Ron, Part 4. Montrose

There are 4 parts leading up to this:


Ron Part 2

Ron Part 3

Skate Land Circa 1983  (although it does not have “Ron” in the title, it fills in the gap between part 3 and this)

And now, Ron, Part 4. Montrose

After that first taste of escape, I was off to the races. The drugs and alcohol gave me courage, a sense of empowerment, and the anger that had festered in silence for years, came exploding out in rage. I had a fuck you attitude like you can’t imagine.

I fought with my mother constantly. “Fuck you drunk bitch, I don’t have to do shit you tell me” became a daily exchange. All of my anger, resentment and blame for everything wrong with my life came out, laser focused on her. My main objective was to make her hurt as much as possible.

I would take an empty Scope mouthwash bottle and fill it with a little of everything from the liquor cabinet to avoid get caught. Vodka, Scotch, Crème de Menthe, you name it, all together. I had moved my bedroom to the ground floor so that I could sneak out at night. I had the kind of windows that wound open out to the sides, so I would just climb out and leave it open, meet up with older kids, ones with drivers licenses, go out drinking half the night, climbing back in before morning.

This worked out great for a while, until one night I came back and noticed my windows were shut. I didn’t know what to do, because I knew I was busted, but I was also pissed because I was drunk and tired. I tried knocking on the door, then throwing rocks at her window. Nothing. I noticed they had been kind enough to leave the garage door up about twelve inches so that I could crawl in and sleep in the car. That was exactly what I did.

The next morning I awoke to Ron’s big orange fucking head in the car, yelling at me to get my ass up and in the house. With a look that could kill, I told him to go fuck himself, at which point he dragged me out of the car by my hair. “Get the fuck off me you fucking asshole!” I shook him loose, ran to my room, and locked the door. That lasted about a hot minute before mom popped the lock and let me know just how much fucking trouble I was in.

I was to be grounded like forever basically. No phone, no TV, no Skate Land, no nothing, for a month. Of course, I was all Fuck You. I would go to school, come home, sit in my room listing to loud music, festering, smoking cigarettes and counting the 500 ways I hated my life. I decided fuck it, I was going to sneak out, but when I went to wind open the window, it didn’t budge. They had nailed them shut from the outside. The next day, my room was moved back upstairs.

Up until this point, I had been an avid athlete, had the lead in a few school plays, excelled in art, and made good grades.  Now, in my first year of junior high school, the new norm was cutting classes, leaving school early to go get high in the woods, getting into actual fist-fights during and after school, getting kicked out of classes for smart ass comments and in turn, multiple suspensions.

The night before Halloween, mischief night, I was out with a few kids and we had gotten some black and red spray paint. They were mostly spraying street signs and sidewalks, when I decided to kick it up a notch and pay homage to our principal who had suspended me by spray painting the outside of the school “HIGDON SUCKS DICK.”  Did I mention that the letters were each about four feet high, spanning about twenty feet across the front of the white brick building?

Now, here is how much of an asshole I was. The next morning I got on the school bus, taking my usual spot in the back seat. I took one of the cans of spray paint out of my purse and sprayed the back of the seat in front of me, just for fun.  I was sitting in first period when I got called to the principal’s office, which had also become the norm. When I got there, something was different this time. My mom and asshole Ron were sitting there, along with two police officers.

They straight up asked me if I had spray-painted the school, and I of course, said no, at which point mom gave the police permission to search my purse. Yep, there they were, the black and the red cans of spray-paint. Brilliant.

The school agreed not to press charges as long as my mom agreed to pay 800$ she didn’t have to get the four-foot letters sandblasted. To top it off, I was suspended for two weeks, not expelled, but I was warned that this was my absolute last chance. A two-week suspension was the same as someone telling me I was going to be rewarded with a two-week vacation.

Mom was about to have a nervous breakdown because she couldn’t afford to stay home from work with me, especially with the $800 sandblasting tab. This meant I got to stay home with unemployed drunken Ron, which terrified her more than it did me. She knew just how explosive our situation had become, knew how I would tell him to fuck off and do exactly what I wanted, and I think she worried that as much as he was drinking, he might make the mistake of trying to stop me, and what that could possibly entail.

Turns out it didn’t matter, because on the first day of my suspension, I ran away from home. Nancy’s mother and I had become BFF’s, and she had told me I was welcome to stay there as long as I wanted. Apparently there was nothing at all strange about harboring a thirteen-year old run away.

I was there for about a week, a week of non-stop getting stoned with her mom and smoking cigarettes and telling her all about my fucked up life. She was the only person who had ever listened to me, until the day mom and Ron knocked on the door.

I was taken back home to ride out the rest of my suspension like a prisoner in my room. Mom and Ron were drinking as heavily as ever, there was constant fighting, usually Ron criticizing her about her parenting skills, and how she was too easy on me. Everything was out of control, on every possible level.

Mom and Ron had been having serious problems, sometimes he would be gone for days, and I was the happiest girl on the planet, but then he would reappear and the fighting would resume. Things were palpably different on those nights he was not there, and I know my mom could feel it too. I think this was the beginning of her realization that Ron, was indeed, a dick.

