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Doesn’t Define Me

The lowest part of my life was between ages 13 to 19 years old. My siblings and I were placed into different homes because of family issues that I will not get in to on here, and we were all separated from our parents. I moved in with my best-friends family, and at first it was great. It was all smiles, laughs, and so much happiness, and after living with them for a couple of months. Everything went down hill. They became so abusive – physically, mentally, and emotionally. The Mother only hit me once, but she let her daughter do whatever she wanted to me, whatever punishment you can think of she used. It was horrible. I also became their maid, their built in baby sitter, and a punching bag. Their family called me “Cinderella.” The girl who did most of the physically abuse was a couple years older than me. I considered her my best friend. She became this monster that I never knew could exist. I did all of her chores, and when ever she would have a bad day she would hit me, over and over again. She would also hit me until I hit her back, and I was so terrified over her. She was 5′5 and weighed over 200 pounds. I was 4′11, and only 100 pounds then. A year later, I started defending myself. I hit her back when ever she would hit me, and the beating was worse every-time. Her brothers would occasionally get in the middle and break us up, and defend me. But eventually that would stop because that caused to much stress between all the family members. A little after the year that I was living with them, I started defending myself during arguments that we had. I started telling them how I felt even though I was scared. It took everything out of me to defend myself. Emotionally, and physically. At least once a week they heard that I wanted to go back to my mother, and they hated it. They hated it so much. Whenever their family came to visit was my only escape from the physical abuse, and the arguments. They were nice to me around their family, but their family knew I wasn’t happy. They could see it my eyes, despite if I had a smile all the time. They stood in the kitchen, with me, the mother, daughter, and asked me if I wanted to be there, and promised that nothing would happen to me. I told them I wanted my Mother, and I didn’t want to live there anymore. After I told them that, I went to bed. The next morning as soon as the family left. It was World War 3. The Mother went ballistic. Yelling at me on the top of her lungs because I embarrassed her in front of her family, and how could I do that..I finally defended myself against her, and if her daughter didn’t stand in the middle of us, she probably would of hurt me badly that day. She grabbed a DVD case and threw it at me… It split my head open. Not a serious cut, but it was a good hit. She left me alone after that. A little after that her daughter hit me for talking back to her mother, and embarrassing her. A couple weeks later I called my mother crying my eyes out begging her to come and get me. My Mother tried but she couldn’t. CPS then got involved, and I was hysterical. I begged my teachers to stay at the school, and not let me go home. The teachers, and CPS promised me that I would be safe and they would meet me at my house. I got home on the late bus, and I met the daughter, and the mother driving home. They saw me, and picked me up. The daughter began asking me questions of where I have been, and I was honest with her. I told her that I called my Mother, and I was going home. At that time, I didn’t know she couldn’t take me. She smacked me across my face, and pushed me out the car, and kept pushing me into the house, and then into the room. Cps was there in about 5 minutes. But between then, the daughter was crying, and begging me to stay, and how sorry she was for hitting me all the time, and that she would change. I told her no over and over again, and eventually she gave up, and started calling me a whore, a bitch, I hate you, etc. Started ripping all the photos that she had of us, and throwing them at me. CPS came into the room, and talked to me, and to the mother, and daughter. CPS told me that they would have to put me in Foster care, and that there was a chance that I wouldn’t see my mother again. The family promised the CPS workers that everything will change. I stayed. After they left we said our sorry’s, and cried for a while. It was good again for a like two weeks, then everything went down hill again. It was all a fake. The only thing that changed was the daughter not hitting me. She began punishing me in different ways. Such as making me stand in corners, doing all her chores, sleep depriving me, and she once made me eat cat litter. CPS checked on me once more, and that was it. I didn’t have any marks on me, so they left. A little while after the hitting started again. It was as worse as it could get. I even had to worry about being raped from someone I considered my brother, and when ever I would tell him no, he would say cruel things to me. That I was ugly, fat, disgusting, he wouldn’t touch me with a ten foot pole. I was hurt by that. I wasn’t safe awake, or asleep. Eventually I started hurting myself, I started hating myself. I could understand what I did that was so wrong to