Dear the Boy Who Hurt Me | An Anonymous Letter

Trigger warnings: sexual assault, abuse.

This is a letter written by an anonymous person who asked me to post it here in order to help others who have gone through a similar ordeal. I have changed nothing from the post they sent me; these are all their own words.


This is my reality of how I was sexually assaulted at the beginning of this year. It was a bretrayal of a best friend. I myself have a blog that you may know of but I don’t want people to know that I’m the girl who was abused so I asked my friend, Elm, to publish it for me to help others or to help myself be able to feel a little more at ease. Just love and respect one other.

* * *

Dear boy who hurt me,
I call you a boy because that’s all you are. A boy. You aren’t a man even how much you think highly of yourself. Or how people around you feel hindered around your loud presence. Even though you’re taller than the most authority figures in my life like my father, your height doesn’t make you a man and the way you treated me made me feel like a little girl.

On several occasions, you would message me or frankly, just plainly say it to my face with this stupid and patronising smile that I was a ‘good girl’ when I gave up and froze. Good girl. It made me feel like a dog almost, like I had no significance to others apart you and your dick. Good girl. It makes me generally feel like there is a sick pit in my stomach gurgling at the word. Good girl. When I hear that word, my heart fills up with a strong emotion; sadness or guilt? I can’t tell.

The moment I closed my eyes last night, I saw your sofa. The red one where in the beginning of our friendship, we used to hang out; drink coco cola, play the PS4 and listen to each other’s worries. I loved your sofa; it represented relaxation at it’s highest. I used to feel relaxed with you.

Last September was when there was a defining line between before and after. September I felt like I had no one around me apart from you, the boy who hurt me. It was a relief to go out for our walks where we would slag off the people who hurt me. You knew I was beginning to lose what I once thought men were. Especially after what my father had done to me and my family. And in December, it was a breaking point.

After my breakup in December, I was in a pretty difficult place. I lost something which I had for a year and a half where I belonged to someone and then, he belonged to someone else straight away after we broke up. You used that. A few hours after saying a sad good bye to another boy that I loved, you would help me get through it with our late night talks in KFC where your jokes and charisma would cheer me up.

The first time is the most clear to remember. The first time when you sexually assaulted me and mentally abused me. In my dream, it went through the events again where you would manipulate me to the red sofa. The beginning of the first time started like how we always used to hang out. We would go to yours and just chill out with other friends. However, this time you pretended to invite others so it wouldn’t cause any suspicions or weirdness about me coming over. The moment I sat down on that sofa, it felt strange. You kept looking over at me with this weird look in your eye almost like a puppy but not cute at all. Sorry wrong description. It was more hunger and madness like you had to have me. Well you’re wrong. You didn’t have to have me.

When you picked me up with your big lanky hands all over me, I told you to get off. It was as simple as that. However, I had this thought in my head that I didn’t want to offend you as you were my best friend and I didn’t want to lose another person. But, however calm my voice was, it was clear that I didn’t want you. But you continued. Sometimes, I touch my lips with hate and disgust how drops of your spit was forced onto my lips and my body. How you forced my top up and grabbed my skin like it had no value.

The next morning after the first time, seeing my body was difficult. In anyone else’s eyes, nothing had changed. Many a few purple bruises around my chest but nothing that would change someone’s attitude. When I managed to look in the mirror, I saw a different person. A person who was stupid. Was pathetic. Was worthless. A person who deserved it.

You apologised to me and I forgave you. I felt like maybe I gave the wrong signals and that, it’s just a misunderstanding. So that’s why I met up with you.

The second time. A time which is harder to think about. This time my other friend couldn’t make it to yours. Let’s just say this time was more aggressive. You grabbed my hands and forced them down you. It was explicit. You showed off, you thought I was impressed by your dick and that I was trying hard to get. I said no, no, no. ‘My dad is going to be here soon’, ‘Look, I’m not good at this’, ‘I’m on my period’, ‘I haven’t shaved.’ Anything to stop you. I remember the moment I froze. It was when I felt my hand cramp under the intense force of your hand and you made me touch you. I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and in my head, I still wasn’t annoyed with you. I just felt sad and alone.

But I made it clear that I didn’t want to and that’s what confuses me. You knew I didn’t want to. You even messaged me saying sorry and we even decided that we would just be friends and that I won’t be going to yours any time soon.

The third time. We went to Mcdonalds. I was talking to another boy that I liked. You even said that you weren’t going to ruin that for me. The third time was a few weeks after the second time and I repeatedly told myself that the other times were my fault and that I shouldn’t have given off the wrong signals. After our burgers, you demanded for me to come over…even shouting at me in the middle of the fast food place. I said no and laughed it off…did you seriously think I was going to come over after what had happened previously?You did know but you also knew that I don’t like hurting people. You threatened to message the boy that I liked about the other times and you knew I wouldn’t explain to the other boy what actually happened because I didn’t believe myself that I was sexually assaulted. All I felt was guilt. So I went to yours.

I don’t like talking about what happened the third time. I find it agonising even thinking about it. The moment I got to yours, you grabbed me by the throat where I found it hard to breathe. You pressed down hard on my neck to force my head to go down to your crotch. You gripped my breats under my t-shirt which you commented ‘You’re skinner than I thought you would be’. You got your fingers inside my trousers. You blocked the door so I couldn’t get out. You ignored my screams for you to stop. You ignored how I cried and collapsed under you.

