Growing Up Strange; Inside a Life of Magic and Hell
If I had the ability to send my thirteen year old version of myself a message, it would be to tell her that her suffering would eventually come to an end one day;
and that yes, magic is real.
As a child, I often found myself wrapped up in my fascination of the world around me. I struggled to understand how our existence came to be and had learned so much. I marveled at what a remarkable accomplishment it had been for humans to create verbal and written language. If I was awake, I was wondering and trying to connect the dots in my mind. I wanted to know the reasons for everything around me, and it was a passion that would always be a part of who I am.
My life this far has been everything that I had hoped for from the beginning, and has been a breathtaking experience so far; but such a blessing has its price to pay.
Being twelve years old is an awkward experience to say the least, and it was at this age that I embarked on a journey of understanding the depths of my soul. It all began when I fell in love with a boy in my fifth grade class, and I was too young at the time to have been able to process such a new and amplified emotion in a healthy or constructive way. He was the first person I had met that I just clicked with, and we spent many hours on the phone talking about what I really love the most; the mysteries of everything. After a complicated period of time involving my parent’s divorce, moving in with my father’s new girlfriend and children almost immediately after the divorce, and then moving away three months later after realizing what an awful living situation me and my father had found ourselves in…. having my heart broken was the last straw for my mentality by that point.
I never knew how much one single person could possibly feel until he decided that he didn’t have an interest in speaking to me anymore. His sudden disinterest in me without explanation left me feeling very isolated and alone for the first time in my life, and I guess you could say that I lost faith in living. I felt pain from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep, and it lasted for a very long time. I felt myself detach from reality, and sink into a place deep within myself to hide. It was just me and my thoughts for a very long time, and we got to know each other very well. This bond with that place deep inside of me began to awaken something in my soul, a very slow and unhurried process that would take me to some very unusual places in my life.
I have come to find that intense emotion coupled with a yearning desire tends to help get the juices of the universe flowing.
I hoped to find someone to share my secret world with, and then one day I found the guy I had been looking for all along. Our minds came together and our unified excitement for seeking answers caused a tidal wave of self discovery. The funny thing was that I imagine our union wouldn’t have worked out correctly unless I had already experienced having my heart broken.
I was in the eighth grade when I met my soul mate, and he taught me a lot of new things that I had never heard about before. He told me about my body’s chakras, and how those points of energy affected my state of mind. He introduced me to the Grateful Dead, and taught me what it truly meant to ‘’go with the flow’’. He was mature, and very sure of himself in a way that allowed him to present himself to the world with no shame or hesitation. His soul danced with mine when we spoke, and he pulled me into a world that I had always felt to exist but was never able to find on my own.
This energetic connection that we both had began to allow a seed that I was born with begin to grow at last. I began to have dreams that seemed to be trying to communicate ideas with me.
My state of awareness was shifting, and a peculiar feeling that something was always with me, playing behind the scenes, was slowly creeping up on me. I wondered for the first time if I was never really alone, and I wondered if I was being guided by something from beneath the veil.
I would notice small coincidences, like a song on the radio singing just the song that I needed to hear at a particular moment. I was also becoming aware of the fact that my thoughts seemed to have a significant impact on my surroundings. I felt comforted, and moments like these gave me a new found faith in living again. I finally came out of my bubble and took on my life with full force, with a passionate taste for experiencing everything that life had to offer.
I spent my teenage and early adult life behaving in a rather reckless way, making most of my decisions with little regard to the impact it would have the following day. This life style had began to take hold when I was fourteen years old, and I never could have foreseen the negative impact it would have on me over the years. Of course, adults warn you of those sorts of things, but I was so wrapped up in my knowing and my experiences that I just decided it would be better to find out for myself. And probably a lot more fun, too. My best friend that I had met in the seventh grade was my partner in crime, we did everything together. First it began with booze and weed, then we dabbled in the harder drugs as well. Life consisted of ditching school, sneaking out of the house at night, shop lifting, you name it. I was constantly in trouble with my parents for every reason under the sun, and I drove them both nearly insane. I was completely oblivious at the time as to how my careless behavior was effecting my life from all directions, but my frustration towards having rules and boundaries as a minor caused me to absolutely explode. Even in these confusing times, I carried with me that inner knowing of being guided and a part of something much more grand, but I was still missing a few pieces of the puzzle. My curiosity still burned brightly, but my understanding didn’t allow me yet to turn it into something healthy and constructive.
