June 23, 2016 was a day that changed my family forever. I went from two parents to one overnight. I told people the reason I moved to Brainerd my senior year was because my dad's job is in Brainerd. Although, people didn't know my dad had already been working during the weekdays in Brainerd since 2014 and he came home on the weekends. They just thought we were both new to the area and this job was new here, but that wasn't quite so.
The reason I said I moved here because my dad works here was because I didn't want to lie to people, but I also didn't want to say why I really moved.
It was June 23rd and it started as a normal day. I went to work in town then got picked up by my mom to go to a town nearby. We were on a tight schedule because my class started shortly after my work ended. Normally I would eat breakfast and eat lunch before or after my class. That day for some reason I hadn't had breakfast or lunch (keep that in mind). My mom and I were in the car on the way to my class and she started complaining about my dad. Actually, she was doing a lot more than complaining, she was saying some pretty nasty stuff about him. My parents hadn't been talking for weeks at that point because of a big fight between them that happened at a family wedding weeks back. And by fight, I mean my mother completely blew up and my dad and I stood in shock as she screamed and called my dad names.
I told her that I didn't want to hear all these terrible things about my dad. I told her it hurt me and that it was my dad she was talking about. I didn't once raise my voice that day. I simply wanted her to stop talking about my own dad infront of me like that. That's when she got super red in the face and started yelling. She told me to stop trying to defend him and to shut up. She told me if I kept talking she would turn the car around and go home. I needed to go to my class but I couldn't keep listening to my mom and not try and defend my dad. Then my mom completely snapped and started to turn around the car. That's when she said if I kept talking that she would pull the car over and kick me out. Well, that's exactly what happened. My mom screeched on the breaks, pulled the car over, and told me to get out. She told me to not bother to come home.Then she sped away back to my hometown.
I was scared. I hadn't had a single thing to eat all day and I ended up walking for over an hour back to my town where I didn't know where to go. I am terrible with navigations so I tried to pay attention to which way my mom drove when she sped away so I would walk in the direction of my town. I also was bawling my eyes out and was frantic and anxious so I was walking very shakily on the side of the road. My dad was in Brainerd for work and I didn't know who to call. I was hurt and abandoned and unfortunately I couldn't get ahold of anyone in town that I thought could pick me up. I called my dad and told him what happened but he was over 2 hours away so I decided to call my sister next. She still lived a bit away but was able and willing to come get me. My sister was my hero that day and by the time I got back into town, I only had to wait a few minutes at a local park before my sister pulled up. She took me to get some lunch because I was hungry and dehydrated. Then she took me back to her place to wait for our dad to come get me on his way back from Brainerd. It was 7:00 P.M. and I still hadn't heard anything from my mother. I had never felt more unwanted in my life. It also didn't help that for years when my mom would get angry she would tell me she wished she could just "Ship me back to Guatemala". She also used to tell me before school everyday in 8th/9th grade that I was the biggest brat and she couldn't see why anyone would like me or want to be my friend. Finally, my dad and I headed back to our house and on the way back home my mom texted me. She said,"Come home soon or stay somewhere safe." Granted I was 17, but abandoning your kid at the side of the road and telling them not to come home is still neglecting your duties as a parent.
This was however only the tip of the iceberg. Most people didn't know that my dad and I had endured years upon years of emotional, mental, and sometimes physical abuse from my mom. My dad tried to stick it out as long as he could, but what happened on June 23rd was the last time he was going to let my mom hurt either of us. When we finally reached home that day, we were never sure of my moms actions and knew she was most likely either gone or was going to leave us soon. (In 8th grade she had this big ugly scene where she packed her bags up and threw stuff at us and left without telling us where she was going, but that's a story for another time. She finally came back a few months later.) My dad went into the house to deal with whatever state my mom was in and I stayed in the car. We made a pact that if he didn't come out within 10 minutes I would call the police. He ended up coming outside and told me that she was there and that it was safe to come inside. Then my dad went outside and called the police to file a report of child neglect by my mother. The sheriff wanted to talk to my mom so my dad went inside and handed the phone over to her. She responded very coldly and never spoke to us afterwards.
In order to finish my summer job, I stayed at the homes of some of my friends during the week and my dad picked me up when he came home from up north over the weekends. Earlier in June before this all went down, I was already looking at switching schools to a nearby town but I hadn't planned on completely moving. I had lived in the same town for 17 years and that is where my best friend, friends, church, and peers at school were. I didn't get to say goodbye to most because I didn't know I was moving until early July. The day after my job ended I left for All-State Choir. After the week of All-state, instead of moving back home, I moved to my new home in Brainerd. That is when my dad became both my parents, and boy I couldn't be more blessed. I have a dad and family that have been there for me and made me feel the love that I was told I didn't deserve. I had a great senior year and was just as involved and accepted at my new school as my previous one. I tried to make the most out of my senior year because I didn't have a choice on moving and sometimes life gives you curve balls. It truly does make a difference how you react to the situation you're placed in. I still deal with a lot of flashbacks, nightmares, and insecurities from the years of abuse but I've found that completely cutting ties with my "mom" and only acknowledging my dad as my parent has made it easier for me to cope. Also, although being adopted makes you just as much part of the family as anyone else, I don't feel any ties with my "mom" especially because she didn't give birth to me. I am thankful for my father and every teacher, friend, acquaintance, family member, and anyone who has treated me with kindness and made me feel worthy of love, friends, etc. I'm sure most people didn't think so much abuse and family stuff was going on in my home all those years, but I can assure you I'm not the only one. That is why it's important to be patient and kind to others because you never know what they may be dealing with behind the scenes.