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Now I lay me down to sleep… May 5, 2014

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I love writing. I am discovering that I am not making time to develop my craft/talents. There are so many days that I dream about what I want to write but often don’t begin to write until I am lying in my bed with my eyes half-closed (just like tonight).
I climbed into bed tonight and I was prompted to pray that childhood prayer. But the uniqueness of the words made me want to write them down.
Now I lay me down to sleep…
Lord, I want to thank you for my challenges.
Suicidal thoughts: tried and failed twice. Didn’t attempt a third time because I figured I got God’s message. 22 years later I can say ‘I got it’. This lesson to be learned wasn’t about freeing the earth of my presence, or not going to hell, or caring about the impact of my actions on others.
It was always about me, living the life I talked about. Accepting my choices and being fully open to the consequences.
Depressed: feels like a never-ending state of being. I read some thing that identified it as a state of deep-rest. Deep-rest so powerful in its simplicity. Sometimes the struggles/trials are so multitudinous and so obstacle-filled that we believe our path is blocked and we stop. Our stop may be an admittance of defeat or a proposed short break. The fact that stopping was an option often translates into failure. Suddenly your rest becomes a pit of regrets and hurt holding you from seeing the present and its possibilities. Depression isn’t to be trivialized. I am there. I know exactly what it feels like, I know what I need to do to get out but depression can be like quicksand -if you struggle on your own with no plan you might sink further; its better to have a plan, move slowly and its always nice to have a buddy around who you are sure will throw you a life line.
Fear of success: 22 years of my life I was “small” and I hated every minute of it because I thought I was fat. People said amazingly mean things to me about how I looked, I didn’t wait to hear what the strangers said because those people were supposed to be my family. I never told them how they hurt me to my core and made me doubt myself. Now, I really fat and those same people who wagged their tongues before are wagging them now. I want to respond, to retaliate but I can’t, that’s not the kind of girl I am. So I write. I journal. I blog. I internalize. And I cry.
I AM AFRAID…
Afraid to lose weight and feel healthy. Afraid because…
*Even though I ignore the words, I still hear them, and words do hurt
*I know I need help, but there is no one to ask. No one who will help me beyond saying I have to motivate myself
*losing weight means new clothes, new clothes means shopping, shopping means psychological and emotional torture… Nothing looks right or fits right, I am misshaped and deformed. No one has to tell me I look stupid, I already know it!
My physical health suffers in my present shape but I am so afraid of not being happy in another form that I am stuck. And while I am continuously pushing others to be their best, everyone has given up on me and now I am lagging further and further behind.
As I close my eyes and think about how stupid I look in everything I try on, every piece of clothes I wear, a flash comes to my mind and I think about the small signs of muscle definition I see in my arms and legs.
Of course that might be my own delusions.
Everyday I pray for a person, I don’t want a personal trainer, instead I want a work out partner. Someone who will inspire me not with their words but with their actions.

Someone said to me once, ‘if it wasn’t for you I would never have finished’.
I want to be able to say those words to someone one day.

I never asked for easy… May 2, 2014

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My body hurts. My feet, my ankles, my hips, etc. and I love it, because I played basketball with my six graders. I scored (the only person who did) making it a win for the girls… I need my kids to know that someone truly cares. I want them to understand that no matter how hard I am on them, I still love them and I will challenge them to be awesome. I don’t want them to aspire towards an “easy” life.

