Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Everyone Else Has An Opinion So Here's Mine

My Facebook is filled with her story, with his.
With opinions both well thought out and others thrown out with emotion.
This post will be thrown out with emotion.

When I first saw the story, about the athlete who was accused of / found guilty of rape (I do not know as I cannot bring myself to read the story but this is what I've pieced together) I didn't know what I was reading.

A friend whose posts I respect and enjoy reading made her status about the injustice of how the case had gone. A sentence or two into it I felt a pain my chest and I was having trouble breathing. I forced myself to stop reading.

I closed the page and distracted myself with something mindless.
And I forgot all about it--or 
well I tried.
But the internet isn't letting me.

This story is everywhere. And while it's great to see this topic being covered it constantly triggers me to have to deal with things I'd rather not think about. My own experiences with rape and sexual abuse. 

And while everyone else has an opinion and can voice their thoughts, I find that this story has silenced and paralyzed me. Well, until now.

Too painful to think about at work, and too scary to delve into on my own at home the thoughts of my past have been preying on my subconscious since I first began to read about her story.

I didn't think it was affecting me until I had a panic attack at the gym yesterday.

I was doing squats in front of the mirror and I see the guy to my left stretching his groin feet away from me. I feel uncomfortable so I turn away trying to stay present. Then the guy behind me begins to go to town on the punching bag. His muscles flexing, his testosterone flowing, grunting, he hits the bag harder. 

The two story, warehouse of a gym begins to close in on me. My heart races. My hands shake. I struggle to stay present.

"They cannot win. They cannot win. I will not stop my workout because I am triggered," I tell myself. "I've given too much of my life to my attackers and they will not ruin this for me." I say trying to be brave, thinking I'm doing what's right and noble.

But the more I try to be brave and make myself sit in an environment that has become threatening the harder it is to control my breath and my mind. 

To my right a bodybuilder begins to deadlift with an angry force. Jerking the bar up and down. Slamming the weights.

The noise reverberates in my head and I have had enough attacks to realize when one is about to happen. I need to get out of here, but I am frozen. I am surrounded by things that feel threatening to me, how do I move when I am trapped?

The urge to run turns into an impulse. I turn up my music and I book it to the bathroom. I keep my head down. No longer able to control my tears, my body screaming to go to safety.

I bang open the bathroom door almost taking someone out. I muffle an apology and slam the stall door shut, I put my back against the wall, sink to the floor and curl up into a ball. 

Make me smaller, let me implode, let me escape. 

And I stay like this for I don't know how long, trying to steady my breath and stay in the room even though my brain throws memories violently to the forefront. 

It's not fair I think. It's not fair. The gym has become a place of recovery for me where I find myself feeling confident getting stronger mentally and physically but ironically it's also a source of powerful memories from a past I'd rather leave there.

The cold floor helps me mellow. I ask myself simple questions like where was I born and what did I have for lunch that day. And I distract myself until I am calm.

I avoid men as much as I can for the rest of my workout and I forget about this until today when I scroll through Facebook. There it is again. And again. 

And I go back to the avoidance and the distracting.

Everyone has had a voice in this, and I wanted to put mine in. While the victim is being very strong (from what I've gathered she's written a powerful letter to her attacker and probably spoken out as this is getting so much attention) and this story creating much needed attention to a serious issue it is also causing me a lot of pain. 

Everyone's opinion is out there about this story and this topic but I hadn't seen my perspective voiced and felt a need to, as I usually do when I write.

I don't know what most people have had to go through that have been posting their opinions about this so I could be completely off base but I feel jealous of all of you who can feel stronger by this story. I feel jealous that you can read these stories without having the reaction that I do. My past haunts me constantly and lately it's been brought to the forefront and I'm having a hard time coping. 

