Category: Writing


Picture from Final Fantasy XIV

Like many who legitimately have PTSD (and unlike those who like to make light of how serious a mental health condition it really is, but that’s a rant for another day), there are things that’s people can talk about that will elicit a specific emotional reaction. Unfortunately, there is little I can do to control this reaction. I can try to control it, even attempting the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques I’ve learned to try to control them. This doesn’t particularly work for me. I seem to function better on actually feeling whatever it is that I happen to be feeling at the time. It makes it easier to process feelings that I’m feeling than to try and subvert them.

I was recently triggered by an event at Burning Man. I didn’t go again this year for the same reasons I haven’t been capable to for years. It is costly to go. So, I didn’t see the event that made the news. And you know what, I didn’t have to. Instead a vast majority of my friends repeatedly talked about and posted the pictures of it. I didn’t need to be right there for it to be a triggering event because everyone else kept talking, regardless.

Suicide is a very delicate thing for me. It, in and of itself, can be incredibly triggering to me. And so, with seemingly everybody talking about it and not a lot of places for me to go for respite, I had to try to control how I was feeling. I managed to do it despite fighting off gluten sickness and exhaustion. I managed to do so for 6 days.

And on the seventh day I couldn’t fight anymore. I was tired. I felt emotionally worn out. And so, then I had to deal with emotions that I hadn’t for days.

And when I do that, it often becomes much worse because I haven’t processed and started letting myself heal. Instead, I kept hurting myself. When it gets like that, I get past anger and vere into hopelessness. That’s where I was. It’s harder to dig myself out of there.

One of the things that I have been incredibly proud of (and I think to a certain degree, rightfully so) is that as someone who’s been dealing with CPTSD as long as I have, I have nothing bad to show for it. I have almost all of the symptoms of it… and yet, I’m a largely functioning person. I work, I’m not an addict, I’ve never been arrested, I’m not a hooker, and more importantly, I’m still here.

As time goes on, that starts making it harder and harder. The desire to find ways to stop this pain becomes more appealing. Who wouldn’t want to be able to step out of the trauma-filled haze in order to feel better? I find escapism increasingly desirable.

And yet I still have yet to give in. Thankfully I have a ray of light. The FDA has found Ecstasy to be a breakthrough treatment for people like me. This is great because that mans they can study it more. But that means that treatment is still out of reach for a while.

In the meantime, what can I do?

I have no clue. Try to avoid Facebook more? I don’t know if I have a good answer for that. I shouldn’t have to. I also shouldn’t have to see people repeatedly posting articles with pictures of someone who decided to take their own life either. It would be great if everyone was sensitive to the emotional needs of each other. That’s also increasingly not the world we live in. So, I’ll feel and deal with my anger, my rage, my hopelessness, the hole in my heart that should have been filled by parents who loved me. I know that I’m broken. I feel lucky to have found people who want to help and by people who accept me as family. It’s that which gives me hope and keeps me going.

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What is Maturity?

Intimate

Ciel and Sebastian from Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler)

This week had been interesting… as has every weekend since 8.November.2016. However, this week has been particularly of note for me.

This is the week that the GOP’s token gay man has been ousted from his lofty position. He used to be a senior editor at Breitbart… but in all honesty, I can’t feel too bad for him. He is, after all, a racist, xenophobic, transmisogynistic douche. I’m almost 100% sure that he hated himself.  But more than anything, he’s a troll. With a video that’s been bouncing around there, he lost his book deal, speaking at a conservative convention, and his livelihood.

So, how, pray tell, did he manage this?

By simply going on a syndicated radio talk show and sounding like a spokesperson for NAMBLA spokesman.

So, how did this all come about?

Well he said that every 13-year-old boy should be allowed to have a sexual relationship with older men. Now, keep in mind, this conversation happened on national, syndicated radio. When he was pressed to explain, he doubled down on his pedophilia comment. He didn’t roll it back, or qualify it.

So, what does this have to do with yours truly?

