10 years…3,650 days…87,600 hours…5,256,000 minutes…

Tonight marks the 10th anniversary of the rape. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around it..that it’s been ten years. Hell, it just doesn’t even seem real, you know? There was a long time after it happened when I tried to convince myself that it didnt happen…that it wasn’t real,,,and that it was just some awful nightmare that I was going to wake up from at any moment. But I never did wake up because, as nightmarish as it’s been and has felt…it wasn’t a dream. Not the sleeping kind, at least. To be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely sure which is worse…the subconscious ones, or the living one. Sometimes when I think back to those first few months after it happened, it’s like I was in a fog or something…like I was seeing it all through someone else’s eyes, and not my own. It’s like I was there…but I wasn’t really there…if that makes any sense. As far as the scope of time goes, ten years might not seem all that long–but when you’ve spent those ten years living in a thick, dense fog, haunted by images and memories of an unforgiving, unrelenting past like I have…well, ten years might as well be a lifetime…

I don’t want this or the memories, but I have them. I want to forget–god, how I want to forget–but I can’t. I still remember every moment–every single detail–of that night. If I close my eyes, I can even picture the house where the party was…all decked out with Halloween decorations and fog machines and black lights, and that nasty fake spider-web stuff that gets tangled up everywhere. I remember bumping into someone in the dark and starting to apologize…that is, until I realized that it wasn’t a person I’d bumped into at all–but rather, it was one of those creepy, motion-sensor triggered, scary looking mannequin-like things that people like to prop up in their yard and or on front porches to scare the bejeezus out of anyone that walks by. Yeah, one of those things…only it wasn’t your typical ghost or zombie or skeleton…it was worse. Apparently some smart-ass jerk thought it’d be funny to transform the thing into “IT.” You know, the creepy, homicidal clown from the Steven King film that goes around terrorizing kids and drags them down into the sewers..yeah, that’s the one. I saw the movie once when i was younger and well, let’s just say that I’ve quite literally been terrified of clowns ever since. I had nightmares for weeks about that damn clown and his little blood-filled balloons. I know it sounds childish and maybe even a bit ridiculous–a grown woman being afraid of some dude caked in face paint and equipped with some serious balloon-animal-making skills–but I can’t help it. (Just like I can’t help my totally irrational, deathly fear of worms, for that matter.) Those damn clowns are creepy as you know what, and they freak me the hell out. Yes, I remember even that. Just like i remember the big bowls of spiked punch that were everywhere. For what it’s worth, i didn’t go there with the intention of drinking . Sneaking out of the house had been enough of a taste of rebellion for me that night. But I remember my friend and her boyfriend and this other guy I never met before–all insisting that i at least have one cup…saying how it wasn’t a big deal…and that I needed to loosen up and to stop being a Miss Goody-Two-Shoes for once. They had a good point, I guess…and to be honest, I too, wanted to know how it felt to be a little reckless for a minute. Everyone thinks perfection is so easy, but it’s not. It’s kind of exhausting actually…not to mention boring as hell. Having said that, I gave in and took the cup they offered, telling myself it wasn’t a big deal and that one cup wouldn’t hurt anything. It was a dumb move on my part, I know. Especially when we all know that it’s never just ONE cup or ONE drink…especially when it tastes as yummy as it did. I couldn’t even taste the alcohol…which probably should have been a flashing sign right there saying “hey stupid”…but as usual, I was oblivious. I might have had a refill or two, but that’s it. I still knew my name could recite the alphabet backwards so no, I wasn’t drunk. That is, I didn’t feel drunk…at least not right away. That fact right there is one of why I try to stay away from liquor whenever I do drink. If I had to choose one alcoholic vice…vodka would win, hands-down, every time. It’s completely illogical though because I hate the taste of vodka itself. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper to just buy a bottle of rubbing alcohol and drink that. It’s gross, which is why I’m a big fan of mixed drinks. My drink dejour would have to be my Vodka & Redbull. I can literally drink those all night long…which isn’t a good thing–not for me anyhow–at all. The reason I can drink those all night is the Redbull…which keeps me so hyped up that I’m pretty much oblivious to any effects of the Vodka. Which is NOT a good thing when the RedBull wears off and i crash. And I crash HARD, Then I’m screwed because the alcohol hits me all at once…which sucks. I literally go from zero to trashed in a quick minute. I wasn’t drunk enough for that though that night…just a little bit tipsy. Unfortunately, that’s why I went outside. I just wanted to get some fresh air, you know? Instead I walked myself right into the middle of a living hell.

