Heartless

It seems like forever ago, but I used to be able to cope with things better than I do now.  I didn’t take every little thing personally and relied more on rational thinking than raw emotion.  There’s a reason I got called a “crazy bitch with no heart.”  To get an idea of what I mean, think back to when the internet was obsessed with “FML.”  You’d visit the website and you would “vote” each story as “I agree, your life sucks,” or “you deserved it.”  I RARELY saw a story and thought, “wow, that sucks.”  My reasoning was pretty simple: we create our own circumstances and when something goes wrong, it’s the result of whatever choices we make.  It can sound an awful lot like victim blaming, sure.  But to me, it was straightforward and logical.  Emotion played very little part in it.  I locked out emotion entirely and basically became heartless.

I need to get that back.

I didn’t change overnight to become the mess I am now and I’ve been thinking a lot about why I changed.  I could be wrong, but I have kept coming back to a few things that might have influenced it.

I went through another major depression after my family’s business closed down.  (There were a couple of other things going on at the time but I’m not mentioning those.  In retrospect, they’re really stupid.)  Anyway, the business shut down and that was devastating for a bunch of reasons.  I completely withdrew from everything.  I stopped answering my phone, I stopped leaving the house,  and I basically just gave up on everything and everyone.  Including my best friend.  By the time I started working again, we were in touch and hung out and all that but not like we used to.  A few years went by and she went back to school and I started a new position and we pretty much just stopped talking.  The new position was a whole new level of stress for me but I didn’t want to give up and end up back in the same position I had been in because I thought that would be worse.  In some ways, it was worse than the new position.  I can’t help but wonder if I’d make the same decision now.

Around the same time, my brother and his wife and kids moved away.  I remember sitting at the dinner table with all of them, our parents, and my son when my brother told us that he was taking this great new job.  He’d talked about interviewing for it and all that but he wasn’t entirely certain he’d accept it.  When he told us, I was looking down at my plate and tears just started dropping.  I had to get up and leave the room.  I heard him say, “Is Astrea going to be okay?”  His wife replied coldly, “Oh, she’ll be fine.”  She really pushed for the move and she kind of got off on the effect it was having on my parents, me, and my son.  It broke all of us and she knew it.

So at this point in time, I was working in a position I felt totally unqualified for and most of my family had moved away.  The stress on the job only got worse when the new manager came on.  Now, I do overthink things and worry about things that aren’t a big deal and I know that.  But what happens when your seemingly irrational fears are proven right?  She read our emails.  She had her favorite employees reporting on those she didn’t like.  She was blatant about her favoritism.  She deliberately scheduled breaks and lunches so certain people wouldn’t be able to hang out together.  If she was “building a case” against someone, she’d print off emails to the main printer that EVERYONE used and she’d leave those emails sitting there instead of picking them up.  That’s how I found out she was on my case.  I’d print something and have to sort through all of the unclaimed papers and I’d challenge anyone out there to honestly say that they wouldn’t read something that had their name in the text, when they knew they themselves hadn’t printed it.  She did that to a lot of people.  Yeah, it made me even more paranoid.

The depression didn’t go away during this period, but it definitely took a backseat to the anxiety that was getting worse and worse by the day.  Gradually, my ability to keep emotion at bay wore down.  I had abandoned my friends because I was so stressed out and tried to rationalize it by telling myself that they were too busy to talk to me anyway.

I changed positions again, and I thought for a little while that things were going well.  I’d stuck around long enough to finally get the job I had originally applied for years ago.  My anxiety level went WAY down but that meant the depression that was still back there and I hadn’t dealt with came pushing forward.  It hit hard.

But I was talking to my friend again, trying to rebuild things.  That seemed good.  The problem was that I honestly thought I didn’t deserve the friendship and got stuck in this mindset that she’d give up on me at the slightest misstep.  That manager showed me that the worst was possible and I couldn’t stop reading too much into little things and panicking all the time.  Instead of leaving emotion out of things, I let it creep into everything.

