Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Baby #1

Well according to the emails, quite a few of you are confused as I only list 2 children. Be patient, we'll get to that in a couple of posts!
When we left off I had lost my brother and was knocked up, and not in the comedic Katherine Heigl way! Bad times kiddos, bad times.
I kept going through the motions with LL even if my heart was very much not into it. Christmas rolled around and to my horror LL proposed, right in front of his family. So, since I am a complete IDIOT, I said yes. Some advice, always listen to your gut and don't worry about who is watching.
The pregnancy progressed normally. I didn't get big, just looked like I swallowed a beach ball. I had been working at Applebee's since I turned 21, and didn't take a maternity leave. I felt fine AND needed the money. So I waited tables until I went into labor at about 11:30 pm May 1st, 1999.
I waited until about 5 AM before I had LL take me to the hospital. On the way there I made him stop at the doughnut factory since I knew I would be sucking ice chips for a while. I polished off 6 chocolate bavarian cream donuts and went on to Reid.
They hooked me up to the monitors and assorted gadgets, it hurt like hell obviously. I hung without pain meds until about 10:30. Then I asked for a shot of Stadol. That's when everything went wrong....
I had just been doped up so of course this is all a blur to me. Apparently my blood pressure shot through the roof and I was about to stroke out. Next thing I know I was being rushed off to emergency surgery. The last thing I remember is watching the lights whiz past as I was rushed down the hallway, then blackness.
I didn't wake up till 5 hours later. Thank God Hayley Celeste Lipscomb was PERFECT! She was the most beautiful baby. Perfectly formed as c-section babies are, and her hair! It was dark brown, but had blonde streaks all through it. Looked like she had highlights done in utero! Nurses from all over the hospital came just to see MY baby! I used to joke that I dyed my hair too much when I was pregnant. Four days later I was released and went to start my life as someone's mama.
As always, thanks for listening and God bless!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Standing on my own if only for a minute and the greatest loss of my life

It was time for me to try to move on and stand on my own two feet. I saved as much money as I could and started to look around for my own place.
I met MW, a really cool guy with black and green hair who was attending broadcasting school in Dayton. He was renting a duplex on the west side and needed a roommate. Perfect!
At this point I had left Damon's and was serving at Garfield's in the mall. I threw myself into work so I wouldn't think about the trauma of mag crew and Tiny too much. That didn't do the trick, so once again I started drinking.
These were kind of halcyon days for me. I was maintaining. Sure I got drunk a lot, but I was still taking care of business. MW used to borrow me for his film projects. My favorite is when he made a video for "Blister In The Sun" starring yours truly. We shot all over Richmond, including a scene with me hanging off the ledge of the parking garage. What I wouldn't give to have a copy of that today!
My 21st birthday finally came, I could finally buy my own booze! MW and I headed out to celebrate. First I hit the Ron-De-Voo just for the hell of it, but they only served can beer so I didn't stay too long. Next stop was Connersville so I could party with my beloved big brother Jon. He took me to Huffy's and got me so drunk I could barely stand up. Little did I know at the time that this would be the last time I would see him. But I digress, we'll get to that in a minute.
I had met this guy at Garfield's, LL. He sat in my section and flirted up a storm with me. Before he left I had made a date with him for the following night. Pretty soon we were spending about every night together.
MW lost his job and soon we were facing eviction. I was terrified as I had nowhere to go. I didn't want to go crawling back to DA's folks and admit I had failed. So when I told LL what was going on he invited me to move in with him. We had only been dating for about a month, but what choice did I have? So I did it.
I liked LL a lot, but there was something not quite right. I did what was expected, being the perfect girlfriend and saying, "I love you" Even if it wasn't the truth. In hindsight I can see that I used him, and I'm so sorry about that.
One morning after I had lived with LL for about a month I woke up and puked my guts up. I sat there shaking and sweating when it hit me. My God my period was late. I was pregnant by someone I didn't even love.
LL was first shocked and then happy about it. I was just horrified, but I believe abortion is murder, so what could I do?
Mom took it pretty well, but the only person I wanted to talk to about it was my brother Jon. I could be honest with him and he wouldn't judge me for it.
So LL and I headed to Connersville to tell Jon. I checked his apartment and all the bars he frequented but couldn't find him. It was getting late so I gave up and went back to Richmond.
One week later I was watching TV with LL late at night when the phone rang. LL answered the call. I watched him as his face fell. He said, "OK I'll tell her."
My beloved brother was dead. He had walked into Huffy's, a bar in Connersville at about midnight on Friday. He walked up to the bouncer and said, "I'm sorry my friend" then pulled out a gun and shot himself in the head. Apparently the week before as I was looking for him, he was on a canoe trip and his girlfriend slept with another man.
This is the reason I have such a problem with religion. I was raised to believe that suicide was an unforgivable sin. But any God that would condemn my brother to hell is a God I want nothing to do with.
OK that's all I can do today, 12 years later it still causes me so much pain to even remember. As always, thanks for listening and God bless!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Home again

