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Kicked Out at 15 Years Old

Monday, April 26th, 2010
Posted in Joel by Joel Gross

I was extraordinarily fortunate to get kicked out of my parents house at the age of 15.

Why?

My kindly grandparents took me in and did a wonderful job of raising me till I left for college (though technically they are still raising me with their good advice & love).

At the time though it felt like one of the worst things that had ever happened to me.

After my mom had broken up with my dad and married a man named Forest Newsom, Randy (my dad) was a broken man.  He spent the next seven or eight months working long hours and then coming home and watching TV all night.  The four of us brothers were left more or less to our devices and as the eldest I took on a much stronger role in the household.  So when my mom divorced Forest and remarried Randy and moved back in I felt like the traitor was being let back in… and she wanted her old role back.  Randy has always been a fairly weak and easily dominated person, while my mom is extremely dominant and manipulative.

At first I was happy to have my mom back, but I soon realized that she was still acting crazy (much of it was the drugs she was on).  Not only was she crazy, but she wanted to have full control of the house and me again.  I was a hormonal angry teen and had no intention of giving it to her, so we went to war.

Six months of constant fighting with my mom and dad (when my mom sent him after me) led to me very rarely leaving my bedroom other than to go to school.  When I did leave, I would glower at everyone until I could get back to my castle in my room. Generally I was a very unpleasant person to live with, and my mom was even worse.

The day finally came when I got into an argument with her and told her she was a bitch.  Instead of getting angry, she became self-righteous and told me I had to move out.  The wind was knocked out of me… I felt like I had been hit in the belly by a baseball bat.  I had no idea what I was going to do or what would happen to me.  When my dad got home from work she told him they were going to kick me out and he of course went along with it.

I was told by my parents that I was ruining their attempt to make their marriage work and I had to go.

Half an hour later, I had my clothes in a suitcase and my parents dropped me off at my grandparents on South Hill.  My grandparents were good to me and set me up my own room with a desk and ancient alarm (that I still use to this day).  Two weeks later, my mom and dad begged me to come move back home but by that time I could see that what was best for me was to stay put with my grandparents.  I was really homesick for months, but it faded and I matured as a person.

Five important lessons were learned from this experience:

  • The only certainty in life is that things will change.
  • Relationships may be the most important key to a full life, but they are replaceable.
  • If you are ever in a bad situation get out.  There will always be new opportunities & people that will be better.
  • Once you have been rejected by your own mother no other person can hurt you that much again. It’s a superpower.
  • Don’t be such a damned pussy. Not really relevant, but a good lesson nonetheless.