I had a really crazy dream last night. You would have to know a lot about me to understand it. So I’m going to explain it after the cut. It’s pretty personal and what some may consider “triggering”. So, only read it if you really want to or have a genuine interest it my teenage years and what my latest film is exploring.
I guess I will start from the beginning. My parent divorced when I was 2 years old. I don’t remember anything from when they were together, or much after they divorced. I think my memories start around the middle of elementary school.
So both of my parents remarried relatively soon after the divorce. I was shuffled between households for most of my grade school years. My mother married a man who had serious issues. He was very abusive, both physically and mentally. He was always throwing things at us, hitting us, etc. A few examples I can remember are when I was jumping on a mini trampoline, one of those one person types, and he just came over and flipped it over while I was jumping on it. Another time, I was eating dinner with my sister at the dining room table and he decided that we were talking too much, (we were eating alone, but we weren’t aloud to talk to each other). So he grabbed me and threw me outside (in my pajamas). He then came back out and threw my hot bowl of spaghettios at me and told me to finish eating. Both of these things happened relatively close in time to each other.
Now that is just two examples of what we went through growing up. There is plenty more I could go into, but you know, that just sounds like an awful lot of awful things to read/talk about.
When I entered the ninth grade I began this self harm thing. I didn’t tell anyone about it at all for quite some time. I had never even heard about this sort of thing before. It just sort of came to me naturally. I remember using a box cutter to first time. I cut my legs up pretty badly. I happened to tell my best friend at the time about it. She was pretty shocked and didn’t really know what to say. Self injury wasn’t as well known as it is today among most people. I didn’t know it was a thing until much later, so her shock was pretty expected.
My friends didn’t see it as a real problem. They knew I wasn’t going to kill myself or anything. They knew why I was doing it and they seemed to be okay with it for the most part.
Fast forward about a year and a half.
My best friend and I always kept a notebook that we would pass back and forth to each other. She happened to leave it in her room and one of her friends read it. Now at this point my best friend had begun using self injury as a method to cope as well. When her friend read all about it in our notebook she immediately told her mother about it. This resulted in her getting a school counselor. Which resulted in her telling her counselor about me. Which resulted in meeting with a school counselor, my mother and father, and me. The counselor then told my parents all about what had been going on. This resulted in me getting an “in-home” counselor that would come visit me 3 times a week to “talk” about things.
This counselor was the worst. I trusted her and she continually abused that fact by telling my mother about things I would tell her in confidence.
My relationship with my mother was very different back then. We did not get along at all, in any way. Not to mention, my step-dad was continually abusing me. Not exactly a very good home environment to grow up in, especially with all the stresses of high school on top of that.
One night I ended up having a nervous breakdown. I was hallucinating and couldn’t breathe or talk or anything really. My mom called my counselor and told her about it. My counselor suggested she take me to the hospital.
I ended up staying in a mental hospital for a little over a month. It was the worst. There were so many rules and just stupid things going on there. I ended up lying to get out. I couldn’t stand it in there. The doctors were shit and they put me on 2 medications I didn’t need. The first medication was an anti-depressant and the other was an anti-psychotic (zoloft and risperdal to be specific).
I met with my mother one day and lied about how I was so much better and could go home and everything would be fine. I got out.
I went home and things went back to normal. I was still being abused and still using self injury to cope. It wasn’t until I was kicked out of my mothers house and forced to switch high schools that things got any better. I went from failing to getting straight A’s.
So this is where last night’s dream comes in.
I dreamt that I was being chased by my step-dad. He was cutting me with razors. I had these long thin cuts all over my arms. Every time he would get close to me he would just go crazy and slice me with these tiny razors he had in his hands. I was trying to run away and trying to hide and he just kept chasing me.
It was so weird because I feel like those events were such a long time ago. But now with this film that I am making all of these things are coming back to me. It’s strange. I never actually got over all of the things that happened to me. I just ‘forgot’ them. I don’t have many memories from my childhood through high school years because I blocked everything out of my mind. It’s sort of scary.
This film is an exploration of those things. It’s scary to go back there.