The Eighth and Final Square

with courage face the thing you fear so the pawn becomes the queen

Part 1 Part 2 Part 4


For the first week or so, I was hopeful, even cheerful. I felt secure in my family again. Then things started getting me down. Nobody had changed. If anything, they had gotten worse — I was allowed practically no contact with the outside world…no phone, someone next to me if I was online (which was only once, because I had some work to finish), and when we went to the store or library, I had to stay closer to mom than ever.

But time dragged slowly on, and I became disillusioned. I thought they would be happy I stayed. Instead, it was more like “finally you’re doing what you’re supposed to do”. Nothing changed.

I figured out how to switch the cords around to bypass the internet lock, so I could talk to Scottie at night. I physically hurt with how bad I missed him, and he was soooo afraid he’d never get to talk to me again, and that I would always believe my dad and that he had lost me forever. Talking to him at night again became once again the only way I stayed sane.

Waiting three years gave way to waiting as long as I could…to waiting until September. I could hardly stand the stress. There were days I would stand in front of the medicine cabinet and picture myself downing a bottle of ibuprofen or tylenol. The only thing that kept me from it was the thought of Scottie. I was beyond the point that I cared if suicide would send me to hell. I didn’t care much about anything, I basically existed. I did what I was supposed to, put on some kind of happy face (as much as I could…I think the days varied between grumpy and more grumpy), but I had given up trying to please my parents and almost given up on life itself.

Joe’s wedding rolled around. Relatives came to stay at our house, and of course they noticed the glaring absence of the groom. Dad had predetermined not to say anything unless someone asked, and when they did ask, he told them Joe had just decided to get a head start on life and had moved out or something. (I don’t remember exactly if that was what someone asked and dad confirmed, or if it’s what dad had said.) That really surprised me, because it was a bald-faced lie.

Life went on. I had decided to wait until September to leave. It was the light at the end of my tunnel. September was when Elle’s birthday was, and I had a birthday present for her that she had seen (accidentally), played with, and knew was hers. And wanted badly. I didn’t want to disappoint her. So I was going to wait until after her birthday to leave.

July 4th, we went to a real church for the first time in years. That night, dad called me into his office, and he and mom talked to me. (That is to say, mom was there, but dad talked to me.) He talked about why I should stay, all the “biblical” reasons, etc, then finally said it was my last chance: was I staying or leaving? (I didn’t know why he brought it up out of the blue because he made me promise to tell him if I was thinking of leaving again…then again, I didn’t tell him, either.)

I didn’t know which I should choose. (I didn’t even know why he was bringing it up again out of the blue.) “Last chance” sounded pretty ominous. But it still wasn’t past Elle’s birthday yet. I was silent. Running through my head were lines from a Cruxshadows song “Eye of the Storm”: “This is the moment of truth, at the point of no return…place faith in your convictions, as the boundaries start to blur.” I felt the words shape in my head, but I couldn’t say them. I was sitting on the floor, huddled up with my arms around my knees. I’m sure my silence was telling, but dad wanted to hear me condemn myself.

After about 20 minutes, I asked if I could use the bathroom. He let me, and mom also took a bathroom break, then we reconvened in his office. I was still silent. He said “Well?” I said “I’m afraid what you will do to me if I say.” I was, too. I was afraid he would bully me or something. He didn’t say anything to that though. Mom finally said something, I don’t remember what, and dad said with barely-controlled fury, “Well I feel like slapping her upside the head if she won’t answer.” That scared me even more. Somehow I forced out the words through numb lips: “I’m leaving.”

It was silent a moment in the room. Then dad asked, “Just out of curiosity, why are you leaving?” I thought about it for a few minutes, trying to collect my thoughts enough to make a coherent reply, one they would understand. Finally I said, “I don’t know if you’ll believe me or not or if it makes sense or anything, but because if I love someone, I want to do things for them and show them love because *I* want to, not because you tell me to.” Mom said “Well, this shows you don’t have any love at all.”