One night after a big fight between them, he had left and I was in my room listening to music, when mom stumbled in and started demanding that I give her my matches. She was shitfaced, more shitfaced than I had ever seen her. I did not even know what the fuck she was talking about. She just kept slurring, “Gimme your mashes, I smell them, givem to me!” I told her that she was drunk, and crazy, and to get the fuck out of my room. All hell broke loose. She started throwing shit off my dresser, yelling at me, telling me how I fucked her life up, from what I know now, I’m pretty sure she was in a blackout.

At some point I snapped, absolutely snapped. I shoved her out of my room so forcefully, and pushed her across the hall and up against her door so hard that her head flew back and smashed back against it. I saw nothing but rage, and I couldn’t control it. I was pinning her against the door, yelling obscenities at her, until she was finally able to shake me off, full of fury, and lock herself in her room. Within 15 minutes, there were cops at the front door, and she pressed charges against me for assault and battery.

Next on the scene was my irate father, who absolutely terrified me. He kept shouting at me as he threw me in his car and drove me to his house. I just remember cowering against the window in the driver’s seat, trying to block it all out.

Because of the charges that were pressed, I was forced to stay at my fathers until my court date, and life at my dad’s wasn’t a bowl of fucking cherries either, but that’s another story.

I had started doing stronger drugs, cocaine, PCP, LSD, a deeper escape. The farther I could get away from it all, the better. I hated my life so completely, it all felt hopeless, and drugs offered me a temporary solace from it all. With that said, I was pretty much fucked up all the time. I would lie even when the truth would do. That week at school, I got caught with drugs in my locker, and as promised, there came my official expulsion.

I was lost and out of control. No one, and I mean no one, could control me. With an upcoming court date, and no school to attend, I spent the days at my friend Maryann’s house. She was adopted, her mother had died and her father was in his eighties and had not a clue about anything. We knew each other from Skate Land, and she had also been expelled, but from a different school, and was home all of the time. My parents had thrown their hands up in the air at this point, and when I did talk to them they kept harassing me to speak with my public defender, which I never once did.

The night before my court date, Maryann and I went to the Judas Priest Iron Maiden concert at Merriwether post pavilion, on acid. My father picked me up the next morning at her house to take me to court. I guess they had all finally had it with me and had agreed on a “tough love” strategy, because when the judge agreed to let me go on probation if my parents agreed to take me, they said no, and I was then made a ward of the court and sentenced for a period of 2-6 months in the Montrose State Detention Center.

It was then my dad jumped up and said he’d take me, but the judge said it was too late, then the words I’ll never forget. “Isn’t it a shame no one loves this little girl enough to take her?” Like an underwater dream, from far away, I was locked into handcuffs and shackles, placed in the paddy wagon, and sent off to Montrose. I was fourteen years old.


35 replies

      • Crazy, from metalheads to deadheads. It seems to be a natural progression in MD. Seriously though, this series has been great read, your descriptions of what happened make it all seem like I was there and it was yesterday. I imagine it must feel great to write this down and get these words out of your head, on paper and to display these feelings in public must be a huge weight of your shoulders. Also it explains why we argued over gas money and stuff so much 😉

  1. Your writing is like an intense energy and full of raw honesty…it’s not glossed over or sugar-coated in any way, I REALLY like that about you! (you are just simply very good)…I still remember seeing Judas Priest in concert (he roared out on stage on a motorcycle…)

  2. My first rock show was Judas Priest with Dokken opening up for them at the Worcester Centrum. I was like 6th or 7th row and Don Dokken sprayed the fans with water out of one of those red squeeze ketchup bottles they have in restaurants. I hope it wasn’t pee.

  3. This is so tense to read, but also very heartbreaking. Glad you’re getting it all out in the open because it must be pretty cathartic.

    Didn’t you have a younger sibling? What was their perception of all that was happening? Just curious.

  4. Tracy, I’ve just been captivated by your story. I’m kind of speechless. You’ve endured so much and weathered a destructive path, had no parental guidance, and were on your own emotionally. The household I grew up in was chaotic but not as destructive as yours. I think I felt hope and had other outlets, and watched my older siblings make horrible choices that I didn’t follow. You’re strong and brave. You should turn this into a book.

  5. I remember the first time I saw you. I thought you were so cute.
    you had a sweet face and a smile that lit up a room !
    no one knows what goes on in someone’s life.
    luv u

  6. I’ll say this, Tracy, you’re a survivor.
    I love your honesty and willingness to own up to your mistakes and dark side.
    These postss have made me love you even more.
    Keep sharing, Tracy.

  7. My mother used to threaten to send me to the “girl’s school”, which was actually juvenile detention, located right in my hometown across from my high school. I rarely got in trouble at school though, and never with the law. Always managed to drag my hungover ass to school in the mornings.

  8. Man – this makes my heart hurt. It’s so visceral. My best friend when I was about 12 had a very similar trajectory to her young life – it terrified me to watch, now you have me wondering where she landed. Your current life gives me hope.

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