He engaged in an oral sex relationship at the age of thirteen (as many of you know, that’s how I was raped at the age of thirteen).

So, I might just be a wee bit sensitive about that. Because of that one moment, I was repeatedly sexually assaulted by the same person until I was sixteen and intentionally fell off his radar. (For those playing along, that would be until just about my senior year of high school.)

So, before I continue this conversation, I feel like I should explain the differences between my situation and why that matters.

I was raped. After I was raped, my rapist decided that he would use his leverage to get laid whenever he wanted because I wasn’t sure if he would kill me or hurt me again. This persisted for almost 4 years.

This is different because there was no consent (legally or otherwise) … and it persisted, much to my personal shame and emotional pain. While he was older than me, I don’t think it would have been considered pedophilia until he finally turned 18, and I was 15/16-years-old… and even then, it’s iffy. It becomes more like statutory rape…

Regardless, this is important to what happened and how we can watch as the mighty garrote themselves.

So, why does this matter now, especially with Komrad Pussygrabber in office?

Simply this, we now know how low the GOP had fallen. There are any number of things that this person is guilty of, all which progressives are willing to call them out on. But for conservatives, pedophilia is a bridge too far.

We live in a topsy-turvy world these days. Things that should be beyond the pale are now ok (neo-Nazis, anti-Semitism, transmisogyny). Where do we draw that line? We know where the GOP does. What about the rest of us?

NAMBLA

Milo might have also approved of this poster… no really, enjoy the irony of this poster.

 

A Childhood Want

elfquest

Suntop, Skywise, Cutter, Leetah, and Ember all sleeping

If I was to think back to when I had my first experience with poly in any form, I would have to say that it went back to when I was in middle school. My friends were just getting into Elfquest. It was something so very new. My mom wouldn’t let me read comics when I was a kid because they were evil or something. In all fairness, I have no idea why they were considered so bad. The storylines at that point were still fairly simplistic.

There were three characters that shared a loving V relationship. They are Cutter, Skywise, and Leetah. The connection point between Leetah and Skywise is Cutter as he’s the one with the intimate relationship with the other two.

I didn’t realize how profoundly the image of the three of them sleeping was for me. After all, I never had that closeness when I was younger, despite how much I wanted to feel like people wanted to be close to people.

There was something comforting about the relationship between the three of them, that just made me feel… I don’t know… comforted. I think that would be the most accurate, especially because at that point in my life, I didn’t even have a good place when I was home with my birth family.

It’s funny, because I’ve always wanted to know what it felt like to have a warm and loving family. I didn’t really have that experience when I was a child. A majority of my childhood was chaos and anger and fear. It was everything that you would never want to have as a child. Looking at a picture of Leetah, Cutter, and Skywise sleeping peacefully with Leetah and Cutter’s children…

It’s something that I desired when I was a child. It’s never something I really experienced nor do I have a conscious moment of when I was younger. There was a lot of anger, pain, and fighting… but never a sense of peace of serenity. Never a sense of what I hear is supposed to be what it means to be in a family. The strife that I dealt with when I was younger has made me a bit more standoffish than I think anyone should be.

Life does seem to have a way of righting itself some of the time. While chaos will always be a part of life (as much as I dislike it), It is possible for things to right themselves. The peace that I saw in that picture, the love that I saw in that relationship… that seems to be within reach. I keep hoping and waiting patiently to have that an image like that of my own… and it’s possible that maybe I can have that family. It’s certainly something that I want more than anything. I want to have in my adulthood all the things that my childhood never presented me. I want constancy. I want a warm and loving environment. I want people who will actually love me, make me feel like I’m loved regardless.

All it took was a simple picture of three people sharing a loving moment…

A Life Update

give-me-money

Snoopy hopes for what all of us writers do. Image by Charles Schulz

It’s still been some time since I’ve been back here writing… and it’s something that I admit I haven’t been doing as well as I might. There are many reasons why I haven’t written all that much. My stress had been through the roof. And a large part of it for a long time was a dissolution of a relationship… and many things about that relationship specifically. Now that is done and I’ve done some work on building myself back up, that seems to be waning… even the stress to find a second part-time job.

