#113: Never Going Back Again To Crucify Myself

me

 

This post is going to be hurried because in order to properly explain the situation I’m in I would need more than the twenty minutes I have before I need to leave for work. However if there’s one thing I’m beginning to learn it’s that you need to make due with what you have.

I still need to sit down and really talk about everything that’s happened in the past year of my life, but in a nutshell, my current roommates saved my life. I was living with my family, more specifically my mother and her husband, both of whom are abusive in a variety of ways and one of whom (spoiler: my mother) is a psychopath. Not like a dangerous I’ll-stab-you-with-a-knife psychopath, more like I’m-so-selfish-and-greedy-that-I’ll-push-you-to-kill-yourself-just-so-no-one-can-say-it-was-my-fault style psychopath. I don’t think even she knows what a dangerous and toxic person she is. But anyhow. My roommates, Zack and Robert, agreed to help me out of my situation, and without really knowing me at all, they allowed me to travel hundreds of miles here to Delaware to live in their guest room for virtually nothing.

They bought me clothes, a car, a cell phone, medicine, food, involved me in all of their activities, took me to concerts and shows with them, and never asked for anything. Their intention was always to charge me reasonable rent when I had the money, but when I finally got a full time job and had the money, I was so selfish and unable to properly budget my money that I only properly paid them rent two or three times, and then I quit that job because of my anxiety. And believe me the anxiety was awful. I was coming home almost every day (especially Friday’s) in tears on the way home, having a breakdown when I arrived, and then climbing straight into bed because I was so emotionally and physically exhausted and overworked. I didn’t know at the time that I had type 2 diabetes, and the fact that I was pounding every sugary beverage into my system to try and KEEP some energy to work was actually making me sicker, all went over my head because I didn’t know.

I got a new job, at a retail store. I loved retail for the first few years I worked in it, and I enjoyed it, so I thought I would be happy going back to retail. It turns out that was very much not the case. I’m not the same person I was when I was twenty, and I can’t take the abuse from customers that I used to be able to. “I don’t give a fuck” is a sentiment that crosses my mind more than once a day now. And so, all too late, I realized that not only had I left a full time job with health insurance and benefits for an incredibly part time (like two to three days a week) job that I didn’t even enjoy.

And then yesterday happened.

I knew it was going to happen before it happened. I can’t explain it. I’ve been wondering if maybe it truly was some sort of intuition, or maybe I just put all the clues together subconsciously and then realized right before it happened. But Zack and Robert left under somewhat mysterious circumstances and all the sudden it hit me like a brick: they’re going to ask me to move out. No one had said anything about it, but for some reason, I just knew. I texted them both about it and got no response from either one. I thought that I must just be paranoid, but somehow, I knew it was coming.

When they got home, we all sat down in the kitchen. Robert pulled out a list of discussion points. It’s been eight months and I’ve hardly paid any rent since I’ve been here. The car I was given has been damaged twice while I’ve been driving it, and I’ve gotten two speeding tickets, most of which had to be paid off by Robert because I had no money. I’ve been lazy, I haven’t been maintaining my personal space or the shared space very well. I haven’t followed simple directions. I’ve been rude and inconsiderate. I’ve assumed they would continue to pay for everything and keep me up even though it isn’t their responsibility. I’m preventing them from living their lives. I’m draining their money because I’m not paying what I owe, and because of me they aren’t able to go on vacation or save up for their future.

It was hard for all of us. Robert was crying. Then I was crying. Zack looked away because he hates confrontation, he just petted the dog to try and stay calm.

I might have known this was coming. But I didn’t see it coming until just before it happened.

The thing that hurt the most was how mad I was at myself. These people had done absolutely everything for me, far more than even my own mother ever had. They’d shown me kindness and expected so little in return. And what had I done? Turned into the lazy cousin who’s trying weakly to get his act together and living on my family’s couch while I try to hold down a job. Except of course that I’m NOT their lazy cousin, I’m their lazy roommate from another state, to whom they have NO responsibility whatsoever.

