all or nothing

a place for recreational madness and the necessary Caniac moments...

Monday, August 07, 2006

familia

I myself have an odd relationship with my family. When my mother, Liz, and father, Raymond, married in Effingham, SC, in the early 80s, it was my mother's first marriage and my father's fourth. When their unhappy union dissolved in 1991, my sister, Rachel, and I (ages 3 and 1 respectively) went and lived with Mama. She worked 3 jobs to keep a roof over our heads, and my dad had a business to run, so Rachel basically raised me. When my dad announced he was seeing Kelly, the world momentarily stopped. Kelly was an old college friend of my mother's, and had even been present at my birth. Needless to say, Mama was pissed. Rachel and I moved in with Dad and Kelly when I was four. Mom had just met Stuart, her future husband. The first time I met him, little ole' me got a jelly eyeball stuck on the ceiling in his new house. Stuart had two daughters from a previous marriage, Marisa and Meredith, who lived with their mom, Paula, for the most part. Did we get along immediately? Kinda. We didn't kill each other. It was just awkward. As time passed, Mama and Stuart started a business, which evolved into three medical clinics in the Southeast. This meant they were always busy, and never home. It marked the beginning of their flashy new lives, which didn't necessarily have room for 4 little kids.

As time passed, marriages occurred- Dad and Kelly married in 1998, and Mama and Stuart had a surprise wedding after Meredith's bat mitzvah in 2003. Marisa graduated from East Chapel Hill High and moved up to Delaware (or Delapuke as I lovingly call it) to attend the university there. Rachel flourished at Riverside High, only making one C in her high school career and still managing to be considered cool. Meredith shed her baby fat, braces, headgear, and glasses and became a gorgeous, if not slightly waifish, little hippie. And I floundered. I wasn't smart like Rachel, beautiful like Marisa, or transformed like Mere. My parents didn't stick up for me. They didn't even care when a teacher at my middle school copped a feel in the middle of second period. When they got called to the school by the principal, my mom said I must have "provoked" him. And I lost it. I delved into drugs. I became a self mutilator. I contemplated suicide. And no one even noticed. Not a parent, not a sibling. Only until a best friend and the best teacher/mentor/replacement father anyone could have knocked some sense into me did I realize how stupid I was. So I cleaned myself up. I left the Durham Public School systems to try my hand at the Chapel Hill way of life. I moved in with my mom. This arrangement didn't last long, as she moved down to Charlotte to nurse my stepfather, who had suffered a cardiac event, back to health. Instead of moving back to Durham, I hired a nanny, Lisa. She let me have free reign, and I slowly slipped again- I had money, I had means, and I had opportunity, and I partied every night. As my sophomore year began, Rachel moved to Columbia, SC, to attend USC. I decided to reach out to my dad since he was left with Kelly, who had developed a lovely little taste for perscription medication and hypochondria. And that's when I found out wake-up calls aren't so nice sometimes.

My dad had just picked me up for dinner, and we were pulling out of my driveway onto the main road. Within 45 seconds, I found myself being thrown through the windshield, with my torso splayed across the hood of the Suburban. The ride to Duke, well, I don't remember it. I do remember the hot cop that tried to talk as they wheeled me into the ER. I passed out while he was telling me my mom was unreachable at the time. I woke up again in my room, with Lisa, my dad (who had only sustained some minor cuts), and Tony, my parent's Raleigh office manager, in my room. I had torn the muscle in my right knee, compacted three vertebrae, tore muscles in my neck, and nearly broke my jaw. I looked mighty fine in my knee immobilizer and various braces, and the swollen face definitely helped the hotness factor. My dad wished me well, and went back to Durham. Tony and Lisa took me back to my house, and called my mother. She flew out to Las Vegas the next day.

When I finished healing for the most part, I moved back in with my dad. I got a warm welcome at Riverside, and thrived in the chorus program, and took up two new sports: lacrosse and field hockey. To this day, no one in my family has ever seen me play. I left my mom to her booze, Kelly to her drugs, Dad to his misery, and Stuart to his insanity. Have I looked back? Can't say I have.

"The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief." (William Shakespeare, Othello)

3 Comments:

Blogger Tim Hedrow said...

Family?

11:31 PM  
Blogger David Meeks said...

I continue to be amazed at how awesome you are despite all this.

2:01 PM  
Blogger CuracaoChick said...

Hey baby,
I really liked this post. And I'm so glad you're at RHS. It's a good place for you.

9:25 PM  

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