I’m a Villain

Do you ever feel like you’re the villain in your own story? Not just metaphorically, but actually.

Today, I realized that I’m a complete asshole. I’m a bitch. I’m a terrible person and an even worse daughter.

Today, I made my father cry. It was subtle, but it was there.

I didn’t realize that what I was saying actually affected him until he came to me and said so.

What’s wrong with me?

How can one person be so cruel? I thought I was jokingly speaking to him, but apparently not.

Here’s the story:

He asked what happened to the Rumchata that was on the counter? And I said, ‘well you drank it all. It’s gone. What do you mean?’ I said it with the same attitude I’ve had towards him for most of my life (which I know is a problem). He said he didn’t drink it all and I just kept saying he did, like he drank the Fireball and all the other drinks I bought. And I walked away and left him standing there.

For context, we’ve had this or a similar exchange before. But this one was different.

He came to my workstation with tears in his eyes and said something along the lines of, ‘Even if I did drink it, it was only a small small sip. I can’t have that?’ then he walked away.

Of course, I immediately got up and went to him and gave him a hug, which to be honest I don’t remember the last time I did that. Granted, we’re not a hugging family like that. But still, I hugged him and apologized and told him I loved him and he told me a story of his childhood.

I honestly hate that I am this way. I feel like I know the underlying reasons for it, but it still sucks that I can’t bring myself to change. We’re not getting any younger and time is just constant flying by and I am wasting it by being the way I am.

I am a terrible person and daughter. I know that. I’ve known that. But, I haven’t acknowledged really. Maybe now in doing so, I can learn to change.

Alex.

Birthdays & Reflections

Yesterday was my birthday. I am now officially 27 years of age.

Alright , enough with the formalities. This calendar past year has been without a doubt one of the greatest years I have had ever. My past birthday year started off with a rocky start since my family was in a car accident about a week before my birthday and my mom broke her back and my sister torn her Achilles tendon and developed a blood clot shortly after. But since then, my other sister got married. My brother has a fiance and a daughter. And I received my first training role. Oh and I’ve been to seven countries. And I have about $2300 left of personal credit card debt.

Like I said, this past year was amazing. It has been a whirlwind of emotions and a series of ups and down, mainly up and I am so lucky, well blessed to have been afforded all of the opportunities that I have over the past year.

With that being said, about a month ago after losing my last position, I slowly entered into a depression. I guess that’s what it’s called when the things that usually bring you joy, no longer do. I would say that I was in my funk for about three weeks with the last week being the most difficult. I finally truly snapped out of it on Saturday when I took a trip to visit my friend in Michigan.

But, before then I wasn’t happy and I honestly wasn’t see a way out of it. I was miserable and I didn’t know why. And then I got mad at myself for being so miserable because I have so many things that other people do not.

I figured that I was being ungrateful or that I was being selfish because things weren’t going my way. But, the truth is/was I was physically or mentally, whatever the case may be, unable to be “happy”. I wasn’t able to snap out of it like I usually did. Even my aunt noticed that there was something wrong with me. That was the first time EVER that I couldn’t mask how I was feeling enough to make it through even the simplest of interactions.

I started this post a week ago. My birthday was November 6th. In that past week, I started to feel significantly better. Things were/are starting to look up and I started to feel like myself again. Slowly, but surely. But then Wednesday hit and something stopped. I stopped getting better. I stopped seeing the good. I stopped being patient with myself, I stopped talking to my friends. I just stopped.

I think it’s all related to job stress. I am waiting to hear back from a position that I really want and the wait is what’s killing me, because I feel like I have to wait even longer because they are on the west coast and are up three hours after me. There also the stress that I was supposed to have worked two days this week with a family I babysit for but the dad canceled on me. That wouldn’t have been that big of an issue, but I turned down ANOTHER family because of this family and he cancels. Finally, I think it just all came crashing down on me because this week I had to borrow from my savings again. Not just my regular savings, but the savings that you hide away and forget is there savings. It’s been two months since my last paycheck and I am getting worried. Again.

I thought my life would be different by now. I thought that I would in a relationship, have a great career, own my own home. You know the normal things that people aspire to have in their late twenties. And don’t get me wrong on the outside looking in, I seem to have it all. I get to travel, for free, I only work half of the year, I have little to no debt, I’m healthy. What more could person ask for, right?

