October 17 2014

Pain, My Friend

I remember as a child I felt so unloved. The loneliness was so unbearable. My parents worked long hours and then came home and spent most of the time in their bedroom. I woke myself up, got myself ready and off to school while they were at work. I came home and did my chores and my homework while they were still at work. The loneliness was haunting. I was sure no one loved me. Not even my parents. When they were around they were angry and disappointed with me constantly. I always felt like a failure. I know my parents never meant to make me feel this way. As a matter of fact, I’m sure they had no idea.

lost

I once heard a story of a little boy who was waiting at the bus stop for school one morning. He was so sad that no one loved him and he just dropped dead right there at the bus stop. I just knew that story was true, and that it told of my own fate. That maybe my heart would stop beating or my soul would just disappear, without love. I hate to say that it only got worse from there. As I grew into my teen years I often thought of dying. Of taking my own life. I became obsessed with death even. I began to write poetry about death and despair.

Pain, pain

my friend, my dear

hold me tightly, draw me near

wrap me in your rough, sweet arms

That is one of the first poems I can remember writing at about age 13. It wasn’t long before I began cutting myself. In my mind it was an attempt to take my life. I would pry the blades from the razors that I found in the bathroom. Then I would hide in my room and get up enough courage to start cutting as deep as I could bear into my wrists. I so wanted to die. I realized that it was going to take much more than that to actually complete the act. But the pain became my friend. Comforting. Because the pain of those cuts would dull out the deep emotional pain I felt. At least for a little bit. And I would crumple onto the ground in tears and despair until I could pull myself together enough to bandage my fresh wounds.

There was always a secret part of me that wished someone would see these cuts and care. Just care, that’s all. It was my cry for help, but I was too afraid to voice it to anyone. Because I knew I was beyond repair.

As I sit back now and read this, I am saddened. I feel so far removed from this girl who was so alone. You see, my life no longer resembles that picture of despair and hopelessness that I once had. I did live most of my life wandering in that darkness. But I don’t any longer, now that I have found the other side of darkness.

 

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October 17 2014

Desperate Love

Cutting Glass 04I was so desperate for love as a child. I felt so rejected and alone, so lost. That feeling continued into my teenage years where I met my first boyfriend. I was 14 years old when I met him. I was so nervous, but so excited. He thought I was special, and cute. As a matter of fact he loved me. It was amazing, yet so scary. I had been so long since I had been complimented, been appreciated, felt love.

He asked me to do things that were uncomfortable for me. I was so shy and timid. My first kiss for starters. I was so not ready for that. Then he wanted to come over after school while my parents were at work. But when he did we would just lay on my bed and he would hold me. Oh how amazing that was! I had longed for something like that for so long! I just knew that was what love felt like. Real love.

We spent as much time as we could together. I was completely enamored. As always in a world that is surrounded by darkness and despair, that was to end too. That came early the next year, on Valentine’s Day as a matter of fact. I’m sure I was excited at the thought of my first Valentine’s Day with an actual boyfriend and someone to be romantic with. I honestly can’t remember now, because only one thing stands out in my mind from that day. The one of the gifts he gave me was a condom. I was a virgin, and sex was not on my mind. It was not something I wanted to do, or was ready for at all. Apparently the gift was a sign of what was to come.

He has decided we were going to have sex. That was that. He was going to come over early one morning because we had a vacation day from school and my parents would be at work. Then we were going to do the deed. He informed me he was tired of being a virgin at the ripe old age of 15. I protested much, but in the end I told myself I would do it because I loved him.

The day came and he was at my door bright and early that morning. I felt sick. I did not want to do it. I told him as much. He was adamant that it was going to happen. He chased me around the our tiny duplex trying to get my clothes off. Finally I submitted. I did it because I loved him. That is what I had to tell myself to get through it. Because that is what love does.

I did not enjoy it, not one little bit. His feeling was not mutual. He wanted to have sex all the time after that. I did not. I argued and told him no, time and time again. Relentless as he was, I could not keep up the fight. After all, I did not want to lose my only love. So again and again I gave in. I went numb inside, cold. My depression and despair grew deeper. But it was not rape and that was never a thought in my mind. I was desperate for love.

The relationship lasted about a year. So it was later in that year that I finally broke up with him. And in that freedom I realized that all those times I laid there and let him have sex with me, it was wrong. It was rape. The realization came rolling over me like a tsunami, but one that comes in slow motion. It crashed over me with a destructive force. How could I have been so stupid to think that was love? I was disgusted with him, and ashamed of myself.

