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.

 

Took Me a Couple of Hours, but There It Is

A new page was added just a little while ago, detailing my reason for depression. I touched on this in my About Nina page, as well as a few of my other posts… however, I got the idea for this and ran with it— and it led me a loooong way. It is quite a bit of reading, to be sure, but it shouldn’t be entirely  bad. If it is, I will take it down. I wrote it mostly to throw out there why my depression has eaten me alive for so long, as well as how it has changed, and what I feel will get rid of it.

I know that lately I have put a lot of information up about myself. I am not doing it because I think much of myself, really, but that perhaps it will show you that I am a real person who is blogging about reality (my only reality, actually ^_^). I think that nowadays, people try to make themselves seem flawless on the Internet, when in reality, we are human beings who are just like everyone else in the sense that we all have the same organs, we all have blood flowing through our bodies, we all breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, and we all have experience the same needs (hunger, sleep, comfort, love, etc). We are truly all equal in that.

Anyway, before I end up writing yet another lengthy post… bye.

Sorry It Took So Long: Inspiring Video Of The Week: 3 Doors Down- Away From the Sun!

I know what you’re thinking: I waited a little long to post the video on the blog– but I had to get some sleep, and by time it was uploaded, it was almost 4 in the morning. I was supposed to get up at 8:30, so I could go pay a bill before work– I woke up 40 minutes late for work, to the sound of someone from work calling me and telling me I was supposed to be there. I panicked.

It has been a day– but not a bad one! Anyway, on a more relevant note, this is the video I threw together this week. Years and years ago, when my school life was hell (that never really changed, so… the earlier years, to be a bit more specific), I found this song, and later, the video. It inspired me, and even today, watching it, it can cause me to tear up. Now, for the benefit of those who might not fully understand the video, or the song– I will put a brief interview that I found last night of the band speaking about the song and its video. The concept is one that everyone can identify with– not just people who go through the same torments as the kid in the video. As Brad (the lead singer of 3 Doors Down) so rightly said, “We’re all in a struggle… We’re all trying to climb that hill.”

It Will Be Here Soon—I Promise!!!

That’s right, I’m uploading the Inspirational Music Video of the Week tonight/this morning. I actually should get some sleep, since I have to work in the morning… but you know what, I feel like someone needs it right now. (Has someone in mind)

I won’t spoil what it is until I have it on Youtube (which will take roughly 20 mins if I’m lucky), but I will say it is nostalgic of my childhood, and has always had an impact on me—especially the beautiful video which tells a heartwrenching story that you will wish you could read more of. However, the reason it leaves off the way it does, in my opinion, is because **************SPOILERS. Never mind***********************

So anyway. I’m going to eat noodles and wait for it to load. Aaaaaaaaaaaand I won’t be lucky (will probably an hour. Oops. No sleep tonight).

One of Those Days

I just feel like screaming, but that never helps. So I am going to crank up some music and sing as loud as I possibly can. It’s like ripping off a band-aid, you know? It hurts, but it’s that kind of hurt that is necessary to fully heal.

I just wish I could sing half-way decent enough to post on here. Who knows? I might summon up my  courage one day and do it. “But it is not this day,” (Lol I heard Aragorn in my head, suddenly feeling a little better. Like if you get the reference)

Seriously Considering Getting Rid of My Tumblr Account

I don’t really know why I even thought it would work. I definitely prefer WordPress, because it has more attractive themes, and a lot less drama. Lol… So, if you want me to continue posting the story that I restarted on My Only Unreality, leave a comment and tell me. Because, right now, I am considering just erasing it, along with all the work I put into it.