Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Emergence of Frank: Frank's Failure

We had finally fled The Ex Husband, leaving him in Chicago, and moved back to The Midwest to live with The Mother. The Other Girl figured she must have told her about the diagnoses we had received in the Northwest, and the experiences we had as a married woman, however, we have not asked The Mother; at this point it is irrelevant.

We tried to stay there, with The Mother in The Midwest, but it was difficult to find employment; turned out “housewife” on a resume didn’t scream “employable”. There were other difficulties, like trying to be happy living with someone who had hurt us so many times and was as hurt and damaged as we were; someone who we never had a good relationship with; someone we had hoped could provide us help by this point in her life, but she couldn't.

In those days I may have been there for The Other Girl, to assist in getting her away from The Ex Husband, but I just wasn’t strong enough to help her heal then. We were weakened by her sharing the stories of her marriage, and reliving our own painful past together, and not being able to understand any of it yet.

This is the story of how Frank, how I, failed The Other Girl.

I thought I had control of the situation, having been brought back into The Other Girls life again…we were going to try to heal.

Bananarama, a friend from high school that The Other Girl used to talk to on the phone with a lot while she was suffering through the unhappiness of a terrible marriage in The Northwest, and her diagnosed mental illnesses, was living in The Mountain States. After a couple of months back in The Midwest, after leaving The Ex Husband, we high-tailed it out of town to try to rebuild our life with this female friend we had known for years.

Bananarama was a gal pal from high school; we had had a very big crush on her all throughout school and even after, when we would take trips to The Big City to visit her – memories for other stories. What we felt for her in high school may have bordered on love, these feelings for her. We love her now, to this day, even though she is likely the person who had alerted The Father to our current situation. We love her in a different way now, in the way you love, and respect, a person that has been through their own personal hell over the years, has come back on the other side bruised and broken and still battles against the hell that life likes to provide the unfortunate.

It didn’t take us long after getting to The Mountain State to fall in with an interesting group of people. We lived with a Tattoo Artist, a Body Piercer and Bananarama; and her young son who was there only half the time. When we weren’t looking for work and unable to find it, we hung out at the tattoo parlour where our roommates worked with other tattoo artists. Our days were spent with these people, our nights at their homes drinking, spending time with their children, having fun; weekends attending tattoo conventions. They became a family to us very quickly.

The combination of all Us, and these new people, was a turbulent experience. The Tattoo Artist was dating Bananrama, but detecting our infatuation for her became very angry, untrusting and defensive. It didn’t help that he was an abusive asshole either. We were very protective of her, as we are with people who are special to us, who are broken in some way, like us.

Body Piercer turned out to be a kindred spirit of sorts, at first. In the couple months of association we became a team of chaos, driving to nearby cities and creating adventures for ourselves; both of us suffering from Manic Depression, something she had been knowingly living with for years; she had also come from a history of abuse at the hands of Adults and had also lost people she had cared about at a very young age, to unusual unexplainable tragedy.

The Other Girl started dating a lot, meeting men online, inviting them over. She started learning about Wicca, dyed her hair black and wore clothes to match. She got a few tattoos.
Bananaramas allegiance to Tattoo Artist, her abusive boyfriend, and his hatred for Us, hammered a wedge between Her, Us and Body Piercer. After only a couple months, it was time for us to flee, and leave behind Bananarama.
Us, and Body Piercer, packed up our belongings, Our dog, and her cat; with our Ford Bronco II and her car, we headed Southeast, driving for couple days on no sleep, to Florida. Body Piercer had family there in the panhandle and so we thought it would be fun to start a life there, in the sunshine, away from all the brown of high dessert.

It wasn’t more than a week and a half before we realized that we weren’t going to be able to stay there, in Florida, for a variety of reasons. So we packed up everything again, and headed back to The Mountain States.

Unemployed and living off of a credit card all this time; we, along Body Piercer, rented a renovated pool house attached to what had once been a motel, but had been turned into housing for drug dealers, prostitutes and low-income people. We would get a visit weekly from women asking to use our phone, or to ask if we had tampons to spare, or loose change. We remember the police being outside our bedroom window on several occasions, in the alley, to monitor the hookers next to the KFC, which was across the alley from our bedroom.

