First, allow me to apologize for the absurd length of this post. Heh...
My legal name is Fifteen. I acquired the nickname Index Card from a friend of mine, who originally called me 3x5, then Standard Sized Index Card, and then just to Index Card.
I have been riding and training horses for nine years, and am presently a professional wedding and special events photographer. Horses and photography are my main passions, and the driving forces behind my entire life... except for Emp .
I was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Emp thought I was born in Cheyenne, Oklahoma, but I've never been there.
My first memory was of me, my mom, and my babysitter sitting in the living room of our house in Rialto on our brown couch. I think I must have been maybe four years old, tops. I was sitting on the back of the couch behind the sitter, and as she was distracted and talking to my mom, I took her hair and tied it in a bunch of tiny knots. All of it. It took her hours to get it out, once she realized what I did. Hehe. At that time, I was still a fairly extroverted child, and I loved mischief.
I am the second child of what used to be a four person family, and at present I live with my mother and my older brother. But technically I am only my mother's second child... and my father's sixth. In addition to Josh, my only full blood brother (recently 18 years old), I have three (half) sisters and one more half brother. My oldest sister is evil and she scares me, and she is six months older than my mom... my parents were 20 years apart in age.
The family member that I am closest to is my half brother Demetrio, who is 34 and lives in Oakland. I met him once when I was really young, maybe 5, but I remember nothing of that day. I didn't even talk to him again until I was 12, and didn't meet him until I was 13. As it is, I have only ever met him in person three times, and one time (the earliest) I have no recollection of, like I said. But I love him, he is a great brother. He is trying to become a fireman. He has been attending paramedic school and was already an EMT. He is barely taller than me, but he calls me Shorty, or Princess, and he is buffer than I thought possible for a man of his height.
All of my life, I have lived in the lower-middle class, but I've never cared all that much about it. We have been bankrupt like three times or something, and are currently living in a double wide trailer at the national extreme poverty level.
My dad used to be the triple-general manager of a security system company, but they asked him to lie for them or get fired, so he quit. He was honest like that- honesty was big issue in our family and always encouraged, naturally. His main professions were security system salesman and pool salesman. Not exactly the most glamorous of jobs, but whatever he did, he did well... almost obsessively. My dad was my hero. He was funny and sarcastic, but so incredibly smart... He and I were closer than anyone, (and my mom and brother were close to each other.) I don't think my dad ever went to college, and he left his home in New York when he was 17- after his father committed suicide. (My grandpa Cass. He was nicknamed "The Romantic Baritone" all throughout New York in the Jazz Age. But he thought he lost the family's money while gambling, so he killed himself in my father's bed. The first thing his wife told my dad was to find a suicide note and hide it so they'd get more insurance money. She never told my dad's dad that she had millions of dollars hidden away in her own bank account and that the debt Cass got into would have been easily paid off... if only she had a heart.) He got married shortly after and had his first kid when he was 20. The relationship between him and his kids turned bitter after that divorce. He met his next wife and got divorced before their second child was born, so that relationship turned bitter as well.
Then, he met my mom. The woman that I believe to have been his perfect match- his true love. I remember the awful fights they used to get into, and how my mom would go to leave, and me and my brother would run out there and threaten to kill ourselves if she left the family (we were like 6 and 8 at that time). And then, when I was 12, I remember my mom talking to me about choosing who I'd live with, and before I could answer she took me out to look for apartments. But even though they fought something awful sometimes, they never broke up. They always stood by each other after they'd say their apologies, and worked through whatever problems they had. I respected them for that.
When I was maybe a year old, my father had a massive silent heart attack, killing off half of his heart. He was the healthiest guy in the world- the attack was caused by stress. Because of this, he developed a blood clot in his heart and then congestive heart failure, which killed off all but maybe 20% of his heart. Once this case of CHF was conquered, he developed an even worse case, which eventually spread throughout his entire body and into his lungs. He ended up in the hospital for a month, where he celebrated his 58th birthday and on June 1st of 2000, passed away.
The greatest devastation of the 13 years that I had lived. He was the only one in my family who understood me, and his death hit me harder since my best friend had committed suicide only four months beforehand, a month after she turned 21.
This series of events pulled me into the most awful depression of my life. I became severely introverted and would not talk to hardly anyone... I couldn't eat, and I never wanted to sleep, because all I saw when I closed my eyes was death. My brother's anger against God or my dad or his recent breakup with his girlfriend of almost a year eventually turned against me, though I had done nothing to provoke it. Maybe it was because I was a social outcast and he didn't understand me, but he turned his anger toward me nonetheless. He began hitting me whenever he was angry at anything, and at 13 I got my first black eye. And no, it wasn't because I tripped down the stairs like I said it was. I remember one time, when I was in the kitchen cooking dinner for the family, my brother came home from school and walked up behind me and punched me in the kidney a few times. I have a history of kidney problems, so this floored me. My mom wouldn't do anything about it because she was scared of him too...
The hitting really didn't bother me all that much, because I figured that it was my own fault, that I deserved it somehow... but when my brother sexually harrassed me, it seemed like my world was ending.
