To whoever dares to love me,

Dear loved one,

I know this letter is bound to upset you, but I’d like to apologize for it in advance. Bare with me as I shed my skin and reveal my truest self. I guess the best way to put it to you, would be to say, I am a mess. And when I say “a mess” I don’t mean the kind you can ignore and simply sweep under the rug and be done with. I’m the kind of mess that hoards piles of unresolved issues in any and every dark place you can imagine. I hide them from my own self, but I hide them especially from you. I prefer to show you the softer side of my personality, to keep you from the ugliness that lies beneath.

It’s safe to say that I am a roller coaster of emotions because I possess this innate ability to feel everything so much more than the next person. Luckily for you, this will work in your favor because I will be able to love you unconditionally and uniquely, the love I give, I guarantee you; you will find nowhere else. No one will think of you more or consider your feelings more than I do. No one will protect you, comfort you and console you in the unspoken ways I only know how. No one will be as consumed with you and your emotions than I am. When you are with me, I will make you the center of my universe and you’ll feel that. I would willing subject myself to any negative situation or thing, just to ensure you never shed a tear. You’ll hurt me often, but I’ll never show it or hold it against you. In all your imperfections you will be absolutely perfect to me. Understand that this “superpower” to love greatly comes at a great cost, and in turn I have suffered because it is also my greatest weakness. It makes me prone to dark moods, physical sickness, random bouts of heightened anxiety and prolonged depression. I am literally drained mentally, physically and emotionally whenever I leave you because regardless of what I’m feeling I will give you all of me, even if that is barely anything at all. I will save nothing for myself because your happiness brings me true joy. Every sacrifice comes with a price, and I’ll usually be the one to foot the bill. I can’t help it, it’s my nature and belief. As hard as I’ve tried to “put myself first,” I cant, just as sure as I can’t convince you to believe the sky is red.

Sometimes I won’t be able to cry and other times I’ll cry too much. I’ll have a smile on my face regardless of which mood I’m in, because I never want to worry you. I am like a person with chronic physical pain, I am always hurting, but only internally. I’m silently carrying the weight of the world and its problems all on my own. I am the one that needs saving, but I’m the first to lend a hand when everything else is falling apart. Helping you and being there for you is my calling and without it I feel as if I’ve lost my purpose. I am so heavily invested in you, even if I fail to show it at all times. You’re in my heart, prayers, thoughts and dreams. You’re precious and irreplaceable to me.

I should also tell you that I am indecisive and fickle about everything. I go back and forth with my feelings and thoughts because I am someone who over analyzes and dwells on experiences. I do it as a means of understanding myself and others.  I thirst for understanding and knowledge. I’m either completely indifferent or totally consumed. Its not in my DNA to be in between. I am very secretive, but it’s mostly my fault, because I can’t open up. I gave everything to a best friend that died prematurely and to an addictive ex that took complete advantage of me. Growing up, my father paid very little attention to me unless he was angry. I never heard kind words from my dad nor was he ever affectionate. I learned very early on that the only person i can fully depend on is myself. So I tend to omit and shut down a lot.

Secrets make you sick and I have more secrets than you could ever imagine. Please know I never mean to manipulate you under any circumstance. I come across insincere or chameleon like, because I truly long to be whatever person you need me to be whenever I am around you. Setting myself aside isn’t a choice, it’s the way I’m wired. I never want to hurt or disappoint you, so sometimes I omit my own truths to spare you unnecessary worry. Trust me when I say, I worry and stress enough for the both of us.

I know you love me, but be aware that I will test that love all the time.  As much as I have faith in you and your abilities I have even more faith in myself to somehow fuck it up. I constantly wonder if I am enough or not enough for you. I’ll have moments of weakness and be unable to compose myself but don’t worry, I’ll figure it out on my own because you can’t help. Not really, so don’t exhaust yourself trying. Best bet is to just be there for me and hug me when I fall apart. If I let you see this side of me know that this is the closest you will ever be able to get to me. It will go no further because I can’t give more than that to anyone anymore. I’ll shut down and deflect. I hate even the idea of vulnerability, let alone vulnerability itself.

I have lots of abandonment issues and where it stems from I’m not quite sure. All I know is that those scars are there and I find myself waiting for that other shoe to drop constantly in every friendship and relationship. It’s not really you that I don’t trust, it’s more so me. I know myself best and I realize how defective and tarnished I am. I have been through things I’ll never speak of aloud. My self esteem and confidence is down to nothing, so it won’t matter how often or how much you sing my praises, I won’t hear them. I struggle with self hatred. I always have.

That takes me to the other bad habits I have that you’ll try to discourage me from. Sometimes I drink to forget and other times I drink to actually feel. I’m not an addict, but i can be codependent at times. I also have this problem with cutting whenever I feel too out of control, overwhelmed, ashamed or angry with life or myself. I guess it’s my way of punishing myself because I was abused growing up. The last time my father attacked me I was 19. I came home too late and he met me at the front door with a belt. I have never been so terrified in all my life. I vaguely remember the disgusting names he called me as I begged him to stop. I rationalized his outburst and still feel as if I brought that upon myself. Really, I should’ve known better.

For that reason and many others, I do not trust men. They have cheated, lied, damaged, broken and abused me in every way possible and abandoned me emotionally. Men as a whole almost feel like my captors, so this only invokes a greater need to flee or escape. They couldn’t possibly understand these inner demons I fight daily and chances are they probably would just leave like the rest. They think I am stronger than I am and they throw punches that feel like they were meant for giants. Instead of being on the same platform they have put me down and sized me up. In every instance I have failed and not been enough. I have not loved hard enough, forgiven enough or believed enough, so in turn their faults have fallen on me.

