You moved to the hills, settled into the trees and the Appalachian like a lurking monster, and just like that, things went back to the way they were for you. The way they were supposed to be. You were othered and alone and that is what makes sense for you. We never talked about all the terrible things you did to me and they settled to the ground like dust that never seems to get wiped away and you looked right over them. It is an uncomfortable feeling and sometimes I think you recognize it too. I look at you from a distance and I ran away to the ocean. It took opposite plains of the earth to separate us and I don’t think we ever should have been together in the first place. It went against nature and it was so catastrophic. You destroyed me over and over and when I finally woke up from the haze I did not miss you I felt liberated.
I wonder sometimes if you wake up and think of me. Am I just something you are embarrassed of? I think you minimize me and you pretend you did not care or that you do not miss me because there is guilt twisting away at you and you cannot own up to what you did, but it makes you want to crawl out of your skin. It makes me want to crawl out of my skin.
I never told anyone except for Ayden that night what you had done. Putting it on paper, into words, it seems so wrong to admit. You raped me.
Thinking of you it feels so wrong, and you felt so wrong to me. You felt like a parasite that infested me and grasped me in total envelopment and I could not get away from. I never loved you and I know that know. And I know that I thought I did. I have never missed you except for once and mostly you make me want to reach inside my skull and peel out of the parts of me that remembers the things you did. I don’t hate many people, but I think I hate you. My brain was in a haze and you took advantage of me.
I remember the way I used to panic around my friends when you were there. Any wrong move, glance, joke, words at all, would be dooming. If I talked too much, made too many jokes, looked too friendly, did the wrong things.
You come to me in my dreams and your eyes pierce me with the harrowing gaze. Blue and dead, as I forget your voice, your face, your smell, but never your eyes. I will always remember your eyes and they come back to me in the farthest hours of the night. They stare into my soul and they jolt me from my sleep, and you only in my dreams when I am alone in them.
8 months of my life felt like nothing and it felt like the shortest most unimportant time in the world, but I think I have buried so much of what happened with us, because I struggle to remember it. I do not look back at old photos and when I have to I scroll very fast through the ones you are in. You remind me of a dark watch tower and you stuck out like a thumb.
Does it ever haunt you the way it haunts me?
i tried for a really long time to convince myself that you were never the bad guy. a bad marriage, susceptibility to craig’s manipulation, the sacrifices you accidentally made for a comfortable lifestyle. and it almost worked. but you couldn’t have been there for me in secret? you couldn’t have been there for me when it was just me and you? you confuse me so much. i want to believe you have a heart. but if you do, the fault is within me. but i was just a kid. the fault cannot be in a toddler, atleast not a fault so unforgivable as whatever idea you have about me in your head. i always wanted a mom. a real mom. and so many times after i left, when you would call me i would wait for you to ask about boyfriends, my friends, gossip, anything at all that showed you wanted to personally know me. and you never did, and when i would hang up the phone, the words i love you would linger on the tip of my tongue, but i could never quite get them out, and you would never say it first. all those times in my old bedroom, laying on the cold bathroom floor, my breathing slowing down, the liquor and xanax turning off my brain, i was thinking of you. maybe if i lived up to what you saw me as, the fault really would be within me. and if the fault was within me, it was fixable. and if it was fixable, you would be my mom, and not just the lady who gave birth to me. when i was little, a knife held above my heart felt like the only way that maybe you would realize you loved me. and the suicide note in my head played over again and again. i would tweak the smallest sentences, trying to make it perfect. fantasizing about you rushing in at the perfect moment, and telling me you loved me. and i remember when i was no older then seven, sobbing, saying “you love them more” and you wouldn’t look me in the eyes. you told me i was being crazy, but the look in your eyes was so uncomfortable, something resembling guilt, but different. it was shame. you couldn’t even convince yourself i was wrong, i don’t know how you expected to convince me. you were my first heartbreak, and the only one that i don’t think is ever going to heal. i love you so much. you were the sun that turned my world when i was little. i remember every hug, every moment you spent with me, because in the back of my mind, i always knew it meant so much more to me then it would ever mean to you. i feel so stupid, for letting myself be strung along like this by you. always the promise just out of my reach of finally connecting with you. but i can’t keep doing this anymore. there is a point where you have to grow up and see the world around you for what it is, and i think that point is now. i love you mom, and i miss what we never had, but i can’t keep doing this. i’m never going to get over you, and you’re never going to change. i don’t think me and you were meant to be anything more then strangers in this lifetime. goodbye.