I didn’t give up on love though. I was a drowning girl looking for a life vest in any form I could find. Anything that would save me; anyone that would love me.

It is hard to sit and write this now, 24 years later. I stuffed that memory down for so many years. It came up during various points in my life and I tried to deal with it, to forgive and come to terms with it. It has caused me many problems in my relationships over the years. Trust. That has been a big one.

I can’t say I am 100% over my trust issues, but I am moving into a new and wonderful place with trust. I have had an amazing healing power that has begun to restore me recently. A power so strong, to think about it is causing me to weep. Tears of joy and of thanksgiving. Yes, that is the beauty of walking out of the darkness, and into the light.

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October 21 2014

Broken Hearted

broken heart

After the relationship ended with my first boyfriend at about age 15, my life seemed to start to really spiral out of control. I became obsessed with regaining that first feeling of love and companionship that I felt. It was so wonderful to be loved and I just hurt so much. I was almost willing to do anything to have it again. I remained friends with that boy for quite a while. I did still care for him deeply, but somewhere inside me an anger raged against him. It was something I had no idea how to deal with. Besides, he helped keep some of the loneliness away.

My depression deepened and  I couldn’t stop cutting myself to try to relieve the pain. I threw myself into writing love stories and poems about death and despair. My stories were a fantasy world I could create where I could escape my life, even if the main characters didn’t fare so well. I also spent many hours listening to music. Rock music was a huge part of my world, and there was no shortage of songs that were full of bitterness, rage and despair.

At school I was on the hunt. I had to find a new boyfriend. I had to have that special someone who would fill this terrible void inside of me. I would get my eye on a boy and then obsess over him. I would stalk him, finding out what classes he had so I could try to run into him. Yet I was so afraid to talk to him, that I would just look away shyly every time I saw him. I would write about him in my dairy and think about how amazing it would be to be with him. And this would be a boy I had never even talked to before.

A couple of these obsessions turned into boyfriends. Very innocent compared to my first relationship. We would sit together and talk and listen to music and tell each other we loved each other. No pressure to have sex, which was a welcome change for me. The only problem was I didn’t feel love for them. I felt anxiety and fear that I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t pretty enough, wasn’t skinny enough. Did he really even like me? These relationships lasted a month or two at best, then I would just sink further into depression and despair.

I never liked myself back then. I didn’t like myself for a long time. I didn’t feel worthy to be loved and I felt ugly, fat and plain. I can look in the mirror now and smile. I am so happy with myself. I feel beautiful and special and so well-loved. It is amazing that I have come such a long way from that sad girl. It is such a precious gift to me, and I hope that you too have that feeling.

 

 

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October 22 2014

Objectified

The desperation I felt to be loved and accepted only drove me further into stupidity. I was so naive in the ways of the world or even in the ways of boys. I was just focused on that one end goal – being desired. So one of the boys that I had a short relationship became my friend once things ended. He had been pretty sweet and never tried to push me into having sex while we were together. That completely changed once we were just friends.

I don’t know what changed in him, but he now just looked at me as an object. An object to be used to satisfy his desires. For me, even if we were just having sex there was still that small hope surging inside of me that I might get love. So I would go over to his friend’s house with him and have sex with him. It was my choice, he never forced me. But I always walked away feeling so dirty and used. I was so disgusted with myself, and ended it after a short amount of time. His friends all knew what was going on though, so it was official. I was a slut.

I never saw myself that way, but I’m sure quite a few people at my school did after that. I just was so lonely and dependent on these boys to fill my heart with love. They never could, not that they even knew how. I stopped talking to that boy after that, but later in the year he showed up at my house. I still spent hours alone every day while my parents worked, and he knew this. He began banging on the back door, which was near my bedroom. I reluctantly let him in, and he started to get rough with me. He changed in an instant to casual sex minded to rape.

He kept telling me how what he was going to do to me as he chased me around, grabbing me and trying to take off my clothes. I was so scared, and there was no way any neighbors would hear me screaming. They too were all at work. I honestly can’t remember how it happened, but somehow he left me alone. Left the house and I was not raped. This was not the first time something like this had happened to me.

