upon his return, he was clean and after he stayed that way a while, my mother agreed to marry him. As much pain as he has caused me, I did forgive him. Mainly, because he stepped to me like a mature adult and asked me to. He admitted what he had done and acknowledged the pain that his actions inflicted upon me. My mother on the other hand is another story. Again this is something bad and we do not talk about the bad things. We act as though it was some nightmare that never really happened. Even my aunts and uncles acted as though nothing was going on. Looking back I become very angry thinking that everyone knew what was going on and no one would step in and help us. I mean how could they not know. I know they do, because I could see the sadness and pity for me in their eyes when I would look at them, but even now they deny it. Even a few years ago when my mother and I were having an argument about the fact that I had to work and I could not make it to a school function for my kid, I confronted her. I asked her how she could dare criticize my parenting after what she had put me through. She responded with she did not know what I was talking about. I then reminded her of how I had saved her ass on more than one occasion. She then responded with ‘you believe what if you have to’!!! I mean WHAT THE FUCK??? I was eleven, twelve, thirteen, not one or two. I know what I say is true. As if I have a choice in what to believe. I wish to hell that I did not have this burden to carry with me this anger and resentment. I do not blame my mother for what happened. She was a victim as well. However, how dare she try to act as though the events that have shaped my life and mentality did not happen. I am not asking for an apology, only for validation of my feelings. But again, my feelings are silly. Whatever happened was a long time ago and does not effect my life today’ FUCK THAT.
Well life around age 14 calmed down somewhat and that’s when I met my first husband. Although I have read enough self help books and watched enough Oprah to know now what attracted me to him then, I did not realize it at the time. He was all consuming, totally obsessed with my every action and me. He was a control freak. He was what my divorce lawyer would later call a Mexican machismo. Of course I thought in the beginning that it was because he loved me so much!!! Later I would come to realize that it was because he did not love himself at all. He did not love himself and therefore he could not see any reason for my feelings for him to be true. He always wanted me to prove my love and eventually that is how I found myself pregnant at fifteen. I did love him, and why not he was the perfect father figure that I had been without my entire life. He controlled everything I did from who I talked with to what TV shows I watched. He gave me more attention than I had ever known.
I fought my mother and everyone else to have my son. No one except my father asked what I wanted. They just all agreed I should have an abortion. I could not do it. I even went as far as to call child services because my mom was going to take me to the clinic. They put me in protective custody for a few weeks and then agreed to let me move in with my boyfriend’s family. We asked for permission to marry. My mother would hear nothing of it. We petitioned the court and she did not show up, so the judge allowed us to get married when I was sixteen. Two months later, my son was born. Although life at that time and for many years there after was very difficult I do not have any regrets about my decision to have my son. I also support a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. It just wasn’t right for me at that time. I spent the next seven years in a very unhappy marriage making the best of it. I could not do anything, go anywhere, or have any friends. I could not even listen to what music I liked (rap of course). He did not approve of it and called it very derogatory names that I will not repeat. I also had another child, (a girl) along the way. When it got to the point where the bad times out numbered the good I decided to leave.
Six months later, I met my 2nd husband. I am still married very happily to him. I had my third (and last) child, another girl. My husband and I have a very good marriage and I could not be happier with him. He understands what I have been through and treats me with respect. All of the kids are great and everyone gets along. There was a little drama along the way, but all of that is gone now.
About three years ago, my happiness faltered somewhat. My husband’s family’s business started failing. I was working for them at the time and he and I had our own business. We basically sub-contracted work for them and they paid us. When they started not being able to pay their other subs, we had to make a choice to stick it out or bail. His parents started the family business 30 yrs ago. They started with one truck and trailer and built it up to about15 trucks, 30 owner/operators, and 120 trailers. It was the lively hood for the entire family, so when they asked for our help we felt we could not let them down. The next two months we spent moving everything into our business name and trying like hell to keep afloat. Since I was the bookkeeper for both businesses, everyone was looking at me for what to do. It was a burden that I did not expect. I was told in the beginning of all of this that they would help me, but when the burden was off of them they bailed. Everything was coming down on me. I went into a depression.
Then, Shelly (our smallest girl) got sick, she was in St Joseph’s Children’s Hospital for a month. She had an intestinal virus that there was not any medication for. All they could do is keep her hydrated and filled with antibiotics, so she wouldn’t develop a worse condition. She lost ten pounds off her 31 pound body, underwent blood transfusions, and all we could do was watch her deteriorate. She eventually went into kidney failure and we were faced with possible dialysis, maybe even a transplant in the future. She pulled through fine in the end without any permanent disability.
