Soon, I was trusting myself, and only myself. I knew I wouldn’t let me down, so I clung to that. Yeah, God existed, but he wasn’t there for people, at least, not the good ones. I felt we were toys made, played with, and put aside to watch like an ant farm. I rode that fine line of being a traditional Satanist: I believed in myself, I treated the ones that gave me respect with respect, and the ones that didn’t, I wanted destroyed (The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth). I learned I was this close when I researched the religion when I was writing The Altar Server, about a kid that was an altar server, but looked more like a troublemaker.
Then, Noe died…another strike In my belief in God. My best friend died, who was my age, and shouldn’t have died. I was made to go to Midland Christian (It burns, it burns!) for a couple years. For high school, I met my crew, and I’d go to church with them as well as with my fam, but I was a serious agnostic as I still prayed to be “normal” as life threw curves.
I graduated, and my life lines got thinner and thinner as we started doing our own things. Yeah, I still believed in myself and the crew came through whenever, but yeah. Teri and I got married, broke up, and Joey got sick and died…strike three. God ceased to exist.
It was all on me. It was liberating knowing I had no one, but me. It was my screw ups, but more importantly, it was my triumphs. No one helped me, no God helped. I carried that through meeting Joey, which was a main reason for our fighting: she believed, I didn’t, I loathed.
It came to a head last year when I lost my Medicaid over a .53 raise in ’16! You can’t get a can of soda for .50 anymore, and her I was losing my Medicaid and the program that pays my providers to boot. I’d worked almost 18 years to get shafted by the government…just because I didn’t want to be a government tip crip. And, now, I had a family.
Joey knew and knows I’ll do anything to get what I want, so that wasn’t an issue, but she knew this was bigger than both of us. When I had my Medicaid appointment, she texted me St. Joseph’s Prayer, telling me she’d been saying it since she was little. I tried it one the bus on the way to the meeting, and I walked out with my Medicaid. Now, getting back on the program’s been a different thing, but after working my butt off, I started Lifespan, which is a lesser version of the program I was on.
Also, after 18 years, I quit my job I’d been increasingly unhappy with, which made for some hard times, but I learned I had to drop the security blanket to make my own path. Like I said, I’ve always trusted myself, and I like to be me and teach people there’s more to me than a crip in a chair.
Fast forward to this year, Joey and I decided this year we were gonna do everything we’d talked about last year, but didn’t. OK, the site came out of left field of my mind, but Joey trusted me to run with it when I threw it out to her. I’m truly the happiest I’ve been in years literally. Like the song says, “This is me.”
Be good to each other.