7/7/12 Got a new computer today. Messing around with everything on it. This one came with a journal program. Never kept one before. I wonder how long I can keep this up. Maybe it'll help with my shit memory. High school starts next month. That's why my parents got me a new computer. Wish they'd got me laptop. I can't take this giant thing anywhere. Glad middle school is fucking over with, but...is high school gonna be any better? Ugh. I hate school. 7/15/12 My parents are going on vacation. I have the whole house to myself for the next seven days. Some couples renewal BS thing they're doing. I don't care. I'm gonna invite the guys over tomorrow for a party. Had a weird dream last night. It was about that guy again. I haven't had a dream about him in a few years now. I think the last time was...in fifth grade? Can't really remember. It's been a long time. 7/16/12 Alex invited himself. As usual, he was a complete dick. If Zack wasn't friends with him, I wouldn't talk to him at all. He pisses me off every time I see him! 7/17/12 Bored. I am so bored. I thought this would be more excited than it is. Whatever. I finished my stupid summer reading crap and the last video game I got. Think I'm gonna go on a walk and then order some pizza or something. Sometimes, I wish I could sleep forever. You know, I said that at dinner once last year and my mom rolled her eyes and said something like, "Yes, what a difficult life you live as a whiny teenager." Dad said, "You've got nothing to be depressed about. You keep it up, and we'll take you to the crazy house. See if you're still moping then." I didn't say anything else after that. Looking back, I think that's when I decided not to talk during dinner unless they were talking to me. Which means dinner's usually silent cause Mom's missing dinner half the time for work and Dad doesn't talk to me unless he has to if she's not around. The house is always quiet. 7/18/12 Mom called a couple hours ago. They might be coming back early. They got into a big fight again. So much for renewal. I don't see why they don't get divorced already. They clearly hate each other. I wonder who'd take me. Probably Dad. Mom's always been focused on her career and image. As soon as they got divorced, I can see her high tailin' it out of town and moving into some condo in Atlanta with a new job so she can start over with her circle of friends and stay perfect. I doubt Dad would really care either way. He usually ignores me. That's fine. Mom's the one always yelling at me for not being an all A student. Sorry, Mom, I'm not smart. Get over it. UPDATE: They're flying back tonight. 7/24/12 Had that weird dream again with that guy at that building. I still can't figure out where that is. Must be from a movie or something. Mom and Dad are sleeping in separate rooms again. Mom's been buying me a lot of shit lately. I asked for a laptop, but she said I already have this thing. So that's a no go on that. We went school clothes shopping, and by shopping I mean she took me to the stores she wanted to go to so I could wear the brands she wants her friends to see me wearing. Stupid. Dad's been staying in his office area, doing who the hell knows what. Whatever he usually does in there I guess. Talked to Zack on the phone earlier. Gonna spend the night at his house tomorrow to have my own vacation. 7/31/12 Next month is school. I don't want to go back. I don't want to be here either. Sometimes, I think I should go ahead and run away, but how the hell would I make any money as a fourteen year old? I guess shady shit. And what happens if the cops catch me? Still, maybe if I disappeared into the woods, somewhere they couldn't find me...I know, it's stupid. That wouldn't work either. Nothing works. 8/5/12 School starts tomorrow. I think I'll skip, but ugh...it's the first day of high school. That's probably a bad idea. I fucking hate this week. Whatever. First day sucks every year. Gotta get it over with. I'm not gonna sleep tonight. 8/6/12 I got lost twice, and was late for three classes. Had to sit in between Zack and Alex on the bus on the way home. Ugh. Mom didn't come home tonight, again. She's staying at work overnight to finish up something, and Dad came home around nine or ten. I ordered pizza again. Earlier, I went on a walk down by the creek. I saw Alex sitting by the banks not far from his house. I ended up watching him for a while. Dunno why. Bored I guess. He never knew I was there. On the way back, I wandered out into the woods for a while. When the sun sets and the stars come out in the summer, I always get nostalgic for something I can't place. Some kind of warm, summer night memory outside somewhere. I can't see it clearly, it's more of a sensation and a vague picture of a field and trees and lights. I wish I knew where that place was. I want to go there again. It's special somehow. I went through the old photo albums earlier hoping something would jog my memory, but as usual--nothing. 8/7/12 Skipped school for the first time of the year. Well, it's usually the first or second day. That's how it goes. Don't know if I'll bother going tomorrow either. Didn't tell my parents. I sorted through the bag with all my "runaway" stuff again, and added some more change I found to my stash. My parents still think that's my "tornado" bag, and I guess it does double as that. But it's not like I usually take it to the basement with me when we're under a warning. You'd think they'd ask questions, but it's so obvious they don't give a fuck anyway. UPDATE: Alex called me earlier asking if Zack was over here. I told him no. He started grilling me about why I wasn't at school. I told him to piss off. It's none of his business if I wanna skip. And why the hell is he keeping track of me skipping school the first/second day every year since sixth grade? WTF is that about? UPDATE: Apparently, my school now emails my parents when I'm absent. Got yelled at again. I told them I was sick and didn't think it'd be a big deal to stay out this once. Mom ranted on about how the last two years I've missed so many days I was nearly held back and how my grades suck. Thanks, Mom. I know you hate failure. Dad went on about how it's because I don't have enough friends (I have plenty of friends! You don't bother getting to know them!) and how I need a girlfriend. Not sure what that's supposed to fix. 10/22/12 Staying home again, nothing new there. I spent most of the day out in the woods behind the house. Truancy officer called the house earlier, and then my mom called me to scream at me. Whatever. My grades are gonna suck whether I go or not. While I was out in the woods, I remembered something weird when I was near that one construction site with those high fences. It was about that building from those dreams. I was there with that guy while I was a little kid, and it was dark outside. I could see what the doors looked like really clearly and the fence and this walkway, but that's about it. Still no clue what the hell that building is or who that guy is. Maybe it's all in my head and I'm making up shit because I'm bored. Around five, I ran into Alex on the way back to the house. He was walking down by the creek. He got onto me for skipping again. Everyone's on my case today. I don't get why he cares. He didn't have a problem throwing punches last year and getting us both suspended for five days. 11/22/12 Forgot I had this. Not looking forward to Christmas break. I know my grades are gonna be bad, and I know I'm gonna get hell for it the whole time. A lot of my teachers keep going on about how after age sixteen, you only go to school because you actually want to so we have no right to bitch about not liking school anymore and if we hate it so much, we should drop out. Cause at sixteen that's when you can drop out without your parents' consent or whatever. Been thinking I might do that. Two more years to go. And when people ask me why, I'll tell them my teachers gave me the idea. Love to see what looks that'd get outta people. 12/25/12 Somehow, I managed to pass all my classes for the semester. With C's, but yeah. Still got the usual rant from Mom. We went to my grandparents' house in Rome earlier. The ride there was boring as hell. While we were coming back, I got another piece of a memory. Something about being outside and seeing lights with two people, but it's too vague for me to really get what it was about. I don't know. A distant memory of catching fireflies? That's my best guess. Christmas dinner was awkward. Aunt Tallulah and Cousin Tim both exchanged weird ass ghost stories. My maternal grandparents lamented how only my mom had any kids and only had one kid while Aunt Tallulah had no kids at all and is single. Then came the usual accusations of her being a lesbian, and lots of whispering about how Cousin Tim is gay. I don't think Aunt Tallulah is a lesbian so much as she doesn't want any of them going anywhere near someone she might actually be dating. Wouldn't surprise me if she was already married and keeping it a secret. The usual great-aunt/uncles and their husbands/wives, my uncle on my dad's side and his wife, and whatever-degree cousins were there. Cousin Tim chose not to bring his boyfriend this year, and given how that went last year, I am not surprised. Then Grandpa and Grandma kept buggin' me about why I don't have a girlfriend. Okay, I get it. You all think I'm a loser. Could you not harass me about that on Christmas at least? Oh, and Mom showed up late--again. Work before everything else. Mom of the Year. 1/1/13 New Years, and Mom came home drunk again at 3 in the morning. Classic Mom. Dad went out too, to a party I guess. I don't know. He came back before her. Alex's parents got a lot of fireworks, so I walked down to his house and watched them. Zack and his family were there too. Both their parents asked where mine were, and I said they were out working again. Zack invited me to spend the night, but I declined. Didn't feel like calling my parents to tell them where I was. Not worth it. On the plus side, Mom didn't drive through the fence this time. Last year, she made up a story about how some drunk did it and drove off to cover for the fact that she wrecked into her own fence. No one really believed it, but everyone pretended they did in front of her. The fireworks were nice. Alex was also being kinda nice. Me, Alex, and Zack lit sparklers together for a while. It reminded me of back in elementary school when we used to do stuff like that together. I remember there was this one summer, I think it was after fourth grade. Yeah, pretty sure it was after fourth grade. It was the day after the fourth of July and we had a bunch of sparklers left. We stayed out the next night lighting the rest. Then it rained on us, but we kept trying to light them all anyway and we just laughed. When I look back, it's like, you know, nothing was ever really good or anything, but things were better in elementary school. I can actually remember being happy then, and Mom wasn't yelling at me as much...well, not about the same things anyway. Back then, she usually yelled about things that had nothing to do with me, and I still had A's then. I can't believe I had perfect attendance in fifth grade. That's crazy. Next semester starts next week. I can't wait till I'm sixteen. 1/30/13 I'm grounded for the next month. I skipped a full week of school this month. I didn't really feel like going back once the semester started. I wasn't planning on skipping the whole week. I was gonna go back as soon as I felt like bothering, and I dunno. Suddenly a week had passed. I don't even really remember what I did that week. I mean, I mostly stayed home and messed around on the internet, but I didn't really do anything in particular. I dunno. Mom's also limiting my food allowance for how much she puts on the card for me for when they stay late at work. She says I need to cook more real food at home, but they rarely go grocery shopping. They eat most of their food at work. The fridge and pantry are mostly empty, and Walmart's too far of a walk. Guess I could ride my bike but I don't think I'd be able to carry much with me that way. Hmm...It'd be one thing if we had public transportation, but...we don't. How am I supposed to get this food? I've been ordering exclusively deals when I get pizza now. She only looks at the amount of money in the account, not what's in the trash. She hasn't noticed that nothing's actually changed. I don't think she really cares anyway. She just wants to be pissy about something. 4/14/13 My parents took the computer away for a while so I could "concentrate on getting better" at school. Then I abruptly got a worse punishment and had pretty much everything in my room taken except stuff for school. (I've been having to do online assignments and papers on the living room computer.) Mom wouldn't tell me why. I think they either read my journal or found something else on my computer they didn't like. I have the computer back now, but I've moved the contents of the journal somewhere else and I've cleared out everything I can on the computer. I can't really think of what they'd be so upset about finding other than the journal though. That's gotta be what it is. I'm still not allowed to go visit any friends right now. Juan's been sending me crazy emails since he's moved back. His parents had to relocate for a year for his dad's job, and they came back in March. The emails have all been weird creepypasta stuff, but it's been making me laugh at least. Zack and Nathan have been sending me tons of emails too. I'm still not allowed to have my cell phone back yet. Got into a shouting match with Alex on the bus earlier. Probably gonna get shit about that as soon as my parents find out. 4/20/13 While my parents were out at work, I skipped school again. Nathan was skipping too. We ended up walking down to that old abandoned parking lot. He's been thinking about quitting at sixteen too, but he isn't sure about it. Says it depends on what kind of work he can get around then. That's not too far off for him since he's a year older than me. He got held back for the same reason I've been nearly held back the last few years. He's been doing some kind of work under the table, but he hasn't really been all that clear about what exactly he does. He brought some beer with him and offered me a smoke. I drank a few beers with him, but decided against smoking. I thought about it though, for a while. But I can't get over that nasty smell. Parents came home early to ground me again. I don't see the point. It's not like they can really do anything to me at this point that I'll actually care about. 5/10/13 Last night, I had a dream about that guy. I was a really little kid in the dream and my parents were still working at that research/mental hospital place. They left for work in their lab coats really early in the morning. That guy shared a room with me in the dream, like we were siblings. The sun hadn't risen yet. That guy woke me up and took me to the kitchen at our old house, and my parents were already halfway out the door. That guy made breakfast for us and helped me up at the table. Nothing really happened in the dream. We got up, he fixed breakfast, and we ate. The house was really quiet, so quiet I could hear birds and bugs outside. Somehow, everything was so warm even though it was so dark out. It was a really nice dream. I felt happy in it, but when I woke up, I was crying. I don't know why. Ugh, how embarrassing. I washed my face off as soon as I could. I don't need to go to school looking like I was crying. 5/11/13 The school year is close to over. My grades are all at a place where I could either pass or fail any of them depending on what I make on my finals. Nothing new there. Mom says if I pass all my classes, I can have my phone back. Eh, I've been managing pretty fine without it. I don't really care either way. I had a dream about that guy again. He was taking me on a walk down the neighborhood our old house was in. It looked like it was fall, maybe October. I think there were Halloween decorations up, but I'm not sure. Sometimes, I feel like I'm losing my mind. I get these sudden flashes of memories I can't place and these weird dreams all the time lately. I know it happened more when I was a really little kid, but it pretty much leveled off in middle school. Why is this happening again now? When I was a kid, I used to think I had this whole other life I forgot. That's crazy. I think what's really happening is I'm making up memories and these dreams are more like fantasies than anything based in reality. I don't have an older brother. I've always been an only child. 6/18/13 Summer's here and my report card just came in the mail. All C's, with nothing above a 73. I got my phone back, but I haven't been using it much. I keep forgetting I have it half the time. That dickhead Alex sent me a text earlier. (Cause apparently Zack gave him my cell number. I don't know why.) "so you pass or did all that skipping catch up to you?" I sent him a picture of my report card. Dunno why the fuck he texted me that. Probably to piss me off. I know he's always on the honor roll. I bet he doesn't even have to study. Anyway, he texted me back. "good but you know you can't keep skipping like that in hs you'll end up failing eventually" I texted him back that I was gonna drop out at 16 anyway. All he texted back to me was "why?" and I haven't responded to him yet. I don't think I'm gonna. 7/7/13 Alex came over earlier, and not with Zack. He said he wanted to talk. I didn't want to let him in, but my dad was home and saw him. So I played nice in front of Dad and we went upstairs to my room. I think our conversation lasted about thirty minutes before we were yelling at each other. Dad actually yelled at me this time. He said, "Eric, if you don't start cutting this shit out, we're having you committed!" I can't believe he actually said that while there was a guest in the house. He's probably been drinking again. We both went dead silent after that. Alex asked me, "What's he talking about?" I said, "Nothing. I think you should go home now." He didn't want to leave, but I got him to go. That was so humiliating. Later, when Mom finally came home around nine and we had dinner, Dad didn't say anything about earlier. I dunno. Maybe he forgot. I wonder if he'd really do it. Well, guess I wouldn't have to go to school then, right? Do people put in places like that go to school? 7/8/13 Alex has been texting me all day. I told him not to come over. I lied and said my dad was still mad at me and didn't want anyone over. Well, I don't really know if that's a lie, actually. He's been asking me all these questions and I've been responding with basically, "I don't wanna talk about it", "I don't know", "None of your business", and "Why do you care?". He's being pretty persistent. Like, he seriously just texted me again right now. What is his deal?! Had that dream again about that guy and that building. This time, we went into the hallway, but that's as far as I got. The hallway was empty, and the lights were off. The walls were white, I think? Just empty white walls and some closed doors. 7/9/13 Alex called me earlier. We talked for about an hour, which was weird. I don't think I've talked to him alone that long since 2009. He asked me again about the dropping out thing, and said I shouldn't because it'll make getting a job harder later. Yeah, yeah, I already know that. I've been thinking about that longer than you! But mostly the conversation was okay. He asked me again about that thing my dad said. I told him my dad was drunk, but that opened up a whole lot of other questions...All we did was talk, but somehow I'm exhausted... 