Even after that, I still feel guilty. Despite what my counsellor says and what my friends say, I feel like I deserved it. But I know, deep down inside, I didn’t do anything wrong. I just wanted to have a friend there with me.

You are a dick. A massive one. You think yourself as a man with your low voice and being the tallest boy in the school. You are just a boy. You know what you’ve done and now, you like to show off about it.

You’re sick.

And even though, I feel damaged. I’m getting better. I do have someone that respects me now. I, now, look into the mirror and see someone who is strong and deserves love.

Yes. I do still need to do more work. I do feel that guilt or sadness still but I understand that what you did to me isn’t my fault at all but yours; it was your cowardly act.

So, the boy who hurt me. I’m not going to stay hurt forever. And I’m happy to move on but also, say good bye to your face forever.

Bye,
The young women who you abused.

Trying to Change my Mindset

Often, I set myself up for disappointment.

I prepare my mind for the worst case scenario: “They’re going to cancel on me”, “They hate me”, “It’s really, really not going to work.” I think and think until I feel an awful panic in the back of my mind that what I think will happen. Usually, it doesn’t. Usually, if something happens, it wasn’t what I was hoping for but it was close enough to it: it isn’t a completely hopeless situation because there’s still something left. That’s what’s bearable, when things aren’t great but they aren’t the worst and you can content yourself with that. Your mind hasn’t proved you right so yet again, you can tell yourself that what you thought was illogical and it makes shit more real.

Sometimes, when I hope for something, I really hope for it even if it’s far off. I think of a bad thing that could stop it from happening but I let my mind ignore that; I let it go because I know it wouldn’t happen. Either that or I think it won’t and so it builds like a beautiful dream inside my head. That’s when I’m most happy and least anxious, although looking back that happiness is a frail thing and I don’t trust it; it’s almost wild. That’s because when or if it doesn’t work out, when it doesn’t even get close to working out, I shatter and can’t cope.

My issue is that when I don’t fully prepare myself for a bad situation and it happens to me, I get surprised. I then get angry, telling myself that I should have known, that I shouldn’t have hoped because hoping is useless. I don ‘that allow myself to think, “Actually, this isn’t the end of the world because you can’t prepare for every eventuality.” I just tell myself that of course, it should have been expected – that person hates me, that they wouldn’t ever want to spend time with me and how could I ever think otherwise?

It’s unpleasant and unhealthy, sending me into a spiral of unhappiness. I give up, slowly letting myself believe everything is terrible. If you couldn’t tell, I’m very good at taking emotions to the extreme. However, I don’t do this all the time: I only do it with big disappointments or when something I’d been hoping for for a long time falls through. It’s not everything but it’s to exhaust me and because of that exhaustion, I hardly ever talk about it.

Now that I’ve given you an idea of what I think, I want to tell you that I hate thinking like this. Friends have repeatedly told me that a mindset change starts with me but I’ve always been too afraid and felt way too fragile to even begin to start picking myself up. Outwardly, I often act utterly unbothered (unless it’s very bad) but inwardly, I get used to the feeling of plans not working out and of that crushing sensation you get when you have no idea what to do now.

The solution is not to stop hoping for things. Hope should be a driving force behind what people do; it’s what holds you up and it’s healthy when you don’t rely on it. Neither is the solution to stop dreaming of things that won’t happen: it’s good to do that sometimes because having an imagination is great but I won’t let that take over my life as it’s done before. I have trouble enough distinguishing between whether I’m lying to myself or not and I don’t want to constantly feel that.

Right now, I don’t know what the solution is. I can’t put it in place straight away: yes, I’m sick of feeling disappointed and like I’m weak with it but I can’t make that magically disappear in a day. It’s going to take time and energy on top of the time and energy I devote to other things. It won’t be easy but I’m willing to try.

Perhaps it’ll take days, weeks, months or years. Perhaps I’ll give up halfway through or not even know how to start before. Even though I’ve done that before, it doesn’t mean I’ll do it again so I have to hold onto that to stop myself from disappearing into a well of hopelessness. That won’t do me any good.

If you’ve had a disappointment recently, remember that there is always something else to pick you up and to let you hope again. One disappointment isn’t the end of the world; ten disappointments after one another isn’t either. Don’t give up on hope and most of all, don’t give up on yourself. Only you can get inside your mind and tell yourself that even if this one thing didn’t work out, one day, something will.

One day, you’ll be happy. One day, someone will love you and maybe it’s not the person you won’t now but now is not forever. It’s okay to dream and hope and wish, even when they don’t work because those hopes are part of you. Don’t let that fade away.

How do you cope with disappointment?

From Elm πŸ™‚

Today’s Another Day

This morning, I woke up and felt so awful that I didn’t want to move. My eyes felt swollen from tears; absolutely everything felt bleak; I couldn’t remember a single positive thing that I’d thought about yesterday to try and change my mindset. I lay there for what felt like ages, my mind in this blank haze which was broken up by fear at the prospect of today being like yesterday.

Then, somehow, I managed to get myself up. I levered myself out of bed, shaking because I felt too mentally tired to want to do anything throughout the day. Something, though, kept me going. I want to share that with you, to try and help you and help myself alongside.

