I can’t be quiet anymore. 

Over the past year, actually even longer, this past year is just what sticks out the most, I’ve been through a roller coaster of emotions when it comes to the feelings I have for the country I have called home for my entire life. In light of terrorist attacks, both foreign and domestic I have always felt some semblance of safety. Sure with every additional shooting, bomb etc I’ve grown a little more weary and cautious of my surroundings, but ultimately I have felt that my home, my country would do all it could to keep me, my family, and my friends safe. With each passing day I feel a little less safe. I feel a little less secure. I feel a little more scared and fearful for my safety. I’m not just talking about terrorism anymore. I’m legitimately growing fearful of this country, of the turn it’s taking. 

In school we whitewash history. In school  we learn about patriarchy and how patriarchy built this country and made it great.  Patriarchy and putting all value on the shoulders of men is what will be the downfall of this country. We have a too deep and truly hurtful view of what it takes to be a man in this world, all of which seems to lead to violence, hate, fear and an inability to show compassion, empathy and most of all love. Love will always prevail, but just the same it will always be overshadowed by hatred and violence that usually stems from fear. This world is in an honest to goodness downward spiral and just like all of history it will take a huge push, a coming together for a common cause, to cause this spiral to reverse or at the very least flatten out. Ever the realist I don’t honestly expect to see this in my life time. I see genocide, I see pointless wars and I see so much fear and hate. I see lives lost unnecessarily, families torn apart and really I see people losing hope and faith. 

Ill be blunt, I’m gay, like really freaking gay. I used to be proud that I could straight pass, that I could blend in and it wasn’t as noticeable that I was different, that I deviated from the norm, that I was a target for hate, for bullying and for violence. Growing up I got a lot of shit for being different, there were rumors spread, people said horrible things about me and to me. I was ashamed of myself, I was ashamed of not understanding why so many people could hate me for something I didn’t full understand yet. I’m not ashamed anymore. I’m open, I’m proud and even in light of everything that is going on in this world, in this country, I’m proud to be who I am, I am proud to be able to call myself a member of the queer community. For once in my life I feel free, I don’t feel suffocated by secrets, I don’t feel like I need to hide in order to be accepted by my friends, my family or even my coworkers. I’m accepted, not just by them, but by myself. 

Enough about me. Being queer, being “different” has always and I mean always made you a target for hate, for violence and a more difficult life path. In the past years I’ve watched, I’ve read and I’ve listened to the steps (no matter how small) this country has made both progressively and more often than not sprinting backwards. We passed marriage equality at a federal level. We repealed don’t ask don’t tell, we are working to end workplace discrimination. But that isn’t enough. I’m lucky to work in two environments where my bosses could honestly not care less whether I’m gay straight or even an alien, so long as I come into work and do my job. I know there are plenty of others who aren’t as lucky as I am. I know there are plenty of others who are discriminated against for simply looking or coming across as gay, regardless of how they identify. This country, my homeland, it’s supposed to be a melting pot, it’s supposed to be a symbol of refuge and safety from oppression. For me it is nothing but a disappointment. We are no longer a melting pot, we are no longer a place others can look to when they seek safe harbor, we are no longer a land of opportunity. We are a country filled with systematic oppression, crippling debt, intense fear and hate. Please do not get me wrong I recognize the incredible ability this country has to come together following tragedy. It is painfully evident after every shooting, every bombing, after every horrible act that occurs on US soil. But why does it take a tragedy to bring us together? Is anyone else sick and tired of holding vigils after mass shootings? Is anyone else afraid of going in public for fear of being the next victim? 

6.15.16

If you’re reading this 

If you’re reading this know that I don’t miss you. Know that I don’t think about you or even wonder what you have been up to. Know that when I do even come across you in my mind I remember the pain of being left when I was my most vulnerable. Know that I’m grateful for all that you taught me about myself after you were gone, because without you I would have never learned so much about my own strength, my true self and what I needed to do to grow and finally be happy. Yes, happy. I’m so I fucking happy now it’s almost sickening. I don’t even recognize myself and those who know me and have gotten to know me can see it too. Sure we “were sickengly cute” but now, now it’s different. I’m in love with someone who sees me. Not just how happy I can be, how much love I have to give, how cute, sweet, kind, adorable and silly I can be, but that when I get sad, when I can’t get out of bed, when I get angry or upset for no reason she loves me anyway. She accepts me for me and knows that even though my emotions can get difficult that’s not all that I am. I am not negative, I am not angry, I am not defined by the emotions that make up less than five percent of my being. 

