Dec 13, 2008
I know just about everybody that comes to this website has the same thing to say, but I just really want to know why I'm in such a downward mental spiral.
My life is great. I'm about to move away from the stress of the city (I'm quite thoroughly a country girl) after having graduated from the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute. I'm going to be with my boyfriend, who causes absolutely no stress in my life. He loves me dearly and I love him too... He tells me that I'm beautiful and amazing, which I never before heard very often. I love my job and I even have some extra money to put toward a month or two of safety while I settle in to our new house in south carolina. I may even get a dog.
So why am I such a basket case?
- Depression or General Anxiety Disorder...?
Ever since I was fifteen, I've known I've had depression. I didn't need a professional diagnosis. How could I not have some form of depression? I've been doing self mutilation ever since I was a child. I used to claw my knees... scratch... bite... simple things that would just be enough to take out my temper tantrums without getting in trouble.
I don't remember what first lead me to cutting. I know my grandmother was a lot of stress on me. When I was five she started to tell me I was fat. She would point to the women in the power chairs at the grocery store and say that's what I would be when I got older. She told me my parents were going to wire my jaw shut. When I became a teenager and began appreciating the privacy of a shut door more often (my room was the old baby room... my parents had to walk through my room from the hallway to get to their room all the time), she would throw my door open and say that I slammed my door in her face, scream at me for a little while longer, then slam my door and walk away. I know most of the times I would cut, it was due to this. But I imagine my first time was school related.
After that first time, I couldn't stop. Nothing would make me feel better until I could feel the blood drip down the side of my arm. I never showed anybody... I knew they would think it was some strange cry for attention. I just stuck to constantly re-opening the same scar. My dad probably would have found out... too bad he left when I was 13 and was never welcome back by my mom or sister.
When I got to college, I moved on to my wrists. They bled more, and the risk of dying seemed somehow comforting. I began to notice that a lot of my cutting fits followed a pattern. Something would happen... something small... something miniscule. And suddenly everything came crashing down. It's as though my emotions are set up like a line of dominos... and then suddenly a small marble knocks the first in the smallest way. Then everything comes crashing down.
For example... a friend may take too long to respond to my text message. So he's ignoring me right? Of course he's ignoring me. He hates me. And why shouldn't he? How am I worth talking to? I'm a horrible person. It's my fault my father is dead anyway. I should have been there to help. I don't see how anyone can put up with me. I'm a nutcase. It won't be long before no one will want to be around me at all. I should save them the trouble and end it all now.
Then I start to hyperventilate from tears. I claw my shoulders or scratch my arms. Then I find the sharpest thing I have available. Sometimes I would even combine an overdose of ibuprofen (thin blood runs better than thick blood) with my cutting fits.
I've decided to call these my nervous breakdowns or my anxiety attacks, since I don't get panic attacks.
I had a recent one at work, probably about a month ago. I was struggling to put an order together and I was taking some heat for it. The fear began to flood me. "What if I can't do this? Look at me... I'm a failure. My mom wasted all that money just so I could be a horrible cook." As I got worked up... my fears turned to "I'm too much of a mental case for this. I could never make it in this industry. Why do I keep trying to fool myself? I'm a waste of space." Somewhere around that point I picked up my paring knife and dug it into my wrist.
Down the road, not across the street, naturally.
But someone saw me. Eric found out and he called my mom. She worried for the brief phone conversation we had. I told her I wanted to find help. That was the last I heard of the subject.
Lately being with Ty has pulled me out of the cutting. I still claw my arms raw when I have my nervous breakdowns, but he makes me want to be happy. And that's saying a lot for me. He means so much to me, and I feel like I'm trying more than I ever have before to be better for him. I know it's not safe... nor is it fair... to weigh my mental health on one person... but that's why I want to seek mental health...
- PTSD or Something Else?
I've heard that people who cut or attempt suicide can suffer from PTSD, but I don't think this is the case with me.
I've also recently debated over having some weak form of PTSD over the death of my dad. I still have dreams every now and then that he's still alive. That I haven't lost him forever. In the dreams I run to him... I hug him and tell him that I love him and I missed him... and that I'm sorry. I feel like it's my fault that he's gone... and no amount of consolation can convince me otherwise, it seems. I still loved him... but I pushed him away because my mother and my sister hated him. I convinced myself that I despised him and that I never wanted to see him again. But I could only fool myself for so long. I began to realize that I missed him. Then I started hearing that he was sick. I thought it was nothing. Suddenly he was in the hospital for a seizure and things were looking bad. I figured things would be okay... And they did start to get better. The next I'd heard, he relapsed. He was a vegetable, unable to even breathe on his own. The family decided to pull the plug.
He died of encephalitis. It started with an ear infection. He was too poor to live on his own... and I know that if he'd have been with us, he would have never gotten that bad. But I never even tried... I never bothered to say that we should take him back in. I never even told anybody that I still loved him.
So in my mind, I killed my father.
And he died thinking that I hate him.
