A brat? Yes….rebellious I wasn’t but I wanted to make a point. The point being that mommy and daddy dearest needed loosen their parental reins just a bit and if they were going to categorize me as a “partier, alcoholic and a wild child” then why not just jump right into what they thought me to be. Right?? Now, I assume they got this stupid assumption of me when I was 15, my room covered in NKOTB posters and from time to time I listened to INXS and Guns and Roses.
Now…..I was still that silly teenage girl who cried at the drop of a hat when she saw Joey,Donnie,Danny,Jordan and John on T.V but I guess because I also listened to the hair /rockish type of bands I was now in their heads, out of control “ wild child” and I do remember the first time that I came home from hanging out with friends and told to come straight to my father’s room to “have a talk” next thing I know he’s giving me a sobriety test. Ok, I wasn’t the type to hit their bar cabinet and drink some vodka and fill it up with water….I may have taken a few sips of a wine cooler but back in the day I thought that was daring. It wasn’t until after the uncalled sobriety test and lecture that I thought “heck I must be missing out”; there was nothing that I could do to prove to my parents that I wasn’t what they thought me to be. I had already been thrown into the “bad child” category a long time ago.
It was sophomore year and my best friend and I were just at our wits end with our parents. Of course “they didn’t understand” or wanted to understand what we were going through. I guess that’s why Jenny and I gravitated towards one another just because our parents refused to let us have some sort of life….a teenage life, but her and I had that LABEL of “bad child”. Due to this label bestowed on us we jumped right in….we started to ditch school and sneak out of the house to discover what we were being held captive of. Most of the time we snuck over to each other’s homes and watched VHS movies or episodes of Jerry Springer….nothing too wild and crazy. This was our way of “showing them”…..but in “showing them” our grades dropped and notices came home and of course our parents “talked” and realized that we had been ditching classes. So the call was made and Jenny and I were no longer to have the same class schedules or hang out together.
We weren’t going to HAVE that and we were really going to SHOW them!! So around midnight I jumped the back fence and met up with Jenny and her boyfriend. We all stayed in a hotel room just going over “our plan” for this new independence. In a way I think we wanted our parents to “see what they were missing” to come together and realize that we weren’t BAD we just wanted this label to be taken off and their actions led us to where we were at…..which was in a seedy motel room. Morning came and I knew by this time my father would have had reported to his cop friends that his daughter and friend went missing, I could only imagine my mother just putting on this crying act for everyone to see “ohhhh how could the Lord do this to me?” She always blamed the Lord for any hardship done to her…..including my pregnancy (but that’s another story).
For a couple of days we just roamed our local streets, the Laundromat being our safe haven. We would just sit and think about what we had done and what we were going to do. We decided later that evening to call the Runaway hotline and get some advice and as we were dialing the number we heard “Hey girls!” As we turned around we noticed it was her father. He didn’t seem all that upset, unlike the wrath that was to come when I got home. He reached for his brick sized phone and called Jenny’s mom (they were separated). At this time her mother and step father were at my home and from what we were told my mother let out a huge cry “we found them we found them!!” Hmmmm no you didn’t Jenny’s dad found us, I thought. He then told them that he was going to take us out to eat but that was quickly changed and we had to come home ASAP. Her father shrugged and said a few words to us but I don’t recall it being a lecture, if I remember right he seemed to understand our rebellious act.
As we entered the house we were told to go directly to the table where there was a plate of bread and two glasses of water. “wow” ok…..my dad was REALLY playing his role as cop!! Did this scare us? No I remember us talking about this later on and thinking it was hilarious. We sat through their lecture, accusations, name calling and sentence …Jenny was told that she was going to go live with her father in Los Angeles and I was grounded for eternity which was nothing different from before. The following week I was taken to a gynecologist to make sure that I was still a virgin…..and then later to a therapist who spent the following hour calling me a whore and a nuisance to society.
I often ask myself if I had to do it all over again would I? Probably not because it didn’t change my parents perception of me. Nothing I could have done before my adventure or after would make them see me the way they saw my sister. She was the IT child, not me. …..and it took me until my late 30’s to realize that I need to stop trying to seek acknowledgement from my parents. What I learned from all this though was that I would not label my children in any negative way…… “Troubled”, “bad child”, “waste of a human”, are titles that should never be bestowed on a child.
I have kept my word and although THEY have come to me on many occasions and asked “I’m your favorite huh?”….I smile and say “You are my favorite son (only have one), You are my favorite 19 year old girl, You are my favorite 21 year old!!” ……. They all have great qualities about them; yes we have had our ups and downs but who doesn’t? It’s just how we come out of it that makes our relationship stronger.