i don’t know how to explain why i did what i did. but i can give one example that might shed some light to it. when i was packing my things to leave, my dad was banging on my locked door, threatening to break it down, not to convince or beg me to stay, but because i was using a duffel bag of his. and when i opened the door he threw a trash bag in my face and told me to use that instead, and him and my mom stood there filming me as i was sobbing and when i left, the only thing i had to my name was money i had to keep hidden from them, a car they tried to do everything in their power to prevent me from having, and a backseat filled with trashbags. all in an instant i went from the top of the social class to the bottom, and i’d never felt more like the scum of the earth. i never got begged to stay, and they never told me they loved me. my dads last words as i hauled my trashbags into wrens car were “fuck you”, and that was that. i got a text from them a few days later accusing me of not thinking clearly. it was always that. they were referring to me as mushy megan to my siblings. funny thing is, i’d never had more of a clear head then i did in those very first months.
I can’t save you. Looking out the window of omars car those words echoed so clearly in my mind, as if they had been placed in my head. I tried so hard with you. You were the final lesson here I think. I cannot save you, or anyone else in this world. I can only save myself. I don’t know if what we had was love. I know you are never going to be the same without me and I’m sorry. I am going to have to watch you try to kill yourself in everyway imaginable. The visual of you hitting your knead against that pavement again and again, the blood spilling over your head, the feeling of being so close to being able to fly away from it all, repeats in my head. We told each other we would never leave. That was the lesson here. I had to learn how to leave. I remember that last time we really hung out. Dancing in our underwear in the parking lot. I remember every late night I spent with you, running up to you to hug you. That time you held me and told me I felt like home. The first night we met. When I took you to caleb's house. Falling asleep next to you. Promising me you were going to change. Telling me you wanted me to have your kids someday. I never believed any of it. I remember how terrible you treated me. The lying, the violence, the inability to be sober. Never making time for me unless it benefited you. You told me when you are with me you feel grounded. When I am with you, I feel like a tornado of exploding emotions, just under the surface, an ocean of darkness, doubt, the underlying dread of my instincts clashing with my feelings. I don’t doubt that you really cared about me. I don’t doubt that you are so terrified of losing me right now. Sitting at home, every neuron in your body firing off, attacking itself. I do not know if you are going to survive this one. You carried so much guilt with you, and I always wondered why. You were so convinced you were a bad person. As I slowly figured out, you were right. You are so self aware of it, yet so unable to lift yourself out of it. You are melting, drowning in the problems you create for yourself. I cannot pull you out of that. I hope you get better, but some part of me knows this is the beginning of the end for you. This ends in overdoses, violence, inpatient, and eventaully everybody around you is going to give up on you the same way I did, and you will have no one to lift you up off the gutter of which you banged your head on, again and again, until it split open, and you will finally drown in yourself.
Cocaine all nighters, white lines against a garage table. The whole world spinning in beautiful circles sitting in a tube on the lake, being pulled around by a boy who isn’t mine. The molly twisting my brain into an easy type of loving. Love is never easy. Seeing his face again and the sharp pain that nothing in the world could make me feel, holding onto the rebound for dear life. Watching him get knocked down. His face in my mind. Again and again. His eyes. The pain behind them. The pain behind them because of me. Rushing at him, screaming. Watching him slink away. Watching the hatred fill his face. A hurt he couldn’t handle. The love underneath it all. Grief. Despair. So I avoid it. I throw myself at the boy that isn’t mine. I tell myself hes better for me. And we work. I work with anyone. Just like that we don’t work so well. The entire time, he is spiraling. Oxys. The rainy highway. A totaled car. Anger dripping from the eyes already filled with too much pain. And so he runs away, goes missing. Waking up to the text, filled with fear. All of a sudden, he is everywhere. I see my future. I see us dancing in a stream of pure love, yellow, and bright, and dark and cautious, and damaged, and it doesn’t matter. He gets sent to a psych hospital. I watch myself in third person, I watch him. I watch him getting out, and I watch me, and suddenly it isn’t me and him, it's us. I watch him think about me every night. I watch him miss me. Love is never easy.
