Today’s post follows on from last weeks pre-teen post. It won’t be pretty but it will be honest.
I went into my teen years pretty much the way I’d lived before them. I was good at school, beaten at home and cherished my friends.
During the ages of 11-15 I went to stay with my Gran on and off quite a lot. My mum thought it was the better option. Unfortunately my step dad was a master manipulator and while she knew he was violent he always had a way of turning things around, it was always my fault.
At one point I wrote a letter to my biological Dad asking for his help, explaining what it was like to live with my step dad.
As a result my Dad rang my Mum about the letter and all hell broke loose, again I was made out to look like a liar and an over-exaggerator. The one time I asked him for help and he failed me. It wouldn’t be the last time, he did it right up until I was 23 and decided not to have him in my life.
My friends hated my step dad, they saw how he treated me. On one occasion when I was about 15 I was outside with some of them down the road from my house and my step dad came and dragged me home by my hair for no reason. That was the first time they got involved, knocking on the door threatening him with the police while I escaped out the back door. That was the time he broke my bed because he’d thrown me so hard on it the wooden frame snapped in two.
Things started to go wrong for me more when I was around 15. I dropped out of all my advanced classes, started skipping school, had friends that were a negative influence and led me into all sorts of trouble.
My step dad tried to strangle my boyfriend once and due to my mum’s begging his parents didn’t press charges. That was a pivotal point for me. That’s when the reality of my situation hit me, things wouldn’t ever change, until I move out I would always be a victim of his violence.
This was when I became different, I started drinking a lot, all the time. I started stealing, lying, whatever I could do to forget. My young naive mind back then felt that if I got into enough trouble I’d be taken away. I thought prison would be better than my life.
I did things that ruined all my friendships, lost me respect and just generally turned me into a troubled teen.
My mum fell pregnant and had my baby brother when I was 16, my step dad wasn’t around long after this. It gave my mum some renewed vigor and she divorced him, met another lovely man and they are still married now.
I got into trouble before this with the police, I went to court and my life took a new path.
I always wanted to be a journalist, I had it planned from such a young age, that changed. Getting into trouble brought me a new respect for the law…I was going to be a lawyer!
I had ashamed myself, embarrassed myself and let myself down. I was better than my actions. I had failed myself and I wouldn’t do it again.
I picked up school as much as I could, finished my GCSE’s and left school without friends and with an angry family.
During the summer after school I got a part time job and started making new friends. I enrolled at college and was determind to enjoy the new and different home life.
I moved out when I was 17, not because things were bad but because I still felt angry with my mum for the years of suffering and because I already felt older than my years.
It took a few years after that for me to understand my mum, for the anger to fade. Now, she hates herself for what me and my brother endured, for the violence. It’s easy to see it now, when the clouds have parted but in the time she believed him, he could change and she loved him enough to have faith.
I can’t begin to know how she felt at the time and why she made the decisions she did.
I know I wouldn’t allow the same fate for my children, I’ve witnessed and felt its effects and I hope I am stronger than what my mum was then.
I took parts of my youth and my teenage years into adulthood. I learnt very valuable lessons early on about who I wanted to be and what sort of person I am.
I could succumb to the victim I had been or I could chose to not let him win, he’d already taken so much from me I was not going to let him take more.
Thankfully I have not seen this man for around 10+ years and I don’t intend to change that.
Thank you for reading my story, depressing as it was.
Please don’t forget to pop along and read about Michelle’s teenage years.