Up until February of this year, I resided out west with my mother, step-father and four younger siblings. I was 19, had quit my job as a babysitter, and was mooching off my mother for four months as my impending moving day inched ever closer. I was getting paid $10 a day for 12-24 hour shifts with three children, frequently living at their house (for free). I often was not paid on time, my bosses (the children’s parents) were abusive towards each other, and I got the dreadful end of the consistently. I have been physically, mentally and sexually abused (only since moving across the country) and was drained from a decade of consistent abuse from one source or another.
Recalling the day I decided that I was going to better myself, I see how manipulative some people were with my decision. I had been sitting on my boss’s couch, questioning why I was so depressed all of the time. Nothing interested me, nothing made me excited for more than five minutes, and I was getting worse. Then, it hit me. I was always online, I was living my life through other people. I was writing online and personifying myself through my work. My phone, social media specifically, was keeping me hostage and I knew I had to change something. My situation was not getting any more suitable; if anything, I was fooled into thinking it was for a while.
My boss, who we are going to call Amanda, walked through the door, throwing her purse on the floor. She walked into the kitchen and began commenting about the lack of chores I had done throughout the day. “I’m quitting in six months,” I told her.
I’m not going in depth about this, as it can be a story for another time, but she claimed that I wanted to leave because she had taken her abusive baby daddy, Lincoln, back again. I ended up quitting two months later and setting my moving date shortly after. My impending moving date was terrifying me. I didn’t know what I was going to do, or how it was going to work. I was moving in with my maternal grandmother who was living alone on the east coast, and the only stipulation of me living here was to go back to school.
I didn’t pack until the night before, and it didn’t feel real as I did so. I felt as if I was still dreaming; my parents even bought me a new laptop, it’s the one I am using now. They then sent me on my way the next day. I climbed off the plane, found my grandmother and got to work the next week.
We researched schools, and found out that, until I am here for a year, I would be charged an out of state tuition. I found a college that would not charge me a fee, and I am halfway through my first term. I also found a part time job and have been volunteering as a moderator on a couple websites.
In order to better myself, I had to break away from the toxic cycle I was fastened to. I decided that I deserved to have a normal life, normal wage and to work on myself. The hardest part was to get myself to make the move. We are creatures of habits, and breaking my habit was the most difficult part.
You have to look at your situation, then ask yourself if you are happy with it. If your answer is no, then you need to ask yourself how you can fix it, and from there, you must stop yourself from staying stuck in the cycle. Life can always get better, strive to make it that way. You have to know when to walk away. Learn to stop toxic people and relationships, and know when you deserve better.