A Rite of Passage

When kids finish high school here in Australia, they usually go on “Schoolies”, which is a week of partying up on the gold coast. Some people go to Bali instead. When I finished high school, I went away to the beach with some friends and my boyfriend at the time.

Before I went away on my “Schoolies”, I spent a couple of days with my cousins at our beach house. My boyfriend was meant to come with us but I ended up uninviting him because my cousins were really religious and he was more of a Satanist. I didn’t want him to be rude to my cousins and I didn’t want to feel embarrassed by anyone. Instead of telling my boyfriend the reasons why I didn’t want him to go away with my family, I sent him a text a couple of days before we were due to leave and then put myself into a mini-coma with a combination of medications. It wasn’t really a suicide attempt but at the same time, I wouldn’t have minded if that little overdose had killed me. I took a gamble.

My parents were away and only my brother was around at home. Nothing serious happened from my little overdose, I just slept for a very long time and had a splitting headache. My brother probably assumed I was hungover, as I usually was in those days. When I woke up, I had heaps of texts and missed calls from my boyfriend, who was both angry at being uninvited and worried because I wouldn’t talk to him. I told him he should go away with our friends and I would meet them in a couple of days.

After a nice time with my cousins, I was met at a train station by my grumpy boyfriend and a couple of friends. We went shopping, mostly for alcohol and headed back to the house we were staying at. I knew my boyfriend was still annoyed at me but if I tried to talk about what happened, it turned into a fight and if I tried to ignore it, his anger grew.

We spent our days sleeping late and going to the beach and at night we got drunk all over again. Various friends came and left, there were always lots of people around. One night I got really drunk and climbed a tree. When I was up really high I realised I couldn’t get down again and so I cried until some of the guys rescued me. Another night, after another argument with my boyfriend, I ran off into the night with a bottle of vodka. A friend called me and convinced me to walk back to the house.

I remember having fun but I also remember how stressful it was. When we were around others, my boyfriend and I tried to act happy but when we went back to our room, he would get so mad at me. I can’t even remember why he was always so mad, I never seemed to do anything right.

After a week or so away, we headed back home on the train with some of my boyfriend’s friends. My boyfriend didn’t speak to me for the whole journey back. We were adults then but we were adults more-so when we got off the train and headed in different directions.

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