"Hey Alix, how’d your Friday night go?"
"Oh you know, great! I made a doctor appointment given I haven’t had a physical in like, five years!"
"That sounds scary."
"Oh it is! I’m petrified. I’m gonna be told my cholesterol is awful and I may die soon! YAY!"
You Could Be Happy
I’m trying here. I really am.
I had a chat with my therapist about a lot of things, not the least of which was the fact that when I said, “I fucking hate people” she asked if that was true. And initially, I was kind of caught off guard, because of course I fucking hate people. She validated me, as therapists are wont to do, and noted that of course I’d have reason to distrust a great many individuals. But did I really hate everyone?
Ok, well, that surprises me. Her point, and rightly so, was that I don’t hate people, but rather, I’m afraid of them. I don’t actually go out there hoping to dislike everyone, but I set myself up to already keep them at a distance because I assume humans will harm me. I always assume that individuals will cause me pain, and thus, I am afraid of them. Just as people see spiders and hate them all, even though a spider may never have even bitten them, I’m afraid of humans, though for more valid reasons. Well, I think they’re valid; you can eat a butt if you disagree.
I guess it’s what’s made me so vulnerable lately. I’m trying, sincerely, to open myself up to people and be a new sort of human, though in the process, I’m getting hurt. It’s kind of like taking off your coat after wearing it for so long, where yes, you’ll be cold at first, but you adjust to the temperature. So I know these bumps and bruises are natural, but they just hurt more than usual.
However, it’s also made me acutely aware of those I don’t like. It’s really weird, because I thought opening myself up to not being afraid of people would mean I’d like more people, and I do! But I also find myself running a yellow highlighter over those I dislike, and it’s incredibly freeing. I am less tolerant of bullshit because I know what makes a person good in my eyes, and I know what I want to be around. I’ve started reaching out to those I care about more, no matter how hard it is, and distancing from those who don’t.
Again though… bumps and bruises. I deactivated my Facebook account because of PAX, really. So much being posted, so many inside jokes I wanted to be a part of, so much happiness and joy I’m not a part of, and with people I care about. So I hurt. A lot. Rather than lash at people and feel sadness, I’ve isolated a bit. I finished the fourth book of the Dark Tower series and am well into Calla (so good) and I’ve been trying to relax myself. I’ve been writing more, getting some solid story progress going, and investing myself in things that make me smile.
It’s still hard. And it still sucks. I want to automatically just like people, and I’m trying, but I’m also aware of other things. Aware of how exposed I am right now, how vulnerable I feel, how much it hurts to tell people I hurt and how weird it is to try and trust others. Acknowledging that there are people there who love me, but still love PAX, is both unfathomable and understandable. I see security team talking to me and I love them, but then I was seeing pictures and talking and it made me sad again.
I’m also not sure why, but I’ve been worried more about Alex. It feels like a constant in my life that this fear and sadness will never actually escape me, but I want it to. He’s no longer the one I talk to on the beach, and that’s good, but he’s still the one I worry about. Maybe he doesn’t even remember what I look like, or think of me, and maybe he lives in some country in the middle of nowhere. But maybe he’s living in California, or Washington. Maybe he’s planning a little trek across the US to find me; maybe he’s still got my number and is staring at it in his phone. Not knowing is the scariest to me, and I have no idea what to do with that. I still have dreams. I still think. I still remember and have flashes of knowing.
I still cringe when someone breaks a glass or jokes about smashing dishes; I lose my shit if someone goes on my laptop or uses my phone (they’re all locked down tight anyway). I still skip over Snow Patrol songs and remember, with perfect clarity, all the terrible things that were said to me. I’ve lost the memory of his voice, but I remember it all, the times that made me smile and the times that made me sick. I remember crying so hard I almost threw up. I remember holding a syringe and a bottle of insulin and thinking how fucking easy it would be, how painless it would be to overdose on insulin. I remember the screams and begging for the neighbors to call the police, and I remember holding him while he cried in the aftermath.
And still, sometimes, I wonder if he’s reading this blog and knows. I wonder a lot about those things.
When people ask me why I don’t trust others, and I mention trauma, an immediate response is that people want to know how bad it was. What it was. Does it really compare? Does my trauma trump someone else’s? Is it valid? I work with law enforcement, and one might think that would make me feel safer, that living with Dan would comfort me, but it doesn’t. Not to the degree that I want it to. I wonder, a lot, what would make it better.
