A letter to my childhood best friend

“In your entire life, you can probably count your true friends on one hand.” ― Sarah Ockler, 

I looked at my dad and ask him how can this be true? I had a group of friends and who all seemed so amazing. But, when things got tough the truth was revealed. He was right, and I was so confused.

No matter how many times my dad reminded me not to wear my heart on my sleeve I never could hide that part of me. I couldn’t be untrue to myself and put on a facade. To me, friend, isn’t just another word. The word friend has meaning to me, because once you call me your friend I put my whole heart into the friendship. Instead of protecting my heart, I would expose it to anyone that called me a friend. But in return, I got hurt, used, and abused. So this post is going out to those who I held dear to my heart, and called friend or best friend.

Getting off the bus and walking home, I turned around to say hi to the girl walking behind me. We took the bus everyday together, and got off at the same spot, so why not just say hi? I had noticed this girl before, she had a lot of people picking on her and being mean to her. I didn’t know why, but all I knew is that I felt a tug in my heart to say hi.

We were total opposites, I listened to rock and metal, while she listened to hip hop and rap. She was comfortable showing her body, while I covered myself from wrist too ankles. She was extremely girl and dressed in stuff with care bears on it, and I dressed in all black. She was happy, outgoing, preppy, and I was shy and sad. Despite our differences, we quickly became friends, and almost did everything together.

Everyday early in the morning we would get up extremely early just to go to 711 and get our daily special. Hot Cheetos, french vanilla coffee mixed with hot chocolate, and a slurpy mixed with almost every flavor. Everyday we would sit on the playground at the park a cross the street from our middle school and just talk about life. I’m guessing being in seventh grade, our conversation was mostly about boys. Everyday we would meet in the morning before school and at the bus stop right after school. Sometimes we walked, while other times we would take the bus. Soon we were always together and had all these inside jokes, like on the radio, thump, and pudding for some odd reason. Eventually, we knew everything about each other.

When I got my period, she was the first friend who knew. When she got hit and was drowning in tears I was the first to know and be there. When people at school would start fights with her because she was the type of girl every guy wanted, but every girl hated I was there to be overprotective. When a guy or someone hurt her, I would go tell them off and threaten them when she wasn’t around. I saw her as a younger sister I had to protect from the world, so she would never experience how harsh the world could really be, which I already knew and experienced.

Soon, I trusted her enough to tell her the thirteen years of secrets I held inside. I told her everything from me cutting, being sexually abuse, and all the neglect and abused I experienced growing up at my moms. These secrets I held inside I never told a soul until her. When I couldn’t express what I was feeling in words, I would let her read my diary.

I was sharing all my broken pieces with her that I hid inside, and when I felt worthless, well she reminded me that I wasn’t. When a friend wronged me, I watched her from a distance go yell at that friend with her long hair flying every where. Our friendship meant a lot to me because not only did I tell her everything about me, she taught me to stick up for myself instead of letting everyone walk all over me. However, I never thought she would be the friend to betray me. I knew she wasn’t the nicest person, but I understood how much bullying she went through and used it to justify her actions.

I remember I told her about this guy I liked in 8th grade and he started to like her. I was of course hurt, and expressed my pain through the razor. blade I remember telling them, and while I was in the bathroom cleaning up the cut (which they told me to do) they were making out right in front of the window. She told me and of course it became a he said she said situation, but the fact was the girl I called best friend went behind my back to kiss the guy I liked. At this point, I kind of started shutting down and became a little distant. But I still thought of her as my best friend, and my little sister. I shared everything, and couldn’t just throw a friendship away over a guy. (even though, that happened later)

I tried to keep a close friendship with her once we both entered high school, but a lot had changed in a year, we changed. She started to hangout with girls who had a similar personality as her. Outgoing, fun, and just carefree, while my depression intensified. I was getting out of a toxic relationship with a guy who sexually abused me and mentally destroyed me. He was manipulative and abusive, and when I opened up to her about the stuff he put me through. She just responded well he did that to you, but never did anything wrong to me. So I’m going to stay his friend. It broke me because my best friend chose a relationship with my abuser over someone who has been there for her, since I met her.

I think that was the biggest turning point in our friendship. I lost myself even more after that. I couldn’t escape the pain I was feeling or the person who caused it, because all my friends stayed close to him. Every day, I would see him I was traumatized all over again and experiencing the abuse all over again. My friends were suppose to be my safe space, but that was destroyed. He never had any intention of being their friends, all he wanted was an easy hookup, and he told me that. I can’t say he ruined our friendship, because he just exposed the truth about “my friends”. The group we hung out with, never checked on me after that. I don’t know if she told them, but in my mind I wouldn’t be surprised if the story was twisted. I knew all her friends personal business, so looking back at it I’m sure they new mine. Well, her version of my truth.

I tried to tell her how much it impacted me that she was friends with my abuser. She knew how severe my depression was and how much I was cutting at that point. To be honest, they both knew, but neither of them cared. I was cutting 13 to 23 times in one setting, and when I told her she just said I was too much drama to deal with. I had cuts all up and down my arm, but no one seem to care or understand the severity of the situation.

