I wake up. The first thing I do is cover up, because while I can’t comfortably sleep with a shirt on, the idea of being seen with my upper body bare is absolutely terrifying. My morning routine of brushing my teeth and using the toilet is stressful, if there is anyone in the bathroom when I wake up, I immediately begin to feel anxiety because my routine has been thrown off. Not only that but I begin to feel that the other people in the house are deliberately trying to keep me from using the bathroom comfortably. I start my day off feeling victimized and ganged up on.
Once that is taken care of (or while waiting if the bathroom is occupied), I begin checking social media. My computer stays on while I sleep so I don’t miss anything. I check for IMs and email first, then check IRC for any instances of my name in any channel I am in. I also check over Twitter for any replies or mentions of me. I have to be careful, because if I read any of this too closely and see that my friends are in fun/exciting/interesting conversations without me, it can set off a panic or trigger my issue with feeling left out. The idea of missing anything, though, is so frightening that I absolutely NEED to check.
I also need to check my work email at this point. I am in a new job that is very important to me, so I cannot even begin to relax about it. I read every email that comes through my box, in fear of missing something important or missing being called out for having done something wrong. Especially since the previous night, I encountered an issue in which I had bad information, so I am on edge hoping I don’t get yelled at or told off for it. Even though I know I am safe and know it wasn’t my fault, I can’t stop worrying over it.
At this point, people should be saying good morning to me online. If they don’t, I will also begin to get upset. I need people to acknowledge me and if I don’t get it, I get frightened that I am not worth saying hi to or exciting to see. If any of the people who are usually around when I wake up are not there, I will start to panic. Are they hurt? Did they find something better to do? Did they forget me?
On this particular day, I accidentally look a little too deeply into Twitter and I notice three or four friends of mine engaged in conversation with someone I don’t know. Instead of curiosity or the urge to meet this person, I am flooded with dread. Panic begins. My heart begins to race, my breathing starts becoming difficult. My mind races. I’m not involved. My friends have a new friend that is way more interesting than I am. They’ll have no further use for me. They’ll all abandon me.
This panic carries on for quite a while, since no one is really around to try to reassure me and I am too afraid of being laughed at or worse, rejected for voicing those fears directly to my friends. I can’t even imagine trying to just join in on the conversation, even though I know that’s what most people would do. I begin to berate myself for not being normal and not being able to just deal with a normal social interaction.
After several minutes of beating myself up, I decide I need to stop and distract myself. A video game is a good idea! I load one and don’t feel like playing it. I load a second and also feel disinterested. Now the anxiety begins again. Why can’t I decide on a game? I like all of these games. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just pick something and stick to it? In disgust, I close all of the games and simply turn on some music, hoping to calm myself down by distracting myself with singing along with something I enjoy.
The music and singing helps. At this point I am 2 and a half hours into my day and I have already gotten incredibly anxious or panicked over three or four things. My stomach begins to rumble, because my last meal was more than 12 hours ago. I need breakfast at this point, but no one is going to offer it to me. My roommate is not paying attention to me, and no one else cares. More anxiety. I can’t handle the idea of cooking for myself in the house that I live in - too many people, too much clutter, too many issues with people being possessive over food, so I need my roommate to help.
The problem is, I can’t bring myself to ask. I know she won’t offer it unless I say something, because she has her own issues with ADD and motivation, but I feel like asking is the scariest thing in the world. I am humiliated that I am a grown woman and I need to ask someone to help me get food. I feel anxious about speaking up. I feel unhappy and hurt and neglected that she doesn’t understand what a big issue this is for me and is obliviously playing video games. This turns into a huge internal struggle for 10 or 15 minutes, with me getting more tense and upset with myself the entire time. It’s so minor. Why can’t I handle it on my own? Why can’t I just ask? But saying something is so scary and I want so badly for someone to want to ask me.
By the time I finally manage to ask my roommate to go get some food, I am barely holding it together and my head is absolutely spinning with stress and fears. At this point, I notice a friend of mine talking on Twitter to a couple of mutual acquaintances that were nasty to me recently. Why would my friend be talking to them? Doesn’t he care how harsh they were to me? What if he agrees with them? He must. Or maybe he just doesn’t care. People bullying me is so unimportant that he’ll shrug it off. I must be completely worthless to him. If I’m that worthless to my friends, I must have no value at all. I’m struggling to keep from crying at this point.
By the time my roommate is back with food, I am so upset that I am disassociating. Not only am I panicked that my friend is talking to these people that hurt me, all of my feelings of betrayal and hurt and humiliation over these two former friends attacking me on Twitter are refiring. My emotions can do that. When something happens to remind me of a negative incident, I feel it again. These feelings can not only refire, but they will do so on a loop, prolonging the hurt and fear by unimaginable lengths. I can and do still cry over being treated poorly by people years ago, because if I am reminded of it, I feel it again.
