This series can be read from the beginning here.
“Someone’s here to take you away,”
I was breaking free.
God had finally answered my prayers. One more day in that place and they were sending me to the girl’s home where I had been told by another girl who had been there before that I would be raped. I had spent a week at the State Home and it felt like an eternity. During my one week stay at the home, I had missed my classes at high school, mutilated myself for the first time, and had my eyes opened to many problems—some which were worse than mine.
The afternoon I left the State Home was one of the happiest days of my life. The day I left was also the day before Thanksgiving. While most of my friends were preparing for a joyous day with families and friends, I was moving into someone else’s home. It felt strange and surreal, like a Picasso painting. I felt awkward.
I knew this family only from an occasional passing or two at church and from Early Morning Seminary where we high schoolers studied the scriptures together before school. This family had a son about the same age as me in Young Mens and so I knew him from Mutual. Other than that, I really didn’t know the family before moving in with them.
After eating spaghetti and meatballs for dinner that night, I went up to my new room and cried myself to sleep. I told myself after that night that I would never cry again. Crying was shameful. Crying was weak. I didn’t cry like normal people do for five years after that night. I wasn’t okay with not crying, but knew it was the only way to stay strong and keep from trusting others.
Sometime during the next week, the family I stayed with received boxes of my belongings from my stepfather and his wife. Most of my things were in the boxes. Most things. One of my journals that I had kept was not there. My stepfather had read it and ripped it to shreds and then thrown it away. He didn’t like what he read. It’s hard to read the truth about yourself.
I stayed with this family for roughly two and a half months. My stay at this family’s home was the best thing that had happened to me for a long time. This family was generous and kind and treated me like one of their own. They told me they loved me and they gave me hugs and the emotional nourishment I craved. I participated in their family and they made me feel like one of their daughters. They bought me Christmas presents and hosted a birthday party for me and my friends at their home. I developed a friendship with their youngest daughter who was nine at the time. I truly loved them.
Don’t get me wrong, everything was not perfect and there were many times that I lay in bed whining about my life. I was depressed and distraught. At least I had my best friend, Dee, at school who I could talk with. I got to stay in the same high school when I moved in with this family. Dee and I hung out as often as we could. We shared secrets together. Secrets that we did not dare share with anyone else. We were best friends.
So you can imagine my sadness when it was time to move to a more permanent place.
To be continued…
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