Thursday, February 25, 2010

Away for a week

I'll be out of town next week, so my next post won't be until March 11 or 12.

I realize there isn't actually anyone reading this blog yet, so it's a little silly to bother posting an away message. But since I said I would, if I knew I had to miss a week, I'm going to follow through on that. I like to think I'll eventually have a few readers who might notice and care, so why not start getting in the habit now?

Aug. 25, 1998.

I drink too much pop.

I don't know, it just seemed like a good way to start off an entry. I do, anyway. I drink at least two, often three cans a day.

You know, I'm thinking of getting another diary. I don't know why too well... I just... A lot of things have been recorded in here, which some would call bizarre; things which would have people deem me insane. I'm not.

I still believe in the things I wrote about in here, still believe in Magick. I guess I always have.

I'm naïve. I trust and believe in what people say too easily. In some cases, at any rate.

I don't trust and believe in people easily, though. Every person I've ever really, truely believed in (and, there have been precious few) has hurt me. Mom, Dad, Izzy, Hannah... all of them. It's still a struggle, at times, not to believe... in both them and others.

Why do they always hurt me? Why can't I trust, love, believe in those I ought to be able to believe in without the constant, overlying fear that they will suddenly change?

My parents shouldn't hurt me, should they?

Not physically, of course, but the wounds are still there. Some are slowly healing, most are raw and open.

It hurts so bad.



I know it so well.

Apparently, I "owe" Mom two hours' worth of work on my room. I always have a drawing to finish.

I feel like I have to scream and cry, but even if I do, no one will ever listen. Even when they do, they never, ever, ever hear.

"Please let me start screaming.
Please let me start screaming.
Please let me start screaming.
Please let me start screaming."

Those lines from Invisible Man by Lush, I believe?

Dad was in another of his moods today. I can't believe I got my hopes up when he joked with me like he used to, when he came to pick me up.

Is it normal to feel like crying every time you spend time with your father? Is it okay if he acts as though he doesn't like you, and ignores you when you try to start a conversation?

No. No, I really don't think it is.

It's good that he talks to Colin, at least, like he used to talk to me. Colin, I think, needs love and compassion more than I do, right now.

I guess that it was a choice of one of us or the other, huh?

Dad does what Mom does, now. Only, in some ways, he's worse. He makes me feel guilty, like I should apologize, then he gets upset with me when I do.

What the hell does he want of me? What does he expect?!

Bitter irony. He's quite a hypocrite. He condemns Mom for doing things he now does himself.

If all his talks about looking out for you and never helping others out of pure kindness lead to such emotionlessness, heartlessness, well, then, so be it. Let me be screwed, over and over, by those whom I help out of love and kindness. I will never be so cold. Never.

I will be me, not whomever he expects me to be, expects me to become.

I am me. If you don't love me for who I am--and this goes for all of you, present and future--stay the hell out of my life.

These pages are so small, it's hard to write. But bigger books don't come with locks. As flimsy as the locks on diaries are, I will not use one which is without.

As little protection as they may provide, it's better than nothing.

I haven't felt so bleak, so desolate, in a long, long time. I don't even have anyone to confide in, to whom I could speak freely of my pain. I hate my life.

I don't hate me, but I hate my life.

I need to get out of here, to start over somewhere new. Unfortunately, it'll be three or so more years until I can. Doesn't that suck?

This is one of those rare, lowest of low moments when even death seems preferable than this continued existence.

But I don't truely want to die. I want to escape. And I want people to be friends with, and people to love.

How many, I wonder, people will I be able to find who are not scared of my being Wiccan, and who like anime?

Few, I'm sure.

When I got home, I hoped to find solace from pain. But Mom was tired, and so I went to hide in her room and watch T.V. I sat there and cried almost silently, for a few minutes. Living like this is more than I can bear.

When she took me to get my supper, later, I was so tense. I didn't know if I would say the wrong thing, or too little, or too much, or what I would do to set her off at me.

Thank the God and Goddess, I managed not to set her off. She asked me if I was alright, and I said yes. She believed me. Good. I don't want to have to explain. Not now, maybe not ever.