I don’t trust people because I have good reason, but I’m trying. I want to be friends with people and truly let them in. I want to accept hugs and not cringe and wince at physical contact. I want to love.
I was explaining depression to a friend, who is an artist, and realized this was a pretty good analogy.
Imagine waking up, and loving art. You love art, yes? You breathe it.
Suddenly you wake up, and you know that you love it, there’s a piece of your brain telling you that, but you can’t bring yourself to create anything. More than that, you don’t want to. You make excuses not to. You say, “Tomorrow, tomorrow I’ll draw that” and you know you want to, desperately. You know that it should make you happy.
But tomorrow comes, and you don’t do it, because the fact that it’ll make you smile goes further and further away.
And eventually it disappears, like everything else, into a pile of “This is what I like, but I make no effort towards it anymore”
I love Supernatural, but I can’t even sit down to watch it. I can only watch reruns of old shows I’ve seen already because I’ve got no emotional investment and it’s there to occupy my brain for a chunk of time.
Even reading has been a struggle, because despite wanting to, I feel so incredibly lethargic. And doing things you love exhausts you. So you finally draw, you draw your SOUL out, everything you’ve wanted onto paper. It’s all there. But it’s too much, and now you have to hide, recouperate, and put the rest of the world somewhere else for over a week because you did something you loved, and it exhausted you.
Now imagine just doing regular, inane tasks. Shopping for food. Taking care of a pet. Doing laundry. Doing dishes. When it does get done, it takes all that energy you had, so even if you’d wanted to do some art, you’ve wasted the precious energy you had doing the things you *have* to do, and whatever is leftover can only be just… there.
Depression hurts. It really is like starting the day with your health bar 3/4 down, and needing to prioritize what gets done and how.
Death-defying love and courage
“Did I ever tell you I’m pretty sure he’ll try and kill me some day?” I dig my toes into the cool sand, wriggling them around, adjusting to the grainy sensation. It tickles in a weird way, and a voice responds, “I think that’s a little dramatic.” I laugh and shake my head, staring up at the overcast sky, and then down to the rocky Atlantic, waves crashing in the distance while gulls call overhead.
I’m here again, which means that I need something, something old, but I need it from someone new. So it’s her, and I think that it’s helpful that it’s her, because she’s always been this kind of guiding force for me. Always the brave one.
I respond with a cocked eyebrow, “I don’t think so. I don’t ever see this ending.” She smiles over at me, long, light brown hair dancing with the wind as it picks up. He knees are to her chest, and she looks oddly content, being here on the beach, being where I always imagined her. Where I imagined myself, “You want finality. That’s finality at the core, right? Death is the end of everything, except you’re not afraid of that.” I feel my eyes drawn to the sand in a sense of shame, and she reaches out, soft hand taking mine that I’ve realized is digging into the grain.
She squeezes my hand, “You’re afraid. You’re vulnerable. You’re in a position you’ve never been in before, and you think of yourself as unsafe and unwanted because of it.” I feel her let go and she turns, facing me now with her legs in the sand, “The truth is that you have power, and that you’re doing something not many can. You’re not proving anything to anyone anymore. There’s nothing left to prove, and no one to prove it to. You’re afraid because it’s a thing to be afraid of.”
I look at her, watching a grin cross her lips, “You already know what I’m going to say. Remember that feeling? Hanging out with everyone back in Boston? That feeling of detachment and removal? That scared you and jarred you, I think, and made you realize that you don’t have that core… and honestly, maybe you never did. It’s OK to have a few people you love, to keep those close to you. You’ve done the same with me, haven’t you?”
My eyes drift to the water, the dark current rushing along the beige sand, darkening it before receding. It was true; I did do that with her. Those she kept close and loved were people I had based on my own life. Her own feelings of becoming solitary and alone were not isolated, but rather, based on my own experiences. I remembered each character, each person I created with an individual I loved in mind.
I realize I’m crying, and she’s smiling as realization washes over me, “You’re alone, and that’s ok. It’s ok because it’s something that you want, and if it’s not, you can change that. There are so many people who love you, and I see them, reaching out to hold your hand. So let them. Let those people in without question, because their motives are real. Your home may no longer be in Boston… hell, you may not even know where your home is, but you’re past that. Boston was a life vest because you were afraid to swim, but you’re on the other side now, and you don’t need that vest. What you had is a chapter that has closed, but rest assured, there’s a new one. Just like those pages I exist on, you have your own book, and I really want to see how it turns out.”
