Anastasia's Closet

Monday, September 26, 2005

Despair

It's funny - while I was on anti-depressants, I forgot why I needed them. I felt that I was in control of my feelings, my emotions and my life. Now that I haven't been taking them...... well, now that is another story. Slowly but surely I have felt that despair creep up on me. Those feelings of fearing there might be nothing to look forward to. The feeling that I want to shut out the world and sob. How quickly the pain returns when there is no buffer to absorb the emotions. How easy it is to fall into these old patterns of depression. And how weak I feel for not wanting to be happy. I suppose that is what amazes me the most- suddenly, happiness is not even an attainable goal. It is something on the periphery - something for other people to experience while I look on from the sidelines of life. I felt as though I was in the middle of the great things that life has to offer - as though I was finally having that light shine on me and once again.... here I am - in the gutter, fighting back tears so that others may not see my weakness and sorrow. Always I try to ... well, not remain strong, because I am not, but I try to maintain that appearance of strength and being "okay" so that others can continue on in what I perceive as their bliss or contentedness. When one feels so distraught, it is easy to forget that others around us are feeling varying degrees of pain as well. Others have lost loved ones or been hurt in countless ways or feel as though they are not worthy - others have it worse than I do, but as the walls close in heavy around me, and the darkness falls deep and dreary and the night encompasses my being, I cannot see beyond my own pain. And as the pain begins to weigh on me and crush me - the air leaves the lungs of my soul and the breathing passages of my heart....... I am blind, to an extent, to certain things around me. What I can see through these dark, dense and heavy walls is so limited in scope that only the faintest glimmer of reality can seep in - twisted and distorted by the pain behind which I hide.
And so I get to this point . . . where it is such an immense struggle to appear "normal" and hide this face..... I don't even know if it is me that I hide, or the pain that I hide, or if I can, in any meaningful way, separate myself from that pain. Is it so ingrained in my being that there is no escape? Is it part of me now? Was it always? Who am I without the pain? I don't even know how to answer that question because I have never been without it, save for the times I have medicated myself into a quiet calm, devoid of thoughts of what has gone wrong and what has hurt me and who...... damnit, who has hurt me. and I wonder now, as I sit here on the verge of a breakdown..... do I really have to face it? do i want to? can't I run away from it all? the past, the pain, the bills, the responsibilities, the relationships - life? can't I run away from life? I remember reading an old proverb - persian, perhaps, that said, "The sky is the same color wherever you go." Does that mean I cannot escape all of this by running? If I run as fast as I can, "to the middle of nowhere...." will I get away?
I do not think we can escape ourselves. Perhaps we are not meant to, but damnit I would like to run like hell and see if I can.... even for a few days. How long it would take before I catch up to myself? Before the pain begins to wash over me again? How do I escape? How do I get away? Medications work well, but the suppress other vital feelings in me. Maybe I just need to be alone for once in my life. Fuck, it seems like I am alone most of the time anyway. I feel like I am about to embark on this new life of loneliness where I have nobody to confide in and nobody to understand me and nobody to listen when I need a sympathetic ear. The only person I will have is one who has so much stress and so much going on that ...... well, quite frankly I feel as though I could begin to disappear slowly and it would take a very long time (understandably) before he would notice that I had vanished into thin air....
"me? I am the dust. . . . I drift into the silence..... echoing like sorrow."
Perhaps if I didn't feel that need for emotional and physical love, then the deadening effect of the medications would not have such an impact on me. Perhaps if I were alone, I wouldn't care - about anything I might be missing. Or about anyone... "Nothing wears you out like caring about people." That, in all its simplicity, is one of the most true things ever written, despite the fact that it comes from a little S.E. Hinton book - sometimes the most simple things ring so true in our hearts. No fancy language - it is what it is.
Sometimes I think that I care too much. . . . that I let the pain of others hurt me too deeply. Is it possible to love too much? Is it possible to give too much of yourself? Okay, I know the latter is definitely true. As for loving too much? Shit, it doesn't even matter- even I didn't change my mind, there is nothing I can do about it. It is in my nature to be this way - to give regardless of what I may or may not receive, and to love relentlessly.
Just thinking about all of this and acknowledging how much pain I am in, even to this day..... after all this time....... quite frankly, it is making me want to vomit. With that, I think I must sign off. It's been a long day - I feel as though I lived several weeks in this one day, and there has been very little sunshine in that time.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

