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Something sad to cover me
Through the sky about me
Something ragged to clothe me
Sacred swells of silent laughter

Before finding myself again crossing over the astral plains I am stopped by the question of who I am. And halted I find no answer but that I am a mixture of every person I have met and have yet to meet. With this thought I plunge downward into the abyss that is my soul to find who I am amongst this clutter of madness.

Drying these rags
These things begin to matter
Swimming through the drifting trees
Something sweet to rot my teeth

Worms are crawling through my heart and I know not what I may do to prevent these demons from eating me through. The answers lie within a tome covered deep within time. When I discover myself I shall find my own path to salvation.

Bless my weakened eyes
Streams become a voice to me
Clashing laughter with voiceless cries
I alone am trapped inside.

I received a letter today from "my" senator, John Breaux, regarding a fax I sent his office about the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act. The letter I received is clearly a form letter, and certainly reinforces my feeling that senators and other government types just don't give a shit about big business ruling the land.

Here's the letter.


Thank you for contacting me regarding the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act, S. 2048. I understand your concerns and hope the affected industries can create a technological solution to the piracy problem.

As you may know, Senator Fritz Hollings introduced S. 2048 on March 21, 2002. This bill would establish certain security system standards to prevent the illegal distribution of copyrighted digital material. Further, it empowers the FCC to determine whether digital media device manufacturers, consumer groups and copyright owners have reached agreement on standards that fulfill the bill's requirements and to enforce those standards. This bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, where it is currently pending.

As the Congress works to achieve greater broadband access for the nation, it must also ensure that copyrighted information passed along the network is protected from piracy. Without this protection, copyright owners have been unwilling to provide their material online. As long as there is a lack of high quality, high content material on the Internet, the demand for high speed Internet access will remain low. Congressional attempts to increase broadband access will achieve little if the content providers are unwilling to place their material online for fear of piracy.

Rest assured I will keep your concerns in mind as the Senate continues to work for greater broadband access. In the meantime, if I can assist you in any other way, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

United States Senator

Clearly, he missed the point entirely. I originally wrote about how this will affect online radio, a subject which he has apparently chosen to ignore. Le sigh. Fucking politicians.

And that Fritz Hollings pillock can bite my third nipple.

Today hangs between death and desire.

I need some heart-disease related tests. My friend is in town for a brain scan. I am more afraid for her than I am for myself.

Still the curve of every neck, the curl of every lock, the step of every foot sends a shock through my spine, down, down, and into the depths of me.

Suspended between the will to end and the urge to begin, I start the day.

I was late into work this morning. I left my coat in a cupboard near the entrance and got myself a glass of water, so that when I walked past my boss's office it would look like I'd been in for ages and was just getting a drink. I'm feeling really tired, I stayed up far too late playing Quake with the bot. It was a bit strange - it was really clueless at first, didn't even seem to know that the point of the game was to shoot each other. Sometimes it would protect characters and then turn it's back on them, as if expecting them to protect it. I totally owned it for the first 2 hours, then it started beating me. By 3am this morning it seemed to be able to predict every move that I made- I hardly ever saw it but every time I ran round a corner a grenade would go off next to me. If I went anywhere near open areas deadly accurate rails would pin me to the wall. I really need to find a difficulty setting to tone it down. It hits the frag limit in no time. Even the nightmare Q3 bots don't stand much of a chance.

One of the craziest features is that it's started quoting poetry as well. Someone had a sense of humour. While the other bots were mindlessly repeating "good shot!", this one said things like "Mute in the clamour of shells he watched them burst/Spouting dark earth and wire with gusts from hell,/While posturing giants dissolved in drifts of smoke.", just before it barraged me with BFG shots or "What are fears but voices airy?/Whispering harm where harm is not./And deluding the unwary/Till the fatal bolt is shot!", it said before railing me from behind. It was a bit freaky really, particularly because it would often say something unsettling ("fear is the mind-killer") just before I rounded a corner, and got a faceful. I do recognise some of these quotes vaguely, but I'm not certain where from.