The year that I turned eighteen was a rude awakening. My complete lack of interest in school, not to mention the self doubting beliefs telling me that I wasn’t as good as everyone else around me, kept me from graduating high school. I decided to get my G.E.D. and move on from it all, but this failure of mine kept me from believing that I had even the slightest chance of being a functioning adult in society. I lived with my father at the time, and he gave me no encouragement to get things figured out. The only difference was that now he wanted two-hundred dollars for rent every month, and told me good luck on finding a job. My teenage rebellion had pretty much destroyed every bit of me and my father’s relationship, so he usually used drinking and yelling really awful things at me as a method of communicating. This was the same time that me and my boyfriend broke up, as he had moved across town for a new job. This made everything so much worse, because for four and a half years, turning eighteen and moving in together was all we had ever dreamed of, but
I was going to have to dive in all alone after all…
This was the part of my life where I had completely lost my faith and will to live.
I felt abandoned and hated by everyone in my life, and I returned that false accusation I had made with a burning hatred for everything and everyone in return; but that hatred was mostly directed towards myself. This caused me to make some incredibly awful and self destructive decisions, without a hint or even a whisper of being guided by anything consisting of love. I drank myself into oblivion every night with my friends in the neighborhood, consumed a large amount of ecstasy or any other drugs I could get my hands on, and made a deliberate attempt at drowning out the awareness of my non existent life by engaging myself in shenanigans with my hoodlum friends on a daily basis. I sought out the thrill of the night, and became extremely promiscuous, even accepting pay for these activities on a couple of different occasions. I did not enjoy the random and inappropriate relations that I had with these men, but I did it anyways without really understanding why. I had also became quite close to a guy that lived down the street from me around this time period. He was very talented when it came to comforting my wreck of a mind. He was crazy about me, but I just liked listening to him talk. After we began sleeping with each other, he grew impatient with my disinterest in commitment. He fought his way into my life, even knowing that I was constantly missing my ex boyfriend in a deep, agonizing way. I agreed to move in with him, using it as the only escape that I had to get away from my angry, alcoholic dad. Then I ran as fast as I possibly could, and I never looked back.
I passed a lot of time living with my new boyfriend (whom I never would have referred to as my boyfriend within ear shot of anyone else), and I still hadn’t had much luck finding a steady job. One day my dad called me up, and said that a housekeeper was needed at the retirement community that he worked at. It was a huge relief to have a job that could get me by, and it allowed me to move into an apartment with my boyfriend and a friend of ours. Things began to look up for me, and I was incredibly excited to finally be in a position where I could finally claim some small bit of pride within myself.
As time passed living with my roommates,
I began to feebly attempt climbing the mountain of adulthood. I worked hard, and I began to focus on growth for the first time in a while.
I enjoyed the work that I did, being of service to the elderly. I took it very seriously, and in return it gave me a sense of belonging. Things took a very abrupt turn the day that I decided to take a couple of pain pills that one of the residents had out on the bathroom counter. It was with such innocent intentions, just a nice buzz to cruise me along through my work day and go home. But that one day led to another, and so on, until I had found myself in a full blown narcotic addiction working in a place where I had access to incredibly large amounts of it in the homes of the senior citizens. It was a recipe for disaster, but the shame that I carried around with me felt heavier than my dependence on drugs. After nine months, I was taking approximately 120mg of hydrocodone a day. It had gotten so bad that I could not function without having it in my system. My mental health declined greatly, and so did my ability to take care of the life that I had made for myself.
This part is called the beginning of the end.
I was trapped, with no way out, and it was slowly killing me. At this time, me and my boyfriend lived alone after our friend had moved out of state, and I had spent six months trying to figure out how to get him to move out. He didn’t have a job, he wouldn’t look for one, he was completely dependent on me for survival, and I didn’t love him. I just didn’t want to feel so selfish after he had helped me out when I needed a place to go, though we lived with his mother at the time. This coupled with the fact that
my most deepest of desires was to be with my soul mate again put the universe on the intercom, loud and very fucking clear.
