Manic in St. Louis
I find my car in the parking deck and decide to get out my backpack and fill it with some of my things and abandon my car. My mom calls and I panic. I ignore her calling. I walk on into the streets at night in an unfamiliar city, downtown St. Louis with my bacpack on and “no glasses” because I took them off and decided I would go without them so everything would look blurry. I didn’t know where I was going anyway so I didn’t see the need to wear them. I almost walked up onto an interstate ramp because I have terrible eye sight and stopped myself when I saw the cars speeding by.
I kept walking and found a nice hotel to go into so I walked in looking like a homeless person or a “traveler” although I was traveling very light. I walked through the hotel lobby, onto an elevator and went to the restroom to pause for a minute and collect myself. After, looking at myself and washing my face and hands I decided to leave and keep walking. I walked past some “scary people” that I think were street people and I as I walked a heard a voice behind my yell, “Hey” and it was a male voice and I got scared and started running. I ran into a furniture store that was open late and there was a lady there working. I pretended to look around at the things like I was interested when really I was terrified at the time. No one else was there shopping that I can remember and I sat down for a minute and took my pack off to rest and wait for whoever that was behind me to pass. I got out my phone and I remember reading something that comforted me but I don’t remember what, maybe it was a bible verse from Andrew, the last guy that I dated, I am really not sure. I decided that I would not stay on the streets that night and walked back to my car. I didn’t really know the way back I just sort of walked in the general direction and when I saw the tall building that I think was the capital I knew I was going to make it.
In my mind, I was afraid that I had left that furniture store and that the woman in the furniture store was harmed by the man that was following me and I could not seem to shake this thought and I felt worried and afraid and guilty that I may have caused someone to get hurt. Hopefully, that was just a delusion, a delusion is a false belief that people can have when they are having a manic episode and have psychotic features.
I left St. Louis and I drove all night to Kansas City, MO and yes I finally made it after a week’s journey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I actually called Andrew on the way there, who I had not talked to since he broke up with me and never wanted to talk to again. But I thought, that I had just had a near death experience and I was desperate to reach out to someone, anyone at that point. He answered. I greeted him in a friendly voice and told him that it was me and pretended like nothing had happened between us and that it was “normal” to be calling him to talk. He was on the phone with his mom, or so he said and told me he would call me back and he did. I was anticipating his call but at the same time wondering if he really was going to do what he said. I answered and he asked me where I was and I told him I was in MO and on my way to KC and that I was moving there. I think I was feeling excited and rambling but I don’t remember what I said except tell him I was hungry and that I was stopping at Wendy’s. I pulled into a Wendy’s and he let me go shortly after.
I did not think I was ever going to make it to my destination, IHOP in KC. Not the Pancake House but the Int’l House of Prayer that is open 24/7. As soon as I got to KC, my mom called and I told her where I was. She asked me about when I left home and I told her a few days ago and that I had “stopped” along the way. I was a bit lost when I was talking to her and thought I knew how to get to the actual place since I had just been there two months ago but I told my mom that I could not find it and she gave me the address and helped me get there. I was absolutely exhausted when I pulled into the parking lot. I laid the seat back and took a nap until the sun was up. “They” do not want people sleeping in their cars in the parking lot but I did not know that at the time. I went inside and sat down thinking I would stay there all day. I sat there listening to them worship and I tried to relax but I could not. I was restless. I did not have a place to live and that was on my mind. I did not have a job and that was on my mind too.
Before leaving the bldg. I tried to find out information about renting an apartment or something and the person at the desk was not very helpful. Someone I talked to must have directed me to the apartments bldgs just behind the IHOP that has wanted signs etc. I found a few places of interest and got the numbers to call. I went to eat at IHOP, the Int’l House of Pancakes, and also went shopping at the Dollar General. I was still living out of my car so I bought a big jug of water and some snacks. At some point, I talked to a person that rented out a spare bedroom and her price of renting per night was very high, maybe 150-180-200.oo a night, something like that. I met her and she said I could rent from her so I unpacked my car and tried to get some rest. I finally had a room to sleep in. I went back and forth and back and forth and here to there and here to there, from the house I was staying to the IHOP. I was not settled at this point but still very anxious. I didn’t feel like I was in the right place but wanted to be in the right place if that makes sense. I felt so stupid when I remembered that there was a conference going on there that I completely forgot about and was planning on attending. I got there late because I had been driving all over creation and registered at the desk. I stayed there for a while in that place where the conference was being held and felt close to God and had some peace for the first time in a while. I had no connections with anyone except for Rachel, the girl I had met and stayed with one night on my previous trip. After a few days of renting I realized that I could not continue to pay that much so I called Rachel when I was at the IHOP coffee shop one day to ask if I could stay with her at her house. She responded to me and met me and we talked about it but I did not get an answer right away. She said that she had to ask her roomates if they were ok with it and she did not have an extra room for me so I would have to sleep on a couch. I told her that I was ok with that and when I got an answer from her she told me that I could for two weeks only. That was fine with me. I was thinking that I could find a job by then and get my own place if I could afford it. It was March of 2009, and still very cold up in the Midwest. I loved the cold weather. Later on, after I had been there for two or three weeks there was a big snow and it was so great! I stayed with Rachel and in the mean time looked for a job downtown in retail. I would just walk in and fill out an application and turn it in. Nothing. I was getting impatient. I knew that I could not lease an apartment without a job. Rachel helped me find another place to live at since her friend was staying there, she was from Minnesota. She was staying at a house with a family, a married couple with two children, who have been renting out rooms to IHOPers’ (I just made up that word) for years. It was not a for sure thing until I had to meet with the lady and talk to her. It was a big out, three story house, and in a great location. I told her what my plans were for coming, to be a part of “The Call” ministry and told her that I would not start until the Fall Semester. She was gracious enough to let me stay in their guest room. I was so happy, not only because I was making connections but there were also three other girls living there that were involved in the ministry that I could socialize with as well as Rachel and her two roommates. I felt part of a group. I got to go places with them like downtown to get a facial one day and to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I ate with them and had household responsibilities like they did and felt part of the group. Did I already mention that?)