I still remember it all. Like the wet grass under me, the dampness seeping through the back of the outfit I had so carefully chosen to wear–after an hour of trying on half of my wardrobe. His full weight on top of me, crushing me. Him pinning my wrists down my hands above my head with one hand, while the other covered my mouth so I couldn’t scream. God, I even remember the sound of his sadistic laugh. It was as though the more I struggled, the more he got off on it…literally. I tried to get away. I fought as hard as I could but I couldn’t stop him…I wasn’t strong enough. I couldn’t even scream or call for help with his nasty clammy hand over my mouth.

I still remember how desperate and panicked I felt in those final moments when I realized what was about to happen and what he was going to do. I remember thinking that someone was going to come out, see what was happening, and stop him. But no one did.  It hurt so damn much that I thought for sure that I was going to pass out just from the physical pain itself. And the more I struggled, the more it hurt. I’m not sure how long it went on, but time lost all meaning in those moments …it could have minutes, or hours…I don’t know. But it felt like it went on forever. The pain was like nothing I’d ever felt before…so horrible that I would have given anything for the ground to just open up and swallow me down whole. I truly wanted to die right then and  there, in those moments,  I tried to go somewhere else in my mind while it was happening…to think of something other than the pain and of him attacking me, and somehow I managed to just completely shut down. I couldn’t stand to see him or even look or his face, so I looked up and watched the stars in that night sky instead. In my mind, I went back. Back to when I was a still a little girl and how I would make wishes on every shooting star that I would see. I had this book that I would look at about the constellations and then try to find them all. I would often wonder about what else was out there–beyond the scope of the past or the sky or even the stars and space–particularly when it came to wondering if Heaven was real or not…

I’d wonder if “God” really did exist…or if it was just another made-up story in that outdated, worn-covered Bible my grandmother always kept on her nightstand. As for the latter, I think I got the answer to that question–albeit not the one I was looking for–that night. “He” wasn’t there. I know that, because I prayed and begged him to let me die that night.  Well, that didn’t happen. He did nothing, not a damn thing.  To all those people who believe he exists and that he’s this wonderful, loving God…it’s all bullshit…just a part of a tale that people came up with forever ago, as a means of putting their fear of evil at ease. People want to believe it, need to believe it, I think, because the reality of it not being true scares the hell out them. People want to believe that there’s more to life than just this one life they’ve been given. They want to believe that it all doesn’t end with death. They want happy thoughts…sunshine and puppies. They comfort themselves with the idea that one day they’ll be reunited with the loved ones they’ve lost and live happily-ever-after in this mythological paradise of pearly gates and singing angels–otherwise known as Heaven–so they hold onto those happy thoughts…using them to get through it all. They’re too damn scared to accept the reality that maybe there really isn’t anything waiting for them . No angels with halos, no white lights, nothing…just death and then nothingness. Just faded memories and torn up secrets on paper,,,and the ashes and dust and the souls of the beings we once were.

I don’t know if there’s a God or not. And to be perfectly honest–at this point in my life–I really don’t care. I just don’t. All I know is that no one was there in the grass with me that night. No one intervened or helped or tried to save me. No one cared. I was alone…and it was that loneliness that, ultimately, screwed me up. I didn’t just lose my “innocence” that night. I lost the person that I was–that is, the person I thought I was–that night, Now, I’m missing a part of myself that I know I will never get back. In a lot of ways…it’s like I really did die that night, or might just as well have, I should say. What’s worse is that some times I actually wish that I had…and that the memories and images s from that night had died right along with me. It would have been easier that way, I think. For everyone…

