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Monday, May 4, 2009

Screwed Up: Letter of Desperation

Read from the beginning here.

A True Story
By Allie Van Wagoner

However, I wasn’t moving to Texas.

I wasn't going anywhere for what seemed like an eternity to me.

I was desperate and withdrawn--buried in the depths of depression. I wanted to die. I wanted to end my life. The State Home was where I cut myself for the very first time. It was my turn to take a shower. I went into the shower room and closed the vinyl curtain. I don’t even remember if I was supposed to have one, but I took the back of a razor and began scratching my right upper arm. Soft scratches--I was too much of a pansy to cut deeply. I was afraid of physical pain. Emotional pain was much easier to handle, because I was used to it.

The cutting felt good--it felt empowering. It also felt relieving. It was better than medication (which I had never taken except that one time my mother gave me a Prozac pill to put me to sleep). Cutting me was new and addictive. I liked it.

After I finished cutting myself, I got on my bunk and grabbed my journal from under my pillow. I wrote a letter to my friend from church:

"Please help me. My stepdad made me go to a guardian's home. I am very scared. I don’t know what to do. Please help. If you cannot, at least write me. I am supposed to talk to a case worker tomorrow. I was going to today, but they lie here. I don’t know why I am here. Everyone here has a legitimate reason to be here--pregnant, ran away, stole, beat up parent, ect--but I don’t. I don’t even know why I am here. I'm scared. I now want to run away because I am going crazy here. It's like a prison or jail--it's horrible. The people here treat you like you're a freak, I'm not. I wish I could die; I don’t want to be here anymore. I have been here since Friday after school. My stepfather's wife took my little brother to the store and then five minutes later, a policeman was asking me who I was and that I had to go with a lady. Her name's Angie to here. I am writing this on the far end of my bed so the camera won’t see this that I am writing. I don’t want them to see my words. I am not allowed to call or do anything around here."

The letter still sits in my journal to this day. It represents my desperation and dislike for the home. It also exhibits my quick thinking to plan a way to get out. I don’t think I even had the opportunity to mail it.

There were some brighter moments during my time at the State Home. For instance, one of the workers noticed my artistic talent and gave me a drawing pad and colored pencils. Also, one of my church leaders took me to her home so I could attend church and eat dinner. It was hard for me to grasp what was happening still. Two days felt like ten days. When I was away from the home, I tried not to think of it and the people there. I was embarrassed to be there--thinking that if my friends at church knew I had been abandoned there that they would think I was a bad person. I didn’t want to be a bad person. Oh, how I believed I was a bad person.

When I got back to the State Home after eating dinner at my church leader’s home, one of the other girls pulled me aside and warned me, "Allie, I just heard the social workers talking...since they can’t find a place for you to live, they’re sending you to a girl's home. The other girls will rape you."

All I could think was, the other girls will rape you.

A True Story
By Allie Van Wagoner


kristi said...

God, I can't imagine how scared you were. That is why I am so grateful for my sister, even though we went thru hell, atleast we had each other.

Phoo-D said...

Oh Allie, you have me hanging on your every word in each of these posts. They are so heartbreaking and yet a testament to the strong woman you have become despite it all.

Lynne said...

oh wow. I can't even come close to imagining what kind of horror you were feeling inside.

Granny Nanny said...

Can't wait for upcoming chapters, I feel bad that you or anyone has had to endured all this as a child, however we have similar stories in life.

Danielle-lee said...

The terror of it all..I can feel it in your words.

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