The year after giving up my first-born for adoption was a year of chaos. I didn’t know how to process all of the emotions I was feeling, mostly the intense grief, so I drown myself with whatever was available. Suicide was a constant thought. It’s a year I don’t remember a lot of and the bits that I do remember are not wonderful.
I went back down to my dad’s after that year. I don’t remember how long I lived there, but it was long enough for me to get involve with someone who was less than a good choice. Things got really scary. No. The guy I was involved with never hurt me, physically. We partied too much, and as is common when too much alcohol is involve, things happened.
One night, we had a couple of his friends over. It was a good night…laughing, good conversations…I was happy (or so I thought at the time). I decided at one point in the evening to make some steaks. I went into the kitchen and began trimming the steaks. One of the guys that were over came in the kitchen to grab one of his beers out of the fridge.
I guess he had drunk all of his beer because he couldn’t find any in the fridge. He asked me were it was. I told him if it wasnt in the fridge he must have drank it. He was not pleased with this answer and got a bit belligerent, insisting he hadn’t drank all of his beer and wanted to know where it had gone. I didn’t really pay much attention to him, continuing to prep the steaks.
When he quickly reached over and grabbed the knife I had been using, I thought nothing of it. That is, until he pointed it at me, demanding I tell him where his beer was. I remember looking at the knife, shocked. My brain couldn’t quite process what was happening, partially because I had some to drink, but mostly because it was a situation I had never been in or around. About the time it was beginning to sink in, my boyfriend walked in.
He instantly went into action. He grabbed the guy and pushed him out the door. As the guy fell down the 3-4 steps leading up to the door, he fell on the knife he still had in his hand, stabbing himself in the hip. It was about then that I became completely aware of what was going on and felt myself charge out the door after him. (Remember, I had the cape of invincibility on still)
In the end, I was arrested: aggravated assault, aggravated battery. I had never been so scared. My dad ended up asking me where I wanted to go to school. I randomly chose a school in Seattle for no other reason than I had never been to that area of the United States before. Things were set up and off to Seattle I went.
I don’t remember how long I had been in Seattle when my dad called to let me know all charges against me had been dropped. The relief I felt was overwhelming. I no longer had to worry about my dad calling one day to tell me I had to return for court. I could proceed with my new life.
Let me say now that I do not believe violence is the answer to anything. I didn’t truly believe it was then. I re-acted instead of thinking. Yes, I did hit the man who pointed the knife at me, after he punched me in the forehead. It was a very unfortunate event that I wish had never happened and was a result of poor choices I made about the people in my environment. Did it change the way I did things? All of me wants to be able to say it did, but, sadly, I had not learned the lesson I needed to learn, yet.
My “new” life in Seattle was new only in location. I stayed in college for about one quarter before dropping out. I was screwing up in college because I was focused on party-ing. I guess I just wasnt ready to live a different life than I had been living. At the age of almost 19 years old, I had no direction, no ambition, and no thoughts about the lack of these two things.
Today is the 24 year anniversary of my arrival in Seattle. It has been a long road. I was in a relationship for around 8 years with a man who taught me about abuse, first hand, had two amazing children with, and, gratefully, become friends with before his death about a year and a half ago. He taught me so much about myself and life. I will always have a place in my heart for the man for all of the good in him, despite the abusive side. I had kidney and liver failure about 20 years ago, got clean 9 years ago, got married (first and only) 6 years ago this coming June, and earned my Associates of Science in Criminal Justice 2 years ago.
My husband and I have weathered a lot together. The economy crash in 2008 caused us to lose our home. We were unprepared for such an event, so we sent both my kids to their dad’s, reduced the number of pets we had to my German Shepard mix and my cat, moved all of our belongings to storage, and moved into a 1968 Winnebago we were given by a stranger. Full time RV living has been out life for the past 5 years. I long to be back in a house, again, but that has not been ‘in the cards’ for us, yet. All of this added stress caused my bipolar to progress rapidly, making work a thing I am not always capable of doing. We make it work, one challenge at a time….left foot, right foot, repeat.