You decided to have another baby with him. I cant believe youd lean into this false narrative of a perfect family when it’s so far from perfect. You turned your back on us. On me. Your little sister, who youd raised. Are you brain washed or are you just paralyzed with fear of losing “everything”?
Are you the broken one here or am I?
Are you even hurting? Did I mean anything to you?
You meant everything to me. You were my big sister. Someone I idolized, someone I wanted to be like.
I cant believe youre having your second child with this man. Even after everything hes done to ruin this family.
Now youre trapped more than you were before. Is there any hope left…
Im not sure.
All I know is I’m so hurt.
So tired of this aching heart and this feeling of loss, like you’ve died.
You were someone I thought I could count on.
Now I just have trust issues. I’m broken really, left waiting for you to change.
Not sure that day will ever come.
I guess I’ll just continue to self destruct, not that you care.
You dont even ask Mom how I am or doing.
It’s pretty clear.
And you know, I dont cry so hard anymore.
I’ve become numb, closing up and putting my guard up.
I’ll just drown my sorrows in liquor. It’s what I’m destined for anyways right.
I see pictures of your daughter. She looks so happy and seems so smart.
I’m happy for you as weird as it sounds. I do want the best for you.
I guess I just wont be apart of that. Even though you are wrong for what youre doing whether you acknowledge it or not, I still think you derseve happiness. And if this is what happiness is for you, I’ll swallow the knot in my throat and let it be.
It’s funny how one little thing can send you down a spiral of negative thoughts. Obsessive thinking. For an entire year I didnt know what it was called. Just worrying excessively, constantly, with one worry replacing another in its spot. I’m much better now because of all the therapy I’ve gone through and mindfulness practices.
It helps if I voice those worries or at the least write them down so my brain doesnt have to file it and keep track of it. Otherwise my thoughts will just circle back to it because it thinks it has to “figure it out”. Once it’s written I can forget it. It helps alot… until it doesnt. But, that’s how it goes.
These past 4 months or so I’ve been doing really well. I laugh a lot more and dont take things too seriously. I’m amazed how much it’s helped. I thought I’d never be happy again and I was sentenced to a laugh-less, joyless life. But, slowly I’ve gotten my sense of humor back. And I’m never letting go of that.
Anyways, today something set me off. I started to critically analyze and feel as though all my progress was ruined. That’s not how progress works though. You will never go back to baseline. You have set backs sure but, the longer you work on yourself and have those set backs the faster you bounce back. Sounds cliche but, it’s true.
I got out of the house and drove around for a bit trying to clear my head. I worked myself up and just let myself feel those awful feelings. Then I called up my Mom who I havent spoken to in a long time and vented. We talked for 40 minutes catching up and eventually I went back to the house. I completely forgot about the incident like nothing had happened.
These negative events that reinforce these negative beliefs about yourself arent going to stop. You can only change your perception of these events. Look at it as if this thing happened to someone else as an outsider looking in. And really try. Think of a person in your shoes and what you’d say to them. I think that’s the first step to becoming your own friend. I know a lot of the time I’m enemies with myself and specifically when it comes to those anxiety inducing moments. But, if I were to just have a little smidge of empathy and understanding for myself maybe I’d get through those times easier. That doesnt mean wallowing in self-pity and making excuses, however. It simply means giving yourself a break from the awful critic living in your head.
Try to rationalize with that critic and flip the situation on a stranger. That person is experiencing an presumably awful thing but, how bad is it really? Are you maybe grandulizing it to be something way bigger than it is? Most people truly dont care. Think of all the times you’ve seen someone mess up, embarrase themselves. You didnt pay too much mind and forgot about it later because it’s unimportant to you. You are thinking about yourself and your own worries.
So, stop caring what others think. Their opinion doesnt really matter anyways. Work on the opinion of yourself first. You likely have some work to do. Dont be so critical of yourself and give yourself a break!
I find myself digging up old memories from my childhood. Particularly of kids less fortunate than I was. And when you’re a kid it isn’t always apparent that something is wrong, until you do see something odd or off-putting.
I was in fourth grade. This thin boy with shoulder-length hair always came to school in the same outfit; an oversized hoodie, jeans, and a pair of beat-up sneakers. He was always targeted by bullies. Kept his head down, would put his hood up, and had angry outbursts often with either the kids around him or the teachers. He was nice enough of a kid before he started having these outbursts. Very ecstatic, just wanted to make friends. His name was James.
