No such thing as a coincidence. Everything happens for a reason.
Not only was I dealing with the emotions of losing Sam and having my heart broken, but I was also dealing with the pressure of graduating college. A few days before my graduation (middle of May), I went out with my Whorphans and Chad and his friends. Chad and I had met my junior year of college in a journalism class. We both were studying journalism, so we got pretty close throughout our time at school. I had never really hung out with this group of his friends because every time I would see him, he was with his roommates. We went to the Elephant Bar in Northridge to celebrate our last day of real classes finally ending. He brought Grandpa, Roger and David with him to dinner.
SIDENOTE: I had only really hung out with this group one other time — we were taking a party bus to Supperclub in Hollywood. That day, though, I had started feeling sick and by the time the bus rolled around, every time I swallowed it felt like I was swallowing nails. I brought a cup of hot tea on the bus and was drinking that rather than alcohol. Grandpa thought I was very boring because I wasn’t drinking. Clearly, I should have known he was going to be trouble from the fact that he couldn’t have fun sober.
Grandpa didn’t know about the changes that I had made to myself since that party bus night. The boys came to the whorphanage the night of dinner to pre game. Why we felt the need to go to dinner drunk I have no idea, but I wasn’t complaining since that was how I spent most of my nights anyway. It was as if he was seeing me for the first time, though, because I was not the person he thought I was. I was actually fun.
We took shots of Captain Morgan, Fireball and Jager and then we left for the restaurant. At this point, I was pretty tipsy. I could have definitely not had any more to drink and been okay, but that was not a thought that ever crossed my mind. When we got to the restaurant, Grandpa, Chad and I went straight to the bar to order a drink until our table was ready. I could tell Grandpa was interested in me because of the looks and smiles he kept giving me and I was not objecting to it one bit. At the time, I was looking for a hook up buddy. I thought that a hook up buddy would be the solution to all of the problems I was having and, after pregaming together, I thought maybe he could be that person. When we were waiting for the bartender at the bar, I told Grandpa to flirt with her so we could get more alcohol in our drinks (anyone under 21: bartenders give you way less alcohol in your drinks so you have to order more and they are very expensive). Of course, it worked. Something you should know about Grandpa is he is very charming and manipulative. What Grandpa wants Grandpa gets— business wise and personal wise.
After we got our Long Island Iced Teas we met everyone at the table. Grandpa sat next to me and on the other side of me was Chad. We immediately started making bets to see who could finish their drink first.
As the night progressed, the conversations between the table picked up, but I found myself only talking to Grandpa. It was as if no one else was there. He was trying to charm me and flirt with me. He would bat his eyes or flash his killer smile at me. He knew he was good looking and he fully took advantage of it. Our conversation changed from harmless to dangerous as we got drunker. In fact, if alcohol was not involved this night I don’t think our relationship would have progressed at all, but since a lot of it was involved, our relationship progressed very quickly.
We began talking about hooking up with people and somehow got on the subject of what each other’s number is (SIDE NOTE: My favorite movie is What’s Your Number starring Anna Faris and Chris Evans, so that explains why this was brought up). We started guessing each other’s number of people we have had sex with and after a few guesses we realized both of us were at number two. It was never discussed, but in this moment we both decided that the other was going to be number three and, from that point forward, the flirting became extreme.
As we wrapped up dinner, the girls and I wanted to go back to the Whorphanage because it was already midnight and we were all very drunk. As we walked to the parking lot, the boys started chasing us to hang out with them more, but we said no thanks and left. Leaving only made Grandpa want more, which was very clear when he texted me once I got back to the apartment.