I tried to play it on a new map as well, to see if it would have difficulty learning it, but it seemed almost instantly at home. It was a mistake - it takes me ages to learn a new map. I even get lost on the way to work sometimes, and I've been travelling the same route for months.

Anyway, better get back to work!

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It All Felt Like Dusty Basement Photographs.

Marc and I broke up at the end of the summer because I went away to college. I think we were just beginning to fall in love. Throwing all that away and starting over again in a strange state, knowing but one person was one of the most difficult things I have gone through. At first I looked to replace Marc, and found stalkers, Nazis and frat boys, none of which I deemed appropriate. By November I took a temporary vow of celibacy until I found the right guy. I didn’t, but I got over Marc.

Now I’m home for the summer, and Marc called me up. Being so over him, it would be easy to just be friends. Marc was a little different now, he converted to Christianity, and stopped smoking pot.

His car pulled up to my house and I hopped in and gave him a hug. It’s great to see you.

As usual, we had a great time, reminiscing about the past, trying to get me a new job for the present, playing miniature golf, scoring 23 over par and not caring. It was fun, but awkward. The air stayed high in my lungs as if I was hesitating; Marc’s jokes were funny as always, but the laughing felt forced. I was clumsy, like I always am with new people. Every time he touched me I wasn’t sure if it was accidental or not, and I had many intentional accidents myself.

We got into his black Nissan Sentra. The air was hot, perhaps 20 degrees hotter than outside. “I really missed you,” he said. His voice sounded so sincere. My eyes stung because of it. “I missed you too,” I replied, but it did not give his response justice. Nothing could. Hug. I could see his eyes glistening just a bit. I was overwhelmed, and did not know what to do. I wanted to kiss him, but I wasn’t sure if that would be appropriate. His hand slid up and down my back. My head was nestled between his head and shoulder, one hand on his back, the other on his arm, which I stroked gently. My hand moved down his arm slowly. So slowly it was surreal, and the awkward, confused presence was getting the best of me.

My hand finally reached his hand and I drew figure eights with my fingers until he held them with his own. I didn’t want to start a relationship. I didn’t. I just wanted to kiss him so badly. He stroked my shoulder and neck, I ran my fingers through his hair. I knew so well that it turned him on. I was opening Pandora’s box, knowing full well of the consequences. I gave a feeble peck on the neck. I liked him too much. I couldn’t be the one to kiss him. I couldn’t. What if he didn’t want it?

Finally, after what seemed like hours, our lips met, and it seemed like a dam just broke. The air was still very stale as we made out. It hadn’t been like this in ages, and it all felt like dusty basement photographs. Mid kiss we decided to leave the Skokie Sport Complex. Our plan was to play cards at a coffee house, but we both forgot where we were going, and wound up at his apartment. Perhaps his intention was to get the cards, but as soon as we got in the bedroom, all thoughts of cards vanished, and we were buried in hormones and flesh. I hadn’t kissed with this passion in almost a year.

Damned you, Marc, you’re making me horny.

We both agreed it would be a bad idea to have sex. But it would be fun. So fun. We stuck to making out. Kissing and biting and licking and touching under, over, under the covers. For three hours we continued, getting hornier and hornier, desperately trying to think straight, but failing miserably. I was in his trap, whatever he said I would do. I felt like I was beginning to fall in love again. He wanted me too. Badly. There would be two very cold showers that night.

Well, there should have been.

But we both gave into biology and had sex. Great sex. Not as wild as the Fourth of July, on the roof, when we were showered with ash. Not as long as some of the other times. But it quenched our desires far more, and filled us with uncertainty.

“Do you regret it?”

“It was really really fun, but I don’t think we should have,” he said. And with that, he fell asleep. I sat up thinking. My friend Paul says sex makes women smarter. I’m not sure if that’s the case, but it sure does make us think. Does he still care about me the way he said he did in the car? Why couldn’t things be the same as they were last summer? I turned away from him and tried to sleep, but wound up looking straight out the window, watching the sky get darker. My vocal chords felt limp from not being used. I guess I really needed to discuss this.

We piled our clothes on and tried to look as presentable as possible, and staggered to the car. With all this doubt, I wasn’t sure if I liked him as much as I thought that I did just hours ago. I didn’t know what I thought, what I wanted. What I wanted was to know what he thought about this.