Well after that 3 day Greyhound ride, Richmond looked like the Garden of Eden to me. After I called V I headed back to her house.
Her parent took me in AGAIN! I told them it was to be temporary as Tiny would be there in about 2 days and then we would get our own place. I was sober and determined to stay that way. I wanted a fresh start all around!
So began the waiting....
I showed up at Phillip's every day, hoping to see him step off the bus. Every day he did not. I went from excitement to the deepest depression you could imagine. Not only had he broke my heart and stood me up, he also had all the money I had saved.
There I was broke and alone. DA's folks were so sweet and supportive. They let me move into the basement so I could have my own space. I don't know what I did to deserve them, but thank God they were there.
V helped me get over Tiny the best she could, but it would be 5 years before I got over it.
So we come to the next chapter of abusing my body....
V and I used to hang out at this crappy pool hall down the street called Hartman's. I would sit there looking pissed off while V flirted up a storm and danced with her pool cue. I wish I had that much confidence. I envied her.
I met this guy SM who lived in the apartment above the pool hall. Good God he was ugly, inside and out, but I was desperate at that point.
Him and his friends were way into coke. Snorting, foilies, the whole nine yards. I was nervous as I had never touched anything that hard before. Once you cross a line it gets easier and easier to cross it again. Soon I was over there every night getting high.
SM was horrible to me. He treated me like a dog and told his buddies EVERYTHING that ever happened between us. I put up with it because my self esteem was so low I didn't think I could do any better. This went on for about 2 months until he dumped me.
One significant thing came out of this ordeal. One night I was hanging at the apartment and my friend Jimmy called me into the other room. He had a HUGE rail laid out and handed me a straw. I looked over and saw this hot guy I had never seen before. Jimmy made introductions and told us to split what was laid out. This guy would become my second husband years later. How do I explain to my kids how we met? That's gonna be a tough one!
The end of my coke days came not too long afterwards. I was supposed to get my friend SH an 8 ball through a connection I had. I ended up getting ripped off to the tune of $275 of someone else's money. Needless to say SH was furious and I was on the verge of getting beaten, killed or both. DA's folks noticed how upset I was and asked me what was wrong. I broke down and told them the whole miserable story. They listened without judgement. Not only that they paid the debt for me so I would be safe! Kind of surreal, a Pentecostal couple bailing me out of a drug deal gone wrong. That's just the kind of people they are, they'll help you if you are honest!
I got a job hostessing at Damon's and began to save money for an apartment, as I felt DA's folks had done plenty for me already.
So as of the end of this post I had quit drinking and cocaine. Too bad I can't say it lasted forever. As always thanks for listening and God bless!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Oregon to Cali- the end of it!

I was going to miss Washington a LOT, but it was time to move on, our next stop was Eugene, Oregon.
I have never in my life seen so many hippies in such a concentrated space. Everyone drove either a VW or a Volvo and these were the most laid back people. The only problem, they had no interest in magazines. I dare you to walk up to a commune made out of mud bricks and sell Newsweek. It ain't gonna happen!
So just as in Colorado, my sales took a major nosedive. The more trouble I had at work, the more I drank. The more I drank the worse my sales were. It was a vicious cycle. The abuse was getting worse and worse from the bosses. My drinking life had been manageable up till this point, but that was slipping away too. I was waking up in the morning with the shakes and had to have at least 4 shots just to function.
Tiny and I started making plans to leave together and started quietly socking back money. The company had to give us Greyhound tickets to get home, but past that we were on our own. We were getting cash orders and keeping the money. Since Tiny did the books it was easy to get away with.
We traveled as a group to California outside of Oakland/San Fran. My sales continued to suck and I was sick and miserable. Tiny and I were to leave the very next week.
Somehow the bosses got wind of this and announced they were gonna split the crew in half to "cover more ground" I stayed, and Tiny went to Lompoc. He had all our money, a pretty good chunk, and we decided the DAY we were reunited we would go.
Next stop for me was Fresno. Nasty little city, made worse by what happened. The bosses took advantage of the fact Tiny wasn't there to up the ante. They flat out refused to give me money, dropped me in terrifying hoods where NO ONE could sell, basically broke me down.
One day I just snapped and asked for my bus ticket back to Indiana. I was able to talk to Tiny first, and he was to follow me at the end of the week.
So I spent 3 days on a Greyhound bus detoxing from alcohol. I don't recommend it! I finally pulled up to Phillip's Drug and called V. I said, "Hey girl, ya wanna see me?" She told me of course! So I said, "Pick me up, I'm at Phillip's" I have been in Richmond ever since. We'll save how I readjusted and what happened with Tiny for next time.
As always, thanks for listening and God bless!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Quick Update....

