GROWING UP ALONE

By Kaelyn Korte

Renn McGormick has had to grow up much faster than most children his age. Even though he was only seventeen (17) when he had to learn how to feed himself, pay bills, renovate and make repairs, find transportation, and apply for universities all on his own. This isolation has made it difficult for him to maintain a positive social life. Most of his friends are living in a condition similar to his so trying to meet up can become very strenuous. This means that he spends much of his days alone.

McGormick has been living on his own for over eight months now. He currently lives in his grandmother’s old house after enduring an abusive relationship with his parents for years. Eventually, he was kicked out of their house and forced to live on his own without any direction or guidance. His grandmother is the only member of his family who helps provide him with food and money to sustain on his own.

“The night before I left my father chased me around the house and beat me, I was bleeding and had bruises everywhere. That same night they kicked me out of the house and told me to never come back.”

When he is not in school, McGormick will pass time by doing yard work for neighbors, cleaning and reorganizing his house, or endlessly watching movies. “Sometimes I will watch movies from the moment I wake up till I fall asleep, I don’t know what else to do.”

December 7, 2015 was the first time McGormick had seen his parents in almost eight months. He had to collect some important belongings they had been keeping from him. Even though he rarely talks to his parents anymore he does not want to have a negative relationship with them or cut them from his life completely.

“Before today, I haven’t talked to them since they kicked me out. My dad just commented on one of my senior pictures saying, ‘looking good son.’ He didn’t even know I took senior pictures.”

McGormick turned 18 on December 24, 2015 and is finally able to legally detach from his parents. Although he has qualified for several different services to help him financially from the government, he will no longer have the weight of feeling like they still own him.

In the fall, he will be attending Mid-Michigan Community College to play basketball. He aspires to one day become an accountant. He told me that his first big paycheck will be used to renovate his house, which includes adding flooring, redoing the roof, painting the walls, and fixing broken appliances.

While McGormick has had more than a series of unfortunate events in his life, his aspirations reflect nothing less than a kid with a very bright future ahead of him. Sometimes when life hands you lemons, you just have to make lemonade.

LEFT: McCormick sees some relatives December 2015. He needed to collect some belongings to bring home. RIGHT: McGormick’s parents and grandmother previously owned this house before being abandoned due to its terrible condition. After being kicked out by his parents, Renn has lived here for about eight months now.

Kaelyn Korte is a journalism student at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, MI. To see more of her work go to KaelynKorte.Wordpress.com and http://kaelynkorte.wix.com/photographyportfolio.

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