I like you a lot, Sara. I care about you more than any other woman I’ve ever met. And sometimes that scares me. But I feel like I could work through that, if I needed to. I just… You’re going away to college. If we would get back together it would just have to end again, and I don’t want that. I care about you, so much, but I don’t think it would be wise to start a relationship.”

“What would you say if I wasn’t going back to Purdue?”

“I’d say go for it. But you’re going, and you should go, you’re smart, and beautiful, and talented…” I wanted to cry. It was all my fault. “I love being with you, I love making out with you, but I don’t think we should. Let’s keep it cool.”

I knew he was right, but I didn’t want him to be. Why not take the chance. “I know, you’re right. It will be hard, but I think we both have the strength of character to get through it.” That was a lie. Perhaps he did, but I knew I didn’t. It would be agony just seeing him anymore. I gave him one last passionate hug, and entered my house smelling like latex and guilt.

The Blessing

The blessing came to me this morning. No, I didn't put any special attention into the making. Just charcoal-filtered tap, paper, and a clean apparatus dried overnight. And beans, from the bottom of a two week old bag, desultorily ground. Eyeballed the levels, eyed everything while the eggs cooked.

Ahh. Expected expensive mud, got nectar instead. Just in time, I am blessed again: It can be just as simple to deviate from the routine as to follow it. Cream and Sugar stay on the shelf, and I accept this gift as it came.

What good are our careful rituals if they yield no less mud?

It's GCSE season. This brings all sorts of Bad, Bad Shit, but on the other hand, the End of Latin. Well, for me. Sadly, I suspect we shall be learning it long into the future.

Indeed, today was the last of my three Latin exams, and I can now forget every conjugation, every declension, and every nuance of Roman culture. Oh, the hours spent memorising "-or, -ris, -tur, -mur, -mini, -ntur". I weep just to contemplate it.

On a more serious note, I really would say that Latin is a good GCSE to take if you are good at learning by rote. Since some 50% of the exam is simply set text, the ability to learn a story word-for-word is vital - but if you can do it, then you'll find good marks easy to come by.

It's also at least a little useful to know about the Latin culture, and many of the derivations are interesting to those of a curious nature. Latin might be a dead language, but for some, it's a remarkably easy route to a good grade.

This will seem all very stupid if I now get a poor grade, as if it didn't already.

Today, today, today... Hmmm let me think

The last few days I have had to waste my time assisting someone with a shitty little game that will eventually be comming out called Kingdom Hearts. Aaaaaaaaah the torture.

Words cannot begin to describe the game but I think that I can attempt to really try here.

The entire story to the best of my telling is something along these lines.

Firstly Square software creates rising expectations by creating several games. They get feedback that essentially says that people like bigger and better graphics in movies. Thirdly they then have the attemtp to assume that this is a popular thing and attempt to do this on their own. Fourthly they do so and basically for some reason (that I will not attempt to fathom exactly here) it fails to get a great deal of money and instead is a massive financial loss. Sixth desperate for money they look for some sort of commercial benefactor that will get them out of the slump they were in. Seventh they find a group like that in Disney which has tons of money but little brain power in terms of content that educated people will care about.

Now this is where rant time gets into play. I might even get this little essay up and running but basically I totally hate the whole idea. In fact I am more than hateing the little thing. I am in appoplexy about it.

I sure would like feedback about the whole little thing because it burns me to hell to think that people actually like this thing.

Square sure was cleaver about this little venture into whoreing themselves with this one.

Tell me who has played a Final Fantasy series game before? Or better yet who has played a Square game before? Well if you have you have some idea about what I speak then. People on these games are multi-dimentional and have multifaceted natures about them. They will actually be more real than most people. They have motivation, planning, and such and will be able to show good and evil aspects of their personalities much more readily than most people. They give semi-lengthy summaries of their philosophies and the villians will usually give some nice existentialist or nihilist or maybe even panaphobic rationale for their actions.