That’s basically where I’m at now.  I’m an emotional wreck and everyone I interact with is negatively impacted by that.  I need to become the cold, heartless bitch I was.  I think I’m pretty horrible now, but I still feel everything too deeply.  I need to shut it down and stop caring so fucking much about everything and everyone.  I know others don’t see it, but all I do is worry about how I’m fucking other people up.  They see it as me being selfish.  I don’t seem to be capable of doing anything right even though I want to.  If that’s how people see me already, why not become the monster they think I am?  Their opinion of me can’t seem to get any worse and it’s obviously too late to fix anything and I’ll never be good enough to earn back the trust I lost.  I guess there’s always the chance that I’m wrong about that but what if I’m right?  I don’t think I could handle hoping I’m wrong and getting nothing but silence as an answer again.

No, I don’t necessarily want to get back to being the raging bitch version of Spock I used to be.  I’m not sure if I’ll hurt less if I do that.  It would mean completely cutting myself off emotionally from everyone and it would probably mean everyone giving up on me.  But I feel like that’s already happened in some ways.  It feels like I need people far more than they need me.  I feel alone all the time.  Why not put the walls back up?  It would be good for me and good for other people.  The only problem is that I don’t really know how to do it.  But it sure would be nice to stop hurting.

Another Letter to Me

     Hi again!
     It seemed like things were okay, huh?  You should have known that wouldn’t last.  You’re still you.  You’re still the same undeserving horrible bitch and hey! How’s that big reminder that nobody wants you around affecting you?  You knew it was coming this month and thought you’d braced yourself but you’re weak and selfish so it’s hitting like a ton of bricks.  You deserve the pain, you do know that, right?  Still not learning your lessons…Go ahead and add “stupid” to the list of adjectives needed to describe yourself.
     Why are you sticking around anyway?  Nobody would miss you and your death wouldn’t even register for most people.  Your family is scattered to the four winds except for your parents and your son and, I’m just being honest here, they’d get over it quickly.  You’re just an ATM machine to them.  They’d be happier without you.  Everyone, family or not, would be relieved that they didn’t have to put up with you anymore.  So if you’re thinking that you’d be causing people pain by killing yourself, you’re wrong.  You’d be making them happy by getting rid of a person that annoys them.  What are you waiting for?  People aren’t going to suddenly decide that you’re worth it.  You wound up in the same taco place as four coworkers the other day and you were so “worth it” that they avoided you!  The place is the size of a walk-in freezer and if you mattered at all, they probably would have sat with you and they didn’t.  You’re a walking, talking people repellent.  If you could bottle whatever quality it is that makes people avoid you, you could probably sell it and make a fortune.
     But you still can’t figure out a way to do it that would A. work B. be feasible, C. not be too painful, because you’re a fucking coward, & D. not leave a mess for people to clean up.  Just a thought, maybe you’re looking at the wrong websites to research the most effective method?  People do that shit everyday and they seem to manage it just fine.  Can’t even figure out how to off yourself…truly pathetic.
     Or maybe you’re sticking around in the hope that you’ll get up the courage to ask the question you’ve been wanting to ask for months.  Is that it?  Seriously, do you think people would be honest with you if you did ask?  Why does it even matter to you when they found out you had failed to kill yourself?  Nobody was even speaking to you at the time!  They were showing you that they didn’t care and that they were done with you and your bullshit, why would they have given a single fuck if you had actually succeeded?  Or maybe you’re hoping they will answer honestly and it’ll hurt so much you’ll get over your trepidation and just get a shotgun and shoot yourself?  Wait…you can’t afford one.  And because your dumb ass didn’t manage to kill yourself last time, you can’t legally buy one.  Scratch that idea, right?  Too bad because that’s the most effective method.  Can’t worry about getting sent back to the loony bin if you don’t have a head!
     You like the pain, don’t you?  You know you deserve it, that’s not in question.  And you still have this mad idea that if only they lied to you and apologized for their entirely justified words and actions that you might be okay.  How dare you expect anything from anyone else!  Selfish cunt.  YOU’RE the evil one.  YOU.  I’ll give you this though; at least you haven’t sent any unwelcome, unsolicited texts so as to inflict yourself on some people.  Wait, no.  I have to take back the praise because you still obsessively check your phone “just in case.”  And you were fucking crying at work!  What the fuck is wrong with you?!  That just makes people hate you more because they figure you’re just trying to drum up some sympathy and attention.  Rein in the crying, dumb ass.  You’re ruining your mask of “seriously, I’m okay” makeup and your contacts every single time you cry.  Although, if you cry at work and have to take your contacts out, your vision will be impaired while you’re driving home and you might get lucky and hug a pole or something.  You’ve been tempted to do that anyway, even wearing your contacts.  So there’s a thought.
     You’re going to keep being stupid and you won’t actually do anything so I’m sure I’ll write again.  Especially over the next few weeks.  Holy shit, you’re going to be a mess!  Dial the self-harm up to eleven by getting back on Facebook so you can keep up with all the cool shit you’ll never get to see in person!  Maybe you’ll be so upset, you’ll use an actual, brand-new razor blade that you nicked at work and not be a coward.  You’re too pathetic to even cut properly!  It just looks like you got into a fight with an OCD cat.  You’ll never do any damage that way.  Hey, remember when you told someone that you’d never be able to slit your wrists after watching that show?  Doesn’t seem as far-fetched now, does it?  It’s not a very effective method, though.  While I’m pretty sure you won’t come up with something that fits your conditions, you might just reach a point where those conditions don’t mean much.  HA!  I just thought of something else!  You haven’t made a will!  Remember, you’re an ATM machine, so you need to make sure you leave whatever meager insurance money you have to the people who would be losing that ATM machine.  You should probably check to see if the insurance company would pay up in a case of suicide, too.  If they wouldn’t, I guess your parents and son will be shit out of luck as far as money goes.  See?  You ARE selfish.  If you weren’t, you’d be more concerned about leaving them destitute in order to get what you want than you seem to be.
     Yeah, you’re stuck all right.  Resign yourself to crying and whining and playing with your Xacto knife.  This is now your life.  Accept it.  You created this mess, you deserve the pain, and you DON’T deserve any good things in your life because you can’t seem to appreciate them.  You have no right to expect, or hope for, a single damn thing from anybody.  Except their indifference/hatred/disgust/anger/derision.  You can and should expect that stuff.  THAT, if nothing else in your worthless life, you’ve earned.

