I realised today that I like my therapist: she is a kind and thoughtful human being who genuinely seems to want to help me, rather than tick off boxes on her sheet.
I had a pitiful night’s sleep thanks to awful nightmares; I weighed myself and I have put on more weight; my job search yielded no leads; and my finances are rapidly dwindling.
But … I feel good. I feel really good. I feel a bit “normal”.
Am I bi-polar? I hope not, because I haven’t felt this level of positivity in so long. I feel as if the switch that flipped last week is now stuck in its “Optimistic” setting. I feel excited about the future; I’m buzzing with so many creative ideas and fuelled with energy to get up and change my life.
I wish I could record my stream of thoughts throught the past week. I have written much about the negatives, keen to expel them from my brain and into words, in hope of expelling them forever from my being. Perhaps it is time I documented more of the positive and encouraging thoughts that are increasingly starting to stab and attack my self-loathing and fears.
I certainly have nothing to lose by focusing on the good things in my life and now is a time of change so perhaps the planets are specifically aligned for this moment of realisation and clarity. It’s a moment for hope, dreams, gratitude and vision. It’s a moment for which I have patiently waited. It’s a moment I am determined to extend to last a lifetime.
I cannot imagine confessing to others that my history with The Forgiven One has left me frigid and repulsed by the thought of having sex. I am scared to reveal yet another aspect of “normal” in which I have failed. I would rather be perceived as a sex goddess with a healthy libido rather than an abnormal freak. I fear many regard me as the latter even without knowledge of my sexual hang-ups and this revelation would only cement my low-life status.
Surprisingly, there is still one who extends kind words and amorous suggestions in an attempt to lure me into bed. He is my former lover and a friend of The Forgiven One; a man with which I once hoped to find happiness – until The Forgiven One cruelly sabotaged our budding romance. In all honesty, I find it remarkable that any man could be interested in rekindling a connection and I wonder if I shall ever overcome my self-esteem issues to once again embrace sexual intercourse.
At the moment, it’s too soon but there’s this tiny voice in the back of my head that’s starting to pipe up and whisper: “You can do it!”
For months now, the thought of any kind of intimacy has been terrifying: I have learnt the hard way not to place faith nor trust in any man – particularly not one who claims to love and care for my wellbeing. The Forgiven One has always maintained that he loves me as a person and I am of value, yet he lied for almost six years. He stabbed me in the back; spread lies about me; blabbed all my secrets; turned others against me; abandoned me to die; and made the woman who helped him to publically ridicule and humiliate me his girlfriend and business partner. That’s not how I wish to be loved nor valued. To be frank, The Forgiven One is full of more hot air than a coach-load of footballers who ate double helpings of baked beans for lunch.
Still, I find myself doing all I can to appear interested in the opposite sex. It’s a camouflage tactic that serves me well in my quest to disguise the worthlessness I was made to feel by The Forgiven One. I occasionally flirt with his friend, hoping to be perceived as a “normal” girl … despite the belief that I am far from similar to other women. I cannot imagine ever being loved nor appreciated by any man: if I let my guard down, I will be used and exploited. The thought makes me physically sick; I cannot stomach the idea of giving myself only to find that I am, once again, humiliated and ridiculed for sport.
I have been trying to get over my fears but my anxiety has yet to fade enough to feel excited by an offer to fornicate. I feel a constriction in my chest and my stomach churns whenever I think of prior encounters. I cringe and recoil whenever remembering that I was once intimate with The Forgiven One; I feel dirty and unclean, soiled by his touch and the thought of his bed-hopping makes me heave. He is tainted and foul, imprinting these permanent stains upon my body during our contact. I feel shame and guilt for my stupidity and, in the early months following his betrayal, the shame was so overwhelming, I would find myself weeping whenever my body would respond to hormone medication for Endometriosis. It felt wrong to be aroused and took me to a dark place of self-loathing and depression. Throughout all that shame, I couldn’t remember what The Forgiven One looked like in the nude; the image of his manhood was obliterated from my conscious memory and only occasionally returns during my nightmares.
In contrast, I can remember every curve and line of his best friend’s naked body. It doesn’t excite me to recall his frame, nor even his touch – I do not lust for any man – but I cannot bring myself to do or say anything which may erode his confidence. I always praise his profile photos on social media, ensuring he feels handsome and admired. Following my experience with The Forgiven One, I cannot bear the thought of anyone being made to feel unattractive, discarded, worthless, used, nor expendable. I feel a strong urge to compliment everyone I know and to make them feel good about themselves. It’s an obsession: I know what goes on behind closed doors in response to the harm from being made to feel like discarded trash by one you trusted. I know how deep and infinite the grief is; how it strangles and binds every positive thought to destroy confidence, faith and self-worth. I cannot inflict that upon another, I feel compelled to help people feel good about themselves and preserve their self-worth. I just cannot bring myself to sleep with them – not even to make them feel valued.
I would like to speak to someone about my issues but there is no-one to whom I can confess my thoughts without having to lower my guard and expose my worthlessness. I am not ready to take that step but I have started to work on my self-confidence and image. I am trying to help myself in as many areas as possible, leaving a therapist to work on the OCD I have developed as a coping mechanism.
Should I ever overcome my intimacy barriers, I fear my low worth may remain unaltered, preventing any opportunity to find true love and a genuine mate. That said, at least I could have fun and lose myself in the arms of another for a while. I think that the crux of my issues may stem from that point: I cannot bring myself to embrace something I know to be false. If I cannot attract something real, I want nothing at all. I have no desire for a roll in the hay: true love is what worthy women aspire to and attain and I refuse to settle for anything less.
