Breakdown!

Memoir Excerpt:

“After Angie’s arrest, I felt myself start to dissolve. I was a sugar cube with hot water poured over it, and I was melting. It was January 2008, and I started to feel my insides harden, or soften; I’m not sure which. I could barely swallow food, my taste buds had totally changed, everything in me changed, I couldn’t watch the shows I used to watch. I would lie in bed for hours at a time staring at the wall. I lost a ton of weight. At school, I watched in horror my hands uncontrollably shaking. I would space out in the middle of teaching a lesson. One of my students noticed and asked me if I was OK. What the hell was happening to me?”

I spent the long holiday weekend up in Massachusetts with my mother in her nursing home. “How is Angie?” she queried. Bless her heart, for the past three years we all lied to her, told her that her granddaughter was living in California. How could I break my mother’s heart and tell her the truth? What was the point now of disclosing to my mother truths that would only further break her heart and open a can of worms she wasn’t well enough to deal with? My mother was ninety-eight years old, and was soon to meet her Maker. Leave her to her illusions, we all agreed. During my time with her, I sat on her bed and did the strangest thing: I wrote the first twenty pages of my life story. I felt driven right then and there to write down things I had been putting off for years. It was an incredible adrenaline rush.

Then I flew back to my life and my job and admitted to myself that I was having a nervous breakdown.”

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