Again, she reaches out and squeezes my hand, and I feel purpose flood my veins, understanding for what I have gone through. I’m OK, as much as it may not feel that way, and while I miss what I had in Boston, I’ve been like this for a while now. But people have seen the strength, and seen something in me I haven’t, and I know it’s my turn to stand up, reach out, and tell people I love them too. Because I do.
I love you. And I know it’s OK to be loved, too.
Let’s do a little free-association time.
I don’t know why. I just am.
I got called ‘brave’ today by my father. That may not seem like much to you, but this is from a man who was threatened by the KKK for marching with MLK. This man has been to almost every continent and faced every fear he had. And he called me brave. I about dropped my phone when I heard it, let me tell you.
There are days where I question my ability to BE brave. I mumble and get frustrated if I like someone or find them attractive. But… I guess that’s where it ends. I’m trying to think of ways I’m *not* brave, and I can’t.
I stand up for myself and what I believe is right. I tell that asshole in the theater to shut up, because we’re all watching a movie. I force myself going even in the hardest of times. I get my work done even when it feels impossible. I speak out when I’m being wronged. I travelled across the country to be in a place I love without even second-guessing it while I did it, and I did it for ME.
Bravery is my thing. I have days where I’m scared, and I have trouble making friends, but moving to Seattle conquered my biggest fear, which was living alone. Sure, I had a house, but I was alone. I watched my parents, and my brother move places with spouses, being with those they’ve loved. I’ve not had a solid figure in my life who’s done things all on their own. Not a move like mine, certainly.
Everyone deals with bravery differently. I conquered an abusive ex, graduate school, moving across the country, working in a prison… all of it. And why? Because it’s in my nature. Because that’s part of who I am. That for all the shit I go through, the pain I experience and the trauma I endure, I am a powerful, strong human being.
Bravery is more than just taking a bullet. It’s staring down the barrel of the gun, aware of what it’s capable of, and jumping out anyways, because that’s what you have to do. That’s what you know.
I’ve marched for causes since I was sixteen. Opened my mouth and talked back when I shouldn’t, because I had to. I’ve spoken out when things are wrong because I learned through life that doing otherwise gets you nothing but pain. I’ve learned to become powerful, and I’ve learned to embrace it, in an odd way.
There are things I certainly avoid. Emotional vulnerability is something I actively avoid. We all do, of course, but I have a tendency to become more robotic when it comes to distress. I breakdown, and then I shut down. My bravery is then in pressing forward when all I want to do is stop, and often, I imagine myself on the edge of the cliff, grabbing on with one hand, dangling off, and courageously reaching up and grabbing with the other hand. From there, bleeding, battered, and in pain, I hoist myself upwards, looking worse for the wear, and stand, triumphant.
Often, I find the song “Soldier On” by the Temper Trap is appropriate for me.
I imagine myself as a superhero sometimes, because in some ways I like to think I am. I like to think we all are. Those days where you feel useless and horrible, remember all those people who rely on you. Who love you. Who call you for guidance. Remember those who you protect, even if they don’t know you would. Remember the road you’ve paved for yourself, alone and with others, and remember that those bumpy spots are rough and steep, but you managed it, and you came through fighting.
You are a superhero. Whether you can stand up and make a speech to a crowd of people, defend a country, or defend your own choices, you are a hero of your own right. Pursuing your dream. Being yourself. Loving yourself. Letting no one define what or who you may be, and telling those that try to kindly go fuck themselves. You’ve come this far, and you’ve got more to do, but remember how others see you. While you may not see yourself as a hero, think of the cape that others put on your shoulders. Think of the armor on your body. Think of the sword in your hand. Think of the power, emanating deep inside you.
That’s all you, sugar.
That’s all me.
The Power of Mental Illness
There is a weight on my chest.
You can’t see the weight, but I’m telling you, it’s there.
The worst part about this weight isn’t just that it holds me down, but that it whispers things to me. It tells me that I’m disgusting. It tells me that I’m worthless. It tells me that it doesn’t matter what I do, nothing is ever good enough and that perfection is real, simply not something I will ever attain.