I’ve also had a health issue. I am one week away from my final oral surgery to take care of dental issues. While I’m glad that it’s almost done, there’s a lot of anxiety surrounding it as well. And, even bigger, a lot of pain. Concentration has been difficult at best. I’m still dealing with the pain from my teeth which should hopefully be finished soon. Tooth pain sucks.

I also had to take a moment to look at myself. I had to admit that I was my own worst enemy when it comes to me not writing. Between my disappointment with people and dealing with a lot of personal demons that came out on Thanksgiving and knowing that no matter what, I don’t think I’ll ever really be excepted by my own family. I’ve tried so hard my whole life to be accepted by them. I guess I need to accept that they don’t necessarily care about who I am. That my sexuality and my gender identity doesn’t mean all that much to them.

That’s been the hardest part to accept. So, what do I do now?

That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it?

Mostly, I’m going to keep on writing. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned recently, it’s that writing is probably the most important thing to me. I need to create worlds and stories. I need to create characters and watch them grow as the words continue to flow from my fingers. Not writing hasn’t been helpful to me. Writing is such a huge part of myself, so I need to do more of it.

After I recuperate from my surgery next week, I’ll attempt to write here at least once a week. I’ll also keep working on my screenplays and other writing. I have a new story that I’m still working on the beginning of. I will continue to work on that story that I posted the beginning of here. I’m going to keep on writing. Right now, that’s mostly what I have. I’ll have to figure everything else out, but for right now, I’m going to keep writing.

Little Girl Lost

ritsuka-cry

Ritsuka from Loveless by Yun Kouga

There are things that are hard for me to describe, even as a decently educated writer. The hardest is to explain what being triggered is like. It’s not just discomfort or being upset. I wish it were simple. Then again, of PTSD were easy to understand, then there wouldn’t be as much misinformation as there is about it.

Right now, I’m deep in the bowels of a very deep and profound triggering event. I’ve gotten past the anger that is usually what I feel first, anger and sadness. Now I’m working on tackling a near-crippling self-doubt and depression. And that’s not the only thing that’s living here, that’s just the guardians of the house.

Deeper inside the house that trauma built is a deep hurt of a child who was left to be the adult. A child who never knew what it meant to be wanted. A child who was tossed aside and was beaten and abused for decades. A child whose parent came back later after she learned how to cope with things most children don’t start approaching until late middle school or high school.

Inside this house is a little girl, lost and afraid… on her own to fend for herself. No matter what color of happiness she paints on the outside of the house, she can’t just ignore the misery inside.

This is probably just a simplistic snapshot of an incredibly complex and insidious set of neurological responses. It’s something that people want to trivialize because it’s easier to make fun of people who are deeply troubled. At least that seems to be the American way of things.

And that’s what makes this all so terribly difficult. I have a lot of things that I know I’ll never get any closure for. That makes it so much harder. I have no way of getting closure. One of the people is no longer amongst the living. Others I have no contact with… and that’s probably for the best. I would need to sever that relationship regardless… and then there are relationships that I’ve been told I need to sever, but it’s not going to be so simple.

I start to feel so helpless because I can’t figure out how to move away from the relationship that seems to be more emotionally detrimental as time goes on. I feel like no matter what I do, that I’m stuck. I have no clue how to take care of it. There’s never really any one good way to pull away from abusive relationships. There isn’t. Even though I know what will help me in finishing healing, I haven’t a clue on how to break away from it. Unfortunately, my therapist isn’t being any help, regardless of how many times I’ve reached out.

I feel so lost right now.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a lot of writing. Emotionally, it’s been difficult to motivate myself to do much more than want to hide under blankets and ignore the world. I’m now working on trying to do more. I’ve kind of gotten to the point where you wind up so stressed that your body starts to tell you. And I mean more than just insomnia.

