strangers know my work story

like, not from my blog, but from gossip, so word gets around. 

I have been triggered and in panic mode for several hours because somebody told me to just “get over” the traumatic lay off I had in November that caused me to lose everything. It’s like, telling somebody they don’t look sick when mental illness and “invisible illness” is… invisible. 

The consequence of me being laid off is that I am bursting with bitterness for this company. It hasn’t consumed my life. While I attempt to build back up, to have a stranger tell me to just get over it, really is a downer. Like, do you think I’d dwell on it if I knew NOT dwelling on it would make me ten million times better? I’d like to think I’m better than I was, and definitely in a better state of mind than self-loathing. 

I don’t know. I feel like I need to unfriend my friend who is mutual with this other person. All our interactions have been negative. I thought I was over my old job enough to be friends with her again, but maybe the mere fact that she works there is enough to keep the tension. 

On a more positive note, I guess I’m looking at graduate school. I’d like to move forward with that. I’m excited to keep looking. 

Death Be Not Proud (Death, Suicide, and How it Makes Me Feel)

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

John Donne

Last week was a real thinker.

I got a message from my grandma that one of her friend’s sons had died. Killed himself in the bathtub. Wrote in the note, “I will now shoot myself in the tub, so you won’t have to spend too much time cleaning.” That has been stuck in my head all week. I don’t know if it will ever quite leave me. She mentioned he sent a 5 page E-mail to his parents and that it was what he thought was best.

And, she said, “If only you [me, the granddaughter] could have met him and maybe taught him all women aren’t bitches.”

“Well, I am a bitch,” I replied.

“Not like his ex-wife.”

That was so unfair of her to say to me. I go from feeling empathetic to being absolutely pissed off. How dare you act as if I could have prevented this? And if I couldn’t, what then? I’m a goddamn 24 year old website manager, not a therapist. Then I’d have to have that personal guilt of being used as a tool to try to stop somebody from killing themselves…

It was nobody’s fault but his own that he killed himself. But, maybe “fault” isn’t the right word. Because what do you tell yourself when somebody commits suicide? Clearly, there was more than I was told: I didn’t know his life, his situation, if he was on medication or ill, if he’d tried before, if he was under threat. All I know is that it is what he thought was best, and I cannot condone it, but I cannot prevent it.

So, since I work for a company that sells cremation urns, my grandma gave his mom my cellphone number because I could help her get an urn. It was the strangest, most peaceful, call I’d ever received in my life.

She was so polite, but she wasn’t quite there. I don’t think I really was, she was this connection to death that I seldom saw since I don’t do customer service for my work (I look way too into it, as you can tell). I was having issues with the computer, she was patient. She was so thankful when I told her I’d make sure it got to her on Friday, shipped to her son’s house, billed to her address, 20% discount. She was just so thankful. And it felt nice, but it still felt like I had stage fright. I was frightened. I couldn’t do anything more than sell a nice urn to this woman who was probably going through one of the worst times of her life.

She said she knew her son didn’t want to burden her, he made it super easy to prepare for his memorial and funeral. What he did was so kind for his family, but what he did was terrible. If you’re religious, it’s an act against God [don’t quote me on that, it’s what I hear. “Tragic, but he’s going to Hell.” Not something you’d tell a grieving mother.]

As somebody who is a manipulative control-freak, I’d rather take my own life by my hands than allow somebody else to do it for me. And it makes me feel empty when I see people do this, but I don’t know exactly why. Because, as an ultimatum, it would have to be such a great force or threat where I would take my own life to spare me the torture of dying. Quick and painless.

Oh you’re so cold, Liz, you’re just a bitch. How can you take somebody else’s suicide and make it about yourself?

Because, he is me. I am him. And everybody who has ever killed themselves or thought about it, are each other.

