I can’t sleep.

Yes, this is my 4th post of the night. Yes, it’s after 2 AM. I can’t sleep at all. I’m so worried about my siblings, specifically the 3 youngest.

I keep saying that, so I’ll explain better. Let’s go back to that phone call I had with Officer Smith the other day. You’ll get a lot of information from the one conversation.

But I’ll break it up into a couple posts, just so you don’t get bored from reading the same one for too long.

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I’m warming up.

When you were a kid, were you ever afraid to go home and face your parents? Like if you got in a fight at school? Or you ditched class and you knew the school would call home? Or you had a really bad report card and you were afraid of your parents being disappointed?

I felt like that every single time I walked up to my front door.

Even though I graduated and have moved out, I STILL have that sick-to-my-stomach, fearful feeling when I come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This summer break was torture.

Only I never got in a fight. Or ditched class. Or got a bad report card. I did exactly the opposite.

I actually had a really good reputation and was pretty well-known for it throughout my community. I was really involved in most extra-curricular activities. (I even got a prestigious award for being the most involved in the school.) I graduated as Salutatorian of my class. Most parents wanted their daughters hanging around me because I was a good influence, and they wanted their sons dating me because I had high standards.

But my parents hated me.

(And when I say “hated,” I mean always have, still do, and probably always will.)

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed pep band, choir, jazz band, cheerleading, forensics (speech and debate), theatre, Student Council, and the National Honor Society. But I never did any of it for me. I only did it all to try to impress my parents.

Too bad I failed. I impressed everyone except for the 2 most important people.

Every day I came home they had a different complaint. “I hate how much time you’re spending at cheer practice.” “I hate the people you’re around in choir.” “I hate the things you’re learning on the forensics team.”

A) They only hated that I wasn’t around more so they could yell at me more. They also wanted me to babysit their kids for them even more than I already did. And the biggest reason they wanted me around the house more is this: they didn’t have control over me while I was out of the house.

B) My parents hate everyone. But they won’t admit it. They’re super fake. Let me be more specific: my mom is super sweet to everyone’s face, but she complains about them all once they turn their back. My dad just doesn’t care about anyone at all. Everyone knows him, but he doesn’t care to remember anyone’s name. And “the people I was around in choir” were some of the best kids in the school. They all had good grades, were friendly, and made good choices.

C) My parents are extremely conservative Republicans. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing at all. But they hated that I was exposed to liberal and Democratic points of view in my forensics class. I always had to debate both sides of a topic, and I really liked learning about the pros and cons of every viewpoint. I was able to decide for myself what I really believed about something. But my parents yelled at me for letting a teacher “indoctrinate” me. The funniest part about all this is that I still agreed with my parents’ views for the most part. I never debated them or argued with them. But the fact that other peoples’ ideas even made their way into my head made my parents furious.

Why didn’t I just quit everything? If everything I was doing made things worse, why did I keep doing them?

Some years I was less involved in activities than others (my sophomore year, I was only in pep band, jazz band, the elite choir, and forensics) and my parents were always mad that I wasn’t doing a ton of activities. “How did I expect to build up my resume?” “I wouldn’t impress anyone doing what I was doing.”

Perhaps my parents were worried about me slacking in my classes?

NOPE! I only took the most advanced classes my school offered. I took dual-credit courses from the community college close to my high school. I got straight A’s all throughout high school. I got only a single B for my 2nd quarter grade in AP Calculus my senior year. It brought my 1st semester grade down to a B. I got an A both quarters 2nd semester, but I was still demoted to Salutatorian. (In my graduation speech, I mentioned being the “first-place loser” haha!) My parents were extremely disappointed in me.

Why didn’t I get a job instead of doing high school activities? Wouldn’t my parents like that better?

I didn’t have time. Ever. I babysat for my neighbors and my parents on the weekends that I didn’t have a sporting event or a forensics tournament to perform at as well as on weekdays after practices. But that’s all the time I had to make money. I worked as a lifeguard during the summers to keep busy, but the pool was closed during the school year anyway.

Boo hoo. My life sucked because my parents weren’t proud of me. Am I not aware that other kids are treated worse?

OHHHH YES. I’M MORE THAN AWARE.

All this is just the beginning. 

I just wanted to get you started. Just wait, I’ll get to the good stuff soon. Grab some popcorn and a Dr. Pepper.

Background Info…

“Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”

I was born and raised in Southern Nevada. After I graduated high school, I studied in Idaho for a year, moved back to Nevada to work for the summer, and now I live in Utah.

I’m the oldest of 6 children – I have 2 brothers and 3 sisters.

I love them a lot. I miss them often.

I worry about them constantly..

I keep stressing and worrying because I feel so helpless.. There’s not a lot I can do from over 300 miles away. I’m doing what I can.. I just hope it will work..

 

Why would I abandon them? Why would I leave them if they needed me? How could I do that to them if I really loved them?

 

Don’t make me feel worse than I already do. I was told to leave. My counselor said it would be the best thing I could do, and he assured me my little siblings would be taken care of while I was gone. Officer Smith would work with them once school started and hopefully something would start to change in their favor.

