No one lives a life that is pristine. Some of us have hurt others. Some of us have been hurt by others. Most of us have done both. At some point the weight of the past comes to rest hard upon the shoulders. When it does that, it’s time to start exorcising some personal demons.

I’m not going to claim that I’m some wonderful person. I’m not perfect. Then again, who is. I’ve done some dumb things in my time. I’m human. Everyone does at least one thing that’s dumb. I think I’ve also paid my penance… I think.

Unfortunately my penance in this instance is a lot of personal demons and some additional baggage.

I have certain things that are big triggers for me. A good part of that is due to emotional and physical abuse that I’ve endured from both family and from friends/lovers. While I can control these most of the time, sometimes it gets too much.

I’ve dealt with a lot of stress in the past almost 2 years. It culminated in to the biggest part last year. Since then I’ve been more of a hermit than I would normally like. I’m still working on my issues when it comes to abuse, especially emotional abuse. After all, the deepest wounds are the ones that can’t be seen.

When I was a kid I was constantly told that I was never good enough. This went on into when I was an adult. I wanted to be a writer only to be told repeatedly that I would never make it. To this day, I still question my talent and my ability. I still think that I am not good enough, nor will I ever be good enough to make it. I still try, but sometimes I sabotage myself.

And then there’s a huge helping of manipulation and outright emotional abuse from significant others. It’s so bad that I occasionally think that I’m the worst person on Earth. I had a boyfriend who would always make me feel bad about how I looked. He would say things to me in public knowing they would start a fight only to ask me why I’m getting so angry. He would constantly put me down, behind my back, to “our” friends. Of course, that wasn’t just behind my back. He also told me to my face. It got to the point where I felt too disheartened to leave. He would constantly make me feel bad about myself. I didn’t realize that was the case until someone who I thought was genuinely interested in me told me otherwise.

That made me think.

From that point on, I started to notice what was happening. More and more I would see that he was trying to manipulate my feelings so I would stay. This actually persisted even after I broke up with him. He kept trying to convince me that he could have open and honest relationships. Though, from what I’ve been told, it seems his idea of open and honest relationships is still cheating on someone. Granted, I’m not one to talk about cheating… I’ve done my share of it (and I openly admit it). I have learned my lesson though. I no longer conduct myself in that manner.

I started seeing the person who was trying to help me out of the abusive relationship I was in, just to go right back into something similar. I thought I was doing everything right. I did what felt right to me, apparently it wasn’t what he thought was right. I would be dumped for some other girl… only to have him come back when the girl wasn’t as interested anymore. Obviously, this also wasn’t a healthy situation to be in. So, I permanently left. After 2004, I had nothing to do with him.

After a series of serious cock-ups both on my behalf and having others brought in (where they really shouldn’t have been), I took time to myself. I figured things out. Even better, I moved on.

Only in times of high stress do I start to feel as though I’m not good enough to achieve what I want out of life and that I’m the worst person on Earth. After about 2 years of constant high stress (and not to mention a job that pretty much made me feel that way), I’m at that point again.

This is not a good place to be. I admit that. I would like to be anywhere but in the place that I am. So, it’s time to exorcise the demons. Take them out of the small box that I’ve put them in thinking that they were totally dealt with. I need to look at it from a new place with newer information. I’m trying to get myself past not being good enough. Otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this right now.

However, feeling like I’m the worst person in the world… that one’s a little more difficult.

I had a group of friends prior to 2004. I didn’t associate with them too much outside of the social context and in a group setting. When I started to do that, I found that I became the red-headed stepchild of the group (forget the fact that I am a natural red-head). I became the proverbial whipping boy. So much so that when I was out with my current SO and his family and I noticed that one of that group was there, I personally gave it no thought. Unfortunately, he made it seem like we shared this epic moment. Of course, this is the same guy who blew a drunken utterance totally out of proportion and called me a drug whore in a public venue. The rest of the group of “friends” took this as prime time to continue to defame me in a similarly public forum.

Maybe this is silly. I know I shouldn’t put too much stock into what they say, but after 5+ years I think that I’m entitled to think that still harboring ill will against me is a bit, well, stupid. It’s just like an ex of mine who spent years giving me sad puppy dog eyes after he broke up with me. At what point can I step in and tell them to give it a fucking rest?

Maybe I’m saying this all out of frustration or annoyance. Maybe I’m asking for too much. All, I know is that I’m getting too old for this juvenile shit.