A good friend told me last night that the only thing I can rely on to be certain is the present moment. Only I am in control of what I feel: not external circumstances and not the future, whatever may happen there. Lying there, I felt very hopeless and like there was no point in getting up, doing anything, because it wouldn’t result in anything worthwhile for the future. What my friend said popped into my head then: if I thought like that, surely I’d think nothing was worth anything? My life would turn into a series of blank slates broken up by panic and I didn’t want that. I would be so focused on the past and future that the present would slip away through my fingers: that scared me more than anything else and spurred me into action. That was the first step for me: to realise that I didn’t want to carry on like this by breaking through my fog of pointlessness. Maybe, for you, it’ll be something different but establishing the first link in your mind is so important if you want to break out of a cycle.

After that, it was a case of telling myself that getting up was worth it and that I could achieve something little – not big but a tiny thing. I had no idea what that was at the time but I needed something to motivate me in the slightest to move, to get up: the prospect of the future made me feel ill so I concentrated on the fact that at some point today, I’d do something small that’d make me smile. So I didn’t stress myself out, I didn’t set any goals: I knew that I needed to take things very slowly so I wouldn’t lose what little motivation I had. If goals work for you, then set yourself some little ones or write out a list. Do what you know works for your own mind, rather than what you’ll think will work.

Yesterday, I had a breakdown in which I cried for hours and was unable to distinguish between what were lies and what was truth. It was one of the most terrifying things that has happened to me in a while and this morning, I told myself that I refused to let today be like yesterday. As cheesy as this sounds, that hope was what forced me up; that plea to myself along with the thought that the present was all I had made me realise that even if I didn’t feel like it, doing something might break the awful pattern to which my mind is now accustomed. I’m very much someone who hopes for things but if you like facts and certainties, let that be your driving force: that by getting up and doing something, you will make things more concrete in your head.

It’s not easy, especially if you’re suffering from a mental health illness such as depression or an anxiety disorder. I won’t pretend to know how that feels because I don’t suffer from one myself; however, I know that taking things slowly and not rushing yourself is important. After the first step – whatever that may be to you – take things one day at a time. Yes, it’s good to think about the future and your plans but don’t let it consume you.

If only the present is entirely certain, it’s best to make the most of it. There’s a whole world of moments out there to experience. You can’t do everything but you can take control of how you feel about it, even in a small way. I know you can do it and I might not be perfect at any of it but I’m getting there. The most you can do is try and when you try, you’ve got a high chance of letting yourself be happier.

You are strong and you are in control of how you feel, although you might not think it at the moment. If, tomorrow, you’re struggling to want to move or do anything, remember this: neither your mind nor anyone else rules you. Only you do.

From Elm πŸ™‚

We Aren’t Weak for Breaking

I’m not sure why, on Saturday when I got home from dropping my friend off at the station, I walked up to the room we stayed in and burst into tears.

Or… Perhaps I do know but I just don’t want to admit it. Perhaps I don’t want to admit that the house felt too empty, that I missed having someone there to talk to – that I was so fucking lonely again. The sheer feeling of sadness I felt, where the next few days stretched in front of me with nothing happening that would brighten me, made the tears fall like they hardly ever do when I’m by myself. I hated it, tried to get rid of the thought that nothing was worth anything, that I wasn’t worth anything but the more I ignored it, the more it grew.

It was a feeling which made everything hollow; I lay down, sobbing and shaking until I could barely think clearly. I spoke to myself, telling myself what was real and what wasn’t, that I felt panicked. All of the pent up emotions I’d had the past week, which I hadn’t let myself release, suddenly came pouring out in 5 minutes’ worth of tears.

Then, I got up, washed my face, grabbed the duvet and pillow and brought them downstairs. I let myself go blank, only feeling cold rushes of despair and sadness at varying intervals. Those spanned from then until now: I’m terrified right now, lonely, but I’m also forcing myself to be numb. I shouldn’t do that.

When you feel an overload of emotion, one of the most harmful things you can do is to ignore it, push it aside or try to remove it. It can make things worse: if you don’t learn how to cope or not cope with those emotions, the next time they come around they’ll affect you worse. This applies to people, like me, who don’t understand how to register emotions or who can’t deal with them when they creep up on you unexpectedly. With Saturday, I was so shocked at my worsening state; as I went through London with my dad, I could feel things getting more and more blurred in my head. However, I was surprised: in no way did I expect to just walk up to that room, feel the stinging pressure behind my eyes and cry, when I realised that I had no idea what to do now. I pushed that aside. I tried not to acknowledge it because being hopeless or sad constantly drains me to the point where I don’t want to move. Maybe I should have let those emotions wash over me.

I understand how difficult it is to feel vulnerable or to let yourself break. It’s shit; you feel everything is shivering and it all recedes into a fog. However, it’s important to process and truly tell yourself that these feelings are natural and that you aren’t weak. The biggest problem I have with crying or showing any form of sadness to the quiet of an empty room or my mind is that I tell myself I’m pathetic. I’m not. It’s just me proving to myself I’m not okay because when there’s no one there to bring out the tears but they still fall, you can’t say to yourself that you’re being attention-seeking or that you’re making it up.

The first step is showing yourself that you don’t feel well. That’s difficult enough and it might take you a long time but as soon as you’ve done that, you can look at ways to help yourself. People may say immediately to seek support but if you don’t have a small idea of what’s up, talking to someone about it might panic you more. I know it certainly will me but it’s okay because I’m taking tiny steps to figure things out.

