I would like to knowingly, honestly say that, yes, I have completely and utterly returned to my normal state of being; truth is that I can truthfully find only one thing to say about this state of ‘normalcy’ of which you speak, and that is that this state of normalcy never really existed for me at that age, or for anyone else at that age for that matter. I would also like to say that, yes, I am also in the process of returning.
You have no idea just how badly I want to say that I am completely the same as I was before my car accident. that would not be all the way true… Me and my friends had been out ‘fat-kid-ing’ before my car accident. (Fat-kid-ing is when we went out and bought ourselves a surpluss of only deserts to eat.) While we were eating it began to snow. What we had thought was just going to be a magically snowy ride home turned out to be a very tragic ride home. Our car slipped and so did the car of this older couple that were driving in the other lane. Me and my friend Shane Veech were thrown from the car. The other three girls that were with us had been buckled, and they stayed in the car. My friend told me that when the driver of the car was trying to contact the police my best friend Alex was complaining rather loudly. “Shut up Alex!” Paramedic later told me that when they got to the scene of the car accident she had not even known where I was. When they found me my heart had stopped. The other boy that had flown broke his back, and the two women in the front seats remained buckled and also broke their backs. When they got my heart pumping they discovered that I was in need of equipment and expertise that they did not have, so they sent me up to Albany Medical. At Albany Med I asked as soon as I was able, “when. will.. I. go.. home?” The doctor always told me, “A few more days.” I started to get fed up with that answer, so when my mom told me that if I ate all of my food and did all that they were asking me to I’d go home sooner I ate all of that hospital food. My mom assured me that some of the food that she had watched me eat I would have never eaten before.
Some people might be thinking that that was the trial. For some the, trial, or the unhappy part was over. Not for me, no. The trial is what was waiting for me once I got home. I had to get back to school and be with my girlfriends. I was part of this group of girls that called ourselves Team Girl Squad and I just had to be ‘normal’ again. I came back to school and I had this teacher that was retired and came back to help me return to normalcy. She helped a little, and so did this physical and occupational therapist that the school supplied; I was so happy about being back in school that I did not mind these extra little things I was getting. It was my brother’s senior year, so he would get out of school early and he took me with him. At firs I was in the side of the upstairs of my high school that was reserved for students with learning disabilities. I started to feel segregated from my friends that got to be truly ‘normal’. I tried not to get upset at the people that were working with me, but that got harder to do as I got more of my executive functions back. I joined cross country to help pass time. I got back into main stream classes as soon as I could. Keeping up with my girls used to be something that came so naturally to me and now they were being super cautious with me and I did not understand it. I wanted to do all of the things that I used to do. I wanted to get to do all of the fun new things they got to do now that one could drive. They kept bringing me home early from whatever it was that they were doing that day; they were very careful to make sure that I did not drink or smoke marijuana.
Finally I graduated high school and got into community college. Things were looking pretty damn good, this should be where my story ends, right? Wrong. It was smooth sailing, for a few months… The stress of coordinating the bus rides home all the way to and from school and home got to me. I dropped out because of one teacher that upset me so much I did not think that I would be able to finish up the semester. I, very rudely, was asking the teacher to quickly explain a theory/word that I had not understood on the slide he had just shown. He told me to wait. I insisted that I only needed to have this one word explained to me and the class before the end of class. He got louder and more angry as I got louder and more angry. He told the class that they could leave, and that I had to stay. I had to stay? “I don’t have to stay!” “No, you do not have to do anything.” I ended up staying, and so one of the girls that stayed to support me ran to get the supervisor of the department I am studying in school. So, after the head of all of the courses I am interested in pursuing came in to intervene she brought me over to the head of learning disabilities. We spoke. I explained my side. She said what she had heard from the teacher and the student that had run out to get her. It was settled that I would have a meeting with the school psychologist and that very teacher I had gotten so upset with. The next day I came in to discharge myself from all of my classes. I started to run, a lot. I had gotten my tongue pierced recently so I was drinking salt water to help heal the peircing. That on top of all of the running/walking I was doing did not help anything.
I began hanging out at the pie shop in my town. I knew the owner. She is a family friend, and I had been there when she was opening up her shop. I washed dishes in exchange for pie some days. When my town was having its festivals I came in to sell baked goods on the street for the shop. I gave her an art peice of mine. For keeps, I thought.
I began to come into the shop and sit right underneath where my painting was hanging at the little bar. I told the boy that I had noticed begun to work front of the house recently that I was psychoanalyzing him. I took what little knowledge I had acquired at Dutchess Community College and applied it to what I saw. I wrote down what I saw and I let him read what I was writing. It turned into a thing for me to do to pass time until I went back to school, and it might have been just a silly little thing to pass time, at first.
I started to hear what he was saying to other people. I started to hear what some of the kids in the kitchen were saying as they came up to the front of the house to get coffee and cups and stuff like that. I got more angry listening to it all; more angry than I probabually should have let myself get. I took down my painting. Walked to Alex’s. Decided that Debra, the pie shop owner, could have my painting again if she did so choose.
Then over the nextfew days a series of things happened to me that let me know that a place like this would be the place for me. I thought a guy had said something when he had been saying something completely different. I ran out of the pie shop one afternoon and headed to a restaurant in a town over from the town I live in, I decided it was time to break a friendship with this guy that I am still not too sure fully understands what I meant by what happened. I began to talk try to talk to the bartender. A girl a know that just looks kinda Mexican and was not legal age to be serving had started to work at this bar recently…
The waitress ‘pretended she did not hear me’, or so I thought. I think that she could hear me after all and that she just did not speak any English. This women just would not respond to me at all. She was talking to the man next to me just fine, or so I thought. The man sitting next to me that I had been talking to asked me to calm down. I was more frustrated by being made feel so unworthy of words, and understanding that she was simply responding to what she saw. She would smile when it was appropriate for her to smile, and get busy working when she was not sure. I got angrier and finally someone called the police. A police man came, but I refused to leave at first. “Do you know what is going on here?!” The next day I was sitting in Me OH My Pie shop psychoanalyzing the boy working the little bar and Debra, the owner, comes over to do her usual stuff at the front. I let the beans spill. Somehow I told her that I had done something bad at the Mexican restaurant in the town over. I told her that it had involved the police. She told me to get out or she would call my mom. I was so angry at everything. I ended up swiping all of the different plates of an assortment of yummy things off of the counter and onto the floor. Police definitely came again. I was escorted out, quite forcefully I might add, luckily Debra did not press charges against me. That is when I decided I had to do something.
So I came here, to NCSC. I put my ducks all in a row( or however you say it )and I realize now how everything I did needed to be done. I needed to have someone that would force me to look for the help that I so desperately needed. I needed someone to be firm. So maybe it took our country’s legal system, and not just my moms, or Debra’s, strong words, to hold me back from doing outlandish things that I saw as being so correct.