She didn't listen. The one time I tried to, she refused to listen, and she yelled at me. She won't even try to stop hurting me.

Won't hardly even consider it.

I wish I had someone to look out for me.

I mean, and older brother or sister, or one of my parents, or a grandparent, or someone. Anyone.

But, I don't have anyone.

I have no one. I have no friends, and I have no family I can trust in.

I'm all alone.

And I'm so, so lonely...

- Vale

Notes from 2010: August 25, 1998.

I mention Wicca, magick and praying to a God and Goddess for the first time in this post. Izzy, Alyssa, me, and a couple other friends from school got interested in Wicca in eighth grade. As I recall it we were primarily inspired by The Craft, though we had heard about Wicca before that. But after we saw the movie, we read more about the religious and magickal aspects, started identifying as Wiccan, decided that four or five of us were a coven, and tried to perform some spells. I recorded a lot of that in my diary at that time, which is what I'm referring to when I talk about how people would think I was crazy if they read old entries. (For the record, I no longer identify as specifically Wiccan, though I do still like a lot of the beliefs. I also don't worry about people thinking I was crazy for believing what I did anymore, since in retrospect being severely depressed and suicidal was a lot closer to crazy than a belief in magick.)

I mention my brother Colin for the first time in this entry. I have another brother, Brock, who I'll likely mention at some point as well. I think Colin had broken up with a girlfriend recently, hence needing extra love and support.

I also reference an old fight with my mother that was still bothering me. I can't remember what that was about anymore, but it sounds like I tried to open up to her about something and wasn't thrilled with her reaction.

My issues with my father are expanded on somewhat here. A little extra background: My parents got divorced when I was in late elementary school. By the middle of junior high, my father had started a relationship with a divorced woman who had a family of her own. He got very involved with them, and his relationship with his own kids suffered as a result. I had set days of the week when I saw him, and since Brock and Colin were both too old for that, realistically I think they saw him much less often than I did. Unfortunately, by the time I was 14 or so, our visits weren't very enjoyable anymore.

Dad spent most of our time together with his girlfriends' kids, and I was just expected to tag along, hoping he'd notice me now and then. I still don't think it's exaggerating to say that he acted very uninterested in my life, and my brothers' lives, and didn't bother to get to know the people we were growing up to be. I'm sorry to say he still doesn't make much effort, but I'm more or less reconciled to that now. Sometimes it still hurts my feelings, but... he's an imperfect man. He did the best he could.

He's often gone off on ideological kicks, incorporating ideas and beliefs into his worldview that may or may not be a part of it six months or a year later. At the time of this entry, he was on a "never apologize, and never do anything for someone without expecting something in return" kick. I can't remember how long it lasted, but it was a bit disturbing to witness. I'm glad I was skeptical enough not to buy into it. It never seemed to make him particularly happy.

This is also the first entry where I talk about feeling like I might rather die than live. I backtrack immediately-but the thoughts were already building.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Aug. 3, 1998.

I really need to take one of those long, long walks of mine again.

I haven't seen Skylark since, apparently, June. That's okay, I've given up on her. I'm never on-line anymore, anyway. I don't chat, and I haven't answered my e-mail in pretty much forever. I just can't bring myself to answer my mail. As for chatting, why bother? What reason have I to go on those? None. Easy answer. I have no more friends there than I do IRL. In other words, none. I was right when I said that this was not a mere passing lonliness.

I cannot wait to finally escape out of this city. I don't care anymore if I have to work in a McDonald's sort of job until I'm 40 to save up enough money to go to university, if Dad's parents won't pay, unless I go to the one here. If I'm forced to stay here for that long, I'll probably kill myself.

I'm so lonely... I have no one who loves me, here. No one who loves me enough not to constantly hurt or ignore me. I need to get away, and, at the very least, be an outsider in another place. Maybe I'll get involved in some sort of exchange program in grade 12... or, if possible, next year. Get away, on my own, and either make friends elsewhere or be a loner, an outsider, in a different setting, as I said.

