Have I Been Lying to Myself?

Usually, I can go at least a month– maybe up to three months– without suffering a bout of depression. However, when Vlad leaves, and I can’t talk to him, see him… I begin to become volatile. I will have a couple days when I’m okay, and then I will become overwhelmed with anger for the next two or three. And then the immense sadness, and regret will wash over me, and I’ll drown in it for at least three days.

Today I felt both the anger and the sadness. I felt like screaming, like destroying things. I also wanted to hurt myself. Memories swirled around in my head, thundering my own disapproval of myself over and over, whirling and striking me where it most hurt. And I realized I may have been lying to myself.

Let me explain what was in my head– and maybe it will help me. When I was in high school (particularly freshman and sophomore years) I had not yet know that I was extremely awkward. I didn’t know how to interact with people, and, when forced to, I would humiliate myself with things that didn’t make sense or just looked or sounded outright stupid.

So what? Well, my biggest hope in high school was to be in the chorus and drama classes– because at that time, I had wanted to go into that field. SPOILER: I gave up.

When I finally got into those classes, I had only a couple friends in there. Everyone was like a family– it was something I desperately wanted to be a part of. I kept to myself entirely, out of fear that they would shun me– since, aside from the few friends I did have, everyone seemed to dislike me. Several people, including the teacher, openly encouraged me to join in, and interact with them… and so I did.

And was immediately made the class pariah. Even my friends that were in that class would COMPLETELY ignore me as soon as we entered the class. I didn’t understand. I realized that the class was not a family, but a clique. One that I was definitely not welcome in.

It was during the time I had those classes that my depression cycled crazily. I would cry every day– usually when I would get home– and I had even less self-esteem than before. I wanted to die, because I felt that the one group I thought would appreciate me– they hated me. I was in a musical production of “Little Shop of Horrors” that pains me to remember. If I watch or even think about it, it makes me want to hurt myself. I remember all the pain, all the humiliation. I remember just how much I hated myself.

And even though that time has passed, every time I think about it, I find that I hate myself just as much, if not more.

So what prompted this sudden self-loathing? I seemed to be doing so well! I was even saying things like “I’m completely satisfied with myself right now.”

Well, one of the girls that was in those classes works with us. Usually she works at the other store, and she mostly works mornings– but tonight she came to our store and took charge. Why does this matter?

She was one of the ones who encouraged me to interact. She was also one that gave me the most disgusted looks. Not to mention she has always been a favorite to teachers, and everyone else at work knows she is the bosses’ favorite. She can bend the rules, and they don’t say a word.

And every damn time I look at her, I feel that loathing crawl up my throat, stabbing, stabbing, stabbing.

She talks to me like I’m a child– at least that’s how it seems. She treats me like an idiot. And when I stopped to eat, she said some things that felt like she was being passive aggressive. As if I didn’t deserve to eat, that I wasn’t working hard enough.

And who knows. Maybe that much was all in my head. I still despise her for the memories she brings up in me, even if the rest doesn’t really exist. I can’t stand to even look at her.

But that hatred doesn’t touch her nearly as much as me. I am reminded so much that I hate myself that, given something to do it with, I would hurt myself right then. Usually, I don’t get that bad– but being around her makes me so angry, so wild with hatred…

Have I been lying to myself? Am I really satisfied with who I am? Of course not. I never will be, as long as I have memory.

But I’ve decided. I will move to Lexington. I will move there– and I won’t come back until I am done with college and have a good job. Because I don’t ever want her to have the ability to look at me like that again. In disgust. Like she’s so much damn better than me.

 

I’m sorry for having cursed. Usually I keep a tighter lid on than that… but I just can’t tonight. I’m tired, and I feel like I have a hole in me. I feel like I’m being crushed by that hatred and that misery. And I left the rest of my sandwich at work– so I can’t eat anything else tonight.

I have way too much to get done in too little amount of time. So tomorrow, when I get home from work, I will not be getting on here. I will be busy cleaning. And, I pray to God I don’t have to see her again any time soon. At least until Vlad gets back. When he has time for me, I don’t hurt as much.

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From the Darkest Depths, Swim Up to the Light

I woke up this evening and immediately remembered something that had been forced to the back of my mind for years. I began to think about it again, and realized that it has a lot to do with who I am today. I think I could sum it up in a few words:

Evil babysitter.

