Uh yeah, second post today, gotta unwind after that long ride home from school!
Anyway, lately I've been working on writing my life story. Everyone always says I should write my life story because I've lived through a lot of stuff, but it is way easier to talk about it than to write about it, I've found. Oh well, I'm sure someday it will make me rich and famous, right?
When I was in my Characteristics of Children With Disabilities class, the teacher was talking about kids with emotional disturbances or behavior disorders. He said that one thing about kids like that is they're either pushing you away, or being stuck on you like white on rice. While working on my life story, I realized that describes me to a tee! Since I was a young kid, I've had a habit of getting attached to people, which has gotten me in some really bad scrapes as I got older.
(When I was a kid, there were countless adult neighbors and teachers and random relatives I got attached to! Luckily for me, all of these people were kind and harmless people, so I was generally safe... except for one neighbor dude who kept asking me to climb in through his bedroom window at night and get into his bed! Ugh.
Then there was David and Pat, two homeless people who befriended me while I was in high school. Actually there was an entire group of homeless people I hung out with, and they were all very nice to me at all times, but David and Pat were the nicest. When they got a car, they used to pick me up after school every single day and take me to fun places. Well, often those fun places happened to be bars, where I would amuse myself by playing pinball and drinking hundreds of Pepsis while David got drunk as a skunk and Pat hit on him, but still, their thoughts were in the right place I suppose! We also went to regular places like parks and bowling alleys and what-not. David and Pat gave me tons of attention, and I loved to pretend they were my parents! Even to my own self, I would pretend that... it was like my secret life. I had to go home to my regular parents, who were distant and often angry, but I pretended they were just my fake parents, and my real parents were the two people who were always happy to see me and spend time with me!
Anyway, eventually I decided to move with them to Colorado. I was still a teenager, and technically I was running away from home, but my mom had threatened to kick me out so many times, I figured I might as well just go.
Things quickly got sour in Colorado. David turned out to be psycho... Apparently the kind, fatherly front he had put on for the past several years was just his way of hiding the fact that he wanted to jump my bones... something he did almost on a nightly basis from then on! Let it be known that I did NOT want to be David's girlfriend! All I wanted was to be a kid, in a family that cared about me! Not a kid having sex with a forty-year-old! But still, I stayed with David for several months. I was desperately NOT willing to go back to my regular parents. I kept hoping that somehow I could convince David to go back to the way things had been before, with him being my father-figure and me not having to sleep with my shoes on every night in order to be ready for a quick getaway if he got too fresh! And when David didn't change, and I started to realize things were never going to be different, I started plotting to run away from him... but I was never going to go home! My plan was just to find a new family! (Even though Pat was a woman and obviously she never did anything physically to me, I still think she was wrong because she must have knew what was going on, and she ignored it, and eventually took off forever and left me alone with David!)
At one point I thought about killing David the next time he came after me. I hid a large rock under the couch cushion (we were staying in an apartment and I slept on the couch) and the next time he came near me in the night I was going to grab the rock and smash it down on his head! I would throw the rock in the river, and take off, and nobody would ever be able to figure it out!
Luckily, I then met Roy, a neighbor at the apartments. He found me sitting outside the building bawling my eyes out one day, and tried to ask me what was wrong, but all I could do was cry! Finally he invited me to come over to his apartment to chill out for a while, promising he'd have the door open so I wouldn't be afraid of him. When I told him, "No, keep the door closed!" he must have figured something was wrong, but didn't ask any questions, and just brought me back to his apartment and hid me from David for several days. Roy never did anything bad to me at all, and I got attached to him really quickly, because I saw him as my rescuer!
The other person I got attached to very quickly was Evelyn, the landlady at the apartment building. I used to hang out with her daughter, who was my age, and I had once confided to her daughter about the things David did. I had sworn the girl to secrecy. But when she found out that I was secretly living with Roy and that David was 0searching for me, she broke her promise and told her mom, because she was afraid I would end up dead somehow in this deal! Evelyn called the cops anonymously. Then she came to Roy's apartment and sat with me, holding my hand and praying for me, as the cops coaxed my story (well, parts of it anyway) out of me. That night Evelyn had me come into her house, which was attached to the apartment building, and sleep in her younger son's bunk bed. She told me I could live with her forever. Unfortunately, the cops came back in the middle of the night to take me to a different foster home, because David had bonded out of jail and was probably coming back to the apartment building to look for me! Evelyn and I were both crying as the cops took me away. They bribed me with a chocolate bar and a Pepsi.