Just figured I should let you know, I still haven't had a drink, today is day #10. It sucks real bad, and I hate that I can't drink like a normal human being, but what do you do? It's like they preach in health class, abstinence is the only 100% way to be sure. Meeting some pretty cool people in AA, and they seem happy. Maybe I'll get there someday myself.
As always, thanks for listening and God bless!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The only place I have ever felt normal...

Well Utah is behind us, thank Joseph Smith! I hope never to step foot in that state again! The next state however....
Our next stop was Washington State for 2 weeks. I was SO excited, I mean ADHD excited. Here's an example of my thought process during the drive, "Coffee, Nirvana, coffee, K records, grunge, COFFEE!" The jump was awesome, I was the top seller in the van, so I sat shotgun by Tiny and got to control the radio. One of my fave things to do was make the aggro males listen to Tori Amos, but they couldn't say shit hehehe!
The farther north we got, the cloudier and greener it got. The northwest is almost like an alien planet for someone from the midwest. Here we have 3 things to look at, cornfields, cows, and soybeeans. The land is flat as hell. I guess some people think Indiana has it's own beauty, but after my travels, I don't see it.
Our motel was in Tacoma, which is south of Seattle off the I-5. We unpacked and got a day off to go to Seattle and run around.
I was a total tourist and I'm not afraid to admit it. I hit the crocodile club and about 50 coffee shops. Drank kick ass espresso until my eyes were bulging out of my head. But the next day, it was back to work.
That evening Bob called me into his motel room. He sat me down and told me he was proud of how well I did in Utah. Kind of a 180 from the last time I was in his room. He told me I deserved a reward. Gotta admit that made me a bit nervous for a second! Then he said, "You like that stupid Kurt Cobain right?" Anyone who knows me knows that I was unnaturally obsessed with Nirvana in high school and went into a 6 month depression when he died. So, "Yes!" I told him, "I love that stupid Kurt Cobain!" He asked me what I thought about working Aberdeen and Montesano for the week.
I almost wet myself! Keep in mind I am 20 and a total fangirl. To get to see all the places I read about?! Whoa!
I didn't sleep that night at all, just stayed up talking Tiny's ear off. He was more amused than irritated, bless him!
We took off at about 6:30 AM because Aberdeen is clear out by Grey's Harbor, on the other side of the state. It was a beautiful drive, to the east behind us was Mt. Ranier, on all sides evergreens, streams, and ponds. The environment there seems to have it's own pulse, like it is a sentient being. I am an agnostic, but I swear that God whispers among the pines in Washington.
The scenery started changing as we got closer to the harbor. There were miles of clear cut forests, nothing but stumps. It makes you understand what they mean by "raping mother nature" Every river we crossed didn't seem like a river at all. They were completely full of floating logs, you couldn't even see water. Every other car had a bumper sticker damning spotted owls (guess they're endangered and logging is suffering because of it) Finally after a 3 hour drive we came to Aberdeen.
This is probably the most depressing place I have EVER been. That's saying a lot since I've been to 47 of the 50 states. There are 2 distinct parts to the town, the hill and the flats. The hill has the "nice" houses, which would barely pass for middle class here. The flats was the most ramshackle collection of dumps ever. It looked like a Bosnian war zone. I requested to be dropped in the flats by 1st Avenue, the site of Kurt's childhood home.
I wasn't even thinking about magazines as I walked down the street towards his house. It's surreal to read about something or look at pictures, then find yourself there. Most of the time it's a letdown, like Mt Rushmore or Times Square. But his house was as awful as I could imagine. It was a tiny crackerbox structure, with peeling clapboard siding and dead brown grass in front. I just stood there looking and thinking. I understood his music a lot more at that point. What I understood even more is how someone who came from this would freak out when he got famous. I know I would. Then I felt a tap on my shoulder.
I jumped about a mile and whirled around. There was a kinda dirty guy standing there grinning at me. He was about 30 with beat up Levi's and a flannel shirt. He asked me if I was a Nirvana fan. I said, "No, I just like staring at crap houses for no reason." He laughed and said he lived right down the street. Would I like to take some bong hits and see some pictures. I agreed.
We got to his apartment. He packed a fat bowl and told me that Kurt and him were good friends as kids. I was pretty skeptical, as everyone in Aberdeen "knew" him. He told me he had proof and drug out a box of pictures. I started leafing through them and he was for real. There were pictures of him and Kurt all through junior high. Of course now I had a million questions! Found out some interesting stuff! A lot of rock star stories are pure mythos and that's what makes them great. So I will not ruin it for anyone, but keep what I heard in my heart and remember the music more than the man.
I spent the whole day hanging out with this dude, then before I was ready it was time to go, but I had one more stop I HAD to make, the infamous bridge.
Here's one rumor I will dispel! "Something in the Way" is total bullshit. I have been under that bridge, there is no way in hell anyone could have slept under it, sorry Kurt you are full of shit! So I tagged under the bridge with my fave green spray paint and went back to Tacoma, and reality.
Not much else interesting from Washington, sold lots of magazines and fell in love with the state. My goal someday is to end up back there as it's the only place I have ever felt normal.
As always thanks for listening and God bless!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Utah- the postmodern Twilight Zone

