I lived in one of “those” houses. You know the one. It was a house that a lot of my friends weren’t allowed to go to but I was always welcome at their house. I was invited into the popular group for a little while but that didn’t work out too well for me. I had an issue with conforming to narrow and limiting group norms AND I lived in one of “those” houses. I did have a best friend in high school I will name Shelly. Her parents only let her leave the house to go to school and to walk down to the store to buy them cigarettes. My second best friend was Mary and she was one of 13 kids in her house. Her parents didn’t seem to notice if she was home or not. So this worked!
When Shelly was 17, she was allowed to come over to my house once. She got home an hour late that day. By the time I took her home, the police were there because her parents listed her as a runaway. Shelly was one of those quiet girls that never got into trouble. When she turned 18, she moved in with us. My mom didn’t charge her rent because she didn’t have a job. She did have to help clean the house, which was no easy task because my parents are practically hoarders. At 19, Shelly got married and I was her maid of honor.
Shelly was having a hard time finding a job right out of high school. My mom got her a job as Matt’s teachers aide. After 3 years of being “kicked out of school” for his violent and aggressive behavior, Matt was transitioned back in. He still was angry and would lash out if forced to do schoolwork. At this time, I was going to college and was roommates with Mary. I was soon to meet my future husband who lived in the apartment below mine.
Over time, Matt was still having issues in school. He kept attacking Shelly and pulled her hair. Matt’s teacher convinced Shelly to press charges against Matt because he didn’t have any consequences for his behavior. The next time Matt attacked Shelly at school, she called the police. The police came to the school and arrested Matt with the charge of assault. At this time, I was engaged to Paul. My mother was devastated as she picked Matt up from the police station. I was torn between my best friend and my family. Mary was torn between Shelly and I. It was a big, fricken mess.
After several months of legal issues, Matt was found incompetent to face the charges brought against him and they were dropped. He has the mind of a 7 year old. He does not read or write. He can’t do simple math. I lost my 2 best friends. They didn’t come to my wedding. That is why, parents, you should not have your child’s friends be caregivers! It was a very hard time for me. I haven’t talked to Shelly in almost 2 decades and Mary for at least a decade. People sometimes ask me if I have any friends from high school. Did you just drift apart over time? Yes, it was something like that.