Put Up or Shut Up

I don’t like living the way I am. It’s full of hostility, anger, retreating, not knowing how to make it stop. I am tired of the yelling, tired of the anger, the explosiveness, the fights. I’m tired of re-living my childhood…except this time I’m not hiding in a closet trying not to scream. I’m in the line of fire. I’m frozen, knowing I can’t run, can’t talk my way out of it, can’t win. I can’t escape.

I don’t know what to do anymore. I want to make it stop. I feel like nothing is my own. I have given my rights up, and I don’t have any say in anything. Even if I did speak up, I’m wrong. I am always wrong. I am always stupid. I am always inferior. I am always worthless, until I’m needed for something specific- then I go back to worthless.

This life is nothing. I don’t find it worthwhile. I know exactly how to escape…but I can’t. For a few reasons. None of them very compelling. I wouldn’t get away with it, though. Someone would try to save me, try to be the hero. I don’t want you to save me; I want you to let me go.

Let me go. Let me go. Let me go.

I don’t need this anymore. I don’t want this anymore. I’m tired of thinking it will get better, because it won’t, and it’s useless. It’s terrifying to think that I let myself believe anything could get better. I knew better. I know better. I let myself go. I think things can be like fairy tales. They can’t.

So do I drink myself into oblivion? Cry myself to sleep at night? Claw at my arms wishing I could slash them like I used to? Starve myself because I don’t deserve anything anyway?

Does any of this even work anymore, anyway?

Starving can’t make me numb anymore. Drinking ends. Clawing doesn’t really help and the fear of others seeing my scars again is too great. I covered them, masked them, and put a fucking smile on my face like it means something.

Does any of this mean anything? Am I prolonging the inevitable?

Probably. I think I know what to do…it’s just doing it.

This probably makes no sense. Or it makes a great deal of sense. I don’t know.

Sorry.

-July 26, 2017

P.S- Happy fucking three year anniversary, self. You’ve really made yourself proud this year.

Fuck this shit.

(Three years out of treatment, and this is how I spend it.)

Because We Don’t Need To Be Alone

I, by myself, am not a powerful person. I cannot take sole credit for my accomplishments, nor my downfalls. I did the actions, I made the choices, and what happens is my responsibility. But in this life…we are here together.

I spent a lot of my time in the past several years feeling very alone. I felt that those who could understand more clearly what I felt, didn’t have the answers that I sought. We all felt miserable. We all wished for change. We all felt stuck. None of us, sitting inpatient, had the key to “success”. Nobody really had a lasting answer for what I had to do to be able to eat something without feeling like absolute shit.

My loved ones and those around me could tell me things all day. You’re beautiful already. You don’t need to lose weight. You don’t need to punish yourself. You are a good person. You have so much to live for. You can do this.

As much as I was told that, “I can do this”, I felt none of it. I felt paralyzed by the disorder that I unwillingly gave permission to to run my life.

Sometimes I wonder where it really began. Was it wanting to be a model? Looking up to the thin girls on America’s Next Top Model? Was it the fighting that happened at the dinner table that took away my appetite? Was it the fact that I was constantly pointed out as being “the skinny one”, like that was my only claim to fame? Or was this bound to happen, one way or another?

Maybe all of it. Maybe none of it. Either way, it happened.

Anorexia didn’t slowly take over my life. It swooped in, told me it was my savior, and tried to cling on as long as it could. If certain things hadn’t have happened the way they did, anorexia would have taken my life.

That was always it’s goal. To run me into the ground. Because, like it convinced me, “I wasn’t needed here”.

I felt strong isolation while amidst my disorder, even though the world is full of people. Many say the world is over-populated by people. So, why couldn’t I see that? Why wouldn’t I see that?

My behaviors stemmed from messages I received or interpreted throughout my life. I began to believe the disorder more than my friends and family. I worshiped anorexia like a relentless god.

And one day, years into the battle…I looked over, and there were the people. The people who were tired of watching this battle, tired of watching me die. People who stopped trying to say what they always say, because I wouldn’t listen.

I heard them, but I didn’t believe them. A hundred people could tell me I have worth, but the one voice that told me I didn’t, I believed. The disorder.

It takes a lot to really, truly listen to the other people around you. To try with all your might to take what they have to say into consideration. To not immediately fight their words in your head. To give the thought that, maybe they aren’t trying to hurt me, a chance.