I wish I could say that it gets better,,,that I could tell girls like me that have gone through–and who are still going through–the same nightmare I’ve endured in the past 10 years– that it’ll go away. That the images and sounds and flashbacks will fade…but they won’t. At least not for me they haven’t. As much as I resent myself for it, there are moments when I still feel like a victim. VICTIM. Oh, how I hate that label more than anything, even if it does ring true at times. There’s this counselor that I used to see while I was away in college told me once that I was brave…and that I was lucky. But I’m neither. I wasn’t brave or courageous, for that matter, that night. I was weak and vulnerable and exposed…broken. I was a reckless, naive, foolish girl who snuck out of the house and went to a party I shouldn’t have even known about, let alone gone to. I made a bad decision and on some level I think that maybe the rape was the universe’s sick and twisted way of punishing me for being so naive and for making the wrong decisions when I had the chance to make the right one. I don’t know, maybe I deserved it. Maybe I was asking for it.  Maybe it was just one life lesson that I had to learn on my own. Maybe I’d already made myself a victim…and fate was just finishing the what I was started. . Honestly, I don’t know. All I know is that as much as I hate the sick bastard that did this, I hate myself even more for putting myself in the situation that I did. And as for the shrink;s claim that I was lucky…well, I wasn’t, I know it’s a horrible thing to say, but the truth of the matter is that I’d rather be a dead victim than a “lucky” living one like this. At least then this wouldn’t be happening. And ultimately, I wouldn’t have needed to be saved. I don’t know…and now…I still remember…but I don’t want to…



not who i was before  (2)

In the bright rays of the moon

Rests a single, solitary blade of grass.

Pieces of broken glass sparkle in the moonlight.

Drops of blood cooling on the hot grass.

She looks into the mirror.

The holes dark.

The cracks deep.

The pain too unbearable to realize.

In that shattered mirror–

she remembers a time of happiness.

She remembers the moment she first learned to swim,

the crystal blue water rippling lightly

from a calm, summer breeze.

She remembers her first horse ride.

Grass trampled swiftly into the ground–

from the galloping hooves of the powerful animal.

She remembers them all too well.

The smell of blood, the taste of fear; the tears.

The smile on her innocent face.

And then he came.

She learned to swim again.

She had to.

This time, the water was opaque.

Red, thick.

The way his hands felt.

She couldn’t breathe,

the wisps of life fluttering through her body;

her body.

Her body that had learned so well,

had heard the grass whimper.

Had seen it die.

Was nothing more than one solitary blade.





The hooves smothered her, confined her.

As his hands flickered in the torrent of the night sky.

His menacing laughs the only conversation.

And slowly, the blade of grass turned.

Green became brown, the ebb of life withering.

It had no fight, no will…no life.

Just another object, just another conquest.


He was and she was, too.

Eyes of fright looked into a distraught soul.

Looking hard, deep…finding nothing.

She was empty and hollow.

A hazel green eye looking into a mirror,

gazing into an elongated crack, twisted and turned–

her innocence no longer uniform.

And from that single, solitary blade of grass…

From the brown, tattered, and dead plant.

Came a single, solitary, spherical tear–

that splattered and shattered as it hit the ground.

For all of US.


Should I Stay, Or Should I Go…

So I’ve been putting out some feelers in the job world these past few weeks, which if the responding offers that have been trickling in are any indication, seems to be going pretty well. I’ve been going through and looking into a handful of the offers I’ve gotten from places in New York City, which as you know, is where I’ve been planning to relocate to for well over a year now. Respectively, they all seem like great offers…but I’ve been having a hard time choosing, as of late. That is, it’s not really the offers themselves that I’ve been contemplating about, but rather it’s the location. Honestly, I just don’t feel like NYC is where I want to be anymore or if it’s the right place or fit for me…for my goals or my dreams–personal or professional.

Maybe I’m just being ridiculous and overthinking everything a little too much, but it’s just not me, you know? I’ve been trying to picture it all these months, living and working there, being happy…but there’s still this feeling of hesitation and doubt on my part. Career-wise, I could definitely do it…find success and all that. I’m just not sure about the finding happiness part. I want to belong and blend in, but I don’t want to get lost in the shuffle—if that makes any sense. For starters, I’m not a city girl. I’m a small-town girl through and through, as much as I hate to admit. I like the quiet and the peacefulness. I like being able to go out at night and look up and see stars…not skyscrapers and smog. I like the silence, and of being alone with my thoughts. I don’t know if I could get used to the sounds of the city every day and night, the noise and the sirens and the constant chatter. I think it would drive me crazy. That of course, I’ve known all along. Which begs the question, I’m sure, of why then I would still have considered going through with the move. I don’t really know the exact answer to that. I guess I just figured that I could somehow make it work; convinced myself that if I wanted it that badly or worked hard enough for it, then I just might get it. And even if that didn’t happen, then I’d just get used to it somehow. I guess I also just thought that so long as the bestie was down there with me, it’d be okay. At least then I wouldn’t have to be there or do it all alone.

