I caught up!!!! I have been behind in the challenge but now I am caught up which really makes me feel like I accomplished something today. Now, about those dishes….
17 was the beginning of a very long downhill spiral. I wouldn’t stop till I had hit rock bottom which took about 3 years.
Nadia had left our school our sophmore year and had graduated early from a charter school. She invited me out to a club one night with another old friend named Audra. Audra had a guy with her that I liked right away. He was really cute. Everyone had taken estacy that night except me. Me and the guy that I thought was so cute danced all night and made out on the roof. We met some new guys that were in their 20’s and ended up all going back to one of their apartments to watch a movie.
Labor day weekend was the following weekend and the guys invited us to the lake for a camping trip. It was suppose to be a lot of fun and we were going to meet some more friends of the guys. The lake was in Denton, which is about 45 minutes from Dallas. I was a master liar at this point and told my mom I was spending the night with Nadia. We all loaded up and went to the lake. I was sitting in the lake playing in the mud when a guy came and plopped beside me or maybe he had been there the whole time. I can’t really remember but his name was Shay. I didn’t know him then but he would turn out to be a really important person and friend in my life. That was a fun wild night that I remember with a lot of fondness. Nadia and one of the guys we had met from the club became an item and my other friend Audra hooked up with the other guy.
I had started working at an indie art theatre uptown and it was really fun. My new older friends and my old girlfriends would pick me up every Friday and Saturday night and we would go to a party or a club. We had gone back to Denton for a party at Shay’s house. I vaugly remembered meeting him but the name was familar. At the party, a large group left and went to another party while a few of us stayed and continued to get drunk. This is the first night that I really remember getting “wasted”. I jumped in the pool with my clothes on and went and sat in a random guys lap which happened to be Shay’s lap. I found a sketch book in the apartment and thumbed through it. Whoever owned that book was an artist to the umpteenth degree and he wrote about feelings that I had never been able to put into words. I began to ask who it belonged to and right away everyone told me it was Shay’s. I noticed paintings hung all over the house that Shay had no doubt painted. Really abstract stuff where you could stare at it and see thousands of little pictures. I had to meet him, really meet him but he had gone to the other party and would be coming back later. My friends decided to go back to Dallas but I stayed because I had to meet him.
When he came back I finally saw him for the first time even though we had met a couple of times prior. We talked till the sun came up and listened to Mazzy Star. He was an art student at the college there and I think he was 20. We began talking on the phone a lot and I would try when I could to hitch a ride to denton to see him. We never dated but I had a huge crush on him.
School was a joke. I tried to drop out but my counslor talked me out of it. She encouraged me to enroll in the work program where I could do the classes I needed to graduate and leave school early so that I could work more hours. Except I didn’t work more hours, I drank bottles of southern comfort and smoked large amounts of pot. I tried running away several times that year–I could not stand being in the same house as my father. Eventually, I became so depressed I wouldn’t bother getting dressed, I would wear a white shirt and blue jeans every single day and a housecoat when it was cold outside.
I spent all my free time at my new older friend’s apartments. Nadia ended up moving in with her boyfriend and Audra did too. I decided that I wanted to go to school in new mexico in Santa Fe at a private college. I was accepted and offered scholarships. I took a greyhound up to visit the college and found a group of guys to party with. We were taking shots of tequila and I ended up passing out at the party.
I woke up and was being carried back to the dorms by one of the guys. I thought he was taking me to the room I was staying in but he ended up taking me to his room. I passed out and woke up to him on top of me. I had never had a real boyfriend and was still a virgin. Even though I didn’t believe in God at this point, I was still planning on saving myself for my husband. But the jerk ruined all that for me and when I couldn’t fight him off, I started to tell him how little his penis was which only made him angry and worse for me. The next morning was the day I was to take the greyhound back home. I walked from the campus in severe pain with my suitcase and pillow. I barely caught the bus but I did make it and I cried the entire 17 hours home. I only told one friend and he encouraged me to get the morning after pill and a STD tests. The dream of escaping to Santa Fe was over. I had saved most of all my paychecks, only spending money on pot and liquor for the entire year. I had $2,800 saved. I decided that with this money I would go to Alaska and live off the land. But I did have a very sweet spot for Shay so I applied to his college in Denton. I was accepted and began to toy with the idea of going to school in Denton. I still needed finanical aid though.
My parent’s made to much money to qualify for grants so I began to think about my dad’s illness. Maybe there were scholarships for children with parent’s with cancer. I needed to know the name of the cancer though so I took his pill bottles and googled them. Every bottle pulled up links to HIV websites. It took a minute to put it all together. My dad had HIV. How did he get it? When I confronted my mom she said they didn’t know how he had got it but they were assuming a blood transfusion. It would all come out when I was 21 how he ended up with HIV and it wasn’t a blood transfusion. I thought I was the best liar in the house but he actually gets the credit for that one.
When I graduated high school, I had gained about 25 pounds that year and felt disgusting. I found a little car that was cheap enough for me to afford and decided that instead of going to Alaska with my money I would buy the car and go to college in Denton. My dad and I ended up having a really big fight a couple days after I graduated and he kicked me out of the house without even having shoes on my feet. I went to a friend’s house and called my granny. She told me to come and stay the summer with her and my grandaddy till college started. The following day I went to my house while my dad was at work and packed my car up. I drove to my granny’s and when school started, I went to college.
I was 17 when I started school. My birthday came a few weeks after school started. If high school had seemed liberating, college was really amazing.