When I was 13 my brother-in-law did the same thing. He came over to my house and at first just knocked on the door. He knew no one else was home with me. But I would not let him in, because I was afraid of him. Earlier that year he had grabbed my bottom while we were in the garage of his house. I was holding my infant niece and my sister was in the house. No one knew about the incident and I was too afraid to tell.

As I sat in the house cowering he kept knocking more insistently. He was fearless though. Soon he was climbing up the side of the house and through the bathroom window to get in. The window was in the back, so no one would have seen him. It was also too high for him to just climb into and too small. I have no idea how he managed to do it, but he was determined. I ran into my parents bedroom and locked the door. I crawled into their bed and covered my head with the blanket. I silently wished for him to go away and not be able to get to me.objectified

He walked around the house looking for me and came to my parents door. Once he realized it was locked he must have guessed that was where I was. He knocked and began talking to me in a gentle voice, trying to convince me to let him in, lying about the reason he was there. Again, my memory fails me of how it happened, but somehow he did not get in that room. He left the house and left me alone.

It was not long after my sister and her husband divorced, but not because of that. She didn’t know about it for many years after. And the boy – I never saw him again. Looking back I have to say that it was no coincidence that I was spared from these incidents. I don’t think I thought much about how I managed to escape until now, because my mind was scarred with fear for so many years. Now as I look into the past I know there is only one way I was saved. It was a miracle.

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October 23 2014

Suicide is Forever

When your life is a blur of pain and a hunger for death, not much else matters. When you find someone who can relate to those feelings, it brings a new light into your life. Instead of being miserable alone, I found a companion who was possibly more miserable than I was. We found solace in each others, spending hours talking on the phone about our lives, our pain, our desire to end it all.

He was my first boyfriend’s best friend. I had never met him, but we became fast friends. He didn’t live close enough to me that we could visit each other, but just in the next town over. I felt so very sorry for him. He told me horror stories about the abuse he received from his grandfather. My heart ached for him. I tried my best to comfort him. Maybe in trying to comfort him I found some comfort for myself.  Somehow over the course of our friendship we decided to be in a relationship.

There were times we would be on the phone that he would tell me he had a knife and was going to hurt himself. He would often talk about ending it all. We only saw each other once during our relationship, and it was two shy and awkward people who had no idea what to do. I think we just sat and held each other.  I think I actually had a little sunshine in the darkness. Until my whole world turned upside down.

Months into this relationship it was  revealed to me that this boy I had been bonding my heart too had another girlfriend. A girlfriend he actually saw all the time, and who was now pregnant. The news was mind-blowing. My heart began beating as fast as a little hummingbird flaps it’s wings, and I just felt sick. Lies. All lies. I had no idea what was true during all our conversations. I could not trust him, or anything he had ever said to me. For all I knew he wasn’t even depressed. I stopped talking to him and tried to put him out of my mind forever.

suicide

But I will never forget that poor boy. It was about a year later, maybe less, when he began calling me again. I was hesitant to talk to him at all. He begged me to talk to him. He said he was so depressed, that I was the only one who could understand. But I couldn’t believe him, and I told him so. He called me several times, and each time I just told him I could never trust him, never give him my time again.

Little did I know that was a decision I would regret forever. It was not long after that this boy took his own life. Suicide by gun. I was in shock when I got the news. I did not believe it was so. How could a young life really just disappear forever in the blink of an eye? It was just not possible. Except that is was. I was at his funeral in complete disbelief. It was so sad and it just sent my life even further into despair, because now I just knew it was all my fault. If I had just talked to him when he called. Maybe I could have helped him. Maybe I could have saved his life.

I knew after that there was no God. Because if there was something this tragic could never happen. Never. I became an atheist. You die, you get buried, and you go into the ground to rot forever. The end. Nothing else made sense to me. My dad tried to talk to me about God at that point. That is the first memory I have of him ever talking to me about God. By then I just didn’t care. It was too late, and my mind was made up. The end.

Thinking back on this today I realize that this boy’s life was not in my hands. While it is  true that I may have been able to talk to him and help him, I did not hold the decision for his death in my hands. That is far beyond my control. I do not struggle with feelings of suicide any longer, nor do I wrestle with depression. I have been a miraculous gift of healing from this torment in my life.

Many people in our world do still live in a world of hurt though, and you can reach out to them. We were not made to be alone, but  to live in community where we can reach out to one another, and help one another. I implore you to always reach out to those around you, whether it be for yourself or to help another. You are not alone.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, please get help. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK.

 

 

 

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