These are the last few words I told my mother; "I'm doing what you told me to do". That was how I said goodbye to her. This was the second week of school in my junior year. She had come home late again; drunk again and was on some type of drug. Walking in the door she looked fine and I was about to go to bed. "I'll do the dishes in the morning before I go to school; I just got caught up doing my homework" I said. She responded with an "0kay" and I headed off to bed. Suddenly, she began yelling at me on my side of the studio. She started with the dishes and then went on to something else. In a calm voice, I asked, "Please don't yell at me". Angrily, she told me that she could yell at me whenever she pleased. I said firmly, "No, you don't have the right to treat me like this."
At that moment, I became homeless at 17. I began packing my clothes. While packing, my mother continued to rant and rave, beating me with her words. I tried my hardest to tune her out. I slept that night in my bed but when I woke up, I ran out the door with my duffle bag and back pack. Behind me, I heard her walk out and yell my name. She screamed "What the hell do you think you are doing!"
That is when I said "I'm doing what you told me to do." I could see a jolt of anger go through her body. She glared into my eyes; I could feel her anger building up. That was the last day I hoped to see the dangerous stranger I had often seen growing up.I went on my way and walked to the end of the driveway and waited to be picked up for school. The whole day at school, I didn't know what to do; I held back my tears in class. I barely talked to anyone.
Later that night I didn't have anywhere to go, but I had keys to a Family Resource Center where I volunteer and I decided to sleep there. My plan was to wait until the end of the school week, hop on a bus and travel two hours south to a group home. That night, the phone started ringing and I was scared someone had seen me enter the Center. I was afraid I was going to be in trouble. But I answered the phone. It turned out to be two friends of mine whom I had told about what had happened. One of my friends said her parents were coming to get me.
It's been over a year now, and I have been a "couch surfer." I never realized how much people care about me. When I was living with my mother, I was never happy, I was always afraid. I would wake up; look in a mirror and put on a "mask." I would sometimes think of just ending it all because I felt like I was my family's burden.
During the past year, I have realized that the only thing I needed was to be away from my family. I have never imagined my life to be like this. The night my mom kicked me out and I began to pack; I took a risk and was clueless as to what to do. All I had left was my faith in myself. I have learned to trust myself and to take hold of my life. I have seen my options and I didn't see what I wanted and needed, so I created my own path. The one I created has made me resilient. I stand here as a stronger person and feel like no force can knock me down. But I know that if I do fall, I will always be able to pick myself up.