People Share Their Own “Went Out For Cigarettes And Never Came Back” Stories
These 21 personal accounts are stunning, informative, and heart-rending. Read them carefully, because some lessons stand the test of time.
Your life is now
My father was an abusive, alcoholic sociopath who would compulsively lie to everyone. He’d make friends quickly but eventually fuck them over or they would come to see him for the piece of shit he was, so he was constantly bouncing from group to group.
I realized at a young age that my best way out was to do well in school and get a scholarship to a university out of state; I was way too afraid to just leave like other people on here. I knew I didn’t have resources and wouldn’t get far. At 7 I started researching what the field I was interested in was called (zoology, but I changed my focus to ecology upon entering college), where to look for jobs, what those jobs paid, colleges that had that major, what tuition and applications looked like for each college, and what the job entailed (like it’s mostly writing reports, so I started to focus more on writing in addition to math and science). People think I was just a weird kid, but that’s all I knew how to do to get away from him.
Seeing how he was also made me refuse drugs and alcohol. I’m still opposed to drugs, but I teied alcohol for the first time at a small party the weekend after senior prom and I can count on one hand how many times since then (7 years ago) I’ve gotten wasted and I usually just don’t drink and I know how to limit myself.
I hated him my whole life, but refusing to be like him and my hate for him has driven me to be the person I am today.
Life Is Tough
I ran away from my family. My mom, and whatever family is attached too. I feel so much better. I resented the bullshit my mom would pull on me. She once got me pretty screwed around and told everyone I was abusing her, her finances etc. She told me to my face she was going to lie and get away with it. And she did. And that was pretty much the family dynamic I was caught up in.
When I called her an abuser she couldn’t handle it. It felt good to leave and not look back. I got a new job, and a new place and changed numbers.
There Are No Mistakes
I have never left, but my brother has. One morning, two years ago, I woke up with a killer hangover. Rolled over in bed, checked my phone and saw several missed calls and a couple of voice mails from my mother and sister, along with a text message from my dad, “call me.”
The first voicemail was from my sister, sobbing through the phone, she said (for the sake of the story, let’s call my brother Tom) “Tom just tried to commit suicide… He wrote us all letter and… And.. Just call me please”
Whoa. This can’t be real.
Then my mom’s voicemail. “Tom attempted suicide last night, we haven’t been able to reach him, but we suspect he might be heading your way. If you see him, call the police, we need to make sure he is safe.”
Oh shit. This is definitely real. We all somewhat suspected depression from him but this was unexpected. Anyways, I got out of bed and put some clothes on. I open the blinds and I peek out the window, as if on queue, Tom’s shitty old ’96 4 door. He was flustered, barely spoke to me but told me he was leaving for California. Refusing to turn him into the police, I bought him lunch, filled up his gas tank and then I gave him all of the $26 dollars I had on me and wished him the best of luck. He was back home within 2 weeks, remorseful and embarrassed. I’m glad he’s back.
Fear is an illusion
Kinda late, but I’ll share my story.
I grew up in Foster Care and all the homes I lived in either were abusive or run in a “business” (collecting cash to house kids) format.
My actual mom was a very heavy drinker and was abusive (hence being in Foster Care). As an adult, we had a very good relationship. She was proud of me, impressed with my work ethic, and amazed that I got a fully paid for education via scholarships at the state university.
Everything was going swimmingly until I started to “do better” than my immediate family. They started to think I had abandon them, and that I was “too good” for them once I started pursuing my education.
The last conversation I had with my mother and sisters occurred on Thanksgiving, 2011 when I drove 3 hours to sit down and have our first legitimate family dinner in several years. I showed up, my mom was drunk, and my sisters were incoherently intoxicated on narcotics. My sisters yelled at me for “abandoning the family” and called me unforgivable things. My mother said to me “I hope you achieve all of your dreams, lord knows you’ve abandon ours.” I got up from the dinner and left. I spent the entire drive back home, for 3 hours, hysterically sobbing. I haven’t talked with them since. I know it was bitterness, and the drugs talking, but it really shattered me to the core.
My mother passed away this last year, that dinner was the last time I ever saw her or spoke with her. Both of my sisters were incarcerated at the time, so I flew home to clear out her estate. She didn’t have anything but a mountain of bills, and a house full of items to sort through. I donated almost all of it to Goodwill. While sifting through her belongings, I did find a lockbox though.
