I heard of the woman who didn’t know where she was when she woke up one morning. Pants unzipped. Shirt ruffled as if someone had struggled to get under. She left work alone the night before; it had been a long day. She went to her favorite bar where they knew her as a usual and where she met a very unfamiliar face. He was handsome, well-dressed, clean-shaven. A couple beers deep, she became comfortable with him– a little more than she would have if she was sober, She agreed to leave with him. That’s all she remembered. She woke up alone, dizzy, puzzled, and absolutely frightened. Her neck throbbed with bruises, a patch of her hair lied alongside her. Her body was in pain and her heart was shattered. My heart raced when I heard that story, until I calmed myself. That would never happen to me.
And then it did.
Except my story is a bit different. Actually, a lot different. But I know we went through the same traumatic thoughts, emotions, physical and mental pain.
You hurt deep inside
But the hurting fades
Soon you are comfortable
You hurt again, but you learn to numb the pain
It must be love
It must be real
Because you are used to it
How do you survive being in love with someone who disregards your flaws?
Not that he accepts it
He just acts like it isn’t there
He pushes you to do things you are uncomfortable doing
He doesn’t care about your wrists
He wants to see you succeed
So he pushes you
He pushes you to overcome your over-dramatic meltdown before attending a crowd
He pushes you to open up to him even when your heart and throat are both swollen from opening up
He pushes you to speak when you are spoken to even when there is nothing left to say
He pushes you to lock eyes with others because he is comfortable so you should be too
He pushes you to listen better, so his shouts can be heard
He pushes you to be all that you could be, but aren’t
Because he disregards
How do you survive?
I’ve read somewhere that people with anxiety are assholes.
I’ve suffered with anxiety for years. All those years, I felt like it was fake because I diagnosed myself. It wasn’t until meeting a counselor for the first time at 18 years old that I realized I’ve lived with anxiety for half of my living life at that point. When my counselor told me I had PTSD, I almost felt shocked to hear the news. First I have anxiety, then I have to deal with all the stages of grief, then I have to try to find a way to not react to a trigger that has been my very own trigger FOR HALF OF MY LIVING LIFE!
Even though people don’t know who I am, or what I have gone through, or what I am currently dealing with, I feel as though it is written all over my face. When I see faces, strangers or not, I can’t help but to seem bashful, or rather uninterested. I don’t know how to make conversation. What am I supposed to talk about? How absolutely freaking lost I am in this world? How I don’t understand who I am or what I am meant to do with my life? I hate being asked how I am doing, or what I plan on doing with my life, or literally anything that has to do with me or with life. I TRULY DON’T FREAKING KNOW! I don’t mean to be an asshole. I don’t even realize that I am being an asshole. I don’t really know how to be with people. It has been 2 years since my last meeting with my counselor and I haven’t even accomplished passing the first stage of grief! How the hell am I supposed to be expected to be INTERESTED and OUTGOING and JUST THE MOST FUN, AMAZING, ENERGETIC person you know?! I don’t know..
What the hell do I even know?
You are an emotional wreck. It isn’t a dream. By now, you’ve survived the longest, most embarrassing, and most traumatic part of your first 20 years of life. You’ve been standing strong since you were 9 years old. In the next four years of your life, you’ll learn that it gets better. Then worse. Then better. Then worse. It is a never-ending cycle. You are thinking that physical abuse is a million times worse than emotional abuse. It isn’t. You’ll learn that they have the same exact effect in your mental state. The person you fear the most will become scarier, but don’t worry, he will remain further than ever. You will think you’ve fallen in love, but don’t be fooled. These men will only teach you about emotional abuse. Although they won’t be physical with you, they know just how to get to your brain.. and your heart. It will hurt deeply, but you will get through it. Sometimes you will want to break down and that is perfectly fine. Don’t worry, nobody is watching. Nobody cares to know that you’ve cried yourself to sleep. Nobody sees the pain you wear every single day. Don’t be ashamed of being hurt. Embrace it. You wake up every single day with a broken heart and you walk around with nightmares on your mind. It is okay. It will get better, like I said. It may get worse, but it will get better again. You’ll continue this cycle until you decide you are done. Your never-ending cycle of pain and heartache will end when you decide it will end. Always remember, wherever your life takes you is wherever you decide to go. – “Wherever you go, there you are.”
Your 20-Year-Old Self