Navigating life with a teenager….who happens to have bipolar disorder


In the past, I have told you all about my ‘Lucy’ moments. The times when I really think I have been trapped in a TV Sitcom. These moments started for me at a young age. For example, when I was 7, my older sister and I were playing circus and she convinced me that being a tightrope walker was easy…..and that I could do it on the clothes line.  There were also times, like when I was 15 and I slid halfway down our outdoor staircase on an icy day….only to get my bearings, stand up and slide the rest of the way down in a full split.  Now, one of these examples was due to naivety and trust….and the other one was total lack of judgement on my part…..but then there was the time I fell down the house…..which was due to both. I have mentioned before that I was raised by my dad in Connecticut and spent time with my mom in Pennsylvania on weekends and during summers. One such summer ended with a bang…..literally.


The summer of 1990 was coming to a close, there were only about 2 weeks left before I was supposed to head back to Connecticut for my first year of high school.  That summer, it was determined that my sister would be staying in Pennsylvania for her last few years of high school.  That meant that this would be the first time I ever traveled home on my own.  Determined to make the most of these last couple of weeks, my sister, her best friend, Leanna and I all decided to have as much fun as we could.  We convinced my mom to let us have a party. She agreed…..and allowed us the space to plan for it however we would like.  That summer, my mom and step-dad had started to put an addition on the back of the house.  It was not yet done, no insulation or sheet rock, but it was complete enough to be utilized in the eyes of teenagers.

Tina, Leanna and I spent and entire day setting it up with decorations, bean bag chairs and twinkle lights. When mom had gone out shopping for the party the next day, Tina ended up going inside to babysit our younger sister leaving Leanna and I in the addition to finish up.  At this time, my younger sister, Mel, decided to be a prankster.  Due to the fact that the addition wasn’t complete, the door to it was still an exterior door off of the kitchen…….that locks from the inside. With her 6 year old, high pitched laugh, she locked us in and ran.  We banged on the door, but apparently, Tina didn’t hear us from her room on the other side of the house. Taking matters into our own hands, we decided to climb out the sliding glass door that was meant to lead to a deck that had yet to be built.

Opening the door, we looked down to determine how far of a drop we had and saw the sill to the basement window below. It was just close enough that if I hung down, my toes would reach it.  We used a blanket to soften the bottom track of the door and I slowly lowered myself down onto the sill and then jumped to the ground.  Leanna slowly followed.  Feeling like we just had a great adventure and proud of ourselves for outsmarting a 6-year-old, we ran around the house and into the front door laughing.

Fast forward about 1 hour.  Mom returned from the store and we were very excited to show her all of the decorating we had done.  We all went into the back room….and again, Mel locked the door. This time, though, she came into the room with us and closed the door behind her.  Now we were all locked in.

“No Problem!” I told my mom.  We did this before.  I will just go down the same way and come around to unlock the door.  In a rush to get everyone out of the addition, I forgot to put the blanket down on the door track.  This time, when I tried to lower myself down to the windowsill, the track cut into my hands……and I let go. I slid down the side of the house and bounced off of the sill and ended up landing on my knees on the ground, stunned. The way my mother describes it, I looked like a cartoon character being pushed down a washboard.

An ER visit and almost 25 years later, it is still one of my biggest Lucy moments of all time.




Comments on: "Storied Past: The Fastest Way to Washboard Abs" (4)

  1. NotAPunkRocker said:

    OK, you said Lucy, but I pictured Wyle Coyote. In a flattering way, of course 🙂


  2. Ouch. That’s going to leave a mark is the comment from TV that jumps to my mind, SC.


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