Yes, I had one of those. It was before I went into kindergarten, I remember, because after that, Mom wised up to what was going on and took me out. After that, I stayed with my Nana while Mom worked.

Now… Everything that I hate about myself, I can trace back to the time I spent at Sharon’s (yes, her name was Sharon. I remember that). She would make me eat things that made me sick, and when Mom made requests about what I would eat and drink (so I would stop throwing up and getting sick), she would gripe at me. Me, being a kid, tried not to make waves, but no matter what I did or how I did it, she hated me. And it was obvious. All the other kids that were there (and there weren’t many. I was pretty much the one that was singled out, even when there were others there) never got on Sharon’s ugly side.

The most memorable thing about staying at Sharon’s? She would watch the Andy Griffith show, constantly. That and some generic soap operas. To this day, I can’t stand to even hear the whistling intro to the Andy Griffith show. It nauseates me.

Sharon had a little girl (can’t remember her name, but it started with either a C or a K), who was, I think, younger than me by a year at the most. The little girl and I got along great, but that seemed to infuriate Sharon. I remember one time Sharon said that we had to take naps, but neither of us were tired, but we still got in our sleeping bags and lay there. Mine was on the opposite side of the room. When other kids stayed, I was always furthest away from the little girl. Sharon was very specific in that I stay away from her. The little girl didn’t understand that, and so I frequently got in trouble for things such as the following: As I was saying, nap time, and neither of us were tired. I was lying there, and she asked me what I was doing. I said I was pretending that I was dead, since I wasn’t tired and I didn’t want to make Miss Sharon mad. So the little girl got up from her sleeping bag and said, “Okay, I’ll bring you flowers. That’s what you do when you visit dead people.” So she got up and brought me bundles upon bundles of imaginary flowers, and was laughing all the while. Sharon came in, and assumed it was my fault, so she yelled at me. The little girl lay back down, and went to sleep, but I just lay there, wishing I really could be dead.

There are many episodes such as this that I could tell you, but I think I’ll just skip them. No one wants to spend their morning reading about abusive babysitters, I know. This is the final one.

I have a severe reaction to eating potatoes. As in, I immediately vomit. And it doesn’t matter how you prepare them, unless they are french fries with tons of salt and ketchup, or instant mashed potatoes (which aren’t even potatoes) I could not even stand the smell of potatoes. Frequently, Sharon would stand over me with a flyswatter, and threaten to hit me if I didn’t eat the potatoes. I told her I would get sick, and she would say she didn’t care. One time, when she wasn’t looking, or was off doing something else (most likely watching that show), I decided that I wouldn’t wait for her to get in there. I had been staring at those potatoes for hours (she wouldn’t let me get up or do anything until I ate them all), and was afraid that if she came in, and saw that I hadn’t eaten them yet, she would beat me with the handle of the flyswatter (as I recall, she did that before). So I forced myself to eat them, and continued to even as I threw up all over myself. Covered in vomit, crying, and very cold, I sat there, hoping she wouldn’t see the vomit on me and get mad. I still didn’t dare to get up, because if I left the table without permission, she would yell at me.

I think things changed when my older sister accompanied me to Sharon’s. Not long after that, Mom took me out of there, and started leaving me at Nana’s. Even then, I didn’t talk about Sharon. Sharon would always tell me that I didn’t deserve my mother, and that I was a terrible child. I really took it to heart. She also told me that if I ever told Mom what happened at her house, she would tell Mom how terrible I was. So, even years after I quit going to Sharon’s, I never told anyone. Not even my sister, who knew a bit about the situation. I lived in fear that Mom would go talk to Sharon, and she would tell Mom that I was a terrible kid. Sharon had told me that bad children could be put up for adoption, since nobody wanted them. I was afraid I’d lose my family. Already, I didn’t have much. Taking away my love for myself, and my confidence that my family loved me. That was something that stayed with me for years to come.

