This wasn’t the first time my world had fallen apart
The first time my world fell apart…well the first time something like this had happened…I was just fourteen years old, about a year earlier.
My mother, brother, sister and I had moved to Indiana on a whim when I was thirteen to begin a new life. I really don’t know who started what in my parent’s divorce, and I really don’t care anymore. My parents had fought my entire life. I can remember countless nights lying awake with my pillow over my ears to drown out my mom’s and step dad’s screaming.
We lived in a small town in the Hill Country of Texas when my mother decided to move us kids and herself four states away to Indiana. Originally, San Saba was supposed to be our new beginning as this wasn’t the first time my parents had duked it out verbally and threatened to get a divorce–always putting us children in the middle. I was relieved when my mother declared originally that she wasn’t letting our step dad ever move back in with us and I remember becoming very angry when she defied that promise by announcing his plans to move back. I told her how I felt–I told her I didn’t want him becoming a part of our family. I was punished by mopping the entry way on my hands and knees “like Cinderella.” When my stepfather arrived, I had to tell him, “Sorry, I am now your Cinderella.” I was humiliated.
We lived in a humble home in the older part of town near the high school football field. We were so close to the football field that every game night we could keep up with the stats of the game over the loudspeaker. I was attending San Saba Junior High and I had many friends. I had more friends in San Saba than I had at any time during my childhood. Matter of fact, before our life in San Saba I had pretty much no friends—at least not any close friends. When the announcement came from my mother that we were moving to Indiana, I literally had one day to tell all my friends goodbye before we packed up our car and left everything I loved and cared for.
For me, my parent’s divorce was disastrous to my young mind and spirit, and it seemed like almost overnight my mother had changed into something I hated while we lived in Indiana. She had forsaken the values that she instilled in me–perhaps in an attempt to become free herself–and it made me hate her. All while growing up I was taught to be a perfect Mormon girl that didn’t drink, smoke or have premarital sex. I felt like she expected me to be someone she wasn’t even herself. I felt like she was a hypocrite.
We were living in Speedway, Indiana when real trouble began between my siblings, me, and my mother. My twin brother and my mother had gotten into a heated fight, perhaps over her new boyfriend, and she had told him to watch out or my brother would have to go live our real father, Charlie. I couldn’t believe she’d choose her new boyfriend whom she had barely known and recently gotten engaged to over her own children.
Being sent to live with Charlie was always a threat in our home. Charlie was more than a name, Charlie was punishment. You didn’t want to live with Charlie, because you didn’t want to live with the unknown. We were told my father was the scum of the earth. My twin brother had probably had enough of our predicament and so the very next day, he went to our junior high school and withdrew himself from the school district. When my twin brother got home, he told my mother what he had done without her knowledge and that he was ready to go live with Charlie. He didn’t want to live with her anymore.
I was secretly proud of him for standing up for himself.
So, she put him on the next bus to Oklahoma she could find. She seemed happy to me to get rid of him. My sister and I were each warned to watch out or she’d do the same to us. I had lived with Charlie when I was very, very young and the experience was abusive to say the least. Being sent to live with Charlie was to me like being sent to live in Hell.
Our turn came that summer.
My sister and I had become too much for my mother to handle. My mother thought we were out of control and we probably were. What do you expect though? My mother had uprooted us from our lives in Texas and brought us four states away to a place where we did not have friends and then she immediately hooked up with a guy, got engaged, and then had him move in with us. This was the time I needed my mother the most and she was not there for me.
We were constantly bickering and fighting with our mother. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was experiencing depression for the first time in my life. Without my knowledge, my mother collaborated with her best friend (which would soon become my step dad’s wife and mother’s ex-best friend) and bought us plane tickets to Oklahoma. I remember the pink themed handbags my sister and I were each given. All of our belongings were packed into our bags and a couple boxes and we left for the airport.
But as fate would have it, we were late arriving to our terminal and we missed the plane.
You’d think this would be the time where my mother would rethink things over and decide to keep us. No. Instead she bought us $85 one-way bus tickets to Sapulpa, Oklahoma to live in what I considered Hell with our father.