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.
RIP-Carrie Fisher 12/27/16.
I think I was in Indiana went I left off. Still on my way to Columbus, OH I decided to stop for lunch in Terre Haute, IN at Subway. I was lonely eating all by myself. I would pretend that Jesus was with me but it was difficult to imagine him sitting there talking to me. I bought some incense at the Indian Store the day before in IL and thought I was going to burn it before God in some special place but I was warned not to burn it because it would not be pleasing to God and I was afraid of making God angry so I through the incense away. I remember day dreaming about finding a large field where a community of people lived together in smaller groups, like “tribes” with different purposes etc. I guess at the time I wanted to find a commune or something to live in but instead I found a KOA Camp Ground nearby and rented a little cabin there by myself. It was nice and quiet and I sat in the swing on the porch and enjoyed being in nature. I enjoyed it as much as I could being as emotionally and mentally disturbed as I was. I went inside the cabin and it had a bed and a bunk bed. I took a mattress off of one of the beds and laid there in the floor when I heard a knock at the door. It was a lady from the front desk bringing me a welcome package. I took it and thanked her. I thought it strange that she would bring me something nice. Inside the bag were cookies and some other stuff but the only thing I remember is in a tiny ziplock bag there was a marble with a little piece of paper that said something about “losing your marbles” but still having one left. Ha ha, how appropriate. I was a little bit paranoid because I wondered if I looked strange to people that I met along the way being a white female, traveling alone in my 20’s. I slept a lot that day and all night and the next day I got a shower and later on I checked out. One thing that I failed to mention was that I had two boys on my mind when I was there at the cabin. I wished that one of them was traveling with me because we went to the same church for a while and he knew about IHOP and The Call as well and most people don’t have a clue what the International House of Prayer is in Kansas City. The other guy, I had been talking to on facebook for a while until he finally asked me out on a date. We went out one time, talked regularly on the phone and saw each other a few times after that before he broke it off with me. I was devastated at the time this happened, back in September of 2008. It hurt me. I did not expect to react the way I did but I took it hard and was angry at him and at myself for being angry and taking it so hard. I think that this rejection is what led to my downward spiral into a deep dark depression that I mentioned previously and that lasted for months before I turned manic. I was still angry at him, I was so angry that I hated him and did not want to have any feelings for him good or bad. I knew that I was supposed to forgive him and move on but I have always had a really hard time doing that. I was reading in the Bible out of the Song of Solomon and pretending that it was written to me, speaking to me and calling me to “Come Away.” I looked out the window of the cabin and felt that I was at a crossroads at that point. Should I go back to Kansas City, my original destination or continue my journey to Columbus. I decided to go to KC as planned. So once again, I turned around and headed back towards Missouri. I stopped a few times along the way. The first time I stopped was to throw away the sun visor for my car that the guy I dated had given to me for my birthday. I was “getting rid of him” as I chunked it into the air. Then the second time I stopped was to call my future husband, Josh and to eat lunch. I went to this country restaurant that was famous for it’s pies I think and I ate in the restaurant as I made the call. He answered and I was nervous to talk to him but tried not to feel uncomfortable. I pretended like he was sitting there having lunch with me and we talked. I told him about going to Columbus and that is when I found out that he had no connections there and I never called him again. After a good lunch, I drove all the way back to St. Louis, passing through for the third time now. I recognized the city by now and it felt good to see the familiar bridges and the famous Arc. I decided to go there to the Arc and imagined that my friend that I wish had been on the trip with me was going to miraculously meet me there at the Arc in KC. By this time, I had completely lost sight of reality. I was living in some kind of dream world that did not seem real. I found a parking deck close by the Arc and walked to the entrance to buy a ticket. I looked around, no sign of Jeff. I walked around the museum and it was actually very interesting. I felt like a pioneer as I looked at the Lois and Clark expedition and related to Pocahontas as I looked at the Native American exhibit. I was morphing into some imaginary character, reinventing myself so to speak. I made my way up the elevator into the Arc, feeling anxious to get up there and see from way up high. I had to get inside this weird elevator thing with some other people to ride to the top. At the top there were windows all around and we were so high up I could feel the wind making it sway a bit. It was not scary to me and I stared out the window, changing from one side to the other, looking at anything and everything I could, just taking it all in. I took some pictures on my phone from up there. There was no sign of Jeff, so as I came back down “to earth” and left the museum I walked around a bit and smoked a cigarette with a lady that I met at the park. I didn’t smoke but I used to. I just thought I would smoke since she was smoking and she gave me a cigarette. We went our separate ways and as it was getting dark I walked back to my car, my temporary home, a 2003 Silver Honda Accord. To be continued…