You are strong but it’s fine to not be sometimes. You aren’t some attention-seeker; if you want to cry alone or to cry whilst with someone, you do what you want. As long as you remember that showing others, or yourself, how you feel is okay.

I’ve known I feel unwell for a while but I’m ringing the counselling service today because I don’t think I can take feeling so unhappy and lonely all the time. I have no idea how to work through it; I’ve tried enough in both healthy and unhealthy ways. The next step for me is to get external support. If it’s the next step for you too, even if you’re afraid, you know – if you’re seeking it – that you need the help. If you’ve had moments like I have, where your raw thoughts and fears are displayed to you with unwavering proof, don’t doubt yourself or say to yourself that “it’s just a phase”.

If you want to talk to me about anything, my email’s always open – you can email me at elmblog2403@gmail.com. I’ll always be here, regardless of my own mental state, because being here for others is something I love doing. There are no exceptions to that so if you ever need me, don’t be scared to ask.

Love from Elm πŸ™‚

My First Step to Getting Better

This morning, after about a year of feeling constantly anxious and unhappy and God knows how long before that of feeling paranoid, I finally got up the courage to go and see a GP about it. I say that but it was my mum who pushed me to do it, along with my friends and various other people in my life. Despite the severe fear I felt whilst doing it, it’s one of the best decisions I could have made.

I don’t know if you’ll relate to this but when I’m in a stressful situation, I try my best to distract myself. I ignore things until the last minute, when I have to cope with them. Such was the case this morning: after a late night and a surprisingly early morning, I woke up and immediately got dressed, ate and rang a friend. No relaxing, no taking stock of my emotions – perhaps I should have but I didn’t understand how.

That not understanding was one of the reasons I knew I needed to see the GP, along with the fact that I feel upset a lot of the time. As the morning dragged on – my appointment was at 10:40 – I got more and more anxious, a slow build-up in the back of my mind. By the time I knew what it was and could identify it, I was already in the car and my mind had receded into a haze of barely discernible panic. I was afraid. Unfortunately, I have no way of dealing with that fear – yet.

I’d decided not to bring my phone; I knew it would distract me too much. Yes, sometimes distractions are good but in some part of my brain, I knew that I’d have to deal with my feelings at some point. 15 minutes before the appointment itself was a good point to start at, I thought. I’m not going to spend time regretting my choices because even if they aren’t the healthiest, it just proves to me that I need to see someone to be able to cope.

In the waiting room, I felt blank and numb. I responded to my mother without much inflection. She was the one person I didn’t want to see me like that but the one person who I knew should so that she’d understand – she has a tendency to not believe anything to do with mental health unless she’s directly confronted with it. I felt cold, the anxiety – if you can even call it that – feeling as if it was rushing down my arms and legs. It was only then that I realised I had (i>no idea what I was going to say: I hadn’t planned anything. The only thing I’d asked my sister, who had gone through the same thing, was “Is it okay to cry?” to which she responded in the affirmative. That helped but overthinking it, I know, would only have caused me to be more afraid of what I might say.

As I stepped into the room, I felt a little faint; I immediately asked my mother to leave because there was absolutely no way I’d be speaking to anyone with her there. She knew this – we’d discussed it before – so it didn’t offend her. When she was gone, the doctor asked me what she could help me with. After a pause, I began to speak. Words came haltingly at first, filled with pauses and wild gestures to try and convey things I couldn’t express with my speech.

Essentially, I explained to her that I felt anxious, paranoid and unhappy a lot of the time. I also told her that whenever I did feel happy, it was rare that there wasn’t an anxious thought accompanying it. On days where I’m happy, I often convince myself that the sad days aren’t real, that I’m just attention-seeking. The main thing that I made clear to her is that I really don’t understand my emotions and that I’m unable to deal with them because of it.

She’s referred me to my local counsellor. You have no idea the sheer relief I felt, mixed in with the usual “But Elm, you don’t need it, stop asking for help because you’re completely fine!” thoughts that are present a fair bit of the time. She said that a form of therapy, called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) might be used. If that didn’t work, I could come back and we could think about medication. I don’t think I’ll need it but I always have my sister to help if it comes to that.

Since then, I’ve been shaky and feeling a little unwell. It was utterly draining to be confronted with my emotions – or the lack of understanding for them – like that. I’m not good at working through my thoughts because I never know if any of them are real. This will help – or I hope it will.

Going to see the GP was just the first step. In itself, it didn’t help me sort it out but it’s a stepping stone for me. If I can get counselling sessions or therapy, I really think – no, I need it to help me. I don’t know what I’ll do otherwise.

Unlike before, I’m feeling relatively positive about the future. I don’t know how to handle my emotions so if I can get a grip on them, I may be able to fully realise what I’m experiencing and that I’m able to connect with everything once again.

If you’re starting to feel like you can’t cope with things, it’s okay – it’s not a weakness on your part. It’s not your fault if you feel panicked or upset. Remember that there are ways to get support; you aren’t alone in it. Even if you’re resistant to it, it won’t hurt to try.

Don’t forget that there’s a world out there to help you. People will tell you that feeling overwhelmed is normal but don’t let that deter you from seeking help. It may occur in a lot of people but everyone has their own personal way of feeling, dealing with it and finally, learning to apply the help from others so that they can help themselves.

I’ve learned, recently, that there’s nothing shameful in asking people to help you. Whether that’s a professional, family or strangers, it’s up to you to take that first step. It’s completely fine to be afraid – like I was and am – but don’t let that fear stop you.