Some cheesy, peace-love-rock’n’roll, rhetoric, but it’s true. We all live with that same fear, that somebody who has never considered or will ever consider, or has even jokingly said, “Oh, man, just kill me. This test is too hard./ My casserole got burnt./ I ran out of gas./ We’re out of milk. I could just die.” It’s why I joke. It’s why there are studies that say people who divulge in humor most likely suffer from some type of depression or illness. Deflecting and focusing on others is oftentimes the best way for me to deal with my own life. When people ask me how I am doing, I never, ever will tell them the truth. Because what can they do but sit and stare in awe, the magnitude of my situation more than they can handle? They leave. Or they offer me unsolicited advice. Or if there is a day when it is too much and I say I’m feeling depressed, they ask fucking, “Why?” Because the sky is blue and your face is asymmetrical. Leave me alone? But don’t leave me alone. I don’t know or maybe what I do know stems from 10 years of trauma? Same reason as always, why do you keep asking?

I only ask and willingly receive advice from 2 people: my doctor and my psychiatrist. Even they cannot fully understand, they just treat the symptoms. There is no way to treat the cause, until time machines exist. Which then brings in this whole other fear I have – the existential crisis of my own hypothetical alteration. (This is probably why it takes me 2 hours to fall asleep every night.)

So, if reeling from the self-doubt and anger I have over this stranger’s death wasn’t enough, I find out that one of my former high school classmates hanged herself. I didn’t know her well, but I knew her. She was the epitome of somebody who would do anything for her friends and family, and she always made everybody smile. I liked her, we just never had classes together, so maintaining a friendship seemed out of a question in the high school jungle. And, unlike the other guy’s death (which I don’t mean to minimize by not saying his name, it’s that I don’t know it) there were a lot of people I knew who knew her. So it was a week of Facebook Goodbyes, tearful to read. In spite of knowing people with depression who are hilarious, I never pegged her for one of those people, even though she and I shared some similarities that should have made me realize. Again, I couldn’t have stopped her. I feel no guilt except the guilt that she’s not here when she totally could be.

I have to say, though, I feel particularly guilty about the death of Robin Williams, as if I knew him like a father. He was a key comedic presence since I was a baby, with Aladdin, Jumanji, and moving up and along the ladder to his love of The Legend of Zelda. It was like losing a family member. Especially since I knew he was depressed and he remained so funny, occasionally doing movies that were less than happy such as Patch Adams, What Dreams May Come, and Father of the Year. Find a guy to make you laugh, he was one of them.

His suicide has left me with doubt in myself, but still almost 2 years later (at this point, about a year and a half), I am here. It terrifies me to think that somebody who had become sober from all his addictions and had  been receiving help (and at his net worth, it would’ve been financially awesome help) would still commit suicide. Whether or not it was because he had dementia or was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. It still sucks.

I, with so few resources sometimes I go months without medication, am still here. There are people who may need or don’t have access to health care for their depression who may or may not kill themselves, is terrifying to me. All hypothetical ideas involving this.

What little we can do as people for others, isn’t being done. Or it’s so much trouble, they don’t think it is worth it. It reminds me of this, which is from Tumblr (but was posted on Facebook, because why don’t you just get a Tumblr?)

12376331_1667194406889158_2929369411198430799_n.png

Definitely not to belittle the life of somebody fighting MS or Cancer or any other disease, but the entire notion that people cannot be disabled in a non-traditional sense (ie. paralyzed, physically, developmentally, in a way other people can clearly see) is BS. Like, my friend who can have such intense flare ups she can’t even walk – she has a pass to park in the handicapped spots – but when people see her walking on a good day (without a cane or in a wheelchair) she becomes subject to a Salem Witch Hunt.

It’s been a rough week, there isn’t too much else to say. I’m running low on energy.

G’night.

Toxic People – I Am One (Was? Still Am?)

It’s not fun to admit, by any means.

Hopefully, I haven’t been a toxic person recently, but there is one long, drawn-out story that still physically hurts me to think about. The entire situation hurt. Coming to terms with it made me feel better. Then realizing that I was definitely part of the problem, was like heart burn for the last 5 years.

So, grab some tea and/or popcorn, and relive with me the worst experience of my adult life.

