Age 20- Springfield

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I left for the Springfield Master’s Commission with a friend who also decided to go at the beginning of October. I won’t get into all of the details about the program because they are pretty mundane. I did however, call about mid-way through the year wanting to move home. I think I was starting to wake up the sham that this program was. We were constantly preached at to not compromise with the world and ‘be ye separate” and all of that bs. I was frustrated with the program because I was just free labor for the directors. I didn’t get any leadership “training.” These people really didn’t know what they were doing nor was their integrity really up to par. They set the program up with another gal that was in her 3rd or 4th year and was on staff in Phoenix. Between the cussing, gossiping and dating students that weren’t allowed to date, I just about lost it on them. I felt that it was very hypocritical to expect their students to be damn near perfect but yet they could just do whatever they wanted. The girl on staff that was dating the first year denied dating him but it was very obvious. They are now married and have been for a while. These people also gossip and trashed many of the church members which I thought was really shitty because the church was housing their stupid program. They were all fakes. I couldn’t stand it. Anyhow, I have a major problem with confrontation. I realize now that it’s because of the abuse from my mother. I had called home and told my parents to come get me because I couldn’t stand being there anymore. Instead of complying with my request, my mother went behind my back and called the directors and asked what the heck was going on. They had no idea anything was going on because I never confronted them about it. They called me into a meeting and asked me what was going on. I couldn’t really say what I needed to say so I let them talk me into staying. They promised that they would make an effort to be more Christ-like and we all carried on.

Throughout the rest of the year, my  mother and I had a few fights via the phone. I still wasn’t getting the funding that I needed and I desperately needed a car. I just kept getting the same run-around from her that she didn’t have it. I didn’t know what was going on back at home but both my parents were working so I felt that their money issues were just a complete lack of irresponsibility and I was getting the brunt of it.  She was constantly berating be over the phone and complaining about money problems. I was really fed up. The end of the year came and my parents came up for my graduation. I was going to stay the summer to help with youth camp and retreat and possibly come back for a 3rd year. My real plan was not only camp, but I needed to find a way to stay and not move back. I knew I wasn’t going back to Master’s Commission for a 3rd year. They never even approached me about it. I worked diligently trying to find a place and a job. The family that I lived with gave me until August. I thought I had a temporary place with a friend who lived in a 2 bedroom apartment with a friend. The rent was already cheap and then we would split it three ways. They backed out because they thought they were “enabling” me. WTF. They didn’t understand what I was trying to get away from, though and I think they were scared of the fact that I didn’t own anything. Another friend lent me her pickup over the summer while she was out of the country so I could get a job and on my feet. The month of June I spent helping with youth camp and applying for jobs. June came to a close and my roommate decided that she wasn’t going to move back to her home in Tennessee. She had a roommate for her little house but that fell through so she asked if I was interested. I had just got a job at a furniture store but hadn’t made a paycheck just yet but she was ok with that. So, I had a place, a job, but no car. Dana was going to be beck in a few weeks so I had to figure something out. It was going to work out, I really believed it and if it didn’t, there was always public transportation or I could get a bike. No big deal.

Since things were coming together so well, I felt that it was time to tell my mother that I wasn’t moving home. You would have thought that I murdered her cat or ended up in jail. She flipped out. I don’t know that I had seen her go that crazy in a long while and I was really glad that I was 5 hours away from her. Oh, I told her on her answering machine because she didn’t pick up the phone. She had already been so hateful to me that I just didn’t want to talk to her on the phone. She called the house and talked to the family I lived with and my roommate on two different phone calls. I’m sorry, she didn’t talk to them like a mature adult… she screamed and threatened. She told my roommate, “you tell her that I’m coming up there to move her shit home for her!! She is coming back whether she likes it or not!!” Kelly was pretty awesome with that phone call. “You do realize that she is a legal adult and you can’t do that. We could have you arrested,” she told her. So my mother never came up. She also called the church and chewed out the pastor and the Master’s Commission director. She was out to blame anyone and everyone. She finally got a hold of me. This was before cell phones and I had been busy working. I had picked up two jobs by then so I wasn’t home much. I informed her that I had two jobs and a place to stay. All that I needed was a car and some furniture and I was going to be fine. She assured me that I wouldn’t and couldn’t make it on my own and that I needed her. She didn’t say this nicely at all. In the midst of her freak out she revealed 3 of the reasons why she wanted me home: 1) she was losing a dependent on her taxes which meant less money in tax returns 2) she wanted me to go to college with her even thought I informed her the year before that I wasn’t interested in computer science anymore. 3) The church… what were the church people going to think? According to her, they sent me to this program so I would come home and be the youth pastor. I was never informed of this plan so I called bullshit. The couple that we lived with saw what I was trying to get away from and in no time offered to dip into savings and help me get a car. He bought be a 1982 Volvo 5-speed for $500. I would pay him back $100/month for five months. It was the greatest thing any one has ever done for me. I am forever grateful to them for that. Kelly and I moved into our little house at the beginning of August and I was on my way to being an independent adult.

Back in my hometown, my mother was just out of control. I still spoke to a couple of friends every now and then. I found out that she told people at the church that I had gotten mixed up in drugs and sex and had totally backsliden. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. I was working two jobs and was a youth leader when I wasn’t working.  Luckily, nobody believed her. She still complains how people at the church turned their backs on her. Here was reason number 2.

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