Afraid

I’ve been okay for a little while and that scares me.  I know it won’t last.  I know exactly what’s going to “trigger” it too, I just don’t know the exact date.  When I’m feeling okay, like I am now, it’s almost unbelievable to me that I could have felt so hopeless and awful.  I guess that’s one reason to keep writing stuff here because the really awful posts “prove” that I really am capable of nearly giving up on life.  The last two posts I wrote here were written during the worst episode of depression I’ve experienced since last August.

This period of “not-feeling-like-the-worst-person-ever” is going to end and it’s going to end very soon and I’m scared.  What if this next episode is worse than the last one?  There isn’t a damn thing I can do to stave off the inevitable because the likely “triggering” event is beyond my control.  Sure, I can brace myself I guess but what does that even mean?  I’m already anticipating it.  “Stop worrying,” “Don’t overthink it,” and other such nonsensical garbage isn’t merely unhelpful; it’s bordering on mockery.  If it were that easy to fix, people wouldn’t have mental illnesses at all because, trust me, WE DO NOT FUCKING WANT TO STAY THIS WAY.

I don’t know what to do.  I guess I just have to act like everything is just great because anything else might adversely affect others but if something someone else says or does adversely affects me, that’s apparently acceptable.  I don’t even know when apologizing for things is warranted or not.  I don’t think I ever have.  Maybe I just have different standards when it comes to apologizing?  I know that it hurts deeply when people don’t apologize to me and I don’t want anyone else to have to feel that hurt so I apologize for stuff I haven’t even done.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of perspective and the other person interpreted my words/actions the wrong way but I still apologize because I know that it fucking HURTS SO MUCH to feel like that other person doesn’t care enough to consider a different point of view.  The anxiety disorder and years of mental, emotional, and physical abuse are factors too, of course.