I can’t see this state getting any better in the foreseeable future, so I’m going to do a brain dump. I feel so stressed now that I can arc lightning between my fingers. That’s pretty bad. Some of this might be stuff that I’ve talked about before in my spotty writing schedule. A lot of it won’t be. I feel the need to extract it all from my head.

New Year’s is supposed to be a time of great hope. What sort of awesome will this year bring?

Yeah… I’m not sure I even got a moment of that thinking, after all, 2015 ended so horribly. I still haven’t received pay from my paid writing gig. It’s something I love to do, and it really sucks and hurts to not get paid. This is especially true because writing means so much to me. My current more-off-than-on boyfriend decide his new girlfriend ranks higher than I do (BTW, this has been obvious twice more since then).

So, yeah… those are two huge things. I tried to make the best of it, but something else decided that it wasn’t meant to be.

So, what of these two other times I speak of (after all, the work thing is pretty self-explanatory)?

Well, even though we’re not really dating now, I still bought a Valentine’s gift for him. I don’t know why, maybe hopeful or wishful thinking. I don’t know. I did. He got me… nothing until I mentioned that I had something for him. I’m sure he got his girlfriend something, but I didn’t rank as important. Now, granted, this is supposition. I can’t prove this is the case. Given that I had to wait two months, it’s not boding well for him having thought about giving me anything.

The other was fairly recently… when he decided his overnight was more important than something he had planned to do. Something he and I talked about. This isn’t just shades of the original purpose of going to therapy, this is the exact reason why we’re in therapy in the first place. So, all that money that I’ve spent since last December is now flushed down the toilet. I can just hear my personal therapist when I see him next.

Of course, these aren’t the only things going on. These are the most immediate.

Because I’m not getting paid for the months of writing I did (and no real way for recourse, thanks for protecting artists, labor laws), I’m now looking for a job… doing the one thing I hate doing, office work. Hell, at this point, we’re so close to broke, I’m ready to say, “Fuck it!” and go back into retail. It’ll probably break me down so badly that I will barely be able to function, but I know that I could probably get a retail job easier than an office job where I live because of stupidly ridiculous requirement of a bachelor’s degree for answering a phone and greeting people.

This has been really gutting for me. I thought that I finally found a place where I could just write and be happy. I can’t. I’m looking for more writing jobs, but even technical writers need a background in it, even though I know I could do it and do it very well.

Frankly, at this point I feel so beaten down by life again (because 25 years of emotional/physical/sexual abuse wasn’t enough) that sometimes I wonder if I have any value. I wonder if I’m just a drain on those in my life.

God, writing those two sentences were hard… enough to bring tears to my eyes in a public place. Which for me is hard, I prefer to be stoic at worst.

I keep trying to think positively and find some sort of positive thinking to help me trudge on… I’m just not sure I can.

Hell, let’s be honest here… I pulled myself out of several deep, dark holes. I’ll pull out of this one. I haven’t killed myself or had my spirit broken yet. I’m a survivor. It’s all I know how to do.

OK, not all, but it feels like it now.

Thankfully, all is not doom and gloom (even though it feels that way).

I started a class last week about learning how to cope with all the stuff from my Complex PTSD (or CPTSD). I did manage to have a lovely, restful weekend… something I’ve been desperately needing for months. I’ve been putting out resumes, despite how little I think of myself right now. Something will come through, right? I’m also looking for group activities that are either intellectual, creative, or healthy/physical exertion in order to stop myself from self-isolating. It’s not healthy for me to isolate myself, even if my brain is telling me to do so.

I’ll just keep telling myself, “I’m a survivor. You’ve been through worse. You have people who care for you. You’re no longer alone.”

If I say that enough, maybe it’ll finally get through my thick skull.

Hey, here’s some more of this story for your perusal. Are you new to this? Forgot about how we got to here? You can find the previous installments here.

As before, this work is copyright to Emily Rush. All rights reserved… yada yada yada.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Unfortunately, nothing seems to be able to lull him into slumber.

