Spinning My Wheels – Part Five
My father spat the dummy and quit the Air Force. This was because he didn't get his Warrant Officers. He came home and told us we had to move. This lead to us to needing to find a new house, because the Air Force owned the one we were in.
During one of the house searches, we went to a house, and one of my mother's day care children ran through a glass window. I raced over and was trying to get him out of the smashed door. He was bleeding from his head, and his pants were caught on a large blade of glass. I tried lifting the kid, but he was pretty heavy. I then asked for some help. My father was standing there looking like a stunned mullet.
I said directly to him, “I need some help, I can't lift him!”
At this point my father snapped out of it and came over to help. We got him out of the window.
My father and mother drove him to the hospital. With no one else able to drive (and no car), we had to wait with the rest of my mothers daycare children till my parents came back. It was about an hour. After that, my father was raving on about how he was hero and how he single handedly saved the kid. It made me sick in my stomach, because it was all pure crap.
Eventually, my parents bought a two bedroom house with a sun room. My elder brother was in Adelaide, so there were only four kids left. Still, the mathematics didn't add up. My sister got the sun room, which was no bigger than two metres by three metres. My two brothers got the three metre by three metre room. When I asked which bedroom was mine, my parents said it was the three metre by three metre. I asked if they were sticking all three of us boys in there.
They told me, “No, it's your. The other two are going in the garage.”
The garage had a pretty bad slope on it, and also wasn't weather proof. There was no way someone could stay in it. At other times, I would hear them tell Paul and Jeffrey they were getting the three metre by three metre room. Where was I supposed to go in this house?
In the Air Force house though, my bedroom was directly beneath my parents. I heard them talking sometimes at night. They never spoke about me in the new house. It basically confirmed what I already knew, I didn't have a room. It didn't answer the question though, where was I supposed to stay?
I can remember when my mother came and told me they were buying that house.
She came and said, “The family have voted unanimously for this house.”
I told her that I didn't vote for it. I had always been against it because it was too small. She said I didn't get a vote, because the “family” had already made it “unanimous”. The way she kept repeating it, made me feel like she was saying I wasn't part of the family. It hearkened back to a great fear which had been put into me when I was about six years old. My mother had come and asked me what I would do if I found out I was adopted. For years she used to ask me questions like that. She also used to ask if I wanted to see my birth certificate which she would always end up refusing to show me. For a long time, I thought I was actually adopted. I used to long that my real family would come and take me away from these people. (As a teenager, I used to have dreams that my real parents were aliens who used to come back and take me home. Alas, it wasn't true).
At this point in my life, I was having yelling screaming matches with both my parents. Both were telling me to get out of the house. Whenever I told them I wanted a part time job, my mother would tell me, that if I got a job, I could leave, because it meant I would quit University to go full time. My father just wanted me out.
I have had arguments with my mother since, because she now denies ever having told me to get out. She does admit to the fact that my father was, and claims I fell into his trap. Either way, by this stage, I had had enough. I wasn't welcome at home, and they weren't allowing me to either get a job or study. I was spending longer hours at the library away from them both.
So, one day, I phoned a friend of mine from University whom they didn't know. I arranged with another friend of mine for some temporary accommodation. The first friend picked me up with his car (I neither had a car, nor knew how to drive at this stage). I spent the night at his house. The next day he took me to the other house, which had two of my other friends in.
My parents refer to this as me “Running Away From Home”. I refer to this as them “Throwing Me Out”. I personally don't care how people look at it. At the end of the day, they kept yelling at me to leave, and so I left. Either way, there was no room for me at the new house, and it got me away from them.
I stayed at my friends for about two weeks, storing most of my belongings downstairs (which consisted of two boxes of things). So I really didn't own much. My clothes I took with me in a bag. I got to stay in a room which was really the Study. At night, a possum would come into the room while I was asleep and pee on things. I never saw the possum when it did come in the room, and it never woke me up. (No, it never urinated on me. Just objects in the room).
It was between semesters, so I was able to go and look for work. I placed my name down to do the public service exam. Alas, no work was forth coming. People told me they didn't trust University Students.
No job, no money, not many belongings. Things looked pretty sad. Yet, I was happy. I was out from under my parents control. For the first time in my life, I was away from family arguments, I was actually HAPPY. I finally had some freedom, but not completely. I still had some obstacles to over come.After two weeks, I moved in with some other friends. I was sleeping in the living room of their flat. It was a few months after that, that another hurdle presented itself. I had left my boxes of belongings at the other friends house. They had a large down pour, and the drains near their garage were clogged up. So, it flooded where my boxes were. Almost all of it got destroyed. I found out about a month after it happened.
When I went to get my stuff, they said, “Oh yeah, we were going to tell you a month ago, but we forgot.”
So I was effectively left with nothing except the clothes on my back. Not many people can say they literally went from owning nothing but the clothes on their back to being something. In a few years time, I was going to be able to say this.
As disappointing as it was, it was still better than returning to my parents.
I had seen the Councillor at University in order to try and get some good advice and help concerning my predicament. What a waste of space he was. After explaining to him how I got to be where I was, he just kept repeating to me the same thing.
“Whatever you did. Go back to your parents and tell them you're sorry. They'll take you back.”
“I haven't done anything! They don't have a room for me!”
“Just go back, and tell them your sorry. It'll be okay.”
“I can't go back! I haven't done anything wrong!”
Eventually after a long conversation which kept going round in circles, I just said, “Whatever!” and left.
The guy was practically laughing the entire time I told him what had happened. I assume he thought I was making it all up. If not, then he's a real arsehole!
One good thing did come out of it though. I talked to the HR department, because I heard they sometimes give students jobs. I got to work at the University washing the walls and doing some maintenance for two weeks. It earned me a whole two hundred and fifty dollars. Woo Hoo! I was rich! Well, maybe not! It did give me enough funds to pay for my General Service Fee so I could continue at University leaving me with some more funds left over for anything else I might need.
There were only a few small hurdles left to leap before I was completely homeless and destitute. More on that tomorrow.