This weight smothers me and it threatens to strangle me. I feel it wrapped around my neck and choking me. I feel it forcing food down my throat with the desperate attempt that it will comfort me, and then feeling worse because the food is poisoned.
I remember a while ago, I was quite content with my weight. I had dropped to a point where I felt comfortable losing more, and I felt pretty. I was wearing shirts that accentuated my figure, and I felt amazing. I was a gorgeous 20 year old, and I sort of knew it. But then Alex came. All of my work was tumbling down and I gained back far more than I ever wanted to.
As a society, we talk a lot about fat shaming, but let me tell you, there’s no one who can shame themselves quite like me. Staring into the mirror, I see every imperfection with a lens of clarity and a way of knowing exactly what is wrong. And I’m sure I could work on getting healthier, but it’s so fucking hard.
One of the things that drives me absolutely batshit bananas is the people who tell you, “Well, if you work out and eat better, you’ll feel better!” Which is great, and I already fucking know that, but the fact of the matter is there’s this weight on my chest saying awful things to me and making it so hard to move.
Then we have anxiety.
Oh boy, anxiety!
Anxiety is stealthy. It works in a sort of sinister way where you’re not aware that it’s decimated ¾ of your life until you’re sitting in your office, working out your budget for the fifth time today, not doing your job because you’re trying to fix other things that either cannot be fixed, or are not broken. That run-on sentence is a great example of anxiety, because that’s how it all begins. It ropes itself into your life, and the pain you feel when you pull away is horrendous, only tightening its grip on you.
Hearing that it gets better is of no use. I used to think suicide came from depression alone, and that made sense to me. However, I now understand how anxiety can cause a person to take his or her own life. You sit there, stewing, wondering and thinking, fretting and hurting, with nothing to take the pain away, and you wonder. There must be something better. Anxiety becomes like a blister that won’t go away and that won’t go down. It is an infection that cannot be cured, an ailment that no medicine can stop.
When I tell you I hurt, it’s more than just being in pain. The mental anguish that comes from the sensation of depression and anxiety is simply terrible. In my defense, I’ve sort of isolated myself. I live in an area where there aren’t many folks around, but I also don’t want to be around many folks. Depression and anxiety are these stupid, double-edged swords, where you want to be with people, but you don’t have the energy. You want to eat better and exercise, but you can’t bring yourself to do it.
Coping mechanisms are everywhere for people suffering, and while sometimes we see it; sometimes we turn a blind eye. People drink, cut, smoke, do drugs, beat family members, gamble, eat, shop excessively… you name it. Everyone copes in different ways, but when you get to a certain point of knowing how to drive home drunk like a pro, knowing how to eat and then vomit it up discretely, budgeting your money just right to pay for your addiction, then we have problems. We have problems because we don’t want to, don’t know how, or simply cannot ask for help for our affliction. Our pain. We suffer differently, and it becomes difficult to tell it to others.
My goal with this was to state how anxiety is slowly destroying me. But it’s something else now; so let me explain my anxiety.
How do each of you see me? Just… think for a moment. How do you see me? What adjectives come to mind? Some bad ones? Some good ones? Probably a mixture, and hopefully more good ones than bad ones. But what anxiety does for me is it shoves my face in the mud, strangles me, and begins to tell me all the ways I’ve fucked up. Depression jumps in and whispers how anxiety is correct; that there’s no way I could be anything positive or beautiful. I mean just look at me! I’m fat. I’m lonely. I have no worthwhile qualities, and I’m never going to escape it. Anxiety lists for me everything that’s wrong and tells me that indeed, all those things I think about should be focused on. In fact, if I stop worrying about those things, I may very well risk my entire life falling apart, and no one can ever understand.
Sound familiar? Probably. We’ve all been there, and we’ve all been at that place where we thought we were OK, stopped for five seconds, and realized all we had was crumbling apart.
If you were to ask me what I need most right now, I would admit in this time of vulnerability: love. I need love. I need to know that I am loved, cared for, wanted, needed, thought about in passing and in full, and truly and simply loved. Because anxiety is painful and because depression is painful, I have this mask on, and whether it’s real or not, it certainly feels like I am alone, and I am unloved.
And don’t you /dare/ tell me this is a pity party, because fuck you. It took a lot for me to write that, and if you disagree, go somewhere else.