He sighs as he looks over at his boyfriend and the boy. Their bodies bathed in the night lights of Shinjuku.

His thoughts continued left off where they were before trying to sleep. He never did think he was anything special. It’s not that he was treated poorly by his family, somehow damaging his psyche and making him think he was worse than he was. He just never really thought of himself as particularly fetching. Now, it’s true that he did manage to have a series of girlfriends after the dissolution of the relationship with that upper classman’s sister. So, to a certain degree he knew that he was at least some what attractive.

But certainly nowhere as attractive as his boyfriend. He didn’t think that it was humanly possible for anyone to be that attractive. It took him some time to accept that not only was it possible, but that boy was also his.

That boy still is his.

That thought made a smile break on his face.

So, when his boyfriend’s boyfriend says he thinks he’s attractive and is interested in more than we’re dating the same boyfriend with him…

He tucks his arms under his head.

He then thinks about talking to the boy earlier. Both of them outside. The boy asking for something he never expected. Then he thinks about talking to the boy outside the bedroom. What it felt like to kiss him, to feel his body next to his. It was more arousing than he was expecting it to be. Was that because he might be interested in the boy as well or was it because a boy that was interested in his boyfriend could also be interested in him as well.

He wasn’t entirely sure what the case was.

He did know that he didn’t mind feeling the boy’s lips and hands on his mostly naked body. He would even like to do more in the future. The boy was certainly good-looking, more ruggedly handsome than androgynous. It also surprised him that he would think someone who was more manly would be attractive to him. After all, it was his boyfriend’s androgynous and sometimes almost feminine features that first piqued his interest.

And what did he have… Sure, he was good-looking, but nothing like his boyfriend. So, why him?

This was certainly an answer he could figure out on his own… after all, he wasn’t the boy.

He sighs deeply as he whispers, “If I focus on this I’m not going to be able to sleep. This is definitely something that I can’t answer myself.”

He turns over on his side, facing both his boyfriend and the boy.

He takes a deep breath as he looks at the two of them. This is the first time where it has been right in his face. He’s known that the two of them have been together. He’s seen them together in a less intimate locale. But here it is, all of them sleeping in the same bed. He sucks in his breath as he is finally confronted with something he wasn’t expecting to feel… deep-seated jealousy. He’s seen them together before. Most of those times he was accompanied by his fiancé.

Well, ex-fiance now. There was no turning back. He couldn’t let his boyfriend go, not this time.

There was this girl, and she wasn’t quite like other girls. While most people had a normal childhood, she had to work harder to try to enjoy what she had. She had a history of dating people who were mean to her. It took her years to realize that she needed to change that. So she did.

Then she met this boy. And they were friends. They hung out at stuff with mutual friends and would talk then. There was no dating or thought of a relationship forming. It was a fun time to be had. She was still healing and breaking a cycle she had been in.

Then one day that changed. They went on a date… and it was lightning. She knew that she had found something amazing. And they have been together ever since.

But that’s not the end of the story. Where most mononormative stories end right there, this one has the ability to morph and grow… and it has.

The girl went on to date others. None of whom gave her the same feeling… until it happened again. She met another boy, and it was a chance conversation on a street corner that started its work. She knew that there was nothing to come from it, so she put it out of her head. No need to worry and fret about something that she couldn’t have.

Instead she just kept moving on with her life, trying to find her niche in this world.

Then things changed and new possibilities showed themselves, yet didn’t as well. She didn’t think she had a chance, so she still kept on with her life. After all, no sense in being upset over something she didn’t know if it was a thing that could happen, that would happen.

Then one night they were pushed together… and it went from there. From talking to more, she started to realize that this might be more than she had thought. That maybe it is possible for lightning to strike twice.

So now she has these two wonderful people in her life. One of whom she never thought was a possibility, the other was one that happened just randomly. That she could always have this happy family that transcends marriage and blood. It’s a group of people who find each other and love each other, some in the same way, some in different. Each relationship different from the other. Each as wonderful and lovely as well.

