Tagged! I’m It!

Mathematically Confused has tagged me. Thanks!

The rules are to answer the tagger’s questions. So, here it goes!

1. Do you enjoy science fiction?
Very much so! One of my favorite movies is the classic 1953 version of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds.”

2. Do you collect anything?
Yes, I collect a few things: key chains (my largest collection), mini Lego figurines of pop culture characters, cool/unique looking pens and pencils, cool graphic designs (I have a box where I stick anything that has a great design to it), and Disney pins.

3. What is/was your favorite subject in school?
Literature. I loved writing and I was kind of weird in that I actually kind of enjoyed writing my term papers and analytical essays.

4. What is your favorite kind of weather?
Cold! I can’t stand the heat. I’m not looking forward to the upcoming summer. Fall and winter can’t return fast enough for me.

5. What is your favorite book?
This is always a tough one for me. I can’t ever narrow it down to just one, so I’ll list some of my most favorites (in no particular order).
– Harry Potter Series – by J.K. Rowling
– Perks of Being a Wallflower – by Stephen Chbosky
– One Hundred Demons – Lynda Barry
– Myth Conceptions – Robert Asprin
– Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka

6. What is your favorite piece of music?
My number 1 favorite song is “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon”. Of course Ernie beats all, but I’ve also heard some beautiful renditions by Shawn Cole and Aaron Neville. This song just affects me in an emotional and nostalgic way. It’s not just a children’s song, it’s a song about love, family, friends, and how important they are in my life.

7. Do you prefer cats, dogs, or neither or both?
I absolutely love dogs! I love cats too. Basically, I’m an animal lover all ‘round, so I prefer both.

8. If you could spend a year traveling for fun, would you do it?
Prior to my anxiety getting as bad as it has, I had always dreamed of going to Africa for a safari and doing a documentary of the wildlife there. Answering that question today, my answer would be no, but if I answer it from the perspective of that person that used to have those dreams, then the answer would be yes.

9. What is your favorite memory?
I have too many favorites to just pick one, but one of the ones that stands out as I sit here, is when I was thirteen years old. I was graduating eighth grade and so our class got to go to a local amusement park. It was my first time going to a place like that without my parents or siblings (who were parental figures for me). I was actually on my own; as our teachers walked off and just had us meet up with them at certain checkpoints throughout the day. Well, it was a freedom that I had never known before and I loved it! So, at one point one of my friends and I went on this water ride where it drops you from really high up. When we got to the peak of the climb, I suddenly got the urge to shout at the top of my lungs for everyone down below to hear. So, as we began to drop, I screamed at the top of my lungs, “SH******TTTTTTTT!!!!”

It was an urge that I just couldn’t fight and I wanted to do it since no one was around to yell at me, or scold me or tell me I was doing wrong. I got off that ride feeling so proud, but it didn’t last long. I almost immediately began to feel embarrassed for doing something so stupid. I was the complete opposite of someone who would do something like that, so afterwards I hated that I did that. It wasn’t until recently when I told my therapist about it that she changed my perspective completely. I don’t feel ashamed about it anymore, thanks to her. I actually now feel glad that I did it. She told me that she thought it was great that I did that. She said that it was essentially my Declaration of Independence. It was my first chance at being free from authority for the first time in my life and I seized it.

So, yeah, that’s a memory that comes to mind. It was the Sh*t heard ‘round the world.

10. If you had one day to live, how would you spend it?
I would spend the day with my mom, baking, drinking tea (we used to have tea parties when I was little), and just talking and laughing with her. I’d eat whatever the heck I wanted and I’d flush all of my medication down the toilet. Then, as the sun begins to set, I will watch it. And, when the moon comes out, I’d look up at it and stare one last time before lying down to go to sleep that one last time. Maybe for kicks, I’d also stick a label on my forehead that reads, “This side up”.

