Wednesday, July 08, 2009
I finished posting the pieces of my blog "I Tried To Kill Myself"...a part of my life story with four main points I felt like I wanted to share. Thank you everyone for the amazing comments and moving notes you sent me! I'm really moved that it mattered to you.
One of the most valuable things that came out of this life-long struggle not to kill myself was realizing once and for all that I really had to learn to work with myself, not against me, if I was going to thrive in my life.
I've been thinking even more about that lately after your comments, and I'd like to say more about it.
My belief is that there's a good side and a bad side to every trait/tendency (not counting purely evil tendencies and traits like sociopathic behavior, etc.)
For example, someone who's patient? That's considered a good trait, something to strive for, right? The good side is that a patient person can wait for something to change or go away. They can be calm when there's a storm. They can find reason where nothing makes sense. They can maintain things, do repetitive tasks. Is there a bad side to patience?
My opinion is that there is. In case you haven't guessed it, I'm not patient. In fact, I'm downright impatient. Patience to me means missed opportunities, putting up with non-ideal situations, missing where the action is, in other words b.o.r.i.n.g, something I can't stand as you might have guessed. Instead, I think great ideas are born from frustration, from struggling to extract oneself from a bad situation or trying to solve a problem when someone doesn't have the patience to deal with it, from itchy, twitchy, chomping at the bit impatience.
The trick in my opinion is to figure out how to set my life up so I'm not in situations where my patience is tested in a negative way. I can't stand in line, for example, I can't wait on hold, I won't wait for 45 minutes at a restaurant for food, I don't like traffic, I don't do "slow". I can't stand to count, make copies, file, clean. So I do my best to make sure I don't end up in these situations so no one, including me, has to experience the negative side of my impatience.
As far as the positive side of impatience, I think the best use of impatience is generating chaos and forcing change. I go nuts over inefficiency and waste. I try to regularly get in situations where inefficient things are going on, as long as there's some way, some opportunity for me to change the process or situation that causes the inefficiency, or at least learn an intense amount from it. For example, in my business, I've been automating code production for the past few months because I'm absolutely insane with frustration that things are being done over and over with only minor changes each time. Why not set the process up to take the minor changes into consideration while automating for them and all the rest? Of course now I'm getting extremely impatient that it takes so long and so much detailed patience to automate the code! :) Go figure.
Anyway, it's not about the amazing ability to be completely impatient in a positive way. :) The point here is that I think it's important to:
1) really know who you are without making excuses one way or the other
2) figure out the good and bad sides of each of your major traits and tendencies
3) set your life up so the bad side of the trait doesn't have the opportunity to negatively impact your life.
4) set your life up so the positive side of the trait benefits you and anyone else you want it to benefit with minimal negative impact.
I have a visualization in my head about all this.
My life, my traits and tendencies, who I become, how I grow is a journey. There's roads on it, which I think of as my traits and there's impenetrable forests, which I think of as all the things I'm not. Everyone has different roads, and different forests. My road isn't necessarily yours, and you wouldn't get lost in my forest, because you'd see a clear road there.
It is a journey, you definitely can't just sit there. You're going to change whether you want to or not. It's one of the few certain things in life.
There's definitely value in exploring the impenetrable forest, which in my mind with patience as the example trait, would be TRYING to be patient, TRYING to sit still, be quiet, stand in line, or go slow. There's lessons to be learned for sure (like how NOT to do it again. :)
But if I beat my way through the impenetrable forest of things I'm not and never will be, it's going to be a long, hard road, and I'm going to wear out fast. I'll be lost in the dark, my light won't shine. My gifts won't be used because they're not available or visible to me or anyone else in the impenetrable forest of traits-that-don't-suit-me.