OK, the last 2 posts have been VERY heavy. I am pleased to announce that tonight won't be as depressing! Hope that doesn't disappoint lol.
We won't talk about the events from previous post. Suffice it to say, I never forgot, but life went on.
Next stop on the road was two weeks in Utah. We arrived at a hideous motel in Ogden. I took a deep breath and tried to shake off the last two days. I had magazines to sell!
If you have ever seen The Twilight Zone you might have a rudimentary understanding of what Utah is like. In the southern part of the state it's actually kind of beautiful! But....once you get closer to Salt Lake it gets progressively worse. The highways were lined with God knows how many refineries. They had these huge smokestacks that belched oily black gas hundreds of feet into the sky. Some of them even spewed flames. Looked like what hell must look like to Green Party members! I swear to you everything had an orange tint to it. Frighteningly enough I was breathing this crap.
Bet you think it couldn't get any worse, huh? As we neared the City the most God awful rotten egg smell started permeating the air. That was Salt Lake. I guess the salt content does that. I sat there in the van wondering who could possibly live in this forsaken state. I was to find out the next day.
I slept like the dead the night before we started work. I had no dreams.
I woke up bright and early the next day. It wasn't by choice. Tiny and I were to the point I was pretty much living in him and Jeff's room. This dude was a morning person from hell. I mean wake-up-at-5AM-and-start-singing morning person. That was the one thing that killed me about him. Anyone who knows me is aware that I am Satan before 2 cups of coffee.
I was so very hopeful that a different state would do me a world of good. Maybe people from Colorado just hated me for some reason. So I was assigned to Tiny's van (of course! Forgot to mention he was a car handler, driving, picking hoods, and making drops) It's a very good thing when your boyfriend is in charge of choosing where you sell!
The first city we hit was Provo, south of SLC. Tiny waited till last to drop me. He dropped me in the best kind of neighborhood, upper middle class young couples and college students.
So I knocked on my first door. The door was opened by this shiny blond in a twinset. She was smiling so brightly MY face hurt just looking at her. I told her what I was doing and she invited me in.
We sat at her kitchen table as I got out my sales packet. It seemed like a plate of cookies and coffee just materialized in front of me. I finished my spiel and she asked me, "Have you read the Book of Mormon?" I was a bit gobsmacked for a second, I've never had anyone be that direct about religion. So I'm like, "Uh, no, I'm a sinner, God doesn't want me." I was actually just cracking a joke but she thought I was for real! So she bought a subscription on the condition that I take a copy of the Book of Mormon and read it.
So I walked out of her house slightly dazed and headed next door.
An equally shiny brunette answered at this house. She invited me in to the living room (these people are not very suspicious, what if I was an axe murderer?!) I gave her my pitch and her eyes trailed down to the Book of Mormon I had in my hand. She said, "Have you read that yet?" I told her I had just received it. She said she would buy a magazine if I took another Book and "shared" it with a friend. I agreed....a plan was forming in my head.
By the end of the week I had sold 43 subscriptions and I had 27 copies of the Book of Mormon.
People in Utah are incredibly nice, TOO nice. It's in a creepy Stepford kind of way. I was relieved when we pulled up stakes and moved on to Washington State.
Next time, my FAVORITE place on earth, visiting Aberdeen and hearing about Kurt from people he grew up with, log-choked rivers, and sitting under THAT bridge! As always thanks for listening and God bless!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The loneliest rest stop in America- What happens when you try to get pity