7/10/13 Alex called again. I told him I couldn't talk that day because I wasn't supposed to be on the phone. He asked me if my parents were doing anything bad to me. I said no. I mean, not really? It's not like they beat me or anything. I told him he could email me if he wanted to talk about something or we could use a chat service. He asked if he could text, but I said that'd be a bad idea cause my parents might see it. We ended up using the IM service he uses to chat for a couple of hours. I made up a dumb s/n real quick. The conversation didn't really go anywhere. I'm not really sure what his deal is. Looking back over the conversation, Alex keeps switching between being an ass and trying to be I dunno what the right word would be--comforting? Mentor-like? Concerned? Something. IDK. It's weird. This was near the end of our conversation: skepticaleye: look i'm just saying you shouldn't do this skepticaleye: i don't want to see you mess up your life somewhereidunno: why do you care? somewhereidunno: no i really mean that why do you care? somewhereidunno: you've been acting like a jackass to me since 6th grade and suddenly somewhereidunno: you're acting like you're my fucking savior wtf is with you skepticaleye: i'm sorry skepticaleye: i had a lot of issues i needed to work out back then and i took a lot of that out on you skepticaleye: you didn't do anything wrong skepticaleye: well aside from that time you gave me a black eye on my 12th birthday skepticaleye: but that's besides the point it was mostly me starting shit somewhereidunno: no i started a lot of shit too somewhereidunno: sometimes i wanted to fight with you just to fight skepticaleye: do you think we could start over? skepticaleye: like how things were back in elementary school? somewhereidunno: idk... somewhereidunno: a lot's happened since then skepticaleye: i know skepticaleye: i can't undo any of the stupid things i've done skepticaleye: i'm sorry somewhereidunno: you kinda still need to work on that now skepticaleye: i know skepticaleye: sorry i've been acting like a jackass to you even in this conversation skepticaleye: are you okay? at home? skepticaleye: why didn't you want to talk on the phone? somewhereidunno: my parents have been on my case a lot somewhereidunno: i don't want them overhearing anything it's better if i stay quiet skepticaleye: what? somewhereidunno: it's nothing they're both in one of their bad moods together it'll pass skepticaleye: are you sure you're okay? if you need to get away, you can come over to my house somewhereidunno: no really i'm definitely okay skepticaleye: why do you wanna quit school? doesn't sound like you're okay to me somewhereidunno: i'm shit at school that's all there is to it skepticaleye: please reconsider...at the very least at least finish sophomore year okay? how about you make your decision over the summer between 10th and 11th grade? somewhereidunno: eh i guess i could do that somewhereidunno: so what's with the sudden change of heart? skepticaleye: i told you i've been thinking a lot about myself and the last few years skepticaleye: i don't want to leave things broken like this skepticaleye: and you're really worrying me somewhereidunno: i'm fine Not sure if I'm really going to wait it out until I finish 10th grade or not. Hmm, I might. If I did change my mind, it would make things easier. I don't know what's with Alex. I'm half wondering if he's just fucking with me. Why am I so exhausted? 7/11/13 Talked with Alex again. We did it through IM again. He asked me more questions about my parents, but I didn't give him much. I don't need him thinking my family life is all fucked up. No one needs to know that. Other than that, I guess it was okay? He apologized again. Maybe he is serious about this. 8/30/13 I was gonna skip the first day of class, but Alex showed up at my door that morning coming to "pick me up" and take me to the bus stop. I went with him, but ugh, I don't need that. If I wanna skip, that's my business. My parents were still home, so I left with him. He's been doing that most mornings now. It's so annoying. Dad made a snide comment about it this morning. "Your Asian boyfriend is here." I said he wasn't my boyfriend. I thought Dad was joking about it, but then he said, "If you're gonna fuck around with guys, couldn't you at least pick one a little less foreign?" I told him Alex was born here, in the same city actually, and he's half white. Not that it matters or anything, but something about that bothered me. I know my parents have said some inappropriate things before about some of my friends, like Juan and Nathan, but I don't usually say anything back. That always ends up being more trouble than it's worth. I don't know why I said anything then. Dad grumbled something I didn't hear very well, and told me to get a girlfriend. What a way to start the day. 9/15/13 Alex and I got into a fight. Not a physical one, but a big shouting match. It was on the bus. I was complaining about him coming to get me and he told me he wouldn't be bothering with it if I didn't skip school so much in the past. "I can skip as much school as I want. I never asked you to chaperone me!" I said. "I wouldn't have to do that if you went like you were supposed to. If I didn't show up, you'd be skipping all the time." Alex said back. "That's none of your business! Why don't you go back to leaving me alone? I liked it better that way." After that, we were both yelling at each other. Zack tried to get in between us, but that didn't help. At some point, the bus driver pulled the bus over and wrote us both up. I got a day in ISS, but I ended up skipping a few days after that. My parents were furious. They took my cell phone away again, and most of my things. I only managed to keep the computer because I told them I really needed it for school stuff. Mom was so upset with me after the third day I skipped that she went out drinking and didn't come home last night. While she was out, Dad sat me down in the living room and we looked up mental hospitals together. He said that if I don't start acting right, he's going to put me in one. He showed me one run by that research company they used to work for, saying he could get me in on a big discount there because of their history with the company. It's nearby, only about twenty minutes from the house. I'd stay there for at least a few weeks while they figured out what's wrong with me and got me some proper treatment. I asked him what he thought was wrong with me, not to be bratty or anything. I really wanted to know. I don't know what I was hoping for. For some reason, I had this idea in my head that if I asked, he'd suddenly present me this key that would explain everything about me and then everything wrong with me would make sense. He said he didn't know what it was, that it needed to stop and he didn't care how many weeks I needed to be there or how much the drugs cost so long as I acted right. Dad said not to say anything to Mom yet because it would stress her out more. He's going to discuss it with her himself, if my behavior continues. I went to school and did my day of punishment. On the bus earlier, Alex asked if we could talk again after school. I agreed. He walked me home and apologized for trying to force me to go to school instead of discussing it with me and for getting me in trouble again. He asked if he could come over, but I told him my parents grounded me again. He asked if we could chat online later instead, and I agreed to that. I apologized during the chat, but I didn't tell him about what my dad said. I bet he thinks I'm crazy. I've been thinking about it a lot since we had that conversation yesterday. I don't really want to go to that place if it's only for a few weeks. I don't think I could stand going back to school after being missing that long. What would I tell people? I'd rather stay there forever if something like that happens. I dunno. Maybe they'd keep me anyway. What if they can't fix me? 9/31/13 While Mom was doing an extra shift, Dad took me to visit that hospital. He wanted to examine the place to see if it was worth the price tag. It's still a lot of money even with the discount he'd get. I didn't like that place. Something about it weirded me out. The kids there were either really well behaved or really aggressive and violent. I take it the well behaved kids are near the end of their treatment. Am I that bad off? I didn't think so, but why would Dad take me to that place unless I really was? I asked Dad if he thought I should be in there. He said he wanted to put me in there long term back in middle school, but Mom didn't want to be around places like that. It upset her. I don't get why. She still works in the same field as before. Hmm, maybe it's different because this place focused on minors? She deals with adults now. I don't know. Neither of them ever want to talk about their old workplace. I'm surprised Dad took me to that place since its run by that company, but he has always been a bit of a tight wad when it comes to certain things. When we got home, Mom was actually home for once. She'd ordered Chinese food and was waiting for us. Then she asked how our shopping trip was. I told her I couldn't find anything that fit right. I wonder what Mom will think. She might enjoy me not being around. 10/5/13 I talked with Dad about the hospital. I asked him if he could wait until Christmas break because I don't want the treatment to mess with my school year. He laughed that I was suddenly not wanting to skip school. I said I'd do my best to not fuck up again and we could try having me stay at the hospital over the break and see how it goes. He's going to tell Mom tonight about the plan. UPDATE: Mom didn't take it well. She's been drinking in the kitchen. Dad went to his office and locked himself up again. Mom was crying a lot. I asked her what was wrong. She hugged me and kept crying. Then she said something weird. "It's gonna be okay, baby. Mama's not going to let them take you again, Idris." I've never heard her mention that name before. I looked up the family tree my grandparents set up online, and I can't find anyone named Idris. Hmm, maybe Idris was a patient at the research company's main building? I know that building itself dealt with people from all age groups, but Mom and Dad always specified that their work was primarily with teenagers. Not that I've ever gotten much else out of them about what they did, but that's something they have both mentioned to other people's parents when asked about their previous jobs. She was pretty drunk. She probably confused me for some teenage boy from back then. I guess something bad happened with him. 11/10/13 I had another dream about that guy. We were out in a field at night and there were these bright lights everywhere. There was a girl with us. Talking with Alex has been...okay. We haven't gotten into any more fights, but talking is...hard. Like he's so worried he's gonna mess up again he's constantly on edge. My grandparents also came over this evening. They're going on a road trip and were stopping by before they head on towards Alabama. Grandpa asked me if I got a girlfriend yet, and Dad said, "No, he's fucking around with some Asian boy." I quickly corrected him before Grandpa flipped out. Ugh. Dad, why? Grandpa asked me why I didn't have a girlfriend. I said I hadn't met a girl I liked yet. I mean, it's not like it's untrue. I don't like any of the girls at school. Never have. What am I supposed to do about that? 11/22/13 My grades have been okay this semester. Unless I bomb all my finals, I should pass everything. I might get a B in math, actually. I've been trying to keep Dad happy. Alex has been chatting with me pretty much every night now. I haven't told him yet about what's going to happen over the break. I've been trying to think up a convincing lie. Mom actually came home before Dad today. While we were eating pizza, I asked her who Idris was. She was like who? I told her she called me that when she was drunk one night and I was curious who it was. She said she's never known any Idris's and it was probably the name of a character in a book or something. I don't think she's lying. I can usually tell when she lies. She looked seriously confused. I guess there's nothing more to that. 12/4/13 I told Alex I wouldn't be able to talk with him over the break. I lied and said I'm staying with some relative over the break up in the mountains and I wouldn't have access to internet or be able to use my cell up there. He believed me, so that's good. Mom's been drinking pretty heavily again, and staying over more nights at work. Dad's been going I don't know where. Most evenings, I've ordered pizza and talked with Alex on the phone. Dunno what to expect over the break. 1/7/14 I came back home the fifth. I stayed on my best behavior, didn't cause any trouble. They evaluated me and said I have clinical depression. I was put with some other people around my age for group therapy and had some one on one therapy sessions. They chose not to give me any medication for now. The lady who was working with me was a grad student named Ms. Dogwood. She said if I have issues again, I can come back to see her for monthly sessions and if my symptoms get worse, she said I'll probably be prescribed some meds rather than needing to stay here. Some of the other teenagers there were really bad off. I didn't feel like I belonged there, at least not grouped with them. Of course, I also lied about my symptoms so I didn't have to stay too long. If I get messed up again, I'll try to keep myself together until summer. I don't know. I don't feel any better. Mom and Dad are happy though, and that's really the only reason I did it anyway. Coming back home has been surreal after being in there. I spent the first hour home kinda in a daze. Mom finally got me a laptop. That was nice. I'm still setting up. I called Alex about two hours ago. We talked for around an hour and half. I made up some nonsense vacation story and said it was boring as hell. While we were talking, my head cleared up some. I finally feel like I'm really home again. Not sure if I'm happy or not. I did miss Zack and Juan, and Alex too. Actually, I might have missed him the most. What the hell? I don't know why. I had a lot of weird dreams when I stayed there, but I'm tired. I'll probably write about them tomorrow. 1/10/14 Forgot I was going to make an entry about those dreams. I'll get around to it at some point. They were mostly about that guy again, and being in that one building. I don't really like being back at school. It's not like I liked being at that other place or at home, and I get to see my friends more at school, but...I dunno. I don't really want to be anywhere. I've been doing my work to keep my parents happy, but it's hard. I can't focus on anything for long, but I don't want to tell them about it. I think I can manage to keep passing at least. So long as I'm not failing anything, that should be enough. At this rate, Dad will probably make me go back to that place again. I'm going to finish out the semester. Then I'm going to drop out afterwards. I don't see any point in continuing. If I do it like that, they could tell the neighbors I'm homeschooled now or something. 2/5/14 Haven't felt like writing in this much lately, but a lot of things happened today. I skipped school one day to hang out with Nathan. We talked about school stuff. Looks like he's going to stay in school for a while longer. He wants a better paying job before quitting than what he has now. Still don't know what that is exactly, but he never says. He just waves that cigarette around and says, "Don't you worry about that". It's kinda funny to watch. Zack's brother hung out with us for a while. He just got back from a college tour. Him and Nathan are old buddies, but they've been drifting apart a lot since Nathan got held back a year. They were already a grade apart anyway. Now they're two grades apart and Tyler's really focused on trying to pick out a college and get scholarships right now. It was kinda weird hanging out with Tyler without Zack around. Now that I think about it, it's not like I'm really close with Nathan either. It's just sometimes...it's like who else can I talk about that shit with who won't get on my case about it, you know? My parents found out. Dad was really mad at me. After Mom yelled and stormed out, Dad started on about taking me back to the hospital. I promised him it wouldn't affect my grades and I wouldn't do it again, but I don't know how long I can keep this up. After that, Zack called and wished me happy birthday. Alex called after him and did the same. I told him to log on because I wanted to talk to him about some things I didn't want my parents overhearing. I told him about what happened today, minus the hospital part. He tried to talk me out of dropping out again. Here's that part of the chat: somewhereidunno: so i'm going to drop out sometime over the summer skepticaleye: are you sure? i thought your grades were better than before somewhereidunno: they are but it's too much i'm too dumb to keep this up skepticaleye: you're not dumb somewhereidunno: you know my grades are nothing but c's somewhereidunno: i had to struggle to get high c's skepticaleye: you have an 88 in math, that's a high b somewhereidunno: that's only one class skepticaleye: i have an 87 in math somewhereidunno: what? i thought you had all a's skepticaleye: lol no skepticaleye: sometimes i do, if i'm lucky but only barely skepticaleye: every time, math gets me--if i make all a's, math will be a 90 no higher somewhereidunno: yeah but you have a's in all your other classes skepticaleye: i've made some b's here and there but i do study a lot it's not like i'm just some genius and skepticaleye: a lot of my a's are on the lower end somewhereidunno: still better than where i'm at skepticaleye: look at it this way, you were barely passing at all before skepticaleye: that pic you sent of your report card last summer your highest grade was a 73 skepticaleye: now your lowest grade is a 75 and you have a really high b somewhereidunno: i just don't see the point in staying in school skepticaleye: do you really think you can't hold out another two years? that's all it really is skepticaleye: you've already completed K-9 and are almost done with 10. you're almost done with all of it. skepticaleye: i know you can do it somewhereidunno: i really can't skepticaleye: why do you think you can't? somewhereidunno: i just can't skepticaleye: eric, is something going on at your house? somewhereidunno: no i told you there's nothing going on skepticaleye: is there anything else you want to tell me? somewhereidunno: about what? skepticaleye: are you alright? have you thought about seeing a doctor? somewhereidunno: for what? skepticaleye: have you ever considered that you might have some kind of learning disability? somewhereidunno: i don't have anything like that i'm just dumb skepticaleye: don't take this the wrong way but what about a therapist? i'm not a doctor or anything but i think you might be depressed somewhereidunno: actually i did see someone about that somewhereidunno: i was thinking i might see them again skepticaleye: i think you should talk with them again before you make any big decisions somewhereidunno: i guess i just don't see how anything's going to get any better skepticaleye: it will somewhereidunno: hey um could i spend the night at your house on friday? skepticaleye: yeah i doubt my parents would care somewhereidunno: there's some more stuff i wanna talk about but i'd rather say it in person you know? skepticaleye: i take it something you can't say on the bus or at school somewhereidunno: yeah I'm going to tell him about what happened over the break. Or at least, that's the current plan. I dunno. I might chicken out. 2/8/14 Just got back from Alex's house. I told him about having to go to that hospital. He didn't think I was nuts or that it was weird, but he said he'd keep it a secret. It was kinda awkward going over there. I haven't been inside his house since 6th grade. I ended up sleeping on his futon sofa. I didn't say anything about it, but Jesus that thing hurt my back. After we talked about the trip, we played video games for a while. His parents made a really nice dinner. Not sure if it was because they knew I was coming over or if that's how things usually are there. Either way, it was great. I haven't had a really nice, home-cooked meal in a long time. He asked me again if there was anything else going on at home. I said there wasn't. Alex asked if he could come by my house in the morning like before to walk me to the bus stop. I told him I didn't need that. He said it wasn't about me needing it, he just wanted more time to talk to me in the morning. I said that'd be fine. 3/15/14 I saw Ms. Dogwood again, or rather Dr. Dogwood now. She asked me if I'd like to try some meds. I declined for now. Then she gave me some things to do at home that might help me. Mom's seeing someone about her issues now too. They put her on some experimental drug called Aequa. It's supposed to level off her moods or something. She seems to be doing better. She's not drinking as much, for now. Dad's in a better mood too. Alex has been coming over to my house every morning before school. My parents are gone by that point most days now since they've been going in earlier lately, so it's just me and him. He's been making me breakfast a lot. He actually brought food over to cook and everything. I haven't had breakfast this regularly since early elementary school. 