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I remember moving out like it was four weeks ago—only it was. I will never forget the look on my mother’s face when I told her that I would not be spending another night under her roof, but under the Whitmore's. Her look was emotionless yet I could feel every emotion she felt—like they were screaming at my directly. The room stood silent but tense as my heart dropped from my chest to my toes. I could feel my mother’s heart shatter through her chest which proceeded in shattering mine. September 25, 2017 was my first day of college, the start of my freshman year, and the day I moved out and found freedom.
I did not have a hard life, nor do I now. I do not hate my mother or the fact that we have moved more than several times in different areas of the town I am continuing to grow up in. Not even the fact that my parents are divorced, living in separate states, and the first time they have been civil in the same room together since their divorce was my high school graduation. I never hated my mother for the countless drinks she has swallowed, the first and only DUI she had ever gotten or the fact that I learned to drive by taking her and her boyfriend on beer runs for the second 18-pack in two days. I have never hated my mother for choosing a brown bottle with blue mountains over me. I have never hated my mother for never admitting it either. If my mother has the freedom to drink, I have the freedom to move out.
I did not wake up one morning and think to myself “I need to move out.” I have been told for a couple years I needed to move out by countless people in my support system. I could never wrap my head around the reality of how much I needed to or when the best time was to do so. I pushed through high school, through all the slurred fights that that bottle has caused between my parents and the endless times I’ve ran into the Whitmore's front door bawling from the things both of them had said to me and then not remembering the next day. I’ve pushed through all of the “I’m sorry’s,” the “No more drinking for us,” and the endless hugs I never wanted to give her while I was still mad. It is safe to say that I would not have been nearly as strong and gotten through most of it, if it wasn’t for the Whitmore’s.
My mother has a problem with letting go. She never wanted me to get my license and drive, nor did she ever want me to move out anytime soon. She was heartbroken, confused and upset. She did not understand what she did to make me want to live with someone else’s family down the road, like it would never make a difference in my life. She lacked the ability to give me the freedom I deserved. She was confused on what the Whitmore’s were doing so much better than her. With all of the negative thoughts in her head about this situation, nothing got better. She refused to see my point of view and she always interrupted with why I was wrong. I was left with an unresolved situation and college to prepare for.
If you were to look up the definition of freedom on any search engine, you would come up with something similar to this: the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Being able to move in with my best friend's family has brought me many freedoms. My definition of freedom is rather different than everyone else’s. I have the freedom to sleep in a bed and not have to worry if I’d wake up to my drunk parents fighting. I have the freedom to know that every night there will be a home cooked meal waiting for me to eat. I have the freedom to go to school and come home and excel my success into greater things. I have the freedom to do the things I need to in order to discover and make myself who I am. I am extremely grateful that I am able to have this freedom,
Through all of the disagreements and the emotions, me and my mother are continuing to work and build on our relationship. We need to be able to set aside our differences and speak to each other civilly. Choosing to move out was by far one of the biggest decisions I have ever made in bettering myself and my future. If I have learned one thing about this entire situation, it would be that if you put yourself first, the game changes.