None of my prayers involve me asking God for an easy life. I don’t want one. An easy life has no work. It shows no struggle. There is no honest laughter. No attempts to escape from reality into fantasy. No almost. No reason to be thankful. No success. An easy life is a mere existence.
I don’t want to just exist.
Seriously who would ever want an easy life?!?
August 2014 would be 13 years since I took a leap of faith and moved to the US. A journey that began with being an undergrad. Some would say I had it easy because I had a scholarship but scholarships come with rules and requirements for maintenance. And I think college professors plan their syllabus with the intention of making the students work for that money.
My fondest memories of college have nothing to do with easy.
I remember going to class all day, working on a group project all evening, spending eight hours (night into the next morning) with my injured boyfriend in an emergency room and then going to class to make a presentation in the same clothes I had worn the day before.
I busted my toe on an escalator on my way to work at Hopkins, didn’t realise until I was in the elevator to my office and felt my big toe swimming in a pool of blood. I had to go look for a doctor to take care of my toe.
The school of education suggested no more than 18 credits per semester, and every semester I had to go running around to get permission to do 22 or 23.
And what about that coach who gave me an incomplete that turned into an F in P.E. and I was the best swimmer in his class.
People say the struggle is real. I revel in it.
I never ask God for easy.
There is no such thing as easy when you teach. I think human beings are hilarious.
My favorite joke: OMG!!! I had to talk to people all day. People kept asking me questions. The store was so busy, I didn’t get my break the customers kept coming. My feet hurt. I haven’t gone to the bathroom all day. People just won’t leave me alone. I WAS SO BUSY (that I didn’t have time to be a decent human being and send you a text or give you a call to see how you were doing)!!!
I am laughing as I write this, but I am also extremely sad because people tell me this all the time and it’s either they want sympathy or they want me to accept their excuse for neglecting a friendship.
The truth is I can’t sympathize. I think that is a poor and pathetic excuse. When people say these things to me I want to be rude an interrupt.
I want to say:
“I don’t believe in comparing jobs. I don’t believe that one job is hard than another. I believe that every job has its own set of challenges for the person working that job. I agree that jobs get super busy and things get crazy. BUT I am a teacher, so when your excuse for being selfish is that your life was busy, before you look to me for sympathy ASK YOURSELF
Could I have interrupted that person who was talking and gone to the bathroom? That last post on fb could I have better used that time responding to work emails or texts? Could I have eaten in that fifteen minutes I spent gossiping?
…because I AM A TEACHER
I have 22 little bodies for 90 minutes, complete with their own personalities and neediness and I can’t leave them alone and go to the bathroom. I can’t answer emails and or texts while they pretend to work quietly. Sometimes I spend that fifteen minutes walking in the halls while eating my lunch while having a conference with a kid or a conversation with an adult. I have been known to sit on the floor in the hallway, because today I just needed to sit.
And guess what?!?
I STILL FOUND SOMETIME FOR YOU”

I NEVER ASKED FOR EASY…
I have asked for a unicorn, a jump rope and a human.
Unicorns, they remind me that there is beauty and magic in everything. In every argument, set back, stressor. Sometimes in my struggle I stop and I cry and then I laugh because I understand that this is real. I am reminded that I asked for this and I know the reward will be AWESOME. Even if the reward is seeing my favorite person or a random stranger smile.
A jump rope, so versatile. It reminds me to be flexible. To bend and turn as needed. I can be a tool advocating good health. I can be supportive. I can hold things together if they seem to be coming apart at the seams. I can be entertaining.
A human, yes, I asked for a guy. A companion. I have had my two longest relationships while living in the US. One ended in divorce and I couldn’t begin to explain what has happened or is happening in the other one. None of my present future goals involve dating, having a bf/gf relationship or marriage. I just want a dependable male friend. Out of everything I have done in my life, I am at the point where I am ready to ask God for easy. I have said God, this is what I am looking for in that person, ALL of my journals (even the teenage ones where I planned my future) have the same criteria.
Then God said, here he is you can have him, but you can’t have him. God made sure my heart fell in love before my head got involved.
I never asked for easy, all I wanted was someone who would be my support, help me stay sane, fight with me, talk to me, trust me and I in turn could be the same and more for them. I asked for a friend. Instead, I got a person who doesn’t trust me, doesn’t want to be in my life, is almost always TOO BUSY for me, says I am worth it but treats me like nothing (maybe I am worth nothing in his eyes), he has this trick – if I complain about something he is not doing, his response is “you know earlier I was thinking about doing that today”, then he still doesn’t do it. I don’t know why God put him in my life and truthfully he has probably moved on with his life and not said anything to me.
Everyday I cry.
Everyday I hurt.
Everyday I say to God, ‘Lord, I didn’t ask for easy and I probably never will but is this friendship even possible?’