I feel so old.
All around me the noises of a party fade in and out, my friends drinking and shouting in the room over. In my own house. I have a full case of drinks. Months ago this wouldve seemed an unbelievable paradise. As the clonzaplin kicks in, I am in my bedroom alone, listening from a distance. You are the only thing on my mind. I love you more then life itself ayden. My baby. I have a feeling you are in some trouble with your parents right now. I never stopped loving you. I want you to know that. I dont know what else to do. You occupy my mind everyday. You are eating me alive, and I am slowly killing you. We are not meant to be apart. And so I live my life and wait for you to reappear.
He called me and asked to get lunch.
He added me back on snap this morning. I texted him “omg I thought u were dead” “we should talk”
I cried happy tears that day.
He sent me a snap today. Dark eyes. These cuts all over his hands. He has gotten worse. We are yet to get lunch, but it will happen.
Once again, the familiar glow of powder against the bathroom sink. A rolled dollar bill. Not the powder I’ve been doing for months. Xans. There is a regression. Things are coming back. I suppose old habits and old people come back with new opportunities. And new people come in with better opportunities. Just like ayden. I saw him yesterday. And everything felt as it had been before, but everything felt so wrong at the same time. I didn’t trust it. My mind went not to thinking he wanted me around when the compliments of soft hands, beauty, and the sweet smell he would never forget, but straight to manipulation. I have no genuinity left for that boy. For a moment, with my skin pressed up against him, everything felt normal. But he wouldn’t look me in the eyes. He was trying his hardest not to be powerless again. Perhaps I should protect myself as he is trying to protect himself. But I know how he works. He cannot keep himself away. “Knowing me I’ll see you again” and I merely said maybe. “I know I will” I shouldn’t have to protect myself like this.
I let him go now. I know it felt like walking on sunshine at first. But I was naive, and it was idealization. I would do anything to please him, and he figured that out. I was young and stupid and he was all of my firsts bundled into one. My last spring of childhood was rolled into a blunt and we smoked it together, burning fast and furious and bright, the fumes lingering in the air long after our fingers had burned from the roach. I’ve grown up now. And I’ve outgrown you. I shouldn’t have to take care of a man. They should take care of me.
And you are back in the hospital just like that. My fault all over again. “Megan you are the prettiest nicest girl in the entire universe” “You are the easiest person to care about ever” “I just want you to be okay. Its really the only thing I care about” You love me more then life itself. And when I told you again and again I wanted to see you, you insisted it would destroy both of us. But that is not true. This is what destroys both of us. “You dont want to talk anymore” “I want to see you” And just like that, you overdose. Again. ANd I wake up to a text from ur dad. And I always know what that means. And I love you. And I told you I love you. And now I collapse on the floor, work out after workout, when I haven’t worked out in months, and my body is numb. And I cannot feel anything and I keep going, until I fall to the floor. And I’m sure I will wake up screaming again tonight. I’ve had nightmares even when I nap since sunday. But maybe if I drink enough I will sleep soundly wrapped around your hoodie. And pouring every drink I can find in this house into a red solo cup and downing it. You are haunting me, tearing me apart, and I recognize who I used to be before you in the way I am handling this. Because I cannot handle this. You are splitting me into pieces. The only thing that will heal us is being together, and I know this is what it is going to take for you to realize that, but until then I will fall apart everyday. I love you baby. Please get better for me.
i grew up.
My childhood was the lowest point in my life. I was born into a cruel family, with no love left to give away. I grew up being told I was selfish, ignorant, irrational. As the years passed by I spent every breathing moment running from the haunting loneliness that ripped through my entire body, always a few steps behind.
