If I never get better

What if, it never gets better. What if this is all there is? Can I learn to accept that I might never feel better? I might never feel worthy or worth it, I might always feel like a burden. Though this happens less, it still happens. Dealing with my trauma and healing from it makes it wax and wane, but it’s always there.

It’s there in the smile that I missed, in the kind words I didn’t hear. The feeling has nothing to do with my actual worth, and more to do with my illness, but still it remains. As I heal it can get better, but the truth it it’s like any recovery: it’s forever. No matter how good a handle you think you have on it, the universe finds ways to throw you that curve ball.

So I ask myself again, can you live with yourself? Can I go on forever knowing that I will always have this feeling that I am not good enough. That I may never believe anyone will love me unconditionally? That because I don’t have the ability to trust myself, I won’t be able to trust others? What if this is who I am now?

It’s not, right? It’s not because even as I go back now and look at my writing the weak caterpillar, yes woman, blinded by success and money is no longer there. I’m in flux, I am changing, I am capable of change… and I have to see that. If I am ever to break free from this cocoon I must remember a few things:

  1. The only constant is that everything changes
  2. That recovery is forever but it gets easier with time
  3. The time it takes for you to grow is the time it takes, it cannot be rushed or forced
  4. Before you can feel unconditional love from another, you need to have it for yourself
  5. I am a flawed human and will make mistakes
  6. That in the cocoon only at the very beginning and the very end do you know what you are
  7. The in between is just messy goo, self digested and ready for rebuilding
  8. Until I can digest all that was, I will not be able to start putting it back together

Back to eating shit for a while I guess… but hope renewed. Even if I never feel better, I will at some point learn to love and forgive myself for issues that will come up. That I will learn from them and move on. And that even if my trauma wins, I have already done so much good work, and so much good for others, that I should be proud.

If I can learn to have half the compassion that I have for others, for myself, then I am going to make it. You will too.

 

 

Daddy Dearest

To my Dearest Father,

Where were you? I needed you.

Your absence in my life has caused me more paid than I can even begin to explain. I  know I have said over and over again I didn’t need you, but that was never true. I was trained from birth to be strong, to be independent, to not show weakness. I had to create a brick wall around myself and my feelings. I became so strong I was made of stone. No one came in, nothing mattered. I could cut anyone out at any time and never let anyone know I needed them. Why? Because I don’t know how to need someone, I don’t know how to trust. I needed my father to show me what love from a man looked like, and without that I became hollow inside.

I was abused by my uncle for as long as I can recall. I developed an eating disorder at 9, and lied my way through middle school. I allowed a boyfriend to beat me. I allowed myself to be assaulted by an older male boss in high school. I was groomed by a much older man from when I was 15. I was drugged in college and almost assaulted. I have abused others because I thought that was “love”, and let loved ones abuse me thinking I deserved it. I am broken from what happened to me and having no one to talk to. I never had a male figure in my life I could trust and so I never learned that men were trustworthy. I self sabotaged my marriage and every relationship I had because “all men will leave you in the end”.

I became very good at wearing a mask of independence and strength. I had to learn to turn off my emotions, otherwise I would have crumbled. I had very strong female role models, but none to show me what love and trust really look like. I missed the bond that every girl craves, and by the time a semi-solid male figure showed up I was already well trained to not NEED a man… so I didn’t let him in either. I don’t blame you for what happened to me, nor do I blame my family. It’s MY story, it’s part of who I am… but it’s not who I am anymore. I have been working really hard in the last two years since taking over my Grandmother’s care and I want you to know.

I want you to know that it did hurt me to not have you. It hurt every time I thought you would show up, and didn’t. It hurt me to watch you blame my mom, my aunts, and everyone else but yourself that we didn’t have a relationship. You need to know at the end of the day, that was on you. You could have made it happen, you were my father. You knew where I lived, you knew my grandmother loved you, and you knew my mom worked. You could have come come for me… I wish you did. I wish you were at my wedding, I wish I could have have that moment. I didn’t need you to give me away, but I needed to know a father’s love before entering into a lifelong commitment. It hurt my heart that you didn’t even send a card or a note. You didn’t even acknowledge the biggest moment in my life. I didn’t need you there, but I wanted you there. I never said that to anyone because I thought it would make me look weak, and I was never that on the outside.