The lockbox contained her wedding ring from my late father, and some photos of my sisters and I as kids; perfectly preserved. It also had a single note inside, which was addressed to all 3 of us, with corresponding paragraphs dedicated to us. My paragraph said:
“Daniel, words cannot describe how sorry I am for how much I have hurt you. It has eaten at me every day for the last 10 years. I drink because I wish I could’ve been the mother you deserved. You are the strongest man I have ever met. I’m sorry. You deserve so much more than I gave you. I love you with all my heart. I hope someday you can forgive me.
It destroys me inside to know that mom died thinking that she didn’t mean the world to me. If I’m being honest, I started drinking very heavily after she passed. She died thinking I didn’t love her with all my heart. I carry her Driver’s License in my wallet, above mine, so that every time I take it out I get to see her; but more importantly, so that she can see me and know that I’m always right here.
Anyway, that’s my story, reddit. Thanks for reading.
Edit Wow, I really didn’t expect this to get so big when I went to sleep. I’ve never gotten gold before, thank you guys.
Just to clear up some of the messages in my inbox, I just went on a bender when she died, but I do have my life put back together almost a year later. Unfortunately, my sisters and I aren’t on speaking terms. As cliche as it sounds they still resent me, although I still reach out and let them know that door is always open. Hopefully when they get older we will be able to have a relationship. I understand where they’re coming from, and although I disagree, I’m not bitter or angry with them.
Thanks for all the kind words reddit. Today is gonna be a good day.
Second Edit I’m 23, my sisters are 20 and 21.
Lessons We Need To Master
Mom cornered me in the bathroom after chasing me around the house, told me to punch her when I tried to leave, punched me instead, I said I’d call the cops, she said she’d do the same as she’s done with my ex step dad – tell em I punched her and it’d be her word vs. mine. Next morning, got into a broken Ford that was still on her name even though it was mine, went to get the oil changed, told the guy how long he thinks the car could make it, he said I’d be lucky to make it a block (wouldn’t go into reverse, among other things). All the same, I thought, I’m only going forward, 3 days later I drove from CA to MD and spent about 5 years without contact.
Reconnected, foolishly thinking people change. People don’t change.
Last I heard from her, she wanted me to sign over my apartment in Russia so she could sell it and give me the money. I told her I’d happily sign it over but she didn’t need to pretend she’d give me a dime. Like one of the top commenters here, I’ve also been working since the age of 12, albeit for much less than 8/hour when I started (paper route etc.)
Only reconnected because I have sisters but, the brainswashing she’s done against me is done. Both sisters suicidal, one is pregnant at age of 18, failing grades, neither will take me up on my offers to help (I make 50+/hour tutoring strangers.. sigh), I’m the pariah who left and traveled the world. But I’m a loser because, well..
Fuck this thread, fuck you mom.
A Second Chance
My parents are divorced, so I lived with Mom. Both parents have anger issues. Growing up, I can’t recall a day I wasn’t yelled at. Often it wasn’t even anything I did. If my Mom or Step-dad had a bad day, my fault. My siblings did something wrong, my fault. Bills, my fault. When I dreamed of becoming <insert career>, they’d shoot me down saying how terrible at it I would be and I stood no chance. Would consistently threaten to not feed us (myself and my siblings). It’s not like I could say anything to anyone because it was “adults word vs. child word” and I’d always lose. My mother is very good at acting like a great mom.
Fast forward to high school, I got a girlfriend. Someone who made me feel wanted, appreciated, etc. My mom didn’t approve. One day, I was on my way out to meet my girlfriend on her work break, to which my mother protested. She told me “If you walk out that door, don’t bother coming back”. So, I left and haven’t gone back. My friends and my friends families were there for me, giving me places to crash at night. I was still going to work as well. My mom tried to get me fired from my job, which failed. She then called the police and reported me as a run away. I ended up getting locked up and a juvenile detention center. Where, any sort of due process I was held prisoner, treated like a criminal, lied too, and no one would listen to me because I was a kid (teenager, but adults didn’t care).
