i caught myself thinking about you and what used to be.
and i don’t know why the mind does that, going back to places that it can never really go back to.
maybe it is to heal.
maybe it is to punish.
or maybe it is to just understand how i got here.
It’s strange to think it has only been a week and a half since I packed up my life and moved cross country to start my life over again. It definitely feels like I am starting from rock bottom again. New job, new place, no friends or family nearby. There are so many times I have reminisced on what my life used to be compared to where I am now. I think there are definitely some life events that have affected me irreversibly. I have never had issues being on my own until now. Maybe I need to take a break from seeing happy people…
When you really think deep down about it. No one really cares about you or your life. “Friends and family” are more occupied with their own lives and work and significant others to even give a second thought at what you’re going through. I often wonder if I was the “bad friend”. The one who didn’t reach out at the right time. I have tried my whole life to consider others’ feelings at the expense of my own. Is it too selfish to worry about myself for once?
Even when I was tied down to an abusive, cheating ex I was almost as free as I could be. Even though I wasn’t going around behind his back I felt a sense of freedom in that I didn’t have to find someone to be with. There was always someone I was going home to. Sharing a bed with. Taking care of. It was comfortable. Even in my misery, insecurity, selflessness, depression, I was still somewhat happy. Despite being told I would never find someone better than him or be as happy as I was with him there was always a nagging feeling that there was something else for me out there.
Very few people knew my internal struggles. Noticed that I wasn’t really myself anymore. The bubbly, enthusiastic, ambitious girl was gone. And although I had big goals and plans, they were all centered around being married and having a family with my abuser. I did everything for him/us. I went to therapy to try and help him at the expense of my own sanity and emotions. And when it all ended all I could think was “why wasn’t I good enough? What could I have done better to make it work?” I felt like an epic failure. I couldn’t be a good wife. There’s no way I’d ever be a good mother. Maybe having a family wasn’t in the cards.
I threw myself into the military. Into being a good officer. A good Soldier. Bending over backwards for an organization that would replace me in a heartbeat. Constantly feeling like I wasn’t good enough became my M.O. For my family, in relationships, friendships, etc. It felt like I was always going to be doomed to repeat the same patterns forever. Always the punching bag. The foster home. The one who was good for a short time, not a long time. I felt like I didn’t have control over anything.
Maybe I spend too much time looking for greener grass. After trying to settle I’ve now become the one who can’t settle. I choose to be in toxic, emotionally unavailable relationships because I’m unable or unwilling to open up to anyone ever again. Have I really been hurt that badly? Is it all in my head? There are so many of these posts where I know my feelings are valid and I am worthy of love, but honestly the longer it goes, the less it seems real. Maybe I need to go back to therapy.
So many times I’ve picked myself up and brushed off the failure. The doubt. The fear. I’ve thrown myself into the next thing. Job, relationship, etc. I tell myself it’s alright to open up. Not everyone is going to be like ‘so and so’, but then I prove myself wrong again. I know what I’m doing. Maybe it isn’t right. But maybe it’s the only way I can protect myself. Someone I consider a mentor once told me ‘don’t buy into the gay shit. stay out of your feelings’. Maybe the bright, happy girl I used to be isn’t going to ever come back.
So many nights spent drowning my pillows, hugging my knees, screaming without making a sound. The fear of someone seeing the real me crushes me. I can’t let anyone in. Even the ones who’ve seen me at my most vulnerable don’t know everything that rattles around in my head. I can’t think of one person who has ever seen me at my lowest. I suffer in silence. Alone. I’ll never bring anyone to the depths of despair I bring myself. I know my smile doesn’t reach my eyes these days. The sparkle is gone. It probably won’t be back for a while.
I know how I am. I am driven, goal oriented, ambitious, determined in all the ways that matter. I will be successful if it kills me. But I may not ever be happy about it. There are very few things that really bring me joy anymore. I can’t remember the last time I really smiled and was actually happy when I was doing it. The last time I really laughed. The last time I felt anything in my heart. When I try to picture feelings or emotions they all seem so artificial. Glimpses into the past that I’ll never get back.
Memories can be a bitch. If I died today and had to watch a reel of all the best and worst moments of my life I’d know exactly which ones they’d be. The ones burned into the backs of my eyes that haunt me when I go to sleep. Why I force myself to stay awake into the early hours of the morning to avoid. The bags under my eyes and coffee addiction can agree with me. I have a problem I’m not sure anyone will be able to fix, not even myself.
Maybe I need a trip. A getaway. Something to distract me from the dark cloud that has been hanging over me since I left Korea. Despite every effort to blow it away, it is never far away. February gets closer. I’ve thought about giving into temptation, but where will that get me? Absolutely nowhere but back to square one. Move on, move on, move on. My mirror is going to be covered in sticky notes and reminders. I could tell myself over and over that I’m alright and I can keep going and my eyes would betray my feelings every time.
So many happy faces fill my screen at any given time. Couples, weddings, baby announcements. Each one feels like a punch in the gut. Why can’t I just be happy for everyone? Avoiding everything seems like the best option. Ghosts from my past keep coming to remind me that I wasn’t good enough for them. That they’ve moved on without me and are doing even better. Slapping me in the face. Why do I care what they think? What anyone thinks? Why can’t I just allow myself to heal?
Solitude doesn’t make it better. No distractions. No one to occupy my mind or my bed besides my own bitter thoughts. The longer it goes the worse it gets. Am I that disgusted with myself that my own company is degrading to my mental health? Why is it easier to distract myself with someone else than face my problems? Must be why no one can stand to stay with me for more than a few months. I hate talking to myself like this.
I remember a time when I could eat alone, shop alone, go to the movies alone, road trip alone. What happened to her? Has the heartbreak and pain really stomped out the fire? The anxiety and depression I faced in Korea was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I have never been that low or that high in my life. Soared right into the sun and now am facing the consequences. Maybe coming home was the worst thing that could have happened.
I’m running my head in circles now. A dejected, worried little girl lost in a field of daisies. There is so much out there for me and I can’t yet see it. I’ll be sitting on my raincloud a bit longer. The calm before the storm. Maybe the thunder will wake her up. Until then, Rachel will stay asleep. Shoved in the closet waiting for the day she can finally shine.
For now, enjoy some more songs that I listen to endlessly on repeat:
acting like that by MGK, Yungblood
Hold On by ILLENIUM, Georgia Ku