After eating and talking about the problem with the people who were harsh to me on Twitter, I am calming down a little. However, at this point, my Dom, an agendered individual named kitty has a crisis pop up as well. I understand the need to go deal with someone else, especially someone living in kitty’s household who is having a bad time as well, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling abandoned when I am in need. That begins the process of building up into anxiety and feelings of being unwanted and worthless all over again. Often, kitty is the only person who seems to actually empathize with my feelings and is generally incredible at helping me remain calm. When left to my own devices however, it is incredibly hard for me to calm back down on my own.
By the time I am ready for work, my roommate’s mother has elected to get drunk and be incredibly verbally abusive to my roommate in front of me. All of my feelings of self-loathing end up clashing against the intense urge to do something about that injustice, as well as my terrible fear of drunk people due to my own childhood of trauma and abuse at the hands of a heavy drinker. At the least though, this external crisis for me to deal with has forced me out of my own head and defused some of the heavier threads of anxiety and out of control emotion.
As I head to work, I stop to get gas and find myself telling myself how I am ‘not a good girl’ and ‘don’t deserve anything good’ as I walk out of my car to pay. I am not even sure where these impulses are coming from, but I continue to mutter abuse at myself as I pump my gas. I turn music on while I drive, to force focus onto something else. Once I arrive at work, I am all smiles and friendly banter with my co-worker, until I am once again alone.
Immediately, I begin feeling overwhelmed with negative emotions, feeling drained and exhausted, and a faceless dread that something terrible is going to happen. I throw myself first into any work I can find and then into writing this in order to try to keep it together. Currently, I am working on unloading a delivery that the office got. As I walk through the building, the muttered abuse of myself continues. “I’m not a good girl. Why am I so bad all the time? No one understands and no one will.”
That’s my day. I have only been awake for 8 hours, so far. This isn’t a complete documentation of everything that has run through my head, of course. I certainly hope though, that it paints a clear picture of just how hard a day is for me. People see the often ‘normal’ facade I am capable of putting up and assume that I am a neurotypical person who acts out when angry. The reality is that I am a vastly sick person that is sometimes very good at pretending I am not.
In looking back on 2012, the most important thing I can relate is that I did not plan to experience this year. I had planned, since I was 18 years old, to commit suicide on February 3rd, 2012 just before the stroke of midnight. I made a promise to myself as a teenager that if I had not gotten my life together and gotten better (whatever that meant at the time) that I would not allow myself to turn 30 a failure.
The year began inauspiciously. I will homeless and living on someone’s floor, working at a minimum wage job that I was complacent with, but did absolutely nothing to support me or make me happy. I had few friends, but they were notable ones.
One, the girl of my dreams. We had been friends or in a relationship of one form or another since we were teenagers; well over a decade. We had plans to marry in the fall, on our adopted anniversary of Halloween. My dream was to emigrate to the UK and spend my life with her.
Another was a friend I had made at conventions and on the internet, an artist who I thought was a kindred spirit and someone I could trust. We had known each other for a year or so and become fast friends, and she spent time with the girl of my dreams and I, playing games and laughing. Things seemed great there.
January brought something new into my life, engagement in the furry community through a friend I met on Twitter and felt sparks with at FurCon. He introduced me to many more friends, and it seemed as though everything was right in the world.
February came and when my expiration date came up, I didn’t hurt myself. The day passed and I continued to breathe, because I thought I was on my way. Life was finally starting to work out.
The girl of my dreams and I broke up, encouraged by whispers from the fast friend.
The fast friend and I began dating and she quickly turned abusive.
The furry friend became closer and made promises that warmed my heart, but he proved to be untrue and betrayed me as deeply as I have ever been.
My own mother even stole my car.
My disorder began spiraling out of control, thanks to these events.
I felt hopeless, I felt afraid, I felt like I had no future and no goals.
In short, I felt like that not committing suicide before I turned 30 was the biggest mistake I had ever made.
It’s always darkest before the dawn, though. Out of all those shadows and fears and dark moments, some seeds began to take root.
I had met the most caring, compassionate, giving person I have ever met. Someone who has made something of a career out of helping people around them fix their lives. That someone has given me so much, from my first laptop I’ve ever owned, to a free trip to the East Coast for a convention to see friends.
I have a Dom for the first time. Not someone who is willing to pretend to top for me when they are up to it, but someone who genuinely considers me their submissive and does their best to take care of me and my needs.
The caring person helped me find a job. Not another minimum wage thing, but a real, career building job. I am making more than twice as much money as I have ever made in my life. I find myself, for the first time, searching for an apartment of my own. I am no longer scraping by, barely managing to live on someone’s floor, Now I have the chance to build my own adult life without having to choose between food or gas.
My Dom helped me find therapy, so that I can learn to live with my borderline personality disorder and begin to work on my gender issues. There is the hope for the first time that I might be able to transition and be the girl outside that I know I am inside.
Throughout all of this, there have been ups and downs. New friends who have come into my life only to spurn me when they lacked the empathy to understand that I have a personality disorder. Friction with people who wanted more from me than I could give them. The usual growing pains of a new social life and finding people I just simply don’t like.
As we come up to my birthday here in 2013, I am nearly a full year removed from when I chose to die. It is hard some times. There are struggles every day for me, but I hope that I will get better, with the help of my therapist and of my new friends, That’s the key thing for me, as 2013 comes on.