My Life Story.

When I was in first grade, my parents and I were in a terrible car accident. The accident left my dad in a coma for almost a month with head injuries and an entire fractured leg. My mother's ankle was torn to pieces, but was put back together in surgery. I, on the other hand, was left with nothing more than a seatbelt burn.
We lived at my grandmothers house for eight months after the accident, and i switched schools for the rest of my first grade year. You would think that something like this happening when i was only six and seven years old wouldn't effect me. Bull crap.

My father healed as much as anyone could from that much of an injury, but my mother....my mother never got better. She could walk, yeah, but...it wasn't normal after that. She was in a wheelchair for a long time, in pain constantly, and I knew that she wasn't happy. We just learned to live with it, letting our lives be run by this dumb, painful ankle.

Life was good for me, after we won money from the wreck and then we lost almost everything in a suit, but hey, when you're ten, eleven years old, you start to learn how to live with things. You don't know anything different.

Everything was normal, well, at least we were happy that we were all still here. I started writing, and I was writing to keep myself from thinking about the nightmares that started. I created my own world, where mommies and daddies wouldn't be hurt, where kids were always happy and everyone had pools of chocolate pudding.

And then...the summer of 2005 came. And it all changed. I was getting out of fifth grade and going into sixth, my mother's ankle was still everyone's burden, our finances were getting better, and we found out the best news in the world.

"Tori, do you know what cancer is?" my mom asked me after we got back from vacation, and they had taken my dad to the doctor because of a bump on his neck that we found while we were in the pool.
"Yes."
"Well, the doctor told your dad that he is sick. He has cancer, but we can fix it."

And that's when everything started to turn upside down. Our lives changed right then. My dad was sick, I was in sixth grade and trying to be the strongest little eleven year old ever. I knew all of the medical terms, I had studied them. I wasn't as normal as everyone thought I was. Only my teacher, my two best friends and my band coordinator knew that daddy was sick. Nobody understood, though. No one understood me then. Not even mom. And it was the hardest thing in the world when you had to feel alone when you're only eleven years old.
So I did what I wanted to. I went through my days on four tylonel in the morning. It doesnt sound like much...but when you're 4'8, 90 pounds, and half sick all of the time, it tends to make you feel better. It wasn't a high, it was a daze. And my parents still don't know.

The tylonel eventually stopped three months after I started it, after it started making me really hungry. That's when I started gaining a lot more weight, and not just because of the start of puberty. I wasn't starting anything like eating disorders, or anything. I was just uncomfortable with my tummy. And then I taught myself how to breathe and live with my stomach sucked in all of the time.

My dad went into remission the summer of 2006, and I started seventh grade. I was a lot more advanced in writing, I was better at dealing with my feelings, discovered punk rock music, discovered multicolored hair dye, learned my standards. I was happy again.
Dark eyeliner was my outlet, really. I know that sounds completely cheesy--but I learned how to do makeup like a pro. Heavy eyeliner everyday was a must. People wouldn't recognize me without it, and it was just there.

Seventh grade started out good. And then I just started feeling alone. I'm still no sure why this happened. I had a huge circle of friends, I was closest to my family than ever, and I was an average student.
I started letting these feelings out on paper, with writing. Writing was my life support.
I would write about depression, suicide, cutting, drugs, sex, love, birds, boys, girls, anything that you could imagine. My notebook never left me. I had panic attacks if I didn't know where it is (this still happens today)
Basically, if my friends read it, it scared them. And we're the Dark and Twisted kids. My best excuse that was as close as to being true as I could explain it was 'that I was writing it so I could feel it without doing it."
I would write about cutting so vividly, so detailed, so relating that my friends, blessed as they are, would basically strip search me to make sure I wasn't cutting for real. The same thing, minus the strip search, happened when a teacher found my notebook and turned it into the guidance office.

I had no intention of cutting or hurting myself for real. But I was, in my mind. Each time I was writing about it, i could feel it on my skin, I could feel the release in my mind. Sick, yes.

From then until the month of May, I was hiding myself from everyone, begging myself to be normal, trying everything I could to stop the dark feelings. I would cry myself to sleep, I would hide myself in makeup, act like a complete sl**, write about happier things, and lastly, I lost myself. I was a completely different person everywhere. What puzzles me the most is the fact that I thought that I had to be someone else, when everyone around me already accepted me for who I was more than they accepted themselves.

May started, and it was the end of seventh grade. June started, and I joined the Marching Band.
i was a newbie, I was lost, self-induced obsessive compulsive, self-conscious, and scared crapless.
It made it worse when everyone in the Marching Band was in highschool (except about 4 of my friends who also made the HSMarching Band), and were there already. They didn't really accept me. They acknowledged my presence, they knew I was wicked at clarinet, but they just didn't really accept me. But I made it through.

In July, I started to think that it was cool to take my mom's pain medicine. It wasn't a lot, it wasn't enough to get me addicted, but it was enough that I took it about twice a week.

August came and band camp started again, which is when the Marching Band learned the competition show. It was weeks, and I was still using my mom's pain meds about twice a week and taking sinus medicine three times a day to help my self-induced headaches. Nightmares were worse than ever. On the plus side of all of that, I was getting into shape, and lost 15 pounds in one month because we were sweating our weight and marching five to ten miles each day.
On the not so bright side, I was still sucking my stomach in all of the time, //self consciousness//(which I didn't even know the difference because I had been doing it for nearly two years) People noticed me, accepted me, acknowledged me, recognized me, welcomed me. I had a whole other family...consisting of 69 teenagers. The best thing that has ever happened to me.

The marching band taught me so many things. Skill, technique...and then there was a whole new thing.
They made me find myself again without even noticing it. The Christian senior year marching band members would have a little group of their own, and I started doing what they were doing. Praying.

I was being myself. Writing wasn't as graphic. And, I was my own person. I learned how to let my stomach go from the grip, stopped the medicines, learned a new way to look at life.

I'm okay. I'm good. I'm calm, collected, welcome, comfortable, content, writing, lovable, punk-rock, clean, and a healing self-inducted self- conscious teenage girl.

And here I am. Tori. The girl that is herself, only herself. I rediscovered how it is to be me. And, that's the best way to live.
Posted on March 9th, 2008 at 07:08pm

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