So I left. I moved to Utah with the blind hope that the future would soon be brighter than when I left. I’ve been stressing the entire time I’ve been away from those poor kids (which has been just over 3 weeks now).

 

I realize reading this it may sound like the 6 of us kids were living together on our own, and now I’ve left them without anyone to watch over them. This assumption would be false. The problem isn’t that the kids don’t have a guardian.

 

The problem is that they’re living with our parents.

 

My parents got married in 1990 and have loved each other ever since. They had 6 kids together. I’ve moved out of the house, my next oldest brother is a senior in high school, and my youngest brother is in first grade. My mother is a “domestic engineer” and my father is a Fire Engineer. My family has family night every Monday, chores every Saturday morning, and family dinner every single night. My dad teaches us how to fix our bikes, change a tire on a car, and fix every electronic device in the house as well as how to play sports (specifically baseball). My mom taught us how to cook, clean, sing, and play the piano.

We look like a picture perfect family.

 

This assumption would also be entirely false.

 

 

 

Quote: said by character Inigo Montoya in the movie “The Princess Bride.”

THE Call

*phone rings*

Me: “Hey Kenneth!”

Best Friend/Boyfriend: “Hey! I just got out of class!”

Me: “Come on over!”

*I get another call from an Unknown number*

Me: “Hey, I’ll call you back in a minute, I’m getting another call.”

*switch calls*

Me: “Hello, this is Arizona.”

Other voice: “Hey, Arizona, this is Alan Smith. How have you been?”

Alan Smith lives down the street for me. I grew up going to school with his oldest son and our families go to church together. But my heart sank because he is also one of the local police officers, and I could already guess why he was calling. But at first I pretended I was excited to hear from him.

Me: “I’ve been doing well! How about yourself?”

Officer Smith: “I’ve been good!”

I wanted to avoid the main subject as much as possible, so I thought of small talk conversations I could start, but he interrupted my thoughts with –

Smith: “Are you in a place you can talk for a bit?”

Me: “*sighhh* (quietly) Yeah.”

Smith: “I’ve had concerns about your family brought to my attention recently. *pause* Do you want to talk about it?”

I wanted to answer that I would very much NOT like to bring it up before I hung up the phone, but instead I sighed again, fought back some tears, and agreed to talk to him… He asked questions, I answered them. My roommates and Kenneth knocked on my door, but I ignored everyone until my conversation was over.

I anxiously anticipated this phone call for a long time and stressed because I thought it would never come. But I’ve been stressing a lot about it ever since I finally got it last Thursday afternoon…

Introduction

“2 AM and I’m still awake, writing a song. If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside of me, threatening the life it belongs to.”

I never know how to start anything. I’ve always opened my essays with quotes because other people word my thoughts better than I do.

The time right now’s close enough to 2 AM, and even though I’m not writing a song, I’m writing this blog post.. But the rest of the song quote describes my inner feelings better than I could try to explain myself. Perhaps you can relate. Do you ever feel like you want to talk about something, but you don’t want anyone to know about it? Like you want to explain how you feel to the whole world, but you don’t want anyone to find out? You don’t want to keep it bottled up inside, but you don’t want to let it out for one reason or another – you’d be embarrassed, your future could possibly be affected, you’re afraid of getting in some sort of trouble…. Or perhaps I’m the only one who feels like this and I’m crazy. That’s a definite possibility.

Either way, I’m sick of letting things build up inside. Not only has everything been bottled, but I’ve been shaken around too. Hopefully writing down my thoughts one at a time will help me allow everything to fizz out slowly without exploding..

Perhaps I’ll inspire you to tell your own story anonymously on WordPress. Perhaps you’re going through a situation similar to mine. Perhaps “you” don’t even exist – I’m aware of the chance of absolutely no one reading any of this. But I consider this free therapy. (Unless I choose an expensive format for my blog on WordPress. But I won’t. So it’s free.) And that’s good enough for me.

“And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd ‘cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud. And I know that you’ll use them, however you want to.”

 

(Quotes from: “Breathe (2 AM)” by Anna Nalick)

2 birds, 1 stone

I am a Communications major, and one of my general requirements is to blog. The assignment was to blog about something I was passionate about. There were a lot of things I considered writing about because I thoroughly enjoy them – baseball, playing the piano, Pokemon – or because I knew a lot about the subject – men.

Yes, I considered creating a blog full of dating advice and detailed descriptions of the male brain. I don’t have a lot of female friends and spend the majority of my time around boys (which makes sense if you review my short list of enjoyments). But even though I know all about how men think and work, I realized I wouldn’t really be able to relate to a female audience. Yes, I’ve had my fair share of relationships with these guys I hang out with. But I’ve never had my heart broken by a boy. It’s not that I’ve never been dumped. I’ve just never been able to let it bother me. I always move on super quickly. And I can’t explain how. Sooooo I just scratched that idea…

I couldn’t figure out what I was “passionate about.” That is, until I received a possibly life-changing phone call this afternoon… Then I found a subject that I wouldn’t tire of and that would help me relieve some stress.

But now is the problem of finding the courage to start it….