I turn 39 this month. If I had told 9 year old me, that in thirty years, I would have no children, no husband, no home and no education, I would not have believed it.
Back then, I was in the fourth grade. Reading was my favorite hobby. I didn’t have any real friends. My mother began working full time that year. Father was traveling for work and Brother was depressed because the new high school he had to go to was really different from the last. He wasn’t fitting in and his new best friend was kind of a douche.
They were the only ones around after school and I learned to stay in my room a lot. The television, our family only had one at the time, was in the living room and was mostly dominated by my brother and his asshole friend. When I was feeling gutsy, I would scrap with them both and get a few minutes to watch Nickelodeon.
This was the first year I remember having anxiety and depression.
We had just moved from a beautiful neighborhood in Grand Prairie, Texas and Mother, Brother and I had active social lives and we were busy with activities. I was developing an accent. Mother had friends at the tennis club. There was a forest right behind our house and a within walking distance.
Now, we were in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. It was a little more upscale, there was an HOA! A planned community with a swim team and parks and a rec center. The people were different. They were cooler than Brother and I, that was for sure. The girls in my class wore cheap earrings with bright colors in the shapes of pigs and ducks. Not diamond studs. It was the first time we saw a GUESS label. They were mainly on florescent t shirts with the giant question mark.
The accent that was cute in Texas was a distraction in Arizona. Kids could tell we had a little more money because Mother insisted on zooming around in her white Z28 Chevy Camero and dressed fancy.
I had found a crowd to be my friends, but they didn’t seem as trustworthy as my friends in Grand Prairie. They swore outside of the earshot of adults, they argued with the teacher, boys fought and girls ganged up on other girls.
This is when I began making up stories to make my life appear better than it was to other people. I wanted to impress the new friends and I wanted my parents to think I was doing well in school. I wasn’t.
I wasn’t doing my homework. It seemed a bit overwhelming. I would lie and tell my parents that it was done when it was not. I would tell my teacher’s stories about why I didn’t have my homework.
I had hope for adulthood. My mother told me one day, I would marry a very handsome and rich man and I would be a mother and very, very happy. I had crushes on boys, but was too shy to speak with them. When they spoke to me, I would get very embarrassed. I began to notice the “popular crowd” and how different I was from them. And how much they didn’t like me.