I think about it a lot, actually…wondering how it all might have turned out had we moved down in January as we’d originally planned. If things hadn’t changed…if she hadn’t have met during that time the guy she’s still seeing now…if things hadn’t gotten so serious between them so fast…if only she hadn’t backed out of going. Of course I think about it. I mean, anyone would. It’s not that I resent her for changing her mind or begrudge her the relationship and her happiness, because I don’t. I’m happy for her, truly I am. I’m happy for them both actually. I’m not angry with her or blame her for the plans falling through like they did, because I don’t. It wasn’t her choices or changed decision that held me back…not entirely, anyhow. Ultimately, it was my choice to stay or to go. I chose to stay. There were a lot of things that were factored in to my decision to stay. Starting with my family, of course. I didn’t really want to up and leave everyone, not with everything that was going on at the time…primarily having to deal with my oldest niece Lena. She’s been in this weird sort of funk, you might call it, lately. Actually, it’s more like the past couple of years, to tell you the truth. She’s just not herself. I mean, she used to be this carefree, happy-go-lucky little kid and now she’s this brooding, almost-sad kid. She’s quiet and reserved—which is nothing like her at all. Maybe it’s just some kind of “tween” phase she’s going through and that she’s just growing up, but I don’t know. It just seems like it’s something else, like there’s something more to it. For example, she used to love school. You couldn’t keep her home even if she was really sick and definitely should have stayed home. Now she’s making up all kinds of excuses for not wanting to go. Even when she is home, she’s almost always hiding away in her room, wanting to be left alone. Partly, I think it has to do with the fact that now that she’s she getting older, she’s not getting the attention that she’s otherwise been used to. I mean, for the first 7 or so years she was used to getting most of the attention from everyone. Now there are the little ones that need it somewhat more, so she’s kind of getting pushed aside. Albeit, not from me though. Fortunately, that hasn’t changed. We still have our little snuggle parties where we watch our movies and shows and veg out all night to the tune of The Golden Girls, Grey’s, and mostly recently, Nashville. In other words, shows that are completely inappropriate for a 10-year-old little girl. I admit it…I’m totally a bad influence on her…but oh well. She’s so much like me that’s its unreal. I think that’s why she and I get along so well, because we relate so well to one another. That and the fact that I don’t treat her like a little kid like everyone else. I treat her like an equal. She knows that she can come to me and openly tell me anything, no matter what. She can giggle and get all starry-eyed and tell me all about the cute boy that’s in her class that all the girls are crushing on and not have to hear a lecture from me. Instead I’ll just tease her about it ‘til she rolls her eyes at me, gets all embarrassed, and tells me I’m being a weirdo…especially when I tell her that she’s not allowed to date or even think about dating boys until she’s at least thirty or I’ll kick the kid’s butt if anyone tries anything with her before then. She trusts me and confides in me and well, I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Granted, I’m sure all that will change eventually when she becomes a teenager, but for now—I’m going to cherish it. Aside from that though, I think the biggest concern we all share in regards to her behavior changes right now is her eating habits. Or severe lack thereof, I should say. She doesn’t eat. Seriously, she doesn’t. And it’s not that she’s just a typical kid with typical picky eating habits…its way past that. It’s been a problem for about 4 years now, but in the past couple of years especially, it’s gotten far worse. She’s not picky…she hates all food just in general. Even the foods she used to like…now she supposedly hates them. Every day it’s literally a fight to get her to eat something. It’s bad, really bad. I mean the kid is pretty much just skin and bones. And there’s no getting through to her. She’s stubborn…which in this case, isn’t a good thing. Just to give you an idea of how bad I mean…she can still fit into clothes that she wore when she 2. Yeah, that—it’s bad. Honestly, I blame her stupid pediatrician. When it all started we took her to see him, and the guy made a real idiot move by essentially telling us that we were overreacting and telling her that her eating habits were perfectly normal.  It’s only been just in recent months that the guy grew a brain and is changing his tune. No wants want to make it official or mess her up somehow by slapping a label on her, but the truth is, she’s anorexic. She’s ten years old and she’s anorexic. It’s horrible and it’s sad and it’s frustrating…and if you ask me, could have been prevented a long damn time ago if that so-called pediatrician of hers hadn’t had his head up his ass all those years ago when he dismissed the problem. Naturally, we’re all trying our best to help and to somehow fix the issue, but we haven’t had all that much success with it. She’s just stubborn and hard-willed and set in her ways. It’s hard for me especially, having to watch this happen and not knowing how to help her. Mostly, I just feel like a total hypocrite when it comes to the issue. Hell, I’ve been fighting my own battle with Bulimia since I was 14…so about 12 years now…so out of everyone, I’d say I can probably relate most to the issue. Unfortunately, that’s not a good thing. I mean, I know what it’s like…how hard it is. How it feels to have everyone standing around staring at you and judging and telling you eat…thinking it’s just so damn easy to just change the bad habits overnight. Well, it’s not easy. Honestly, all the talks and threats all those years for me—just made it worse. So now, I don’t know what to do. I mean, how do I fix this little girl that I love more than life itself when I can’t even fix myself? It sucks. It just really, really sucks. Sometimes I wonder if maybe it’s my fault. If she saw what I’ve done or if she heard people talking about me and she wants to I don’t know, try to emulate me or something…but I really just don’t know. And it’s the not knowing that scares me most. I love her so much and I want to be there for her for everything and anything that she needs, but I’m beginning to think that maybe it’d be best if me and my bad influences weren’t around so much.