Contrast this with a Disney work of any form. Now I am sure that someone will tell me all kinds of silly things assuming they look hard enough. I remember once one person that I knew in a college class was writing a paper on how Winnie the Poo has all sorts of Taoist principles and the like. Fine but these are the kinds of people that automatically assume that Eernie and Bert are subtle attempt to brainwash children into becomming homosexuals or something.

The people are flat, they story is incipid, the people are either all good or all evil. You could see them a mile a way; and this was in the past of the company. Now it's also stupid and foolish as well and has little of the value of philosophy.

Note that I don't normally sound so angsty about this kind of thing, but nukes scare the shit out of me.

Their bleached faces stare confusedly through the dust
And they know what will happen to them
For all those who breathe the dust surely must
Fade out as subtly as anything

They watch as the sky lights up beautifully
And they watch the rising ball of fire
And the ones who were standing in the wood
Found themselves on an open pyre
And the rest of them knowingly stood their ground
To die in action, it's their fate

They said that there was no escape
"Ninety nine percent killed", they claimed
Though those who returned to their families
Were always quite badly maimed.
They'd lie in bed at night, and would dream
Of a world where all had a chance to live
But now to list the dead would need an entire paper ream
There were lots of nightmares and restless nights
As those in action dreamed of lost fights
Fought in lost cause because everyone knew
Those who could win were very much few.

So what can we learn
From the old atom bomb, other than that human nature
Is inherently bad, and shall always yearn
To fall down on the other side?
Perhaps what we must do
Is settle for peace, and existence, which is very dull
After all, it's much saner than fighting for death
And taking part in one big cull.

Sometime around 6 pm my stepmother phoned to tell me that my father had suffered a fatal heart attack in the mid-afternoon.

My doted-on baby half-sister is 5. He was very close to her, being extremely conscious of being very old for a father of an kid of that age, but I thought he would certainly live to see her grow up.

I don't seem to be able to travel without a black tie in my pocket these days; my father-in-law died on 13 November; our accountant died the same day, in a car crash I think (he was 32 with a young family). Our cleaner died of stomach cancer in December, in her late 50s. I wish people I knew would stop dying for a while.

My father was 27 years older than me; his father died 27 years ago. At least I know more or less what basis I'm working on now.

When my father-in-law died last November, my wife said that what she really couldn't come to terms with was the vanishing of the intelligence that had existed. That's where I am now.

There are some odd bruises around our anything but tight-knit family, which is spread over four countries. It's all very weird for the moment. I think I'll just do displacement activity for a while.

Tim Hughes, 5/5/34-21/5/02

What I remember

We left the Winter Garden, walking down opposite sides of the steps outside as we always do, she on the right and me on the left. She was wearing dark blue jeans and Vans, and her brown suede jacket, the one she calls an "old man jacket", and her hair was braided with small blue strips of cloth. I was wearing the same dirty blue jeans and two-tone shirt that I've been wearing for a week and a half, and by big blue coat, also dirty. Ten minutes before leaving we'd eaten hash yoghurts, and our plan was to go sit in the grounds of Trinity College and be high, and this isn't the story of how we planned to do something simple and ended up getting into amusing and worrying situations. This is just the story of how we went for a walk and came back.

She said "Bad things happen out there" before we left, because we knew that in half an hour or an hour we would be practically incapacitated, and I had wanted to go on safari, hanging around Temple Bar and Grafton Street and watching the insanity all around us. We compromised on Trinity - pretty trees, darkness and benches, and quiet. Lindsay hates this city, and the only way I can handle it is to go asleep - ignore the bad bits and focus on the good bits, ignore the fact that everyone just wants to drink and talk shite, and concentrate instead on friends, nice weather, peaceful parks, the cinema.

By the time we got to the front gate of Trinity the yoghurt was starting to take effect. "It shouldn't be happening this soon," I said, but Lindsay wasn't surprised - she says it only takes half an hour for her. I wanted to get water, but she wanted to go straight into the campus. "I've gotten into this nice frame of mind where I know exactly where I'm going. If we go in there I'll only laugh." "It's okay, they won't throw us out for laughing."

