A Dull Star

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The one place I always feel at home is when I'm outside, at night under the stars. The world is so quiet, and the only thing to truly drown out the silence is the melodies coming from my ear buds. And as I lay there alone on my back facing the dark sky, I wonder to myself: Would I rather be the moon or a star? The answer always seems so simple to me. I much rather be a star. Yes the moon is big and bright, yet it will never be able to shine on its own. It will always depend upon the sun for its beauty. Amongst those stars that I yearn to be are the tiny planes in the sky. In those tiny planes are dozens of tiny people; people who have no clue I exist. People who don't know of the things I have experienced. As I look at the people in my own life that surround me I've realized that I make them into the people on the airplane. They may know I exist, but they know nothing of what exists inside of me. Senior year I tried hard to undo all of that. I wanted to open myself up to people and show them me. However, I did a poor job of it, and every time the opportunity presented itself I played it off like it was nothing big, but some of the biggest things happened to me my senior year.

The beginning of senior year seemed to start out fairly smooth. The only real problems in my life were preexisting conditions, most obviously my dying father. It had been four years since he was diagnosed with Leu Garret's disease and things were only getting worse, but then again things could only get worse when you have a terminal disease. Thus everything was smooth sailing in my book. I was just excited to be back in school and ready to finish out my last year in high school, just living up senior year. Living senior year up in a hotel. A hotel ten minutes away from school with my two parents and three dogs. I lived there from November to January this year. My house was literally falling down. There was structural damage from high winds about three years ago, that we knew nothing about. The only reason we finally figured out something was wrong was when our chimney started to slant more, and more, and more.

Life uprooted is hard. I've never lived in any other place than my house. Sure I've been on a vacation before, but this was no vacation. This was condensing my life down into just the essential things: computer, clothes, soap. Everything else that surrounded me wasn't mine. And as I watched families come and go in the hotel I started to yearn to be them. I craved to leave and go back home. However, my journey was far from over, the hunger for stability would only deepen. Early December my dad was checked into the hospital. No big deal for a person with a terminal disease. However, this wasn't just a hospital. My father was checked into a psychiatric ward. He had went off the deep end and decided he was no longer going to take his medications. He was no longer going to eat. He was no longer going to live. He had checked out on me and the rest of my family. It's not a good feeling when your own parent gives up. There's no fancy metaphor to describe the feeling. It's just defeat and abandonment.

He was in there for about three days until my mom couldn't take it anymore and brought him home. While he was in there the doctors guessed that he suffers from Narcissistic Disorder as well as Borderline Personality Disorder. He was sick in more way than one. My whole life my mother told me that my dad loves me as much as a person like him possibly could. I never understood what she meant: a person like him. But hearing the doctors say it finally made me understand. I had a father that was only capable of caring about himself. He loved me as much as he could. Which to me never seemed like enough. That was the moment I finally wrote my father off. I know it sounds horrible, to give up on a terminally ill man, but he had given up on me first. I'm not good at this whole forgiveness thing. I've never really been good at forgiveness. Most of my life I have lived by forgive and forget. But with that, I've been stepped on and used. I always forgive the wrong people, and give people who deserve a second chance no opportunity at all. Poor judgment is the easiest way to describe it.

There were many hospital visits after that. He was given even more meds to take, and less time to live. This increased my time outside. Once we moved back into the house it was easier to find time alone. It wasn’t unusual for me to sit outside for hours listening to music and randomly crying for reasons I’m unaware, considering I convinced myself I didn’t care about anything.

But then something in me just changed. I can’t tell you what it was because I don’t know. I just decided that I was done with living this way. I was done with being tired all the time. I learned that you can’t hold something against a person when they can’t help it. My dad is sick in more than one way. Mentally and physically he is impaired and there is nothing he can do about it. That is something I have accepted.

That has helped me gradually become the person that the people around me know. I was always so focused on my anger that I never stopped to look at what was good in my life; too busy holding onto everything negative and dwelling on how people had let me down. Dependency on others had become the only thing I knew. There was no willingness to find my own happiness. Just not wanting to try and prosper all on my own. No one was to blame but myself and I have grown and matured enough to admit it and take responsibility for my actions.

I still find myself below those stars at night. Just laying on the cool grass while music blasts from a friend’s cell phone. I’m not alone anymore as I lay there. But then again was I ever really alone? I had chosen my isolation. I wanted to be a star but I had chosen to be a moon. I depended upon others to be my light instead of releasing the light within me. In the end, I was so focused on covering up all the problems in my life I didn’t realize I was the only person keeping me from shining.





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Mrs. P said...
Jun. 19, 2011 at 6:43 pm
You are awesome.
 
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