I’m not writing this to brag about how amazing my relationship is. If you ask me it doesn’t even feel like almost 8 months have gone by. I don’t even remember what it feels like to be angry with someone that I love with my entire being. Why? That’s easy, we communicate because if we ever are upset it’s a misunderstanding. One that is corrected with patience, explanations and a fucking hug to let each other know that it’s not the end of the world, we are safe and secure in what we have and the other is going to bolt at the first sign of a problem. 

I have so many other things I could say about how happy I am and why. I could probably go on forever about the love and acceptance I have found not just in myself, but from someone else. I could go on and on about how much I have grown in the last year, but I won’t. I will say this: I have no room in my heart or life for hate or negative energy. I don’t forgive anyone to make them feel better, nor do I do things to please other people. I do it for me. I forgive to lighten my own heart, I do things for my own happiness. 

So know this. If I’ve cut you out it’s for good reason. I no longer have room for the detrimental energy you brought to my life. I will however thank you for all that you taught me about life and about myself, but you are no longer welcome here. 

2/25/17

Realizations

We have life changing realizations every day. Some little, some small. The fact is that they change the path you were on and put you on a new one-good or bad, realizations and subsequent decisions change you. 

I knew I was different from a young age. I can’t give you an exact answer as to when that was, but at the very least I knew I wasn’t attracted to just boys by 4th grade. Sure I had boyfriends from 5th-11th grade, but I also knew that I cared more for girls than I cared or was allowed to admit. To be honest I just don’t think I understood what was going on. Mainstream media, my family, my community, didn’t talk about the Queer community. I don’t think it was intentional, we had a lesbian couple and their son living up the street from us when I was a kid and could freely interact and be watched by them- in no way were we taught negative things, but that’s also because we just weren’t taught anything. I don’t think it’s because it was mainstream or normal, more that they were seen as friends living together and if nobody talked about it, no one would ask questions. It honestly wasn’t until many years later, when my mom accepted that I was and am very much gay, that she even told me or reminded me.

After I began cutting and burning myself, prettily relentlessly, my parents had their own realization:the help that I was asking for, I actually needed it. Sure it took an emergency trip to the doctor a few days after Christmas for a variety of shots, among other things for them to give in, but I think it finally dawned on them that I wasn’t and am not okay. 

One thing I will never, ever be caught saying is that my parents don’t love me. I know they do. I know how fiercely and deeply my mother loves me. I know how much my father cares for my well being and image, and in his own way, and in our own fucked up understanding of each other he would turn the world inside out for me. I will not ever question that they love me. How they show that love, I will always, always have issue with. 

Realizations: a part of me will always be suicidal, a part of me will always battle agains self-mutilation, a part of me will always struggle against my hate-filled relationship with food, my father may never accept all of me, my mother will never know how to help me the way that I need her to, I will never be societies definition of normal. But the biggest realization of all, these things are all okay. I understand them, I accept them, I battle with them every day, but none of these things define who I am, who I will become and who I strive to be. They are each a very small part of my bigger picture. 

6.3.16

Part 1: Adolescense 

Psychologically speaking Adolescense starts at around the same time as puberty, though not always. Since every human is different it’s something like age 12-18. For me, I have no idea when it started, i was always so far emotionally ahead than many of my peers that it was truly different for me. I noticed a difference though towards the end of elementary (primary) school. I could no longer control what I was feeling, I constantly felt lost, like I wasn’t normal and that maybe, just maybe I wasn’t built to survive this world. 

I don’t know what it was, I didn’t have a bad life; I had and have two parents that love me so fiercely it’s crazy, I had a home, I played sports, like a lot of them, I got good grades, I even had tons of friends and my share of boyfriends, yes boyfriends. Really there was no reason for me to feel like this. Not yet at least. 

7th Grade

I’m sure everyone can remember their transition from primary school to middle or high school. It fucking sucked. I went from being one of the most popular kids in school to a nobody and lost most of my friends along the way. I just didn’t fit in anymore. Sure, I made enough new friends and did okay in my classes-honor roll and all that stupid stuff-but I just didn’t feel like i belonged. If I really analyze it, it had nothing to do with knowing I was gay. I have had plenty of therapists go down this line, but that’s not what it was. My mind wasn’t on boys or well girls either, or drinking and doing whatever was cool. No, my mind was on school, playing soccer and enjoying myself. Unfortunately for me that didn’t include illegal activities so I ended up isolating myself albeit unintentionally. 

It’s probably no coincidence that that year I began cutting and burning. I was big into skating so it wasn’t that big of a stretch if my parents noticed a ridiculous amount of cuts going up my arms. I think they knew though, maybe not the full extent or my feelings, but they knew something wasn’t right. I’m crazy private though. 

