Learning To Love You More




Assignment #14
Write your life story in less than a day.

Brian L.
Eldersburg, Maryland USA



Well I was born on a Friday, July 26th 1991, at 1:20 a.m. I weighed in at 8lb 1 1/2 oz, 20 1/2 inches long, with a horribly ugly face. Everyone always says that babies are so cute, so beautiful, but all I can think of when I see a newborn is "disgusting." but back to me. I was the product of the 1989 union of Bill and Kathie. As the first grandchild on my mother's side, and the first grandchild in 14 years on my father's side, mine was a greatly anticipated birth. I just happened to be born on my paternal grandmother's 61st birthday, which of course was about the niftiest thing to ever happen to those folks. A new grandson for her birthday! Amazing! And there I was, born into a family of freaks and burn outs. A year before my birth my cousin, Matt, had died at the age of 21 in a car accident. And as I found out years along the road, it royally fucked up my dad. Matt was Bill's best friend for years. I guess the shock of my father's loss explains his lack of affection to everyone.
A year later my extended family gathered at my mother's mother's house to celebrate my first birthday, with a Winnie the Pooh cake. As it was my other grandmother's birthday as well, there was in addition a side-celebration. Those were happy times, I would imagine. Young couples with their first babies always seem so happy. Their children haven't strayed from them in any way, and life is mostly what they make it. They are what they want to be. But anyway, back to my early days. I blew out my first candle, unaware of what was going on, with my ridiculously long curly hair and fat face. Three weeks later my grandmother died of a stroke.
July 26th, 1993 was all mine.
My family and home life are not what I would consider orthodox. Then again, how would I know what orthodox was, when I've only had this one family my entire life. My mom went to college to study to be a lawyer, but decided not to go to Law School after marrying my dad when she was 21 and having me two years later. She ended up working for a bank until I was five, and then she was a real estate agent briefly, and now she works at a storage complex, renting out storage units. My dad never went to college. He lived with his parents until he got married to my mom. He's had the same job since he was 18, working for the Recreation & Parks branch of a neighboring county. It's safe to say that the man has never liked change. He's extremely predictable and consistent. He also has a drinking problem. My mom says he's an alcoholic, but I'm not sure. He doesn't get drunk too often. Lately, it seems he's gotten drunk almost every night, but sometimes he goes a month or two without drinking. It's very unpredictable, and very saddening.
When I was two, my parents, our dog Sam, and I moved from our small apartment to a 50-year-old split level 5 minutes away. I was happy back then. I loved the outdoors and I loved to draw, but I LOVED animals! I was always looking at bugs and birds in the backyard, digging holes to fill with water to form mini-oases for squirrels and frogs to drink from. My only real clear memory of back then was the time I was playing in the yard and saw a dead raccoon under the deck. I screamed for my mommy to come. She didn't.
My dad came and got the raccoon several hours later when he came home from work. He used a pitchfork to spear it and then flung its corpse onto a tarp in the bed of his truck.
The summer before I entered preschool, my mother lost a pregnancy at 5 months gestation. It was a boy. Apparently some prescription medication she was taking at the time did something to stop the growing fetus' heart. At a routine sonogram the technician told my mom the grim news. Years later I named him Connor, just so I could put a name to the thing I couldn't ever put a face to.
Preschool is a vague memory, mostly meshed with those of pre-kindergarten. I was taught by the same teachers, in the same classroom, at the same school, with the same kids. I believe I had my first crush on a girl in preschool. Her name was Carly. But she was the "girlfriend" of some three year old in diapers. So I was left to dream.
My teacher, Mrs. V., and the teacher's aide, Miss Elaine, were helpful. I learned everything I needed to know back then, which was mostly comprised of social skills. Don't hit. Don't bite. Don't scratch. Don't tattle. I never liked the Don't Tattle rule. For me, there was always a real reason to need to tattle. What if somebody was taking something that wasn't theirs? That always bugged me. Not anymore though. I take things that aren't mine.
I really cannot for the life of me remember who my best friend was back in those days. I remember a lot of people, I know I played with many. Did I have a confidante of sorts? Do 3 and 4 year olds have confidantes? I know I was friends with Joey B. He and I are still friends. We will be entering our senior year in high school soon and we are still the closest of friends. I really am lucky, to a degree.