3/22/14 I had another dream about that guy. I was a little kid in the dream and it was night. He took me into the bathroom and got the tub ready for a bubble bath. We took a bath together. I don't think I was very old. I needed some help getting in the tub. After that, he helped me get my pajamas on and we brushed our teeth. Then he tucked me into my bed and read me a story. I fell asleep leaning against him, and that's how the dream ended. 4/10/14 Alex and I have been on pretty good terms. We're still chatting nightly and doing that thing in the morning. Mom's been weirdly mellow and chilled out. I don't think I've ever seen her like this. It's like she's a completely different person now. She hasn't touched any alcohol since the doctor put her on those meds. Dad's still been having outbursts here and there, and drinking, but not as often as before. Alex invited me to a study group at his house the other night. That Noelle girl was there, the one who's the president of the Environmental Club, and that popular girl, Tamara. I had no idea they were best friends. They seem like two people who would never normally hang out, and to think these two are friends with Alex is even weirder. It was pretty awkward. I've never hung out with either of them before, and I really didn't want to talk about myself. Fortunately, Alex kept most of the conversation on the actual studying part. Tamara mentioned she was trying to help out that Allison girl. She's this really weird girl who's in the same grade as us. We went to different elementary and middle schools from her. The first time I met her was in my 9th grade Geography class. She weirded me out. Tamara said some messed up stuff was going on in her home, and she was trying to get Allison out of there. I didn't ask any questions. It's not my business. Dad asked about Tamara and Noelle, so I looked up their Facebook accounts. Dad said Tamara's really hot and asked if she had a boyfriend. I said I don't know, cause I don't. He then suggested I should ask her out, and said she looked like the kind of girl who'd be easy. That was...weird. I think he's just trying to end my longstanding singleness, but yeah, that just weirded me out. Unfortunately for him, I'm not interested in Tamara either. Sometimes, I think about asking a girl out so he'll get off my case about it, but I wouldn't want to manipulate some girl into thinking I genuinely liked her. I'm not going to use and possibly hurt someone else to make him happy. 5/12/14 The semester is winding down. Only a few more weeks. Currently, my grades are pretty stable. I actually have two classes at a B average right now, and my math average is at an 89. One more point and I'll have an A. I haven't gotten an A in anything in years. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high, but seeing that 89 is unreal for me. Alex challenged me. The challenge: whoever gets the higher math score gets some kind of reward from the loser. We're both at an 89 right now. I accepted his challenge. 6/20/14 I can't believe it. I made a 91 in math. I made a fucking A in math. And I beat Alex by one point. He took me out to dinner at a fancy restaurant. What the hell, Alex. That's overkill. Not that I refused the offer. I haven't been to a sit-in place in ages. I ended up spending the night at his house afterwards. As for my other classes, I ended up with two low B's and the rest were high C's. When I showed my parents, Mom said, "See, I knew you could make better grades if you tried! Now you need to bring up the grades more next year. You used to make all A's in elementary school." Dad said something about how it was good that I went to that hospital, because it clearly put me back on track. Pretty sure that was mostly me and Alex, but whatever. 7/7/14 Alex spent the night last night. He left around noon. It was weird having him over at my house. I know Mom and Dad have mostly been acting better than they used to, but I really don't like being around either of them for long, and my parents don't like Alex. Dad really doesn't like Alex. After Alex left, Dad asked me if we were having sex. I told him I'm not dating Alex and I'm not ready to start having sex yet anyway. Then he asked me if I'm gay. I said no. He also asked if I ever found out if Tamara has a boyfriend. I told him she did so he'd leave me alone, but I honestly have no clue. I've only talked to her like twice since that first study group. Ugh, I'd like to repress today. 7/8/14 Woke up this morning to my parents arguing. Mostly my dad was screaming at my mom. I didn't catch how it started, but I got up and listened by the door. They were arguing about my dad thinking I'm gay and needing to be put on what my mom's on. He made some snide remarks about how she has no sex drive now, so it'd be useful for something. And something about how they haven't had sex since she started taking it. Really didn't need to know that. Mom said something about looking into Christian summer camps to help "discourage" me from that. That's rich. My parents are both atheists. But I guess religion is fine if it'll help me not potentially be something they disapprove of. FFS. Christian summer camps. I gotta figure out a way out of that. I'm going to text Alex later about this. Ugh, I'd like to remove today from my memories, please. 7/9/14 I chatted with Alex for hours earlier. I'm c+p-ing the important part. This is crazy. I don't know if it's going to work. skepticaleye: so let me get this straight skepticaleye: lol skepticaleye: your parents think you're gay because i spent the night at your house and you don't have a gf skepticaleye: so your non-christian parents want to send you to a christian summer camp to jesus any gay out of you skepticaleye: or abuse meds to nullify your sex drive skepticaleye: did i get all that right? somewhereidunno: yeah, that's p much it skepticaleye: wtf skepticaleye: are they really homophobic? somewhereidunno: yeah skepticaleye: i had no idea skepticaleye: i figured since they were atheists... skepticaleye: then again, i've read some pretty fucked up things on atheist and skeptic blogs before somewhereidunno: dad's getting more paranoid because i'm hanging around you specifically skepticaleye: is it because my parents are really liberal? somewhereidunno: no it's, well somewhereidunno: my parents are really racist skepticaleye: ... skepticaleye: wow somewhereidunno: so my dad's really worried about me ending up in a relationship with someone not white somewhereidunno: the gay angle is just an added gross factor to him, he's more worried about the not white part skepticaleye: that's fucked up somewhereidunno: yeah somewhereidunno: you should hear the shit they say about juan and nathan skepticaleye: do they think they're "illegals" and "lazy" somewhereidunno: lol how'd you know skepticaleye: call it a hunch skepticaleye: so what are you gonna do? somewhereidunno: idk i need to find a way to be somewhere for a while skepticaleye: hmm i have an idea not sure if this will work skepticaleye: do they usually freak out when you come over to my house? somewhereidunno: not as much, cause i say i'm studying there and they think your parents are really focused on grades skepticaleye: lol as if somewhereidunno: they figured the only reason i'd invite you over to my house would be for other reasons somewhereidunno: though i think my dad thinks we're doing it regardless skepticaleye: haha i had no idea i was having so much sex what a revelation skepticaleye: so you're dad's a total miser right? somewhereidunno: you have no idea skepticaleye: okay, so here's my idea skepticaleye: my aunt is holding some two-week stem summer camp skepticaleye: and since you're my friend, i can get you in for free skepticaleye: that would at least get you away from them for two weeks somewhereidunno: they might go for that somewhereidunno: they really want me to have all a's somewhereidunno: i didn't know you had an aunt i thought your mom was an only child skepticaleye: she is somewhereidunno: wait skepticaleye: my family's about to go on a two-week vacation to panama city somewhereidunno: um are your parents going to be okay with me tagging along? skepticaleye: sure skepticaleye: if i tell them what's up, they'll definitely play along skepticaleye: my mom loves performing anyway haha skepticaleye: she'll get a kick out of it somewhereidunno: are you sure? i don't want to ruin your vacation skepticaleye: what? that would only make it better somewhereidunno: are you sure i won't be a burden on your parents skepticaleye: no way they love you somewhereidunno: really? skepticaleye: yeah they were pretty happy about us being friends again skepticaleye: don't worry about anything, we'll take care of it skepticaleye: i'll have my mom call your parents tomorrow I still feel a little weird about imposing on them like that, but I do really want to go. I haven't been on a vacation in so long. Mom and Dad have been on several over the last few years, but they always leave me home. 7/10/14 Alex's mom called my mom. So, it's settled. I'm already packing. We're leaving in two days. I am so happy to being getting away from this place. 7/28/14 I'm back. That was the best vacation I've ever been on. No one argued. No one stormed out or made a big scene out of nothing. They let us do what we wanted most of the time. Is this how most families are or are Alex's parents just perfect? I wish my parents were like them. I know my parents always make snide comments about Alex's mom being married to someone who's not Alex's dad, but they seem so perfect for each other. I saw the sunrise every morning, and watched it set every evening. At night, Alex and I took walks on the beach to look at the stars. There's so many more stars by the ocean than here. Since I wasn't originally part of the plan, we were short one bed and I shared with Alex. It was a little crowded, but it felt kinda nostalgic. It reminded me of back when I was a lot younger and I spent the night at Alex's house. His bed seemed huge back then. The hotel didn't have cable. We watched some local channels at night. Some paranormal themed show kept coming on basically every time we turned it on. It was that or soap operas. On the last night, neither of us could really sleep. We spent a long time talking. At some point, we actually went outside and talked by the pool. I can still remember how the lights outside looked on the water. I told him a lot of things about my parents, things I've never told anyone. How I always wanted to run away. Why I really went to that hospital. I told him everything. Except for the stuff about those dreams and memories. I'm pretty sure anyone would think I'm crazy if I told them that. "I had no idea any of that was going on. Why didn't you tell me before?" He asked. "I don't know. I guess I was embarrassed by it." I said. "There's no reason to be embarrassed. If you ever need to escape, you can always run to me. I won't let anything happen to you." He hugged me after that. God, this is so embarrassing. I ended up crying for a while. I hope no one else was awake at that hour and saw me. After that, I started asking him questions. Like why he wanted to start over. "I realized most of the anger I had towards you was really about something else I didn't want to face, and I took it out on you. When I dealt with that, I knew I would be making a big mistake if I didn't try to work things out. I don't want us to drift apart." He said. I asked him what it was he needed to work out. "I know this is gonna sound really dumb, since you just told me about all of that, and what it is isn't really that big of a deal, but...I don't think I'm ready to talk about it yet. It's something really personal. I swear I'll tell you one day, but I'm not...ready yet to talk about it with anyone. I'm still...processing some things." He said. Alex sounded really embarrassed about whatever it was. I told him it was okay. He didn't have to tell me yet. It took me a while to be able to tell him all of that, so it was only fair. Alex changed the subject after that. He said, "So...about that stuff your dad thinks...is there any other reason he might think you're into guys? Seems a weird leap in logic." "There is the whole I'm sixteen and have never had a girlfriend thing," I said. "Yeah, I guess that would do it." Alex laughed at that. "So, um, are you gay?" I wasn't really thinking when I said this. I just blurted out whatever was on my mind. I was half asleep at this point. "I mean, I don't know. I've never met a girl I liked. I've tried looking at porn, but I don't know. Nothing does anything for me." "Have you ever looked at any with guys?" He asked. "No. I never thought about trying that. I'm pretty sure my parents would kill me if they found that I'd been to a website like that." I said. Alex got freaked out by that. "What?! You don't really mean that, right?" "What are you freaking out about? Oh...no, I don't mean that literally. They'd probably ground me and take away my stuff for a couple of months or something. They're not that level of crazy." "Jesus, you gave me a heart attack there for a second. Cause if that was true, there's no way I'd let you go back home. But that's still...ugh..." "I swear they really wouldn't hurt me like that. They've never laid a hand on me before for anything. Except this one time my dad was really drunk, but that only happened once and that was years ago." At least, I think it was only once. That part of my memory is kinda fuzzy. Sixth grade was not a good time period for me. "Are you sure you want to go back there?" He asked. "I'll be fine." His concern gave me the courage to ask something else. Probably the second most embarrassing thing I said that night. "So...um, if I was gay, you wouldn't care?" "No, why would I?" "I don't know. What about spending the night? Wouldn't it be awkward?" "I don't see why. You're probably letting some crap your parents said mess with your head." He gave me a pat on the back. "So, um...you know, you've never had a girlfriend either." Alex went quiet for a second after that. "Yeah, I haven't. That's kind of what I don't want to talk about right now. It's getting really late. We need to get some sleep." I stupidly blurted out, "Are you gay?" Alex got up from where we were sitting. "There are a number of things what I said could imply. I told you I don't want to talk about it right now." "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have pushed it. Whenever you're ready to talk, let me know." "I'm sorry. I snapped at you. I really do want to talk to you about this, but I just...can't right now. I promise you I will at some point. Are you ready to go to bed?" "Yeah." I'm not sure what to think about all that. His comment that there could be a number of reasons worries me. I'd put being gay on the benign side of things. Was he implying it was something...painful to talk about? I hope not. When we got in bed, I ended up saying to him, "Hey, I know you don't want to talk about...that right now, but are you okay? I just want to make sure." "I'm alright. It's really not a big deal, I swear to god. It's more something I'm embarrassed by. Don't worry too much about it." "Okay. I just wanted to make sure you're alright." "It's fine. Thank you for asking." We didn't get much sleep, but we still woke up earlier than his parents. I didn't really want to go back. I was so happy the drive home would take several hours. Since it was late when we got back, I asked his parents if I could spend the night and go home in the morning. They let me stay and I called my parents to tell them I was staying over because I was tired from the trip. Alex and I spent most of the night playing video games together. I asked him, since we'd spent the last two weeks sleeping in the same bed anyway, if I could share the bed with him because the futon always hurt my back. "Sure. Why didn't you tell me sooner? You don't have to suffer in silence. We have a guest bedroom too, if you want that." I declined the guest room. I said I'd feel weird sleeping alone in that room. I don't know. That probably sounded childish. I got home about an hour ago. Mom and Dad are still at work. I am exhausted and I just ugh...coming back here, I feel like shit. Everything was great on the vacation, even during that really intense conversation. Actually, even though it got kinda awkward at times, it felt good to get all that out. I don't want to be here. UPDATE: Earlier, I was going through the files in my dad's office looking for some of my old school records. I found something that shouldn't be there. It's a medical report, about a week long stay at one of the hospitals that research company runs. This was the mental hospital in Rome. The report is for me. I have no memory of this, and Dad said he never took me there in sixth grade. But from the date on the paperwork, that's exactly when it would have to have been--sixth grade. What the fuck. I scanned a copy of the file and uploaded it somewhere so it's not on my computer for my parents to find, then I put the file back where I found it. According to what's on it, I received some kind of treatment there but I don't recognize the name of it. I tried searching it, but nothing came up. Maybe it was something experimental that never caught on? I don't know. My listed symptoms are: memory distortion, paranoia, delusions, sexually inappropriate behavior, disruptive behavior, and psychotic episodes. When the hell did any of that happen? Nothing's really elaborated on as to what those are referring to. I was released within a week with notes that I had a complete improvement. A follow-up was suggested for a month later. I was so nervous about my dad walking in on me in his office that I didn't search too long after that. I had to make sure at the very least I got this information put up somewhere. I'm going to search through his stuff again tomorrow. What the hell does this mean? So, I really am crazy after all. 7/29/14 Dad caught me. He came home unusually early to pick up some paperwork he left on his desk. I came clean about what I was doing, but not that I scanned that