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Believing in myself even when my parents didn’t

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Overcoming my parents’ favoritism by believing in myself

My name is Tawni, I’m 17, and I live in Ohio, USA. I’ve lived in the same small town most of my life and around here everyone knows everyone. That’s not always a good thing. Anyhow, I played soccer, softball and volleyball. I was a cheerleader for three years, and I ran track for two. Anyhow, I always had decent grades, and I normally got along well with people around me. On the outside my life looked nearly perfect. But it never was.

When I was born, my mom almost died. She was sick most of my life and she drank. A lot. My dad is a truck driver so he was never around. My brother, who is 3 years older than me, and I practically raised ourselves. I learned to cook at 6 years old   and do laundry around the same time. I got us up for school and on the bus; I did pretty much everything our mom should’ve done. Our mom was always sick, drunk, or in the hospital. Oh, and she was literally crazy. She has been in the psych ward a few times and arrested a few times as well. But she hid it all well. She would go to my brother’s Little League games and talk with her “friends.” She would go to his school plays, be a chaperone on his field trips, etc. But she never did any of that for me.

My dad was never really around until I was about 8 or 9, when my mom started getting really sick. That’s when all the fighting began. They were constantly at each other’s throats about this, that, and the other thing. My brother never saw it they wouldn’t do it in front of him. But they used me as their referee. It got so bad that my dad kicked my mom out when I was 12. He didn’t let her keep anything. Around that time my brother got his license and.my dad bought him a car. My brother wrecked it. Dad got him another. I was mostly ignored until my dad needed something. He was so controlling. I was never allowed to go anywhere or do anything with my friends. He barely let me cheer or play soccer. I’ve never been allowed to date. My brother went on his first date when he was 14. My parents favor my brother so much.

One Christmas I learned why. I was at my mom’s house on Christmas Eve. My brother didn’t come. He hadn’t talked to my mom since her birthday in September. I don’t know what got us on this subject, but my mom suddenly said:“Tawni, I love you. But I love Tyler more. I always have. The day I had him, I knew I would never love anyone as much as I love him. And I was right because when I got pregnant with you I knew I didn’t want you. But I didn’t have money for an abortion, and my parents wouldn’t let me put you up for adoption. I hate that you’re the one here and your brother isn’t. I hate that you have my eyes and he doesn’t. I hate that you talk to me more than he does. He is your father and my favorite child.”

Her little speech went on and on. It lasted for about 20 minutes. I was stunned. I didn’t know what to say. The next day, she acted like nothing happened. I told my dad. He laughed and said, “Well, she’s finally speaking some truth!” It took all I had not to cry.

And my dad, well, he thinks I’m a bad kid. But I’m not. I get good grades, I don’t sneak around, I don’t drink or do drugs, I don’t lieHe treats my brother way better. I don’t even have a car. My dad always tells me I’ll never amount to anything, and that my “bad attitude” won’t get me anywhere in life. He says I can’t fend for myself, and I won’t make it in the real world. My mom agrees.

But I will. I’m moving out when I turn 18. My grandparents bought me a car, which I get when I turn 18 in February, and I am paying them back for it. They’ll put me on their insurance plan, but I am paying for it. I’m getting an apartment one town over with a couple of my friends. I’m taking courses at the local college. I graduate in May, then I’m going to school starting fall 2012. I know that once I move out, my dad will never speak to me again. He holds grudges and he’ll be mad about me leaving home. My mom is crazy so it’s hard to tell whether she’ll even talk to me tomorrow. I may end up dirt floor poor before I head off to college. But I’ll have the one thing I haven’t had in years: happiness. I’ll have a place I can call home and a place where I can relax. Six months to go.

All in all, my life has been on the wrong side of easy street. But I am making it and I am a stronger person through it all. I take it one day at a time, and I know that one day soon, all my pain will be worth it. When they told me I’d never make it, I believed them for awhile. But now I see that I can and will make it. Never, ever, let anyone tell you that you can’t. Because you can. You’re strong enough to overcome anything in your way, you just have to believe in yourself. So be strong, be your own hero. I know you can do it. I love you all.