June is not going to be a good month for me and I know that heading into it.  It was nice feeling good for a bit.  Oh well.

Ferris Wheel of Guilt

Even though everything I wrote last night and everything I keep to myself every day is directed at me, I’m now feeling horribly guilty because I think anyone who might read it will think it’s directed at them.  More guilt over hurting other people yet again, basically.  Which adds to the already overwhelming self-hatred already present and makes me feel even more selfish and isolated and undeserving of the slightest bit of empathy.

Does anyone even understand how fucking vicious this cycle is?!  It really feels like nobody does.  My internal monologue is all about how everyone must think the absolute worst of me even if they actually tell me they don’t.  And it does not fucking help when I hear some of those same people say the most awful things about other people when those others aren’t around.  I do it, too.  Everyone does to some extent.  Whether or not they admit it is something else entirely but face it, EVERYONE gossips.  EVERYONE says unkind things sometimes.  Why should I be any different?  Why should I be the exception?  Since I’m not there to actually hear what’s being said, I fill in the blanks myself and I do that with things I absolutely believe about myself and things that have been said to me in the past.

I know that I say and do things about and to others when I’m upset that I don’t really mean.  But if someone says or does things to me?  I don’t think for a second that they might not mean them.  I think they mean them and I think they’re right.  Part of that is because I assume that everyone else has their head on straight at all times and I’m the only basket case.  I’m wrong, they’re right.  I’m evil, they’re good.  I can’t set aside emotions when necessary, they can.

I don’t think anyone else is even capable of anything bad.  That’s just me.  And somehow, I can’t explain things properly and as a result people get hurt.  I sure as fuck can’t ask for help.  Asking for help makes me even worse than I think I already am because I feel like I’m asking someone to waste their time on me.

What “help” would be possible anyway?  I can make a bunch of appointments with my therapist, sure.  Usually by the time I actually get there, though, I don’t feel as horrible and I can come off seeming perfectly fine.  I did that last week.  I also wore a long-sleeved shirt on purpose to hide the fading cuts.  Why?  He’s there to help me.  That’s his job.  But for some reason, I worry about him just seeing me as pathetic and not worth the time.  So rather than admit I need help and tell him everything I should, I lie.

Also, I might be sent back to that hospital.  I will not go there again.  Ever.  I refuse to go back.  Sometimes, at random moments and without any actual smell of witch hazel to be found, I get that smell in my nose and get panicky.  That entire place smelled that way.  I.  WILL.  NOT.  GO.  BACK.  I really think it would finish me off mentally, if not actually kill me.

So if I can’t ask for help from the therapist, who can I ask?  Friends?  The same people I’ve already been a burden to and keep hurting even though that’s the last thing I want to do?  They have their own stuff going on that has nothing to do with me and I have no right to ask them for anything.

Part of my problem, I think, is that while I think people need to be more understanding and compassionate to others and that we should all help each other, I also think people need to own personal responsibility for everything they do.  Victim-blaming is a really hard thing for me to deal with.  On one hand, everyone makes choices that have consequences and they have to deal with those consequences.  On the other, you never really know what factors contributed to the choices people make and you might have made the same choice in their situation.  I can’t seem to “decide” on one or the other and if I try to explain myself to anyone, I inevitably feel like I’m ducking responsibility and making excuses.  But I rarely question what’s behind someone else’s decisions, particularly if their decision had any impact on me.  Remember, I’m wrong, they’re right.  Everything IS my fault.  If I do somehow think otherwise and say something to that effect and they disagree with me, that’s my fault too.  How dare I question them?  What kind of a person am I?  So there’s more guilt.

