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But I'm Not Over-reacting!

I battle depression and anxiety. That includes panic attacks, paranoia, self-deprecation, co-dependency and physical self abuse.

Since that declaration alone apparently isn't enough of a story, I suppose I'll just dip my quill in the really dark ink for a few.

You may note, I'm usually a better, and frankly, a more chipper writer than this. If you noticed that on your own, thank you! You flatter me by reading my stories on this site, and while I write this, I'll remember it's you who may be reading it.
If you needed me to tell you that, go read something better and come back later? Seriously, I write humor, erotica, and touching, even inspirational stories. I'm perfectly willing to help entertain you, just not here.

This is my foremost and most sensitive vulnerability. I don't really mind saying that, under the anonymity of the internet. Not to be melodramatic, but you really can't hurt me here. In real life, however, I've had a couple of people clip me for this, including my most recent ex. And as much as I'd like to sit here and brag about all the ways I know to hide a body, or how f**king strong and witty I was when I told them off, the truth is that it hurt like hell. And I didn't do anything but quietly withdraw from them.

My story doesn't sound that bad when put next to others. I wasn't abused. I had a rational father and a caring mother. I was too silly for bullies to really pick on me in grade school. I'd just laugh at myself along with them, and they'd go find someone who they could actually damage. A side effect, actually. But I'll get to that.

No, what I am is a perfectionist. I was a perfect little two year old, which just should not happen. And my parents, they wanted me to stay that way. So they impressed it on me, in subtle ways I could not understand and cannot remember, that I was to remain perfect. And so my childhood fear was that not being perfect meant I would not have the love of these caring and rational parents. So, I figured out that if I disciplined myself, then they wouldn't have to! I still remember the first time I did it, taking all the anger my little body had and throwing it inward. I felt my heart rattle in my chest as I blamed myself for it all. It hurt, but it was instantly addictive. I thought I had poured alcohol on a fresh wound, that what I felt was healing. I began to call myself names, streams of horrible things that you wouldn't call anybody. Even trying to remember some of them starts the cycle again, so you'll forgive me if I don't provide examples.

The other side was that I associated laughter with not being angry. I developed a defense mechanism of acting very very hyperactive and silly so people would laugh instead of seeing the real me. It didn't hurt, not really. They were laughing at my exo-skeleton, a face I had created for them to see, and which frankly did its job pretty well. The 'real me' was safe and snug somewhere deeper. That combination, and the division of the real me and the exo-me, allowed me to start physically abusing myself.

It was funny, right? Someone slamming their head on a desk because they got a math problem wrong? I thought I was doing something right, punishing myself for making mistakes, and they laughed! What they saw was the silly one, being silly! I'd succeeded in creating a solution where I could insulate embarrassment and discipline within myself, and act out my little drama without even worrying anybody! At that age, I thought I was smart for that! In reality, I had created a situation where I could wash out the shame by getting the ego boost of bullying myself, and justify it by saying it was discipline. Which was so stupid. Even though I was laughing and seemed carefree, my confidence was nowhere. I would take to incessantly helping people, to adopting the perception that I was supposed to be taken advantage of. And the strange thing is, no one but me told me to do this. No one but me.

Fast forward to today. I'm not quite as silly. I still like to make people laugh, and I laugh at myself in healthy ways, maybe not as much as I should. I know a few more things about what I deserve out of life. I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'm imperfect, and that's okay. But the battle is the otherwise the same. I want to be perfect, and when I can't be, it comes on involuntarily. The names. The hitting. The paranoia that everyone I love and need is secretly mad at me, and I can't change it. That's why my ex hurt so much. "You aren't really depressed. You're acting this way on purpose. I can't deal with it. Grow up and fix it, or we're done."

Ironic, isn't it. The very thing I feared: losing someone I loved because I wasn't perfect. And it turned out the fear itself was the biggest flaw. And I still drove this person home after their surgery the other day, because 'that's what friends do.' And it felt good, even though I knew it was wrong.

I'm done writing my stuff here, and I want to thank you all for reading it. I hope it helps someone, but if not, I don't really mind. It's nice, having the ink drawn a bit. I hope I didn't come off as melodramatic too much, but you can tell me. I got something out of writing it, though. No one but me caused this. I feel that will make this easier.

Love you all!

-Dani
Dani3Forsyth Dani3Forsyth 26-30 2 Responses Apr 11, 2012

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So weird to read this and go "Me too!" at so many points. Not that I think my experience is an isolated one, but one doesn't always *hear* similar stories.<br />
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One of the things I did was recognize that would get me labelled as depressed (because I am oh so smart) and studiously avoided them. No cutting, no anorexia, nothing that I had read as a symptom, but slow, steady, persistent discomfort? I was all over that.<br />
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Anyway, thank you for sharing. It was good to read this.

Just relax and calm down. And always remember dt if u dont love urself u cant be loved. U r the only one dt cn dig urself out of any thing dt u dont want. So pls believe in urself first and all other things will fall in place like a miracle!