So rather than spending the time in the impenetrable forest trying to be something other than me, it's better to get on the road using the traits I do have. Sure, it has hills and bumps. Certainly there's some compromises, for example, of fostering the impatience I have. As I said in one of my earlier blogs, I don't spend time on small chit-chat, I tend to say what's on my mind so we can move forward. That can definitely be a bump when I run into someone who WANTS that small chit-chat, or who's offended when I don't do that. Or when I get frustrated in line and there's a bunch of people and situations in my way when I'm trying to haul down the theoretical road, it can be ugly. This code automation project? Why isn't it DONE already I want to know! (And I'm the one doing it!) I can get downright cranky when I can't get forward the way I want.
But in the end, it's a way easier trip on the road than thrashing my way through my impenetrable forest.
I'm just using patience as one example of a trait here. Any trait can fill in for this. What trait do YOU have that you think is negative? Hmmm???
I think it's important, as we're doing the outside work on our bodies, to do the inside work on our minds. What got us here? What don't we like about ourselves that we can find a way to work with?
It's all about how you look at it, I think. Change the way you look at it, and the journey sure changes.
Now about Sarge and the Privates. And gurlz, if this doesn't make you melt, you're hard as a rock on the inside. :)
My Dad's nickname is Sarge. He broke his back in May, and I was up there for 8 days trying to help him get stabilized. He's in a ton of pain, not eating, exhausted.
While I was in Wisconsin with him, my husband was doing lots of work to keep himself busy because he missed me bad. (sweet, right?) About 1/2 way through the week, he told me had something special for me when I got home. I guessed he had ripped out the carpet and started putting in wood floors. Nope, he said, but it's related to wood. Hm. You refinished the other side of our front doors (a beautiful Christmas gift he gave me one year.) Nope, that's not it either.
I got home, my husband had an amazing dinner cooked for me. I was emotionally and physically exhausted from the past 8 days. I was so grateful to come home to him.
After dinner, we went out on the back porch so he could show me what he did for me.
He'd planted a new tree. You have to live in Texas on rock to appreciate the work planting a tree is. A Spanish oak, no less, my favorite. He said to me: "This isn't a tribute or a memorial to your Dad. Instead, it's an aspiration. It's not the biggest tree (fitting, because my Dad only weighs 102 pounds!) But it was the absolute straightest tree I could find after looking at them all. I chose a straight tree as an aspiration for your Dad, in the hopes that he stands tall again after all he's been through."
I may have a word or two of that quote not quite right but that's pretty close.
Tears went streaking down my cheeks, and truthfully are STILL coming to my eyes over it, and my knees went weak. (and I'm not very emotional like that.) Can you imagine?? What an amazing thing for that man to do for me. I know the whole time he was choosing that tree and planting that tree, he was thinking about me trying to help my Dad, and my Dad, trying to deal with what was happening to him.
How can you not love him, eh?
So we named the tree Sarge, after my Dad, standing tall and at attention.
If you've been hanging out with me here for awhile, you might have seen all the blogs about the vines he planted and how we decided one of them was just like me, going its own way on its own schedule. I'm happy to report that my vine's base is thicker than any of the other vines and doing very well growing up that fence, thank-you-very-much.
The vines were planted to cover the backyard, the air conditioning units, etc., when you drive up to the house. In other words, they're for privacy.
My husband the other night said to me "Hey, we've got Sarge and The Privates on our land!"
Oh, my, and he's funny, too. Makes me overlook that massively patient streak he has running right through him. Heehee.
I'll write about the other amazing thing that happened after I got home later. This is enough for now. You've surely got better things to do with your time, and I gotta get back to that d*mn code automation project.
Friday, July 03, 2009
The Bottom Strikes Again, But I Win...
This is the last part of the blog I've been posting in pieces over the last week and a half or so. If you want to see the other parts, they're above this one in the list.
I wrote this all in one sitting, probably in an hour, after a run at my old high school while I was in Wisconsin helping my Dad get stabilized after breaking his back. At first, I didn't think the life story came out of me as a result of my being up there. But after I thought about it for awhile, I think LabLover was right about that. Every time I go up there, I learn and grow so much in the space of a short time. I realize how far I've come but also realize how far I have to go.
