“I was the 1000th participant to sign up.”
Number 1000 one thousand golden foil balloon party decor on white background, birthday anniversary concept.

“I was the 1000th participant to sign up.”

It's been a week. Like I mean to say, I don't know. A lot of changing things this week. I can't label it good or bad. I guess just like unpredictable, I guess. I got reached out to by the MI, MI Diaries research team. Turns out last week, I was the 1000th participant to sign up which was so cute. I thought I might have been because I I saw the sign or the flyer and I signed up and then that week, I'd got an email that like, oh, we got our 1,000 sign up person. I was like, oh what are the odds it's me? And then I got an email and the team had given me some MI Diaries swag, which is pretty cool. Some awesome stickers. What else, what is there? I think I have the bag right next to me. A cute like handwritten note, I got some stickers, some treats, and yeah, that's just overall pretty cool.

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“How do you know her?”

When when I was in my twenties, I used to frequent a Irish bar. I was actually in — I was 20. And I would go in there every weekend and listen to the music and have a bite to eat, get a beer. And when I turned 21, my mother wanted me to — she wanted to buy my first beer. And I told her, “Hey, let's go, let's go to the pub. It's really a great place.” And we walked in, and the bartender said, “Hi, [name].” My mom just looked at me and said, “How do you know her?” “Oh, she's here all the time. Do you want your regular?” he says. My mother just looked at me and told the waitress, “You need to card her.” And the waitress refused to card me because they'd been serving me for a year in the pub without ID, and now here I was finally turning legal, and they didn't want to know that they were serving me for a year without being legal. It was funny.

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“It was a really small world moment.”

So I graduated from college on April 30th, and, as I was walking out of the arena to find my dad after the ceremony, um, I kind of was meeting up with him, and this guy with white hair and sunglasses recognized the two of us, and it took me a second and then I recognized this guy, too. He’d lived about seven houses down the road from us when we were living in Ohio. Um, and he was, his house was on my walk to the neighborhood park, and my dad and I went to the neighborhood park pretty much every evening that the weather permitted, so we were always walking by this guy’s house. He had five boys eventually. I didn’t really wanna play with boys that much, but they had a lot of cool yard toys, so I would play by myself with their Hoppity Hops or in their sandbox or something. And my dad became good friends with this guy that appeared outside of my graduation ceremony, and I thinking they contacted each other like sometimes, maybe talked on the phone like once a year a little bit. When my dad went to visit his relative that were still living in that part of Ohio, occasionally he’d go see this guy, but we had no idea he was gonna be at my graduation ceremony at this sort of small — smaller, not really small — um Christian college, but it turns out um one of his nephews, who is actually like from down South, not even from the Midwest, was at my college as a soccer player, and he’d been there like the whole time I had been there. I didn’t know him, ‘cause I didn’t interact really with the soccer players, and we were very different majors, but so this guy I knew when I was really young was at this ceremony, unbeknownst to me, there to watch his nephew graduate from the same school of like thirty-seven hundred that I was graduating from. And it was a really small world moment because this neighbor remembered me when I was, before I could talk, when I was just in a stroller being taken to the neighborhood park, and he knew me like when I was a toddler, in elementary school, and it was kind of one of those small world, things come around moments. And…

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“I was kind of on this brink of like hating school.”

But the best one was so, you know, I get the call coming in and the first thing we do is we like ask them for their name and information so we can look them up in the system. And she -- she gave me her name and I'm like, “Wait a minute. I think this is my fifth grade teacher.” And I only had her name to go on, like, I didn't know what her address was or, you know, anything like that. So I helped her with what she needed and everything and then kind of as we were wrapping up I said, you know, “I'm sorry to like ask but did you used to teach, you know, at whatever elementary school?” And, and she was like, “Yes!” And I was like, “Okay, so you were my teacher, like, I don't know how many years ago,” and many because it was fifth grade, “and like I just want to tell you you were my favorite teacher in elementary school.” Because I really struggled especially like I had a really terrible fourth grade teacher, and I was diagnosed with ADHD that year and she didn't believe it and just thought I was lazy and was just really mean and like humiliated me in front of the class and stuff. And so I was kind of on this brink of like hating school, and then this teacher really turned it around for me in fifth grade. And, but the best part, she was like, “Okay, so what's your name?” And I, I said what my name was and, and she was like, “Did you wear glasses?” And I was like, “No that was the other [name] in our class.” And, and then she goes, “You had dimples, right?” Which I do and people always comment on them. And I was just like, “Yes!” Like I thought that was so amazing that she could remember that after all those years, and it was just so fun to like get to talk to her and tell her that she had, you know, meant something to me.

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“My brain was flooded with like, fear and anger.”

(NOTE: SOME LANGUAGE HAS BEEN EDITED OUT OF THIS TRANSCRIPT THAT IS NOT EDITED OUT OF THE AUDIO.) TW: Mentions of physical abuse and trauma You'll just be out doing something. For example, there was one time I was in a grocery store and I walked past this guy who looked a lot like my dad, and my household was very abusive growing up. And my dad, my dad, my dad was physically abusive among other things, and I hadn't spoken to him in like three years at this point, hadn't seen him or anything. And when that happened, you know, sh** just started going through my mind. I don't remember, I didn't remember, just everything like that I was grocery shopping for, just completely out of my mind. My boyfriend was talking to me, I don’t remember anything he said. I wasn't really listening at that point. And you know like, my breathing started picking up and I, my brain was flooded with like, fear and anger and, and mostly fear. And so I started sort of having a panic attack and like all of these, whoo, all these memories of like different times that abuse happened throughout my life from him went through me. And I think I ended up having to go to the bathroom like my boyfriend noticed it and he led me there and I did -- there's a thing called grounding you can do where it's, it's basically it -- they've showed it on f***ing Better Call Saul. Like Saul's brother, he does this, it's called grounding. It's where you, you look at things you can see, and you listen for things you can hear, and you feel around for different textures and you notice them. You purposely take a second to notice them, and it's essentially a distraction and a way to pull yourself back into reality. But yeah flooding is a serious thing if you experience it often, and it can really f*** up your life because if that sh** happens at work, which it’s happened to me, happens enough time, you're f***ing fired.

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