This hectic week began with last Saturday. Since this is probably the most important things that happened all week I’ll dedicate an entire entry for it.
Everything started out fine–great–even. I was driving from a sleep over and sat down for cereal and a grapefruit for breakfast. 10 minutes later the doorbell rings and I, in my pajamas, greet a police officer. His cop car/van (my state upgraded the standard for cop cars) sits parked on the side of the road. Turns out, Diana, a family friend (in around her late 40’s) and the lady we rented our house to for several years, was found passed out on the street a few towns away. She was taken to a hospital and sits there now in a confused state. I know this isn’t the first time. However, because Diana hasn’t seen a doctor in years nor has any insurance, there is barely any information about her on record. The officer asks me if she suffers from any type of addiction: “No.” Then he asks if Diana has a record of illnesses. I hesitate…”No. Not on record. Or anything that was diagnosed.” I attempt to share her complicated story but manage to just give a glimpse–“She changed over the past few years. She was recommended to see a psychologist or have tests done regarding her mental health. But she hasn’t.”
My mother and Diana took an English-speaking course in college together about 10 or more years back. They quickly became friends, and always stayed in touch.
Over the past 2 or 3 years, there was a gradual change in Diana’s lifestyle, then things just escalated so quickly.
According to her family, Diana created her own religion.
She told us she read the entire bible herself, and developed her own interpretation of the passages.
Eventually, she sold her car and threw out her T.V. She shut off the internet, electricity, gas, air conditioning. She planted a garden and purchased chickens to raise in the yard. She only wore loose skirts with long sleeved blouses she sewed herself. She chopped her own wood, carved out chairs and tables they would furnish their house with. She only used the fireplace in the living room to cook food–which it was never meant for–the ceilings became black from the accumulated coats of ash. She covered the mirrors with tarps, and walked miles each day in worn sandals to get wherever she needed to. She convinced her three eldest daughters to join her off-the-grid world.
The first years she rented our house, she would always have us over. The house was decorated with Martha-Stewart stencils on the walls, burnt orange hallways, picture frames and the sweet scent of air fresheners. She had a touch screen computer I would play with. Her youngest daughter, Megan, and I would play Super Mario on her Wii or jump on the trampoline. I remember how excited her face lit up when Megan told me her mom promised she could redecorate her room in a “Paris” theme. I wouldn’t imaged that two years later we would be asked to wait outside and see Megan dressed in a long skirt in 90 degree weather, greeting us with a worn smile.
I don’t know where Diana or her daughters live now, except that it’s probably not very far.
Diana doesn’t talk to anyone. She has visited the hospital several times and never says a word to the staff nor doctors. My mom tells me that whenever she asks about her thoughts or beliefs, Diana remains silent. She doesn’t respond and switches the subject.
I don’t tell many people about Diana or Megan. I like to respect people’s privacy, and it’s not my story. But I can’t begin to imagine how it would feel to lose my best friend and protector at once. One thing we had greatly in common was that we were always closer to our moms. Megan lives with her father now. I have her snap chat so I see that she has friends, a boy friend, a love for style, takes the best selfies, and likes rap. That’s basically all I know now. But either way, I guess have someway to watch over her. I think of texting her sometimes, but I feel like our relationships is already a little fragile. We may have 6 second pictures and filters connecting our lives, but it’s something.
I know how it feels have your heart broken by a parent, and yet not have the ability to be angry at them. Because, you don’t know what’s due to the mental problem, out of their control, or just them. I know what it’s like to think that if they were just healthy… my parent would love me and they would never hurt me. I know the torture of never knowing, and recognizing that I will never get my answer. But Megan, she might still have a shot. Maybe, one day, she can get her answer.
*Names are changed, but I keep them constant in case if I refer to the persons in another entry*