Well this one is going to be a bit shorter than usual, but not too much to elaborate on, this event speaks for itself!
As you know we had just left Denver with a quickness, due to little Mikey's death. The vans were all packed in a matter of a half hour and we peeled out of Colorado, never to return.
I was in the second van in the caravan. I guess I should mention something about the seating arrangements in mag crew. We were seated according to sales, with the top seller sitting shotgun and the worst in the back row of the van. This was considered punishment on long jumps, as it's easy to feel car sick in the back after 10-12 hours on the road.
As you can guess from the way my career was going at that point, I was in the back row with this idiot named Charlie from Wisconsin. I never had talked to him if I could avoid it before, and here I was- stuck next to him until Utah! I was very upset over Mikey and this moron was acting like nothing had ever happened. He kept talking and talking, so I just tuned him out and as we passed over the border to Wyoming, I finally fell asleep.
My dreams were dark during that nap, mostly reliving the Mikey thing over and over again. I finally woke up drenched in sweat about an hour later and there was something wrong with the waistband of my pants....
I looked down and this stupid son of a bitch had stuck his hand down my pants. I was pissy as hell and started yelling and smacking at him. Everyone just turned around and looked, but I didn't say anything at this point.
I sat there thinking and seething. To be totally honest I wasn't even that upset about he did, I had done a LOT more with people I had known less, it was the presumption that I wouldn't mind that made me the maddest of all. The driver announced we were making a stop at a rest area.
It was an eerie place. That's the only way I can describe it. Wyoming is VERY desolate, we hadn't passed another exit in about an hour. There was a thick fog covering parts of the ground and it was the middle of the night. The silence could be cut with a machete. It felt like we were the only people left after some apocalyptic event.
I got out of the van and made up my mind I was gonna cause some shit. So I worked up some tears and went to Bob and Tiny. I wailed about how he sexually assaulted me and how violated I felt. It had the desired effect, Tiny held me close and told me how much he loved me and how sorry he was. Bob just stood there turning red and silent. Bad sign with Bob! I excused myself and went to the restroom, feeling pleased with the attention and sympathy I had gotten.
While in the bathroom I heard a HUGE commotion outside, so I ran out to check it out.
Charlie was laying on the ground, surrounded by Tiny, Bob, and three other guys. They were kicking him over and over and over again. I screamed and ran in to get closer, you could see the bloodsplatter every time one of the guys lifted their foot to get another shot in. All I could do was stand there and watch.
You know how they talk about out of body experiences? That's precisely how I felt. It was like someone calm and detached was watching, not me. Inside I was screaming, but I didn't say anything. What would I say, "It really didn't bother me, I just wanted attention?"
I knew it was too late when I saw his broken body covered in blood. The beating had gone on for a good 5 minutes and 5:1 over five minutes is not pretty.
We loaded up the vans and left him right there at that lonely rest stop in Wyoming. I don't think there is any way he could have survived, God only knows how long it would have been before another car came, and unconscious guys cannot crawl to the payphone. To this day I do not know for sure whether he survived. I'd like to think he did, but that's highly unlikely.
We sped down the freeway, bound for Salt Lake City. No one said a word and no one looked back.
So me being a drama queen caused either the death or severe beating of another human being. As we were heading down the interstate I thought to myself, "The blood of two men on my hands, and in only 24 hours!" If there is a hell surely I've earned myself a prime position.
They say you have to forgive yourself and I try, but I keep seeing his broken body and remember that I was the one who caused it. God forgive me!
As always, thanks for reading and God bless!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

W.A.B.-mag crew nightmare in Colorado

Well, we're up to Colorado. This is so hard to talk about even 13 years later, but I'm sure it's important enough to plow through it.
As I said, before Colorado, I was the golden child. I was selling 10-15 subscriptions a day. They were giving me $50 draws every night and even letting me take off drops during the work day just to chill with my car handler Tiny. Life was good, and I laughed at the W.A.B.s (mag crew speak for weak ass bitches) who couldn't even get 3 sales in one day.
When we arrived in Denver I couldn't believe how beautiful it was and how many joust (easy sell) neighborhoods there were. So our first day my van headed to Littleton and I was ready to kick ass. My first drop was in your typical suburban McMansion hood. These were always my specialty. I had 2 hours and I was sure I'd pull at LEAST 4. By the end of the whole day I had only 1.
The bosses were nice and said that everyone has off days. I would do better tomorrow, tear it up, get a bunch!
Skip forward 3 more days, I had sold 4 ALL WEEK. Bob pulled me in his motel room and got about 2 inches from my face and screamed until I thought my eardrums would burst. I asked for my draw with tears in my eyes. He threw me a ten and said "Have fun eating all day on that WAB!"
I couldn't believe it! How could everything have changed so drastically in such a short time. I went in tears to Tiny's room. He said, "You need a drink girl!" Seemed like a good idea at the time so we headed to the gas station and I spent my entire draw on bottles of St Ide's Special Brew. After about 3 it didn't seem to matter so much....
Soon I was spending every night with Tiny drinking and before long we were an item. I felt superior to everyone else because my poison was not so bad.
You see when we got to CO, the other crew members discovered a fairly new drug that would make them work like mad, it was called Crystal Meth. I didn't want anything to do with it because frankly it scared the shit out of me when I saw what it did to people. Others were not as fortunate. There was a kid on our crew (and I do mean kid he was 16) who was snorting copious amounts and soon graduated to smoking. Mikey was being enabled by the bosses who knew he was using. They praised the spike in his sales and told him to keep it up (with a wink), I wish I was joking.
Mikey was the sweetest guy before. Once he was hooked he got agitated and paranoid, not himself at all. I wanted to talk to him, but what could I say? I didn't have the guts to stand up to the bosses.
Well we were set to jump to Utah in 2 days and the motel was quiet that night. At about 2 AM I heard a yell from the room 2 doors down where Mikey and Al were staying. Mikey's heart had stopped, no pulse no response, nothing! We all rushed over terrified. The boss ran over and threw him in the van and sped off.
We all waited for the next hour for news. Finally the van pulled up. We all looked at Bob expectantly. He just shrugged and said, "I'm assuming he's dead, not like I waited to find out. He was a WAB who couldn't handle it, no great loss." That's an exact quote.
I just stood there frozen. HE WAS 16! He had the heart of an angel and gave his life so he could sell more magazines. Then he was dumped at the ER doors like so much trash. No one said a word (like I said CULT) We just packed up that morning and left town
In hindsight although I know there was nothing I could have done to help him that night as he was already gone, why did I not have had the courage to stand up to the bosses. This is one of those things I will carry till I die. Maybe someday I will forgive my inaction, who knows.
That's all I can do tonight. I think that's enough. Tomorrow- what happened to Charlie on the jump to Utah and my bad news relationship of pain and codependency with Tiny. As always, thanks for reading and God bless!