11. What is your favorite color?
Blue

 

My Questions:

  1. If you had the chance to do something from your life over again, then what would it be?
  2. If you could be any character from any book that you’ve read, then which character would you choose to be, and why?
  3. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
  4. What is your favorite film?
  5. If you could live in any time period of history, which one would you choose to live in?
  6. What is the scariest memory that you can remember in your life?
  7. Here’s an oldie, but a goodie… If you could only take three books with you to a deserted island – where you’d live for the rest of your life – what would they be?
  8. Let’s say you suddenly became the most powerful person in the world, becoming the only world leader. What are three leadership decisions that you would make?
  9. What’s one of the funniest memories that you can remember?
  10. Beach or Mountains? If you had to pick one where you would live for the rest of your life, which would it be?
  11. If colonizing another planet became a reality, would you leave Earth and move to the new planet?

 

I tag:

Managing Mania

But She’s Crazy

BiPolarized

 

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

I’m so surprised and honored to receive the Versatile Blogger Award from one of my fellow bloggers. I have seen blogs with this award before, but I never knew what it was exactly, or what it meant. Now that I do, I must say that it’s really great to receive it.

A special thank you to Mathematically Confused for the nomination! I greatly appreciate you thinking of my blog for this!

These are the rules:
• Thank the person who gave you this award.
• Include a link to their blog.
• Next, select blogs that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly, who you wish to give this award to.
• Nominate those bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award
• Make sure to comment on those people’s blogs so that they are aware of their nomination (which is the award itself).
• Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

  1. I’m the youngest of four kids, but I didn’t grow up with my siblings. Rather, I grew up with most of my nieces and nephews instead. I love that ‘cause I have a special “sibling-like” relationship with those nieces and nephews. I feel blessed for that.
  2. I’m a bit obsessed with the Geico Gecko mascot. I think he’s so cute! I have a picture of him up on my desk, and I often do Web searches for figurines/plushes of him, but still can’t find a decent mockup of him that’s actually for sale.
  3. As a kid, I once found a piece of shredded fabric on the floor and put it in box underneath my bed. It became my pet “worm”, which I named Wormie (creative eh?). He lived under my bed in that box. I would roll up pieces of paper and throw them in the box; they were supposed to be his food.
  4. When I was a toddler, my mom would hear me talking to someone. So one day she asked who I was talking to and I told her that I was talking to my best friend. She asked who that was and I said, “Jesus”. I saw Him sitting there with me and I would talk to and play with Him. I really wish I could remember that.
  5. Since I don’t know their real names, I name random animals in our neighborhood when they start to hang around our property. Just to mention a couple: Sylvester is a black and white cat that loves to sit on our porch. And, Charlie was a rat who moved into our attic for a month or so, until we finally managed to get him out and seal up the opening through which he got in.
  6. My favorite movie of all time is Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”. In the words of George Carlin’s character, Filmore, in “Cars”… we gotta “Respect the classics, man!”
  7. I love collecting key chains. No idea why, as I only have three keys, and one of those I rarely use. but I love collecting those chains.

 

Thank you, again!

 

I nominate the following blogs for this award (Blog Links Included):

My Road to the Lord

MANagING maNIA

400 Days ‘til 40

Flibbertigibbetsanonymous Musings

But She’s Crazy

 

The Homeless Man

2005 Photograph that I shot while observing people around a city.

 

Every time I would see him, I had to look his way. I was not trying to stare, not in the least, it’s just I was trying to figure it out. What was it about this homeless man that made him connect with my heart so much?

Maybe it had to do with his desolate and despondent gait. As he pushed his cart, he did so with a tired step. Or, maybe it just had to do with the fact that I had seen this man go from a healthy looking weight, with clothing that fit, to a much more thin appearance, with clothes that were noticeably too large for his size. That element alone was striking, to physically see the toll that his living situation had taken on his body and health.

I remember the first time I saw him. I was driving around the city running errands, and this white-haired, heavyset male was walking on the sidewalk. I remember tearing up upon seeing him that first time, and I couldn’t understand why his sight caught me so strongly. Then, later on in the afternoon, I was in another part of the city, on that same street, and there he was again. That man had walked miles, while I quite comfortably drove to and from my destinations. I’m not sure where he was going, and I’m not even sure if he knew himself, but he was heading somewhere.

