Left at Eighteen

by Katie
(Location Undisclosed)

I have many memories from my childhood. Some normal ones, such as playing with my sister or swimming at the lake, but mostly memories filled with abuse and trauma.

My first memory is sitting on the floor of my bedroom and hearing the sound of the drill my father was using to put a lock on my door so I couldn't get out. By this time, they had already taken all the furniture out of my room and I was left with solely a small blanket and a pillow.

My mother drank heavily and became extremely violent when she was drunk. She would take her anger and frustration out on me. I heard constantly how worthless, stupid, and ugly I was. Even as a child, I tried not to let her words get to me, but they still took a toll. I loved my mother and I just wanted her to love me in return. I knew my father cared for me; he was just so scared of my mother that he would do anything she told him to do and ignored the abuse occurring in his home. My mother would say she loved me; she only punished me to make sure I obeyed Christ. She didn't want a sinner daughter.

They would send me away to a friend of my mother's every day who would babysit me. My mother would tell her how sinful I was and how I needed to be punished because I had the devil inside of me. As a result, my babysitter would lock me in a bathroom all day. I was completely isolated from the other children. Every day, I would boost myself onto the bright orange countertop in the bathroom and stand on my tip toes and watch, through the small rectangular window, the other children play outside. I often wondered why I couldn't play with them.

My mother and babysitter made the decision that I would go to a Catholic school notorious for their radical retracting methods. So every day, I would endure abuse at the hands of my mother, my babysitter, and my teachers. All people who were supposed to protect me.

When I was sixteen, I met my now husband. By this point, I was enrolled in public school and no longer saw my babysitter. Things should've been looking up, right? Wrong. My mother treated me even worse. She told me I was a filthy whore and unlovable. My boyfriend encouraged me to leave the home I was being abused in, and I planned to do so. The day I turned eighteen, I left. It was exactly 12:01 on June 16, 2013, and I, along with my boyfriend and two of his friends, packed all my belongings into their pickup trucks and moved across the state.

My boyfriend and I rented a small apartment shortly after arriving in our new city and began our lives together. On June 7, 2014, I married the man who saved my life. I graduated from a university with my bachelors degree in psychology in June of this year. I haven't talked to my family, with the exception of one of my sisters, since the day I left. They've tried contacting me via Facebook, but I've blocked all their accounts and shut down any attempt to weave back into my life. I couldn't be happier with my life today, and I want to remind all people currently enduring abuse that there is a way out. Things will get better.

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