Which brings us to my original point for this post…which is that I’ve been starting to expand my horizons a bit, so to speak. Geographically speaking, that is, to be more exact. And so last week I was contacted about a position in Montana. I know, I know….Montana…it’s totally random. I know. But hey, when I was a kid I always did want to live on and have a ranch somewhere. I even wanted to start like some kind of outreach program for like orphans and runaways and whatnot…I guess I was a bit ambitious even then. And a dreamer. I pictured it so clearly in my head. It was going to be somewhere beautiful in the middle of nowhere, away from everything and everyone on acres and acres of lush green grass and rolling hills. There’d be a beautiful meadow with this big old oak tree where I’d go to think and write when I just needed to get away. A river nestled there where I could go swimming and cool off on a hot, summer day. I envisioned this big ranch house with a wrap-around porch and a tree swing out front where my kids might play. There’d be a dozen beautiful Thoroughbreds in a paddock nearby and the family dog would be a big St. Bernard named Beethoven. In my mind, it was beautiful. Now, while the idea is still quite appealing I admit, I’m not sure if I could do with being so removed from the rest of the world. The whole wide-open-spaces thing—I think I’ll leave that to the Dixie Chicks for the time being.

In addition to the Montana offer, I received an email response back from a great company in Seattle about a position that I can only describe as my ideal dream job. I’d be heading up the social media department, so dealing with things like Advertising and PR stuff. Basically, it’d give me the opportunity to do both of what I love doing—designing and writing. I’d even have opportunities to travel. It’s ideal, it really is. The company will even cover my relocation and moving costs. And of course, the salary and benefits being offered are nothing short of absolutely amazing. It just seems so perfect, you know? Almost too good to be true, even. I actually put together a little list of pros/cons over this past weekend and amazingly enough, there’s really only one negative thing I can think of for the con side…that it’s in Seattle. After all, if I were to take the offer, it’d be putting me 3000 miles away and on opposite coasts from my family and friends. Obviously, it’s a major decision to make. It’s a far cry from living just a 4 hour train ride from home in New York City. Boston too, which is where I was also considering going for a while. And yes, yes, yes I am all over the place with my thoughts…no lectures please, as I’m fully aware, thank you very much. I know.

Maybe it’s selfish of me, but I think I really want to go to Seattle. I think it’ll best in the long run. For everyone else. And for me. I want Lena to look up to me…and I want to be actually deserving of her adoration, you know? I have to figure out who I am and who I want to be. And in order to do that, I think I need to get away…to put as much space between myself and this place and all the drama that’s associated with it. I think it’s the only way I’m ever going to find myself. I have to do this on my own. I have to stop being so dependent on everyone else because—despite how much it sucks—people aren’t always going to be there. People leave. It’s just a fact of life. And when that happens, I need to know that I can stand on my own…that I can do this, be something, and be someone. I think I have a chance here to really do something with my life. A second chance to start completely fresh…without all the baggage. I want to start over. I want to move on. I want to be happy.