report. We had a talk in his office. Dad says he had me put in the hospital in sixth grade after I had a nervous breakdown. He lied before because he didn't want me to accidentally say anything to Mom about it happening since I couldn't remember it myself. He told her at the time he was sending me to visit his parents to get some fresh air, and I have to absolutely keep quiet about this. He said my last stay at the mental hospital was actually the fourth time I'd been in one. The first time was shortly after I finished kindergarten. Mom was really upset about me being in there. That was when she started drinking. I don't remember anything about this happening at all, but apparently I received the same treatment. Dad says it's a very experimental treatment. It's one of the things he was helping that company study when him and Mom worked for them. Officially speaking, they don't offer it, which is why I couldn't find anything out about it. The treatment causes some slight fogginess about the time period surrounding the treatment but is extremely effective. The fogginess is part of why they haven't started offering it officially yet. They can't figure out how to deal with that side effect yet. Mom's Aequa pills are basically the less extreme version of the treatment. It doesn't have severe side effects but also must be taken daily to see any positives while the other treatment only needs to be done every few years. The first treatment didn't take very well, and I had to have another one done at the end of second grade. The third time was during sixth grade. Obviously, I have no memories of any of this. Since I didn't have the same symptoms as before, I didn't get that treatment this time around, but he did ask for them to give it to me if I started displaying those symptoms again. I asked him about my symptoms. You know, what did I actually do. He said I would make up things about the past, talk about people who never existed. I'd have these complicated stories about all of this, like I really lived it when I didn't. I'd tell everyone I had dreams about these people and places too. So, that's what's happening now. Then none of that--that guy, the girl, those places--none of it is real. Apparently, I'd have outbursts at times and cry saying I wanted to see someone I, in my head, believed was my older brother. I'd point to pictures and say he was in them when it was only me, or me with my parents. Sometimes I'd have complete breaks from reality. He asked me if I was having those thoughts again, and that it would be okay if I was. We can just have the treatment done again and everything will be fine. I asked him if I'll have to keep having this done for the rest of my life. He said most likely. I lied. I said nothing like that was happening. I apologized for going in his office, and for well, you know. Existing. I didn't say that exactly, but I pretty heavily implied it. I asked him if I could have dinner in my room tonight. I wanted to spend some time alone to think about everything. Mom came up earlier to bring me food. I ended up hugging her and saying I was sorry for all the dumb stuff I've done over the years. She's so nice now that she's on that medicine. I guess that was what she was like before I started acting crazy when I was a little kid. I should have known everything was my fault. I'm not sad. I thought I'd be. I did cry a little. Not really a sobbing kind of cry. Just a few tears fell. Right now, I'm empty. There's nothing there. I've been thinking maybe I should drop out after all, and have myself permanently committed. If I'm this crazy, I shouldn't be around normal people. I'll talk to Dad about it tomorrow. But I don't know...they'll have to pay for it. That's so much money. I don't want to cost them anymore money. Maybe I should off myself. No, funerals and burials are expensive too, and both of those would probably make Mom worse. I don't know if I can manage to pretend to be normal forever. 7/30/14 I talked to Dad again. I asked him how long that treatment takes, like does it have to be a full week. He said they can do it in a day. The week was mostly to observe me. "Eric, do you have something you want to tell me?" He asked. I told him I lied yesterday, and I apologized. He asked me how long had this been going on. I said about two years. He's scheduled me to be treated tomorrow. I asked if Mom's medicine would work on me, and he said I'm at too severe a point. I need to have the treatment done, and then they could put me on Aequa afterwards to make sure it doesn't escalate to that again, but there's no guarantees. If the treatment's enough, I should be alright for another few years. I asked him about the memory loss thing. Supposedly, while it still has issues, the fogginess mostly only last over the day of the treatment, so I shouldn't lose too many memories this time. We're keeping this from Mom. 7/31/14 I know I'm going to forget this, so I'm putting this here. That guy's name, the one in my dreams and in my head. I know his name. Idris. That's the name Mom called me when she was drunk. Who the hell is Idris? I feel like there's still something everyone's keeping from me. 8/2/14 I think I've mostly recovered from the treatment. I don't remember any of yesterday or the day before. I had to ask my dad if we were leaving yet this morning and he told me I already had it done. I didn't believe him at first. I've been rereading through the entirety of this journal. Dad said I lost yesterday and the day before it from my memories, but my memories about those dreams and the things I "remembered" are really fuzzy too. I think I lost some of them. Maybe that's supposed to happen? I don't know what to think about my last entry. I somehow decided that guy's name was Idris, but I don't know how I came to that conclusion. Given that none of that is real and is just in my head, and I knew that then, I don't get why I wrote that. IDK, maybe I was having one of those "episodes" Dad was talking about. Dad asked me about how I was feeling, and that it's probably too soon to know if it worked. I need to let him know if I start experiencing anything weird again. I asked him if I could have copies of all my medical records, for when I'm an adult in case this happens again. You know, so I have something to look back on and know what's actually going on with me and get help. Dad made me copies but he told me I should still contact him first before seeing anyone. Only that company can do the treatment for me, and he has to arrange it with them. Not sure what I'm supposed to do once I'm older and he's passed on. I guess hope there's a good treatment for me by then that's public available. I asked Dad if they diagnosed me with anything specific when I was a kid. He said they were waiting until I was older before giving me any sort of diagnosis. I read over all the medical records Dad let me make copies of. I just can't believe this all really happened. That I can forget entire periods of time, and have no clue about it is so unbelievable. What kind of treatment does that? How bad was I that my dad thought that was the best option? What the hell did I do? I've stayed in my room since then. Mostly, I've been laying in bed and thinking. Thinking that maybe I should just...go back to the hospital and stay. I don't want to cause my parents more financial problems or make my mom more upset, but I don't want to do something potentially fucked up in the future if I get bad like back in early elementary school and 6th grade. Maybe Mom's medicine will help her cope better this time. Might talk to Dad about that tomorrow. UPDATE: Alex called earlier. I said I was too tired to really talk and wanted to go to bed early, but I'd get on to chat with him for a little while after dinner. We chatted for about two hours. I haven't told him anything about the recent stuff, but we talked about school. I said I might still drop out soon. Here's that part of the conversation. somewhereidunno: so um i'm really grateful that you helped me out so much last year somewhereidunno: but i think i'm done somewhereidunno: i think i'm going to drop out before school starts up again skepticaleye: what? where is this coming from? somewhereidunno: idk i just dont think i can keep this up somewhereidunno: it was really hard for me to do all that last semester somewhereidunno: and getting up every day is just so much work somewhereidunno: i know i sound really lazy but somewhereidunno: i just can't i can't do this skepticaleye: yes you can skepticaleye: that's just the depression talking skepticaleye: it's making it hard for you to see the truth skepticaleye: i know you can do this skepticaleye: i'll help you somewhereidunno: you don't need to waste your time skepticaleye: i'm not wasting my time skepticaleye: i want to help you skepticaleye: have you talked to your doctor recently? somewhereidunno: yesterday skepticaleye: did you tell her about your plan? somewhereidunno: no skepticaleye: i think you shouldn't make any major decisions like this until you talk with her about it somewhereidunno: i was gonna talk to my dad about this first skepticaleye: i don't think that's a good idea skepticaleye: your parents are really obsessed with your grades skepticaleye: and honestly, i'm really worried about you being over there skepticaleye: i think you should talk to your doctor before saying anything to your parents skepticaleye: if you change your mind, do you really want to go through some big blow up for no reason? somewhereidunno: my parents aren't going to hurt me skepticaleye: tomorrow, let's you and me spend the day together somewhereidunno: idk i don't really wanna go anywhere tomorrow skepticaleye: i'll come to you somewhereidunno: i don't wanna talk about stuff if my parents can hear me skepticaleye: eric, you're gonna have to meet me halfway at least skepticaleye: i'll walk to your house to get you and we can sit down by the creek to talk skepticaleye: how's that? somewheredunno: i just don't really wanna get up tomorrow skepticaleye: please somewhereidunno: ok i'll try to be ready around ten skepticaleye: k skepticaleye: you should get some sleep skepticaleye: eric if you get any weird thoughts, like about doing something to hurt yourself somewhereidunno: alex skepticaleye: i'm not trying to be condescending or judge you skepticaleye: pls call me first or call your doctor skepticaleye: promise me somewhereidunno: is that really necessary skepticaleye: promise somewhereidunno: alright alright i promise skepticaleye: thank you So I guess I'm seeing Alex tomorrow. Guess I'll save that talk with Dad for afterwards. 8/3/14 Alex and I went down to the creek and sat for a while. I couldn't tell him anything about the hospital stuff. It's too humiliating. If he knew, he wouldn't want anything to do with someone as crazy as me. Really, I should get away from him. What if I end up doing something crazy and hurt him? Are we really friends if I'm keeping all these secrets from him? What am I supposed to do? Eventually, Alex convinced me to try going at least one more full year and make my decision next summer. Then he said he had worked out a plan for me that might help since I struggle so much with keeping my grades up and attendance. He's going to send me an email with the plan later. I don't know why I'm doing this. I don't want to be alone right now, but I don't want to be around anyone either. I keep telling myself it'd be best if I went ahead and pushed Alex away again, like I did back in sixth grade. But actually trying to do that terrifies me. I don't want to disappoint Alex. I don't want to lose Alex. More than anything, I'm terrified I'm going to forget Alex. 8/20/14 I've been sticking to Alex's plan. He's also roped me into joining his club, the Atheists, Agnostics, and Skeptics Club. He says having a club to go to will help me with my stability issues, but I think he just wanted someone to join his club. I had no idea Juan was in the club. Watching those two argue back and forth about who's actually close-minded when discussing if the government is covering up alien abductions is pretty entertaining. He's also trying to get Zack in the club too. I sat in on the other club Alex is a part of, the Environmental Club. Noelle is still president and Tamara is in that club too. No surprise there with Noelle. She's basically a nerdy, mousy hippie, but I don't get Tamara. That girl confuses me in general. Pretty sure I'm not joining that club. No offense to the environment, but I don't care that much about government policies and wildlife management when I can barely manage my own brain and adhere to school policies. My grades are decent right now, and my attendance is good. I haven't missed any days yet. Mom's been a little off lately. She's not freaking out or anything. It's more like she's not mentally...there. She's really nice acting, but...IDK. It's like she's lost in a daze sometimes and she forgets what she was doing. Dad says it's fine so long as she doesn't mess up anything at work, but I don't know. Hmm. Maybe they changed her dosage recently or something. 9/30/14 School's going okay. Mom's still acting weird. I asked her if she was okay. She confirmed that they changed the dosage. Doctor says it'll take a while for her to adjust. Me, Alex, and Juan spent the night at Zack's house last weekend. We watched a bunch of kooky paranormal "documentaries" and TV shows that Juan looked up. That was fun. I don't get how people believe in all that stuff, except maybe some of the ghost stuff. Ghost stories always creep me out. IDK. Maybe I'm weird but the idea of something dead just kinda lingering there, something that's not physical but it can interact you and possibly touch you and you can't do anything about it...ugh. I'd rather disappear than become a ghost. I've been over at Alex's a lot, mostly to study but we've been playing video games a lot too and taking walks down by the creek at night. Lately, we've started taking walks on the nature trail not far from the other side of the creek, that big one they paved out back in the late 90s. I've lived here most of my life and I've never really walked on it much. Dr. Dogwood called me earlier to ask how I was. I said I'm doing okay, and told her about the stuff with Alex. She congratulated me and told me to keep up the good work. 10/18/14 I've been spending the night at Alex's house pretty much at least once every weekend at this point. His parents are so nice to me, but I'm sure they've got to be fed up with seeing me so much. I hate going home. Dad's been in his office a lot. He hasn't been talking to me or Mom much. I don't know what's going on with him. Mom's gotten even more forgetful and clumsy. 10/31/14 This morning, she did it again. She called me Idris. I don't have any symptoms right now. Am I making up these memories in my head? Is this how it starts? I can't tell what's real anymore. I said to her, "Mom, it's Eric. Who is Idris?" "Eric? You're too big to be Eric. Idris, you're silly. Make sure you brother has his clothes ready for tomorrow. Your father and I have to leave early for work." She said and then started writing something on a piece of paper. Or well, she tried to. She didn't uncap the pen, but she was sitting there, going through the motions. I told her the cap was on and fixed it for her. Then she wrote nothing but gibberish. I told Dad. He ordered me to go to my room immediately. Later, he came to my room and told me none of that happened. He gave me a handful of Mom's Aequa pills and told me to take one. He made me do it in front of him. "If this stuff doesn't work, we're going to have to take you back to the hospital for another treatment." Around eight, I got online and chatted with Alex for a while. My head's really fuzzy right now. It was really hard for me to recall all of that. This entry took about an hour to make. 11/1/14 I don't remember yesterday very well. I'm glad I wrote an entry up for it, otherwise I think I would have completely forgot. Dad had to remind me I had the Aequa pills. He reminded me Mom had some issues when adjusting, so I should expect some too. He called Dr. Dogwood last night and asked for her to give me some "samples" to "try out" of Aequa. Then if my symptoms improve, I'll get a proper prescription. Dad sent her a lot of info in an email about my medical history and past behaviors so she's more aware of my issues. I called Dr. Dogwood after my parents went to work. She's not technically working today, but she said I could call her cell outside of work hours if I needed someone to talk to. She asked me a lot of questions. At some point, I broke down and told her some things I wanted to keep secret. "Sometimes, I think that...my parents are lying. Maybe I was telling the truth and they're just tricking me. But that doesn't make any sense. They have the paperwork. There is evidence to show I can't be right, but it feels so real I keep doubting everything. I can't tell what's real anymore. I'm so confused." I said. "Eric, this is part of the illness. You have to trust your parents. The medicine will help stop that from happening. Everything will be clear again in time. You'll be free from the paranoia and delusions. You won't have to worry about any of this anymore, and it'll help with your depression too." Dr. Dogwood said. "I keep forgetting everything. I can't remember yesterday." "It's going to be alright, Eric. For the time being, you'll have to manage through it. It will get better. This is merely the adjustment period. Everyone goes through this when they first start taking Aequa. Make sure you write about your days in your journal and make a note you can see to look back on it." She paused for a while before she said anything else. Then, she said, "If you keep a journal, that is. If not, you should start keeping one." "Okay", was all I managed. I ended the call shortly after that, but I was more paranoid than before. I am positive I've never mentioned keeping a journal to her before, but she sounded like she was certain I had one. Did I forget I told her? I'm probably over thinking this, but that bothered me. I left myself a note by the computer. 11/2/14 Dad saw the note this morning. He demanded to see the journal, because it might be useful for him to have a copy to show doctors later. I told him I couldn't remember keeping a journal, but I remembered having some kind of conversation with Dr. Dogwood last night. I said, "I think she asked me to start a journal. So I could remember anything important I might forget from starting the medicine." He was suspicious, but that convinced him enough. Then he told me I had to let him see my "new" journal entries every morning. He made me agree to it. I've started up a fake physical journal that I'm keeping in a spiral notebook. I've been writing about completely trivial stuff, like "today dinner was blah" and "I talked with so and so at school" or "I have a test Friday". Mundane, emotionless things. I want this to end. For something that's supposed to make me less crazy, it's driving me more insane. I don't know how long I can keep this up. 11/3/14 Mom called me Idris again. Or at least, that's how I remember it. Dad says that didn't happen. He told me to take two pills. Guess I won't remember this tomorrow. 11/4/14 Alex, Zack, and Juan all noticed something's off about me. I told them I took some really strong cold medicine this morning and it's making my head fuzzy. I don't know how long I can keep this up. I can't have a cold forever. Dr. Dogwood didn't say how long the adjustment period would take... 11/5/14 I'm having to make notes. I keep forgetting I have meds. I keep forgetting I'm supposed to be making entries daily. I keep forgetting everything. My mind resets itself to thinking yesterday is the day before I started taking the medicine, every single day. I can't remember anything I learn in school. I called Dr. Dogwood. She said she could write me a note to let me stay out for a week while I adjust. I told her I wanted to stop. She said I need the medicine. I can't. She said my reactions were pretty severe and she might need to give me an even higher dosage. I don't think I can handle anymore. 