The Dreadful 15th

Like my previous post already said, I’m having something of a crappy time. It’s probably all the good stuff and progressish stuff coming to kick me in the ass. I learned not to fret too much about it, because it’s what always happens after a good stretch, but I hate that it came with a lingering headache. I mean really, that’s overkill. I wish it fucked off.

Anyway, I suppose what also contributes to the crappy time is that the 15th is drawing closer. Dreadful date. In 2002 it was Tuesday and a social worker lady and a police officer barged into 6th grade math class. I had just turned 15. (And if you are better at math than I was and wonder what the heck I was doing in 6th grade at age 15 – I got enrolled in school a year late and then got held back twice, repeating 1st and 5th grade, but it didn’t matter because by looks I fit in with the others and I never really cared anyway.)

Anyway, the police officer and social worker lady called my name. I panicked. I thought I had somehow gotten into trouble, big-time. I was mortally afraid of what my parents would do to me once they found out I had attracted not only the attention of some concerned teacher or something, but of the police and whatnot. They demanded I take all my things and come with them. First they took me to the social worker’s office, then to a children’s home.

I didn’t comprehend until a couple of weeks later that this was not some temporary thing but that I wasn’t ever going to see my family again. At that point I seriously freaked and my foray into mental health care started with a hospitalization.

Ever since then Jan. 15th is a bad day. The day I lost my life and everything in it, basically, and had to trade it for shit. Not that my life wasn’t plenty shit before that, but at least it was the shit I had grown up with. Familiar shit. I would have given anything to get it back. Especially since by then amnesia had set in and I wasn’t remembering most shit.

Fast forward eight miserable years and some months and my future family picks me from an advertisement text stating my name, age, diagnoses and a short summary of what the shrinks-in-charge perceived to be my advantages and disadvantages, along with a 2×3 inch picture. They probably figured that since I have no next of kin who might complain, I’d make a good guinea pig for some foundation’s family care project. I didn’t care. I didn’t care about most things.

FirstPictureTurns out it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I got kicked out of the project, but my family kept me. Adopted me, even. And ever since I am looking at the picture – they kept it – and wonder why on earth they chose me. Why did they want to meet me and not some other chick?

I still remember the day they took the picture. The guy with the camera was all ‘smile, put your best foot forward’. Well, you can see for yourself how well that worked. Maybe if I hadn’t been drugged up so much I would have smiled. But then no, probably not. So it certainly wasn’t because of my engaging smile that they picked me. And I hate to think it was out of pity. I really can’t tell what it was, so I return to the picture again and again trying to find out.

Mom assures me it was because when they saw my picture they felt like this might work out, having me at home with them. She says she can’t explain exactly what it was that brought her to this conclusion. She calls it intuition. Which is one of the most annoying non-answers because it tells me nothing at all.

Ah well, but I’m rambling. I guess I just wanted to put the crappiness into words that the 15th comes with. Losing everything. Eventually meeting my family for some unknown reason. Maybe it was random. Maybe my whole life is random. I don’t know. I try to make the best of it anyway. I just wish the headache would fuck off.

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20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nobodysreadingme
    Jan 11, 2013 @ 10:12:52

    Maybe it doesn’t matter WHY your mom chose you. She did choose you.
    My Dreadful Day is March 23rd. Has been for the past 40 odd years.
    Sorry, that’s not very cheering news for you is it>
    Wishing you well and hope the headache fucks off.

    • Lola
      Jan 11, 2013 @ 10:17:18

      Thank you, and may the headache listen to your words!

      I suppose it should not matter so much to me why they chose me. It’s irrational that it does, after all it doesn’t change a thing of what is now. I just can’t seem to let go of the thought.

      Oh, and don’t worry about the un-cheerful news. I’m sorry you have a Dreadful Day, too. They can be a real pain. But then, trying to see it positive and all that, maybe it’s kind of good-ish to not forget, even when it sucks when the stupid day comes around.

      • nobodysreadingme
        Jan 11, 2013 @ 10:21:07

        Yeah, you may well be right. It’s just a bit wearisome to know I’m going to go through it again.
        As you probably guessed it the anniversary of the Film Society/girl called S debacle.
        You’d think I’d have got over it by now wouldn’t you?
        ;-{

        • Lola
          Jan 11, 2013 @ 10:28:07

          Yeah, I was guessing if that was it. And I know what you mean about how it’s wearisome to know that the day is gonna come up. I’m already dreading the actual 15th. Even more so because it’s actually a Tuesday again this year. I don’t know why, but that makes it worse.

          Regarding the ‘you’d think I’d have got over it by now’, I guess feelings don’t come with a natural built-in expiration date. (Shame, that.) I mean you’d think I needed not worry about anything on the 15th, but rather celebrate it, because it’s the day without which I’d have never met my present-day family and had I remained with my birth family, who knows where I would be today . . . but somehow it doesn’t work that way. A loss is a loss, even when it turned out for the better. I hate losses.

          • nobodysreadingme
            Jan 11, 2013 @ 10:38:34

            We all do. that’s why they’re losses. The sense of loss is sometimes irrational, sometimes seems disproportionate, even to the ‘loser’. It’s real.
            There is an upside to this. Nature is very ruthless. anything that’s of no use to survival gets eliminated by evolution.
            so a sense of loss, of dread, of fear of loss serves some very useful function. It must do or nature would have thrown it away.
            As for the S episode? I’d rather have experienced it than not. However badly it hurt me, for a glorious moment I had the whole world in my hands.

