Photographer & Model: Little Ghost/Tia (self-portrait)
I think now is an appropriate time to publicly address all the questions/hate texts I’ve been getting about this blog.
First of all, I had a 365 Days of Fiction project. The purpose was to challenge myself as a writer, because I’m actually horrible at coming up with fiction. I’d love to be Joyce Carol Oates, just pounding out novel after novel about all these characters and lives that seem so real. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and I think in pictures anyways. So the idea was.. take a photograph of mine, and create a story of 500 words or less based off of the photograph.
The protagonist telling these stories is NOT ME. She’s an imaginary character. A lot of things she does I have never done. I never had a threesome with a married couple. I never had anyone snort a line of cocaine off my rib cage. I never had an Asian teenage sugar momma. That’s why it’s called FICTION.
However, all fiction borrows from real life experiences at least a little bit. Even Stephen King’s “Carrie” was inspired by a sheltered girl he knew with a religious mother. Doesn’t mean she got covered in pig’s blood & blew up the school. So yes, some of the characters in my story were based off of people in my life that were creating a lot of drama, the perfect thing to inspire fiction — and a perfect way for me to have a creative outlet to keep me sane.
My roommates at the time were two people that I loved very much. They were my friends. Both intelligent, creative, talented people that I had some good times with. But they were also a couple. A couple that fought intensely and frequently. I don’t just mean heated arguments. I mean destroying the apartment, throwing and breaking shit, zooming off in the car drunk, breaking up & asking me where I wanted to live, threatening suicide on multiple occasions, and once having the police called over because an actual suicide attempt.
I was dragged into the middle of these disputes many times as each of them would vent to me about the other one. Of course, not being an idiot, I remained completely neutral. I tried to be a good friend to each of them. I tried to listen, I tried to mediate, I tried to be a source of comfort. I’d do little things to try and cheer them up. Take them out to dinner, clean the house. Even when I wasn’t dragged into it, I was still stuck hearing it, and let me tell you.. it’s no picnic being awakened in the night by people screaming at each other all the time.
Especially when it gives you flashbacks to your childhood, and how your mother and step-father fought, when you had an actual case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from that which had to be treated. I was often depressed & suffering from panic attacks while living with these roommates. At one point, I didn’t leave my room for 3 days, not even to eat, and the roommates noticed. What they didn’t know was that I was so tired of seeing their faces that I didn’t even want to go into the kitchen in my own home.
It got to the point where they were both so miserable that they began taking it out on me. I’d lived there long enough that I was no longer like a “guest” or even a “friend” but more like a family member. They were nice to their friends who came over to party, but when they were in a shitty mood.. I was the one who got the misdirected anger, the attitude. I began to feel BULLIED. In the place I called home & paid rent. So.. I got the fuck out of there. For my own sanity.
I did, however, tell one of the friends of the female roommate that I was worried about her. Since she tried to take her own life the night before Thanksgiving, swallowing pills and having to be held down until the cops got there. Just like in my story “Girls” on this blog. This was after one of their fights had caused me to cancel a party I’d been planning for 6 weeks, one that 5 of my friends had been coming up from Ohio to attend. So I told one of her friends that had come over that night of the cancelled party to cheer her up about everything that was going on. I knew she was pissed at me for leaving without saying why (I didn’t need a confrontation, I needed the fuck out). I figured someone needed to be there for her since I couldn’t. She wasn’t going to be confiding in me anymore, and I was one person she used to talk to about everything.
Well, the friend either didn’t believe me or didn’t give a shit, so I told her mother. I’m sorry, but I don’t know if she really wants to die or just fakes it to be a manipulative attention whore so her boyfriend will stop sleeping with other women.. but I’ve lost people to suicide. I DO NOT take suicide threats lightly, and I do not fuck around when it comes to that. I felt obligated to tell someone close to her since she was no longer speaking to me. What if something really did happen to her? How would I be able to live with myself if I’d kept quiet, not telling anyone?
So, I do not care that her mother finally read the month-old Facebook message & reached out to her. I do not care that this former roommate was pissed at me for doing that, and sent me belligerent text messages calling me a bitch & telling me to go to hell. I told her that what she did was a cry for help, and help is what she needs. She needs a support system, she needs to stop living in denial and acting like she’s in some happy little relationship. She needs to talk to people who love her & will listen.
My suggestion to people who don’t want to be treated like a suicide risk? Don’t go around saying on multiple occasions that you’re going to kill yourself, and don’t make a big scene during an argument where you pretend that you are going to kill yourself. It’s that simple.
Now as for her comments about this blog, and about how I live in a fantasy world & she’s not some character I can make up.. she’s right, no way could I make this shit up. And I’ve decided I don’t need to keep writing the fiction. I’m going to write a memoir about my experience, living with this couple. How it mirrored my mother’s relationships, and my previous relationships. What it taught me about co-dependency, and why people “stay.” Why they stay in negative relationships, why I stayed in this living situation as long as I did & still have nightmares that I never moved away. I can’t help my former roommate. She doesn’t want help. But my story can help other people, I’m sure. If nothing else, telling my story will help ME.
This is my blog. It’s my form of self-expression, it keeps me sane. If anyone doesn’t like it.. fuck off, don’t read it. I will, however, change the names to protect anyone’s identity. And if their identity isn’t protected, it’s because they won’t shut the fuck up about this blog themselves. I can’t be bullied anymore. I changed my address & changed my tune.
January 31st, 2011