From there it was determined I would live with my father. My dad had no clue how to actually raise a kid (since he only got my sister and I every other weekend), but me being a teenager, there really wasn’t much to do. Surprisingly, he still managed to fail horribly as a father in the short time I lived with him. Food wise, he’d only buy “Hungry Man” dinners, or Tombstone pizza. That was it, that was my food choices for living with him. He also didn’t approve of me having any friends, as he managed to find fault with every last one of them. My dad would find fault with everyone. You could literally be Jesus Christ and he’d still find something wrong with you. Anywho, one morning he wakes me up (sort of) and informs me I need to get out soon as him and his wife are trying to have a kid and if they have one, it gets my room (tiny “house”). They weren’t even pregnant yet and I was told my weeks were numbered. Fun.
Fast forward a few weeks, friend of mine is hanging out with me I think it was a Saturday morning like 4am. We were’t loud, but my dad is a light sleeper. Friend was over as we hung out all night and he had an interview where I worked in the morning and instead of me driving out to his house to drop him off, only to drive out again a few hours later to pick him up seemed pointless (place opened at 6). Dad comes down stairs just raging already, sees my friend over, and fucking loses it. He too, gave me an ultimatum (sadly I can’t recall the exact words). Called up my ex (girlfriend from before), and asked if I could move in with her (she had an apartment, whole nother big chunk of drama). (Should say, I was 18 by this time.)
I worked long hours, still went to high school, payed bills, etc. Eventually paid my way through college. Eventually bought a house. No wife or kids for this story, just an angry person who learned to not trust people.
P.S., Yes, I know my formatting sucks and I use way to many parenthesis.
Lived in an abusive house with my mom. Got a job after college and in 3 months rented an apartment and went home. Took a garbage bag full of clothes and booked it.
She didn’t want me leaving because she was talking all of my money. She would take my car when I didn’t pay her my full pay check. I had to resort to pulling fuses when I parked because she would hide my car on different streets trying to get me fired. Even in college I had finals to graduate and took my car and I had no way to get there. Had to rent a car just to take my finals.
God…the stories I could tell…
Anyway, waddled in the apartment with my garbage bag and nothing else slept on the floor and for the first time felt peace.
Now have a decent job, house, wife and a kid.
Life Is About Learning
Sort of. My cousin went for a walk once.
He was dating this woman, who just an awful human being. She got pregnant, swore it was his, and once the kid was born the state went after him for child support, as he wasn’t on the birth certificate, even though they were living together.
Anyways, the paternity test came back showing it wasn’t his, and she flipped her lid. Just lost it. He asked her to calm down and said he wanted to take a walk to cool off. He left everything he owned, minus the clothes on his back and his wallet, and went for a walk that he never came from from. A few years back the kid found him, he was 16 or 17, and went on some giant rant about him being a bum and a punk ass and whatever other nonsense. My cousin told him he wasn’t his dad, the paternity test showed that, and he had no idea why she told him he was the father and abandoned them. Kid left a whole helluva a lot more confused then he showed up I think.
calm not qualm.
Patience Is A Virtue
Parents were split and hated each other and would always put me in the middle. The drugs and alcohol they were both doing didn’t help.
Got kicked out of each of their places and went back and forth over some shitty circumstances involving them wanting all of my money to live with them, then playing the guilt card on each other that they took me in when the other kicked me out.
Got a steady retail job that I had to work 6-7 days a week at odd hours to get full time. 2 weeks before christmas mom said her place wasn’t a truck stop and I couldn’t come and go at all hours of the night and that I had to leave. Heard similar from her before and didn’t want to go to dad’s again so I called some family and they all refused to take me in because my mom had called and told them I hit her. Since I was still in the same house I told her she was a horrible person, but an even worse mother, and left.
Grandma knew parents were crazy so she helped me as much as she could. Still get phone calls/emails/Facebook messages asking me when I’m “going to stop being a bitch so we can be a family again.”
Have seen both since. Invited some “friends” through Facebook to things that they in turn invited my parents to. Finally nutted up and told them both to get the fuck out of my life. Mom still leaves me drunk/high/crying voice mails in the middle of the night either telling me she loves me or that I’m all that’s wrong with her life. Dad sends me emails telling me to get the stick out of my ass because I’m still his son.
Still spend time with my grandma. Friends parents mean more to me than my own ever did.
Now I’ve got a full time job, an awesome dog, working on doing better in life in general, and trying to move into a place solo.
Blood is not thicker than water.
Will never speak to either of them again if I can help it. No regrets.
Good Things Don’t Come Easy
I was left. My dad and my mom had a fight, my dad left… then he killed himself.
