On Friday morning, July 10th, at 7:30 in the morning, I began a new life.
Running on less than two hours of sleep, I managed to stop shaking long enough to carry my three bags through the narrow hallway and towards the front door. My father was there; he heard me in the shower earlier and stayed up to see what I was doing (nothing goes unnoticed or unquestioned in that home). I struggled to get my bags out the door as I underwent his interrogation.
“Where are you going?” he asked me. Luckily, I had already prepared myself for an interrogation and rehearsed my answers.
“I have an internship.” Apparently, that wasn’t enough of an answer, as he repeated his initial question and added extra emphasis on the where.
“School.” I kept my answers short. The less detail the better. But even that answer was a lie. Then he asked me about work. By this point, I had already been out of work for two weeks. He believed I was on vacation. In reality, I resigned.
“How long are you going to be gone?” he continued. By this point, I had one bag left to carry out the door. Then I would be done. My mother was just starting to wake up and I knew I had no chance with her. I struggled to keep my emotions in check. I mumbled “four weeks” as I made my final exit through the door. I knew it wasn’t going to be four weeks – it would be forever.
It took two trips up and down four flights of stairs, but my adrenaline was so high at that point that I couldn’t feel a thing. I threw the bags in the back of my friend’s car and we took off. There were no goodbyes, no hugs or well wishes. We were not that type of family and this was not that type of situation. That was the last day I saw my family, and hopefully that continues to be the last day for the rest of my life.
Many people do not understand what would drive a person to up and leave their family behind without as little as an explanation. For me, leaving was the only option I had left. Very few people knew the reality I had been living for the 29 years of life. I was at a point where I knew if I didn’t get out, I wouldn’t make it to 30. This was the day I had been imagining since I was a child – the day I would finally be free from the hurt, the pain, and the abuse that had become my normal.
I would be lying if I said I was free from hurt. Even now that I am out, the hurt and the pain are still a part of me. There are scars that will likely never heal, and emotional damage that cannot be reversed. Every day is a struggle for me, but I am taking steps. I want to live a life without hurt. That is the life that I deserve.