11/15/14 I'm done with it. I quit taking the Aequa two days ago. I can remember things again. I know I could still be losing it, and for all I know, I am, but I don't care. I can't do that. I stopped the day Mom came home abruptly around noon from work and didn't go back. Dad says that never happened, but her work called the house. Their phone number is in our caller ID. I was taking at least 3 Aequa pills at a time every eight hours. Dad still claims I'm making it up. I can't be. Can I? I'm not going to get any more treatments. I'm not going back to that place. I'm not taking those pills. I was fine for most of my life. For all I know, the reason things got bad in those one time periods may have nothing to do with me at all. I know it doesn't make sense, but my gut is telling me I'm not wrong. Even if I am, what's the point? I'll be fucked up for the rest of my life anyway. Spending the night at Alex's tonight. I can't wait to see Alex. 11/16/14 Don't wanna be back here. Mom's acting mostly normal again. Well, her normal. Dad took her yesterday to get the treatment done. Mom can't remember she went. They're keeping her on the meds. Dad says they're trying something slightly different from my treatment, something new, but wouldn't elaborate on that. Alex and I talked online for a while. Next week, his family's going out of state to see some relatives and do this road trip thing. I won't be able to talk to him much outside of texts and emails. Zack's going to be in and out of town too. I don't want to be home alone with my parents for a week. Ugh, and family will be coming over on Thursday. I can't stand my family. 11/17/14 It's a school night, but Alex's parents are letting me stay over. We didn't stay up very late, because school, but we did have a pretty long conversation after he turned the lights off. It wasn't about anything important, but it was nice. I'm glad I went over there. It's like I'm a completely different person when I'm around Alex. A better person. Everything got so messed up back in sixth grade, but I'm glad Alex wanted to fix things. I don't know if I'd be alive right now otherwise. 11/21/14 Friday. I don't want it to be Friday. Next week is almost here. Can't I skip all of this? I'm spending the night at Alex's house again tonight. Gotta pack my stuff. He's leaving Sunday. 11/24/14 Alex is away with his family right now in another state already. I've been texting him all day, and scrolling back through my texts, ugh...it's so embarrassing...I can't imagine what he's thinking...God, I'm so annoying... I've been thinking about Alex all day. I want to see him. I want to send him some emails too, but I've been bugging him all day. He'll probably think I'm weird. I've been thinking about a lot of things today, about the past. I think I like him. I think I have for a long time. I don't know. Maybe I'm just lonely...I wish I never sent those texts... 11/27/14 Thanksgiving Day. Everyone's finally left. Aunt Tallulah didn't show up. She went on some trip with a friend down to the Okefenokee. Mom and my maternal grandparents were fuming about that. "What is wrong with her? Family comes first! If she had a husband and was seeing his family, that'd be one thing...but some old college friend? I raised her better than that!" Grandma Mae was ranting as soon as she walked in the door. My favorite dumb quote from the night came from Grandpa Joe. "Family sticks together no matter what. We're supposed to drive each other crazy. You can't leave family. We're part of your life forever." I'd honestly be happy if I never saw most of my family ever again. I'm probably an asshole for thinking this, but I don't think I'd care if most of them dropped dead tomorrow. My Great-Uncle John came to Aunt Tallulah's defense. He sat in his usual corner and said, "Sometimes, you need breathing room or you suffocate. I know I need a breather from having to inhale the same air as you two." Then Grandma Mae was really pissed off. Cousin Tim was laughing his ass off. Grandpa Harold and Grandma Emma weren't too impressed with anything. I mostly stayed in the kitchen, avoiding everyone and texting Alex. The usual cousins were running wild, and Uncle Lloyd and Aunt Edna were huddled together watching TV and ignoring their kids. At some point, Grandpa Joe came into the kitchen and started bugging me while Mom was getting out the desserts. "Whatcha doin', boy? Talking to your girl?" He asked. I quickly put the phone away and said, "No, just a friend." "You still ain't got a girl yet? Boy, what're you doing? You're how old now?" Ugh, I wanted to disappear so fast. "I'm focusing on studying right now. My grades are a lot better now." That was the only way I could think to distract him. Mom chimed in. "That's right. He's been studying so hard lately. Maybe we can get him into college after all." After that, everyone started talking about college and mostly ignored me. You know, something about this whole...family get together thing...it seems so fake. I know I have early memories of us always getting together for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but somehow, they don't feel real. It's probably just my mind being messed up, but the more I think about my past, the more it all seems like a lie. Like there's this secret buried somewhere and everyone is collectively pretending it doesn't exist. I think on Christmas, I'll try pretending to be sick. Maybe I can skip out on most of this bullshit. 12/1/14 School's back. Thank fucking god. I can't stand being home. Alex's parents said it was okay for me to stay over from Friday-Sunday. I told my parents we're basically going to study the whole time. And we are going to study, for some of that. He invited Noelle and Tamara over for a study session on Friday. Dad's shining commentary on that. "Tamara? That's the hot girl, right?" Dear Dad, you sound creepy going on about how hot a high schooler is. Sincerely, your son who is very not interested in said girl. That aside, I know he's really just saying that because he wants confirmation that I'm straight. As if I couldn't just date a girl to please him but not actually have any interest in her. Oh, who am I kidding? He probably couldn't care which one it was, so long as there was a girl there. Does it really matter? It's not like they've kicked Cousin Tim out of the family. Sure, they talk shit to him and whatnot, but he's not completely isolated. I'm sure I embarrass them enough as if. Really, it would just be one more thing for them to be disappointed by. 12/7/14 Just got back from Alex's. This weekend was...where do I begin... So, Noelle and Tamara studied with us for about two hours on Friday. They left, then Zack wanted to talk to us on Skype. We talked about what we were all doing over Christmas break. Zack's going out of country for a vacation with his parents and brother, then they're going to see different relatives most of the rest of the time. Alex is going out of town for a part of it, mostly just close to Christmas itself, for family stuff. And I'm going to be stuck with my parents, dreading everything. My parents are hosting this year's get together, like with Thanksgiving. This does mean I can at least see Alex for most of the break. But I don't want to get on his nerves either. I'm probably already pushing it. Since that time I told him about how the futon hurts my back, he's been asking me where I want to sleep each time. I've been switching between the bed and the futon, so he doesn't think anything's weird about that but...futon being shitty aside, I'd rather take the bed. While I was trying to fall asleep on Friday night, I was thinking about what my real motive was behind that. I like the closeness. I like that it's him beside me. Maybe, I thought, I really do like him. Maybe it's not just loneliness. When I thought about that, my train of thought went to the next natural set of questions. If I like him, does that mean I like guys? Do I like girls too? Do I like girls at all? I know my memory isn't the greatest, but I'm sixteen and I've never once been attracted to any girls. Seeing girls naked doesn't do anything for me. I like Alex. Ugh, this is so embarrassing. At some point in the night, I got up and pretended to go to the bathroom. I took my phone with me and used their wifi to look up some...pictures. I was really paranoid about my phone's sound suddenly glitching and blasting some inappropriate audio, so I didn't look at anything like that. I looked at solo pics and ones with guys doing it. Well, I can confirm that, especially the latter, got a reaction of me. I don't know what made me do that. I've thought about looking that stuff up before, but I could never get up the courage to actually do it. I was so sure that somehow my parents would immediately know about it. Even if it was only curiosity, there would absolutely be a punishment and I'd be under even more pressure to date some girl. But at the same time, to wait this long... I tried to get back to sleep. My mind wouldn't stop. I remembered some other things from the past. Back in sixth grade, the reason, as I remember it, that I started avoiding Alex...was because I felt "strange" around him suddenly. Now that I'm older, and actually looking back on it, it's so obvious what I was actually experiencing. But that was it. I couldn't stand it. I'd pick fights with him out of frustration. Anything to bury it. Another thing. When we were in early elementary school, I had this phase where I used to kiss Alex and Zack when we'd say goodbye leaving each other's houses. Dunno why I did that, but it's kinda funny in retrospect. Zack's parents didn't seem to like it that much, and Alex's parents thought it was cute. My parents--my parents grounded me. That may have been why I stopped. They're probably why I buried it. Then I remembered the list of symptoms on that medical record from when I was in sixth grade. Sexually inappropriate behavior. I have no recollection of this. Then again, I have no recollection of that treatment either. But I have to wonder--did I really do something inappropriate? Or, did my parents catch me with something they didn't approve of and that's why that's really on there? I'm probably overthinking it, but I can't see myself doing anything "inappropriate". My episodes supposedly revolve around this made up life history with an older brother. Why would that be related at all? I can't exactly ask my parents about that. Who knows what conclusions they'd come to from me asking. I didn't get much of any sleep that night. Yesterday, I ended up taking two naps. My head was still in a weird, confused place. Being around Alex was kinda...awkward for a while. He noticed. "You okay?" I heard that probably at least five times yesterday. I made up that I was coming down with a cold. Last night, I didn't sleep any better. I considered taking the futon, but...I don't know what I'm doing. We ended up in bed together. It's not like anything happened. I mean, why would it? We did talk for a while again. I thanked him for everything. "I don't know how I can repay you." I said. "This is payment enough." "What is?" "You're here. That's enough." "What does that mean?" I asked. He laughed and said, "Go to sleep, Eric." I wish it were that easy. I did eventually fall asleep around three, and then I saw him again. That guy, the one who I guess is this Idris person. We were out on a walk in the old neighborhood in the middle of summer. There was a girl we met up with, around my age now. Come to think of it, Idris looks about my current age. He's always looked like a teenager in my dreams. The girl had big scars on her arms and legs. All the way up her arms and from what I could see, looked like that was the case for her legs too. I was a little kid, as usual. I looked at Idris's hands and noticed scars on him too, but I couldn't see more than that. He was wearing a jacket and pants, which now that I think about it, is weird since it was the middle of Georgia summer. I had that dream before about bathing together, but when I woke up and tried to remember if he had any scars on him in that one, it was like that part of my memory of it was blurred out. I can't see. In the dream, I asked him, "How come you both have so many scars?" Idris patted me on the head and said, "It's for the medicine. They have to do stuff to us to find something that will work for everyone." "Doesn't that hurt?" "I'm used to it. Nothing hurts much anymore." He picked me up and we walked down the road. I kept reaching for the girl. "Sarah, Sarah! Will you play with me?" I guess her name is Sarah. She nodded. We kept on walking, but I don't know where we went. When I woke up, my heart was pounding. Alex was already awake. He looked freaked out. "Eric, are you okay? You were mumbling something in your sleep and you looked like you were in pain." "Sorry. Did I wake you up? It was just a nightmare." "A nightmare? About what?" I made up a lie. "Missing all my finals because I got lost and failing every class." I'm not telling anyone about that dream. Who is this person? Who is this girl? All records show I don't have an older brother. Unless someone did a massive amount of covering up, that could never have been the truth. But my parents did work for that medical research company and I know they primarily worked with teenagers. Were these two part of some kind of research? Why would they both have scars everywhere? What kind of testing would require that? And why would this Idris guy be with me so often to the point I'd think of him as my brother? Did my parents take this guy in for a while? That sounds unethical if he was being used in their research. Then again...whatever was going on there already seemed unethical. Could that be why they left the company? Why Mom was so upset about me going there and worried about this Idris guy when she confused me for him that one night? Did my parents do something really illegal and they've been lying to me this whole time? But that can't be it either. Why would my parents willingly take me back there? And if these dreams and memories were part of my "issues", then why would I need to be treated for them? That doesn't make any sense. I don't know. None of this makes sense. Maybe I am just plain crazy. I'm so nuts I'm making up crazy conspiracy theories even Juan wouldn't buy into. What the hell is wrong with me? Who knows. Maybe I never went to Alex's house. Maybe none of that happened and I imagined it did. Maybe Alex and I never started being friends again. How will I ever know what's real? All I can do is work from what I can remember, and disregard the parts other people tell me are wrong. I didn't have any weird dreams or get any strange "memories" while I was taking those meds, but I don't care. I'm not taking them again. It isn't worth not being able to remember anything at all and go on for who knows how long in basically a constant state of short term amnesia. I'd rather be insane than go through that again. 12/9/14 Dr. Dogwood called earlier. She wanted to check in on me, asked me how the meds were working out. I said I'm fine, then I asked if I still needed to take them. She said I should continue taking them for the next six months, then we can try having me off them for a while. Then she called in some more meds for me. Dad's going to pick them up later. Of course, I haven't been taking any at all. 12/22/14 I am getting out of Christmas. Alex's family will be volunteering at a shelter to serve food to homeless people on Christmas eve and Christmas day. Alex invited me to come help, and my parents said I could go. I said something about volunteering for the community looking good to colleges to get them to agree. Of course that's what they'd care about. 12/25/14 The last two days were really busy, but really short. There were a lot of people who came to get food, far more than I expected. Afterwards, I ate with his family on both days. They'd already seen the rest of their family earlier in the week. It was just the four of us. Since I was going with them on both days, my parents let me spend the night on Christmas eve. Alex's mom made a bunch of cookies and hot cocoa for us and gave us these big peppermint sticks to dip in the cocoa. I don't usually like peppermint, but I was happy to take it. We watched dumb Christmas movies on TV in the living room while his mom and stepdad sat out on the back porch watching the lights they put up on some of the trees in the backyard. It was pretty chilly on Christmas eve. Alex got one of the holiday themed throw blankets his mom has littered the house with and we used it to keep warm. Physically speaking, we were as close as we typically are if we share a bed, but somehow, it was different. Maybe because we were in a more open area and that close, maybe because technically there was no reason we needed to do that. We could have turned on the heater. When his parents came inside, Alex's mom took a picture of us on the couch for their photo album. I asked her not to put it online because my mom is friends with her on Facebook. She said something like, "Don't worry. This is between us. Do you want copies of the Christmas photos?" I said yes. I'm not sure where I'm going to store them yet. I can't leave them on my computer. I know my parents will go through my shit. I might just keep them in my email. We ended up falling asleep on the couch. His mom took a picture of that too. "But you looked so cute spooning." "Mom, please, never say that word ever again." I laughed so hard at that. I don't know why. And I didn't mind the position we were in either. On the way out for the second day of volunteering, we were standing in the area between the kitchen and the living room, and his parents pointed out we were under the mistletoe they put up. That is the exact opposite of what my parents would have done. Who am I kidding? My parents wouldn't have put mistletoe up in the first place. I don't think they've kissed each other (at least in front of me) in years. We entertained them, and another photo was taken. It was a quick peck. Didn't stop my face from turning red. After dinner that night, Alex walked me home. I didn't want to go. I asked if we could take the path through the woods by the creek instead of the road. The Christmas lights his parents put up on the trees in the backyard really were beautiful. I wanted to sit out there and watch them with him, but I had to go. It was darker than usual. The sky was overcast, and there was only a sliver of a moon hiding behind them. I could barely see Alex there beside me, but in that chilly winter air, the warmth of his body was easy to find. My mind's a complete wreck. I thought, now's a good a time as any to get some things out. "Alex," I said. "Thanks for everything. Back in ninth grade, I would have never thought I'd be thinking of you as my best friend again. I've done nothing to deserve all the help you've given me." "Don't say that. You mean a lot to me too, you know." "I'm nothing special. Really, I'm sub-par in every way." "No, you're not." Alex hugged me. "Listen. I love you, and so does Zack. My parents love you too, you know. I'm sure Juan does too. There are a lot of people who care about you. Stop it. Stop saying crap like that about yourself." This is so embarrassing. I nearly cried. Seriously. God, what's wrong with me? I'm too old to be crying. It's probably because my head's so fucked right now. I nearly