She only came to me after that when she got tired of her other friends, and needed to talk shit or vent. I don’t know why I kept ignoring the red flags, maybe it was because I felt she was my first real friend, and the first person I opened up too. But I just kept letting her walk all over me.

Eventually, I got so bad that I was sent away to a treatment facility. None of my friends reached out while I was there. I felt so little in those moments, knowing no one seemed to care what had happened to me. When I got out, my ex told me all the shit she was talking about me. Go figure, my abuser told me the truth. Apparently when I was gone, she was saying I was crazy, annoying and had a lesbian crush on her.

I wanted to stop being her friend so much, but I promised that I wouldn’t leave. I try to keep my promises no matter what, so by walking out I would have made myself look like a liar. I was use to her screaming at me in front of her friends and embarrassing me. I just sat there and took it. I kept quiet and never said anything bad about her. My friends would get mad at me for allowing her to treat me so badly. A good majority of the people I spoke to didn’t like her and questioned why I wouldn’t break my promise. I patiently waited for her to say she didn’t want to be friends with me anymore.

I remember the conversation as if it was yesterday, even though it was probably nine years ago. I just said, finally took you long enough, I haven’t wanted to be your friend for awhile. Never did I tell her how much of a bad friend she really was to me. I knew she wouldn’t care because she only cared about herself at that point. She didn’t care about our friendship and she made that clear. It hurt, but what hurt more was believing that I deserved to be treated so poorly. But, I thought obviously I deserve this. Now, I see clearly, but I will go into that after I finish my story.

Years later I approached her and said hi, and we spoke like nothing ever happened. Again, we became close and best friends. She actually stopped being friends with my ex and apologized for not being there for me. She explained she didn’t know how to deal with my depression, so she just pushed me away. I could tell that she grew up and really matured over the years. I saw the change for awhile, but like a guy who constantly cheats they always betray you again. I enjoyed her company and we hung out almost everyday, going to the gym, hiking, and staying the night over at each others houses. She took me out for my birthday, drove me to Santa Barbara when I missed my bus for work. We both were going through a heart break and trying to build each other up again, while encourage each other to leave our guy.

Like turning a switch off, she became calloused and cold. She was talking to this toxic guy, and while we were in the club he picked her up carrying her outside forcing her to talk to him. He later took off with her keys, phone, and wallet refusing to give them back until she talked to him. We had to call the police and leave him there. Arriving back to my house, she was a hysterical mess. I had to put her in pajamas while comforting her. When she calmed down, she asked me to go pick up the guy she just spent an hour crying over (who was 40 minutes away). Despite my better judgement, I drove her to go pick him up. We get back to my house and they automatically started fighting because he wanted her to sleep on the couch, but she didn’t want to. For hours, I tried to mediate the situation and help them better communicate so they were no longer arguing. Their situation escalated, and they just couldn’t and wouldn’t see eye to eye. Finally, I had to kick him out of my apartment, because It was six in the morning and I just couldn’t deal with the drama anymore. I had enough of the arguing, shouting, and crying. The next day she proceeded to tell me how annoying I was but once again I just brushed it off like any normal friend would do.

A couple weeks later, I went to Vegas with her, and she made it clear the whole trip that she didn’t want me there. Left me alone and lost in club by myself, while I was drunk. Actually, to be more accurate she threatened to leave me at the club, knowing I didn’t know the address to the hotel and my phone was about to die. I was pissed, but just wanted to sleep. However, she locked me out of the bedroom and I had no where to sleep. I decided to leave and was walking down the street at 2am in Vegas. I was crying, and almost every two seconds a car would pull over and ask me if I wanted a ride. A car started following me, and I hid in a 24 hour clinic. The receptionists told me I could only stay for 30 minutes, but I think they changed their mind when they saw how upset I was and allowed me to stay there till 6am. Of course when I went back there was no apology, and I had to once again brush off the lousy treatment. If that wasn’t the topping on the cake, this is after I took care of her the first night in Vegas were she got sloppy drunk and was crying in the bath tub wanting to go home. This actually happened consistently when we became friends again. She would drink, and I would get her home safely and take care of her, except one day she told our friends she didn’t want me there and to have me leave.

She became very verbally abusive in our friendship. I was sitting on her couch watching law and order, she looks over and says “ugh, you are so annoying”.

“I’m literally not even talking. I’m watching t.v”.

“Ya, but everything about you is annoying, just your being and existence is annoying.”

“okay, Lucy” ignoring her.

Finally, I moved away to go to school. Where she ghosted me for months, even though I was just trying to ask her if my books were delivered to her house. Just another one of her moods, I had to deal with. I was use to her moodiness by now, so most of the time I just ignored it and still came down to visit her. Until, she left me to sleep in my car. I was suppose to go out with her that night and stay at her house, since I lived four hours away. Well, when I told her I wasn’t feeling like going out, she told me to not come and to drive home.