I’m thinking maybe I can do that in Seattle. Maybe I can really be happy there. It’s a beautiful city and place. Best part is, it rains a lot…and I love the rain. Always have. Having said all that, I think I just might give it a try and see how it all goes. I think it’s all I really can do right now….is try. And hope like heck that it works out. You never know…


Oh, The Joys of Sisterhood…

Well, this is news. So, I got into it with my sister today. Normally it’d be my stupid brother inciting this urge to vent, but not today. No, today was my sister’s turn…unusual…

I love my sister, I really do, but sometimes she just makes me want to punch her in the face. She really does. She’s my big sister, 5 years older to be exact. I’ve always looked up to her, you know? I spent my entire childhood idolizing her, in fact. Yes, I was that little sister…the annoying little brat that followed her everywhere and wanted to do everything that she did. Hell, I wanted to BE her, you know? And she hated it, of course. But she never complained. Not even when I would make her take me with her to her best friend’s house for their weekly “Dawson’s Creek” fix, or to the “girls only” little fort she and her friends had built and would hang out at. She never even yelled at me the time I followed her and a boy she liked on a walk through an entire corn field (we lived in the country) giggling and singing “… [HER & HIM] sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G…” behind her the entire time. How she kept her patience with me and my annoying antics, I do not know. It actually makes me kind of glad that I’m the baby and therefor don’t have a little sister or brother to do those things to me, because I definitely wouldn’t have been so patient or understanding…at all…

I idolized her. I thought she could do no wrong…which she couldn’t. She was perfect. Too perfect. She never screwed up or did anything wrong, it seemed. She got good grades, she studied like she was supposed to, she never drank or partied or broke curfew EVER. She did exactly what she was told, and everything that was expected of her. She worked at a nursing home in high school and saved up to buy her own car right after she graduated high school. Hell, she wouldn’t even drive 1 mph over the speed limit. I was 13 when she left for college, 3 hours away from home. I remember us packing up her car and moving her out there and into her dorm. I remember how proud everyone looked of her as they took pictures in front of the house that morning before we left. And how my mother and grandmother cried before we left her at school. I remember how she’d call my grandmother every day to check in. And how we’d go out to visit her so often. It’s not that I wasn’t proud of her, because I was. I was proud of her accomplishments and her success. She was the first one in our family to go to college, so naturally, it was a big deal. My family put her up on a pedestal, and it wasn’t hard to figure out why. She deserved it. She’d earned it. But still…

Before she left, we were close. Like I said, I idolized her. And naturally, I missed her. I missed having my big sister around, even if it was just to follow her around and bug the heck out of her. I remember that we had this little routine, she and I, where she’d call every week when “Gilmore Girls” was on and she and I would sing the theme song over the phone when the show started. It sounds corny, I know, but it was our own special little thing and it was nice. But it wasn’t the same. The fact of the matter is that she was there and I was here. And everything…everything…was different.

Again, I was thirteen when she left. We’d just moved here from another town that year, so things were different. We’d moved in December, so I’d had to switch schools and everyone knows how much it sucks to have to change schools in the middle of the school year…being the new kid and all that. My sister was a senior that year, so they let her finish out the year at her school, rather than have her switch like we did…which didn’t seem fair at all to me, by the way. But yeah. It was hard for me, having to switch schools and to leave all the friends I’d known and had since pre-school. It’s hard having to start over in a place you’re unfamiliar with and with people you don’t know. It was a hard and really difficult adjustment for me. I was quiet and shy and I had no one. My sister was gone and I had stopped talking to my mother and grandmother for weeks because of how angry and resentful I was of them for making us move. I just felt so alone, you know? And it certainly didn’t help that I was a teenager with all these new emotions and hormones raging around and scrambling my brain. My thoughts were running amuck. Everything just seemed so hopeless, so bleak. I thought I’d never fit in, that I’d never find a place to belong. That’d I’d never be happy again. At some point, I just gave up trying. That’s when I started cutting to cope. I know that when people hear the word “cutting”, they just assume that the person is crazy and unbalanced and should be in a psych ward, but those people just don’t understand. They don’t know what it’s like to feel so hopeless, or helpless. Over the years, I’d had people ask me why I did it or how I could do it and if it hurts. They’ve asked me to explain it to them so they can understand, but it’s not something that can be understood. I don’t understand it myself. All I know is that it helped. And as crazy as it sounds, it doesn’t hurt. Call it endorphins or whatever, but there’s actually something cathartic about making the cu and watching the blood appear. If anything, it takes away the pain. I can’t explain why, but it does. There’s that moment, that one minute when everything else just fades away…all the pain, the hurt, the loneliness. It’s not about suicide or wanting to hurt yourself. I wasn’t trying to die. I never cut deep enough to cause any real damage, just enough to bleed. It’s not about death, but rather it’s the exact opposite. It’s about trying to live…trying to cope somehow, in some way. It’s not the healthiest coping method, but to each his own, I guess. It just is what it is. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it’s okay or that I’m proud of it necessarily, because it’s not and I’m not. I’m in no way encouraging my actions or saying that people should cut to feel better. I’m just saying that it helped me. In a sick, twisted, altogether not so rational/healthy way…but it helped.

