Continued from here
Part 2: The Runaway and the Bad Influence
At 13, I decided I’d had enough. My mother was going to the hospital to have another kid. I was to babysit and put the kids to bed, and my grandma would come over and stay the night after that. I planned, I packed. I wrote my letter, and I shook out of anger and fear all day. I made the meals, and did the homework and put them all to bed. I needed to be taken seriously, so, I spent all day basically beating myself. Hitting, smashing my arms in doors, running into walls. Over and over. I was hurting so badly. My grandma got there, and I told her I was going to bed. She eventually fell asleep. I called my best friend and her mom, and they came and got me. I sneaked out of the house, nobody heard a thing. Nobody knew I was missing until late that night my dad called to tell us we had a new brother. By then, I was already at the police station. I told them everything. I tried to tell them the current bruises were self-inflicted, but we needed help. They were abusive, they were neglectful, they were not teaching anything, we were not being home schooled so much as we were being kept isolated. One officer sat down in front of me and took my hands, he said “If these are not from your dad, recently, we have to take you home, right now. We don’t have a choice. You have to have something we can work with now. Now, are you sure these didn’t come from today? Or do we need to take you back to your dad tonight?” It was about 2am, I was exhausted, and terrified. This wasn’t going how I had planned. So, I said yes, they were new, they were from him, I was scared. Please help me.
I spent 2 days with my best friend, 3 days in foster care, then had court. On the stand, sworn to tell the truth, I told the judge the bruises were self-inflicted, but we did need help. I didn’t know at that time, my parents knew the judge, and they got HSLDA to help them. In fact, 6 months later, we would switch churches and attend the judges. I told my story, and I was sent to live with my grandparents for 3 months. The mental and emotional abuse continued, but, this time it was just through phone calls, and court ordered therapy sessions to get to the root of why I “was a liar.” The therapy was though my mother’s therapist, who told me that of course they were angry and short tempered, they had a bunch of kids who would not do what they should, the abuse would stop when we behaved better. My grandmother eventually put me in counseling to get over the counseling.
I was eventually returned home, because my accusations were unsubstantiated. I was told a CPS worker would coming to the house every month for 6 months to check on us. Nobody ever came. I convinced myself that it must not be that bad, I mean, these people were there to help, and they all said I didn’t need help. So, I guess it wasn’t abuse. And, then it got worse.
They wouldn’t allow any family to visit anymore, because they had shown that they would “steal” us, and believe lies. I was not allowed to attend church functions. I wasn’t allowed to have friends. I wasn’t allowed to be involved with any activities, for years. I did my homework, I planned a new escape, I kept the house clean, I cooked, and I took my siblings punishments. All while being blamed for anything that went wrong. Any disobedience in my siblings was my fault, I had “taught them to be rebellious.” I was once punished for shouting “Oh yeah? Then who taught me?” Any time I wanted anything, I was mocked or got a guilt trip, because I didn’t deserve it after all I put them through.
I had a job, but, it was at my aunt’s business. I was the only employee, brought in to work when they had to go out of town. I didn’t have much to do most the time, so, I did school work, chatted online, and read books. I learned a lot about the outside world from that experience. I remember times locking up and walking a couple blocks through town to get a soda at lunch, both terrified my parents would show up then to check on me, and think I was lying about where I was, but also thrilled at this little bit of freedom. I saved money, while listening every day to my mother complain about how much time and money it took to take me to work. Because, of course I couldn’t be trusted to have a license at 16, what if I ran away again? I was often late to work, because my mother has never thought being on time was important.
Things were always so frustrating. I hadn’t changed after running away, except for getting angrier. The people who should have helped, didn’t. I was branded a liar, when I felt I didn’t have a choice. The fact the court cleared them meant they were viewed as amazing parents who had a rebellious child, tricked by Satan into hurting these amazing people. Yes, I was a direct attack from Satan on them. Me.
They got hugs and sympathy at church. Meanwhile, other parents told their kids they weren’t allowed around me, because I was a bad influence. My parents were applauded for how well we behaved. Of course we did, the price for giggling too loudly in church was too high to pay. We weren’t allowed in Sunday school for years, because my mother couldn’t bear to have us away from her. One of her favorite sayings, even today, she talks continuously about how she wants to buy 100 acres in the middle of nowhere, and we all can live there together, and she can be surrounded by her children because she loves them so much and can’t stand to be away from them. When all 10 of us “quietly” tried to sneak into church 15 minutes late, and of course we ALL had to sit together, there was always a lot of noise as we got people to move for us. And, nobody dared say anything about it, because my mother was always quick to tell how difficult it was to get 8 children ready for church so early. She never told how we were all up and ready before her and dad woke up. She never told how we’d sit on the sofa at time to leave, and hear them having sex almost every week. She never told how she complained loudly about church, how she didn’t want to go, how they should just have their own church at home, where her kids could be with her all the time, and never around bad influences (except Punkie, of course.).