So here's the last part of that blog...I have a few others backed up behind it, so I better get this out...
In the last few years, I've gained some serious clarity and now, instead of accidentally figuring out what works based on who I am, I actively look for ways to set things up like that. That doesn't mean I don't also try to change or grow. It's not about just saying "This is how I am, too bad for everyone." But I do honor myself now instead of beating myself. I look for people that fit with me, I look for or create situations that support who I am. I had to, to survive, because the last time I hit bottom, not so long ago, it was the most serious I'd ever hit, and it lasted for years. I fantasized about getting out of here, about killing myself, almost constantly. No one knew, not even my husband. I realized I had to figure this out and fix it once and for all.
What happened that dropped my world out from under me was my estrangement from my son, and then his three tours in Iraq while we were estranged. When my son and I become completely, utterly, irrevokably estranged, when the one person I gave my whole heart to rejected me completely, the person who'd known me the longest...how could I like me? When I didn't like who he was, and I couldn't live with what he was doing, and I thought I caused it, how do I get past that? But after YEARS of hating myself over my parenting mistakes and his rejection, and a bunch of counseling, I knew I had to figure out a way to forgive myself and value myself or this time I was truly going to do it.
Over time, and after lots of obsessing, I got it. My son is an independent entity from me. Although I was a strong influence on him, and although I impacted him, as an adult, he's responsible for his own choices. It's his job to forgive whatever wrongs he perceives happened to him, in the same way we all learn to forgive our parents for not being perfect. We realize at some point they did the best they could with what they had. At the same time, I had to forgive me, too. I was a teenager when I had him. I didn't even want to keep him. I struggled with my own childhood, with situations I was in, with my inability to deal with dishonesty that translated into feeling betrayed and angry when he lied.
I also realized something else about who I am. A large part of the loss was because my heart was so tied to desperately wanting to teach, motivate and inspire him. I wanted him to soar. He could do anything if he put his mind to it. I saw that, and I saw him not doing it. I realized that my desperate attachment to him soaring was killing me. I realized we have to WANT to be taught, motivated and inspired. If he wasn't open to that, and I wanted to do that, I needed to find other ways to satisfy that desire.
So I did. I learned to do that in different ways. I took in exchange students. I went through life coach training to learn about doing that sort of thing. I started writing and public speaking.
And it healed me, because I was doing what I loved. Every time someone told me I influenced or touched them, or made a difference, it healed that gaping wound left by the person who didn't want what I thought I had to offer. It paved a new path for me. I realized that even though things didn't go exactly the way I'd planned, what I'd been through made me wiser, stronger, and gave me a story to tell others so they can learn from it.
As life always seems to have ironic, coincidental twists, my son showed back up AFTER I was okay again, just a month or so ago, after I'd finally figured it out, healed and moved on. I don't know what will happen between us. I'm okay with whatever happens because I found a way to help me move forward in spite of it all.
So what's the point of this perhaps exhaustingly long story that you've all been so amazing about reading and commenting on?
I think there's a minimum of four:
1) You can change anything you put your mind to. You simply have to put your mind to it.
2) The secret to changing things is to do it. If you need to take baby steps, take them. Alternatively, if you need to jump off a cliff (not literally) or move out of town, or dump the man, or quit the job to make the change, do it. You'll learn from it. You'll grow. It won't turn out like you think, but the sooner you move on it, the sooner you can get to where you need to be.
3) Anything you can't change? Alter your mind. Change how you look at it. That has the same effect as changing it. It's all about your viewpoint, your life "glasses", your perspective.
4) Find the positive in the negative. Find the value in what's "wrong" with you, find the value in what's happened to you. Get to know the cards you've been given really well, and then plan that hand as best as you can, even if they're not your favorite cards, the hand you wish would have been dealt. Figure out how to function, move forward and even thrive in the chaos. Learn to deal with imperfection in yourself, and in the world. It will always be there.
