Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Great Deceiver: Never Good Enough and Losing Heart

Read Part 2 - The Great Deceiver: Punishment for Telling

At age 12, I won the Spelling Bee and was to compete at the state level and represent our school. In spite of the fact that we were Amish, my dad was way too stingy to send us to a private Amish school, so we were allowed to go to the public school, where there were only 3 Amish in my entire class of 60.  I had been studying for weeks, memorizing words I could not even pronounce. This was my chance to shine and to make my school proud. Atwood-Hammond was a small school in a town of 2500. If I could go to Washington and bring home the title, that would have been a good way to end eighth grade. Amish were not allowed to pursue a degree beyond eighth grade, so this was it for me. My last chance to leave my  mark. I wanted to play basketball and be a part of the drama team but I was not allowed to do any of these extracurricular activities. So this was truly my one and only chance. My family looked down their nose at me and scowled with contempt when I spoke. The community hated me because of my dad's reputation. School was the only safe place for me to be liked and noticed.

One day while I was sitting in Reading class, my teacher called me out into the coat hall. I could see the look on his face was very sad and troubled. I thought I was getting a death message, by the look on his face. Little did I know it was going to be a death message for my heart. He said, "Your mom called and said you are not allowed to go to the Spelling Bee". My heart dropped and the blood rushed to my face "What?!!!!", I said with shock in my voice.  They had not had the courage to say anything to me? I had had no idea this was coming, I felt betrayed and abandoned in a whole new way.

I arrived home on the bus after getting this message from my teacher and my parents were not at home. I took all the money in the house, the shoes on my feet, left them a note that simply said, "You shouldn't have done it!" I took off on foot and met my friends mother, Sue, whom I had called to pick me up. Sue was adamant that she could not keep me if the police came looking for me. I told her not to worry and that I would take off if they come to the house. Long story short, my friend brought me to my senses when she reminded me that I would never see my niece again. My parents reached me that night but not before I cut my hair from butt length to shoulder length with bangs. I was making a statement of rebellion! I returned home that night, physically, but my heart never returned.

I made a decision that day to never be Amish, for I would never and could never take away an achievement from my child because of a church's rules. I was 12 and would never be the same compliant young lady who had been easily abused prior to this day. I had made many excuses for the way my family treated me, but I could not create an excuse for their behavior this time. They had crossed a line in my book.  I had protected myself from the truth about my parents up until this point in my life. I had a very soft heart and could not bear that my family was the problem, it was easier for me to believe it was all my fault.

Continue to Part 4 - The Great Deceiver: The Perfect Set-up for Abuse - The Need for a Daddy

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