I was about to commit suicide when they met me. Maybe it wouldn’t have been the next day, but I was on the road. Do I KNOW I would have killed myself? No. But I do know that’s where my mind was. That’s where my thoughts were. Yesterday, before they came home, when I suddenly realized exactly what was happening hours before they came home and talked to me about it, I started looking online for easy ways to kill yourself. My very first thought was to run, to escape, to die and be free of responsibility.

I was given two options. Stay, and pay what I owe. If that’s my choice, I have a month to get myself together and find work that will pay me enough to pay them. The other option is to leave, though it wouldn’t be for a few months. They care about me. They love me. But they can’t put their lives on hold for me any longer. And of course I should have realized that before now.

But I’ve been so selfish. All I’ve thought about since I got here was how lucky I was to be away from my family, and how sad I was for a variety of reasons. I miss my ex boyfriend, I have anxiety, I have depression, I feel suicidal, I’m overweight, I have diabetes, I’m not good at my job, I’m worried all the time, I’m scared I’m scared I’m scared.

I was standing on a cliff in my mind yesterday. I could either fight to get back out into the world or I could fall. If I fell off the cliff I wouldn’t die, but I would be hurt beyond understanding.

There was a final moment of fear. I stood alone in my bedroom and whispered to myself, “What have I done?”

And then it came.

Determination.

I will not let Zack and Robert down after all they’ve done for me. I will not abuse their kindness. I will not be defeated by anxiety, or by fear. I will work, and I will work hard. If I have to work a full time job or three part time jobs, no matter what, I will survive, and I will live. I will accomplish my dreams of being a writer and a musician, and I will not fear an honest days work any more. I will not let anxiety dictate my life. I don’t care that I’m not strong enough right now at this moment to accomplish everything, I will get stronger. I will not be defeated by life. I’m not just fighting for myself anymore, but for my new family, the family who matters to me, the people who gave up their own livelihood so I could be safe.

I promised them I would fix this. That I would find work. It would be a lie to say they have faith in me. I can tell from the looks in their faces that they have only seen me give up time and time again, and they probably don’t expect me to pull through. But I’ve made my decision. And for once, I feel the conviction of my decision, and I WILL be strong. I will not be intimidated by the world, by honest work, or by responsibility. I will stand up and push through it, and every time I fail or fall, I will keep fighting. If I get my old job back, great. If not, I’ll get a second job and a third job and however many jobs I have to, but I will not disappoint Zack and Robert.

At least one person has already offered me a place to stay if I need to, so that I don’t have to go back to my mother. I’m so grateful they’ve offered. But I won’t need to accept it, because I will push through this, and I will succeed.

#111: I’m Still Trying

Caesar

I’ve wanted to write again for over a month. That seems to always be the pattern: I want to write, then I don’t, then I’m mad because I missed all these observations and thoughts I could have chronicled, and then when I do write I’m apologizing to myself for not writing. But I’m going to keep trying, even if it’s hard. I want to get what it’s my head down.

I started a journal once before online (actually many times before online, but this is one in particular), on LiveJournal. I wanted to try something new, but I ended up only writing six entries. Since this numbered series is supposed to be similar to that, and I’ve already cross-posted my LiveJournal entries over to this blog, I considered making the previous entry number seven and this one number eight.Maybe I will do that. I don’t know.

I realize that’s a boring thing to start this off with. I have a thing about numbers, and organization. I have literally spent most of my free time in the past six years organizing and maintaining my iTunes library: keeping the B-Sides and Demos in proper order with uniform cover art, keeping everything numbered properly, having things in correct chronological order, organizing and re-organizing and re-organizing bonus tracks and B-Sides. It’s labor intensive but it gives my mind something to focus on.

I honestly want to go back to the beginning of this entry and just erase everything I’ve just written because even I think it’s boring.

But that is not the point!