The first angel that appeared in my life was my grandmother, Mary Reynolds. She was rarely around, living across the country, but it was enough. The only love I was ever shown was from her, and without that I perhaps would not have been here today. Time rolled by, and I began to see things I didn’t before. The unspoken drunkenness. The sporadic handfills of pills. And the same desperate grief that I had never recognized in anyone else the world except her. We were one in the same. She was trying her best in a world that had been so cruel to her, and I have never met a person more beautiful.
A few weeks before I turned 17, I met Natalia Ferrell. She was a senior at a neighboring high school. We were best friends in the ways you only see in the movies. Our pasts were heavy, but when we were together it seemed to dissipate. Her mom had passed from cancer a few months earlier. While I could not relate to her pain, I understood it, and that was all she needed. She was there through the first of my bipolar episodes. She watched me fall into addiction, a slave to tiny white bars, and helped me fight it with every ounce of mental strength she had left. She showed me that this life wasn’t such an impossible one to live. The last night I saw her, we had never felt closer. We stayed up for hours after the party ended, talking about everyone, everything, and life itself. She left my house that morning in my favorite tank top, still wearing it from the night before. Later that day, I began to receive strange texts from her. She spoke of ghosting everyone and running away together, getting an apartment away from our parents and peers, and finally finding happiness. An hour later I got sent a picture of a police report from 2018. With her face on it. Under the name Sarah Ferrell. Then an article, graduation pictures from 2017, stories of her impersonating UNC students. Her name was not Natalia. She was not 17. Her name was Sarah, the 22 year old. And just like that, she disappeared as quickly as she had appeared, and the next three sleepless nights were spent responding to the thousands of texts wanting to know how, what, why. And while I have no answers for any of this, I know she mourned the life she created for herself. She wished with every cell in her body for it to be real. She found happiness in the identity she created. And while it lasted, it was the most beautiful friendship I have ever experienced.
In march, I met a boy named Ayden Tise. He was basically my first everything. I went into it with slight disinterest. He was emotional, needy, with hovering parents. A cheater, who had been in and out of mental hospitals for years. He was a liability. And everyday I questioned what I was doing, but some unexplainable force pushed me forward. When I found out my parents had hired kidnappers to take me to a ranch in montana, I packed my things in trash bags, and wearing his green windbreaker, pockets filled with a knife and five thousand dollars -the entirety of my savings, I ran. I bought a car the next day, my name on the title. I moved to Raleigh, the city my friends resided in. Throughout all of it, he was by my side. And eventually the annoyance turned to love. It was intense, dangerous, toxic. I would sneak him out every night, and bring him to huge underground parties. That era of my life is remembered in flashes. Sirens, blinding lights, fast driving, sitting passenger, not knowing how drunk he was behind the wheel. The whole world spinning in circles until nothing was anything like the way it used to be. If we were going down, it was going to be together. Our nightlife was drastically different from who we were in the sunlight. Making cupcakes for his mom with him on mothers day. Playing soccer with his little sister while him and his dad looked under the hood of my car, saving me hundreds of dollars on a mechanic. The family I lost hope of having so long ago. And every time the stress would overwhelm me I would run to him, having no one else to turn to lost in a sea of teenage adults all just trying to make it. He was sheltered, and words couldn’t relay the lingering, heavy fear that maybe I would never make it out, condemned to a life of couch surfing and counting pennies, but he tried his best. It didn’t last forever. He was explosive, I was explosive, and perhaps we were doomed from the start. When things ended, he couldn’t handle it. Driving his car into a bridge in the pouring rain. When that didn't work, he went back to what he knew, overdosing on oxycodone. Somebody found him before it was too late, and he ended up in the hospital, for once again another round of rehab. He didn’t last long there, running away in the middle of the night. It was short lived, but for the few days he was gone I looked everywhere for him. Driving to all of our secret spots, hoping with everything in my soul that I would see him and make it all okay. I never found him. He got sent back a few days later. Everyday I wait for the day my phone will ring, and I will hear his voice again. “My feelings for you are unconditional”. That was the last thing he said to me. Everyday I wait to say it back.