When I was going to sleep in Kitty’s bed (I didn’t live with the girls, but I was too drunk to drive home, so I was going to sleep until I sobered up) Grandpa texted me calling me lame for leaving. I simply explained that he could just make plans to see me again if he was that upset about it. He liked that idea and the conversation continued until he made a cocky comment. From what I knew about Grandpa, he was very cocky and that is an understatement. When I said, “typical comment” he replied with a “don’t act like you know me!” I said. “I’m not since clearly don’t know you” and he responded with “Well maybe you should :p”… At this point Kitty was asleep next to me and I was the only one awake, still drunk, not sure what to say back to that. I couldn’t figure out if I wanted to get to know him. It’s weird. You’d think after having your heart broken you wouldn’t want to open up to anyone for a while, but that thought never crossed my mind. I thought he was only going to be a one time thing, so letting him in wasn’t something that scared me. I responded back saying, “I could maybe be okay with that” and then he responded within a minute saying, “Only maybe.. playing hard to get are we?” After that text message I knew I should go to sleep before I dug myself any deeper. I responded back to Grandpa and said, “100% yes. I’m going to sleep I’ll talk to you when I talk to you, night.” And with that I passed out, the only way I knew how to fall asleep these days, and didn’t wake up the next morning with swollen eyes from crying in my sleep for the first time in months.
Lessons Learned So Far:
- Flirting with the bartender does actually get you more alcohol in your drinks.
- Long Island Iced Teas are delicious.
- If you think a guy is flirting with you chances are he actually is flirting with you. If you think he is cute, start to flirt back.
- A great icebreaker question is “what’s your number?”
- Enjoy the beginning stages of a relationship and don’t rush through them. We all like to go to things that are comfortable, but comfortable isn’t necessarily the best thing for you.
Lesson learned, once and for all.
When I was with heartbreaker, he was in the process of starting a clothing line with his two best friends, Tom and Craig. They had put all they had into the line and all I wanted was for them to succeed. That was my problem, I wanted them to succeed more than they wanted it it had seemed in the end. When Heartbreaker and I were good, he told me he wanted me to be a part of the clothing line, a part of his future. He sent me a novel of a text message explaining that he didn’t want me to just be someone he came home to at night and how he wanted to share all of the good and bad with me, he wanted me to be there every step of the way. I had responded by saying I wanted that, too, believing every word he said.
I was a broadcast journalism major at CSUN and one of my mandatory classes was a class that required 2 hours of lecture a week and 6 hours of work at the school’s radio station. My position was evening anchor and writer, so every Wednesday morning I would spend 6 hours writing stories and then every Wednesday night I would go on air and read my stories and the other Wednesday student’s stories. For our final project we had to do a feature story. A feature story was a 3-5 minute story about anything we wanted. It could be comical, business, commercial, anything we wanted. I thought it would be a brilliant idea to do it on Heartbreaker’s clothing line because it would air to anyone listening to the station in the world. It would give them great publicity and allow them to speak about their line and the charity connection it had. I pitched this idea to Heartbreaker and he was stoked on it (we were at a good place in our relationship when I got this assignment). I didn’t have to do the project, though, until April because that was when my due date was. Sure enough, Heartbreaker and I broke up in March… and I still had my project to do.
Here’s the thing about me. When I make a promise, I keep my promise. I don’t like when people break their promises to me, so I do my best not to break my promises to others. This is probably one of those times I should have broke my promise, but I didn’t. I wanted to be able to look back and say Heartbreaker didn’t change me. I wanted to say he didn’t have that power over me and that I kept true to my one attribute I, personally, liked about myself the best. So, I pushed forward with the story. I put it off as long as possible to let myself heal as much as could be before I had to see him and then I set up the interviews with Tom and Craig and then lastly with Heartbreaker. In my relationship with Heartbreaker, Tom, Craig and I formed a friendship, so if I broke my promise to Heartbreaker, I would have broken it to them, too, and that was not something I was okay with.
The day of the interview was the first day I had returned to Agoura since Sam’s funeral. I had been putting that first time off because I knew it was going to be difficult, extremely difficult. I probably should have gotten that over with before the first time I had a run in with Heartbreaker, but instead I did both on the same day, which was a rush of horrible emotions. I made Hillary come with me to the interview (she is a broadcast journalism major, too, and her comedy/bitchiness was definitely going to be needed during the interviews).
