Two weeks later, at Tara's suggestion, I found myself offering Caryne and Laurel to rent out my spare bedroom. With Tara out of work for several months and me in nursing school, the extra help on the bills was much needed relief. I noticed right away that the large glass of who knows what was ever present with Laurel and a source of much angst for Caryne. I was impressed with how quickly they adapted to living in a new city a new state and how quick Caryne was to help keep the house clean. I was not used to that. Tara never cleaned up. She would lounge around on my sofa playing video games from the time I went to work at 7am until I came home from school at 10pm and then have the audacity to ask me "Can you wash my clothes?" or "What's for dinner? I'm starving!" I remember one especially animated argument stemming from a day in which she had asked me to make her a pitcher of tea before I left for work. I obliged and made a gallon, kissed her goodbye and asked her to please look for a job today... I went to work, worked my 8 hours, went directly to school and spent 5 hours there, came home exhausted and thirsty and went for a glass of freshly made sweet tea, we are in the south, after all. There she was in the same spot on the sofa, still in her pajamas saying " If you're gonna drink my tea you need to make some more, I'm almost out." Well, needless to say, that flew all over me. I lit into her lazy, selfish, irresponsible, immature ass and told her what exactly she could do with that tea pitcher. That one woke up Caryne and Laurel. Next thing I knew, Caryne was in the kitchen making tea. She was an angel that way. There was another time, my birthday actually, that I came home and there was a birthday cake with “Happy Birthday Angie” on the top. Tara was holding it so proudly. How SWEET! I never knew she could bake! She never had before. I thanked her and blew my candles out. After much hesitation, she reluctantly said, “ I have to tell you…Caryne made your cake. I …forgot it was your birthday.” I looked to Caryne, now it was her turn to blush.
Shortly after the birthday incident, Tara pulled one of her stunts; she was a cutter. She liked to use razor blades to slice into her arms and carve herself up just because. She said it was because I harassed her to get a job or because I didn’t want her talking to her ex or because her mom was mean or you name it, she used it as an excuse…There’s always a million reasons for these things, none of which I was equipped to help with. I was fed up with trying. I had loved Tara, nurtured Tara, stood by her, and supported her. But I was at the end of my rope. We went to visit her mom and she gave Tara the what for over the fresh cuts. That only agitated her already irritable mood; as we left she punched her arm into a car causing more damage to her fist and arm than to the car. I told her I was taking her to the E.R. to have X-Rays. That was ok with her, as long as that was all I was taking her for. I promised and told her it needed to be splinted. I knew better. I knew the E.R. would see her razor cuts and see her wild eyed look and hear her paranoid talk and suicidal ideations and admit her to the psychiatric unit. She was no stranger to it by this point. These moods came more and more frequently these days. In fact Caryne and Laurel had asked me if we all should be concerned for our own safety. I told them I wasn’t completely sure, and honestly, I wasn’t.
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