This happened two years ago, and it still hurts just as bad as it did during his funeral. I keep going back in my mind thinking of what I could have done to make things right... to make him either live or die knowing how much I loved him. There's so much I should have done. Everyone tells me I shouldn't dwell on the past, but I can't help it.
Though nothing made me wonder about having PTSD before my recent hour long freak-out.
When I first entered college, I was naive. I'm still a virgin, but at that point I'd never been kissed and had never had a real boyfriend. I'd never even been on a date. I didn't find myself attractive, so I didn't think anyone had any remote interest in me. Unfortunately I was wrong.
I met a guy named Andrew through my friends. I had no interest in him, and I figured the feeling was mutual. The night I met him, he asked what my plans were for later. I said I figured I would watch a movie and go to bed. He asked if he could come too, and I said okay.
The lights didn't work in my dorm room. My original plan was to watch Phantom of the Opera, but I decided on Anger Management since I didn't feel like watching a romance with a total stranger. I started the movie and he sat down on my bed. I sat with a good two feet between us. He began to make small talk. I rambled off answers. He moved closer and reached his arm around me. "I like to cuddle," he said. I didn't understand, so I focused back on on the movie. He leaned back and pulled me closer against him. I still didn't understand. I wondered if this was normal social behavior. I tried to focus on the movie. He began rubbing my back and petting my arms. It didn't feel right, and I was still confused. At some point, we stood up. I assume it was after the movie was over, because I remember my room being dark. I felt something press against my lips. I didn't know what to do. I wondered what was normal to do. I pinched my lips a little in response. Then I felt a tongue force its way into my mouth, grazing mine. It felt and tasted gross to me. It was all wrong. But I still wondered if this was normal. Was I bringing this on myself? Was I somehow giving him body signals to move further? I assumed I had. In the end I wound up being touched where I didn't want to be touched... I'll spare the details... But until he began forcing my head down despite my neck straining against his hands, I didn't break out of the shock to finally say no. He asked if I wanted to have sex with him. I said no.
I soon realized that I'd wanted to say no to everything... I wanted to have said no all along. But I didn't. I still don't understand why I didn't. That night he slept in my bed... a tiny twin bed in a hot room. I tried to push myself to the edge of the bed, but he would only move closer and wrap his arms around me. The next couple of days he kept coming up to see me... asking me to go places. I didn't get rid of him until I showed him MSN messenger. I told him we could talk on there. Then I ignored him. I felt like a **** for all I'd let him do to me. I felt absolutely disgusting. I tried to push it out of my mind.
With every time I saw him, I began to hate him more and more violently. It's now to the point where I would be happy to see him dead on the street somewhere. Not content... happy. And that's huge for me. I can't say that about -anybody- but him. But I continued to push all that he did with me out of my mind and channel it into my violent hatred.
Then one day my boyfriend brought up the subject of sex via text message. This is innocent enought at my age... I explained that I wasn't yet ready for sexual activity. He said it was okay, and merely asked that I try not to be offended, because, being a man, his urges are much stronger than mine.
I knew this wasn't pressure, but suddenly I went into panic mode. I began to freak out with fear. I didn't know why. I started crying uncontrollably, burrowing into the corner of the couch. I tried to rationalize my fear... to find out where it was coming from. Finally, I traced it back to Andrew. I remembered what he did to me and how I reacted... and how I felt afterward. I didn't want that feeling with Ty... the feeling that I acted out of obligation and the regret I felt afterward. The memories flooded my mind. My teeth began to chatter and I began shivering despite the 75 degree temperature of my apartment. I went from curling up on one couch to another... I tried to recover myself in the bathroom only to end up curling up in the tub and crying some more. Every little sound frightened me and made my heart race... from the cats lightly bumping the door to the sound of my phone receiving a text message as Ty tried to get my through my crisis. He was the one who suggested PTSD to me, and it seemed to make a little bit of sense given my situation.
But I doubt that this is the source of my troubles. I think I'm suffering from something else. I just don't know what...
- Beginnings of Bulemia?
This one has a less complicated history. I've already explained my family troubles with my weight. It's obviously a given that I suffered a little bit of trouble in school. Ty says I'm beautiful how I am, but I can't bring myself to agree.
I used to purge only every once in awhile. I would get too full of a stomach to the point of it being painful, so I would purge. From what I understood, this is normal.
But I've been doing it a lot more often lately... and not out of fullness. Now I purge when I feel like I've eaten too much food, especially too many bad foods. I've purged several times at work, now. And I've purged in my apartment the past two nights. I keep telling myself that I'll stop, but the illness I feel from purging only makes me want to eat more later the next day. I'm afraid that I'll want to purge tomorrow too. I'm slowly getting worse, and I already feel weak despite the fact that I'm gaining weight. I'm hoping my binging is due to my period... I often over eat and gain a lot of weight before my period. But I probably won't know for at least another week...
Anyway, that's a basic rundown of my latest disorders... unless it's all one big disorder. I can't be certain. I know I need to seek psychiatric help, but I'm moving away in a couple weeks, so I have about two more months to consider that, unfortunatly.