Homeschool Abuse SurvivorMy name is Jenny, I am a home school survivor, and this is my story.
My Mother was always the authority figure in our family, so when she decided to pull me out of the private school I went to after the second grade, so that she could "home school" me, no one questioned her decision, least of all my weak and submissive Father.
I should mention that I have two older half Brothers, one who is now 43 and one who is 34, and they both went to public school, which my Mother "hated the whole time they went", but she pulled my oldest brother out of school, (she claims he wanted to drop out) when he was 15, and she constantly harassed my other brother while he was in school, telling him that if not for the fact that she wrote his reports for him, he would be failing miserably at every subject.
So, my Mother began "home schooling" me when I was 8, and you could pretty much say that was not only the end of my education, but my childhood really, because as soon as she started home schooling me, she shut the both of us up in our house for good. My brother and father both had jobs, so they came and went, but not me and my Mother...she kind of went crazy I guess. She was supposed to be a housewife, but she stopped cooking or cleaning, going to the grocery store or anything like that...I mean we did not go outside at all...I literally went for months at a time without going outside,...I was not allowed to go out without her, EVER. I never got to see or speak to anyone my age.
She was convinced that she was sick with some awful illness, and because of that the only place we ever went was to doctor`s offices, and since they could never find anything wrong, she kept changing doctors. The worst thing of all, is that she made my father and brother tell their friends and our neighbors that I was away at boarding school!!! She did not want anyone to know in our neighborhood that she was home schooling me, she was horribly paranoid that someone would find out that she was home schooling me without registering me with the state like she was supposed too.
And when I say paranoid, I mean I was not allowed to walk in front of the windows of our house because she was afraid someone would see me and "turn her in".
And of course, she WAS NOT TEACHING ME, she had me enrolled in a catholic home school program, and for whatever reason, she herself completed all of the assignments and turned them in, she would not let me do anything except the math, which she did not know how to do, but she said that I was too stupid to do the rest of the subjects. And I guess I believed her. Also, she got tired of even doing the schoolwork herself by 8th grade, and discontinued the program. She told me I did not need a diploma, after all, she never got one.
She was controlling to an unbelievable degree, this is going to sound strange, but I was not even allowed to wash myself, she said that it was too dangerous, that I might slip and fall in the shower, and she had to be the one to wash me. Our house was in awful condition because of her made up illnesses, and she got to a point where she was sleeping on the couch so that she could just lay there all the time and watch TV and she did not even want to have to get up to use the bathroom, so she made my father get her a bucket to put in front of the couch so she could use that as a toilet. She kept it covered with a pillow and I still remember the stench of urine coming from it...my father had to empty it every few days, (yes, she did EVERYTHING in that bucket) and every now and then he would complain but she always made him submit to what she wanted.
Things got worse and worse, she started hating sunlight, and covered up the windows with trash bags, (don`t ask me why she didn`t just get my dad to bring her some curtains I`ll never figure that one out) And even though she was no longer washing her own clothes or mine, (dad and brother washed their own) I was not allowed to use the washer, (too stupid, too dangerous) so I had like two sets of clothes which I would wear for months at a time and rotate, and one set of sheets on my bed for so long that they wore through until they had huge holes that my legs would get caught in.
I hated my life and every day was the same. I had to watch her stupid soap operas with her, and she would get pissed if I talked during the shows, I was supposed to wait until commercial. I was about 14 when I started thinking that it might be easier to just run away or kill myself, but I had no faith in my ability to run away, I thought, "I don`t even know how to wash my own hair or take care of anything for myself, how could I survive somewhere else?" I guess that is what she wanted.
I was 16 when I started cutting myself. I don`t know exactly how I started doing that, now that I look back on it, but, I remember that it made me feel like I had control over something. I know that is screwed up.
I was also 16 when we moved from my home state of Maryland to South Carolina, my Mother decided that too of course. She had said that everything would be better in SC, that she would let me start going outside, and have a new life.
After we moved and I asked her if I could go out, she told me no, that she was sure as hell not going to go to jail because of me. I don`t know why she thought she would get in trouble at that point, to this day I still can`t figure that out, but for me, that was the last straw. I got really bad with the cutting, I knew I wanted to die more than anything, but I was not sure how to do it, and I was afraid.
I called some suicide hotline just to talk to someone about how I was feeling and my Mother picked up the extension. She then decided in her great wisdom that I would be allowed to go out with my father and brother when they went to the grocery stores or her other errands.
I was terrified and overwhelmed by the world. I had no idea how to interact with people, what to do or say, ...I felt so exposed and strange, but a miracle happened for me in that I was able to adapt and learn about the world. By the time I was 18 I had met the man I am now married to, and left home. The police had to help me get my things out of my house since my Mother would not allow me to leave, she almost attacked one of them, and almost got locked up...
I lived on my own for awhile, dated my now husband for 4 years before marrying him, we have now been married for 2 years.
My Mother told me that when I got married that she would not only count me as being dead to her, she "wished that my husband and I both would literally die, everyday". ...I love you too Mom.
We live in a very small town, so I see my Father out places sometimes, but he is not allowed to see me. He even tells me that; "You know i`m not supposed to see you..." He claims he misses me, but he is spineless.
I was able to get my GED at 19, in spite of my Mommy dearest.
I love my life with my husband, and I am a Christian now and I cannot imagine ever feeling again the way I used to feel about suicide, and to be honest, it makes me sick that I was like that back then, and the memories still tear me up inside.
so that is pretty much it in a nutshell.
Don`t get me wrong, I know that my Mother is the type of person who likely would have done all that to me somehow even if it were not for "home school" but home schooling GAVE an INSANE woman the TOOLS to do this to me. And I lose sleep at night sometimes thinking that there are other kids out there going through something like this. I truly think home schooling should be illegal, or at the very least, MUCH more closely monitored....
So, there it is. Thanks for reading, comments welcome.