            • Lola
              Jan 11, 2013 @ 11:27:49

              I guess what gets me to panic the most is when I am afraid that I’ll lose something that is valuable. Like my mom. Or my family now.

              I think you’re right concerning the value of even those esperiences that ended up hurting, though. No point in wishing they would go away when we have already experienced them anyway. :-/

  2. prideinmadness
    Jan 11, 2013 @ 14:51:18

    I don’t think the police and social worker should have came into your class like that. That seems a little inappropriate to me. I would get looks whenever my social worker called me and my teacher would tell me out loud to go to student services so I can’t imagine what seeing a police officer would have done.

    Maybe try and flip the 15th into something good. It’s the day you were given a chance with a new family, one that is very supportive of you and loves you so much! On the 15th you’re with them and you’re safe.

    A former friend of mine used to get upset every time the anniversary of her suicide attempt came around. I don’t remember the date of mine but around the time it happened I instead get happy that I survived.

    I send a lot of hugs your way! You have some painful memories and still dealing with what to do with them but you’re surviving 🙂

    • Lola
      Jan 11, 2013 @ 15:32:20

      Thank you for the hugs! 🙂

      I agree that it was awkward that the police and social worker lady just came into my classroom like that. I was totally mortified, having to get my things and walking through the classroom with everyone watching and whispering. I bet they thought I was going to get arrested. (That’s actually what I thought, too.) Somehow I figure they often just don’t stop to think what it feels like for the person on the other end.

      Hm, and yes, maybe I should try to turn the 15th into something good. Maybe I could suggest mom to spend the day doing something nice, to keep my mind off the past. And I AM very happy that I have a family now and that I’m with them on the 15th and that I’m safe and everything, but somehow it’s really hard to battle the negative feelings down. But yeah, I am surviving. That’s for certain! So that’s a good thing, at least!

      • prideinmadness
        Jan 11, 2013 @ 17:47:16

        Oh no! Either way it’s scary but it’s horrible to feel like you’ve done something wrong enough for the police to come! I’ve had that feeling before.

        Doing something special with your mom is a great idea! I know it’s hard to battle down the bad feelings, I struggle too, and really there is nothing wrong with them as long as you can keep going forward and you appear to be able to do that.

        • Lola
          Jan 11, 2013 @ 18:13:45

          Oh no, I’m sorry you know that feeling. It’s really nasty, not knowing what’s up and expecting the worst.

          Yeah, and I suppose you’re right, the feelings themselves are not wrong or anything, and I probably have them for a reason. So I think I’ll just try to balance them with something nice and see how it will turn out. I won’t let it stop me from going forward altogether. 🙂

  3. Stefanie Neumann
    Jan 11, 2013 @ 14:55:48

    I always found it hard to explain in words why I like somebody or why I am feeling compelled to get into relationship to somebody – be it family, friends or a love relationship. It is something that goes beyond words and reason. Something for which the container of words is much to small. It is something I know, feel and maintain within my heart – a knowingness rather than knowledge. 🙂

    When we are afraid of something, we are longing for something reasonable that our mind can hold on to – a reason for why what we fear won’t happen. So, maybe what I wrote above does not help you much with that. But maybe, when you take a deep breath and connect with the Here and Now you can allow yourself a tiny little step into a new experience (as opposed to all the sad – and what ever you like to name them – experiences of the past).

    I hope your headaches will let go, soon!

    Much love!

    • Lola
      Jan 11, 2013 @ 15:37:57

      It probably really IS hard to explain with words why my parents picked me. That’s what my mom says, too. She said she just knew with her heart that they want to meet me, and that’s it. But yeah, I think you are right, that to get the fearful feeling to go away I wish there wa something reasonable and understandable to convinve me I need not be afraid. After all, if it’s just this mysterious something, how can I know if it’s still there? So that’s probably why I stare at the picture so often to try and find out. Then mom usually pries me away from it and suggests we sit down for a cuddle so I can feel it with my heart instead of trying to see it with my eyes. And that does work, but some part of my mind still wants to understand WHY. Dang.

      At least the headache is letting up a bit, so that’s good. And thank you for the love. 🙂

      • Stefanie Neumann
        Jan 11, 2013 @ 17:20:01

        I believe it is normal that the mind wants to understand everything. That is what a mind is for – to understand things.

        For me it helps to keep in mind, that it is not the only tool we have to experience life (a bit like in that example you gave in the other comment on “mental illness”).

        When it comes to fear, we may find that mind does not help us too well – like a hammer can not tighten a screw very well. But hey, how wonderful that we have a complete tool box at hand! And in my experience connecting with my heart is very effective in “overcoming” fear and allowing myself a different experience than those which caused the fear.

        Good that the headache is softening it’s grip a bit! – And you are more than welcome for the love. 🙂

  4. Kyle Stanly
    Jan 11, 2013 @ 18:39:51

    Considering most others have asked the questions I wanted to, I still have one left unanswered… who is the wonderful illustrator who makes your pictures? I have to do a double-take to make sure it’s not real, but a drawing.

    Oh, and you have my condolences for all that had happened.

    • Lola
      Jan 11, 2013 @ 18:51:47

      Thank you, Kyle. 🙂

      The drawings I do myself. I taught myself how to draw with a pencil and then after I moved in with my family my dad showed me how to use his graphics editing program. The drawings on my blog are usually a combination of both. First I draw with a pencil on paper, then I scan the drawing and digitally add colors, because I’m absolutely no good with a coloring pencil. Thank you for saying you like the drawings. 🙂

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