I can feel the wheels of my subconscious working instensly. Sleep is fraught with anxiety, past selves, and doubts. There’s something bothering me on a level I can’t acknowledge or communicate.
I feel like a failure as I wait, unknowing but feeling intensity.
I try to distract, but everything feels pointless. There is stress and a scream trapped inside, voiceless while I wait numbly to give it words.
I feel I am separate selves. Subconscious and Conscious, waiting on each other and trying to be okay.
(P.S.: I’m okay. A little down, because it’s been a long week of mehhhhhhhh, but sometimes I need to write out all the weird feelings to start feeling better)
If I’ve learned anything over the last week it’s that as nice as hiding from everything sounds it’s not necessarily helpful, or useful, and it doesn’t stop me from internalizing all of the things.
Sometimes problems get so overwhelming and I think avoiding them will help and it seems like a great idea, but what happens is I just end up having a mental breakdown and needing someone to help pry me open so I can talk about things and actually process them instead of just letting them build and pretending it’s not happening.
So Wednesday night I crashed and I was like I don’t know, I don’t know what’s wrong or why, or how to fix it, and Alex has spent the better part of our relationship learning how to interpret and pry open the Kiery, because sometimes I don’t know even how to start expressing myself (thanks childhood of completely shutting down), so that I can deal with life again.
I think I need to be asked (multiple times) because I need to know it’s safe to talk and that it’s safe to be honest about how I’m doing and that sticking to pleasantries (and convincing others of their true-ness) isn’t necessary. So that way I’m sure that if I’m honest about how I’m feeling I won’t be adding (too much?) weight to the person who’s asking.
For me, a lot of times I know things are bothering me but I don’t know what; it’s a vast overwhelming void of everything and nothing and I couldn’t describe anything if you just asked me. So a lot of my process involves pulling on threads and seeing which one unravels the skein. It still ends up being a lot of everything and nothing but at least it’s identifiable, at least then I can work through it and feel like my head’s above water for a little bit.
I’m doing better today, and I was doing better yesterday – sometimes I just need help because I can’t traverse my brain all by myself, which sounds stupid, but there you go. I can’t articulate so I shut down and internalize and I do it so much that I can’t escape without aid. But now I know (again), I guess, so all of the things that bother me still bother me but I need to process them instead of shutting down and absorbing.
Over the last couple days that I’ve been feeling okay:
I’ve been working out and started a new tumblr with mara, upped my step goal to 5k steps a day instead of 2k
I drew Humorotica this week! And I didn’t hate my drawing, and I doodled today and also didn’t hate that either.
My hiking shoes and combat boots came in and are awesome
I discovered leggings.
I had a thought about KieryGeek that wasn’t just guilt for the first time since July.
I have a lot of disjointed thoughts and feelings on gamergate and when I’m honest, I kinda reallllly hoped it would just go away already but it’s not and I feel like I need to talk about it and draw a comic about it, and maybe even make a vlog about it.
The huge thing is, I can think again, and I feel okay again, and I have about as much of a clue about why I suddenly feel better as I did about why I felt bad (which is to say, I don’t know), but I think acknowledging that my avoid-everything strategy lead to absorb-all-the-sads-and-keep-them-there helped. Realizing that things do affect me even if they don’t affect me directly is kinda crucial, and you’d think I’d figure that out, but at some point I just lose myself and I’m like NO I MUST FEEL ALL OF THESE, AND YOUR FEELS, AND YOUR FEELS, AND THEY ARE MINE NOW, GO ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS, and it’s not something I need to be doing (but it’s almost impossible to not do because empath), and especially not something that’s healthy for me to hold on to without processing – because it piles and it piles fast and triggers become more intense and…anyway, I lost my point.
I guess I’m just trying to say, I feel better after Alex talked to me and tried to help me make sense of things and then all of the things had names again and now I’m not drowning in an ocean of depression today, and that makes me happy.
I was going through the files on my laptop looking for something specific and I ran across a picture that I saved from 2007. I won’t post it here, because it makes my stomach turn, but content note: graphic descriptions of infections and medical neglect.
My parents stopped taking us to doctors before I was 10. They believed that god told them doctors were evil, to go to doctors was to not have faith in god’s ability and will to heal the sick. Along with that, came the belief that if you were sick, it likely had something to do with sin in your life. Both of these came from James 5.
So, anytime we got sick, we did that. We’d have dad pray for us, literally anoint us with extra virgin olive oil, and then make sure we didn’t have any unconfessed sins. Ex: a cancer sore we could have because we “talked back”.
Because my parents didn’t believe in doctors, they also didn’t believe in medicine, because there is a greek word called Pharmakeia which is where the word pharmacy is derived from, but also means witchcraft. My parents made the jump to then decide that any medication, including ibuprofen and tylenol is evil, because witchcraft.
(side note: just writing this all out now is making me feel sick. First, I can’t believe I remember these arguments so well, and secondly, I just, I can’t, it’s so stupid)
We had one bottle of children’s chewable aspirin on hand, they reasoned THAT was okay because it’s from bark, not chemicals, and because one of my sisters was prone to migraines that resulted in vomiting – but that was only for dire emergencies.
