My Hippy gained custody of me on March 15, 1981 when I was just 3 years old. This was unheard of in the 80’s as he was only 28 years old and was unmarried. However the Hippy tends to do things unconventionally when he wants something. He has always cared for my mother, Debbie, but once I was born they realized they couldn’t make it work. I am not sure if it was the fact that they left CO / Reno communes and moved back to the real world in Houston; or if it was having a baby with a heart problem; or if it was my Grandma Jane that caused the split but regardless they divorced when I was 2 and at 3 my Hippy “forced” Debbie to give me up. Now Debbie is not a victim in this at all as she does not have a maternal bone in her body and she is very selfish. My husband has always liked the fact that Debbie at least owns up to being a crappy mother – to this day we go years without speaking and I will say this breaks the Hippy’s heart as he did all he could to keep us close. In March 1981, the Hippy was 28; Debbie was 21 and I was 2.5 almost 3 years old. The Hippy was living with my grandparents (Grandma Jane and Papa Dale) and Debbie and I lived with Ralph Shepherds’ (aka Uncle Ralph) ex-wife and daughter (the Shepherds are pseudo-siblings to my Hippy since he was a kid and Ralph is Glen’s younger brother). My Hippy stopped paying child support; stopped paying the daycare and after a few months reported Debbie’s car to the repo company as she couldn’t make the payments (crappy I know). He then sat back and waited for Debbie to call and she did. They agreed for me to live with my dad for at least 6 months while Debbie got on her feet again. Well, August 8, 1981 the Hippy decided to further ruin my life and he married the step-monster who was 11 years his senior; from a very wealthy family with roots in Houston society; and she had no kids. They get married and sue for permanent custody of me. Debbie didn’t stand a chance and the Hippy won. Surprisingly their is no animosity between Debbie and the Hippy. Debbie was not great at exercising her weekend visitation as she is a crappy mother but that never stopped the Hippy from trying to get her and I together as often as he could. I would spend my summers riding in the truck with my dad as he owned a Courier Service and later a Pest Control Company and at least once a week we would stop by and see Debbie (I learned years later that my Hippy was delivering supplies to Debbie and would go year-round even when I was not with him). Debbie has done her fair share of crap to my Hippy as well (maybe it was paybacks but who knows). She has been engaged to my Uncle Glen (Shepherd). She married my Uncle Ralph (Shepherd) thus making my cousin Rachel my Step-sister/cousin. She once married a guy to help him get his green card (the Hippy found out and threatened to turn her in so she divorced the guy before they got too far into the process). She married a biker from the club that starts with a B and rhymes with Doritos, he goes by Feats but his name is Steve. They were married for less than 30 days but lived together longer. It is with Steve that Debbie had my little sister Niki and when Niki was only 6 months old it was my Hippy and both Shepherd boys (Glen and Ralph) that came to rescue Debbie and Niki from a VERY angry Feats. I was 6.5 years old when Debbie married Feats and she had Niki. I didn’t have a room or a bed (at their house)so when I would spend the night I had to sleep on the floor next to Niki’s crib. One night I thought I heard Niki struggling to breathe so I went to wake-up Debbie. I walked in Debbie’s room and quietly called her name (I never called her “mom”). Feats didn’t appreciate being woken up and threw a boot at my head. I went back to bed (it is a miracle that Niki and I survived our childhood). On the day that Debbie had officially had enough of Feats’ crap my job was to entertain Niki (I was 7 and she was 6 months) so basically I just pushed her in the swing for hours while Debbie loaded her car with all their belongings. Feats shows up and punches Debbie (breaking her jaw) and puts gasoline all over the car and trunk. My Hippy and uncles arrive and put an end to the non-sense. Debbie and Niki moved in with my Uncle Ralph’s ex-wife and daughter (again). The Hippy loved my sister Niki (and my step-sister/cousin Rachel) and he wanted us to be close. He was never one to believe in labels as the Shepherds are just as much siblings to him as his own blood siblings. All the Hippy would ever say to me about Debbie was “please do not end up like your mother”. He said the same thing to me when I was 5 as he did when I was 16. It was not till I was an adult that I really understood what he meant.