When we first got to Tom’s house everyone was outside. We went outside and said hello to Craig and Tom — Tom told us to just come inside and did not answer the door. I tried to say hi to Tom’s dog (I had met him plenty of times before and he was always friendly). However, that day in particular he bit my hand. The day was already off to a terrible start, clearly. I was just happy it wasn’t my face because it would have been if I didn’t move as soon as I heard the dog start growling. PEOPLE JUST BECAUSE YOU’VE MET A DOG BEFORE DOES NOT MEAN IT IS FRIENDLY! Case in point.
Right as the dog bit my hand (tears instantly started to come to my eyes) Heartbreaker walked outside from the house, alcoholic beverage in hand. Then I looked around and noticed all three of the boys were drinking. Lovely. Heartbreaker walked towards me to say hi and right as he started to come near me to hug me, I said, “Can we start this interview please?” He said yes, realizing I was not there for any other reason, and started to talk to the other boys. They started laughing and joking around and not moving, so Hillary said, “Interview in which room guys, lets go, who is going first?” Heartbreaker hopped up and said he would go first so we started to walk inside. The boys walked ahead and Hillary grabbed me, looked at me (she could tell I was about to cry) and shook me out of it. I don’t know what I would have done without her that day.
We got to Tom’s bedroom and everyone left Heartbreaker alone with Hillary and I. It was weird. I was so nervous for this interview to happen, but in the moment when it finally did, a surge of sass rushed through me and I managed to not only get through my questions, but come up with questions during the interview, too. I thought I was going to just read them during my interview with Heartbreaker because I didn’t think I was going to be able to actually listen to what he was saying, but the opposite happened. See, it wasn’t me that was nervous once the interview started, it was Heartbreaker. The calm, intelligent, smooth demeanor that he was usually composed of left him and a speechless, nervous, deer in headlights demeanor took over. He was stumbling over the easiest questions I had written for him (he asked me to send them to him in advance so he could prepare). He didn’t understand what I was asking, he couldn’t come up with complete sentences and he had no idea how to answer the questions in a way that made his company sound real and official. I remember asking him “Why clothes?” and he asked me to repeat the question three times because he couldn’t figure out how to answer it. I remember asking “Why have a girl model your men’s clothing line?” and the only thing he could spit out was “Because she looks good in them.” I had to hold back laughter multiple times because he sounded so stupid. He sounded drunk and it sounded like the company was unimportant, like it was run by a child.
When his interview was finally over he asked me if I thought he did okay and I told him that he better hope his friends do better. I wasn’t taking it easy on him at all, after all, Heartbreaker knew my friend died and never once asked if I was okay after, so his feelings were irrelevant to me like mine were to him.
Tom’s and Craig’s interviews were a little bit better — I could use them for sure, so I didn’t ask them as many questions as I had Heartbreaker. They answered the questions solidly, so I knew I had at least one sound bite from each of them. During Craig’s interview, though, I fell apart. Craig asked Hillary to leave the room while I interviewed him because he couldn’t take it seriously if both of us were in there. At the end of the interview he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “I know you aren’t okay. What is going on?” Right as he finished the second sentence I broke down into tears. He assumed it was because of Heartbreaker and I told him it was because of Sam, instead. He held me while I cried on his shoulder for five minutes until I could compose myself. I knew Craig and I had become friends because of Heartbreaker, but I didn’t know how good of friends until that moment. It was in those couple of minutes that I realized Heartbreaker and I would and could never be friends. If someone who owed me nothing could be such a good friend to me then someone who owed me everything should have been a better friend than he had been.
Craig left me in the room with Hillary while he went downstairs to get Tom for his interview after I had finished crying. He sent Heartbreaker up to make sure I was okay, though. He told him I was crying and to go check on me. I think Heartbreaker thought I would be alone in the room, so when he walked in and saw Hillary with me he almost seemed a little upset. He came up and stood next to me and kept inching closer to me, at one point he even was touching my hand. He tried to ask me about the recorder, so instead of explaining it to him I just handed it to him to look at himself. I really didn’t want to talk to him more than I had to, especially after my newfound realization.
