‘At 6, I learned what pure evil is. I knew something was wrong.’: Abused young woman ‘adopted’ by teacher who ‘actually got to know me’ during traumatic childhood

“Life surprises us at the moment we need it most. All you have to do is have Faith. Growing up my mom and dad divorced when I was very young 5 or 6, I think. The memories from how we lived while they were together are vague and distant, but I remember yelling, drinking, drugs and poverty.

I knew not to talk to my dad if he was drinking and I knew that playing outside with my brother and sister was the best thing. I knew going to my Grandma’s and Bobo’s was a safe haven. My mom went on to merry a man I’ll call Tim. I will not refer to him as a step-father because that was never something that was deserved. My grandma passed away and my mom wouldn’t allow us to see Bobo. She said he didn’t want to see us, but I knew it was because of Tim. At 6 and 7 I learned what pure evil is.

I knew something was wrong, I knew it was worse than living with my real father… My Brother and my Sister and I were so close in age it was hard not to be close as siblings. My mom was so smitten with Tim that we no longer mattered. Tim would take my mom shopping and to eat and lock or tape the door shut to our room so we couldn’t get out. That started to wave of physical abuse. Soon followed the sexual and emotional abuse.

We were constantly moving to a new house because they would avoid paying the rent. Holidays and birthdays were only celebrated if Tim allowed but even then, it was controlled, and just very horrible experiences. By the time middle school came I was a shy, skinny kid who just wanted to be loved. I longed to have a happy family or belong somewhere. I met my friend that I will call Harley in 6th grade. Amazing person who instantly recognized I needed a friend.

I started going home with her during the weekends when Tim would allow it. Harley’s house was the place that makes you feel at home. Her mom and dad were divorced but were both amazing people who were still friends. Sometimes we would stay at her mom’s but most of the time we went to her dads. He was the first person to ever show me how a dad is supposed to treat a daughter. The first man that showed me love like that.

As the years went by me and her grew apart because of course my mom and Tim moved us all over. But the memories were always there. My 10th grade year I was starting a new school scared to death because I didn’t have anyone that understood me or what I was going through besides my brother and sister. No friends no family but who lived in our home. But God had a plan for me the whole time.

I started the school year in a vocational class with a teacher Mr. Sutton. He was so nice so friendly. He would talk to me and actually get to know me. He would tell me about his wife and daughter and about fishing stories. I would go to his office during lunch because I didn’t have friends, money or a lunch to eat. He would give me crackers or a sandwich and just talk to me and get to know me. Well that year a whole lot went down with mom and Tim and she jerked us all the way across the country to live with a man she met on the internet.

So here it is 2001 in a strange city, a violent man who would throw and hit and cuss us if he was mad at my mom. It took me 2 months to finally save and get money to go back home and when I did, I went back to that same high school. I lived with my real dad and step mom for a bit but then I saw my dad wasn’t as sober as he let on. I stayed here and there and just anywhere I could until my sister moved back down here and at me at 15, and her at 17 we got a 2-bedroom trailer for $250 a month.

I got to meet my Dad’s dad who I became very close with and came to call him gramps. sadly, he passed away in 2005. I overcame a lot of things and I have an amazing life now. I don’t have very much of a relationship with my mom or dad, but I do keep in touch just because I don’t want to lose contact and something happens, then I would feel guilty for not forgiving or not trying. I have 2 amazing little girls and 3 soon to be step daughters. An amazing fiancé who loves me so unconditionally that I cannot fathom not knowing that love.

But the best part of all. I found love in my Father Jesus Christ, annnnnndddddd….. that teacher from 10th grade, he’s my dad. No not by blood and not on paper but in my heart and his, he has adopted me. Him and his wife are amazing parent figures that I am so blessed to have. My daughters yes, all 5, are considered grandchildren and call them Granddaddy and Granma. Without him I would not be who I am today, the talks, the strength he gave me provided me with courage and stability. I will never second guess that God has a plan if you just have faith!! I strongly believe I went through what I did to be the person I am today and to be the Mother I am today. All it takes is 1 person to change your life. He did that for me.

My story has so much more to it than this, but this is the highlight of it, and I am so proud of who I’ve become thanks to someone who didn’t have to be a dad but took that challenge anyway.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Roberta Estep  of Illinois. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best love stories here.

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‘My stepdad always told me I was bad luck. I never fit into his picture-perfect family. To avoid fights, I’d lose myself in a book or math problem. School was my safe-haven.’

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