The Body Piercer was dating Drug Dealer, even though she was married to Stationed Military Husband. We smoked quite a bit of pot in those days, the access to it so readily available. One night we smoked opium, another night we smoked something we can only imagine was laced with a peculiar substance because we lay in bed that night, and every sound jumped out at us, everything was loud, we couldn’t sleep.

After a couple jobs like selling vacuum cleaners door to door; a job based whose income was based on commission of a machine hard to sell. The experience of this is the most valuable thing we could have gleaned from it, having made no money for months, but being forced to pretend we were personable and develop some communication skills.

All of us were unhappy living in that little pool house, so one day we decided to skip out in the middle of the night. We got caught, the details of which, for this story are not important.  We moved into a trailer park after that, Us and Body Piercer; who was still unemployed all this time and liked to overspend. We used to loan her (and before that Bananarama) money from our credit card, each time with her promise being paid back, each time with the realization she hadn’t given us money from the last time; but she was The Other Girls friend, I couldn’t control her and stood by while she began to realize that you could buy friendships with gifts, money, favours. She thought this was the way it worked. Eventually the debt collectors began to call.

We ended up getting a better job than stocking the shelves of a porn store and soliciting vacuums door-to-door. We became, once again, a security guard, like we had been before we were married in The Northwest. It was fun work, we enjoyed it. We didn’t have to work with people too much in the beginning and it gave us time to talk to each other. Then they transferred us to The Airport, in the wake of 9-11, right before the TSA took over. We were a security guard at the gate, flagging people and their belongings, searching for imaginary things that the government was trying to convince people we could find.

We, and Body Piercer, started a blog about being Bipolar, and being Two Bipolar Girls living life together. We had fun with that blog in the short period we were working together on it, she auctioned Us off for a date one day, in a chat room when we were working to promote our writing. We would stay up late hours, drinking pots of coffee and going online in chat rooms together, to pick at people, and call them sheep.

Gradually they increased our hours at work, being short staffed, and we were working long hours seven days a week. It happened gradually, the things we didn’t understand. We began hearing The Other Girls name, whispers from nowhere. Then one day we saw giant fuzzy spiders, and they began to multiply; things began to jump around at the corners of our eyes, we saw more things that weren’t there. We heard more than just our name being whispered. These things increased, our anxiety was raised. We got scared.

Luckily we had held onto our wedding ring, an expensive piece of jewellery. We walked out on our job one day, hocked that ring and locked our self, with our dog, in our bedroom of the trailer house. We avoided our roommate, only coming out at night while she was sleeping, or when she left the house.

We spent a lot of time on the computer, in chat rooms; it was how we spent most of our time. The irony is not lost on us.

We ended up meeting a nice young man, who eventually became Special Boyfriend; he got us to leave the house and meet him. He was quirky, and sweet, and different, and smart; he was attempting to study English but had yet to register for classes. He was also equally as ill as we were.

About a month after we had locked our self away in our room, Body Piercer, our only friend, having been abandoned by Bananarama after we moved to Florida with BP, approached us.

“You have to move out. You not leaving your bedroom is making me uncomfortable”

We called The Mother, we talked to Special Boyfriend; we packed up all our belongings and slept in our Ford Bronco II a couple nights, with Our dog, before taking Special Boyfriend back to The Midwest with us to, again, live with The Mother; where he would teach us a lot about life, people and love.

This was a year after we had left The Ex Husband in Chicago, and had tried to start a new life. When we got to the The Midwest we filed for bankruptcy to the tune of $30,000. We went to a State Department that offered counselling services to the low income and it was here we told them what had happened in The Mountain States, the spiders, the voices. It was here, in The Midwest, that we got the diagnoses of Schizophrenia, and became once again a test subject for prescription antipsychotic drugs.

We talked to Fabulous People about our past recently, we share with them before we share with others; and as the words tumbled out of our mouth we saw the patterns of our past. The Sheep had turned to Sheeple; the Bedroom we locked our self in has become our Apartment, our Fortress. The chat rooms… Twitter.

Now that we see and understand our life in a complete way this time around, and have gotten rid of The Other Girl, and are stronger, we can share the stories that continued to shape us; the stories that have made us who we are now, 9 years after our final diagnoses; 6 years after we got separated, unwillingly; to more recently, the last year and a half, trying to hide who we really were because The Other Girl never wanted to leave this place called Home, and never wanted to suffer the rejection of friends

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