Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Screwed Up: An Answered Prayer

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.

I heard a man’s voice, “Allie, are you awake?”

“Yes,” I responded, wondering what he wanted.

“We’ve been holding a family meeting and we want you to tell you something,”

“Okay…” I answered, not really sure what to make of his presence as I lifted the covers and got up out of bed. I was wide awake—awake from pleading to God and awake from being a nervous wreck the last two weeks.

The family’s dad led me through the house to the other side where he and his wife’s bedroom was located. He led me into his room and had me sit on the corner of the bed where his other daughters were sitting. I looked at them with a puzzled look on my face. I had no idea what to make of this meeting. I just sat there dismayed, my stomach in my guts.

“Allie,” their dad began, “we’ve been talking and holding this family meeting and we have decided that we’d like for you to finish your senior year of high school with us.” There, they said it and God had answered my prayers! In one moment, my prayers had been answered and I knew I had been tested by my Heavenly Father to see if I would continue to have faith in Him even when it seemed there was no hope.

That is when I gained a testimony that God was my only Hope in life.

I spent a good Christmas with this family that year. I also celebrated my birthday with them where I received a new journal to record my thoughts and feelings. I was doing well for the first time in my high school career and making straight As. This was a surprise and gift to me as I had struggled all my other years at school barely passing classes and failing at least one. The last semester of school I focused on sending in my one application to college—mostly thinking I would not be accepted—and filling out financial aid applications. I also obtained a new job working inside the mall and saved as much money as I could to pay for college expenses as I would not have any outside help from family or friends.

I also found myself that second semester becoming envious of their children that moved in with them while I lived there. Their children that came home from college or were starting a family. I can’t explain it even now, but I would become withdrawn as a way of acting out when they would visit or come over. I felt like their kids were getting more attention than me and I felt dejected when their mom and dad showed them love. So, there I was yearning for a family, living with one, and yet also not really being a member of their family. It pained me.

Then one day I came home from school and before I could make it to my bedroom, the dad stopped me and told me that I was going to have to move out. I heard him and kept walking to my room. I put my books down on my bed. He called me back to his room and asked me if I knew why I had to move. All I could think of to say was, “Because y’all don’t want me anymore.” It was the only thing that made sense to me.

He explained to me that the real reason was because they were having more of their family move in with them and they didn’t have room for me any longer. I just wasn’t important enough to others to keep around. No one really loved me. My answer was how I really felt and I didn’t know why anyone didn’t want me.

I packed my belongings inside of cardboard boxes and stacked them in the living room. Each time I glanced at the boxes was a reminder that I had no control over my own life. Moreover, I couldn’t believe where I was going. The news wasn’t music to my ears—it was death to my mind. I was moving in with my stepdad and his wife to finish out my last month of high school before I graduated. So there I was, eighteen, and I still did not get to choose where I lived.

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