I can usually ignore it and forget that those things happened but not when there's reminders everywhere. And I'm just angry, and sad, and frustrated that this is a part of my life and who I am and always will be. And I can just hope that maybe one day I can read these stories and feel empowered but I'm just not there yet. Just another perspective to think about.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Silhouettes, Echos

Just press play.
Song is Silhouettes by Echos. Check it.
Then let's talk feelings.
Like feelings that overwhelm you.
I don't know where to start, let's deal with it later feelings.
Emo, Dashboard Confessional, black nail polish, I never belonged feelings.
And yet I try to adapt.

When I go to write my mind becomes as blank as the page.
Even though I'm exploding with thoughts.
Things I want to share with you.
Things I want to purge.
Things I want to forget.
Things I wish I never thought.
Things I wish I never felt.
Things I can't speak about.
And yet they scream from my skin.
Your traces burn and the smoke lingers.

The only time I feel centered is when I write.
When I rip the words out of my throat and slam them against the wall.
An unorganized, honest attempt at expressing myself.
At making sense of myself.
I dare you to tell me my worst fears.
Tell me I don't belong.
Tell me I'm too much.
Tell me you don't understand.

The memories cut, leaving me vulnerable.
I confess my wrong doings, my shame, my imperfections.
Everytime I write I stutter. 
I speak my truth.
And I want to fix it.
It can be better.

That's what my life has been.
It can be better.
I can be better.
And yet there's a voice in me that wants to accept me as I am.
I want to be as impulsive and imperfect as I am.
Is anyone else as confused as I am?

I feel like the unknown destination in front of me should be exciting.
Should give me hope.
But it gives me dread.
I fantasize about a life that isn't mine.
Toy with what self-acceptance looks like.

I never can escape 14 year old me.
The one who decided that starving herself was the way to live.
Limiting her food, bingeing on men.
And now I'm full of regrets.

I want to be someone.
I want to matter.
I cannot be no one.
Because then I will become as insignificant as I feel.
As deep as the hole in my heart is.

Wanting a father who could never be there.
And a mother who had no more to give.
And it's not fair.
And it'll never be fair.
Because the only person that can make it better is the one who caused it.

All I want is you to say my name.
To see me.
Everyone else saw me but you.
And judged me.
And I was this thing.
This beautiful thing.
That never amounted to anything.

Starved, abused, confused.
You did this to me and now I'm captive.
Held by your actions and impulses.
Held by your sickness and weakness.
I don't want to be a grown-up anymore.
I don't want to have to stand tall.
I want to be held.
I want to be safe.

But my soul is housed in a graveyard.
And my body is my enemy.
And my mind plays tricks.
You stole something from me.
I'm paying debt to your sin.

I will never be safe.
I will never be home.
I will never be who I should be.
Because I can never escape who you made me.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Feelings and Shit

I see my movements getting repetitive.
I flail in frustration.
"You are not sexy. You are not good. You are failing."
I dance to release but it's not some beautiful, metaphorical dance.
It goes like this:
I get my outfit on.
I put my song on.
And I start off great.
Vibing, feelin' myself like E-40 and then it slowly turns.
The emotions I'm trying to suppress come to the surface as the frustration with my inadequacy boils over.
I lose control of my movements.
My emotions cloud my brain and I become the person I do not wish for anyone to see.
I am messy, awkward, ugly even.
I am not this put together, witty, beautiful girl all the time.
And at first I was going to say "I am not this put together...that I wish I was", but that's not true. I am her. I am witty and charming and pretty but I'm just not her all the time.
And that is something I have a very hard time accepting.
Recently I lost someone in my life who meant everything to me.
The silence between us leaves so much space for my thoughts.
What did I do?
What did I do wrong?
What didn't I do?
How did it go from I love you to this?
Why did I fall for this again?
It's like did you break down these walls just to see how fast they can go back up?
I was me with you, I was the person that it took a lot of courage to bring out. To believe I could be, the person who I believe I really am and want to be.
And when I showed that person to you you vanished.
And with you you took that piece of confidence I had worked so hard to get.
It's like showing your parents a drawing you did in school when you really think you suck at art but you fucking tried and they just throw it away.
My confidence is shot.
I want to destroy myself.
I want to binge and purge.
I want to drink.
I want attention.
I want anything that will fill this hole.
Because sitting with the feeling that you don't think I'm good enough makes me look at what's really the issue here, that I've never been enough for myself.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

They Say You're Supposed To Feel.

