Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Know when to walk away, know when to run.

I've had to deal with my fair share of crazy over the years. I think some of it is a part of growing up and part of it has to do with growing up in Alaska. Most of it was when I was a teenager.

There are so many "new" kinds of mental problems out there that I don't recall ever being warned about.
I wonder if it has something to do with the chemicals in the food or the water or just the population boom.
More people = more crazies?

In high school, I dated a boy for a very short period of time. We were never super close. He was trying to push the sex thing by the 2nd month we dated and I am not that kind of girl, so I broke it off with him.
I was very clear with him, I told him if he wanted to sleep with someone he need not be dating me. Since it never got too serious, I assumed the break up would be a little hard but not really painful. All break ups are hard.


He reacted to my breaking up with him by calling my house non-stop and showing up at my school, my job and at both of my parent's places unannounced and a lot.
When I refused to see him and told him to leave me alone, he broke into our house, stole a bunch of stuff including some of my journals and super valuable irreplaceable things that did not belong to me.
It was horrible and I never felt safe again. At least we knew who it was right away, but that didn't help much.
I went to school and started crying in my first period class, told my teacher about the break in. My teacher had the good sense to alert the school. It is a good thing he did, because the guy showed up at school that day, looking for me, and he had a gun! I didn't find out any of that until after he was arrested and suspended that he had been walking through the halls demanding to know where I was. It was a good thing I didn't eat lunch in my usual spot that day! On a whim I decided to have lunch somewhere else.
This was a time before school shootings and zero tolerance, so for what he did, and what he might have been planning to do, he barely got a slap on the wrist since it was two months before his 18th birthday. If that were to happen today, he would probably be doing hard time right now.

I don't understand at what point a person goes from seemingly normal to being able to justify acting that crazy to themselves. At what point did he say, "I am justified in breaking into her house and stealing from her family because she hurt my feelings!"

You hear about these husbands who kill their spouses because they don't want to deal with a messy divorce. When did that Peterson guy wake up and say, "Today I'm OK with killing my pregnant wife so I can make room for my lover."

When you see someone so obviously slipping down that slope and heading to crazy land, is there anything you can do to stop them? Do restraining orders really work? I mean it is just a bit of paper. Is that going to be enough of a wake up call for that person who doesn't take a hint, or is it just poking the bear? Would a restraining order have stopped my ex from breaking into my parent's house or would it have just mad him so angry that he would have come looking for me again right out of prison?

At what moment does interest turn to obsession? When does anger turn to blind fury that these people risk their whole futures for? How do you spot it in advance so you know to avoid it? How do you teach your kids to steer clear of it?

I was thinking about that boy, he was sweet, attractive, decent grades, from the outside he looked like he had a future as a good person with a good life to look forward to. Even my parents liked him. He was the most "Normal" guy I ever dated. He was a good looking football player with a row of perfect white teeth when he smiled, who opened doors and called my parents Sir and Ma'am. Nothing like the crazy Goth Punk rockers I usually went out with.

At what moment did he decide to throw it all away because a girl decided she wasn't ready for something more serious than he wanted from her?

My daughter is entering the year where a lot of girls get their first boyfriends at school. She isn't interested right now, but someday that will change and I will need to be ready for it. It's not just 'Stranger Danger' anymore. Now there are school shootings, kids on experimental medications left and right, drugs, Myspace, Facebook, suicide and pregnancy pacts, web sites that are pro-eating disorders and cutting... the list goes on and on and on and on...

Sometimes it just feels so overwhelming, everything that parents need to know to look for, how much we need to trust that they will stay protected when we send them to school or when they are out of our site, out on their own.

When she was a baby, she was so easy. She was sweet, never fussy and smiled and laughed all of the time. People with boys would tell me that even though boys were a handful when they were little, they were easier when they were older than girls. As my daughter gets older, and remains an amazing student and a wonderful person who is a joy to be around I keep waiting for the shoe to drop.
Now I'm beginning to think I heard it wrong. It isn't her who is going to change and go all crazy over night, it is the world around her that changes and gets so much harder for me to deal with and protect her from.

"Every breath you take
And every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
Ill be watching you

Every single day
And every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
Ill be watching you"

Monday, August 11, 2008

The landslide will bring it down...

*I'm actually writing this blog on Sunday evening, but I am going to set it to post on Monday afternoon. At that point, I will have put in my notice and it will be OK to go public.

Today I will be putting in my notice at work. I've been at The Stranger for 4 years. I have a lot of love for the people I work with. I've made some very good friends over the years.
It has been an exciting place to work. I have a lot of pride in the fact that I have had the chance to work for such a cool place for so long.

I've done some really fun things that I would not have otherwise had the chance to do, including having my art on the cover a few months back.

It is going to be hard to change, but I'm excited about the change.

Emerson said:
“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.”

That seems appropriate right now. I hope I can stay in touch with the people who I've come to know and love as my "Daytime Roomies", it is with a heavy heart that I leave them. But the new office, and the new co-workers seem equally as cool. I'm very much looking forward to the new adventure.

"Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Well, Ive been afraid of changing
cause I've built my life around you.
But time makes you bolder,
even children get older and
I'm getting older too..."
-Fleetwood Mac

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