My Reality Check… April 23, 2014

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‘Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.’ – Albert Einstein

I think this applies to everyone adult and child. It has helped me to be much less critical as a teacher and it has taught me to provide more ways for my kids to be successful in completing a lesson. This is NOT about my job though.

People who don’t know me, think I have low self- esteem and I need to see a therapist.

The few people who know me, think I am too hard on myself. They are right! Sometimes I am forced to sit myself down and remind myself that I am only human. Yes, there are super human feats that occur in my life but I am human. Maybe that’s why the Christina Perri song resonates so deeply within my heart. It is a constant reminder that with all I do and don’t do the reality is that I am only human.

I am a smart girl. 

I know what I want, I know the consequences of my every action.

I am a smart girl.

I know what I want, I know the consequences of my every action.

I am a smart girl.

I know what I want, I know the consequences of my every action.

But like the fish, there comes a point when my human interactions become so overwhelmingly depressing that I do ask myself,

Is there something wrong with me? Why am I never enough? Am I stupid? Why can’t I do what everybody else seems to do so easily?

My inner voice is keeps screaming…

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU! YOU ARE ENOUGH, FOR YOU, FOR GOD AND EVERYBODY YOU MEET! YOU ARE SMART! YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN UNIQUE AND THAT’S WHAT MAKES YOU AN AWESOME YOU!

but my inner voice has been getting softer and softer, more unsure…

maybe there is something wrong with you. you are enough for you and God but not worth much to anyone else. it’s obvious you are not so smart because you are letting this all bother you. you will never fit with your differences, yes you are unique but that only makes you an outlier and outsider. don’t expect to ever belong, to fit in.

I am a girl, a lady, a woman. I am simple and uncomplicated. Often I communicate my feelings before my mind is aware of them, before my mouth knows the words to utter. 

Today, I cried. 

Yeah, I have been crying a lot, so this is not news but when I cry almost uncontrollably in front of my class, that is a completely different story. 

Have you ever wanted to be loved? Loved for you, whole-heartedly unconditionally loved?

I know, I know God loves me. I have heard it. I believed it. He loved Adam too, he walked in the garden with Adam but yet he decided that Adam needed a partner and sent Eve. Am I less worthy to be loved? I am not just talking about love from the opposite sex.

When does a parent let their child know that no matter how they look, that they are loved or beautiful? Am I supposed to stop wanting that affirmation because I am an adult? Is it wrong to hope that one day I would hear the words I love you uttered from my father’s lips?

When will God explain why he made me a girl but I can’t do any of the natural girly things without the aide of medication etc.?

Why did my husband need me to where 6 inch heels everyday, tight pants, get a tramp stamp, put my cleavage on show and always have my hair braided before he thought he loved me? Why did he leave when I decided I needed to be my own person?

Why do other guys think that I am “stuck up” because my idea of a first date doesn’t involve spending the night at their house or vice versa?

Why do I have a beautiful soul, am good enough for sex, but I am a secret to the world? Why is it so easy to cheat on me? Why will I never be enough, never be good enough, never be right? 

Why won’t you let me enjoy the few moments moments of happiness I have with you? Why keep reminding me that it will end one day? Do you want me to be the same as you, bitter, jaded, self-deluded? Often I wonder why God put you in my life because you so obviously don’t want to be here. I do listen to your words as you repeatedly stab me in the heart.

I am not a very touchy person but today I needed a human touch. Unfortunately, I live on a slow-sinking island and the only people who have ever cared enough to accept me in all my uniqueness live hours, cities, states, countries away.

People say, ‘girl you need to learn to live alone’, but when you’ve lived alone so long that your favorite conversations are with the pet snake you are babysitting, how do you know when you’ve learned to live alone?

