RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: November 2013

Anger and Appeasement

I have spent my whole life appeasing someone else’s anger, no not someone else’s, a man’s anger. While at the same time I was trying to sublimate my own.

Growing up, I had to appease my father’s anger. He’d come home in a rage, ready to lash out at someone. He’d use anyone or anything as an excuse. Even the slightest noise would set him off into a violent, physically abusive rage.

We learned the hard way to clean before he arrived home. The clinking of us cleaning dishes, the dryer spinning, the washing machine. The vacuum cleaner was one of the worst.

And when he drank, which he did every day after work, he was worse. All of us learned to tiptoe around him. Trying to be silent.

When I moved out at 17, I stayed with a relative for about a year. He too began to show his anger to me. I never dated, I never talked back the entire time. And he still called me a whore regularly. His anger at his own life was seeping out and was directed towards me. I got away from him as soon as I could.

The next man I lived with was JC. Our relationship was a war zone. I was constantly struggling to keep my independence and freedom. And his frustration at not succeeding in controlling me started out as emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse. But it didn’t take long to get to physical.

Then I was with AT. That was honestly, the worst relationship I’ve ever been in. We never fought because he refused to allow me to voice my issues. I could never relax around him. He made me feel unwelcome and undesirable in every way possible.

I was single for a long time after that. But then AB came along. I thought he was different. But he was insidiously manipulative and belittling. I left before things got too physical. But I had opened up to him just enough for him to threaten me with things that wounded and disturbed me to my core.

Now I am staying with friends. And one of them is angrier than anyone I have ever met. He is triggering me so hard and I have nowhere else to go right now. I can’t wait to get away from him.

I am so tired of doing this. I am tired of putting men and their needs before my own.

I’m tired of worrying about someone else’s anger. I have my own anger to deal with. I’m tired of appeasing everyone else. Why don’t I get to be appeased? Because I don’t take my anger out on others? Because I try to be respectful and kind to others? Because I am only awful and abusive towards myself.

I think that is what bothered me so much about my work meeting today. I wasn’t upset over not getting the resolution I wanted. I was upset that one of my male co-workers got exactly what he wanted, and he still wasn’t happy with it. And everyone in the room had to suddenly drop everything to appease him so he wouldn’t throw a temper tantrum.

I am so done with this. I am tired of people (always men in my experience) that are sprinklers of anger and negativity. It’s not healthy for anyone to be around, but even less so for me.

I don’t want to do this anymore.

Abuse

I didn’t deserve to be abused. It isn’t my fault my parents were abusive. It isn’t my fault they never said or acted like they loved me. It is their fault. And they are horrible for doing that to me.

I have to stop letting it fuck me up forever. I have to stop dating abusive men. I have to stop being afraid of relationships. I have to stop hating myself.

There was nothing I could have done to make them love me. There was no secret code phrase, there was no action I could have done. There was not a single thing on the planet that could have helped me.

They did what they did because of themselves. Not because of me. It had nothing to do with me. It was never about me. This is the hardest lesson to learn for some reason.

It was always about their inability to deal with their own issues. They were shitty parents with their own problems and no concept of how their behavior would affect me, or any of their children. Because I wasn’t singled out by them.

It wasn’t personal. And the issues that they have doesn’t let them off the hook. Knowing someone’s reason isn’t the same as excusing their behavior. And knowing that none of it was about me isn’t the same as being able to forgive them. I’m not ready for that.

I also am realizing that I don’t need the validation of my siblings. They aren’t the missing puzzle piece in all this. I can fix all this without their input, though it would have been nice to have. And helpful.

I don’t want to make them talk about it when they don’t want to. But they don’t owe it to me. No matter how nice it would be to have someone to talk with that shared my exact same experiences.

And it also sucks that I didn’t get to have a childhood. That I had to be a mother to my little sister. But at least I was able to protect her. And I’m proud of her. I did a good job. She’s turned out so well.

