I’ve been thinking of all of the times I almost went crazy today. All of the times I almost irretrievably fucked up my life. There are more than I would like. I can sift through them, a mountain of poor choices in my mind. Everything from crossing into the crosshairs of law enforcement to unsafe sex and poor relationship choices. I crammed a lot of living into my younger days, the teen years, careening from one bad choice to the next ratcheting the potential fall out higher and higher on the list of life long consequences.
Somehow, none of this falling apart ever screwed me over. Not in any meaningful way.
I could be dead.
I might say I’m lucky, and I am. I’ve always had that push of something keeping me safe in spite of me trying to tear the world apart, but luck? Luck or Loki?
He says He’s been hanging around longer than I realize, and I’m inclined to believe that He probably has been the more I pick back over my life re-evaluating it.
When I was about 12 my life started sliding apart in my mind. Nothing seemed right. This wasn’t a result of puberty, at least I don’t think so, because I’d actually been an extremely early bloomer and started getting most of my secondary sex characteristics and all the wonderful hormone spikes at 10. My life felt like it wasn’t mine anymore. Whatever solidness I’d managed to carve out of the upheaval of my existence before my twelfth year disintegrated.
I decided maybe my problem wasn’t me, so much as I couldn’t stand the place where I was. The life I was stuck in, and I assure you I felt very stuck. I thought things would never change and never get better. Every second seemed like a minute, and every minute a year. I wanted to crawl out of my skin. I wanted to get gone. So, one night at about 3 in the morning, I stole a car, deciding to go all Kerouac and leave. I wanted to get the fuck out of my own life. At the age of 12. That didn’t seem at all unreasonable at the time.
It was a spectacular fail. I got a fair bit away from my home before a police car flashed me (I’d never driven a car before, so who knows what I was doing. Maybe driving with my high beams on?) and in my desire to just never, ever go back I decided to run, knowing full well it was a reckless choice. I led the police officer on a merry chase, hands sweating on the wheel, the car silent with the exception of my heavy breathing in the dark, cool spring air hitting my face from the rolled down window. We went from main roads to back roads I’d travelled my entire life where I hoped to lose the police officer, failing to realize that he’d grown up there and knew them better than I did. It all came to an end when a deer jumped out in front of me on a winding back road in the foothills of the Appalachians. The car was hanging over the edge of a large drop that it did NOT tumble over, somehow. And I remember after spinning out (and missing the deer) I was feeling safe and warm there, hanging almost at my death nestled between bowed out pieces of guard rail. Protected. I rolled around in that feeling in my head, adrenaline shooting through my system, hands bouncing on the steering wheel while I watched and waited for the cop to come up to me, gun drawn.
Cop: “Driver’s license and registration?” Gun in my face.
I’ll never forget it. I laughed and laughed and the cop started to smirk too before he put his gun away, realizing I was a child-person, and took me out of the car. This was a young, small town cop and he didn’t cuff me. He didn’t pat me down and he later got into trouble when they found my pocket knife in the back of his cruiser. I didn’t notice it fall out of my pocket. We waited for another cop to hit the scene before he took me to the tiny police station in town where I refused to tell them my name for a few hours, just hoping to be sent anywhere but home. I wanted something new. Anything, even something bad.
I ended up spending time working at the police station for my public service portion of my punishment where I learned such helpful things as how to disassemble parking meters using only a screw driver and other such things from the cops who took me under their wing. I also spent an entire summer re-evaluating what I wanted my life to be someday and my future self to be and it was NOT the people and things I saw around me.
I think a lot of things-mundane and otherwise converged on me at this point in my life and I went kinda nuts with it, and then after that summer things just started sliding into place for me. I don’t know if it was good that it happened to me so young because-went kinda nuts, had no center to hold onto, had no spiritual practice, was throwing myself hard against the walls of Christianity, had very little familial support, had no friends who got what was happening to me-just my life was FLAIL. Flail. And then suddenly- it wasn’t. I found witchcraft and focused in on Athena of all Goddesses and my course swung drastically to the left. I started learning to deal with the “otherness” in my life instead of being scared every day.
Just one of the times my life almost went wrong and I’m fairly sure Himself had a hand in righting it and keeping me safe and alive.