If I can become someone I can forgive and truly LIVE with, if I can see myself and the world in a way that helps instead of harms, after all I've done wrong, after all my mistakes (and you don't know the quarter of it)...if I can do that in spite of who I really am, there's not a reason in the world that you can't do the same. You just need to take some baby steps or a great big leap if you're up to it.
Move forward one moment, one choice, one day at a time.
Change your world by changing your mind.
Your world, and who you are in it, is up to you.
Every single person has the opportunity to make a difference in some way. I'm not religious, as I've said before. But even without a belief in here-after or things happening for a reason, I think it's a worthy goal to want to make the world a better place while I'm here. If nothing else? It makes ME happy.
And getting myself in a happy place so I could truly "live" is what it's always been about.
And that's the moral of my "life story".
NOT The End
Monday, June 29, 2009
I came home to 2 amazing things.
First, my husband. We've been together for 21 years. We work together, we hang out together. We're best friends and have been for most of the 21 years.
He did something while I was gone that moved me to tears.
Then, this morning, my exchange student from a year ago, Sophie, sent me the most amazing email I think I've ever received in my whole life. I was in tears, and covered in goose bumps, as was my husband when I read it to him.
These two things deserve a blog of their own, and I need some time to think about them, too, before I share.
So for today, I want to say I'm happy to be home. My Dad isn't out of the woods, but he's in the best hands he can be in for right now. I wish I could have fixed things for him myself, that would have been so much easier, but he and I did the right thing for him, and put him in a rehab center where they could help fix him.
In the meantime, I had to come back, had to go back to work, see my doggies, and my husband. Try to recoup some of my energy, which I'm seeing today is going to take some time.
As for the story I've been trying to tell, perhaps it should have been one blog in hindsight. Maybe I should have summarized to make my point. But that's not how it came out, so that's not how you all heard it. Turns out there were only 6 parts not 7, but there was still a lot to it.
I hope in the end, you'll feel it was worth reading. I hope you can hear what I'm saying, that if you're stuck, feeling trapped, don't see a way out, you're wrong. If I can do it, if I can change, if I can live, and like who I am, you can, too. Anyone can. That's really the main point of my story.
Here's the 5th part. If you want to read the other 4 parts, they're in my blog list.
So what happened to me? I moved to Texas when that boy just did one too many crazy things. I got job after job, but I hated them all. Then one day, when someone finally convinced me I wasn't an idiot, I did it...I signed up for college. It took me 9 years, but I did it. I graduated. There were days when I thought I'd go crazy from insomnia, from trying to work and go to school and raise my baby. But I did it up right. I got straight A's, I got more than 100% averages lots of times in my classes all the way through. I did one paper, one test, one project at a time. I yanked myself up out of the gutter one moment, one week, one class at a time, while I was busy screwing up with that baby I desperately loved. I learned how to overcome my fears and things I needed to change using those baby steps and my belief that I had a choice, and that I had control.
And I learned something else, too. Something priceless. It took a long time to realize this, to see what I was doing so that I could move forward. I was doing this long before I figured out what or why I was doing this. I know now that I did this so I could find a way to move forward, while finding a way to accept myself...
Gradually, painfully, I started working WITH instead of against, those traits that made me and others crazy.
I'll give you some examples of a few traits that most would say I should change, and how they serve me now.
* I'm completely impatient.
* I can't stand it when people aren't saying what's on their mind or straightening out things I perceive need to be straightened out.
* I can't stand unresolved issues of any kind. I want answers, and I'm completely obsessive about finding them, regardless of the discomfort it causes me or anyone else.
* I memorize things, more about that below. Unfortunately, I don't always memorize things people THINK I should.
* I'm not very sensitive sometimes to others' emotions - I'm more logic-based than emotion-based, and I forget that others aren't.