disclosure

Sometimes it is so hard to wrap my head around my own thoughts. It is much easier to push them away, of course. That is something I have become quite adept at. However, it is time to stop running. One morning, not too long ago, I woke up - was it in the morning or in the middle of the night? Doesn't matter. I awoke and realized, it is time to be the person that I want to be - it is time to be the person that I truly am - without reservation or depression or uncertainty or escape. It is time to stop hiding and being ashamed.
I see the people around me who need help and they get it. I have made quite a bit of progress on my own, but I need to take the next step and make my past a reality so that I can move on. It is not easy to accept that I was hurt so badly by people so close to me. It is not easy to let myself comprehend how it shattered my childhood and altered my development as a human being and a woman. But, it happened. It hurt me in ways I tried for years not to understand. It was real, but it is in the past. I have come to value myself as a worthy human being - deserving of love and happiness. I have come to see that I do have redeeming qualities. However, I have not come far enough. I have not completely internalized the things that I have learned and the progress that I have tried to make. It is in realizing this next step that I am troubled with how to proceed. It was not difficult to understand the ramifications of being abused. It was not all that tough to see what it did to me and how it was affecting my life, even at 20 and 25 and 26, and so on. However, to say it to another human being - not to write it, not to type it- to say it to another human being who has a real interest in my well being and happiness and so on - now that is a feat that I have yet to accomplish. How does one even begin that subject??? "By the way, I need to tell you why I am so fucked up." Doesn't really make a good conversation starter. Instead, I sit here at a computer and hope to gain some comfort in knowing that I am typing these words and at some time, somebody somewhere might read them. I suppose that is not the type of disclosure that I need.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Running Away

Does taking anti-depressant medication and not dealing with the issues that make you depressed count as running away? If one needs these meds to be functional or to avoid total misery, is it not the same as drug addiction or alcoholism? or at the very least, is it similar? of course, some people may not have a trigger behind their depression, so they just need it to balance the chemicals, i can accept that. but not me.
i medicated and self-counseled my way through to admitting my depression and the root cause(s). I analyzed it. I went through some necessary phases in order to understand it. but, i stopped. i stopped trying to deal with it, because you get to a certain point where it just becomes too painful. you get to that point where you can't speak it out loud. i have been at that point for several years. i want to move on and stop the damn medication. i want to be at peace on my own and with myself, not with the assistance of some drug - forget the fact that the FDA says it's legal.
I have had a couple chances to say it - to acknowledge it to someone, and i thought about it, butI chickened out. How in the world do i get the courage to speak the very things that i have pushed to the back of my conscious for ....... gees, i dont' even know how long it has been - probably 18 years. possibly more. Do I just find an ear willing to listen and spill it? Do I just say what needs to be said and then that's it, or do I go into my analysis? do I describe the ways I have made it to this point- the stages I have gone through and how I have moved past that? And where, oh where, do I find someone willing to listen to the drama of my childhood? my life? I mean someone who actually cares about ME - not a doctor. not a counselor. sure,they care because it is their job- they get paid to listen to me. I want someone to listen to me because they want to understand me and help me and see me do better.
And then.... you see, I could have told him....... I could tell my boyfriend, particularly with everything he has been opening up to me about- but I am always afraid of scaring people off. I mean, it's not like any of it was my fault and it's not like i killed or hurt anyone, but it's just such a .......... here it is........here is the truth - I AM ASHAMED OF THE TERRIBLE THINGS THAT PEOPLE DID TO ME AS A CHILD. and i am ashamed of the fact that iwas too scared to get help or to tell anyone. and i am ashamed of the fact that i am 26.5 years old and still having the same thoughts i had when i was 7. i am ashamed that ia ms upposed to be so smart, yet i haven't been able to fix myself. i am ashamed for not feeling like i could trust any one person enough to tell them the whole truth. Shame is a damn powerful emotion. I am starting to see that.
I have been able to get to a point where I can be in a normal sexual relationship. I can do that. But the thing is........ when a child is sexually abused and grows up never having dealt with it or put the horrible truth into the light of day . . . . . how does he/she have a normal concept of sexual relations? Well, I guess I learned the hard way - going through years of abnormal behavior and abnormal feelings. I did the "please don't touch me" phase and the "i will let everyone touch me" thing (thankfully, that was very brief!). What has remained, however, despite my progress, is that feeling, occasionally, that i am wanted by men solely for sex and related things - that is all i am good for, in their eyes - and maybe in my own sometimes, too - that my other attributes are meaningless. So, once things are going very well for a long time, and i truly get comfortable in believing that person loves me, my mind sort of shuts down my body sexually. is that insane? whatever it is, it is the one thing that i need to fix the most. being in a relationship that i value beyond belief has made me realize that it is way too easy to screw it up. why should i let my abusers win? i am committed to working through this and realizing, for the first time -FULLY AND COMPLETELY - my self worth. yes, i know i am smart and kind and caring and i listen and i'd do anything to help someone i love- but now i need to be able to realize that other people, especially men, can see these things, too -and they can appreciate them and it is part of why they like me and perhaps, yes, they care about me and not just about how much they can fuck me. ay, there's the rub. how to get to that point?
i think it needs to begin with disclosure - about what happened, and how it has changed me and how i have made progress, but how i have so much progress to make. i have so many things going for me, iknow that- it is time that i fix what i can while i can, before i lose something i have waited so long to have.
and to whom do i speak? someone with an open mind, who will not judge me or pity me, but who will listen and just respect the fact that i have chosen to speak to them about these issues. a real friend.