It is unfortunate, not least because my admirer is incredibly handsome. My appreciation for the beauty in all living things means I can behold and recognise this man’s aesthetic virtues. Much like my therapist, he is blessed with excellent genes: naturally good-looking, tall, great skin, lovely teeth and a winning smile. There are few who could offer more gratification; after all, if you intend to sleep with someone purely for physical pleasure, opting for a willing partner who is outstandingly attractive is hardly non-productive.
I feel that I have reached another crossroad: I can either accept the things I believe I cannot change – I am not worthy of love and it shall never be given freely to one such as myself so I am better off remaining alone and celibate – or I listen to the tiny voice inside my head and remain open to an unwritten future.
Strangely, I am leaning towards the latter.
I had one night of blissful sleep but the nightmares are back and I am resigned to living with the consequences. Interestingly, I have gone into overdrive, spurred on by that one night of peace to ignore fatigue and a stomach bug to not only socialise with old friends but also to revisit my creative self-employment ideas.
I have been through an awakening of sorts: accepting and understanding how and why my worthlessness is important in a positive way. The main conclusion is this: if I wasn’t worthless and so expendable, I would still be saddled with The Forgiven One, or others with similar warped values, being used and deceived for fun.
I am exceptionally lucky to have escaped the needy clutches of those who are overwhelmingly insecure and self-obsessed. I could have spent a lifetime stuck with fake friends and opportunists – an existence far worse than that which I currently endure. I do not wish to be mistreated for the rest of my life and the cleansing of my social circle is probably the best route towards longterm happiness. I have let go of pathetic losers: nothing more and nothing less.
That actually feels wonderful. Yes, I think it’s wonderful. I never thought I would feel such a beautiful, soothing and joyful emotion and yet here I am, rejoicing that I have lost the dead-beats from my past to finally recognise the potential which beckons in my future.
Last night was the first in almost two years when I slept without the terror of nightmares. At last, my pleas for a serene sleep were finally heard and rewarded. As I ready myself for bed tonight, I pray that I will enjoy the same blessing.
I have no idea why last night was so peaceful – perhaps it was the result of prolonged emotional exhaustion – or simply a miracle. The evening preceding my slumber wasn’t particularly comforting and I can’t say that my day was etched with positivity: I reluctantly went to a screening of Sex Tape, a comedy film starring Cameron Diaz.
I was offered a ticket through the course of my voluntary work and felt an obligation to attend. I have taken a break from this work in recent months but given that my resume benefits from the listing of any form of employment – even unpaid positions – I have resigned myself to plastering on fake smiles and excessive make-up to once again ‘integrate’ with the human race. Overall, I have been winning my battle against suicide so resuming my voluntary activities seemed like a constructive development.
Until last night.
I found myself surrounded by rows of couples and groups of giggling friends. I felt like the only singleton and was acutely lonely. I became painfully aware of my position as different and alone, unable to disguise my outcast status and lack of worth.
As I sat cocooned within my melancholy, the movie screen depicted married sets of loving parents, becoming over-amorous and enjoying lives filled with love, companionship, friendship and joy. I will never know any of these things and I watched the film in much the same way that I live my life: isolated and alienated.
The only words I exchanged during the evening were ‘thank-yous’ with the door staff who gave me entry and one-word responses to those enquiring if the bank of seats to my right were taken. My journey home was consequently occupied with contemplation; assessing the things I cannot change and the events which led me to such a lonely, desolate place. My conclusions were perhaps what led to a night of restful sleep: I was lost in thoughts so deep, I scraped my own core and clawed away some of the scars which have grown hard and angry during recent years.
I hope the nightmares are finally fading and my nights will be filled with happy dreams. I hope the grief which has plagued my sleep since October 2012 has begun to ease its grasp upon my mind and body. I want to move forward. I desperately need to move forward. I want to be free from the terror of my past and to dream of a brighter, kinder future.
Were I not living with my parents, days would go by without conversation or contact with others. I wouldn’t exchange words or hear the sound of a human voice beyond those broadcast from my TV set.
My isolation is so absolute; my loneliness so unyielding … I feel more abandoned than anyone should ever come to know. My life has been altered so dramatically in recent years, and I have tried – and still endeavour – to take strides towards changing my forlorn existence. I feel the weight of solitude bearing down not only upon my soul but also upon something far deeper and more powerful: the very essence of my being – an atom of defiance which protects my lonely spirit. It’s here, in this impenetrable, unbreakable prison, where love, compassion and kindness still dwell but can never be shared due to the confines of my solitary existence.
I am so alone … and I have lived with my isolation for long enough to understand that a loner is as powerful as any army. The lone sniper can be as useful, if not more so, than a battalion of soldiers. I am a fighter … and I’m on my own. I will die as I live: isolated, alone and without the kindness of another’s voice to offer any words of comfort.
I feel so sad that my life is something to endure rather than share, celebrate or embrace. I gave all I had to others: my love; my kindness; my hopes; my dreams; my suffering; my all. I bared my soul only to have it torn apart. It was mauled by supposed friends: loved ones with less compassion than a pack of wild dogs.
Life is cruel like that; we are all animals in the cold light of day. Luckily, there are a handful of us who have evolved enough to be classed as “civilised”. And lonely … very, very lonely.
Today, a new chapter of my life finally begins. I am turning the page to leave behind all that was and progressing on to a happier story.
I have sought forgiveness from those I have wronged and locked away my mistakes in the past. I know I am still heading nowhere but I will do all I can to enjoy and appreciate my journey.