choked saying this. "I love you too. All of you. I'm sorry." We were still hugging then. Part of the sky was clear. I saw the tiny crescent moon and a few stars. That little bit of light was enough for me to see what we were standing under. Probably because I'm not right in the head right now, I thought, fuck it. I can probably get away with it. So I kissed him. Afterwards, I wanted to smack myself. I laughed to hide how embarrassed I was and pointed above us. "We're under mistletoe." He looked up to see I was telling the truth. "Huh, never noticed before we had some growing out here. You've got some damn good night vision." I didn't know what to do after that. He noticed I wasn't moving. "Are you okay? Do you not want to go home?" "I don't, but I gotta." Alex hugged me again. "Eric, are your parents doing anything to you? You can tell me. I'll protect you." "They're not...they're not beating me or anything. It's fine. But thank you...I have to go now. Can I talk to you more tomorrow?" "Yeah. You sure you're gonna be okay goin' home?" He asked. "Yeah, it's fine." Walking away was so hard. I want to be anywhere but here. Still processing a lot of things. Like, it just now hit me I kissed Alex twice in the last two days. I kissed Alex three hours ago. He didn't react negatively, at least. There's more. Mom was in the kitchen cleaning up when I came in through the back door. She told me to help her do laundry in the basement. I knew something was off then. Ugh, so as soon as I get home, disaster. I don't ask any questions. I do as she says, stay quiet. After she put a load in the washer and another in the dryer, she has me fold the recently dried clothes with her. She wasn't saying anything either for a while. I braced myself for whatever was coming. "You know, even at night, I can see pretty far from the window. The porch light is on." "Um, okay?" I should have seen it coming what it was about, but I didn't think she could see that far. "Did I do something wrong coming in?" She stared straight at me like she wanted to kill me. "I saw what you did with Alex." The kiss. Of course that would backfire on me. Just not in the way I expected. "That kiss? That was a joke. We were under mistletoe." "In the woods?" "Yeah. It is a plant. That's where it grows. I saw some and thought it'd be funny. That's it." "It better be. You should be glad your father was already in his office and it was night out. Don't do stupid things like that in public." "I'm sorry. I didn't think it was a big deal or that anyone could see." I didn't want to talk about it anymore, and since Mom was sober this time, I thought...maybe I should ask her about that guy. "Hey, can I ask you something? About when you worked at Moone & Wolfe Corp?" "Eric, that was a very long time ago." "Yeah, I know, but um, I wanted to know if I was misremembering something or not. My memory's always been kinda shitty." She put the shirt she was folding down. "Eric, language." "Sorry...Is it really that big a deal? I'm going to be seventeen soon...And you and Dad both swear a lot." She glared at me. "Eric." "Sorry. Um, about back then, did we ever have anyone stay with us for a while? Someone in their teens or early twenties?" I asked. Claiming I had a big brother never got me anywhere before, as is obvious from my medical records. I thought if I changed who I thought Idris was a little, maybe I'd have better luck. "No, it was always only the three of us. Are you getting confused over a kid who lived in the old neighborhood?" She was glaring before, but then she wouldn't look at me at all. "Hmm...maybe. Was there anyone who lived around there named Idris? Or Sarah?" I asked. "Idris...there wasn't anyone with that name. Sarah--Sarah Winter. She was the daughter of some people we worked with. You probably met her at some point. Maybe Idris was a boyfriend of hers?" That's new. She denied knowing any Idris, even though she's the one who first said his name. And she confirmed Sarah existing. What the hell does this mean? "Maybe...I remember playing with someone as a kid named Idris and a teenage girl named Sarah was there. So, that must have been someone she knew." I don't believe that's all there is to it, but I played along. I asked about how Christmas was, to lighten the mood. She had a lengthy list of complaints to name off about various relatives. Aunt Tallulah didn't show up again. Cousin Tim also skipped out. Great-Uncle John said he visited him with his husband last week to celebrate. He married his long-time boyfriend, apparently. Mom and my grandparents on her side were livid about it. Great-Uncle John had some words for them, about how up in other people's business they were and that they had no right to go around talking about the sanctity of marriage since the only reason my grandparents got married is because my grandma got pregnant at fifteen in high school. I did not know that. Holy shit, wow. Kinda wished I'd gotten to see everyone's faces when that tidbit was dropped. I let her rant on about everything and listened, nodding occasionally and pretending to agree with her at times. I thought it'd help with getting her to forget earlier. When she was done, I asked to excuse myself for bed. Said I was tired. Before I left, I tried, since it was Christmas and I upset her earlier, to make her happy. "Mom, I'm sorry I missed out on Christmas. I love you." I haven't said 'I love you' to either of my parents since elementary school. It was...weird to hear myself say it. "If you were thinking that much of us, you would have picked a different time to volunteer." I didn't know what to say. I just stood at the bottom of the steps for a while. She never once looked at me while I was standing there. Eventually, I managed a few more words. "I'm sorry. Goodnight." She didn't say anything back. I waited a little while, just in case. Nothing. Everything was great when I was at Alex's house. Been home for a couple of hours and it's like I walked out of heaven into a mine field. 12/26/14 Had a long chat with Alex online. Didn't wanna use the landline or my cell. Probably being paranoid, but I kept expecting my mom to be eavesdropping on me. Some of the chat: skepticaleye: hey about last night skepticaleye: why didn't you want to go home? somewhereidunno: i never wanna be home skepticaleye: y? somewhereidunno: i don't get along with my parents skepticaleye: is there a reason? other than the stuff we've talked about before? somewhereidunno: idk not really i guess? somewhereidunno: i mean i'm mostly a disappointment so somewhereidunno: im not any good at pleasing them skepticaleye: it's not your job to please them skepticaleye: it's their job to support you somewhereidunno: don't you try to keep your parents happy? skepticaleye: i mean yeah to a degree skepticaleye: but i don't really care about meeting some ideal for them skepticaleye: and they've never set one for me either skepticaleye: the only big expectations they've put on me is to finish high school and not do dumb shit like drugs skepticaleye: and i'm pretty sure if I did fail both those expectations somehow, they'd forgive me somewhereidunno: lucky you magically blessed with perfect parents skepticaleye: my parents aren't perfect, they're normal skepticaleye: did your parents actually call you a disappointment or did you infer that from how they act? somewhereidunno: they have before but i already presumed before then skepticaleye: like to your face? somewhereidunno: saying things like that to my face has never been an issue for them lol skepticaleye: how long has this been going on? somewhereidunno: the disappointment thing? probably since 6th grade when my grades started slipping somewhereidunno: but before that it was more like they didn't care i existed at all skepticaleye: wth? skepticaleye: why didn't you tell me about this before? somewhereidunno: it's not a big deal somewhereidunno: i am a disappointment skepticaleye: stop that skepticaleye: i don't care what your parents think skepticaleye: you shouldn't be treated like that somewhereidunno: it's really not as bad as it sounds somewhereidunno: what would you think if your kid suddenly started flunking everything, skipping school, and needed to stay at a mental hospital for a while? skepticaleye: i'd think my child is ill and needs help skepticaleye: wait a sec skepticaleye: i know you went to that hospital not that long ago skepticaleye: did you go to one before? somewhereidunno: yeah but i don't really remember anything about it skepticaleye: eric i'm not trying to be an armchair psychologist here but skepticaleye: it sounds like you have a major illness skepticaleye: and from what you're telling me skepticaleye: instead of offering you support skepticaleye: your parents just gave you shit for not being able to cope perfectly skepticaleye: as a child somewhereidunno: they sent me to that place to get help somewhereidunno: and they've been letting me see that doctor whenever i want skepticaleye: that is better than nothing but skepticaleye: it's pretty meaningless if they're not only not giving you any emotional support at home skepticaleye: but outright criticizing you for things that are just the result of something bigger you're dealing with skepticaleye: that's like giving someone a bandage for one arm then cutting their other arm open somewhereidunno: it's fine somewhereidunno: i cause them so much trouble somewhereidunno: i dunno i mean i doubt you'd wanna put up with me 24/7 either skepticaleye: you're over at my house all the time skepticaleye: we share a bed half the time skepticaleye: if you wanted to move in with me, i'd help you pack immediately somewhereidunno: you say that but after a week or two skepticaleye: bullshit skepticaleye: let's do this skepticaleye: the rest of christmas vacation, my house somewhereidunno: p sure your parents will get tired of me skepticaleye: like hell they will they love you skepticaleye: lol they're always saying nice things about you somewhereidunno: really? skepticaleye: yeah skepticaleye: also fyi if i told my parents what you just told me, i'm pretty sure they wouldn't want you going home ever somewhereidunno: it's bc they're too nice somewhereidunno: your parents are basically angels in human form skepticaleye: lmfao no skepticaleye: yeah you need to stay over for a while skepticaleye: see how annoying they can get skepticaleye: omg my mom's into like buying crystals again skepticaleye: gonna make her chakras all aligned skepticaleye: bought her some tin foil for her birthday somewhereidunno: lmao skepticaleye: and she said, "thanks spooky" and i'm like skepticaleye: no, that's juan, i'm scully and she's like "oh i didn't know you were religious now congrats" skepticaleye: "no mom no" lol somehow, she turned it on me somewhereidunno: idk that doesn't sound annoying at all somewhereidunno: sounds adorable skepticaleye: it's not skepticaleye: but seriously, we're doing this skepticaleye: tell your parents you are officially mine until school starts somewhereidunno: p sure they're going to take that wrong skepticaleye: i could not give less of a fuck rn skepticaleye: tomorrow morning, i'm gonna be at your door somewhereidunno: ok ok i get the message i'll be ready Told my parents about the plan. I said we're spending the remaining time doing a lot of reviewing and preparing for next semester. Get all my notes done in advanced, etc. I don't think they completely believed me, but they're letting me go. I wonder how quickly Alex will get bored of me. 1/15/15 Still at Alex's house. Yeah, school's already started back up but I'm staying until the end of January. He's still trying to prove me to me I'm not annoying or a burden or whatever. He's in the shower RN. It's actually been really nice staying over here, but I keep waiting. This can't really last like this. They're going to want me gone at some point. We really did spend a lot of that time preparing for this semester. I have so many notes. I have used school supplies that are not sold in regular stores. LOL Where does he get all this stuff at? Kinda feel like an ass for thinking he didn't put any effort into school. He studies like crazy, and he has everything really organized. I'd have never figured out a system like what he does on my own, but he says he didn't either. The way he currently prepares for school is a mix of various methods he read up on. He kept the parts that worked for him and tossed the rest. So far, it's working for me. Looking back now, he was clearly already pushing me into some of this when he started helping me before. I wasn't thinking anything of it at the time. He says I need to be really ready for this semester. We have the graduation test coming up. I didn't think it'd be a big deal. We have all of senior year to retry it if anyone fucks it up junior year. But I guess relying on that is already a bad mindset to be in, huh? I asked him why he studies so hard if his parents don't care about his grades. "If I don't study like this, you know with all the organizing and planning, my grades drop pretty easily. Haven't figured out a solution for my math struggles, but a B average in math is still pretty good so I don't worry about that too much. I know my parents don't care if I'm an honor roll student, but I've always wanted to go to college. I want to go to grad school. So, you know, even in elementary school, I was thinking about needing to keep up this certain standard for myself so I'd be ready later. I thought, I don't need to be a perfect student, but I should strive to be a good student most of the time." He's had so much figured out so early on. In elementary school, the only things on my mind were playing and wondering when my parents were going to bitch at each other next. He asked me if I wanted to get into college. I said I don't know, but at this point, I don't have a choice. My parents are expecting me to go. "You don't have to just because they want you to. When you're eighteen, you can do whatever you want." Yeah, that's easy for you to say. "Do you know what you want to do? What kind of job?" No. Never have. I wanted to say, "I don't have dreams like normal people", but I know he'd have a hundred reasons why that's bullshit. I've never thought about it before. Figured for the longest time, whether I dropped out or not, I'd end up working in a gas station or as a janitor or at Walmart. Probably renting for the rest of my life, however long that'd be. But I kinda figured I wouldn't make it to twenty-five, much less thirty. Off myself out of uselessness. "By the end of this semester, I want you to give me a real answer. At least a general path. Something. If you don't have one, you're going to be stuck underneath them and trust me, it's going to get worse. They're going to use the fact that you're an adult to berate you even more." "And what if I can't think of anything?" I asked. He sighed. "If you really can't, and you can't get a job right away, I'll support you until you can." "You can't promise me that." "The hell I can't." "You don't even have a job." "I'll get a job once we graduate high school. Besides, I have a pretty hefty graduation present I'm getting. My parents saved up a lot of the money they got from winning that lawsuit years ago." Alex put his hand on my shoulder and looked me right in the eyes. "Eric, you can do this, but you're going to have to push yourself. I can only support you so far. You should try to get a summer job when the semester ends. A volunteer job at least, if you can't find anything that pays. Get some kind of experience. I've already got an internship lined up myself." "What? When did that happen? Where?" I really didn't want to hear that. I know I'm being selfish, but I got so comfortable with him always being there. "It's a medical research place. I'm going to be helping as an assistant for a study about mental illness and brain activity. And it's paying, so that's a bonus in and of itself. I don't know if you've heard of Moone & Wolfe Corp." "They run the hospital I went to, and my parents used to work there." I blurted all that out without thinking about it. I don't know if I wanted him to know or not. It spilled out without any control from me. "Oh, huh. Small world. I'm going to be working at the research lab in Rome." "Does that mean you won't be here over the summer?" "Well, not much during the weekday. I'm still going to stay at my house. Rome's not that far of a drive, and I have weekends off. You can still spend the night if you want, but you're going to have to figure out something to occupy your time during the weekdays. If nothing pans out, guess you could hang out with Zack." "Mm...Zack's always in and out of town in the summers. Think Juan said he was going out of country to see family over the summer too..." "Then it's settled. You're working." Alex grinned like he just won something. "I guess." That was the best I could get out. Not really thrilled, but it doesn't matter. Whether I start working now or next year, it's all the same. But yeah, that conversation was yesterday. Don't know what to think. I don't know...would Alex really help me out like that if I couldn't get anything? Ugh, I really am nothing but a burden... Just heard the shower turn off. That's all for now. 2/5/15 Alex took me out to a restaurant for my birthday. It was just the two of us. We went on a walk before going, out on the nature trail. We've been doing that a lot after school. Short walks. About 30 minutes or so. My parents thought it was weird. "Where did he take you?" Dad asked. "Um, Red Lobster. Why?" I should have said McDonald's. "That's expensive. Sounds like a date." He said. "His parents have a lot of money, that's all." "It's still strange. Why would a boy want to take another boy to a place like that?" Then Mom started. "I don't know. That's just what he wanted to do." Dad shot me a glare. "That boy and his family are strange. Why do you want to be around them so much? If you want expensive food, we can give you that." No, you wouldn't. I wasn't in the mood to argue with either of them, so I said, "It's not about that. He's my friend. That's it. Goodnight." Not once did either of them say "Happy birthday". 2/14/15 Alex is in the shower. I'm here for the weekend+next week. It's that winter-break-that's-not-christmas-break thing. Or break-between-winter-and-spring-break thing. Whatever. Vacation with no clear assigned importance LOL. I've been doing these career test things, and yeah, it hasn't gotten me anywhere. It's so hard. I legit have no idea what I like. I mean, other than Alex, but that's not a career path. Last night, we sat out on the back porch for a while, till around two in the morning. I fell asleep for part of that, but that was kinda nice itself. Taking a nap outside with the winter air. Wasn't too cold. It's never really all that cold here 97% of winter. Alex woke me up when he was ready to go in. More studying. It never ends. No progress yet with that dream/job thing. At least tonight we're going to play video games. 