I am on the road. Feeling good. Better than I have felt in a long time. I felt FREE, so free. No job to go to. Traveling Alone. Endless possibilities. Driving, driving and more driving. On the way to Kansas City (KC), I made a few pit stops and got lost along the way. A day’s journey took me a week to get there. The morning I left Alabama, after the first night I slept in my car during the thunderstorm I called my best friend. She lived in Mississippi and I called her and told her that I was on my way to KC and could I come by and visit. She said I could so I drove to her house and stayed with her for a night or two. She lived at her father’s house with him and was taking care of him because he had a liver disease and was not in good health. I made it to her house and stayed with her overnight. Sunday morning I woke up to it snowing outside. We enjoyed playing in the snow that day. We build little snowman and had a snowball fight. I may have spent one more night and maybe I left later that evening. I can’t remember. I impulsively told her that I had to go, now, and I could not stay any longer and she tried to talk me into staying another night because the weather was bad but I would not listen and drove away as it was getting dark. At the time, she did not think I was mental, out of my mind, and I thought I knew what I was doing too and that I was in control but I was not. I had lost control and was acting on impulse and urges inside of me that were so strong I could not be held back or contained to one place. I had to GO. I drove through Memphis that night and instead of going towards Missouri I ended up in Jackson, MS around midnight with no where to go. I looked for a place that was open 24 hrs. like a laundry mat or something since I did have dirty clothes to wash. I went to downtown Jackson in the middle of the night and it was like a ghost town. There was nothing open, it was mostly office buildings so I found a Whataburger restaurant and went inside and tried to use my old computer. It did not work. I had nothing to do but sit and eat. I ordered a salad I think and I got a couples attention that came inside because I looked down to them. The man came over and asked me if I was alright and I don’t remember what I said. He asked me if I wanted to follow them to where they were staying in a hotel and told me that there was a bar nearby in walking distance from the hotel. I followed them there in my car and went to the bar with the guy. The girl stayed in the hotel playing computer games, she did not want to go. So I took my dinner and he brought his over the bar and as we walked inside some people were coming out that were fighting and I was a little scared. I went in and ate. He ate too and I did not drink that night, but I played some pool with strangers. It was fun I guess, I didn’t expect to be there and after we left he said I was welcome to stay there but there was no bed and I would have to sleep in the chair so I did. I also washed some of my dirty clothes at the laundry room there at the motel. I got up early the next morning and left for my destination. He tried to talk me into staying longer but I told him I had to go. I drove some more and made it all the way to St. Louis as the sun was going down. I thought Oh no, I am losing daylight and I don’t know where to go in this city. I parked in a lot and walked the street by a Catholic Church and Monastery but it did not look like anyone was there so I got back in my car and found a Panera Bread. I went to Panera Bread and hung out for a while, resting. This was before I had an Iphone, just had a regular flip phone at the time so I could not use a GPS on my phone to get to KC but was using Mapquest on the internet. Again, I could not get my computer to work so I talk to someone about how to get there…I think that’s what I asked him but my memory is kindof cloudy. I think at that point I was a bit sleep deprived. I decided I was going to drive the rest of the way to KC but I didn’t make it very far. I parked in downtown St. Louis close to the Riverwalk and found a restaurant/bar that I knew would be open late. I went in and sat by myself and ordered something to eat. A couple came in, strangers, and I asked if they wanted to join me so they did. They ordered some food and we ate together and had a casual conversation. Both of them had just got off work, they worked together and were on a date. After dinner, they asked if I wanted to go to a bar that was right down the street so I went along. I started drinking beer. Then another. And another…and after a while I was not ready to leave but they were leaving. I thought oh great! I can’t stay here by myself so I went back to my car and drove. BAD JUDGMENT! I had been drinking and was not driving on the interstate. The entire time I was driving I knew I should not be but just kept going. I ended up pulling over at a Travelodge just outside of KC early early in the a.m. I did not get any sleep but I think I took a shower. I was not sure if I was going to stay for one or two nights so I paid for two but only stayed one. I was so close to my destination that I even called the one person, Rachel, that I had meet in KC from my previous trip and told her that I was “on my way, I was moving there and needed