Pursuit of… Something.
I haven’t written anything in a while. Which is apparent if you look at the date on the last post… but I couldn’t tell you why.
I keep meaning to open up a word document and pour my soul into it, but I continue to fail. I find a reason, like having trouble typing, or I’m tired, or I’m busy… or just too lethargic. The fact of the matter is that I’ve fallen into depression once more, and I’m terribly frightened by it.
Emotions are never my thing. I can manage them in other people and I do well taking care of others, but when it comes to me, managing what goes on in my brain, it’s almost impossible to share what’s actually going on for me. Telling people I’m anxious is more than just telling someone I’m anxious, but it’s trying to explain that my brain is going and just won’t stop. There’s a button hidden somewhere in there, and I can’t find a way to hit it. I’m always worried I’m bothering Dan, at this point. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m happy as a clam in this new place. Now that we have a microwave, a vacuum, our pets have settled, a television, and I get cozy every night knowing things are taken care of and I am safe, things are good. But I worry. Is this going to annoy Dan? Will that bother him? With four people in a house, it’s safe to say that someone is always going to get annoyed at something. When it’s me… I worry. I am to blame.
But it’s so much more than that.
Growing up, I didn’t have friends. I mean, there were people I trusted, and liked a bit, but that wasn’t until middle school. For a long time, I was alone. Utterly and completely. I spent my days at home by myself, wishing I lived in another time and another place. I felt so different, and I wish I could go back and tell myself that it was because I was smarter and better than all that shit. I was picked on, always, and even when suffering the most with my depression in high school, people mocked me, shat on me, teachers tried to take advantage of me and people simply didn’t understand what it meant to be me. I almost failed out of high school while still working. The only people I trusted lived behind a computer monitor.
Becoming an adult has made me confront a lot of things I never did before. I’m faced with decisions and choices I didn’t have, and knowing that I can rely on others who I trust, who firmly have my back, is so weird. Finding that I love people in a way I never thought possible, finding those people I know I can trust for the rest of my life. There are human beings who want me to be OK, and will fight for that to happen.
Therein lies the problem. I am prone to self-sabotage. I fear that people will see whatever it was everyone else saw, and reject me. I tell people awful things, I do awful things, I become overwhelmed with emotions brewing inside of me and I explode in ways that are not always effective. I push aside my anger and my sadness, and despite what my Facebook status says, you really don’t know the half of it.
I am depressed. Pure and simple. Getting out of bed makes me want to cry, and I desperately wish I could ask my therapist to write me a note saying “She’s having a nervous breakdown, please excuse her from work.” I lay in bed and watch television, and I don’t want people to help me. I want to curl up and just… be alone. I am sad. I am beyond sad. I feel terrible and I want so badly for it to just go away. I come up with things to be anxious about, because for a moment… I’m not sad. For a moment, I’m somewhere else. But I’m still exhausted. Still staring at the food we have and knowing I could make it, but not wanting to. Not caring.
I got excessively drunk the other night, and while I remember everything that happened, I lied and said I didn’t. There was a moment where I thought I said something, but it turns out I wasn’t an asshole. I remember what I said. What I did. Why I did it. I remember it all. I remember that face in the mirror, staring back, that face that was reminiscent of the one that was staring at me in the hotel room in 2012, before all this started, telling me what I mess I was. And it’s true.
I’m trying to find my place in the world, to find what makes me happy and how to get there. I think we’re all doing that, but we struggle. I’m having a hard time right now, and while part of me wants to be held and taken care of, I also know that’s just not going to happen. I am so miserable right now. So terribly sad and feeling so terribly alone. I have this feeling. I’m trying to fill that hole in my heart with whatever I can get my hands on, but the truth of the matter is that I don’t know how. I’m realizing the hole is there, and I feel alone. I feel surrounded by people, screaming, and no one is turning around. There are so few people I feel I can talk to and have them, listen, and I don’t even know what that means anymore.
Life is never easy. As my father always said, “Dying is easy, it’s living that’s the hard part” and that’s true. We find our way in a world that is relentless and that does not stop to give us pause. We take a moment and find ourselves ten steps behind. My pursuit of perfection has left me with a hole in my heart since I’ve realized I will never achieve that, because it’s not real. I created this thing to try and achieve, but it’s nothing. I’ve wanted to be the best. Number one. Perfect. And I’ve realized that it’s truly an empty task.
