Mama Help Me

A Paige Michalchuck Manifesto.


Disclaimer: I don't own Degrassi. We all know. No one cares. Nor do I own the song "Mama Help Me", which is (like my first story) by Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians.


This is only going to be this here chapter, so if you're one who needs verification: this is meant to be this and this alone. And so it shall be. Now, on with the point of your clicking…


          I remember back in grade eight when I got Terri drunk. I was jealous of the fact she and Spinner seemed to like each other. I wanted Spinner for myself, and I'd do anything to get him.

          That's what life has always been like for me. I've fought for things, done things I shouldn't have to get my way. Most people think of me as a self-serving brat, and they're right. I do things, cruel things, which hurt those around me. And I've never cared about anyone more than I've cared for myself.

          I've grown up since then. If I were faced with the same situation now, I would act differently. I've learned that when you're only looking out for yourself, life has a way of giving you your just desserts. That old saying, what goes around comes around? Well, it's true.

          I had always done things my way or the highway. I relished in the fact that it was easy, so easy, to wreck other peoples' lives. It wasn't like in the long run anything I did in junior high would matter to people, right? It was a short-term high, a buzz, to make myself feel better. When Ashley wanted to get an agent, I had to. When Ashley and Jimmy's relationship was becoming more and more blissful, I wanted to destroy their happiness. I thought; why should they be happy together when I have no one? I guess most of what I had done was to Ashley. Even when we were kids, I admit everything she had I wanted. Just because she had it. I wanted her cake, my cake, everyone's cake.

          When she called me a hag, I knew I deserved it. And hey, I said it first. But I didn't like it, and so I had to destroy her. It was selfish and stupid, but I was a little in love with the idea of hurting her so badly, no one would ever love her again. I even stole Terri from her. It was easy, and I told myself that if it was so easy to remove Terri from Ashley, they weren't really friends at all. I was doing her a favor.

          It wasn't just Ashley I've hurt, but sometimes it feels like it. All I've ever done to her was hurt her, and still I wonder why she put up with me as long as she did. Why she tried to apologize to me when it was pretty apparent I'm always the bad guy, anyway.

          But I rarely if ever thought that way back then. I was still wrapped up in my own little world. The world of Paige, where nothing else can get in.

          My home life isn't great. Nothing too horrible, just the stereotype of a distant mother and nearly always absent father. When mom does talk to me, usually it's to make me feel worse about myself. I've never really been good enough, smart enough, pretty enough to be her daughter. I always wanted a mother. I hated her, but I wanted her to love me. Little girls are supposed to have wonderful mothers, perfect fathers, a brilliant home life. Her apathy made me sad, made me hate myself, and I figured that's how I had to be. I couldn't let anyone in to see the real me. Anyone that tried had to suffer.

          And then the world decided it was enough. It knocked me off my self-built pedestal, made my world come crashing down. I blew off Spinner to hang with Dean, and he raped me. Pushed me down, held me down, and raped me. And all I could think was, I deserve this.

          It was horrifying. The experience left me shattered, shaken to the core. I don't know if I'll ever truly get over what happened with Dean, though I've learned to move on with my life. I've even learned to be a little bit nicer.

          But I don't know if I can truly change who I am. I care about people, I want to care about people, but I'm still afraid to show it. I'm afraid if I let people see how much I care for them, they'll just hurt me.

          Mom still hurts me. She still acts like I'm just a nuisance. She loves my brother, Dylan, more than me. I can see it, I can hear it. I think even Dylan knows, but I don't really resent him for it.

          I still act like the Princess of Degrassi. I still pretend I'm better than people, when inside I feel like I'm nothing. I'm nothing compared to other people. I want to be more than who I am, but I'm afraid.

          When I went for the co-op job against Ellie Nash, I was sure I'd get it. By just looking at her, no one could possibly want her for employment, right? The grape juice incident was an accident, but after it happened, I was glad it did. I even saw Ellie in her ridiculous raincoat and thought that my position was secure. There was no way I'd lose. But I did.

          I've never had a good relationship with Ellie, and that made me want to hurt her. Made me hate her even more.

          But then I saw what she was doing to herself, and I knew here was a girl that knew pain. She knew what it was to hurt, and had to hurt herself physically to let go of the pain inside.

          Even when I was helping her, I was a little curious about cutting myself. Oh, I didn't do it, but I thought about it. That alone scared me.

          I think that no matter what I do, only one thing could truly help me. Only one thing could make me change my ways completely, become who I think I'm supposed to be. I'm afraid, so afraid, to be the Paige I feel inside, and it's all because of her. All because my mother doesn't want me around.

          In order to be complete, I need that. I want that. In order for life to move forward, I need her to acknowledge that she loves me. I need her to help me become me. I don't think she ever will, but I keep hoping today is the day. Today is the day is the day is the day.

          I need her.

          The words scream from my eyes, but she never responds. She never notices how much I need her, never brings herself to care, to pretend she cares. She sits there in her apathetic little world, content as long as I don't speak.

          But I need her.

          I need her.

          Mama, help me. Mama, tell me what to do.