The point is to get it out of my head and into here. The point is to have a living record (what does that actually mean, anyway? I’m totally bullshitting on using that term properly) of my life and my thoughts.

So here’s what I did today.

It’s Saturday. Blessed, sweet Saturday. The Thursday two days previous marked three months that I began working a full-time job, at a desk, in front of a computer, for eight hours a day with an hour lunch break. When I first started, I was deliriously satisfied at having landed full-time work, much less in my dream environment of an OFFICE. I couldn’t believe it.

But as time went on, it slowly starting dawning on me that this wasn’t an office. This was a retailer I worked for, and I was in their office space, and yes there were desks and computers and cushy chairs, and a coffee machine and conference rooms, but there were also things MISSING. Windows, for instance. Our office is actually just two huge warehouses that are somewhat insulated and the walls are strewn with huge ceiling to floor curtains. There are no windows, there is no sunlight, there is something that almost passes for a skylight above but really doesn’t because it’s just one dirty covered window that lets in some small amount of light. Two weeks ago the power went out for a while and we were on various backup lighting systems and it was like it was the dead of night in there. It gets incredibly hot when it’s hot outside, and freezes when it’s cold outside.

It seems to be devoid not just of light, but of hope. I’m reminded of the lyrics to that one Radiohead song that I’ve never heard the original of before, just the Regina Spektor and Amanda Palmer covers: “A job that slowly kills you, bruises that won’t heal.”

After my life was saved by two friends who allowed me to move away from the Carolinas and from my dysfunctional family and incredibly abusive mother, I spent the first month or so having crying breakdowns every night. I was like a dog that had just been adopted from the pound, and I was still so scarred by my past that I couldn’t accept that I might have a home, or safety, or love. But over time that fear went away and this became my new home.

I lasted about a month at the new job before I started to realize that I not only hated the job itself, but the whole concept of full time work. I always thought working full time with weekends off would give my life some kind of structure, but it turns out it just fills my life with forty-five hours a week spent in a muggy dark building away from the sun, and away from my actual LIFE. I hate being hidden away like that. I get two days off but I feel like I need much more than that. I honestly am beginning to doubt whether or not I can work AT ALL.

What would a happy work-week look like for me? I have no idea. Unless I were doing something that I love, and I don’t really know if I can paid to play piano, write books, and play video games. I want to go to college but how? I’m twenty-five now, I don’t have as many resources available to me as would have been when I was eighteen and just graduating. Even if I go to school I need to work a full-time job at the same time and how do I do that? What would I even go to school for? I say English, music, or literature, but what would I do with that? Would I teach? Could I handle the stress of teaching? I’ve been warned against teaching by everyone and I’ve never been particularly interested in it. If I were a teacher I’d have to hide who I am too.

I’d like to live in a hippy commune, rolling around naked in the flowers every afternoon, fucking boys and maybe sometimes girls throughout the day, reading at night, and falling asleep in the arms of friends. I’d like to wake up to the smell of nature and the wet dew and the rising sun, and yet I don’t want to live out in the woods. Maybe a cabin somewhere? I mean I’m genuinely trying to picture what my perfect life might look like. I guess in my dreams for the future I’m always rich and successful, and I’m either at home writing novels or out on the road touring as a musician, playing piano and singing to adoring friends every night.

Will I ever get the chance to do these things? When I was twenty-one it seemed like there was still all the time in the world to figure these things out. Now I’m twenty-five, almost twenty-six, and it seems like while there may still be time, there doesn’t seem to be any MEANS to make these things happen. And what do I need to do, keep on slogging through work full time, having unfulfilling Grindr hookups that leave me grossed out and ashamed when I have a few moments of free time, spending the weekend sitting still and trying to recuperate as I recover from the withdrawals symptoms of leaving one antidepressant behind to start myself on another?