Things became a blur after that. Dad said something, I don’t remember what. I was supposed to go pack up my stuff, and be ready to leave in the morning when dad was supposed to leave for work. All the kids were already in bed. I went into my room, and Beth was on her bed. I sat next to her on the floor . “I can’t get to sleep,” she said. I awkwardly said “I don’t know how much sleep you will get tonight.” I hesitated, then said “I’m leaving.” I don’t know if I can ever forget the way she said “Why???” as she started to cry. I started to cry too and hugged her and she hugged me tight. I had no answer. I didn’t know what to say to her. What I said to dad wouldn’t be a good answer for her. I may have muttered “I have to” or something, I don’t remember.

We were sitting there crying and hugging each other when dad came, I don’t remember if he knocked or anything but he came in and said Beth should leave the room.

I started packing. Dad came in at one point and gave me cash from my bank account, and had me sign a paper saying something to the effect that we didn’t owe each other any money. I don’t remember exactly what it said, but at the time it looked fine.

I asked him if they would give the blue kitty piggy bank to Elle on her birthday, and he was absolutely livid when he said to me “No, I won’t.” I don’t remember exactly what else he said…something to the effect that I didn’t deserve to give her anything, I was an awful person, etc. Eventually, though, he and mom went to bed.

Whenever I went out of my room, Ben or Eric followed me. I felt like a criminal. I thought to myself “the only real reason they would have to follow me around is to make sure I don’t kill myself tonight”. I think the reason they did was so I wouldn’t go try to talk to the other kids who were all in bed.

I copied a bunch of pictures off my computer for them to have, and packed. Ben and Eric loaded my stuff into the utility trailer as I finished each box. I think I was done packing around four am or something, but the pictures and stuff weren’t done until six. Eight was when dad was going to go. I sorta-slept on the floor of the computer room until the computer stuff was done, then on my bed. I got up when I was supposed to. Then dad hung around, and I don’t know what was the hang-up. I did gather some other stuff I had forgotten about, but finally Ben and I left around nine or so, and by then people were starting to get up, but dad told them all to stay in their rooms.

The last words from my dad were angry ones. He said “If you come back, you come back alone. Scottie has to be dead, and any kids you have have to be left somewhere else. You have to be repentant, and if you come back, things will be worse for you. But that’s the price you have to pay.” (I was thinking “Wow, worse…um yeah, I’m not coming back. I can’t imagine worse.”) I don’t remember anybody else who was in the room (mom, Eric, and Ben) saying goodbye. I don’t think Eric looked at me, and mom looked all solemn. Then Ben and I left.

It was a pretty quiet drive. At one point, Ben asked me, “So what made you decide going to hell was better than living with us?” I kind of shrugged and said “Nothing”. I was basically in lock-down mode…survive until it’s over. He said “I’m not going to give you up without a fight. I love you.” I didn’t understand the fighting part, since he had no choice whether I left or not, and I was already on my way out, but I said “I love you too,” and he said “No you don’t.”

We got to the vet’s where I was going to board my cat. (Fortunately I had made a plan some weeks earlier, as to what I would do and where I would go and stuff.) I got that taken care of, then we stopped at a storage unit that was on the same road, and I got myself a unit. Ben unloaded my stuff into it. It was then that I realized I had left my diary. This was the diary that I had been keeping since May, after I told Scottie I was staying. That was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back. I started kind of freaking out, asking Ben if he would bring it to me, or at least make sure it was burned or something. I was under no illusions that my parents wouldn’t read it given the chance.

Then we continued on to a motel that was on the same road, just a block or two down from the storage unit. They had a room that was just vacated that I could stay in, but we had to wait for them to change the sheets and stuff. It was awkward. He said “You’re more upset to lose your diary than you are your family?” I shook my head and said “No,” and that was it. I couldn’t explain to him about how I would feel completely stripped of privacy if our parents read my diary. He couldn’t understand that, because he had a better relationship with them than I did. He trusted them; I didn’t. (I didn’t trust him not to tell our parents something I said, but I knew he was at least honorable enough to destroy my diary.)

