Monday, May 23, 2011

Life Without Frank - The First Two Years

It’s taken awhile to get to writing this part of our history…this story picks up about 4 months before our Car Accident and the brain is a little fuzzy when it comes to the 4 years following that event…we all got the shit knocked out of us, and Frank got sent into a coma that she didn’t come out of until about a year and a half ago; so there is a bit of a scrambled egg situation going on in the head when it comes to a few of the years following the accident.

On Memorial Day weekend in 2004 The Other Girl decided we were going to take a trip to a “Big City” north of where we were living. We had visited it the prior weekend with a friend, and wanted to go back to see art galleries, which, turns out where closed for the holiday weekend. Holidays, who knew?

We stayed at a hotel downtown, and spent the first evening enjoying or first taste of Stella beer, and sketching at the bar of the hotel, having ventured to a “creepy” blues establishment (one in which we’ve now been to several times, not so creepy) that made us turn around and go back to the hotel.

While at the bar in our hotel a man came up to us to see what were sketching. It turns out he was in the band that was playing that night. He made sure to let us know right away he was married, and not trying to hit on us. He started talking to us about his artist/musician friend who was there with him that night, just for the entertainment.

His friend was almost 10 years older than us, but we’ve always liked older men, so we listened to him tell us about his friend, sneaking glances at this man who was across the bar from us. One piece of information led to another and we ended up spending the rest of the evening talking to this man at the bar while the band played on in the background. He asked us out for the next night and we thought, why not? We were on vacation and since most of what we had planned had to be cancelled due to the holiday, we had free time.

We don’t recall what the first date entailed, other than pizza at an establishment that we enjoy eating at to this day. Being a musician he was accustomed to late evenings and so we went back to our hotel room, and there we spent the rest of the evening, into early morning, lying on the bed talking. Not even kidding, he had us in a hotel bed all night, and all we did was talk. We don’t even recall kissing. We liked him. He liked us. He hadn’t had a relationship in nearly 10 years and so he took things slow. We spent the entire weekend together, going to listen to live music, talking and learning about each other. We don’t recall the level of intimacy that had been exchanged, but he was a gentleman, and so he treated us with respect.

The next few months were a fantastic world-wind. We would spend three days at University, hopping into our Ford Bronco II immediately after our classes on Wednesdays, and racing to his city to see him; where we would spend four days living the life of a “rock star girlfriend” which really meant being  a roadie who gets to sleep with the musician, and staying up till upwards of 5am every single weekend. The Other Girl could not have been happier.

Every Sunday night near midnight we’d drive the few hours back to where we were living with The Mother, the city in which we were going to university, and attend our classes. We had very few friends in that city, which afforded us the ability to not stick around for weekends, not feel guilty about never being there. We were lucky to be able to cram most of our classes into three days; we dropped half of them, having been signed up for almost a double course load to begin with. It was fantastic. The Other Girl was so happy.

The Other Girl loved him so much, was enamoured with this man that became Talented Boyfriend.  He was a painter and a musician. Intelligent and funny, sweet, he was upbeat and fun to be with.

Eventually the commute got tiring, and as winter conditions increasingly became more dangerous, we felt more apprehensive about those long drives. We played with danger as we’d drive at dusk, in snow storms, applying makeup in the rear-view mirror and listening to Neil Diamond on our cassette deck, because it was the only cassette we had in our old Bronco II. To think of all those risks we took only to end up in the accident that we eventually got into, it’s rather amazing.

So, we talked with Talented Boyfriend, and decided that we would move to his Big City; he would move out of his parents house (yup, 36 and still living at home) and we would rent a loft space from his parent in an industrial building they owned.  We lived there a couple of weeks before our accident.

On December 29th, 2004 we were taking our final belongings to our new home in the Big City north of where we had been living with The Mother, when we had a near death accident; you’ve probably read the story but if you haven’t…it’s here-> read it and come back, or don’t… We shared this story early on to explain why we have so much physical pain, and why Tuesdays we have a 90 minute deep tissue massage to ease some of the chronic pain.