I had no choice on giving up my childhood. I don’t want to lose my adulthood to my parents too. I’m tired of living in the past. I have to move on from this. I have to get over it to tackle the next big thing.

But the next big thing is, not surprisingly, related.

My abusive ex’s. They weren’t mistreating me. They were mistreating their girlfriend, the way they had mistreated every girlfriend. I had nothing to do with it. They weren’t even focused on me. I just happened to be there.

And I stayed with those men because it didn’t occur to me to leave. I didn’t think things were even wrong. I had no basis for judgement. I couldn’t recognize normal or healthy. I thought I deserved to feel shitty about myself. My only experience with love has been abuse.

When I finally thought to leave those men, I did leave them. It is sad how bad things had to get before it occurred to me. But at least it eventually occurred to me. I wouldn’t want to be with any of those men now. I’m thankful I’m not.

Making a point

Today was suddenly more than I can handle. I feel like I am barely in control. Like I want to go ahead and have a nervous breakdown, but I won’t let myself.

I feel like attempting to deal with my emotional problems is making it much harder to handle my normal daily issues. I was a totally energetic, responsible adult. I was getting shit done in my life.

I was cleaning, exercising, cooking, making art, writing, going to work, hanging out with my friends, dating. Now, I’m not even bathing every day let alone doing those other things.

Maybe this is what depression feels like. Apathy, insomnia, and inability to handle mundane shit going on in my life. I feel like I was doing better when I wasn’t dealing with things. It was easier in many ways. And I was more productive.

In some ways I was even more satisfied because I felt I had more to show for my life. But I didn’t have the things that really matters. Emotions, friendship, love, a sense of purpose or fulfillment. I still don’t have the love. But the rest are starting to come along.

Is it more important than creativity, motivation, fitness? I don’t know. I feel like I should be able to have all of that at the same time. I guess I’m just not there yet.

I suppose I expected it to be more of an uphill battle but that I would make progress every week. And that isn’t happening.

I have been working on my problems. I’m trying to get through this. Things just feel so bleak right now. It’s like I’m waiting for a breakthrough that isn’t coming. And I’m starting to wonder what the point is…

Hospitals

Visiting the hospital today…

I was not as ready to be there as I thought I was. That was tough. I felt really funny going up to the room. Like I couldn’t take a deep breath, but there was also this strange, dreamlike quality to it. It was hard to not think about my surgeries. There are still a lot of things involving those surgeries that I haven’t been dealing with or thinking about. Seeing all those people visiting my friend made me really start to pity myself.

I was alone for the vast majority of the time that I was in the hospital. None of my friends visited. None of my co-workers visited. Most of my immediate family didn’t visit. My boyfriend wasn’t even there for the last surgery I had while I was with him.

None of those people ever called or texted me to see if I was okay. And I can’t tell if it’s because they are shitty people or if it’s because I am a shitty person. It seems almost impossible that there are that many shitty people in my life. But I also can’t help but think that I would visit someone. I have visited people at work that I wasn’t very close to.

I can’t help but think that things are my fault. I guess because I usually think most things are my fault. Maybe if I were nicer people would like me more. If I opened up more then people would care about me more.

But I’m afraid that if I open up more to the people around me that I will either turn into some obnoxious drama queen that always has to make everything about me, or that I will be the sad sack of the group that brings everyone else down.

I don’t know how to tell if I am having a legitimate issue that deserves consideration and when I should just keep it to myself. I don’t even know who I am trying to be strong for. Myself or everyone else?

I don’t even know what I think would happen if I did start talking to my friends. That they’d be disgusted? That they’d dump me the second I showed emotions or needed them for anything?

I already know what not opening up to people gets me. Bursting into tears at inappropriate times and having to start going to therapy. I hate how afraid I am of needing. I hate being so afraid of rejection. I hate being afraid of being vulnerable. I hate being afraid to ask for help, or commiseration or even a hug.

I hate being this way. I wish I could just stop. I feel like everything inside me is tied up into a knot. All my emotions and memories are balled up in there. And the more I try to unravel shit, the more I see how bad that knot really is.

