How I Ended Up in Jail

I scanned my room. Everything was gone. From the poster of a kitten chasing a computer mouse that I had won at the book fair in the second grade to the crystals that dangled from fishing line in my window. My clothes in my closet? Gone. From the old lace of my vintage wedding gown to the satin of my first high heels… all of it gone.

These were things I held dear. The things I wanted to show my children, the things I’ve had since I was small enough to depend entirely on my mother and father. It was all gone. They might be mere earthly possessions. My Buddhist scriptures tell me I don’t need them, but I’m not ready to let go. They even took my first dream catcher. I never let anyone else touch it. I haven’t since my uncle, the one who gave it to me, died. He died fourteen times in one day. The paramedics just kept shocking him back to life. His body would jerk, his eyes bulge, and his arms thrashed around like an alligator had him by the legs.

I confronted my father. With everything gone, I was upset. I was beyond upset. I needed to calm down before I talked to him. I went to grab my guitar. Gone. My paints. Gone. My iPod. Gone. My meditation crystals. Gone. My yoga mat. Gone.

Unlike most people, my anger turns to self-loathing. I tried to distract myself from the itch. My traitorous brain reminded me of paring knives downstairs. Then I remembered the razor blades I kept with my makeup for this occasion. But I couldn’t do that. My boyfriend would see. He would blame himself.

I went downstairs. I was in tears. If I told my father what was on my mind, he would help me through this. That’s what fathers do, right? I told him. He looked at me, his hazel eyes hooded and void of emotion. He opened his mouth and said, “You’re a smart girl. You can figure it out.”

But I couldn’t. That’s why I was asking for help. I tried to tell him that I didn’t want to relapse again. This whole time those paring knives were shining in the kitchen lights. I lunged and grabbed one, and closed my eyes preparing to feel the pain.

I felt my dad’s fist make contact with my gut. He picked up the house phone to call 911. I suddenly realized: he thought the knife was for him.