for as long as I've been able to speak and write, two (four?) things have always always always been true about me:

because I can't stop talking, I feel like writing.
because I have a guilt complex, I feel like apologizing.

combined, those don't go together very well. I don't know what I'm apologizing for anymore. I had an excellent Monday night, right up until just before midnight when Lindsay called bawling about her roommate drama as usual. so I left, between colors, and I went to her suite and talked her down instead. I was a good friend. I'm glad that I did it, because she needed it, and Lindsay is a very neurotic person. and I want her to be happy here, not as stressed out as she's been.

but that doesn't mean that a part of me didn't want to be back at Digrande's house with everyone else.

for which I felt guilty. and I told her so. I told Lindsay a lot of things that I feel guilty about, because in truth, I'm a very lucky and privileged person. I have an awesome relationship with both of my parents. and yes, my mom has failing health, but she hangs in there every time. my family supports me. we have a decent amount of money. I find it easy to make friends. I go to a good school. I find it impossible to stress about school, I rarely study, I write papers on the fly, and I get excellent grades anyway. I've been told that I have many good characteristics. sure, I'm a hotheaded loudmouthed impulsive obnoxious tactless jackass, but the simple fact is that I have a good life, and I love it.

I wish everyone could be like that. I really do.

so I constantly feel guilty. Lindsay told me that I shouldn't, just as people do whenever I voice this — don't feel guilty for liking it here, don't feel guilty for having things come easily (which isn't to say that I don't work hard), don't feel guilty for having new friends and a life at all. people can say that all they want, but a messiah complex comes with major guilt issues, and it's been like this since I can remember.

it's one of those things I'm working on.

I am not a self-deprecating person at all. my ego is huge and has been fluffed up my entire life; I think more highly of myself than anyone else and I know that only about half of that is well-deserved. so I don't say these things for pity or for placating statements of solidarity or love or whatever the fuck. I say it because it needs to be said.

when I saw the poet -I- in Berkeley a week ago, she performed a poem called Skeletons. I donated money to her and was rewarded with a book; twenty-eight pages of her poetry. I reread Skeletons every night. I think that's what got me started on this, got the gears turning.

i pull secrets into the light and watch them break.
Pushing life back into my future.
Tell me why we have secrets with bones stronger than the bones that we grow our flesh on.
Why are we so weak?
Only strong enough to hold secrets.
Our identities are being held prisoner by our demons.
Tell me when we will grow a back bone,
and finally be strong enough to swing that door open
and clean out our closets?

really, that doesn't do it justice. it loses so much when you can't be there to see her face and hear her words. but the poem still struck me when I first heard her say it, and now I reread it before bed and I lie next to the open window and think and think and think and think.

I reiterate: I don't say these things so you can go oh bb ♥ (though I do appreciate it, every single time). I say these things because they need to be said, and dealt with, and to hopefully push someone else to say them for themselves. it's a journey everyone needs to make, but one you can only make on your own. I can't tell you how, and I definitely can't force you. but I can do it for myself.

so here are my secrets.

I stopped taking my antidepressants during senior year. only my mother knows that. I was diagnosed with depression forever and a day ago, and have decided, after many years of different therapy and medication and meditation and everything you could think of, that it's a healing process that I want to do on my own.

when I was nine years old and had just moved to Sacramento, my stepgrandma abused me pretty thoroughly, so I threatened her with a knife. she only laid off when I acted back, which is how I learned to defend myself.

I used to be in a fight club during my eighth grade year and then freshman year of high school. I have so much unmitigated rage, even now, and the only way that I used to be able to handle it was by beating up someone else. I have broken bones and knocked people out. I got the same done to me. I don't regret it, but I'll never go back to it.

fireworks scare me so badly that I cry when they go off, and even when people light sparklers near me. I have many irrational fears that make no god damn sense. big dogs barking. the bottom of the ocean. being in love.

in junior high, I was convinced that I was incapable of loving or being loved. at my lowest points I even thought I was incapable of friendship. for all my bolster and ego, I still don't understand why people are friends with me. I take compliments badly because for as much as I love myself and think I'm amazing (one of the few genuine things about me is my self-confidence) I don't know how anyone else can think that.

I hate pity, though. more than anything else in the world, I loathe pity.

between 1999 and 2004, I was a compulsive liar. one of the reasons I have such terrible memories of St. Philomene and hate going back there is because much of my experiences there were built on lies. Loretto was my clean slate.

I think that I am better than most of my friends. usually only my friends who are girls. honest to god, I probably think that I'm better than you, but I'd never admit it. I'm not a misogynist, I'm not a self-hating woman, but I sure as shit have problems relating to them. it isn't because I've been scorned in the past. it's because I'm afraid of them really understanding me.

I hate being perceived as weak. I fight to the bone because I believe, mistakenly, that it's better to pass out from exhaustion than quit while you're ahead.

that being said, I don't take good care of my health.

I suck my thumb. I have since I was little. when I'm especially upset or tired, sometimes I still do. it's a tough habit to break. I'm trying.

I have smoked a lot of pot since I got to college. I like being high. it isn't preferable, but it is nice. I do it for social reasons — which makes my new friends sound bad, but please keep in mind that we also socialize stone cold sober. still. there was a reason I quit. there was also a reason I didn't want to quit. I do not regret smoking again. I will keep myself in check.

I drank three times before I took my vow of teetotaling, which was two years before I discovered my alcohol allergy. it made me horribly sick each time and I never enjoyed it. now I understand why. at the time, I just thought that that was what drinking was.

my parents divorced primarily because of me. my dad's mother tried to drown me. one of my aunts tried to cut my legs off. I don't harbor any bitterness toward either of them over it — like most "bad" experiences I went through, I just see them now as funny stories.

I've never tried to kill myself or even felt like I wanted to. I don't understand people with that urge. I feel like that hinders a lot of my understanding of my friends, because more people than you'd imagine have felt like that or still do.

I don't understand the need for nationalism or organized religion. I don't pretend to. either I am beyond them, or they are beyond me. probably the latter.

I feel like I should apologize right now, but I'm not, because I realize that it would undermine the whole point of this.

it would be a good idea to cut this. because it's long, and because it deals with some issues that people might not want to read. to which I say, scroll on by. -I- makes a good point in her poem, that the things people don't want to hear about are exactly what we should be talking about.

I say these things because they need to be said.

and now, the next step.



May 2011

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