Feel they say, allow yourself to feel.
But how do you do that when it's as though that feeling will take you whole?
When the thoughts of him come and your body tells you to run.
When you forget how to breathe and and instead of gasping for air you grasp for him.
For his familiarity.
For his love.
For what you thought was real and true and was you.
When you lose composure and control of what comes out of you and what comes of you.
And the memories fly at you faster than you can handle.
Each one tearing at your heart.
Twisting it tighter, squeezing the life out of you.
The ones where you were so new and exciting to each other.
Where he made you dinner in his brother's apartment.
And showed you the one shelf he got in the fridge.
And you saw his family's pictures and wondered if you would ever meet them.
If they knew how special this person was to you.
Where hugs were awkward because you didn't know how you fit together yet.
When you can't believe that just last week you were in his arms casually planning your weekend.
Where his body is as familiar as your bed, as comforting.
When you're so exhausted you take naps at 7:30 at night.
And when you wake up you don't see the point in getting up.
And you go through this, the motions, the feelings that you're supposed to feel and you hit them as hard as they hit you because there's nothing that can hide you from them when they are this painful. This real. There is no avoiding the suffocating, heart wrenching emotion that comes with losing your best friend and with it years of your life.
Those seconds you took for granted.
Those memories flood you and consume you until you can't remember why you broke up in the first place because those memories seem more real than the reality that you are without the person that was your reality for so long.
And as you catch your breath and your eyes run out of tears and you realize your cat has been staring at you for the whole ordeal.
You realize that you allowed yourself to feel.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Breakup Post

I am somehow full while feeling completely empty.
My stomach will not tolerate food.
But there's a ravenous hunger in my heart.
The emotional indecisiveness is exhausting.
I feel like a contradiction.
I am frozen while I cannot stop moving.
I can't speak about what happened out of respect for my ex.
But nothing feels more natural than to write.
I feel stuffed up, like there's so much in me that when I open up to this blank screen it overtakes me.
Write about your feelings, get them out, figure them out, move on.
Do what you do Kris.
Writing used to come to easily to me, I used to feel. I used to have no fear about what you thought. What I wrote. Treatment gave me this confidence that the real world has suffocated. Having to hide what's really happening, wanting to hide what's really happening. Shame overtaking my better judgement--no I can't tell them that. No you can handle it yourself. But every time I do open up every time I tell you guys I don't know what the fuck I'm doing you open your hearts to me. And like I said my heart is empty right now.
Years of my life vanished in instants.
What mattered most to me doesn't exist anymore.
And what am i left with?
The answer is obviously me.
But I don't know who the fuck that is, I don't know what she's doing. What she's capable of. What she wants.
There are moments of excitement, I am free. This is meant to happen. This will turn out alright.
And then that shaky confidence is ripped out from under me when I am reminded of him.
The night is the worst.
My empty apartment, even though I've spent countless nights alone here, now reminds me of the hole in my life. I wake up anxious and I go to bed with a sick stomach.
Even if this was meant to be and this is right and this will make me better in the long run--it's not the long run it's the now. And the now hurts. The now lost her best friend and with it the confidence, the security, the safety of being someone's someone. Of mattering. Of being loved.
And yes I know love yourself before you love others.
But that doesn't give me peace.
It scares the shit out of me.

I am just me and right now me doesn't feel whole.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

To Those Who Think They Are Alone

You're not.

I might not know what you go through. I do not know what your struggles are. I do not know what your life is like. I do not know what happened in your past. But I do know what it's like to feel like you are fucked up.

I know what it's like to feel like no one cares.

I know what it's like to feel like everyone else has their shit together.

I know what it feels like to be on the outside.