somewhere to live.” She did not tell me that I could stay with her right away but had to talk to her roomates and I thought O great, now I have nowhere to stay and I was thinking I could stay with her again until I found a more permanent place. She probably thought it was strange that I called her and said I was moving there out of the blue like that and was not prepared, just like I was not prepared to move either. I got out this book, called, well I can’t remember exactly but it was about the US and had prophecies for every state that I was reading and taking very seriously and was using the book as my “guide” and for “purpose” along the way. I opened it up and read about the state of Ohio and after reading that page changed my mind and thought that I was supposed to go to C0lumbus, Ohio which was in the opposite direction. So I leave the hotel and instead of making the short drive to Kansas City I head back in the other direction towards St. Louis, on my way to Columbus. What was in Columbus I don’t know but I wanted to go there because it was very important that I go there because I was SPECIAL, extraordinary. I felt envinsable. Keep in mind that I had not had a full night’s sleep in over 3 days. I do not get very far and see “a sign” for a camping ground called, Lazy Days and I had to stop there. Along the way I had been following “signs” that were speaking directly to me so I would know where to go. I went inside the place and I didn’t see anyone inside the little store so I think I got a cup of coffee and went to the desk and asked if I could stay to the man that worked there and he said sure, you can park your car anywhere behind the building and I don’t think he made me pay him anything. I stayed there in my car all day, having a good ole time just piddling with stuff I had brought with me, writing post cards to people and I felt quite creative that day. It was peaceful and it was also the last dose of medication I had left to take before I was completely off the Lamictal, which is a mood stabilizer. I planned to sleep there and when it became dark I called ‘a friend’ named Anthony. I didn’t call Anthony normally but I did because it was very important that a get a phone number from him because I thought God had revealed that that Anthony’s friend was my future husband. I was also believing that my own thoughts, or delusional thinking were revelations from God. He gave me the number and asked where I was and I told him. Later I found out that he was concerned about me and called my best friend to find out what was going on. After talking to him I did not call Josh, that was my future husband’s name, right then but was going to wait until I got closer to Columbus because after all he was from Ohio and surely would have some connections in Columbus. Well, when I did call him, which was a couple of days later, he said he did not know anyone there and I just played it cool like everything was fine and did not say anything to him about my “revelation” that he was my husband because that was crazy and I did not want him to think I was crazy. Anyway, so I am at the Lazy Days Campground and I notice that I am the only car out there and start getting worried that I am not safe. There was a camper or two out there but it appeared that they had been there for a while. I started getting confused and then intense fear came over me and I was afraid that I was going to get hurt so I left that place as fast as I could, driving in the middle of the night, as usual, and made it all the way past St. Louis and into Illinois. My maintenance light came on in my car and I was concerned that something was wrong with my car so I looked for a place to stop. I ended up getting off the interstate and parking in a small lot next to a Native American Store. I was interested in Native American culture so I slept in my car, with the car off and cuddled up in my North Face jacket and tried to get some sleep. It was cold! Even though it was the first week in March it was very very cold that year. I was relieved to see the sun rise the next day but the store would not be open for a while so I drove to get a soda, a Coca-Cola, to be exact. There was a rest stop, ha, like a mile or so up so I went inside and got a Coke out of the drink machine and then I drove a little further down to a gas station to get gas and went inside to eat some breakfast. It was a good breakfast. I had not eaten a big meal like that in a while. I felt energized and ready for the day. I remembered that I needed to take my car someplace to have it inspected since the light had come on so I sat in the gas station for a little while trying to find a place in the phone book. I was growing impatient so I left and went back to the Native American store down the highway and waited until they opened. I went inside and this store was huge and it had an upstairs. I asked the lady working there if she knew of a place that I could take my car and she recommended a place around the corner so I went, they looked at it and did not think it was anything to worry about but did not really give me a good explanation either so I thought, what the heck, they told me not to worry so I’m not going to. I went back to the store, looked around for a while, bought a little glass bird and a key chain and asked the lady working there if I was close to Columbus because that is where I was going and was not sure how much further it was. I think she told me that Columbus was not close because I remembered sighing because I was getting tired of driving. So I drove on and went through Illinois and into Indiana. I stopped in Terre Haute, IN.