On Sunday, July 9th, 1995, my sister was born. She was five days late. It was so hot out. I was taken to my surviving grandmother's house to spend the night whilst mommy and daddy went to the hospital. I wanted a sister, I remember that. My dad wanted another boy. I think he wanted a more boyish boy. I never liked sports of any kind. Id rather spend my time observing the world, drawing whatever entered my mind, learning about the animals I loved. When I went to see Erin at the hospital, I named her Erin Kathryn Sleeping Beauty Coconut. I don't remember why. My naming of her is a favorite story of my mom's. Soon enough, Erin became the boy I couldn't be for my dad. She quickly became her father's daughter. She loved everything he loved. She did whatever she did. She refused to wear a shirt for the summer she turned two. She began to refer to herself as a boy and begged the neighborhood to call her Joe-Jack. So for one summer, I had a brother. Kind of.
Let's skip kindergarten. Worthless year. Well, I learned to read. So not entirely worthless. OH and I developed a huge mongo crush on Erin Benton. Looking back I guess its weird that I fantasized a life and love with a girl sharing the same name as my sister, but I guess it was okay then. Today it would be weird, seeing as the 17 year old I am I know about sex and whatnot.
First grade came. With first grade came a full 6 1/2 hour day, and with that, recess. Automatically, every day at recess 90% of the boys in the grade would form a game of kickball/football/basketball. It really made me feel odd that I didn't play. I didn't want to, but I felt that I should. A couple other boys weren't playing. Joey wasn't, but he had developed such an infatuation with Allison R. and Alex D. that it was nearly impossible to catch him in between his wooing of the two. Bradley D. and John H., both buddies of mine then and not now today in 2008, never joined in The Game, but were busy caught up in each other so I didn't know where to go. I remember I did spend a fair amount of time playing with a couple of girls, and a lot of time just sitting and talking with Emily P., who today is a great friend of mine. She had a twin sister at school, but Emily left after first grade because she was found to have dyslexia. I went to an under-funded Catholic school from preschool to 8th grade, so we didn't have the facilities or faculty to help students with learning disabilities. But I did make close friends with Audrey, Emily's twin, and Aud, as she's known, has become one of my best friends as well.
During that year I developed a pining crush on Sarah T. I thought she was just about the coolest thing in the world. She never returned my affections. I liked her with a passion from first-third grade, fifth grade, eighth grade, and for a period in freshman year.
So by fall of 1998, I was entering second grade. The second grade, as did every grade from first to eighth, had two homerooms. I had Mrs. Baldwin as my teacher. She was strict, and I wasn't sure whether to like her. Well, I didn't have to deal with her much. She left for the year around October after her husband was diagnosed with a fatal brain cancer. So Mrs. Frazier filled in. Mrs. Frazier taught us cursive. That was about it. The other second grade teacher was Mrs. Deppe. She taught science and math. Apparently, my mother and Mrs. Deppe were sworn enemies, and had hated each other for years, ever since Mrs. Deppe was a customer at the bank my mom worked at until Erin was born. Many complaints were filed against that woman.
I remember shortly before Christmas of that year, a few kids around my desk were talking about the middle finger. I had no idea what it meant. One said, 'It's really bad if they stick it up without the other ones!' I demonstrated the gesture and ask, 'What, like this?' The reaction would have been the same if I pulled out a gun and shot everyone in the room. I was told the finger was very, very bad, and I assumed that to mean that my physical finger was bad, that it was dying. I went to see Santa at the mall that day.
Third grade was dumb. I had Mrs. Keats as my teacher. She taught math and science and english. I didn't like her after she gave me a communication slip(a piece of paper needing to be signed by the parents to let them know you've done wrong) when I hit that kid John H. in the face. I barely even hurt him.
It seems like this life story is mostly about school. But seeing as I'm still a young child at this point, most of my life was centered around school.
In fourth grade we had geckos and Madagascar hissing cockroaches. The teacher and I were always disagreeing. She pronounced the word "fungi" like 'fun-jee" and I said it was wrong. She told me to shut my mouth. The other teacher was a nun, who occasionally walked into the boys bathroom to fill her coffee mug with water.