We need each other. I thought I was better alone, not hurting the rest of the world. If I sectioned myself off, I wouldn’t be able to hurt anyone. I wouldn’t cause them any more pain.

What I didn’t consider was anything positive I had to offer. I believed there was nothing. But I also believe that everyone is here for a reason. It was so much easier for me to say that to the rest of my peers in treatment…but me? Nope.

Every person has value. Every person has reason. Things, situations, lead us astray. But we will always have something to offer.

I am a good listener. I love to write, and believe it’s my best method of communication. I love animals, and want to help save them from being put down for no reason. I aim to protect, and build up…not to crush or put down.

These traits are necessary in this world. If I died years ago, who would be the one with my boyfriend right now? Who would be the one in college, speaking up for the rights of others? Who would be writing what I could have written, reaching people in some form? Who would be my best friend’s best friend? Who would take the place of my mom’s daughter?

I am supposed to be here, because I am still here. I could have died many times throughout the past 24 years, and I didn’t. You, reading this right now…you are reading this for some purpose. Maybe you find nothing helpful from it, but you’re reading it anyway.

Maybe I can help that other person. Maybe you can. Without us, we’d all break. Think about the people you love most. Do they have purpose? Why wouldn’t you?

Beauty comes from the fight. I aim to spread what beauty I can. There needs to be people out there who have made it through. Who can help those who haven’t yet. Who can try with everything they have…because that has meaning. It means that not only have I made it through, but I made it through to be here right now, helping you.

We don’t know what the future brings. It will probably bring both pain and triumph. What I’m getting at is, I can no longer merely survive, trying to find a way out, to avoid the pain. Pain can later have some purpose, if you can make it. Maybe to help someone. Maybe to give you strength for other things that are thrown at you. Maybe to show others that people do survive.

This notion doesn’t make things less painful as they’re thrown at you. But it does give a reminder that not everything needs to crush you. Not everything is meant to kill.

We need each other. A solitary life is not one that can last. We are stronger together. And I won’t give up.

Here’s To You, Dad

Eight years ago today, my dad passed away from pancreatic cancer. He was an incredible, fascinating person, and I miss him very much. So much has happened in these eight years…enough for a lifetime, in my opinion. I’m still sorting out my thoughts on the whole religion deal, but I still like to believe he’s somehow able to see me now. I’ve struggled a lot through these eight years, and I’ve nearly lost my own life more times than I’d like to count. I feel like it has taken so much to get to where I am today, even if that isn’t a perfect place. I’m doing better than I ever have…and I just want my dad to know that. I want him to see that I am working hard, doing my best, and ready to make him proud.

I wish he could meet my friends, meet my boyfriend, and see my apartment. I wish I could talk to him, have a conversation about pretty much anything (he seemed to always have an answer for every question I asked). My dad was probably the smartest person I’ve ever met. He was born in 1939, so he lived through so much. I never got the chance to ask him about it. That plagues me every time I think about him, or think about it.

My dad always had perspective. He knew what was important, and he encouraged me to make up my own mind. But I always thought he was right about everything. I can’t explain to you the wisdom I found through him. It was profound.

My dad was a people-watcher. He observed, and picked up on a lot of things that people miss every day. Sometimes the important things.

He read books, loved cats, and was a more quiet person…all traits I inherited from him. Like my dad, I prefer to be an observer.

He loved us in his own way. It’s hard to think about, but I rarely told my dad I loved him. It just wasn’t something that was always said. I think it was more implied. But I loved my dad. I still love my dad. I want him to know that no matter what, he will always be my number one guy.

I was about to say I had a good cry last night, but it wasn’t really that great. By that I mean it wasn’t pleasant and it didn’t soothe my soul. It was more of a panic attack sort of sobbing, which left me feeling lonely, broken and exhausted. If only crying made me feel better…

Nothing really makes it feel better. That’s what I try to explain to people who haven’t lost someone they really love. Nothing anyone says, does, etc. will make you feel resolve about it. The fact is, I lost my dad, that hurts me a lot, and I’m still angry that cancer stole such a beautiful soul.

That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate when my friends/family tries to comfort me. I do. It just doesn’t lessen the pain of not having a dad.

