Your Affection – Abandonment and Friendship

This blog post was inspired in part by what I’ve been thinking about going on in my life all week, and in part by Persona 4: Your Affection – a fanmade Persona 4 visual novel.

persona4What I mean by that is primarily the neutral ends to each of the routes – the “Acceptance” ends…because those are about friendship.

In each of the routes, the Persona users have to confront their shadows again. For those of you who don’t know Persona 4 – a shadow is representative of the person’s deepest, darkest, innermost, primarily negative, thoughts and feelings. And in this fanmade visual novel, the shadows are often talking about the fear of abandonment by friends, and that if your friends truly knew you, they wouldn’t accept the real you. They would abandon you for thinking the way that you do because you’re a gross and terrible person. That’s an oversimplification, but it’s the gist. (The shadows in the actual game say similar things about abandonment too…what would you do if your innermost thoughts, the thoughts you’ve had that you’re least proud of, were on display for all to see?)

And…I’ve been thinking a lot about my friendships and abandonment this week in particular.

I know for a fact my friends would leave me if I talked about my innermost thoughts. If I talked about my depression and anxiety and my problems. My boyfriend left me because he couldn’t handle it. A long while later, I had a breakdown and a freakout and sent some of my friends a text that said something along the lines of, “You’re still my friends, right?” and I got called emotionally manipulative for that. (Was I being emotionally manipulative?) Another friend told me a little while after that that I had changed, and fallen behind because of my illness, that I wasn’t able to read social situations anymore.

And when it comes down to it…I was revealing my truest self to them. My dirtiest, ugliest thoughts and fears….and they rejected me. I don’t talk to anyone about my depression anymore. Well, I talk to my therapist, but I don’t have that support network I once (thought that I) had.

I can talk about my ex to some people – about how that still hurts me, and I feel depressed about that. People understand that. But they don’t seem to understand my illness. It makes them uncomfortable. And it makes them want to leave.

If any of my friends saw my shadow, I’m not sure our friendship would survive. And that scares me. I wish I could have someone that I could talk about anything with…like in fiction. Like in this visual novel. Everyone has someone. But right now, I don’t.

Advertisements

To be hurt, To feel lost, to be left out in the dark…

Last Friday I went to a Simple Plan anniversary concert at the House of Blues. It was a wonderful show and I had a lot of fun. But it reminded me of my teenage years – back when I had undiagnosed depression and didn’t know it.

I remember identifying really hard with Simple Plan’s music – particularly the songs “Welcome to my Life” and “Perfect” (both of which they played at the concert!!)welcometomylife

Key Lyrics to “Welcome to my Life” include:

Do you ever feel like breaking down? / Do you ever feel out of place? /  Like somehow you just don’t belong / and no one understands you? / Do you ever want to run away? / Do you lock yourself in your room? / With the radio on turned up so loud / so no one can hear you screaming?

I remember times where I turned the music in my room up really loud so my family wouldn’t hear me crying. I remember bringing this song up to my dad once, and him saying something along the lines of “Isn’t it funny how they can write a song about no one understanding you, and everyone can relate to it?”

I know he didn’t mean anything by it, but it made me think that the way I was feeling was normal when it wasn’t. I couldn’t tell the difference between depression and teen angst. I don’t know if my parents could either. But while some of these feelings are universal of everybody growing up, feeling misunderstood being one of them, some of them are not. If you are crying in your room with the radio blasting, go talk to someone. It might be just a phase, it might be teen angst. But it might not be. And figuring that out as soon as possible could save you years of hurt in the long run.

Selfies for Self Esteem: The Final Assessment

A week ago I finished my year-long Selfies for Self-Esteem project. Overall, it was a lot of fun, and it turned into a daily diary of myself. Below are all the pictures I took for my selfies for the past year.

Did the project work? Has my self-esteem improved? Yes and no. I’ve gained more weight over the past year, and now I’m definitely working to fix that. But that makes me feel bad about myself. But also, I know I can look cute in spite of that, so that has helped. My self-esteem is probably in the exact same place overall, actually. But I enjoyed the project, and I’m glad I took a photo (almost) every day for a year!

 

The Best Advice?

I like to say the best advice I ever received was from an airline instruction pamphlet. Well, technically, I got it from the book Deadline by Chris Crutcher, and he got it from an airline instruction pamphlet, but I digress.