Everyone was excited for fifth grade. That was the year we would learn all about the Catholic Church's view on sex. We learned how masturbation was an act punishable by eternal damnation, how sex is only to be between a husband and wife, and how dating is to be done in groups only nope no one-on-ones sorry. The excerpt "the man places his erect penis between her legs and into her vagina" was on many of our minds that year.
The summer after fifth grade, I began to do a lot of research on pet birds. My neighbors 20 year old daughter worked at a pet shop, and knew somebody who was breeding Lovebirds. On August 6th, 2002, I welcomed my beautiful little bird Azul into my life. Azul is the one thing that makes me unconditionally happy. She is such a wonderful part of my life. I love her dearly, from her scaly grey feet to the brilliant green feathers on her wings, to the smile she always puts on my face.
In sixth grade, my classmates and I moved up to the top floor of the school to integrate ourselves into middle school. There were 6 teachers, each heading one homeroom of sixth seventh or eighth graders. But these three years were very much about the complex social and romantic ventures of everyone, rather than just about school.
In seventh grade, the year began with the announcement that we would now have a school band. Being the geek I am, I signed up for clarinet. Basically, we would get out of a different class once a week for 30 minutes to practice. In my group were half a dozen non-descript younger children, a kid one year older than me, and a girl in my grade that I never really talked to. Her name was Laura S.
Laura and I started out just teasing each other. I sorta had a girlfriend at the time, nothing was really official. We would talk and hug at recess and I'd be at her house occasionally, but nothing more. Her name was Anna D., and she was a year below me in school. She was the younger sister of my friend Wally, but things got weird with Wally after that. Well, to an extent. Just before the weirding with Wally, me and Joey, best friends for like 8 years, had a HUGE falling out. Joey one day randomly out of the blue never wants to talk to me again. It was so random. Our mutual friends were taking sides. Audrey and Sarah were siding with me mostly, but Wally and Brad D. were pretty much sticking with Joey. By this time, John and I had grown apart after I called him out for acting like an asshole a lot. He didn't like my constructive criticism.
I forced Joey to hear me out, to listen. After a shaky week or two, things were back to normal and we were as close as we ever were. But right around that time, Anna hurt me immensely by saying she never really liked me. Of all the girls I've liked, I'd say Anna is the one I pine the least for after all those years. You know, the way you look back on an old "love" and feel some sadness? Well, I feel slim to none for her. And with Anna out of the picture, I could like Laura now.
So I quickly professed my feelings to Laura. Unfortunately, Brad was always extremely infatuated with Laura. He had also liked Sarah at the same time that I liked her, but we never really made a thing out of it. We were friends. Not the best of friends, but friends nonetheless. But this would drive us apart for good.
So around February of 7th grade, right after my great-grandmother's death I remember, Laura told me, through an e-mail, that she liked me. It pretty much rocked my world. For a few days, she and I held this new thing to ourselves, but we wondered if we should let Brad know. Laura considered him a friend, even though he was mad about her, and I still felt a lingering friendship for him, even though he was mad at me all the time about Laura. So one day at recess, whilst debating to tell him then and now, my friend Tommy M. blurted out "Laura likes Brian!" Brad was furious. He never showed me any sort of respect of vestige of friendship again. And about a month later, Laura told me she never really liked me in the first place.
There comes a point when we all stop being the children we were and start becoming versions of the adults we will become. Around this point, early 8th grade, I became a bit more like who I still am. I became a weird, twisted, dark, clingy person I am now. I started the year off with a few close friends, and several more less-close ones. The vendetta with Bradley, and to a lesser extent, John, was still going on. Audrey and Joey were my best friends at this point. And I began to develop a crush on Sarah again. That crush turned out badly.
As graduation came near, I was excited to start high school at the private Catholic all-boys school that most of the male half of my graduating class was attending. So as I passed the transition from middle school to high school, saying goodbye to many friends. Joey and I were still headed in the same direction though.
High school started in fall of 2005. It was overwhelming. I knew absolutely no one in my lunch period. I ate lunch alone every day for 180 days. I made some friends, but no close ones. I mostly stuck with the kids from my middle school. I began to feel depressed more often than not at times. I was paranoid about many things. I began to care more and more what people thought, what people said about me.
In November of freshman year, a guest speaker came to the school to lecture us on chastity and love. I began to think a lot about my future after that. A couple days later, my dog Sam died at the age of 16. I was crushed.