But I am on the inside, I’m still that little girl who didn’t get to have her daddy in her life. Father daughter dances make me crumble. I cry and I can’t stop it. Every wedding I go to reminds me that I’m still without that love. I hate that this makes me look weak, and I don’t want people to know but I have to get it out or I won’t heal… and that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m growing now. Now that I am free from the chains that tie me to my abuse and my abusive thoughts I am becoming a woman… and I forgive myself and I forgive you. I know you did the best you could with what you had. That you were broken too and just child yourself then. I understand why, and while I wish it wasn’t true, it is.

I never showed you how grateful I was for the times you were there. For the car, for inviting me into your home, and giving me another extended family. I didn’t know how to react to it then, but I am thankful for it now. While neither of us can go back and fix the past, I need you to know that it hurt me. I need you to know what it did to me, and that I’m sorry I hurt you, and that I hope all can be forgiven, even if it will never be forgotten or fixed. I need to me able to move on with my life and I can’t without getting it out.

I don’t know if we’ll ever be close, I don’t know if my sisters will ever be friends of mine. It’s the situation and decisions you made in the beginning, but we both made in the end that brought us here. I hope you can take responsibility for your decisions, as I have for mine. I hope that knowing that frees you a little bit too. I love you dad, even if I’ll never really be able to show you the way you want to see it. And now I know you love me, even though you may never show me the way I want you to. You hurt me, but I can now see beauty in the darkness and pain. It made me who I am today, and while I’m still a work in progress I am proud of what I’ve done so far.

Love,

The Daughter (you left behind)

 

 

The late night call

He gets a text and says, I’ll be back in a bit, I have to make a call. Probably be back in about an hour…

Fine right? Nothing weird here… except Anxiety!

He’s down there talking to someone he doesn’t want me to know about, why can’t he tell me who it is? Why don’t you just ask? Because if he wanted me to know he would have told me who it was. Why doesn’t he want to tell me? Is it because it’s her? Because I’m fine with that, he knows that then why not tell me? Why go down stairs?

DAMN IT! I lose and while I am going to tough it out, and get through it my anxiety has written a beautiful short story about it.

It’s her, you’re telling her that you have to stop talking like this. Sneaking around is no good for either of you. That you guys are both married, and that you should love the one you’re with if you can’t be with the one you love. You talk of how it could be, how you guys love each other, and long for a different world. You talk dirty to each other and exchange pictures before clearing your histories and hopping into bed with your spouses.

Goodbye Letters

*Trigger Warning* I am safe, but these letters can invoke some sadness. Please be cautious if you are triggered by suicide.

To my Dearest Best Friend,

I moved away a long time ago, but this is the final time I message you. I will miss you, I hope that now your little family will keep you strong. My absence from your life will not be felt long, please love that little man more than anyone else in the world.

You were someone whom I could really trust, and I think the only person who never let me down. I will always remember the kindness and love you showed me. I treasure all that you did and am thankful I had someone in my life like you.

Sincerely,

Me

 

To my Mom,

I hope the money you put before all of us keeps you warm now that I am gone. You were not there for me like we needed, you let me fall, and treated me like a Parent rather than the child. I loved you so much, I thought we would be friends one day, but your actions during Grandma’s transition and passing showed me otherwise. I hope you wake up and realize before it’s too late for Ash and James… you need to step up and be a better mom.

Sincerely,

Angel Face

 

To my Siblings,

I’m sorry. I’m sorry I couldn’t save you, I’m sorry I was such a bad sister. I tried to be mom and sister for you guys but it never really worked out the way I wanted it to. I love you both, and you were one of the only reasons I hung on as long as I did. I hope that this gives mom and Mike the wake up they need to be there for you like they should be.

Remember, you are stronger than I am. You can and will make it… just hang onto each other.  Stay in each other’s corner. Help each other.

Sincerely,

Me

 

To my Spouse,

I release you from your ties to my awfulness. You have stayed with me through the worst and while I wish I could say it was enough to make me stay. In the end it was this that made me walk away. I truly feel like nothing more than a burden to you. That you are staying with me out of pity, or just out of boredom. I feel like your heart has been elsewhere since Mike’s passing and I am too far gone to reach it.

Either all these things were true, or I am really that crazy… and we know the answer to that. So I’m doing you this favor. You’re sadness will be short and will bring a creative wave that will launch that career you want. Your friends will gather and help you through this time, and your true love will finally arrive.

I Loved you with everything I had, till the last breath of my body. I wish I was stronger, I wish I was the one, I wish that this pain was fixable… but none of that is true. I am too broken to be Loved the way I Love you. Thank you for everything.

