Once in a while, not often, I look at the stats of this blog. These last two months have seen more traffic on here than all of 2017. It’s amazing, thought I am not sure what changed.
My most successful post has been shared on March 28th, 2015. It’s actually quite surprising, because the post has not been tagged, but one person with a very wide social media reach – Nate Maingard – shared it with his followers and I guess that did the trick back then. It was a very naked and bare post and although I don’t agree with all of what I wrote at this point in time, I want to share it with you.
A very personal post
I feel the need to write this. It may be impulsive and it will be very personal.
Everything that happens inside of me, feelings, emotions, I need to deal with it on my own. More importantly, I never find the words to say what is wrong.
As a teenager, I cut myself. It was my outlet and my way to let go of the emotional hurt I felt. I grew up in a broken home, with a very ill mother. Her sickness and the way I cared for her from a very early age on, made me the person I am today. With all the implications of her illness, I was never shown love or affection. I grew up in a household full of adults. Grandparents, aunt, uncles, my mom and my sister (three years older than I am). Love and affection was nothing shown in my family. I wasn’t hit or abused. Not physically, instead, I was ignored or yelled at when I did something wrong. From an early age on, it was expected that I help my mom. My earliest memory goes back to when I was four years old and helped my mother with her daily hygiene… I won’t go into details. Suffice to say, no child that young should need to do these things for their parents. I was bribed into it and I was told if I refused or reluctantly helped, that I didn’t love her enough. And since I loved my mom, I did as I was told. And I broke inside, bit by tiny bit.
Emotions were bottled up and I found a friend in music. It was my safe haven, somewhere where I could flee from my daily life. I never had many friends, I wasn’t allowed to go out and I wasn’t allowed to bring anyone home.
I was thirteen when I first cut. I never hid my wounds. Nobody ever asked about them. Cutting was like a valve to release the pressure I felt. In a way, it felt as if my skin was too tight and when I cut, I fit in again. Little things could trigger it. I remember one particular cut that my grandma saw. I remember how she laughed and told me that if I wanted to kill myself, I should cut my wrist. No help there. It was a cruel thing to say, but I was used to it. Back then, I felt alone. Like a freak. An outsider on every front.
Despite it all, I was a rebel. I started to meet with the wrong people, fell in love with the wrong people and saw them destroying themselves with drugs. I never did anything. Was I a coward or too headstrong? I don’t know. I simply didn’t like to see them lose control and I didn’t want to see it happen to myself. Drugs were never an option for me. If it had been, I would not be here right now. I would have died with my friend. (he died of an overdose in 2012). I didn’t go home during the days anymore. I went to school and wouldn’t go back home until it was evening. I would do my chores at home and hide in my room with the music turned up. I wrote pages and pages in my diary and I also started to write poetry. It became an outled and I stopped cutting. I simply stopped. It was hard at first. To take the pen instead of the cutter. But I succeeded. I was proud of myself, but I had no one to share that feeling with. It’s the story of my life.
Looking for love and affection. It never stopped.
I met the man I married when I was sixteen (almost seventeen). He lived a life very different from the one I lived (and was six years older too). In a way, he saved me.
I went to school and started a specialization, all without the support of my family. They didn’t care as long as I was there to help with this and that. In their minds, I never missed anything. I had clothes, a roof over my head and monthly pocket money. They didn’t understand that I needed more. I was told that I was/am egoistic and self-centered. Maybe they were/are right. I finished school in 2004. I was the first and to this date only one of my family, who went to school and got a degree that allowed them to go to university. I had plans. But then I became pregnant with my first child. In 2005 I gave birth to a beautiful boy. I love him to bits. I moved in with his father and for the first time in my life, I didn’t need to take care of my mom. I now had my own little family. I was devastated with feelings of guilt and I was told more than once that I destroyed my family because I was so selfish and had a child. I was twenty-one. Old enough to make those decisions for myself. After my son’s birth, I fell into a deep hole. I cried a lot and I didn’t want to live anymore. I loved him, but it was not enough. I felt useless and worthless. Lonely too. I had 1 (one) friend and her life was very different from mine. She was single and worked and I was jealous of her. She was free, while I was still tied to someone. In hindsight, I know that I had postnatal depression. It took months to find a way out. But again, I did it on my own. I was a recluse. Gained a lot of weight, lost most of my sparse self-esteem and hid. More importantly, I didn’t talk about it. Again, words failed me. And reaching out was out of question. I was weak and frail, but I didn’t want to show it. There were times in my life, when I drove in my car – alone, and I wondered if I should just put my feet on the pedal and drive off the road or into the next wall. Of course I never did. I only ever had one car accident and that was when I thrashed a parked car’s side mirror when driving by. And rest assured, those thoughts are not in my mind anymore. But they were and I will not deny it.
