My Story

This is a memoir about my life


1. Chapter 1

Have you ever felt trapped in your own head? Have you ever wanted to scream so loud, yet not say a word? Have you ever felt the need to reach out, but have no one to run to? That’s exactly how I felt. Twelve years old, lying in my bedroom listening to the awful things he was saying to her. I heard them coming up the stairs so I stood behind the wall watching. I was watching him hit and push her down the flight of steps. That’s when I wanted to scream, run, tell someone; anyone. I wouldn’t dare tell anybody the secrets that went on in that house. You know what I did? I sat and quietly sobbed into my teddy bear because of the crying and yelling to and from my mother. I cried myself to sleep that night and every night after that.

“Lauryn, wake up and get ready for school.” Mike, my step-dad said into my bedroom with a dissatisfactory tone. Like clockwork, I got up and grabbed a towel for my shower and tip-toed into the bathroom trying not to wake anybody else up. After my shower, I got dressed and put on my bracelets and makeup. I went into my brothers’ room and woke my older brother, Ben, for his shower. I got the rest of the way ready for school and waited for my brother to walk with me to the bus. Here comes another day wasted at school.

I walked in and instantly got the same stares as I always did. Disgust. I picked at my scars and walked to my class with my head down. The same people were doing the same things, yelling at me, telling me to kill myself, calling me any name they could think of. They did all of these things just to cut me down.

“Late again Millard. The next time I have to call your mom.” As my English teacher was scolding me, I put my head down and tried to calm down, but I burst. My tears were uncontrollable as I tried to explain myself. My classmates were snickering and whispering as I left the room. I practically ran to the guidance office barely able to see.

My favorite person to talk to welcomed me into his office with open arms. “How bad was it last night?” Ward asked with a hit of worry. I shook my head and looked down at my arms. “Lauryn, let me see.” I cautiously removed my jacket and looked down. “But, they’re not that bad. There are just a lot of them.” I tried to justify my destructive actions. He shook his head sadly. “We have to call home. You know it’s my job.” Yeah, I knew. It was the same thing every time I was in there. I let him call as I picked at the scabs absent-mindedly.  After I got calmed down, I went to my next class with my head bowed. When I walked in, I got the same stares that I was accustomed to. The rest of the school day was like any other. Depression, anxiety, and the constant bullying.

I got home that day to the routine scolding of my mother. “Sweetie, you have to stop cutting, you’re going to do it, and it’ll be too deep. Then you’ll be gone.” She took another sip of her alcohol, so I knew she didn’t actually care. “My head hurts. It’s a good thing your dad was there to help me up the stairs.” That caught my attention. “Um, no that’s not what happened. I saw the whole thing, mom.” She looked confused and motioned me to continue. Hesitantly I stuttered, “He-he he threw you down the stairs after he p-punched you in the head!” This outburst caught my mom off guard because I never stood up to anyone, ever. “Are you sure? He swore up and down that he was trying to help me and I fell.” I shook my head and ran upstairs to grab my iPod. “I took a video, look!” After I showed her the video, she looked at me in shock and told me to get the boys from the bus stop. The last time I saw her that night was when she left with a wine cooler in her hand.

Flash forward to the last day of school. Finally, I can get away from this hell. I ran off the bus with my best and only friend, Emma. “Summer twenty-thirteen!” We both yelled and ran up the road happily. I giggled and looked at Emma. “We’re going into seventh grade! I never thought this year would end!” She agreed and we went our separate ways. When I got home, no one else was there, so I changed out of my school shoes and went up to my cousin’s house. After I knocked on the door, Dan comes out with a cigarette and a popsicle for me. This was a normal occasion for me, so we talked about the day before and joked around about the family. That was the highlight of my day.

Putting my guard down was the worst thing I could’ve ever done. I got home and mom was bawling on the couch like normal. I go to the cupboard and pull out some food and eat. Not bothering to have a conversation with my mother, I went up into my room and lied there. I stared at the ceiling wondering how my life got so messed up. About an hour later, I had to walk down to get my brothers. Mom had the phone pressed to her ear yelling at my step dad. I sigh and walk down to the bus stop with tears in my eyes. Emma greeted me with a smiling face, but that changed when her eyes met mine.

“Lauryn? What’s wrong?” Emma looked at me worried. I shrugged and looked down at my feet, trying to avoid eye contact as much as possible. She just hugged me and we sat down to wait for the bus. Arik came running out and hugged on to my leg with Zack trudging behind. I smile down at my boys hugging them.

“Sissy! I got to go on the monkey bars today!” Zack exclaimed with a sparkle in his eyes. “They were so high up I thought I was in the sky!” I giggled at the small boy and hugged him in my arms. I felt bad that his happy demeanor was going to change in the matter of minutes. Arik seemed to have noticed my discomfort and grabbed my hand. “Are they still fighting, sissy?” I nod solemnly and continue walking to my front door.

Arik and Zack turn on their favorite cartoons, grab their favorite snacks, and sit on the couch with each other. Mike got home a little while after that with a beer in his hand. Another sleepless night, I guess. As I was listening to my music, I could faintly hear the arguing of my parents. I hide under my blankets so I could drown them out. To no avail. They stormed upstairs with their voices raised and tears streaming.

“Lauryn, Ben, we’re leaving. Go watch your brothers.” Mike slurred as he and my mother left the house. I throw my pillow at the wall and sink under my covers trying to muffle my sobbing. I then go into my special little box under my bed. After a few minutes, I go downstairs and start making dinner for everyone. Knowing the consequences for not doing them, I start the water for the dishes. Ben finishes making dinner and serves it to himself and the boys. I don’t eat that night.

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