Silence

I don’t want to talk about this anymore, because I don’t want to stop.

But, I don’t want you to know how bad it is and I don’t want you to report me.

I want to be honest, but I’m afraid of where that honesty will get me, so I’m done talking.

I’m Not Alone, But I Am

I know that I am not the only person in the world who has gone through a traumatic experience. I get that. I truly do. But, I am the only me who has gone through one. When people say that they are there for you, I believe them I know that they are, but it’s not the same.

I have tried reaching out to support groups or people who have gone through something similar, but that’s also not the same.

What people fail to realize or simply what they fail to tell you is that, no matter how often someone says they will be there for you, it’s not the same as you being capable of being there for yourself.

If that makes sense.

Until, I can wrap my head around the fact that some days will just suck and I have to move forward regardless, it’s going to be hard for me to fully accept support from others.

This past weekend was the closest I have come to in a while when it came to self harming. For the most part, I have been able to distract myself or just not have triggers for a while now. I have just been that busy, which is good. However, this past weekend I felt as if something was wholly off and I wasn’t able to feel like myself.

Long story short, I made it through the weekend without a slip up and I am really proud of myself mainly because as much as I reached out to strangers it was truly to strength from within that kept me safe.

I tend to think the most about my incident when I am in my room on the weekends because for the most part I stay in my hotel bed all day. I also tend to think about what happened when I am at the gym because there was a point in time where I kept running into him. I also tend to think about him whenever I meet someone new that even remotely resembles him. I tend to think about it whenever I hear the words sex, or rape, or backdoor, or virginity, etc. Or even whenever I am out for drinks with friends I tend to think about it. I also think about it at work whenever I am going to the bathroom because I feel as if I am going to be attacked in the stall. I think about him/it whenever I am walking down the staircase. I think about him/it when I am listening to my audio-books or when I am watching TV.

Moral of the story: I think about that night a lot. More than I would like to admit. More than I can admit, because it hurts too much.

What they fail to tell you is that there is never NOT going to be a time when I don’t think about it. And even now when I do I still get that pang in my stomach of just hurt and realization that this truly happened and I wasn’t able to stop it.

See here’s the thing. I know that my friends will always listen to me if I have an issue or a problem, especially when it comes to this, but the problem is they haven’t experienced it. I pray to God they never will.. But, because of that, they don’t get the leaps that my mind takes whenever I am triggered. And let’s be honest, it’s not big triggers, it could be small, but I don’t know how to let them in.

I don’t know how to tell them that even though I may seem fine and I am fine…. enough, that I can still feel not 100%.

I know that I am not alone, but it does feel that way a lot of the time.

Alex

Is it an Anniversary or Not?

Is it weird that I’ve come to think about today as sort of an anniversary?

Tonight will mark two years, two years since I lost a part of me. Two years since that part of me was taken away to a point where I know for a fact I can’t get it back. I have been thinking about this date for a while now. Trying to figure out how I was going to react to it, considering the fact that I’m currently in California again right now.

No, I am not in San Diego again. But yes, I am on a project. So, I think that’s what makes it different. That’s what makes me wonder how I am going to be this year. I am currently in San Francisco, so Northern California. At first, I was nervous because I thought that he was going to be here as well and since this is a longer contract I didn’t know what I could have done to avoid him for so long. But, Thank God, he’s not here. I found that out early on.

But there is a guy here that I can’t tell how I feel when I am around him, I can’t tell if I feel uncomfortable or not. But, I’ll go into that a little later.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand, if you can call it that. I have been patiently awaiting this day for some time now. A couple of weeks ago, well closer to a month really, I self harmed again. This time is was more aggressive but less destructive? If that makes sense. I didn’t use my normal means, but I did leave marks this time, which I normally don’t do. And I also felt as if I couldn’t necessarily control myself? I just got so angry with everything, but also just angry for no reason. I was also just overwhelmed with everything being put on me. And I felt like I had a lot more random bouts of crying and I just felt so alone. I thought about reaching out to my friends and asking them to at the very least talk to me, but it was hard to make that step, because they’re so busy. And I know that they said and constantly say that no matter what they would drop what they were doing, so to speak, for me but, I can’t seem to wrap my head around that.

So, instead I get stuck in my head, and stuck in my thoughts, and essentially stuck on a loop that never seems to be ending of how I am,

  1. Not worth their time &
  2. I don’t know how to explain why I am feeling the way I am feeling. So,
  3. What’s the point of bringing it up anyway?

I think for me that’s been the scariest part of these two years. There are times where I am so overwhelmed and consumed by emotions that it literally terrifies me. Even writing this, I am afraid of how I am going to feel afterwards because I don’t know if this will be cathartic or destructive.

It doesn’t help that my friends are in a time zone 2 or 3 hours ahead. And that’s why I felt so stuck last time. I had no one to talk to. I was alone and the people that could’ve helped were asleep. It sucked.

For now however, I am going to start the day like a regular day. I want it to be regular day. I don’t want to be consumed y this anymore. I just want to enjoy my Friday while I look forward to the weekend.

I am not defined by this. I know that. Not just because I have been told that, but also because I am so much more! I just need some time to make sure that solidifies in my head.

Alex.

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.

I’m Tired

I am so tired of doing the same thing over and over again and not getting anything in return.

I have been applying for jobs consistently for the past 6 months and I have been getting nothing but rejection letters. Currently there are two positions that are looking promising, but there is not guarantee. I essentially just have to pray and hope that one of them come through. Otherwise, I am back to the drawing board. Which I’m basically already at. I apply, I get rejected and thus begins the cycle.