Tear it up, get a bunch- Mag Crew background

Well we have gotten to magazine crew, the point I am dreading more than any....
As I said, I saw this ad in the paper about a job where I could travel and get paid cash every day. To a 19 year old with serious emotional problems and no real ties this sounded like the perfect escape! So I went down to a motel room at our local Ramada and talked to Sabrina (real names here as I am sure no one will know them) I brought along 2 friends SH and Andy.
This girl was a natural born saleswoman. She spoke of making tons of money, winning trips to Cancun and an amazing sense of camaraderie. As you can imagine, it was music to my ears. One catch, I had to leave that very night.
I went to DA's folks, said goodbye, and went back to the motel. Next thing I know I'm in a van on my way to Michigan.
I cannot even describe to you how wonderful the first few days were! Everyone was so cool! All the girls were my new best friends, all the guys hit on me. There were parties every night. I mean we were 30 kids living out of motels.
My first day alone I sold 10 subscriptions. The bosses praised me like you wouldn't believe. I was floating so high that I didn't really notice how much they were yelling at the other ones who had been doing it for a while. A big red flag should have went up right then. Things were great through Wisconsin and until we got to Colorado. That's when sales dropped off for me and the abuse began.
Are you familiar with how cults work? Well that is the best parallel I can draw. They start by bombarding you with love and giving lonely people a sense of family. Then the drilling begins, we would meet every morning at 7 and get "pep talks" (read-veiled threats) and do strange cheers about selling magazines. Seems bizarre now but at the time was totally normal. Then if things did not go their way the yelling started. If you had a bad "drop" (the hour they left you in a neighborhood to sell) they would take you to the worst neighborhood you can imagine and leave you until they felt like coming back. The weird thing is, those people in those places were nicer than the rich ones.
It was financial abuse too. You would get a $20 payment if they were displeased. Considering you worked from 7 am till 9pm, it doesn't add up to a good hourly wage.
That's just a bit of background on the living situation. Next post we will get into drugs, overdoses, and murder. As always thanks for listening and God bless.