I always ignored all her behavior, and never really stood up for myself. Finally, she decided to ghost me again and I called her out on it. Asking her why have you always been such a lousy friend, when I have ever only been a good friend to you. Well her response was to block me. This really opened up my eyes and showed me who she really was. I finally realized that I wasn’t the problem and I don’t need to keep someone toxic like that in my life. Even if I have been friends with her for over 15 years. The years and the history no longer mattered because she wasn’t a good friend to me and I finally saw that. It’s not okay to treat people like that, especially when you express that you genuinely care for people and want to make a difference in their lives. If you can’t be decent to people, how are you ever going to make a difference in someones life?

Looking back now I finally understand the quote my dad once told me. Growing up I thought I had this amazing group of friends. But, over time I slowly noticed who was a true friend. The people I thought that would be there for me at my lowest, weren’t. The friends I thought would stand by my side to encourage me, didn’t. The friends I expected to include me, left me out. The friends I thought would never leave me, left. The friends I expected to make me feel special on my birthday, forgot. And the friends I thought would forgive, held grudges.

I think growing up I put so much of my heart into my friendships. I was so invested that each time a friend would hurt me, I felt a piece of me being chipped away. I became exhausted by constantly being let down, that I lost the passion to be a true friend. I couldn’t give anymore because I had already given everything I had inside of me, that there was nothing left to give. I was an empty vessel filled with despair and hurt and that takes time to rebuild.

But….

I’ve learned over time, everyones definition of a true friend is different. What i consider a true friend, may be different to what my friend considers a true friend. But to me, a friend is someone who will be there to support, encourage, and love you during your lowest times. A friend takes the time to understand and doesn’t make you feel judged but accepted. A friend should never make you feel insignificant or invisible. You shouldn’t have to question their motives or where their loyalty lies. I shouldn’t have to question what they are saying behind my back and when I’m not around. A real friend doesn’t just hangout with you when they are bored and as soon as they find someone else they leave. In many of my friendships I felt like the time waster, meaning I felt like I was there just to pass by the time, until someone else came along.

But most importantly, a true friend puts in the work to keep the friendship alive. I’ve had many one sided relationships where “my friend” never took the time to invest in me. A friendship isn’t a one sided a relationship. It takes two people to invest, forgive, and walk in love/understanding to keep a friendship alive.

So, i can’t say I’ve had many true friends, but I can say during different seasons of my life, I had that friend to get me through.

“In your entire life, you can probably count your true friends on one hand. Maybe even on one finger. Those are the friends you need to cherish, and I wouldn’t trade one of them for a hundred of the other kind. I’d rather be completely alone than with a bunch of people who aren’t real. People who are just passing time.”  Sarah Ockler

Because you didn’t want to lose him, you lost yourself

Because you didn’t want to lose him, you lost yourself. By settling for being mistreated and undervalued, you became the girl whose world was strictly based on lies. You formed a habit of accepting the blame and saying “It’s my fault”. You became the girl who justified feeling unappreciated and undervalued. You learned to say “It’s Okay, I’m fine” to hide the pain and confusion in your eyes. You settled for not being a priority and told yourself you needed to change. Believing if you try hard enough he will magically come to his senses and treat you right.

I know how I can earn his love. Maybe, If I could just be more understanding and accepting, maybe he will treat me right. Maybe, if I cater to him after he had a long day at work he will continue wanting me. Maybe, I can be more appreciative for the little he does do for me, he will do more. Maybe, if I dress up for him or work out, he will only desire me. I can learn to be better in bed and have sex with him more, so I am all he needs.

You became the girl who constantly said I can show him I am worth loving. You became the girl who kept being taken for granted and you dealt with it by repeating “everything’s ok”. You became the girl who learned not to question his lies, so you don’t make him upset. You became the girl who kept being unhappy, but told everyone “I’m fine”.

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The truth is I know it’s a lie, when you whisper I’m fine. I know the glimmer of hope you had in your eyes is dying. I know your soul is aching and your heart is shattering. I know you’re sitting up late at night lost in your thoughts. Wondering, why you aren’t enough. Wondering, if this is your karma from a past mistake. I know, you probably blame yourself and believe you deserve to be mistreated. I know, the more you try to prove you’re worth his love, the more he pushed away. The more he pushes away the harder you break, and the harder you break, the more you lose your way.

I understand, you believed things could change, so you clung on to hope. But I also understand you’re living your life for him and not yourself. I understand, how miserable you can become.

How do I know this?

I know this because I was this girl. Because I didn’t want to lose him, I lost myself in the process of loving him. I became a girl who settled for being mistreated. A girl who kept saying it’s okay, even though I knew it wasn’t. I hung on to the fantasy that one day he will change. I justified feeling unworthy of his love by making excuses for his actions. I allowed him to take advantage of my heart and body. I dropped everything when he called and wanted to see me. Even if that meant driving 18 hours to see him for a couple of hours, I did it. Or calling in sick for work or missing school I would do it. Nothing was more important than pleasing him. I enjoyed sacrificing my time for him, even if it wasn’t appreciated. I thought if he saw all I did for him, he would cherish me more. But sadly, thats not how our relationship worked.

