I have a confession to make. I can NOT swim. I've tried to learn. I've had many friends tell me, "oh there is nothing to it, I can teach you"... Frustrated and tired of watching me drown they usually give up. It DOES look SO easy. So easy in fact, there were times I took great risks in deep water thinking " Damn, everyone is out there swimming and having fun, I KNOW I can do this'
The first time I had that thought, I was at the local public pool in my neighborhood. I was with a friend and her Mom. I was about 11 and had never been diagnosed with a mental disorder, However... I proceeded to the Highest diving board and Jumped into the 12' deep section of the pool. Right before take off.. I quickly thought, let me jump towards the side of the pool, just in case I need to get to the edge to hold on. That saved my life. I had jumped in and began paddling frantically in the wrong direction! I reached the bottom of the pool and then felt for the side and was able to feel my way up and grab hold of the edge. I noticed no one had noticed my foolishness. The lifeguard was busy flirting, my friends Mom was busy reading. Once I caught my breath, I edged my way around to the shallow end. ( It would be several years before my next 'suicide' attempt...)
I was dating my husband, his sisters boyfriend had an Aunt who lived on the Nissequogue River. We went to her house to go canoeing. She wasn't home, but it apparently was okay with her that he used her yard and canoes. In her back yard there was a beautiful waterfall, that swoooshed into the river. Before we set out on our canoe journey, everyone ( except me) decided to jump in and take a swim. They would jump in, in front of this magical waterfall and it would SWOOsssshhh them way out into the river. They swoooshed away and were swimming about, lot's of laughter, a really great afternoon. I was sitting on the bank with my feet in this waterfall. I looked out at the three happy faces and had that feeling again... I COULD SO DO THIS! My husband (boyfriend) must have sensed my nonsensical thought and he began to yell... LU! DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT COMING IN, BECAUSE I CAN'T SWIM AGAINST THE WATERFALLS CURRENT.. Well, fearless stupid me... I didn't wait to hear his complete sentence... I jumped in Heart first instead of head first. The waterfall did it's SWOOsssshhh (it felt wonderful) and it pushed me out towards the others. BUT he was right.. It didn't push me far enough and I began to drown. He fought so hard to swim against the powerful current. Not aware of his dilemma, I remember clearly thinking "shit, why isn't someone helping me?" I dog paddled as hard as I could but I went under many times. My hero ( he had great abs back then) made it to me in time. He dragged me out of the Nissequogue and onto a very buggy bank, where ( due to his fear) he cursed me out for about 10 minutes. The other couple was just laughing their asses off. Because while he was cursing, he was also pulling all these bugs off of me at the same time. I wish he was here as I write this, because he would probably remember what the heck kind of bugs I had laid on top of and was covered in. I swore I would never go into deep water again..... until
After everything settled down, we still wanted to go out in the canoes, where they knew I would be safe from drowning. The three great swimmers were swimming around fine, while I sat in the canoe. My (future) sister in-law decided she wanted to get back in her canoe and didn't know how to go about it.. so my (future) husband said " You can get in Like this" and he put the two canoes together and boosted himself up. WELL! OVER BOTH CANOES TURNED, with ME IN ONE! I was saved quickly this time, but we lost his keys to the car, his wallet, his sneakers... After paddling back to the Aunt's house but with no way to get inside to use her phone, The men decided to hitch hike back home to get the spare set of keys. While, we girls sat on the bank for HOURS, hungry, thirsty and a bit scared of how deserted the area was. Yet, watching the waterfall and reflecting on this day of adventure and fun that we shared, we wished it could have lasted forever.
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