Hannah only wants to do things with Stacie. Stacie doesn't seem to like me. Or, perhaps, she's just shy. I don't know. Either way, when I'm with them, they ignore me, when I'm not, they want to keep it that way.

Izzy never calls me, although he always says he will. Next time he tells me that I'm just going to tell him not to bullshit me, and leave. He has other friends, and for all his pretty words about us being his "real" friends, he ignores us. I'm obviously no longer one of his best friends. And, that "real" friends stuff is just more bullshit from someone who's turned out to be one of the biggest lying bullshitters I know.

I think I'll go on one of the chats, talk about how I'm depressed and no one gives a shit about me, and actually try to alienate myself further than I've already been alienated. I don't need them. None of them.

I only need me. I'm fine entirely on my own.


- Vale

Notes from 2010: August 3, 1998.

There's a pretty big break between the last entry and this one. That will begin change in the fall, once I start back at school. I always wrote more during the school year because I felt that much more alone when I was in a big crowd of people all day, and convinced none of them knew I existed.

I mention Stacie for the first time in this entry. She's an old friend of Hannah's who Hannah knew when she was really little, and who'd moved back to town after living away for most of elementary school and junior high. Her whole family was friends with Hannah's, and they'd visited each other over the years, so they clicked as friends again immediately. Stacie went to a different school than Hannah and I, so I saw her more during the summer than when we were in school. I have no idea what she's up to these days, though as far as I know she and Hannah still keep in touch.

I'd also like to note that these days I'm more much aware of how lucky I was to have extended family who could pay for my university. I feel extremely blessed not to have student loan payments, like too many people I know. And in case I don't continue this blog into my university years: yes, I did stay in my hometown for university. No, I don't regret that. I blustered in my diaries, but in the end, a free ride was too great a gift to pass up, even if I meant I couldn't go where I really wanted to. For me, it was worth it to stay.

Near the end of this entry, you'll see some of my early assertions that I don't need friends, or anyone except myself. That's something I still try to convince myself of in lonely moments, even though I've never yet managed to make it a reality. I've always wanted to be as independent as possible. But while in many ways I am (not surprisingly) more independent now than I was when I was 16, I've never gotten past the desire to have friends. I may be shy, but I do have a social side, and I doubt I'll ever be able to excise that from personality. No matter how much I sometimes wish I could. Maybe that's for the best, but I have to admit, it does still piss me sometimes off that I can't control that side of myself. Ah well.

Friday, February 12, 2010

July 8, 1998.

You know what? I wish that everyone would just stop lying to me. Everyone seems to be a hypocrite, and a liar. Of course, I lie, too, but I lie about my feelings and such, and rarely about what I think of another person, unless out of curtosy or not wanting to hurt them. People lie about how they feel about me all the time. I'm sick of it.

Know what else? I'm utterly alone. I've felt like this for a week or two, now. Normally, when I've felt like this in the past, something happens within a few days of my belief taking full force to change my mind. Not this time. Even if people knew I hurt, they wouldn't care.

Mom thinks that perhaps I don't let myself feel pain. She's a fool. Of course I do, how could I not? I believe I am very empathic, so how could I possibly not feel my own pain? In any case, yes, I feel pain. I feel it strongly. I don't want to be alone. Perhaps there are people out there, somewhere, who I can believe in. I'll find out, one day. When I finally escape my living Hell.

Now, let's see, how about those liars and hypocrites? First of all, the majority just don't really care very much, such as Brodie, Dani, Teddy, Izumi-chan, Kerry, Alex, and even Izzy, though he still gets a special place in here. They just don't give a shit. Well, hey, that's fine, whatever. I don't need them, anyway. I don't need anyone but myself.

As for the others, they are the ones who have hurt me. I'll talk about each of them, now.

Mom--obvious. She made me feel guilty all the time, when I was younger. It doesn't work, anymore, now it makes me angry. But, she was the main cause of my lack of self-esteem, and why I blamed myself for many things which were not my fault. When she's in a mean mood, which is not infrequent, she still tries to hurt me. For example, the other day, Hannah and I made some cakes. One was left at Hannah's. The other I got to bring home. Izzy and I "iced" it with whipped cream and strawberries, and I was rather proud that it had turned out.