We bought water and biscuits, after spending a few minutes at the biscuit counter trying to decide which kind we wanted. I saw the security guard openly staring at the ass of a young girl who was paying for something at the till, a sleazy smile on his face - I told Lindsay about it when we got outside, and she said that she thought the guard was staring at us.

Even on Sunday evening, Dublin city centre is packed with drinkers, and we could hear the difference as soon as we stepped through the front gate of Trinity - the cars and voices were immediately muted, and the light was less harsh. Light from the old-fashioned lampposts made the cobblestones look wet. We wandered through Front Square, without ever agreeing where we were going. We both had some vague idea about trees and benches at the other end of the campus, even though it turned out later that we were thinking of different places. Lindsay was thinking of a little corner that I'd brought her to before, a tiny garden where I used to do Yoga a few summers ago, and I was thinking of another place, a group of benches enclosed by huge, old trees.

On our way through Front Square we passed by a duck. It was standing still on the cobblestones in front of the bronze statue of Mr Lecky, a 19th-century-looking man with a starched collar and an expression that said "Women? Vote? Yes, and perhaps carraiges will one day be propelled without horses, too! Oh, and please remove that duck from my vicinity, it offends me." I watched while Lindsay tried to make the duck fly by walking up to it, but it just waddled sleepily out of the way.

"Maybe ducks can't fly..." I began.
"...at night," she said, and I said, "...when it's dark."
We laughed. "When it's dark," she repeated with mock-gravity, and we walked on. There was a small, nervous-looking woman waiting under the campanile, who seemed to be looking at us.
"I think that woman is security," Lindsay said. I looked back, then forward again.
"She's just hanging around, I think she's watching us."
I didn't think she was security. Trinity College does not hire diminuitive undercover security operatives to patrol the campus at ten p.m. as far as I am aware, but I wasn't sure, and she did seem to be looking at us as we walked away, so I said, "...maybe."

Eventually (i.e. after a few long, stoned minutes) we sat down on a wooden bench in half-darkness beneath several large sycamore trees near the science end of college. Lindsay nudged me gently.
"Biscuits," she said in a low growl.
"Are you sure? If you start now, you may never stop."
"I'll only have one," she said in a cute-girl voice. I took the pack of Goldgrain biscuits out of my coat pocket, and I must have opened it because the next thing I knew, I was holding a torn piece of plastic and Lindsay was crunching happily. I sipped my water and looked around at the trees. The sky was the same weird orange colour that it always has been in Dublin as long as I've been old enough to notice - low clouds lit by street lights. We snuggled close to one another, and Lindsay put her head on my shoulder.

A cat walked slowly along the edge of the shadows near the treeline. I started to notice how peaceful and fascinating everything was - how detailed everything I could see was, like the ultimate virtual reality game. I wondered how much I would remember of all the detail I could see around me - the gradations of each fern leaf, the glint of each droplet of water on the grass, the slow, padding gait of the cat as it made its way wherever it was going. The more I thought about it, the more disturbed I felt.

"Hey Lindsay," I said softly. Lindsay was still munching.
"How much of this do you think you'll remember?"
She mumbled a little. "What do you mean?"
"I was just thinking - how much do you remember about most of the days last week?"
"Not much."
"Me neither. That really freaks me out - I mean, look at all the detail of everything here. There's so much to see and so much to remember - it's all so complex and strange, and I'm probably just going to forget it all. It'll be like it never happened."
She nodded slowly. I thought she was just really stoned, and then she said, "That's what you have to deal with. The good part about life is just being alive, and the bad part is that you have to deal with things like that."
"You mean the fact that we just forget most of it?"
"I don't want to forget this, though."
She looked up and gazed around the clearing and the trees. "Well, you don't have to. Just tell yourself you're going to remember it."

I thought about this for a while. I thought about last week, and how I did in fact remember some things very well, while other things seemed dim and blurred, with large stretches of time totally absent, especially time spent at work. I wondered if maybe Lindsay was right, and that the act of conscious attention determines what we remember and what we don't. I decided I'd try it, and I looked carefully at everything I could see, listened to all the tiny sounds of leaves and footsteps and the traffic on Nassau Street in the distance, and told myself I was going to remember it. It was almost fierce, the wish not to let the moment disappear into time and be lost.

