Learning To Love You More




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

Boston, Massachusetts USA



I was born on July 15th 1991, in Brigham & Women s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. My mom was 45 and the doctors were afraid that I would be born with Down Syndrome or some other congenital defect because of her age, but I was perfectly normal. My 31 year old dad, 11 year old brother, (half brother really, my mom s son, not my dad s) and my parent s friend Chris were there. I still have the stuffed bear that I got from her that day. I tried to cherish it, but I don't really have any connection to it. My first memory is when I was probably a year or two old, and my mom took the back cushions off of the couch so she could lie down with me on top of her chest while she fed me a bottle and watched Cartoon Network. It was on the couch with the paint splatters that had the rips on the seat cushions. Mom used to flip them over to try and hide them, but they soon appeared on both sides. Probably my doing.
When I was 18 months, I learned the alphabet. My grandma didn't believe it when my dad told her. But sure enough when we went to visit them he whipped out the flash cards and I recognized every letter. Apparently my grandma has always been the same type of person. My mom s favorite detail is that I said  dubbawoo instead of  double-you. I taught myself to read when I was four. Mainly Dr. Seuss books and such. Whenever anyone tried to help me sound something out, I would grunt and stare angrily. They backed off, I learned to read.
Also, all my life I have had a passion for art. I made a lizard out of play-doh in the first grade and my art teacher called my parents in to say that I had great artistic potential. It figures, I guess, since my parents met at Mass College of Art.
I was branded  smart by my parents and teachers in elementary school. I still don't know if that s true. Well, I think I am smart in a different way than what they meant. Kindergarten was pretty cool. I played in the sandbox ( three at a time said the sign) and had my first crush on a boy named Ricky. (He later went to my high school, and didn't remember me or the elementary school. I thought that was weird.) I was terrified of the adults and the fifth graders. I knew they could control my fate and they were so much bigger than me. But not for long. There was this one kid named Junior who ate crayons. I wonder where he is now. Then the back of the bus was cool, and I remember the cool older kids accepting me but I couldn't tell if they were playing a joke on me or not. I was very careful around them.
I've had a few best friends that stand out. I can't remember a lot about some of them. When I was about 6, maybe 5, I made best friends with a girl named Kylee from my church. All I remember about her is that she had short dark brown hair with bangs, (standard little girl haircut; I had it too) and she moved to North? South? Carolina. When I was about 7, a girl named Ashley moved across the street from me. It turns out she lived on Nantucket with her mother, but came to live with her father during summers. She was a year older than me but it felt like much more. She moved to Colorado. When I was 8 Amanda came along. We also went to the same church and our parents set us up on a play date. We clicked big time. She had thick blonde hair and a crazy hyper personality. She used to make up characters and act them out. She had a little beanie baby pig named Squealer that I loved to hide from her. I remember telling her that when I first heard about her, I thought she would have long brown hair. She said that when she first heard about me, she thought I would be black.
It really bothers me that I will probably leave a lot of parts out. I want to give the whole entire story. I know every detail attributes to my personality and preferences today. I try to hold on to the past with pictures and words, but I guess some things can't be preserved. Anyways&
One day my parents stopped and hugged in the middle of the hallway. I saw them and I got in on the hug too, clutching their shins. That was nice. Not too long after, I have a silent memory of my father jamming on a winter hat, pointing at my mother, and leaving, slamming the door on his way out. I looked up at my mother, and she was crying. I don't know where my brother was. Apparently I was really hurt when my parents separated and my father moved out. I have no memory of this, and I find it particularly incredible considering my feelings toward him today. I can't really remember how old I was. Five? I dunno. I m so bad with dates.
It was kind of weird after that. I remember always being in some type of depression at this time but I didn't really connect it to any specific event. I m not even really sure that it started because of the divorce. I mean, I remember my first panic attack at age four when my dad taught me about death. (He had a glove on, representing our mortal body, and then he took it off, saying  When we die, our spirit (the hand) goes to heaven, but the body dies. I did some calculations in my head after he said that and I thought  Oh no! I only have about 80 years left! I freaked.) I really think I was just born with this depression. However, it really started to surface at age 8. Amanda moved away, and I wasn't happy anymore. I began watching lots and lots of TV to distract me and it took over. I couldn't sleep. Sometimes I would stay up for days at a time.
When I was in fourth grade, I was placed in the advanced work class because I was excelling in academics at my old school. I found out I hated it. The kids made fun of me and the work was too hard so I stopped going. My mom okayed it since she could see the pain that I was going through, but she got in trouble for it. A whole slew of court visits, teacher phone calls, and therapists later, I was back in school, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I should probably learn something from that.
Secretly, I always knew that my mom was on drugs. I could see the signs even though I was young. Once I found some strange herbs in a drawer and a weird shaped pipe-looking thing in her purse. The piles of money everywhere didn't put me at ease either. Just before my 12th birthday, my mom took me out to breakfast the summer before seventh grade, and asked  Did you know that I have been using drugs for a very long time now? I lied and said no.  Well if I ever did anything while I was high that offended you, I am sorry. I learned later that making amends with loved ones is part of the 12 Step Program. It kind of made me uncomfortable that she apologized because a book told her to, not because she thought it would be good too. That probably a bad thing to think but I can't help that. Now, she still has the  get-me-what-I-want-now-or-else personality of an addict, which I absolutely hate. I also hate the term  addictive personality so I didn't use it.