 

 

No anniversary… April 17, 2014

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I have been feeling very out of sorts lately.
I am having a hard time enjoying even the moments. There are very few highs to my lows. I don’t even take pictures like I used to. Why bother?
Suicides seem to be on the rise. Too bad for me that I am not much of a follower. These beautiful people seemed to have so much going for them ( the outsider’s perspective) and yet they chose not to continue living. Depression? Is it really just a chemical imbalance in the brain? Is it fixable if I take drugs? Then why do I need coping strategies? Why are the side effects suicidal thoughts and depression? If I am on drugs, how would I know when I am truly happy? Maybe it is just a chemical imbalance but if so, it is alarming to me that so many people are suffering from this same chemical imbalance. Is it a radical thought to believe that drugs may not be the answer?
I think we have screwed ourselves over.   I think I have screwed myself over, continuing to allow myself to exist in this cesspool of inhumanity. Who am I doing this for? Surely not me. Everybody (acquaintances, family, friends, therapists, strangers) say, ‘think about the people who you leave behind in pain’, ‘think about all the people that will be hurt and suffer’.

Isn’t it funny how they tell you over and over that you are alone, you have to learn to be alone, you alone can make your own success, you have to work out alone and think for yourself and do EVERY F%&$ING thing alone, but when it comes to suicide you need to think about others?
Where were the others when I needed someone to talk to in the middle of the night?
Where were the others when I cried in my car?
Where were the others when I spent hours in the emergency room alone?
Where were the others when I went home and made dinner for myself night after night?
So many scenarios… So many life moments… So many… Too many… ALONE

Of course, I am to blame. I have given up on people. I am so far gone that when someone does something nice for me, or thanks me for something, or offers me something; I don’t know how to respond. I can feel the irregularities in my heart beat. I feel the adrenaline surge through my body and my fight or flight response kick in. Sometimes I think I have a mini panic attack. I am so surprised that my outward response hardly ever matches what I really want to/ should say.

Eight years ago, I got married.
Eight years later, I get to think about my actions.
I almost forgot about today, but I can’t, I won’t ever. That’s not an option. I don’t seem to do anything the easy way. In 2006, April 17 became my wedding anniversary, but before that it was my mom’s birthday and that day happened to be Easter Monday.
Eight years later, I sit here and I smile. I don’t feel like crying anymore.
I didn’t get the wedding, marriage, spouse, family that I wanted. But I remember smiling that day. I remember thinking I might be the happiest girl alive. I remembered thinking with God all things are possible.
I am not sure when I stopped believing in good things for myself. I haven’t stopped believing in good things for others, I pray for others and sometimes (by default) I rattle off some prayers from my old life that mention me.
I am sure everyone is going to be wonderful, no matter what choice I make.
I am not a follower.
I don’t want to be a negative statistic.
I don’t want to be a bother to others.
I don’t want all my smiles to be tinged with sadness.
I don’t want to remember what I want because I will never get it.
I don’t want drugs.
I don’t want
I don’t
I
(All that’s left a mere existence, with no impact on anything)

I am done… April 15, 2014

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Tonight.
Tonight is one of my good nights. I have had a lot of those since he came into my life.
I have learned to laugh again. Loud and long, unhampered by insecurities, my laugh is free and my smile genuine. I know because people respond to my smile. I giggle like a proper drunk…hiccup… God, I am so happy.
That devil, that damned devil, sticks his fork into my cheeks. He knows if I laugh too loudly or smile to widely I will forget, forget that tiny kernel of doubt. That minute, insignificant seed of doubt. The one that wants me to believe that this is all my imagination and soon I will have to face the chasm of reality.
That seed is the easiest growing plant in my garden. A weed, a parasitic vine, a massive tree that grows roots and invades the spaces until nothing is left. My fear, my disbelief, my inaction is fertilizer.
My fear, my doubt, my inaction is nutrient-draining.
Trapped.
Trapped!?!
In a reality that only exists because of shadows.
Shadows.
Which only exist when I block the sun.
I laugh.

I don’t sit and worry about when its going to be over, anymore. I don’t want it to end. I know this is the last “relationship” that I will ever have. This is not a challenge for God. I don’t want to restart with another person. I don’t want to try this again and again until I get it right.
It is done.
He is the last one.

Tonight I really miss him.

Journal Entry 1 April 3, 2014

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I feel like a constant failure. I have accomplished nothing in my life. All my dreams, my goals are nothing. They are less than particles of dust in the wind. So much I want to do and say but no motivation.

