Looking back I think that in some regards my decision to walk out my of parents house was an easy one to make. True it can be said that there was little thought given to the fact that I was now to be without with shelter and income, that soon even the basic needs in a persons every day life would become a luxury that I would often find myself doing without. Food, clean clothes, shower, the feeling of being safe. None of these were in mind when I got into the car with no more then a black backpack holding what few belongings I could carry.
I was young, rash and tired of being treated as if I were lower then others. I was fed up with judgmental attitude of my mother. The one that told me daily that I was never good enough. That I never would be. I was not what she and my father had hoped for in a daughter. For years prior they had shuttled me from Psychiatrist to Psychiatrist until they found one that would tell them exactly what they wanted to hear. My own thoughts and feelings now going unheard and being considered as a part of a “problem” that could be fixed with one sided therapy and drugs.
I don't really recall too much hesitation on my part in choice. I had already given the squatter lifestyle a try the year before without incident. I was just relieved that I was making a step in the direction of getting away from the day in day out abusive onslaught that I had been enduring since I could remember. No hell that awaited me could be worse then what I had been subjected to. I had been alienated to the point of actually feeling like a stranger to my own family. I was held to expectations that had little to do with with me and more to do with how my mother wished to be perceived. Abnormal freak of a child equated to failure on her part. It seemed as if she based her worth and the worth of others upon personal appearance and material gain. The actual person cast side in that judgment.
It was never about rules. It was never about a desire to do as I pleased. My choice to leave was out of necessity to my sanity. I could no longer handle the silent resentment and shame that was from my family, nor the harsh words that were meant to sting and tear me down. In simple terms I was sick of being seen as something lesser then I actually was.
I make no claim to being a saint as a teenager. I took rebellion to levels that my parents were never equipped to deal with. I met them head on in argument after argument, yelling just as loud if not louder. Showing them less respect then the little they showed me. I disregarded every rule and restriction that they set upon them. I cultivated a smart mouth and used it at every opportunity. I went out of way to shatter the illusion of a healthy happy middle class upbringing.
The arguments were petty and never was the truth of the matter brought to the surface. Instead it festered beneath the surface. A boiling mixture of self loathing and anger that began to meld with a new sense of apathy for life in general. A dangerous mixture. Experts may even say that it was a recipe for disaster. Did my parents fear for me? Oh I am quite sure. Did they try to reach me and pull me back from that destructive path? No. Instead they selectively ignored the actual root of the issues. I was fully to blame. There was no fault what so ever upon their fault. They had compromised time and time again in their attempts of helping me. Compromising that involved in sitting in a therapists office and explaining that I was broken and nothing they did could fix me. Never once did they listen to what I had to say. Far easier was it to ignore the troubled youth and hope that it is just a phase.
Called a liar, treated as an outcast, ignored on the most basic level of needing someone to understand and listen, held to a standard that I could never live up to its no wonder that before I was sixteen I felt as if any parental/child bond that might have existed was now severed beyond repair.
The suicide attempts were far too numerous to recall. What amazes me was my failure when so many times I had tried. Neither lack of intent or fear caused those failures, but I soon came to the realization that why "punish" others by handing them my death when I could better punish and hurt by living. Thus began my decent into the dark realm of apathy and self destruction. Drugs, alcohol, surrounded by “friends” who knew very little about me but were more then willing to lend a hand in my journey. A journey that did not start with baby steps but instead with a head long plunge.
To be continued........