I don’t really like sharing my ‘story’. It implies that this story is all I am, which in a way is completely true. We’re all just stories floating within the midst of each other’s stories. In school we had to take some quiz about ourselves so a college could rate highschoolers and how they felt or something. One of the questions we were asked was if we felt that our life was worthless. Talk about a loaded question, right? Maybe my life is worth something to me and my family, but to the rest of the world, I’m just one simple story. What impact have I made? I can tell you right now, it has not been an impact worthy of recognition. My life hasn’t even really started. “Is your life worthless?” So am I supposed to say ‘No, my life is worth everything.’ or would it be more correct to say ‘Yes, I’m just one small story in life’s gigantic book’.
So my story? Probably not very different from a lot of people’s stories, but I’m not one to measure my pains against anyone else’s because that isn’t very fair to my own feelings.
My parents had me when they were pretty young. My mom was just barely 18 when she popped me out. So needless to say, she never had a chance to be that stupid college student who got to go out and get drunk then deal with the crazy hangover in class the next morning. She definitely would have been that person if she’d had the chance. Instead she was thrown into parenthood. That isn’t to say that she didn’t have help. She had her parents, her brother and sister, my dad, everyone she could have needed. And of they all made their fair share of mistakes, but who doesn’t? Kids are tough. So my parents ended splitting and my mom got married to a man who already had two kids. Then out she sprouted another little tike when I was three. It wasn’t the worst scenario ever. I got to see my dad all the time, I got a step-dad who was cool in my little kid book, and I got siblings. You could say I was pretty damn naive, but what three year old isn’t?
Eventually, my mom got sick of this new life she had for us and she took me and my half brother in the middle of the night and she fled right back into my dad’s stupid, naive, open arms. Happy occasion of family reunion. I think I was 6 when that happened. The only thing I was worried about at that point was not getting to see my step dad, step brother and step sister. It wasn’t terribly long after that, that my step-sister died. I don’t really remember what was wrong with her, but she was almost like a vegetable. Wheelchair. Fed through a tube. Diapers all her life. Couldn’t speak. All I can remember is her head twisting in an odd way to smile at me. That’s the only thing I remember about my sister.
My parent’s ended up getting married in Vegas. Trashy way to get married if you ask me, which is kind of a huge glance into what their marriage was. Trash. They fought all the time. I can remember my dad waking me up at 3 in the morning to go look for her because they had a fight and she left. I remember how bad he felt. He didn’t want to leave me home alone, but he didn’t want to let her stay away. He was so determined to fight for her. She ended up leaving him anyways. She made me and my brother pack up our things and stay with her at my Aunt’s house. I think I cried myself to sleep every night for a very long time. One time when I got to come home to see my dad he was sitting on the couch with his legs pulled up against his chest. A picture of him and mom was sitting face down on the table in front of him. His eyes were red and puffy and his cheeks were damp with tears. That, for me, was the image of their divorce. That was the moment I started to really hate my mother. SHE ran to him. SHE ran from him. And my dad was just stationary the whole time.
My dad started dating a girl from work and soon after that he told me she was pregnant. I think I was more excited than he was. He was mostly worried that I would end up hating him. For me, it wasn’t a problem. I liked the girlfriend, and I LOVED babies.
In my life with my mom we had moved out of my aunts and into an apartment. It was an awful experience. I hated every moment. I hated my mom more than the apartment. I moped around all the time flinging my anger at everyone else. I pushed some of my closest friends away. I actually lost three of my closest friends. It wasn’t their fault.
Around this time, I started thinking I needed to have a boyfriend to be cool. My dad had dated this woman when I was little so I grew up with her son. So I thought he would be perfect. And we started talking more. I ended up telling him I liked him. I thought I had liked him. Mostly I was afraid of him. He hit me a lot when no one was looking and grabbed in places I wasn’t ready to be touched at. I was too young to understand that I had the power to make him stop. Mostly I was scared he would hurt me further. So I let him do what he wanted.
It didn’t take long for him to get bored of me. I think he wanted someone that would put up more of a fight. So he moved on to someone else. I’m not sure if he’s done anything to anyone else. All I know is that it made me feel like I wasn’t good enough for him when he moved on. I had felt like I failed him. It made me even more miserable.
My baby brother finally came around and I was feeling slightly better. I had new responsibilities. I needed to be a big sister to a baby now. So I stepped up. And I was damn good at soothing him. My dad’s girlfriend said I was like the baby whisperer. When he was only a few weeks old I had him out like a light in seconds even when he was being fussy. It felt good to be helpful.
By this time, I stopped holding so much of a grudge over my mother while bigger feuds broke between me and my father. We argued constantly and it began to make me feel small and insignificant. I hated the way he talked to me. So I finally gave in and told my mom I needed to see someone.
It was a very strange experience having to talk to a stranger about my life. My very personal life. But I knew from the beginning that if I wasn’t completely honest that would do nothing for me. So I made sure to tell her everything. I was very open with her. I was open to trying to make changes and talking to my parents. I had to tell my mom that I had blamed her for the divorce even after I knew it wasn’t really anyone’s fault. I had to talk to my dad about how hard it was to talk to him, which believe me- it was a very difficult conversation. The one thing I never talked to her about was that boy. I’m not sure that I ever will. I know it could help, but I’m still not ready. I don’t know when I’ll be ready. I still sometimes drive by his house even though he’s long since moved. I always slow down and imagine where he could be now. Even after everything, I still hope for the best for him. I don’t blame him for his problems.
I will admit that I did cut myself. I did think about suicide on many different occasions and in many different ways. I did hate myself.
I do have anxiety. I do sometimes still have stretches of depression. I do sometimes hate myself. But I went to therapy. I go to therapy. I’m a million times better than I was because I WANT to be better. The first step was admitting that I needed help. The second was taking action.
I will always need some help now and again, but I can honestly say that seeing a therapist helped me. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s worth a shot. So take a shot -take many shots- and find what helps you.
Just remember, life can’t always be perfect and happy, we make of it what we can.