I could tell, when I came through the door, that she was overtired. Now, earlier in the day, she'd asked me if I would like her to make a pound cake or a cheese cake. I said pound cake, and that's what she made. When she came into the kitchen, when we were "icing", the first thing she did was complain that we were "icing" it like that at all. She went on to say that if she had known that I was going to bring it home, she wouldn't have made pound cake, and complain that she'd wanted cheese cake. When I said she ought to have just made cheese cake, then, she said she didn't know I was bringing mine home. For Lady's sake, neither did I!!!

She also went on about how I'd said that it tasted bad, before, so why did I bring it home? I told her that it tasted good now, but this was apparently unacceptable, because she continued to point out how awful it was supposed to taste. The hypocrite herself had told me that it was supposed to set for a while before it tasted good!! She sulkily said that she would freeze the pound cake. With a little bit of bitter, angry laugher, I said that from now on I wouldn't bring home anything I baked, and asked "will that make you happy?" She said "yes" in this oh-so-hurt voice, and went to freeze the pound cake. Trying to make me feel like I had mortally wounded her, the selfish, closed-minded, short-sighted, hypocritical, heartless BITCH!!!!

And she wonders why I get upset when she mentions the cake today? Saying how it's good, that's supposed to magically make the hurt that I felt that my own mother didn't give a shit about something I was proud of, nor anything other than her own fucking self?! It can't and doesn't. I could go on, but I'll save it. There's too much to say it all right now.

Dad--He used to be so kind to me... he used to care. Not anymore. His total and utter nonchalance strikes me like daggers. He used to care if I hurt. Now he lays guilt trips, like Mom, and doesn't give a damn about anything I'd like to say, nor what I feel. I've essentially lost my father.

Izzy--I've also lost my best friend. This is no one's fault, I'm just unimportant to him. He has tons of other friends, so he rarely sees, calls, talks to, etc., me. He doesn't need me.

Hannah--much like mom. Lashes out at me for no reason, when she's unhappy. Patronizes me, treats me like an idiot. If I ask her a question, I never know when she's going to use her "you're an idiot if you don't know that" voice and talk to me as though I were a small child who needs each specific detail simplified and explained.

I guess that's all of them. God and Goddess, I feel like I'm going to scream; like something inside is pulled taught and ready to snap.

Believe me, I do feel pain. I feel little else.

When I finally escape, I will run, run, run, and never look back. I've nothing by pain, anger, hurt to look back to.

"The life that I've left behind me/is a cold room"


- Vale

Notes from 2010: July 8, 1998.

If possible (and it may not be), please try to see past the weird, bombastic language I liked to used in my journals at this stage in my life. I like to think that, twelve years down the road, I've mostly managed to curb that impulse. (Though, as you'll probably notice, I haven't done so well with my impulse to write huge, run-on sentences. Or have too many parenthetical statements.) But as I say in my intro post, I'm trying to keep these entries pretty unedited, and as head-shaking as this kind of writing is to me now, it's who I was then. It does make me wonder how I ever deluded myself into believing I wasn't really a nerd...

This entry is from the summer between tenth and eleventh grades, about the time when my problems really started. My group of junior high friends was pretty fractured by now, and it was starting to sink in that things were never going to go back the way they used to be. And, being extremely shy, I had no idea how to go about meeting new friends, in school or elsewhere. I had also started cutting in the latter half of tenth grade, as a fucked-up way to help myself deal with the hurt, which speaks to where my head was at that time. These are the seeds that the next two years grew from. "I'm utterly alone": those words, written for the first time here, became my mantra.

(...and for all that I meant that when I wrote it, in retrospect, I do have to own to echoes of Olivia from Beetle Juice. I always did love that movie...)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Some Basics

Before I jump into the first Notes from 2010/high school entry posts, I think I should give a basic overview of where I was coming from just before I got depressed.