* I give new meaning to the word "obsessive". I take hyperfocus to a new level, especially when there's a challenging problem in front of me. This makes others crazy when I seem to "drop off" the face of the earth or forget all about what they wanted me to do.
Here's examples of how those not-so-great things can serve instead of hurt.
I discovered that my total and immediate boredom with anything repetitive, and my complete impatience with waiting, standing in line, or anything inefficient or stupid serves me every day because I force change, I generate ideas, I create chaos.
I raise a stink, I drag lumps out from under carpet. I discuss the pink elephant and drag people over to pet it and make friends with it. Not always ideal, almost never anyone else's favorite, but someone has to do it. Might as well be me seeing I'm apparently hard-wired for it.
And as for an inability to DO the repetitive work, to stand in line? I set my life up so I rarely get in that situation. Initially, I didn't really set it up like that on purpose. My aversion for line-standing just made me flee whenever confronted with one. Now, my choices are more self-aware and intentional. Instead of fleeing, I plan so I'm not trapped where I need to flee most of the time.
I taught myself programming languages, database administration, systems analysis, software testing and a pile of technical skills using traits I hated about myself.
For one thing, it stops me from being bored. I'm always seeking something new, and technology never fails to deliver.
But there's a twist, an odd trait that makes this the perfect solution for me. I can remember numbers and codes like a savant, I recall things I've written down or read or typed in with ridiculous accuracy long after that data should have been deleted from my brain. That noise in my head made me crazy because that same brain was wasting space on irrelevant information, but it couldn't find my car keys or that important paper I'd just tucked away somewhere safe so I wouldn't lose it. Turns out that kind of mind makes a great programmer. Sure, that key losing and paper tucking bites me all the time, but I just wrote over 7000 lines of code that will automate our company's core service.
Another tendency I have is a bent towards logic over emotion, which has gotten me in more trouble with female co-workers and potential girlfriends than you can begin to imagine. But I can use that trait.
A bent towards logic rather than emotion served me well for stepping outside of things and analyzing the context rather than the content. It makes me a fixer instead of an empathizer.
An ability to hyperfocus (insert OBSESS here) and neglect everything else except the object of my focus makes people feel dumped, dropped, like I've disappeared and don't care. But that trait lets me focus on that automation project or stay committed to working out or figure out the latest technology on a deep, multi-faceted level. I'll work on a problem for years and years and years until I get it, analyzing it and returning to it over and over. I know it makes my husband crazy, but he sees now that I've figured out the weight loss problem, and I'm automating the code, and what can he say?
My point here is that you have traits that you or others consider negative. Or maybe some of them might be considered odd, or useless. You might tell yourself and OTHERS might tell you that you should change them.
Maybe you can, maybe you should. But until you can, and until you do, maybe you should figure out what a GOOD use, what the POSITIVE side of those traits are, and work with them. Every trait has a positive and negative side to it (unless you're just pure evil).
I'll put the last part out here tomorrow sometime. Thanx for reading, for giving voice to my story. I hope when I'm done, it's made a difference to your life, too. I hope it gives your story a voice, or helps you look at the world in a little different way.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Today, I'll be saying goodbye to my Dad and going back to Austin. It's going to be hard to leave the beautiful weather. I hear it's well over 100 degrees back home. It's going to be monumentally hard to leave my Dad. But what's going to make it okay is that he's being taken care of. He had his first full night sleep last night. I bet it's his first full night since he broke his back a month ago. Someone's watching him in the rehab center, someone's feeding him, doing his laundry, and giving him meds. The only task he has now is to get better. I feel much more hopeful that he can do that where he is now than where he was when I got here.
I always worry when I leave that I'll never see him again. He stands at the door, waving goodbye, tears in his eyes, breaking my heart. I'm feeling less worried about not seeing him again than I was when I got here, because I'll probably come back up in a few weeks, and because I think he'll be much better by then.
Gone are the days where we go for months without talking on the phone, exchanging occasional emails, not because we don't love each other, but mostly because I'm busy, and he's pretty quiet. I've definitely learned that if I don't call and ASK if he's okay, I won't know because he won't call and ASK for help.