Will there be a happily ever after? There’s no way to tell. Take it all moment by moment, and realize that these are extraordinary people in a harsh and cruel world, finding their way together.

The Path Back

Now that I’ve actually confronted a lot of my fears and negative emotions from my abuse… I have other things that I need to deal with. All of which are dealing with this thing called abuse. None of it is any fun. You know what, it’s something that I do need to deal with. It’s something that I’ve hidden from for… well, more years than I care to count.

It’s something that I have decided that I can no longer sit on. It’s something that I’m not sure serves any purpose. I have cut out pretty much everything in my life that brought me here.

So, how do I fix this?

I honestly have no idea. I’m feeling triggered from having worked it all out. I figured out what feelings and fears come from all the different instances of abuse. Each instance has made it increasingly difficult for me to trust people. I’m at the point where the only way I can trust new people is if the people who I trust trust them. That’s a pretty sad way to live. I’m tired of being afraid. I’m tired of being afraid of being abandoned. I’m tired of the insecurity that this all breeds.

More than anything, I’m tired of feeling like I’m an outsider. PTSD is an asshole… and with more information and learning about how things like sustained abuse can affect the brain, it’s interesting to see how I see it in myself.

I do understand that everyone has the capability to see a bit of everything in themselves. It’s frequent that medical students do this all the time. It’s something that I’m aware of… which is why I tend to be a bit more skeptical. At the same time, it’s hard not to look at it and say… yeah, I can totally see this. You can’t be abused for 25 years and it not have a negative affect on your psychology. In many cases it forms the neurological responses in the brain. The brain re-wires itself in order to handle pain responses. It becomes a core part of your personality.

The thought of that scares me. The thought of trying to fix this and losing myself is scary.

Of course, the reality is that something like this can’t be fixed. There is no such thing as fixing. There is, however, trying to work around these responses. This is where I am. I want to work around crippling anxiety. I know that I can feel genuinely happy, if anything the time I have spent with my Significant Other and my new partner have taught me some very profound lessons on finding grounding people… people who I feel genuinely and amazingly happy with. I am just tired of this undercurrent of fear, anxiety, and depression.

So, I’m working on it. I’m not just working on it personally. I’m working on it clinically as well. I want to be the best version of me. No matter how much I embrace who I am now, I know that I could be better. This isn’t about being a perfectionist or anything of the sort. This is about me feeling comfortable in my skin. I’m hoping soon that I can be, finally.

It’s going to be work, just like all things in life.

There are some things that are worth working for. There are some reasons that are worth it. All of which are my own. I just want to be the best me I can.

These are issues that I still struggle with, to this day to one degree or another. I do have a better sense of self-worth, but I still think that if something bad happens… that I did something wrong for it to happen to me. The degree to which this instilled some severe issues with me is pretty bad. And what comes after just helped demolish more of the already crumbling foundation that is myself.

So, one would think that once my mom was out of hospital, that life might be smooth sailing, right?

Yeah… not so much.

My mom and divorced and she wound up meeting and marrying someone else. And, while that sounds all fine and dandy, this guy was a piece of work. I use was because he died of lung cancer my senior year of high school. I don’t have any fond memories of him either.

After my mom and him were married, first he would beat me… until I got both too big (they got married when I was 8) and too strong for that. After that, it was a constant barrage abusive words. If that wasn’t enough… I was also horribly bullied at school. I was an early bloomer, so I hit puberty before anyone else did. I heard it all… and I heard it for years. I heard it pretty much up until I changed schools in high school to make a positive change for myself, including someone threatening to kick my ass.

The bullying was pretty consistent. Granted, it couldn’t even compare to what people go through now. Everything was done face to face. There was none of the anonymous ganging up that we have now.