I continued to see this man in various parts of the city from time to time. He would be outside of buildings sitting down, or just walking his path. But, I would see him often. Then, one day I saw him pushing his cart, which had buckled under the weight of his belongings. It saddened me so much. The basket had collapsed onto its bottom rack and he was struggling to push it. But, he kept going because he had no choice but to do so, and he wanted to keep his possessions with him.

And, then there came the day that put me into an emotional blender. I was on my way to work and listening to my music as always. I came to a stop at a light and was several cars back from the intersection. To my left was a local supermarket, which had a low brick wall that bordered its parking lot. He was there. He was sitting on the brick wall, along with his shopping cart by his side. And then, I saw the food: a single loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter. He had been able to acquire the food by unknown means. The man was ripping pieces of bread off of the loaf and putting peanut butter on it. He sat there and looked pleased to have this feast before him.

As soon as I saw the food, I burst into tears. I was crying so hard that I couldn’t catch my breath, and as the light turned green I had to leave that spot of such emotional draw. Driving was difficult, as I just wanted to pull over and allow the dam in my eyes to fully break. I was trying to regain my composure, as work was coming into view and I knew that I couldn’t walk into the office with tears streaming down my face. I thought I had my emotions finally under control as I arrived at work, but as soon as I was greeted by one of my good friends, the tears came flowing once again. She thought something horrible had happened. My tears were reminiscent of those that come out from grief, those choking and airway passage-blocking tears. But, grief wasn’t what I was feeling.

I couldn’t understand it. Why was that sight so difficult for me to handle? It was a homeless man. It was a loaf of bread. It was a jar of peanut butter. It was a man having a meal. Such simple images, except they were not. Finally, it hit me. It wasn’t the fact that this man was eating food, but it was that he was eating such everyday food, in such an ordinary way. It was the way that he spread that peanut butter on the bread. It was the image of a fellow human being, living as just that… a human being. He wasn’t a homeless man at that moment. He was just a man. At some point in his life, he knew what having bread on his table meant. At some point he had tasted peanut butter, and knew that it was to be spread onto the bread. At one point, he was a man with a normal life, like the rest of society. He was living just as everyone else. That’s what hit me so hard, the normalcy of it all.

Please Don’t Turn Away

I understand the desire to maybe turn our eyes away from the homeless. It can be the result of many reasons, but more often than not I think it’s due to the fact that we feel hopeless. We don’t know how to help them, and so not making eye contact with the person, allows us to not feel the despair in our hearts that we so desperately want to keep at bay.

It’s not right, though. A homeless person is just that… a person. He or she is a living human being, with a heart, soul, and mind just like the rest of us. One of my favorite songs (one of many) is “Don’t Laugh at Me.” Multiple artists have sung the song, but my most favorite version is by Mark Wills, as his was the first I had ever heard. It should be used as the official anthem for how to treat our fellow brothers and sisters in this world.

 

The Dignity of Man

“Homeless” does not mean “human-less”. The day when I saw that man making a meal for himself, I knew that I had to go up to him. I had to acknowledge him and give him aid in some way. I just did not know when and where I would see him next. Well, that opportunity to help him came just about a week later. I had stopped at another supermarket after work one night, and there he was again. He was sitting just outside of the parking lot. I knew, then, that I had to buy him a bag of groceries and give it to him. Two of the items I purchased were a loaf of sliced bread and a jar of peanut butter, to go along with the other items. I didn’t have a whole lot of money on me at the time, but I tried to budget for enough items for him.