But, when I was alone I could not handle the overwhelming emotions that are hard to describe. I felt lost and I would get lost on purpose. I would find parks to go to and meet random strangers. I would get very restless when I was in my room and have to leave because I felt like I was supposed to be at IHOP all the time and if I wasn’t there I felt guilty. I enjoyed it but not as much as I thought I would. Even when I was at the IHOP I would get restless and although I would resist leaving, eventually I would and go back to the house or wherever. I went to Sonic a lot because I felt comfortable in my car, my car was like my safe place, my shelter. I tried to start going to church like most people do on Sundays and the time that I went with the lady’s husband that I was staying with and she was not with us I felt very uncomfortable. He was different. He was loving towards his children and he would talk to me but something about him just made me feel weird and I started thinking that he was adulterous or that he would take advantage of the girls that stayed in their house in a sexual way. I don’t know. I may have been wrong but he is the reason that I did not stay at their house. I had met with the lady of the house and she and I had come up with a schedule for me to start keeping the kids when she needed me to. I was not sure about it but agreed to it anyway so I could live with them. Their two kids, a boy and a girl were wild. The boy acted like a wild animal, growling and would jump on me and have melt downs. The girl was sweet but also had an attitude that I didn’t appreciate. I felt drained when I was around them. To this day, I feel bad that I left without notice after agreeing to be there live in babysitter. I panicked because the man was watching porn the night before I left in the room next to mine and I was afraid he was going to come in my room and try something. Again, I may have been crazy but I do think he had a problem with pornography because anytime I would try to use my computer I would get pop-ups to sites that were “inappropriate” to say the least. I also could not believe that he would cheat on his wife because she was gorgeous. She was from some other country, and had dark features, dark skin, hair and eyes. I thought she was beautiful and also a very spiritual person as well.
One of the best nights I had there was going to this guys house, whose name was ‘Moses’ and participating in a worship circle. I danced in the middle and played the drum a little and I felt free and had fun too. I didn’t drink alcohol when I was there in KC. I tried to get a job and failed at that so I left without warning. I forgot to mention that when I first got there to Kansas City that a few days later Andrew called to see how I was doing, and it felt like he was being more nosy then actual caring about me. I told him that I was doing ok, as I drank my coffee at the coffee shop and stared at a picture on the wall of a bride and groom longing to be with him, wishing that things had worked out between us. Also, my former roommate called me, the one that I left without telling when I was leaving b/c honestly I didn’t really know. But anyhoo, she either texted me or called me I’m not sure and wanted to know what to do with all my stuff that I left. I didn’t want to burden anyone by asking them to go get it for me so I told her to get rid of it or sell it. She did not ask me anything else but that, “What do you want me to do with your stuff?” I hung up the phone and cried. Cried over my belongings that I was never going to get back then realized it’s just stuff and I can live without it.
So, I left my “dream” my “purpose” my “calling” behind just like that. I let this man that I was fearful of ruin my plan to be in “The Call” I didn’t want to put over 1,000 either to pay the tuition so in a way I didn’t trust that it was the right thing to do. I regret leaving Kansas City that day. Early in the morning, I tried to sneak out without anyone at the house seeing me, I was not going to say good-bye to my new friends because I didn’t want to answer any questions. As I was in my car about to pull out of the drive way, I saw him. He opened the door and was walking towards me and I just froze. He asked me where I was going and if I was leaving and I said “yes” and when he asked why I didn’t give him an answer, I may have said I don’t know or I just have to but I didn’t give a very good explanation. Good Bye Kansas City. Good Bye Future.