iPhone – Moving

July 27, 2018


I think a lot about moving with Liz.

I think I’m coming to a point where I understand that to move away is not about escaping where I live now, but facing the fear of leaving and realizing I would otherwise regret this forever if I didn’t take this chance. I can always come back, but any excuse I give her for not going would be a lie.

Leaving my home state is a terrible fear, but one I’ve been dreaming about forever. Here’s my best friend, willing to go with me, how now can I turn away from that chance?



3 rhymes with B and B stands for Bridget. Let’s try and keep this to one post. She’s sitting right across from me in the featured photo.

Bridget and I became best friends during senior year of high school. We both got into SIUC and found dorms rooms in buildings next to one another.

In addition to my floor mates, Lauren, and the church group, Bridget was my best friend through all of freshman, sophomore, and part of junior year of college.

For that big of a part in my life it’s shocking I haven’t mentioned her name in the any of the other “the story” blog posts yet. Except, she is special and she deserves her own category.

Please understand how much I loved her and thought of her like family. I was shitty in my own ways towards her for no good reasons. Of all the people in these entries, she’s the one I miss the most.

I considered Bridget my best friend for almost 4 years, which until Liz, was my longest lasting female best-friendship.

Bridget was involved in the catholic church and group across the street from the methodist foundation for the majority of freshman and sophomore year. It wasn’t until mid-sophomore year that she began to occasionally show up for events with me to the methodist foundation and begin to share friends.

Freshman year involved a lot of discovery of the campus together and a lot of drunken nights in the dorms. I spent most of my time with her and was content with that. I have a million stories of her. I will probably dedicate another blog post to her in which I lay out all the stories, just not tonight. 

Junior year of college, Bridget and I found an apartment near campus and began living together. By this point, she was mostly just going to methodist foundation instead of the catholic one.

There were a lot of nights spent staying awake talking on the couches together where I remember her storming off from something I’d said. I think I could be mean to her in the way that I would talk about my values and ideals and pick apart things in her life she could improve. Like it was ever any of my business. I could be a bitch to her, she did tell me that once, finally. I still feel horrified at myself for being that way.

There were a lot of nights spent staying awake talking on the couches together with a beer and a movie and endless laughs and talking. I loved her.

She and I grew closer with Justin during our sophomore and junior years. We would smoke and walk through the woods. One day Bridget and I discovered a monster hill just off the campus lake path. We climbed up the steep side, slipping and gripping each other’s forearms just trying not to tumble all the way down to the concrete road below. Once we made it to the top we discovered the little worn path trailing down the side that would’ve made the climb significantly easier. We also found a broken wooden bench swing at the top. The chains had broke so all you could do was sit on it, keeping you an inch from above the dirt and leaves, but it had back support and a beautiful view of the woods below. We used to go and smoke up there or talk.

Seriously, just a moment ago, as I’m writing this, I’m starting to remember more of February 12, 2011. Bridget was there for me that next afternoon on the 12th. She walked across campus to my dorm and made me shower and get dressed. She then dragged me to the final hall and we ate a mountain of pancakes. From there, we walked all around the campus lake. That was the day we discovered the giant hill mountain with the wooden bench at the top. That was the same day.

So many fucking memories and she was always there for me and me for her. She’s in everything.

Somewhere in the spring of 2012 (I think) is when she began to take over my place at the methodist foundation. I felt a little jealous that she so easily fit in with Bethany, Taylor, Loran, and Dani. However, this was the same semester I began my involvement with my sorority, so I quickly became occupied.

The school year 2012-2013 is when Bridget and I lived together. I heard from some newer friends attending the foundation that Jared had begun coming back to services after being absent from the foundation for the last year and a half.

December of 2012 is when Bridget and Jared began dating.

In the summer of 2017 in Red River, New Mexico, I met a man named Kevin Flood at a bar and we continued to take turns buying one another drinks. For the rest of my summer there, we would meet at the bar once a week to continue this exchange of drinks and talk. This was still when Nicole and I were still dating and Kevin was strictly a good drinking friend. 

Kevin is the only person in my life I’ve admitted to that I had been raped on February 11, 2011. I was drunk when the words came out and he was comforting about it. 

As much as Bridget knew I had been in love with Jared, she never knew the key detail from that that night, that it hadn’t been consensual. She watched me cry over Jared while continuing to sleep with countless random men. With time, I’ve wanted to create an excuse for her as my then best friend and roommate of how she could’ve thought it was okay to go and date Jared after how he treated me. I’m not sure if there is an excuse I’m okay with giving her, even still.

Bridget wasn’t the one to tell me they were dating, or even that they’d begun hanging out together. It was a member of the foundation who I’d worked with over the summer who knew the situation (the same story I gave everyone else) and knew how much I had loved Jared, how many guys I had slept with already, and didn’t judge or hate me for any of it. Kim sent the text to warn me.

