“Unfortunately I had a very strict step-mother. As soon as I would start to really open up it was like “don’t act crazy, that’s how a woman should be.” I wasn’t allowed to be myself at home. I had to be calm, quiet, a perfect woman according to her, meaning a woman who doesn’t laugh too loud, who doesn’t speak with anyone she meets. After school you come back home and you make food, like a woman should. I was doing all of this while her own daughter was going to clubs, and she was younger than I. I wondered whether it was because I was quite difficult, and that I’d do all sorts of bad things if she wasn’t like that with me.
It really clicked for me when she told me I was less than nothing, that I wasn’t doing anything around in the house, stuff like that. At that moment I told myself: “no that’s not true, I’m doing stuff with you, I cook, I do the laundry. You can’t tell me I’m useless. If I’m useless what’s the point of me being here.” So that same night I prepared my bag, I took all the super important documents because I was scared she would throw everything away, and I left that next morning. I took refuge at my boyfriend’s house.
I was stressed throughout the day because my step-mother was quite volcanic and I really wanted to avoid any conflict. That’s when I realized I was really tired. Psychologically I was really exhausted, physically also. I had left a little note and I was putting the blame on myself actually! That’s the thing! I wrote that I was a financial burden, that the best thing was for me to leave so that they could do better financially. But actually, I wasn’t spending anything. All my clothes were from my step-sister and step-mother because I couldn’t bother to go for shopping. So, I was very happy with second-hand clothes. Still, I chose to write a little note saying it was my fault.”
(Saint-Jean | translated from French)