On one hand, I have no memories of him (I was too young). And I am very sympathetic to mental illness, and suicidal ideation. I have had bouts of serious depression in my life.
On the other hand, his absence, the lack-of-dad, left a huge gaping hole in my life.
The strangest part is when I turned the age he was when he killed himself. I’m 36, and I’m older than my dad ever was. And I still feel young, like I have many years ahead of me.
I wish I had had the opportunity to know him. Everything I know about him is someone else’s memory.
I don’t know if this counts, but when I was about 19 I was in a shitty position. All of my friends were doing meth regularly, I had put out thousands of dollars to bail friends from jail and to try to help them out, the girl I was dating was lying to everyone she knew about our relationship. My uncle called me in the middle of all this and offered me a job on the other side of the country. I had my car packed and was headed there within 12 hours. I heard from the girl I was dating about 2 weeks later, she called crying telling me she went to my house and I wasn’t there and wanted to know where I was. I told her I had moved and she told me it wasn’t my choice to make, that I should’ve consulted her. I never heard from any of the people I had considered friends. I heard some of them went to jail, some had kids, some disappeared. I moved back to the town I left about 5 years later and everything has been relatively ok since then. Sometimes I see people I used to know. And sometimes they recognize me. But mostly I keep to myself and spend time with better people than those I left years ago.
Take Care Of Yourself
Throwaway for good reason. I’ve always lived in an abusive home, both mentally and physically and never saw a proper way out. I started working at 14 years old in a convenience store for 8 dollars an hour and hid all of the money I made in a locked container in a nearby wooded park area. I did this because my parent would have taken my money if they knew I was working at all. By the time I turned 18 I had close to 10 thousand saved up and had finished high school. I was supposed to start university that year but early on in the summer I waited until my parents went out to work, found and took all of my documents, unenrolled out of the University program I was supposed to be in and left.
I took a bus to Alberta and i’ve been living here since doing labour, it’s been a year and a half and they haven’t searched from me yet, not that i’m aware of at least. How is my life now? I’m poor, barely getting by but at least im living alone and happier than i was before.
Edit: First of all I want to thank all of you for the kind words and support that you’ve written to me in this thread. Originally I wasn’t even going to write this because everytime I think about it, it brings me on the verge of tears. It’s definitely something I try to avoid discussing in real life. Reading the comments reminds me that Reddit has a great community.
Leaving The Door Open
Left my family close to 5 years ago to move to California to start a new life. I was 400lbs, living a lifestyle of prescription drugs and drinking at 17 with my family. I was good in high school and even went to college early but wasn’t able to secure a loan there to continue past the first year. Dropped my shit life there and came here. It was very rough for a time but I’m a lot better now. I had some help from my adoptive father but paid my way aside from the ticket here. I live on my own now and manage an office selling printer parts and various other money makers online. I started my own business last year and have been paying out of pocket to continue school here because the college I went to back home wouldn’t release my transcript. I’ve lost a great deal of weight and am away from any unhealthy addictions. My family is for the most part very cross with me. My mother died two years ago nearly exactly. I had planned to go back for her birthday (tomorrow incidentally) in 2013 but she died two weeks prior to it. The only regret I have is leaving that door open. I like to think she’d be proud of where I went.
My father just walked out on us when I was nine, walked out on everything. Racked up a load of debt before he went without my mother knowing, through a gambling habit he had which we didn’t know about until immediately after and the hounding from the people/companies he’d borrowed money from. Some of them were the kinds of people you didn’t really want to owe money to, and the next few years were kinda rough.
To add to that my mother got sick around the same time and ended up unable to leave her bed for a few years, I think the illness was caused or at least exacerbated by the shock of his leaving. Not going to lie, it was really rough. I ended up getting home schooling as they were afraid that he’d show up and pick me up from school one day, and after a little while of that my confidence was so drained that I avoided school as much as possible.
Police were looking for him and eventually found him after a year or two in a town ~200 miles away, but he didn’t want to get in contact with anyone and nothing came of it. He was an ex-policeman so I guess he knew what to say, or something.
Then a few years later we got a phone call from a lady who had found his address book, informing us that he had died and she was looking for his next of kin. It ended with us traveling to where he had been staying, to find an elderly lady he was basically bleeding dry financially.
