I'm sure this will unfold as I move through the Rubbermaid archives but I figure I should give you a brief synopsis of the events that shaped my teens. I will do my best to stick to the facts without all the emotional overlay. You'll see that soon enough in my poetry and journals. Interestingly, my journals rarely talk specifically of events or people. I didn't even trust my journal to keep those things secret. I was always afraid of being judged.
Age 14: met JR who would become my boyfriend for the next four years. From a Jehovah's Witness home. His father, an elder in the group, beat him regularly. JR had issues with alcohol and anger. He would emotionally and verbally abuse me regularly. On two occasions, it became physical: shoving and grabbing. JR was suicidal most of the time. And was constantly threatening to leave the jw's.
My mother, at first unsupportive of the relationship, quickly fell in love with JR and encouraged me to support him in any way I could, telling me it was my Christian responsibility to be his friend.
Age 16: My brother, whom I was close to, went off to University 15 hours out of town.
Tipping Point: November, 1991 (age 17; 7 months before diagnosis)
Exam time at school. Was engaged in the full-time preaching work of the Jehovah's Witnesses, spending 60 hours that month proselytizing. Was battling some kind of virus. Both family pets died. My brother had an accident and emergency surgery away at Univeristy. My paternal Grandfather died.
June 1992 (just before my 18th birthday): diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
If I've left stuff out, it'll show up later. It usually does.