I write to you now because frankly, I have no one else to whom I can write. I no longer connect with people; it is too much effort. Most of my family, I have cut out of my life entirely as a means to protect myself. My parents, well, they are unhappy so why should they care about my happiness? Normally, I will send an email to a friend during times like these; but I no longer wish to plague others with my life which is devoid of hope. My age group has a hunger for romance, social media, trouble, senior trips, and prom. None of those things are of any interest to me. It makes me wonder why I am still here. My only desire is to attend college next year. I wish the rest would melt away. I think I have suffered from depression and an eating disorder my whole life; in the last four years, my depression became extreme. I keep looking around wondering why no one is trying to help me. I feel as if they watch me sit, bound by my own limitations, with duck tape on my mouth. I seldom speak. I curl up into a ball when in the presence of others. I go to school and then I come home to sit in my cage. When I was a young girl, I wished I could be a dog. Today, I believe it would save me much suffering to be an animal. I want to escape my thoughts. In class today, I found myself unable to grasp the reality that was being depicted before me; and suddenly I asked myself, why must I conform to their realities? F Reality. I will not conform to societal standards. I will not go to prom, get married, or have children. I will not buy my own house, but instead live in an apartment in New York City. I will not talk about banal and trite concepts because it would make my peers feel more comfortable than talking about the sordid truth. I am sick of being silent. I often feel like a pet to an owner known as society. I earn the best marks in school to be “the best” in my owner’s eyes. I restrict what I eat to be beautiful in my owner’s eyes. I groom myself for two hours before leaving in the morning to appear kempt for the daily dog show. I do not speak unless my owner says to bark. So often, they do not understand me when I do speak. I am using the English language properly, but perhaps they find me quixotic in comparison to the trash that spills from their mouths. I allow society to keep me encaged within my doghouse. I WILL NEVER allow society to force me into wearing the dog collar they call a wedding ring. I belong solely to myself and I am tired of allowing others to have control over my existence. I did not ask to be born; therefore, I will not ask their opinions regarding how I choose to live. I am going to paint my reality in sundry colors because currently I live in a gray plagued by depression. I did not know how to speak up to tell my owner I was in pain, so I cut at my own flesh. They look at my scars and ask, “How did that happen?” And because I cannot lie, I just say: “I cannot answer you.” My scars give color and truth to the lie that is my life. I am forced to wear a mask of contentment, but I am dying within. I despise the leash. My owner no longer owns me. Screw reality; set me free.
This video really spoke to me about my struggles with anxiety, and what I’ve seen of depression in others. Take a couple of minutes to watch. You never know when a bit of understanding could save someone’s life.
I thought you were sleeping. It seems silly now, but you must understand, when one sees a person slumped over inside a parked car, the most reasonable conclusion is rarely that the person slumped over is dead. It was the lights from the dashboard that caught my eye. If it weren’t for the lights, I would have missed you completely, and – who knows? – you may still be lying out there, unknowing of the legions of addicts drawn to the verifiable Mecca of caffeine. You’d remain oblivious to the following day’s massive local windstorm and the city’s collective anxiety, followed by elation, when our beloved Seahawks won the big game. You might still be slumped awkwardly over your console, and I suppose your car would be run dry of gas by then, but folks would not be any more observant.
I say it was the lights on your dashboard…
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Howard Roark, Patrice Mersault, David Bourne, Holden Caulfield, J. Alfred Prufrock, Mr. Darcy, and Mr. Rochester: these are a few of my most recent lovers. I must admit that my feelings for the last two characters were transient and ended in contempt; please, do not make me explain the details. A secret yearning exists for each of these fictional characters, and the strongest is currently Howard Roark.
I am not an advocate for relationships or marriage. I think we will love many different people in our lives and that we belong entirely to ourselves. Labeling one as a spouse or a boyfriend/girlfriend creates a sense of entitlement and obligation. I do not want to belong to anyone, thus I have abstained from relationships entirely. Yet, my innate need to love as a human being still manifests feelings of desire within literature. I wonder if the day will come when I pursue a real person with the qualities of one of the characters above. While I read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, I realize my need to be loved by an architect like Howard Roark.
I believe we bring others into our lives to destroy or improve ourselves; often, we do so unintentionally. I long for Howard Roark to help me see the beauty in my encasement, my skin. I have always been a stick figure, size zero with awkward lines of length. Only an architect could allow me to see myself in a light that could potentially be positive, developing a self-esteem. After I can see myself, I will no longer need the architect and I will go on to love another.
The characters I list are incongruous, but sensible within my heart just the same. Yes, they are fictional. But a thought can be real and with that hope, I continue, exonerating the authors that bind my heart.
I’ve been wanting to write this post for a long while now, because I think it is something important that is worth saying, both on my part and on the part of anybody else who feels this way about themselves, and to anybody who finds that this way of thinking is a sad thing that denotes low self-esteem, when it actually has more to do with self-identification and wanting to self-identify in whatever way we want.
So, here goes:
I am ugly.
Naturally, this is not the first time I have said this. As somebody who has had the severe misfortune of being a teenager before, I used to declare myself ugly all the time, just like pretty much everybody else around me. Back then I said it primarily to gain sympathy and maybe a denying comment or two. “You’re not ugly Gillian, what are you saying?” “C’mon, I’d kill…
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