From Elm πŸ™‚

I’m a Little Bit of a Mess

Hi,
One thing that people start to realise about me very quickly is that I hardly ever do something someone tells me to straight away. It’s taken me months, for example, to be able to understand I need help and to properly implement that, with the encouragement, logic and screaming of my friends. It takes me a while to do absolutely anything because I try and reason why it would be a bad idea but finally, finally I did something.

This is a really quick post to just say, well, sorry for vanishing off the blogosphere for a few days. I know that this is my blog but I care about you guys and so not reading your blogs or not having the motivation to do it has wrecked my mind a little.

Truth be told, I don’t feel great and I’ve been ignoring it, yet again. I’m still unsure as to exactly why; it’s partly stress and partly that overwhelming terror you get when everything’s too much and you feel cold; you can’t breathe from it. I don’t know. I’m sad when there’s no logical reason why I should be.

Last week, I spoke to my Head of Year and cried my eyes out for 20 minutes. I wasted a bunch of tissues, sobbed, shook so hard that I violently panicked and was utterly unable to articulate what was wrong. We eventually came to the conclusion that I was sad, it was okay but that I was thoroughly unused to not coping publically. I’m going to see her this week too; I’m scared because I know I’ll panic and repeat the words “I don’t know,” “I can’t” and “I have no idea” a lot. I don’t like it. Not having a proper channel for my worries is making me skittish.

I hide things. On the surface, I tell people I’m not feeling good, I’m tired and that I’m not okay but I don’t often say why. It’s a coping mechanism because if I start talking, I won’t be able to stop but it’s also because sometimes it’s effort to trawl through my mind’s complicated maze-like thoughts. I never know what I feel or don’t feel and I’m so desperately sad sometimes that I want to scream, so lonely with no explanation that everything feels hazy.

Everything with which I used to gain enjoyment is now less fun; it’s worrying. I still sing, write, blog, talk to people but it doesn’t have the same fire for me. In my mind, I know it’s temporary, that it will pass and I’ll get that spark of life but for now, I don’t feel happy and I don’t feel like I have a purpose with it. It makes me sad as I want to truly love the things I do.

Luckily, I have something now with which to get this out. My head of year isn’t the perfect solution – she’d tell my parents if she started to worry a lot, which she inevitably will. My dad knowing about my fears is okay but with my mum, she treats it like it’s nothing and like it’s normal, like it’s your average teenage phase. Is it? Am I making this all up? Am I just being an overdramatic lazy bitch? I hope not.

I told her about my blog. I felt like I had to: as it’s a huge part of my life, it’s something that will come up in conversation in order to let her properly understand what’s been happening. As well as that, she’s emailed all my teachers to tell them I’m feeling anxious, all the time because as I said to her, “I feel sad every day.” For now, I’m going to talk about the shallower things to her but when I feel a little more comfortable, I may get onto the paranoia, self-hatred, anger and insecurity. That is, if she’ll properly listen and not brush things off – she has never done that, though, so it’ll be okay.

There are still things I’m happy about, like my friends and the laughter that still comes easily. I’m going to write about the open day I went to on Saturday which made me feel more connected to everything. It’s not all ‘doom and gloom’, as my mother likes to say. It’s just that at the moment, I’m trembling, my eyes are watering and I feel freezing.

If this is the first thing you’ve ever read from me, I’m not even going to apologise and say ‘this is not the usual me’. It is the usual me sometimes and that’s alright. To know a person, you have to know all their parts: good, bad and things in between.

Never apologise for feeling how you do and expressing those feelings; I feel more free and liberated. I didn’t plan this and haven’t thought much about what I want to write. I’m writing this at night, meaning that all my filters are down and I can post this tomorrow without feeling intensely guilty. What is there to feel guilty about, though? There isn’t a thing wrong with helping yourself by telling the people who mean the most to you a little of what’s really wrong.

I still don’t know how I properly feel. Sometimes, you don’t have to know. However, I’m on my way to analysing those feelings. Even though my friends forced me into it, going to see my head of year might just be the thing that forces me to acknowledge that I do have feelings and that I should deal with them, rather than pushing them aside and running.

You’re human. A human can only take so much until they break from the strain of trying to keep things together. Breaking is okay and natural; you aren’t pathetic for it. Telling people you’re an unexplained mess is something you can do. You don’t have to have reasons; you just have to feel. Remember that.

From Elm πŸ™‚

Why Telling the Truth is Good

When you’re in a difficult situation, where your brain convinces you to lie to someone because you think it’ll hurt less (it doesn’t) and because you’re scared of them thinking worse of you, telling the truth after that can be extremely tricky. It can hurt both yourself and others but there are a lot of positives to doing it and getting over your fear. On Wednesday, I told two of my best friends the entire truth about a situation that I had experienced three months ago or so and though I sobbed like a child in the nearly deserted common room, it was worth it and it needed to be done.

Upon explaining everything, both to them and another friend before, I came to rather, lise that I’ve been lying to the point where it’s damaged relationships. Telling the truth may be hard but it’s necessary for you to feel happy. If you’re struggling over telling someone something, I want to explain some of the positives to you.