In junior high, I had a small but tight group of friends. We were nerds, and we got teased like hell, but we had each other and that made it all kind of okay. The thing that initially brought us together was that we were all anime-obsessed in an era when anime wasn't remotely cool, and generally assumed to be kids' stuff or porn, depending who you asked. We loved Sailor Moon (naturally), Ranma 1/2, Project A-Ko, Rurouni Kenshin, and so on, and we watched whatever we could buy or rent. Anime was a lot scarcer back in the VHS days, at least where we lived.

This is the group I mentioned in my intro post: the one that had broken up almost completely by the summer between tenth and eleventh grades, and that I clung to desperately way longer than I should have, because I didn't know what to do without them. There were a few other people we hung out with a fair bit, but these are the ones I was close with, and who I feel like I need to explain ahead of time. There are other people you'll see me meet along the way, but I'd known my junior high friends for years, so without context, the journal entries about them could be hard to follow.

Junior high friends:

Hannah: One of my oldest friends in junior high (and, for the record, still one of my oldest and closest friends today). We'd known each other since elementary school, and stayed friends through high school. We had some issues at the time, and I'm sorry to say I often absolved myself of a lot of bitchiness towards her because I always cast her in the bitch-queen role. You'll often see me call her patronizing, say that she talks down to me, claim that she's a lot less mature than I am. And maybe not all of that was off base--maybe she did patronize me sometimes; and yes, it pisses me off to this day when someone is clearly treating me like that. But I was just as flawed as she was, and I had no right to be so fucking judgmental. I think a big part of it was that I was jealous of how much more easily she made friends than I did, since I had myself so convinced I was a nicer, better, more interesting person. Which I can say now is absolute bullshit.

Looking back, I know I didn't appreciate her friendship and loyalty half as much as I should have, and as I hope I do now. It's hard to read some of the things I wrote about her back then, and honestly, they're a big part of why this blog is, and will remain, anonymous: I do not remotely feel that way anymore, and I never, never want her to know that I did. Hannah, I hope to God you never read this, but I still want to say it here: I'm sorry. You are a great friend, and I am an unforgivable moron for not realizing that back that.

Isaac, aka Izzy: Izzy was my best friend, and my polar opposite. He was outgoing, artistic, loved the spotlight, never had trouble speaking his mind, and was himself whether people liked it or not. I was shy, quiet, and as much as I wanted to stand out, I was way more scared of making a fool of myself. I wanted to be liked and admired, but I was too afraid to risk being laughed at to even try.

Maybe it was a complementary personality thing, but somehow we clicked despite our differences. Izzy was my closest friend and confidante for a good two years, and I'll always look back on that with a lot of love for him. (Totally platonic love, that is--there was never any attraction between us, from either side.) But from the beginning, Izzy was a lot cooler than I ever had a hope of being. He was also more curious about sex and drugs (not my thing to this day, for a variety of personal reasons I may eventually touch on), and had higher aspirations of being seen as cool, if not necessarily popular. By tenth grade, he'd pretty well ditched me for a new group of friends who were more into that too. At the time it hurt like a motherfucker, though I get now how it was only natural for him to do pull away from me. We still keep in touch, though we sometimes go years without seeing each other.

Dani: One of Hannah's oldest friends. She went to a different junior high school than the rest of us, but we spent tons of time talking on the phone and online, and hanging out after school and on weekends. She was a ton of fun, a nice combination of reserved and outgoing, and could make us laugh at just about anything. She moved to a different city before high school started, but we emailed a lot and visited when we could, and we're still friends today. She and Hannah are still close too.

Alyssa: Hannah and I met her in seventh grade, and she integrated into the (slightly different) group of friends we had at the time easily. Our friendship with her was the opposite of our friendship with Dani, in that we almost never saw Alyssa outside of school, but spent almost all our time together during the school week. She was never as big on anime as the rest of us, but got kind of into it by proxy. Alyssa and I weren't especially close, but it was still confusing for me when she found a new group of friends in high school and stopped hanging out with me and Hannah. She was always nice to me, though, and reached out to me now and then over the years, long after I'd stopped expecting it. We've fallen out of touch these days, but I hope she's living a good life, wherever she is.