So here I am. Sad. Depressed. Empty. And I don’t know what to do anymore. Medications, therapy, all of it is just so very hard and makes me so very exhausted. At the end of the day, I want to come home and sleep.
Am I glad to be in this new place? More than you could ever know. My new apartment and my new roommate are the best things to happen to me in a long time. And I want to smile and enjoy it… but right now, I hate myself so much, I just don’t know how.
Sometimes I write letters… well, I’ve just done it recently… to people I’ll never send them to.
Just wrote a confessional one and I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll never send it. It will sit on my desktop forever, and I will never show it to anyone. Never read it aloud. Never print it. Never copy pieces or tell people what it says. I’ll simply have it.
And it feels good, to write things down, and I know I’d feel better sending it out. But my fear, and my terror… I can’t tell people these things. Maybe one day I can, and maybe this blog is a stepping stone to getting there, but there are things I hold close to my chest and things I never speak aloud. Things i never show. Things I won’t let myself feel.
So I make a place in my mind, like I do with my anxiety, where my fantasies live. I visit them, and pretend for a moment they are real. I hold them close, remind them I love them, spend some time thinking. Then I stand, walk away, and close the door behind me. It’s better not to linger on the things we cannot have. It’s best to let go of what we will never feel.
As I sit on the floor of my bedroom, my last night in this house, I am hit with nostalgia.
Like a wave, it takes over me and I feel entranced by it, watching it caress and take over. I remember what I was thinking, sitting on this same mattress a year and a half ago, my mother in the air bed beside me, coming home from Bigred’s party. I remember that feeling of seeing Jace after the breakup, that emotional crash of moving across the country and trying desperately to set myself back up. I remember everything that happened to me in a weird blur of emotional states.
But I’ve changed, right? A year and a half ago, if you’d told me I’d be packing up my things and heading into an apartment with my best friend, closer to work in a safe townhouse-like area that I’ve dreamed of living in… I’d call you crazy.
What am I afraid of?
I’m afraid of being happy. I am afraid of venturing into a world of normalcy I’ve never experienced. I lived with my parents for a bit after college, regaining my composure and settling in again, working a job I loathed and a second that I liked, also helping with my grandpa. I switched to a better job, but still was with the parents. I moved out when I went to grad school, but that was nothing ‘real’. I was reading a lot, studying a lot, out on campus a lot, and generally working my tush off, both working the library and studying. It wasn’t ‘normal’ by any stretch and I wasn’t financially stable.
I graduated, initially wanting to move to Seattle, changing to San Francisco, then back to Seattle. I got rid of everything and moved myself across the country. It was chaotic, hectic, and insane. I lived with three people, two of whom I’d never formally met, and three of us lacking jobs (Although Joey and I had Starbucks…). Over time things deteriorated, as they sometimes do, especially in a house of four women with drastically different personalities. But I also grew. I learned to step outside my comfort zone and I learned to move forward.
The job at the prison was unexpected. I thought I’d never get it, and more than that, when I did, I didn’t think I’d last. I didn’t want to last. I would come home and hate every second. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I could barely function thinking how afraid I was of this job.
But I fought it, as I do, and not only have I made some of the best friends I could ask for, but I was able to get myself into therapy. I got to know people I loved, learned what mattered to me, and began to grow as a person more than I had already. I stayed at a job, learned to love the job, and learned what it meant to be a solid human being.
I regret nothing.
Moving into this house, moving across the country, this perpetual chaos I’ve lived in for twenty-seven years… it’s all been for something. So what am I scared of?
Normalcy. I am finally getting what I never thought I had. A stable home with one other person, who I adore, in a comfortable and cozy environment. I will feel safe, and I will feel happy. I will finally have something I never thought I’d achieve anytime soon. I don’t know what I’ll do, lacking a perpetual chaos I’ve learned to live in. Become comfortable. Grow. Be happy.
So here I sit, my cat nearby, waiting for tomorrow. Waiting for another chapter in a book I’m writing about myself. I’ve rid myself of burdens and gained friends I never thought I’d have. I never thought I’d be working in a prison. Never thought I’d find the people I have. I never thought I could begin to feel this way about myself or my life. And I expect, in a few days when I have settled down and write again, I will have even more insight. I will be calmer. I will have more normal worries and I won’t know what to do with my poor, frazzled brain that never quite knows how to operate.