Once upon a time, there were 3 college students: myself, C, and T. I met C through an online “find a roommate” thing our campus set up. So I hung out with her over the summer, and, in the end, we decided to room with different people. I roomed with E, and C roomed with T (which is how I met her.) So, first year of college was a breeze, minus the occasional spurt of rudeness from C. She once made a joke in front of E, a “yo mama” joke, which would have been funny had E not 1) been autistic and she just politely laughed but didn’t really get it 2) she was also an orphan, so when we got back to our room she asked if C was making fun of her for not having parents (who, sadly, were both sick, but they seemed like really awesome people. I can’t imagine losing your parents before you start college.) Other rude instances dealt with anytime I was around C’s boyfriend. He was an awesome person and we were friends. We played video games, that’s all we did. He came out to hang with me, then went to see C, and that was that. I feel she may have been super paranoid because we were hanging out, she thought she heard him calling me pet names (like honey. But we were at Chipotle? Something was misheard), which was tragic because I had no romantic interest or intent in him.

Truthfully, I develop crushes on everybody I meet. It just has happened with me. Whether or not I act out on those crushes? It’s all contextual. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. In this case, he and she had been dating and were grossly in love, and I was in a relationship (struggling with depression that had not yet been diagnosed, but was exacerbated by C during my second year, which you will read….)

First year, otherwise, was a breeze. (for some reason I wanted to spell breeze, brease.) I became super close friends with T, who was half white and half Japanese, similar to me, which lead to a lot to relate to, on the home front, I rarely found in friends before.

Second year. The summer of (second year), C, T, and I (as in me, not a new character) were talking about being roommates. E (my first year roommate) had found a group of friends to get a 4-plex with. We talked about whether or not we wanted to do a triple room (for 3) or anything else. What it came down to was C wouldn’t mind being in a single or double, but did not want at triple, T did not want to be in a single, but wouldn’t mind being in a double or triple, and essentially, I shared the same view as C. So, what happened was, we roomed in the same dorm, on the same floor, C got a single, and we shared a double.

This is super important to the rest of the story.

So, I suppose I slightly lied when I said First Year was a breeze. I gained 80 pounds, and then found out I had an diagnosed and untreated thyroid (hypothyroidism). I have not since lost the weight. So, my self-esteem tanked. But, T never said anything shitty to me, nobody did, and that was something I hadn’t experienced in a long time. Being away from home was really a blessing in disguise. So, while I was coming to terms with my 2nd year, a new series of medication, and all that, T and I became close friends. BFFs. Shared everything (except close, because she was a 4 and I was a 20? And that would be weird.)

However, it may have seemed imposing on C, who lived down the hall. So, while T and I are getting to become best friends, C would come by and knock on the door. Every. Hour. For. Days. Like, anytime she had free time, she would come and knock on our room’s door and usually T wasn’t there. After about 2 months of this, I had developed a very triggering response to doors knocking. It might seem stupid, and I felt it was stupid, but any time the door knocked, shook, was in my line of sight, I panicked. I knew it was her. It was a Pavlov’s Dog response: whenever the door knocked, C would be on the other side, asking for T who was definitely NEVER there. You’d think that after 2 months you’d have your friends schedule down or something?

I talked to T about it. It was giving me crushing anxiety. And me, an introvert, who wanted to be holed up in my room, now had nowhere to go. So she told me she would tell C to call before coming over, since she was looking for T and never for me. That makes sense, right? If T was in the quad or in the cafeteria, and she got a call from C, C would just go there.

But, no. That didn’t work.

What happened was, and it seems manipulative to me still, C would call T. And whether T picked up or not, C would knock on my door. Which, you would think, “Oh, if she doesn’t answer, she might be in class I should call back?” Wrong. That wasn’t how it worked. I had a feeling she knew she was getting to me. She wanted to see me snap. There had to have been some reason. Because, even though I didn’t want to tell her, I repeated what T said, and I got this snide, “Oh, she already told me that. I do call.” (but if you do call… why isn’t she here after you call?)