Genuine happiness on a daily basis for starters. 

My home isn’t the same anymore

This weekend I went to Chicago for a retreat and when I was on my way back from the airport a weird wave of emotions came over me. I didn’t want to come home. I didn’t want to  be here. But, most importantly, I didn’t enjoy the warm welcome I was given.  I was just overwhelmed.

Before I came home, my  mom called me and said that my uncle would be staying with us for about two to three weeks because he’s doing some sort of program in the area, but lives two hours away. We JUST had family stay with us for my sister’s wedding and I am tired.  But it’s not even just people staying with us that’s a problem. I am tired of cleaning up after people. I am tired of using dirty facilities. I am tired of feeling constant anger towards my father.

My home isn’t the same anymore because I am now the sole provider for this household. I am the one paying the bills, but I don’t have any income coming in. I haven’t worked since September and I spent about $10,000 since then. I am starting to become stressed out because I am constantly applying for jobs, but I am constantly being rejected.

I feel like I am stuck. I feel like everyone else is moving on with their lives around me and I haven’t made any progress. It is coming up on four years since I’ve graduated and I feel as if I have wasted my time. Yes, I got a job, but it’s not consistent. Yes, I got into a master’s program, but I didn’t go. Yes, I’ve lost some weight, but I gained it all back. Yes, I stopped self harming, but I relapsed a few times. Yes, I was raped and was suffering, and I got over it, but then I didn’t. I feel like I am doing all these things and not making any progress or even worse, going backwards. The only thing I can say that I accomplished this year is the fact that I read three books already. Yay?

My home isn’t my home because when I am here I don’t feel happy. I feel angry. I feel tired. I feel like I am a child living in an adult’s body. I keep giving and giving to others and doing things for others, but can I say they’ve done the same for me? I feel like a butler, a nurse, and an assistant, all at the same time. I want to move out and be on my own and have something of my own, but if I leave how will my parents afford this house?

I hate that this is the stress that I have to deal with at the age of 26. I also hate that I am all alone in it. I don’t have a partner to share the good things that happen in my life. Nor do I have one to be there to pick me up when I simply can’t go on anymore. I know I have friends, but I don’t know how to explain to them that,

  1. I am not okay.
  2. I am not happy.
  3. I am not the same person I used to be.
  4. I don’t like who I have become.
  5. I hate that I am angry all the time.
  6. I hate that I am not succeeding professionally or personally.

I hope that something changes soon, because I hate that my home isn’t my home anymore and I am tired of being here.

Alex.

Relapse

I don’t know what to do.

& I don’t know what happened.

But, I’m afraid that it’s going to happen again.

Long story short, November fucking sucked. My family was in an accident and I’ve been taking care of my mom, who fractured her back, and sister, who ruptured her Achilles tendon and consequently had a blood clot.

I’ve been the one waking up in the middle of the night giving pain meds. I’ve been the one making meals, cleaning, and shopping. I’ve been the one to take them to the ER and stay with them when they’ve been admitted. I’ve been the one to do everything.

I became a nurse and a mom overnight.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind it because it’s something that I just had to do. Well, I didn’t mind it. At first. But now. I’m tired. I’m tired of only being the one called. I’m tired of only being the one who cooks and cleans. I tired of constantly trying to make everyone happy. I’ve been taking care of them, with no one to take care of me.

I’ve had two breakdowns this month.

The first one, I was extremely tired and exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically just lost it after going to the gym. I called my friend to try and calm me down and she suggested I contact my doctor. I did. And it wasn’t what I expected and we ran out of time.

During that breakdown, I ended up self harming again. It was the only thing that I could do to get the thoughts to stop. It was the only thing I could think of to do to get my mind off everything that was happening around me. It was the only thing I could do for myself.

After that time, I had to snap out of it because I had responsibilities as a nurse mom and I couldn’t focus on myself, right? I had no time. So I pushed my emotions aside and got back to work.

Today, well yesterday. It happened again. I got overwhelmed with everything that was going on and all the responsibilities I have to do that don’t belong to me and I sat in my car and drank. For two reasons, 1. I didn’t want to go inside and be bombarded with requests to do something. & 2. I didn’t want my family to know that I was drinking, especially not that much.