Once I was finished with my shopping I went back outside, but he was gone. I was so sad. I wanted to go up to him so badly, but he was gone. So, I walked disappointedly back to my car and began to drive off, when I saw him down the sidewalk on the other end of the parking lot. So, off I drove. A parking spot was open right behind him (Gee, I wonder who made that happen). I went up to him with the bag of groceries and I said, “Hello”. He didn’t speak a single word. He just looked at me, and so I pointed down to the bag I was holding and explained that it was for him. He had an appreciative look on his face as he took it. He then motioned me not to leave, and began to pull something out of his back pocket. I admit, I backed up a bit, not knowing what he was going to pull out, but then I noticed it was a wallet. I was stunned. I immediately began telling him, “No, no! You don’t have to pay me. This is for you, from me.” But, he continued to motion me to stay as he opened up the dollar slot of his wallet. He then pulled out rectangular shaped items, which at first I thought were money. I couldn’t believe he was trying to pay me, and I felt badly about it. I didn’t want him to feel obligated to pay me. That is wrong.

But, then I saw them, clear as day. They were three pieces of thin cardboard, cut into long rectangular shapes. On the front of them, were child-like drawings. It was obvious that the drawings were created by hand with a pen. In the middle of the pieces, a picture of a happy face, and each of the corners had the dollar ($) symbols. He handed them to me, with a look of pride on his face. He was paying me for his groceries.

I struggled to keep my emotions in check, as I said my farewells to the man and made my way back to my car behind him. Once I was out of his view, I broke down. What had just happened? This man was doing what we all do; paying for the goods we need to survive. And, to see the child-like drawings, was just emotionally heart wrenching. The same type of drawings that all children create when making play money was what I was looking at, but they were drawn with the beautiful hand of a man with dignity.

It was obvious from my interaction with the man that he had some form of mental disability, but that did not diminish his worth or dignity, in not only my eyes, but also his own. He proudly gave me that money, and I took it with great gratitude. I’m not sure what impairment the man had, but sadly it speaks to the statistics about many of our homeless brothers and sisters.

According to a 2009 report from the National Coalition for the Homeless, 20-25% of the American homeless population suffer from a mental illness. That was three years ago, so I’m not sure what today’s statistics report, but those are scary and sad numbers to say the least. Our country needs to take a serious look at the mental health system and figure our where things are going wrong. We should not have those statistics in the 21st Century. We shouldn’t even have homeless in this century. A better way and solution must exist.

Since my diagnosis, I’ve often thought about that man. I’ve often wondered how he’s doing now, and where he is. I would hope that he has found help and is on a better path now, but I cannot know for certain. Due to by social anxiety, I don’t get out like I used to back then, and so I don’t see him anymore. The last time I saw him, was a few years ago, and his weight had significantly dropped. I could see the stress and toll that his years on the streets had taken on him. I ask myself if I’ll end up like him someday. After all, I have a mental illness and my life is nowhere near where it should be. I have loving parents, and if not for them, I’d be homeless. I try not to focus on such a thought, but it’s difficult. I’m not immune to homelessness. No human being, no matter how much money you may currently have, is immune to the cruel and life-tumbling event of becoming homeless. The Great Depression is a good reminder of that, but it doesn’t even take such an extreme example. Our country is currently going through a lot of economic turmoil. People are hurting all over, and they worry about their futures. Losing control of the basic necessities is a fear on everyone’s mind.

There is Hope

The homeless do have a home, though. They’re ensured a home in Heaven where they will be welcomed with open arms. Our Lord loves all of His people, but holds a special place in His heart for those who suffer such disparities and suffering during their lives. He promises them a place in His Kingdom, where they can be free from all of their pain and hardships.

“Looking at his disciples, he said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.’” Luke 6:20-21 (NIV).

For now though, here on earth, the homeless still need shelter and clean clothing. They still need food and water. And, they still need love, respect, and compassion from their fellow brothers and sisters.

Hope exists. Hope exists, because we can give those necessities to them. Maybe we, as individuals, can’t give them everything, but we can give them something.

In doing so, we can pass the hope forward.

 

My Musical Foe

Look at him.

He’s just standing there. Watching me. Mocking me.

He tempts me to give into the urge of taking his body into my arms, and gently gliding my fingers down his neck.