I fought, so hard for him that it almost killed me. I blamed myself for who he was and the actions he chose. I chose him over myself, while he constantly would choose different women over me. Believing that I was the only one, when in reality I was just one of many. The situation was toxic, and I was aware, but he was all that mattered to me. Loving him poisoned my mind and destroyed my self-worth, but I didn’t want to end the relationship, all I wanted was his love. I was stripped of my identity, and I didn’t care.

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But you want to know what I learned this year?

I learned how to put myself first instead of him. I learned that no matter what I do or how hard I try I can’t change someone who doesn’t want to change. I can’t change someone who is committed to mistreating and using me. I realized instead of questioning myself and my reality, that he was the one in the wrong. I was just a girl responding to the constant lies and abuse. But I learned I had the power to change my life and love myself. I wasn’t in love anymore, I was just fixated on what we had in the past. My love for him wasn’t enough to hold on anymore. I lost myself trying to prove i’m worth loving. I became someone I didn’t recognize. I gave someone else the power over me, someone who used the power to control me.

Was it worth it? It wasn’t enough to justify the years or tears I wasted holding on. Holding on to a ghost of someone who doesn’t exist anymore. It’s life, people change and relationships die. Letting go is probably the hardest lesson the world pushes us to learn. We will continue to go through immense amount of pain, until we learn to let go. Until we learn our happiness isn’t worth jeopardizing and our value isn’t worth compromising.

I know I am not the only one, who has experienced this. I’ve watched many of my friends lose themselves loving someone who mistreated them. I’ve held them while they have cried, and listen to them constantly question their worth. I’ve watched and felt the emotional roller coaster they were going through. I learned there wasn’t anything I could say to make the pain go away and have them walk away. I understand how hard it is, and I understand that you have to decide for yourself to walk away. You have to get to the point where you feel as if you have had enough. It took me almost a decade to learn that no one is worth your love or attention if they mistreat you. No guy is worth losing yourself for, and no guy is worth suffering for.

There is a saying “old ways won’t open new doors” and it’s true. Trust me, I banged on that door for years and lost myself. So, I say become selfish with your time and energy. Focus on the desires and dreams that lay within your heart. Don’t waste your time trying to teach a man how to treat you. Free yourself from the cage your relationship has you in and live the life you always wanted. Become the woman you desire to be and love yourself. Because we all know, when we were little girls we never dreamed of being mistreated in a relationship. We dreamed of a happily ever after love story. So, goodbye to who we were in 2019 and cheers to 2020 of self love. Let’s go find our fairy tale ending.

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The lessons I learned

I cried out to you, my friend, my lover, my soulmate, the one I trusted. I was falling apart and needed you. I told you the guilt inside of me was destroying me. I was thinking of ending my life and your response forever changed my heart. Your exact words were, “do what you have to do, life will go on with or without you”. I know it’s true but to hear that from the man I loved destroyed me. But you didn’t stop there, did you? Crying and in pain, I wrote “I just want to die. I’m so tired of the way I feel because of this….” I gave you another chance. A chance to stop me, to tell me not to or that I mean something to you. Begging in my mind please stop me, please love me….. Please, don’t let me do this…. STOP ME! I need a reason to not go through with it. But instead, you told me to stop texting you. “I’m saying I am thinking about killing myself and you are saying don’t text me”. “Goodbye,” you told me. With no emotion or thought. “Is this what you want me to do? I will do it”. I was hoping this time he would see how serious I was and how much pain I was in. I desperately wanted you to say no, but you didn’t, did you? You just replied stop.

So, I grabbed a bottle and locked myself in the bathroom. I took out the razor and pulled down my pants. I was drunk and dripping with blood. My mind didn’t go quiet and just kept reminding me this is what I deserve, I deserve to die. I deserve to die for hurting the people I love and care about. I deserve to die for being difficult and pushing you away. I deserve to die because you want me too.

I gave you another chance months later. You said you were sorry, but there was no change. As soon as I spoke to you again, I became that insecure desperate little girl I tried so hard to change. Your actions didn’t change. I was hoping I would love me and value me, but You didn’t. You still didn’t value or appreciate me. You didn’t try to make up for the hurt you caused, you just added more. You didn’t change, everything that didn’t revolve around you wasn’t important. I wasn’t important, just someone your wasting time with. You left my messages on read as I waited for hours for your response. You still ignored me and treated me like I was disposable. You still lied. I guess you didn’t care if your actions damaged me. I was desperate for your love and affection but u just kept starving me until death became the answer.

Do you know how it feels to feel like you’re not good enough? To feel like your trash and unworthy of love? Do you know how it feels to be used? Do you know how it feels when you look at someone with so much adoration and love and they let you down? Do you know how it feels when the person you love breaks your heart?

