A failure, that’s what I was, a giant failure. I couldn’t be the daughter my parents wanted me to be. I had tasted freedom, and I felt like I deserved it. I couldn’t go back to being the second mom after being told I was an adult. Adults can’t take their children’s adulthood away, can they?
The 6 months between the split and my 18th birthday were the darkest days of my life. I was horribly depressed, I hardly ate, I contemplated cutting and suicide on more than one occasion. Honestly, if it weren’t for the friends I had made before and my boyfriend’s pastor stepping up and reaching me when I cried for help, I don’t know where I would be. I was mad at God, mad at my parents, mad at myself for being so stupid to think that I could have my own life. I felt a little piece of myself die with every passing day, as I realized that I could not be the person I believe I was created to be and the daughter my family needed me to be. I was alone in a house full of people, my already shaky relationship with my parents dwindled down to nothing. I hardly talked to them at all except to get assignments, all while I was screaming “Notice Me!!!!!!!” inside.
They don’t care about me, I thought. So concerned about the rest of the kids, they don’t see that they’re losing me, pushing me away. I don’t matter. My job is the same it’s been for the last 10 years, take care of the kids while they have another one. That’s what I’m here for, and that’s my role in life. But I was so much more, and they didn’t see it.
I felt like the only reason they loved me, was because of what I did while they had babies, and I felt horrible. I felt like no one would ever want me, because I had loved, and then I couldn’t. Like I was “damaged goods” and even my boyfriend wouldn’t want me back. I didn’t know if I could ever trust again, because the people I had trusted my whole life turned on me.
I somehow still believed I had a reason to be alive, besides playing second mom. Deep down I knew that I was created to be me. I thought I was crazy, losing my mind, because all of a sudden I am seeing and acknowledging the world exists in a way different than how I used to see it. I was scared, I was insane because my parent’s didn’t think of it like this. I thought I was wrong, but I wasn’t.
I gave up being the perfect daughter, because by now it was evident that I would never reach that mark. It hurt, I failed my family. But they taught me that God was more important than man, and I sincerely thank them for instilling that in me. I ignored the communication ban and bode my time until I could leave. Until I would be free to grow and develop as an adult, as a woman, as the person I knew I was created to be. Staying at home was no longer a training ground, it was a prison, I wasn’t free to follow God as I once was.
It’s hard, to live in a God fearing house and yet have to struggle so much because what you *know* you’re supposed to do does not coincide with what other people think.
On my 18th birthday I would do the hardest thing I’d ever done, I would leave. I’m sad that I didn’t say goodbye, but I was honestly terrified that (despite their saying they would have helped me pack) they wouldn’t let me out of their sight. I went out to dinner, my boyfriend came down, and we left. We called at the border and told them what was going on, and after an initial shock, they threatened to fill out a police report. We had friends who were cops and knew what was going on, but we managed to avoid the report altogether.
Even with all the pain, guilt(tripping), and general missing of my family, leaving was probably the best thing I could have done. I would have loved to be able to sit down and talk reasonably to my family, but it wouldn’t have happened.
As weird as it is to admit, my parents prepared me for this. I used the skills and lessons they taught me as a child, to make my own decision, to follow God on my own, become an adult, and break free. I stood in the face of danger and change and I took the step, because it was mine to take. I did the hardest thing I’d ever done, because my parents gave me the tools to become a person, and I’m grateful.
Preparing a Visionary Daughter to Do Hard Things by Kiery:
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