After we moved back into our loft apartment with Talented Boyfriend, after living for the few months in the retirement home, once he was out of his wheelchair and able to walk with crutches…things changed gradually.

The details here become fuzzy. We do know that we continued to go to University, where The Other Girl changed our majour from Fine Arts and Communication, to Human Nutritional Science, opting out of trying to get into the art program there because we didn’t have the body of work she figured we needed, nor the confidence to try and risk rejection.

The Other Girl had stopped letting us paint shortly after the accident, without Frank to help us write or to push us to create The Other Girl was left to try to deal with everything on her own again; and she instead put all her effort into the relationship with Talanted Boyfriend and university

So we studied nutrition, took some courses on the actual campus now that we were able to be mobile enough to make it there. We had a lot of pain, a lot of physical problems left over from the car accident, numbness, tingling, back and leg pain; and we’d fallen through the cracks of the health system we were now part of, insurance companies were no help, they didn’t provide the information we needed, and we didn’t know the questions to ask.

When we shifted our medical care from the city in which we had been living to this new city we inquired to our previous neurosurgeon if there was anything we should be concerned about, anything we should watch for in the future.  We had other problems with this doctor, and when his response had been “Just forget about it and move on with your life”, we were left feeling dejected and confused. Nine or so months after that we underwent neurological testing to satisfy a requirement for an accident settlement and it was found that we had a bit of brain damage and it had created a learning disability, due to being knocked unconscious in the accident.

When we almost failed an accounting test in University because the boy next to us had been so distracting by tapping his pencil on the table that we couldn’t understand a question we had to keep re-reading to try to understand, It made us feel helpless; that we couldn’t get past that one sentence to answer the question was confusing to us.

We took our neurological testing paperwork, a letter from the doctor who had examined us and were admitted to the disability services program on campus, which granted us a private room and longer testing period. We didn’t like this. The Other Girl felt like a failure, even though she knew none of it had been her fault. She felt like she deserved to have her functioning brain back. She was embarrassed by our disability.

When we had attended a statistics class for a couple of weeks and it became apparent that we would not be able to pass the course, we decided that it would be our last semester at the University.

We had no friends of our own in this sity, being that a large percentage of our classes over the year and a half had been online, and we were not very outgoing in those days. We were used to not having friends anyway; we’ve always been good on our own.

We had been getting distracted by cooking and cookbooks while trying to focus on homework at University and so we took this as a sign. We’d always been a good cook, creating elaborate menus and meals, hosting dinner parties for Talented Boyfriend’s friends.  

We dropped out of University and waited anxiously to start culinary school; the month before we where to start culinary school, our relationship with Talented Boyfriend ended by our own wrong doing. The relationship had become strained over the year or so after our car accident, he could no longer play his instrument because of the injuries he had sustained in the car accident, he had become a different person, unpleasant and not as kind. He had become miserable and we felt we were getting dragged down by his unhappiness, and his inability to overcome the situation.

A month or so before we ended the relationship we accepted the attention of one of his friends, who though us pretty and gave us what we had been craving for over a year:  acknowledgement. We felt angry because we had done so much for Talented Boyfriend, had taken care of him through his healing, to the point of impeding our own, did his housework, and in exchange felt like he had not given The Other Girl what she needed. It was only flirtation from this other man, but it was attention some of us craved.

The final week with Talented Boyfriend we had gone over to this friends house for dinner, this friend who had been flirting with us, another musician and artist, and when we went to his office to view some of his artwork he kissed us. We reciprocated the kiss, but then felt guilty about it and ended our relationship that week, a week before we started culinary school.

Having no place to live, and no means to rent an apartment of our own, we we’re stuck. We ended up moving in with this so-called friend of Talented Boyfriend for a couple of months. The first weeks we tried to reconcile things with Talented Boyfriend, for the sake of The Other Girl, who still loved him very much – she had wanted to spend the rest of her life with him, she had imagined it so many times. Most of us knew he did not make her as happy as she thought he did, he had not been loving to her, he made her feel bad about the economic differences in their relationship and she often felt stupid because of the way he always corrected her grammar. We didn’t know why she wanted to stay with him, so we worked to destroy the relationship. They almost got back together but in the end he decided he would not be able to trust her, and so, that was the end.

