Sunday, December 26, 2010


Someone on SMITH had the wonderful idea to create a compilation of the community- backstories, poetry, and conversations. I thought it was a wonderful idea and decided to contribute my backstory. It may not be as heartrenching as some of them may be, but it's my story. And I've decided to share it with you guys.

Where do I even start? I suppose it makes sense to start from the beginning, right? Well, I'm an only child, always have been, always will be. There have been many times where I wished I had a sibling or two, but my mom had complications with her second pregnancy and can no longer have children. But I've found sibling replacements. My little sister is my neighbor who I've known since I was five and she was three. We played together almost every day during the summer and have endless memories. But since she went to the Catholic school and I went to the public school, we had different school lives. We would always get into fights that lasted all of about five hours and then we'd go back to being best friends. And that's still how we are. I also have a surrogate older brother who I can talk to about pretty much anything.
I remember in kindergarten seeing a particular girl and saying "I want to be her friend" and lo and behold, we became best friends. I considered her my best friend all the way up until high school, but again, that comes later. During our best friend years, we did pretty much everything together from vacations to sleepovers to birthday parties to halloween and everything in between.
Now, I could never say truthfully that I am good with dates and timelines and the like. So I'll just throw this part in here, since I'm not entirely sure where each fit in with the sequencing of my life. I have dealt with a fair amount of death in my 18 years.
First was my cousin. I remember my mom getting the call in the middle of the night saying that she had been in a car crash. She had been with her older sister's boyfriend and a few other people going to a party. They got into a crash and her sister's boyfriend died on the scene, my cousin died later at the hospital. I remember the funeral, or rather the part before the funeral looking at the caskets. I couldn't quite understand why they were closed. She was only fifteen. I only have two or three real memories of her.
Then my neighbor. He was walking on the road coming home from (or going to, I don't quite remember) a friend's house. A drunk driver hit him and sent him flying into the ditch. The cross was there for years. Me and my sister got on the bus at the same stop as him and he was always nicer than his brother, letting us go ahead of him. I remember his wake and how I didn't cry until we got to the casket. His face was black and blue and he had on his black shirt with flames on it. I burst into tears and his mother held me until I calmed down. He was only fifteen too.
Then my aunt. I don't remember a whole lot about this death, but I know she had a brain tumor. I think she may have had a stroke or two too. What I remember most about her is her garden and her artisticness. Whenever we went to visit her, we always walked around her garden. It was so pretty, I could walk around there forever or just sit and watch the fish in the coy pond. She was a quilter and a potter. She helped me make a pot or two and I remember all the women working on the giant picture quilt we made for Grandma and Grandpa for their aniversary.
Then my Grandpa. He was always the quiet one and I never really connected with him. He sat on the couch, doing word searches, smoking his pipe, and watching tv. I was always excited when he went to bed or took his nap because that was when I got control of the tv and they had cable and we didn't. What a self centered little girl I was. He died of a heart attack. The ambulance was actually called for my Gandma but he was the one who went in and eventually died. She died last year, but I'll get to that later.
So I had to deal with a lot of death. But to be honest, I wasn't super close with any of these people. So none of it affected me particularly a lot.
So I'm about up till high school. This is when my best friend and I started to drift apart. A new girl had come to school and we befriended her. She seemed nice enough and I liked her. But as high school went on, those two started to ignore me. They were both loud and outgoing, while I was the quiet reserved one.
When this started happening in 9th grade, I started to try to find a new best friend. I found a guy who I really got along with and could tell pretty much anything to. The only thing was he was sort of into bad stuff like drinking and pot and whatnot. He wanted us to date, and I told him I would only if he didn't do any of that stuff. He promised he wouldn't, so we tried dating. But we were from different worlds, and he broke it off because of it. We stayed friends, but it was never the same. He's since fallen deeper into the bad stuff, and I pray that he finds his way out.
Here's where it starts to get confusing, so I will use initials. Then at the end of freshman year, I started talking to a new guy, S. He was a year older than me, but he liked me and I liked him. So we dated for three and a half months. I was happy at the beginning. But then everything started to go wrong. I have absolutely no idea why to this day, but I didn't want to be alone with him. I would make excuses and we'd get in fights. I decided to end it before he could, but that hardly solved my problems. I still liked him. We almost got back together winter of my sophomore year, but he didn't want that. He didn't like me like that anymore. Except for the physical part. We still messed around and I went with it because it was better than nothing. I thought I loved him and started to get obsessed. We fought all the time and I thought I was getting depressed, though I was never diagnosed.
I tried to get over him by getting a new boyfriend, D. It worked for a little while, but my mind kept going back to S. I convinced myself that I needed closure and cheated on D. I couldn't live with myself knowing what I did and broke it off with D, hurting both him and myself.
A lot of stuff was going on in my life at this point. The whole losing my long-time best friend thing, the S thing, the supposed depression, my sister was starting to get into drinking and the like, I was struggling with my faith, and my family was having financial troubles because my dad was losing his jobs. My Grandma died on Valentine's Day of pancreatic cancer and I never got to say goodbye to her. I was putting on a mask at school, pretending to be who I thought they wanted to see. There was one night in the summer that I drank at D's house. Not enough to get drunk, just tipsy. I regretted it the next day.
One night on impulse took a mechanical pencil to my arm. I listened to the same song nineteen times, all the while scratching at my arm, trying to draw blood. It sort of worked, glistening with blood, but not dripping like I wanted. I texted my friend and she convinced me to stop. I told S because I thought he'd pay attention to me and care like I wanted him to. Instead of caring, he got mad and pushed me away again. I was sick of him treating me like shit and tried multiple times to rid myself of him, but always went back.
I was starting to find better friends. They liked me for me and included me, unlike my other friends. I grew particularly close to one, J, and we tried dating, though it didn't work out. We both agreed that we should have stayed friends and he is now my best friend. He's struggling with depression and I try to be there for him however I can.
S is now in college, and I have virtually deleted him from my life. I unfollowed his twitter, deleted his number from my phone, and unfriended him on facebook. I'm friends with his new girlfriend but do not associate with him. When I am forced to spend time with him through our mutual friends, I simply ignore him like he did me for so long.
I have an amazing boyfriend, A, who is better to me than S ever was. I have better friends and can deal with my feelings more constructively through writing and talking to my boyfriend. I have constant fears that no one really likes me and A and I will end up like S and I did, but I'm working through those. I may not have the highest self esteem and sometimes I think about not eating to cut down on my weight, but most of the time I'm content with myself. I'm starting college in the fall at my first choice school, and I couldn't be more excited to start new.
So there's my story. It's very long and probably not super interesting, but it's my story.

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