11th street

Well last time our lovely heroine (no pun intended) had just gotten her first apartment and life was good! She smoked some weed, but was off the bottle. She had a job and everything. But as any addict in denial will tell you it NEVER lasts, but for a while it did. This edition will be not so much about drugs as much as equally insidious foes-apathy,laziness, trauma, and depression!
My apartment was on North 11th St and was an utter and complete shithole, but it was my shit hole! I had a 100 year old fridge, no bedroom, a musty murphy bed everyone was too frightened to sleep on, and a bathroom sink in real danger of falling off and crushing someones foot. But oh man was I happy!
That old boyfriend JK used to bring by all the leftovers from his job at KFC, so food wasn't an issue. I had a great group of friends. Sounds great huh?
Well one symptom of smoking weed is that you are more interested in Doritos than house cleaning. Another is it can shorten your reaction time and make you forget you live in a bad neighborhood....
One night I am stoned to the bone and walk down the back stairs into my alley for God knows what reason. I probably had the munchies or something equally retarded. It was very dark as the north side is not known for it's lighting. I was stumbling down the alley completely oblivious when I felt something hard hit me in the back. Something about 6'1" with horrible breath and the voice of Satan himself. No more detail here, but he didn't wanna bake cookies.
Somehow I found myself back home, in utter shock and terror. I was 19 I was invincible, what the fuck. Then it was like the lights dimmed over my whole world.
I couldn't tell anyone, how could I? If I wasn't stoned it wouldn't have happened, so it was my own fault. In AA they say you are only as sick as your secrets, and man was I one sick kittycat! So I went through the motions as best I could. It worked for a while till I met my little purple friend Mr. Xanax. Enter nerve pills into my mix....
They helped for a while and made me forget. The bad part is they made me forget things like um...going to work and paying rent. You know, the small stuff. Next thing you know I am evicted and my possessions are locked inside. My friend JB climbed onto the roof and through a window so I could get my stuff.
Remember DA's great mom and dad? Guess who took me in? 3 guesses and the first 2 don't count!
So these wonderful people took me into their home and hearts again. But I was frozen inside. I was damaged, how could any one want anything to do with me. So I still wanted to run away. One day low and behold I open up the paper to read an ad "Need 18-25 year olds to travel the country. Cash paid Daily"
That's for another day as I could write a book about that alone (don't worry I won't I believe in reasonable brevity in posts ;) ) As always thanks for reading and God bless!

Turning Point

Well in my sleepiness, I completely overlooked a turning point last time...
I didn't go from the shelter to my first apartment, duh?! The years can muddle things even if the drugs and booze do not. Keep in mind this was 14 years ago!
I actually got thrown out of the shelter (Dave I am SO sorry I almost missed your part :) ) There was this girl who stayed there too, named Erica. First lesbian I ever know. Well we got to friends as there were not many girls our age there. She used to take me to Springfield, OH for day trips. I met all her lesbian friends and they seemed SO happy and close. Well I got more than a little envious. Keep in mind I had not been in Richmond long and not many friends and was sober.
One night we got back from the shelter past curfew and found they had thrown out all our stuff, including $150 worth of library books (that I still owe for to this day. I looked at her and said "Fuck it, I have a check coming tomorrow. Let's move to Springfield!" I have to admit my motives were not entirely pure, I had a nasty crush on her at that point. We agreed to meet the next night at 10 pm and she would have a ride for us. We went separate ways to try to find somewhere to crash. I dug a duffel bag's worth of stuff out of the shelter's dumpster and started wandering.
My mind was going a million miles an hour. I had nowhere to go, most of my possessions had been ruined by the shelter's dinner waste, and I was getting ready to run away with a GIRL. How did this happen?! I was doing the right thing, damn it! Next thing you know I'm standing by the liquor store looking for a guy to flirt with so he'd buy me a bottle. It didn't take long! Next thing you know I'm in Glen Miller Park asleep on the ground, cradling a bottle of vodka like a newborn baby.
I woke up with a splitting headache, a half broken back, and the sun shining directly above me. I had done it again! But I was not to drink again for awhile. This was to be the day my life made a hairpin turn and I would meet a group of people who are still my "kids" to this very day.
I picked up my my check and cashed it just as dusk started to fall over the city. It was a lovely day and I decided to go to my fave coffee house by Earlham to play some chess and say my goodbyes to the town. I arrived with a buzz saw going off in my head, and found I couldn't concentrate for shit. So I look over to my right and see this hippie dude with long brown hair (we'll call him DA). I thought, "Hmmmm this guy looks like he could get me some dank nugs!" So I plucked up the courage and just walked up and asked. To my surprise and delight he said yes!
We jumped in his car and got what we needed to. He mentioned he had friends hanging out by Centerville and did I want to come? I agreed on the condition that I was back to meet Erica. I arrived to a nice house and found a group of people my age chilling in the basement.
Many joints were passed and before long I found myself opening up to these strangers, telling them of my intentions and apprehensions. Suddenly DA's sister V said (and I can remember this exactly forever) "Don't go! You can stay with us!" To my shock, I heard OK floating out of my numb, stoned lips.
They took me home where I met their parent, the 2 most decent, God-fearing folks it has been my privilege to meet. No questions were asked, they just took me in with open arms and let me stay till I got that apartment!
You know, usually drugs and alcohol lead to nothing but bad situations, but every once in a while by fate, or God, or whatever you believe in they lead to something wonderful! Remember these kind folks because they have a hand in saving my life about a million times in this story!
As always Thank you and God Bless!

Friday, March 19, 2010

How can someone get in trouble in a town of 2000 people?!