My mom had “natural” remedies, like tea tree oil, oil of oregano, and wurther’s hard candies (for sore throats << that one I’m not complaining about, actually, it was candy). Stuff that 1) doesn’t actually make sense and 2) is not located anywhere near the pharmacy area in the grocery store.
(side note: it took Alex so long to get me to take ibuprofen for migraines because of this.)
So, when I was 16 and a half, I had this horrible horrible infection on my leg. I could not move. It was swollen and oozing and painful, any movement at all was excruciating (and no painkillers), it swelled so much that my thigh didn’t look like part of my leg anymore, it was some weird mutated…thing.
My parents believed it was boils, like Job had (Job 2:7)
So, they prayed for me, anointed me with oil, asked about my sins, which I couldn’t think of and then….the fun started.
Remember: no medicine, no doctors, nothing. My mom decided we had to keep the infection clean (makes sense), so, she would push and squeeze the abscess until puss came out of it (so. fucking. painful.), then she would put oil of oregano in and around the wound because it was a “topical pain reliever” and “antiseptic”, I’m pretty sure hydrogen peroxide happened too. Basically I just remember my siblings complaining that I smelled like spaghetti (maybe that’s why I hate it so much).
It was deep, and there was a good bit of blood – it was blue and swollen around the..head? I still have a visible scar from that first one. And the second one.
This went on from the time I was 16 and a half until I was 18 – it didn’t start fully clearing up until I left home, though it had gone down in intensity.
The second one, was right below the first, had two heads (which I think had more to do with my mom PHYSICALLY SQUEEZING THE ABSCESS than anything else) each wound was big enough you could put a pencil eraser in (I still have that scar too), and there was like, a flesh bridge between the two holes, so they were connected /open at the bottom/inside the wound, but on the top there was a little bit of skin that kept it from being a fucking gash.
After the first one though, my parents were less concerned, and I managed to move – while still in excruciating amounts of pain with no recourse – and do chores and go places and manage.
As time passed and I continued to get these and they continued to leave scars and I continued to function in large amounts of pain, my mom started commenting on how my legs looked.
Because, due to the scars – and random abscesses, they looked polka-dotted. So, I wore only jeans or ankle-length skirts (or tights) so as to hide the hideousness of my infected legs. (This continued well into my marriage, in fact I think it was around a year before I stopped wearing exclusively jeans and wore skirts/dresses that were above my knee, because of that reason.)
I walked for 10 hours in boots with an abscess on my knee (it was not fun and towards the end of the day I was having a really hard time walking/keeping up with the group, but being carried was not Teenpact Appropriate). Some of my skirts had stains from them.
I passed up an opportunity to intern with Teenpact after that trip because of my legs and knowing I wouldn’t have the stamina required to wear heels and walk all day.
They were frequent but became smaller – I started to be able to get to them before they developed into something bigger.
This whole time though, over a year and a half – no one thought anything of it, no one thought to maybe get it checked out, this infection that didn’t go away – this thing that we’re calling boils and figure it has something to do with god, and not providing any kind of relief from the pain, I just had to suck it up and deal with it, and I did.
Our second year together, my legs and scars were healing and I was wearing shorts and short skirts and my parents would always comment on my legs – “oh, it looks like they’re clearing up!” which actually just reminded me that my legs might still be unseemly and polka dotted.
I realized, yesterday, after digging up that picture on accident, that my infection, much like my teeth, was something that they had the power to stop and chose not to. Instead they chose to shame me about it and give me the bare minimum of help (if oregano oil and being made fun of because of it counts as help) because of their religion.
The first two scars are shiny and feel weirdly smooth, but are fading.
I’m going to be doing a series of posts about depression (my depression). I could do one long post but it’d be a small book…
I’ve struggled with depression since puberty. That’s about as far back as I remember anyway. At the time, I had no words for what I was feeling/going through, my parents dismissed it as “adolescence”. I thought it was normal – normal to hate myself as viscerally as I did and continued to (on new deeper levels as time went on), to completely shut down my emotions and stop feeling, to live in a constant state of melancholy and numbness.
I didn’t understand mood swings because I didn’t have any moods to swing from. I alternated between meh and grumpy-meh. NOTHING moved me, nothing made me cry. As time passed and I went through more changes, I began to loathe myself more, I began to believe that I was worthless, didn’t deserve to be human or treated as a person or with respect, I was nothing more than a tool in my parents toolbox – a tool that would never please it’s operator.
When I started my period, and I was “fully a woman”, I added shame to my already hated existence. I hated that [bleeding/fertility] about myself – more biology that I couldn’t fix. Biology that would haunt me forever, end my life as I knew it [because children, eventually] – the debilitation (after I moved out and was no longer running on adrenaline) added so much negative to my already non-existent body image, and self worth. I would lie in bed for a week, and just fantasize about plunging steak knives into my uterus and ripping it out.
When I was 17, I was borderline suicidal for 6 months. I thought death would be better than continuing my existence at home – my shameful, guilt ridden, broken, worthless existence. Because of friends (and knowing that killing myself would defeat the purpose of my impending escape) I managed to stay away from self harm, and ultimately, suicide. I had a gun (16th birthday present), I knew where it was, I would imagine using it, but I never took it out, I never tried anything, I just liked the thought.