Some of the stories he’d been spinning to manipulate people were incredible. People there thought of him as a hero, he told them about how he’d started a new life after nursing his sick wife with cancer until she passed away. How my brother had been inspired by his story and was working as a doctor abroad, and in his fantasy I had never actually existed.
I can’t really say I’m angry about it. I grew up afraid that I’d end up like him, but I think when you’re exposed to something like that as a child you can either see it as an example of how to live; or you can look at it and do everything in your power to avoid becoming it.
I was 21. On my third year of college. Getting drunk and high on pills every single night. Puking every single morning. Fucking guy after random guy. Had just had an abortion. 98 pounds and barely scraping by in my classes. One day I woke up and felt so unbelievably sick tired of the way in was living I considered ending my life. Instead of killing myself, I packed up as much as I could fit in my car while my house mates were in class/work and moved to North Carolina to live by the beach. I called my parents and told them what i was doing, which broke their hearts, which broke my heart. I still come home for some holidays. I stayed in a cheap, disgusting motel for 2 months before I saved enough at my waitress job to get an apartment 40 minutes from the beach. I’m currently married to a wonderful man, completely sober, finished my degree and have a baby due in December. I can truly say I’m happy.
You Know Yourself
American that moved to Australia for 2 years. Got a girl pregnant. Fell in “love”. Saw her for the horrible person that she really was, but stuck it out. After the baby was born I had to be sure he was mine. The test came back showing no paternal match. I confronted her. We fought, she swore up and down it was a bad test.
Wanting to believe it, I scheduled another test for the 3 of us to go in. $800 later, 2 days before the test, she played dumb and said she never agreed to that. Told me to get out of their life, and that her child was not a science experiment. I stayed with a friend a couple days then came back. She acted like nothing happened, and wanted to just move on. Another test was no longer an option in her book.
It was the hardest decision of my entire life, and it still makes me sick to think about…a week later I scheduled a flight back to California. I’ve been back for 4 years now. We had talked a bit over the year after I left, but just went back to her wanting to fight. After some anti-depressants and heavy drinking, I’m finally starting to feel whole again. I look at the world very differently now.
Edit: Thank you everyone so so much for your kind words. Uplifting really. I miss that little boy with all my heart. He still has my name and a great deal of loving people that know who I am. I only hope he hears some of good about me when he is older. I did everything for them. I did what I had to.
Edit again.. Mixed responses. Either way thank you for showing interest in my post. After having a laptop broken over my head, a vacuum slammed on me while I’m sleeping, and the brothers she filled with lies after me. I did what was necessary to diffuse the situation. Thanks for the gold kind sirs, even though I don’t deserve it. I was just sharing my story on a relevant post.
You Are Everything
I left my abusive husband 7 years ago, I just walked out the door. I never spoke to him again. I had squirreled away money for years, because he controlled my income. He had this idea that I was miserable because we didn’t have children, so he tried to change that by raping me so I would get pregnant. He didn’t know I was using birth control. I had resigned my job, so I just left. I couldn’t bring children into that life. I went to live with my parents in a different part of the country.
Now I live in a different country, I have a kind and loving partner, and we have a daughter! I’m happy most of the time. My family don’t tell people where I live, in case he should find out. I don’t know what happened to him. I hope he’s dead.
You Are Your Temple
Wow.. I just realized that this kind of applies to me.
When I was younger, with my mother things were kind of rough. Pretty abusive actually.
Well, one time when i was 15 things got really bad. it started when her siste rmoved in. she treated us like slaves, we were expected to cook and clean for her and just generally be at her beck and call.
well, this one particular night I was expected to cook chicken for her and her boyfriend, then clean it up and basically be her little kitchen slave so she could be the fancy lady.
This, pissed me off to no end. I was expected to not only cook a meal i wasn’t allowed to eat. Then I had to clean up and do the dishes for that meal for some guy i’ve never met so she can get laid? wtf I refused. It turned into a big fight.
So, When my mother came home she got mad at me.
She beat me, but that wasn’t even the worst part. that I was used to. She slapped me across the face with a slipper. that was by far the least physically abusive thing she had done, but for some reason it ws new and it pushed me over the edge. i silently took it and went to bed.
The next morning I poured out my book bag. I packed a few things that meant something to me.
It still boggles my mind. just picking whats important into a bag in the span of 15 minutes. It changes the way you think about things if you ever have to do that…
anyway, I packed a few things, and went to school. As soon as I got there i found a quarter, god knows where and called a cab. Its funny now because i had to get the operator to dial because i was upset and couldnt figure out how to do it.