Because I do. I know what it’s like to fall out of love with someone because they continuously disappoint you. I know what it’s like to fall apart at night, wishing you would care and were there. I know what it’s like to get physically sick by the disappointment. I know what it’s like to have my heart broken from the one person you never expected. I also know what it’s like when my words weren’t enough to make you care. You thought my tears were manipulation. When in reality, it was my way of showing my heart’s brokenness. I felt hopeless, I tried everything to show you the pain, so you could change. Nothing worked, so I gave up and grabbed a blade. I used to cut as an expression for my pain. My body the canvas being painted with the blade. I wasn’t okay…

The truth is I didn’t want to die, but I felt so much guilt and shame. I felt so awful that the only way I thought would help was to end my life, so you could live in peace without me.

You made me believe everything was my fault and that I was the issue. But the truth is, after making an attempt and going into a crisis rehabilitation home, I realized the issue wasn’t me. You choose to live a double life filled with lies (with me and your coworkers); I didn’t force you, you told me you loved me countless times. I am only responsible for my own actions, not yours.

You taught me a valuable lesson that day. You taught me that you didn’t care if I lived or died, and sadly most people won’t. That is why it is important to love and put myself first. I put you first and I almost ended up in the grave. I thought you would care since you were my lover and best friend, but your actions proved otherwise. I kept looking at our past to give me a reason to stay. Yes, we once were in love and had so much passion, but it was gone (obviously). I should have let you go a long time ago, but I thought you were worth holding on too. I thought things would change, and I didn’t want to be alone.

Loneliness will keep you in places that you don’t want to be, much longer than you would like. I forgave you because of the loneliness I struggled with daily, but that day I was awakened and I didn’t see you the same. I was no longer worried about pleasing you or stressing because I felt like I was walking on eggshells. My life didn’t matter to you, and you made that clear, countless times. After that day, I let go of the memories I hung on to of the man I loved. I clung to these memories to remind me that it is possible for you to be amazing because of how great you once were. these memories allowed me to love you no matter how monstrous you became. However, that day showed me that amazing guy was already dead and wasn’t coming back. If he doesn’t care about the people he claims he loves or their life than he isn’t worth my time.

I grew so much stronger and more independent through that hardship. While you played the same games. I started to realize that I shouldn’t feel guilty about another person’s choices because it’s their life. They are the author of their own story, not me. I am just there to offer love and support.

I took time to myself and self-reflected for a couple of weeks, while in the crisis home. I didn’t socialize or go anywhere until I felt I had become reacquainted with myself. I had become so focused on pleasing him that I neglected my own needs and wants. His response to me wanting to end my life forced me to examine myself and my own levels of denial about my life. I started to invest in a relationship with myself and becoming the woman I desire to be.

This man tore me down and broke me until it almost killed me, but I realized that I am important and worth loving. Even if I fail or make mistakes, I still deserve to be loved and appreciated. I will mess up and occasionally hurt my friends and family, but that is life. I don’t have to punish myself or be punished by a man, for learning life’s lessons. My self-worth doesn’t lie in anybody else’s hands but mine. He doesn’t define me or who I will be, all he did was show me exactly who I don’t want to be. Every day I will keep trying to improve and better myself until I become the person I want to be and I won’t let anyone ever again get in the way. I won’t be the one who hates the person staring back at them in the mirror.

Even then, I will never forget that day. It will haunt me for eternity because part of my heart died from those words that were said.

Four Ways to Help You Stop Cutting

 

When I was nine years old, I watched a movie that would forever change my life. The movie was called Thirteen. For those who haven’t seen the movie it is about a girl who experiences with her sexuality, drugs, stealing, and other self-destructive behaviors. While watching the movie, I wasn’t drawn to the drugs, partying, or experiencing with sex. Those things didn’t capture my eye and tempt me in any way. It wasn’t until I saw the main character cut herself that I became intrigued. When the movie was over, I headed to the bathroom and grabbed a shaver. I put the shaver to my finger and gently moved it, slicing my skin. It wasn’t enough to draw blood, but it was enough to begin my addiction.

I can’t tell you what captured my eye about cutting, but I can tell you I never forgot about it. A couple years later, when I was eleven, my mom and her fiancé decided to split up, due to his infidelity. He had a daughter who was five years older than me that I looked up too. She was the only sister I ever had (I have a real one but she has never been a part of my life). When the guy left my mom, I didn’t feel much. I didn’t feel much about losing him or my step sister. But I saw my mom fall apart and lose not only her family, but our three cats and our dog. I don’t know why, but in that moment, I hung up the phone and went to the bathroom. I grabbed a shaver and slide it along my wrist. I can’t say exactly what made me choose to cut myself in that moment. Maybe it was all the loss I was experiencing, or maybe it was seeing my mom so broken.