Thank you for all your kind thoughts, comments, and emails while my Dad's dealing with this. As I said yesterday, the story I was telling seems rather unimportant, while feeling huge at the same time. It's life-affirming to tell this, to tell others if I can get out from under my childhood, make my way and heal the past, anyone can.
BTW, I've already got 2445 calories burned off out of my weekly goal of 2500 (by the end of Sunday night.) I went on a wonderful 3 hour bike ride yesterday. I have to get packed now to go home, but I'll put pictures on my next blog post.
Here's part 4. The other three parts are the previous three blogs.
There was more to that deal I made with myself. It wasn't about the list. The real deal I made with me was that I had to work on those hated traits on that list. I had to try to move just a few of them off the list. Not all of them. I had to pick a few and give it a go. Baby steps, long before baby steps were so kool, before they were vogue, before Martha Beck was making it rich off them. Just try for a day to do one thing different. Maybe try wearing something DIFFERENT to Disney, where I worked, instead of the rebellion-against-authority black I kept wearing. Then, if it feels good, do it for another day. Then give something else a try.
Oh, my, you can't IMAGINE how hard this was at 21, with a baby and a lifetime of abuse and anger already in my background without a mentor in the world to help me get through it. It was way harder that killing myself would have been, I'll tell you that. And no one noticed a thing was different either. I was still the same pain-in-the-ass, unmanageable, authority-questioning mouthy brat they wished would quit and leave. I had just changed clothes, that's all. And maybe a few other little things.
I realize now that this 6 months was the most pivotal of my entire life. It didn't seem like it at the time. At the end of 6 months, some things were different. But not many. Not enough to really justify sparing myself the death I had promised me.
But this other thing happened underneath while those little changes happened on the top. And THAT was the thing that saved me.
The thing that happened underneath, the thing that changed the entire course of my life forever was this...
I realized I COULD change. I realized, from those few small successes that I could change anything if I put my little pea-sized brain to it (I still thought I was stupid when I had this realization. :)
With enough time, and enough work, I could become anyone I wanted to be. And if I couldn't change it? I would find a way to live with it, to look at it differently so I could forgive myself for being like that.
It was a very long time before I really, really on the surface, consciously understood the importance of that 6 months, the importance that bottom-scraping-save-my-own-life time by making changes was, and even longer before I started to truly capitalize on it. Sure I knew more about myself, I got myself more. I've never stopped analyzing myself, trying to figure out why I do something, and trying to figure out how to change or accept whatever it is, to explain it to myself and others. (The analysis behavior doesn't stop with me either. I analyze everyone, I'll admit. I watch people constantly to try to learn from them, to understand them, because maybe I want to be like that, or avoid that like the plague.)
Anyway, even once I realized how important that 6 months was, I still didn't like me, and I certainly hadn't thought at that point about how to use my apparent bad traits to serve me.
And I gradually realized how vital that baby step concept was to getting myself to do things I didn't think I could do, because I was too clumsy, stupid or inept.
It was also years before I realized how my other traits could be put to use, could serve me instead of hurting me.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Here's the third part of the story I've been putting out here. If you haven't read the other two parts, they're right before this in my blog list.
But first, I need to share something....
Today is a really tough, sad day. I'm in Wisconsin right now (I live in Texas), because my dad broke his back a few weeks ago and he's doing really bad.
In the middle of the night again last night he woke in excruciating pain, moaning and crying and throwing up from pain meds. He couldn't take it anymore, and neither could I. I can fix things, lots of things. I always find a way to take care of things. This time, it wasn't something I could take care of myself, so my way of fixing it was to take him to the hospital. He and I were there almost all day. At the end of the day, we checked him into the nursing home/rehab center that's part of the independent apartment he lives in now. I don't know how long he'll be there. But something had to be done about the cycle of pain, constipation, and vomiting he was in trying to get control over his broken back.