Around that time was when I started my first relationship with a guy. He was in a fraternity and I met him at a semi-formal my sorority had held. He was the complete opposite of Jared, but an incredibly normal guy, and intensely loving.

There had been one night after an event that I brought him home with me so I could change before we went back out. We walked in the apartment door and the first thing my brain took in were the shoes laid out on the carpet just inside the front door. Bridget’s pair and a men’s hipster boot. In slow motion my eyes wandered up to meet his and Bridget’s cuddled together on the couch. I can’t remember if I or them said anything. I dragged Shamun back to my bedroom with shaking hands. After that, she rarely brought him back to the apartment, and I rarely came home in periods where I would have to run into her.

I didn’t hate Bridget at first. At first, I was terrified to be alone with her, terrified to confront what was happening.

There was a night we both found ourselves on the living room couches when she awkwardly brought up Jared. She told me something about feeling bad because she knew how much I liked him but how I had moved on and he had moved on and did I hate her for this? That they had started to get to know one another and she had fallen for him.

At that point, I didn’t want to lose her. I think I told her that I didn’t like seeing him or coming home to the surprise of him being here. I told her (so stupidly of me) that it was okay if she talked about him to me because we were best friends. So she did. She told me she lost her virginity to him after they started dating. She told me he’d asked about me and she’d said I had a boyfriend too. She knew Shamun was the 5th person I’d slept with and she told me excitedly one night that Jared had slept with exactly 5 people by that point too. At the time, I thought that was a sign.

Our friendship became entirely one-sided at a certain point. She stopped asking anything about me and only wanted to talk about Jared. He confused her with the riddles he would speak to her in. She began to ask me advice, but when I’d mention things he’d done or said to me that were similar to what he was doing to her, she’d brush them off. She didn’t like to listen to that type of advice or those old stories. She said he’d changed a lot since then, she said he even told her he’d changed. (He changed his majors a lot, not his personality.)

By the time they broke up, I hated them both. Bridget and I no longer spoke once I said I was not okay with her telling me all the details anymore. I told her I was angry that our friendship had become her strictly taking about her relationship, not asking about mine, and not willing to even listen to someone who had been in her situation (without the label of a relationship) already. I really began to hate her.

They dated for almost 2 months, I think. Kim called me the night he broke up with Bridget. I was sitting on one of the living room couches, drinking hot peach tea and typing a paper for class. Kim warned me that she and her husband were driving Bridget back to the apartment and Bridget was a mess. That Jared had simply dropped Bridget from his life, the same as he did to me.

She burst in the door a few minutes later and ran straight for her back bedroom. I could hear her sobbing and it was only a few minutes later until she was racing from her bedroom to the kitchen (apart of the living room), avoiding eye contact with me, and racing back to her room. She went back and forth until finally collapsing on her knees in her bedroom.

So many years later, I wish now I had comforted her in that moment. Pulled her into my arms and held her. I still think that’s what she wanted and why she kept coming into the main room, passing by me, sobbing uncontrollably. 

I didn’t hold her, I didn’t even ask her what happened, I didn’t even look her in the eyes. I just ignored her. I was so angry in that moment. I can still remember shaking as I was typing and actively trying to ignore her. My thoughts in that moment were, he left me crying on my knees too, but you wouldn’t listen. 

I got the full story from Bethany a few days later. That Jared and Bridget started dating and everyone at the foundation, knowing we were best friends, had asked her what my reaction was. That they spent every moment together until things grew cold between them in January. That they’d been having sex until Jared stopped one week and decided their relationship should be more faith based instead of physical. That he wanted to refrain from sex with Bridget and she was confused. That shortly after that, he grew distant from her and spoke in riddles. That she was heartbroken and when she finally confronted him, he sent her the breakup over text, one line in text, we’re over. He stopped talking to her, stopped responding, stopped going to the methodist foundation again.

When I heard the details, I was upset to hear how similar to mine they were. I knew he was manipulative, but to think he would pull almost the exact act on her made me sick. She was in love with him.

The friendship between Bridget and I was never the same after that year. We tried to remain friends for a few more months before the final blowout in spring of 2013. During the 2013-2014 school year, she lived with Bethany in the back of the methodist foundation while I lived with sorority friends. She was fully involved in the foundation where I came once every few months, only to see her.

Before the end of our time as roommates, I found a journal she’d left out with a detailed list of the pro’s and con’s of Jared. It was back during the time right before they’d broken up, where she was weighing her options of being with someone like him and if she could live without him. I violated privacy with these pictures. The similarities between her words and mine are insanely close.

Unfinished week

November 29, 2017

Monday – Ran 3 miles with the group

Tuesday – Accomplished nothing, anxiety attack then guilt for the rest of the night

Wednesday – Finished 1/2 of grocery shopping, went to the fancy yoga class

Tomorrow I need to finish the last 1/2 of my grocery shopping and go running again with the group (3-4 miles). Friday is cooking/baking/cleaning night.