It seems like I’ve gained so much of what I thought I wanted: a safe home where I live with friends, a stable job, good income, the ability to get food when I need it, a place to put my books and my music. And I do still want all those things, but I didn’t know I would still be suicidal once I got them. I didn’t know I would still struggle against the debilitating tears, fear, and loneliness, pushing down on my chest every day. I didn’t know I would still reach over to the other side of the bed at night and wish Nathan was there to hold.

It’s been over a year now and he’s still on my mind all the time. I feel lost without him. I think of things that I want to say to him, I see things around me and I want to show him, but he isn’t here, he’s back home, in Georgia, and he just isn’t going to be a part of my life no matter how much I miss him. And it isn’t that I want him to be in my life, or that I want to get back together, but I do miss him. Even though I don’t regret my decision to step out of our relationship, I still spend a lot of time thinking about him, missing him

I want to find a new person, but last year I was with a new person for three months and I genuinely forget that he ever existed in my life. I had a new relationship with not one but TWO guys, in a polyamorous relationship, they were both Pagan, and I even ended up homeless and they gave me a place to stay. Then there was upset, an actual physical fight, lots of screaming and wailing and at one point I even tried to cut myself (unsuccesfully, as I grabbed a butter knife), then ended up being made to leave. And I forget about those things ever having happened all the time, I forget that I had a relationship with those two guys, I talk about Nathan and say he was my last boyfriend but I forget that there were two in-between then and now. Why do I forget them so easily? I had thought I was happy. It turns out I was just as unfulfilled as before.

But doesn’t having a rebound relationship mean it helps you to get over the old one? Well, yes and no. It was nice, but still unfulfilling.

And I spent so much time last year being an atheist, and now I feel like I’m going back down the path to being Pagan. Which is great, I like it, but I always feel insincere. I’m not brave enough to be an atheist, and I don’t have enough faith to truly believe in the Divine. I want real life witchcraft and magic to influence the magic in my book, but where is my book going? It’s changed so much in my head. Characters that used to be the most important have left entirely, and I don’t know what’s happening anymore. I finally started over in first person and I love it so far but I haven’t written anything more after the first chapter, which I need to revise.

I’m feeling so lost. Why, after gaining so much, do I still find myself faced with the same problems?

Today I walked dogs at the animal shelter. Zack drove us there, I was going to go by myself but I’m glad he came. First I walked a pitbull named Caesar who pee’d on everything and then kept trying once he ran out, and cuddled with him a bit before we swapped him out for another pitbull named Gunnar, who was a bit more distant but really interested in walking around and exploring. I got a lot of good exercise from it, even though I was literally so exhausted from walking down to a culdesac and back twice that I ended up taking a three-hour nap when I got home. How can I ever start working out regularly or running / walking / jogging, if I can’t even handle taking a dog for a walk?

I don’t mean to be negative, if I am being negative. I spent a lot of time when I first started this blog trying as hard as I could to be positive because I needed positive energy in my life. Now I’m not even sure what a word like “positive energy” means. I don’t like faith in God, and I don’t really care enough about science to truly seek the answers. Maybe I don’t like what I know I’ll find: that the universe is vast and my existence in it has little meaning either way. That’s what atheism has brought to me, a feeling of knowledge and even of boastful, arrogant pride that I’m now trying to unlearn, and also a fear of oblivion. I don’t want to stop existing. Can it be so easy to just stop existing? Can it be so easy to believe in an alternative?

I’m filled with questions. I’m tired. I’m always tired nowadays.

I have to get away from this job before it kills me. I have to keep trying. I have to keep doing good things in my life.

I ordered two books on Wicca. I jogged last week and walked today. I’ve stopped drinking soda from the machine at work and almost entirely switched to drinking Powerade when I’m working. I bought tea and chai. I’m trying.

I need to stop staring at my phone all day. I need to get online for a good purpose, to write or to do something productive. I have to stop wasting so much time.

I want my body to be better. I want my heart to be better. I want my life to be better.

I’m trying.

