Thursday, February 26, 2009

winter reflection

reflection in my garage window

This week in Susannah's class, we are photographing our reflections. Here I am, reflected in my garage window.

Last week we had to list our most important turning points in our lives, beginning with birth, in just 10-20 items. Yikes. It's interesting that most of my turning points are negative; is it because I learned so much from them? When I look back on them now, I'm nothing but proud for having survived it all.

  • Nov. 30th, 1969, I was born, a Sagittarius with red hair and chubby cheeks.

  • 1976 - our family moved from Midland to Auburn. I missed my friend Rosanne. Began Lutheran school. Lutheran school was horrid, awful, and evil.

  • 2nd through 8th grades were sheer horror, trauma, and grinding stress. I was bullied, picked on, and excluded. My parents told me to "ignore it and it'll go away." It didn't.

  • At age 11, my uncle began being, um, inappropriate with me. I never told. I thought he was just another bully. I thought if I ignored it, it would go away. It didn't.

  • 1983 - Graduated from 8th grade and began high school. LOVED high school. I had friends for the first time. Joined clubs. Met Beth, who is my friend until this day.

  • Age 17 - graduated from high school, a completely different person than the awkward 13 year old who first entered.

  • July 2, 1989 - finally told my family about my uncle after a final incident. My aunt, who was like my second mother, told me I was making it all up to get attention, and that I deserved everything I got. She said I was a crazy, unstable, spoiled girl who lied her way through life. My uncle admitted nothing and actually laughed like it was a joke. This is a long, painful story, so I'll stop here. This is the single most traumatic thing that has ever happened to me.

  • September, 1989 - left home and went to Western Michigan University. Spent the first year locked in my dorm room, overwhelmed with what had happened in our family.

  • February, 1991 - Had first serious boyfriend.

  • Met Laura after breakup with serious boyfriend. Had a blast that crazy summer, going out every night, dancing, watching 90210, had my own apartment.

  • Earned Bachelor of Arts. Decided to go for Master's degree. Spent two years overworked, underslept, going to school full time, working full time, and figure skating four times a week. Earned my Master of Fine Arts degree. The proudest day of my entire life.

  • My grandpa, one of my greatest influences in my life, died.

  • My nieces were born.

  • 1996 - moved to New York City with Laura and worked in the book publishing industry. Dated, went out in the city, became stronger and more independent.

  • 2000 - turned 30, moved back to Detroit area. I question that decision to this day. It was a major crossroads - did I go the right way? Expected my 30's to rock. They didn't.

  • Got a job, bought a house, got a boyfriend, became involved with community theater.

  • Contracted Lyme disease in 2004, but didn't know it was Lyme for a year and a half. Doctors thought I was crazy or had multiple sclerosis. I have never been so scared or sick. Boyfriend broke up with me. My grandma died. It was a bad year.

  • Halloween, 2005, finally diagnosed with Lyme. Began three years of soul-sucking hellacious treatment.

  • Slowly recovered, got two pomeranians, focused on my photography and general creativity, worked really hard to make sense of the past five years.

  • Got onstage for the first time and loved it.


-M said...

you never cease to be a positive example to me. your strength astounds me.

Naomi said...

That was amazing! I've been reading your blog for some time and you have always come across as as strong person, but this entry really brought it home. I'm a fan!