Saturday, July 4, 2015

Next year...

Depressed today.  Nothing political, just brain chemicals.

I have some anxiety too, which is also just bad neurotransmitters.

I get tired of my illness.

Anyway, I thought I would share a story.  23 years ago.

I will allow you to form your own opinions.

Ron and I met in March of 1992.  We got very serious shortly afterward.  Ron was having casual relations with a friend, but cut it off shortly after he met me.  I hadn't been serious about anyone in over a year. 

Ron and I worked together; we were both enrolled (me, against my will, ironically enough) in a "Special Jobs" program for "Special People".  No one from my school district had ever been hired through the program, but it was hoped it would give me some usable job skills and experience.

I was enrolled in a program for "Severely Disturbed" kids.  I believe "The Program" felt I was "lazy".  They didn't even figure out I was bipolar, and barely believed I was depressed.  Everything, they felt, could be attributed to a "bad mommy".

In some regards, they were right.  That was another thing - Fetal Alcohol - I was barely diagnosed right before I entered the program.  It was felt they should hide it from me, as learning I was "maimed" would exacerbate my depression.  Hardly. 

So, two damaged souls, working the cash register, side by side.  I walked to work every day, a couple of miles each way, but when the program found out they got me a ride.

The short bus.  You can imagine how I felt, riding a short bus with mentally slow people, and they were really slow - pulling up at work, and getting out as my "companions" waved cheerfully to the other employees, and customers!  I was mortified.  I would have walked to work, barefoot, to avoid that.  

I was a teenager.  

I moaned at Ron that day, I wanted to die, I was so embarrassed.  Ironically we both now ride the short bus.

He turned to me and asked a very simple question: "Why don't you take the (city) bus?"  The bus, he explained, went right up and down the street in front of work.  That's how he got to work everyday, he took a bus to the train station, took the train, and took a bus to work (and people got mad at me for "letting" him walk a mile to work!).

"If you don't mind" he continued "I can call the bus company and get the details."

I thought that was great.  The Program had great aspirations - they had to teach me "independent living skills" in order to receive funding and bonuses.  They had planned to teach me how to ride the bus, in the future.

Ron scoffed at that.  "You get on, you say hello to the driver.  Pay the meter.  Sit down.  When you approach your stop, pull the cord.  Say thank you to the driver and exit!"

I could do that.

Ron gave me the details and, the next day, I left school early.  I walked about half a mile to the bus stop, boarded the bus, disembarked at my stop, transferred to the next bus, and got off at work.  I told Ron.

He was thrilled.

The next day, at school, the Program was in an uproar.  "You MISSED YOUR BUS!  We called your job and they said you were there on time!  What have you done?"

I told them, I took the bus.  They were quite angry to find out Ron had put me up to it (and so began the Campaign to Eliminate Ron), even angrier to find I had learned this independent living skill from HIM.

Ron and I continued talking, and dating.  The shift supervisor used to tell Ron "Your wife is here!" when I'd walk in the door.  They all thought we were adorable.

Until Ron was fired.

I do feel bad about that.

It didn't stop him, after all, he knew how to get to work!  He used to meet me after work, or at a halfway point between his house, and mine.

My Dad found out and threatened Ron with prison, in a very serious meeting.

About this time The Program decided I wasn't "emotionally ready" to graduate (they wanted to use my so-called "visual disability" to con the government out of an expensive computer system, but needed some months to do it.  I foiled that plan and they actually stalked me for a bit, afterward.)    

I had been, until then, and the whole Ron thing, a shining star in the program, and the first kid from the district to be hired by the restaurant.

Then, Ron.

I lapsed into a horrible depression.  We lived close to the school and I would actually HEAR the graduation ceremony, all the other kids.

I could work, and attend school, but I was sliding down the slope - as depressed as I'd been right before I'd had to be hospitalized for suicidal ideation.  They DID NOT want that.

My Dad told me: I would be allowed to talk to Ron, because he was the only one who seemed able to help.  I did better with him, so I could "have" him back.

Ron is the one who talked to me, graduation night, as I heard all my classmates moving on with their lives.  He's the one who found out I passed out at work (I had some lingering issues from the high dose antidepressants I was given, for a few years), called me, and even made me laugh.  He'd had to delay graduation due to back troubles, so he understood.

Once graduation passed, I was out of school and working 30 hour weeks, saving everything I could (my account was raided, though - which is one reason Ron and I have separate accounts - if someone's on your account, they can use it).

Now that I had returned to baseline, and even better, starting to look like a productive citizen (my parents had been told I would always be a burden due to my FAS), my Dad had another meeting with Ron.  This time, Ron was threatened with prison.

I'll let you make your own conclusion.

On the other hand, my stepmother seemed to like Ron an awful lot, even more when she found out he was sterile.  She practically threw me at him, made up alibis, etc, as we sneaked around.  She even helped me load the cab the day I moved out. 

About this time, July 4th rolled around.  It was decided they would to visit a friend's house for a "picnic" in their backyard.  I remember sitting there, in a chair, drinking a soda, listening to two middle aged couples talking, watching the twin (10 year old) boys playing, wishing desperately for a payphone so I could call Ron.

I remember thinking to myself "This is the last time.  Next year I will be with Ron."

And I was.  



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you are a strong woman with great intelligence

we are all "short bus" in one way or another

I haven't found it yet

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