As many of you already know I have signed a book deal with Sunny Day Publishing to turn my weekly series “Signs in the Rearview Mirror” into a book. I have been working, writing, rewriting, and smashing my head into a wall to be sure this book comes out exactly the way I want it to in order to help as many as I can. I know as I help others I am exposing parts of myself to the entire world that normally would remain extremely private. But I have been given this talent for a reason. The follow is an excerpt from one of the chapters of my new book and my first podcast is attatched at the bottom. Please read, listen, share, and give your feedback.
I was 17, a junior in high school and Derek was 19, just finishing his first year of college and I was pregnant with his baby. Derek dropped to the floor and started to cry. In stunned silence I held him and then, through my own tears, told him he was going to be OK. When he was able to move, he made his way to his bedroom and called his friend, leaving me on that blue bathroom floor.
When I finally thought I was able to move, I found I didn’t. I couldn’t. Fear has immobilized me. I guess somewhere I felt that if I didn’t move, stayed frozen in time, I wouldn’t have to face this. Everyone could just work around me as I sat on that bathroom floor and use me as a toothbrush holder or something. That way I wouldn’t have to deal with the reality of it all, or tell my parents, or think about it. Of course, I knew at some point, I would have to move. The sad part was, I had nowhere to go. No one to tell. After Derek had hung up the phone, he felt better. Not good, but better. I wondered what that felt like, to feel better. I could not remember the last time I felt better. For as long as I could remember I always had to deal with adult problems. And this adult problem would be no different. I would have to deal with it whether I liked it or not. I did eventually get up, put one foot in front of the other, and left.
Derek stayed home in his comfortable room, where football posters hung from the walls with the smell of pot roast being cooked by a “normal” mother in a clean kitchen down the hall. As for me, I went to the place I called home. A place where the smoke hung so heavy in the air that the thickness of it stuck to my nose and throat. I felt the filth and grime as I walked across the old carpet in the livingroom housing parasites, stains of food and years of spilt drinks. I headed towards the kitchen to see piles of dirty dishes in the sink, used pots and pans still on the stove, and the disgusting pyramid of trash climbing the wall from the trash can, begging to be changed. Through the smoke in the living room, I heard a cough and saw that familiar faint orange glow…one of my parents buried beneath the fog of their life long obsession.
I made my way to my bedroom, easily unnoticed. I laid on my bed, the top half of the bunk I shared with my little sister, in that pit of a house, with that tiny little secret nestled in the deep dark corners of my womb. Staring at the paint peeling from the ceiling and the cracks in the walls, I thought of all the ways I could mess up a kid’s life. What had I done? How could this be happening to me? Derek and I had gone through so much together between that moment and this one. The moment where I am with someone else and not him. How did I get to this moment right now with Jake?