I had my first full blown manic episode in March 2009. I had this idea, or false belief, which later I learned is called being delusional that I had a calling to go to Kansas City and join a ministry called “The Call” with the International House of Prayer. After I went to a conference the year before in Montgomery and watch a short video about it I wanted to join. I think I was desperate to be a part of something big, something special and important. I felt so strongly about going that know one could have talked me out of it because I would not have listened, in fact I didn’t listen to my family when they tried to talk me out of it. I thought I had to go or I would not be doing what I was supposed to be doing. I left my apartment the night and I set out on my journey to move from AL to Kansas City, MO. My adrenaline was pumping and I had no idea what I was doing but thought that I did. My car was jam packed full of my stuff but I had to leave most things behind and did not care at the time or know what I was going to do with it because I did not plan on coming back. I was listening to a voice in my mind telling me that I would die if I went back into that apartment and got anything else. So I left, in the dark, driving. I got lost. I was not even driving North, I was just driving as if the car was driving me and I ended up sleeping in my car that night, at a place called Tannehill State Park. Along the way, before I made it to Tannehill I drove into a trailer park and knocked on a stranger’s door asking if anyone told him that I was coming? thinking that God was going before me and he would speak to the person telling them I was coming before I showed up. How crazy is that? And dangerous! The man said no but he asked if I wanted to come in so I did. I sat down with him and I remember being a little afraid but not too bad however, I knew that I needed to go. He told me some things about his family and about his grandchild who was sick, I think he had diabetes or something like that. I remember that I prayed with the man and when he asked if I wanted to stay I told him that I was not. I left the trailer park after knocking on another door but the man who answered this time scared me so I left as quick as I could. The security guard at the park told me that there were not any cabins available except one but that he was still waiting on them to show up but let me park there and stay in my car. That night it poured down rain, hard. It rained so hard it looked like I was in one of those drive through car washes, buckets and buckets of water being poured down. I don’t think I slept very much at all, and when morning came I brushed my teeth outside my car with water from a water bottle and thought about where I was going, then suddenly remembered that I had plans today to babysit.
ok, so I am a little disappointed that I don’t have any views or likes or followers by now but it’s ok. So I am writing today for me.
Since Christmas is coming up, I will write about my worst Christmas. All I can remember is that I tried to leave the house on Christmas Day and she was blocking the door and would not move and we were arguing. I remember slapping her in the face. It was the first time I had ever gotten physical with anyone. I’m sure it was something that she said that set me off. In that moment, I was angry, hurt, blamed for everything that went wrong and I was getting tired of her verbal abuse. I left the house so upset because of what I had done and cried and cried and cried some more all day, alone, in my apartment. It was on Christmas Day, my younger sister saw the fight and I was so in the moment that I forgot she was there, witnessing the entire thing. I felt sorry that she had to hear all the arguing and fighting between my mother and I because she was 12 years younger than me at the time. I think I was around 25 or 26 so she was a teenager, 13 years old or close to it. I think that was the one and only time I actually hit her. I felt bad. I remember sitting on my bed for hours, emotionally disturbed and no one was there but me, alone in my sorrow.
Now, my 20’s were the most difficult time for me. I graduated college when I was 20. I was so depressed on my 21st birthday because it was not your typical 21st birthday drinking party. In fact, I had no friends to celebrate with because 2 years before that I had broken up with my boyfriend, Daniel and he was my only friend and I always hung out with his friends and had no friends of my own. I deeply regretted breaking up with him for years and years. I think I missed him so much that my heart was broken for so long. Thinking back to that day, it was for a stupid reason. He was sick. I didn’t want to go to Walmart for him and buy him medicine. We had been together for 2 years and during those 2 years I had the time of life, although I was drinking and using drugs during those 2 years which I think made it seem better than it really was. I had grown discontent with life and was thinking about being a senior in college the following year. I had no plans for the future after graduation. I did not had a clue what I wanted to do with my life. Daniel lived in a trailer and I didn’t want to live in a trailer for the rest of my life. He was not in college like I was so I guess in a way I thought myself better than him. My mom had told me that I needed to marry someone that had the same level of education as I did. But he was not studious at all. He was able to work and make money building fences so that is what he did. He wanted to start his own fencing company which I was supportive of but really was unsure if he was going to be successful or not. He turned out to be successful that I was happy for him. My mom did not think he was good enough for me. I loved him very much and had spent all my time with him during my sophomore and junior year at Auburn. I lived with him even though I had a place of my own I never stayed there. We slept together every night and were intimate with one another every night. My mother called me a whore one time when I was home visiting. I did not talk to my parents or see them much at all during my college years. I stayed away for a while because I was using drugs and drinking every weekend. I did not talk to my dad at all or see him for years because we had grown apart ever since he had gotten remarried when I was in 5th or 6th grade. My mom was busy working all the time and raising her youngest child so she was focused on my sister throughout my high school and college years.