I was pretty much a loner and a weirdo at school... So I didn't think to form a relationship with anyone there. Which is why I met my first real boyfriend at the tennis courts by my house. His name was Elliot, and he was almost three years my senior. I thought he was a genius- he graduated high school two years early and was in college already when he should have been barely a junior in HS. He was shy and adorable, and athletic, and (as I later found out) incredibly wealthy. Himself and his family. He was a computer programmer and his goal in life was to redefine all of physics. He was more introverted than me, and my family didn't like him- he was one of the people my popular older brother used to make fun of in school. I fell in love with him in a way I never even knew I could. In retrospect, he spent more time criticizing me than anything else. I don't believe that he ever did hit me, but what he did to me was worse. After many, many months in our relationship, he started pressuring me to have sex with him. I said no. He ended up sexually abusing me... forcing me into things... pretty much all but actual sex. Then he broke my heart and told me I wasn't worth, well, anything. This was new year's eve. I walked back to my empty house and took about 20 Tylenol- all we had left in the house. I didn't tell anyone but my oldest brother over the the phone, and he said I should get my stomach pumped, but instead I went into my room and slept for a couple days straight. And after that, even though I was already pretty much anorexic (from depression), whenever I ate food, I couldn't keep any of it down.
Everything that was wrong with me kept getting worse. The bulimia had been going on for almost a year now, and I would later learn that I developed acid reflux from it. Gradually, my brother grew up and stopped hitting me as often (though I think when he did hit me every now and then, it was worse than ever before). My mom and I had virtually no relationship anymore, and I was almost a complete loner at school. Everyone made fun of me for being so weird and different, and to tell you the truth, people still do make fun of me all the time at school. Until I met the love of my life, a guy by the name of Emperor Palpatine. (Yeah, he is weird like me. He goes by that name at school. )
I had a huge crush on Emp, and since our journalism teacher sat us next to each other in class, I had a chance to get to know him a little better. He was the most amazing person I had ever met. He had all of my ex-boyfriend's good qualities times 10,000, and he had everything good that every other person in the world was lacking. His life was complicated and he had a lot of emotional stock elsewhere, so he couldn't have a relationship. I told him I didn't like him like that anymore, but I did. I was slowly falling in love with him, more intensely than I ever thought possible, actually. Finally, I admitted to him that I still really liked him, and after my 16th birthday party, he told me that he liked me too. We made it official on the night of my actual birthday, after he went out to dinner with me and my mom, brother, and grandparents.
I've never met someone so supportive in my entire life. After I told Emp of my problems (finally), he coaxed me into getting help, and he himself helped me with so very much. Mack, an acquaintance of his from someplace called "The Hat Rack" or something ( ) helped him to get me immediate help when he told her that I was very sick and quickly getting more unhealthy as time went on. Mack became a great friend of ours, and I came to trust her as much as I trust Emp, which is hard for me because I usually don't trust people easily. I have a tremendous fear of doctors and hadn't been to see one in years, but with Mack and Emp's help, I finally went to one, and found out that I have a chemical imbalance in my head (put me on Paxil) that I get migraines (put me on Axert) that I have acid reflux (put me on Zantac) and that I have major sleeping problems (put me on Ambien.) I still think that doctors love solving things with pills even if it solves nothing, but that is just my inherent fear of doctors and pills talking.
Now, I can eat and I DO eat, and I sleep (most of the time, though still not enough) and I am not scared of people anymore... All that is left is my psychological evaluation on the 24th of this month... and I am scared to death. But I know there is something wrong with me, something terribly wrong that I just can't fix on my own like I thought I could, and that I need to get help. But look at how far I have come! And it is all thanks to Mack and Emp. I wanted to share this with all of you because you have all been so incredibly wonderful to me, and I love you guys and know that you won't think any less of me for my past... (if it is possible for your opinions of me to lower any at all ). So.. thank you, hatrack for being so wonderful and providing my sanity those late sleepless nights. And thank you Jamie, and Cruz. I love you both so, so much... and I don't know what I'd have ever done without you.
A toast! To IC's 50.00th post!!!!!!
Posts: 219 | Registered: Jan 2003
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Thank you for sharing your story, IC. It must have been at least a little bit difficult. I hope reading your story helps other people become healthier. I'm glad you're here; I hope to see many more of your posts!
Wow, IC... that's crazy. I am glad you are okay and all. If you ever need help, let me know. KEep on keepin on, Index, and keep posting. We like having you here.
Posts: 1004 | Registered: May 2002
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Hehehe, thank you everyone. (((((HATRACK))))) You guys are so incredibly wonderful. Oh, and by the way... that was just me and Emp messing around up there, haha. The "What gives?" and all that. I know, we are silly. =) You guys are absolutely great. =)
Posts: 219 | Registered: Jan 2003
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Well, Fifteen is a lucky number for hippies I guess. My parents were hippies. Not really a cool story... sorry.
Hehehe, okay okay okay, so my name isn't really Fifteen, that is just what everyone calls me. My name is really Shanna (pronounced Shawna). I got the nickname Fifteen when I was... well, 15, because all of my friends that I hung out with were in their 20's or older, and I was pretty new to the group, so they decided to call me "The Fifteen Year Old" (since it sounded better than "The New Girl") and it eventually just got shortened to Fifteen. Everyone started calling me that, and most people still do (unless they call me Shorty or Index ) even including some teachers at school!! Haha. I have a ton of nicknames though....
Posts: 219 | Registered: Jan 2003
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Hehe, sorry, but no, I am not THAT interesting. My legal name isn't Fifteen, though I have talked about getting my name changed to Fifteen... but then, I like the name Shanna, since my dad gave it to me and all. Hehe. But I do have a million nicknames. Here are the ones I can remember:
Munchie (shortened from Munchkin)
I am fairly sure that I forgot to include a few, but that is all I can remember so far =)