After breaking down and giving in, I called you. In tears and sobbing.
I don’t want to be alone.
But after the hysteria briefly calmed, I realized what a mistake I made. Calling you, late at night and crying, would do no good. I was hurting you. You couldn’t come to my aid. You couldn’t care for me. You made it clear you didn’t want that. And I didn’t want that for you either.
I apologized and apologized. That’s all I ever do. It’s the only thing I know how to do well. It’s been ingrained in me to apologize for myself. For causing harm and worry.
In the middle of crying I was sorry, it dawned on me.
This was the day I came back to you last year. This was the day you held me in your arms, gently. Promising we’d get through this. That you would stay and be by my side.
And that night, I sat between your legs on itchy grass, staring up at fireworks with family’s and couples all around in awe.
Sometimes I feel focused. I have goals. I have dreams.
And then sometimes I don’t know if I want to be focused. If I want goals or dreams.
People will say I have so much to live for. I have so much to do. I have more people to touch with my glow.
But to be honest, sometimes I feel like I’ve done enough. I’ve lived a blessed life. I know I’ve touched many hearts. Sometimes, I feel like it’s okay if I disappear, because I know-well hope-that I’ll always be around somehow.
I recently joined a support group for people just out of toxic relationships. Obviously because of COVID, we can’t physically meet, but I already feel so welcome in our online community.
Joining a support group has been on my mind for a bit. Last spring my mother offered to take me to her friend’s support group. The group was for people who were abused and survived.
A few days ago I decided it was time to find people who have experienced what I have. The choice was scary. I thought I wouldn’t fit in. I thought my story would be nothing compared to someone else’s. But, I also knew that wasn’t true. So, I researched and joined a group that seemed like a good fit.
I have anxiety. I have depression. And I have been emotionally abused. I’m not perfect. In fact, I have done things abusive too. Not intentionally, but still. When I was reading into emotional abuse, I could check off the red flags I’d seen like a list. Some of the examples would stick out, because they made me think. Pull away and observe. Like I said, I’m not perfect. I can be jealous and insecure. I can have unrealistic expectations. And I don’t always handle rejection well.
But I also know that I have been blamed, endlessly. I have been gaslighted and made to believe everything was my fault. Because I am so insecure, because I question my worth–I blamed myself too. Terrible things have been said to me. Cruel words have been used to define me. The person I love the most, who I trusted, used my emotions against me. And chipped away at my heart multiple times.
I say love, because I still love this person. I’m trying not to, but that is a difficult task. You can’t turn your heart off like a switch, although that would be convenient.
I am not happy. I’m still struggling and falling into depressive episodes. Honestly, the past few months just seem like one continuous one. I still love the person who hurt me the most, but am also trying to move on.
I know my support group is going to help with that. These are people who have gone through hell, yet have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. These are people who I can trust and believe that I too can be happy again.
It’s a scary thing. Being open and vulnerable to strangers. But, I can only hope it will be enlightening too.
I have thalassemia. I have a genetic blood disorder.
I would fill the bowl up with blood and clots. I have heavy menstruation.
I need to wear glasses. I have astigmatism.
Sometimes I wheeze or my chest feels heavy. I have asthma.
And, I have chronic depression. I have a mental illness.
Each of the above conditions take a toll on me physically. Including my depression. It is an illness, a disorder, an affliction that I must deal with. Just as I deal with my anemia, eyesight, periods, & breathing.
It does not go away like the common cold, after sipping warm tea and sucking on cough drops. It doesn’t even go away with medication. It takes a lifetime of rewiring your brain to accept and move forward from internalized traumas. To train yourself into loving who you are. To breathe through the nonstop onslaught of aggressive verbiage. To exercise the will to live even when every part of your brain is screaming for you to disappear into nothingness.
My depression is an illness. I do not believe there is a cure, but there are treatments and therapies that help. Just as there are for my asthma and anemia.
Depression is not something I choose. Although it may have grown from how I was nutured, I also know it’s been carried down by nature.
I accept this as my truth. And I try to not let it hold me back, just as I try to move forward with any other issue my body must indure.
I accept that depression is part of who I am. But it’s not all of who I am. It does not define me. And it should not be used against me.
First it was due to a jumbled mind banging pots & pans so you couldn’t fall asleep. Which gradually turned into slamming of doors suddenly waking you up.
And then sleep became home to monsters and dark shadows lurking by the end of your bed.
Eventually sleep became a casket, suffocating and restrictive, holding you so tight all but air escaped past your lips.
What do you do when you can’t decifer what is real and what is fake?
What do you do when you feel attacked and scared shitless, but your body refuses to move?
What happens when all you can do is hyperventilate, your mind screaming for help, but more importantly, oxygen.
What can you do if you’re all alone? When there isn’t someone to pull you away from the monsters. When someone can’t tuck you in next to them and hold you until your breathing calms. When no one can shake you awake, dragging air back into your lungs so you don’t pass out and succomb to the darkness you so fear.