But, as I would sit there, I would look out my bedroom windows and think of ways to get out of the window and run away from home. I would think about jumping just right out the window because my room was on the second floor. I didn't think it was that far down. I would think about where I would run from there. Where would I go so that they wouldn't find me? I knew my way around town, knew where certain people lived. I didn't have phone numbers, I wasn't allowed that kind of information, and it was considered something I would ever need. I would think and think about it. I always wondered what I would do if I had to run away? I didn't want to but I couldn't take it there anymore, especially since the whole ‘I hate you’ incident. But then one day it happened, I ran away.
After all the planning I had done in my head, I didn't have a clue as to where I was going. I just rode out of the neighborhood, waiting for them to drive up behind me and take me back. I wasn't going back, I didn't know where I was going to go but I wasn't going back there where they hated me. I rode for hours, riding the back roads. My adopted dad was going to wish later that he hadn't taken us kids on rides in the suburbs down the back roads. I had them memorized. I drove my bike up to the church where school was just letting out and there were people everywhere. I thought maybe I could go there and find someone and tell them what was going on at home and why I was running away. I was never allowed to talk to adults not even my Sunday School teachers there without the adopted mother's permission, she was afraid that I would tell people what was going on. People either didn't know or they were oblivious. But, there was too many people there at the church that day, so I just drove through and then down the back roads again, heading further into the city. I was getting tired though and I didn't really know what I was doing or going to do. I had heard about kids running away from home, but I never heard how they got away with it.
I ended up a friend’s house; she and her family went to the same church. I told my friend’s mom what happened and that I was scared to go home. She called the adopted mother and tried to reassure me that the adopted mother wasn't going to be harsh on me even though I was probably going to be punished for running away. I knew that wasn't going to be the case. I knew the adopted mother was going to probably kill me. And that she almost did the day after I came home.
I was taken home, in the car, with my bike in the trunk. I was never going to ride that bike again; it was going to be given to a missionary family on furlough. I went home, was sent to my room, to my bed to sit while the adopted parents sat downstairs and discussed what had just happened. I think they were shocked that I had actually done what I did. I shocked myself I must admit. I had done it but to what avail? I just came back, I came back to this living hell on earth.
Part of me had really hoped that I wasn't going to spanked and somehow I slept soundly that night, only to wake up and see the adopted mother walk into my room with a belt. She didn't have the ‘rod’, she had dad’s belt, leather belt. She told me as she looked at me with disgust in her face and voice that she didn't punish me the previous night because she was afraid that she would probably physically kill me. That scared me. She had to wait for the morning to punish me because she had to be ‘calm’. As she made me strip down to my underwear and stand against the foot of my bed, she began to whip me, literally whip me. She was definitely calm about it, too calm that she was slow at the lashings. She wasn't just hitting my backside; she was hitting the backs of my thighs and lower back. It went on for what seemed like 5 minutes. I tried not to cry, I thought I deserved the whipping. But, then she got harder and more frequent. I was starting to cry, I was starting to shake from the pain. I started to fall over the edge of the bed, but she made me stand up for more lashings. I was in so much pain. I felt my backside burning and my legs screaming from the pain. Finally she was done. She told me to get dressed for the day and then to sit on my bed until she called me. She never shed a tear, there was no emotion in her face, it seemed like she had felt ‘good’ about what she had just done. I may have deserved a spanking for running away but I did not deserve what she had just done to me. I went to the bathroom to get ready for the day; the day that I wish would end already. I turned to look in the mirror at what had happened to me. I saw blood seeping through my underwear, I removed it to find welts, swelling and bleeding. Multiple welts. I saw the back of my thighs and I cried all over again, silently so that she wouldn't hear me. I was black and blue from my back side down my back side, all over the backs of my thighs. I was scared, I was hurting inside, I was wishing I had never come home. I would have rather died than have gone through that whipping. I hurt so badly that day and as it wore on, I was swelling, I could feel it. We had to go shopping that day and as we walked around forever in K-Mart, I felt the pain. You couldn't see anything because I wore dresses now. I kept looking around that day in that store, I was looking for someone who looked kind, who I could sneak up to and show them my legs. All they would need to see was my legs to know what my backside looked like. I was hoping I could get someone to do something about what my so called mother had done to me. I knew that if I did, I was going probably going to die the next time she laid hands on me.
I cried that night in my bed, until I could cry no more. I laid on my stomach the whole night long because it hurt to lay on my back and legs. I hated life. I hated the adopted mother and I hated myself. I wished that I had never been adopted. I hated Matthew. I hated everything. I wanted to run away again that night, but I hurt too bad to even move. I could only lay there and wish I could die. I knew my adopted dad was on multiple medications, there were prescriptions in their bathroom and I knew where they were. I didn't know that the meds were but I figured out that if I just took them all, I just might die. I wanted to die so badly. I cried out to the God that I grew up believing in and begged Him to do something. I couldn't do it anymore.
I didn't know what to expect God to do but I was taught in church that He hears us when we pray, when we cry. He sees us. But, that night in bed, He seemed so far away but I wanted to be with Him. I didn't want to be there with this so called family. This wasn't a family, this wasn't ‘love’. I wasn't sure where God was but I knew I wanted Him to take me to Heaven. I fell asleep that night crying, silently as tears would rush down my face into my pillows. I didn't want to wake up; I didn't want to keep on living. Little did I know then and there that it was just going to get harder and there would be many nights like that one, crying, begging God to die, wanting to run away. I was almost 14 when I ran away that day. I wasn't going to get to escape for another 3 ½ years. There were going to be more nights lying in bed wishing to die. A lot was going to happen during those years and then relief was going to happen, but lying in that bed that night, I didn't know that. All I knew was that I was hurting, not just physically but emotionally and mentally but deep down inside. All I knew was that I wanted to die because love had died along the way.