Mysterious Skin

I’ve always thought I had a pretty good grasp on who I was as a person. I’ve always thought I knew what I wanted in life. I was sure on my goals and my feelings. I was absolute in what type of life I wanted and deserved. However, in the last few months a lot of my absolutes, my sureness, my grasp on my personal self has been questioned. Not really by others, but by myself. This isn’t something that I ever thought I would have to deal with because I was so firm in myself. But here I am, pretty much standing on this edge of a cliff wanting to just jump off into the abyss. However, there is something left from my old self that makes me want to step back and not jump off and give in to giving up.

I was brought up in a military family. The way our feelings were dealt with is we basically don’t. We keep it to ourselves. We fix ourselves. Letting others know we are at a weak moment proves we can be hurt.  I don’t like people seeing me hurt. I don’t like them to know I am. I still don’t. I hate the fact people have seen or heard me cry. To me it is a sign of weakness and people know how to attack. I try to hold it in as long as I can and be strong but I realize in doing this I am not only hurting myself because I am depressed but I am numbing myself and making it ok for people continue to step on me. To continue to say the things that bother me. To continue to add salt to an already open wound that only I know is there.

The problem here is that I don’t know how to convey my feelings. I’ve always had to put my feelings aside for others. I don’t mind. I really don’t. I like trying to help those that need it. I’ve always been that caregiver; to my brother when he almost died 3 years ago.  I had to be strong for my parents because they almost lost their son. I had to hold my tears in when my mother broke down and cried. I had to hold my hysterical mother in the hospital room.  I had to see my dad have tears roll down him face. I had to see the fear in his eyes at the thought of losing his son. I had to put a reassuring hand on his shoulder to let him know it would be ok. This man has never cried in front of me, ever. This is a stone cold retired Navy Master Chief.  But at this moment I saw fear and it cut me so deep that I knew I had to be the rock of this family at this moment.  When no one looked, when I was alone in my room or driving in my car to work, I released. I would do this only when I was alone.  No one needed to see me fall apart.

I’ve always done this in some aspect in my life. Always being the strong, rational one. The one that can have the level head in times of crisis. When it came to losing our house, not once but twice, I had to be calm and organize the situation. I had to reaffirm everything would be alright. Again, I don’t mind. I don’t. I will go out of my way to help anyone. I just hope one day I can find someone that will do that for me or I let my guard down enough to let someone. Doing this gives me a sense of control. A control I like because with all the chaos I have, this is something that I am good at, controlling external chaos. Internal chaos is a whole other thing. That is a battle I seem to be losing.

I never really had the chance…no, a reason to look at myself.  Like really look at myself. If I was unhappy with the way I looked, I dieted. If I was unhappy with a relationship, I ended it. If I was sad, I would self medicate until I forgot. If people asked me if I was alright, “Yeah. I’m good. don’t worry”. However, this feeling has gotten worse over the last few months. Ever since my grandmother died, something happened. I don’t know what. Something switched in me. I’ve never had to deal with death.  But ever since she passed, things were said to me that made me realize how much I’ve given up in my life for others. I feel shafted. But I have no one to blame but myself. I let people use me to a point that it has become a natural occurrence.

Around this time, I became part of a small group on Facebook. This group came together out of just mutual fun, love, humor, tolerance, & craziness. It was a home where I could be myself.  I became friends with a few people. I felt at ease to talk to them when I had some personal problems that I couldn’t tell my real life close friends.  They helped me.  I’ve also met a few people on there that know more about me than I wish they did. There are times I regret letting them in that much because now I know I am an open book because regardless of what they know about me, I still seem to get hurt regardless of how they know I feel. I want to pull back, but it’s too late. So I just deal. It is the only thing I can do. I can’t force people to change. I can only change myself and the feelings I have. Even though I know what I must do, it still stings when I can’t stop myself from feeling that way. The feeling will pass. I’ve realized that I must work on myself first. I must realize that I need to push this feeling aside because it is making me feel this way, making me lose control.