I had a thought today…

– why do doctors/ paramedics try to save the lives of people who attempt suicide? Why not let me die? I think I would be more depressed if I woke up alive after building up my courage to kill myself. It would probably feel like another thing I failed at.

People say think about all the people whose lives you will negatively impact but where were those people/ those lives when I cried out for help constantly. Those people who said, ‘you should see a therapist, you need to take anti-depression drugs, you could…, you should…, you have to learn to be alone, etc. Those people who are ready with their “words of wisdom”, when all you ever wanted was a person to…

-write a note/letter, bring a trinket back from their trip, send a text saying they missed you today or they thought about you, go to a movie, walk on the beach, (just a small moment of time from their super busy schedule).

So many lives to be touched by my leaving but very few that showed they appreciated my presence. So many lives that will take some time off to attend my funeral, who will stop and gossip with friends and family about my life. A life they can only comment on because they read the broadcast on facebook.

I will never be the girl who has a fan club, or a huge following, maybe not even a best friend or a soulmate. I dont want to be in the spotlight, have to give my autograph or be showered with gifts. I dont want my home to be a revolving door of visitors (I only have one chair). I dont want to be praised for my kindness and I dont want to have to announce those moments to the world either.

I am alone.

The world is teaching us that we are too busy to build new friendships. We are too busy to invest time in our present friendships.

We have learned that if we stop texting, stop posting, stop surfing the world will stop and we will cease to exist. We have learned to be too busy to be social.

I find it disturbing that when I say hi/ hello to people, they respond with ‘fine, what’s up?’ and they keep walking. I am so confused as to what should be my response in that moment.

I go out to eat, or I hang with others and they are constantly on their phones and I want to laugh the laugh of a raving lunatic because I feel like I am the insane one. Eventually I copy them. I keep checking my phone and I check facebook and I check emails and I check and I check because I dont want to compete with the thing that has that other person’s attention. I dont want to keep stopping in the conversation to wonder if the person is listening or if they heard me or to repeat my question.
I check, but unlike them I have told my very few friends that I am busy, that I am out with other people and so for as long as I need they give me clear airwaves (they know that they will get the juicy details later). The friends who are a little too pushy, they get ignored.

One day maybe I will join the many and get trapped in the matrix. I will forget that I am alone. I will not need medication for depression and I too can become a technology zombie.

For now though, I am alone and I wish that those people who would be affected by my loss, realize that…
FOR NOW I AM PRESENT.

Loving Myself… January 11, 2014

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Loving Myself….

Loving Myself… January 11, 2014

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Today someone said, ‘you are awesome’. My mind instantly followed with, ‘No, I’m not.’

That quick exchange clarified a conflict in my mind that stemmed from a conversation earlier in the week.

When did I stop believing I was awesome? When did I forget my self worth?

I have been haunted since the day I taught my students a lesson on ‘body acceptance’. The lesson we learned that day could be summarized in one sentence, ‘The best way to show that you love something is to take care of it’. I knew the lesson was true but I was haunted because I wasnt living by example. I wasnt taking care of me, the conclusion being that I didnt love me.

But how could that be? Don’t I practice good hygiene? I have clothes. I go to my job. I maintain a nice clean apartment. I… I… I… Apparently, I am doing the bare minimum required to stay alive and to “fit” into society. Is that enough to say I am loving myself?

How is it that the girl who celebrates birthdays as if they are national holidays, if left alone would let hers pass in silence? I have planned other people’s parties that I wasnt invited to, sent singing telegrams, did gift giving count downs etc. except July 4th where I sit and wonder if anyone would invite me to their family bbq and the once or twice when I did get invited, I declined the invitation. Its obvious I love celebrating, except celebrating me never seems to be on my agenda. I get friends presents for Thanksgiving and Halloween and Christmas and just because its Wednesday and I thought about you, but nothing for myself. I would say I am trying to get them to like me, but they already like me so that can’t be my motivation, can it?

