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.
A month before, I had been accepted into Ricks College in Idaho and I was happy to be moving far away from Texas and starting life new and refreshed and on my own. I would have no one telling me what I could and couldn’t do with my life. I would no longer be at the mercy of other adults who got to choose when they wanted me and when they wanted to get rid of me. I would at last be free.
I would be graduating from high school in a few short weeks and then within a week taking a Greyhound to Rexburg, Idaho from Dallas, Texas to make way for college. But first I had to move in with my stepdad and his wife. I was angry and couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. All I could think was that again, I was being thrown out. The entire proposition made me furious.
The day came for me to leave and I moved in with my stepdad and his wife. I felt like they didn’t want me there. I felt like I got in their way. I had to sleep in the sunroom on a mattress on the floor. I stopped writing in my journal the day I found out I had to move. I didn’t want to write how I felt because I knew it would all be negative and I didn’t want to fill my journal with negative thoughts. I kept telling myself: Only three more weeks, Allie—just three more weeks. Only think good thoughts and good thoughts only.
My high school prom came and went. My date was with a guy in my church ward. I bought a white dress on clearance hoping I could reuse it when I got married. I was hoping I’d get married while in college so I could have my own family. For the next two years, my mind would be preoccupied with just one thing—marriage. I wanted to get married to a man that loved me and I wanted children that would love me. I promised myself I would be a better mother to my children than my mother ever was to me.
My graduation date neared and I decided I wanted to make it a special day. I decided to put away all my misgivings for one day and give my mother the chance to see me graduate. So, I mustered up all the courage I could find inside my heart and asked my mother if she’d attend my graduation ceremony. She told me she would and I was elated that perhaps I could show some resemblance of a normal family to others, even if it was a facade.
The morning of my graduation, the telephone rang as I was dressing and primping for the grand day. My stepdad answered and it was my mother on the other end. There could only be one reason she’d call the morning of my graduation and I knew it was not to wish me well. She called to let me know she would not be attending since her ex-husband and his wife would be there. I almost cried, but decided not to. Crying is weakness. Crying is shameful. I hated her for once again putting her emotions ahead of mine. However, I had to take the advice of someone from my past that I respected and move on. I didn’t have to have them in my life if I didn’t want to.
Later that day, I received my high school diploma. I was glad to finally be out of school and to be moving far away. I was happy to at last be my own person. Graduating high school was an important accomplishment in my life and it was a mental marker to me that I had accomplished something wonderful and could now move on and no longer be subject to other adults.
I was proud of myself and no one could take that away from me.