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Monday, April 13, 2009

Screwed Up: Making Friends


If you are new to this series, please start from the beginning.

I was devastated. I felt betrayed. I had been lied to. I was crying. Not sobbing, but tears were streaming down my cheeks. I wanted to be brave--I wanted to be strong. Strong girls don’t cry. Crying is a sign of weakness. Besides that, we weren’t allowed to cry in front of him. At that moment, I hated him and I loathed his wife even more. I never got the choice in these matters. No one ever asked for my input. If I had a way at that moment, I would have ended my life rather than lived with my mother.

However, I didn’t get to choose these things. Choices were left for the grown ups to decide. I was nothing.

I arrived at my mother's home. My little brother lived with her at this point. I felt angry, I felt used, and no way in hell did I want to live with my mother. I sulked in depression on the couch for a week. I guarded my journal like a precious jewel. My diary, it was the only object that stayed constant and sure in my life. It held, and still holds, all my deepest and darkest feelings during that time period.

My mother had recently divorced her third husband whom she had married while on a rebound after divorcing my stepdad who had raised me. My mother was again dating during this time. I hated her for being gone all the time. Oftentimes, there was not enough food in the house and she would be gone with one of her boyfriends, instead of being home taking care of her daughter and youngest son.

I was once again attending church the most I could and found some friends whom I liked. The girls in this ward were especially close and welcoming to new girls. There was one particular friend whom I discovered shared a lot in common with me. We both had tumultuous backgrounds and didn’t enjoy living at home. This friend quickly became my best friend and we spent nearly every moment we could together. Sometimes we walked to the library in Irving, Texas and sometimes we just walked to walk.

I spent much of my time at my best friend’s apartment. We would sit on her bed and talk about everything—our families, boys, and school. She collected cow’s and she had many stuffed toy cows lining the shelves and on her bed in her room. For me, her home was an escape from my life and from my mother. I abhorred my life and wanted to get away from it. I wanted a new life and so spending time with my best friend was my outlet into fantasizing that I didn’t really have the life I had been given. Hanging out with my best friend allowed me to forget that I had just been ripped out of my previous home with my stepdad and his wife.

One night, I asked my best friend to spend the night with me while my mother was off spending the night with one of her boyfriends. I didn’t have to be too embarrassed to have nothing in the house to eat, because she was in a similar plight. We ate powdered church welfare pudding for snacks with no added milk as I didn’t have any. The powdered chocolate pudding was all I had for food at my home. My best friend and I got so sick eating it, but we both laughed about it afterwards. My best friend never judged me.

My mother's visiting teacher from church called one day, as she usually did, and asked if we needed anything. I was hungry and I told her that we needed some food. My response probably wasn’t what my mother’s Visiting Teacher expected, but I wanted to eat and it was all I could think about. This kind lady from church came right over from the store and brought us bread, eggs, other groceries, and a gallon of Neapolitan ice cream. I remember her act of kindness and generosity. I devoured the ice cream with delight. My mother wasn’t too happy I asked for food.

I didn’t care what my mother thought—my best friend and I had other plans.


A True Story
By Allie Van Wagoner

3 Comments:

Karen said...

So you know I bought the book? It came last Friday and I finished it before I went to bed because I couldn't put it down. The RS is reading it now. You really are a very talented writer.

I won't be making anymore comments on your story till you have finished posting it so I don't ruin it for anybody. I going to try very hard to be "no spoilers-Karen."

KMDuff said...

I do not comprehend not making sure there is enough food for my kids. I guess my kids being a priority is the difference? Have you read The Glass Castle, a memoir? I'd be interested to hear your take on it.

Danielle-lee said...

The food. I hate hate hate the thought that there are kids out there who don't eat regularly. It kills me. I'm so sorry you had to put up with that. I'm also so glad that you found a friend who didn't judge, that loved you for YOU, and was there for you.

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