I graduated from my Sexaholics Anonymous class a week before I turned 16. I could have been done sooner if I had only “accepted” the fact that I wasn’t a virgin anymore. Forget the fact that I had never seen a naked guy in the flesh, or that I didn’t know what a condom looked like outside of the wrapper—no, I was a raging nympho and I needed to learn my place in the depraved circle of life.
It took several unfruitful therapy sessions with Dr. Gross Love before I finally broke down in crocodile tears and fed him some trumped up story about my first time being with a stranger on the train tracks. What did it say about me that he bought it? Hook, line and sinker.
After two weeks of consistently refusing to go to school without my father literally dragging me there, my parents allowed me to transfer to the alternative high school. It was a 45 minute bike ride for me to get there, but what did I care if I got to school sweaty and out of breath with no hope of being able to make myself look decent before class? I didn’t have anyone to impress, not even myself.
The only stipulation was that I had to move in with my weird Aunt Nettie on the outskirts of town. What did I care that she had 7 cats and drove what teenagers would lovingly refer to as a pedophile van? It was still a win-win situation for me. My parents wouldn’t have to avert their gaze and pretend they weren’t just talking about me when I enter a room, and Aunt Nettie could teach me how to be a cat lady when I grow up.
I celebrated my 16th birthday at the therapist’s office.
“Lana, you have officially made enough progress here that you don’t need to see me on a weekly basis anymore,” said Doc. “You can still see me whenever you have an issue, and I will be checking in with your Aunt periodically to make sure you are still doing well. I also want you to continue with your prescriptions, as you still show some signs of depression.”
I wanted to roll my eyes. I wanted to show him what my middle finger looked like. I wanted to spit out, “Of course I’m depressed, I’m a fucking teenager.” But 6 months of hell had taught me to keep my mouth shut, smile, and nod.
Once in Aunt Nettie’s van, I handed her my prescriptions for duloxetine and trazodone.
She pushed her thick glasses up on her nose like that would help her see better. “According to that idiot not only are you severely depressed, but you’ve got some serious anxiety disorders going on. I never trusted those head doctors who think they can fix a broken heart with dope. What you need is someone to love you, and listen to you when you need help.” She crumpled up the paper and chucked it into the back seat. “You’re free now, kid. What do you want to do?”
A small smile touched my lips for the first time in ages. “Can I drive?”