2/15/15 Alex is busy right now. So, quick entry. You know what's awkward? Alex's mom pulling me aside when Alex's is helping out his stepdad do something on the computer to ask me if we're dating. Then when I said no, she asked me if I liked him. I said the dumbest thing in response. "I'm not sure yet. Don't let him know." She said, "Don't worry. It'll be our little secret." Did I accidentally come out to Alex's mom? That did not happen. How did that happen? What if she tells him? What am I going to do? 2/22/15 Back home. No idea if she ever told him. Alex didn't let on that he knew at least. Rest of the week I was jumpy about everything. Then on Friday, Alex suggested we take a shower together to save time, and I should have refused. But I didn't. That got awkward before I touched the water. We had a cold shower. That was...ugh. Alex's reaction to that was to laugh it off. "Do you like what you see, Eric?" I faced the wall the entire time we were in there. "I'll sleep on the futon tonight." I said. "It's not a big deal." I still slept on the futon. Last night, I took the bed, but only because he insisted. I had a dream about me and Alex. Having sex. Woke up with my hand in my boxers and needing to wash my hand. Alex laughed that off too. "Why are you so horny right now? Haha. When was the last time you jacked off?" "Um, three days ago, I think?" "Wait, where?" Should've said before the break. "In the shower. Is that weird?" "Eh, I don't care. I do that when you're over here for several days. So...what were you dreaming?" I said the truth in a completely serious way, so serious I knew I sounded ridiculous and he wouldn't believe it. "Fucking you against the railing on the back porch. Now, I'm gonna go to the bathroom. That's all the details your getting until I get back." "Yeah, right. You really dreamt that." He laughed. "You can't leave me hanging. How'd I like it?" "You were calling out my name and begging for more." I said as I left the room. That part was true too. Damn, I'm horny again. Think of something else. Think of something else. That is kind of odd. Another reason "sexually inappropriate behavior" listed on that record is weird. I don't know if it's because I've always been terrified to look up much of any porn in the house, or how I've always been paranoid about masturbating, but I don't know. I haven't had much of any sex drive until recently. No interest. Nothing. As for the fear, I know this is paranoid, but I always feared that my parents would catch me somehow and then I'd be punished. I was so terrified that somehow they'd immediately know that I didn't do it at all. I have before, at other people's houses/hotels/etc if I used the shower, but past seventh grade, it really did not happen very often at all. Pretty...embarrassed about doing it at other people's houses, but no one knew. And that rarely happened, since I rarely had any urges at all. But lately, the more I stay at Alex's houses, the more it's there. I started to think it's because I like Alex, but that's not it. I've clearly liked Alex for a very long time. So that can't be the reason. Maybe it's my parents. Because I'm not around them as much. I want to do it now, but I can't. They can't possibly know, can they? They do search through my stuff a lot. Sometimes, when I was younger, I'd lie in bed and wonder--are there cameras in my room? Ugh, I'm just crazy. Nothing's going to happen. Fuck it. 2/27/15 No punishment yet. What a shock. I don't know why I was so afraid. Dr. Dogwood called me. We talked for about an hour. Asked how I was. The usual. Sometimes, I dream about being back in that mental hospital. Everything's white except the black and metal furniture. Everywhere, white. My clothes are white. It's suffocating. Everything's strange. I called Alex after that. Asked him if I could come over again. I'll be leaving in a few minutes. 3/10/15 School's going okay. I have all A's and B's right now. So much studying. Alex has been dragging me into the Environmental Club lately. I was starting to wonder if he liked Noelle. They're really buddy-buddy with each other. I asked him about it when we were at his house. "Hey, do you like Noelle?" I asked. "What? Where would you get that idea?" Alex asked back. "So you don't like her?" Shut up, Self. "Hell no. Noelle's like a sister to me. An annoying sister. Okay, so a regular sister. I would never in a million years even think of dating her." He nudged me. "Why? Were you interested?" "What? No. I just thought...guess I misinterpreted a few things...I was starting to wonder if you two were secretly dating." "Stop. You're making me gag." "Have you been seeing anyone? I don't think I've heard you mention a girlfriend at all since we've been hanging out again." I said. "I've never dated anyone." "Why?" I asked. "It's complicated." He said. "Is this about...You remember that conversation we had when I went on vacation with you? Is this about that?" The whole room got really tense when I said that. He leaned back on the futon and sighed. "Yeah, it is." "Do you still not want to talk about it?" I asked. "It's...hard for me to say. I know it's asking a lot, but could you wait a little longer for us to talk about that? I'm not ready to have that conversation with you. I do want to, but..." He sighed again. "It's fine. There's...something I want to talk to you about too, but I...am having trouble saying. Could we both put these conversations on hold for later?" "Yeah, sure." I sat down next to him on the futon. "When I come back Friday, can I sleep with you?" "Huh?" I meant my words to be suggestive, to see how he'd react. I quickly added, "On the bed. Five seconds of being on this thing has reminded me how much I hate it." "You never cease to express your hate for this cheap ass futon." "It's my mission in life to criticize Walmart products." "You should work for Target's marketing department." We played video games for a while after that, then studied some more. I'm so sick of studying. But hey, Alex and Noelle is not a thing and can never be a thing. So, there is that. But what is it Alex wants to tell me but can't? I keep hoping that it's the same thing I want to tell him. But what if I'm wrong? 4/25/15 At Alex's place. He's still asleep. Got the laptop slightly tilted towards the window. Last night, I had a dream about Idris again, but this one was different than the usual ones. This time, I was my current age in the dream. Idris was sitting with me in my room at the old house. I asked him, "Who are you?" "It's better if you forget, Eric." He said. "I don't want to forget. Please, tell me who you really are. Who's Sarah? What did they do to you two?" "I wanted you all to forget, about us. It's better this way. I wanted you to be normal, safe." The room started to glow when he spoke. A bright blue--like there were hundreds of blue fireflies lighting up the room. "I'm not normal." "I'm sorry. I hoped I could fix things at least for you. What am I saying? You're not really here. No one is. I'm always alone." Idris said. His body had a slightly blue glow about it too. "What do you mean?" "I'm only dreaming. I'm always dreaming. I'll dream until they throw me away." "I am not a figment of your dream. This is my dream." I said. "I wish that were true. I'd give anything to see you again. I'm sorry. We could never be a real family." "Why did you leave me here with them?" I asked. "I couldn't think of anything else. I knew I couldn't get away, so I did what I was told. I thought if I did that at least, I could arrange for things to be normal for you." More of his body turned blue. "They hate me." "I'm sorry. They hated me too." He got up from the other side of the room and hugged me. Where his body was blue had no weight to it. Up close, I could see every detail of his face. It was almost like looking in a mirror, but I noticed some differences between us. "Please, take me away from here. Take me away like you used to." "I can't. I'm sorry." He started crying. "I can't do anything." I woke up in tears. Remembering where I was, I quickly wiped my face off. Luckily, Alex wasn't awake to see that. My hands are shaking as I type this out. What the hell was that dream? 4/26/15 Home. Mom was out all day on some work-related thing. Dad skipped out on it. Since Mom was out, it was just me and Dad at dinner. I tried to make small talk. "Um, so...I made an A on my last math test." "You still getting B's?" He didn't look at me. "Two of my classes are at a B average right now, but...they're pretty high B's. I might be able to pull them up to A's." "Uh huh. Let me know when they're actually A's. You going over to that Chinese boy's house again this weekend?" "Alex is half Korean, Dad." I corrected him. Don't know why I bothered. He'll get it wrong next time. "Same shit. Asian. So, is he doing your homework or are you actually studying? What's his cut? You giving him some action? I know you don't have any money on you outside of what's on your card." I don't know what I did wrong. I shouldn't have said anything. Somehow, I set him off. "Dad, I wouldn't do something like that. Alex won't be there to do my homework for me at college. I study every night now." "And I'll believe that's going to happen when I see the acceptance letter. And not from some bullshit college like Georgia Highlands or Chattahoochee Tech." "What school do you want me to go to?" I asked. I was nervous to hear his answer. I had considered both the schools he shot down as options. My GPA will never be a 4.0, or even a 3.5. There's nothing I can do about that at this point. At best, I can raise it a little more if I make all A's for the rest of the time I have left in high school. I don't know if I can do it without Alex helping me. "A real school. Something like UGA or Georgia Tech. Something close to that level. If it's within a twenty minute drive from here, it's not good enough." "Okay." "That boy, are you sleeping with him?" "No, I'm not." "I know you're gay." I dropped my food when he said that. "How long have you known?" "Since you were six or seven." Six or seven. I'm seventeen. He's known for at least a decade. "Does Mom know?" "Fortunately, she's in denial. While you're at college, you should get yourself a girl and get married. Someone from a nice family. And stop fucking around with foreigners." Stay in the closet. Get married. Drag someone else into this cesspool. "Do you hate me?" "Oh, you want a pity party, do you? Tell me, what have you ever done to deserve any of what I've given you? You shouldn't expect anything else but what you get. Do what I say, and in a couple of years, we can talk again." I tried to get him to look at me, just once. "I love you." "For Christ's sake, what are you so desperate for? You're seventeen. What, you want a car? Say it. Don't pull this bullshit with me." Dad got up from the table. I ended up making him angrier. "I don't want a car. I don't need that..." I got up from the table too. "I'm sorry. I'll be quiet and go to my room." "Good. You're getting on my nerves." Then he locked himself in his office again. Mom came home around then. She was pretty pissed off too. I fixed her dinner and washed dishes while she ate. She watched me clean. "What'd you do?" "Dad's mad at me." "Why?" "I'm not sure...I think I did something wrong. How was that party thing?" "Shitty, as usual." "I'm going to bed now. Goodnight." I leaned in to give her a hug. She swatted me away. "Cut it out, Eric. I've had enough people cling to me today." I went to my room. Been laying in bed for a while. Alex texted me. I ignored his texts and got on the computer to look at porn. Didn't care if my parents might find out. Apparently, that IM service automatically signs me in. Alex was already on and started sending me messages. skepticaleye: hey what's up? skepticaleye: texted you earlier but no response skepticaleye: something wrong? Then I did something stupid. I didn't care. somewhereidunno: i want to fuck you skepticaleye: what? skepticaleye: um are you trying to initiate some cybersex with someone in a different window? somewhereidunno: no somewhereidunno: i mean you specifically skepticaleye: eric who are you talking to somewhereidunno: alex i know im talking to you skepticaleye: r u drunk? somewhereidunno: no somewhereidunno: im completely sober skepticaleye: okay what's the joke here somewhereidunno: this isn't a joke somewhereidunno: you probably hate me too skepticaleye: wtf are you going on about? somewhereidunno: everyone hates me somewhereidunno: i bet i can find the keys to dad's gun safe skepticaleye: eric what the hell is going on skepticaleye: this isn't funny skepticaleye: say you're joking or i'm coming over there rn I signed out after that. He kept calling me. I turned my phone off after the sixth or seventh time. Don't really know where Dad keeps those keys. There is some rope in the basement. 4/27/15 Spent the night at Alex's house. We're both skipping school today. He came over to my house last night and practically dragged me out. Guess he got his license recently. He drove to my house. We didn't go straight back to his house. He drove around aimlessly for a while, just talking to me. "Eric, what's going on?" "I don't know." "Do you want me to call 9/11? Or your doctor?" Alex asked. I've never seen him so terrified before. All because of me. "No." "Were you really...? What happened? Before you talked to me online, what happened?" "Nothing. Nothing out of the ordinary." I didn't know it at the time, but Alex told me later I was crying. "Alex...I don't know what's going on." "Everything's going to be okay. I'm here. I won't let anything bad happen to you. Are you sure you don't want me to call your doctor?" "I want to sleep with you." "I'm not sure why you're saying that, but given the other things you've said to me tonight, I don't think you should be engaging in any behavior like that right now." Alex parked in a parking lot. "If you wanted to experiment or something like that, we could discuss that at another time. Did you change meds recently?" "No." He hugged me. "Eric, you can trust me. You can tell me what happened. I'll keep you safe." "I know I can...but I can't tell you...because I can't trust me." Alex held me and took my phone out of my pocket. "Eric, I'm calling your doctor. I have to. What's she under in your contacts?" "Dr. Dogwood." "Thank you." He called her. "Hello? Is this Dr. Dogwood? I'm sorry for calling you so late at night. I'm a friend of a patient of yours, Eric Thomas. I'm with him right now. He won't tell me what happened, but I think he's having a breakdown. Yes. Alright. Thank you. I'll put him on. Eric, here. She wants to talk to you." I talked to Dr. Dogwood until I calmed down. She said she was going to up my dosage. Not taking that shit. After that, we went home--his home. Alex made me food and left for a little while to explain things to his parents. When he got back, I practically clung to him the rest of the night. Dr. Dogwood was the one who suggested I stay home today, and Alex is staying home to keep an eye on me. He added her number into his phone in case something happened again. This morning, not long after we both got up, I went straight to clinging again. I asked him, "Alex, what school are you going to try to get in? I don't know what I want to do, but I want to stay with you. I'll get a job and pay rent." "I don't know yet. I have a few in mind, but I haven't really decided. Are you sure about that? I'd love to be roommates with you, but are you really okay going wherever I go?" "Yes. I'm normal when I stay with you." I looked him in the eyes. "I'm sorry about last night. Yesterday was...bad." "It's okay. Don't worry about any of that." He held me close. "Eric, you can tell me. What did they do to you?" "Nothing. I'm just messed up." "No, you're not." I've been laying in bed all day. Alex is making me lunch right now. 5/17/15 I've been doing a lot better lately. I actually haven't been home in weeks now. Alex and I decided we're going to rent an apartment together after we graduate high school. I don't know how he puts up with me. We had another talk about the future. I told Alex, right now, I don't have any dreams. I don't know how to. My mind's...messed up. But I do want be near him, and I think I'm a better person when I'm around him. I want to follow wherever he's going. The kind of job doesn't matter to me, the school is irrelevant. I'm happy with Alex. That's where I want to be. He said it's fine for now, but he worries what would happen if we stopped being friends. Would I be alright on my own? I told him, if that day comes, I probably will be. He's helped me with so many things. At the very least, I should be able to manage on my own. I got pretty close to confessing, but I kept chickening out. Also, I got a job lined up for summer. It's a bullshit job at an amusement park, but hey, it's money I can save up for our apartment. And at least I won't be stuck at home for hours while Alex is at his intern job. His parents said it was okay for me to stay the whole summer. Alex said we were practicing for the future. Alex's mom asked me if I liked him again. "Yeah, but keep it a secret. I'm not ready to ask him out yet." "I'm rootin' for ya. You're going to have to do it. He's always had issues with leaving parts of himself completely guarded." So, apparently I have her approval. 7/7/15 So busy. So tired. Alex has been dropping me off at my job and picking me up after he gets off his. We have basically the same schedule, but I work slightly more hours and I work a few hours on the weekends. He's been taking me there and back then too. When we get home, we eat, mess around on the internet or play games, and then sleep. Lately, we've been showering together a lot. No complaints there. Since that one night, Alex pretty much let's me cuddle him as much as I want in bed. I try not to get too clingy, but yeah, I've absolutely been taking advantage of that. I never thought I'd wake up in Alex's arms on a regular basis. Alex laughs it off, and sometimes, I play dumb. He still asks if I want to take the futon, but I've refused every time. Next week, we're going to start studying again. It never ends. 7/17/15 Had today off. A little awkward staying at his house when everyone else is gone. Went on a walk and did chores. Alex came home with my records from stays at that place. He dropped them on the bed and said, "These are yours. Figured you'd want them." "How did you get these?" I asked. "Today, I helped out Dr. Summerfield with transferring physical records over into the new system they're using. Can't believe they waited so long to start converting. Your stay from a while back was all recorded entirely on paper. I got as many of yours as I could find." I looked at the stack of papers. "Are you legally allowed to take these?" "No. Don't worry about it. We were shredding everything anyway, and they're yours." Alex smirked at me. "No one saw me. I can be pretty sneaky when I want to be." "Wouldn't take you for the type to do something so...reckless..." Alex put on his reading glasses and sat down beside me. "Juan and I are friends for a reason. So, you wanna go through them together? I might understand some of it better than you. Of course, I understand if you want to read them by yourself." "You didn't read through them?" "No, not really. Just enough to see it belonged to you." I'm not sure if I believe him. I don't think Alex would lie to me, but my parents absolutely would have read anything of mine. I don't know which is normal. I said, "I don't really wanna look through them right now, but thanks." I have Monday off. I'll read them then. I've gotten so used to being around Alex constantly that sometimes we don't really talk much for a while, and it's not awkward. He's watching some organizing videos on his laptop on the futon. I'm on the bed. I told him I've been keeping a journal. He thinks it's a good idea. 7/20/15 About the papers. Okay. I'm going to break this down different than how I usually write entries. 1. There's records for the kindergarten incident, second grade, sixth grade, and the last time's treatment and hospital stay, but there's seven files here. There are two for kindergarten and second grade. 2. Most of the papers are on white paper. Two are on this weird, pale blueish-gray colored paper and have a different logo on the top but the same company name. 3. The ones on white paper have mostly the same type of information that the stuff I found in Dad's office had. The blue ones are something different all together. The treatment has a different name listed. "Memory Box". 