A friend of mine decided that her friend and I would make a good match, romantically. The friend of a friend's name was Rachel V. and we talked over MySpace and AIM and such for about a month, then went to the mall one day. I told her I didn't want to hang out again after that. I thought she was ugly. But I was the one who was ugly. When I looked at myself, I could only see an ugly person within me.
I always lived about 25-30 minutes away from school. As it was a private school there was no bus service, so my mother was the only source of transportation to and from school. Therefore, with rising gas prices, she never was happy when I asked to go to the movies with some friends 25 minutes away, or go to a weekend sports game or something like that at school. My lack of outside social interactions began to make me despondent. I felt that no one could ever love someone like me. An ugly stupid worthless person I was to myself. I thought of myself lower than dirt.
The summer after freshman year was one of the darkest times in my life. I felt so incredibly depressed. I guess I was clinically depressed, I don't know. But to this day, over two years later, I still have waves of depression. Happens every few months.
Sophomore started out promising. I wrote myself a list of goals to accomplish, and it was much easier starting the second year of high school. I knew everybody. I was acclimated. It wasn't something new. Around December of that year, I met a girl named Mary Beth at a party. We hit it off, kinda, and we began to talk via the internet, of course. We went to the movies once in January. Well, also in January, my family and I moved ten minutes farther away from school. Made things difficult, so it was even harder to see MaryBeth now. In March, we finally had the time to see each other again. You see, we lived a good 40 minutes apart, so it wasn't easy. My mom asked me who would be going to this movie with me. I wasn't allowed to date. I said the first name that popped into my head "Tommy. And my friend Mary Beth." As luck would have it, Tommy's mom called our house to talk to my mom. And she had no idea that Tommy was going to the movies with me. Probably because Tommy wasn't going. My mother was furious that I had lied. The day was March 2nd. On that day, due to yet another disappointment, the camel's back that was my life was broken. On that day, I planned to kill myself.
I wrote an intricate suicide note. Probably took me two hours. My 15 year old self was overwrought with despair. I just couldn't deal with life anymore. I couldn't see any of the good and wonderful things in my life, I was so focused on the bad; the overbearing suffocation my mother had on me, the alcohol abuse of my father, my problems with myself. I saw myself as so flawed, all the time. I couldn't imagine going through life like I had been for so long. The note itself was very long, very clear, and very beautifully written. I feel like I kept writing and adding more to it so that I wouldn't have to actually think about killing myself. I never really thought of how I would do it, to be honest. Anyways, about two or three hours of writing and sobbing later, I fell asleep on the floor of my bedroom.
The next day, I resolved to never expect any sort of happiness in life. I resigned myself to the fact that I would simply exist for the rest of my life.
As luck would have it, two very happy things came into my life in April of that year. On April 18th, my family adopted a 3 month old female mutt from the Humane Society. We named her Abbie, and she is one of my best friends.
On April 28th of 2007, ten days after getting Abbie and 57 days after my close call, I went to a Sweet Sixteen party. There, I met Julie B. Julie and I became fast friends. She seemed to understand everything about me. I felt so lucky, and every part of my life was brightened up by the prospects she brought. On May 11th, I asked Julie if she wanted to go to a dance at my school, which was to be held that same night actually. Despite the short notice, she made it, and I felt happier than I had in forever. Julie and I shared a kiss, my first kiss, her first kiss, on the dance floor that night, after knowing each other for only 13 days.
Julie made me so happy, life was going so well. My sophomore year was almost up, I had no major problems going on, and there was finally a girl who liked me for me, a girl who wanted to be with me! Julie became my girlfriend on June 6, 2007. It was among the happiest days of my life. But, alas, all good things do seem to come to an end. Julie broke up with me at a bowling alley on July 19th, 2007. She said she just couldn't bear to put me through the pain she felt she was causing me, for she had become rather distant in the last week or so.
Julie later ended up dating that kid Brad D. not long after that, the kid who worked hard to make my life difficult. I guess she and I weren't meant to be.
After that break-up, my first ever break-up with my first real girlfriend, I became somewhat depressed. This period of depression lasted about a month, and wasn't too severe. I at least had a clear-cut reason to be sad, I figured. But, unexpectedly, I began to feel so incredibly happy right before school started. I have no idea why, but that happiness carried me through for several months.
