The year I made it out of Minnesota is the year I divorced my mother.

2006 was a fun year. At twenty, I was on my first engagement with an emotionally abusive general contractor and working dead end data entry job to support two people in a lakeside apartment. By May, I was living on a mattress on the floor of the living room of my father's one bedroom apartment in a poor part of the Minneapolis suburban area. By September, I was employed again, had passed through a relationship with one of my best friends that would leave a seven year ache, and was living in my own apartment in Uptown Minneapolis near a sculpture garden and the city's best coop. By December, I was on my way to Virginia.

My uncles promised teach me how to become a systems administrator in exchange for me picking up work in a data center and learning how to be something like a functional adult. My mother, meanwhile, had promised me she could get me diagnosed with Asperger's and put on disability so I could spend my rental credits paying her mortgage. The better offer was obvious, and my mother's controlling nature had never been displayed to me with such clarity as that day.

Until, of course, it was moving day.

All that remained was to notify the landlords, pack my things, decide what was going in the two bags I was taking to my new life, and pack everything else into the basement of my mother's house.

The day before my flight left went something like this:

Wake up at 00630. Crawl into remaining clothing, back the rest into the suitcase. Pack the remainder of the bathroom and 50% of the kitchen. Make sure the living room is fully packed.

By 0800, have gotten into and out of a conversation with my landlords. This was located in a dark, dirty, and rather dubious basement, in a laundry room. It devolved into them threatening me with various specious legal and physical activities if I didn't pay them some unspecified and unrecorded number. I was forced to decline.

At 1200, verify and print E-Tickets. Dismantle dismantle-able pieces of furniture.

By 1600, ensure 80% of apartment is packed.

At 1800, welcome mother, mother's husband, and brother into apartment to get a head start on cleaning while I dash off for a farewell dinner with some friends.

At 2000, return to find with some horror that my mother has unpacked all of my boxes, reassembled pieces of furniture, and has now convinced my brother that I have enlisted him and my mother for slave labor and intend to do none of my own packing or U-Haul loading.

2030, call friend in panic after mother departs, screaming at me and demanding I stay in Minnesota. Decide the word ungrateful is particularly monstrous. Resolve that I will never tolerate people like my mother in my life again.

2300, help arrives and helps me hastily repack and reload the U-Haul.

0300 finish last cleaning and loading of truck. Vacate South Minneapolis.

I flew out of MSP the next evening to Washington DC and didn't look back. Immediately the original data center job vanished, leaving me picking up the pieces in a low end IT support contractor role for an Army offices in Alexandria. In that time period, I stopped answering my mother's phone calls, an effort made possible by replacing my cell phone and picking up a new number.

Since that time, I've moved four times, held four different jobs in my new career, and spoken with my mother exactly once. That fiasco, complete with the following four years of creepy poetry in my email inbox, has more than convinced me I've made the right decision.

2006 was the year I rolled the dice, and by the end of 2007. I had become someone else entirely. But that's another story.

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