Monday, March 05, 2007

Mrs. Fliginger, I thank you.

I recently decided it was time I contacted my old English and Speech teacher, Mrs. Fliginger. I had to find her first, but thanks to the marvels of modern technology, I found her via the Internet and a Google search led me to Harvey, North Dakota. Ironically, her husband is named Harvey. I haven't seen her since I was a senior at Garrison High School, in Garrison, North Dakota, where I had a different name (Michelle, my middle name), and a very different life. She had an impact on me and did something nobody else was able to do at that time in my life. She came back from maternity leave, after having her daughter, Diana, and noticed that I was not myself. That was an understatement. I was messed up.

At that time in my life, my parents were separated, heading for what I knew would be a long and drawn out divorce. The scandal was all over the small town and to make matters worse, it was being played out as I sat in English class everyday at the house across the street. SHE lived over there. The person my father was having an affair with, and I could see his pickup truck sitting in the driveway, then leaving. The truth had come out in February, and sometime that spring, Mrs. Fliginger had come back and saw me in my miserable state. She kept me back after class. She asked me, "What's up with you?" I tearfully related the horrible events that had transpired in her absence and she listened and then asked me if it would be ok to refer me to the school counselor. I nodded. I couldn't keep this to myself any more. I was planning on suicide. I had the whole thing worked out, it just seemed like the more I wanted to do it, and the times I actually was going to do it, something would come up and I couldn't ever get it done. I was severely depressed. I did anything and everything to stay away from home. I signed up for paper staff as editor, and I sucked at it, but it kept me from going home. I was in Band, like I had been all through school, and I signed up for Speech Team, and I sucked at that too, but hey, it beat going home! I was also working at the local hospital, but there was no relief there either, because SHE worked there and was down in the break room each day to stare me down, daring me to say something, before I would go to wash dishes in the kitchen. I just ignored her as best as I could, but I would often break down in tears on my breaks.

Anyway, I ended up going to the counselor, relating the whole horrible nightmare that was my life at that time. I also had my friends, my best friend at that time was Carol, and without her to keep my mind off of what was happening, I would have ended up in a rubber room or worse, a coffin, if I wouldn't have gotten the help I needed.

I survived, and later the thoughts of suicide went out the door, and I moved around a bit before I ended up in my current home, "The Polebarn", and I don't regret a single thing I went through. Why??? My parents would not have reconciled, my father would not have sobered up, and my family would not have become as strong as it is now. I know for certain, I would not be the person I am today, doing the things I have always wanted to do, and living this glorious life I have always wanted to live. My son would not be here, my current BF (the love of my life 12 years and counting) would not be in my life, and I would not be excited about graduating to the next phase of my life, as a mother, a writer, an artist, a human being. I have found my bliss, now I just need to make some money at it!

But first, I had to thank you, Mrs. Fliginger, from saving me from myself.


Theresa Chaze, Wiccan Writer said...

I want to thank her as well. If she hadn't stepped in and helped you, I wouldn't have a wonderful person like you in my extended online family. And for that I am very grateful.

theauthormike said...

You have said a mouthful. I can relate to everything you said and had to fight my father to keep my mom and brothers and sisters safe from physical abuse. Horrible memories but as you say, they are what made me the man that I am today. What would I have turned out to be if Walt Cleaver had been my father? Certainly not as strong as I am today. Mikey