It strengthens relationships
Admitting you lied to someone is really nervewracking and they may be annoyed at you for it. I’ve certainly experienced that but what I found, above all on Wednesday, was that people much prefer it when you tell them the truth. If you’re honest and tell them how much you fucked up, it shows them that you trust them. Trust may be broken at first because they may believe that you didn’t trust them enough to tell them the truth in the first place but when you admit that to them, it can add a level of understanding to your friendships. I won’t lie: it could go the other way but the gamble of honesty is worth it.

Things aren’t so complex
Not only does lying upset other people but it can leave your head in a mess as you try and remember who knows what; it’s a horrible state to be in because you can end up manipulating people. It is only natural, therefore, that you should remove those feelings as soon as possible. One of the easiest ways to do that is to tell as many people the truth as you can who you’ve lied to; it clears it up, lets people in on how you’re feeling and makes your head less cluttered. People have asked me why I’ve been feeling so awful but I haven’t been able to explain it properly until I told Wren and Red everything that went on. The simple act of explaining it caused my mind to relax a little from the painful twisting state it had been in; the first person I truly told[q~@]- who I’d lied to – started that relieving; my other friends carried it on.

You feel happier and less awful
Guilt is a central part to lying and it’s one of the worst consequences of doing something horrible. By owning up to it and telling someone, it doesn’t weigh as heavy: it’s still there, especially because of the disappointment that is (rightfully) displayed at how you lied, but at least some of it goes away. You also feel happier because for me, a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I didn’t have to hide or pretend and if I hadn’t told the truth, I would have fallen apart. I was already doing that and it took me explaining shit for me to understand just how bad it was.

You can show people you’re able to move forward
If you’ve got your own thoughts for company, wherein only you know how you’ve been feeling or what you’ve been doing, it means you can’t move on. If you’re good at sorting out your own feelings then it’s okay but if you’re like me, the thoughts spin round and round in your head with no resolution. It hurts and does me no good. On the contrary, sharing things with other people helped me to face up to it and understand what I’d done; it really allows you to move on from the situation by forcing the results of it to become apparent to you.

You can understand who your true friends are
Lying is only an okay thing when it will have no consequences for anyone. When it does and you then tell someone the truth, it’s natural and understandable that they’ll be upset with you. In fact, I’d want people to be angry with me for misjudging their personality enough to lie to them. It absolutely wasn’t fair of me to do that. However, when I told Wren and Red, they explained that they still loved me, always have and always would and that this wouldn’t change that. I figured out that the people who are my real friends, who – whether sensible or not – would stick by me are the ones that can see the reasons why I lied and let me make up for it, as well as move forward. Some things are unforgivable and I don’t blame people for being upset with me because I would be but I know that if such trust is lost by lying, perhaps it would be best that the person distanced themselves from me.

You aren’t superhuman. You’re going to make mistakes, lie and upset people. It’s alright to do that. However, as terrifying as it is, telling the truth can make things a lot easier. Not in all cases but in a lot of them, honesty can be the best solution.

If you’re hurting right now and don’t understand why someone did what they did, think about it from their perspective. That can apply to those who lied and those who are angry because you lied. There are always more than two sides to a story.

From Elm πŸ™‚

I Am Not

Writing a post whilst upset and hurt is never a good idea but perhaps it can be as I need to let these emotions out. Excuse any confusing sentences or strong language.

I am not a slut if I do things that other people find “questionable”. My body is my own and if I feel comfortable doing something, I’ll do it: the consequences may be difficult to deal with but that’s okay. I don’t need people who don’t even know me questioning my decisions and thinking that I have no morals, just because I did something I wanted to do a while ago.

Conversely, I’m not a prude if I don’t want to talk about things. Sometimes I feel fine discussing everything, sometimes I don’t; with some people I’m okay with it and with others, I’m not. One day I may be perfectly fine talking about everything that happened and another I’ll feel unpleasant about it and just not want to. If someone asks me a question and I don’t want to answer, that’s alright because I still have boundaries.

I’m not oversensitive if I get upset because of a situation. I may portray that I’m not bothered by anything but that’s a complete fucking lie; I’m still human and still have feelings. I don’t know how I feel the majority of the time so if I stop talking, it’s usually because I just don’t want to talk; it’s nothing against the person, it’s just because I want to get out.

I am not disgusting for being a liar. I think that about myself every single day and so others thinking that of me just reaffirms it. There are many reasons why I might lie: I don’t know what other people know, I don’t know if I’m about to be made fun of, I don’t trust the person or I don’t want to talk or think about it. Lying is not a good thing but sometimes it’s necessary, except when you get caught out and want to scream because you’re panicking too much to breathe.

I am not pathetic for being paranoid that information is going to get out to everyone. It makes me feel ill because I’ve told different people different things and yes, that’s awful, but some things I really need to stay private because everyone will know what goes on in my life, including people who just could not understand and who have never spoken to me. I’m not in the slightest okay with that so I shut myself off to everything.

I’m not over-reacting if I feel dirty, disgusting or sick. Occasionally, I want to wash all of it away; I stood there shaking earlier because I didn’t want to face the reality of everything. I felt horrible, like things were crawling on my skin, like I was something to be despised and someone to be disgusted at. In my head, the thoughts were screaming and I couldn’t catch my breath but I just. Felt. Awful. Some people would say that’s blowing things out of proportion but when you feel that creeping dread, you know that you can’t shake it.

I am not a coward for wanting to run away from everything. Avoiding your problems won’t solve anything but I want to try sometimes. I’m tired of potentially getting judged and of feeling like that people believe I’m nothing but a slut. I’m tired of refusing to defend my actions and I’m exhausted at the possibility of conflict.