I schedule my “me” time at the beginning of the week, sometimes the beginning of the month and at the end I review my calendar and its filled with many undone activities because I gave up that time to hang with a friend, to take care of my students’ needs, to get something a friend needed (they may not have asked for it but I knew based on our conversations that it would make life easier for them). And in the moments when I get to relax, I spend time thinking about all the people I have wronged for that day or that week and I agonize over how to apologize and how awful my actions or words were towards them and then I try to atone for the sins they have longed since forgotten and in many cases never even took offense to.

I dont even believe in myself. I work out, wanting to see changes but with no real expectations that there will be any improvements. It makes it easy to give up. A continuous cycle of starting and giving up and starting again, hoping that the next time and the time after that I will really stick with my plans and gain success. People tell me how much weight I have lost and congratulate me on my work. My first reaction is always, I dont know what you are talking about. I dont see any change and my personal trainer doesnt see any change, so there is obviously no change. Except I am consciously trying not to make people upset with my negative statements so I pretend I know what they are talking about and thank them for their compliments.

People from my past have been telling me how ‘i always looked out for them’, and ‘they appreciated everything I did’, etc. etc. and I am surprised because I dont remember.

If I had to describe my life up to now I would say it was unremarkable, unfulfilling, and wasted but from eye-witness accounts and after a jarring question posed to me this week, it would appear that I possess a very jaded view of my life.

I am not looking for sympathy and I dont want another person to talk about my alleged awesomeness (there I go again throwing myself under the proverbial bus -thank God it’s only proverbial) and try to make me feel better. I guess I have written all this to say, I am beginning to recognize that I have to pay more REAL attention to myself. I could probably say I started that by buying myself an actual winter jacket, but when I think of that memory its surrounded by so much unhappiness, especially since the original goal had nothing to do with buying a winter jacket.

I am not sure how I am going to do this concentrated love of self thing, but I must start, even if it means taking myself out for cake and ice cream to celebrate the fact that I am still alive.

My Pillow January 6, 2014

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2014 January 5, 2014

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It’s only Day 5 and so much has happened.
First of all I didn’t make any resolutions.
1. I didn’t want the guilt trip that ensues when I don’t follow them.
2. I never make it past February.
3. Who needs them anyway? I rather evaluate my year before and make a goal that builds upon what I have been doing. No random promises for me!!!

Second, I got divorced.
1. At first I was worried about how I looked. I made a goal to lose weight and buy a cute outfit. Didn’t happen! My weight loss is not very well supported by scale measurements. It took me almost six weeks out of the eight week holiday program I signed up for at the gym, before I realized i was doing my psyche more damage. I am a big girl and while I could see evidence of weight loss in the fit of my clothes and eye-witness accounts etc. The scale didn’t budge to show weight loss but in fact it kept moving up suggesting weight gain.
When it feels like your ‘trainer’ is laughing at you, and you can’t see the progress you feel, sometimes you choose to give up.
As it came closer to the time. I began to understand that I didn’t care about my soon to be ex’s opinion. Nothing he said could break me, I had gotten this far and survived. Divorce hearing successful, waiting for the signed papers in the mail.

Third, rekindled a friendship with an old flame. The BEST I can say is that things are happy so far.

Fourth, the near death of a friendship.
I spent a lot of time blaming myself for the destruction of my marriage and I had to do a lot of evaluating. I am very responsible for my share of crazy and I will accept all of that responsibility but no relationship (friendship or otherwise) can last if one person is too self-involved to recognize their part in the success or failure.
I am not accepting any more blame but I am going to step away and protect myself. Let’s see OUR friendship survive following his idea of a friendship.
People say, love hurts. I disagree but now I understand why they say it. My friend, who I love dearly hurt me to my core today. The worst part is that if he knew, he didn’t care. This love is not lust or infatuation, I know the difference, I have done those many times before. This is once in a lifetime, the kind you know will never happen again but still pray can be duplicated in case the one you love now doesn’t love you back.

I am a little frightened of facing day 5, because the past four days have only filled me with trepidation. Certain parts of my life are going to be great because I am the only human involved but I worry greatly about the other parts because there is more than one human involved and my hand is definitely not on the control lever.