When I was in 9th grade we moved for the 6th time in my life. I had spent the longest period of my life in the town we were living in (almost 5 years) and I fucking did not want to move. And? Not only were we moving? We were moving to another state. Also? In my current city, 9th grade was the top-of-the-junior-high heap...we were the big mofo's on campus. In my new town? 9th grade was the bottom-of-the-barrel at the high school.
And when you're in 9th grade and your world has just been turned upside down? You will do just about anything to fit in with the kids who have known each other since pre-school. And I did anything and more. I stayed out til all hours, I had sex with every "boyfriend" I had, I did any drug anyone would give me. But fitting in? Still felt like the outsider. So I would swallow bottles of pills at a time (that always just made me puke) and I was a cutter...way before cutting was the "thing" to do.
The strange part? No one who should have noticed did. My dad? After nine months at the "new" job, he transferred to a small town back in Minnesota. So - he was never home. My mom? Never saw anything. Oh, she realized that things were bad but it is so much easier to bury your head in the sand than admit to a problem. De-Nile ain't just a river in Egypt. She would see band-aids on my wrists and ask me what happened.
"Oh, I tripped on the stairs and scraped my arm."
"Okay. Just try to be more careful."
After I finished 10th grade we all moved to the small town my dad was living in. And do you think things got better? Right... I was screaming in the only way I knew how that there was something seriously fucking wrong with this whole picture. And did the 'rents try and figure out what was going on? Nope. They sent me away to a group home in yet another state.
"We don't know what to do with her. We don't know what's wrong with her. Let someone else try and figure it out. We are done." I was made a ward of the state and away I went. And you know something? I loved that group home. There was structure. There were defined consequences. If you did what you were supposed to do you were rewarded. Guess what happened nine months later when I was "discharged?" Surprise - same shit. Was there a consequence for staying out all night or all fucking weekend for that matter? Was there a consequence for skipping school? For getting totally shit-faced then waltzing into the house? Did anyone notice? Nope. Surprised I ended up pregnant and married at 18?
And the getting married? No one gave me any other options. Everyone knew this was a bad idea, a bad relationship, an abusive relationship. Help or options from the parents? Nope.
"We don't know what to do with her. We don't know what's wrong with her. Let someone else try and figure it out. Let her try and figure it out. She's 18 now. We're not responsible any longer."
Well, somehow, without much guidance or help from mom and dad, I made it. I am a grown-up with a fairly good head on my shoulders. So why is it that now? When I don't really need her anymore? My mom wants to help me with all my problems? Wants to fix all my problems? Knows exactly what I should or shouldn't be doing? I don't need her help - the hubs and I can figure out how to raise our kids and live our lives without her help. The only question I have is this.
Where were you when I did need your help, Mom?