I’ve spent a lot of these eight years wishing I could die early too, so that I wouldn’t have to deal with losing anyone like that again. Coping with death is hard, to say the least, and I don’t even know today if I could handle it again. Hopefully I can, because otherwise, where will that leave me?

My biggest fear is losing my loved ones. I wish it was heights, or bugs, or something that doesn’t inevitably happen repeatedly through your life.

I can never prepare myself for losing loved ones. A lot of it is because of the regrets. I didn’t anticipate how many regrets I would have with my dad.

Anyway, if my dad can see me, or hear me, or anything…I hope he’s proud.

-December 4, 2016

Throwback Poetry

I am going to share a poem I wrote on August 16, 2016. I am just re-reading it tonight (or this morning, rather. It’s 12:40am). It’s a little more intense, so be aware of that.

Here we go…

What do people see
When they look across the room
What do people think
Or rather, what would they assume?
They see my hair fall down my back
They see my boyfriend at my side
They can’t see the smile I lack
Or know the last time that I cried
They think I’m just another person
Stumbling on through life
They don’t know my sadness fills me
That I relieve it with a knife
And then, a minute later
I turn my back, go on my way
You won’t think of me again
Or remember that I appeared that day
I don’t expect you to remember
I’m not that memorable anyway
Just think of all the people
Who appear throughout your day
What fills their hearts with wonder?
What gives them grief and pain?
What makes them smile once more
When things will never be the same?
How can we not think about
The many people who pass us by
You’ll think about those people
Once you watch your father die.

  • August 13, 2016

Short Story Time

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Today I’m going to post the first rough draft I have for a short story. I’m in a creative writing class in school right now that demands I write a short story and share it with the class for feedback. I’ve made several attempts at writing one I feel “good” about, to no avail. This one, I feel…”alright” about. In my opinion, it’s hardly a short story. It’s a glimpse into a life. There’s really no tension or too much plot development. To me, it’s just a glimpse into the story of a life. It does include some facts from my life, and some fabrications. That’s what I did to make it fiction and not the latter. Even being fiction, though, it portrays one night (of many) in a life of someone (me, perhaps, or anyone else) suffering from PTSD. I have a lot of other diagnoses and shit in my life, however I’m solely focusing on the PTSD here, for the purpose of it being a short story.

Take what you will, and leave the rest.

And remember, I don’t claim this is anything fantastic nor is it a finished product.

But thank you anyway for reading 🙂

(NOTE: It may be triggering to some, because it is specific in some details. I’m including this warning because I don’t enjoy triggering anyone.)

————

A Truth That Demands to be Seen

He’s gasping for breath, right there in front of me. I’m screaming with all of the energy I can bring forth, yet no sound is produced from my gaping mouth. I lunge, but am forced back by a wall I can’t see. As if I hadn’t just been thrown backwards, I lunge again, and again, feeling the impact of the blow against my frail body physically, but emotionally unable to stop my futile attempts.

HELP HIM. HELP HIM. SOMEBODY HELP HIM.

Why can no one hear me? Where is everyone? Why can’t I reach him? Why can’t I save him? Please, make it stop. Make it stop. Make it…

I jolt up in my bed. It’s dark. My heart beats to the drum of a hummingbird; so fast that it seems impossible. Sweat is rolling down every limb, causing me to shiver in this already frigid room. I know this feeling all too well.

Attempting to slow my breathing, I loosen my grip on my mangled sheets and look over at my clock.

2:03am. It’s Thursday.

Yesterday was a good day, wasn’t it? Relatively, anyway. Nobody died. They didn’t increase my meds. I only had one panic attack.

So what did I do to deserve the nightmares?

It’s just how it is, unfortunately. Sometimes I feel my existence on earth is intertwined with an existence in hell. These moments show that, as human as I try to be, I am haunted by a past that will never let go. These moments show that, I can try to live as “normal” as possible, but I will never feel that I truly fit the role. I am not that good of an actress.

I lie back down and hug myself with my sheets. Two sheets- that’s what we’re given, in addition to the one that covers the mattress. One pillow, two sheets, and two roommates sleeping soundly across the room. There are no windows in this particular room, though many nights I wish there were. I like to look out into the night, pretend I’m not where I truly am. I think about my mom and my brother, sleeping soundly a few towns over in the house I lived in my entire life. It’s a one story house, made of brick. Sturdy, familiar, and predictable. I think of my best friend and her boyfriend and their pug, probably also asleep by now in their apartment after hours spent doing homework and studying for things I wish I could join in on. My unwarranted jealousy of their “normal” young adult successes never ceases to leave the pit of my stomach, as hard as I swallow to make it go away.

