I stayed drunk every night and for every night, I hung out with my international friends on the internet. Most nights were spent letting Spirit run amuck with the other writers of the forums. Some times, I would have a webcam job to fullfill and other times, I was chatting with friends that I had made the past year. When I had reached the height of my drunken state, I sometimes would be in fights in the forums and having debates with others. Mostly, I would avoid the most serious fights because of my fear of being intellectually inadequate. Once or twice, Damian would wake up and catch me dancing drunkenly on the living room table. Once he even posted a pic on facebook of my inebriation. I would wake the next day and do it all over again. During this time, I gained weight because I was not going out much, not having real life social interractions. I became depressed as Sherrie and utterly uncontainably joyful as spirit. The members of the church came looking for me after I started to miss worship services.
Eventually, I stopped going to church altogether and felt that my internet family cared much more about me than anyone else....except my children, of course. No one loved me like my children did. And so, I let them meet certain of my friends from online...the ones who were not too wild for the boys. On a couple occasions Damian played xbox with a friend from Arizona and he also helped solve a math problem with a friend from Kentucky. My online friends were impressed by my children's intellect and I was proud of their accomplishments. I told of all their accomplishments when talking to my friends.
But I was falling into a dark and depressing pit while only spending my time online. I saw that I was becoming highly addicted to the computer and so I took a break for a while. This did not last long and I was back at it again. While my friends online helped me to find and fight for my freedom; they also contributed to my weight gain, reclusiveness and my lack of outside social interraction. This, I found posed a problem to my sanity as much as having three personalities threatened to do.
Anna sat at the back of my mind and twiddled her little fingers. She watched me grow more independant as the days went on. She would smile weakly and then stand up to show me the logic in all things that I was delving into. Some times I listened to Anna and some times I did not. I had found out that her family had found her killer and I wondered why she stayed with me. I asked her if she knew about the facts behind her murder and she told me that she knew everything and yes, she knew that they had found her killer. She entered my thoughts more deeply and spoke a secret to me then. She said she wouldn't leave me until she knew that I could handle this on my own. I agreed and let her go deeper into my thoughts. There she remained and there she helped me to sort out my feelings and my mistakes. I tried to convince myself that Anna was a fictional part of my mind, a twisted form of my personality...but then she would say something that made me think otherwise. One of my friends from online named Shell would tell me about how I was having delusional epidsodes and that it was just a part of my disorder. To her, all things supernatural were just too hard to fathom...she being more of a science gal and an atheist at that. I respected her opinion and so I took Anna with a grain of salt from then on. This made her very sad and she would weep within my mind. My depression grew worse.
I met a woman named Mary and Mary was wonderful. I had been looking for another job to replace the one that I had lost. Venum had been sending emails wanting to know if I had found a new job yet. I kept calling jobs and filling out applications online but nothing seemed to pan out. I found an add for a Health and Wellness advisor and so I made the call.
The woman who answered the phone introduced me to a line of health and wellness products which I had been familiar with before. At first I really thought I had hapt upon something akin to being some sort of instructor or coach; but the job was more of a workshop type deal where you introduced new health products in hopes of selling these products. The ladies name was Mary and I was supposed to meet her to learn of the new job. I made plans to meet her at Stokes (the local grocery) and there she would explain everything to me.
I met her and she explained all about the business. She said that I could go to workshops with her and watch her do the job and make the sells. After a while, she would let me start with the business on my own. I was happy with this and so I agreed to go with her and watch her do the work. Spirit became irritable and I told her to shut up. Anna said that this might work out for me if I put my mind to it and Sherrie just moaned a little and introduced herself more thoroughly to the lady. Mary smiled and hugged me right before I left.
I knew that Mary was different but I had no idea that she would become one of my best friends. She would meet me...all three of me and she would still love me and not be afraid of me. I would not creep Mary out and she would make me feel welcome in her home. ON many occasions, I would fall asleep in Mary's arms and yet, we were not a couple....we did not love like that...in that way. I had just found a true friend, a friend without conditions and a friend who was not ashamed to be my friend as well.
I started to tell Mary of my relationships with the men online. She actually had the opportunity to talk to one of them when I was in her home. I told Mary about the way that I felt and how I was unfullfilled by Venum. I told her that I was looking for love and that I had become confused in my wanderings...which I had. I found answers to things as I talked to Mary and Mary talked to me in exchange. Mary was single but she had been seeing at least two married men and she was having a hard time changing that about herself. We both agreed that what we did was wrong...yes, I only talked to these men on the internet while Mary had relations with them in real life. Thing was, we didn't really see any different between the sins that we both committed...well, not much difference because it had to be classified differently. We talked of how the men made us feel...how they talked sweet to us and made us feel special but then they went back to their own lives and left us empty...this they did. We laughed about the fact that we did not rule the holidays--this was for the wifey. We talked about all the days that we were sure of not having the men's attentions...these including holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas....also other such related holidays. In the end, we understood what we were...we were the 'other women' and we really had no stand in their existence...but we were okay with that. When things would happen in that aspect, we would comfort each other, drying the tears and holding each other till late into the night. It was a strange perspective...this other life was and it was something that I would have to face when my husband came home. I didn't know what I wanted in life, this was certain but I did know that I wanted my happiness.
Mary and I traveled every day making flyers, doing workshops and just being together. We talked of everything that revolved around the men and the women we knew. I joined the business and learned the company. I worked while the kids were in school and found solace in Mary. I wish I could say that with Mary's help, I reached a conclusion and an answer to all my shortcomings but I did not do so. In Mary I learned many things and grew in odd ways but I never grew to understand the ways of the human being. I must say, I did learn a new perspective on life and I began to feel something strange for these men that I talked to. I realized that they may have loved me in their own ways but they could never love me in the way that I wanted....and so I grew stronger and started to look at them differently. I never stopped loving them but I learned to take what I needed from them leaving them with peace. I never ever felt an envy or hatred for their loved ones. I actually learned a newfound respect for the women who must live with these men. My love never died, nor did it turn sour....I weeded them out and was left with only a few men that I felt loyalty toward. I loved them until they said it was time to go and then....I gave them up...all but two. These two were the hardest ones to give up and the ones who held the most of me.
Mary knew and Mary held me deep within the night when neither of these men would be there. Sometimes, they never came to me for a weeks time and I felt as though my soul would die. I realized that I had fallen in love...in love with those men that I had never met.
I had reached a new level of pathetic insanity. Even Spirit seemed to be in love as she sat on her mushroom and swayed back and forth under the stars.
What had I done?