Dashing Deals

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How I Became a High School Drop Out

** I don't want to leave this out because it is one of my favorite moments. When I was sentenced into my parents custody I was also placed on probation. My probation officer ordered me to counseling. My counselor was a man who had adopted quite a few Foster Children. I think he had like seven. Somewhere in our first conversation I had mentioned I loved to write. He asked if I would be willing to share some of my stuff with him. I honestly liked the guy so I said I would. When we met the second time I gave him some of my poems. He read the first few and looked at me for a moment. Then he said, "Wendy, I don't have anything to teach you. I don't think you are messed up at all. You understand more about life than I think your parents give you credit for. I will tell your probation officer that as well. From now on, I want you to take the $30 you are supposed to give me and spend this time and money on yourself." I can't remember if he knew I was being forced to get married or not . . . I think he did. At the time I don't think either of us realized the date was going to be set so quickly.

While not loving the fact that I had to be married off . . . While not thrilled with the fact that I had no voice in the decision . . . somewhere inside me I felt once married, that was your chosen partner for life. I was determined to make this work. After all, I reasoned anything had to be better than being under Chris' rule.

Sadly, I am not 100% sure but I think Jeff and I got married on Feb 12th, 1986. I may be 3 days off but I believe that is right. The only thing I am 100% positive of is this, 'I did not want it to be on Feb 14th'.You may ask yourself, "Why did I need to get married so fast?" I have run some things through my head over the years:

  1. To ensure I would get married. (If I was allowed to pick a time . . . say . . . after March 6th, I would be 17 and no longer would the state law apply to me.
  2. Because of my hateful and insane responses to demands Chris had made on me.
  3. To make it look like I WANTED to get married and was not getting married because I was pregnant.
  4. The last one, I'll get to here in a minute.

Any way you slice it, I was married the first time right before my 17th birthday. 

So, here I was wed to a guy I'd begged NOT to marry me. I told myself, 'he must think I'm an awesome catch to insist upon marrying me. . . He surely must love me to feel that strongly when it came to being a "real family". . . He was originally going to help me gain my freedom . . . surely he wanted to marry me not to trap me but to show me how much he wanted to be a good father to this baby girl we were going to have.'

I knew from the day I was pregnant that she was going to be a girl. I had been told my first baby would be a girl. I began talking to her by her name right before my birthday. Years ago I had picked out a baby girl name with Danny Joe. I could not use that name. I had to find another one. I decided upon Cassandra prior to quitting school. It took me a little longer to pick out her middle name: Nicole. I decided upon it while living with Jeff's family.

I was wanting a name that would provide her with options regarding what she wanted to be called by her friends. I felt this combination sounded good together and it had some flex to it!

I thought I would continue going to high school. After all, my principal, Dr. Murry had written the state board of education to allow me an exception on how many semesters I needed to get my diploma. You see, I had more than enough credits. I needed to drop an English class and take Psychology in its place and I met all other qualifications. My grades were excellent and my school record was impressive all the way back to the 7th grade. He had given me the good news that I had been accepted at the same time he told me I could not continue my education at Westfield Washington High School. 

I was so confused. He told me he would be happy to look the other way when it came to the violation of where I lived but my step mother was not going to allow that to happen. You see, once married to Jeff, I had moved into the apartment he had found us in Noblesville. We were 7 miles to the East of Westfield. Because I was a Junior, I did not retain the right to go to school where I wanted to. Somehow Chris Glidden knew that.

Dr. Murry, the principal of our High School, truly felt bad. He told me something close to this as he gave me my student file, "Normally this would just be transferred from school to school but you are now considered an adult and there is no cause for me not to give it to you. I think you need to see your file and all that is in it for yourself. You will need it to enroll yourself in Noblesville. You're still in Hamilton County. Our credit system is the same so you will still graduate at the end of the school year. You'll just be graduating from Noblesville High School." He wished me luck. I knew he felt bad about what was happening. Me, I was in a daze as I left the school grounds.

"Why does she hate me so much? What did I ever do to this lady?" I questioned to the Heavens . . . nothing . . . no insight. 

The next day some of Jeff's friends who were still in High School and were actually attending Noblesville High School arrived in the morning as agreed to pick me up. I had my marriage license and my High School Record in hand. I went into the office and asked for the forms to enroll myself. At the time, many of the counselors in this school, mine for example, were also probation officers. "Nice!" I thought sarcastically to myself. I think I might have gotten her because I was actually on probation for running away at this time! 

Our first meeting did not go well. She sat across from me and reviewed my file. She closed it as she tossed my letter from the State Department of Education at me and said, "This may have flown at your other school but you are not going to be graduating at the end of the school year from here. A lot of your credits don't count here." Now if I'd have been allowed to take any fluff classes I could have understood that. The closest I had come to a fluff class in High School would have been typing! I was shocked. She went on to tell me this, "The only way I see you graduating ahead of your class is if you take a couple of summer courses and the first semester of your senior year."

"My baby is due in September!" I balked. I can't possibly do that. She informed me that was not her problem. If I thought I was going to get rewarded for setting a bad example to fellow students I was wrong. Perplexed but wanting to graduate, I asked her if she'd be so kind as to keep the married and pregnant thing on the down low. I told her I didn't want my teachers to judge me because of it. She claimed she could do that much for me.

It was on my way to 5th period that day that I came up behind her as she was informing my next teacher all about me. What she had to say about me could be categorized as sheer gossip. I was angry to say the least. I did not like Noblesville High School at all my first day. I was worried how I was going to manage to graduate . . . I was thinking maybe summer school and the second semester of High School. Maybe I could go half days . . .who would babysit for me while I went to school . . . why was the world out to get me . . . 

Never once did I pray to God at this time of my life. I felt I had been abandoned by Him . . . how could I turn to Him?

As much as I hated school, I went. A degree was important to me. Just as I resolved myself to finishing, Jeff came home with the bad news. Not only had he lost his part time job that night, he had been fired that day from his Full Time job. He informed me we were moving to French Lick, Indiana and moving in with his parents. I felt like I was living in a nightmare. I went to school and withdrew myself. I found out about the requirements for taking your GED: Out of school for one year and you had to be 17! No problem . . . I could take it one month prior to my class graduating with diplomas!

I am out of time and must end here. I hope you are enjoying my story and can relate to my life in some way. It is my hope that you see me to the end. As I have mentioned before, It does have a happy ending . . . or perhaps I should say middle as I am not done living quite yet!

Today I pray for all high school drop outs, I pray for all teen moms, I pray for all who are in the midst of a struggle of any kind. May you find your strength in God. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Wendy, Mom of Many

Copyright © 2013 Wendy L Glidden. All Rights Reserved.

Post a Comment