I couldn’t see how bad it was when I was ignoring it. I just kind of knew it was there, in the back of my mind. Since I wasn’t using those emotions and feelings I don’t think I really missed or needed them. But now I guess I have decided that I actually need them and I don’t have access to them because they are knotted up inside me.

I’m starting to feel more angry at what was done to me than hating myself and that is pretty huge. I just don’t know where that anger goes. I feel like there is no room inside me for it. At least not anymore.

Suicidal Ideation

I want to talk about something hard today. I want to talk about suicide and suicidal ideation. It’s where I got the name for my blog. It’s the one thing that I have the hardest time sharing with real life people. It’s the reason why I wanted my blog to be anonymous. For my sister’s sake.

Suicide. I think about it all the time.

In high school freshman year, I was thinking about it every day. But I wasn’t just thinking about it. I had reached what I thought was my breaking point.

I made a plan. I chose a method. I wrote out a note. I picked a day. It was only five days away.

I had to make sure I did it on a day where there was no possibility of my body being discovered by my little sister. It was literally the only thing stopping me. She was going to be spending Friday night at a friend’s house and I knew I could do it then. She would be safe from finding me.

I even did a test cut to see how much it was going to hurt. It turns out, not as much as living did. It was the only time I’ve ever intentionally physically harmed myself.

On the Thursday before the big day I ran into a guy I knew after school. It was urgently hot that day and he was wearing a long sleeved shirt. I asked him if he was cold. He shook his head and said he was embarrassed.

He pulled back his sleeves and showed me the bandages on his wrists. We weren’t close friends, and I’ll never know why he opened up to me that day. But he told me all about how he had tried to kill himself. He told me that he knew he was going to try again.

I convinced him to get help. We spoke for several hours that day. And I think, in convincing him, I somehow convinced myself to stay alive too. Though it would be another 14 years before I got any kind of help for myself.

I heard, several years later, that he had successfully committed suicide. I still think about him from time to time. For as long as I live, I will never forget, sitting on that stone wall, sweating in the hot shade, the empty hallways of the school like a ghost town, talking things out.

But, I still have those feelings inside me. I still feel hopeless sometimes. I wonder why I am alive. I wonder why I bother getting out of bed. I wonder if anyone would truly be affected by my death. Or even care.

I start thinking about death and dying. Is it the long dark sleep I imagine it to be? Does it hurt? Is it scary? Is there anything else? Is there even a point to life if it is so easily and quickly ended?

I don’t think about committing suicide the way I used to. But I still think about it. All the time.

Now I think about things happening to me. Intentional accidents. Like stepping in front of a train. Driving off a bridge. Falling off the roof of a tall building.

I think about them abstractly. Figuring out the mathematics. Wondering how it would feel. How high is high enough? I don’t WANT to do these things. Most of the time. But thinking about them is oddly soothing. Like a bizarre type of meditation.

It’s like a brain teaser I turn over and over again in my mind. A puzzle. The intention is long gone, most days.

It makes me feel better to know there is an option. A back up plan. If I need it.

I mostly feel happy. I mostly feel grateful to be alive. I mostly want to live. But I can’t stop those other feelings. The rise up from the depths, like corpses. Haunting me. Demanding my attention.

I know it isn’t good. I know it isn’t normal. I know I can’t stop it. And I know it isn’t my fault.

In the words of one of my favorite bloggers, http://thebloggess.com/: “Depression lies.”

Sometimes that’s enough.

Touch

Despite all my complaining. I still know I am not ready to meet someone on my own. This guy today was hot and interested and I wouldn’t even look in his direction. Because I am not ready to test myself. I’m not ready to choose someone. I am not ready to see if I am better.

For all my big talk, I am still not ready to trust myself. It’s like a Catch-22. I can’t trust myself to make good choices because I haven’t in the past. But I can’t prove that I’ve changed because I’m afraid I’ll keep making the same dumb mistakes.

