About Five Years Ago...

January 4, 2008
By Amber Vogl, Columbus, MT

About 5 years ago, in Lewistown Montana, at the beginning of October, my mother left me. It hurt me to see her leave because I knew that I couldn’t do anything about it. I just watched her pull away with her U-Haul on her way to Massachusetts, to live with my sister.

The plan was at my brothers graduation in June she was going to come back and get me and take me to Massachusetts to live with her, but of course that plan failed. My dad god custody of me and so I moved in with him in Columbus. For about one year I blamed him and my step mom, Marie, that it was their fault that I was unhappy, and that I didn’t want to live with them. I wanted to stay in Lewistown and finish my 5th grade year there.

Throughout that year I would talk to my mom on the phone and through letters and she would say, “Amber, while I’m work, I see little girls and every single one reminds me of how much I miss you and with that you were here with me,” but in reality I don’t think that she really did. She wanted to be free of everyone and everything; she wanted to “find” herself.

I lived with my dad for 4 years, but I always seemed unhappy, so he decided to let me go and live with my mom in California. So last year while I was in Cali. I thought that it was going to be different from when I use to live with her, but it wasn’t. She always was in her room, watching TV and on her computer, just like it use to be in Lewistown. I could tell my mom hadn’t changed, she still didn’t want to have to worry about any kids or anyone except for herself. She would tell my step-dad, Ken, “You know, if I had somewhere to go, I would leave. I would change how my life is.” They would argue over the littlest things because my mom would be in a bad mood, or she wouldn’t want to be around anyone.

Sometimes when she would get home from work and she was having a bad day Ken would ask her, ”Honey, how was your day at work?”

She would answer, “It was horrible. It seemed like everyone was out to get me.” and then she would go in her room and slam her door closed as hard as she could.

Ken would follow her in the room, and I could hear him say, “You know just because you had a bad day at work doesn’t mean that you have to take it out on me and Amber. Lori I’m getting sick and tired of your crap. Everyday you get home, and it was ALWAYS a bad day at work, you take everything out on me and Amber. What did we do? You could at least pretend that your day was ok and that you want to spend time with us, like a good mother would.”

Of course upon hearing that my mom yelled back, “Ken you weren’t at work with me. You don’t know what I went through today.”

“No, Lori, I don’t know what happpend today, but I do know that you need to learn how to keep that from effecting what happens when you are at home.”

“Ken stop yelling at me. Just get out of my face,” and with that, Ken would come out of their bedroom, slamming the door, and he would go outside for a cigarette. Sometimes I would go in my room and turn on my stereo because I would get sick and tired of hearing the same argument every day when my mom would get home.

For awhile I was content there but that all changed. it soon became the only time I was happy was at school. My grades started slipping because my mom didn’t care so figured why should I care? I started forgetting about doing my homework, but at least doing enough to get by with all C’s. Of course I wasn’t very happy with my grades, but I just became so lazy I didn’t want to do my work, even when I told myself that I would do my homework tonight.

So I sat down with my mom at the beginning of summer and told her that I wasn’t happy and that I was thinking about moving back in with my dad. The first thing that she said was, “Amber, you know that doesn’t make any sense to me. You complained to me every time I was on the phone about how much you hated it there, and how unhappy you were, but whatever you want to do. I don’t care, all that matters is what will make you happy.“

Well she didn’t seem to upset about it which hurt me, if I had a daughter tell me that she didn’t want to live with me I would cry and ask her why. Well I thought about it and then decided to call my dad and talk to him about it. Of course he wanted me to move back with him, but I didn’t let anyone’s opinion affect my decision. Half of my family wanted me to stay in California, and the other half wanted me to move back to Montana. After a few more days I made my decision final, I wanted to move back in with my dad.

Now that I’m back here in Montana, I’ve been doing pretty well, I’ve been happy living here. I’m glad I am back here with all my friends. I may have met some awesome people in Cali, but in the end I know that my decision to move back will make my life better.

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