It's nearly impossible to watch your parent in pain like that. My Dad compounds his pain by being so negative it sucks the air out of the room. He's not just in pain, he suffers. I'm hanging in there; I'm crazy positive. But I will admit to spending a good deal of time today trying to resist the urge to book outta there. I'm taking time for myself right now, writing this out. I took some time to have lunch. I've been taking time to work out, and hope to this evening as well, although it is getting rather late. My plane ticket is for Sunday, but it's a flexible one. I can't imagine staying until then. I also can't imagine saying goodbye to him and leaving him in that room, alone, in a nursing home, his worst nightmare.
My story feels insignificant right now, at the same time as it feels monumental. I could have been like him, I could have been like this. I'm so grateful for the things that happened in my life that made me see what the bottom looked like. And I'm so grateful I had the strength to climb up, out and away from them.
Thanx everyone, for your amazingly sweet thoughts and comments. And thanx for reading this story. My life is precious because of the friends I have, and that includes you.
So here's the third part of the story....this is where I start getting it together a bit. No pics today. I need to get my Dad's stuff to him, enough of a break for me now.
A year later, the boy left because I told him to. He was a boy and didn't know how to help with a baby. And even though I changed my mind later, and wanted him back because this was too hard, he stayed gone. There I was, a single mom with a baby, the loser everyone said I was going to be, long before being a single mom was a badge of courage and honor. No college, crappy job, bad attitude, no money. Angry beyond words, mostly at me. That boy started taking drugs, even though I didn't realize that's what was wrong with him, and he left me even more alone. He started doing stupid things like leaving my baby in the house when I wasn't there, when he was supposed to take care of him. He stole him from a daycare center one day because I wouldn't let his sister pick him up because I knew she took drugs. He locked him in a car because he didn't want me to have him back. He didn't bring medicine on time when that baby had 105 degree temperature and should have been in the hospital. He called me up missing me, then threw things at me when I gave in and came to see him.
Why should I keep living when this is my rotten life, I kept thinking. I remembered how good it felt that night when I was 14.5 and thought I was going to die. The relief was palpable. No more pain. No more hating myself. I was a useless loser, and I deserved to die. Even this stupid boy I didn't want to stay married to didn't want me. The God who loved everyone else had deemed me unworthy, and so had most others, including me.
Except that baby who loved me. But he was too young to know better anyway. Now that I had him, what was going to happen if I died? That boy couldn't take care of him, and neither could that boy's mom because she was already taking care of her daughter's baby. Her daughter had gotten pregnant right after I had to get her family's attention. But she was on drugs, she was a pathological liar, and her baby was messed up, so she couldn't take care of him.
That baby didn't have anyone but me, and I was a messed up idiot loser who wasn't going anywhere and was downright p*ssed off at the world and mostly myself because of it.
Boy, I sure felt happy that night I thought I was going to die my mind kept reminding me. So at 21, I started plotting how to do that the right way this time. I started thinking about how I could find someone for my baby so I could stop living. I started scraping that bottom again, bouncing off it, seeing how it felt. But I was 5 years older by then, and that bottom didn't look quite as attractive as before. And maybe there was still a little belligerence left in me, a little defiance that wanted to prove the world wrong.
Me and I, we made a deal so I could stop obsessing about dying for a little while cuz that was making me crazy. Obsessing was something I had quite a problem with, although I didn't realize it at the time. But to stop myself, to get a little quiet in my useless, noisy brain, I cut a deal with me. I could kill myself in 6 months, but first, I promised myself I'd do this one thing. I had to make a list of everything I liked about myself, and everything I hated about myself.
Two things went on the like side. My hair, and my eyes. Pretty shallow really, but that's the truth.
The list of hated traits? That was pages long. I hated everything, including the fact that I was an angry mom p*ssed about having a baby I loved but didn't want the responsibility for. And I was already making some pretty hefty mistakes raising him.
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