 

Okay, so now that I’ve gotten that off my chest… I’d like to thank you for reading this. Those memories, swam up from the depths of hell my mind, toward the light of consciousness. I hadn’t faced those memories in years, and I thought that if I didn’t put them somewhere, I would forget them again. By forgetting them, I would be allowing them to sneak back into me, and let me keep hating myself like Sharon always hated me. I realize it now. That voice in my head that tells me horrible things, that taunts me about how stupid I am. That is Sharon.

What I want to be taken from this post, if anything, is that abuse isn’t always physical. And it’s hard to talk about, especially for children. It’s easier to bury those hateful things inside, and never let them see the light of day. After all, things like that seem to belong in the darkest reaches where no one can see them. This doesn’t just go for things like evil babysitters, but for things involving bullies.

I have no idea where I’m going with this, right now. My mind is a bit fried. It feels like I yanked up weed in the garden of my brain, and I feel like I just need to listen to some music, or cry, or scream until my voice is as fried as my mind. Age-old wounds don’t simply go away. They get infected, and they fester. Perhaps it was too late for me to purge them, but regardless, I have ripped that scab off, and tried to drain all the nasty things that were making me sick. Bad analogy? I’m full of them.

Regardless, I have many things I need to do– but I want to leave off on a positive note. So here are pictures that makes me smile. I hope they have the same effect on you!

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Denkir the Filtiarn asked (in a way): Defend your reasoning for choosing a specific religion. IE. Why do you follow your current belief system, who influenced it, what are your biggest insecurities about it, etc. (what a title!)

Wow. Everyone strap yourself in. It’s a Religion Post.

This is going to be hard to put out there, because it basically encompasses a HUGE amount of what my life is about. It is also the most complicated thing, for me, and I have a lot of problems with myself, concerning religion. You’ll see what I mean here in a while.

Let’s start out small. My mom’s side of the family are hard to describe, spiritually. My grandparents are Jewish, so they don’t celebrate Christmas, really… but they don’t celebrate any Jewish holidays that I know of, either. They refer to themselves as Scripture-ists, to the best of my knowledge. My mother, for a long time, struggled to find her own religious preference within Christianity, and found herself at home in a non-denominational church. That was not too long ago, but since then, she has gone back to her roots, to what her parents believe. So, there’s that. As for the rest of my mother’s family, with the exception of a few of them, I am not really sure what they believe in– and I’m honestly not social enough to even talk to my own family (which is bad).

But my Dad’s side of the family is a little easier to dissect. I have one word for you: Baptist. This word also speaks for Vlad’s family. Baptist.

But that’s enough about that, really. That was just to show you that pretty much everyone that I consider my family (with the exception of friends that I call family, namely Denkir the Filtiarn) is a Christian.

In another post, or page, on depression, I believe I said something about insulting myself every day to keep myself from becoming vain. That was because I knew it was a sin to be vain (ugliest sin of them all, I’m told) and I saw what it did to everyone else. I grew up under many cousins and my sister who ended up doing things that proved disastrous (like my sister running away from home to see boys, or dropping out of high school) and I was always told that I should learn from their mistakes. I would always tell them that I wouldn’t replicate them, because I could learn. It was a lot of pressure, and it formed the base mask for both Katrina and Xiao (which you can learn more about in the post “What it Truly Means to Hate Yourself”) because I wanted to be more than what I really was. I wanted to be something that didn’t have to rely on others to become what I wanted to be– but it was more than that.

Even when I started writing, I kept God in it, even in subtle ways. Of course, the parts that mentioned God were lost on my mother, who read a part that had to do with slaying demons and she worried that I was writing things that “I shouldn’t have been”. She told me not to talk about my writing to my grandparents, and perhaps that’s why I never shared my story with anyone in my family thereafter. I was afraid of being called Satanic.

Nowadays, I’m called devilish for an entirely different reason (namely being gothic) but that’s irrelevant.

I never really understood God as a kid. I just knew that he was supposed to be there. The rest was lost on me. In kindergarten, I stopped praying, for a reason that to this day makes me upset. My mawmaw was in a car wreck, and I prayed that she would be okay. Now, as a five year old, I had faith that God would take care of her, so I would be able to see her again. I left it at that, and believed that she would get better. That didn’t happen. I think I stopped praying entirely not long after that, feeling betrayed. I didn’t talk about it to anyone, because I didn’t know what to say. No one else seemed to feel as betrayed.