That is, it helped for a while. Until it didn’t. Life went on, bad things happened. Things got worse. And the sad thing is, no one knew. For years I hid the cuts and the scars and even the bulimia…and no one was the wiser. No one was there. I couldn’t go to my sister and tell her how messed up I was or how screwed up things were in my life. I mean, she was perfect. She did everything that I didn’t. She was everything that I wasn’t. And her being so perfect, actually made it worse. The high pedestal the family put her on had made it nearly impossible to ever reach. I tried following in her footsteps, but I was never going to fit in them. I was never going to be perfect like her. I’d made mistakes and done things my sister would never even think of doing. Everyone made it so hard…though I doubt they realized it. They expected so much. And I tried to do it their way. I tried hard, for so long. Academically, I actually surpassed my sister. She was smart, but I was smarter. I got better grades than she did without even having to try actually. Hell, she went to state school and I got a full-ride to an Ivy League. It shouldn’t have been a competition, but it might as well have been. But no matter how much better I did than her, I was still the no-good nobody and she was still Miss Perfect. She likes to throw it in my face—how I took my Ivy League chance for granted. How ungrateful I was. She likes to remind me of my failures, but she doesn’t get it. She acts like I had everything and like I was given so much…but she doesn’t get it.

She doesn’t get what it was like. I didn’t get the praise or the acknowledgment or the unconditional support like she did. My mother went to everything of hers. Her games, her award ceremonies, her concerts…everything. But not once did she ever go any of my games, or my concerts, or praise my accomplishments. She didn’t go visiting colleges with me like she did with my sister. She didn’t congratulate or say she was proud or even celebrate my early-decision acceptance into Colgate and the Ivy’s. She didn’t help me pack up or go with me when I left for school. In fact, not once in the nearly 3 years that I was at Colgate did she ever come to visit me. She’s never seen or even been there. Ever. That, among other things, is what makes me want to scream when my sister tries to guilt me for my failures. She’s completely clueless to the fact that she had everything and everyone, while I had no one but myself. She had people supporting and encouraging her every step of the way, but I didn’t. I’m not trying to feel sorry for myself or play the pity card because I’ve accepted it. I accepted it a long time ago. She acts like we had it the same and we didn’t. Moreover, she acts like she knows me…but she doesn’t.