This entire time, I had been seeing the school therapist. She sent me to the psychiatrist who gave me my first dose of anti-depressants and she LITERALLY said, “I am so surprised you hadn’t been on some form of anti-depressants before, since you were 12. I am so sorry it took this long.” My 2nd year of college, I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I felt I had had depression and anxiety, but PTSD was what soldiers get. Boy, did I learn a lot that year. [Save that for another post].

So, after finally starting the anti-depressants, I was high as a kite. Whatever my first one was, didn’t work and I felt no change after 2 more months, the 2nd one was on the Zoloft side of anti-depressants, so I was just happy as a fat clam. I was so chill. But I had to call it off after 2 weeks because I did not do any homework at all. It didn’t stress me out that I wasn’t doing any homework either, which was going to prove a problem if I did not decide to switch. By the end of December, I was good.

Our college has J-Term (January Term), so the entire month was free. When I got back, the beginning of February, I’d thought the whole door knocking thing was over.

THANKFULLY, it was. On very rare occurrences, and only when C had something to rub in my face, did she ever stop by. It didn’t phase me.

So, while everything is going smoothly, I get a tumblr for the first time. It was primarily used to read horror manga, which I am a die-hard fan of. T introduced me to it, and I became obsessed. I don’t know how, but one day the RA shows up and I am being accused of bullying and harassment to C. I’m like, “What?” and the RA brings C along who tells me that, basically, I insulted her on a “fitblr” and said some shit to her through the site anonymously. I admitted to having a tumblr but I had no idea what the hell a “fitblr” was or what posting anonymous was. If it had nothing to do with Horror Manga, I had no idea how to do it. (I learned that months later when I finally expanded after exhausting my horror manga resources).

So, this next part is hard to explain. I have this tendency to repress memories of things that happen to me, in the negative. I can see flashes of me, the RA, and C in MY DORM room, and C is playing victim to herself. It was about the knocking. And at one point, C said to my face, “T didn’t even want to room with you. I told her to.” Which hurt me to my very core. However, after much analyzing, I realized that T made her own choice, and she could’ve chosen to room with different people completely, since I stated earlier, the single/double/triple scenario played out in a way that worked best for all of us. But I told the RA, probably again, about the door and phone situation. It cleared up, finally.

Oh.

So, at some point in March, T and C has some falling out. I was pleased, after having spent the remainder of my energy worrying about whether or not I’d be expelled for bullying somebody I didn’t actually bully. C thought that I had made T choose. T chose. C was getting too much to handle. I can’t remember details. But I remember C came by to make up with me. There was something I had to tell T. It was important. Well, C told T this important thing. I remember sitting in my room crying because this was not how it was supposed to happen. T walked into my room after class, she told me C had confronted her on her way back from getting mozzarella sticks…

That’s when I turned to a toxic strategy.

I told her to choose. I told her it was C or me. After all of this, C refused to maintain this non-knocking without phoning, anxiety inducing truce. I told her, that after everything involving this stupid dorm room, if she chose C, I would leave. I told her C told me she made T choose to room with me and it wasn’t on her own terms. T denied it, and I believed her, but I was so livid.

In the end, she couldn’t choose. So I made that decision for her, and I left.

I moved out of my dorm over the course of the week. Dealt with the bullshit the Housing Administration tried to give me, they eventually had to refund me a shit ton of money because they kept fucking up my case, which I blew on the rest of my school year.

I never spoke to T again… until our final year of school.

The difficult thing was, we were both English Majors. So, we had the same exact classes, basically. I saw her, like a ghost. I missed her so bad, I physically hurt. I cried for months. I would have dreams where we were friends (and even now, I do during times of extreme stress) and wake up feeling unfulfilled, an intense longing, agonizing, sharp pains.

I grew terribly sick due to weight related reasons. I went to India in January 2013. I lost weight due to being incredibly sick (which all came back) and during our English Senior Seminar in September 2013, at some point, after much thought, I wanted to talk to her and apologize.

She had blocked all communication from me. Did not respond. I stared at her in the face during our Senior Seminar for a while and just cried inside. Until:

sad

A glimpse of hope? I did think a lot about what happened. I did take note in my own behavior. I came to realize how pathetic C was, but I had possibly been just as equally pathetic.

