I was reading a post someone made a while ago and that reminded me / inspired me to tell my story of "recognition"(I guess you could call it that...).
This is going to be rather long-winded or I may leave out parts so it won't make sense... So if you read this and have any questions, just ask...
So I guess I grew up in a somewhat abusive environment with my dad (emotional) and then when he left (I was 8) my brother (2 years older than me) was both emotionally and physically abusive to my little sister, my mother, and me. Honestly, I don't blame either of them, which is prolly unhealthy. I know the conditions they grew up in and that's all they knew, not to mention my dad has bipolar (had, if he's dead). But nonetheless damage was done and it sets a background for my story.
My mom was born in Ohio... into a very Lutheran community. She's extremely conservative, narrow-minded, and, at times, controlling. When my dad was around, my poor mother was too scared to stand up for herself, let alone her children (She was, after all, the subordinate sex... in her mind). Then she was left, by my dad, to raise three kids by herself.
My brother was a hell raiser and my sister an infant, so I learned to take care of myself so as not to burden my mother further. I'm not complaining. I'm proud of the fact that I'm self-sufficient. I wouldn't change my past because it's what has allowed me to become who I am today. I (unlike my brother and sister) was able to form my own thoughts and opinions. Even if I couldn't share them with my mom without having them completely shot down instantly, I was still an independent thinker.
I hope I haven't been too long-winded in explaining this part, but I feel it's important. You can prolly see where I'm going with it though: my mom is not accepting of gay people; she thinks it's a choice, not how you're born. So automatically I was not allowed to be gay, I mean... In my childish thinking I was so not gay because that only happened to other people, not my mother's daughter. I wasn't allowed to be gay, so I never really thought about the possibility.
Freshman & Sophomore Year:
High School... YAY! Except, not at all. At this point I was severely depressed, had bad social anxiety, was a cutter, and was starting to develop my notions of carrying out my death. Morbid, I know, but seriously it didn't seem weird to me. I was just thinking it was a phase, so w.e... right?
My friends were great though. We were all involved with stage and tech crew for the plays. Sophomore year we had a new addition to our "crew" I guess you could say. A girl named Rosey moved here from California because of her dad's job. She was extremely nice and immediately became “one of us,” so to speak. And life went on with its little ups and downs and the regular angst found in everyone’s high school years.
The beginning of this year wasn’t too bad; it was actually quite good despite the tension between my friends. I became even better friends with Rosey and spent every second that wasn’t taken up by school or work with her. A lot of people were starting to get suspicious of our relationship. We just laughed it off by joking about everyone thinking we were lesbians and play flirted with each other. I had also made a habit of kissing her because it annoyed her and amused me (think of trying to give a surly two year old kisses, same reaction).
Just a few months into the year, everything started to change very quickly. This was the year I had a falling out with my family and a few of my friends. Alli was pissed at me for my drug use (only weed, come on… seriously) and I got angry with her for treating people (such as Rosey, etc.) like shit. Diane was getting upset because I was being “mean” to Alli, which I honestly wasn’t. I was sad that my choices were affecting her view on me, but I never let my hobbies interfere with hanging out with my straightedge (Which honestly, is perfectly fine. I think it’s great that they made that decision for themselves.) friends.
Then my friend (and ex-boyfriend), Mike, decided one night, while drunk, to IM me and say Rosey and I were “being rude.” I’m still not sure why he came to this conclusion. When I asked him about it he wouldn’t explain, so of course I got into a fight with him. It ended up with Mike telling me, “We shouldn’t talk to each other anymore.” “Each other” basically meant that Rosey and I shouldn’t talk to him anymore.
Things just seemed to get worse and worse in my mind. My suspicions that I was a bad friend, a failure, and a burden to myself as well as others, were being confirmed one after another.
On February 9th, ten days after my birthday, I decided there was not point anymore. This time, unlike the others, I was going to finish it. This time I would not let anything get in my way, and I would not call Rosey crying and ask her to come get me. This would be it, and the pain would stop. I wasn’t hurting anyone, but myself and I liked it that way.
Hospitals, hospitals, hospitals:
I woke up in a hospital bed where my mom works. My first thought’s were, “Who the fuck saved me?!” and then, “Now I have to fucking do it over again!” It wasn’t until later that the situation hit me; they now knew and I was being sent to a psychiatric hospital a good thirty minutes to an hour away from my home.
