i don’t remember the first time i felt unbeautiful, the day i chose not to eat

It’s funny the impact just eating has on me. It’s a natural human process. It’s something we have to do to survive. And yet, it’s something that I struggle with and that tears me apart.

I had a good dinner tonight. Best I’ve had in quite awhile. And because of that, I’m still awake even though it’s 2 am. My brain won’t be quiet. Lord knows it’s a good thing I ate as my weight is the lowest it’s been in years. Lord knows I need the calories and nutrients.  But it’s difficult.

I know I’ve lost weight lately. I know I should care more about getting food into my system. But it’s difficult to muster up the willingness to care. It’s difficult to get food into me. I don’t know what I’m going to have to do to get myself to eat. It’s terrifying, really, the way this disorder, this sickness controls me.

I don’t want to be this way, but I don’t know how to be any other. And frankly, to cross to the other side is terrifying. To recover. To be healed. To be whole. It’s kind of a paradox because I don’t want to get better yet I want to. I want to yet I don’t now how. What if I don’t like being healthy? What if I gain too much weight? What if I flip to the other extreme and start eating too much?

And now it’s approaching 3. And I still can’t sleep. And it’s taken me THIS long to write this short of an entry. But why? I don’t want to finally meet the diagnostic criteria for anorexia, because on one hand while I feel ED-NOS is “not legit”, I know it is. I know that you don’t have to be severely underweight to die or have serious health effects from an eating disorder.

But at the same thing… it’s kind of like a verse in the Bible. “The things I don’t want to do I do, the things I want to do I don’t.” It just feels that I get trapped. Completely Trapped.

And  I don’t now what to do. It’s hard because I’m having a bad PTSD night. It’s well after 3 am, everyone is asleep. Everyone, that is, but me. Because I’m scared to sleep. Because I’m afraid of what will happen if I sleep. Because being scared to sleep as a child is still ingrained in me. because I’m still at my core, terrified.

And I know, you won’t feel this way forever

Not even a month ago, I was started on a new antidepressant. Before I was trapped in depression. Trapped.

But now things are looking up. I’m having horrible side effects, but maybe my nice shrink with a southern accent can find a similar one or maybe he can find something to counteract them.

There is just one week left of classes. One week!! It’s at this lovely state in the semester where things are just not going all that well..

But it doesn’t mean things are going poorly. I’m at my breaking point stress wise, but things are looking up. It doesn’t mean things are perfect, but it means they are looking up. Things won’t always be this way. 
Some days are still terrible. Some days I feel like relasping into self injury. I know, I know, it sounds silly and maybe it is. I recently passed the ten year mark from the first time I cut. I still remember that day, still remember it so clearly. And for so long, I thought I was so clever. That I was masking my pain. That I was dealing with my pain. That I had my own little secret way of dealing with the world, hidden under my shirt sleeves. But I was young, I was naive. I didn’t know, couldn’t know, wouldn’t know that by masking the pain, when it came to surface, it only got worse. And so, when once one cut would suffice, now it would take two. Then three. Then four. Until my arms looked horrible. Until I had to move to my legs. And as much as I would welcome the nirvana, the bittersweet Ecstasy of cutting again… it’s not worth it. At times I think the break from the pain would be worth it, then I’d deserve it coming back so much.
But the thing is? I don’t deserve pain. For years, and I admit, some days I still do, it feels like  it was all my fault. Maybe if I had been a better behaved child. Maybe if I had been cuter. Maybe if I would have run away. Maybe if I would have done drugs. Maybe if I would have drank. Maybe if I would have told someone what my father was doing instead of hiding it, even denying it for years. Maybe if I would have fought back. I had so many chances in high school to say what my dad was doing. There was the time I fell apart in youth group, and one of the sponsors asked if everything was okay at home. There were the countless doctor appointments that asked if I was safe at home. There were the teachers that reached out to me.
The thing was, I was young and I was scared. Would people have believed me? Would things have gotten worse had I told? I don’t know. But the thing is, it’s not my fault. It wasn’t my fault. It was never my fault.


And even if, for some reason, it was my fault, it doesn’t make any of it okay. It doesn’t make my childhood okay, even if I did mess up at times. It doesn’t make what my dad did right, not remotely. And even if my actions DID cause him to act that way, it wasn’t right. Not in any way shape or form.

That said, I started this blog taking one track, and it took another. Things are looking up. I’m finding hope again. Moreso, I’m enjoying things again. I’m not playing games just as an escape, but I’m enjoying them. It’s the little things. I’m starting to sleep again, even! Sleep is good. Usually.