At the end of the interviews I started to pack up my things. All the boys piled into the room with Hillary and I as we started to say our goodbyes. I told them I would let them know when the interview was set to air and thank you. As I started to walk out the bedroom, Heartbreaker stopped me and said “Let me know if you need any help with the editing of the soundbites or flushing out of the noise in the room.” I don’t know what came over me, definitely word vomit, but I responded immediately with so much sass that I was proud of myself as the words exited my mouth, “I won’t need your help. If I need anyone’s it will be my teacher. That’s what they pay him for.” Heartbreaker’s face was priceless. Never would anyone have imagined such attitude to be on my lips. Before I got my heart broken, I was the nicest girl in the world, but after, well, it did change me. As much as I didn’t want it to, it did, but not in a bad way. It made me stronger. Strong enough to stand up for myself, strong enough to know what I deserve and strong enough to not let anyone walk all over me again.
Heartbreaker and Tom walked Hillary and I out and it was really awkward as they waited outside for us to hug them goodbye. Not one part of me wanted to hug Heartbreaker because I knew if I did I would be back to square one. Instead, I said alright, well thank you guys and we’ll see ya. Hillary and I started to walk away and Tom yelled at us, “NO HUGS?” I responded by holding up two fingers in a peace sign and said, “Deuces,” and that was it.
Flash Forward to April now, when my project is complete and due. I texted the boys letting them know I had finished the project and that it would air on this day at this time. Guess how many of them listened to the radio show and their story? Zero. Not one of them made time to listen to the show, nor did they tape it to listen to later. Instead, they asked me to get them a copy. I said no. I did my part. I did the interview. It bothered me so much that they didn’t care enough to listen to it because I could have done the interview on my brother’s company and given him the airtime, but instead I stayed true to my word. I was right, though, in the end. The fact that I did keep true to my promise is one thing I will never regret. I regret a lot of things about my relationship with Heartbreaker, but that interview is not one of them. I didn’t let him change me, even though everyone told me to cancel the story and redo it on something else. I did what I knew in my heart to be right. And that is exactly why that interview didn’t hurt me. It hurt him. He told his friends that that interview was one of the hardest things he had done because he was nervous, uncomfortable and needed to be drunk to face me. Three things that don’t make for a pretty combination.
Lessons learned so far:
- If something means a lot to you, do it anyways. If I listened to everyone else and didn’t follow through with the interview I would have been disappointed in myself. As hard as it was, it was the perfect closure.
- Karma is a bitch and it really does come back around when it is the right time.
- Alcohol before and interview makes you sound DUMBER, obviously.
- Take your work seriously, you never know who will be watching or listening (my part of the interview was fabulous— theirs, not so much).
- If you are scared to do something alone, bring your best friend. They’re usually the perfect wingman and companion.
- Dogs aren’t always friendly even if you have already met them before. Don’t assume they’re nice just because they were the last time you saw them.
- If a dog starts to growl, move away slowly and make sure your face is out of reach.
- If you need to cry in front of an ex or an ex’s best friend make sure you have a logical excuse for the tears.
Admitting it is the first step into fixing it.
After two weeks had passed since Sam’s funeral, I was more lost than ever. I still hadn’t slept, nor was I doing much of anything. A typical day looked like this: finally fall asleep by 5 AM when the sun was starting to come up and the birds were chirping, throw on gym clothes and hair in a pony tail for class, walk to school, go to class, walk home, do the bare minimum of homework, lay on my bed and take a nap (I had no problem sleeping during the day since there was noise and people were moving around my house. At night, though, when it was quiet all I could think about was Sam’s funeral and his father’s screaming. During the day, the other noises flushed those memories away long enough for me to sleep a few hours). I would wake up two hours later and turn on Sons of Anarchy (I had never seen the show before, so I watched all four seasons on Netflix at night when I couldn’t sleep). Then, I would start the day over again. I lost all motivation to go to the gym and even getting out of bed in the morning to function was difficult. On weekends, my friends had to drag me out of bed and into the public. All I wanted was to be alone and they wouldn’t let me because they knew that was the worst possible thing for me to be during that time. They really are the best friends I have and I don’t think I could have gotten through any part of this without them. Kitty, G and Hillary— thank you.