My dad has a kind of borderline personality disorder so that when he gets angry he doesn't really remember acting that way. In fact, sometime he tells me that he was actually extremely nice and polite. This has caused much contention between us, only he doesn't know about it. It s kind of hard to explain unless you know someone like that. I remember not liking visits to his house, and I hate spending weekends there. He loves me a lot, but he just has a funny way of showing it. I love him, but it is complicated.
Even though I have never tried drugs or alcohol to date, (thanks to church and mom) I believe I was addicted to many things growing up. I found this out recently, when I heard someone talking about their childhood addictions prior to their drug addiction, and they could have been talking about me. TV, food, sugar, sex (not actual sex but I ll get to that), etc. I was addicted to it all. When I was about 9 years old, watching TV one day, I stumbled upon the adult channels. This is really embarrassing to say, but I was hooked. I knew it was wrong but it just made me feel so good to watch it, and it made it so that I didn't have to think about my crappy life. No masturbation, just watching and feeling and imagining. I watched those programs regularly until I was about 12, and I am SO glad to be over it.
In the 6th grade, I went to the Timilty Middle School in Roxbury. I was one of about 4 white kids. That was the year that I lost all confidence in myself. There were three girls, Culicia, Kaneisha, and Ruth, who made fun of me to no end. They said I was ugly, smelled bad, had a flat butt, no boobs, and that I had hideous no-name shoes. I became conscious of every move I made, every expression on my face, and I was the most miserable I had ever been. One day during reading class, I broke down crying in front of everyone. Ms. Fitzsimons took me out of the room and I told her everything. She told me it wasn't true. I didn't believe her. I had one friend that year, Latreveyia. She was really nice to me, but the more I look back on it, I think she was more of a pity friend than anything else. My parents know nothing of this incident, and I intend to keep it that way. Another weird thing was that this year was the first time that a boy ever publicly had a crush on me. His name was Gustavo and he told Latreveyia that he wanted to  go out with me. I had no idea what to do so I just didn't even talk to him about it (even though I had a little crush on him too.) We remained friends until I switched schools. I wonder where he is now, too. I ve tried searching his name on facebook, but I found nothing.
When I was 12, I started seventh grade at Boston Latin School, a prestigious exam school. It was recently named #19 in the country s best high schools. I beg to differ. It was there that I received my first F, the realization that math hated me as much as I hated it, and that I was not as smart as I had been told by everyone to date. I was also still extremely self-conscious, but more optimistic that I would find some friends.
Now I am in my senior year, about to finish high school for good, and I m oddly grateful that I didn't transfer to another school. It s probably going to make college seem like a breeze, and I have made some incredible friends along the way. Wait, I didn't even mention the boys. I ve never been on a date or had a boyfriend, I ve never even been kissed (I m 17, soon to be 18, that s kind of embarrassing) but there were SO many crushes. 7th grade- Jasper and Danny. 8th grade- Zach and Liam. 9th grade- Zach still. 10th grade, Paul and Naoise. 11th grade- not really anybody (but someone who I really don't like pursued me and kind of distracted me.) Currently, I have a crush on Liam again and maybe something will happen. Maybe not. I don't know. I have a belief that things will happen if they are meant to happen. We ll see.
Church. I love that word. I am one of the only kids I know who can say that. I am a Mormon and have been all my life. My dad converted when he was 20, and he was an alcoholic before and really needed this, so his parents were supportive. (Sometimes they still ask if he celebrates Christmas which I find hysterical) My mom was only a member for the duration of her marriage to my dad. I know she has felt the Holy Spirit and that she knows there is a God, but I am not sure she ever really believed in the church s teachings. Church was just a thing that I went to once a week until I was 11. I really wanted to know if what I was being taught was real. I remember when my dad was out one day, I knelt at his bedside and prayed to God asking if it was true. I suddenly got this incredible feeling of lightness in my heart, a feeling of pure joy. I knew it then, and have been reassured at different times ever since.
My church friends are much different than my school friends. We share a deep personal belief, we have cried together, laughed the hardest together, pulled all-nighters together, shared insecurities and aspirations, doubts and skepticism, basically lived together. Everything. School friends are kind of hidden behind a veil of alcohol and drama that makes them less accessible and much less friendly. I want to go to a church school like BYU in Provo, Utah since drinking will be discouraged, and I think I will have more fun, but at the same time I m nervous about the culture shock. I am a very liberal Mormon, which is pretty rare, and out in Utah, Idaho, etc. they are pretty conservative. But since I am such good friends with many conservative people already, I don't think I will let political differences get in the way of friendship. I ve also heard the dating is kind of weird and awkward, since we are all kind of pressured to marry another Mormon, but I am confident that it won't be too bad, and after all, I am weird and awkward myself.
What other odds and ends should I mention? My dad got married to Sharon in August. I really like her, and I don't know why she married my dad. My brother is almost 29 and lives in Florida and is a born-again Christian which is great but sometimes annoying. He used to be Mormon too. I wonder if it had anything to do with my father treating him so badly. (He punched him in the face when he was a teenager.) I got braces, then got them off a year and a half later. I have great teeth. The winter of my junior year I told my mom I was extremely depressed. She was kind of in denial about it but I was determined to do something. I wanted to be happy for once in my life. I began seeing a therapist and went on Prozac. It helped a lot. I am scheduled to go off it in a few months, and I m starting to accept that. I have much more self confidence now. I no longer think I am hideous, and it s very comforting to know that. I leave for college in the fall, but I m not sure which one yet. All I know is that I am majoring in art, specifically illustration. I cannot wait to move out. I have been ready for so long. My life starts now.
One last thing. The only time in my life that I have ever felt free was at Girl s Camp last August when me and my friends went skinny dipping on the first night. I remember just treading water with no clothes on and looking up at the moon behind the purple clouds and feeling the warm breeze. It was so nice.
Now it is a few minutes past midnight on my mother s 63rd birthday, January 22nd, 2009. I still don't have a present for her.