Chapter 2: Time for Change

My mom remarried when I was 12. It only lasted three months. He was schizophrenic, and the marriage was a disaster from the start. Don’t get me wrong, he was nice at times, but then he would just switch, and it was like he was a different person. My mom was pregnant with his child when they divorced. He came to the house one time after they separated and never returned, other than the few court appearances. He also signed away all of his parental rights. We still don’t know where he is to this day.

My family did get something good out of that marriage when my half-brother, Michael, was born. The doctor told my mom that she was having a girl, but I just knew it was a boy. She had always wanted a boy, and I always tried to fill in that role. I was a tomboy growing up – mud fights, playing with boys and climbing trees. I was a little jealous of my brother at first. Now someone else had come in and took my place. I was no longer the baby of the family, but I moved on to helping Mommy take care of the baby while she was at work. I got over it quickly; I loved my brother, and I wondered what he would grow up to be and look like.

By the time I was 16, my Mom had finally been happily married to my Step Dad, Ray, for two years. It was her third marriage.

After returning from the summer visit with Bryce’s family, I was exhausted and spent a day and a half in bed. I didn’t sleep the whole 11-hour bus ride home because I was too busy flirting with the boy beside me. My sister, Dianna, was sitting with a boy too; they talked and she dozed on his shoulder.

I was a very rebellious teenager. I started smoking at the age of 14, learned how to be a tease with the boys and would sneak out to get drunk.

I never talked to my Mom about what happened with Bryce that summer, until it got back to her. I had confided in my best friend; she ran off and told her Mom, and her Mom told my Mom. After hearing about it, my Mom and Step Dad took me to their bedroom and interrogated me. They yelled at me and made me feel like it was my fault. I felt like my own Mom didn’t believe me. The only one who believed me was my sister. This is the point in my life where I lost my friends, changed schools and my behavior got worse. By this time in my life, I had lost contact with my Dad; he didn’t even bother to call on my birthday, let alone come to visit. I didn’t have a very good relationship with my Step Dad. We would have yelling matches, and there would be times when the police would show up at our front door. He was trying to be the disciplinarian in my life, and I didn’t think he had the right. He wasn’t my father. There were times when we got along; he was always there for me, and his actions were always out of love, but at this time in my life, I was too stubborn to see that.

I was longing for a father-daughter relationship with my Daddy, so I contacted him. I thought it would do me good to go visit my Dad in Houston for a change. I thought I might be able to change, and if everything went well that summer, I would live with him for a while. This is how I cope, I run away from my problems with hopes of change.

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