Bookstore

#108: Just Keep Trying

I’ve never been very successful at keeping journals. Every time I start one, I do maybe three entries and forget about it entirely. There are so many times when I think to myself “I should talk about this on my blog,” because my blog is essentially a journal. I don’t have any kind of audience to speak of, so there’s no reason I can’t just talk about what’s going on in my life, but I always pressure myself to write blog posts that feel like “articles,” and are well-written and thoughtful, rather than just journal.

I usually also include a foreward paragraph like that one every time I DO something like a journal entry. So much has happened in my life that I HAVEN’T chronicled on my blog. Sometimes I want to talk about it but I don’t know where to begin, or what to say.

My life in the past year has gone in directions I didn’t ever foresee. In fact, my life really has been a roller coaster for about the last five years. I suppose I don’t like “Where do you see yourself in five years” questions, but I really couldn’t begin to guess, to tell the truth. So many times I’ve thought to myself, “What would it be like if I could flash forward a few months into the future and see what I’d be donig right now?” And then a few months later I’ll remember that I thought that, and realize I’m doing exactly what I was doing three months ago.

So, my life has simultaneously been a roller coaster, and at a stale standstill. Big changes happen, they stay that way for a long time. I guess it goes back to when my family moved to Georgia, and I, being shackled with an anxiety disorder that it made it difficult to the point of impossibility to get out on my own (not to mention my suffocating and abusive family), went along with them. I lived in their back yard in a camper for something like a year. I tried to move out and live with a friend from work, but this required me to get a second job, and I just couldn’t handle the stress of working two jobs at once. I didn’t have my anxiety medication anymore during this time either. I did find a job I enjoyed though, at Pottery Barn, and I did well there. I liked the relaxed atmosphere, I enjoyed coming into work, I felt that I had a good grasp on what I was doing, and it was a fun excuse to wear dress shirts and ties (as soon as I figured out how to tie a tie, I discovered that I love them).

It was during this time that I made an account on a dating site called OK Cupid. Online dating hasn’t done much for me in the way of successful relationships, in fact any boyfriends I’ve made through online dating, I’ve ended up having mostly bad experiences with, if not quick hook-ups. I have difficulty saying “no” in general, and it’s shocking to me to realize that even though I stopped keeping track of the people I’ve had sex with (and I have done that before, there was a list), the number is probably something like 21 people now, and that’s full-on penetration sex, if we include all manner of fooling around and foreplay, the number is probably double. But it’s unbelievable to me to think that I can have that much sexual experience and not often truly enjoyed it. In fact, as time has gone on, I’ve come to enjoy sex less and less (partially due to my several anxiety disorders and vitamin deficiencies, I think).

And so it was that I met Nathan. I’ve talked before in more detail about the way Nathan and I met, so I guess I won’t go into that right now, but we met, and we became boyfriends. I was nervous from the start, as I have been with all relationships. Two months later, my family decided to move back home and out of Georgia, and I opted to go and stay with Nathan and his family. Something like six months later, Nathan and I were having no luck at all finding jobs, we were in a cramped space, we were bored, hungry, and generally frustrated. I got my homophobic mother to finally agree to allowing Nathan to come with me if I moved back in with her (though we were forced to sleep in separate rooms, and I’m sorry, I don’t care what you say, that was cruel. If we had been a straight couple I KNOW that it wouldn’t have been an issue, but if you were to use my mother’s reasoning of ‘I don’t want my daughter to see two people shacking up together in a bedroom’ [and my sister didn’t give one fuck, believe me I asked] then it would still be ludacris because he and I couldn’t get married even if we wanted to).

We found jobs, and eventually moved in with a person I’d met working at a bookstore (Books-A-Million, for the curious). We lived there for something like two years (or at least I did), and when we reached the two-and-a-half year mark of our relationship, I knew that the relationship was an unhealthy mess and it was ripping me up. We weren’t good for one another, and even though we got along easily, there were just too many differences. I think on some level, we never truly understood each other. Finally, I quit. When I quit, it was sad, for both of us. On some level I wanted desperately to cheat on him with a guy we both knew, and I’d done some things that may have crossed the cheating line, or at least stepped up to it, before I broke up with Nathan.