I got my stuff into the room after they finished, and said goodbye to Ben. I walked to Walmart, which was a block up the street, and bought a StraightTalk phone, some minutes, and activated it using a pay phone (boy am I ever glad they still keep those things around!!). I bought some food at McDonalds more because I thought I should eat than because I felt hungry, and wandered around Walmart semi-aimlessly, carrying a few things I needed. I called Scottie pretty much first thing after I got the phone working. Of course he was sooo happy to hear from me! I told him I had left. I don’t remember what he said or anything, only that I was sitting in Walmart (I found a bench), feeling small and alone, freaking out on the phone.

Eventually, I got back to my motel room, still on the phone. I didn’t want to hang up! I don’t remember what I did. I think I set up my computer and checked my email, only to find out my parents had sent out an email/facebook message to a bunch of my friends and family, telling them I had left, was on my way to Oklahoma with a bartender I didn’t know, I turned my back on God, etc. I was surprised and kind of angry; it felt like they were trying to get back at me. I’m pretty sure the reason they emailed everyone was so they could “take a stand” (as they had two years before when they cut off my friend and encouraged her parents to do the same, in hopes she would “come back”…they called it tough love), but it felt unnecessary to me.

Dad always went on about how if I left I could find support “out there” (hand-wave to the town out the window, meaning everyone else but us), so I had determined not to tell anyone, not to ask any favors, I was going to do this on my own. After the letter though, I thought “Well, all’s fair in love and war,” and figured anything was fair game.

Sometime later that day, Ben and Eric showed up with my diary and a couple other things I’d left. I thanked them, and they left.

I called my relatives to tell them I was OK, not on my way to Oklahoma, etc. I also posted it on facebook. My internet connection wasn’t very good in my motel room, so I pretty much spent the next few days watching movies. My friend found out I had moved out of my parents’, and reconnected with me (and loaned me movies). A few days later, I moved into my friend’s friend’s house.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 4

Phoenix On July - 18 - 2011

16 Responses so far.

  1. Libby Anne says:

    Oh my word. How horrible. I never got the ultimatum – just the vague understanding that I might not be allowed to go back. I knew I was choosing between my freedom and my family, but it was more abstract – not so direct. And when you mention Elle. That really breaks my heart. Because I understand completely, and yet I can hardly imagine. There are no words.

  2. Charity says:

    “If you come back, you come back alone. Scottie has to be dead, and any kids you have have to be left somewhere else. You have to be repentant, and if you come back, things will be worse for you. But that’s the price you have to pay.”

    That makes me sick to my stomach. Idk what your relationship with your parents is now, but that makes me wish all kinds of evil on BOTH your parents. Your dad is seriously sick, twisted & all kinds of evil to wish death on your future children & then say it’s YOUR fault. That is classic abuse right there — “YOUR actions make me curse you”. There is so much I WANT to write about this but it would be wrong of me. Let me just say that I am completely disgusted & nauseous at his hateful words & if you NEVER spoke to him again it would be too soon.

    • Charity says:

      SORRY… he wished death on your man & said you’d have to abandon your children. Still sick & possibly worse. What kind of parent abandons their child?? Oh I’m sorry, your parents abandoned you, so of course they demand you do the same to your children. SOOOOOO sorry girl… his words are unforgivable.

  3. Here’s what gets me:

    Many many stories of patriarchy kids have an eery common thread to them – the desire to end it all. And the weird thing is….they all know how to do it?

    What the…!!!??? With all the sheltering and the “godly” kids know how to off themselves? Or, have the desire to? SOMETHING IS AMISS and these morons don’t give a rat’s rear end.

  4. Samantha R says:

    How AWFUL! They abandoned you, lied about you, and showed no love or mercy. Definitely not the love of Jesus there. I’m so sad for you but so glad that you got out when you did. I feel bad for the rest of the kids though. =/

    • quicksilverqueen says:

      I still can’t figure out how they can do all these awful things and think they are being loving! I feel really bad for the rest of the kids too… >< some are going to have a harder time than others getting out. If they leave.

      • Samantha R says:

        yeah, It takes a lot of courage to “get out”. I’m one of the ones that would put up with it forever just because I would be too scared to leave. =/
        Thankfully, my life isn’t that bad at all now. I think my parents have relaxed a LOT since I was little. My siblings have it easy compared to my childhood. Not that my childhood was all that bad. But it wasn’t always easy either.