When I was a kid I was certain that one day I was going to wake up, and things would finally be easy. That never happened. Life never stopped hitting me with train after train. They say when you’ve hit rock bottom, the only way out is up. But I don’t believe it. I’ve been free falling for so long there must be a hole at the other end, leading to the future that’s just waiting on me to arrive. My journey is far from over, but those three people had an impact I cannot find words for. And my feelings for them will always be, as Ayden said, unconditional.
let it be
I realized something today. I got to thinking about my drug habit. I relapsed this week. I was thinking how my brother knew but didn’t seem to be upset. He seemed to look upon it with this tragic little understanding. This little undertone that just said “let her be”. I wonder what my sister thinks when she looks up to us, watching us in our states of raw sadness that we won’t acknowledge but understand is there, making excuses for the other. It’s okay if he pours everything into the same copy of a girl who will act like our mother did to him when he was too young to realize how evil she was. It’s okay if all his music always has an underlying tone of rage and sorrow. It’s okay for him to pour himself into lacrosse, holding on to something that won’t last for dear life, sticking his identity to it until he will be shattered if it were to be peeled away. It’s okay if he tells himself he is different, special, better than others, not from a place of ego, but from a place of deep irreparable hurt. Just as those things are okay for him, it is okay if I live in a fantasy world. It is okay if I am develop a substance abuse problem at the raw age of 16. A full blown drug addict by 17. It’s okay if I spend the long hours of the night too fucked for me to be even consious in my own head, as I become the substance, floating above consciousness. Its okay if I push the limits, mixing things that shouldn’t be mixed, doubling the doses, having some strange sense of peace knowing that I may not wake up tomorrow. It’s okay if I pour every once of my energy into my appearance, because I do have that going for me, and its the only thing that I have ever been able to rely on my whole life. And I wonder what she thinks of all of this sorrow spilling through the little holes we pretend aren’t there so it doesn’t drown us in our own heads. I wonder if she will ever develop past the distant coldness and become like us. I wonder what she thinks as she watches my brother turn everyday more and more into my father. And I wonder if she is as scared as I am that it will happen to me.
Most of all, I wonder if she will survive without us. If any of us will survive this, or are we going to just let the other be until they end up killing themselves.
I wouldn’t say there's been any one singular event of the last few months that would make sense to write about on its own. Things seem to have been snowballing into some sort of alternate reality. I think things really started to pick up in october. I had a full blown manic episode out of nowhere, followed by two weeks of suffocating depression. Bipolar runs in my family, I shouldn’t have been surprised, but the unexpectedness of it all was terrifying. The first half of the month was a blur of art, impromptu parties, and rushing headfirst into what felt like insanity. After that, time seemed to stop completely, and I watched the minutes melt away from my room, the number of missing assignments pile up, and the reality of the situation set in like a rock. By the time November rolled around, I had acquired a couple tattoos I have no memory of giving to myself and was ten pounds lighter, with a drug addiction I thought nothing of until the withdrawals hit me like a truck. Little white bars took hold of my life and held on so tight I felt as if they would never leave me alone. I spent much of the month drained, living each day waiting for the weekends, which were spent with my best friend and whichever group we were going out with for the night. Country club parking lots and apartments of absent parents became our safe havens. Her house was of course the spot we would always start at and end up just before the sun rose. I would return home to my parents and take a few shifts at my job, and then sink back into the pit of school work, just hanging in there until friday. December rolled around, entailing getting bellybutton piercings in the back closet of a sketchy tobacco parlor, a gym membership we actually had the motivation to use, friday nights with our jordan friends, and saturdays with the cary ones. It’s felt like a movie. She just found out this morning she has stage three lung cancer. And just like that everything else seems to fade into the background. The invincibility we’ve always felt disappears, and all the things we’ve always talked about doing together when we got older seem now like a story neither of us believe, but keep telling each other, because while we used to cling to having time, and the idea that when we grow up everything will be okay, she might not have too long left. Living everyday as if it's the last is only fun when you know it won’t be, and it terrifies me that one day I will wake up and she might not, and I will have to face the entire world alone.
My life fell apart the week before the world shut down. The pandemic was more of an afterthought to me.