She’s my sister and I love her, but I also hate her a little. I know that’s probably a horrible thing to say, but it’s true. I can’t help but resent her a little for being so perfect and for making it so hard for me to live up to her success. I resent her for thinking she knows everything, and for acting like she’s superior just because she has a teaching degree and I don’t. She may have a degree and she may be book-smart, but she has no common sense or real-life experience and understanding of how the world works. She’s been so focused on being good and perfect that she’s barely even lived. I mean, she’s 31 and she hasn’t had any real fun…like EVER. She doesn’t go out or drink or do anything that can be construed by the public as “inappropriate” and “unprofessional”. She dresses like she’s a 50 year old woman and actually thinks that showing some skin is somehow un-teacher-like. She doesn’t curse or raise her voice and she still won’t drive anything over the speed limit. She’s careful and cautious and doesn’t take anything even remotely resembling a risk. It’s like she has her whole life planned out…and best believe, she follows it right down to the letter. When it comes to matters like dating and the opposite sex, the only word I can come up with to describe her is WHITE…and it has nothing to do with her complexion. She’s so pure and wholesome and good. She didn’t date in high school. No, that would have gotten in the way of her studies and so she, of course, couldn’t allow that. The only serious relationship—or relationship itself–she’s ever had is with her now husband. She met him her junior year of college through a mutual friend—making him her first and until then only real boyfriend. They dated for 8 years before finally getting married a couple of years ago. He’s the first and only man she’s ever been with. Honest-to God, she actually waited to have sex until she was married. THAT is how much of a goody-two-shoes she is. Granted she’s happy and my brother-in-law is a great guy and whatever, but come on. She acts as though this is the 1900’s and women are still walking around in petticoats. She’s of the opinion that if a woman has sex with more than one man—especially outside the bounds of marriage—then that woman is an unrepentant whore. And I’m not talking just religion here. She’s welcome to her opinion of course, but her views are incredibly outdated and narrow-minded. Saving yourself for marriage might have been her thing…but it’s not a unilateral view for everyone else…myself included. We’re not in the 1900’s and the times have changed…a lot. And that whole white picket fence, golden retriever, husband and 2.5 kids view—it changed along with it. And I for one am glad that it did. My sister might be happy in that world, but I could never be. I’m sorry, but I just can’t picture myself doing it. I can’t picture myself in the kitchen, tied down to one person for the rest of my life. I just can’t. Maybe I’m a little jaded, but marriage doesn’t hold much water—so to speak—these days. I mean most of the time, you’re screwed. You can be perfect like my sister and do everything right and you can tell yourself that it’ll work out. You can stand before God and make your vows…and break them down the road. Marriage isn’t a constant state…it changes with time just like everything else. It evolves. If you’re lucky, it’ll all work out. But unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t. People grow, feelings change…YOU change. You eventually start to realize and find out that love doesn’t conquer everything. And that despite what people say or want to believe, love isn’t always enough. Having said that, it’s just easier to avoid it all together and to just save yourself the trouble and the grief in the end. Or at least that’s how I see it anyway. As far as sex goes, I really don’t think it’s anyone’s business—for starters—and it shouldn’t matter how many people you’ve been with, unless of course you’re going through the whole opposite gender…then you really are a whore…but yeah. I’m not in that league at all. I’m not a saint…or a nun. I’ve been with more than one person and have had a couple one-night-stands…but that doesn’t mean I’m a whore. It just means I’m a little indecisive, I think. Personally, I don’t think that we’re meant to be with one person for our whole lives. It’s not in our nature, as we’re social creatures. I think it’s definitely possible to fall in love more than once in our lives. That’s what I think.

Anyhow, back to the issue at present. This thing with my sister–It’s absolutely ridiculous. And it’s frustrating as hell. Especially now in that she’s pregnant. I’m trying to be patient and understanding and to show her some leniency on how mad she makes me because of her condition. That and the fact that she’s had a rough time these past of couple years, in that she and her husband struggled to get pregnant. They tried for a long time and couldn’t get pregnant, so they went the in-vitro route…which turned out to be even more of a struggle. They had several rounds of fertility treatments and in-vitro and it was hell on my sister. She had to take pills and meds and have injections every day for months, not to mention all the tests and procedures she had done. She even had exploratory surgery at one point to see what could have been causing the infertility issues. She had several miscarriages and had nearly given up hope of ever having kids until this last time. Early on she actually thought she’d miscarried, but luckily it stuck. She’s 28 weeks along now and having twin boys in December. It hasn’t been the easiest pregnancy, but at least she’s pregnant. And I’m happy for her, I really am. If anyone deserves to be a mom, it’s her. And she’s going to be a great mom, I know it. And I already love my nephews and can’t wait to meet little Jacob Michael and Tyler Joseph.  But their mother—she’s about thisclose to seriously getting her ass kicked…by me…pregnant or not. She’s cranky and irritating, now more than ever, and of course, she thinks she knows everything. She acts like no one else has ever been pregnant or has had a baby before. She’s picky about everything. She reads all these articles online and suddenly thinks every smell, food… ANYTHING…is bad for the babies. She believes everything she reads and she does everything the damn internet tells her to do. Granted, it’s her first pregnancy and she’s gone through hell to get here, not to mention spent tens of thousands to GET pregnant, but still. People have been having babies the same way since the beginning of time. Obviously we’re doing something right. And for someone with a college degree and her intelligence—you’d think she’d know better than to take everything she reads on Google as pregnancy gospel. But again, she’s severely lacking in common sense. So yeah, that’s where I’m at…better now…



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