Saturday, September 27, 2014

Autobiographical Challenge: Day 11 & 12

Jr Year in High School

Looking at this picture I can still remember how insecure this girl was. I figured dressing up or getting my picture taken would just make people laugh because they would think I didn't understand how hideous I was. Truly the grade school bullying had stopped by this time but the voices and laughter had been internalized to the point that I never tried to make new friends. I wish I could tell this girl how much better life was going to become in just two years. 16 year old Dixie was lonely and terrified of life but 18 year old Dixie was a college student with friends and my true love and a lot of hope.

I think often that the school experiences I had were bad enough that suicide seemed a hopeful option. Knowing I could kill myself meant that every day I lived through was because I chose to. Somehow that option gave me power and enough of a sense of control that I never gave up. Had I thought there was no escape I think I would have had to stop getting out of bed.

So now I tell kids, whenever you feel sick and hopeless, there comes a morning when you feel better. Suicide is only throwing away that chance to feel better.

Lance And I

The baby we were told would never know who we were, and would never roll over or sit up, became a delightfully happy child who loved to play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with his big sister.
Here he is only a year after he regained his hearing. He had just been learning to recognize several words when he was six months old, when he developed a fever and diarrhea and stopped eating. Months of force feeding and Dr visits left him at half his starting weight and deaf. When mom broke down and cried to the Dr that he had to so something or Lance would die, the Dr. Said, "but wouldn't that be best for your family?" Mom's emphatic reaction had him admitting that Lance had picked up Giardia and a dose of antibiotics would cure him. So one shot and he began to recover but was still deaf until surgery to drain fluid and insert tubes when he was five. That was routine surgery soon after, but he was one of the first and it required actually cutting his ear off, general anesthesia, surgery under a microscope and reattaching the ear. Afterward the awakening with a new sense in a recovery bed across the wall from a flushing toilet, and the sound of his own screams and the explosive noise of mom patting his back and murmuring, "it's ok" by his ear all overwhelmed and terrified him and it was years before he could handle the noise of a concert or indoor sporting event.

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