If I don’t check, I won’t know where I stand or if I am better. I’m letting myself get paralyzed by the fear of making another mistake. I have to keep reminding myself that not making a choice is still a choice. But it’s also living my life by default. Things may be happening, but I am not really living or participating in my own life.

And I wanted to bring up the idea of waiting too long. I feel like I always have such good self control, that I don’t properly care for my needs. I wind up neglecting myself for so long that I latch on to someone that is nearby and isn’t actually worthy.

I’m so ashamed of needing someone, of needing sex. That I let it go and let it go and then it all comes pouring out inappropriately. And that poor person can’t always handle it.

I’m trying to take care of things myself. But I can’t give myself physical intimacy. It just builds up inside me and every little touch just twists the screw tighter. Until I become this tightly wound bundle of energy with no outlet and then I find some horrible guy and have horrible sex.

And I don’t even know why I waste my time because it only barely relieves the tension. Because I am not craving sex, I am craving intimacy. And I’ve only recently learned the difference between the two.

I didn’t and I still don’t know how to get physical intimacy. But I know I have to stop settling for sex. I need to start figuring out which one I need, being able to tell the difference, and making sure I am always getting the correct one.

That also may be part of the reason why touch is such an issue. I only let people touch me for sexual reasons and it turns every kind of touch into a sexual thing. Especially with men. Though I also think the sexual abuses made touch sexual. And I think my parents not touching me growing up turned touch into a ‘thing’ with me.

If I am only ever getting hit or molested, then touch is bad. But I also crave touch, because all humans do. I think I can only get it via sex. Which makes platonic touching even more awkward. Then I want people to touch me even less than I already do because it causes inappropriate thoughts about the wrong people.

So, touching has become a source of abuse, awkwardness, bad feelings and confusion. No wonder I don’t like people touching me.

But I also feel like I am getting to the intimacy breaking point. I need physical affection so badly it hurts in the pit of my stomach. I don’t know what to do about it.

Sex…again…

I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I remember when I first started having sex. It was awkward and painful and not very good because I just wanted to not be a virgin anymore.

I had just wanted to get the sex part over with. But I thought that when I was older sex would be amazing, and well, sexy. But it honestly hasn’t gotten any less awkward. It hasn’t gotten much better.

It is only good or okay now. It’s never been amazing. It’s never been sexy. Maybe that’s because I’ve never had sex with someone I was really sexually attracted to. I’ve never waited long enough to have sex with someone.

I’ve always kind of wanted to get the sex part over with. I’ve never had emotional intimacy with someone, which does make it nearly impossible to have sexual intimacy. And, I believe, that has to mean I’ve never genuinely been in love.

How could I have been? I certainly liked these men. I even loved some of them. But neither of us was in love. We didn’t know each other well enough. We didn’t open up enough. That’s my fault too. But I also didn’t feel safe enough to open up. Not ever.

And I was right. I wasn’t safe. These men were bad. They were abusive. But if they weren’t safe then I shouldn’t have stayed. If I couldn’t trust them with emotional intimacy then I couldn’t trust them. And I shouldn’t have dated them. And I certainly shouldn’t have had sex with them.

I need someone that is going to be safe.

And sex has only gotten harder as I’ve gotten older. Now there seems to be more barriers, not less. There is all the baggage of past relationships to contend with. People have children, baby mamas, divorces, child support, infidelity, bitterness, impotence, performance anxiety.

Now I have to worry about STDs and people that are truly good manipulators, sociopaths, game players. Game players that are much more sophisticated now than they were in high school. Men in their 30s that want to behave like they are 18. Even though they are fathers and husbands now with serious obligations.

And the older I get, the harder it is going to be to find someone that doesn’t have crippling emotional baggage. And to find someone that can handle mine. That actually might be the hardest thing of all.

Finding someone that will want to take on my issues with me. Finding someone that will help me to heal. Because there are some issues that will never get better without the help of a patient, safe, mature, loving partner.