I know what it's like to be frustrated with yourself, wanting change but then repeating the same behavior.

I know what it's like to feel like no one else struggles, like life is easy for them.

I know what it's like to not want to get out of bed in the morning.

I know what it's like to live from hour to hour, day to day on a thread of hope that things will get better.

I know what it's like to not want to be you anymore.

I know what it's like to want to not exist.

And I know how comforting it is to hear someone that I know personally, that I think has their shit together say that they don't and that they experience the same feelings I do.

You're not alone. You're not messed up. You're human, and you're doing better than you think.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

I Just Lost My Shit.

The past hour was spent fighting off increasingly common, relentless thoughts of inadequacy, self-loathing, and insecurity.

I watch myself in the mirror unaware of both my staring and word vomit. I've got my boyfriend on the phone. The words that have been swirling in my head release themselves like a broken dam. They can't come out fast enough and they are lethal.

He will leave me, I'm sure of it. He's already thought of it. He's sick of me, almost as sick of me as I am. I'm convinced. I display my toxic thoughts out in front of him and myself. Wanting him to cut me, wanting him to hurt me. Just say it I tell him. Just tell me the truth. I know you don't want me anymore. You've come to your senses. Just do it. 

Manipulative, vicious, and cowardly I cut myself down so he cannot do it. 
And I am aware of the little voice screaming in my head..."TELL ME I MATTER."

I find comfort in being able to protect myself in this way. Of course I do not see it when I'm doing it. The feelings are real. I believe with my entirety that I am unworthy, I am insignificant, I am unwanted. 

It is safer to believe this than the alternative.
That maybe he could really, truly love me. 
Because if I give him that power, he could hurt me.
He could cut open the wound that runs deeper than my heart.

He denies my accusations and I quickly try to pick up the pieces. What have I done? I'm just pushing him away. Now you've really fucked up. And the thoughts take hold again. More powerful than before, hungrier than before.
Power. Control. It's all illusive. 

After we hang up I return to reality. Bullshit with friends. The conversation I just had in the back of my mind, buried, safe. He put the Band-Aid on it just like I wanted. 

On my way home my mind wanders, as it does. What I should do, what I didn't do, how badly I did what I did do...

And suddenly I'm caught, snagged like on a hook and pulled into my mind. She's there. And I hear "It's not about him." And something to the effect of:

Watch yourself in suffering. Tell yourself, 'I am suffering right now.' You did not get what you needed as a child. As a little girl, a very little girl. And that love you seek from him, that comfort, that security, he cannot give that to you. This desperate, hunger, manic need for love and reassurance stems from something much deeper, much more powerful than him. Watch yourself in your suffering. 

And so I did. I said "I am suffering right now." And the tears flowed, PUSHED out of me. Gasping for air, I violently go back and forth between the road ahead of me and the past. Struggling to stay present, struggling to breathe, I let myself feel.

I feel the pain of trying to live in an environment that was not safe. Surviving, not living, through my life. I felt the confusion, the sadness, the anger all at once. I grabbed my cuff I was given at FreakNight from one of the purest souls I've ever met off my stick shift. I cling to it, the stars digging into my hand, keeping me here.

Odesza's Light comes on and I am guided to well, the light. With the reminder of the kindness I was shown at FreakNight and the magic of Odesza's music I am reminded of the goodness in the world. I am reminded that there is true love. I am reminded of the unity I feel at festivals and in the music I listen to and the community I have submersed myself in. 

I am reminded that I do not have to be on my guard anymore. I am no longer in danger. I am safe. 

And I listen to Light and I cling to that cuff and I breathe in and out and I hold that little girl that didn't get what she needed. And I hold that 20 something that was destroyed over and over again by the  evil in the world. And I hold myself. I see myself in suffering and I give myself what I have been searching for everywhere else. 

I calm as my car stops. My breathing slows. And I can't really get over what the fuck just happened. The clarity and understanding and peace I look for everywhere else was just given to me, by me.