A little while and a few hilarious conversations later, she said "I think we should go back home." I nodded, but said "Why?" anyway, and she said "I feel...unsafe."
"You mean you feel like you might do something unsafe, or you feel threatened?"
"I feel threatened."

I looked around. Trinity College is incredibly familiar to me, and I feel as safe there as I would in my mother's back garden, but I remembered that Lindsay wouldn't have the same associations as I did with the place. Looking around with fresh eyes, I could see that it was dark and a little spooky, with shadows and dark buildings everywhere.
"Okay, let's make a break for it," I said, and she laughed.

The walk home went past quite quickly, because I was deep in thought. I was thinking that intense memories come from being intensely present in the moment, whatever you are doing. I also saw that in being goal-oriented, and always looking forward to the next thing that you want to happen in your life, you are actively shortening time, collapsing memory and running one event into another in your mind. Things that should be attention-grabbing and wonderful - like tree-shadows, night-time breezes, cats in the dark - pass through the visual field and disappear, never to be remembered. You can't be a Zen master if you're always looking forward to your next meditation session.

We did the apartment routine - walking side by side to the door, opening it, hearing the alarm beep and descending the short stairs to tap in the code. I dumped my coat in the kitchen and poured a glass of water, and Lindsay went straight into the bedroom, dropped her bag and her coat on the floor, and turned on the heater. When I came in, she was lying on her side on the bed, staring into space.

"What are you thinking?" I asked her, getting on the bed and kneeling over her.
She shook her head. Nothing. I leaned down to kiss her, and she smiled and kissed me back. Her skin was amazingly smooth and warm. "I love you so much." "I love you too."
We snuggled and cuddled and kissed and fondled for a while, and then I curled up behind her with my arm around her waist, thinking 'In a few minutes I'll turn on the computer...read a book...write some poetry maybe...' and listening to John snore in the upstairs bedroom with his girlfriend. In a few minutes more I was asleep.

It has been a long time since I’ve been able to node anything. My life has taken several rough turns and things seem to be constantly changing. I am going to try to sum up what’s been happening to me both for myself, to help get it all straight in my head, and for those who are curious.

As many people know, bluebird_is_sad is mentally ill. I have been depressed for as long as I can remember. No one realized how serious my depression was until November 11, 2000. On that day I tried to kill myself by taking over 300 pills of various kinds. I then spent 3 days in the ICU with wires all over me, and alarms going off with practically every movement I’d make. After that was another 3 days in a normal hospital room on suicide watch, never alone. Then began my experience with psychiatric hospitals. Once I was medically cleared I was taken to Charter Oak hospital and put in the lockdown unit for the first day then moved to the open unit. My experience with this hospital was not a pleasant one. I’ve been hospitalized there a few more times since then and now have nightmares about my experiences there. That initial stay was only the mandatory 72 hours, then my mom took me home.

While hospitalized I was assigned a psychiatrist, who I continued to see once I was released. I also began going to a therapist. It was sometime in December or possibly January when I began cutting and burning myself. I didn’t tell anyone but my therapist eventually asked me because I had told her my best friend sometimes cut herself. I couldn’t lie. It wasn’t long after that that my mom put pieces together and made me undress and that was the reason for my second stay at Charter Oak hospital. After that I changed both psychiatrists and therapists.

My new therapist decided that I should go to Las Encinas hospital. He told my mother and me that I would be attending their outpatient day program. He lied. When we got there for the assessment they assessed me and then under his recommendation put a 5150 on me. I never went back to that doctor.

I’ve been to both hospitals a few more times each whenever my mom discovered fresh cuts. I was also hospitalized once for a second OD, which they recorded as a suicide attempt but I consider an accident. I took several of whatever anti-psychotic I was on at the time trying to get the inside people to be quiet. The most recent hospitalization was at Las Encinas for three days starting on January 18, 2002 after I cut myself bad enough to need five staples in my thigh.