Kitty’s birthday was two weeks after Sam’s funeral and right before spring break. She was finally turning 21, which meant G and I would have someone else to go out with at night… I was stoked, or at least back when I felt something I was. Hillary still wasn’t 21, though, so we had Kitty’s birthday party at their apartment, which we all referred to as the Whorphanage. A lot of the stories in this blog are going to take place at the Whorphanage. G, Hillary, Kitty and I were the “Whorphans” so whenever people referred to us as a group that is what we were called— another thing that will probably be used throughout the entirety of this blog. We had an “ABC PARTY” — for anyone that doesn’t know what that means it is Anything But Clothes. Everyone was expected to show up dressed to theme and some people did so more than others.
G and I made outfits out of duct tape. We wore duct tape corsets and then shorts because the skirts were definitely not flattering (at this point, I was unhealthily skinny and if something wasn’t flattering on me, then it really was just unflattering and there was no salvaging it). Kitty wore a caution tape dress and Hillary made a dress out of a tapestry. This is the night I can blame for my new found alcoholism. I learned, this night, that life was easier if I wasn’t sober for it. This is also the night that marked the very beginning of my “relationship” with Grandpa (his code name, he wasn’t actually a Grandpa, for the record).
Kitty and I pounded shot after shot to celebrate her big day. I don’t even know how many shots we took, but they seemed endless. Not only were we taking shots, but we were drinking our Whorphanaid (the Whorphan version of Jungle Juice). I am surprised we didn’t get sick that night to be completely honest. There was beer pong happening in the living room and Flip Cup in the kitchen. The party was pretty popping until the neighbor complained about the noise and said we had to shut it down. Fortunately, this was after midnight.
The one thing you should know about my three best friends and I— we get along famously, but when alcohol is involved drama is inevitable. Hillary is very sensitive, especially when she is drunk. She cries every single time she is drunk about absolutely nothing. And, of course, we are the bad guys for not taking care of her or “caring” about her tears. We did at first, though, we weren’t always the bad guy, but after it happens every single time you get over it.. fast. Another thing, everything is about her, especially when alcohol is in the picture. Kitty’s birthday was no different. The night was supposed to be about Kitty, but Hillary had to turn it into being about herself. I don’t remember exactly what the fight was about, which is the case 99% of the time because they are usually so ridiculous, but there was an argument between Hillary and G during the moment we were singing Happy Birthday to Kitty and neither of them participated in the song. Once it was over everyone cleared out of the kitchen and the four of us were left there— Kitty and I were eating the cake watching G and Hillary argue. Hillary stormed upstairs to her room and everyone chased her up there leaving Kitty alone in the kitchen, so she stormed out, upset, because Hillary, again, made the night about herself. #typical … The solution to making Kitty feel better? More shots. So, we did just that. Kitty and I pounded more shots.. alone.. while everyone was leaving the party because the neighbor broke it up.
I slept that night. For the first time in weeks. And I truly believed I did because I was so drunk. I passed out, I didn’t fall asleep and that made all the difference. This belief, though, was the problem. See, since I believed the reason I slept was because I wasn’t sober— it set my whole last five months in motion. It wasn’t that I wouldn’t fall asleep, it was that I couldn’t fall asleep unless I passed out. So from Kitty’s birthday forward, I made sure that I wasn’t sober for another night.
When I dated heartbreaker, I rarely drank. I rarely partied. I loved spending time with him and the only way for me to do that was if I was sober because he didn’t like hanging out with me when I wasn’t sober, so I gave up anything and everything that could make that be the case. My body wasn’t used to alcohol, but it got used to it, fast. I used to dread shots and make a face after I took one. I used to cap my maximum at four because I didn’t want to get sick or lose control over myself, but I stopped caring about any of that. During the past five months my maximum increased to eight and I wasn’t getting sick. I didn’t care anymore if I lost control. I was drinking to lose control specifically. I was drinking to the point where I had no worry, no feeling and no memory. I was drinking to escape from not only what was happening during that night, but from what had happened in my life the weeks prior. I was drinking to black out.