I know I need help right now.  I don’t know how or who to ask because I hate being a burden to people.  And I will not allow myself to be taken to that hospital.  That is not going to happen.  I’m not sleeping well, I’m not eating well, I’m crying a lot, and the self-harm stuff has reached new levels.  And I feel like nobody cares.  I get why they don’t so I can’t be upset by that.  Two seemingly insignificant things happened in recent memory that helped me more than I could have imagined so I let myself hope that things were on an upswing.  The first was just someone ending up getting food the same time I did and sitting down in the same room at the same table with me to eat lunch.  It was huge because things felt normal for the first time since that fucking party in August.  More than with any of the others I hurt at that time, I thought I’d lost him the most.  For that one day, things felt normal and I didn’t feel like killing myself or hurting myself.  The second was a long conversation over the phone with one of the others I’d hurt.  I had no idea how much I missed simply talking to her on the phone.  Text and instant messaging isn’t the same and a lot gets lost in translation and just talking on the phone with her helped so much.  I hoped she felt that way too.

But then things went back to the NEW normal.  I’m so angry with myself that I let myself think everything was going to be okay.  I lashed out at myself and wrote what I did and I’m sure anyone that read that is just as pissed at me as I am with myself.  The Ferris Wheel of Guilt goes on.  I want off.  I want to be done with this.

Letter to me

Hey, dumbass.  Yes, you.  The one sitting there trying to convince yourself that you matter.

When the fuck are you going to learn?  What will it take for it to really sink in that, despite being told as a kid by various uplifting TV shows and movies that you are special and valued and loved and irreplaceable, YOU DO NOT MATTER.

You’re not any of that stuff.  How is it that you haven’t gotten that through your head?  Remember the last time you tried to kill yourself?  (Nice job with that, by the way!  You failed.  Because OF COURSE YOU FUCKING FAILED.)  What happened with that?  When you got home, I mean?

Nobody even noticed you’d been gone.  Except for the people at work because you not being there meant they had to do more work.  You, as an individual, were not missed.  Sure, people read your blog but hell, who doesn’t love to point and laugh at the pathetic loser who can’t even manage to successfully kill themselves?

Yes, your presence in the lives of other people mattered so much that your absence wasn’t even noticed.  Maybe some were even bummed that you didn’t manage to actually die because you know what?  You deserve that.

You deserve to die.  You deserve to be shut out.  You destroyed the trust of the people you cared about the most and you hurt them so much that they wanted nothing to do with you.  You’re never getting that trust back.

But!  And here’s the lesson you keep missing: you hoped you would.  You hoped it would all be okay.  Just like every other time you let yourself hope for anything.  You’re Charlie Brown.  You go to kick that football every time Lucy sets it up because JUST MAYBE this time will be different.  You end up on your ass every time.

Because you deserve it.

“Manipulative.”

“Utterly inconsequential.”

“Just another…”

“I almost believed you…”

“Selfish.”

“Crazy bitch.”

“Crazy bitch with no heart.”

“…probably cry tears of acid.”

“Stupid.”

“Gullible.”

“Utterly inconsequential.”

“Utterly inconsequential.”

“Utterly inconsequential.”

What the fuck did you expect?!  Nobody wants to trust you with anything.  Nobody wants to talk to you.  Why would they?  All you’ve done is hurt them.  In one way or another, that’s all you’ve done.  If you care so fucking much about all of these people, why are you not just leaving them the hell alone?  They’d be better off.  You can’t expect people to put up with you.  It’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to you either, although that hardly matters.  Yeah, it hurts to get your hopes up and things not turning out the way you wanted them to.  What do you think it does to these people you claim to love when you keep fucking up?

You don’t matter because you know you don’t deserve it.  But you keep hoping you’re wrong and that maybe this time, someone will give you love, trust, and friendship even though you and they know you don’t deserve it.  Everyone gets hurt.  Nobody wins.

You don’t even have the guts to try to take yourself out again.  Because if you fuck it up again, you’ll go back to that hospital.  And you don’t have the guts to risk it.  So just go ahead and keep hitting yourself and slicing up your arms like the pathetic moron you know you are.  And keep on grieving for what you lost knowing that you lost it because you’re just a stupid, crazy bitch.  Go on and keep taking every little fucking thing personally because you seem to WANT to hurt yourself and even if others aren’t trying to hurt you, you think they are because that’s what you know you deserve.

Or, if you don’t have the guts to try and end it, just leave everyone the fuck alone.  Stop trying to force your way into the lives of people that don’t deserve to be inflicted with your presence.  Don’t have the guts for that either, do you?  But you’re going to have to pick one because you don’t have any other options.