Comments

Responses

  • avatar2

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    James

    Stay strong Tawni. I can relate to your story. Your story made me shed a little tears (too much sand in my neighborhood). I am almost 35 years old. Unlike your story, I was the first born. My parents never wanted me. My dad refused to take a day off to see me born even though his boss forced him to. Growing up I tried to get all A’s in class but we moved like almost every year and hard to get good grades in different schools each year. Never got Christmas gift and thought Santa hated me, literally. My brother got money to go to his prom; I had to stand outside looking in the prom from outside by myself. My brother got a car the minute he went to college. I had to work at the library in college and save enough to finally get a cheap one. My parents always asked me why can’t I be like my brother. I grew up thinking I was a bad kid and they thought I was the one that will get a girl pregnant and beg them for money. Guess what, I’m working in the field I wanted to now, saved my brother from drug overdose and got his life together, and going to therapist once a week, but I’ve done it. I overcame the insecurity my parents installed for me and proved to myself I’m worth something, and someone will want me. I know I got lots to go, but at least I have myself. Don’t ask for freedom as freedom doesn’t have a cheap price tag. Ask for self confidence, self reassurance and self worth. With those, freedom will come along as your heart will be free and happy, or at least very content. Stay strong. I didn’t have anyone to talk to back then and had to talk myself out of suicidal thoughts many times. I’m sure you are strong and must make your own life with dignity, will power, and persistence. Eventually one day you can forgive everyone that hurt you in the past, and that’s a lot to say. Love you too and stay strong like you always have.

  • avatar2

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    Nicky43

    ppl should not know what it feels like 2 b told your not luved by the ppl who made u exist.

  • avatar2

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    <3

    This is a beautiful story. You gave me such inspiration. God bless. <3 
    You will make it, I promise. 

  • avatar2

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    Nicky43

    words can not describe how I feel for u Tawni, it must b so hard for u livin a life without luv from the people who made u exist, hatred from ur own parents shood not exist in tis world, I am a shy gurl so I wood not b able to stand up 2 mi parents like tat, u r so brave and I just wanna shoot ur parents in their hearts and show them that they r unacceptable!!!

  • avatar2

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    S7fish

    “You’re strong enough to overcome anything in your way, you just have to believe in yourself. So be strong, be your own hero.”
    Faith in oneself is taking a step at a time.
    You will make it.

  • avatar2

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    KC

    Oh. my.gosh. reading this story made me want to punch your parents in the face! why would tell a child something so cruel? it seems you do everything and ask for nothing. ridiculous!! please hang in there and believe you will find the perfect group of people who will truly love you. it’s such a shame that you had to grow up with a family like that. No one deserves to hear their parents tell them they aren’t loved.  its not true. everyone is loved by somebody. it just sucks to hear that the people that are supposed to love you unconditionally in this life were never there at all. i am so impressed that despite all this, you are really proving yourself and not letting everything fall apart. Your going to pay off your own car AND go to college. sorry, but that’s the work ethic of someone who’s gona go somewhere, not amount to nothing.Listen: As long as YOU know how to love, and as long as you keep going the way your going, you will get out of this mess. Overall, be very proud of yourself. You deserve much more than this

    • avatar2

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      Tawni

      Thank you so much, you really made me feel proud of who I am and grateful for what I’ve been through. I can’t thank you enough for saying all of this, you will never know how much it means to me. You’ve made me feel great, and I love you for that. I wish I had someone like you in my life. Thank you smile

  • avatar2

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    Tee225c

    You are a beautiful person  inside and out don’t ever let someone else define who you are. You were made for a reason, God knew you before you were born, although it feels like it many times He will never leave you. I saw this and thought it might be for you:
    “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book” (Psalm 56:8, NLT). 
    I have never been through what you have but others have, reach out to them you are not alone, Lord you never  I think its a brave a wonderful thing that you are encouraging others. Hang in there and no that you are not alone. I will be praying for you.  God will never leave you.

    • avatar2

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      Tawni

      Thank you, I truly appreciate this. I cried when I read this; I’ll always remember that Psalm now. Thank you so much, I’m glad there are people like you out there, it gives me hope!

  • avatar2

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    Fireyredvolcano

    Dear Tawni,
    I can so relate to your story.  I am the youngest of eight and almost killed my mother in childbirth.  My father used her for release when she was sleeping so she was shocked when she came up pregnant.  I had issues that caused me to be sick from three to five years old then needed three major surgeries to correct.  I have a sister who blames me for the time our mother spent with me and she cuts me to the core every time she can.  I also had a teacher in second grade who told the entire class not to play with me because of my health issue and because I am left handed. (A child of the devil).  she also berated and cut me every day for no real reason.  My self esteem has been non-existant until recently when my counsler convinced me that I am not the one with the issues, it was them.  You are healing so young.  I am in my mid fifties.  It took me that long to heal.  I still feel like a broken mirror but I can see myself in the pieces that I choose to keep.  My point is that you are not the one with the issues, it is your crazy family.  Lose them as soon as possible and create a new family from healthy people that you choose.
    Try meditation, find a good teacher, and learn to let the past be the past.
    Love,
    Martha

    • avatar2

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      Tawni

      I am sorry that you went through that, that is a feeling no one should ever know. But, look at you now, helping me out when I need it smile everything happens for a reason and I am frateful for you. Thank you so much. Love, Tawni

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