September 8, 2008

AMANDA'S SIDE OF THE STORY

I've read most of the stories that have been posted. I will tell you that mine probably sounds like them, but with this particular band you would think that is common place. It is. My Chemical Romance draws a certain kind of crowd. Its the crowd that sticks together when in danger and will stick up for the ones who save lives. I am proud to say I'm part of that crowd.

I'm 20 years old. Too old to be a teenager but too young to be an adult. Yes I don't have a curfew, yes I can vote in the next elections, and I can get a job that pays a little more than minimum wage. But trust me when I say this kids, I'm still looked upon as a child who does not know her own mind and isn't fully an adult. I think you have to be almost 30 before someone realilzes that you're not a kid.

I was happy as a small child. Loving parents, two siblings who weren't yet old enough to fight with, lots of little playmates to run amok in the neighborhood with. Then, as a tragic cliche that happens so often, it all changed. Parents divorced, I moved, my siblings started growing. Not all of it was bad I assure you. I have some very good memories along with some nasty ones. But I didn't notice how much life throws at you till I became a teen.

I was living at with my dad at this point. My mom developed breast cancer and wasn't able to take care of three kids any longer. My dad had remarrled. My stepmom was okay, though truth be told I didn't like her that much then and I still don't now. We all lived in a fragile harmony. It was like you could almost tell that if anything huge happened, that harmony would be permently destroyed. Costant egg shells. And guess who was the one to break them.

It started with my stepmom.I lied to her about some grades I had(I had an F in math. I'm not good at math.)But with some skillful manipulation on my part, I had convinced the teach to give me a D so I'd stay in a play I was in. Stepmom found out, absolutely BLEW a gasket. Never forgave me for lying to her when she had done all this stuff for me like picking me up from practice and bying things for my first prom. I felt awful then. I tried to turn to my dad, whom I was very close to, but he was no help. Things started between me and my stepmom, and he always took her side. My siblings couldn't help me, though they tried. But she was on a warpath. I couldn't turn to my friends because at the same time I was having trouble with them as well. So I turned on myself. Started self mutilating and literally just shut down. I never talked to anyone, I cried constantly at night, stole anything sharp to abuse myself with, and was basically dead. If you look back on all the family event photos of that time period and you could see that my eyes were blank. Dumbfounds me now how I survived in that state for so long.

I'm in 10th grade by now. Dead inside, only coming to life occasionlly to lash out at my stepmom and dad who were constantly on my case. Then one day my younger sister came home to the room we both shared and put a cd in her player. "I want you to listen to this,"she said. "Its a new band called My Chemical Romance and they've been touring with The Used. I think you'll like them."

At first I didn't. Three cheers sounded to pop-y to me, and I just ignored the music that she played constantly. Then I started to actually listen. To the lyrics, to the music. To that slightly girly voice that sang of lost loves and hanging out in graveyards. I woke up. I started doing better in school, being sociable,. Things with my parents didn't change, so I latched on to My Chem like a barnacle to a ship. I wore my cds out and was forced to start burning the songs on a blank cd to save money. I surfed the net for news of them.

Of couse I started being harassed. I was surrounded by peers who were pop and country lovers. I was called a goth and an emo(lived like one for a while too.) A nerd and many other things I don't wish to repeat. Pushed out of all social circles, I was utterly alone. Even the friends I had mangaged to gain soon left because they didn't understand why I clung the way I did to a band that didn't even know my name. I wasn't clinging to the band members themselves but to the music they created. I was holding on to the only thing I understood because I had nothing left to hold on to, and I was too cowardly to off myself. So I stanchly defended the band that had come to mean so much to me. And as time worn on I saw that my old friends had been right.

I was starting to care about the men who put themselves out there so people like me could live. I whooped with joy when Gerard stopped drinking and doing drugs, cried and prayed for Mikey who was having problems, Got worried when Bob went to the hospital and later on for Frank for the food poisoning, and congratulated Mikey for getting married. I loved Ray for the way he saw things and his lovely fro, and loved them all for the way they cared for each other and their fans. I still love them. I still care about them. I still live because of them. I will probably never meet them, but if I did all I would say was Thank You. That would be all I could say. I would be too choked up to say anything else.

Amanda H., United States