I was a “born-again Christian.” This was the promise to begin a new life in Christ. I fully clung to this because I desperately wanted to escape the life that I had. If I couldn’t escape it in the natural world then maybe I could in the spiritual. Since I had come into this not knowing anything about Christianity, I ended up believing everything that was being preached at me. So did my mother. She believed a little too much. Add religion on top of her already crazy personality and it was a recipe for a complete nut-case. There just seemed to be yelling and screaming 24/7. Now it was much more than money and chores. Now she had a duty of looking like a good Christian woman and mother so that meant controlling everything anyone did in our house. There was also that giant elephant in the room that nobody was willing to deal with. There was a lot of talk of forgiveness at this church so there was a burden put on me to “forgive and forget.” But really, we weren’t talking about me. My mother was more concerned with her money problems and my brother’s behavior problems than she was concerned with me. This church was very hung up on symbolism and anything non-Christian. My mother had a nice collection of unicorns that she collected for 20 years. She threw them all away because of the recommendation of another member that came to our house for a visit. I was then encouraged to get rid of my music. I had Metallica and Ozzy. I loved hard rock. But I cut up those cd’s and traded them for Jars of Clay and Audio Adrenaline. Not the same but I was happy to oblige. We were now going to church three times a week. I had cut things off with Erik. I was on the road to purity. It took me a little longer to stop smoking pot but that had more to do with peer pressure. Once my “redemption” really sunk in then I was all in, but it took a couple of months.
Prom was coming up. I didn’t have a date or a dress. We couldn’t even think about it because of money. My mother wanted to deck me out but didn’t have the money to do it. Her gestures seemed nice but when you know her you know that her motivations were entirely selfish. My grandmother had given me a dress for prom because she knew it was coming up and I didn’t have money to get one. This was 1997 and the dress was straight out of 1987. She bought it at a thrift store. It pissed my mother off but I laughed. The dress was ugly as hell. It was a fuchsia sequined mermaid dress. It was fitted all the way down to the knees and then poofed with a giant metallic ruffle… three of them. It was definitely not a fashion from 1997. I was definitely not going to wear it! My mother made friends with a gal in the church that was a seamstress. My mother could sew but didn’t have time because of work. They were able to piece a dress and handbag together using some of the fabric from the ugly 80’s dress and some opalescent pink fabric. It was beautiful. I loved it. My hair was also super long. My mother doted all over my hair. I was not allowed to cut it but not because of our religion but because she was a controlling nut-bag. As I mentioned before, a lot of the things she did for me was because she was trying to live vicariously through me. Since I was a minor I just didn’t have a say in a lot of things and she couldn’t care less about my opinion if it wasn’t the same as hers. I was just better off keeping my mouth shut and complying.
Prom ended up being a disaster. I had a group of friends that I hung out with and I thought they cared about me but prom proved that nobody gave a damn rats ass about me. I thought we had all planned on going. Out of our group, only two or three people had a car. I was not one of them. Prom was in downtown OKC which was about a 30 minute drive from the town that I lived in so driving was the only option. A few days before prom, we were all talking about our plans to get there. It came down to everyone that was going was cramming into one car… except for me. Nobody thought about me at all. I asked how I was going to get there. They all knew that I didn’t have a car and I couldn’t drive my mother’s, especially out of town. They all just shrugged their shoulders and told me that I needed to figure it out. I ran to the office and asked to use the phone. I needed to call my mom. I was in tears and didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t that popular and didn’t have many friends. I had just been dumped by a friend that had been giving me rides home because I wasn’t giving her gas money.(the school bus didn’t go to the high school because most students had their own vehicles). Duh, I had no money. Also, she lived a block away from me and I walked from her house. I was really confused about friends. This was a big blow. I was sobbing on the phone that I wasn’t going to be able to go to prom. I felt like total shit about myself because nobody would ask me to be their date. Actually, there was one guy. I now feel terrible about it but I think he understood. I worked with a classmate named Nick. He had a crush on me and had been asking me on a date for a while but I kept refusing. The reason: he was an atheist and I was a Christian. I could only date Christian guys. Also, he wasn’t very attractive and being 17, I wanted a cute guy! I feel bad now because he was a really nice guy and not that terrible looking and I’m also an atheist now. Back to prom- The school counselor was listening to my phone call and felt bad. She offered to take me to prom. How embarrassing. This was my only chance, though. I was seriously the only person that didn’t have anyone to go with. Luckily, I ran into my old friend Becky. We had gone separate ways after a falling out but we were able to rekindle our friendship that night. I did cave and go with Nick to the marching band banquet. It wasn’t bad. I still feel bad. I was such a bitch.
I was becoming very involved in church. I was willing to. The thing with church when you are a new member and a new Christian is that everybody cares about you. I was making more friends at church than I could at school. I was becoming a very devoted Christian. We went on a mission trip that summer to Mexico. I was going to youth conferences. I signed a purity pledge and committed to saving myself until marriage. I was still in agony from being abused. Nothing that I did could take that away. Jesus wasn’t giving me wings to fly out of that house.My mother was still a bitch and my dad was still a pervert. I had become a robot. I complied with everything my mother wanted and now I complied with church. I thought it was what I wanted because it gave me some sense of fulfillment but I think what it really gave me was less time at home and more people in my life which I hadn’t had before. Being a Christian did give me something else to live for and do with myself. I wasn’t ever able to do any school functions so this was a great social outlet for me. I decided to ask for a transfer to another Braum’s. I ended up at the new one that was closer to my house and I got away from the guys that were a bad influence. I was officially drug free and sex free.