The point being, the best advice I ever received was “Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others”

You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. It was this advice that helps get me through my depression. It’s this advice that allows me to say, “I can be a little selfish, just this one time.” It’s this advice that makes it so I can’t hate or resent my ex, no matter how much he hurt me, because he was putting his own oxygen mask on first. He needed to take care of himself first, before he could take care of me. And that meant, well, that he couldn’t take care of me. I needed too much from him, and he had to get out. Him not being able to handle my depression isn’t a reflection on me, as it took me a long time to learn, but a reflection on him, and his need to take a step back.

But in today’s political climate, can we afford to put our own oxygen masks on first? It’s a privilege to be able to take a step back and say, “I need out of this.” It’s a privilege to be able to think like this. It reaches a point where you have to ask yourself, what is putting on your oxygen mask first, and what is denial or avoidance? You need to help yourself before you can help others, but the point of that is, after you take that moment to help yourself, you need to actually assist others. Put on your own oxygen mask. Then make sure you use your privilege to help others who don’t have it breathe.

 

Ma grammaire est terrible, mais j’essayerai ecrire en francais en tout cas

J’aime cette langue. Je l’ai etudié depuis sept ans, je pense. Mais j’ai personne pour pratctiquer.

J’ai visité la France quand j’étais étudier à l’étranger à Londres. C’était maqnifique. J’ai eu une petite chambre à une hôtel à Paris, mais pour une nuit seulement. J’ai visité tous les attractions touristes, et j’ai fait du shopping, et j’ai mangé la nourriture délicieuse. J’aime les macarons.Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Au Louvre, j’ai parler avec un agent de sécurité pour une demi-heure ou plus! Il était joli, mais je m’ai rendu compte qu’il était flirter avec moi après je suis parti. Il y avait aussi quelques hommes qui voulaient que je mangerais le déjeuner avec eux. Ils sont flirtent avec la serveuse aussi. Je pense qu’ils étaient ivres. C’est une voyage interessante!

Je voudrais returner, avec mes amis cette fois.

via Daily Prompt: Translate

The Sound of Silence

taize-silence

Silence is deafening. It’s never truly silent. Sitting in a “purely” quiet room, you hear the tic tic tic of the clock. You hear the gentle buzzing of the overhead lights. The shuffling of feet on the carpet, or of people walking by. It’s peaceful, at first.

But then you hear it and you can’t think.

It’s never silent in my head. At the very least, there’s always a song. (“Hello darkness my old friend…”)

But there’s always thoughts rolling around, running at me, screaming at me. Usually unpleasant thoughts, “You’re not worth it,” “No one loves you,” “No one will ever love you,” “Nobody likes you, everyone left you, they’re all off without you having fun…” et cetera.

“Screaming, quiet, perfect storm…” it’s too much. It’s too loud in my own head. And I can hear it particularly when it’s otherwise silent.

I’m too harsh on myself. I know. But the sounds in my head won’t go away. It’s negative self-thought. And I’m working on it. But sometimes it’s overwhelming.

I’m not sure I like the sound of silence.

via Daily Prompt: Sound

Valentine’s Day and Expectations

I woke up this morning with the song by Meatloaf, Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad, stuck in my head (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5hWWe-ts2s if you’ve never heard it).

Particularly the refrain “I want you / I need you / But there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you…”

vintage_valentine_02

Wikipedia Commons, Creative Commons License

And besides that being a sucky thing to have stuck in your head on Valentine’s day, it just  makes me think of all the expectations there are surrounding love and Valentine’s day. (Or at least it did as soon as I saw today’s daily prompt)

Valentine’s Day is a day about love and commitment and relationships. And sometimes it really sucks not having a Valentine. Sometimes you really want those cliche things – in my whole life no one has ever bought me flowers, or candy.  And I do want that. There is an expectation that comes with Valentines’ Day that, being a girl who wants to be in a relationship, someone will eventually get me those things. (I’ve bought them for partners in the past.)

But what I want more is love. What I want more than any of those silly heart shaped anythings and gifts decked out in read and pink is someone who cares about me to spend the day with. But not just today – everyday.

I’m afraid of being stuck with two out of three  (“I want you / I need you / But there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you…”) but I don’t even have that right now. Nobody wants me, nobody needs me, and certainly nobody loves me. I don’t mean to be complaining about it, that’s not my point.

My point is – celebrate today with your loved ones, if you have them, if you can. With your significant other in particular. And don’t let any particular expectations of the holiday get you down.

Just love.

via Daily Prompt: Expectation