At the age of 27, I moved back in with my parents after going through a deep depression and losing my job and apartment. I got into a fight with the girl I was staying with and even though I was not the aggressor; I had a Failure to Appear on my record and was immediately taken into custody by the cops and put into jail for two days.


I knew that in order to live at home, I would have to agree to pretty much everything they commanded without hesitation. So I started going back to the Kingdom Hall; Jehovah's Witness church, I quit smoking cigarettes and weed, I got rid of all the clothes my mother found inappropriate or just didn't like, and pretty much did everything they said. I didn't have much of a choice. And honestly, it wasn't so bad. I missed my family and I got to see my brothers again, I got the community back that I grew up around; even though nobody talked to me really.


I got to spend time in the backyard I loved so much. On the hammock that I used to escape to when being the house around my father was too much and look at the sky, read, or take a sunbaked nap and wake up dark and tan. I got to spend time with my mother's lastest dog which is probably my favorite, Cocoa, a midsized pitbull mix that was the color of black coffee.


But I had to listen to my mother's dated opinions about my hair and tattoos. I could feel the disapproval dripping from her critical eyes when I wore shorts she didn't know I had or looked at the tattoos I had dedicated to my late aunt or my son, Grey. She didn't approve of my opinions and I was tired of seeing that face and feeling that disdain so I kept them to myself and said what she wanted to hear, like I did the last time I lived at home….at the age of 16.


Darryl's drinking was getting out of control and I knew what that meant for me. I wasn't going to be safe too much longer. And eventually he put his hands on my again and choked me and I did what I did when I was sixteen. That was when I left home for good and had to learn to care for myself. That was when I fought back and refused to allow someone bigger than me to overpower me. 


This is a memory that still haunts me because after all the conversations with my mother and father over the 10 months I was living there, they still didn't see me as the daughter they wanted. I was still the problem. I was still being treated like a child and humiliated by family members and I couldn't stand it. 


All the shit Darryl put me through caused me to lose a good job I enjoyed and they kicked me out for defending myself. I could have enforced tenant laws and dragged them into court to force them to let me back in but I really didn't want to go back. but i had nowhere to go, job, and about 800 in my bank account that my mother had control over. I slept in the street for 2 months and didn't get to see my son for the rest of summer. My play sister Erinn let me store my things in her garage but I couldn't live with her and I understood why. She had her own life to live and didn't want it encroached on.


Erinn did help me find a good data entry job that helped me find a room to rent and eventually a really good job working for a cable company and I got a lot happier. I was taking care of myself again and i was in a much healthier mental state.


I learned that sometimes the family you were born into can be the most damaging thing to a person's spirit. That depending on people can make you seem weak, not just to others but to yourself as well. this lesson will always be with me. 


I know that my family loves me in their own way and I still love them and send out positive energy to all their endeavors and health. I want what they feel is best for them and I hope they want the same for me