Seriously, if you can’t handle how deep this post is about to get, ESPECIALLY if we know each other personally, then please do not continue.
I will put a little update here that way there’s a bit of space separating the getting real and the warning, ya know? Just in case you don’t want to read it and then catch the first line or two and change your mind. Life has been harsh. I can’t say that I am very proud of myself recently, but hey, I presume it happens to all of us. Just in different ways and at different times. My ex and I got into a big fight. That led to what he has started referring to as “moments.” Which is better than what he has said in the past, but still sounds condescending. Unfortunately, those “moments,” he is referring to, is when I lose restraint of my anger. He once said it was like I had a demon inside me. I’ll let you know, it often feels like I have no control over what I am doing or saying when I get to a certain level of anger. But I know there’s no monster inside of me except for me.
I have always had this anger inside of me. I can’t explain why or where it comes from. Whatever put it there is so long gone, I don’t remember it and don’t want to. Or what if it is an accumulation of things? Things that have upset or angered me and were never resolved and have just caused it to get bigger and hotter. But I remember being told as a child that I was angry. Angry about what? I can’t really think of anything that happened to me to cause so much anger. I mean, ya’ll, for years growing up, I would slam doors, slam drawers, slam ANYTHING, and for some reason, it always made me feel better. I think it’s the loud bang that just releases something. Am I still angry, usually. But guess what, if you asked me if I felt better instead of yelled at me, I would have told you, “yep, sure do!” But this is the real world and that behavior is never acceptable, no matter how young or old you are.
Growing up, I always used my words. I was VERY rarely violent (I had two brothers, come on, it was gonna happen a few times). But I could cut you to the bone with my words. I remember my Junior year in high school, my little brother, who was a freshman on the wrestling team, and I got into a huge fight. I don’t remember what it was about, but we ended up grappling. By that, I mean, I ended up in some weird wrestling hold with him yelling at me, not in anger – but so I could hear it over my own screaming, that he wasn’t trying to hurt me, only restrain me. I was so embarrassed. (I used to pick on my little brother a lot. I feel bad about it looking back; over the last few years, people have told me several times how much he really loved me.) But, I jumped up and just started running my mouth. I don’t remember what I said, but it ended with him crying. I made my little brother cry. I didn’t know it at the time. I said whatever I said and then walked out. My mom came to me later and gave me a well-deserved lecture. And I felt terrible when I realized that I hurt him that way. I always feel horrible after the fact. I may be mad at someone and feel like they slighted me or whatever in some way. But I don’t want to hurt people. And I feel like shit when I realize I have. Or sometimes, in that moment, yeah I want to hurt them the same way they hurt me. But after it is all said and done, do I feel better? No, I feel like shit.
I have lost family, friends, lovers, and pissed off plenty of strangers. And while I felt like I was justified at the time, it is true what they say, you can’t take back your words. My second husband left me a few months after I was hospitalized and diagnosed with a mild form of PTSD and severe depression. Shitty timing but can’t say I blame him. I have an aunt I haven’t talked to in years. Hell, there have been a few times over the years I even caused my brothers to stop talking to me for a time. But, losing my second husband really broke my heart, and it kind of opened my eyes, and I realized I needed to learn how to say, “ok, I need to walk away.” And as time went on, I got better about it.
But, the last year or so, I lost the ability to do that. And it cost me another relationship. Now, don’t get me wrong, I feel like we both played a significant role in where we ended. But I have to admit that I am the one who went way overboard. I went to a place I have never been to and never want to go back to.
So here is where I am going to get really real, and if you know me and do not want to know the dirty details of my life, I beg you to stop reading now. It’s only getting worse before it gets better. So, here I go.
Hello, my name is Harley (not my real name but anonymity is necessary for many reasons), and I am an addict. I’ve always been on something, so I don’t want to name one thing and say, “Hey, that’s me!” because it isn’t. It depends on what is going on in my life as to how I self medicate.
But I never saw myself as someone who took advantage of people because of my habits. For the longest time, I supported myself. I had a great job, a lovely apartment, a wonderful husband, but it all went crashing down all at the same time for the most part. I didn’t get out of bed and do anything really productive with my life for 3 months. That shit broke me ya’ll, for real. I mean, I did the shit I had to do, but I had just gotten a reasonable sum of money, and most of my time was laying up in the bed, popping pills and sleeping. I spent 3 months beating myself up and tearing myself down. To the point that when the time came to stand up and be me again, I was gone. And I haven’t really found her since. I was irresponsible. I ran out of money before I knew it, and had to move in with my brother and his wife. That was 2014, and now is the first time since then that I have lived alone, without someone living with me and helping pay the rent. And it is an efficiency lodge at that. So it isn’t like I am stepping up in life. And I am still nowhere near the person I was before that divorce.
