We Call ‘Em Toxic People

Well, friends, I’ve talked a lot in the past about my older sister. Once upon a time, she was arrested for domestic violence against me. She got better. With therapy and medication, we both did, and we’ve had a much healthier relationship.

I’m sure you can sense the “but” coming.

And indeed it did. Because she’s been giving me the silent treatment for over a month, after I said something offensive (and I’m still not sure what). I’ve tried to apologize and explain further and further, but not only is it beating my head against a brick wall, I’ve realized that everything hasn’t been all sunshine and roses since we “got over” everything. No, I’ve spent this entire time still walking on eggshells to try and keep her happy. Even though our relationship, according to myself, has been so very great.

Take last Christmas, for example. She was trying to tie a mattress down in a truck bed, in the middle of an evening snowstorm, in a hoodie. She pulled me out of a vet appointment to help out. I offered her the snowboarding jacket I had in my trunk, but she wouldn’t take it, even though she was obviously cold, and got very snappy when I asked if she was sure. Snappier than she’s been with me since The Incident (aka the day she was arrested). And I was supposed to stay at her apartment that night!

So I told her to calm down, and I left. I finished taking care of my cats, and I drove back to her place, fully expecting to be locked out. But no, she wasn’t home yet. Second thought was that she went to her boyfriend’s place for the night so that she could ignore me. And because I’d pushed her so hard to take the stupid jacket (I shouldn’t have offered a second time), our relationship was strained, and it was all my fault. In short, I spent the evening flashing back to all the emotions of the times before The Incident, when I didn’t know what I could expect from her. Long story short(er), that night was the first cutting incident I’d had in years. And it turned out to be over nothing, as she came back a couple hours later, having stopped at DI, and wondering why I was sitting in the dark with my stuff half-packed. She had no idea, and treated me as kindly as normal for the rest of my visit.

As a precursor to this current incident, she got annoyed with me for thinking there was some deeper meaning behind a message she sent me, telling me I was invalidating her feelings. That’s when I lost it. After taking the time to calm down properly (I know better than to try to talk to her in the heat of the moment), I told her to remember that she was the one who abused me, and I can’t control my, for lack of a better word, triggers. She had been passive aggressive in the past, and my brain was still used to that. I told her it was invalidating to have your own former abuser tell you what to feel.

And thus, I have been shunned. Even on Thanksgiving, my parents were over at her place. My mother called and put me on speakerphone so everyone could say happy Thanksgiving. Everyone except my sister, who went into the other room so she didn’t have to talk to me.

Now, I realize, she hasn’t grown up nearly as much as I thought she had. She’s not the mature adult I can rely on. She’s not anyone I can rely on. She harped on me for suspecting something else going on, and then she proves me right. She’s being passive aggressive, and I can’t trust her. That hurts like hell, because I love my sister dearly. But maybe this time I’ll learn my lesson. I don’t need her. I have a fantastic support network: three amazing best friends, and the greatest boyfriend a girl could ask for. It’s time to truly detox my life (not that she’ll give me a choice, anyway), and stop being her doormat. We obviously can’t be close, if she’s going to be childish like this. And I’m better off without her.

My advice to anyone else out there who wants to forgive their abusers, or already has: yes, forgive them, but that doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye to them, and what they’re doing to you. Be wary. It takes a hell of a long time to regain trust, and for good reason. Don’t take their shit. You’re better than that, and you don’t need them, if they’re going to treat you badly.

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Hark! An Update!

Hiya, anyone who still reads my blog. After falling off the face of the earth again, I have many updates.

First, I am currently in Greece, studying abroad. Talk about awesome. I’m slowly learning bits of the language, and developing a great appreciation for the food (never before have I liked yogurt or feta cheese).

Second, I am in a committed relationship, and we’re planning to get engaged once I get back (and this guy is none other than he whom I’ve written about before). I never really got over him, and we just so happened to meet up at camp again this summer. This time, we were both a lot more mature, mentally stable, and ready to handle a relationship. He still makes me happy, and makes me feel a lot less crazy, even on the craziest days.

Third, depression is a thing, as always. Which really sucks, when you’re an introvert in a foreign country, and still have to go to school. But I’m dealing with it a lot better.

Fourth, my cat, Moe, is back home in the care of my sister. She’s not doing well. She’s really sick, and being kept at the vet for observation. This has been going on since Thursday.

Fifth, my sister is mad at me and pulling the silent treatment. I thought we’d moved past such childishness, but I guess I was wrong. But at least she’s still taking care of Moe.

Sixth, I really am a lot mentally healthier. Though depression is still a thing, it usually doesn’t rule me, and I have, at the very least, an amazing boyfriend whom I can tell absolutely anything to help bring me back to happy.

