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Depression

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I don’t know if anyone has noticed that I haven’t been around as much lately. I have been extremely depressed. I know everyone’s depression is different. We all experience it differently.

Mine has been so bad. And when I am in the middle of a depressive spell, I can’t tell anyone. I don’t even recognize it as depression. I think that I am just awful and miserable because my life is terrible and I have no friends. I think I just suddenly hate my job and myself. I think that everyone would be better off if I wasn’t around.

I have had a really bad two weeks. I keep thinking that this blog is pointless and that my life is pointless. And that I really shouldn’t even be alive anymore. I don’t want to kill myself, but if I could just stop breathing or stop living, I would.

I have been doing so well for so long, I almost forgot what it looked like to be in the middle of a depressive spell. And the forgetting, made it so bad. I couldn’t understand why I was so unhappy.

My life is actually going really well. Which made it even more confusing. Why was I thinking about killing myself when I had finally met someone I liked? Why was I wanting to call out sick and sit at home alone all day? Why wasn’t I writing?

And I haven’t been sleeping. Which makes me feel terrible physically too. I’ve been having horrible anxiety at night. I’ve been sitting awake in my bed with a baseball bat for hours instead of sleeping.

Last night, I kept jumping at every noise. I thought there was someone in my apartment (even though I logically knew there wasn’t). And this next part I feel ashamed to admit. But it’s the truth and this is all anonymous anyway.

I thought someone was whispering in my ear. A man’s voice was saying something. It was rhyming words over and over. They were nonsense sounds. Like ooh, boo, woo, too. That has never happened to me before. It really upset me and freaked me out. I also felt like something was crawling up my back. Like a hand sliding over me. But I was alone. That has also never happened before.

Maybe I was dreaming and just thought it was happening. Sometimes my dreams really like to mess with my mind. But if I wasn’t…

I don’t know what it means. It might sound funny or silly. But it really upset me. Am I having auditory hallucinations? I never have before. What does it means? I don’t know.

There is no need for anyone to worry at this point. The very fact that I can write about it is proof that I am feeling better. And I’ll be back to my cheerful self in no time.

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Closed Doors

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I don’t know where I want this blog to go. I didn’t start it for an audience and I didn’t explain anything because it was always for me and I already know the stories and the background. Having said that, there is value in writing this stuff down. I was able to cry about it for the first time in my life. And I feel, in getting it out and sharing it, I am lessening the burden of remembering. And I don’t want to carry it around anymore. So there will probably be a lot more of this type of thing to follow. Fair warning.

I’m going to share another personal story on here. There was no awful backlash from the last one. Thanks to everyone for being so supportive. Your comments mean a lot.

I was 15 or 16. It was right before I got a job and had my own money and started saving up for my first car. I was still sharing a room with my sister.

My sister and I had always shared a room. My parents used to promise that when my older brother moved out, I would get his room. But when he finally moved out, my mother decided to keep it as her sewing room. Because “everyone deserves to have their own room” except, you know, me.

My sister and I could not have been more different growing up. She was outgoing and popular. I was shy and reserved. I was an OCD neat freak (due to my mother’s negative influence). My sister once left a cup of water in our room for so long that it grew mold.

And I liked to sleep with the door shut while my sister always wanted it open. My sister wanted it open because our house was stuffy and it improved air circulation. I wanted it closed because then I could hear my parents opening the door.

The latch turning was loud enough to wake me up in my heightened state of awareness and exaggerated responses. It gave me the few seconds I needed to prepare myself for whatever was coming instead of being surprised by it.

My sister and I were having a heated argument about whether to leave it open or closed. I guess we got too loud.

Suddenly my father was in the room. He ripped the door off it’s hinges. My sister and I were immediately struck dumb. Violence has a way of catching the attention of a room.

I was older and the responsible one. I protected my sister. I was always willing to suffer extra to spare her some of their anger and abuse. But she wasn’t on his radar this time.

My father immediately turned to me. He grabbed me and yanked me out of the bed and my mattress off the frame. I quickly stood up and moved away from him. I was taller and faster than him and could sometimes stay out of his range. But he wasn’t letting me go.

