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 tossed and turned all night. I was exhausted, yet I was too stressed to sleep. I tried to stay positive about everything that had just happened that day. I tried to have faith in Heavenly Father and I prayed for hours that night. I pleaded and begged that I wouldn’t have to live with my stepdad and his wife for very long and that I could find someone else to live with. My stepdad and his wife had already betrayed me enough times and I didn’t want to be tricked again.
We got up the next morning and went to the mall in Tulsa and went shopping at the Old Navy. I picked out a pair of khakis and their daughters picked out some pants as well. I think that shopping was supposed to be a way for me to get my mind off of what was going on, but I could help but think about my life.
Later that day, this family put me on a small airplane headed to Texas. In just three weeks I had moved four times. It would not be the last that year. My plans had been to find a place to live just as soon as I got to my stepdad’s home. He knew this and had agreed that would be the best for me.
I was stressed beyond comprehension.
I hardly wanted to eat or drink and yet I knew that if I stayed in my bed all day that I would become more withdrawn and depressed. So, I walked the neighborhood during the daytime sometimes walking as many as four miles. I ended up losing twenty five pounds in that one month since I had left Indiana between walking and losing my appetite because of the stress I was under.
I had to find somewhere else to live. I was back in my old ward in the Mormon Church in town and I had the same friends from Texas that I had known before. My best friend was no longer living in the area, but I remembered some of the other girls from church. Perhaps I could live with them? God would help me, I knew it—or at least I wanted to believe it. I felt that if I didn’t believe it, then I definitely would not be helped. I had to persevere even though I felt God had left me a long time ago.
It was at a Young Womens activity at my bishop’s house that his daughters told me just how happy they were that I was moving in with them. I had no idea…I was surprised to say the least. Within a couple days, while my stepdad and his wife were at work, I left without telling them. I felt like I was getting them back for abandoning me and it felt good to me to catch them off guard.
God had answered my prayers after all and had helped me find a nice family to live with.
Yet, I still felt loyal to the family I lived with in Indiana. Even after all I had been through, five moves in six weeks, I still felt like I needed to love and honor my family in Indiana—the family that had kicked me out that I still didn’t understand why. I tried to act happy and felt it was the only emotion I could display as I thought any other emotions would cause this family to hate me too. I had hurt too much in the last few weeks and I didn’t want to hurt anymore. I was sick from stress and tired of pain.
I knew that the only way I would ever be able to have a family was if I created my own family. So, over the next year I would record characteristics in my journals that I wanted in a family. Most of these characteristics were qualities that the families I had lived with had. I also began my quest of finding a soul mate my last year of high school. I thought that the only way I would ever have a family is if I married someone. I was still seventeen and thought the only way to be loved was to be married. It was a foolish and naïve thought, but it made sense to me at the time.
Immediately after moving in with this new family in Texas, I looked for a job and took the first one I could get. If I was going to go to college, I was going to have to pay for it myself. Now, I had to be a little particular about the job I was going to land. It had to close as I would probably have to walk there myself, it had to be flexible as I could not work during the daytime as I had school to attend, and it couldn’t be too serious as I would only be working there until December as that was the end of the semester for school and this new family said I could only live with them until then. After that, I had to find another place to live. So, when I was offered a job working at a nearby movie theatre, I took it.