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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Lying to Myself

My brain doesn’t know when to stop lying to me. I’ve never been a good liar. And I guess my brain isn’t either.

When I get depressed, it starts out mild:

You are alone. And I think, well, that’s true.

You keep fucking everything up. And I think, maybe not everything. But it is hard to argue with that. I’ve made a lot of mistakes.

You’ll never find someone. And I think, well, I’m not sure if that’s true. But I’ve proven to be terrible at predicting my own future.

You’re ugly and awful and stupid. And I think, I may be unattractive (and awful). But despite having done my share of stupid things, I am not stupid.

You should kill yourself. And sometimes I think I should, and sometimes I think I shouldn’t.

You’re unhappy. And I think, I am unhappy right now in this moment. Maybe it’s because you are telling me awful things, brain.

You are always going to feel this way. And I think, now you’ve gone too far, brain. I have an excellent memory. And I KNOW I won’t always feel this way. Because I don’t always feel this way. You are a liar. And you can’t trust anything a liar says. You’ve probably been lying about everything. I don’t know why you do that, brain. But you’ve been caught. It’s time to stop now.

And it does for a little while. Until the next time. But luckily, my brain doesn’t know when to quit. It always takes things too far.

Postcards

I know I thought I was done with it, but I have been thinking about suicide a lot lately. I have been feeling pretty depressed. I don’t know if it is the time of year, or the book I have been reading about suicide.

I just keep thinking about how awful my year was last year. And how alone I am. Not just alone for the holidays that have passed, but alone in general.

I’m single. And I’d be okay with being single if I had a family that was close, or reliable, or just not bad people. But I don’t have that.

And I’d be okay with being single and having an awful family, if I had really good, reliable friends. But I don’t have that either.

Most of my friends are good people. But they also have their own problems. And they don’t really have much time for me.

I keep wishing I could just throw my depression and feelings back into that locked room in my head. And I can. But that’s not what this past year has been about. All this stuff was so much easier to deal with when I wasn’t dealing with it.

I know this suicide stuff is just my brain malfunctioning again. I feel so detached from it sometimes now. The suicidal ideation comes and I know it isn’t me that wants that. And I think “Here are my thoughts of suicide, but I already know I want to be alive.”

And then I tell myself that my brain is lying to me again. And eventually I start feeling better. As intense as my suicidal ideation is sometimes, I also feel like it is happening somewhere far away.

Like my brain is sending me postcards from Europe. Usually they are happy and upbeat. Sometimes they are deep and philosophical. Other times they are amusing or interesting. And, a few, times a year, they are depressed and suicidal.

But those postcards don’t compel me to act in any way. I can just read them. Think about them. And then continue on with my life. Thinking of it that way is really helpful.

Past Lives

Today, someone asked me what I was like as a child. I had to think about it for a long time before answering. But it really depends on what age we’re discussing.

I did nothing but cry for the first 6 or 7 years. I was unhappy and morose. And suffering from PTSD from many physical, emotional and sexual abuses. Eventually my family punished me for crying enough that I stopped.

I spent the next few years like a wild animal backed into a corner. I had zero control over my emotions. I was angrier than I have ever felt in my entire life. My anger was like a separate being trying to violently claw it’s way out of me. This is when I began punching trees. A lot.

Finally, around 10, I completely shut down all my emotions. I began working out compulsively, reading obsessively. I had an eating disorder and began journaling. I was extremely secretive.

I had severe insomnia and depression. Some weeks I would sleep less than 5 hours the entire week. My life was kind of a fog of blankness. That is really the best way to describe it. It was like being on drugs that took away everything it was possible to feel. But I wasn’t on drugs.

All I ever felt was sadness, despair and anger. And the safest place to direct that anger was on myself. It led to getting into and staying in many abusive relationships; platonic, romantic, and familial. It also was the partial driver for some of the emotional/mental issues I have.

And that’s basically where I stayed until my health problems at 25. Like I was frozen in place. Frozen emotionally. And I was. I only allowed myself to feel the barest tip of what was wrong. Only the strongest, most persistent emotions came through.

It has taken a few years to even realize that things were wrong inside me. And it took a few years to get help. I have been in therapy for just over a year.

I am amazed when I look back on the changes I’ve been through this past year. It actually impresses me. People that have known me very well can hardly believe I am the same person. Neither can I.

I can’t believe the life I was accepting for myself all that time. I can’t believe those past people, those horrible past lives, were all me. I look back on how much I’ve changed this year. And I wonder how unrecognizable I’ll be to myself by this time next year.

Addiction

I rarely spend any time with the majority of my family. I have been taking a more active role in avoiding them this past year. I’m trying to clean up my life.

And that means getting rid of people that are indifferent to me, abusive, manipulative, emotionally draining, or negative. Which includes most of my family and old friends.

There is only family member that I see fairly frequently (only because my sister is so far away). My brother. When we were kids TM and I were very close. He was one of my best friends. And he could always make me laugh.