Shortly thereafter, I got sent back to Illinois. I tried hard to stay in Colorado in their foster care system, but my parents convinced the cops to send me back to Illinois, and off I went to a psych hospital in Illinois, to be locked up until the doctors could drug some sense into me!
Next there was Jason, who was two years older than me and who was my best friend in Illinois. Jason said that he was deeply in love with me, but since memories of David still danced in my head, I was not enthusiastic about having any sort of boyfriend! Jason said that was OK, because he loved me so much he'd wait for me forever. Then one night he bought me my favorite kind of donut (apple-spice) and put some tranquilizers in it. Just in case that didn't do the trick, once I'd finished the donut and was feeling good and spacey, he told me he'd never be my friend again if I didn't swallow the handful of pills he was pushing towards me! At first I didn't want to, because he was giving me Mountain Dew to wash the pills down with instead of Dr. Pepper, but when he kept threatening to walk away forever and possibly kill himself, I calmed him down by swallowing the pills! You can probably guess what happened next... my own memories are pretty hazy, although I do remember hallucinating a giant squirrel climbing a tree, and also tipping over and falling flat on my face in a parking lot somewhere.
After that, I still stayed friends with Jason! We were both homeless at the time, living in Jason's car, and you guessed it, I figured if I just stuck around things would go back to the way they used to be, when Jason had truly acted like my best friend!
Next James came along, with his girlfriend Chris. Jason and me met James at the shelter, where he gave me his pager number and told me to page him if I ever needed help. He thought of himself as some sort of homeless shelter super hero! I actually did page him for help all the time... when our car broke down, when Jason was threatening to kill himself, and plenty of other times! Jason and I hung out with James and Chris and our other friend Erick all the time, and I was glad when they were around because it meant I wasn't alone with Jason, and also Jason acted more like his normal self when he was around friends! Anyway Jason must have bragged to James and Erick about what he'd done, because soon Jason had disappeared, and I was "living" with James and Chris in their van!
James and Chris were always nice to me, and they said we'd be just like a family. Chris was pregnant, and she and James were planning to get an apartment, and Chris started referring to the unborn baby as my new little brother or sister! They weren't even that much older than me, but I seemed a lot younger because of my brain problems. I think it was Chris's idea, mostly, to have me live with them. They were the best, though... for a long time! Then they got back into doing coke and crack, started fighting all the time and stealing and things like that. They used to drop me off at the library or somewhere and say they were going to Chicago really quick and would be back in a minute... and they'd come back a week later, with no explanation!
One day I was with Chris's sister Vicky, who was also homeless for some reason. I was hanging out with Vicky and her boyfriend because James and Chris had disappeared somewhere again. I was constantly asking Vicky when James and Chris would be back, so after a few days when we stopped at a gas station Vicky gave me some change and told me to go page James from the payphone. I stood by the pay phone and waited for James to call back. To my surprise, I actually saw James's van drive past the gas station as I was waiting! A few minutes later he called me back on the payphone, and told me the reason he hadn't come to get me was because the van had broken down in Chicago.
"But I just saw you drive past!" I choked, as my heart broke in a million pieces.
James hung up.
I ran back out by Vicky and told her what had happened. She and her boyfriend got pissed off at James and Chris for lying to me and tricking me, and they actually found James's van parked in a parking lot near by and went and got in a fight with James and Chris, until the cops showed up!
After that I lived for a very short while with "Coach," a lady James and Chris and Erick and Jason had met a while ago. She had a house but she always hung out with all of the homeless people. Coach had always been suggesting that I come stay with her, since she had a house and everything, but I had always refused because I wanted to stay with Chris and James. This time, since Chris and James were gone, I agreed to stay with Coach! It wasn't much different from being homeless though. She hung out with the homeless people, and we spent more time sleeping in hotels and shelters than at her actual house!
