The Apple Does Not Fall Far from the Tree

The scar is an X on her wrist.

So that’s what hardcore looks like. It could have been me, but it wasn’t. The scar is on her wrist, but implanted in my brain. I cannot forget it. It stays in my mind, a reminder that I cannot give up ever again. I see that X in my dreams, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt how much pain it takes to get there.

We all have different stories, but the idea is the same. We are all grieving the loss of control of our lives and what led us to believe that we were worthless enough to stop taking care of ourselves. For my roommate, it’s the dopamine from cutting. For Siobahn, it was catching her husband in the act of adultery. No one has talked about childhood abuse and it’s effect on them. In some ways, it has been a loss to be unique, if that makes any sense at all. However, both my nurse practitioner and my social worker are lesbians (I’m guessing…. gaydar intact….) and they cannot even. It BOTHERS me that they lost their clinical separation because my issues hit too close to home for them. This is why I prefer male therapists. Women tend to lose their objectivity with me, but men are too gruff for that (generally). It’s like having built-in clinical separation instead of trying hard to maintain it.

Plus, I’m a Lanagan. I can move people to tears. You know it’s true. We’ve met. I don’t mean to say that I’m better than them. I’m a WRITER. I tell my story LIKE A WRITER. Many people are unprepared for how deep I can go and be both incensed AND hilarious at the same time. I am ambivalent about going home today. My nurse practitioner said that it’s really quiet on the weekends here, and she wanted to release me so I could go to outpatient. A little part of me is like, OH JESUS I AM NOT READY. I mean, it’s nice to have time to not worry about anything. It is nice to get feedback on what I say, and my group is as close as a heartbeat. It’s a cohort where we are all mutually in love up to our EYEBALLS because we know each other so well. It physically hurts that I’m not allowed to touch them at all. I want to hug, comfort, etc., but the idea is to learn to self-soothe, which is great when I’m talking, but horrible when the floor belongs to others. I just want my entire group to move in with me so that we can protect each other forever, but that’s not life and never will be.

What is life is learning that social services are open to me that I never knew existed. If you need help, the number is 211. However, having done my research, Montrose Counseling Center is the most well-rounded, and they don’t give a shit about your sexuality if you’re a straight person and you need help and feel welcome in an LGBT environment. It’s ok. We don’t bite that hard. But anyway, these people are capable of finding me a cheap place to live if Dana wants to stay in the house (fine with me, I’m not married to anything- especially having survived a complete and total house fire at 11. It’s freeing. I could lose a vase from the Ming Dynasty and I would be like, “oh well. It’s just a vase.” Why? Because my house started burning and the only thing that mattered was me. Fuck everything else. I am so proud of myself, because at least when my world was literally falling down around me I could function.

I am the type person that is calm, cool, and collected in a crisis. Well, usually anyway. I am the type person that will take care of what needs to be done, fuck all how I feel. I will break down when we are all safe. But sometimes, though, I don’t break down after a crisis and I just carry it. One of the things that I told my nurse practitioner is that it didn’t feel like my muscles had as much stress since the Neurontin med change.

I also told her that since it was our last meeting, she was really cute (shut it. We’ve met).

5 thoughts on “The Apple Does Not Fall Far from the Tree

  1. Dear Leslie, I am NOTE a writer so please forgive either the poor grammar or lack of typing skills. Haha. Meeting you at our “retreat” was a pleasure and a memory that will forever be carried with me. It truly was one of the most beautiful, significant journeys in my life. I agree with many of your writings in that listening to many of the others’ stories, but not all, of our friends there that my situation was not as bad as it seems. Although mine serious for the incident that occurred, I do not have any of the trauma that many of you have suffered. My heart goes out to you and the others there that have suffered in the ways that I heard. It broke my heart! I just cannot express how much this group meant to me! I was exposed and raw with probably one of the most diverse group of people I have ever been around as I am very “sheltered” just because,well,..I guess that’s just the life that I am in. Anywhoo,.. I am sure that we were probably one of the closer groups as we all felt as if we bonded taking away small gold nuggets of valuable testimonies from each other. And I too wish I could bring all of you home with me to hold me up through this but this is not what this time was about. May God bless you and keep you and I wish you all the best with your writing and healing! Apple tree sisters for life! Blessings! Wait for it… Wait for it… Leah😉


  2. OMG IT’S REALLY YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

    Of course. Apple Tree Sisters. Why did I not think of this before? The name Leah is actually very significant to me, because I love her as a Biblical and as a fictional character (The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver). Because my dad was a minister when I was a kid, she’s probably the closest approximation to the type of person I am and want to be in fiction. I can totally see myself moving to some faraway land for a great cause and staying because I fell in love. 😉

    I loved that you called it a retreat, because right now my life is about fighting the war up. Maybe a regroup? Anyway, it didn’t feel like falling down. It felt like letting go of the trapeze knowing that the safety net was intact. I will never in my lifetime forget your smiles or your tears, which is why you’ll have to refresh my memory often with coffee. Surely there’s a halfway point somewhere.

    All of the sudden, I feel like slicing Granny Smiths. And as for “sheltered,” I think I fixed it.


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