Ultimate decision

Hannah Chelton, Reporter

Growing up, I had a rough childhood. Being in a family of eight was not easy, to say the least. Having five siblings was a challenge, especially when you are the oldest, and your two sets of twin brothers and sisters were constantly bugging you. Luckily though I had my brother Jake there, he was two years younger then me, but we got along well. At first it seemed like we had a normal childhood from what I could remember. Dad went to work everyday, and came home in the evening while Mom stayed home to watch over Jake and I. On Sunday we would all go to church, and then eat lunch with all our cousins, and spend some time with them before we made the journey back home. When I turned seven, I was old enough to attend school, and I went to the school house just a mile from our house where twenty other children my age went to school. I did not enjoy it at first, until I realized that it was the only things that kept me away from the house. As I grew older I started to realize how strict the church was, and I did not enjoy taking part in the activities, and I could not wait to get out. This is just the beginning though.

After I turned thirteen I was of age to decide if I wanted to join the church. I formally rejected, but my family was not happy. They questioned why I did not want to, and pretty much forced me to join. Little did they know that I absolutely hated it because I covered it up so well. After a month of arguing with my parents I just decided to give in because I knew that if I didn’t, life would be worse then it already is. As a result, that following Sunday I was declared a member of the church. Then exactly one week later my parents informed my brother and I that we were going to have twin sisters. We were all excited until reality kicked in. Once they arrived, it was evident that my father’s job working at the supermarket stocking shelves was not going to support the family. My parents sat me down and explained that since I was the oldest, I needed to start taking on some more responsibilities. Since my little sisters were still so young, I had to start working with my father at the supermarket, but when they got older I was promised that Mom and I would switch places and I would be able to babysit them. However, this deal did not last because as soon as the girls got old enough to where I could watch them, we were told that we were going to have twin brothers. I grew furious and did not want to be in this position any longer. When I found out about the new babies coming I new that I had to get out of the house as soon as possible. I was sixteen and a half at the time and was counting down the months and days until I turned eighteen. Then I could make decisions on my own without having my parents telling me what to do with my life….

The day had finally come and I was eighteen. We just had a small party with a few family members and friends. We all had a great time, and shared some old memories, but I knew at some point I would have to break it to my parents that I wanted to move on with my life. I was ready to explore the world outside of the church, and I had the feeling that I needed freedom. So after going back and forth I decided the best time to tell my parents would be when the twins went to bed. I honestly didn’t care if Jake heard about it because I talked to him all the time about wanting to leave. I wasn’t scared to tell my parents, I was just scared what their reaction was going to be. After the twins went to bed I knew it was time to break the news. I walked into the living room, sat down and blurted it all out. At first they were shocked and speechless, but a minute later they were questioning me why I felt the way I did. It was a long conversation to say the least but they said it was my ultimate decision. If I left the church I would be shunned and not ever allowed to go back. Communication with my parents would be cut off, and they were not allowed to help me in any way while I was getting on my feet in the world. If I decided to stay, I would have to continue following the churches orders and still work alongside my father at the supermarket, but the positive out of it is that I can still see my family. After all, the final decision was ultimately left for me, and I hope deciding to leave the church was the best option.