Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Screwed Up: Tunnel Vision

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 Blurb.com and is available for purchase for $12.95 plus shipping and handling.

I was an utter failure. I was just seventeen and a failure at life.

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 carefully shut my bedroom door and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. I didn’t want to move—I just wanted to feel normal. I cried myself to sleep that night. I was an utter failure. I was just seventeen.

No one knew I cried though. It was against my rules to permit others to see me cry.

The next month involved finding someone to let me live with them. My best friend's, Dee's, aunt and uncle said I could live with them. I asked the family I was living with if I could go there. They told me no. I didn’t want to live with my mother. I hated her. Once, I had talked with her on the phone while living with them and told her off. I was so proud of myself for standing up like that.

I hated the fact that I had to move. I did not want to tell anyone I was moving and I was overcome with the realization that I had no where else to live except with my mother. I couldn’t understand how come no one I cared about wanted me to live with them. What was wrong with me? I was seventeen and genuinely felt my life was a complete disaster. I couldn’t see myself moving forward in life and yet I couldn’t go backwards and change things either.

I felt like a huge burden had been placed upon my shoulders in having to find somewhere else to live. Here, I had grown to love this family and be loyal to them, and now I felt like they were done with me. I knew I had caused the family stress, but I hadn’t realized just how much. Each day from that point while living with this family was consumed with brainstorming different places to live. It was a task no teenager should ever have to deal with.

Every day after the dreadful meeting in the office, I attempted to withdraw myself from the family—especially their children. I loved their daughters, albeit I was quite jealous of them as they were talented, intelligent and beautiful and I felt I was none of those. I loved their son and I enjoyed playing with him and thought of him as my brother. I felt tortured in that their children had no idea what was happening and I couldn’t tell them either. The day their parents told them I was moving, I felt horrible and ashamed as each of them cried. I hated myself for letting them down.

Then the day for my departure came. We drove to the airport and I was put on a plane to Texas to live with my mother until I could find somewhere else to live. I missed their daughter's graduation from high school and her birthday party. As I sat in the seat on the plane, I stared out the window not really looking at anything in particular. As the plane began to slowly and then quickly move down the runway, a big tear began to well up in my eye.

When the plane took off, tears were streaming down my face. I hated that I was crying and I did not want anyone to see me grieve. I was embarrassed, angry, dejected, and terrified. I looked out the window, trying to shield my emotions from the other passengers on the plane. I had to be strong, I told myself. I had to think good thoughts. Yet, I felt like everyone hated me.

I remember getting off the plane and walking into the airport. Then I saw her...

My mother.


Lynne said...

I'm in tears reading this -- it's so eye opening to read your thoughts and think of some kids from my own highschool who could have been dealing with similar circumstances. I really wish I had been a more intuitive teen and reached out.

Everyday Girl said...

I've been reading all your 21 posts on your life.... and I am very moved! It is shocking to see what you turned out to be like... like i said in an earlier comment, your family,esp your kids are very lucky to have you as their mom. One would expect a totally different result considering what the circumstances surrounding your life were like. As much as it's in your past, this defines who you have become, and I am very proud of you for turning it to good. God bless you!

Amy Jo said...

Thank you for having the guts to share your story. You are an amazing writer.