However, that day cutting became my coping mechanism. I started cutting slowly and occasionally. But, by high school I was cutting habitually, anywhere from thirteen to twenty-three times in one setting. I was weird and enjoyed counting the cuts when I was finished. Cutting became my life. I would use any excuse to do it and I would do it often. It took over my life and I enjoyed it. I felt such a release and victory when I would cut. Weird, right? I could take all my hurt and control it by putting the blade to my skin. I could punish myself and that made me feel victorious. The relief I felt from cutting made it easier to cut when life became overwhelming. While cutting, I would watch the blood fill the wound and I would feel peaceful.

Here are some other methods to prevent you from cutting:

1. STAY DISTRACTED

Staying DISTRACTED when you’re feeling intense emotions can help. But first you have to figure out what kind of distractions are most effective for you. The most effective thing things for me involves activities that tire me out; this can be taking my dog for a walk (which calms me and clears my mind). I would just walk until my legs became sore; sometimes times I walked over seven miles in a day to manage and escape from the urges and negative feelings/thoughts. Yes, I know that is probably excessive, but it helps burn off the frantic energy I get from my emotions by physically exhausting myself. When we become physical exhausted we are able to get over the hump of arousal by draining our energy, muscles, and nervous system. 

1. Tiring yourself out by:

  • Exercising
  • Swimming
  • Sports
  • Cleaning/ rearrange furniture
  • Dancing
  • Orgasm(s)

2. Making yourself cognitively and physically busy by:

  • Learning a new song that has several fast paced versus. 
  • Video games with a lot of coordination 
  • Choreograph a new dance routine
  • Orgasm(s)
  • Analyzing films and reading material   
  • Cooking
  • Hang out with children

 

2. EXPRESSING YOUR PAIN/EMOTIONS

When I was younger, I would always bottle up how I was feeling. Like a soda that had been shaken before opening, I would explode. It was hard to handle my emotions, especially when I wasn’t always able to identify what exactly I was feeling.

It is important to be able to express what you are feeling inside to give you a sense of emotional relief.  When you express your feelings, you can release some of your pain. I like to write a letter explaining how I am feeling and what I need to feel supported. This gives you the chance to figure out how you feel and what you need. When it is complete you can use this letter to open the lines of communication with a friend if you want/ need to because you already know what to say. When we are in emotionally heightened state it can be hard to effectively and explicitly state how you are feeling and why you are feeling that way to others. Or maybe you don’t know what triggered you to make you feel like self harming. There are a variety of activities that can help you express yourself.

Some other methods for expressing yourself are:

    1. Dancing
    2. Creative writing
    3. Art
    4. Update the decorations in your space
    5. Have a conversation w/ yourself (out loud) about what/how you feel and why

 

3. RELEASING TENSION/ANGER:

RELEASING your emotions and stress is also very important and can deter a person from cutting. Often times people will cut because they are angry by their situation. It is helpful to let go of the tension built up in your system to help you heal. 

A person can practice releasing their emotions by:

  1. Exercising (high heart rate= highest impact + gradual decline; Low heart rate= lowest impact +gradual increase)
    2. Hitting a pillow/ Screaming
    3. Grounding Exercises/mindfulness/Meditation
    4. Vinyasa (flow) Yoga
    5. Orgasm(s)

 

4. CALM YOURSELF DOWN:

PRACTICING SELF-CARE is very soothing to ones soul, especially when they are experiencing overwhelming emotions. It is proven that practicing self-care helps reduce anxiety and profuse emotions. Self-care includes activities that an individual does to take care of their emotional, mental, and physical health. Sometimes in heightened emotional states we forget that we are humans/people and not just our feelings and emotions. Practicing self-care helps us remember that we are more than just our feelings/emotions and what we want to do. 

Some ways to practice self-care are:

  1. Health Hygiene (eat healthy, hydrate, sleep, exercise, know your limits)
  2. Spending time with family/ friends
  3. Meditating/ grounding exercises
  4. Relaxing hygiene/beauty rituals
  5. Do something you currently or used to enjoy (if it is not harmful)
  6. Interacting with animals

5. CONNECTING WITH OTHERS:

Often people who are self-destructive have a hard time feeling loved and connected to others. They may feel like they don’t relate to anyone, which causes them to think they our an outcast in society and don’t belong. Other times when a person is depressed, they may become withdrawn and isolate themselves from others so they don’t feel misunderstood or rejected. 

Some ways to feel connected with others are:

  1. reaching out to friends or family member
  2. playing with a pet 
  3. serving others (community service or volunteering)
  4. being apart of a support group
  5. getting involved in clubs or religious groups

 

I know everyone is different, but I found these to be the most effective way in preventing me from being self-destructive. Others find replacing the behavior of cutting with another sensation, such as snapping a rubber band on your wrist, or holding ice, to help diminish the sensation of cutting. For me, I feel like this is just replacing the behavior instead of finding a proper coping mechanism. 

SUMMARY:

These ideas may help some people and not others. It is important if you feel like cutting to find a positive outlet to divert your attention. Cutting is a self-destructive behavior people use to manage their negative/overwhelming feelings. It is important if you feel like cutting or harming yourself that you consult a doctor, parent, or therapist to get help. So, they may help you find an effective combination of coping strategies to help lessen the feelings of harming yourself. 

