I was going through my computer today and housekeeping. I was amused to no end by some of the horrible, horrible things I have written. When I purchased my laptop a few years ago, I also went through the high-school/early-college papers I had written pre-internet. I typed a few of them up and saved them on my hard drive. In saving them, I knew just as well three years ago as I do now how horrible they are but I saved them anyway. Of course, I password-protected them to save myself any future embarrassment.
One of the stories was about a man who is only 25 when his 7-year-old son is hit by a car and dies. The ex-girlfriend who was only 16 when the baby was born had committed suicide only weeks after his birth after plummeting into a severe depression. Protagonist, having been thrown into adult life (at which he had never been successful) at an early age, decides to up and leave town for the winter. He tells a buddy (who is completely inattentive, having heard Protagonist's unrealized schemes before) that he's going to head to Colorado and live in some random cabin (having heard that cabins in the mountains are only inhabited in the summer) for the winter and play house all alone until he can think of what his next move in life will be.
He does so, hitchhiking along as a backpacker (a really dumb move on Protagonist's part, in retrospect- what better way to get caught at B&E?) until he reaches the mountains. After hiking his way up (and believe you me, I now know this would make his survival highly unlikely), he finds some cabins and picks one. He picks the wrong one.
After all, a crazy bitch lives there. She pretends that she's not home when she hears him knocking and prowling around under the pretense that he's actually in need of help. Determining that the cabin is, indeed, abandoned for the season, he breaks in. Crazy Bitch has been waiting for Protagonist, or someone just like him. Crazy Bitch has some crazy ideas about how to get her revenge (she slowly reveals to Protagonist why she seeks revenge/who she is, etc.). She figures that criminals will wind up in the mountains stealing from people's cabins, etc. (Yes, as a matter of fact, I am aware of how horrible this plot is.) Crazy Bitch hates criminals so she buys a cabin in an effort to rid the world of them. It's taken her 6 years but she's finally found her criminal.
Crazy Bitch proceeds to scare the living shit out of Protagonist for days (12, to be exact), finally eliminating him.
Again, this story is horrible. Horribly generic, horribly horrible.
Protagonist is, of course, me.
He's a good man, really. But he has always had a bad habit of shirking responsibility which results in serious anxiety issues. He can't just relax and enjoy himself because always, in the back of his mind, he's worried about what's going to happen when all of his mistakes catch up with him. Rather than facing said mistakes head-on, he pretends they never happened and creates impulsive, elaborate schemes to start over.
When his son dies, he's running away. But he tells himself it's the beginning of a new start.
Basically, I was acknowledging at such a young age (I was in high-school when I wrote it) that I could see these patterns in myself and that it wouldn't end well. It's kind of good to look back at now.
It's still my instinct to pretend that bad things (particularly those that I incite all by myself) aren't happening to me. But I've largely overcome it.
Otherwise, I wouldn't be in school right now- I'd have gone back to work full-time (again) at the first sign of failure (so it would look like I'd planned it all along) as opposed to owning my failures and correcting them.
Otherwise, Josh and I wouldn't be together. When I first started feeling anxious over the positions I've been put into, I would have quit altogether. I would ignore the voice that told me that it could be something very special and I would have quit. Ten years ago I would have stopped taking his calls, reading his email, etc. I would have just dropped off the face of the earth and ignored the subsequent tension that would fall upon me.
Otherwise, when I was low on extra money, I would have robbed my utility bill fund to make sure I had money to go see a movie.
It's been hard and it's still in process but I don't run away anymore.
Which is quite a relief as I certainly don't want to end up dead in some cabin in Colorado when Crazy Bitch thinks I'm a criminal.