And now I’m going to play Final Fantasy 8 and talk on MSN for a bit before going to bed early, so tomorrow I can talk on MSN, clean, and do homework. So I can do what I love on Sunday and play music in church then come home and study and clean. I’m going to close this entry with lyrics to one of my favourite songs. ^_^

Spoken – Promise.
(Verse 1)
Yet another day seems like its wasted
You don’t feel youre any closer to the prize
A dead end job where there’s no future
Praying that tomorrow things wont be this way

(Chorus)
Things will get better this I promise you
And I know that you won’t feel this way forever
Things will get better this I promise you
And I know loneliness wont last forever

(Verse 2)
Yet another day, another tired morning
You’re catching up to your intentions
Your’e thinking life has to be easier than this
Maybe tomorrow things wont be this way

(Chorus)
Things will get better this I promise you
and I know it won’t feel this way forever
Things will get better this I promise you
and I know we can find a way to make it better
things will get better this I promise you 

(Outro)
Things will get better this I promise you
And I know it won’t feel this way forever
Things will get better this I promise you
And I know loneliness won’t last forever
Things will get better this I promise you
And I know things will get better this I promise you
And I know things will get better this I promise you
And I know loneliness won’t last forever

Broken-Hearted Teenager

I’m pulling out some of my younger poetry from, well, when I was younger. It’s terribly written, but it’s who I was then.

Wednesday, Oct. 03, 2001 – 3:17 p.m.
They tell me to make a Christmas Wish
To wish for whatever I please
And the wish for I want
Gets me down on my knees
I do not wish for money
I do not wish for toys
I do not wish for clothes
Or other little joys
My wish is for my Daddy
For him to take time to think
Before he decides to sip
His achocalic drink

Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2001 – 9:56 p.m.
If you had a choice
Between beer and family
Let me ask you a question-
What would your choice be?

Let me tell you my father’s choice
One that brought so much pain
A choice that brought me
Tears that fall like rain

He picked his beer
Over the family
At times I feel
It’s more valued then me

How could he pick
His beer over me
Hurt and destory
His whole family?

I’ll never understand
I’ll never know why
I’ll be able to stop
The tears which I cry

If you have that choice-
Please choose your family
Because I come from
Experience, you see.

Monday, Jan. 07, 2002 – 8:45 p.m.

Even though you hear my laugh
You don’t know what I hide
For as the joyous sound comes out
Tears are flowing inside

A smile may be on my face
But that smile’s a lie
For hidden, deep within
I frankly want to die

I may seem happy
But I am depressed
I may seem joyful
But I am upset

And when the tears
Brim in my eyes
Telling you it’s allergies
Is one of my lies

So when you ask me
“How do you do?”
I might not tell
The truth to you

So remember when you see me….
Looks aren’t always what lays outside
For with every smile I smile
Another tear I cry

Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2002 – 8:43 p.m.
I sit back and wonder
If I would to die
If anyone would care
If anyone would cry

I sit back and ponder
The meaning of life
Why I was given
All this pain and strife

Friendships fading away
Old friends are gone
Time to pack up
Time to move on

Schoolwork is falling
I’m starting to fail
I’m starting to cry
Starting to wail

Family is shattering
My heart is in two
I’m hiding the pain
In my big eyes of blue

Mabye if I just
Curl up and die
No one will care
No one will cry

Good-bye.

I was so broken all those year ago. And I’m so sad I was so lost, so alone.
If only I could go back and tell 14-year-old Nora that it gets better.
That she’ll find friends! That she’ll find love! That she’ll find hope!
That she’ll break ties with those asshats, that she’ll break FREE of that pain. That she’ll still fight with PTSD, ED-NOS, major depression, chronic pain… but she’ll find a support system.

And that her life is beautiful.

“I cannot find my voice.”

I have this habit of locking down inside myself. Oh, there is so much happening. Images dancing in my head, sights, smells, sounds, twisting together, tangling, intertwined. It’s safer to stay silent. It’s safer not to speak. I’m afraid to speak out. Speaking out senior year and being shushed solidified that fear. I was only eighteen. I was a senior in high school. And I was heartbroken. I wouldn’t wish the choices I made that cold October morning to my worst enemy. But yet, the choices let me to where I am today.

I’ve grown so much since my senior year. I should hope so, considering I’ll have graduated six years ago come June. Six years is a long time, and even as I got my diploma that warm June evening, I had no idea the changes that would come over the next few years. I had no idea I would legally be declared disabled before 21. I had no idea I would sever ties with my mother as well. I had no idea that I would be called into the ministry. I had no idea I wouldn’t finish college in Canada and that in 2012 I’d still be working on my undergraduate degree. I had no idea I’d live in frick-fracking MINNESOTA where it’s frick-fracking cold. I had no idea I’d still be battling PTSD, cutting, eating disorder… I suppose I thought it’d magically stop, but NEWSFLASH: IT WON’T.

I had no idea that both my grandparents would die before I completed my undergraduate degree. I had no idea that I would make beautiful friendships, meet my future best friends, and go through heart-wrenching grief. I had no idea of any of that.

