Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The 'Real Me' Challenge

 Right, so... this post is part of a challenge that I learned of from my friend BushMaid. She learned of it in turn from God's Country Boy.
Let me tell you, I don't think the word 'challenge' has ever been more clear to me than it is at this present moment. I've written and rewritten this post dozens of times inside my head, afraid of the words and afraid of what might happen.

Well, I'm going to get this down in Microsoft Office Word and then hopefully put it up on my blog. And not delete it five minutes afterwards.

Goodness. How to start...

"What else is there to say? I’m devastated. All I want to do is crawl into a corner and sob my eyes out. I had to draw hearts and butterflies on my arms and wrists to keep from doing something magnificently stupid."
- an excerpt from a journal entry dated February 28th, 2012

"Besides that, I’m scared all the time. I flinch in the grocery store every time a man walks past me, because I have an automatic alarm bell go off in my brain that says, “WATCH OUT! HE MIGHT STAB YOU!” How stupid is that? I mean, honestly."
- an excerpt from a journal entry dated July 8th, 2012

"I don’t know how it would happen. My stupid imagination is coming up with scenarios now. They could get into an accident of some sort. I imagine I wouldn’t find out about it until several weeks afterwards, since all of my friends live so far away...
Oh, gosh… I don’t know what I’d feel or think. I’d probably blame myself, and the terrible thing is… it really would be my fault. I don’t… goodness. I would be an absolute mess if something like that happened, all because I was foolish enough to let myself put too much store in earthly things and people."

- an excerpt from a journal entry dated May 20th, 2013

Those three excerpts sum up who I am fairly accurately. I much rather wouldn't have shared them, because... I'm afraid. Clearly. I don't want people to know this stuff about me.

In a nutshell, what those three excerpts say is that I've wanted to harm myself before, to give up (drawing butterflies on your wrists and naming them after loved ones is a way of trying to stop yourself, for those who don't understand); I'm always scared; I'm always belittling myself, calling myself stupid among other things... the last excerpt can mean a myriad of things, really. I blame myself for pretty much everything, my imagination likes to come up with scenarios that send me into panic attacks...

I've wanted to give up before. 2012 was a painful year for a lot of people, myself included. I found myself at points where I couldn't find a meaning in life, and my brain was constantly coming up with ways to end it.

My poetry was and always has been the best indication of this. For instance, the titles of some of the poems I wrote in 2012 were as follows: Simply Suicide; I Want To Forget; The Blade; Kamikaze; These Shadows Inside... the list goes on and on.

Actually, there was one poem that scared countless people. I Just Wanted To Say That I'm Leaving Today. I wrote it... I think it was June of 2012.

That... was not a poem in the general sense of the word. It was a goodbye note to a forum I was on at the time. I posted it into the poetry thread. I wasn't thinking straight. I just wanted to give up, and I didn't want to leave them wondering what had happened, so I wrote that and posted it.

If it sounds twisted and messed-up, that's because it was. I know that now. Of course, at that time, I wasn't being logical.

Fortunately, something - or someone - stopped me. I didn't hurt myself or do anything of the sort. I spent the next few weeks feeling guilty, because I had had the entire forum I posted that poem on in a panic. I got on the next day and found a flooded inbox and people panicking in threads.

And that brings to mind another problem of mine. I don't believe people very easily, at least not when they say or do something good.

So when this happened, instead of realizing that their being scared meant they cared about me, I just felt guilty for the longest time. It took me forever to realize that they had been scared because they cared. It's like none of it registered.

The same thing happens over and over again when people compliment me. It never used to happen much, but now it happens a lot. And about 85% of the time, I don't believe the compliments. A little voice in the back of my mind tells me that they're just trying to be nice, or some other such thing like that. Then there's an annoying voice in my head that keeps going on a rampage, often sounding a bit like this:


I put myself down so often, I sometimes only believe the bad things people say. Even when it's just my brother teasing me.

But yeah, I get depressed. It was worse in 2012. 2013 has been a slightly better year, and I've improved a whole lot, but it still sometimes gets to the point where I don't know what I'm even doing here, why I'm alive.

I haven't been at the point where I want to give up this year. I have planned out ideas of how I could die though, how I could just end the pain I was feeling. And once... I think in February or March... I took a pocketknife from my bookshelf, and I put the sharp edge to my wrist.