These past 3 months of being on this site, I have become more emotional. Diagnosed with depression because of all my family,work, relationship drama. Which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong. It made me realize I need to deal with my feelings and my inner demons. I need to work out my issues on trying to reach physical perfection, emotional perfection, relationship perfection, & inner perfection. It made me realize I’ve been drinking far too much. I’ve been trying to use alcohol as an excuse to act stupid and push down whatever demons I had and say “I’m sorry for the way I acted I was drunk”. It made me realize that my mother’s constant blessing and encouragement to purge my food to get skinny is wrong. Have I stopped? No. I still feel it is a sense of control in stressed moments. I don’t do it everyday. But I purged so much last year that I’ve cause my body to get a hernia and I had to be hospitalized and have surgery to repair it. Has it stopped me? No. I only do it sparingly. But I have done it recently. I’m not proud. But I have. I’ve done it as recently as 4 days ago. Am I proud? No. But I felt better, more controlled. I know this is wrong. It is a battle I fight everyday on doing this. Every hour. Every minute. Every second. Every time I put food in my mouth, I decide if I want to keep it or get rid of it.

Has being in this group heightened my problems? I don’t think so. Not really. Maybe it has highlighted my problems. Bring them to my attention. I really don’t know. Is it a good thing I was in this group? I suppose because now I can’t run from myself anymore. And I say was because I left. It was just to massive and I felt all claustrophobic. I was pretty much afraid to say anything real. Anything that had substance. Anything that would let people know me. I would just say snarky comments, but saying snark get’s tired. It’s become superficial and I wanted more. So I left. I’m not sure if it is for good, but it is for now.

Then last night happened. It was fine. But then something so small turned into a bigger discussion.  I posted on facebook that I hated the feeling of wanting to talk to someone but not wanting to talk. I just wanted to be held. Then out of the blue, someone I really haven’t talked to ever asked me to message him. I debated about doing this, but I did. It started out with a simple thing about watching my dog of 15 years slowly die. It’s true. I see her just lying there barely eating, just sleeping. Seeing a shell of what she used to be. Even now writing that I have tears in my eyes. Again, death I don’t deal with. But we talked about it, then he kinda knew there was something more. He just knew. And we talked about it. We talked about how we have the facade of saying we are fine when we aren’t. We smile when we are sad. We look for certain things but we haven’t found it. We talked about love and how we yearn for it. We talked about how we need to just love ourselves and we aren’t perfect and there will never be perfection in ourselves. But we must work to make ourselves happy first before anyone else. Then we talked about the Greeks 3 words for love; Agape, Eros, Philia (we only talked about 3 I know there are 4 on there). When we talked about those, i lost it. I was hysterical. I don’t know why, I mean I do. We all want love, but for me I guess I’ve wanted it so much more because of all my relationships I’ve ever had were short, nothing of substance. I get scared. I run. I don’t think I deserve it because of how I used to look. How I still think I look.

But then he said one thing that resonated,“What has anyone done to deserve your love?” That one statement has made me question EVERY RELATIONSHIP I’ve ever been in and will ever be in. Because honestly, nothing. Not one person has done anything for me that deserves me to love them in the way I think they deserve to be love. But this statement made me look at myself and realized, “What the fuck am I doing? Why am I just willing to sleep with someone because I feel lonely?” This realization made me look at myself in disgust because I don’t want to use anyone just for pleasure. I want to be with someone that will love me and I will love back. I now know what I have to do with this guy I am seeing or won’t be seeing anymore. At least not for sex.

I realize, I must love myself first. I must make myself happy in whatever respects makes me happy. The first step to this is just stepping back and breathing. Focus on my health. Focus on my relationships with my family. Relationships with my friends. Relationship with myself. Then and only then will I even put effort into a relationship.

I know we all have issues and our issues will never go away when we meet that one person. But I want that one person to be with me with my issues and not run. I will do the same for them. Until then, I’m just me. Alone. Working. Bettering. Loving myself, family, friends, & life. I’m not jumping into that abyss. I’m turning around and facing whatever is in front of me full force cause I’m a fucking bus.