This is my first attempt at writing a blog post with my iPad. So far it's not too bad except for the curious onlookers. You see I am sitting in the waiting room of the Cotton O'Neil Express Care clinic. So it's a mixture of curiosity and boredom that brings the looks and questions. Normally that would be a bit annoying but today I find the distraction comforting. You see I have this thing. To best explain this thing I need to give you a back story.
Picture your screen getting all blurry & misty, and you hear harp music playing.
This all started on my 13th birthday, well the week before my 13th birthday. My mothers live-in boyfriend decides we are all moving to Oregon. My mother quits her job, pulls me out of Robinson Middle School and we pack all of our belongings into an old Suburban. (not-so-fun side note, this Suburban had no back seat). The morning of my birthday comes and we cram ourselves in with the tightly packed belongings that were deemed necessary. The rest of our belongings were left behind in the house we rented on Lincoln ave.
After a long drive that took us down to Oklahoma, through New Mexico and up to Idaho, we were just one days drive from Eugene, Oregon. You see we were going to Eugene because James, mom's boyfriend, said he had a job waiting for him there. The night we stayed in Idaho, James decided to come clean and admit there was never a job. The next day we drove to Portland and stayed at the first hotel that was sympathetic to our extreme situation.
Long story short, we stayed in Portland for six months. The entire time we were there we were homeless. No jobs were ever found, or really looked for.
Now I don't know if you have ever been to Oregon before, so let me tell you what it is like. It's beautiful. Mountains, Bald Eagles, roses everywhere. But what is also everywhere is big thick balls of moss. And the cheap, falling in motel we stayed in when we could afford it, had dark colored mold growing in the corners and in the closet. The mix of these two things caused a problem for me.
As a child I suffered from springtime allergies, but that was in Kansas. In Oregon I suffered spring time Armageddon in my sinus's. I became so sick I couldn't function. It would get so bad that I could not walk strait, my balance was gone. I begged my mom to take me to a doctor but she refused, saying I would get better. I didn't get better. When we finally returned to Topeka she took me to a free clinic. The doctor noticed a lump by my ear. He said that it's probably going to be permanent, and said it was a result of having the sinus infection for so long. He said the only treatment would be to have it removed, which mom chose not to do. From that time on, whenever I have sinus problems it swells.
Ok back to today. This last week that side of my face has felt odd and today that lump is swollen. Plus that part of my face is numb. That's never happened before. Still waiting to see the doctor and I am getting nervous. It's probably some odd infection, but what if it's not? What if it's worse? What if it's cancer? It's probably nothing. I just want to find out. I'm going to stop writing now and just wait.
Two Hours Later: all done with the doctor. She thinks its just an infection and gave me some antibiotics. I have to follow up with my doctor in a month. Sorry for getting all worked up, I think some part of me is always waiting for the sky to fall. Luckily the sky is staying in place for now. What I have told you about today was a little picture of where I came from, what life used to be like for me. Any more it feels like someone else's story but the scars I still carry remind me that it is mine. I don't talk about these things much anymore but today it was in my face, or at least ON my face. No worries though kiddies, I made my way out of the lifestyle of despair. You can do it too if you are in need of escape. Break the chain of abuse and find a way of life that isn't dysfunctional. It's not always easy, sometimes you have to make extremely hard choices. But your life, and the life of your family will be better for it.