Messing Around and Shit

“Have a slutty phase. It builds character.”

The above is some bullshit I read somewhere on the internet. I can’t say I had a slutty phase at all, but I can say that the combination of college and today’s technology sure makes it easy.

There have been people in and out of my life. The person who ripped through me the most was my first love, who I’ve referred to before in this space as “B” or “Bo.” Our love was a short-lived whirlwind that I will never forget and still cling on to. I haven’t fully let go. I don’t know if I ever will. And if the chance to be together again presents itself, I’m not sure I could say no.

I never thought I would ever be with another man until marriage. It was a cultural thing. But, thankfully, and sometimes with guilt, I have been with other people than Bo. Mostly all of it has happened in the past year. This is because for the first time, I could see myself as a sexual being.

I remember a little while after getting out of my relationship with Bo, I thought I was bisexual, but I never really worried much about it except for internal moral judgement of myself. I never thought I was going to be with another person, and it wasn’t something anyone needed to know. But I definitely felt attraction toward women in ways I realized other women did not feel. There were girls I had deep crushes on. When I got to college, I did hang out with some LBGT groups and identified with the community. Often times, I felt very much out of place and confused as to whether any of it was real or if I was just straight and trying to be unique. Everyone used words I just didn’t know about. I learned so much, however, and really felt like I could be myself around those people. Most importantly, I came to realize sexuality can be viewed as a spectrum, and I didn’t have to fall totally on one side or right in the middle. That was an amazing thing to learn that I hope in the future more young people are taught. Maybe I wasn’t bi, maybe I wasn’t straight, or demi, or whatever words they’re using nowadays—I honestly can’t keep up. I could just be “kind of queer” and that was okay too.

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Spectrum, from Trevor Project

I think after I realized all this, I was at the stage where I thought “wow, I have this information about my sexuality, now will I do anything with it?” I was still very much in love with Bo, even though I knew it was over. I didn’t think having sex with people or even having feelings for other people was the key to recovering and moving forward. Turned out, I was kind of wrong.

Maybe it was reading other blogs here on WordPress, or maybe it was just random things on the Internet telling me to have a slutty phase, but I have, in this past summer, delved into being with other people.

The first person besides Bo I was with was Aaron from Tinder, who I did write about once. Later on, I dated a man who was the same ethnicity as myself but that didn’t turn out great. For all of it I held deep, deep guilt. If my parents knew what I was doing, they would be ashamed. I was not taught this way. I was taught to be a different kind of girl. A good Muslim. I was going to go to Hell for this. God must hate me.

I can’t say I still don’t feel guilty sometimes, but I know in my heart what I’m doing is not a bad thing. Having sex with people is not bad. Sharing emotions and being intimate is not bad. When I allowed myself to be a sexual creature, and accepted myself as one, I felt better. I became a better person. I am stronger now. I am happier with my self image. I feel more spiritual and I feel that maybe I can have a relationship with God and have a faith, because no longer do those things feel like traps, but rather as guides.

That’s not to say my different relationships this past summer have not brought their share of tears and confusion. But it was all normal. I moved from it when I needed to. Having depression and navigating those things was hard, but at least I wasn’t immobilized like before.

As I type all these things though, I wonder, am I just trying to justify all the bad things I’ve done as okay? Even if that was true, I don’t think these kind of things will send me to hell anymore. Yet I was so pressured all my life to think a certain way that was so contrary to what being a human being is about, and I can’t get it out of me. It’s ingrained.

I suppose therapy could get it out, but quite honestly, I don’t even like talking about my sex life or relationships in therapy. I feel uncomfortable about it all. I do joke about it and talk about with friends, but otherwise, on a serious note, I’m scared to admit what I’m doing is reality.

This particular conflict probably won’t be resolved in my head anytime soon, but action wise, I know what I’m going to keep doing, and that’s, well, messing around and shit.

This was written in such a lumpy fashion. That’s all for tonight. I’m quite tired.

Butterflies, and Why I’d be a Terrible Social Worker

I am melting in this hot sun.  My sports bra is supposed to wick away the sweat, but I can just feel it sticking to my skin. Aren’t the dog days supposed to be coming to an end, not beginning? New resolution: stay indoors from 1pm to 5pm.

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I can see a smaller version of myself running around, and above me flying frantically are dozens of butterflies. It hurts to have them inside of me, but I’ve created them myself, and it’s not like they’re not useful. They are butterflies of so many thoughts, things, and ideas that are floating around in my head. I have so much going on but I can’t catch any of it and stick it onto an organized place. Smaller version of me grabs at the butterflies and attempts to put them into something. But I lose them or get distracted by another one. Who can blame me for feeling so distracted though? They are really beautiful. Despite this, I know that enough of them, like anything in this world, can kill me.

It’s always an odd thing when I write a metaphor like the one above and end it with “can kill me.” I mean, don’t I want to die? I spend a lot of time making fun of my suicidal ideations. Does it make me feel better? I’m not quite sure. I like laughing at it. To anyone else though, it must be very dark.

For my new job, we had to do suicide prevention training, which was pretty odd for me, to see the other side of people who try to prevent me from killing myself. Their rationale is so far misunderstood from what we feel. They say we don’t really want to die, that we just want the pain to end. I’m sure that’s actually true, but it doesn’t feel like it. I feel like the pain is a part of me and I can’t imagine getting rid of it. I feel like my sadness is so deeply ingrained in me, that if I didn’t have it, who would I even be? I’d be nothing. So might as well die.

