Monday, July 13, 2009

Meeting in the Office

For those unfamiliar with my story, Screwed Up: My Life, please start at the beginning here. The purpose of me writing this intimate account of surviving a difficult childhood is explained here. This story in its entirety can be found at and is available for purchase for $12.95 plus shipping and handling.

One day, the mom and dad called me into their office.

I knew something was up--I could feel it in the air. The feeling was eerily similar to the feeling I had the day I went home to ask my stepdad and his wife if I could hang out with Dee longer. Something was not right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I had been living with this family for a year and a half. I became nervous as I sat on the wooden stool in the office. I was afraid of what was going to happen next.

The dad of this family sat at his desk while the mom sat in a chair across from him. They were looking at me. They almost seemed irritated with me even though at first they didn’t say anything. Something wasn’t quite right. I couldn’t figure out what this meeting had to do with. Did it have to do with me yelling at my English teacher? Was it because of my terrible grades? Was it because I didn’t want to go to the church dance and embarrassed them by sleeping in the empty classroom? Was it because a kid at church lied and said I was calling other kids names?

Were they mad because I was a mean person--because I brought a mean spirit into the home? Did I complain too much? Was the mom mad because I didn’t cry? Was it because I got jealous when their oldest came to visit from college? Was it because I wasn’t calling them “Mom” and “Dad”? Was it because I felt insecure and so I didn’t attend the Father/Daughter Young Womens meeting?

I was terrified, but nothing could have prepared me for the conversation that was about to take place.

"Allie, we've called you in here because we don’t think that there is anything else further we can do to help you as a person..." the dad declared. I could hear him speak, but I couldn’t believe what was happening. Oh God, it was starting. The inevitable. Tears started to fall from my was happening all over again. Then I heard the words that devastated me, "We don’t think you are going anywhere in life."

Tears were streaming down my cheeks and onto my lap. I didn’t dare look at the mom and dad. Tears were shameful. Tears were weakness. I can’t show them I was ashamed and frail. I must be strong. They said a few more words and then told me I had to find a new place to live. I couldn’t live with them any longer. Then they asked me if I wanted to say anything. All I could think of to say without coming into full sobs was, "Can I go now?"

With their heads nodding, I left the office and walked, tunnel vision, down the hallway, through the kitchen, through the formal dining, up the stairs and into my room. I shut my bedroom door and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. I cried myself to sleep that night. I was an utter failure. I was just seventeen and an utter failure at life.


blondesecrets said...

Many times throughout my life i have walked to my room and cried myself to sleep and thought i was an utter failure at life, for things so minor compared to what has happened to you. I feel for you not pity but pride that you have come through all of this, and are able to write about it. I anticipate the next chapter.

Jenn said...

I am amazed at how strong you are. Thank you for opening up your heart to us (strangers). You have touched my life and I thank you for that. I am thinking.....not even remotely close to a failure.

thinkingonthesethings said...

I decided to visit your blog after reading a few of your comments on Mindee's blog (Our Front Door). Mindee and I are actually old friends from college. Nothing could have prepared me for the depth and breadth of your blog and your story.

I have been sitting here reading your story ever since, simultaneously captivated and horrified (and more than a little heartbroken). I just hate to think of how many kids are living lives like you describe, or other tragic versions thereof, right this very minute. It makes my stomach turn and my heart ache.

I am thankful to a God who has helped you survive and overcome to be able to tell this story. But I also pray that somehow, someday... he will redeem all of this for you and for so many others.