Growing up, my parents didn’t let us go out with friends. We were not even allowed to go on a date. Well, I should correct myself, I wasn’t allowed to date. The few times we did get to go out, there were a lot of rules.
When I was 13, I was finally allowed to go with my friends to the mall. I was so excited that it was all I could talk about for the week. On Friday, I came home, did my chores and was getting ready to leave. My mom came in and asked me to pick a number. Confused, I guessed the number 12. She went to my closet and picked out 13 empty coat hangers. Mind you, all these coat hangers were from school uniforms for the week.
“You can’t go to the mall tonight because you have 13 hangers in your closet.” She told me. Sometimes I question that if I was that good of a kid that she had to find out how many hangers were in my closet so she could punish me.
I know she claims that it was a rule that we used the hangers then took them in the back room to be used again. Well, it wasn’t like there weren’t any hangers in the back, there were so many that we had to double hang some hangers. Why would 13 hangers in my closet matter?
When I was 13, my favorite singer was in Atlanta. I begged to go for my birthday. One of my aunts were going with her daughter that I grew up with. They offered to take me along. My parents said I could go. While getting ready for the concert, my mom walked in and said I was grounded.
I think my parents waited for times when I was so excited about something only to take it away. There was a time that I could have went to DC for a young person’s convention. I wanted to go so bad. I would have even raised my own money to go and they refused. When my sister had the chance to go, my parents offered to pay her way. She just didn’t want to go.
There were times I was allowed to go to Youth Rallies. As I was getting ready, my mom would come tell me that she had “spies” watching me. Anytime I went out, I had to be careful what I said because she had people watching me.
One time a friend of mine was spending the night and I was about to move off to college. I got to go out with her to the mall. We decided to swing by our best friend’s house and take them to the mall with us. Well, we didn’t think about it until we were in the car on the way. We go to the mall and have the best time. When I went home, I got in so much trouble. I don’t even know how she found out, I guess her spy was working.
There were other times I went to the Youth Rallies that I could have just stayed at the alter too long and I was told on. There were times I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of church and I would get told on. Another time I gave my phone number to a guy, I was in so much trouble.
It is kind of funny how I keep getting messages from friends that said, “Morgan, you never went anywhere or got to do anything.” That is pretty much true. I would come home from school, do my chores, read, go to church, come home, and repeat. “Your parents were so strict.” Pretty much. Everyone knew how our parents would force us to the alter when we were grounded.
When we got to church we were forced to spend thirty minutes in the prayer room. If we came out early, we were shamed in front of everyone. They would usually say something about how we spent only five minutes in there. Sometimes we would even be sent back. To be honest, one time I fell asleep in there.
When I did have a boy that I liked, my mom would make me paranoid he was cheating on me. “Oh, look at him hugging her.” or “OOOO, Morgan, I think he is cheating on you.” Well, trust me when I say none of my “boy” friends lasted long. I say it like that because we were not allowed to day or have boyfriends, but we could like each other.
When my first boyfriend, who became my husband, came to visit my parents, my mom didn’t like him because he made me happy. I had invited him to my church, but I forgot that they had changed the time, so he came when church was over. I invited him back to our house and he got to meet my family. I could tell everyone liked him. My brothers loved him. He connected immediately with them.
It was Christmas time and he made my greatest wish come true. My family would decorate our house and land up like Candy land. I had always wanted to walk through the yard with the guy I liked. When he left, I was on cloud nine. I was ‘glowing’ my mom said. My mom couldn’t get over how happy he made me. She looked at me and said, ” I don’t like him because he makes you happy.”
Sometimes, I still feel like her spies are watching me. I know that sounds outrageous, but it is true. I still look over my shoulder sometimes wondering who is reporting back to them. I know they read my blog. I have purposefully sent it to people that I know would share with them. I can see them all know sitting around the living room as my mom cries and asks what she did to make me turn out this way. Then everyone pats her on the back and tells her that it isn’t her fault that it is my choice. Then they all cry together and my mom tells them stories about how I was so disrespectful. Then everyone leaves and she acts like she is fine. It is always like that. As long as the attention is on her, she will respond accordingly. Once the spotlight is gone, she acts like a regular person.