I had no idea at age 24 people would STILL think I’m 14. Heh. Funnily enough, side story. I was on my way to a doctor’s appointment and I mentioned how I still had a specialist at the Children’s Hospital. “Oh, you could easily pass for 14.” Me: “Mmhmm.” “You’ll like  more as you get closer to your 30’s!” *silence* “I’m 24.” “WHAT?!” “Yeah, I’ll be 25 in June.” “….” “You’re not 18?” 18 is the oldest I’ve been mistaken for in awhile, so I suppose that should make my happy. Anyway. Done with the side story.

Tori Amos said in her song “sometimes I hear my voice and it’s been here, silent all these years.” Problem is, I don’t hear my voice. Sure, I blog and I write and I talk. But I bottle so much up. I keep so much inside me. And I don’t know how to pull it out. There are things about my past that repulse me, that I haven’t told anyone. And it scares me that it’s there. And I don’t want to talk about it because I’m afraid people, even those who want to help me so badly, won’t like me anymore. Will think horrible things. Won’t understand. And so, I carry the burden.

When will I realize how stupid that is?
When will I realize how dumb that is?
When will I find the way to pull out my voice and be strong?

And she fools all of her friends into thinking she’s so strong but she still sleeps with the light on

My bed is soaked with sadness
My sadness has no end has no end
A downward of  spiral of dispair
That I keep falling in 
I need you how, how I need you 
(…)
Your silence is like death to me,
so won’t you hear my desperate plea?
-I Need You, The Swift

It’s hard some days to get myself out of bed. My alarm goes off, a few swear words slip past my lips, a stuffed animal may fly across the room. I’m not a morning person by nature, never have been. But when you’re trapped in depression, when your greatest enemy is that reflection in the mirror, sometimes hauling yourself out of bed is one of the most difficult things of the day.

I suppose I make it sound like I’m drowning in depression. Some days I am. Some days I wonder why I get out of bed when I’ve barely slept the night before and daytime is the only time I’m able to actually sleep. When I’m running on two to three hours a sleep a night, and a couple hour nap during the day. Why I bother even trying to hope, trying to dream, when it seems like my hopes and dreams and wishes will just be crushed. It’s hard.

Living with depression is like fighting a monster every morning. My days and nights are reversed. I just want solace – just some relief from all the pain I’m trapped in. It feels like just doing simple things – hanging out with friends, eating, hauling my butt out of bed, doing the laundry, drain all the effort and energy out of me and I’m left alone with my thoughts.

All I want to do is be free from this demon I battle. I want to be truly happy again, and not a person that I want to hide from. But I don’t know how. I don’t know how to open up about the past and allow people – friends, therapists, pastors, et al, help me. I don’t know how to let people understand and even begin to give me a chance to have hope again.

For as much as I want to hope, dream, laugh, love, and carry on with my life, it scares the everliving shit out of me. All I’ve known for over a decade is depression. All I’ve known is bleakness. All I’ve known is living in fear and terror. And as exhilarating and thrilling the other side might be – it’s completely unknown. It’s something I’ve never felt before. What if it’s too much? What if I don’t like it? What if I taste the other side, and I don’t like it at all? What if it hurts? What if I get a sampling of it, and I wind up falling back into depression? Would the relapse be that much worse because I’ve tasted the other side? Or would it be better once I pull out of the funk again, because I know what the other side is like? 

I get sick of trying various antidepressants. I get sick of feeling like this – I don’t WANT to be like this! But how do I attempt something I’ve never tried, how do I try something I just don’t know? How do I even attempt to spread my wings and fly, when every time I’ve tried to fly I’ve fallen?

Depression sucks. I’ll leave you with Adventures in Depression because that sums it up better than I ever could.

I don’t know how you do it

“I don’t know how you do it.”

I’ve been told it for years, really. “I don’t know how you do it.” The truth of the matter is? I don’t know how I do it, either.

I wish I did. Thing is, when you have to do it, you do it. There’s nothing impressive about what I’ve done. I’ve been paying my own bill since I was 21, managing my old medical stuff, all that stuff. It’s what I have to do.

People tell me they couldn’t do what I do. Truth is? I can’t do what I do. You just have to throw yourself in and DO it.

One December, bright and clear

For the longest time, the month of December has sucked. It’s always been a hard month. Various things have happened in December over the past 6 years, and it’s just an incredibly difficult month. I last saw my father that December morning, 6 years ago (I moved out on October 31, but I last saw him in December). 5 years ago, I was in the psych ward over December. Various things happened over the years, and December just seems to be the month when the shit always hits the fan.

Christmas holds a lot of painful memories. And it’s hard to have a “good” Christmas in spite of all that, in spite of all the pain and anger that also happens over the holiday season.

“Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
let your heart be light,
next year all our troubles will be far away…

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
make the Yulitude gay
Next year all our troubles will be miles away

Once again, as in golden days,
happy golden days of old
Faithful friends that are dear to us,
Will be dear to us once more

Some day soon, we all will be together
If the fates allow,
Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

I know that Christmas will always be difficult. I know that I won’t be spending it with my biological family, and, well, that sucks. There’s no sugar-coated, candy-frosted way to say it, it sucks. But until the day when I’m able to accept things, until the day where I spread my wings and fly, I can allow myself to have a “Merry Little Christmas” until then.

So tired that I couldn’t even sleep

December 3, 2004.
3:43 AM Eastern Standard Time

“sometimes, i just want to give up. i just want to scream. and cry. just to avoid the look in people’s eyes. just to avoid the look in people’s eyes. it’s why i hate talking to people, you see the pity in their eyes, not only pity, but concern, but love…

Did I say I hate love? I really don’t know. I hate pity. I have having people worried about me, and concerned. And love…it almost scares me. I’m not talking about a boyfriend “oh my gosh you’re so cute” love, or a grandmotherly “I want to squish you” love, I mean a more of..compassion? a more of I care about you, Angelique love. and in a way, it does scare me. having people love me. having people care about me. That honestly is a scary thing, because if I screw up, I have people who will be worried about me, because they do care. If I show them how much I’m hurting, I have people who will be worried about me, because they do care.

and it’s just…I don’t know. I don’t even know anything anymore. Well, I know stuff, saying I don’t know anything is like saying a fish doesn’t know how to swim. and I just want to break down. and let someone hold me, and let me tell them what all has been eating at me. and it just seems…like I can’t. like there’s a wall.

And I know I’ve always been one to build up walls. I’ve built up walls for so long, I don’t know if there’s anyway to tear them down.”
****
I wrote this 7 years ago. I was 17, homeschooled, and still living with my father. This was before all the shit hit the fan.

I wonder the same thing this days about love. And walls. Do I put up walls to protect myself, or do I put them up to protect the ones I love? Do I really love? Love still scares me so much. To allow myself to be loved, and allow myself to love. To be that vulnerable, that open, that free with someone. I don’t know that I can allow myself to do that… and it scares me because I almost like my walls. They’re not the best for me, but they’re safe.

How do I tear down and allow myself to be vulnerable?

I learned it bywatching you.

Tim Hawkins summed up this song with “My son got mad ’cause I worked all the time, he grew up to me a jerk just like me. And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon, and some other poetic stuff.”

John Mayer sang “Fathers, be good to your daughters. Daughters will love like you do.” A powerful PSA from 1980’s is “I Learned It By Watching You”

The thing is, children learn from their parents, if they want to admit it or not. Ultimately, in the end, we have the choice to act on what we learned and what we were taught, but it doesn’t mean that it lessens the imprint on us.

There was never a time my father was without a bear can in one hand. His breath always smelled like beer, usually Milwaukee’s Best. He’d sit in front of the computer, with his bag of potato chips and his beer can, watching the telly.

I learned so much from watching him. I learned how to be a good girl. I learned how to act on and to lead people on into thinking everything is fine. I learned how to play the game that makes people think that life is fine and I learned how to throw up walls. I won’t even go into what I learned from my mother.

And then it scares me –
what will I teach my children?

Now she’s left cleaning up the mess he made

I still haven’t forgotten that autumn day, ten years ago. November 28, 2001. It’s kind of hard to believe. I was depressed. And by depressed I mean really freaking depressed. I was fourteen years old. And I had a plan to end my life.

I likely would have gone through with it, had a friend not intervened and notified the police. Had the police not shown up at my small Christian school. I’m told I’m lucky I wasn’t taken into custody or admitted to the hospital.

But even more important was that was the day I realized my dad didn’t care. I was fourteen years old, depressed, and realized where my dad’s priorities were. My school principal had called my church youth pastor, and my youth pastor informed my father. Less than a couple days later, my father no longer cared that I had had a plan to end my life. He was back to his old self.

This is part of why I struggle to view God as a father. Logic tells me that not all fathers are like that. I KNOW good fathers. I KNOW good, Christian fathers and I know good, atheist fathers. I know there are good Jewish fathers, there are good agnostic fathers, it goes on and on and on. But the fact of the matter is I can’t wrap my mind around the concept that the father God is like is nothing like the father I had. Someone who was never there when I needed him. Someone who always had beer in the fridge, but not always a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread.

It gets harder and harder this time of year. Well-meaning people ask if I’m going home for the holidays, and I never know how to answer. I shrug it off, but it still hurts. The ache still lies inside. I have a place to go for the holidays, but gosh, it’s not the same.

and I don’t know where I’m going with this. 😛

Oh, you see that skin?
It’s the same she’s been standing in
Since the day she saw him walking away
Now she’s left, cleaning up the mess he made

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too