The world seems so peaceful at 2 in the morning. Inside these walls, you’re met with a stoic silence that lets you interpret the truth. I can more easily pretend like there isn’t war being waged, people being killed, or anyone at all hurting and feeling alone. I appreciate that, on nights such as this.

I could try to go back to sleep now. I always do, at some point, fall asleep again. Sometimes I try to stay awake. Sometimes, being awake is almost easier. I can be in reality, knowing that I am sitting alone in a bed in a psychiatric hospital in the middle of November. Sleep isn’t the same. When I’m asleep, my head tries to fuck with me. Usually it works, just like it did tonight.

I see him often. I see the moments he was taking his last breaths. I feel the panic and inferiority of my presence at that hospice care facility. I remember nothing of that place besides the image of my dad. I remember only specific details of that day outside of that moment, few and far between. It was raining, I know that. When it rains, it means to me that the world is crying. They should have been, that day. They should have been.

Many days I contemplate why I am sitting here, in this hospital, and yet no one else present during his cancer is. Like no one else has images burned into their eyes and heads of my dad failing to be able to breath. Failing to be the person he was once. Failing to be able to live.

Why doesn’t anyone else appear to wake up at 2:03am, shaking and drenched in sweat, trying to convince themselves that it was just another nightmare?

I look again to the other bodies in the room, confirming the lies that try to catch fire inside my head are just that-lies my mind uses to make me feel more alone. They have different people, different actions, different moments…but we’re all in this game together. We all lay down at night, begging more than praying, that we get to sleep through that night without the agony ensuing. Hoping that when we slip from our waking hours into the depths of nighttime hell, that maybe the torture will be just a little less tonight. That maybe those “skills” we’re learning and meds we’re swallowing will do some good, provide any ounce of relief.

I lie, hands together at my chest in a fetal position, slipping back into the abyss.

Please, please, please.

-October 25, 2016

I Met a Little Girl Today

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I met a little girl today.

She asked me how I’m doing.

I said, okay. And you?

Looking at the floor, she said,

“I’m fine.”

I couldn’t see her eyes

When she said this.

The infamous,

“I’m fine.”

Is anyone fine?

What is “fine”?

I looked at her

As she looked at the floor

As I once did.

I was about her age when I learned,

The floor is easier on the eyes

Than what’s in front of me.

The longer I looked at her,

The longer she looked at the floor,

I felt a strong wave of

Compassion.

Compassion for this little girl

That looks at the floor

In fear of what’s to come.

I kneeled down,

Looked her in the eyes, and said,

It’s going to be okay.

It was then she looked up.

Looked into my eyes,

As I gazed into hers.

She looks so familiar

Those eyes.

They look like mine once did.

She nods

As she takes her mom’s hand to leave,

Peering back over her shoulder,

Locking eyes with me as she goes.

Little girl,

It’s going to be okay.

  • Wednesday September 7, 2016

I Am Here

(Trigger warning)

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I am here.

I try to breathe a little deeper,

But there isn’t enough air.

I grope around for tangible evidence of my surroundings.

I find a hand.

It’s cold.

I can hear the voice that owns this hand;

They’re saying something.

I don’t know what they’re saying.

What are they saying?

Wait.

I am here.

My dad is pounding at my bedroom door.

My mom is crying, screaming back.

I am here.

The corners of the walls hug me closer.

I am melting into the walls.

I am here.

My mom blindly presses buttons on the phone,

9-1-1.

Screaming,

Crying,

Pounding.

I am here.

The police tell my mom they’re coming.

My mom opens the door and tells my dad.

My dad runs out the front door.

My mom screams after.

Where am I?

The movie plays on in front of my eyes,

But I have disappeared.

The walls have swallowed me whole.

I feel my heart beating fast,

My tears hot against my cheeks.

But I’m not there.

I’m here.

A cold hand squeezes mine

And that voice returns.

Shaking, I look up.

I ask the body sitting there,

Where am I?

She says, “You’re here.”

I am here.

-September 1, 2016