I know this article won’t help everyone who struggles with self-mutilating behavior, but I hope it helps some people find a positive outlet to express their pain. 

I am twenty eight years old and have been struggling with cutting for fifteen years. I know that it is a process to stop cutting; and that there may be times when you give in to the urge and cut. It has happened to me plenty of times. I went five years with out cutting and then one day life became overwhelming and I gave up. One thing I learned is that failing is apart of the process of growing up, and it may happen a lot. However, what is important is that you keep striving to be the person you want to be. It is possible to stop and be free, but it will take work and time. So, be patient with yourself during your journey. 

 

 

   
 

 

 

How my relationship changed me

Loosing myself loving you taught me so much.

It gave me a strength that can’t be ripped away.

Taught me to never let a man define and control me.

You turned me into this woman who was unrecognizable.

Someone I was embarrassed of.

I felt alone for so long,

waiting for you to love me like I love you

Feeling lonelier when I am with you.

Suddenly, loosing you brought me back home.

I don’t feel insecure anymore.

Wondering what lie your telling me

or if you still love me,

or how I can get you to change.

I thought i would be sad loosing you, instead I have peace.

I was constantly exhausting myself making excuses for you.

The sad truth is you mistreat the things that you love, but its no longer my concern.

Because I am my only concern.

Rebuilding myself from the shattered pieces of our relationship.

Redefining and recreating who I am.

Your love made me indestructible,

I know what I want and I know what I deserve.

I deserve a love that never makes me question my worth.

A love that doesn’t cause me to doubt or cry.

Keeping you isn’t worth my sanity.

Lying for you isn’t worth my dignity.

Loving you isn’t worth my loyalty.

and your touch isn’t worth loosing my integrity.

In the end, I didn’t lose you, I let you go and watched you lose me.

While, I rebuilt my empire.

Sincerely, your Juliet

Lost in the Gravitron of Dissociation

Sometimes you just have to start writing, you don’t know where the story will go or the words your fingers will type. You see words being typed but you don’t know necessarily what it says. The bullshit is uncovered and you are free to write the truth, your truth, or in this case my truth. there is so much on my mind that everything jumbles and I can’t control them. One thought, then another, then another…..

Buckle up, it’s time for the ride of your life. My thoughts are taking me on another unwanted adventure. I anxiously wait for them to stop, but I’m thinking at the speed of light. I step into a spaceship and stand along the wall. Spinning faster and faster…. The friction won’t let me fall. I am glued to the wall and unable to move. My senses have been shut down, making everything seem so surreal.

Image result for gravitron

An endless loop that I can’t turn off. Until my thoughts become calm and I return to the ground. The ground you ask? Yes, it is true my feet are touching the ground but I am gone. Being present isn’t an option for me. Withdrawn from my surroundings, distracted by this vicious cycle, defeated by impotent thoughts.

Forced to live disconnected from reality. I’m absent from my life and stuck in dissociative amnesia. I want to be present, but my mind just wont let me. It feels the need to protect me from all these self-deprecating thoughts.

Image result for dissociation memes

Some people may know what I am talking about and have experienced what it’s like to dissociate. Others, may have no clue what dissociating is. Dissociating is another issue I struggle with because of my disorder (borderline personality disorder).

When you dissociate, you feel disconnected or detached from yourself and your surroundings. When I dissociate sometimes, I even lose touch with my senses. I will look at my hand and my brain wont register anything it touches or that its my hand. The world around you may feel unreal, like you’re dreaming. However everyones experience is different.

Dissociation is one way your mind and body copes with an event that is too stressful. People generally develop it from experiencing a traumatic event early in childhood. Someone who dissociates can experience the dissociations for a short or long term (hours to months). For me, dissociating is the main way I deal with stressful moments in my life. I am unable to control when it occurs and because of this I can’t remember a lot of my life. Other people may choose to dissociate just for the moment, but for me this isn’t the case.

It’s ironic, dissociating is how my mind protects me, right? But……

Dissociating made life as a child easier, but makes life as an adult extremely challenging. Not only have I become Dory from Finding Nemo, due to my constant forgetfulness and memory gaps; I also struggle with maintaining a job, focusing in school, relationships, and even my safety. Doesn’t sound freeing, does it? Well, after a while its not. I don’t know anyone who just wants to merely exist…. We all want to feel alive and experience our lives. But, how can we experience our lives if we aren’t even present. How can we experience the joy and happiness this world has to offer if we cant even see the colors around us? Dissociation dulls and blurs the world around us, stripping all aspects of beauty in our lives. There is no color everything is just gray with no emotion.

How are we suppose to feel what the beauty of life is with love, if we are unable to form connections with the people around us. Life without connection can be lonely and depressing.

I’ve learned to become a warrior and continue to fight through the battlefields. I will come out stronger every time and will triumph the combat zone and reconnect my body and mind.