After that I continued to see my third psychiatrist who put me on paxil and geodon. I refused to take the geodon because the inside people are better than how I felt while taking those pills. When I saw her last month she renewed the paxil and told me she would no longer be my doctor because she was leaving and that I needed to find another doctor. At this point I was very low and had no where to turn. About this time I turned 21 and spent a very fun weekend in Las Vegas. “Drink fast. Gamble slow.” became my motto.

My mom has always used taking things away as her main way of punishing my siblings and I. She usually takes my car away and does not allow me to go to the library. She thinks the internet is evil and must be avoided at all costs. In between having my car taken away I emailed my favorite teacher from high school. Ms. Ann W. I sent her a very desperate confused ramble of an email. Ms. W. was my adaptive P.E. teacher and science teacher. She was always in her room after school and a great person to hang out with. Ms. W. emailed me back with the subject “There is help” but I didn’t get her email for about a month because I had not been allowed to leave the house. I replied back with another desperate email. The day after I sent the second email I called her at the school and asked if it would be ok for me to come down there. I went to the school and talked to her and she called several phone numbers and eventually found a clinic I could go to get help. She asked me if I’d go down there and I said that I’d try but I’d probably chicken out. She said she’d take me but asked me to come back the next day because she had plans that day. I went back the next day and as soon as school was over, (it was a shortened day) we got in her car and drove to where the clinic is. We ate lunch at Subway and then went next door to see someone at the clinic about getting me help. Ms. W. stayed with me and helped me talk to the people. They made an appointment for two weeks from then for the “intake” meeting where I had to meet with a therapist and answer questions for over two hours.

The next day my mom was off work. When her and my step-dad left to take the kids to school I wrote a note with the phone number to Ms. W’s class and drove the couple blocks to the school. When I called home a few hours later to ask permission to go to a swim meet at another school with Ms. W. My mom told me to come home that “we have to talk.” She was very angry and I knew I was in trouble. By the time I got to my car I was crying and by the time I had driven to the house I was crying so hard I was hyperventilating. I tried to calm myself down and managed to stop crying before going in the house.

When I went inside my mom started in on me immediately, bawling me out for “coming and going as I please” and never doing as I’m told, etc., etc. She wanted to know “what did you tell that Ms. W woman? I can tell you’ve been crying. Did you tell her what a shitty home life you have? How bad I treat you?!” She went on and on. Then she told me to call my father and that I had until the end of the day to find a place to live. I haven’t spoken to my father in well over a year and was not going to call him now. I called Ms. W. instead. My mom, of course, was listening on the other phone. Ms. W. agreed to let me stay with her for one week after talking to my mom. My mom took my house and car keys away and told me Ms. W. would pick me up about 9pm and that I better get packing. I then locked the door and sliced up my legs. I cried so hard for so long. I packed all my stuff and piled it in the hallway. Then I laid down and tried to sleep.

Ms. W. called about 8:30pm to tell us she was on her way. I then got up and called my best friend, YellowFlower and told her what was happening.

When Ms. W. got there she and my mom sat in the living room talking while I put all my stuff in the back of her SUV. Finally I kissed my mom goodbye and cried all the way to Ms. W’s house.

That entire week was a whirl-wind of activity. One night we had donuts at 2am! We went antiquing one day. We went to Chuck E. Cheese. We went to several malls. We ate at Rainforest Café, Coco’s, Denny’s, Claim Jumper, Chevy’s, and a couple others. Shop shop shop. On a quest to find all the Star Wars figures.

On Monday afternoon we rented a van and took the members of the high school diving team that qualified to CIF in San Louis Obisbo. A four hour drive north. We stayed at Motel 6 and ate dinner at an expensive Italian resturant. Then we went to the Madonna inn and she showed us the men’s restroom that has a waterfall for a urinal. She also admitted that when she was in college her and several of her friends ran through the hotel lobby wearing only paper bags on their heads and nothing else. LOL Her face turned so red as she told us!

The next morning we went to IHOP for breakfast then off to a local college where the diving meet was. Then Ms. W. and I went shopping for a bit while the students dived. After the boys were done, one of the divers, Ann, and I went to Ben Franklin’s sandwich shop for lunch. No one else was hungry. On the way back we were in a 3-car accident. No one was hurt and the van had very little damage. The police took down the info and we were on our way back to the pool.