I spent all of sophomore year hooked on the thought that next year I would be hundreds of miles away from here. In hopes of finally being able to escape the less than optimal parts of my life, I wasted away at myself from the inside out convincing the very people I was trying to escape from to let me go to boarding school. My parents. The first 12 years of my life were a horrific living nightmare that I still haven't been able to completely forget. It's harder when you live with the people who made it that way. Boarding school was the only thing I thought about for 6 months. When I demanded they finally give me a straight answer, they said they weren’t going to let me go.
That was March 9th, 2020.
After my parents said no, I stopped caring. I had gotten everything I dreamed about but yet enjoyed none of it, telling myself the only path to happiness was moving out. I decided I was going to take control of my own life. This was the first domino to fall into place in the long string of events that have happened since.
I knew March 13th was the last day. They told us we would be back in three weeks but I didn’t believe it. I skipped three classes to hangout with the boy I liked. It was a calm day that I floated through slightly intoxicated. If anything, it felt unreal, yet it is still vivid even now in my memory. I remember taking one last look back before I left. I knew everything was about to change, but never did I feel uneasy. I was ready for it.
The next week, everything shut down. I spent two weeks slowly going crazy in a house full of the people I hated the very most in the entire world. It was depressing. I don’t remember much. What I do remember is the night a boy who I had never spoken to before invited me to smoke with him and his friends. I said yes, which shocks me looking back. I have always been adventurous, but that seemed especially ballsy, even for me. My friend was supposed to come with me, but the next morning an hour before I was supposed to leave, she texted me and told me she was grounded.
I went anyway, alone, to go hangout with three people I had never met before. It must have been divine intervention pushing me to go, for it was probably the best decision I have ever made in my life. We hiked through the woods for what must have been 20 minutes, crossing pipes over rushing rivers and walking through deep forest. When we finally arrived at the spot it seemed magical. There was a creek running through the center, near a campfire, a table, and wreckage from a car. A pile of old roofing lined the other side of the river. They called it the castle. The whole experience was, although slightly awkward, completely euphoric. A sense of pure rushing freedom filled the air that day. I had never felt more on top of the world. I knew everything was about to change.
I started hanging out with them probably four times a week, every week. I’m not going to pretend it was perfect, the spot became littered with trash, robbed, infested with ants, vandalized by various people who weren’t such big fans of the boys, and the dynamics between them was at times extremely toxic. We spent lots of time trash talking and sharing rumors, trying to rustle up money to fund our food and other things. Being the only girl added yet another complicated layer to the dynamics within the group. But to me it was perfect. The woods became our own little world, with spots only we knew about, hidden away from the rest of the world. It was a secret club that I had somehow stumbled into and never wanted to leave. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
The months passed by in a neon blur.
The world started up again, and my other friends were beginning to be allowed out again. I worked two jobs, doing 50 hours a week. I could no longer spend all my days separated from everything, just me and my new friends against the world, but I always make time to come back at least once a week. It’s an escape from the outside world like no other. Paradise in a place I never thought to find it.
Those boys fundamentally changed my perspective on myself, the world, and everything else. I learned to take advantage of every opportunity that came my way. I don’t know where I would be today without them. I am beyond thankful to have them in my life. I will always remember the quarantine as one of the best times of my life. Teenage euphoria found me right when I needed it most, and I finally became everything I’ve always dreamed about. Amid a global pandemic, mass protests, and the world shutting down, I began living for myself and I can honestly say I’ve never been happier.
3 years later.
The last time I logged in to this I was 14. Three years have passed throwing me into a world I thought only existed in TV shows.
I have kept a journal I plan on publishing someday, and I felt as if I should share snippets of it, flicks of my life in this past year. A glimse into teenage life during the pandemic.
My whole life makes sense now. Everything has made perfect sense since 10/04/18. I am a sociopath. And just like that, I now know to think quickly and charm and deceive so smoothly that everybody loves me. I now look foreward to everyday as a new batch of people to conquer, and an existing bunch of people to further charm into an ignorant bliss. Everything in my life makes sense now. Thank you dear world, for I have found out I am a sociopath, and nothing can stop me now.