He laughs in silent persuasion, getting into my head and making me feel his sensation of melodic hypnosis.

What can I do? The temptation is too much. I must give in. I have to go forward and embrace the yearning… the craving that has overcome me.

Should I do it? Should I allow myself this pleasure?

I guess I have nothing to lose.

So, yeah, I’ve decided to learn how to play the guitar. Ever since childhood I’ve wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument. Within the last decade, I have tried to learn the piano and the acoustic guitar, but I never stuck with them for more than about a month or so. I ended up selling both instruments, once I thought that I was going to leave that dream behind. Well, I’ve decided that it’s time to try again, but this time stick with it and give it a real go. I’m going to be teaching myself, so we’ll see how well it goes.

I’ve purchased a very inexpensive, but well-reviewed, electric guitar. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on something that might just turn into my last two attempts at joining in on the world’s musical culture. I have decided on an electric guitar for practical reasons. I don’t want to disturb the rest of the household when I want to play at night, so with the amp that I have purchased (another inexpensive one), I will be able to plug in some headphones to keep my playing almost silent (unless you’re siting in the same room, you won’t hear it) to everyone else.

I’ve setup some goals for learning an instrument this time around. Hopefully, they will keep me grounded enough to not allow the guitar to gather dust.

  • Learn how to properly pick the strings. This was a problem the last time around, as I had feared that I’d snap them in half. I never applied the right amount of pressure.
  • Next, I will start to learn to read music. I learned to do so back in my fifth grade’s music appreciation class, but that was a long time ago. So, it’s time for me to refresh this chaotic brain of mine and see if I can regain my grasp on the ability.
  • I will follow up my learning of music by applying what I’ve learned. I plan on practicing with the guitar while learning the music too, but I don’t want to get all “Speedy Gonzalez” on myself and try to go too fast. That’s how I’ll probably burn myself out before even having a chance to enjoy the fire.
  • Practice! Practice! Practice!
  • Finally, I will end this journey with an outdoor musical rendition of Animal House’s “Shout”, and bring the city down to its feet with my musical genius. People will gather ‘round me in cheers and shake the rockin’ van that I’m standing on, chanting, “Summer! Summer! Summer!” Then, as I’m hauled off to jail for disturbing the peace, I’ll flash a wink at my newly found fans, in confirmation that I’ll be back and even better in the future. My fellow inmates will admire my fortitude, and I will rally them together in a rousing rendition of Elvis’ “Jailhouse Rock”. And, I’ll go down in history as the one person to bring together so many people in unity for a better tomorrow.

Yes! That is what will happen!

Well, maybe after I’ve terrified all of the birds and dogs away from my neighborhood with my musical sounds that will mimic fighting, screeching, and poo-flinging monkeys.

In all seriousness, I know that I’ll be probably practicing for the rest of my life, as I doubt I will ever become great. But, that’s ok. I don’t mind that because my goal isn’t to be awesome, it’s just to learn.

I do have one last goal in mind for my musical journey though, and that is to write original music. I’ve loved to write since childhood, and I would often compose music lyrics that only my family ever heard. I’ve come across some audio recordings recently that have me singing as a young child. These were songs that I wrote with the innocent mind of a child, and with a desire for my voice to be heard. Unfortunately, I only had the tunes in my head, as I couldn’t write them down. I had only learned the basics of reading music back then, and writing music was foreign to me. I would like to someday be able to understand music notes enough – and be able to actually play them decently – so that I can write music lyrics again, but with actual notes and chords to go with them.

So, I shall begin this musical journey with this post. Along with my all-time favorite song, “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon”. I’ve loved this song since I was a toddler, as I always wanted to have the moon all to myself back then. I never slept right as a child and spent many nights filled with unending energy, while my mom tried not to pass out from exhaustion in the middle of the night. While awake throughout those toddler years, and as fired up as could be, I would just stare up at that huge glowing beauty and wanted it so badly. My mom gave me the moon when I was little, and this song has always touched my heart. It’s still my favorite and it always will be. I must learn how to play it.