That’s one thing I know for certain about myself. You know what I want you to know. You see what I want you to see and I tell you what I want you to hear. So my parents heard and saw what I wanted them to see: a daughter that was fine, that loved her life and was enjoying being in said life. I’ve gotten better about it. I’ve let my walls down some, I’ve built them back up but I included some windows this time. Some people are (un)lucky enough to know how to get though and see what’s behind. My face has and will always give me away, but if you can’t read me, well I’m just your every day girl with some serious rbf and slightly monotone voice that really doesn’t talk more than necessary. 

It was always this way, I used to be really outgoing. The world, humans and the human brain has a funny way of breaking people. 

As I feel up to the task in going to be writing my story. It’s in a particular order that isn’t necessary chronological, but it maps out me now. It’s not a pretty story, it’s not always a happy story, and I have no guarantee that the ending is a happy one. It’s my story though so it is what it is. Believe it or not, this is a lighter look, it was the easiest piece to write. My story it’s not a pretty one for about 6-8 years following the end of this part. 

Anyway. Everything is connected. Everything has a purpose, and nothing is meaningless. From the bottom of my heart I know this to be true. 

6.1.16 

So when I’m gone, just carry on 

  
So I’ve been gone a while. I can’t really say that I’m sorry because I honestly didn’t know how long it had been since I last wrote. I started using a phsyical journal instead. It feels safe. It feels like home. There is just something about being able to write in a leather bound journal with brand new pens instead of typing away on a computer. 

Let’s play catch up for a minute though: since I last wrote I stopped taking my medicine for a hot minute. To sum it up quickly it was horrible. I lost it. It didn’t help that I worked three back to back 80s a week. For the record though I’m back on them and while I’m still hating everything and feeling my roller coaster moods like crazy-I don’t feel like dying anymore, which is always nice. I’ve actually started to take care of myself. Like ADLs. It’s a huge step for me. Something as simple as showering, brushing my teeth, putting on makeup, fuck I’ve even started doing my laundry and making my bed. Let’s be real though, I probably wouldn’t have started taking my meds again if mi princesa hadn’t convinced me. I’m stubborn by nature, so the act of taking medicine for help is already hard enough-having someone help me through encouragement and random reminders is fucking torture. A torture I’m thankful for, but torture none the less.

One thing that’s different though is how much weight I’ve lost and how much more defined I’m becoming again. I looked down at the scale the other day and realized I weigh less now than I did in my last 3 seasons of collegiate soccer. I’m still muscular, shit i have the beginning of abs and sex lines again, I’ve dropped a pant size and it’s noticeable that I have lost weight. The only downside to all of this is how fat I still feel. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been fat in a while, if I could even really be categorized as fat to begin with, but I’m down 25/30 pounds and still feel huge. Logically I know that I’m smaller, but emotionally it’s not the same. I’ve got 10 more pounds to go until goal weight, but I don’t even know that that will be enough for me. I remember weighing 130 and I loved it, I felt great, I fit into everything, but I also ate much less than I do now-gold fish and Gatorade were all I could choke down. Now with help I can get through breakfast and dinner on good days. I will admit I’ve done a few days of just not eating, but those days are getting to be few and far between and yet my weight is holding steady. 

Fucking finally though-it’s been at least 3 months since I smoked my last cigarette. It’s not something I actively think about unless it’s a really bad day and fight myself to just keep driving past the gas station. Honestly though, not smoking has been one of the easiest transitions in my life that I have dealt with in a really long time. 

So that’s it, that’s everything. I mean not everything this is basically a chapter summary-just enough information to pass, but it lacks all of the detail that gives you insight. 

4.7.16

Things you don’t tell your Nana after a night out 

  1. The real reason you didn’t come home until 5:00 am on a Saturday morning 
  2. That you were at a strip club until 2:00am that same morning
  3. That you were probably still drunk when you left for work at 9:00 on Saturday morning 
  4. Why you were wearing a sweatshirt when it wasn’t cold
  5. That you were with your boss at said strip club 

One thing you always tell your Nana though, is how much happier you are with your life. Sure she knows your sad without even asking, but it never hurts for her to know what an impact she is having on your life. 

2.29.16

    Sadness creates art 

    It’s true what they say. Some of the best productions and creative masterpieces stem from some pretty dark places. I seem to have escaped that dark place for the time being and as a result, rather than filling my time with writing and god knows what else, I am enjoying just being. I am enjoying just living and experiencing the world and what it has to offer me right now. Through out the day I occasionally think of things I’d love to write about and how I can expand on those thoughts, but it stops there, they are just thoughts and nothing more. I’d prefer to just revel in the beauty of what is being offered to me as opposed to being consumed by my own mind and let everything else slip by. 