    

How you replaced me

Unable to concentrate,

Distracted by you.

Our conversations keep replaying.

Our journey I keep remembering.

Its been so long since we have spoken,

yet you’re still there in the back of my mind.

We had the love like we watched in the movies.

But we didnt get our happy ending.

Your touch is irreplaceable,

The way your fingers caressed my body.

And your lips touched mine.

you had my heart skipping a beat.

You are irreplaceable to me, but i was replaceable to you.

you found comfort in another.

Letting her in, you opened your heart.

You turned to her, while burning our love.

Im just being transparent.

Your turning to her instead of me.

That’s how love ends.

Image result for vaboh sick of trying lyrics

It wont be long till she takes my place in your heart .

Just the same way I crept in.

Being a good friend made you fall in love.

And I know it will happen again by her being there for you.

I wonder…

Is her touch better than mine?

Does she make you laugh instead of cry?

Does she help you escape?

Will she put you first and do all she can to make you smile?

Is she the one?

I loved you with all of my soul and I just want you to be loved unconditionally.

My wish is for you to be happy, so

I hope her love is enough, unlike mine

I hope she makes you happy.

So, With tears in my eyes, I say goodbye

but to be honest I couldn’t be happier.

Holding on sabotage My relationship

It was just a fairy tale, wasn’t it?

Our love was supposed to end,

like a fire slowly burning out.

but we kept just holding on.

Clutching to the extinguisher,

hoping to save our love.

Trying over and over again

Until the warmth of the fire was taken over by the cold

and the light of our passion died.

but we kept just holding on.

Hoping to find our way back to each other.

We didn’t want to end.

Who knew that holding on

would suffocate our love.

Leaving nothing left

except for separation within.

Your absent in my heart

My desire for you is gone.

Fleeting thoughts of you

And I don’t even mind.

Because I no longer love you,

I only miss the feeling of being in love.

Image result for holding on pictures

How Growing up Ruined us (Breakups)

Every time I shut my eyes,

it’s like I’m takin back.

Back to the time of us.

Reliving history,

building memories

Feeling so real,

Just simple kids in love.

Laughing, smiling, actually having fun

Living in my mind like we never ended,

living in an untouchable time

when we were just young and in love.

Waking up,

knowing its just a dream.

I can’t help, but think how different things would be

if we never fell out of love.

If we didn’t grow distant as time passed us by.

If we held on to our love despite the circumstances.

Yeah, we were different.

Dealing with different struggles,

Closing our hearts

until we were numb.

Closing our hearts

to the idea of us.

Closing our hearts

to our love,

Closing the chapter

to our perfect little love story.

Instead our hands were tied by our mistakes.

Anger crept in,

resentment built up

destroying our love.

But every night there you are.

I can’t help but wonder if you are dreaming of me.

Could this be real,

or am i just thinking crazy.

I know what you think,

I know the odds,

we both changed,

we are different,

but our hearts remain the same.

our inner kid is still alive,

bind to each other.

No matter how much we try to forget.

No matter if we ended,

because you’re there in my dreams.

I pray tonight that the next time I close my eyes,

I wont relive the same dream.

Sincerely, Your Juliet

To the one,

My knees go weak for,

my heart skips a beat for,

my lips quiver for

and i long for.

To the one,

that fills my stomach with butterflies.

and the one’s who touch i can never have enough.

I never knew the depth of passion love could bring until I found you.

The spark was undeniable.

The chemistry was magnetic and everybody knew.

There was no hiding the spark or avoiding the passion between us.

You broke down my walls and I fell in love for the first time.

Our hearts became one, while our souls intwined.

You made me change my ways, while nothing compares to the love between two.

I wanted to give you my heart, soul, mind and body. I didn’t want to hold anything back from you. I wanted to give you my all.

My happiness was in pleasing you. Making you smile and laugh. I wanted nothing more than for you to feel special. Making you happy made my heart flutter. I wanted to start my life with you despite our different paths. When we talked about having a kid and our future, that was sincere to my heart. I wanted apart of you with me forever.

You made me feel like a woman, and showed me what a man really is. The way you took care and protected me. I felt safe and vulnerable at the same time.

Loved and accepted.

weak and strong

. I would get lost in your lips and escape.

but….

You never believed how real my feelings really were. You never believed that my heart was yours and I wanted nothing more than a life with you.

Spent years trying to convince you. Put my life on hold to show you. But you never saw the truth. Our hearts were being torn in different directions and our paths were moving apart. We tried desperately to hold on to each other. Tightening our grip so we wouldn’t fall. Until our hearts shattered, ultimately destroying each other.

Never knew love could die. Until our flame was watered down and our spirits separated. I thought real love last forever, and we were meant to be.

Now I understand it was just a season and not a lifetime love. A season of lessons and growth. Without you I wouldn’t know how to put myself first and not another. I wouldn’t have the strength I do. Even beneath the anger, you are still dear to me. Loosing myself loving you, gave me the courage to love myself.