That wouldn’t have been too bad (OK, it was bad enough in and of itself), but it wasn’t the only place I was constantly hearing a barrage of hurtful words. I would hear it all the time at home. My stepdad would put me down all the time. It was a constant thing. I’d hear how ugly, stupid, and fat I was. I was always a bitch. I was called lazy. It affected me so profoundly that I would withdraw from people. I felt like I had no choice. I didn’t have a place I could go to where I would be accepted. At school I would be made fun of, at home I would be told how awful a person I was.

I would go to my mom about this, but she wouldn’t do anything. She’d tell me that I need to fight my own battles. I would tell her that my stepdad was also doing it and she wouldn’t do anything. I would tell her things that were private, only to have it thrown back in my face by my stepdad… where he would then be even crueller to me. It’s because of that I don’t feel like I can trust many people. I always have the fear that people will turn on me and that I can’t trust someone with a confidence. More than anything, it made me feel like I couldn’t trust my mother.

I didn’t feel like I had a safe haven away from the pain of being emotionally abused. I was abused at home and at school. Once I was raped, I didn’t know what to do. It was so bad that I felt a strong desire to not want to feel anything. I started thinking about doing heroin then. Anything to numb the pain inside of me. I never did heroin… instead I would cut myself. Anyway to make myself hurt as much on the outside as I did on the inside.

Then my stepdad was diagnosed with cancer that he later died from. Before he died, he apologized for the years of abuse… which I’m pretty sure would have continued were he to keep living. I still think it was more to clear his conscious than it was to make me feel better. I said I accepted it, but that wasn’t really the case.

Of course, this isn’t where the abuse ends.

After that, I would get into relationships that were highly toxic. At one point it extended past romantic relationships, but also into friendships too. I didn’t feel like I was worth any decent relationship. The friendships were about the same point as probably my most emotionally damaging relationships. I dated the guy for years. I kept trying to get him to approve of something, anything about me. He would never acknowledge that I would. He would constantly put me down. He would constantly make me feel like I had to do everything for him. I couldn’t have my autonomy.

I would dress up nice and he’d make me feel bad about it. I would need to do everything for him.

It hit me so profoundly that I would cheat on him repeatedly… then he would hit me with an even worse barrage of words. Every time it was designed to make me what he wanted. I wasn’t happy with where I was, but it was what I felt like I deserved. To this day, I still get the feeling that it’s all my fault. That I have to fight alone. That I deserve what’s happening to me. That I all I knew. Every boyfriend confirmed this, even those who tried to act like they’re more enlightened. If they couldn’t get what they wanted out of me, they would treat me poorly.

It’s pretty bad when you have someone get you to leave the dysfunctional relationship that you’re in so they can try to have their own harem. It became so problematic that I eventually had to take stock of what was going on and why I wasn’t happy. It boiled down to me being in nothing but emotionally unhappy relationships. I even took a year off to actually work on myself and to distance myself from it.

No matter how much I distance myself, I still have to deal with the emotions that are coupled with these issues. The feeling that I don’t have anyone to help me (despite the evidence of otherwise), that I’m constantly alone, that I’m not good enough to deserve anything good. I think that I deserve anything bad that happens to me. That I don’t deserve anything good. These are thoughts that I have no idea how to be rid of. These are thoughts that still plague me. They occasionally make me want to find a hole to just waste away in.

I keep trying to tell myself that I’m worthy to have what I have… but I don’t know if I believe that. I don’t know if I can let myself believe it. In many ways, I feel like the little girl being beaten into submission with no one to help me… and I don’t know how to ask for help. Recently, it’s become a daily struggle for me to ask for help. I don’t want to feel like needing help makes me a burden. I don’t want to feel like I don’t have anyone who can help me. I want to be able to accept the help of others.

More than anything, I want to stop being haunted by the thought that maybe, just maybe I shouldn’t really be here. That I shouldn’t still be living. That I struggle and fought so hard to survive, only to start feeling like it was for nothing. That I deserve to be alone. I’m trying not to fall into that despair, but it’s hard… and I do need help. I just don’t know how to ask for it.