I went to my grandmothers in the next town over. I didnt’ have five cents to my name, she might not have even been home. but I went. when i got there i told her i took a cab and i wasn’t going back.
She of course called my mom. who told my grandmother and I quote.
“Tell him he no longer has a mother.”
So, i lived with my grandmother, switched schools, and no one ever hit me again. (well, until my drunk dad moved in, but thats another story)
she was my hero. she was always there for me. I used to look at the lights from my bedroom window and wish i was there with her.
She died april 21 of this ear. its… hard. my entire life from the point of 15 to 37 was devoted to her. now she’s gone. I still at night look at the lights, but this time they’re the stars n the sky, and i wish i was with her.
Your Pass Is Your Path
Just failed out of college. Moved back in with my dad. Things weren’t going real well between us. I was depressed and not really going anywhere. I was angry at my dad because he came down on me so hard but I was mostly angry at myself, and his attitude toward me just kind of compounded it all.
Anyway one day after being out at a friends house and hanging out all over the city for a couple days I finally came home and things around my house were just tense and I felt like nothing and like I would never get out from under this.. weight. So I just started packing some stuff. As I was leaving I remember I was coming out of my room with a Bag. This wasn’t unusual because I would often take a bag with me when Id be gone to a friends house, but today, my dad was standing at the top of the steps just looking down at me. I remember very vividly , him standing there with his hands in his pockets kind of looking at me then looking away and he quietly just asked.
“where you going son?”
I just looked up like everything was normal and just said ” Im going to so and so’s house”
He nodded slowly ” when ya com in back?”
I shrugged slowly ” I don’t know dad”
Somehow he knew. I could feel it. I never came back home, days turned into weeks and months and then years. I could tell he knew. It makes me so sad now when I think of it. Like I tore his heart in two. He has never been a very expressive man, but I could just tell how sad he was. I needed this though, I needed to go off on my own and suffer the real world and grow up some.
It still hurts my heart to think about him slowly nodding after I told him ” I don’t know dad.”
Edit: hey guys, sorry I didn’t thinks this would have gotten much attention. I’m updating this from my iPad.
I want to thank all of you for your kind words and the even the the ones calling me out for being selfish. Sorry if I worried you guys, all to of the emotion you read was in me looking back on the moment.
First I’d like you all to know I have been in contact with my dad since I left. And things are pretty good. I left during a time when cell phones were not popular and I spent a lot of time on the streets at first with the only thing I owned being a car that I kind of lived out of. Eventually a good friend of mine had his family take me in and I spent years helping their family while kind of searching for what to do.
During this time I would periodically just speak to my dad and step mom and mom and step dad on the phone every few months. They knew I was alive and well. My dad never really brought up the fact that I’d left, and would just make sure I was doing alright. We just don’t have a relationship where we express much. I think he understood as time went on. See he has this idea of how I should have progressed through life, I wasn’t good at his plan, I was too immature. I left not because I was unhappy with him and what he provided me but more so that I could stand shoulder to shoulder with him and make my own successes. I just wasn’t who he expected me to be and it took a lot of growing away from him for us both to understand that.
After a few years I went to visit him in his office and it turns out he had bought me a cell phone ( my first). It was enough of a sentiment for me to understand that he understood what I needed, he just wanted to talk to me occasionally. I tell my dad I love him every time we talk.
We live in the same town, so visit him and my step mom with my girlfriend when I can. They love her more than me haha
A lot of you took the time to write really heartfelt comments so I will take the time to reply when I’m not on an iPad later today.
Anyway thanks guys.
Take Care Of Yourself
I did this, basically. Told my parents I was going for a hike in the woods for a few days, instead took a flight to europe and joined the French Foreign Legion. They figured I was dead for a few weeks but eventually they figured out what I had actually done.
It’s been almost 2 years, and I’d still rather not see them ever again, but one of these days I’m gonna have to go back and see all my younger brothers who still live there.
As for why…it’s a long story…I didn’t have the greatest childhood. Basically I decided I had nothing better to do and life was boring as hell, so I might as well do something stupid or crazy. So I just left and never looked back. Whether or not I’m better off now than I was before is debatable, but at least I can say I’ve done something with my short little life.