Once The Other Girl started culinary school she ended up spending several months moving from one location to another, she had lived with this man she had kissed for a couple of months, as his girlfriend, but he was not very nice, and kept their relationship a secret from most people. The Other Girl had nowhere to go, nobody to turn to; all the people in the music industry that had been privy to the situation, she felt, would likely shun her because Talented Boyfriend was a much respected musician, and what we had done was not very nice.

The first day of culinary school The Other Girl met Partner In Crime, a girl that would ultimately change the way she looked at life, a girl we ended up living with, a girl we fell in love with and who broke The Other Girls heart; but to this day still remains one of our closest friends, though we don’t see or talk to her much. 

The next time we write about our history, to work on getting to the last year and a half of our life, when Frank came back to us, we have to tell you how we met a man who wanted to spend the rest of his life with us, who turned out to be not the right choice, and where we met Standby, and had a girl fall in love with us…and oh, so much more.

Please note: This was number 7 in the continuation of the following:

Addressing The Issue of Frank: The Origins, History and Life Story of Frank, from "Just Call Me Frank: One Womans Endeavour At Being Frank"  
(this blog also contains our artwork/photography - the following links will take you to that blog)
·                     1. Addressing The Issue of Frank: Part 1
·                     2. The Emergence of Frank: The Beginning
·                     3.The Emergence of Frank: The Second Coming
·                     4. The Emergence of Frank: Three Times A Rescuer
·                     5. The Emergence of Frank: Frank's Failure
·                     6. We Go To University & We Take A Lover (links to our other blog)
·                     7b. Collision: The Other Girls Terrible Car Accident - Franks Coma

For the month of May, Mental Health Awareness Month, we will be posting this at he bottom of each of our entries, to help provide additional information about us, and about Dissociative Identiry Disorder/Multiple Personality Disorder.

10 Things You Should Know About US That MIGHT Surprise YOU:
  1. We used to be a Baptist missionary (yeah, can you fucking believe that shit?!) [we are NOT religious]
  2. We were once married (didn’t last long) [one of our stories talks about him]
  3. We have had nearly 30 physical addresses in 30 years, mostly as an adult (nothing could contain us in the early days) [we actually own a house, but choose not to live in it]
  4. We’ve lived in 2 countries: 1 province and 6-7 different states (running much)
  5. We have lost 120 pounds since the age of 24 (100 of it when we were 24) [and it's close to 140 pounds now)
  6. We have a full time job (well, now it's 32 hours a week - but they actually let us work around the other humans!) [it get's harder everyday, and this is the longest we've ever had a single job since we were 17. We've been there almost a year]
  7. We deal with social anxiety type symptoms every day (and these days we choose not to leave home much, but for going to work) [there are about three people we feel comfortable with being in public with and sometimes we have to be out there alone]
  8. We have multiple “mental illness” diagnoses (doesn't everybody?) [p.s. all misdiagnosed]
  9. We have two beautiful cats, who piss us off every day (but they are special, because they put up with us) [though one of us hates them beyond belief]
  10. We have struggled to survive, over and over, defeating the odds thrown against us (read our stories) [seriously, how are we not dead yet?

Some of our writing on this blog we like to promote, these are those entries since mid-January 2011. There are bits of writing in this blog that we do not actually promote due to embarrassment over things that some have written - they are here for our own tracking - they are angry, mean, scary things. If you feel like it you can find them on your own. Here are the highlights of what we have written so far this year:

The Mental Health Entries:
Dissociative Identity Disorder/Multiple Personality Disorder
Humour/Random Fun:
If you have any questions for us we are very open and will answer to our best ability - this is totally the month to ask us questions. You can either ask us on Twitter, in the comment section of a blog entry here, or e-mail us at justcallmefrank2010 (at)

Resources for You - facts, figures and personal stories of other people can be found on these sites:
National Institute of Mental Health:
American Psychological Association:
Canadian Mental Health Association:
Mental Health Europe:
World Psychiatric Association:

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