Life went on for a couple of years. I found work and I liked it, but I never wanted to leave my child alone. I got married at twenty-four. I was with my partner for seven years then and I had told him that either we would marry or I would take the child and live a life on my own. It wasn’t my finest moment, but I felt like wasting my years with someone who didn’t show me that he cared. He cared. I just didn’t see it.
I became a mom for a second time and soon after that for the third time and I felt content. I didn’t work anymore and although I missed the freedom of it, I enjoyed being with my children and being there for them. I spoil them and show them how much I love them. Every day. I didn’t have the time to let my thoughts drift to dark places either, My sole preoccupation was to be the best mom I could be.
My life seemed to have turned around, until in 2011 something was triggered inside of me. To this day, I don’t know what it was. I began cutting again. I was twenty-eight. I didn’t do it often. Four times in all, but I did. And at that time, I realized that I had to do something. I had to work through my own emotional baggage. I began writing. Fiction and poetry. Nonfiction too. I shared it online. Shared many very personal things about me too.
I don’t know what I expected. I didn’t expect to find people who liked what I wrote and the way I wrote. I didn’t expect to find people who found my poems to be meaningful and powerful. It was a nice feeling. I felt valued and didn’t feel the need to hide my own emotional roller coaster anymore.
I never told my family about it and when I finally did, they laughed about it. Saying I wasn’t good enough anyway. To this day, none of them has read anything I have written. They can’t judge if I am good enough or not, but they do. I am different from them. That’s enough to judge me.
I just only wanted to be loved and be accepted for the damaged person I am.
There are still many days when I don’t feel appreciated and the internet has made me quite vain too. It build some of my long lost self-esteem, but easily destroys it too. There are days when I wake up and have sixty or more notifications on my phone. I chose to share my writing on a site called Wattpad.(link is on the about me page). It’s a great site for immediate reactions to your writing. I need that. I need that immediate response. I share my poetry on here too, share the links, just like I will share this one too, on twitter and I get no reactions at all. That is when I feel unappreciated again. I support so many people and rarely feel that support in return. It’s not that I expect it, but it would be nice to be acknowledged. It would just be nice, that’s all.
Recently, I am much more in tune with my internal self. I know exactly when a bout of depression is lurking around the corner. I can feel it creeping up on me several days before it strikes. And when it happens, there is a wall that comes up. I write more poetry then and I can’t wrap my head around writing fiction. Which only makes it worse, actually. That writer’s block just pulls me under deeper. And I feel useless and untalented too. I often wonder why anyone should read anything I write. Whether if it’s a poem, a short story or my full length novels. The answer is, I don’t know. The answer is also, because they are good. Yes, my grammar lacks here and there, but I am improving every day. English was the fourth language I learned!
Last September, I was told to look into self-publishing, and I did. Between September and November 2014, I released three books. Self-published and it was a lot of work. They went through proofreading (and still have typos…) and they got reviews (good and bad), but I continued to write and post for free. Not long ago, I realized that once again, I had acted impulsively and although I was very proud about having published these books, they have strong characters and strong story-lines, I also realized that they need more work. I unpublished everything and I am on my way back to my roots.
Writing. It gave my life a routine and a direction. Music too. I spend way too much money on music and my shelves are packed to the brim with CDs, but I love it. I love it even more when the music touches me on a personal level and it doesn’t matter if the artist/band is famous or not. If I like it, I will buy it.
There are days when I want to scream and hide. I can’t because of the kids and my responsibilities. There are days, when I don’t want to get up and I want to sleep until the feelings and thoughts in my head stop torturing me. But it doesn’t happen. It’s a recent thing, but I learned to accept those phases. They are a part of me. They are a part of the person that I am.
I am starving for love and affection and I don’t see that change anytime soon. And even when I don’t feel good, I will not ask for help. I need to get it done on my own and at the same time, I wish someone would say that they know how I feel. Truth is, only I know how I feel and even while I write these many many words that probably will not be read, because I wrote them and nobody really cares about my thoughts and little hiccups, I cannot make you see inside my head. But I can maybe make you understand, why I am the person I am and how my mind works.
I was told that I am cold. I was told that I am strong. I even was told that I am amazing. I was told that I am too emotional and I was told that I am selfish. Maybe I am all of those things. In the end, the only thing that is real and true is that I am me. I am Cathy. I am flawed and damaged beyond repair. I am starving for something that I can’t accept, even if offered to me.
Under layers and masks, I am a woman (old or young, depending on the mood) with lots of thoughts on her mind. I am me. And I want you to love me.
I hope this didn’t scare you away. The post itself is completely unedited. As stated above, I am not agreeing with everything anymore, and the worst phase of my mental health began some months after that post were written, but I still remember that I felt a strange kind of pride to have put it all down and in words.
Have a great day…
… I will too
Cathy – the woman with the headache,lol