August 1, 2021

The Climb

I was living life like any other teenager. I was in high school. I had a job. I partied on weekends. I had an attitude problem. I was so ready to be on my own. Until one day I didn’t feel so grown.

I decided to sleep in instead of going to school. It wasn’t the first time I’ve done this. I had a bad habit of not being able to sleep at night and sleeping in through my alarm clock. I did it so much that the blocks I missed in school added up to over 10 unexcused absences.

My Mom felt that it was my responsibility to get myself up and to school every day. I agree, I am old enough to be able to do that by myself, but if it becomes a constant problem then my Mom should probably assist me until it is resolved. I tried explaining that to her, but she, of course, disagreed.

The night before my Mom and I had an argument. She turned my phone off because I was acting unruly towards her. This resulted in me acting out because I didn’t get what I wanted.

When she found out I was still at home, she asked me if I was going to get up and go to school. I told her that I would if she would turn my phone back on. She did not; instead, she called the cops on me for refusing to go to school.

About a half hour later two cops were knocking on my bedroom door asking to come in. I told them to come in. I was sitting on my bed looking at them thinking you’ve got to be kidding me.

The first cop said, “You have two options. You either decide to go to school, and we’ll take you, or you decide not to go, and we’ll take you to jail. Which one do you choose?” I was sitting there thinking I bet it would really piss Mom off if I chose to go to jail. So I chose to go to jail.

I turned around and put my hands behind my back. The cop put the handcuffs on me and took me straight to his car. We started towards the jail.

On the way there I was trying to figure out what was going to happen to me. I never thought that I would get arrested. I had no idea what it was like. To be honest, I was quite afraid. I didn’t know what to do, but cry.

When I got there I had to wait to get searched. I was sitting there looking around observing everything. I felt like everyone was looking at me thinking why is this prissy, little, white girl in jail? I felt like the new kid in school- an outsider.

A cop came over to me and told me to put my hands on the counter in front of me and spread my legs twelve inches. She then proceeded to asked if I had any piercings as she was taking my handcuffs off. I told her, “Yes, but you can’t take one of them out.” She said, “Then we will just cut it out.” I started to cry heavily, and I swung the one hand that still had handcuffs on away from her.

There was no way I was going to let them cut out my microdermal hip implant. The lady thought I was going to hit her, and she started yelling at me. All the cops in that room ran over to me and surrounded me.

I was looking at them thinking I wasn’t going to hit her? She proceeded to search me. I had to give her my engagement ring, belly button ring, and hair ties. They told me to pick out some sandals, and then put me in a holding cell by myself.

For the first hour I cried and cried. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I felt so innocent. After I ran out of tears I began grasping that what was happening was real. Around that same time a lady that was about to go home got put in my cell. She was an older, heavy-set lady. I asked her why she was in jail.

She told me that her daughter was smarting off to her, so she slapped her. I assumed that it wasn’t the first time that she has hit her daughter. It ran chills down my body just thinking what kind of person would do that.

She didn’t stay in there with me long. She was in there long enough to tell me that I didn’t belong in there, and that the cops don’t tell you anything. I soon found that out myself. It didn’t bother me. I wasn’t in there to be babysat.

I met several different people. They all told me the same thing; that I didn’t belong in there. I agree, I shouldn’t have gone to jail, but I chose to. I was in there till the next day around noon time.

When my Mom came to get me she had already talked to someone at juvenile court. He told her that he could work out a deal that if I went to Youth Challenge Academy and graduated from the academy then my disorderly conduct charge would be dropped. So that’s what I agreed to.

I quit my job, dropped out of school, and went to Youth Challenge Academy. I was relieved to not be living with my family anymore, but living with 49 teenage girls wasn’t any better. Imagine 49 girls, 3 toilets, 5 showers, and don’t forget about that certain time of the month!

It’s already hard enough to try to get along with so many different personalities, but on top of that having to live in such a tight environment only causes more stress.

For the first three days, everyone was the best of friends, but after that it was nothing, but a battlefield. One day you’d be friends with someone, and the next day you’d hate them- like a family. You didn’t know who you could trust.

All of those girls are so manipulative, including me. The people that you thought you were closest to were the ones you had to watch out for the most. They turned on you as soon as they had the chance.

I didn’t settle in very well. I rebelled because I felt unwanted every where I went. I did the exact opposite of everything they said. “Cadet, ATTENTION!” and I’m walking off somewhere. I thought it was all a game. I took none of it seriously. Look where I am now- not at the academy.

“Just like everyone else I’m living this life. You don’t need to shelter me; I belong where I decide.”  I got kicked out of the academy. I had no idea that they were considering kicking me out. If I had known, I probably would have tried to stay. I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye to everyone. My Grandpa and my Aunt picked me up. The car ride back to my home town was long and quiet. I had no idea what my future held. The unknowing is the worst feeling.

“I have no home. I have no place to call my own. I have the right to shine. I have the right to resign. I’m not giving up. I’m not going to give in.”
We went straight to DFACS. One of their investigators interviewed me. He asked about my relationship with my family and how I got into this situation.

He explained to me that my Mom has given up on me, and that Youth Challenge was my last chance with her. How was I suppose to know that? I know I was rude to her. I know I didn’t do what she told me to do half the time, but was all of that really so bad that she didn’t want me anymore?

I got placed in a children’s home. There was about seven other girls living there. I had my own bedroom, and I shared a bathroom with one other girl. It is a really, really nice place. They have flat screen TVs, Wii, laptops, movies, books, and lots of food.

I stayed there for a total of six days. Each day we had something planned. We never just stayed at home doing nothing. I quickly found out why it was called The Angel’s House. They are very much Christian. The first day I got there they knew I was atheist within the first hour. I made sure they knew. I don’t think they liked that very much.

On February 15th, I went to court, and my Dad got temporary custody of me. I moved out of Angel’s House and into my Dad’s house. I had the choice to stay at Angel’s House, but I wanted to give my Dad a chance. Me and him never got along. He was never in my life; never did anything for me.

A couple of months before, I told him I didn’t want anything to do with him, and now I am living with him. It’s funny how things work out.

I got a job. I got my GED. I got a car. I’m getting my life figured out. The one thing I’m still working on is moving out on my own. I have trust issues when it comes to my family. Because of all I have been put through with them I just want to figure my life out on my own.

I feel so unwanted by them. Even though I know they do love me I just don’t think I can trust them to make decisions for me anymore. Sure, they want what’s best for me, but I’m at the age where I’m the only one that knows what’s best for me, and this is not it.

My feelings get hurt really easily when it comes to my Mom and Dad. I have open wounds that keep getting cut deeper. When I get this upset I start getting suicide thoughts. I imagine myself stabbing myself.

When these thoughts occur I can’t help, but cut my wrist. Afterwards, I feel much better. It’s as if nothing ever happened. I don’t cut myself very often, but I hate doing it. It’s a bad habit just like smoking and drinking- addicting and harmful.

I do see my Mom every once in a while. We get along better now then we ever have. There’s only one problem, I can’t find it in me to forgive her for giving me away. She says I choose to feel this way, but I want to forgive her. If it’s true that time heals all wounds then maybe someday I can forgive her.

Each and every day I am learning to love myself first. No one will ever truly love me if I can’t even love myself. I’m starting to put myself first before others. Some might say that is selfish, but I need to find myself.

I’m tired of lying just to seem like I’ve got my head up high. I’m tired of keeping it all inside. I want to share my story, so people not only get to know me better, but also it may help someone somewhere.

I don’t want you to love me if you don’t want to love me for me.~Anonymous

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