When I got inside what do you know, I was already being asked about tomorrow. Can you do this, take me here, help with that. Like, can I breathe for one moment before you start the attacks.

All day I had been thinking about getting a tattoo that says, breathe or just breathe on my wrist. So when I came back today, I thought it would be a good idea to write it on just to see what it would look like. The pen turned into a razor I found and I ended up self harming again.. I think this might have been the first time I did it while drinking. But regardless, it happened. And I not to sure that it won’t happen again.

I just want to go somewhere where people don’t need me to take care of them, but instead I’m the one being taken care of. I want to go where people don’t know me. I just want to go somewhere. Anywhere. I just don’t want to be here anymore. At least not right now.

Alex.

My Year in Review

A Month-to-Month Guide of How 2017 was Both the Best and Worst Year

January (January 6th):

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For months my friends and I had planned to drive to Tennessee to surprise our fourth friend in the group. She’s in law school and has absolutely no time to herself because she’s too busy taking care of everyone else. So we thought it was time to get the band back together. The four of us hadn’t been in the same room together since graduating college in 2015. We had the perfect plan and her mom was involved and everything was set. However, Mother Nature had other plans. The morning we were supposed to leave it started snowing in Tennessee. We still thought that we could make it, but our friend’s mom called and said that people were already starting to get stuck on the side of the road. We were three hours away, I still needed to change my tires, and we hadn’t left by 9am.. So we called it. We didn’t go and thus began the most disappointing year. I just didn’t know it yet.

February (February 17th):

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For my friend’s 25th birthday, she wanted to go on a cruise. So if you know me. You know I love cruises. So of course I went. That month I was still working out, I decided to be healthy and I was at a very good weight! I was happy with my body,  with my hair, with myself, with life. I really enjoyed that cruise and the people I went with and the things we did. I went ATVing for the first time through a jungle, who else can say that they did that?

March (March 8th):

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Needless to say, I was high on life. Right after the cruise, I received a contract. A much needed one, since I spent so much gambling, haha, but that’s a story for a different day. I also decided to sign up for a Tough Mudder, so I started to train for that, and luckily there was a gym right next door to the hotel I stayed at so I could work out for free! It was perfect. I was in great shape, working out everyday (almost), but still enjoying life and eating all the good food that Newport News, VA had to offer. Surprisingly, it was a lot. It was a great month honestly. I was still happy, I was on the right track and everything was going so well. I didn’t know that it was the calm before the storm. How could I have known?

April (April 8th & April 23rd; April 26th):

Before:

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At the beginning of the month I was ecstatic. I received yet another contract and this time it was in sunny San Diego, California. I’ve never been and I was super excited to go. My friend’s grandmother lives there and she goes there like 5 times a year, so I convinced her to come join me for a weekend. The first weekend, I hit up all the sights by myself, like the beaches, the Zoo, In & Out Burger, etc. The second weekend when she came, we went to Balboa Park, Olde Town, all the good brunch spots, and the Gaslamp District. It was great! It was also the day after the first incident. I think back now, maybe if I told her then, everything would have turned out differently. But, then again I did tell someone, and I didn’t take his advice.. Granted, I know I should have, but hindsight is 20/20. Regardless, the first three weeks of April were great, I was still working out, the Tough Mudder was at the end of the month, and I was still eating all the good food. I was happy, I was healthy, I was feeling myself. I was confident. All of this is also probably what contributed to my demise. But like I said,

how could I have known?

After:

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On April 26th, 2017, my life changed forever. I was in a situation that I no longer wanted to be in, but I couldn’t get out of it. Yes, I went there out of my own free will, and the night was okay for a while, but when things started happening that I wasn’t okay with, he didn’t listen. I’m not going to go into grave detail, not again, but I keep replaying that night over and over again, to this day. I am still torn, I don’t know if I did everything I could have done and I don’t know if I contributed to it in any way. But, what I do know is I told him I wasn’t ready and that I wanted him to stop, and he told me to relax and that nothing was happening. He got what he wanted because I was scared.

