When I was 11 or 12, I decided I was done with my dad's. I was done with the rules, all the kids, and being expected to act a certain way all the time. My mom worked til 10:30p every night, so at her house I could do what I wanted all the time. Mom had no rules, no dinner expectations, no bedtimes. I could have people over whenever I wanted. She paid no attention.
So I waited until a weekend when we were scheduled to be at mom's, which always started on Saturday morning. I conveniently scheduled a slumber party on the Friday before, so I could go straight to Mom's in the morning. Then, on Monday, I simply went to Mom's rather than going to Dad's like we were supposed to.
Phone calls, visits, therapy trips...my dad tried everything to get me to come back to his house. But I refused. I was done with the rules. They constantly tried to invite me over, and I constantly refused. About a year and a half later, my step-mom invited me to go to a parade with her and my five siblings. For some reason, I agreed. And then I started going to see my dad again.
I was a brat. I know that now. And I know I hurt my dad, my step-mom and my siblings. But I was a bratty kid, and a (very) stubborn one at that. I know I can't fix the damage I caused during those years, but hopefully my relationship with my parents since then has eased the pain. I cringe at the thought of hurting my dad now, but I need to forgive myself because I was 12. What the hell did I know?