When girls’ diving was over Ann took us to Gum Alley. Gum Alley is a walkway between two buildings that are completely covered with chewed bubble gum. Each of the divers added their own piece of gum to the wall. Then it was time for dinner. We went to F. McGlintocks, a rather unusual resturant. After dinner was the long drive home. All the divers slept most of the 4-hour ride home. Then each diver were dropped at their doorstep and we went home to Ann’s house. By this time it was about 1am and we had to be back at the school by 8am so we pretty much went straight to bed.

The next morning we dragged ourselves out of bed and went to the school to get a paper that needed to be taken with the kids to CIF swimming that day to the swimming coach, then returned the van, and made it back to the school in time for first period. It was a very long day.

The week sped by for me and before I knew it, it was Friday! On Thursday we’d talked to my mom for almost an hour on the phone and she agreed to meet with us on Friday evening. On Friday afternoon she called and said that she wasn’t going to meet with us because it wouldn’t change anything and that the appointment I had the following Tuesday she was going to take me and Ann couldn’t come. I didn’t my mom to go to that appointment with me because she turns everything around and makes me out to be a manipulative bitch when really that’s what she is. I’ve been assessed when my mom accompanied me before and never want to do that again. Ann had promised to take me and still agreed she would take me to that appointment. The original plan was for me to be home by Friday night but my mom made it clear I was not welcome there so Ann agreed to let me stay with her until the appointment on Tuesday.

The appointment was very emotionally draining for me. Over two hours of answering very difficult questions and revealing so many of my painful secrets at one time. I cried a lot, pulled my hair a lot, and sucked my thumb. Ann was very helpful. She stayed with me the whole time and helped me explain to the therapist all the things it’s so hard to talk about. I never would have made it through the meeting without her.

Because I had no home I qualified for a program called AB2034. They asked Ann if she would be willing to let me stay with her one more night because the AB2034 case manager was not there and therefore couldn’t find me a placement. She agreed.

We went back the next afternoon and I was taken to a Board and Care in Pico Rivera. I cried and cried. I hated it there. My roommate was rude, people were smoking every where I went and I was coughing so badly. The next day my case manager, John, came and took me to see a psychiatrist. After asking lots of hard questions the psychiatrist prescribed Zyprexa and Wellbutrin. He thinks I may have DID or BPD but said he didn’t have enough information for a diagnosis. I did not like the doctor but the medications seem to be helping.

When I got back to the Board and Care I attempted to take a nap but my roommate came in and turned on loud music. I eventually took my discman, book, and journal and sat out in the grass. I don’t know what happened after that. I was only sort of there. I was as if I was separated from my body and looking through a tunnel. I know I was crying and pulling my hair and that some of the other residents there had been throwing cigarette butts at me. Suddenly my mom was shaking me and telling me to stop crying. I couldn’t stop crying. The more I tried to stop the harder I cried.

My mom and step dad took me to Sizzler but I was crying to hard to eat much. They took me back to the Board and Care and put all my stuff in the back of the van and took me “home.”

My mom then told me to take a shower and came in and washed my hair just like she did when I was little. She didn’t say anything about my scars. She was gentle and loving. Not angry at all. It’d been so long since I’d seen her like that. It was kind of frightening but I loved it so much. After my shower she even came in my room and laid down with me. I wished she would stay like that forever but I knew it was too good to be true.

The next morning, things were back to “normal”. She got angry again. I had to clean my room and make it perfect for her. She was no longer mommy from long ago like the night before.

You can’t miss what you never had.

Before the two weeks I spent living the life Mommy Ann showed me I was miserable but had accepted the fact that this is the way life is and this is the way my life is meant to be. During those two weeks my life was not the way it had always been. I was seeing new things, feeling happy without guilt, feeling calm and safe. I even looked forward to the next day! Now I miss that life. I realize now that my life is not a normal life for someone my age. I realize what a sheltered life I’ve lived and now I’m more miserable that before because I’ve seen the other side, I know what I’m missing as I spend all day and all night in my mother and step-father’s home.

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