After that, I kept my religion at a minimum, I guess. I knew that God was there, I just didn’t know how to approach Him. I also had this complex going (that I still have today) about asking for help. In my family (at least on Mom’s side) asking for help is enough to get a weird look or a snide remark. So I grew up with a strong negative connotation for asking for assistance. Especially from people I love or trust. I would rely on my writing, on my stories, to get myself through hard times, rather than ask God for help. I felt like he wouldn’t have time to help me, because he didn’t have time to help mawmaw (child logic). Over the years, I let go of the whole mawmaw situation, and tried to appeal to God. I asked for someone to love me, and again was disappointed.

Cue another few years of turmoil. I was alone, and refused to ask for help from anyone. By the time I was in middle school, I was severely depressed, gaining weight, and was questioning whether or not I was lying when I would tell people I was a Christian. I certainly didn’t feel like one.

Enter high school. It was the strangest time of my life– but not for the reason you are thinking. There are things that went on in the background, involving me drinking liquor, giving tattoos, and swearing like a sailor. It was a point in my life where I was starting to sink even lower. Between freshman and sophomore year, during summer vacation, I was almost raped.

I had gotten drunk, and passed out in my bed. When I woke up, my mom’s boyfriend was lying next to me with his hand in my pants, touching me. I told him that I needed to use the bathroom, and ran to the door, which was locked, and thanks to my drunken stupor remaining, I didn’t have the function to open it myself. He opened it for me and then told me angrily to go to the bathroom. I locked myself in there and just stared at the wall for a long time. I was afraid that he would break the lock and force his way in there– he had broken the lock before in a rage– and I waited until I heard him leave. There is a  lot more to that story that I don’t know how to go into detail with, or whether I should… Let’s just say that it split my family in two, and I didn’t see my mother for years. She and I have made our peace with that, and I can’t blame her for what someone else tried to do– but the memories sure didn’t help me keep my sanity.

After those events, my depression spiraled to an all-time low. I was thinking of using my father’s shotgun while I was home alone to take my face off, since that was the only thing on me that was pretty (was still gaining weight). In the end, I decided that I wouldn’t do that to him, and I was also afraid that I would go to Hell.

I knew that, even if I thought God didn’t pay me any attention because I wasn’t as awesome as other people, if I killed myself, I would be beyond forgiveness. That much had been clear t0 me.

“An eternity in hell, or another 80 years in misery? And surely it would get better eventually, right? Just take it day by day. You don’t even have to talk to anyone about it. Just keep to your stories, and keep to your songs, and keep your head. Literally. Plus, isn’t that what you deserve, for being so weird? You deserve all this misery that comes with memory and with day to day activities.”

That was seriously what I would tell myself. Every day.

Things actually improved a lot when my boyfriend at the time dumped me. I cried happy tears when he did. When I told him what had happened, his first reaction was “Are you still a virgin?” And I told him, yes, I was. He said, “Okay. Good.” Like it was no big deal. No problem. He just didn’t want to date damaged goods.

The space thereafter was still an almost God-less time. I didn’t know how to approach Him because I felt like I didn’t deserve forgiveness for any small thing that I’d done. I felt that there was some kind of thing I needed to do, some kind of sacrifice I needed to make to make up for the stupid stuff I’d done, and the times I’d considered killing myself.

I felt like trash, made worse by the treatment that reinstated that feeling.

Now. I want you to take a wild guess as to what turned my life back around? Or rather, who?

Yup. Vlad, again.

When Vlad and I started dating, I was terrified that I would get dumped right when I started to get attached to him (like what happened with the boyfriend before him). I even intentionally tried to run him off by telling him about what had “Almost Happened”. No matter what I said, though, he stayed with me. I started to think that maybe God had just been waiting all that time to make me really appreciate what I had asked for so long ago, when it finally appeared to me. Vlad never pushed me into anything (he was too shy. I was his first girlfriend) and would frequently talk to me about God. That was a first for me, relationship-wise. Or friend-wise. Basically, I had never had anyone sit down and talk to me about God.

But the journey out of the hole was a long one. My mood improved quickly, especially when he was around, but when we were apart, I found it hard to believe that I was anything special. I found it hard to love myself at all. I started to think that the damage was done and I would always hate myself.