Well in my last post we got through high school and Muncie years. Guess that brings me back to Hagerstown again
Excuse me here because this time was a bit fuzzy. My mom took me back in when I was near death from living on the streets. It was not exactly a happy reunion. Although we were close in later years, we both made a LOT of mistakes during earlier years.
I did very well the first month. I was totally sober, probably because I couldn't FIND anything in Hagerstown. I had a crap job at precision wire that I HATED, but I went. I stayed to myself. Then one day I ran into JM a "friend" from HS. He asked me to hang out and next thing I knew I was back w/ the old skater crowd I hung on the edges of in school. It was SO nice to feel like I belonged. You see when I got back home I looked like an alien to the good folks of small town USA. My uniform was a black punk t, red plaid skirt, ripped fishnets, and combat boots. I used to walk around town like that, and any of you from there can imagine the reaction in 1996! All of the sudden The skaters thought I was hot. We started smoking weed, and I thought "Weed's not bad" But do you really think it ended there? HA!
The gang used to go to our friend CP's house in New Castle and that's when the acid abuse started again. It was a calm night if I only did 5 hits. I still had my connection in Muncie and everyone LOVED that. I felt like the Belle of the fuck-up ball. I even began dating the guy I had had a desperate crush on since I was 15. Those times were still managable. I was making plenty of money selling acid. It was a weird feeling going out to this guy's house by New Castle (you know the type, 20 something and partying with kids) and selling acid to all the asshole jocks who used to torture me. NOW I was someone.
Eventually I got sick of eating acid and decided in my infinite wisdom "I can drink, better than acid!" That's when it gets blurry. The events (I believe they are in order but who knows)
1.) Mom gets sick of me staying out till all hours with my "loser friends" and throws me out
2.) I move in with a lunatic from work who WAS SCHIZO
4.) Schizo roomate throws me out
3.) I end up stranded in Muncie with my boyfriend after a 2 week nostalgia drunk and end up getting clean at my old English teacher's house
4.) Harold gives us a ride to my mom's
5.) Boyfriend dumped me (the first break up of what would be MANY over the years)
This began sobriety #2! I was GONNA do it this time. I wasn't a weak little bitch, I could hang! So I got a telemarketing job in Richmond selling mortgages and moved into a shelter till I got my 1st check.
I was good at my job and made a couple great checks. I was able to afford my very own place for the first time, no roommates. I started to buy furniture and make plans. I think I'll leave my next downfall for my next post. Once again thanks for listening and God bless!

You gotta start somewhere...

Well I believe that being openly and absolutely fearlessly honest can be a very healthy thing sometimes.
As you already know, my name is Jamie, I am 32 and I am an alcoholic and an addict. Trying out something to keep me on track. I figure if I post on this every day I'll have even more incentive not to slip up.
A bit of my not so illustrious history... My drug and alcohol use did not start until I was almost 18. I was known as a goody goody nerd at my school. Nobody knew the seething ball of rage and resentment I was on the inside. So much rage, and no one had any idea. So one day I said the hell with it, within 2 hours I had taken my first drink and smoked my first joint. I only drank one more time in high school, but smoked pot as often as I could. I loved the dullness that would wash over me. Then came the tipping point, I moved to Muncie.
I was thrust in the middle of the college scene, but with a difference, I didn't have classes. I could stay out as late as I wanted w/ no consequences. I started going to 3-4 kegs and/ or hairy buffalos a week. All of the sudden I was surrounded by people who "liked" me and guys were paying attention to me for the first time in my life. I won't go into too much detail but suffice it to say it led to some VERY irresponsable behavior and I'm lucky to be alive today.
I got introduced to the punk scene and for the first time in my life I found a home. These people were rejects and misfits just like myself. Before you knew it my venue had changed but not much else. I was sneaking Jager and Aftershock into The Flying Tomato and Stevie Ray's. I would have overage guys buy me drinks at Bogart's and The Emerson. Life continued.
Then things went from bad to worse, I discovered acid through my first love. Our favorite date activity was to split a 10 strip and run around like idiots all night, then come down over coffee at Sunshine. Really compared to drinking it seems less harmful to me even now. We probably ate about 200 hits between us during our relationship. Then the hammer came down and he dumped me.
That was my first rock bottom. I started as I call it "drinking my face off." I started cutting myself and calling him 20 times a day. I am so ashamed of that stalker behavior now, but I was literally insane at that point. I stopped going to work, lost my apartment, and ended up sleeping on people's couches. After I had worn out my welcome everywhere I was literally on the streets of Muncie until I got double pneumonia. I called my mom crying my eyes out and she agreed to let me come home. Thus began my first (but short lived) period of sobriety. I am exhausted from remembering all this so I will continue tomorrow. Sad part is, this only takes me to age 19 1/2. EEEK! Thanks for listening. I love you all and praise God for giving me strength!