I didn't do it. And I thank God for it. If I had done that, I may not have been able to turn back. It would have become an addiction, and then... I don't know what might have happened.

I've hurt myself in other ways though. Fortunately they're not as addicting. I've often 'literally headdesked'; beating my head against a wall or some other such surface. Or I've punched hard surfaces. I've held cups of hot tea in my hands and consequently burned myself. I've grown my fingernails out long and dug them into my palms or the back of my neck.

I'm not proud of that fact. I don't see why anyone would be. And I honestly don't know what else to say on the matter.

I’m always afraid. Fear has been my constant companion since I was born. Just ask my mom.

By the time I was old enough to read, I would often—sometimes on purpose, other times on accident—pick up a book, read it, and then be terrified for weeks on end because it had happened to be a ghost story or a story with monsters in it. When I was about seven, I read a few books from the… I think it’s called the Goosebumps series.

And it freaked me out for a good year and a half. I had insisted my mom buy these books, I read them, and then locked them in the pantry afterwards because I was afraid the monsters would come out of the books and kill me. That wasn’t even good enough, and I insisted my mom take me back to the store so we could return the books. And to top it off, I stuffed the books in a basket at the store and put a box on top of it so the monsters couldn’t break out and somehow find their way back to my house to kill me; a good fifteen or more miles away.

And that didn’t make me learn either. I then soon after read a ghost book and spent several weeks refusing to go to bed; I’d be crying and clinging to my mom’s arm, begging her not to make me go to bed because I was afraid of ghosts. Don’t ask me why I was reading this kinds of stuff when I was seven; I was a curious kid, I guess, and the library was my second home.

See what I mean, though? And I’m still terrified of a lot of things just as silly as a few horror books. I can't stop worrying, I can't relax.

I’m afraid of random people killing me in the grocery store. I’m afraid of people I care about dying. I’m afraid of the dark. I’m still afraid of monsters and ghosts. I’m afraid of needles (and before you say everyone is, yeah, I know, but are you a teenager that sits in the doctor’s office crying, and then bolt out of the room as soon as the nurse finishes with the needle?). I’m afraid of my friends killing themselves, even if they’re the kind of person who would never, ever do such a thing. I’m afraid of friends betraying me or walking out on me. I’m afraid of what people think of me.

The list goes on. I could write an entire book on what I’m afraid of and still have yet more to write about.

I had someone ask me once: “Why do you think you’re so afraid all of the time?”

I haven’t the slightest idea. Why am I afraid? I just don’t know. I’d like to know, but for the moment, I’m in the dark about it.

All those are fears that keep me up at night. I lose sleep over them, from the greatest one to the most trivial one. My mom gives me herbal remedies that help for a while, but then I’m back to panicking at night when the shadows grow deeper or crying because I’m terrified of what the future might bring.

I deal with self-blame. I blame myself for things that could in no way be my fault. If a friend is upset, I blame myself. If someone is crying, I blame myself. If someone isn’t getting enough sleep, I blame myself. Even when they tell me it’s not my fault, I still think it is.

I blamed myself for my dog’s death. I blamed myself when one of our cats ate a lily and was poisoned by it. I blame myself for every little thing, because someone is to blame, but no one else deserves to be blamed, so let’s just pin all the blame on myself.

My mind likes to trick me into believing my friends are dead or will be soon. That kind of goes under fear. I go into panic attacks simply because my imagination is coming up with all of these horrific scenarios.

On top of those things, I’m lazy. I do a poor job of things because I don’t want to deal with hard work.

I have a temper. My mom is constantly telling me to ‘keep my Irish temper in check’. I can set off shouting at someone over what seems like nothing but is a huge deal to me at that present time. I say things to my family that I don’t mean, and regret it later. 