I just don’t understand why I have to essentially beg for a job. Like you know my experience, you know I am educated, just freaking train me and we would be good to go. The ones that piss me off the most are the rejections I get from jobs that literally say, requirements: college degree. I HAVE THAT! Then how am I not qualified? Why can’t you even just give me an INTERVIEW. That’s all I want. I want to at least be given an interview so that I just know that I was at least qualified enough on paper.

Because as is right now, what you are telling me is that I am not even qualified enough to pass your basic qualifications tests. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? I have experience in the field and you see that. You’re just being shitty people. 

I’m honestly just so sick and tired of this. I’m running out of money and I am running out of confidence that this is going to end soon. I am tired of living in my parent’s house. I am tired of cleaning up after people. I am tired of doing things for other people and never getting anything back in return. I am just so tired. This is utter bullshit. I deserve more. I deserve better. I am better. But why can’t they see that?

What am I supposed to do now? I can’t give up because I NEED a job. I can’t give up because there are so many people depending on me. I can’t give up because if I do, my money will run out and we will be homeless.

I just want, no. I NEED things to change. And soon. Like now. Because I’m tired.

New Year, Please Change

Something’s got to give.

Anything. 

I am so tired of feeling this way.

I am so tired of complaining about feeling this way.

When I get in my moods it’s hard for me to come out of it. It’s also hard hard for me to explain everything that’s going on in my head. I just want to stay away from people and not have any interactions.

I am supposed to have a call with my friends today, but I wasn’t feeling it since the morning and now I have a sort of out. I am going to the movies with my brother. I honestly just don’t want to do anything.

My parents already pissed me off this morning and that had put me in a sour mood all morning. I am starting to lighten up now that I am going to the movies, but still.

I feel like this is not going to end. I feel like this is my life now and I am so so very tired of it. I just want things to change. I want them to get better. I need them to. Because I’m tired.

ALEX

I’m Not Ready

I was asked recently about my temperament. I feel like for the most part it’s pretty steady. But, every so often it can change. Just like that. And currently, I feel like a ‘just like that’ moment is occurring.

I am slowly starting to realize how much money I actually missed out on by not being accepted for a project I applied for. And to make matters worse, it would have been the perfect project for me. Here’s why:

  1. The project was in California, with the same hospital system I worked at when the incident happened.
  2. It’s in the same city where the Huxtables currently reside and I would have been there for Theo’s birthday, which is today.
  3. It would have been for a different company so the chances of me seeing him are slim to none.
  4. I would have been working inpatient hours, so more hours equals more pay.

ALL of which are fantastic reasons. Like I said, perfect project.

I have been trying to console myself with the idea that everything happens for a reason, and since I lost that opportunity I have received two initiated conversations about a full time position. But so far, nothing has come from it. Which means I have nothing right now. ‘I have no money and no prospects’ as my friends would always say.

I am starting to get worried that I am currently going down the wrong path and eventually it’s going to be to hard to turn away. I am starting to feel as if I haven’t accomplished much with my life. And I am slowly, not fully yet, starting to feel like I am wasting my life and I could be doing so much more.

I want to be doing so much more, but right now no one is giving me the chance. All I need is for one organization to take a chance on me and give me an opportunity to prove to them that I am actually really good at what I do. I just need to be trained and given the platform to shine.

And I need for it to happen soon. Because currently I am starting to lose hope just a little. And not yet, but I feel it coming on, I feel like I am on the verge of a backslide of the century.

I have been on an extended high for way too long. I have had the summer of a lifetime and I am currently achieving my body goals and I feel like the universe might think that I am too happy and it’s time to be taken down a notch.

I’m not ready.

Alex

Quick Life Update

It’s been a while since I have written. And I hate for you guys to think that I only write when my life is falling apart, but that seems to always be the case. Mainly, since it’s the only thing that keeps me together.

However, this time it’s not falling apart. It’s been better than ever. 

These past few months, I have actually been really happy. I have been working consistently, I have been eating healthier, working out, and speaking more of my truth to my friends ( i.e. letting them in more on my day to day life). Needless to say, I have been living my life like it’s golden.

In fact, this past week I actually went back to California to visit the family that I used to work for ( they moved out there last August) and I spent a week with them and I really  enjoyed myself and hanging out with the kids.

For whatever reason, I thought that maybe I would have a trigger of some sorts, but to my surprise, I didn’t think of him once. Not once. Not even one time. Looking back at it, I am completely happy that he isn’t even on my radar anymore. However, a part of me is saddened that that part of my life is over now. Because I feel that if I don’t remember it was it really significant enough to do all the damage that it did. I know the logical answer is yes, but still. It’s something I think about.

Granted, I am no longer the person who needs to obsess over it, or talk it out, or avoid talking it out, or cry over it, or get upset that I am not crying over it, or simply even think about it at all. In fact, I haven’t thought about it. Like I said, AT ALL. And yes, I am ecstatic, I am elated, I am joyful, and thankful, and blessed that I no longer have to deal with that part of my life anymore. I am still concerned that I am concerned that it’s over.

But, hey. No more dwelling. Here is the truth:

I have been traveling constantly the last 6 months for work and this past week started  my two month travel adventure. I get to go to camp three times, I am meeting up with my friends, I am going to travel somewhere with my sister (don’t know where yet), hopefully I am going to Bermuda. But, moral of the story is, I will be busy making happy memories with the people I love, surrounded by people who love me, and I couldn’t be happier.

I feel great and I am not ashamed about that anymore.

Goodbye & Goodnight

Alex.

Always

You will always be my 2am text.

You will always be my drunk text, my tipsy, text, my ‘I’ve only had one drink’, but I want to talk text.

You will always be the person who knew me at my lowest and who I want to see me at my best.

You will always be my best friend, my confidant, my rock when I don’t need it & when I don’t deserve.

You will always be the person who hurt me the most and helped me the most.

You will always be my someone, even if you don’t want to be and even if you don’t know it.

& I will always need you.

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.