Was supposed to drive down and spend the weekend with Nicole, but Liz texted and asked if she could come up and spend the weekend to talk and get away from her life for a bit. I’m regretting the relationship with Nicole and happy for an excuse not to go down. Regardless; Liz comes first, always.


First date

August 13, 2017

Nicole and I met yesterday.

I got into the airport Friday night at 10:30 pm and made it to my apartment with my parents by 1:15 am. We crashed, woke up and drank coffee, walked about 2 miles that morning with my mom, then showered and drove down together to the cities.

I lied and told them I was meeting my best friend at the food truck music festival instead of saying it was Nicole. They don’t know Nicole and there’s no way for me to describe her without coming right out and saying that was a date I was about to go on with her.

But it was and they didn’t know and they hugged me and left and I sat in the stands a while and waited for Nicole who showed up, apologizing that I had to pay for my own ticket in, though I hadn’t really thought twice about it before she said that. We talked for forever in the stands (like a few hours), with a local rock band playing screamo in the background. Finally, went to grab food at one of the food trucks and she immediately paid for me. I did offer and she took control, which doesn’t get any less awkward of a moment for me in dating situations. So we sat and ate and talked more and eventually hugged before we parted ways.

I went out then stayed the night with my best friend. I did have to come out to her when I first got to her apartment, and right after the date, which I made quite uncomfortable. I realized as I was coming out that I couldn’t have her think I liked her, so I emphasized that, and all for nothing because I love her and should’ve known she would have the best reaction on the planet.

“Why did you tell me not to freak out? That’s so normal, also, when are you going to see her again?” ♥

I met up with Nicole again today before I left to drive back to my apartment. She brought her dog and we walked a few miles on the bike trail that runs through both cities. We talked more and more and agreed to try and find a weekend soon that works to see each other again. We hugged, and she kissed me on the cheek, which I couldn’t stop smiling.

I don’t want to be an hour from her. I really want things to work and I can’t help feeling doubt that this won’t lead to anything more when I really really really really want it to.

I can save myself

April 17, 2017

I like watching movies where the main character is introduced to their destiny. Not the thing they’re good at, because we all have things we’re good at, but the thing they’re supposed to do to give their life meaning. I like watching them struggle and give up, and I like watching them finally find their dream, or having others uncover it for them.

I like those movies because you’re not rooting for the underdog. Technically, the main character is probably the underdog, but they’re also unenlightened and not “under” by choice. They don’t know their worth. They don’t know what they’re capable of or the strength that’s within them.

I’ve climbed four mountains, one with strangers.

Yes, I have bipolar and panic disorder and I’ve totally cried on my couch because I was convinced my mind would never let me live a full life. I’ve also cried in the middle of a Minnesotan forest, hundreds of miles from the nearest person (other than the seven strangers I was traveling with), convinced I would never make it out alive because I was wasn’t strong enough.

However, in the land of ten thousand lakes, I didn’t know I was bipolar yet. Back then, I didn’t know I would have an anxiety disorder, and I only had hints of depression. All I knew was that I was tired (because I was), and homesick (diddo), and mad at my parents for sending me back to such a rough program instead of spending the summer with my best friend (who’d I’d just been arrested with). I hated the expedition. I hated how weak it made me feel because I was. I had trained for that trip and still ended up struggling in front of the others.

And then one day it changed. It wasn’t the guide who changed my mind, or the camper beside me. It was within that I realized the challenge was all in my mind. That every step of every mile I had been telling myself it was “so hard” and I was “so tired” and this whole experience was “so unfair” and couldn’t I just call my parents and someone back at base camp could airlift me out of there? I went through all the conversations in my head and came up with the most realistic answer: no one was coming to save me. So I went through the conversation again (mind you, large, sixty pound canoe still wedged and balanced across the back of my neck this entire time) and realized it wasn’t so hard if I told myself it wasn’t. That simple. Between two trees in the Minnesotan wilderness, somewhere near Wolf Lake, I realized my inner strength.

I never expected myself to be capable of climbing Mount Massive with seven strangers in three days. I never imagined I’d canoe eighty-two miles in the northern Minnesotan wilderness within two weeks. Or that I’d rock climb across one mountain in the Canadian Rockies with my little sister. Or that I would climb on a fifteen hour train ride with a best friend down to New Orleans for a week trip. Or that I would belay backwards (whilst sobbing) down a hundred foot cliff with only a little tree and an old man for support.

I never imagined I’d be diagnosed with Bipolar II and Panic Disorder. Or that I’d take the diagnosis this terribly.

I am aware of the strength that I contain and know that most of the battles I face are within my mind. I have to stop seeing myself as weak, because I’m not. I can be a leader and a fighter and seem to just have forgotten that at the worst possible time.

I have strength. I am capable of saving myself.