Excuse me now, while I go back to pretending to do my homework while, in reality, I’ll probably be drafting more posts.

Peace, friends!

Tantrums and Time Out—For Adults!

So, the last few weeks have been interesting, to say the least. Between trying to get off my butt and finally get into school, going on vacation, and trying to keep my head above the waters of debt, I’ve been pretty busy. (Also, I’ve been up to my neck obsessed with a certain anime, but we won’t talk about that. We prefer to forget that.)

Then came the inevitable meeting with my counselor. Most shoved under the magnifying glass this week was my temper. See, I’ve caused a few problems with my roommates. I can be quite nasty. Even when I’m not trying to be, it just spills over. They’re scared of me, at those times.

Of course, I’d never hurt them. I would never come after them with a pair of scissors, for instance. No, I learned long ago not to physically take my anger out on others. I just get shouty and throw things and storm off. That’s good control, right?

Ha.

Controlling my temper is a problem. I’m the first one to admit it. If I were in Pixar’s Inside Out, my primary emotion would be anger. Whenever I’m sad or afraid or feeling some other negative emotion, anger, like a knight in shining hatred, takes the helm. It’s been my defense mechanism for so long that I don’t know how to deal without it. What do you do? Let it out, no matter how safe you think your outlet might be, and you scare people. Turn it inwards, and you’ll only end up hurting yourself. It’s an unending dilemma.

Along with that comes the problem of fear. Using fear against others is one of my greatest weapons, only encouraged by five years working at a haunted house. It’s an addictive thing. Because, when people are scared of you, when you see their eyes widen and they back away, you no longer feel afraid. You are the one with the power, and suddenly every insult they’ve ever thrown at you, every time they’ve laughed, doesn’t matter anymore. There’s only the power, and who has it.

This, and more, I discussed with my counselor. Who brought up a few interesting points.

First, I need to think about what I want out of relationships with those I’m closest to. Do I want them to fear me? Do I want to lord that power over them? Well, if so, I’ll just be repeating the abusive cycle. This is why so many abuse victims turn into abusers, themselves. They can’t let go of those coping mechanisms that don’t apply outside of where they were abused. For instance, my mother backed off when I got angry. That’s how I was taught to make her stop. But now, living about two hundred miles away from her with my three roommates, I don’t need to respond that way anymore. Trying to unlearn the message you inhaled from childhood isn’t easy.

Second, my counselor explained the concept of time out. When children do something, good parents send them into time out. Why, he asked me. I answered, because the parents need a break. And then I realized—the purpose of this was to give the parents a chance to diffuse their own tempers. To keep them from doing something they’d regret.

So, that’s my other new project. To take time out, and think about my goals. How I want my relationships with the people in question, like my roommates, to go. I can choose to make them fear me—to make them back off. I can also choose to chill, open up, and explain the problem to them, and attempt to make things better via communication.

Well, it’s a daunting task. Actually talking to people about feelings in the past has ended in bad news for me. But my roommates are not my parents. They are not my sister, even though she’s gotten so much better. They’re good people, and I need to give them a chance.

Miss Moe

IMG_20131220_194753_090

This is my baby girl, Rinna. Also known as Moe. Or Momo. Himalayan or Ragdoll, she’s a gorgeous little stinker. Also incredibly skittish. I got her for my nineteenth birthday, because there were a lot of mice in our house, and the cats we had were too lazy to go after them. Of course, when I saw her picture, I thought she was adorable. But it wasn’t really until I met her—and saw her cowering in the back of a cage and hissing, that I fell in love. Because she reminded me of myself, and I immediately felt the need to protect her. The first time I held her, she was shaking like a leaf. But she stayed in my lap all the way home, where she proceeded to hide under my bookcase.

I could not think of a name for the little poop to save my life, so I started off calling her Bob, but then it became Moe, after Moe of The Three Stooges. Naturally, that became Momo, because her coloring is like Momo from Avatar The Last Airbender.

See the resemblance?

Anyway, my new kitten had a couple of knots in the fur of her neck. So I pulled her out from under the bookcase, sat her in my lap, and cut them out. Imagine my surprise when she started purring. SO CUTE!

In short, getting Moe to be less scared has been a long journey. She has her safe places, under my bed, on my bed, or under one of my roommates’ beds. And she’s still pretty scared if someone raises their voice too much. But I hope being my cat has been good for her. I know it’s been a good experience for me, because I can’t treat her in the dismissive way I treated cats as a kid. I can’t get in a rage around her. In her own way, she’s making me a better person. And I love her for that.