Happy nightmares, stupid little emo bitch!

My own “Reasons?”

I did exactly what I said I shouldn’t and wouldn’t do: I read “Thirteen Reasons Why.”  Honestly, it didn’t affect me as much as the show but it DID affect me.  Mostly it got me thinking about whether or not doing my own version of Hannah’s cassette tapes would help me get a better grip on things.  I don’t mean I would write something for specific people and send it to them or post it online calling them out by name, of course.  But if I did write something here maybe I’d get a better idea of how I got where I am today because, as the book points out, “everything affects everything.”  And obviously I wouldn’t kill myself after doing so because I’m not suicidal.  Lonely, scared, depressed, confused, mentally and emotionally exhausted, wracked with guilt, and hurt, yes.  Suicidal, no.

It wasn’t as clear in the show but in the book, Hannah explains that when she thought about all of the things that had happened to her that contributed to her decision to kill herself, she realized they were all connected somehow.  That’s true for me, too.  I hadn’t really given it any thought until I saw the series and read the book.  If I were to write about each thing, on its own, would I learn anything about myself?  I don’t think I want to start tonight since I don’t really know yet exactly where I would start, but I’ll definitely be thinking about it.  I’ll have plenty of time over the weekend to actually do it since I spend every weekend shut up in my house because I feel like I’m not wanted anywhere so I don’t even try to make plans.  The last time I wanted to go somewhere, I wound up with a migraine and couldn’t go.  And of course I doubt anyone believed I actually had a migraine since I’ve backed out of plans so often because catastrophizing is my specialty.  I almost hate weekends now because days off mean that I have nothing to distract me from self-destruction and while it might mean I get to sleep in, it also means a lot of crying, thinking, and isolation.  I gave up on Facebook so I don’t even have that to distract me anymore.  So I’ll have nothing but time this weekend to see if writing helps sort out my thoughts.  I guess that’s better than nothing.

This is all I have

I can’t seem to really talk to anyone anymore.  I’m too afraid to.  I have no idea if what I feel in any given situation is warranted or if it’s just an overreaction.  Even if I somehow convince myself that it is indeed warranted and that I should talk to the other person (if another person is involved) I can’t bring myself to do it because they might misunderstand me and be hurt.  Sure, there’s merit in taking a step back and thinking about things but that is ALL I DO now.  “I can’t say that because they might think I mean this when I don’t mean that at all,” “What if I’m just acting crazy again?  If I am just acting crazy, that only shows people that I must not be trying to be better and they’ll be absolutely justified in walking away and never speaking to me again,” “If I’m not acting crazy and I should bring this up, how can I possibly do that when it might hurt people?”  So on goes the hamster wheel in my head…

All I can do is write.  That’s all.  This blog is just me trying to take things out of my head and try to examine them in a different way.  In theory, anyway.  I often feel like I should just stop writing on this blog because what I write might upset people.  But this is all I have now.  I can’t actually talk to anyone so if I give this up, I have nothing at all.  I’ve stopped engaging on social media, I try not to talk to people at work, I try not to text people often, and I sure as hell don’t actually call anyone and this isolation is damn near unbearable.  I don’t know what else to do, though.  I have some coping mechanisms but they’re not ideal.  They’re pretty harmful, actually.  Not to anyone but me though.  I’m an expert in self-destruction and self-mutilation, physical or otherwise.

I used to hope that there might be someone out there who was willing to talk to me without passing judgement, without getting annoyed with me, without invalidating my feelings.  They would be okay with sometimes just letting me literally cry on their shoulder and they wouldn’t try to “fix” me.  They would be able to tell if I needed them without me coming to them and asking for help because that’s another thing I can’t do.  I will not ask for help when I need it.  And I got pretty good at lying to anyone who did ask if I need someone.  This imaginary person would stand up to me and not take that.  But I stopped hoping for that because that’s actually really selfish of me and I should not expect that from anyone.  This is all on me.  And I hate it.  It’s too much.