One week, though, I had a really great time at Coach's house. She was dating this dude named Tom, and he had sort of moved in with Coach and me. He wasn't homeless, but for some reason we had met him at a motel where we'd stayed for a while. A dude named Cherokee and his girlfriend Mary were also staying at Coach's house with us, having somehow followed us home from the motel as well! It was like a house party! I hung around with whatever adults were awake and sober at any given moment, and had a lot of fun. Over the weekend, Tom's 12-year-old daughter Jessica came over as well, and I spent the weekend watching movies and playing board games with her. Mary cooked us some really, really good macaroni and cheese, in which she tossed all sorts of random things like beans and ketchup and who knows what else. It was so much fun! By the end of the week, Tom and Coach were planning on getting married, buying a house, and having both me and Jessica live with him!
On Sunday night Coach said she was going to drop Mary and Cherokee off in town so they could go back to the shelter. I asked if I could go along, to say goodbye to them! Coach agreed. We took them to the train station, and I got out to say goodbye to Mary and Cherokee, and Coach drove away!!! I cried and cried, feeling totally ditched, especially because I had never said goodbye to Tom and Jessica. And especially because I had left all of my things... including my treasured teddybear Chumba... at Coach's house! I ended up going to the shelter with Cherokee and Mary.
Coach came back for me the next day, saying she had just needed a "break." When we went back to her house, Tom and Jessica were both gone.
Then Coach started dating this dude named Cliff, who was homeless, and suddenly we were back staying in the motels again! Vicky and her boyfriend were with us too, along with Vicky's other sister, Karen, were also there with us, along with Karen's boyfriend Nick. One day Vicky went somewhere with her boyfriend, and Coach and Karen said they were going to go run an errand really quick. They dropped me, Cliff and Nick off at McDonalds to wait for them, promising they'd be back in an hour. We never saw them again until two days later!
That two days was the time in which I got really attached to Nick. At first I hadn't liked him at all. I'd heard bad things about him, and he was always noisy and sort of show-offy. The only reason I even tolerated his presence, at first, was because he had been friends with Tony, who had been my best friend when I'd stayed with James and Chris. Tony had also stayed with us then for a while, but then he'd gone off to hang out with some other people, and one night he'd gotten arrested for stealing a car. He was in jail now, and I missed Tony like hell! I had always referred to Tony as my little brother. When I'd first met Nick, Nick told me that he and Tony called each other brothers, and that meant that I was Nick's sister as well! Thats how that got started, and I figured I had to at least give him a chance because he was Tony's friend, and so being around Nick was sort of like being around Tony!
Soon it became clear that Coach wasn't coming back, and I was living with Nick and Cliff. Cliff had started dating Vicky, who had broken up with her boyfriend. In our world, people were dating one person one minute, and another person the next minute! Because we all lived together, "Dating" basically meant "having sex with." A few days ago, Coach and Cliff had been dating, and Vicky and her boyfriend had been dating. Now Coach and the boyfriend were gone, and Vicky and Cliff were dating! Oh yeah, and Karen had been dating a guy named Ray, but now Ray was gone, and Karen and Nick were dating. Yeah, I know, weird, right?
I lived with that group of people: Cliff, Vicky, Nick and Karen... for a long stretch of time. Mostly Nick and Cliff worked during the day, so I was with Vicky and Karen, who were like my best friends during that time. Until one night when Cliff and Nick got in a fight over crack, and Vicky kicked Nick out, and then unexplicably kicked me out as well!
So then I was on my own. I moved on my own to DuPage County to try to get into the youth shelter there, which I did get into after a few months of living alone on the streets! Nick was living in Chicago at the time, and he'd come out to visit me once in a while, on the weekends. On those weekends I would get so excited and I would tell everyone, my big brother is coming! My big brother is coming! I'd go to the train station to wait for him, and he'd spend the whole weekend with me, and I'd just soak him in and enjoy every second of that time. He was really really really nice to me during those visits.