But now, he is an alcoholic and a drug addict (and I do not use those terms lightly). I have repeatedly asked him to not do those things around me, but he refuses. Not only can he not go one day without his addictions, he can’t even go a partial day. Not even to see me.

And now he is one of the most negative people I have ever met. At least 80% of what he says is a complaint. And no matter how hard I try to steer the conversation in a positive direction, he seems determined to turn it into a complaint. It’s exhausting.

And it depresses me. Being with him makes me sad. He’s barely recognizable as the same person. When I see him, it’s like there is a man trapped inside another man. That smart and funny boy I knew growing up is somewhere inside the addict he has become.

And I can’t set that boy free. Only he can. But he doesn’t want to.

It has been making me realize that I am going to need to start limiting my contact with him. I’m not ready to totally cut him out of my life. But I just don’t want to be around it anymore.

But I also know the reason that I am so hesitant is a combination of how close we were growing up. And also with how little contact I have with the rest of my family now. I don’t want to lose one of the last people left.

Valentine’s Day

TRIGGER WARNING

I’m so afraid to admit this to people. I don’t want to be a total downer for everyone in love and happy today. I hate Valentine’s Day.

All the hearts and cherubs and flowers are an annual reminder that I was raped 8 years ago today. It’s all I can think about for the two weeks leading up to today. And everywhere I look people are talking about love and relationships. And all I can think about is that.

I should not have gone to work today. Everyone kept touching me. I hate being touched, but apparently it’s supposed to be okay today. It isn’t. It’s less okay today for me than any other day.

People keep asking what my plans are for tonight. I don’t know how to ask them to stop. I don’t know how to say these words out loud. It’s bad enough being a normal single person on a day like today. Having everyone asking about your love life.

Emotionally I feel so brittle. I wish it had happened on some random day. Or not at all. I wish I didn’t have an annual reminder. The same day every year. I wish I didn’t associate all these sweet decorations with such a horrible thing. I wish it was some other day instead of the day that is supposed to represent love and romance and relationships.

I wasn’t even going to mention this but I just sat down and it all came flooding out. I rarely post something the same day I write it, but I just want this out of me. And I am bawling as I type this.

But I also know that if I had gone to therapy 8 years ago I would probably be closer to dealing with this than I am today. I know part of the reason it is so hard all these years later is that I never talk about it. Very few people know. I’ve barely even spoken to my therapist about it.

By this time next year I will have worked through these issues. And in a few years I will have found someone that will help me to make new memories on Valentine’s Day. I hope.

I am sorry for the roughness of this post. I literally just wrote this and am afraid if I edit it at all I will lose my courage to post it.

Crying x2

I feel like my parents have really taken away my ability to have a satisfying cry. I hear other people say how crying can be a release.

Not in my experience. I know I probably feel this way because my parents used to punish me for crying. But that doesn’t make me able to stop beating myself up for it.

I feel like I am weak when I cry. I feel idiotic and childish. I feel like a total wuss that can’t manage my own emotions. I feel like I am not a grown up.

So not only am I upset about whatever is making me cry. But I am totally beating myself up the entire time.

I usually feel even worse if I am crying in front of someone else. I feel like they are thinking the same thing I am thinking about myself. Even when I know they aren’t. Even though I don’t think those things about someone else when they cry in front of me.

I also beat myself up because I never think my issues are ‘bad’ enough. It’s an issue I have also discussed with my therapist. Like, maybe I don’t have ‘enough’ problems to need therapy. Or bad enough problems. And that I am just kidding myself. But my therapist has assured me that my issues are very real and bad. So that’s good. I guess.

I rarely cried at all in the past 20 years. Like, less than 20 times. Even through losing friends, getting a divorce, being abused, being raped, having surgeries, and facing my own death. And I could barely cry.

I’m starting to think that this was one of the worst things my parents ever did to me. Denying me the ability to cry. To express my emotions. To feel the release of tears. Even now, when I actually can cry.

Crying

I think another one of the reasons I hate crying so much is that it always feels like a type of emotional manipulation.

It was used a lot in my family as a way to guilt me into something. Or maybe to make me feel bad for having feelings. Especially if my feelings were contrary to someone else’s.

But mostly, it’s been my own tears that have been used against me.

As a young child it was to deny me of my right to have them. In fact, they were used to deny me of my very existence.

And then, as a teenager, my complete lack of emotions and tears were used as proof of the emotional disorder I don’t actually have. The emotional disorder they tried to convince me I had for years. The emotional disorder they told me would keep me from ever having a long lasting or healthy relationships of any kind with anyone.

And, as an adult, when I actually began experiencing emotions again, my tears were used against me by my abusive, manipulative ex’s. Any time I opened up to them, they would throw it back in my face later. Especially during a fight. And especially as a means to prove how horrible and wrong I am.

And now, when I cry, I am terrified it will be used against me. Or that someone will think I am trying to manipulate them. And god forbid I cry at work. Then I am seen as weak and overly emotional