 

 

Will You Be My Friend Again?

Excuse me, Summer, but may I have a word with you?

I don’t know if you want to be friends with me again. But, do you?

Maybe if we’re friends, then we can talk and hang out again. Are you mad at me? Can I do something to make you my friend again? We used to be really good friends. I remember when we used to play marching band and orchestra leader in the den and living room during our summer vacations. I always loved that. We’d march around the house holding a cardboard box in one hand and a cardboard stick in the other. We’d bang away, while singing “It’s A Small World”.

Oh! Do you remember the time when you were eight, and you jumped out of the car and over a puddle of water? You cut your knee open on the doorframe. Mommy told you to jump over the puddle and you did, but then she asked why you jumped. She said she meant for you to just step over it. I’ve never understood that myself, though. I mean, she said to “jump”. I’ve tried looking that up in the dictionary and I still can’t find where it says that “jump” means to “step over”. I remember you wanted to cry that day though, but were so strong and didn’t. Just like when we were playing tent in your room with one of your nephews who we grew up with. We were pretending we were camping. You jumped off of your bed and hit your leg on the corner of the dresser. It bled a lot.

Do you remember? You didn’t cry, though. You rarely cried in front of people. Why not? You would just hold it in and smile or laugh, until you were alone and then you’d cry a river. Why did you do that? You still do that. I’ve seen you smile and laugh around family and friends, when you would do nothing but cry when you were alone. Why is that? You used to have hiding places where you’d cry. I remember our hiding places too: behind the couch in the den and behind the big chair in the living room. No one knew when we were there. We were all by ourselves and free to feel whatever we wanted. Now, you have new hiding places. You cry in your room, in the shower, at night while going to sleep, or in your car on the way to and from doctor appointments.

Actually, speaking of doctor appointments, I was wondering if we could talk about something? When are we going to see that lady again? We see her next week again, right? I think she’s called a therapist or something like that. I like her. I think because when you see her, you actually stop ignoring me. You actually let me sit by you and talk. You don’t hold back like you used to. You don’t hide behind her couch and cry, but rather you sit on it and cry. You talk and you let me talk too. And, you actually listen to me again. Like right now. You’re listening to me, and not ignoring me. Is it ‘cause you miss the lady right now, and you don’t want to be alone? You’re not alone, you know. I’m always here.

You just seem to forget that. When you’re sad, I’m sad. When you’re scared, I’m scared. When you want to be alone… well, that’s when I just shut up and not say anything, ‘cause I know you will get mad at me. I don’t want you to get mad at me. I don’t want you to hit me again. I don’t want you to bang my head on the wall, or pull my hair so that it hurts, or use a sharp object to scratch my arms up and down, or throw my stuff across the room. I don’t want you to burn me again. That really hurt. My hands were in so much pain. You never did say sorry to me about that. I thought that’s what we were taught to do. I see you’re crying now. Don’t cry. I don’t like it when you cry. Did I say something wrong? Did I hurt your feelings? I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean it. I won’t say that stuff anymore if it hurts you.

Maybe if you got some sleep it would help. We’ve both been awake all night, and that’s not good, remember? We have bipolar and it’s not good not to sleep. Maybe if we slept it would make us feel better.

Sorry, that made you mad didn’t it? I know you don’t want to sleep, but I just thought I’d say it. That lady you see every week says sleep helps and you don’t get mad at her. But, I’m sorry if I made you mad. I won’t do that again. I promise. Please don’t be angry.

Our Fears

What about dancing? Let’s talk about dancing. I know it’s not your favorite topic, though. You’re still afraid to dance in front of family and friends, aren’t you? They don’t know why, because you won’t tell them. I remember that night, though. We were only ten-years-old and a bunch of our cousins were dancing in that house’s living room. They were all having fun and you wanted to join in so badly, but you were always so scared and shy. But, you finally got up the nerve. You got up and started dancing in the best way that you knew how at the time. All of the aunts and uncles were cheering and laughing. You felt so proud. You felt like you could dance really well, and they were just happy for you. You finally had the courage to get up and dance like your cousins in front of the family. But, then it happened.