My Junior year of high school started out nicely; I was happy, I felt secure, and I had been through a whole lot but had managed to scrape through. In September, I began to talk with and hang out with a girl named Kal L. who lived near me. Kal was pretty, funny, and mean in a good way, all of which I liked. She had a boyfriend though, and I gave up on her after about a month.
In October, I began to like a friend of mine named Natalie D. Natalie said she liked me after a party in late October, which put me over the moon. I might have a new girlfriend! But Natalie lived 45 minutes away, and as neither of us had a driver's license, hanging out was hard to come by, and Natalie put an end to our pre-relationship in early December.
In November of 2007, I got a job at an assisted living facility five miles from home. The place specialized in Alzheimer's patients. I met two of my very best friends in the world there; Renee M. and Rachel S. Renee has an unconditionally rose-colored view of things, and always looks to the bright side. Renee, who's the same age as me, taught me that you don't need to necessarily have happy things going on in your life to be happy. Rachel started working several months after I did. I kind of have a small crush on her, but I don't think we will ever be together. I actually don't want to be with her, we're just so good as friends and we understand each other so well. She only has one leg. Rachel smokes and drinks a lot, and she's a year behind me in school. She's had sex with three guys, and she's given a blowjob to at least ten. She doesn't care if she lives or dies. She comes to me for guidance, which I give; I go to her for support, which she gives. Renee and Rachel are two of the best things that have ever happened to me. I would never trade them for anything, and every day I feel completely lucky to have them as friends.
At the same party that Natalie said she liked me after, I met a girl named Liz R. Liz was another crush that I figured would never happen; she too lived rather far away from me. I held onto the idea of Liz until February of 2008, until I came to my senses and told her I just wanted to stay friends, and stop pursuing a possible relationship. Liz and I are still friends, still talk frequently, and still bitch about life in general.
Through my good friend Renee, I met Casey S. on February 18th, 2008. Casey was different. She was quiet and kept her feelings to herself. She wasn't overly loud, emotional, fun, or great to be around. Yet I still liked her very much. I took Casey to my junior prom on April 11th, 2008, and we started dating that night. I always questioned whether or not she really liked me. I felt very insecure with the relationship. Casey never really said anything romantic. She never mentioned anything about liking me except for saying she liked me right after I told her I liked her. She was incredibly distant. Part of me thought I loved her. Part of me almost did. But the other part of me wanted somebody who gave a shit, somebody who wanted to be with me, somebody who didn't take me for granted. Casey would never make attempts to see me. I would always have to be the one to ask her if she wanted to hang out. A lot of the time, she would rather go to her friend's house than see me. I wasn't jealous, I would just get upset that she'd rather spend time with a friend she sees every day at school rather than me. I would be lucky to see her once a week. She wasn't affectionate. I feel our relationship was forced. I didn't want to end it, but I couldn't see myself stating with her. On August 10th, I went bowling with Casey, Renee, and four other people. That night, I knew our relationship was over. I just knew it. I decided to give it a week to see if anything changed. If not, I would break up with her. I was done being treated so badly. The next day, exactly four months after we started dating, Casey called me to say she wanted to break up. This second break-up was harder than the first. I almost thought I loved her. I almost told her I did. I'm glad I didn't. I got very clingy towards the end of the relationship. I hated how she ignored me, how she wouldn't look me in the eye. She made me feel bad. I don't regret dating her. I just wonder why I stayed with her. Casey hurt me in so many ways. I cried over her neglect more than I ever cried over any one person. I kept telling myself that she was worth it. She really wasn't.
Today is August 19th, 2008. Currently, I'm good friend-wise. Joey and I still talk all the time, and it seems like we can read each other's minds. It really does. Renee has been a voice of reason lately, and her choice words and wisdom helped me deal with the break-up. I haven't talked to Casey for about five days. I kind of don't want to talk to her. I want to be friends still, and she said the same thing, but I don't know if I'm ready to have her in my life right now. Rachel is still there for me all the time, and I am just going to not pursue anything with her. Audrey and Emily, the twin sisters I've known for ten years, are still close to me, and I feel they always will be. Almost every night, I talk to Liz, along with another, a newer, good friend; Brittany K. Brittany and I are very alike in many ways. She has helped me understand new things I never was able to. She came into my life for a reason. Someone so like me. I feel the only person I've ever really understood is myself. But then again, who understands anyone besides themself?