If people call me these things, I’ll tell them that I’ve already called myself them more times than they can count. People’s opinions and actions towards you should never influence your self-worth. No matter how many times people twist it, your thoughts are yours.

Thinking positively about yourself is so hard, I know, especially is you believe people are making assumptions about you. If you’ve been in a situation which makes you hate yourself, remember this: you can always learn and if people judge you on one thing you did, it’s them that can’t understand you. Only you truly know what you’re thinking and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

When things start to get too much, tell yourself this: I’m strong. I am not a terrible person.

I’m not what they say I am.

From Elm πŸ™‚

On Having Divorced Parents

My parents divorced about 9 years ago, when I was 8 and my sister was 11. We were told separately: me in a graveyard by my dad and my sister was told by my mum at home. I cried, asked where mum was going to live and then my dad got me a recorder as a present to cheer me up. I have no idea what my mum said to my sister but because I was 8, I didn’t really get it and just knew my mum was moving out: I didn’t know if I would go with her and for some reason, I thought I would never see her again.

I don’t remember much from that time. I don’t remember the arguments that came before their divorce – I knew there were some; I remember vaguely some shouting . It didn’t really come as a surprise to me, both then and now: my mum hadn’t lived full-time in the house since I was 6 because she’d been working abroad. Then again, I couldn’t tell you much about how I’d felt because I don’t remember it: I wish I did sometimes. I know I was sad, that there was a battle for custody and that they got joint custody of both me and my sister. Mum got a rental house and then a year later, got a proper one.

I’m lucky: my parents get on. They don’t fight; they don’t hate each other; they aren’t awkward around each other. My dad remarried and my mum now has a steady boyfriend and it’s all good from that standpoint. I don’t dislike either of them and because I don’t remember them screaming at each other, I don’t have a reason to. It’s not all like that and the divorce – however “amicable” I thought it was at the time – has affected me in ways I only realised recently because before, I thought that absolutely everything was fine.

There was one thing I’ll distinctly remember for a long time and that was when my mum kicked our bin in. Being carried by my dad, I had no idea what was happening because this was after they’d split. She got so angry: I only remember me yelling at her in my 8-year-old way. We had to replace that bin, although it wasn’t for a while and when people came in, we didn’t comment on the dent. I don’t blame my mum because her and my dad were having a massive row but when I think about it, it’s kind of fucked up and the worst part is that it didn’t phase me and I thought it was normal to do that.

As much as my parents get on, they live in two separate houses. That means I switch between them and not on a regular schedule either: at the time of organisation, I got so panicked when a week at a time at each house was suggested that this idea was scrapped. We never did implement it: I go to each house when I feel like it. Or, I don’t. I wish it was that damn simple because I’m so grateful that they don’t hate each other but it just makes switching between their houses much more difficult.

When I was younger, it didn’t bother me: it was exciting. I used to joke: “I have two rooms!” and “It just means that friends can come to two houses!” – forgetting the fact that I had two good friends in primary school – but as I got older, problems started to happen in my mind concerning the switch. After discussing it a lot with my dad – who is the only one I can really talk to about this – I’ve come to the conclusion that it comes down to guilt.

I feel like a package. I’m at dad’s right now but that’s because my mum is with her boyfriend; it just feels like my mum thinks that going to my dad’s is a necessary evil or something. Every time she says “And you can come back to mine tomorrow!” I feel miserable inside because I’m not brave enough to tell her that actually, I’d rather stay at dad’s today. I’m terrified I’ll hurt her feelings because my sister’s at university and she’d be alone at the house.

My mum does try and she’s a good parent but sometimes I feel trapped. My mood noticeably dropped when I go to hers: I become snappy, horrible, not myself and because I feel on edge most of the time, my self-esteem plummets. Then it’s fine; I settle back in; I go to my dad’s and feel relaxed. It’s the expectation: she thinks that I’m coming to hers and when I go to dad’s? “I need a break anyway haha!” It’s like I’m being passed from one to the other. When I spend a while at dad’s, mum asked WHEN I’m coming to hers and that makes me feel worse. I don’t want to upset people.

At least I get to see them though: I should stop complaining. There are so many people out there that can’t see one or both of their parents. However, when you’re treated like some sort of object occasionally, it affects how you feel about yourself and I don’t like that. Whether it’s because of this – whether it’s the root cause or this has just increased an existing feeling – recently, I’ve not felt worth much.

A superficial thing is that clothes get misplaced from one house to the other. I’ve honestly lost a bunch of my clothes because when I transfer, I bring some but not all: they get washed, put in a place where I can’t find them and then I get so stressed. It gets to the point where my parents communicate with each other to find out where the fuck my tops have gone because “They’re not at mine,” which consequently makes me panicky because it puts pressure on me to find my clothes. It’s another thing which I don’t have independence over and I feel like crying because I really hate being told “Okay, have you packed everything?” and having to organise when to get picked up, with my mum constantly asking “Can you say this-” when I’m on the phone.

I just sometimes hate it, you know? It’s so much better than if they were still married because they’re happier but I wish I had more freedom: it’s not that I don’t, it’s that I feel guilty about upsetting my mum especially. She wants me to spend most of my time round hers: I’m going shopping with her tomorrow so she can help me buy clothes and I don’t want to go. I want to stay home, revise and actually relax without becoming angry or defensive. I hate myself when I’m like that.