Mommy told us it was time to go home and so you went into that house’s den where all of the boy cousins were sitting. You went in to get your sweater and one of them said, “Hey, Summer! Why don’t you dance for us again?” They all started to laugh a little, and then another cousin said, “Yeah, if that’s what you can call it.” They all burst into loud laughter at that point. You were so embarrassed. You felt sick to your stomach. You didn’t cry though. You held it until you got into the car and then you let it out. But, only Mommy saw from where she was sitting. She’s the only one you ever felt comfortable with seeing you cry. I know that’s why you don’t like to dance to this day. But, you don’t tell your family and friends that. That’s why they don’t understand when you resist so much when they are physically pulling you to the dance floor. They don’t know. I know you’ve forgiven your cousins for saying what they did that night, and that you don’t hold any anger toward them for it, but you still fear dancing don’t you?

Do you remember your fear of “The Blob” from that old movie? Do you remember the nights when we were awake in the middle of the night and scared? “The Blob” was coming after us. I still don’t like that thing. Sometimes I think it’s still going to come and get me and eat me up, but it’s scarier now, ‘cause I’m alone. You aren’t there with me to be scared together anymore. Why do you want to be scared alone? I think the same things you think. I have the same images in my head that you have. I’m so sad and so frightened of what I see in my head, and no one is around to talk to about them. You don’t talk about them with me.

You forget! You forget that we used to be scared of them together. We’ve always been able to see the bad things in the darkness that no one else could see. We had those bad OCD thoughts that played like movies in our heads and wouldn’t stop. They’d make us cry. But, at least we had each other. We would hide together. We’d cry together. But, now you hide and cry alone. Those thoughts go through my head too, you know. I want to tell the therapist lady. Since you don’t talk to me about it anymore, then I want to talk to her. But, you won’t let me. Every time I start to tell her about the thoughts, you stop me. You only talk about some of them. You only let me talk about a few too, but not all of them. You’re so afraid, but won’t talk to me, or her, or anyone about it.

I hate you sometimes. You think you have to do everything alone. You always have. You hid stuff all the time when you were little. You wouldn’t tell people those thoughts and feelings, but at least you talked to me. At least you played with me. At least we could have our make-believe and I wasn’t so alone. I see you still have a fantasy world. You go into it a lot, but you don’t invite me. Why not? You used to bring me into that world in your head when you were little, but now you go alone. You’ve left me behind. You’ve abandoned me and it makes me hate you! You shouldn’t have done that. You shouldn’t have left me. I see you still feeling the way you did as a kid. I see you thinking those thoughts that you did as a kid, but now they’re even worse. You act as if I don’t exist anymore. That lady knows I exist. She tells you that I exist, and you see it too when you’re talking to her. That’s why I sit next to you, but once you leave her office, you push me away again. You always hurt me like that.

Those We’re Scary Times

You can stick up for me now too, but you don’t! You don’t stick up for me against that family member. He hurts me every time he calls. But, you don’t care. You just care about yourself. You just listen to each and every message that he leaves for you, and you get sad, angry and upset, and then you push it all away. But, it scares me. It scares me just as it did you, when you were a kid.

But, back then you couldn’t do anything. You were only thirteen. We’d just stand there together and take it. He’d be dumping his hot, beer-infested breath all over us, while we were backed into that corner of our bedroom, where we couldn’t move. He was a grown man and stood right over us. Mommy and Daddy were sound asleep and he knew it. He would tell us about things that happened in that place he went to. Awful things. You were only thirteen and hadn’t even heard and learned about most of the stuff he was telling you about before. He would also talk about his bad relationship issues, and talk badly about our daddy and call him horrible names and make us cry.