May (May 21st):

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Another month, another project. The month started off with me telling one of my close friends what happened. It was kind of a relief to get it off my chest and to get some things clarified, but it was the first time I said it out loud and that made what happened to me real. Which means that I could no longer pretend that it didn’t.

Dallas, Texas. I was there for three weeks and during those three weeks I ended up self harming. It was the first time in LONG time that I had done so, and I was so disappointed and angry that it came to that. But, I was just so upset that I wasn’t feeling “the way I was supposed to” (according to whose standards? I have no idea), so I thought I would take matters into my own hands. However, not all of May was bad. Parts of it was good because one of my friends got married and it was a lovely ceremony. The month ended with me getting some sort of infection on my lip, which sucked, and a family reunion, which was great!

June (June 25th):

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June started off as a really good month. It was my mom’s birthday so we got to celebrate that. We went to a Nigerian engagement party and we looked fantastic, if I do say so myself. I was doing well. But, like I said, how could I have know what was going to happen next?

The morning of Father’s day I woke up to a charge of almost $800 on my credit card. Long story short, I left my wallet in the car and the window was left down just enough that someone was able to reach in, unlock the doors, and take my cards. That broke me, that was the finally straw, that was my low, or so I thought (until months later). Anyway, as a result I finally let the rest of my close group of friends in on what I have been dealing with the last few months, because I was tired of pretending that everything was okay when it wasn’t. The month ended with a trip to Savannah, GA that had been planned for months, that I didn’t want to take anymore, but I am glad I did because I had a great time.

July (July 7th):

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More Traveling. So I think it goes without saying that this year alone I have traveled more than I have in my entire life. That was a goal of mine for the past few years and I am glad that I was able to make that happen with this year. The month of July was particularly busy.. I went to Maryland for a conference with my family, then I went to Orlando to spend the weekend with my friend and her new baby, and then I went to South Carolina for another project. While I was there my sister and her friend and I took a day trip to Charleston. Finally, I ended the month in Houston for about a week. So I was busy, to say the least.

Like all my other months, this one started off well and then started to slip. On my way to my SC project (I drove), I had a mini breakdown. I don’t know why, I don’t know what caused it. But, for three hours I was on the verge of tears. I cut myself off from social media and I tried to take care of myself on my own, mainly because I didn’t know how to explain what was happening to me. And then there were a few times where I was just immobile because of my emotions, it was scary. Eventually, I realized that I hadn’t let myself fully feel all the emotions that came with what happened to me, because there’s always been something else that I needed to do, or accomplish. Life essentially got in the way of my emotions. It was the first sign of my depression, but I didn’t know it at the time. This is also why I went to Houston, I needed to spend time with my friend and to get out of my own head.

August (August 27th):

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August was a month of new adventures for me. The family that I had been working with for the past three years was moving to California. That was definitely bittersweet for me, because at the time I didn’t know if I was still going to move with them or not. I also was a Camp Advisor (co-Camp Advisor as seen in the photo) for the first time. The Camp that I was involved with during my college years, the one that changed my life, finally gave me one week of a whole new experience. Needless to say, August was a great month. I was back to being happy and almost back to normal.

September (September 3rd):

20170903_154622[1]It only took nine months, but we finally made it. The “Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Spinsterhood” (what we call ourselves) was finally reunited Labor day weekend. It was definitely a long time coming and a really good weekend. We ate, we laughed, we took pictures, and we walked everywhere, almost. But most importantly, we were together. More great things that happened that month: I got a new phone, I was finally off from work (after my Labor Day weekend trip I was home for one month), I went to Yelp events and I continued my trend of eating good food. I think since the incident August and September were by far my greatest months. But, what have we learned? Do I even need to say it at this point? Fine, for those who weren’t paying attention. How could I have known what was going to happen next?

October (October 4th): 20171004_181541(0)[1]

There’s no point in lying or even sugar coating it. October was the worst month of 2017. Remember that depressive episode I was talking about in July? That was nothing compared to what happened this month and there was no way I could have known to what extent it would go. I was working 12 hour night shifts every day for four weeks straight. I was fine the first week or so, but then I don’t know what happened. I was crying almost everyday, I wanted to go home so bad,  and I wanted to be away from everyone. I was exhausted and tired and constantly reliving what happened. It wasn’t good. It got to the point were I was crying in the bathroom at work and one night I had the strongest urge to self harm and I was about to, but my team leads came to check up on me to see how the night was going. It was my lowest low and I was scared of what was happening to me and what I was capable of doing.

