i can hear rain falling at a steady pace outside. i have been waiting for this all day. i still hold on to the peculiar religious-type beliefs i imagined and borrowed from others, morals and religious figures mainly based on classic animated disney movies which i always watched and still cling to today. my favorite has always been lion king, which came out when i was 5 and needed it the most. i watched it constantly, to the point where i would wake from bad dreams throughout the night, and lull myself back to sleep by playing the lion king in my head, over and over. still when i watch it, i have to bite my tongue to keep myself from saying all the words along with the characters. people tend to underestimate these classic disney movies, but lion king alone teaches you about loyalty, faith, how to cope with death, how important every creature is in the world, etc. the first talk that mufasa has with simba when he is still a young cub and he says ‘when we die, our bodies become the grass. the antelope eat the grass. and so we have the great circle of life.’ (idk if that’s the real quote) but either way, it was able to teach so many deep and important things without being religious. i was overwhelmingly lucky to be raised in a small town in the south, and not have any belief system forced upon me. whenever my friends parents were saying to them “have faith! believe in god!” i was hearing “have imagination! believe in yourself! believe in anything!” and it was wonderful. i have watched my friends grow to resent the beliefs they were taught from an early age, and as i have grown i have only clung tighter to my odd system. so tired of trying to explain it to people or give it some label that isn’t right, i merely say “i follow the prophet walt disney” and leave it at that.
my small town was one in the commonwealth of virginia (i have since moved to a different state, thank mufasa), in the southwest where there are gorgeous mountains, dirt roads, dead ends, no malls, and the only language spoken is engrish with a harsh appalachian accent. my father hails from new jersey, and had the accent to match when i was growing up, speaking low and fast, leaning on his R’s and curving his vowels- i adored it. we would visit the north sometimes, and i would have my yankee family repeat words for me over and over, wanting to make sure i spoke his english and not the crap i heard around town. my mother on the other hand, has maintained the perfect southern drawl that i have ever heard. she greets people by saying “hidee!” cheerfully, she pronounces the word temperature like this: tem-per-a-tyoor including every consonant, and i love it. her southern drawl is significantly different from the dirty messy nonsense of my little town. but still, i wanted my dad’s accent, because it was the farthest away from this hick-speak, because it represented masculinity and strength and humor.
my dad had a job offering in this small town, and moved from jersey to this black hole. i was 3 when we moved there, and from a couple of weeks after we moved there up until i was almost 9 years old, my fast-talking overly friendly neighbor had been spending a lot of time with me. it was from his rancid and meth-infested trailer that my brain broke and gave me other skins i could wear (imagine bugs bunny the first time you saw him unzip the back of his fur) who knew i could even perform such grand tricks of metamorphosis. it took me a couple of years to even be aware of this shit. i would come home after seeing this male and sometimes his friends, and have no idea what in the world i was doing walking home from that side of the street. i spent most of my free time outside playing with all the dogs that lived down my street and especially the stray dogs that ran through the woods and neighboring farms, eating mice and trash. these dogs were everything to me, i would follow them everywhere until they began following me back, i knew every house by the dog that lived in it. i believed i really could speak dog. regardless, i knew i couldn’t speak human very well at all. when i would get home, i wouldn’t remember, and i did not care. until i got a little bit older, it got in the way of my relationship with my dad who i adore. i was so afraid of being alone with him that i couldn’t even go to the gas station up the street for some chocolate with him. here are a few important things i must mention about my dad: he was an alcoholic, but i never saw him drunk until i was an adult & he briefly relapsed, he now has about 3yrs sober from that. he was a bodybuilder, but i never saw him become violent or even overly aggressive at all. he has a bad habit of only seeing the good, and being too naive to see the bad. especially when it comes to people. because he was nice towards my neighbor and never suspected anything bad from him, i always sort of assumed he knew what was going on and was okay with it. i also was afraid of being alone with him (and any other adult male) because i thought i would ‘make a monster out of them’. my dad may smell the sticky mess on me, and become one of Them, one of the guys at the trailer, and it will be my fault. i truly believed, and still have trouble not believing, the concept that every guy has that same monster within him, and girls like me are just asking for it. right before my 4th grade year, he moved away, and suddenly like everyone in my family puts it ‘she just woke up!’ oh yeah, and i could not shut up. the moment i was free, i wasn’t held down anymore, i became so confident, so outgoing, i made a bunch of friends, starting having silly boyfriends, i loved it all. but one day after school when i was 11, i woke up in my small closet sucking my thumb, covered in tears and blood from scratching my neck raw. i ripped my thumb out of my mouth, and i was fucking pissed. in that moment i realized i was not a virgin, i was a slut doll, i was a walking lie, i was somebody else. i shattered all over again. the flashbacks continued hardcore throughout middle school. one night i stayed up and i was walking by a park at the bottom of a mountain where a friend of mine lived, and managed to walk directly into a moving car, and got hit. the doctors prescribed me my first narcotic, and i did not hesitate to take a little extra the moment i could. i was so excited, i found something that can just take it away, take my pain inside and outside away, and leave me hardly here. it’s not as crazy to lose yourself to drugs, as opposed to how i had been living. sleeping in my 4×3 closet, cutting myself, not eating, crying all the time. i viewed all of my self torture as pathetic, but this drug thing seemed so much easier, so much more socially acceptable.