Kristelle's Story: Lost in the Woods

After leaving the suicide watch facility, I stayed with my aunt again for a short while. I returned to cosmetology school and went to therapy once a month. The doctor responsible for prescribing my depression and anxiety meds was an absolute robot. He never made eye contact... Not even once. He just asked his questions in a tone that would make Ben Stein die of boredom, stirring his coffee occasionally while I explained how the meds were making me feel.

Numb. Depression meds kind work. No one wanted to help me in the way that I really needed it.I  say that because they do help you from feeling sad and depressed...well they did me anyhow. But don't be disillusioned. Sure,  I wasn't feeling sad. Matter of fact was that I wasn't feeling much of anything at all. Just... numb. It's a strange feeling not feeling at all. Forgetting the very emotions that once made me human.  I found myself having to emulate others emotions to fit into my everyday life. Sometimes over exaggerating them because I had truly forgotten how powerful they were.  

My therapist was nice. She listened, well she nodded her head a lot and occasionally offered feedback. But that was the extent of our sessions. While it served as an opportunity to talk with someone, it didn't leave me better off than I was going in.  It felt as though no one was actually trying to help me. Just give me advice. Don't get me wrong, the advice is great when you know how to apply it.  I didn't.

Everything seemed impossible. Trying to keep up with my education, making sure I  was getting my clinics finished up,  simultaneously trying to make some money without it working out very well. While I knew had to work toward my goals of becoming the woman I was supposed to be, I had no idea how to achieve that...  and my only lead into that process(which was my therapy) wasn't helping me progress through these goals and really refused to address the issue.

Eventually, I had to leave my aunts due to some extenuating circumstances and ended up living in a tent in a patch of woods near the school I attended. Every morning I woke up in a sweltering heat, found a way to take a shower, and went about my daily activities distracted by the situation I found myself in. I made money daily by receiving tips from services performed in clinics and got a small check once a month that barely helped feed me. At night I crept my way back through the woods with a flashlight, sitting in the tent listening to the sounds around me hoping I'd make it through the evening.

Then I met a close friend of mine, whose name I'll omit for the sake of their privacy. I met them when they requested a waxing service through the clinic, they were a fellow student at the school. We chatted a bit through the service. We realized that we had attended the same high school and connected really quickly. One evening I was invited to spend the night at their house, which turned into many nights. I got to know her and her family fairly well and quickly discovered an issue in their life that was haunting the family as a whole.

Before I get into that, I should clarify that I was not spending every night at my friend's place. I would go back and forth from their place to the tent and was working as often as I could at the school. One morning, I woke up in the tent with a severe headache. It was about six o'clock and I didn't have to be anywhere until after noon that day. I figured I just needed more sleep and laid back down assuming the headache would be gone when I woke up. Long story short, I was found by my aunt and another employee of the school at around two o'clock in the afternoon and the rest of this situation I only know based off what I was told later.

I was pale, sweating bullets and seizing horribly. EMT's arrived at the scene and took me to a nearby hospital. Meanwhile, my aunt was calling my mother and told her "This might be the one." Seizures greatly affected a large part of my late teens through much of my twenties, and the subject of what might be my fate because of them was often discussed between my aunt and my mother. The fear was that one day a seizure would render me severely disabled and that I would become completely reliant on someone to care for me. So when my aunt said, "This might be the one" she was informing my mother that the worst may have come. My mom made it to the hospital before I did, and when the ambulance pulled up the lights were on but the sirens were off. To my knowledge, this means: dead on arrival. I made it through somehow though. I was very dehydrated and disoriented and didn't leave the hospital until very late that evening. My mom decided that I would stay in her house and she would go live with her boyfriend at the time. This didn't last very long, due to a misstep of me deciding to help my friend in a way that would've required my mother's permission. Which I neglected to pursue.

My friend was involved in a very abusive relationship. They kept going back and forth with their significant other who would physically and emotionally abuse them. The abuse led to a serious drug addiction that greatly affected their life. One evening they finally called the police after their significant other assaulted them. Charges were pressed and the offender went to jail. As a result, the offender's parents filed for custody of the two's young child, claiming they were concerned for the safety and well being of him because of my friend's addiction. Eventually, custody was granted and my friend was destroyed. Their parents decided to push for custody themselves but in order to facilitate that, my friend would not be legally allowed to stay with them. They asked if my friend could stay with me, and without thinking I allowed it. All I wanted was to help my friend and they lived with me for two weeks before my mom discovered what was going on and kicked us both out.

I spent the next two years living in that tent, occasionally moving it to avoid being bothered or discovered. I ate poorly, had a very erratic sleeping schedule, and removed myself completely from society. I fell into a severe depression and only spoke to a handful of people who were dealing with similar situations. But this experience gave me plenty of time to think, meditate and determine where my life was going. My circle was filled with people who had access to marijuana and I was able to smoke quite a bit and mostly for free. The marijuana, combined with all the free time led to a great period of personal enlightenment, and unbeknownst to me was setting the stage for my future in a very "the fates shall decide" kind of way.

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