A series of ex’s and the debacles, er, relationships which helped shape my deranged look on life.
Chapter One: The Now I’ll Never Be a Teen Model! Boy(friend)
In the oppressive and suffocating halls of high school my self-esteem took daily suicidal leaps. My girlfriends always had a boyfriend, or boys waiting for them, or boys just wanting to be around them. Each remarkable in some way: pretty, super smart, funny, witty – you get the point. I’m not sure what I contributed to the group besides a sullen demeanor. I showed up every day despising this part of my life. I wanted nothing more than to skip high school and move FAR AWAY to college. I was very quiet which translates to shy/bitchy/stuck up in the language of teenagers. Each of my lovely friends found themselves in “serious” relationships throughout those formative years. I always ended up the extra one. No dates to dances for me. Cry me a fucking sappy river.
My first experience with a BOY was with the White Rapper Wanna Be. He was a Player and I thought I could change him, get him to fall for me, repent his womanizing ways. His combination of charm and roguish behavior allowed him to be my first major crush; in fact several of my friends crushed on him. He would be the first to break my heart, the first boy I would cry over, and the first to create a pattern of the male species who wove in and out of my life. He gets this mention and nothing more.
High school was a nefarious cancer that only grew more malignant with each year. I will never understand why people start rumors but suddenly in my junior year I was accused of starting rumors about various girls. For some reason I was targeted. Quiet does not equal passive. Home life was like tip-toeing through fields of landmines, wondering if my parents would be treating me or each other like shit that night, wondering what I would find when I arrived home. Bullet holes through my bedroom wall one day, the yard on fire another, fists through walls, and a few shoving matches with Pops pepper the ongoing verbal matches. It was completely exhausting. I found myself getting into trouble for things I never did both at home and at school. Fights were everywhere I went, screaming at home, and passive-aggressive bitchy-ness at school, repeat. Thank GOD for my close girlfriends and their families during those years!
Thus emerges Trey, the Party-Girl, the Cool-Girl. Trey was a full-on dancing goddess (I was SUCH a fabulous dancer!), drama-seeking, drink-till-you-puke, blackout drunk. I was 16 and I didn’t give a fuck about much (an ongoing trend over the years.) My best friend, Sixer, and I ruled parties back then. Our mantra FUBAR clear as we brazenly stole beer from one party to take to the better party, slip a bag of weed into our pocket and claim to the owner it must have fallen to the ground, (What? Us? Steal? *flutter eye lashes, pout lips* We would never do that!) and ended our nights by drunkenly racing home to meet curfew – but not before pulling over on a country road to pee, puke, and polish. If only the horrid hoard at my high school saw my alternate personality perhaps they would have looked at me differently, but I restricted Trey to the weekends and only bestowed her presence to my close friends, kids from other high schools, and the local college boys.
My mother always threatened to send me to therapy but she never followed through. I would have liked to go to therapy back then and let someone know of the endless, crazy thoughts that filled my head. It would have been the correct, motherly, concerned way to handle my severe mood swings; however, my mom was not motherly during those years. I’ll self-diagnose; I had mild depression with episodes of acute anxiety. The hope of getting out of that shitty little town kept me going.
Senior year I met the Now I’ll Never be a Teen Model! boy [this name brought to you by one of those open casting calls, read more about one of our brief brushes with the likes of models on ViCariously Speaking] at a party in his apartment. My parents kicked me out after graduation forcing me to live from couch to couch, then to my car, then to the Days Inn. It wasn’t too long before TM, a couple of friends, and I got an apartment together. 18 years old and living with 3 boys = nonstop party. Teen Model is a good guy, caring, even if he was overly jealous. That’s on me, though, I didn’t give him much reason to trust me. I cheated on TM with the Sliding Glass Door guy. Sliding Glass Door; we could see each other, occasionally slide the door open to connect, but the door always slid closed. I did care about him and honestly thought for a while we’d end up together.
My best friend and partner in crime took the high road and went into the military, life took SGD to Chicago, and TM and I moved 800 miles to Baton Rouge. Moving away did not cure my depression. The boy was miserable in the south and he refused to make friends which made it more isolating. Two months later I had my first attempt at dying at the age of 20. A lot of pills, a bottle of vodka, an ambulance ride, a lovely charcoal drink, and a 72 hour hold in a state-run scary-as-hell mental hospital later and TM sticks with me. I start taking our relationship more seriously.
Of course it was just a mistake! Didn’t realize I took the whole pack of cold medicine with that bottle of vodka, I was too drunk to remember! Of course I don’t want to die! It was stupid and yes, I will definitely quit drinking so much!
I can’t tell you much about those four years; my friend alcohol has smothered a lot of those brain cells. I do know that our winter visit back to the Midwest ended with the knowledge that he and his “best friend” Anna revealed they loved each other. He wanted to stay and work it out with me but the thought of TM touching Anna, a drug-addled woe-is-me girl who I thought was my friend as well, would not dissipate. I couldn’t get past it. It was my excuse to revert to Party-Girl Trey and repeatedly cheat on a boy who at that point was only a roommate. He packed up and moved back to the Midwest while I stayed in Baton Rouge.
This is not to disparage TM. He is a good man and after a few years of figuring ourselves out he remains one of my oldest and dearest friends. We had and continue to have a solid friendship and compatible love; I wish him the best in life.
Something switched in my brain after my first suicide attempt. I remember the feeling of calmly drifting; I could hear my heart beat slower and slower, my breath getting shallow, darkness blurring the edges. I didn’t think about how big a disappointment I was to my family, I didn’t think about if boys loved me, and it was wonderful. I craved that calm. I lived recklessly, ignored peril hoping to stumble upon that calm by “accident”. I stumbled off stages and down stairs instead. Oh, and I stumbled into love.
I was in college, worked two jobs, and partied until the sun came up. And I didn’t want to live. I created chaos to drown out the beast screaming inside me.
The Now I’ll Never Be a Teen Model boy(friend) never had a chance.
*Next in this series: Chapter Two: The Ghost, a.k.a. the Good Doctor.
Thank you for sharing in my crazy, friends. Grammatical errors abound, yes.