Iris: Hannah, Alyssa and I also became friends with her in seventh grade. Iris was from a certain background, and had two groups she hung out with: me and my friends, and another group of kids who were from the same background as her. Her closest friends from each group would all hang out together once in a while, but for the most part my friends only knew Iris's other friends to say hi to. Iris was one of the friends who stuck by me all through high school, and I owe her a deep debt of gratitude for that. We had one or two classes together each year, and, honest to God, hanging out with her for an hour or two every week helped keep me sane. She was an incredibly sweet, caring person, and while I was never brave enough to confide my deepest problems to her, the fact that she liked and accepted me helped me feel like maybe I was worth something after all. If someone like Iris felt I was good enough to be her friend, there must be at least a tiny spark of something good in me. Unfortunately, Iris and I grew apart when we went to different universities. But we're Facebook friends these days, and she seems very happy, which I'm very glad to know.

Hannah, Dani, Izzy and I were regulars at couple anime-based chat rooms. We'd stay up for hours talking to each other and our "c-friends" there. This was pre-cell phones and IMing was just starting to come into style when we were in grade 9 or 10 (and God do I feel old right now), so chatting was our answer to texting. It gave us some much-appreciated autonomy and privacy, since our parents couldn't hear what we were typing, and didn't spend that much time looking over our shoulders.

We all had online friends we considered as real as each other, and some of them will also come up in my entries. It's usually obvious when I'm talking about people I only knew online versus people I knew in real life, but there are a couple people who need an explanation up front, so it's clear who they are.

Online friends:

Izumi-chan/Camille: The closest online friend I have ever had. We emailed back and forth a ton when I was in grades 10 through 12, and told each other just about everything. I was as close to her as I ever was to Izzy. Izumi-chan was her chat name, and Camille was her real name, and I use them interchangeably in my diary entries. Camille had a lot more life experience than I did, but she was loving and patient with me, listened to everything I had to say, and gave me a long-distance shoulder to cry on, plus real advice and support. I honestly don't know if I would still be here if I hadn't had her.

She was going through some pretty bad shit herself at the same time I was dealing with my depression, and I can only hope I helped her as much as she helped me. We've lost touch over the years, but I hold out hope that I'll someday track her down on Facebook, or MySpace, or somewhere like that. I would love to get to know her again.

Skylark: My first big online crush, and my first big crush on a girl. I think I talked to her three whole times in the entire time I knew her--possibly for a total of an hour, possibly less. *L* I started getting minor crushes on girls online when I was 13 or 14, and calling myself "open." When I was 15, I came out to myself (and later, others) as bisexual, and I've identified as bi (and more recently, pansexual) ever since. In retrospect, I think the barely-warranted online crushes were a safe way to start exploring that side of myself without any risk of serious consequences. Wherever my (entirely unrequited) feelings sprang from, Skylark will come up quite a bit in my earliest entries.

I think that covers the essentials of who and what my earliest journal entries are going on about. In the next couple posts, I'll move on to real thing.


As I've started typing up my old diaries, I've quickly discovered that I'll need to provide context for quite a few of them, at least at the beginning. I was writing them for myself, so I didn't need to explain certain things, like who were the most important people in my life versus those on the periphery. To that end, most (possibly all) high school posts will be preceded by a "Notes from 2010" post, where I'll give that context.

And I will also probably laugh at myself a lot in those notes. Because it's really, really hard not to when I'm talking about old crushes--mostly on people who had no idea I existed--and reading old rants about not getting along with my mother--all that shit teenagers go through, and that I am so, so thankful I'm long past. I'm alternately amused by, exasperated with and genuinely sorry for the girl I used to be, and I can't resist poking fun at my old self places where I'm taking myself waaay more seriously than I deserved to. I mean-who could? When you're talking about a part of your life when you were severely depressed-to the point that I probably should have sought treatment a lot more aggressively than I did-you gotta find the funny. Otherwise-God, I don't think I'd want to read this, much less expect anyone else to.

So feel free to snicker at me (and I do mean both then-me and now-me) whenever I deserve it. It'll make the serious parts a lot more readable, and I'll be able to present a much fuller picture of who I was if I include the bits that makes me want to smack old myself upside the head.