if mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy.
*Note: this is NOT a feel good blog. It delves into my history of the year 2004. “The Lost Year.”*
I heard this song on the way home from our river walk this morning, If Mama’s Not Happy, Nobody’s Happy. I thought that was a great song to play on Kid’s Place Live. Teach ’em young. Then shortly there after was a song by Save Ferris (one of my favorite ska bands) about Spam. Hmm…
Let’s back up to last night…
I broke down.
I watched Twilight. And when that wasn’t enough, I watched New Moon. What the HECK is wrong with me? However, if it’s any consolation, in the corner of the screen while watching New Moon was a marijuana leaf. It made me hungry.
This then turned into funky dreams about vampires and blood and scars and drop dead sexy pale men who do nothing but be drop dead sexy.
Because of these odd dreams I woke up at 3, unable to fall back asleep for 2 hours. I sat there and thought about a lot of things. For example, why was I so disturbed that I couldn’t fall back asleep? Then my mind wandered to how I wore a blue short sleeve shirt to work on Saturday. On Fridays when I work, I wear my scrubs. On the weekends, I wear scrub pants and a comfy tee. Scrub tops are so bulky and itchy. Anyways, when I wear tee shirts, I typically put a long sleeve shirt on underneath. However, on Saturday, I didn’t. Seems innocent enough, right?
While attaching oxygen to the portable tank, a new transport guy stood by. He took one look at my right arm and asked concerned, “What the heck happened to your arm?” I paused, looked, and then very plainly said, “I used to be a cutter. I’m better now.” He looked at me dumbfounded and slightly shocked, not expecting that to ever be the answer, and said, “Oh, OK,” and walked away.
I stood there for a few minutes, watching him push my patient down the hall and thought to myself, how often do people look, but never say anything? Answer: probably a lot.
After standing there, staring into space for a few minutes, my coworker friend Shannon walked up to me and asked me what was wrong. I told her what happened and she said, “Well, forget him. That was a long time ago. You’re fine now.”
Personally, I guess I wish I could let it go, but it’s not so easy. It’s not like a tattoo or a stretch mark. While I never chose to get stretch marks, the tattoos were a welcomed addition to my skin. The scars on my arms? Not so much. Really, the scars everywhere, not so much.
I remember back when I made my first mark on my arm. I didn’t want it to heal. I wanted it to scar. So everytime it would scab up, I’d stretch it back open. I’m sure the original cuts could have used sutures, but obviously, that was last on my mind. There are three in a line going horizontally. Then just below the last one is a vertical burn. That’s from when I decided it would be cool to brand myself with a metal clothes hanger.
I’ve mentioned before about how 2004 was my worst year to date. It was. It truly was. I had previously been dating a good, well respectable guy who loved me for all my flaws. He would have done anything for me. But for some stupid reason, that wasn’t enough. I didn’t want safe, and that’s exactly what Patrick was. He was safe.
Instead, I found a shy, quiet cook more appealing, so I ended my normal relationship for a crazy, mixed up, baby mama drama, drug dealing guy. Obviously we went no where and we were never in a real relationship, but in a way, he was good for me. I guess there’s something about a guy who smokes a lot of high quality weed to have a different perspective on life. He was probably by far one of the best listeners I have ever met and would talk to me openly and honestly. Plus, there were no strings. To an 19 year old, that’s gold.
When the summer came, my roommate moved back home and I lived alone in our apartment. I decided to save money, I’d get rid of the tv and phone. It was just me, myself and I.
I had a lot of free time. Lots and lots of time. Isn’t there a saying that says “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”? Welp, that was me.
I made a lot of poor decisions. I lead on my exboyfriend for a long time and rebroke his heart. I dated his best friend.
One night I was having a really bad night and I had called my best friend, Ian, to come over because I didn’t trust myself. He only lived a few blocks away, but by the time he got to my apartment he found me in the bathtub, naked and covered with new fresh cuts. (I didn’t want to make a mess on the carpet since I was renting. At least I was thoughtful.)
This then turned into my not eating and working 60 hours a week. I took on a second job and would work at one place during the day and then another during the evening into the night.
Needless to say, I was a mess.
Then I met Matt.
I remember the day he came into Fridays for an interview. I walked up to my manager after he left and said, “If you don’t hire him, I’ll quit.”
On his first day at work, I was his trainer. I had never been so tongue tied and dumb-blonde in my life. He probably thought I was a nut.
A few months later, I invited him to come out with me and some coworkers and he agreed. After that, we were never apart.
The first time he came to my apartment, he looked in my fridge for something to drink and found….well pretty much nothing. I told him the truth of my past and he didn’t run away. Instead, he went to the grocery store and bought me things like Carnation Instant Breakfast and granola bars. Oh, and flowers. He thought those would make me happy…
This then brought me to the 5 a.m. hour and I realized I was exhausted so I gave Matt a kiss on his cheek and rolled over and fell asleep.
Sometimes going down memory lane isn’t a fun time, but for me, it’s best I identify what is bothering me before it gets bad. It’s been 5 years since I’ve cut. My scars don’t bother me anymore, really. It’s the way people look at them. Moreover, it’s the “Wow, I would have never guessed…” that people say after I tell them.
We’ve all got our issues. At least I dealt with mine.
Arms close to my side
I’m fighting tides
Of an ocean’s undertow
And I figure that I might not make it
I’m taking empty but seldom speaking
And the words retreat
Yeah, they breathe in histories
Still at ease
And the story’s untold
And my arms unfold