We were together for over two years before we had our first fight. Seriously. We never once argued in those first years. Our friends were envious, and we (or I at least) feared that there was something wrong because we didn’t fight. During that time, I had come to a plateau in my mind. I still hated myself a lot, and refused to ask for help.

It wasn’t until I started living on my own and “became” gothic that I started to get over my self-hatred. Living on my own went smoothly for a while, but about a year ago is when things changed. In two weeks time, I crashed my car and my purse was stolen. When I got my card renewed at work, that was stolen, and all of my money was lost. It was right before Christmas, too.

I remember I was sitting there, and Vlad was talking to me. He told me that I needed to learn to ask for help, or I was going to end up living on the streets. I broke down and started telling him about how I was afraid to ask, and how I had told myself “just get through tomorrow” every night before I went to bed, so I would feel like I was succeeding at surviving, at least for that day. He told me that he wanted me to pray. I think I just looked at him stupidly for a while. He told me, “Every night, I pray for you. I worry about you a lot. Even if it’s just for my sake, would you try praying tonight?”

That was actually when things started to get better, I think. The lady that lives in the apartment below me has also helped me a lot, concerning religion. I also got back in touch with my mother, and she became closer to God. There were people all around me, pushing me toward God, and I was afraid to go with that pull. I was afraid to look up, and I didn’t even understand why.

Since that time, though, I have got to where I know God is helping me. I still have trouble asking for help, but He still helps me. Even if it’s just something simple, like someone smiling at me even though I am wearing all black (which is hard to find around here), I know that there’s someone on my side out there.

Now, for people who don’t believe in God. I understand that. And I’m not forcing my opinion and beliefs down anyone’s throat. I expect the same courtesy. I might not be the most amazing success story, but that’s because my journey is not finished yet (“This isn’t even my final form!” lol gamer reference!) and I know that there is a lot of stuff I have yet to do and a lot more stuff that is yet to challenge me.  I’m not saying I’m the most religious person, because I’m not. Plus, the word “religious” is not what I would use. I believe in God. I believe that he created the world. And I believe that he actually does love everyone, and doesn’t play favorites.

On a final note: my insecurities about my beliefs (the word religion is not what it used to be, in my opinion).

My biggest problem so far throughout life is that God loves everyone, and yet for some reason, I thought that I was different. I thought that I didn’t fall into the brackets “everyone”. I thought that I was the exception to the rule, for no adequately explained reason. Sometimes, I still feel that, but I have no idea why. Then I started writing another story (this was during high school. I believe it was after the “Thing that Almost Happened”) and was writing a section of it about a character that I had created that at first I hadn’t liked at all. In fact, I created him specifically to abuse. However, I later discovered that the character was beloved to me. It came as a shock. When I wrote more about him, he became the focus, the one who, even through abuse and sadness, was the one whose death brought a tear to my eye.

I got to thinking. Maybe I was like that. Hated by myself and maybe others, the person who created me sees something in me that isn’t obvious at first. Something heart-wrenching that makes a huge difference somewhere down the line. I am necessary. I am needed, in this story. I might not be the protagonist, but I exist, and I exist for a reason, whatever that may be.

I might share that exerpt to that story (if I can find it anywhere. I might have lost it over time). It was heart-rendering just how suddenly my attitude toward the character changed.

If you’re curious about that, do ask.

Okay… I think I answered all of that. I think I did okay.

If not… tell me.

 

What a Day It Was

Yesterday, as some of you might know already, I woke up at 6 am. No particular reason, really. My brain just decided that was a good time to wake up. I Internet-ed until around 11 am and then went to my sister’s house, to stick around with her and her baby until we could leave for our dad’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. We were running a little late, and I was starting to worry, since I had to go to work at 4pm. But everything worked out well. We arrived in time, I got to play with my nieces (all 4 of them) and my nephew (who was too shy to talk to me at first, since I hadn’t seen him since he was tiny, and he probably couldn’t remember me). It was really nice.

Work went smoothly too, because I arrived in an amazing mood. The only kicker (and the reason I didn’t post anything last night, admittedly) is that someone I work with got into an argument over a band I have listened to since early childhood: Godsmack. Now, this kid doesn’t know anything about Godsmack, never heard their music, never seen their music videos, never even heard of them before I casually mentioned them. So he proceeds to tell me that they must be satanic.

