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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Screwed Up: Going to Oklahoma

If you are new to this series, please catch up on Screwed Up: My Story.

Part VI

You'd think this would be the time where my mother would rethink things and decide to keep us. No. Instead she bought us $85 one-way bus tickets to Sapulpa, Oklahoma to live in Hell with our father.

My mother wrote my sister and me this note on an old typewriter--the note was supposed to make us feel better:


I wish you could know just how much I love you guys. You are the apple of my eyes. I hope someday that you can forgive me of all the things that I have done to you. I have tried my best to do the right things. But things have a way of happening for the worse and best. I love you both very much. Someday you will have children of your own and will understand this. Please be careful and watch for all the bad things that seem to have a way of happening.



(signed and whited out) Mommy 6-13-95

The letter she wrote didn't make me feel any better. It didn't make me want to ask for her forgiveness. It made me hate her more than ever. I despised the letter--and yet I also kept it. I taped it into my journal where it has remained for nearly fifteen years. Fifteen years--I can't believe it has really been that long. Still, I don't understand her thinking.

I still despise the letter.

The bus ride was scary for me. It was my first time to ride a Greyhound. I was alone, except for my sister. There wasn't anything to do on the bus for this eighteen hour trip, except look out the window and watch the landscape change as we traveled across Indiana and Illinois, through Missouri, and finally stop in Oklahoma.

Mostly, I slept the best I could with my head propped against my pillow. I don't remember where we met her, but a nice woman kept my sister and me entertained and comforted. Her name was Diana Rambo from Arizona. My sister mostly talked with her. We didn't have any snacks, so the kind and warm lady provided my sister and me with blueberry Nutrigrain bars. I know--I saved the glossy blue wrapper--I still save everything. This lady was like a guardian angel come to us...or just a nice lady that the Lord, I believe, placed on that Greyhound at the right place and the right time. She was a place of comfort for me.

I don't really remember arriving in Tulsa and then Sapulpa. I don't remember meeting my father for the first time since I was a preschooler. I didn't want to meet him. The only person I wanted to see in Oklahoma was my sister, Shelly who lived in Mounds, Oklahoma.

The next six months of my life were a very trying time for me. During those months, I quit my freshman year of high school at the request of my father, smoked pot for the first time, tasted alcohol for the first time at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert, watched my father rip people off and smoke pot, and watched in disbelief as my other sister began her own journey down a difficult path in life.

I hated my father's home. We lived in embarrassing and dirty conditions. The house was warmed by stove heat, we ate Hamburger Helper and drank Squirt for nearly every dinner, the dog was allowed to crap on the carpet in the dining room where the feces stayed for days, mice ran freely around home--in the curtains, in my bed covers--and mice pellets were plentiful in the closet where I spent many hours curled up with a bed sheet in a fetal position contemplating different ways to end my life.

My journal would be my closest friend for the years to come. I felt it was the only place I could truly reveal how I felt and not be judged. I scribbled many pictures in it of my dead and dying soul.

For Christmas that year we received nothing. When my one friend's grandmother brought this up to my father (seeing he had purchased presents for his other older children), he gave me and my brother $20 each to make up for it. I gave my twin brother my $20--money doesn't buy forgiveness or love in my book, not even then.

Two days before my fifteenth birthday, I was on the phone with my mother begging her to take me back.

To be continued...


Simply Dee said...

Allie, I don't know how you survived all this. You never told me about this before. said...

Hugs to you.

Ilina said...

You are killing me with this story. Isn't it amazing how differently you are raising your children? They are lucky to have you.

Lola said...

My gosh-i am relating so much to your story
I am admiring so much your honesty......
sending love
and don't let 'them' (defined as those who don't believe or live in la la land etc) and their comments make you stop writing your truth!

Karen said...

Wow.....I have a ton of questions now. I will try and be patient as your story unfolds.

I shudder when I think of your living conditions. I have had friends who were subjected to similar conditions on the weekends. There were times I wondered if it would have been more sanitary and safe to sleep outside.

Screwed Up Texan said...

Dee, I didnt tell anyone when I was a kid that any of this was going on. I thought that if my friends knew, they would not want to be friends with me.

Mindee, Thnx XO!

llina, Definitely dont want my kids growing up like I did.

Lola, It is amazing the readers who have come out and told me how they lived similar lives. Hugs to you too XO!

Karen, the backyard probably would have been a better place to sleep at night.

Amy said...

I know I keep writing about books in my comment, but this time I thought about The Glass Castle the entire time I read this. Its a true story, the author is writing it as an autobiography. I think your story could be a bestseller too. Crazy!

Screwed Up Texan said...

Amy, I should run out to Barnes and Noble and grab that book. This is the second time someone has mentioned it.

Kristi said...

Allie, I'm amazed at the strength you must have had to go through these things. It makes me think about how the Lord will never give people trials that they aren't strong enough to overcome -- He knew you were a tough cookie! Still, it makes me sad that kids have to endure the choices that well-intentioned (and sometimes not so well-intentioned) parents make that profoundly effect their lives, for good or ill. Yikes. Makes me reexamine the choices I make everyday.

Anonymous said...
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Screwed Up Texan said...

Kristi, One thing I make sure every day with my own kids is that I dont ever treat them how I was treated as a child. I plan on doing things differently, like being involved in their activities and telling them kind words which was not always given to me. One good thing about how I was raised is that I have an example of how not to be as a parent. As with any parent, it is a learning experience day by day, but there are definitely some things you dont do.

Anonymous said...

Truth Hurts

suzanne cabrera said...

Ditto on The Glass Castle.

Danielle-lee said...

I am aching for you. I am sorry, so very sorry. Thank you for sharing.
Also? I agree with the comments about The Glass Castle. I read it and it's painful. There are so many stories out there like yours, like hers.....and they deserve to be shouted out, published, read, heard. Please keep going.

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