November (November 12th)

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I had about a week in between my October project and this November one and I jsut ended up sleeping most of the time. My next project was in New Jersey, day shift this time, thank God. Since it was so close to New York and I have a friend who lives there I decided that I would go and celebrate my birthday there. On my actual birthday, I went to a restaurant with my aunt, who happened to be on the same project, and the following weekend I spent time with my two friends from college.

But, of course, November was also another busy month, because I had just gotten off a project, and then I came to this one, just to fly back for a wedding for a day and then I had to fly back the next day because I had to work. So I was just exhausted. But, as the month went on, the days got easier, and my sanity slowly returned. I came home for Thanksgiving and spent time with my friends and family, so that was a nice break. I also finished applying to school so it was definitely a weight lifted off my shoulders.

December (December 10th):

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The final month. The beginning of December was not the greatest. After all the festivities of the previous holiday,  I just wanted to lie in my bed and never leave. Which is what I ended up doing. I didn’t willingly leave the house for two weeks. Simply put, I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to go anywhere, or do anything, and I was constantly complaining. In fact, it got to the point where I was annoyed with myself for constantly complaining  about my weight, but not actually doing anything to fix it. I think it was the photos from my birthday is where I realized that I had gained so much weight, and when I finally stepped on the scale I found out that I had gained thirty pounds since April. That’s a lot, I was at my heaviest I had been since in like 6 years. Originally, I was supposed to be twenty pounds less than where I was in April, but I guess life had other plans. So December ended up being a rude awakening, that just because something happened to you doesn’t mean you have to let it ruin your entire life.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Always follow what you want to do, don’t let anyone else push you to do something you’re uncomfortable with.
  2. You don’t always get what you wish for, you get what you work for.
  3. Stop letting other people control your happiness. It’s okay to be selfish and do what you want to do.
  4. Step outside of your comfort zone, sometimes it might be worth it.
  5. Enjoy the life you’re given. Embrace both the challenges and successes because both make you who you are.

I know it was a long post, probably my longest one to date. But, 2017 was a year and this was a much needed recap to remind myself that I still had a pretty good year despite everything that happened. I am blessed that I have my family and that we are all healthy. I am blessed that I have my friends and that they are all healthy. I blessed that we as a collective whole, even though we all had a pretty tough year, we made it through. And most importantly I am happy that I was finally able to open up to my friends, which is something that I wanted to do for a long time, I just never had the courage to do so. Granted, there are still some days where I can let them in more, but baby steps.

I pray that 2018 will be better and I will try my best to make sure that it is.

Happy New Year in Advance!

Alex.

Relationships 

You know what’s not fair? When I say that I want a boyfriend or that I want to be in a relationship and people come back with, 

“Oh, but you have the rest of your life to be in a relationship. What’s the hurry?”

The hurry is that I am tired of being single. The hurry is that I have done the single life, I’ve traveled and have had my own experiences. I’ve done what I want to do, and now I want to share that with someone else. Is that so bad?

I am not saying that I need a man, but why the hell can’t I have one? I get it, I’m young, I single, I’m independent. Whoop de freaking do? 

However, the problem is I’m alone. At night, I don’t have anyone to go home to, I don’t have anyone to texting me to see how my day was, I don’t have anyone to go to dinner, or the movies, or rock climbing or whatever the case may be. I don’t have anyone to be adventurous with or spontaneous, or even yet just someone to be bored with.

For those of you who think I should be able to do these things on my own and be happy. Fuck you. I never said I couldn’t. I simply do not want to. Why do I have to do things alone? Why should I be forced to be an independent black woman who don’t need no man? What’s the joy in having success if you have no one to share it with? And what’s the point of getting success if you’re just going to give it to the person you never grew with? 

Look don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to get married now, I don’t even know what I’m going to be doing in August. But, in reality, I am tired of being alone, I am tired of not having someone anyone really to share my secrets with. I tired of my current situation. That’s it.

Moral of the story: I shouldn’t have to be forced to do it alone either, and I shouldn’t be shamed for wanting to do it with someone.