I don't remember exactly when it happened or exactly how it happened. All I know is that it did happen. As far back as I can remember, I felt different. Not the kind of different that gets a person labeled as someone to be avoided, but different in the sense that I completely understood myself at a very early age and for the most part, I was okay with it. I always did what I wanted to do and rarely did what I was told to do. Like it or not, I knew what didn't kill me would only make me stronger. Some things I realized about myself were hard to accept and seemed almost like a bad dream or some chaotic prophecy waiting to be fulfilled, but somehow I was still okay with it. Some might say I bravely walked right into it without reservation, while others might speculate that mine was a path chosen for me or cruelly forced upon me. Whatever the real reason for all the how’s, the why’s and the when’s paled in comparison to the experience, insights and education I gained along the way. After all, isn't it said that it's not really the destination that's important but how one gets there?
Of course, it all must have started on some dark and stormy night,
but weren't they all dark and stormy nights during that period? That inner
instinct that made me eventually flee was like a compass pointing to my true North. Although my actions
may have seemed erratic and my course without any direction, that facade slowly
crumbled away to reveal that all steps forward were aimed at a slow,
self-destruction. That was my fate at hand. I never blamed others for my plight even when it was obvious
that the avalanche started when I was very young. Perhaps the “it” was a simple as being product of
a dysfunctional family or maybe "it" was just the way I was created.
They tell me I was a shy child and wouldn't talk to anyone, but my
family members before the age of five. I don't remember that, but wish I could. I was told that I
blossomed once I started school. When I discovered I had a voice, I got dubbed
as being "chatty" or "gabby" and then slowly my voice turned sarcastic with
a witty twist...just enough to get a well-timed laugh at the most inappropriate
moments. Every class needs a clown, doesn’t it? And like I always say, "it's a hard job and someone had to do it!" So why not me?
Most of my early behaviors were
aimed to see what reaction I could get from people whether it was from some childish prank I played or a fake emotional outburst over something that didn't warrant an outburst. Perhaps I should have become an actress because it seemed I had a flair for the drama. I remember times when I sailed smoothly
through everything and then later wondered if I was clever or if others were
just blind, stupid or perhaps apathetic. I always took everything I did one step
past its limit ...just because I could. In my youth, before it got too out of
control, I would defy simple rules. For example, if a person skipped school for one
day, I would skip school for 3 weeks. Why? I suppose it was a combination of
things, but the why isn't important now. The why stopped being important as
soon as things got complicated and the harsh reality set in.
Don't we all learn that when you play, you pay? Well, one payday came abruptly when I gallivanted
home during one of my periods of not feeling like I wanted or needed to attend
school. After all, I had more important things to do than get an education. As soon as I opened the kitchen door waiting to greet me were my mother and the truancy office, Mrs.
Thibodeau. They were sitting at the kitchen table and obviously had been chatting about
"what to do with Karen". In those days, it seemed like that was such
a hot topic and one in which many people had brainstormed for an effective
solution. Often times, I felt as if I was a disease with no cure. I was
examined, prodded, probed, quizzed and carefully scrutinized. Times of
"remission" did occur, but those periods were getting shorter and less frequent. Apathy was taking its place and spreading rapidly .
As soon as I entered the house, I was asked
to take a seat and was interrogated for answers and to those same questions I was
so frequently asked.
And let’s not forget “where?”
Blah! Blah! Blah!
"Not today, ladies!"
The acid I had
dropped a few hours earlier gave a surreal feeling to being
interrogated. What was next? Bright lights and rubber hoses? As the acid peaked, all I really wanted was a serene place to
groove to some tunes. Yep! Tune in! Turn on! Drop out! I had accomplished that and my
wish was finally granted when I was sent to my room. As I unapologetically ambled away to the tower to await my beheading, under my breath I whispered, "Let them eat cake!"