So we spoke. Mostly about her study abroad semester in the Netherlands where she stayed with some of the rudest people I’ve ever heard of (for home stay) and only briefly mentioned what happened. And I thought we could be friends again. But, aside from group projects, we never spoke again. It was our last class together. It was the last time I heard her voice.

And, even now, 2 years later, I still live under the false impression that someday we will speak together again. Anytime I think about her, I try to contact her somehow, by E-mail, FB, again. I’m so pathetic, I even have her number still saved onto my phone, under her name. And it kills me every time I look through my contacts.

And by that simple act, I’m pretty sure I am reinforcing that toxic person. Me, needing her to actually tell me to never contact her again. She could be triggered every time I send something. I haven’t in months.

But whenever I wake up from a dream, we are just talking for hours and hours, like we used to do. I don’t have many friends, I can just talk to like that. Over nothing, everything. Online, sure, but I haven’t grabbed a coffee (or tea, since coffee gives me shits) and spoke with somebody since college ended. I did have friends I did that with who I am still friends with now, but we’re all so busy. We’re all losers with midnight bedtimes, and jobs to go to.

Anytime something happens, I wish I could just tell her.

Like I said before, I had never had a friend like her before. And I never will again. Supposedly, I’m supposed to cherish the memories. They were so intertwined with that negativity. Could I have handled the situation better? I know that I handled it as best I could under the situation and circumstances I was in and given, up until the point I just left. It doesn’t hurt any less. I acknowledge my role as the toxic person.

To feel like such a hypocrite and be in such pain, knowing there’s nothing I can do now that will improve the situation, puts me in a powerless position. And that’s why this all started: a power struggle. Power is still something I struggle with. I do not have money, but I can have influence and power.

Not being heard has been a struggle my entire life. It is also the problem of my people, the minority communities, POC/WOC, the like. The screaming and being ignored. But I find comfort in these groups where I cannot alone, in spite of the fact the same thing is being triggered. This is just one instance of me being able to acknowledge my own crappy self.

That is a post, however, for another day.

It’s hard to feel unloved

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot that’s hard in life.

But to feel unloved when you are loved, is the worst.

It’s almost as bad as looking at yourself in the mirror at the gym and wanting to give up.

I had apparently gained so much weight between my August fitting and December, I had to get a new wedding dress sized up. It feels like ass. I feel like ass.

Today is just an ass day.

Mourning the Holidays

TW: Death.

December 20, 2013 was when my grandpa died.

He had been sick for a long time. He had been in a medically induced coma since October that year. When I heard he was in the medically induced coma I wept and needed support for days.

Then, strangely, on getting a call that he was never going to wake up again and my grandma was going to remove him from his artificial life support, I was calm. I cried a little, but nothing compared to when I cried in October.

I just started a new job for J-Term that was outbound telemarketing. I ended up quitting after 3 days. It was just a horrible week.

My parents sped up to meet her, but since they didn’t call ahead, she ended up pulling the plug before they got there. And I had no way of getting up there because my car wasn’t working (I can’t remember the exact issue, spark plugs or the oil needed changing and I was too late?).

Fast forward to some point where I need to print out something at my parents, and I’m being told by my grandma to smile and think of happy times, and my mom is telling me the same, I have my dad – who is a colossal asshole that I will never love in my life again, ever – who is sitting there muttering that he is going to divorce my mom because she wasn’t crying enough. And I’m sitting there talking and laughing with my brother trying to remember things about my grandpa (which was hard, because my dad is a colossal asshole who moved us from living with my grandparents and basically fled when I was 4 and my brother was a baby, and did not let me see them again until I was 13 in the hospital with a ruptured appendix). So while we are talking about vague memories, he calls me a bitch. Like, literally said, “You’re acting like a bitch.” So I leave. I’m devastated. He acted like he was close with my grandpa, but kept him from us for over 10 years because of some argument, some disagreement.

Before Christmas there was a memorial that I was not able to attend. My dad drove up but did not offer to take me even though he knew my car was broken. So he went up to mourn with my grandma, who I couldn’t see either. It was not a good month.

