This blog is not FDA approved
Eric, thank you for inviting me to write on Black Box Warnings. I hope I can measure up.
When I was nine and a half years old, my best friend of four years took my trust away, in one moment. I’ve been punishing myself for thirty-four years, wondering what I did to inspire such an action. Before that event, I was a well-rounded little kid, with the intent of growing into a well-rounded adult. After the event I changed. It has impacted how I view family, friends, intimacy and myself. I’m not blaming what happened, because in the end, I made every choice since then. I wonder what would have happened had this event not occurred.
In my job, I troubleshoot. Part of this involves discovering root cause, so that a permanent fix can be enacted. It works! In my personal life, I’ve been feeling extra self-destructive to the point of fear. The fear is failing my obligations, should I take things too far. So, I get this bright (sarcasm) idea…let’s troubleshoot, get root cause, and fix. Problem solved, right? Not so much. I’ve discovered root cause and things became better for a second. Now they are worse and I don’t know what to do.
I have an excellent memory. This isn’t bragging. It is a fact, a gift and a curse. I once asked my mom why I went to my grandma and grandpa’s forever, when no one else did. She looked like she was going to poop herself. Turns out, I caught the measles when she was giving birth to my sister. I was in quarantine at thirteen and a half months old. She asked me how I remembered that. Who knows? I also remember being happy. I woke up looking forward to the day and sleeping through the night. I chose to forget one moment in my life but it recently came back, I let it.
I spent the first five and a half years in Detroit and the next four in a California valley. Despite the measles incident, my sister and I were tighter than twins. I helped her escape from her crib…bye bye crib. I also tried to show her how toothbrush = toilet brush. Parents < > amused. We were best friends. We shared every detail of our day before we went to bed. We had a pact.
When we moved to California, another family and ours adopted each other. We were each transplanted from states, and had no other family. They had kids close to my age, Rick and Troy. Rick and I developed a bond. We were inseparable, except for the two weeks that bitchlet named Cathy tried to break us up. He found a way to sneak me up on the roof of his mom’s car to see Alien, instead of Moonraker. I covered for him when he spilled Tang on his white carpet. We were going to be married, a la Hallmark movie, right? Guess again.
When we were eight, Rick sneaked a drink. He was acting goofy and I made a smart aleck remark about him being drunk. He hauled off and hit me. Hard. He must have seen the look on my face because he begged me not to tell. I didn’t. Fast forward one year. The day before my family moved back to Michigan was supposed to be perfect. We loaded our stuff into the moving truck and put the rest in dad’s car. We enjoyed the rest of the day at Rick’s, playing, swimming and dreading tomorrow. That night, I was in the trundle of Rick’s bed. He said, “Jaded, Georgie wants to tell you goodbye. Come here.”. Georgie was their cat. So, being trusting, I did. When I got there, I felt fingers gripping my neck. Rick hissed, “I could kill you right now. Shake your head yes, if you agree.”. Of course, I did. He released and apologized profusely, saying he didn’t want us to move. I slept with my eyes open that night. In one moment I changed. The next day I was apathetic as we said our goodbyes. Everyone thought I was upset about the move. The truth was that I couldn’t wait to leave “these people” fast enough.
I never told my family, to this day. I can’t trust them. I’ve told them lesser events with such dramatic reactions, so no. My sister immediately suspected that something was wrong. She kept asking me why I was so sad, but I refused to tell her. I didn’t want to burden her, plus she probably wouldn’t believe me. Instead, I plastered on a smile and suggested that we hum show tunes ’til dad turned purple. It was fun. It was probably the last fun we had. Later that night, I was overfilled with fast food. I tried to puke it up and she caught me. She freaked out and told my parents. Again, I felt betrayed. I pulled away. Currently, we are not on speaking terms, even though I still love her. I don’t think we will ever be friends, again.
Speaking of which, before that night, I had an array of friends. I was reserved, but felt comfortable approaching people. Afterwards, I didn’t approach anyone. One afternoon, the doorbell rang and two classmates wanted to know if I could play. My answer was “really?”. I almost asked why. My mom made me go. Since my mom was also the neighborhood babysitter, the house was always packed with kids. My participation was obligatory. Bullies hated me because my reaction portrayed that they weren’t telling what I knew already. That made them give up and move on. I do have a best friend who is just as guarded as I am. Today, I’m allowing myself to approach and be more approachable, but my guard is still always up. I come with a disclaimer that reads, “The door is always open for you to leave.”. Oddly enough, it has always been easier to have male friends.
Although most of my friends are male, my lack of trust makes intimacy difficult. In college, I always chose guys who were in their thirties. I thought they would make me feel secure, but I always felt like a woman child. I did have one friend my age who tried to take it to the next level. By the time I realized it was possible, he was on with someone else. The one who could have made me happy, was the one I let get away. I was in a thirteen year relationship, but I never fully trusted the guy. Things were ok for the first three years. I think that is because we didn’t see each other much. I worked two jobs. After I left my second job, we spent more time together and things went downhill. He reacted by proposing, I accepted. He turned into a control freak and I pulled away. This went on for ten years before we called off the engagement. After we broke up, he would try to work his way back. I moved out-of-state while we were together. He resented it and never came to see me. In trying to win me back, he even offered to visit. My reaction? Eff you. In the end, he said he could never be with someone so selfish. I found that hilarious because I hated myself.
On that night, I lost my self-worth. If I was worth being killed I wasn’t worth much. I have resorted to the “I will beat me down before you can, so there”, way. I’ve abused myself in so many different ways, but if you saw me on the street, you probably wouldn’t know. My wounds are internal and if external, hidden in places you will never see. I still go days without sleeping more than two hours, but, I’m trying to do better. I’m not sure I will get there, but I’m trying.
So, I “remembered” root cause. In the course of this ramble, I think it was a very good thing and I am feeling better, at least today. I still don’t know what to do, going forward and I still would love to know what inspired that action from someone I loved. I’ve done counseling and was incensed by the question “so what do you think might be causing this?”. I wanted to smack her and ask her why I was paying her so much money for her to be asking me the questions. Currently the people who help me most are the ones who make me laugh loudest. It really is the best form of medicine.
Thank you for reading.
By the way, I allowed myself to Google the douche who did that to me. He was arrested last month. Go justice.