But then somehow he got kicked out of where he was living in Chicago, and came to DuPage County to be homeless. DuPage is a great county to be homeless in, by the way. At least, it was back then! The problems started when I was around Nick every single day, because he was no longer on his best behavior for our weekend visits! When I'd lived with him before along with the others, I'd seen him at his drunkest, but he'd always, always been nice to me even when drunk. For some reason, now, things were different. One minute he could be really nice, and the next minute he'd literally be shaking me down for money! Nick started dating Diana, who you may recognize from this blog. Its the same Diana! Anyway, as is customary for homeless people, for Nick "Dating" meant "Living with", especially since Diana had an apartment! I used to spend weekends with them, on pass from the youth shelter, and then eventually I moved in with them. Nick had turned into mega-asshole, and he was always punching and hitting Diana and generally being a menace to society.
But I STILL HUNG OUT WITH HIM BECAUSE I THOUGHT, EVENTUALLY, THINGS WOULD CHANGE AND HE WOULD GO BACK TO THE SAME AWESOME BIG BROTHER I USED TO HAVE!
Because of Nick, Diana ended up getting evicted from her apartment, and we all parted ways. Nick and I both ended up homeless again. Well actually I think Nick was in jail, but its all the same really. Diana helped me get an apartment right across from the new apartment she got. So then I had my own studio apartment, and things were going well for a while...
but then Tony paroled out of jail, and moved in with me unexpectedly! He never really asked to. He just sort of descended upon me. Tony and me lived together for quite a while, and we had some good times, except for when Tony started doing heroine again and kept on inviting random people off the streets to live with us. For a while Nick came and lived with us too, and then there was Tony's sister, but mostly the people who lived with us were completely random! I do not know where he found them! Oh yeah and then he started dealing drugs out of my apartment, which was a joy to find out about from the cops! I started flushing all those little red and blue bags down the toilet, but Tony didn't even get mad, so I guess they must have been empty! Tony is one of the few people in this story who is still in my life. You may recognize him as the person who called up and threatened to kill me and everyone else the other night. Same person!
Another person who I got very attached to was Jay Folker. He was another one of the random people who Tony let move in with us off the streets! I got attached to Jay Folker because he was always nice to me and would spend lots of time talking to me, telling me stories about all of his adventures he had as a semi truck driver and how he used to go surfing all the time when he lived in Florida and stuff like that. Plus he was never violent when drunk, and I never saw him smoke rock or do any drugs other than weed. On the day that I got evicted, Jay stole all of my antidepressant pills and swallowed them, then stole my mom's purse.
After that I guess I didn't get attached to too many more people. I went to AmeriCorps, and when I came back I was homeless again, living with Nick. Oh yeah, do you want to know how the story of Nick ended up? The last day that I lived with him, he spent the day trying to strangle me, literally, because I didn't have any money to give him and he thought I was hiding it from him. He wanted to buy crack. The next day I woke up and saw him crying and saying he was sorry, and he was leaving to go buy more crack, and he got arrested on the way there. I have seen him since then, but that was the last time I ever lived with him. I guess a person has to literally beat the crap out of me and try to kill me before I stop being attached to them, right?
And I lived with a lot of people... Shorty (who was a girl, by the way) and Doris and all sorts of random others. But I don't think I got attached to them. Maybe Felix, a little bit, and Ricky Ho, and Nutty, but mostly I tried not to, because I've learned my lesson.
Except for Diana, who is the only person among all of these who I've actually known and seen on a regular basis for the whole entire time! Weird, isn't it? I guess I'm used to getting attached to people, but I never knew anyone but her who got attached to me long enough to stick around for all that time!
I guess she's just crazy???
The moral of this story is: You're better off getting hit and punched and beat on. Why? Because when someone is being nice to you, you get attached to them, and then when they start being mean to you, or when they ditch you at McDonalds or somewhere, it breaks your heart. But if they're mean to you the whole time, then when they leave, it doesn't make you so sad.
(For more cheerful subject matter, be sure to visit my other blog at Adventures Of A Stay-At-Home Auntie!)