My drug of choice the last couple of years has been a mixer of looking at a clear glass window and having a big bowl of green cereal. I’ve done other stuff here and there, but those were my favorite go-to. I don’t see anything wrong with cereal, get over it. But that window, it brings out the worst in me. I get paranoid, obsessive, and I wouldn’t say I lose touch with reality because I haven’t precisely lost touch. But there certainly are some theatrical scenarios that I can come up with if I stare through that window too long. And I was convinced my boyfriend was cheating on me. And I did everything I could (short of following him and bugging his phone – despite what he believes) to prove it. I was obsessed.
I went through his things, checked his phone, and more. I would ask his friends if he was cheating, I began hearing voices. And the stories that my mind could come up with, my boyfriend once told me I could write novels. And who knows, maybe I will! Nevertheless, I still struggle with what to believe and not believe. I heard him plotting against me with other people. He says I was hallucinating. I really want to trust in that. He never believed me when I told him that. He insisted that I just wanted to be right. But, I would hate to find out that the person I was fighting so hard for was just playing a game with me. I’d prefer to be suffering the effects of the window and deal with that. It’s easier to face that than to face that you have been played for a fool by someone you fought so hard for.
But I couldn’t let it go. And the longer I looked out that window, the worse the nagging became, the fighting got, and ultimately, led to the violence. I will give it to him, it was extremely rare for him to get violent before me, if ever. I was usually the one who lost control first. But I’ll tell you, the rage that came through his fighting, it saddens me so profoundly that I pushed that rage into him. He wasn’t like that when we first met. And while I don’t agree with either of us getting violent, I can’t sit here and pretend that there weren’t a few that I didn’t deserve.
And he too kept warning me, one day I was going to push him too far. I don’t know if I was unknowingly trying to see if he would leave. Was it that I was subconsciously thinking he was going to leave eventually too, everyone does, might as well rush through it and get it over with. I have to give it to him, he did stick by me a lot longer than most men would have. Most men would have put me out on my ass a long time ago.
Thus, now I sit in my small little room alone with a throbbing in my chest that makes me cry randomly (I am so glad I work from home). I’ve stopped looking through that window and am trying to put the pieces of my life back together. But, I am alone because of the bridges I burned, the lashings I could whip out, the hateful way I can act, and I did take advantage of people. It really was never my intention to take advantage of anyone. It usually came down to the fact I suck at communication, especially if it could lead to a confrontation. Believe it or not, I hate arguing. When I have an argument, I go into panic mode, and my brain just scatters. There are times I will forget what I am mad about it the first place, that is how flustered I get. I don’t know why it happens. Low self-esteem, insecurity, disassociation, the feeling that I need to please everyone. But because the people around me have come to expect me to react in anger and not like an average adult, they automatically are going to respond defensively. I know back when I was bitchy (I prefer confident and not willing to take anyone’s shit, but, ya know), I had people warn me. I know my mom did. She told me one day I was going to go too far and someone wouldn’t forgive me. And she was right. I’ve lost many people in my life from my anger.
But, I am not typing this blog to feel sorry for myself but to actually reveal something. I am going to get back to blogging again. I started this blog to advocate and bring awareness, and it has turned into me telling my life story. And maybe you are learning something, or perhaps you aren’t. But I didn’t create this blog to whine. I created it because I love to write, and I do it well. So, you are going to start to see some changes soon. I am going to move this blog in an informative and supportive direction.
I am tired of being called crazy because I have mood swings. I’m sick of hearing people lecturing others because they talk about giving up. Hearing someone say “just snap out of it” to a friend who has no motivation. I don’t like being made to feel bad because my social anxiety gets in other people’s way. Just because I don’t want to go doesn’t mean you can’t. And yes, I know there is a chance it will make me feel better. But there is also a chance that I am going to end up in a corner somewhere staring at my phone to avoid eye contact while gnawing off my nails. And people need to understand these things.
I may have depression, anxiety, and mood swings (leave it at that for now since my doctor isn’t sure I’m bipolar), but that doesn’t make me a dangerous person. Do I need to learn how to handle things differently? Abso-fucking-lutely (I love how my autocorrect did not tell me I spelled that wrong!)! But aside from that, I just have different needs than others, and yeah, I’m quirky and weird, and I often say the wrong thing at the wrong time. And I am sure that 90% of what I have just told you was unnecessary. Oh well. I don’t have a therapist, so this is my therapy session with myself. haha
But that is ok because I am ok. I am perfectly imperfect.
I hope to see you guys following along, and I hope new readers come as well. Feel free to reach out to me or leave a comment with your thoughts.