Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The end

I was going to write something that would tie what happened to me all those years ago into my life these days, and examine why what happened happened, and what I learned from it, if anything, and how I've changed, and how I haven't. However, I have caught the kind of cold where you sneeze and fart at the same time, and cough and cough and cough and then burp very loudly. Bless Rich Bachelor for putting up with my disgusting body and enfeebled mind.

So all that will have to wait until another day, a day when my brain is functioning a little better. Until then, here is the end of the story.

June 4, 1992, 5:52 p.m., home

Today I had my first meeting with my new therapist. It went okay, I guess. I mean, I felt comfortable talking to him, so that’s better than how it was at the hospital.

I also went shopping with L. [my sister], who came home yesterday. I bought candles and CDs, the primary CDs being [embarrassing crappy techno shit]. I couldn’t help myself. I want X all the time, and everything I do or see or hear or feel, I can’t help thinking how much better it would be on X.

I kind of worked out this explanation for why I got hooked on X. Everything has to be perfect for me. Totally perfect. I get angry at people who aren’t perfect. I get mad at myself for making mistakes. But nothing in life is perfect, and subsequently, life annoys and angers me.

On X, everything’s perfect, or seems to be. Everything you think is perfect, everything that happens is perfect, everything is perfect. And that’s also why I have a hard time coming down—because when I think about it when I’m straight I realize that the experience wasn’t perfect, that the evening wasn’t perfect, that I’m not perfect. Far from it. It only seemed that way.

So that’s my little diagnosis. I don’t know how accurate it is, but right now it seems true.

I’ll try to tie up the loose ends.

I never hooked up with A., and in fact we stopped being friends before the next year was up, although we exchanged letters that summer and my crush on him grew even bigger. I don’t think I even told him that I liked him, although he probably knew. He’s married now and relatively successful at what he does, though he’ll never truly be happy. I remember him as a great friend, and someone who was far nicer to me than I deserved.

I brought P. to my sister’s wedding that summer, and we had a great time. He was such a nice guy, but, like A., we grew apart, and I eventually lost track of him altogether.

My parents and I have a pretty good relationship now; I think they’ve forgiven me for putting them through everything I put them through. I don’t blame them for screwing up my life anymore. They were pretty good parents, I think, and still are.

I reapplied for admission to U of C that fall, having completed the mandatory therapy that summer. My therapist ended up sucking. I remember a lot of sessions where neither of us said a word for the entire hour. But I ended up feeling relatively refreshed, mentally healthy and ready for work by September, and luckily the admissions board felt I had improved enough to approve my reinstatement.

I started off the next school year strongly. I loved my classes, didn’t skip any of them, and saw my grades return to A and B levels. Toward the end of the first quarter, second year, my philosopher friend I., who had become a close confidant when I was in the hospital, invited me to a hotel where his cousin was having a party to celebrate the last day of testing for the CPA exam. I., his cousin and I were the only ones at the party, at which I drank far too much and ended up getting raped by both men. I finished my classes that quarter on a high note, but after that went back to my old ways of skipping class to sleep in, drinking alone in my dorm room, and, eventually, going back to drugs—though I was afraid to use X again.

I ended up graduating, though it took an extra year. I have reached an uneasy treaty with my past, whereby I don’t use it as an excuse to feel sorry for myself, and it promises to remain quiet and still in the distance, as a gentle reminder of what can go wrong, but never again to make me as sad as I was during that whole period of my life.

I don’t want to kill myself anymore.


David Rochester said...

No wonder you feel some ambivalence about going back to school.

What did your so-called friend do after his horrible crime? Way to be a philosopher, dude. What philosophy is that, exactly? The Theory of Drunken Abuse of Physical Power? The School of I'm the Only Person Who Matters ?

I think it's remarkable that you finished school against those odds.

And I'm sorry that you caught a cold from my blog.

rich bachelor said...

From the school of beating a dead horse: again, my consciousness-alterer of choice -LSD- didn't have the irrational raising of expectations inherent in Ecstasy, which I always found to be a shallow, surfac-y kind of experience. Wonderful in its own way, but lacking the mental revelations that I demanded from my drug experiences.

LSD famously has the effect of intensifying Everything -and if you have bad Ecstasy, it can too, albeit in the form of grinding one's teeth for six hours or something- and serves as a profound microscope and telescope into the generalized wonder and terrible awe of the universe at large, as well as the human experience.