After Nathan and I broke up, he moved back home to Georgia. I expected to feel free, unburdened, like myself, uninhibited and able to do whatever I wanted in life. I did feel those things, but I also felt a crushing sorrow that would come at random intervals and take the wind out of me. I made video journals talking to Nathan that he’s never seen, and I found myself crying night after night as I lay in bed alone, watching comforting ASMR boyfriend roleplays on Youtube to try and feel less lonely. I spent a lot of time driving around, listening to music and audiobooks. Sometimes at night I’d get in my truck, put on some music, and just drive to nowhere in particular, and cry. Or I’d cry in my bed. Or anywhere else, I guess. Eventually I wasn’t able to continue living where I was, and I convinced my mom to let me move back in with her.

I was there maybe a month before things turned ugly. I met a guy online, two guys in fact, who were in a relationship. They had been looking for a third boyfriend to be in a polyamorous relationship with, and the guy they’d been talking to wasn’t really working out, he lived far away and was kind of an asshole. When they met me, we were all sure I was the perfect fit. The usual worries that plague me when I get into any kind of relationship were there, but I somehow seemed not to be harmed by them so much this time. I thought that maybe I’d finally found the kind of relationship that worked for me, one where I had freedom, one where that wasn’t so much in the way of boundaries. We had sexual chemistry, we shared interests, and for the first time in my life, I had a boyfriend (two in fact) who made me laugh. I’d never experienced a relationship that was filled with laughter. With Nathan it was mostly contented silence. We did laugh about things, but not at all the way the three of us did, myself and my new boyfriends. Meanwhile, my mom told me to get out of her house, and I was back in the camper again, in her back yard. Now, that may not sound all that bad, but she and her husband also thought it appropriate to tell me to figure out what to do on my own when it came to food, which was a real problem because my mother was my employer, and she fired me. Some people online stepped in and helped me have some money with which to buy food and stay in a hotel on one occasion. Eventually the two boyfriends found an apartment, but there was something of a catch: that guy they’d been seeing before me, well, they’d stayed friends with him, and they still wanted to find a place to live with him. It might be an awkward situation, but the four of us would all have a home, and maybe we could all get along. We even floated the idea of all four of us being in a polyamorous relationship. When I met the guy and he turned out to be awful, that plan didn’t work out so well.

So, their ex-phone-boyfriend put his name down so they could get an apartment, and the three of us moved in (ex-phone-boyfriend was still staying in another state). The first couple of weeks in our new home were great. One of us was working, the other hasn’t worked an honest day in his life, and as for me, I was mostly relaxing. We watched TV together and played video games, we had sex every day, it was fun. Then ex-phone-boyfriend showed up and things all went to hell. One of my boyfriends had lost interest in me very quickly, the other was still showing interest but was cheating with weirdo ex-phone-boyfriend. So our relationship ended, and then things were turned around because the three of THEM decided to get together. I was definitely the odd person out now, and after getting into a physical fight with one of my two ex’s, and having a crying, screaming emotional breakdown in which I threw our electronics around the room, tried to slit my wrists, and just generally lost it, they wanted me out.

So I ended up back with my family. It went alright for a couple of months, but more and more, my depression was worsening. At this point I’d been back on my antidepressants for a while now, but I wasn’t so sure they were working anymore. In fact, I was feeling increasingly suicidal. I began to think about the song I might like to have playing on a loop when I was found after killing myself. How? I’m not sure. I think the prevailant idea in my mind was to jump off a bridge, and I had a spot picked out, but I’m not sure I would have died from jumping off that bridge, just been seriously injured and possibly bled to death slowly. Besides, I’ve never had a threshhold for pain. But I just became more and more tired of being alive.

