Laura’s Diary #5: 18 and struggling

Laura Angle, Guest Writer

Dear Diary,

So much has changed over the past ten months. It seems like just yesterday I had Jack, and now he has said his first word, can crawl all over the house (and gets into everything possible), Drew and I are now engaged, and I’m in college.

Every Saturday, Jack and I walk down to Mr. Otto’s Book Recyclery for Children down on the Miracle Mile for story time. He gets to listen to children read stories and gets to chase after them laughing. It was there he said his first word: “hey.” All the children said hello to him as we came in and he gave his cutest smile and said hey to the little girls. He’s only ten months old and is already flirting with girls.

At first, his crawling attempts consisted of him rocking back and forth on his hands and knees, then falling on his face. Then something must have clicked, and he was off into the bathroom, into the tupperware in the kitchen, pulling all the clothes out of my dresser, and banging on my piano, overjoyed by the obnoxious sounds he created.

This makes doing homework nearly impossible. As I’m writing this, Jack is banging on the keys and trying to eat the screen. I started college this semester and I’m taking a total of 13 units. Right now I’m completing the general ed classes, but eventually I’ll be transferring to Stanislaus to get my bachelor’s degree in nursing. From there, I’ll become a certified midwife.

A midwife is an important part of a person’s pregnancy; they offer advice and support, determine what kind of birth the woman will have, where she will deliver, and helps with the care of baby and woman after the delivery. I want to provide support for young mothers who are frightened and don’t have anyone to turn to, I want to be there for women who are having their first child, or their fifth. I want to let women of all ages and background know that it’s okay and there are always people here to help.

Drew and I got engaged about two months ago. Our favorite childhood book is “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. He had bought that book for Jack and sat down with me to read it to him. As we got to the last page, he said, “Wait, I think there’s one more page.” He turned the page and he had written “will you marry me” on the last page. I was completely shocked and happy. I cried and of course accepted.

But not everything has been as perfect as it may seem. About a month ago, I had a mental breakdown and spent four days in Sierra Vista Mental Hospital. I got diagnosed with multiple personality disorders, but now that I am on the right medication, I feel so much better.

I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder, which is unstable moods, emotions, and overreacting to small situations. I also was diagnosed with severe depression, generalized anxiety, and psychotic tendencies. This all means that my moods are very unstable. Drew and I would constantly argue over nothing, but I just wanted to argue because I was so mad for no reason.

Andrew has also been dealing with drug abuse, I won’t say which drug, but it’s put up a huge obstacle for our relationship. He has agreed to go to NA meetings, or Narcotics Anonymous, and to see a personal therapist. Even though he has agreed to seek help, I don’t think I can ever fully trust him again.

Living with my brother has been hell. He has broken multiple things in the house, including a window, the shower rack, and the handle to the refrigerator. He leaves knives and cigarette butts all over the floor in his room, making it impossible for Jack to go into that room. He too struggles with a drug addiction, even more severe than Andrew’s.  We are trying to make him move out, but to no avail.

Things seem to be spiralling out of control and I feel helpless. I know that Drew loves me, but he needs to become clean before we can even think about getting married. I feel alone in the situation, but I know I am strong enough to overcome anything. These things happening in my life are the exact reason I am getting a well-paying job: to take care of my son and myself in case Andrew and I don’t work out.

It’s hard trying to stay positive, but I’m trying my hardest. Hopefully things will start looking up soon, but I feel it will be a long time before everything is okay again. The only thing for me to do is make sure my son is happy and healthy. I don’t need anyone else to take care of me.