Knowing that people have it worse can be comforting but it sometimes makes me feel like my problems or feelings are stupid or worthless. Then, I shut them out or block them because I feel like I don’t deserve to feel them because both my parents are nice, don’t argue any more and ine happy now. I shouldn’t feel like that but I do because I am lucky.

I know that their divorce is all in the past but I never got to talk about it when I was younger. I didn’t really realise it needed to be talked upon because it seemed pointless: everything was okay; I wasn’t bothered. I haven’t spoken to my sister about it much at all because it’s too late now but I still feel panicked when I think about how they might both be lonely if I leave.

Opening up about this has taken a huge weight off my chest. I always feel like I can’t talk about it because it happened so long ago. It’s not like it’s serious but I know that at least some of my worry and excess clinginess and paranoia is due to feeling like I have to juggle houses and being at the whim of plans I have no control over. I don’t know. Even talking about this is making me feel guilty because I know my parents love me so much but the reality is, I couldn’t have gone through this unscathed.

I want you to know that you’re not alone. Going through a divorce is so hard for parents but it’s hard for us too. Even if it happened 5 years, 10 years or however many years ago, it can still affect you. Time doesn’t dictate whether you should be “over it”: I should know; you can talk about how you feel. If you don’t feel like its worth anything, remember that it’s your mental health. It’s not easy and if you need to speak to anyone, you can: my email’s always open because I know what it’s like, especially, to not realise that a part of the reason you get so angry now and in the past is because you weren’t aware you could express your feelings of panic and isolation before.

From Elm πŸ™‚

My Body is My Own

One of the only times I truly appreciated myself, how I looked, the way I stood and how a smile felt on my face – was at my Prom in June. That, and when I kissed someone, but the latter was more of an affirmation that I was attractive and not a failure at ‘romance’.

I’m not some great beauty, some kind of princess or queen because if anyone called me that, I’d laugh in their face and ask them to list every positive physical attribute I had, interrupt them halfway through because I was laughing too hard and then refuse to let them continue. Or… Perhaps I’d be so shocked that I’d accidentally hug them. So, that’s not going to happen any time soon.

Even so, I don’t lord myself as someone who’s immensely attractive: I know my flaws, often get insecure about them, but at the end of the day if someone judges me on them, it’s their problem. I learnt today that I didn’t hate my body – not like I thought I would. My flaws, for once, didn’t bother me.

My stepmother bought a bunch of clothes for me today, to prepare for something I’m doing tomorrow which means I won’t be at school. After the disaster of yesterday, where I felt like a puppet because I was made to try on clothes of hers because I had no appropriate ones of my own, I was all set to be furious when I came back from school. I hate it when people buy things for me, especially if I wasn’t told before, because I need to be in control of what I wear and how comfortable I feel in my own skin. Often, I feel as if people control that without realising, and I don’t speak up to stop it.

I was waiting to snap, to feel disgusting like I did yesterday, to want to take every little part of my body and rip it apart. I was expecting to have the world crowd in on me. That time didn’t come.

My stepmother showed me the clothes – it probably helped that we started with shoes and they fit, which meant that my mind immediately quietened because not many shoes fit me that look nice. I laughed, joked around, did stupid poses and barely got annoyed when I couldn’t stand how she wanted me to.

For me, it was a shock. I’m used to criticising myself, to saying “NO – you look awful; no one thinks you look okay and you know you feel bad in your body. Who’d want to appreciate you, seeming as you can’t do it yourself?” I wasn’t angry; in fact, I revelled in knowing I had clothes which I liked. Yes, it would have been better had I bought them myself, but I’m still figuring out what kind of style I like – HA, I’m hopeless with fashion!

Today was a rather steep learning curve for me. I don’t like my body necessarily, but I don’t despise it. What people think of me – whether they want to kiss me or not if I have a certain bloody type of top on – doesn’t matter. If someone truly cares for me, they won’t give a crap what I wear. The age old saying, “It’s what’s on the inside that matters,” really applies here.

You aren’t somehow less for liking to wear different things. Your body is not Unattractive, and only you can have enough faith in yourself to tell yourself that. So many people can tell you you’re beautiful, but if you don’t truly believe that in your heart, you’ll continue to think you’re ugly. I can’t see you, even if you were right in front of me, but bloody anyone can be beautiful to themselves if they believe it. I will never see myself in the mirror, but does that mean I can tell myself I don’t look attrocious? Yes. I can still do it, heedless of the fact I don’t understand what a face truly looks like.

Don’t believe me? One day, when you’re strong enough, when you can, find things about your body you like. List them, without any negative adjectives because realistically it doesn’t matter what you look like. If you feel miserable with your appearance, no amount of makeup oR product can change that. If you hate your body, the only way to improve it is to realise: “I’m not hideous. To myself I’m not, and fuck what other people think.”

I’m nowhere near perfect because I always find ways to critique myself, but I’m working on it. I have over 40 photos of me on my phone right now, which is more than I’ve ever had at once, and I refuse to call myself narcissistic. It’s one step at a time and that one step, today, was feeling happy enough with myself to take control of my body, because it’s mine. It’s not anyone else’s to judge, to own, to comment on: I literally own it, and you own yours. Don’t forget that, when you feel like everything’s getting too much.

From Elm πŸ™‚