I’m not going to kill myself though—it’s simply not an option. It’s just something I think about, something that’s almost normal at this point. In this suicide prevention training, there was a little bit of talk about how we shouldn’t be joking about depression. I get where they were coming from. People shouldn’t say “OMG look at this picture of Harry Styles I’m gonna die/I’m having a panic attack, etc.” That shit pisses me off. But we also talked about how people will say “ugh I had the worst day ever I just want to die/kill me.” Maybe a lot of the people who say that fall into the same group of Harry Styles girls, but a lot of people who say it really do want to die, they’re just normalizing it.

That leads to the question: is it okay to normalize it in this way? Is it an in adverted method to reduce stigma? Or is it just a fucked up thing to say by people who don’t really get? Or, in reality, is almost all of our generation depressed and fucked up so when they say “kill me,” part of them wouldn’t mind.

Simply, what I’m trying to say here, is that I am so personally messed up that I really don’t get it. What I’m saying is most likely all wrong. It’s probably not okay to say things like “I had a bad day, I want to die right now.” I rationalize my suicidal ideations and it makes me feel okay about it. I make memes about the fact that I’m depressed and laugh at it.

Despite what was going on in my head in that training, on the outside I seemed totally with it all. Yes, that’s a good method of de-escacation, yes, those are the right things to say. I was even able to participate a few times and tell people what they should say when they have a friend showing signs and what they shouldn’t say. I agreed and nodded my head that it was a serious issue. Yet, part of me thought it was all bullshit. Just let us die. 

I know a lot of people who have suffered depression or other forms of mental illness go into social work or become psychiatrists or whatever, because they want to help people who went through that. But I couldn’t do it. Maybe I could fake it. But a part of me would still think things like “well, this is what they want, they want to die, let them die,” or “this work is so hard, I want to kill myself” or make memes that are ultimately pretty problematic.

All of what I’ve written, when reading over it, sounds kind of disgusting. It makes it sound like I wouldn’t want to help friends or students I’m working with who are suicidal, but I absolutely do. I absolutely want to drop everything for a friend who isn’t feeling well (and I have). I want mental illness to be a bigger priority for young people. 

There are many contradictions in my head: 

“This suicide training is a good thing that more people should be doing, 

but actually I don’t believe in any of it and it’s all bullshit, 

but I would absolutely help someone if they needed it, 

but they need it because so much of our generation is depressed, 

and since so much of our generation is depressed that means it’s normal, 

so who cares,

but I do care, 

I don’t want it to be bullshit,

I don’t want it to be this way, 

but it is anyway, 

but why don’t we talk about it, 

but we shouldn’t talk about it, 

why aren’t we trying to change it,

why aren’t we trying to create a new generation where this isn’t the fucking status quo?”

I don’t know what I’m doing I’m making this all up.

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Once again, feeling very inspired lately by a Youtube video by iisuperwomanii which can be found here 

The beautiful butterfly image credits go to Peter von Bagh on Flickr.

Voices

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It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. I stopped writing for a while and then when I thought about writing in here again, I didn’t because I feared that I abandoned it too long to ever be able to return, which is a silly, odd thought. I recently remembered that I created this as my spot on the internet, my home, my place, where I can write about and post about anything I want, whenever I want. So, it’s time for me to come home, I suppose. I was hoping to sit outside and write, but I’ve ended up inside the art building due to the icon above (which, by the way, is a great representation of how I’m feeling. Oh well, I feel safe here. 

The last couple nights I have cried and cried. So much has happened to me in these past couple months. I’ve met beautiful humans and kissed wonderful men and stayed all night talking to funny people. I picked blackberries every week on the farm and pet the stray cats and moved out of my apartment and into a new one. I quit therapy, quit my doctor, tried to be me, got confused about who that was. Too often I have so many words to describe my identity despite the fact that I yearn for only one: human.

There have been moments I feel hated, and moments I’ve felt loved. People have told me wonderful things like “you’re one of the sweetest souls I’ve met,” or “you treat me like I imagine the love of my life would treat me.” People also mention terrible things, but often it’s by not mentioning anything at all that I feel truly hurt.

I am pushing and pushing to continue existing in this human world despite a fog that presses the insides of my brain. It tells me to stop, to sleep, to just give up. In fact, lately, I feel like I trust that fog and agree with it. I do want to give up, I do want to sleep all day, but still, I’m not doing that. I’m not killing myself. Why is this? I’m not quite sure. Voices inside my head holding me back. 

There are so many voices in my head and they drive me mad. Sometimes all I want to do is sleep, other days I want to paint for the rest of my life. There’s never a part of me that truly wants to do the things that I actually do—go to class, get work done, help others, lead projects, volunteer, eat, etc. But I do it anyway, because something pulls me toward it. It’s a sense of duty and obligation bigger than myself.

I think I’m destined for greatness, but I’m unsure of it.

The people that see me couldn’t imagine I’m on the verge of tears constantly, although I do know it shows sometimes. I just excuse myself and write it off as being an introvert. Although,  I am less than quiet about it all. I admit to people who ask me if I’m okay that I’ve been feeling anxious, or nervous…but do they really get it? Do the realize the turmoil that is shaking me and terrifying me at the core?

I have somewhere to be other than on this page.

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PostScript

I’ve been really into a video made by the great Lily Singh aka iisuperwomanii that goes by the same title of this post. Link here