I loved music. I loved writing, and reading, and I loved video games, and being obsessive about my interests, and being a nerd. I enjoyed being around people and having friends, I loved being close to people, having my arms around someone, friend or otherwise, I loved having free and fun sex with friends. I wanted to do all these things. I wanted to play piano and sing, and I wanted to write novels. But it was becoming more and more clear that I was just never going to get out of the situation I was in. I was living with my family, my mother was controlling, suffocating, abusive, angry, religious, hateful, homophobic, racist, and ignorant. But there was nowhere else to go anymore. And I wasn’t going to find any place anytime soon. My health got worse. I kept gaining weight until I was 250 pounds. I learned from my doctor that I had sleep apnea, a Vitamin D deficiency, a severe deficiency in testosterone, along with my normal anxiety, social fears, panic attacks, and agoraphobia. Working for my mother cleaning houses wasn’t making me any kind of money, and I couldn’t afford tesotsterone injections and expensive medicine forever. Eventually I’d run out of insurance. And then there was the fact that I’d never started college. Not going to college is the one regret that’s stayed with me for years and years. I’ve just wanted to be surrounded by people, to be learning, to be in a place where it’s okay to think and speak and express yourself and where there are people to play with, to talk with, to have sex with. But I never got to experience that.

There were so many things I wanted. And I was more and more sure that those were things that I’d just never have. I decided to stop trying, I guess. I stopped putting effort into life. I cried a lot. I listened to sad music. Every day I was insulted, attacked, and hurt by my mother. She was starting to abuse my sister too, emotionally and verbally. I felt so incredibly alone. And no matter how alone I felt, there was nothing I could do, no one I could go to. I went to my ex-boyfirends’ apartment a few times, but every time I just ended up feeling more empty.

My mom kept kicking me out. She’d tell me she wanted me out of the house one day, fire me the next, and then three days later it would be as though nothing happened. This cycle kept repeating itself.

Then of course there was the moment I had an awful realization. It’s something I don’t want to type here. I don’t want there to be a record of it. But I realized something awful about myself, something that made me ashamed, made me feel sick, and hopeless. Something that brought with it guilt and shame that I carried around with me everywhere I went. I told my therapist, during one of the few visits I got to have before the money became too much. He was very calm, didn’t judge me, talked to me about how we might deal with it.

It’s haunted me for so long. Saying it out loud made me feel better, but it also made it real.

I’m not going to tell you what it is. Maybe one day. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to write it down, to post it on a blog, to let everyone know. But I’m tired of being thought of as a freak. I already have so much going against me, I just can’t bare to tell everyone.

But there is a part of me that wants terrible things, and it’s something I can’t control, and something that scares me, and something that makes me feel very ashamed. And this contributed, I think, to my growing feeling of complete unease about everything.

I stopped caring. I would wake up. Play online. Eat. Go to sleep. Wake up again. Play video games. Eat. Drive around. Read a book. Eat. Go to sleep. Somewhere in between all of that I’d try and masturbate. Sometimes I went to my ex’s house and we had sex. Sometimes I hooked up with guys from the internet. I always left feeling worse inside than I had before.

My mother told me to get out. I don’t know how many times she’d done it. I tried talking to friends. One of them was sympathetic, and caring, and offered me a couch to sleep on, but he lived a very long way away. I couldn’t drive to his house even if I wanted to. And even if I did, what next? I had no way of making it on my own eight hours from where I was living.

This friend, he told his husband about what was going on with me, and about my mom and the way she treats me. They told me they wanted to help. They were serious. And so was I. My mother was in the process of moving, and wanted me to help with a lot of the heavy lifting, something that’s difficult for me for a number of reasons, one of those being that my various deficiencies make it very difficult for me to do manual labor. I didn’t care anymore what she wanted. I stopped caring. I’d spent years and years hating her. I loved my mother when I was a child, but I’ve spent more time in my life hating my mother than I ever did loving her.