Unexplainable things began to happen to me.
I felt as though I was constantly being followed by a demon, and I do not mean that to be taken as a metaphor. I felt it in me, around me, like a poison that ran through me and destroyed everything that I touched. It followed me around in my dreams, and I even began to have episodes in my sleep that I could only describe as attempted demonic possession.
I once closed my eyes and focused on the colors under my eyelids, until they turned into imagery. I saw two people walk through a park, a woman sitting on a bench, and other random scenes. These images began to appear so exquisitely real, as if I could reach out and touch something on the other-side. My heart began to race, and somehow the sensations of what I was seeing in my mind pulled me into an altered state of reality.I somehow popped up on the other side of the couch in a seemingly alternate dimension. After great astonishment and fear of my momentary time/space hop, I opened my eyes to find myself in my original spot on the couch. To this day, I still have close to no idea what happened to me and have never met anyone that has experienced this before.
I was starting to see underneath the veil once again.
I was seeing signs, something was trying to make me pay attention. I saw the numbers 917 everywhere. This was the birthday of my soul mate, and a nagging reminder of what was lost. I saw this number ten times a day. I felt a warm hand wrap around my arm in a moment of distress at work, filling me with comfort. A homeless Romanian woman on the city bus once foretold my past and future, telling me that I was with a nice boy, but he was not the right one. There was another. As she told me this, I had a lucky penny in my pocket that my ex had given me the night before in a brief encounter. She proceeded to tell me that I had a penny in my pocket, and that I should give it to her. I was so astonished that I gave it to her and didn’t even bother asking her how or what was happening.
A few days later, I called my ex while I was at work and broke down crying for help. I told him that I didn’t know what to do, but that I needed help getting my boyfriend out of my apartment after many failed attempts on my own. He didn’t hesitate, and came to pick me up when I was finished at work. That first hug in the parking lot gave me a tidal wave of relief and comfort, and I immediately knew that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing even though I had no idea what I was doing. That same day he was kicked out for good, and my true love was back in my life once again. It was abrupt, it was unexpected, and I was left feeling disoriented as if it had happened to me, rather than me making it happen. Having him re-emerge into my life was a very awkward and gradual process, but I savored every moment of it.
A week after reclaiming my apartment as my own again, I was fired (amazingly enough) for false accusations, and I was given severance pay that paid for one month’s rent. My drug supply was cut off for good, and I had no choice but to be sober for the first time in months. I was granted unemployment due to being wrongfully terminated, and awoke to a new world of possibilities that I never saw coming in a million years. After a week long recovery of my physical dependence on drugs, I awoke one morning and everything changed in a single moment.
I put on a Radiohead song called ‘’The Daily Mail’’, and it sounded so beautiful that it activated my soul in an explosion of rebirth; I felt all of my chakras fuse together into perfect harmony for the first time ever in my whole life.
I looked at myself in the mirror with a smile of acceptance for who I was, and reclaimed my faith in miracles and the divine.
I began to experience things that I had only read about in books;
I felt that the universe was bending to my will, that I had this steady flow of communication to a higher realm. I was filled with love and compassion for all things, and negative feelings lost their ability to come into contact with my soul. Me and my lover spent a lot of days together, rebuilding a relationship that had been put on hold for three and a half years. So hard to think that after everything that I had experienced, I had finally received everything that I had once only thought possible in the movies with unrealistic endings.
I am twenty-three years old now, and It has been two years sense the morning I was reborn into a world of love and magic, and if there is anything that I have learned so far, it’s that you never stop learning and growing. But I want other weirdos like me out in the world who are going through hard times to know this;
…there comes a point in your life, if you embark on the quest for knowledge, when you figure out enough of the puzzle to satisfy that itch that you could never quite seem to scratch. The sadness and pain will never completely leave you, because it isn’t supposed to. But faith has left me with the comfort of knowing that even in the darkest of times… the earth is not a cold dead place, and there is a time for everything.