    This weekend though I’m going to make an active effort to create. I’m traveling a bit-Philly on Thursday, New York City probably on Sunday, a flannel party or snowboarding on Friday, seeing my father on Saturday. I just saw my parents last week for my moms birthday. That was a fucking whirlwind of emotions. Nothing too horrible or at least nothing so horrible it still sticks out in my mind. Over this past weekend I got to dance the night away and it was glorious. Started Valentine’s Day kissing a beautiful girl and finished it surrounded by my family. For some reason I even agreed to go on a date with someone…again read Conscience, I really shouldn’t be dating anyone right now. I am hoping though I run into that girl again this week at the flannel party, that would be money. I think that’s everything, if you can’t tell already by how this all flows I’ve hit another manic cycle. I’m holding steady though and still not smoking. My vape is kicking ass and taking names. 

    2.16.16

    Conscience 

    I almost feel bad for having a conscience. Almost. Not much. I do feel bad for this kid though, I can tell she is falling hard and I just feel like an asshole. I’m trying, I really am. She’s cool, she’s nice, she’s funny and a lot of fun to be with, but I just don’t know. I literally had to get hammered just to kiss her and maybe it was the vodka thinking, but I barely felt anything. I know I should let her go, but there is a comfort in talking to her. Not a comfort in like I can’t be alone, but in a comfort that I have someone cool to talk to and hang out with that isn’t associated with work or well, anyone that I know. 

    Enough about that. I started smoking again. Well I had, but then I stopped. Vaping really does help, I haven’t had a cigarette in like 2 days and am already almost ready to step down to the 2nd lowest level of nicotine juice. I feel pretty ashamed that I wasn’t able to keep up having quit, but everyone has setbacks and if that’s the worse one I have to deal with right now I am okay with that. 

    I went to the river the other day. I chose the wrong outfit to wear, but I was still able to get some free climbing and danger walks out to the river rocks in. It was great. Probably one of the best days that I have had in a very long time. My head had been reeling and nothing I did was able to stop it. So I opted to go down to my favorite spot, brought along my camera and made some risky walks out above the water. There is this old train bridge that’s no longer connected to anything just a couple lengths out over the water that I have seen people climb out on. I probably won’t be doing that again. My favorite part though was climbing out over the beaver dam to a set of rocks that no one else was on or able to get to unless the braved the climb. It was glorious. The water was crashing by me  and even though it was moving so fast it was so soothing, so calming and finally my mind found peace, it found a slow steady pace that I have been yearning for. 

       
       
    So here I found my peace, here I found my solitude, here I found myself. Until we need to meet again. 

    2.8.16

    Well Shit

    I meant to add this post here, but well life got in the way. Okay thats not true, my brain got in the way and I got distracted and forgot.

    I’ve been cut free, no, self harm free for 7 years. Huh. I can’t believe I forgot about that.
    I know you aren’t reading this, but Georgia I still carry around my Congratulations wish stone you gave me for my 1 year. Thank you for all your strength and encouragement all those years ago. You taught me so much and even when those lessons and advice become blurry in my manic mental state they are the most helpful ones I’ve learned thus far.
    So thank you for helping me learn that just because we have a mental illness and are expected to fail and fall into the endless cycle, it doesn’t mean we have to. We can break the cycle, it doesn’t matter how long it takes, but we don’t have to be the self fulfilling prophecies that never get out. It can be done. So thank you for helping to show me my way out.

    1.19.16

    Rubber band man

    For whatever reason overtime I plug my phone in to charge on my computer and my photos auto load the stupid Quicktime player opens because of all the videos that I have saved. The one that gets me every single time was one that was supposed to be a time-lapse video on my way to a hiking adventure. Now this adventure turned out to be more of a car adventure more than anything, but none the less I will never turn down an adventure. To be fair it’s probably one of the most simultaneously fun-loving yet depressing videos I have on my phone to date. This video, well I can even explain it. I watched part of it the other day to see if it even stirred any feelings deep inside this dark hole–I am still undecided– one thing that got to me though was all of the raw emotion. My video captured love, it captured honesty, it captured fun, and it also captured something incredibly sad. This day was meant to be an escape. An escape from the horrible reality we were both facing that day, week, whatever. Three of us were going through our dark days, two of us don’t allow ourselves to feel it. For me it was one of the easiest dark days I have had in a while, the aftermath not so much, but for the first time in a long time I had no thoughts of wanting to die, no thoughts of thinking I was a fractured human being that couldn’t be loved because of this thing that happened to me. That day, that day you said goodbye. Not to me, but you may as well have. I caught it all on video. We caught it all on video. You are by far the strongest human I have ever encountered. I think maybe its your eternal optimism, your never-ending show of happiness. I really have no idea, but I am happy that you were able to shed that light on my life. I still only have one question. What in the world is the rubber band man story. I still don’t understand it.

    there isn’t really a point to this post, just something that’s been rattling around in my brain since I watched our lovely video.

    2.8.16