I wrote this in my other journal, so I figured I might as well copy and paste it here, too.
I’ve always been a very guarded person. In fourth grade, I hid behind a bush after my best friend blurted out that AllegrausedtolikeAndrewHamm! As I was doing my best to hold back tears, I repeated to myself to stay strong, to not ever let people see you when you are weak. I don’t know where this mentality originally came from but it stuck. A major goal of mine this year (and by “this year,” I mean more like the last three or four months) has been to be more candid about anything and everything in my life. This has proven more cathartic than I could have imagined.
Last year I went to therapy at my school’s graduate student-staffed clinic. I was too embarrassed to admit I was going. It went poorly. I was paired up with a guy whom, by the end of the year, I wanted sock square in the face. Despite feeling worse off after the first stint in therapy (as evidenced by a good month long relapse of cutting), I went back, this time telling myself, too bad if you’re still embarrassed to be going, suck it up and be honest if it comes up because I’m not lying for your sorry ass anymore. This was when I decided that I really am not going to get better until I can be honest about myself. The therapist I’m working with now is fantastic. It’s not all puppies and rainbows or anything, but I think I’m finally beginning to be able to see a difference in myself. That’s all I ever wanted.
Coinciding almost perfectly with my resolution to be honest instead of bottling things all up until I want to kill myself again, was a boy. Quite frankly, I never would have, in a million years, expected myself to be in a relationship like this. By that I mean: he’s a lot older than me. Sixteen years, if you want to be exact. This has been met with a lot of skepticism from people in my life. I don’t blame them at all; I’d be skeptical, too, if I wasn’t too busy being completely infatuated. In fact, I think it’s generally a really terrible idea to date someone so much older (and yet, like an idiot, I decided to do it anyway.!) I was a half-beat away from saying “no” when he asked me out but at the last second I stopped myself and said, “yes” instead. At that moment, I just felt like I needed some kind of change and maybe a new relationship—with an older guy, no less—could be it. By the end of the first date, I still felt decidedly lukewarm toward him but obliged to a second date anyway, so I could feel like I had at least given him a fair chance. I had sex with him on the third date, so you can probably guess that, yes, he definitely did grow on me (though admittedly, I still wasn’t super into him the first couple of times.)
It was probably pretty unwise to sleep with him after only a week, especially when the question of his motives was still up in the air, but before the date, I weighed my options carefully and came to the conclusion that I did want to have sex with him that night and oh well if he ends up being a creep and dumping me because I wasn’t that emotionally attached anyway. I also like to think I have a pretty good read on people (I know, I know, don’t we all…) and I believed him to be genuine.
Fast-forward to now, he hasn’t abandoned me yet. I guess it’s still possible that he’s in it only for the sex but I doubt that he’d do all the couple-y stuff (and want to do it, no less.) Anyway, there’s no question in my mind that he’s truly into this. There’s still skepticism on the part of others, but I guess with an age difference this large there will always be skepticism, no matter how good he is to me (and yes, he is wonderful to me.) I can’t express how happy I am in this relationship right now so that’s all that matters to me. I’m too far in it to back out now, anyway, so I guess if something negative comes of this, I’ll just have to take it (and all the inevitable “I knew it!”s) in stride. One thing that does make it hard, though, is thinking about this in terms of us long-term. In all practically it probably won't work out for a million and one different reasons, one of the main ones being age and the fact that we are in different stages of our lives. It sucks to think about but it's not enough to make me want to break it off quite yet. Somehow i have an unwavering faith that whatever happens in relationships is what's "meant" to happen. I don't know how to explain it, really, but it gives me great solace when things don't work out in the way I wish they would have.
Emotionally, this semester has been pretty rough for me. My family feels like it is imploding and frankly, I’d rather do just about anything than spend time with them (which is painfully unavoidable during the holidays—hooray) There’s much too much to explain everything that’s been happening but suffice it to say, it sucks.
Aside from my family issues, I’ve also been having difficulty coming to terms with my own limitations. I haven’t been doing particularly well in school and I am only now realizing that I really don’t have as much control over this area of my life as I had always hoped. Rock bottom was when I realized I was going to flunk my Women’s Studies class because I hadn’t been able to get it together enough to write the final essay. No matter how badly I tried, I couldn’t make the words come. Prior to this when I’d find myself in similar situations, I had always convinced myself that I could do it, I was just too lazy/unmotivated/whatever else. But I tried so goddamn hard on that essay and I was not able to make myself concentrate for more than five minutes at a time. It has occurred to me, that maybe it is a problem that I find myself unable to complete in six hours a piece of work that would take the average student 20 minutes. My inability to concentrate is frustrating to the point of tears and often times provokes anxiety to the point of paralysis (I often sit in my room for hours panicking because I can’t make myself move and just do something.) When I get back from this break, I am going to see someone about this. I’m not sure what I’m expecting but being completely honest with myself, I am going to be unable to continue on with my education much longer (and I really do have my heart set on graduate school) if I can’t find some type of solution. This semester was especially bad.
Don’t even get me started on the panic that this is inducing regarding getting in to grad school. Seriously, what do you do if you don’t get into graduate school? I know you’re supposed to take a year off and get more practical experience and blah blah blah, but what then? What if you’re still a mediocre candidate at best? I honestly can’t see myself going into a field that wouldn’t require anything past a bachelor’s degree. I have a host of mental issues that I am working through and my grades have suffered because of that, but that can only explain away so much, and really, I don’t want to have to use it as an excuse for anything (though, it definitely is a factor and I know it.) I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who is able to work through the fog and get out on the other side. I am finally realizing that that is not me and never will be and that that’s okay, too. I’ve desperately needed help for many years and am finally getting it, but that doesn’t magically excuse the fact that I’ve generally sucked at school.
I am working through it; no matter how much I’d like to think so, there isn’t something special about my depression that makes it any worse or more unbeatable. Bad days come and go and I’ve proven to myself that I can make it out alive. I’m starting to think that the urge to off myself will always be there and it’s just something that I’ll have to learn to live with (not at all unlike the fact that I can’t get through an entire day without wanting to grab the nearest sharp object and slice myself up.)
Sometimes I get mad at myself because I can’t just snap out of it. I’ve been good about keeping myself goinggoinggoing because if I don’t, I start having those days where I can’t get out of bed. It’s hard to describe adequately, but I’ll easily sleep for 15+ hours and feel physically unable to do anything, including eating or standing up for more than 2 minutes. So, I’ve been going and doing lots of stuff, but that doesn’t do anything to clear the ever-present fog in my head that rarely lets me be happy, enjoy myself, or even think clearly. One thing I like so much about my boy is that I find myself being able to be happy around him, despite the fog.
Anyway, such is life, I guess.