He pushed me out of the room. My sister was already crying by this point. But I wasn’t. I was too busy trying not to lose my balance and fall. Falling was unsafe.

I looked down and behind me, then I looked at my father. I had the presence of mind to know his intention seconds before he pushed me. It possibly saved my life.

He pushed me hard down our stairs. I fell only for a few steps. I had been ready for it. I caught myself on the railing. I landed hard and caught myself hard.

But he was angrier now that I hadn’t been hurt. I had thwarted his plans. That wasn’t safe either. He came for me again. I hurled myself down the remaining steps and out the front door into the night.

And I ran as fast as I could. I was a good runner. I still am. I thought for a minute about my sister. But I couldn’t go back. Not yet anyway. His anger was still too fresh. She was safer there than I would have been.

I had nothing on me. I was only dressed because I slept fully clothed. I didn’t have a dime on me. I was barefoot. I didn’t have a cell phone or even a jacket. It was after 10pm on a school night.

I didn’t know what to do. I ran for several miles. Just trying to put some distance between he and I. Watching traffic, searching for his truck. Wondering if he’d come after me, try to find me.

Luckily, it was a pretty safe town and a mild night. At one point a cop drove past and I hid in some bushes. I didn’t want to get picked up. They’d be obligated to take me home. My father could fool the police. He’d done it before.

I wandered around my home town that night for hours. I finally decided I had no choice but to go home. All of my friends lived miles and miles away. None of them knew about any of this stuff anyway. And I couldn’t call them for help even if they did. I was stuck.

When I got home, I saw that it was 2am. I didn’t even have a watch to realize I’d been walking around for four hours. I was exhausted. The next day at school my friends and I joked about my tiredness. My insomnia, always keeping me awake.

Nobody had been looking for me. Nobody was waiting up for me. At least they left the door unlocked so I could get in. I never cried during the whole experience.

My sister and I never fought about the door being open or closed. He didn’t fix it till after I moved out. Our fighting had lost us our right to the privacy of a closed door.

Not Sleeping

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I’ve found that the more I work on my issues, the better I feel, the safer I feel, the less anxious I feel, the better I sleep.

Growing up I was like a giant knot twisted in on myself. At first, it seemed impossible to untangle. At first, it WAS impossible to untangle. But it has slowly progressed and gotten easier.

I don’t get the insomnia as often now. And when I do, I can generally point to something to cause it. Nowadays there isn’t any pressing danger to my safety. It is mostly all in my mind.

But back then, I never knew when one of my parents would come into my room in the night. Sometimes they just wanted to talk. Other times I would wake up to them screaming over me.

If my mother found one dirty dish in the dish drainer, she would wake us up and make us wash every dish in the house. Even if it was a school night. Even if it was 2am. I remember this happening beginning in elementary school.

I hated being surprised that way by them. I hate surprises in general. I hated opening my eyes to find them in my room. Sometimes hitting me. Sometimes being so frighteningly angry or verbally abusive. But I shouldn’t say just towards me. Because they did it all to my siblings too.

I used to sleep fully clothed; shirt, shorts, bra (when I finally needed one). I even kept a few dollars in the pocket of my shorts. Being dressed made me feel safer. I became a lighter and lighter sleeper over the years.

I was functioning on a heightened awareness. I was constantly on guard. Waiting for the next incident to get through. It was like being in a war zone. It was hard to know what would set them off.

I suspected my brother of intentionally misbehaving to give them an excuse sometimes. Let a little steam out of the pressure cooker before it exploded.

I wasn’t like that. I was quiet. Shy. I grew more and more removed from them and from my life. I was like a shadow. Always in my room. Hidden away in a book. Quick to please, always trying to keep the peace. But there was never peace.

I remember times when there was no pretense of an excuse. They just needed someone to take their anger and abuse. The violence was always there. A numbing dullness that pervaded my life. I never thought I would escape from it.

And I almost didn’t. I almost re-created my childhood with someone else. With several someone else’s. But I got away from them too.

I don’t generally post specific stories about my past. For a long time I didn’t think I could talk about them. But now I am beginning to wonder if I can keep NOT talking about it. I feel like this blog is so much about how I feel about what happened to me. Maybe I should also be talking about what actually happened. I don’t know.