James was a cute kid. I remember I had a little crush on him but felt ashamed to admit it. All my friends thought he was weird. Which to be quite frank, so did I. He started to become less social throughout the year. Seemed angry at everyone and everything.
And that’s around the time I remember him coming to school with cigarette burns on his face.
Someone had taken their cigarette and ashed it out on his forehead and hard too because it had left a bloody crater on his face. At first, he had a band-aid covering it but eventually, that fell off during the school day. I remember all the kids were kind of staring at him during the reading hour. A teacher was called in and asked if he’d go with her to the principal’s office. He looked scared.
A few weeks had past and the days he was at school I could see the cigarette burn was getting better. But, of course, that didn’t last long because a month or so later, another burn was on his face, this time in between his eyebrows. And every day he became more and more insecure. Hiding in his hoodie, looking down, crossing his arms.
I feel bad now that I’m older and can comprehend it all. I know he could have used a friend.
He had nobody. Every kid steered clear of him, either because they thought he was weird or didn’t want to be associated with him and have the bullies pick on them as well.
A few more months passed. Now he was starting to have outbursts. He would lash out at teachers because he’d get in trouble for not behaving or paying attention.
It was spring now. He had this awful purple and blue bruise on his throat. Looking back now, he was likely choked, but, to either cover it up and/or to inflict self-harm, he started choking himself in class. He would take his two thumbs and wrap his hands around his neck pressing hard on the bruise. He’d choke and press till his face turned purple and the veins popped out of his forehead.
He hated himself.
I can’t imagine his home life. To cause a little kid that kind of mental distress… he was only 9 years old…
I’m angry with myself for not standing up for him or being more friendly.
I saw him three years ago. Hadn’t seen him since elementary school. I was with all my friends who also all had gone to the same school. We were at Denny’s laughing and talking, waiting for our order when he walked in. He walked in with his family. He was still cute; long hair, big brown eyes, freckles. He was very tall now, but, still skinny. Suddenly memories came back and I remembered that purple bruise, the cigarette burn, and that sad, angry little boy. My friends remembered him too and started looking. Either out of awkwardness or just plain naivety, my friends started laughing “Omg, is that James?!! I remember that kid! He was so weird…”. I was afraid he could hear, he was pretty close. And I didn’t want him to see me if he had, so I tried my best to not look and changed the conversation but I couldn’t stop looking up at his table.
His dad, mom, and his younger siblings were all there. They hadn’t even smiled once since sitting down. They all looked so down and gloomy. They’d even sat in a darkly lit booth, so perhaps my memories hold them there in that depressive light. Doesn’t help I’d known all that had happened and why James had to transfer schools as a kid.
He caught my eye. And we kept making eye contact throughout the night. I saw sadness and worry in his eyes. I tried to keep my focus on the conversation because I didn’t want him to associate our laughter to be at his expense.
Eventually, we left and I hadn’t thought of him since until a few months ago. Something must have reminded me of him.
I searched all social media for him, eventually coming across his Facebook. Didn’t have many posts but did have one… “In a domestic relationship” 2018. There were 33 comments. All his relatives were seemingly unapproving of the relationship. They all spoke badly of a woman named Billy. Said she was trouble, a whore, and likely had an STDs.
I looked her up. She was 26 years old, with a kid, and looked as though she had some kind of drug habit. Her bio read “Tired and overwhelmed with life. bipolar disorder and PTSD making this crap hard”. I looked in our area for her name to see what kind of trouble they were all alluding to.
She’s had several encounters with the police, second-degree harassment charges, failure to show up to court, etc., etc. I came across James’ name as well. Both of them had trespassed a property in August of 2018.
It makes me sad. How circumstances shape a person’s life; poor working-class families never getting to the latter, never breaking the cycle.
No one chooses their family. We are dealt a card in life, and that’s what you get. It takes real courage and strength to change the deep-rooted beliefs in a family. And it just makes it 10x harder if they’re reinforced at school.
So be nice. Be nice to that weird kid, shy kid, or angry kid. You never know what they’re dealing with or the cards they were dealt.
I’m sure you already know that.
“Those faces you see every day on the streets were not created entirely without hope: be kind to them: like you they have not escaped.” – Charles Bukowski