I don’t even know how to begin. When she found out that I had bipolar disorder her reaction was now we know what is wrong with you. I didn’t react the same way because I didn’t want to be labeled “bipolar” and did not accept that I was and thought “No, I am not bipolar!” The psychiatrist is wrong, this can’t be true. Before, my severe episode of depression, which I described in my first submission, my mother and I were talking on the phone and she said something to me, I don’t remember what it was but I was so pissed off that I threw my cell phone so hard against the floor that it broke into pieces. “Shattered” all over the floor and I didn’t care. I left it on the floor, went into my bedroom and shut the door, vowing that I was cutting her off for good.
My roommate came home to find a phone shattered on the floor and called out “Ashley, are you ok?” and I answered “yes, I’m fine” with no further explanation. I opened the door and picked up the pieces of my phone that I had left in the hallway.
Of course, this was not the first time my mom had said something that angered me. I got angry at her when I was in high school and she refused to let me go with my boyfriend’s family to his Marine bootcamp graduation that was in North Carolina. We had been writing back and forth all summer and he would call me once and a while. I was really not all that attracted to him but we had been dating since I was a freshman in high school and he was a senior. I don’t know why she allowed me to date him in the first place because he was too old for my anyway, but I guess she figured I would do what I wanted anyway, with or without her approval. I had always been boy crazy since first grade. I liked the attention and in my diary I would write a list of the boys I liked in order. I had boyfriends, several of them, throughout elementary school and middle school. I became promiscuous in middle school, my 6th grade year but I will go more into that later. My parents divorced when I was four or five so I think that had a lot to do with my attention-seeking from boys.
So back to my relationship in high school with Jesse, my first serious boyfriend. He was four years older than me and about 5 or 10 minutes down the road from my house. I had broken up with his friends, younger brother, Chris, who was in 8th grade to go out with an “older guy” because I was being teased for dating Chris. So I went with Jesse, and I was popular and got to hang out with the older boys in school and my friends and I would party with them on weekends. I started drinking my freshman year of high school. I was already ashamed of myself for the things I had done in middle school with boys so drinking was my way of coping with my shame and embarrassment. I drank all throughout my high school years with my friends. We liked to go to drinking parties and use our fake I.D.’s to go to bars when we were only 16 years old. My mother let me stay with my friends on the weekends and I didn’t like being at home with my mom and stepdad so I was happy to stay gone as much as possible. I preferred to be at my friends’ houses than mine because they had a nicer house than I did. I was embarrassed of the house I lived in because it was old and ugly. I hated that house and did not want to live there but had to until I graduated from high school.
In high school, I played volleyball and was a pretty good athlete. I made decent grades, not great but I at least kept a B average. I tried to fit in with everyone even though I was in the popular group and my friends were the “prettiest” in the school. I was pretty or so I thought but I was self-conscious, especially about my large boobs and my weight. Out of all my friends I was the biggest one and I wore a 7-8. I never felt pretty enough or skinny enough because I was always comparing myself to other girls. I was on the volleyball team my junior year and at a meeting with our coach I admitted to smoking cigarettes. I could have lied but I was honest about it and my coach ended up punishing me for it by not allowing me to play in a tournament the following weekend. I was upset because I didn’t want to sit out of the game so I quit and went to a college football game with my boyfriend instead, because I thought that would be more fun. I was not really that happy so anything to have “fun” I was all for it, even if it was destructive. I went to my first Auburn University football game with Jesse instead of my volleyball tournament. My coach tried to talk me into coming back on the team but I refused because I was still upset and I was not enjoying it as much as I did in 9th and 10th grade because she was letting a younger girl play “setter” which was my position and I got moved to back row. I was good at playing back row and I was too short to play on the front row and I was too proud to come back on the team. I regret quitting when I enjoyed playing the sport and had been doing so since 6th grade. None of my friends were on the volleyball team because they were either cheerleaders or on the dance team. I was a good dancer, I used to make up dances in elementary school. Dance is something that I was born to do so I tried out for the dance team and made it. So my Senior year I joined the dance team and that boosted my self-esteem, even though I was still fat.
I had some problems with friends my senior year after Jesse and I broke up. I don’t even remember why we broke up but he was “my first” yes, I lost my virginity when I was 14 y/o and he was 18 y/o which I think is illegal but I was willing. So anyway, he started dating another girl on the dance team and this caused problems for my social life with my friends because now they started hanging out with them and leaving me out of social gatherings and such. I think it was the first time I felt rejection from my peers. However, I had already experienced it with my own parents, especially my father when he divorced my mom, moved out of the house, got remarried to my stepmom, who had two children already and basically my dad had another family at that point and I was not longer important to him anymore or so I felt. I now realize that my parents divorce, remarriages and the birth of my two half-sister has had a huge impact on my life, and not a good one either. So let me get back to talking about my relationship with my mother….to be continued.