But I’m ready. And I’m ready for what lies ahead. I’m ready to take on the world, one step at a time. And if I can move across the country, goddamnit, I can move across town.
I can do anything.
And here… the first picture of me when I got here… my first selfie of many in this house. And my last.
Trust and Love
There are a thousand things in my head right now. I keep planning on opening up this word document and writing something meaningful, but then I forget. I move forward, and other things come up.
I covered anxiety, but I think what I really want to cover now is trust.
I’ve struggled with trust my entire life for a plethora of reasons. For a long time, and for most of my life, I’ve been shown that trust ends in pain and that you cannot rely on others. When I did go out on a limb to trust Alex, I was destroyed. No, scratch that. I was scarred. When I trusted to live with Jace, he let me down, too, and that was after promises of kindness and changes from Alex. Not to compare the two, as they are drastically different, but the result was the same. Loss of trust.
Learning to trust someone is strange, because it happens without you realizing it. I moved to Seattle out of trust on others, and while that has oddly deteriorated, it has left me with something greater. I’ve discovered how powerful I am as an individual, how much I can endure and deal with on my own, despite what I sometimes feel. It’s also shown me who truly cares, and helped me figure out in my life, what matters to me and what I want to rid myself of. And while I agree with Randi that the term ‘toxic’ to identify an individual is stupid… some people really are toxic in nature and manipulative and greedy. I am ridding myself of that.
When I realized I needed to move, it was kind of funny how it happened. Dan noted needing to move as well, and while it was initially a joke, he approached it finally and said, “So… roommates?” And we had decided it.
From there, chaos ensued. My father got fairly sick and fairly severely so. Visiting home was chaos enough, and while it was great to see him, I also was very vulnerable. But few people understood that, and fewer were able to support me. I remember talking to my therapist when I got back, though, because I’d had a few folks helping me, and one in particular with the move.
What Dan did for me, I cannot explain. Understanding that I was getting anxious about moving, knowing what I was going through, not only did he find a place we both agreed on and liked, that fit all our qualifications, but he took on the task of getting all the things in order. Cable, utilities, lease stuff… all of it. As I fretted and worried about packing and moving, Dan came in and helped. He did more than help. He took a burden I could not carry alone and guided me.
I imagine trust as this wild beast. It growls and snarls and whips around. But occasionally, someone comes along, sees it, and isn’t afraid. It either recognizes the beast or isn’t afraid, and gets closer. Without the beast knowing it’s there, it comforts the creature, caring for it until it is right there, holding it, the beast now a gentle creature, loyal to that person.
I’ve learned to trust. Chris has been a guide for me in my time of concern and fear, he has come and helped me without even thinking about it. Well, he thought about it and decided to help ;) I’ve had Elias to talk to when I needed it, to listen and distract me, to make me think about something else. Nick has been there to talk to and to learn with. I’ve had countless people carefully approach the beast and learn to show that they are not threats and that it is not a beast. It is a wounded, battered, and hurt creature.
The change has been astounding. Realizing I’m trusting others is amazing. I can’t possibly express the gratitude I have for others, those who have seen past what I put up, carefully put down my wall, and hold me. I imagine being held, and being told, “Shhh… I’m here. You’re OK.” And that’s important. Because I will always struggle with asking for help. I will always have days where I want someone to call even though I tell them not to, I want them to sneak into my room with cookies, find me hiding away, and hide with me, making me smile when I don’t want to, but making me want to. I have these friends, and they are dear. They have been with me through my changes and loved me through it all. I hesitate to use ‘love’ because of the connotation it sometimes has, but it is possible to love people and not be IN love. But there are so many I love. People I care for beyond what I can express in words. Thinking of that brings me to tears.
Despite my pain and agony on bad days, the hurt and crushing despair I can feel, the want for something else… I have people. And I need to learn to ask for help. To not push away. To tell people that what I am doing is PUSHING THEM AWAY. I am making them hate me so I can expect them to leave and want it. But these people don’t. They stay. And they love me.
So in the end, while my trust is weak and battered, scarred and hurt, wounded and weeping… I have people working to patch it up. Piece by piece. Bit by bit. And I will do the same for them.