GRANDPA: I mentioned above that this night was the first night Grandpa came into the picture. He didn’t quite make his way into the picture in person this night, but he started to plant the seed (his words, not mine, when we later discussed this). I had posted an Instagram photo of the four of us at Kitty’s party and he liked it, then commented on it. He had commented on the duct tape hurting when I finally take it off and I commented back saying it was double sided and wouldn’t hurt at all. He then asked if the party was still fun and I said yes and that he should come. He was on his way home from Lollapalooza in Santa Barbara that night, so he said he would try, but never showed up. At this time, Grandpa was irrelevant to me. My mind was strictly on heartbreaker and Sam. Plus, last I checked he had had a girlfriend (the same girlfriend he had had for years) so I never even thought of him in a way other than an acquaintance. He was cute, sure, but not single and I don’t mess around with anyone that is not single. I ain’t no homewrecker. Anyways, this photo comment was the first step towards my other distraction from life, loss and heartbreak— him.
Lessons learned so far:
- If I passed out, then I slept at night.
- Alcohol is one way to pass out.
- Not being sober was the best way to escape from the brokenness I was feeling.
- Duct Tape skirts are not flattering.
- Sons of Anarchy is a great show.
Recovery Attempt 1
After both Sam and heartbreaker, I was lost. I would look in the mirror and not recognize the girl staring back at me. I had a sparkle in my eye before. I remember this particularly because it was my favorite thing about myself. I looked at people with optimism, I believed in everyone and liked to think each person had at least one redeeming quality that made them worth getting to know. After my heart broke, though, I lost all of that and I could tell form the hopelessness and darkness I could see in my eyes. My skin is usually pale, but it had a glow to it. I blush super easily, so I always had rosy cheeks. That went away, too. I looked very youthful, almost like a teenager, but once heartbreaker broke me, I looked older, tired and weak. I was losing weight rapidly after Sam’s death. I was working out and doing protein smoothies before all of breaking, but after I couldn’t find the energy or motivation to go anywhere other than class. I wasn’t eating, though, so I wasn’t putting any of the weight back on that I had already lost when I was healthy.
My first attempt at healing myself was writing. Usually writing is my solution to everything. Poetry calms me down, a lot, so I tried to write poems that helped express how I was feeling. I wrote eighteen pages of poetry, both about heartbreaker and Sam. It didn’t help. It helped in the moment, but the second I would turn the lights off to try to go to sleep the tears would start falling endlessly. I tried to use writing as my way of coping for a week and after it didn’t work, I resorted to more serious measures.
Pasted below are some of the poems I wrote during that week.
Life is complicated and harsh
Life is unjust and unkind
Life is brutal and dishonest
But you are strong and brave
You are courageous and fair
You are simple and passionate
And you, yes you— you will survive.
You take your words and throw them away
You take your feelings too
I don’t want them near me in any way
I don’t want to be with you.
You took me and broke me
You pushed me away
You went back on your promises
You pushed me and abused me
You stomped on me too
So no now you can just go away
I am done with your games
I am done with your words
I am done with you in every way
I am done with the pain
I am done with the hurt
I am done with these cold dark days
You can have those two months
The two that we shared
And hold them wherever you want
But just know I stored them
Tucked far away
In a place that I’ll never go look.
I look forward to seeing you
In a few days or weeks
And I’ll look as good as new
You’ll never see the cuts and wounds that you thought you left
Because they won’t scar on me, they’ll scar on you.
It wasn’t fair what you did to me,
Not really, not in the end.
I told myself you were just busy
I made excuses for you to my friends.
I expected more from you
Since we were in each other’s lives for so long
I never thought you could do this, not to me
Not what I have been running away terrified of.
You took what we built and broke it all down
You took my heart along with it
You took our whole world and crashed it into the ground
And now I am left alone to fix it
I feel like I’m weak, not strong or brave
I feel like I am crying nonstop
I feel like I’m lost, shocked and afraid
I feel like I can’t wake up
You won’t be important, not for long
I’ll replace you with somebody new
You weren’t that great, you made me upset
And I can see the light now that we’re through.
Thank you for inspiring me to return to my passions in life
And thank you for leaving me when you did because
Now I have someone to focus on when I am writing about love and
loss and everything in between.