Sincerely,

Chrysalis

 

 

The Anxiety Gremlin

All day pacing the halls of records, touching each instance of good with her uncertainty

Which memory shall I ruin today, she bellows down the caverns of my mind

Running her long razorlike nails against the title on each cover she stops for a moment

“Do I dare?” She questions under her breath as she pulls out the album out

No dust here, I come often to look at this but typically its in bad times

I draw on my experiences this day as they are true to my heart

They ground me, keep me sane

“Please don’t” the wind whispers and she opens the page…

 

A million paper cuts

I keep playing them over and over in my head. Yes brain let’s rehash how fucking stupid I am and how much he hates me while I try and keep from killing myself… great idea. Fuck, this train won’t stop at a station so one more time from the top…

We were mid conversation again, what happened? You just looked at your phone and then walked away. I just asked you a question, did you not want to answer it? I must be annoying him, just let it be.

I love you… but no response. Everytime you say this in bed with him you feel this way, why do you do it? Clearly he doesn’t want to, and you keep pushing it. He loves you, he doesn’t need to always respond… but why doesn’t he? In this most intimate moment? Its because he doesn’t feel the same way and those moments are the most honest.

When he was standing there was he intentionally ignoring me when I asked if he would marry me again? And why? Or did he just not hear me? I swear he was looking at me, but not for sure. Damn.

The heavy sigh, the eye rolls, the frowns… are those for me? They come after that sweet smile and a blown kiss, but are they meant for me? Is that him saying “ugh, this bitch”, or showing me how tired he is of me?

The universe is a shitty place that has no grand master plan, he’s the love of my life but clearly you’re not the love of his. He’s just here because you’re alone. You have no one but him and his friends and he’s staying with you out of pity. He’s afraid you will kill yourself if he leaves, or feels bad that you’ll truly be alone. No family, no friends…

… so there is no one, I truly am just a burden for him to carry, I am a burden to many but at least I have walked away from most of them. The easiest thing to do would be to leave this earth as quietly as you came into it. Give him his freedom and give it to yourself too… you’ll be doing both of you a favor.

The world will be better with you not in it, you are making it impossible for his true love to find him because you are being selfish. Your mental illness should have killed you years ago leaving him ready to find “the one”, the person who can save him. He will have the money and the house, he can still get the tribe together. He’ll have so much to write, he’ll be free, everyone will be better off, and all I have to do is finally give into the voice.

Death by a million paper cuts sounds like a dream…

 

#MeToo

It’s dark, it smells like weed, and I don’t want to be there.

I’m in the basement with not just your door locked, but also the door to your bedroom

You’re watching what I think are cartoons and tell me to pay attention

I look back and your hand is in your pants and you’re mad

“Turn around!”

I turn around and don’t remember anything else.

***

It’s too hot to sleep up stairs in the bedrooms, only grandma has AC in her room

We sleep in the dining room on the floor, there is an AC there too

I recall the smell and taste of your cigarette stained tongue in my mouth

I dry heave, and then vomit

You tell your mom that I’m sick

I wake up on the floor in grandma’s room

I don’t recall how I got there

***

You lay your full grown up body on top on me and kiss me

I cry to be let go, I scream, I’m crushed and clawing to be free

I yell that your breath stinks, you blow in my face and lick me

I’m told “that’s family you have to be nice to family”

I lay there and take it… this happens weekly

***

I overhear a doctor tell my mom I need another urine specimen

I should not have results like this one, that would have to be in pain

They ask if I’m sexually active, I’m 8, I’m not

Jokes on them, I’d been complaining of pain and they have been ignoring it

I get an antibiotic, a lesson wiping correctly, making sure I wash my hands before and after the bathroom

I have my first UTI, I get them a lot until I get my first period

I don’t get my next one until I do become sexually active

***

Mood swings, suicide, eating disorders, drug use, anti-social behavior, self harm

Teenagers can be unpredictable, but I am violent and angry

Doctors say there must be some trauma, parents say no

They tell them I’m “just dramatic” and looking for attention

I’m told I have an overactive imagination, and I’m reminded that I’m lucky

***

 

Sex is complicated, fun, and guilt ridden

Emotional consistency is shit

I rock and sway, I sometimes recall terrible feelings with smells

… but no visual

I avoid my family as much as I can, but say “I’m all about my family”

I am a walking contradiction

The part of me that is strong and moved on

and the part of me that is still hiding in the shadows

I will never stop trying to remember all that happened to me

But I am okay knowing just this:

Whatever happened, it wasn’t right, I didn’t deserve it, and it wasn’t my fault.