Needless to say, I got extremely angry, especially when he wouldn’t shut up about it. He went so far as to get his phone out and try to look it up. I ended up getting angry enough to say the “f-word” about 3 times per sentence. Yes, I was livid. Not so much that Godsmack might possibly have satanic origins, but because this high-school aged, vain twerp who knows NOTHING about them decided that he MUST be right about a band that he’d never even HEARD of. I felt tempted to tell him to listen to his Miley Cyrus and Eminem and shut up. In fact, I should have. It would have been nicer than what I had actually said.

Eh, anyway. When I got home last night, I was still steaming mad over that. So I looked up some online stores that sell Gothic clothes, boots, and accessories. And felt like a kid in a candy shop. Oh, the things I would order if only I were rich. I just hope these things are still in stock/exist in 4 years when I get an awesome job that pays 6 figures a year. That would be awesome, you know.

Anyway, I’m feeling mostly better this morning. Especially since I am going to go to my mom’s and eat yet another holiday meal, with her and my sister. This is my way of telling you that I won’t be able to post on the blog again tonight. Mom still doesn’t know that I even have a blog– that’s because she won’t understand why I am doing this, and she might be utterly against me having it at all. I was actually really surprised that she didn’t object to my moving to Lexington. I was seriously shocked.

Well, I need to get off of here. I have to get dressed and gather up everything I’ll bring (including cornbread mix. Can’t have Thanksgiving without cornbread and white beans– just playing but it’s really good anyway. Welcome to Kentucky) and then drive that short and yet cold distance to her house. Where I will do next to nothing, more than likely, and stuff my face with joy. We might end up playing Let’s Dance on my mom’s Wii, which never sees any action, but I doubt we will after we eat. We’ll probably sit around watching Spongebob or Despicable Me (Mom has tons of Spongebob DVDs, and just lately acquired the Despicable Me movies).

Everyone have another Happy Thanksgiving– in case there’s anyone out there still celebrating it today! (Surely I can’t be the only one, right?)

Sudden Bloom

I don’t understand why it happens that way. I really don’t. It’s like someone flicks a switch and the memories choke me out. Things that I don’t let get under my skin, they burrow in as soon as they see that I’m vulnerable… and then they rip their way out again, leaving me silent, watery-eyed, and unable to paste that fake smile on with so much ease.
I was at work, and heard a conversation of my coworkers, and it made me think of an event that I don’t exactly keep a secret, but I don’t entirely feel like posting on the Internet yet. Usually when I think of that Incident, I glue to the end of the memory “it has made me who I am today, and was a necessary event to change me. It is also in the past, and thus has no holding on what you do today” and I smile and shrug off the negativity that surrounds those memories.
But then, when I go a long time without thinking about it, or especially if I have had a lot of fun and been relatively carefree, the memory will strike me on the spot, and leave me motionless. My eye will start twitching. My teeth grind. My hands shake with anger and regret. And suddenly, if faced with someone who wants to torment me, I become less passive, even looking into their eyes and telling them to go to Hell and be prostrated by cast iron spikes. I can become unbelievably dark and creepy– which explains why, after freshman year in high school, I changed. I didn’t want to be myself anymore. I would look in the mirror and wish that my face was gone. I would even secretly contemplate using my father’s shotgun while I was home alone– but decided I wouldn’t hurt my father or step-mother, who I knew loved me, by doing something like that.
I have never tried to hurt myself physically, because I know I wouldn’t have the guts to finish what I start, and I don’t want to be covered in the scars of my cowardly failures. I would feel like a piece of paper with markings on it– markings that would never fully erase. Already, I felt like that– and any addition to those markings, ones that everyone else could see, at that… No. I didn’t want that. So I hid behind a smile and what everyone wanted me to do. Even now, I am not fully who I want to be, because I am too afraid of my family’s criticism.
There is more to this, but I am going to put it separately. It is a novel of its own, really, and with how close it is to my heart, I want to give it a separate face– away from my depression. I might not post it tonight– but if anyone is curious… Just ask me about Zaiyo.