| Here I am; nothing but a product of my genetics, my surroundings and my past. Brought here by not one single choice, but a collection of seemingly insignificant events which rippled through time and etched its story into the walls of my psyche. My actions are the hieroglyphics of my life story- there are trilogies I hold that I’ve yet to write, and some days I ask myself if I ever will. Unfortunately I don’t see myself finding the time in my circus-crazy life. Maybe once this ride slows down I’ll find the space to fit it in, as well as have a better understanding of who I am and the courage to show myself.
This isn’t about me though, this is about her. This is about the lessons her story tells us, this is about grief, this is about allegories, and this is about keeping her memory alive…
Carly was an average girl with a below average reading level, but the wisdom to make up for it. Her mother, Peggy Sue, never had much time for her and her brother, she was busy running a business after all. Dad was nothing but a big question mark in Carly’s life- he’d died before she was born. Growing up she had it pretty well… with plenty of friends, a secure place to go home to, plus enough strength and audacity to fend off the school yard bullies.
Even though this tow-headed little girl never had a dad (or much of a mom) to teach her strength and boldness, she’s learned enough growing up with an older brother, Matt. Being that Matt lost his dad at the ripe young age of five, he grew up a troubled child… as if dealing with an older brother is hard enough… dealing with a troubled one is even worse. His shenanigans not only taught her the dexterity of Anderson Silva, but also the psychological strength of Ghandi.
It was sometime around the age of fourteen that Carly began to notice her mother’s negligence wasn’t just that, but a pathological sickness that left the woman emotional, aggressive, apathetic, and controlling. Stress could do this to a person, and God knows there’s not a whole lot that’s harder than raising two kids, while raising two kids with a dead husband, but Peggy-Sue brought the term “overbearing bitch” to a whole other level. This chick is diagnosable crazy; she dug a trench of self-destruction for her children to float down.
Carly had a remarkable understanding for her mother and her complexes, which built a collage of empathy, compassion and anger. She explained how her switchboard of emotion, her paranoia, and her overwhelming fear of judgement stemmed from childhood abandonment issues. This fuelled a fire within her to give of the impression of a post-card life- a life she could only dream of, but constantly tried to argue into place. Peggy Sue was sick with borderline personality disorder, Carly thought that because of this it was her duty to put up with her mom’s accusations, her emotional abuse, her ultimatums, and her use of physical force. She was being completely controlled, without the choice to even decide when and what to eat.
With Carly’s curiosity, boldness and burdens getting into drugs was an eventuality. I swear we’re all destined for certain fates- like we’re all mechanical animals. Humans work in certain ways; cause and effect. Sadists breed sadists, adopted orphans rebel against their new parents to test to see if they’ll still be kept, and fatherless girls will seek that figure in a significant other, just like Carly did with James.
He was twenty-nine, she was eighteen, and I knew she didn’t exactly love him- everyone did- but they all thought it was for his drugs… I saw past that. You see, James actually took care of Carly, he was the only person who ever gave her that fatherly support. He fed her, never forgot her birthday, gave her massages along with his advice and showed her real unconditional love. He loved her, but she didn’t have it in her to love him back, even though she wanted to… she wanted to so bad. I can still remember her randomly singing a select few lines of her favourite song, “they say we can love who we trust, but what is love without lost?” She couldn’t trust, not when her relationship with her mom left her so… lost. People didn’t understand that, but she didn’t care. She was always so bold, and somehow comfortable in herself. I still don’t know how she found that confidence… not with the mother that she had. I’ll tell you right now though, that girl was extraordinary… I guess that would probably have something to do with it.
It wasn’t long after she started dating James what she moved in with him. She was the first to say it was too early, it would end bad, and that it’s not safe living with a drug dealer. I would’ve told her myself, but the girl beat me to the punch. She explained how dealing with her mom was getting to be too much, her mental illness was so bad now Carly had NO freedom and she was getting into trouble with the momster on a daily basis, for things completely out of her control. She told me one day her mom came in and told her to wash all the clothes she owned, dirty or clean, then got antagonized for hogging the wash machine. This is one of many examples of her moms hostility and illogical behaviour that I’ve heard of, and I know it’s the truth. Carly was a lot of things, but a liar wasn’t one of them… she never even exaggerated stories.. not ever. Carly explained to me how she was sure her mom’s accelerated insanity was displaced anger for the fear she had that she’d lose her to James. I’m positive that was it too, I know this because I’ve dealt with people like Peggy Sue in my own life, which is why Carly was so quick to confide in me over any of her other friends; I’ve seen it firsthand.
I’ll never forget what I saw when I pulled into Carly and James’ driveway that day. I’ll never forget her audacity, her boldness when she snuck up behind the man that held a revolver to her boyfriend’s head- ready to strike. I’ll never forget the first shot, the second shot, or how that dumbass robber did it for nothing because he didn’t even get them to open the safe first. I’ll never forget the name of the officer I gave my report to, or how shiny only half his head was, or how I wondered if the worst part of his day was when his electric razor stopped working, or the apathy disguised as professionalism reflected in his eyes.
The robbery was about money, the most disgusting thing I’ve ever known. It wasn’t about James or Carly or the happiness they brought to those around them, but this story isn’t either. This story is about fighting wars, this story is about loss, it’s about grief, it’s about allegory, and this story is about a fictional character named Carly.