As a Teenager

by Sophia

When I was fourteen, in sophomore year of high school, I started going to homeschool. My mom started yelling at me to move out of the house, get out, and leave already. This didn't make sense to me because I was a kid that was still in the care of my parents.

One day I witnessed violence in my neighborhood. I wasn't around any of the kids I grew up with anymore, and spent most of my time at home alone. Once a week, a teacher would come to my house, I'd have my lesson, and she'd check my homework. I started spending less time in the house because my mom kept telling me to move out and leave already. It was strange because I was still very young, and she was the only person I was hearing all day. She really only said negative things. Nobody in the regular high school would've treated me that way. I felt like I was being treated like a disabled person. I ended up on the streets for weeks at a time because I thought I wasn't supposed to go home. I would also sneak out at night and go on walks for ages. I didn't do any drugs, but I ran into several drug addicts and people who told me that they were murderers, that they broke into my house, etc. This all happened within 5 minutes of a drive from my house. I wasn't eating very properly because I was always leaving the house. A huge issue now was that I didn't have a proper schedule, and I couldn't tell a principal or teacher that my mom was trying to kick me out, because there wasn't a principal anymore. I couldn't even tell my homeschool teacher because I wasn't used to talking to other people anymore. There weren't any kids to talk to, just my mom really.

One day I was in the next town over and met a 32-year-old man who was an alcoholic and a drug addict. At the time, I was poorly socialized, didn't do drugs or drink alcohol, and had been outside for several weeks, walking through bushes and sleeping in random places. I had lost my sense of time due to the lack of a schedule. I was 16 years old. I ended up dating him, and we lived in his tent for a while. During this time, I was still in contact with my parents, because I had a cell phone and returned every few weeks to the house. This guy used to threaten to kill me and raped me on many occasions. He had a friend who was an eco-terrorist. This boyfriend started giving me marijuana. He also lied and said he was infertile, raped me, and told me to get an abortion. 2 days after the abortion he moved me onto a pot farm.

I was in very bad condition, had trouble speaking, and was very afraid of murderers. My parents were concerned, but they didn't call the police or tell this guy not to sleep with their teenage daughter, so I was stranded where I was. I ended up 17 and taking showers at a local shelter, and my parents had driven me to a youth shelter. This was abusive because I was legally under their care, and I was experiencing a lot of neglect. I attempted to kill myself in a public setting because I was sick of sleeping on the street and in tents, and sick of my parents not being emotionally supportive enough to get me out of the situation. Once I got out of the hospital, I managed only to stay at my parent's house for a few weeks before ending up in a similar situation. I was also still with the same guy, and actually got pregnant after getting out of the hospital.

After being in this relationship for a year, he introduced me to a registered pedophile on parole and forced me to sleep next to him in a bed for several months. They were having sex behind my back without telling me. I was totally monogamous, and I felt like I couldn't leave because I hadn't seen my parents in ages and was constantly surrounded by criminals. He kept asking me to have sex with the both of them, and I always said no. It was scary and confusing when he asked me this because I was just a kid and intoxicated. He got angry when I said I wouldn't try cocaine. Once, I had two beers and he yelled at me because I was a minor, so he wasn't going to let me drink. I never drank again. My biggest concern was that he was trying to make me have sex with other people, namely the registered pedophile when he knew that I was a kid. He would also warn me when his parole officer was going to show up and we would have had to "jump out the back window" of the hotel room. These moments were intensely scary.

If we weren't sleeping in a tent or a hotel room, we were sleeping in his car or the pedophile's car. That boyfriend had asked me to marry him and called me his fiancé.

After several months, I would see my parents again for a few days a week, then I would live with that guy again for a few weeks. I tried to kill myself because of this toxic cycle, and almost died. I woke up extremely bloated in the emergency room. When I got out of the mental hospital, I was immediately back in the same abusive situation with that boyfriend and the registered pedophile.

It was really difficult when I turned 18 because of the abuse I was experiencing. My boyfriend had told me that he had picked out a ring. One day I heard him and the registered pedophile admit that they were having sex together and confronted them. They had been lying to my face in order to manipulate me to stay. They got up and started arguing with me, and I said that I had heard them say it and there was nothing they could do to change that. One of them started crying and they hugged each other. I hid in the bathroom. The pedophile left the hotel room. My boyfriend then threatened me with a knife and also threatened to kill himself. I said I would call the police but I didn't.

The next morning, I left and went back to my parents house and slept for days. When I woke up, I went to the police with my dad and reported these two guys. I worked with a youth advocate. After he found out I was going to the police, he left the state and asked his friend, the eco-terrorist's daughter to marry him. Since I had met her once, I told her that he was having sex with a pedophile, since I knew that she had kids. She didn't care and was said she was even okay with him sleeping with her dad. She ended making a big enough deal online to be added onto the report as a separate crime.

While working with the police report, my own dad assaulted me because I had yelled at him. I was super stressed out and started screaming about what had just happened to me, and he pushed me down the stairs and continued to beat me up. He was arrested and spent a few weeks in jail. We had to go to family therapy for months. It also affected my police report about my boyfriend. It had been more than 5 months and I was having nightmares and felt unsafe at home. I ended up dropping the police report. They're still out there somewhere. I was with him for about 2 years and had been living outside for about 3 1/2 years.

Now I'm 19 and I'm doing a lot better. My dad and I can talk to each other again. Nobody mentions what happened, and I'm going to college. I'm getting good grades and I plan on learning how to drive next summer. I still have nightmares and I get kind of skittish, but I think that will all go away soon.

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