Besides, look how cute she is!IMG_20131116_173023_466

Captain

Yesterday, I had to let the vet put my cat, Captain, to sleep. I’ve had him since I was ten years old. Twelve years. There’s no joke when I say that cat was the love of my life. And the day since then has been Hell. I’m taking double my depression meds, but I still can’t make myself do anything. Work, or even eat. I’m not crying anymore, but I’m a numb, melancholy mess.

I grew up with him. He was the only one I felt was always there for me, no matter what. Usually, he was there when I didn’t want him, but that didn’t matter. He’d just sneak onto my lap when I wasn’t paying attention, anyway, purring contentedly. Or he’d steal my pillow when I was sleeping. Sit on my phone or keys so I couldn’t find them. Help me write at night. Beg for me to share my veggies.

At least, this time, I got to say goodbye. And he’s out of pain. That’s what’s important. I can get past the rest of it. Sure, it’s gonna be damned hard, but I’ll make it.

But I’m going to miss my funny-looking baby.

Depression, Self-Harm and Suicide: A Bundle of Joy

Ranting, dear readers. Please excuse. Haven’t taken my Prozac for a few days, and I’m just barely getting back on it.

First, people romanticize the whole lot of mental illness and suicide, and that needs to stop. Depression is not this beautiful, profound sadness where you sit in your closet, cut yourself and cry tears of eyeliner and mascara while writing poetry.Sure, there may be elements of that, but you know what else is there? Numbness. Feeling nothing when you cut yourself, and you’re just as calm as if you were doing a doodle. “Oh, it’s a little uneven on this side. Let’s fix that. Go deeper.” It’s thinking, “Since I don’t want to do anything, I should just die, because I’m a useless waste of space. Too bad I don’t have the guts to do it.”

And while we’re talking about suicide, let’s mention something—it’s selfish. Yeah, I’ve been there. If I’d had a gun, I might have done it already. My best friend, Scott, killed himself in December. My uncle and grandfather both killed themselves. I’ve seen both sides of this issue. But you know what you’re doing to those you care about? Leaving them feeling guilty. They’ll spend the rest of their lives wondering what they could have done to stop you. What they could have done differently. Too many what ifs, insidiously whispering in the back of your mind. Also, how about funeral expenses? That’s so kind of you, to burden your loved ones with that. What a star you are. And plus, embalming ain’t gonna be a pretty picture. None of this, “she looks like she’s just sleeping,” or whatever. You’ll look like a corpse that’s started to decay.

Yeah, life is hard. Everyone gets that. We just need to try and help each other through it. If we actually try, there’s nothing life can throw at us that we won’t be able to overcome.

I’m sorry. I get really cranky when depression’s hitting me—temperamental and even violent. (Surprise, that’s another fun part of depression!) I’m trying to work at it, but it’s like telling the sun to stop shining.

Getting past ranting over stupid people (I’ve spent way too much time on Tumblr lately), bad times have been more plentiful. Earlier this week, I was happy, wondering if my depression had fixed itself, or something magical like that. And then I ran out of money, and out of Prozac.

. . . nope.

I’m still just as screwy. Life sucks. Little things like spilling part of a bottle of Coca Cola are tragedies. Every little annoyance with my roommates is a grievous flaw. Books falling off a shelf have a personal vendetta against me, and therefore need to be thrown across the room. I don’t want to write, and I don’t want to talk to people. I just wanna flip the world the bird, and shut it all out.

Why can’t common sense and common courtesy actually be just those? People are difficult.

My roommate will not shut up about stuff that she’s watching on her laptop that I don’t care about. I’m tempted to say I don’t care, but as she has depression too, I don’t want to hurt any feelings.

So, for today, screw finishing touches on this post. Angry!Mac is too irritated to care.

More Issues!

Yep. This blog wouldn’t be the same without piling on the angst, would it?

So, first, depression sucks. At work, it’s harder to suck it up, because I know I’ve got an actual problem, and it’s not all in my head. Well, okay, maybe it is in my head, but you know what I mean. It’s especially bad on the days without sun, if I can’t find a good way to distract myself. Try snowboarding in that. Good way to get very hurt.

Second, dating also sucks. Because yeah, I get that I’m not bad-looking, but I feel like guys are only interested in me until they see the madness beneath the surface. Let me tell you, I have issues. But I went on a date on Saturday that wasn’t a total disaster. So it’s not all bad.

Third, my sister had me look up covert incest (my counselor calls it emotional dumping). And it applied to my past relationship with my mother pretty well (boyfriend 2 reminds me of her in so many ways that it’s ridiculous). So now, I’ve got that to deal with on top of everything else. Listen to me while I whine.

Fourth, I built a blanket fort. It was awesome. My roommates were jealous.