4. The kindergarten blue paper: For the "Memory Box" treatment, administered by Idris Thomas, July 13th, 2003. Idris Thomas. His name doesn't show up on any other papers, but there it is. Idris Thomas. 5. About the second grade one. The white version lists "sexually inappropriate behavior" like the sixth grade one, but the blue version spells it out differently. "Deviant behavior, shows strong interest in physical affection toward boys, engaging in homosexual behavior (kissing other boys, coercing boys into reciprocating physical affection)" My sexually inappropriate behavior was giving Alex and Zack a peck on the lips when I was in second grade. Yeah, that makes sense. So my deviance is basically being gay. I know I'm in Georgia and this record is from like a decade ago, but wouldn't that have been medically unsound then? Is that why there's two versions of these records? Because some of this shit is shady as hell? Wonder what the blue version of my sixth grade report says. 6. Other details: the main reason for me going back in second grade was for "memory leakage". What? I remembered something I wasn't supposed to? What does that mean?! 7. Idris is real. I got some treatment that suggests my memories, specifically, were altered. The second trip sounds like it was just as much to do with putting me back in the closet as my memories coming back. What the hell is going on? Who can I even ask about this? What are my parents hiding from me? Why? 8/1/15 Alex is going to be driving to school now. He's offered to let me ride with him. I'm not complaining. I can't stand all that noise on the bus, and I get to be alone with Alex. He asked me if I'd be interested in going camping with him sometime. Not a camping person, but I said sure. I've been thinking about Idris and those papers. I don't know what to do about that. Not looking forward to going home again. 8/24/15 Being home. I hate it. I stayed at Alex's house over the whole weekend. Saw Nathan earlier. He's still in school. Might graduate this year, might still drop out. Alex is dragging me to his club again. Can't wait to move out. 9/27/15 Alex started up that group study thing again. Zack's coming to them now, and sometimes Juan. Tamara's been flakey with it. Noelle says she's trying to help that weird Allison girl out with her classes. Alex said she was free to come too, but Noelle says Allison's too much of a shut-in to come to a big group study. I've been...okay. No strange dreams. When I'm home, I stay in my room. It's best if I avoid my parents as much as possible. Mom at least is easier to deal with through texts. She's back to her old, bitchy self. Dad's drinking a lot. I'm not as paranoid as I used to be. Which is...weird given what I found out on those papers. In a way, it's given me some closure. Like I'm not completely crazy. There is something missing in me. I don't know what happened, or why it's gone, but it was there. I'm not delusional. I may never get any answers on that, and that will probably bug me for the rest of my life, but I'm mostly okay with that. I know something is missing. 10/10/15 If I'm going to wake up with sticky boxers, can't I wake up before Alex? He teased me for it. At least it hasn't happened in a while. The dream I had was...Yeah, I wish Alex would do that with me. Later, we went on a drive so Alex could get some pictures of a storm. It didn't rain too much, and it was pretty on and off. Alex seemed happy regardless. While we were out, he invited me to go on a camping trip with him over Thanksgiving break. I said yes. I don't plan on asking my parents. I'm going to tell them I'm staying at his house to "study". We're going alone. I've never been camping before. Alex picked out his SUV specifically so he could carry a lot of gear with him, and people. He's already gone on a short trip with Noelle before. "That day I learned something. Never give Noelle beans." TMI. 10/31/15 Halloween party at Zack's later. There will be so much junk food and so many bad movies. Alex and I are about to go over there. 11/20/15 Told my parents about the "study" thing. They didn't care. I already packed. Alex and I are just hanging out over the weekend. We're leaving Monday. 11/23/15 Camping trip. We won't be back until Sunday. I am so, so fucking glad I don't have to see much of any family over the break. 11/29/15 Back. First day was commute. We stayed in a motel that night. We finally got there halfway through Tuesday and basically spent until sunset setting up camp. Saturday was also mostly being on the road, then motel to sleep, then more traveling. Got home about an hour ago. Okay, so we actually didn't stay in the tent for...two of those nights. Some things happened...some bears happened. Some bears destroyed some things. So we ended up sleeping in the SUV. But that was actually more comfortable anyway. I know, I know. Camping trip. But...I am not that much of a nature person. The first night we slept in the SUV, I was really freaked out because bears. He drove aways away from where our camp was, but yeah. Bears. I swear I heard them. Alex said I was hearing shit. Second night in the SUV wasn't that bad. No more bears. We stayed up pretty late talking. It was really cold out. Alex was holding me from behind while we were laying there in the car. Might've been my imagination, but it seemed like he was being really cuddly. The direction of our conversation didn't help matters there. "Hey, how much of that one night do you remember? That night I called your doctor?" He asked. "Bits and pieces." "Do you remember what you said to me in the chat?" "Yeah. I think I said that because I wanted someone to give me affection. Pay attention to me. I was looking at porn at the time. I thought about paying one of those people who get on webcams too. Someone to give me some personal attention, but my train of thought was all over the place. As soon as that popped into my head, I was thinking about guns and ropes a few seconds later." Thinking about that was putting me in a weird place mentally. That night was as serious as I've gotten with considering suicide. If Alex hadn't come over, I might have gone through with it. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have brought that up." Alex said. "It's okay. I'm fine now. Why were you asking about that?" "Don't worry about it." I remembered something. "That reminds me. That night, you said something about...experimenting?" "Ah, I don't really remember that." Everything in his voice said he did. I turned my head slightly to look back at him. "Really?" His face was red. He looked away. "Forget I said any of this. Lets go to sleep." There were a lot of things I wanted to ask him, but I didn't say anything else. The subject wasn't brought up again for the rest of the trip. That conversation...has left me slightly hopeful. The paranoid part of me keeps thinking I'm misinterpreting everything. Maybe I am. 12/2/15 Allison is dead. She was found yesterday on the side of the road about half a mile from her own house. Police suspect it was a hit and run. Heard all this from Noelle. Tamara didn't come to school today. I didn't really know Allison, but someone my own age, someone I attended class with dying like that... Noelle asked us both to go to her funeral. Allison never had any friends really, outside of Tamara. Me and Alex both agreed to go. 12/7/15 Just got back from the funeral. There weren't many people there, not even relatives. Tamara was in tears the whole time. I talked to Allison's parents briefly. They were really...cold. Reminded me of my own parents. I'm trying really hard not to leap to conclusions. I know people process things differently. But it's so damn hard to not see my parents in them. I did a lot of thinking earlier, about the last few years. If Alex hadn't pushed his way back into my life, would I have ended up completely alone? I was already isolating myself. Would I be alive right now? 12/26/15 Grades in. All A's. Spending Christmas vacation with Alex again. My parents both texted me about how I "need" to go with them to see my relatives, especially since I missed Thanksgiving. Everyone's going to my maternal grandparents' house this year. I made up some bullshit about how I really need to get in more volunteer stuff right now since I'll be applying to college soon. They're pissed. I don't care. I went with Alex to see his other relatives. They were nice. We volunteered for a few days down at the homeless shelter again. When we got back home on Christmas day, I surprised him under the mistletoe when I thought his parents weren't around. This time, I frenched him. Didn't expect him to do it back. Or that his mom would sneak a picture again. Alex chased her down the hallway over it. At the end of the hallway, I heard Alex's mom say, "I've uploaded it to the cloud! What now?" "I will clear out your entire account!" She promised she won't post it online, and she emailed me a copy along with the rest of the Christmas photos. I'm not deleting it. My parents never took many photos, especially not of me. I'm pretty sure Alex's and hell, Zack's mom have each taken more photos of me than all of my relatives combined. Last night, when we were getting ready for bed, Alex said, "Next time you wanna pull what you did earlier, bring the mistletoe in here. I don't need anymore photos added to her collection of embarrassing photos of me." "Should I have not? I'm sorry. I was just messing around." "What? No, you can do it again. Just not out in the open like that." "So you're really okay with me kissing you?" "Yeah." I swear his face turned a little red. "It's a Christmas thing. It's not a big deal." "Surprised you care about keeping up Christmas traditions, Mr. Atheist." "Just because I'm an atheist doesn't mean I'm going to ruin anyone's holiday fun." He shrugged. I guess he doesn't think anything of it. Or maybe... Nah, I'm probably reading too much into that. 1/10/16 Alex is helping me with applying to colleges. I did okay on the SAT and my GPA is decent. God, why is there so much paperwork for school? This is going to take forever... "That's why we're getting everything in order now." Alex said. Also, essays are bullshit. And why do I have to pay to apply? As if textbooks, tuition, and fees weren't enough. Speaking of bullshit, gotta pay for my cap and gown soon too. At least I have money from that summer job. Don't have to beg my parents for it. 1/22/16 My parents are hounding me about how I need to spend winter vacation 2.0 with them. I eventually caved. Mom's been texting me about how we aren't acting like a "real family". We're going to spend the week at my maternal grandparents' house. Alex says I shouldn't go, but what choice do I have? 2/12/16 We're leaving tomorrow morning. Alex says he'll text me and email me while I'm gone. 2/23/16 I'm at Alex's house right now. Staying the rest of the week. There is so much I need to get down. My head's still fuzzy. I have no recollection of 2/13-2/21. None. My memories of February and January are hazy in general. I don't know what else might be missing. Yesterday morning, I thought it was 2/12, the day before we left. Alex called me early in the morning, but his number came up as an unknown cell. He asked if I wanted to pick him up. I was like, yeah, why wouldn't I? I didn't respond to any texts and emails he sent me over the week. I said, what? We texted last night about the week long trip happening soon. "Eric, what is today?" He asked. "Friday, February twelfth." I said. He sighed. "Eric, it's the twenty-second." "Tell me you're joking. Tell me you're messing with me." "I'm not. Check your email. Ah, but disregard that last one. I didn't mean to send that." I got on my computer and it was completely reset. My account was gone. "Alex...please pick me up now." "What's wrong?" "I'll tell you in the car." I didn't. I didn't tell him anything. Not anything that mattered. I told him I couldn't remember any of last week and my computer had been factory reset. He told me to check my phone. Everything was reset there too. I logged into my email and all my messages were deleted, my contacts, everything. Alex told me later I was shaking. "Do you want to stay home today? We could talk about..." I cut him off. "No. I want to go to school. I want to be a fucking normal person!" "Eric, should I call your doctor?" Alex asked. "No, I'll call her myself right now." I dialed Dr. Dogwood's cell number. I was furious, but I tried to stay calm. She picked up. "Hello? Who is this?" "This is Eric. I need to know something. Did my parents schedule me for that treatment last week?" I asked. "Let me see. Yes, they took you to the lab in Rome last Monday. You're feeling confused right now, aren't you? Your memory is probably off. Everything's going to be alright. You'll be as good as new in a few days." Her cheery voice was getting on my nerves. I thought about those blue papers. How much does she know? "My phone and computer are reset. My email is empty." "You've seen how your mother was when her mind was foggy. She did strange things. You might have done it yourself, not realizing what you were actually doing." Of course. It's my fault. That would be her response. "I see. Thank you." "Is there anything else you wanted to talk about, Eric?" She asked. "Maybe later. I'm on my way to school now." "Are you sure you want to go to school today? I can write you a note." "I'll be fine. Alex knows what's going on. He can keep an eye on me." That was pretty much the end of our conversation. The drive to school was tense. I gave Alex a bullshit answer, that they did some kind of treatment, something a little experimental and my head was all messed up from it. Doc said I'd be fine in a few days. He asked me why I had the treatment done. Said I didn't remember. Something must have happened on the trip. I don't believe that in the least. This was planned. For what, I don't know. I'm going to read through this journal tonight, see what I remember and what I don't. UPDATE: I have no memories of this "dream brother"/Idris guy. Was that something that really happened? What the hell? How did I lose all of that? It looks like that's why I used to get treatments. When I thought back on that, the only reason I remembered was for "homosexual deviance" or whatever. What the hell is this? I kept those medical documents at Alex's with the stuff I usually leave over here. I only found five files. These "blue" papers aren't there. How could they be missing if Alex has had them the entire time? They couldn't mess with Alex's stuff and I couldn't have done it either. Right? When would I have done that? And I don't remember them existing either. The only proof I had they were real is that I wrote about them, like these dreams and this Idris person. What is going on? Maybe I am just crazy. How much of what I've been keeping track of in this journal is real at all? I hate this. I want to die. 2/24/16 Still haven't gone back yet. Alex is asking more question. I'm pretty sure he thinks they beat me or something. I know that's what he really wants me to say. I can't tell him anything. I might go home again soon, just so he'll stop asking. I can bear it, I'm sure. 2/25/16 I don't know if I want to keep up this journal. I can't tell what's real and what's not. It might be better if I don't try to remember anything at all. I've been trying so hard to act normal in front of Alex and everyone else. I want to forget everything. I asked him about those medical documents. He doesn't remember any papers in blue. He said all their forms are in white, and that he was pretty positive about that. Over the second winter break, he went up to the Hiram mental hospital as a volunteer to help out with administrative tasks. I don't know if I can ever trust Dr. Dogwood or my parents, but I trust Alex. I don't know what to think about all of this. 2/28/16 Went home. Keeping to myself. Texting and messaging Alex on and off. 3/1/16 I've been thinking about my entries in here. 2/15, that's when I had the treatment, according to Dr. Dogwood. It's been about two weeks since then. At Alex's for a while. I went home yesterday, when both my parents were out and grabbed a lot of things. Photos, school papers, anything I could find. I went as fast as I could. I didn't want to be caught with anything while I was in the house and be alone with them. Alex has been giving me plenty of space. I went through the photos on the bed. Most things I recognize. There's a house in here I don't know, but there's more than a few photos of it. Not sure where that is, or this other school. I don't think it's our old house or my old school, but I can't clearly remember what either of those looked like. I don't know. I may have missed any photos of those in my search. There was another odd photo. It's an open field with an oak tree as a storm is passing through. There's a message on the back. "Eric, I love you. I'll always love you. Look for me among the lights in the dark. One day, I'll be there with you again, if only for a night. (Name--It's too smudged to read) July '03" Who is this from? Why have I never seen this before? I may be losing it, but I feel like...there's something there. Something I can't reach, and that I've felt it before. Someone I can't reach. I can almost see them in my mind. I can't reach it. No, I must be losing it. I'm prone to making up memories and paranoid thoughts. This isn't a real memory. What I recorded before isn't real. My parents are garden variety homophobes who know some shitty, unethical doctors in Nowhere, Georgia. I'm still mentally unstable regardless. That's all it is. Maybe Dr. Dogwood is right. Maybe I am the one who erased everything. 3/7/16 Recording this so I don't forget. I remembered something. I've mostly forgot it now. Something about lights. I don't know. Might have been my mind messing with me again. Been going back and forth between Alex's and my parent's house. Alex is asking questions again. Did they do anything to me, that kind of stuff. There's nothing to tell. 3/12/16 For now, I'm lying to Alex about the situation with my parents. I told him that since I'm probably getting into college, they're being nicer than before and backing off some. About my memory issues, I told him I'm fine now. It was the effect of a medical treatment, nothing more. I asked him to resend me those emails, but he said there wasn't anything really important in it. I'm not going to call Dr. Dogwood anymore, unless I have to. 3/18/16 Alternating between being at Alex's and my parents again. Alex is asking less questions. Think he actually believes me finally. 3/31/16 I have officially been accepted into college, the one Alex wanted to go to. He got his acceptance letter a couple days ago. We're going out to eat tonight. I showed my parents. They were...underwhelmed. Dad said, "It's about time you got your life back on track." And Mom said, "Hmm...I would have picked a different school, but that one's not too bad. Are you going to transfer to a different one later?" Whatever. Won't be coming back to you assholes. I'm almost free. I can start over. For once, I'm actually looking forward--really looking forward to the future. 4/2/16 Zack's having a graduation party at his house the Saturday after we walk. I think I'm going to tell Alex then. I'm still not sure. Maybe I shouldn't... No, I have to tell him. We're going to live together. He needs to know. 4/16/16 Juan's having a party/sleepover today. I'm ready for the games. I'm ready for the conspiracies. I know there will be aliens. LOL. 4/20/16 Something strange happened. I don't remember anything from the last few days. Thought it was me being crazy again, but Alex doesn't either. What the hell? 5/1/16 They're back. Those dreams I wrote about. It's coming back to me. Idris. Who are you?