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Begin at the beginning

July 8, 2011

This…is for therapy. As in, I am about to embark on a “therapeutic journey” and I know they’ll tell me to keep a journal. Shrinks like to do that. So, I’m starting now. I figure this is the best way to make it easier on whomever finally is the lucky therapist the clinic sticks with me.  So, dear faceless therapist, read on.

I know I’m crazy. I’ve been in therapy since long before I can remember, except for the past few years. My biological mother was apparently not the best. My mom and dad got custody of me when I was a year old or so. I was diagnosed with attachment problems as a toddler, and by the time I was five I’d graduated to ADD, which they hadn’t actually named quite yet. Mostly they said I was very intelligent and had hyperactivity and anger issues. My parents had me read the newspaper for guests when I was three, and everyone was very impressed.

I started kindergarten a year early. I went to an exclusive private school where we didn’t have grade levels. They grouped us by age and we had workbooks in different subjects depending on our ability level. When my parents transferred me to a closer school with normal grades, they put me in fourth grade. I was seven. They wanted to put me into fifth grade, but my parents thought it would be too difficult for me socially.

They should have let me skip the grade. I learned at my new school that I was not like everyone else, and it really only made it worse when I tried. It’s not as though the other girls were abnormally mean, it’s just that I patently didn’t belong in their world. We all knew it, and we behaved accordingly. I was friends with the other misfit, who was really only a misfit because she was friends with me. I wasn’t included in much of anything socially, both because of my age and the fact that this was a fundamentalist Protestant school, and I was a Catholic. I discovered religion as a concept, and it fascinated me. When I was nine and going through the obligatory everything-must-be-sparkly-and-have-unicorns phase, the school had a week-long revival detailing everything that had Satanic origins. I learned that unicorns were actually Satanic idolatry, because the horn symbolized the third eye.

My mother had a fairly traumatic experience when I was ten. We stuck it out in our home state until I was twelve, then we moved to Utah. My first memory of my hometown was being forced out of a motorhome in front of the school. It was pulling a car and followed by a Uhaul also pulling a car. My parents marched me into the middle school to register, because we simply couldn’t register on the second day when we could arrive in a car unremarked. I was known as U-Haul Girl after that. They warned the administration that I was a problem child. My English teacher checked my wrists weekly for signs of cutting, which my mother was apparently afraid I might start doing at the first opportunity.

When I was thirteen, my parents started taking lessons from the LDS missionaries. I’d been prepped for this by my concerned Baptist teachers in my old school when they found out where we would be moving. I was determined not to let Satan get me, and I saw logical problems with the doctrine. My parents told me that they wanted to be baptized and that they really felt that this was the correct church. And they assured me that my baptism was my own choice. I think they were lying, because they also said that they wouldn’t be baptized without me. Mom took to mentioning all the ways she could die unsaved until I joined with them. We went to the temple and got sealed, which nobody prepared me for. I asked about some of the weirder things, and they told me that I couldn’t know about them. I still don’t understand that, because I very obviously saw them myself. The knowing threshold has been breached. And still I have no explanation.

School in Utah was a bit of a joke. I’d never really been to public school except for one half of seventh grade. My freshman classes were essentially review of stuff I thought was fifth-grade level. I did take German and Spanish that year, and it turns out I’m kind of good with language. By the time I graduated high school, I was fluent in German, French, Spanish, and Italian. I got awards for that too.

I had private music lessons from the age of four. I was an award-winning singer, piano, and flute player by seven. I owned twenty-three instruments when I was twelve. I toured Europe as a featured soprano the summer after I graduated high school.



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