Then, there were the times where, just like when we were even younger, he’d talk about us being too close to Mommy and how we shouldn’t be that close to her. He would tell us that she’s going to die someday, so we need to get used to being away from her. He didn’t care if we were little kids and crying. After he would leave the room, we would be all by ourselves. But, he’d first always make sure we knew he loved us. We’d have to actually say that we knew he loved us, or he would get that mad, scary and ugly look on his face, back us into the corner again, and he wouldn’t leave. When he did finally exit, he’d shut the door, leaving his drunken vomit of words lying all over the room.

And, even when we weren’t home, he’d manage to invade our personal space. Do you remember the time when Mommy, Daddy, you and me went away for the weekend and when we came back home there was a ring-sized dent in the drywall in our room? After getting into a fight with his girlfriend, he was in our room and he threw our stuff all over the floor in anger. He punched the wall with his fist, and then left everything a mess. I know you remember that, ‘cause you still keep that dent in the wall hidden from everyone’s view to this day. Even you can’t bear to look at it, ‘cause it makes you feel just as angry as you did that day when you first came home and found it. He never respected your space, though. He proved that time and time again, even when you were minding your own 13-year-old business. Watching your favorite TV show and he shut it off in the middle of it, because you weren’t paying attention to his usual curse-saturated language about his girlfriend. He began cursing at you because you wanted to watch your show and weren’t listening to his rant.

They Don’t Get It

Most people just don’t understand. I remember when you told our cousin a few years ago about not wanting to be around this family member when he was drunk. That cousin just told you that you were wrong. He said that you shouldn’t be like that ‘cause we’re family. He made you feel like you were a horrible person. He didn’t understand, like so many don’t. After all, it wasn’t them in that bedroom when they were thirteen. It wasn’t them heating his food in the middle of the night so that he would get some food in that beer-filled stomach. It wasn’t them cleaning up after him, when he’d pass out mid-meal. They didn’t deal with his nighttime drunken monologues. They didn’t wake up in the middle of the night to find him drunk and standing at the foot of our bed, just staring at us while we slept.

I know you love him, though; that you just don’t like the drunken person that comes out with the alcohol. He’s such a good and loving person while sober. He’s a good human being, but changes when he drinks. I know that’s why you’ve never even had your first drink. It’s why you’re afraid of alcohol and what it will do to you. You love him dearly, though. You worry about him all of the time. You wish you could help him, and it pains you to know that he feels alone at times. You know what thoughts go through someone’s mind when they feel alone and hopeless, and you worry that those same thoughts are going through his mind. That’s why you listen to his drunken messages to this day. You listen due to the “what if”. You worry that he’s calling you for help. You might have to help him, if God-forbid that message ever comes someday. And, you know it will kill you, if you later find out that you missed that message due to choosing not to listen to it. You love him and don’t want to lose him.

So, What Happened?

I should stop now. I can see that I’m upsetting you. But, let me ask you one more question, first. Do you remember when we were 4-years-old and we told Mommy that we were never going to grow up? I still remember that. She does too. We were standing in front of her and Daddy’s full-length mirror and looking at our reflection. Mommy was making the bed and we told her we were never going to grow up. So, what happened? I kept my end of the bargain, but you didn’t. I saw my best friend just pick up and leave as the years took hold of her. I guess that I understand, though. I know you didn’t have control over that. I have news for you, though. You’ve never really left me behind completely. You can’t, ‘cause I’m a part of you. I’m inside of you, but a part that you seem to hide away. The bipolar, anxiety and OCD have been hurting me too, you know. You shouldn’t be so selfish. You should talk to me, and let me express myself, because I understand you. I am you.

You’ve already realized that, though, haven’t you? No matter what, you will never lose me. You can’t. I’ll be with you until the day you die. Whether or not you talk to me during that time, or let me express myself in your writing is up to you. But, just so you know, I’ll always be here waiting with my cardboard box and stick, and singing, “It’s A Small World”. I’ll always exist inside of you. And, if you look close enough while viewing your reflection in the mirror, then you’ll see me. I’m that little girl who fades in and out of the image before you.

Well, thanks for listening, Summer. Please consider being my friend again.

Sincerely,
Your Inner Child