I don’t think my blog can be characterized as “well-written”. I find myself in literal anguish every time I have this screen open in front of me. Sometimes I’ll sit here until the wee hours of the morning rewriting and revising. It’s frustrating because I feel like I have so much more I could be saying but I can’t get my words out. So this week I’m just going to write freely and without inhibition.
I’ve always been kind of an oddball. I’ve spent most of my life grappling with the definition of the word “Normal”. When I was much younger, I wore the idea of being “not normal” on my sleeve like a badge of honour. I was proud to not be normal. It defined me. It made me. My story was unlike anyone else’s story and nothing could take that away from me. I wanted to let my freak flag fly. But children can be cruel. And children started strangling and trampling any idea I had that being anything other than “normal” was okay. I could no longer be myself. I didn’t want to be myself. I wanted to be accepted. I wanted to be liked. I wanted to fit in. If I could just be normal, everything would be okay.
It was high school that really did it. You can’t be any sort of oddball in high school unless you are already well liked. I was doomed. I spent years fighting my way through, trying to cling to some shred of hope that one day the madness would stop. It’s only now that I realize, in retrospect, that by stifling my true self, I was doing more bad than good. I was lucky enough to find a small band of people that I would mesh well with but I’m sorry to say I haven’t spoken to most of them in years.
My sophomore year of highschool is undoubtedly the worst year of my life. I never wanted to be at home because I did not feel safe. My stepfather had the entire household walking on eggshells all the waking hours of the day and afraid to sleep at night. The weighted threats and the unyielding rage towards us meant I had to grow up really fast. I had to know phone numbers and where emergency contacts lived. I had a suitcase under my bed packed full of my clothes, my mother’s clothes, and my brother’s clothes. I had emergency cab fare hidden between my mattress and box-spring. I snooped around not out of childish curiousity but out of desire for safety. It goes without saying that as a 15 year old, I just didn’t want to be home all that much. I was already spending a lot of my time online. I felt like I could be myself. It was my outlet. It was the small thing I could grasp onto where I could really be me. I took some form of solace in the anonymity of it all. Until I was discovered by some of the other students from my high school. To make a long story short, I didn’t want to be at home, nor did I want to show my face at school. I spent a lot of time in bed listening to dark and depressing music. I longed for normalcy. I knew my classmates didn’t go home afraid for their lives and the lives of their family. I knew my classmates weren’t kept up at night by every squeak of the floorboards. I knew my classmates didn’t think one passing thought of me outside the school environment. But I thought of them. I thought of them with every passing moment under the covers in my bedroom. I thought of them each time I considered dragging a razor across my arms. I never did. I knew the battle a friend had gone through with that addiction and I didn’t want to have to deal with that too. I relinquished all of my control over the situation with my classmates. I didn’t want to fight them. I gave in. I surrendered. I wanted to save my efforts for where they really might count.
After a confrontation with my stepfather led to me having a complete emotional meltdown, I began to live with my grandma. I couldn’t help but feel like I was letting my mother down. I began to see a counselor at the high school. Most of my friends were not aware of this. I went once every two weeks, sat down for 30 minutes, and talked. She didn’t say a thing. She didn’t need to. All I needed was someone to talk to. My friends couldn’t possibly understand what I was going through. My friends never stood in front of their mother to protect her from the 5 inch hunting knives in their stepfather’s back pocket. My friends didn’t know what it was like to get into physical fights in their own home with someone twice their size. My mother finally got up the nerve to have my stepfather removed from the household. We went to my grandmother’s house and the police escorted him to the hospital where he would be committed to the mental ward. One with Schizophrenia Psychosis should never stop taking their medication. I don’t know how long he’d been off his medication but it was long enough for full blown hallucinations. You’d think in all that time he spent talking to “God”, “God” would have advised him against killing his family instead of encouraging it. We were given a permanent restraining order which he honoured after he was out of the hospital. I am thankful for that. Regardless, we still slept lightly. He attached a hose to the exhaust pipe of his car and pumped it through the back window late one evening. The police came to our doorstep at 1:00am and informed us of his death. Mom began to cry. I silently went back to my room, sat on the edge of my bed, and smiled.
That’s not normal.
Tags: My story