Versions of the Girl: Versions of Me


I came home from a night of shots and confusion. Everything was blurry and in slow motion. Down deep, I wasn’t this superficial “party” girl. I was the book-loving, word-loving girl.

Mom always valued the superficial. It was important how I appeared to others. If I looked okay. If I “didn’t act up.”

In the two years I dropped out of college, I was educated by the school of hard knocks. My self-esteem was in the toilet. The depression hit such a point that I’d lie in bed with my dog who crapped on the bed. I recall staring lifelessly at the dog poop and thinking I just have nothing. I can’t move. I’m stuck to this day bed.

The sounds of a large Hispanic family who lived upstairs floated through the cardboard thin ceiling. I didn’t know the language, but I was raised with the sound of raised voices, angry voices. I soon learned at twenty-two that anger was a universal sound, transcending time and space, language. The fight ended with a loud thud, a shaking ceiling, and a women crying.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was angry. Rather than scream, shout, bang on walls, I lifelessly lay in bed and examined the small window, the non-descript white ceiling. The anger was poisoning me. Eating me from the inside out.

Years later when I felt that familiar pull into the darkness where I might just curl up and die this time, I’d reflect on how much of my young adulthood was spent in bed, slowly dying, not living. These are years I can never get back.

I thought I was over this, but clearly I’m not. It emerges organically as I free write. I don’t think I ever gave that girl any thought. The girl who grew so tired and found herself staring at dog poop. Ironically, she was the extension of the girl who tried to be perfect, please her mother, do something great so people would notice she was good. Notice she was worth something, something besides a big nothing. The girl was exhausted by the end of her freshman year of college.

I recall a few of my favorite professors arching an eyebrow asking what happened. Why wasn’t I-the girl-writing for the Newspaper anymore? I admired my professors so much. It was embarrassing.

By the end of freshman year, my GPA fell from a 4.0 to a 3.7 and I thought I was a failure. I honest to God thought this was rational.

Copyright bdl 2015

3 thoughts on “Versions of the Girl: Versions of Me

  1. Alaina says:

    I’m so sorry you have gone through this. I know how awful it feels. I don’t even want to think about how many years of my life I have wasted lying in bed, too depressed and overwhelmed to move.

    I once had mouse poop beside me on the bed, where a mouse had made a nest under the big pile of laundry that had gradually stacked up beside me because I did not have the energy to fold and put the clothes away. I’m so embarrassed to admit that! But I’m going to admit it, because I think you need me to.

    ((HUG))

    • bdlheart says:

      Thank you for sharing this with me. I too have been ashamed of this memory that has never and I don’t think ever will leave my mind. I almost used this detail in my title but thought one admission was a good limit. It is so hard to experience this because it is like you are paralyzed. You want to fold the stack of clothes,etc. but your mind won’t let your body do it. Big hugs!!!

  2. giasuniverse says:

    A dark place indeed! Pls do not blame yourself none of it was your fault, I think that you were trying so hard you got exhausted and had a break down, and yes you will never get those years back, but from now on your life is getting better.
    You found yourself as a writer, you are helping others and you are support to the children you teach. You are an amazing person and if you ever stopped writing your blog, I would really miss you, your writing and your wisdom! xox

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