EDIT Because everyone keeps thinking I just up and left for no reason, here’s a bit of background info on my life.
Parents were/are religious fanatics and complete narcissists with their own special brand of Christianity. They home schooled me my entire life until I was 17, at which point they kicked me out due to religious disagreements.
I managed to survive for around half a year by myself. Unfortunately I was kinda lacking in the life skills department. Basically until I left at 17, I never had any friends, never left the house without my parents, and had no diploma or any other record of me doing school.
I also found myself kinda…lost without someone yelling at me all the time telling me what to do. So I figured I would join the military. Just do as I’m told, not have to worry about bills or food or anything. Perfect. Unfortunately my national army told me to wait 2 years and I have no patience at all so the next logical step was obviously to join the FFL.
So I didn’t last long by myself, ended up coming crawling back to them and staying with them until I turned 18. But I wasn’t idle. I saved up money, stole all my documents from the lockbox where they kept them, and bought a plane ticket.
And so here I am now. Halfway round the world, speaking a different language and protecting a different people.
Every Memory Counts
I was going to use a throwaway but… Meh. Anyone who knew me back then and still knows my family deserves to know the truth. I’ll also add that this is a very abbreviated version of the story so if there seem to be some large leaps, know that there are months and even years entirely skipped below.
I was physically abused by my father and brother and emotionally and developmentally abused by my mother till I left a little over a year ago.
When I was a kid, my father beat my brother and I. Pretty typical rage-driven physical abuse. Anyway, by brother’s phycologist (he was diagnosed bipolar) saw marks on him one day and reported them to child protective services. CPS briefly got involved but the case was quickly swept under the rug. As far as I remember I was never actually asked if my father hit my brother or I. That said, as much as I hate to say it, at that age (14?) I think I may have been too scared to tell the truth anyway…
Regardless, CPS vanished but fortunately my father’s violence started to wind down (threat of the law spooked him). Around this same time, however, my brother began go get more and more violent himself. My mother tasked me with restraining him and preventing him from hurting her, himself, damaging our property, etc. This often involved me taking punches to the face, having knives held to my throat, and all manner of other horrible things. I sustained worse injuries at the hands of my brother than I did my father and my father was the abusive stereotype everyone imagines. My brother was far worse.
Anyway, this all kept getting worse and worse. I really hate writing about it and I can’t imagine it’s fun to read either. He was unmedicated, unstable, and completely irrational. He’d be my best friend one minute and the next he’d want me dead- literally be threatening to end my life with one of the large knives my mother refused to remove from the house or keep out of convenient reach. Threats to my life became a part of my daily routine. That’s not to say that they didn’t terrify me, but they were, truly, constant.
This was all made far worse by the fact that my mother homeschooled both my brother and I so the three of us were together 24/7. She kept me from getting a job or learning to drive seemingly because she believed that I was the only thing that stood between her and chaos despite the fact that she is the one who refused to ensure that her son stayed medicated.
Anyway, eventually all of this became way too much for me. I became incredibly depressed- the type of depression that keeps you in bed for days or even weeks. I wasn’t sleeping and on the rare occasion that I would I’d awake to horrible nightmares about my brother or my father’s physical abuse. Eventually I went to her and told her I needed to see a doctor- if only because I needed to get something to make me start sleeping. No dice.
I pushed a little further pointing out the depression and the nightmares and suddenly she got incredibly defensive and told me that my father had never hit my brother or I and that if my family was causing me so much trouble that I should just leave.
After years of literally acting as her human shield, to have her turn her back on me like that when I needed something so simple was crushing. Furthermore, to have her deny years of pain that she personally witnessed constantly was gut wrenching.
Though painful, I took her words to heart. I called her bluff and I left one morning while they were at church. I tossed a few things into garbage bags, put the couple hundred dollars I had into my pocket, and I ran away to a friend’s house in another state. Since they left for church that morning I haven’t said a word to them and I never plan to speak to any of them again. From what I understand they don’t have any idea where I am at this point and their attempts to find me have come up empty.
Anyway, I ended up scoring incredibly well on the SAT and ACT and those scores combined with the generosity of a few incrediblefriends are allowing me to start college this fall and I couldn’t possibly be more excited. Additionally I’ve been seeing a therapist who has been helping me work through the years of shit I dealt with growing up and things couldn’t be better.
Getting out of that hellhole was the greatest decision I have ever made.