I cry a lot; usually when I'm alone and in my room, in the dark at night. When I do cry, it's because the hurt has just gotten to be too much, and I need to let it out somehow. Crying is the best alternative to anything else
I curse sometimes, without thinking. I can be a complete jerk in real life. I’m sarcastic, and I have an attitude. I break the rules, a lot. Not by accident. I know what the rules are, and I break them anyway because I either don’t like them or don’t think they matter. I’m stubborn. And I’ve done a lot of really stupid and wrong things in my life. I don't like myself a lot of the time; this poem I wrote a while back slightly reflects that (don't read the poem if you don't want to, it's bad and I only put it here because it helps explain me better):

This Is Me

I felt it was time, now,
To finally let it be known to you
Who I really am.
So I wrote this poem
Now I brace for the storm
And allow the wind
To carry this message
To you.
I am the me
That is truthful in pictures and poetry
But deceitful in life.
Who is self-conscious
Who is always trying to be noticed.
Wanting to be pretty
Wanting to be thin
Stuck believing the lies of the world
And believing that they are truths.
I am the me
Who is frustrated and full of doubt.
Sometimes not knowing who to trust
Sometimes foolish enough to trust anyone
Who blames herself for everything
And believes everything is her fault
I am the me
Who hides her fears and tears
Behind a smile and a laugh
And says she's fine when she's not.
Sometimes full of hatred for the world
Sometimes full of so much sympathy it hurts
I am the me
Who can't bring herself to tell anyone to their face
How she's really feeling.
Who is afraid of everything
Afraid to care
Afraid to love.
I am the me
Who tries to hide
All of these scars.
Who is broken into a million pieces
And doesn't know whether
she will ever be able
To put herself
Back together

I often find myself wondering: would anyone love me if they really knew who I was? I ask the question, “How can God possibly forgive me?” more times than I can even try to count.

Though… then I found a blog post a few days ago on the subject of forgiveness. A very good point was made there – Paul was a murderer who went around killing innocent people. His whole life, heart, and soul was changed, and he became one of the greatest apostles.

If God could forgive someone like that, he can forgive and will forgive anyone. He has forgiven me, He has forgiven anyone who has ever done wrong. He always will. With Him, we can do anything. We can overcome any obstacle, any hardship, any temptation. We’ll stumble, we’ll fall, but we simply need to stand up again and strive to do right, even though we know we will fall again.

Heh… beginnings and ends. The hardest part of any writing I ever do. I didn’t know how to begin this, and I don’t know how to end it either. So I’ll leave this and post it, before I get scared yet again and delete the post:

Isaiah 1:18 KJV
Come now , and let us reason together , saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

God bless.

~ Theodora


  1. I'm so sorry, Teddy. So, so sorry. I blame myself.Why? because I have been there and done all of that. I feel it is my fault that you feel the same. :(

    1. No, no, no. It's not your fault. It might be genetics, yeah, but that doesn't make it your fault - it could have originated in someone way off in the past. It's not your fault. I promise. :) And I'm gonna be okay. I'm getting better.

  2. I appreciate you saying that, but of course I will continue to blame myself. (Obviously you understand that already at such a young age.) I do hope you ARE getting better. I hate to think of you sad. Always remember if you need to talk I am here for you. I know about all of those feelings, therefore I will understand. So please don't hesitate to call me any time if you ever want to talk. I love you.

  3. Heh, yep, I know.

    Yes, I am getting better. :) And I remember. Most of the time, it's more helpful though for me to just talk it out on my own. I won't hesitate, I promise. I love you too. <3

  4. Whatever helps you the most. I just want to be absolutely sure you know I'm here for you and understand. You and D mean the world to me, and I feel as though I have let you both down in one way or another. it's not a good feeling. All I can do is promise you both that I'm here for you if you need me. Anyway, I'll quit rambling. I suppose this is stuff best discussed privately. <3

  5. I am glad I found this. I went snooping around wondering if you had done one of these and where you had posted it.
    I'm glad you did it, and I am sorry how much pain you have gone through. I know what you feel like - honest. Even guys like me have fears, have those clinging fears that are so irrational, yet haunt us.
    The reason I was scared, and am scared, is because I honestly don't trust God enough, and don't think he really is going to take care of me, in whatever way I am scared about. It might be similar for you, because I know it was for me.
    I hope doing all of this helped. Keep going, and don't quit.

    1. Oh, wow... I didn't expect to see you comment here. o_o

      *nods* I know a few guys who deal with the clinging fears that just refuse to go away.

      Right... I think that's a reason why I'm scared so often too. I have a problem believing that He'll take care of me; that He has everything under control.

      I think it has helped, a little. Thank you, I'll try.