When I got into middle school, I suddenly became completely aware of the fact that I wasn’t being accepted by my peers in the Spanish Immersion Program. Trying for the longest time to find my place, and be just like everyone else. I wasn’t going to be that. I never had been.
Half way through sixth grade I made the decision that I didn’t want to be in the immersion program anymore. I didn’t like the teachers, I hated the other students, I was just done with the whole thing. Somehow I convinced my grandma to let me drop out of the immersion program and I begged her to just let me integrate with everyone else outside of that.
Same shit different place.
By eighth grade I felt so alienated by everyone around me. And then, somehow, I found out that a boy had a crush on me. Holy crap! That was a first. We talked before and after school, and he passed notes to me in the hallway between classes. Occasionally we’d eat lunch together. I was so blindsided by the fact that a boy was showing interest in me, I didn’t see what was going on behind the facade.
He asked me to go to the one evening dance we would have per year. I was so excited, I dressed nice and put my hair into a nice up-do and did my makeup. We agreed to meet in the courtyard at the school. When we met up, it was almost magical. Everything was going great until he decided that hanging out with his friends was a better idea. Ditching me at a dance I hadn’t even wanted to go to. Leaving me by myself. This was before the time of everyone owning a cell phone so I just had to wander around and wait for the dance to be over. Sounds like an after school special doesn’t it?
It got worse.
About two weeks later I heard through the grapevine that this boy was only showing me any sort of attention was because it was a dare from one of his friends, and he had dared the boy to ask me out over pity. In that moment I wanted to find the deepest hole, jump inside, and die.
Kids are cruel, horrible, blood sucking monsters.
When the transition into high school came around, it’s as if everything that had happened in my K-8 school life as well as my personal life had been balled up for so long, it was waiting to manifest into something. And manifest it did, into a raging case of depression and anxiety.
Even though I wasn’t officially diagnosed until ninth grade, I believe that there were symptoms that were showing up when I was younger. I always seemed to have an upset stomach, and I would go into fits of rage randomly. It’s very possible that I was showing symptoms of the anxiety much younger than anyone could have realized.
Moving forward to around 2013, I’m living in Arizona with my grandparents and their dog Bailey. I’m working and going to community college and everything seems to be going fairly okay. And then that message showed up that would end up changing mine and my aunts universe up until this very day.
I received a message on Facebook from my birth mother. You know, for the longest time I had dreamt of that day, but responding was a mistake. We sent messages back and forth a few times, I simply wanted to verify that it was actually her. At this point I hadn’t heard anything from her in over 20 years. So, of course I was a bit skeptical at first. Come to find out I had three half-siblings from later relationships she had. Two girls and a boy. My initial thought was “Oh crap! I’ve always wanted to have younger siblings!”
For a while, we talked online and it seemed to be going pretty well. One day she decided to give me her cell phone number so we could text throughout the day. And again, everything was going well and she seemed like a fairly decent person. Out of the blue one day, she starts texting me saying that I’m stupid, I was a mistake, everything that has gone wrong in her life is my fault. And a recurring theme of her manic rants is the fact that I’m a spoiled person that never wanted for anything while her children would starve and worry about how they were going to make it.
Um, no. None of that is my fault, so I refuse to feel guilty about that.
I think the most frustrating part of that situation was the fact that when I told my grandma about what was happening with all of the hateful text messages. The response I got was upsetting. She basically brushed it off. Told me I was making a big deal out of nothing and to just ignore it. Even after showing her the text messages, she still acted the same way. Unbelievable. I ended up having to change my phone number to avoid any further contact.
That was just one of the first times that she went off of her medication and caused chaos and panic.