We started to pick ourselves up off the floor and deal with the business again, when I took my oldest son, Matt, for a routine eye exam. I was told that he was missing a little bit of his peripheral vision. That it might be nothing. To have it checked, but not to worry, (yeah right). We spent several weeks bouncing from doctors to specialist finally ending up at a neurologist. He underwent several tests including MRI, field vision screening, EEG’s, you name it. I was finally told that he has lesions on his brain and he is totally blind in the upper right quadrants of both his eyes. They were not sure if he would have to undergo brain surgery or not. Finally, nine months and five MRIs later, they decided that the lesions were not growing at this time and that his vision had not gotten any worse, so he has to go every three months for re-testing to monitor his progress. Of course, they cannot say for certain that he will never have to have surgery.
At this point, I still have all the shit of the business weighing down on me, and all with my kid’s health problems, I totally broke down. I lost it. I couldn’t get out of bed, but I couldn’t sleep. I was gaining weight like crazy, but I couldn’t hold my food down. I finally sought professional help. He gave me medication so that I could deal somewhat and sleep. During this time I listened, of course, to a lot of Eminem. It was the only thing that took my mind off my problems. I guess that most people would turn to religion and God, but I was not raised in a religious environment. So, I turned to what worked for me. Even if it was for a few minutes on the way to the grocery store, every little bit helped. I could just get lost in the lyrics and just not think of everything else. It was MY time, MY only time for just ME. Although not every lyric or every song was about me or some shit that I had been through, it was enough to remind me that I would make it, that I didn’t need to drive my truck into a tree or take a few too many sleeping pills (the thought had crossed my mind on more than one occasion). It reminded me that I was strong and able enough to do whatever it took to make it and to have faith in myself, if nothing else. I learned that it is ok to have more than just feelings of happiness. That I could be angry, sad, belligerent, and silly whatever I felt was ok. I finally felt that I owned my feelings. As I got stronger, I too took on the attitude of not givin’ a fuck. I started not to care what anyone thought of me. As long as I was happy with myself fuck anyone who was opposed to me. You were either with me or against me. I realized by listening to him that this is My life and I only have to answer to people that I choose to answer to. As for anyone else, you don’t me, or what shit I have been through. If you care, I will tell you, but you have no right to judge me. It was a total revelation, an epiphany.
So, I started surrounding myself with pictures of him. Close friends and family members that knew what it meant to me, started bringing me anything Eminem. I ended up with calendars, posters, pictures, clothing, you name it. But, there was one picture in particular, I can’t explain why but it gave me the most peace of mind when I looked at it. I decided to put it in my car on my visor. I spend a lot of time driving, usually alone, and usually listening to Em. So, many times I wind up in my car literally sick, worrying over whatever the issues are for the day, and that picture gave me faith that I would get through all the shit.
It was then about a year ago that I decided that I was going to get a tattoo of Em. I chose the picture from my visor and found an artist to do it. I had it done about six weeks ago and I cannot tell you the strength and peace it has given me. I am more self assured and happy than I have ever been. Not that all my problems are solved, but I know that I can get through it. I have even started a leg sleeve kinda in tribute to Em. My tattoos of Em make me feel empowered (ha, ha em-powered). I did not expect to have that happen, but they do. I offer no excuses or lies to anyone anymore. I dare anyone in my family of hear no evil, see no evil believers to ask why I chose to be tattooed with Eminem on my back and leg. They will find out why and when they try to act they didn’t know I will tell them FUCK YOU !!! I am tired of living the charade and Em has taught me that I do not have to if I do not want to. I blame no one for my choices or my life. I own my mistakes and have the physical and emotional scars to prove it. I no longer need validation, or permission from my mother to have feelings of any kind. I feel vindicated in the eyes of my husband and children, and their love and support is all I need (and Em’s music).
This is my story of how Eminem, Marshall Mathers, and Slim Shady have made a difference in my life. I acknowledge all sides of his persona as they have individually helped me to realize that although I am one physical person, many different people reside inside of me and believe or not that does not make me crazy’ it makes me normal. I just choose to admit it and not hide behind some kind of facade of myself. Well, thanks for listening or I should say reading this. “
Michelle Sanchez ‘Chelle’