I was an inpatient (which means I stayed there 24-7) for two weeks. The time I spent there was really weird to be honest. I forgot a lot of things, little things, but important ones. I’m not sure why, but I couldn’t remember a lot of the phrases I used in normal conversation or the little quirks I had. I only remembered them when I saw it in someone else. The worst part is that I forgot what my best friend, Rosey, sounded like or looked like. That’s what made it worse, the one person who had been there for me was taken away. I wasn’t even allowed to call her because of the clinic rule of only having family on your calling list.
I appreciated the kids in the adolescent unit, though they all had a unique perspective on things and it let me out past the sheltered world of my small town. One person I met there changed my view on life. We started talking and became friends, and I found out she liked me. I thought about it for some time thinking how weird it was and stuff like that. Then I thought about it and realized that I was attracted to her too.
My most vivid memory of the place was when my roommate taught me to trick the phone into calling out without the attendants noticing. That night I called Rosey. I remember her picking up, “Oh my God, oh my God Zita. I love you, I miss you.” I realized that she was the only person I truly had to rely on. She was the one who made me strong before, and I wanted to get out of this place to see her.
After two incredibly long weeks of sitting in the day room, going to breakfast, sitting in the day room, going to the gym, going to lunch, sitting in the day room, showers, and then bed, I was able to go home. I was excited to see Rosey again and to talk to her, but my mom was not going to allow it. She found out about my drug usage and flipped. I was now cut off from all of my friends unless she was sitting beside me reading my IM conversations.
The only way I survived that torture was a program we went to instead of school as a “transitional period.” The girl who liked me was also in the program and I became more comfortable with the idea of being bi. I started thinking about how much it all made sense. My obsession with beautiful women that I wrote off as being self-conscious, the crushes I’ve had on camp counselors without really realizing it. Then it kinda clicked, I liked Rosey. How the hell could this happen? It seemed completely unfair to me, I wanted to be with her, but at the same time it wasn’t worth our friendship in the least.
The program itself was monotonous. Everyday, the same thing: morning meeting, snack, school, art therapy, gym, lunch, group therapy and then ending meeting. All day it was walk to this room, sit, get up, and repeat. It was possibly the most boring month and a half of my life.
What Happened Next:
After I got out of programs, nothing too significant happened. After about two months I ended up inpatient again for leaving my house (my mom had thought I was running away). So I stayed at the hospital for a couple days and then attended a different day program for most of the summer.
My mom started to chill out and I was allowed to talk to Rosey, then I was allowed to visit her. After my mom started to get some counseling of her own, she let me hang out with Rosey a lot more often and my world felt less like a hell. Eventually we were able to sleep over at each other’s house and things were kinda back to normal.
As we spent more time together I felt wrong, I wasn’t being honest with her. My friend Nina knew about my little problem and urged me to tell her. She had made a good point: If I told Rosey nothing would really change. She’s not the type of person to ruin a friendship over a little crush.
At her house one night we were talking as usual, laying on her bed. I jokingly kissed her like I always had, and asked, “Why don’t you ever kiss me back?” She got quiet, “What?” So I asked again, this time more seriously and with an explanation. She paused for a bit so I asked, “Do you think that’s weird?” her reply was no. She explained to me that nothing would ever ruin our friendship. Then she paused again, “I like you too. Longer than you have known.”
I can’t explain the joy this gave me. Someone I genuinely liked, liked me back! Before this I only dated people because I figured, “What the hell?” and didn’t want to reject them. But this was fucking real, finally. A battle began in my head, I should ask her. No! That would end your friendship! And so on. Eventually I gave into my desires and whispered, “Rosey? Will you be my girlfriend?”
Happily Ever After?
Ever since we’ve been a couple. I really love her, although a year ago I didn’t believe in love. We’re planning for our future together and next year we’ll be getting an apartment with our friend. As corny as it sounds, some of the sweetest words I’ve heard were, “I want to grow old with you.” And I hope we do.
I hope this wasn’t too long or boring for anyone to read. I’ve just been thinking about this and can’t ever seem to tell people the way I want to, so this is my form of outlet.
God, now I have “Into the Woods” stuck in my head.
Sorry if this takes up like an entire page of journal-y-ness. I don’t mean to be obnoxious.