Lingering questions about the nature and fabric of reality itself continue to this day, of course. I continually wonder exactly how bad I'm fucking up -with you, with life at large- and understand quite well that I'm no better a judge of that than anyone else. There's a creeping surreality going on here that occasionally scares me.

That said, I've obviously never found you disgusting -hell, it's my cold you've got right now anyway- and it's probably best that you didn't introduce me to that guy when we went to Chicago: I'd already told you what I thought would be best for him.

Aunty Christ said...

David: No shit, right? I think, though, that going over this whole episode again has given me a clearer idea of what I need to write for at least one of my application essays. It's too long and boring to go into here, but basically I'm feeling like I have to explain my spotty transcripts but also not apologize for them.

I can't believe I forgot this, but your question made me a bit curious about what did happen to I., so I googled him. Luckily he has a remarkably googlable name. What I forgot: We worked for the same company for a few months before I moved to Remote Mountain Village. It was, actually, the thing that made me quit my job when I did and move away. But since then, he's become very successful, running his own IT firms and such. That's another really weird story, I think. I. and his cousin were attractive, educated, successful black men, and I was this little nothing crazy girl who had willingly put myself into a hotel room with two guys and lots of booze, so ... the only way I would have been able to take a case to trial would have been if the jury was racist. And then, I kind of felt like, here are two guys who are doing well for themselves, and I myself am not doing so good; do I really have the right to ruin their lives?

I'm not doing a good job of explaining it. However, rest assured that I am blaming Rich for this awful cold. For one thing, if he feels guilty enough, I can get him to squeeze my head and make me tea.

Rich: "There's a creeping surreality going on here that occasionally scares me." You must explain this later.

Aunty Christ said...

To clarify: Squeezing my head and making me tea are two completely separate things, not two steps in a single process.

David Rochester said...

About the guys? That TOTALLY SUCKS MAJOR ASS.

It reminds me of my shitpile experience at Oberlin, although mine was a lot less horrible ... there was a definite sense that I was "persecuting" my fellow-student-stalker because he was gay. Which made no sense, since my best friend and co-testifier was also gay.

There's something about that whole dynamic that just about makes my head explode ... God help you if you're a nice white straight girl or a nice white straight boy who runs afoul of an ethnic or sociosexual minority in college. In LA, you might have a chance. In a "liberal" atmosphere, such as a school, you might as well forget any hope of justice. As indeed both of us apparently did.

Wow, that sounded bitter, and I'm sure that comment could be taken in any number of ways that I don't mean it ... but I think you know what I do mean, and so I'm safe to leave it here.

Man, I hope you don't have any variation of what I had ... I'm still coughing up hairballs, a month later. I recommend some non-permanent form of suicide as a cure.

Salty Miss Jill said...

These past posts -I am very curious about. fact, fiction, or somewhere in between? My god, woman, you can WRITE.
Tell that Rich to keep taking care of you, even when you're not stricken with a cold. Or else I'll come there to do the head-squeezing and tea-brewing myself.
Feel better, baby!

I also tagged you over on my blog.

Shannon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon said...

So, I've come back to read this post 3x over the last week. I couldn't actually complete it the first time I started reading.

It seems pretty hollow to say "me, too" in such circumstances.

But also, sometimes there is a found serenity in another's empathy and first-hand undestanding.

I don't know. I hardly understand the strange inner workings in my own brain, let alone others.

But, I came back today to "me, too".

April 21, 1991, 4, College X, VA

It took a fucking lot of seasons to get back to "summer" aftwards.

Thanks for sharing and Happy Thanksgiving, Aunty.

Aunty Christ said...

Hi Shannon. I'm sorry it took me so long to see your comment. Usually I'll get around to responding in less than a month. That's the Aunty Christ difference! Ah, well anyway...

I'm sorry to hear your "me too." It sucks, actually, that it's as common a story as it is. But thank you for sharing. It is good to share.

It's too late for me to wish you a happy Thanksgiving, or even a happy new year. Happy 2009? Happy Groundhog's Day?

Shannon said...

Dear Aunty ~

Hau’oli Lanui all around!

You are back and that's a happy thing. I appreciate your comments, no matter the timing.

I hope you relished in the sand & sea and Hawaiian air... there is no place like home though, is there?