I bought a train ticket. I packed what I could fit into two suitcases and a carry-on bag. I told my family. My mother screamed, she acted like a bitch, she hurt my feelings. She told me I’d never make it, that these strangers would abandon me, that I’d be out on my own in the cold, that I’d be (her word) destitute, and that I would fail. As with every other moment in my life, she told me that I would fail. I didn’t care. I could stay with her and die, or I could leave and try to live.

I chose to accept the help that was offered. All I’d wanted for years and years was for someone to truly offer to help. And it wasn’t just a couch that I needed, it was a lot of help.

Robert and Zack did more than I could have ever possibly asked for. They spent so much money taking me to dinner with them when they went out, buying me nice clothes from the thrift store so I would have something to work and go to interviews in, finding me places to put in applications and go to interviews, lending me their car, and then buying a third car that would ostensibly be my vehicle, as well as adding me to their insurance. Robert even put me on the same diet as himself, and offered to take me to the gym with him. They became my friends. I love them both.

I’m here. I live in Delaware now, with Zack and Robert. I’m on the couch in the living room right now, with my elbow resting on one of their three dogs. Zack’s across from me on another couch, playing on the internet. They’re taking me with them to a Thanksgiving dinner today.

They saved my life.

They gave me a life.

I’m scared, every day. The anxiety returned when I finally found a job, once again at a bookstore. The anxiety of going to work has been eating me alive. I dread getting up in the morning to go to work, I dread being there, I have mild to severe anxiety attacks constantly. It’s been this way for the past week. Tomorrow is so-called “Black Friday,” the biggest shopping day of the year, and the most stressful for anyone working in retail. I’ll be there bright and early as throngs of customers come through to be rang up and sent out the door. I’m scared. I’m scared every morning before I go to work, and when I come home, I’m scared that the day will be over too soon and it will be time to go to sleep, and then get up and go to work again. I’m scared constantly, and plagued by anxiety. But I’m surviving. I’m trying. I’m tampering with the dosage on my medicine (but not abusing it, by the way), and trying my best to be positive.

I’m scared, and I have been very scared, but it’s going to be okay, and I’m going to be okay. I’m going to get through this initial period of anxiety, the combined anxiety of being in a new place (despite what has mostly been excitement about being in a new place) and working again in retail (where I honestly didn’t want to end up, even if being in a bookstore is the kind of retail environment I would probably prefer). Maybe I’ll still be able to find some kind of office desk job, which believe me would be a welcome reprieve from the crowds of retail. But I’m trying. I’m not giving up. Every day, I’m thinking of ideas for what to write, I’m listening to music, I’m having fun, and I’m experiencing friendship with Zack and Robert. I’m sleeping better (still need to use my damn CPAP machine, though).

Things are tough right now. I feel bad for having so much anxiety, because after all that Zack and Robert have done for me, I should be feeling elated. I feel like letting them know how much I’ve been dealing with panic attacks and anxiety is kind of like spitting on all that they’ve done to make me comfortable here and all that they’ve done to help me succeed. They don’t feel that way, I know, but still, I’m scared. I just want to stop feeling so scared. I want to overcome this anxiety, and be happy. I want to work toward my goals.

Maybe I should make it a goal to find myself an office job, and stay here in retail until I do find one. Maybe that would help. I don’t know. Things have been unpredictable since Nathan and I broke up, and I never would have really guessed what would happen and exactly where I would end up. But I survived all of that darkness and fear, that longing to stop existing just to escape from the pain, and now I have a new demon to fight, new anxiety to overcome, but I can do it, and I will.

I’ll just keep trying.

Trumpet Sounds

When my hands are shaking
And I can’t stand
I feel your breath in my ear
Even though you’ve never seen me
I wish that I was where you are
But time and distance are cruel
And in this connected world
We are as Victorian as ever
I have no horse to mount
No boots to strap on
I have no road to travel
And no hope to carry me forward
I have no dream of my lover’s lips to propel me
And no reason for staying where I am
I’d like to run away but where would I go?
I’d rather live in darkness than be alone in light