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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Screwed Up: Internal Battle

For those unfamiliar with my story, Screwed Up: My Life, please start at the beginning here. The purpose of me writing this intimate account of surviving a difficult childhood is explained here. This story in its entirety can be found at and is available for purchase for $12.95 plus shipping and handling.

A True Story
By Allie Van Wagoner

So you can imagine my sadness when it was time to move to a more permanent place.

It was a sunny, Saturday morning when I moved in with the next family. I was determined to be a good family member and I told myself that this new family was going to be a great family to live with. I wrote in my journal that evening, "I am determined to be a good 'daughter' to these people and to be nice to their mom, even if she is a mom.” I never gave that sentence much thought until several years later when I realized what I meant by that statement. I had a difficult time showing affection towards women because I was so angry at my own mother.

You see, I had been hurt too much by my mother. I didn’t want to have anything to do with her. I loathed her with all my being. She had betrayed my trust, abandoned me, and given up on me and I hated her for it. I thought of her as a hypocrite, because she had betrayed all the values she had taught me. I was angry because she seemed to love other men more than she loved the children she brought into this world. I gave up all hope that she would ever love me. I certainly didn’t want to love her back.

Looking back, I realize that my hate for my mother revealed itself in how I treated other women mother figures in my life. For instance, I loved this new family’s mom, but I couldn’t tell her that. To tell her that I loved her was to admit to myself that I could show warmth to a mother--even if she wasn’t my own mother. I wanted to prove to this new mother figure in my life that I loved her, but to do so was too mentally and emotionally difficult--it was almost like torture to me.

Furthermore, I didn’t trust anyone. Getting tossed around like trash has a way of doing that to you. I had moved so many times in the previous two years that I didn’t think of any one place being permanent. The thought of having my heart ripped out because I had to move again was too painful for me to think about, so I detached myself from others.

I was depressed. I went to counseling at my own request, but I didn’t even want to open up to my counselor. I knew I needed the counseling, but sharing was tormenting. My counseling sessions were unproductive. One day, I lied and told the counselor that I didn’t need counseling anymore--I was healed. I think he knew better, but what can you do when the patient doesn’t want to talk, right? So, I never went again.

I sunk deeper and deeper into a depression.

I don’t know if anyone could ever tell I was depressed. I tried to hide my feelings. Every once in a while, I would have panic attacks--my hands would begin to shake uncontrollably. Then my body would tense starting at my stomach and working it way into my throat. I felt like I could hardly breathe as my heart pounded faster and faster, so hard I could hear it in my ears. I still have panic attacks to this day, although not as common as they were when I was a teenager. Talking about the past usually brought on the panic attacks.

At one point the depression became all encompassing. That was the day I attempted suicide.

A True Story
By Allie Van Wagoner


Anonymous said...


the nightingale said...

Intriguing story. How have you managed to recover from it all and be pretty much "normal" today?(All of us have our own "normal" that may not seem that way to anybody else, but we're functional!) :)

the nightingale said...

Intriguing story. How have you managed to recover from it all and be pretty much "normal" today?(All of us have our own "normal" that may not seem that way to anybody else, but we're functional!) :)

Michelle Johnson said...

I will have to catch up on the rest of your story another time but this is gripping. I'm sorry you've had such heartache in your life. Glad to see you chose a different path than suicide because each person has value. I guess they just have to find it. Clearly you did. :)
Have a great night.

Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

I just stayed up way too late reading all the parts of your story that you've posted so far. Wow. You're a *great* writer. I don't have my credit card handy but I'm going to buy your book as soon as I can grab it. Thank you for sharing your story.

Foursons said...

I was just thinking to myself, thank goodness I just found her blog. I'd hate to have to wait for the rest of the story. And here I am waiting. What an emotional wreck I am. You are very gifted and I feel as though I am by your side through all of this. My heart breaks for the girl you had to be.

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