My therapist had to spend the next month telling me that there was no wrong way to mourn. THERE IS NO WRONG WAY TO MOURN. I should not have been called a bitch for deciding to go for a more cheerful route of mourning and memorializing. She is right.

On top of that, it was my first Christmas with Andrew and he went to his grandma’s, but didn’t come home. I made a roast and waited and waited and waited. I’ll never get over how that went down. While I was in mourning, with that disgusting, dry roast, sitting alone for the entirety of Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day and almost onto the 26th. So, I will mourn losing those moments. He didn’t like the tone of my voice. Someday I may have to confront him about it.

So, I solemnly just moved on with my life. I had never known anybody close to me who had died, and even with my grandpa, we weren’t particularly close. A friend’s grandpa died on Christmas back in 2007, and that was really sad because my friend’s birthday was the 26th of December.

I spent some time with my grandparents before I could drive while he still lived in the house with my grandma, but once I began college it was less frequent that I made it up there as it was a 2 and a half hour drive and I had to work around classes, homework, work, etc. I feel guilty. I can’t guilt myself for doing what I was believed  I needed to do – go to college, get a job, start that life.

But it feels empty. Christmas was never a time I particularly enjoyed. My grandma loves it though, but I guess her regret is not being able to teach me her traditional Christmas line-up. I guess we invented our own.

I received word that a dear friend’s mom passed away yesterday morning after a long struggle to live after battling cancer. So, that is an added stress to me because I feel so bad. I can’t even say I full empathize because I’ve never lost anybody that close to me. But I do not like death, even though I work around it. And I don’t understand it.

Suicide Trigger Warning. Robin Williams

Because this is about suicide and depression, if you feel like this, find help, any type of help near you. If you need to talk to me, a stranger, to rant or whatever, contact me and I will listen to you for whatever you do. No judgements.
—–
It was strange having somebody that I sort of grew up with, being familiar with, die. I spent the first few years wondering how Robin Williams could be Genie AND the guy from Jumanji AT THE SAME TIME. I thought that the TV and videos were like plays in a theater that were put on for me. I spent many days flipping between the two of them as fast as I could, trying to see if Williams would know exactly where I left off, pick up the movie and finish it for me. I was mesmerised, until I was 7 and figured out that videos are pre-taped, etc. So far for the magic.

I cried even worse with Robin Williams than I did with my own grandpa. A(nd that is something I blame my father for. For another time.) A familiar voice won’t be making any new movies or going to award ceremonies or whatever. All that is left of him for me, as a fan, are the hilarious and the serious movies he left behind.

The whole suicide thing is not only sad, but it’s terrifying. It had me in a panic. I’m afraid that, someday, inspite of moments of happiness, success, wealth, family, friends, love, my own depression will leech into me, through all the duct tape and plugs of cork I have used to repair myself, and I will be taken in the same way. The older I get, the stronger the tug is. Seriously, right now, at 4 PM, I took 2 melatonin pills and it has me so out of myself. I 1) Redorated the entire apartment 2) I was hoping it would calm me enough to just die, that my breathing would get to a sleeping pace, I’d fall asleep, and I’d die.

I spent an entire life faking life. My parents told me, in spite of my father having anti-depressants, that I could just think it away. And I thought if I thought it away then people would love me, then people wouldn’t seem so fake and I wouldn’t feel so fake, that I’d love me.

But now, having been treated for about three years, the bouts I have and the fights I have with myself, on the inside, seem to be growing stronger. In spite of having people tell me they love me… it doesn’t seem to matter. I get lost. And I try to think about them, and what would happen if I died, but I think, “Fuck them.” Why should they tell me to think about others when I cannot even think about me and help myself?

Ironically, thinking about others and volunteering was one of the things that helped me.

Being alone in a crowded room? Awful. The worst thing ever.

And it’s terrible to think that there are other people who feel similar. It’s terrible to think that somebody so powerful as Robin Williams succumed to his depression. And I want the best and send prayers to his family and friends, for what it’s worth.

I’m not feeling really coherent. This is a sad topic and a sad post. Really.