  5. Young Mom says:

    Oooooohhh, I can’t imagine having to make that choice. But I’m glad you chose life, over the grief sodden existence. Good for you.

  6. Amanda Aeschliman :) says:

    Aww… 🙁 *hugs* I remember having to make that choice…

  7. Pamela says:

    I am *so* sorry that you had to go through this! I can’t help but think of the way it should have been – that you family would help you find a good place to live, excitedly help you set up your kitchen, etc. For most people, leaving home is an exciting, if bittersweet, time, and it is a natural and normal transition to being an adult. I’m so sorry that your parents couldn’t/wouldn’t see that 🙁

    I can totally relate to the being yelled at and having things go blurry thing. The details of my story are different, of course, but my parents used to have “family meetings” that always ended with my sister and I in tears, promising to “do better.” But I would shut down so much that I’d just agree to pretty much anything to make the “meeting” stop, and most of the time, 10 mins after the meeting, I couldn’t have told you what we talked about – not because I’m dumb, but just because I couldn’t handle the emotional manipulation. Those were bad times.

    Thank you for telling your story – I think you are very brave!!

    • QuicksilverQueen says:

      I would shut down so much that I’d just agree to pretty much anything to make the “meeting” stop, and most of the time, 10 mins after the meeting, I couldn’t have told you what we talked about – not because I’m dumb, but just because I couldn’t handle the emotional manipulation.

      Same here. At the end of my dad’s lectures he would always ask “So, what do you think?” and I’d say “You’re right” because I didn’t know what to say. Plus, even if I did, he would shoot down my thoughts. Sorry you had to go through that too!!

  8. Katy-Anne says:

    You know, along with my own story and stories I read like yours, I almost want to write a novel about someone with a life like this. I think it could fit very well into the “Christian Horror” Genre. Ok, maybe not quite, but definitely suspense or psychological “thriller”.

    • QuicksilverQueen says:

      No kidding! lol There are definitely enough stories out there. And you know what they say…truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction has to make sense!

  9. Anonymous says:

    WOW. This made my stomach churn and my heart pound. It took me a minute to realize how familiar all of this was. The difference? It wasn’t about Christianity. In fact, the people I lived with mocked my Christianity. But everything else fit to a tee. They stalked everything on my computer, printed out all of my private conversations to send to my grandmother whom I was very close with.

    They twisted my replies around, made me feel stupid, kept battering me down emotionally. My uncle made me very uncomfortable with sexual references at me and complimenting me in my bathing suit. They kept me from the only 2 real life friends I had left in high school. My aunt trashed my room in a fit of anger one day and had knocked down a small box of the only belongings of my real mother I had. I was so mad.

    I finally begged my grandmother to come take me back to live with her. I was 16 years old. She finally said she would, there was this huge blow-up, My cousin told me I hated him for doing this to him. One day there was this huge “let’s scream at her while she sits there” fest. The next day, they softened their voice and told me I could have a bigger room of my own in the basement with my own privacy. I firmly said no, and waited patiently for my grandmother.

    The day I left, they wrote this huge letter almost EXACTLY like the one your father wrote. They sent it to everyone I was friends with online. It was freaking ridiculous.

    Wow, I hadn’t thought of that in years. I still keep my distance from them. I am so glad you got out of that. No wonder I feel so drawn to writings against patriarchy… I am familiar with the abuse, just not in the name of Christ. Thank you for sharing your story. This was a 2×4 between the eyes and finally a true identification for my issues.

  10. Maria says:

    Your dad sounds narcissistic to me. I dated a man / boy like this a year in half ago. Very grateful to be out. I feel for the next victim Just keep in mind that his behavior has nothin to do with God. God is very loving . Beth more are great books to read. You don’t need your parents to follow God . Following God is a choice.

    • QuicksilverQueen says:

      Yeah, my brother and I think he is narcissistic and bipolar, though he would never consider it…he doesn’t believe in mental illnesses, especially related to himself.

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Welcome! This is my space on the internet to explore myself and my life and find my courage to turn into a queen. My Quilt No content on this blog may be used or reproduced elsewhere without a link back.

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