deserve what I was going through. I cut myself in places that no one would see, and also normal cuts that people didn’t think twice about. The hitting went on, and on, and it just got worse over time. My Birthdays weren’t celebrated anymore. It was just a normal day to them. My aunt tried celebrating my 17th birthday because she was so hurt that they didn’t do anything for me, so she went out and got me a cake. That night when she sang Happy Birthday to me, everyone walked away, and didn’t say anything to me at all. I went to tons of schools, and one school I’ll never forget is Liberty. I became friends with a couple of girls, and they were also friends with them. Eventually they turned their backs on me, and we fought. The day of the fight, the lady that I called Mom told me to make sure that I didn’t go anywhere alone, and to stay around teachers at all times. I listened besides going to the bathroom. In the lunch room that day I saw the girl I didn’t get along with come towards me, and stands in front of me. She told me to stop talking shit, and fight her already. She hears all the shit that I said because the girl that I lived with told her. So I stood up, and I punched her. That day I got my ass handed to me. I walked out of the fight with a fractured nose, and a dislocated jaw. There was 2 girls against one from what people said. I only saw one. But anyways, the lady I called Mom came and got me. She told the girl that fought me that she wasn’t mad at her. She picked me u p, and I left. I was supposed to go to the hospital right away but didn’t. The nurse told her the injuries that I have could be serious, and I should go now. It was 11:30AM… She said that she had to go to work, and she would take me after work. I was mad. I went home, and the father picked on me. I went to the hospital around 10:00PM. The doctor said that I was lucky that I didn’t have any internal bleeding, and gave medicine to take away the pain. Couple days later, I found out why I was told to stay in teachers view, and not alone. The fight was all set up from the girl that abused the shit out of me from home. She had messages back and forth about the whole fight, and how it was planned out. She tried taking photos of my swollen face to send to the girls. I refused. I should have went to the police. It was so cruel. I then learned I wasn’t safe anymore, anywhere. After that, I didn’t want to go on anymore. I tried killing myself. I tried suffocating myself. I tried overdosing on Tylenol, I threw it up. I drank bleach. It was just a painful experience, and I tried many times after that. Around this time I was close to 18. I then realized that I wasn’t meant to die. I wasn’t meant to live this terrible life because I can run away, and be with my family again because I’m of the age. I began thinking of the ways that I could run away. The “Mother” would tell me she couldn’t wait until I was 18 so I can get out of her house. She told me she hated me, and would punch holes in the wall, and say that it was my face. I was also the reason she was always in the hospital. I was going to be the reason she died. The word hate for her meant wishing death upon someone. Which she once lectured me about not saying to others because it was wrong to say unless you truly want them dead. I laughed when she told me she hated me because I wanted to be dead too, but someone above wouldn’t let that happen. My 18th birthday I was taken to get my lip pierced because I wanted it, and I know it was fake. It wasn’t meant from them. They just wanted to make sure their built in babysitter, punching bad, and maid will live with them. I stayed until I was 19. Once I was 19, I ran away. It was June 30th, 2011. They were evicted from the place we were living at.They waited until the eviction date to finally move. I was in a closed off closet packing my clothes in with the trash. They were too busy watching videos with the kids, and outside hanging out with friends. I had most of my stuff already outside from the last couple of days. I took the last trash bag outside, and ripped all my stuff out. I took my things and ran to the closest friends house. When I got there I was a mess. I was shaking non-stop, and couldn’t believe what I just did. At the time, I was dating someone who helped me. He came to the house with his mother, and picked me up. His Mother told me that I better not tell anyone that I kidnapped you. I couldn’t even speak. I wanted to scream thank you. But no words came out. I ducked down in the car until we got out of the view of it, and when I allowed to put my head up, I then realized I was free. I was free from all the abuse. I was free from all the pain, and just everything. I then realized why I held on for so long. It was because I wasn’t meant to end my life there. I was meant to live a great life, to be happy, and to be reunited with my family.
It’s been 4 years and 6 months that I left that home. Today I have a beautiful, loving, wonderful boyfriend who loves me more than anyone has ever loved me. I have my family back, and we are closer than ever. I have amazing friends who love me, and two wonderful best-friends. I go to sleep every night with a huge smile on my face.

— Heather Turner, age 23


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