My pattern with escape began as a kid.
I am 14 years old and in my pediatrician’s office. My family has just moved back to New York City after a 5-year stint in Massachusetts. I’m turning into one of those surly teenagers. My mother has read
SavingReviving Ophelia and now my father is reading it, too, and I see the sad face of that wispy-haired girl staring up at me from her wrinkled paperback cover every time I pass his bedside table. Dr. Sedlis is asking how school is going. My mother is in the room and she says, “Not too well. It’s a large public school.” This is true. I hate it there. I am lost and they are making me take oboe lessons even though I signed up for piano. The girls are goths and punks and I am neither. Dr. Sedlis advises putting me into private school. Keep reading »
Wow, what a crazy past few months. I believe I cared for myself pretty well after my big breakup, which was now almost four months ago. I surrounded myself with my family, which was easy because I moved back in with my parents. I spent a lot of QT with my girl friends. I drank and shopped and watched crappy TV shows, as you do. When I felt ready to poke my head out of my hole and venture out on dates again, I splurged on a couple pairs of sexy heels. I kept myself busy buying furniture for my new apartment, being a good sister and friend, doing my taxes — anything I could think of.
Now I’m all moved into my new place. I go on dates with a new guy, casually, once or twice a week. After months of tiny tornadeos wrecking havoc on the blessed life I had six months ago, outward appearances look like the dust has finally settled.
Inside? That’s a different story. Keep reading »
One night, while six months pregnant, I woke to the sound of something crashing down the stairs. That something, I discovered, was my husband Jason, who lay sprawled on the floor like a limp marionette. At first, I was worried. Had he broken his neck? Was the father of my unborn child alive? But my next thought might strike some people as mean, although I can explain. It was: Good—serves him right. Keep reading »
For years after my ex and I broke up, I used to like to play this game where I’d compare myself to him. This was not a fun game. He had just written a bestselling novel, was living with his girlfriend, and bought a house. I felt like he had really “made it” in every way that mattered – career, relationship, and home. But after all this time I was still struggling and still single. Failing, it felt like. A failure. Keep reading »
I was 14 and I was having slippery feelings. I was having them for Roelle, the sophomore with giant tits who told me she liked my shirt, before crawling under a wool blanket to make out with her boyfriend on the front lawn of the high school. I was having them for Eleanor, who told me it was her dad’s birthday the three times I asked her to hang out. I was even having them for Colleen, who was only 4’7”, and who ate her height in Taco Bell tacos, and who therefore smelled like she had been bathing in a vat of expired salsa. Keep reading »
If you are anything like me, you are probably very skeptical when someone utters the words “changed my life.” I mean, this is the phraseology of infomercials—of people trying desperately to convince you that you need a colander that hooks onto your sink or a $14.95 bib to prevent you from spilling coffee on your shirt. Taking yoga classes? Downward dog feels nice, but it certainly didn’t change my life. Getting an iPod? Allowed me to dump an entire bookshelf of CDs, but again my life stayed relatively the same. Buying a Mason Pearson brush? Well, I just felt silly for plunking down more than a hundo to get the tangles out of my hair. And who says that I want my life to change, anyway? Maybe I’m happy with it just the way it is!
Well, the day after Thanksgiving last year, I couldn’t say that was true. I can’t precisely pinpoint what it was, but I had an inescapable feeling that something in my life needed shaking up. Keep reading »