Because of all my childhood issues, I have this undying need for constant affection and attention, yet I’m constantly rejecting and pushing everyone away. I confuse and annoy people because they never know where they stand with me and the reason is because I don’t know either. I’m sure this probably goes back to the conditional and abusive love I knew even in friendships. My best friend in grade school was the big sister I never had, until one night at a sleepover I awoke to her molesting me. I pushed her off and left to be alone in the open living room. I didn’t want to tell or call my parents because I assumed that maybe I had done something to give her the impression that I wanted more. I blocked out the memory and went about life as if it never happened. I carried that shame and still do. This is why when you find yourself growing close to me, I’ll unexpectedly go M.I.A. As much as I love close bonds, they have this profound ability to mentally break me down and emotionally destroy me. I don’t want to be too open again and I don’t want to make someone believe I’m willing to give something I’m not.

I know you’ll scold me for this, but to me, sex is a physical act and not an emotional connection anymore. One reason I feel this was is because the night my sister was raped I looked into the eyes of the man who destroyed her. He was cold and soulless, and for the exception of his breath, it’s hard to imagine he even had a heart. He went in and stole my sister’s purity and I left believing sex was something tangible that could be taken away at any given moment. I know you’ll try to tell me It wasn’t my fault, but it doesn’t matter what words of consolation you’ll use, I am damaged because of it. She never again was the same and I haven’t been either. I won’t talk about it and I’ll never bring it up. It hurts too badly to remember the monster, it’s hard to separate that from every other man. Along with my theories of sex, my ex often withheld it from me for various reasons, one mainly being his inability to get hard because of all the pain killers he was snorting or smoking. I was so unaware and because of that, I came to believe that he didn’t want me sexually because I was so undesirable. I starved myself and worked out 2 times a day to get as small as possible. I wore more provocative clothes and made sure to always go to bed in something sexy that would grab his attention. It worked for a short time but then he went back to his old patterns. I took diet pills and felt like a sex toy he could just take out and use when he wanted and put back when he didn’t. He rejected me on tons of occasions and finally I stopped asking. I cried myself to sleep hundreds of nights praying for a different existence. It seemed as though every other man could see me but him. All the attention made me feel dirty and I avoided going out as much as possible. I was desperate for love and attention but instead I was ignored and resented. I changed my hair so many times and even got colored contacts to drastically change my outer appearance. It didn’t matter though, the woman underneath it all was still me. I know you’ll read this and try to convince me of a kind of beauty I have, but I’m telling you don’t bother. It will go in one ear and out the other. I wear an image and it is intended to keep people off my back. Deep down I’m still that insecure girl from grade school pretending not to be scared. You wouldn’t know it though because I was the center of attention, the outspoken student and the outgoing friend. I put others at ease but internally I was at odds with myself. I hoped one day to grow out of it but the wounds only deepened. Cuts became canyons and tears became rivers. I lost myself in all the wreckage, but you would’ve never known I was so miserable unless i told you.

I know that I am more than you expected and more twisted than I seemed, but I hope in telling you all this, you’ll somehow feel comforted by your efforts to reach me. I see you more than you see me. I pray for you and want nothing but good things for you. Just don’t give up on me, okay? I’m trying to get better and learn new ways of coping. I don’t want to be fixed, I just want to be loved and even when my actions don’t reflect that don’t lose heart. Every effort is helping me find that next step to faith and self discovery all over again. Thank you for loving me in all the unique ways you all do. I appreciate you and love you so much!

Thanks for always listening.

xoxo,

Nessa

Purging

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard it in the last three years since. Each time it has left me more confused and annoyed than before. They tell me “love yourself.” Great slogan, but it’s so empty. Me being an inquisitive person, I ask them to teach me. They think they’re somehow helping or making some positive affect, but internally I just shut down. I’d rather focus elsewhere, because my heart genuinely loves understanding the minds and hearts of others. I know that leaves me susceptible to a lot of evil people and ugly situations, but I’m honest. I’m a mess and don’t try to fool them, I just deflect and keep my emotions to myself. I can be a quiet observer one minute, only to turn around and share an in depth conversation with a complete stranger about why I am drawn to certain people, places and things. My primary focus is the well being of others and their feelings, even when my actions appear to contradict that at times. I’m fighting battles people don’t know about, and I’m struggling to not make anymore mistakes, and get a tight grip on what is truly important to me, but I’m slipping. Instead of “finding myself” over the past few years I feel as if I’ve lost myself more than I ever have before. I’ve done things I never would’ve thought I’d do. I’ve seen things I wish I hadn’t seen. I’ve said things I can’t take back, and allowed the wrong kind of people into my life to influence me. I don’t blame anything or anyone, but myself. “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”

I’ve willingly and knowingly let myself be swept away by my sadness and fickle emotions. I’ve lost the girl I once was, and have become the shell of the person I once knew. I am so terribly sad. I just want to go back to that “happy place” in my memory long before life gave me reasons to despise it. I wake up every morning hating myself more than the night before, and I just don’t know how to cope with this overwhelming pressure from everything going on around me. I keep fucking up and as much as I try to run from my mistakes, the more weighed down by them I become. I’m keeping to many secrets. I’m hiding too many things. I’ve opened doors I can’t shut now. But nobody would guess this is how I really feel, because I’m the one laughing the loudest at the party, I am the person surrounded by tons of friends and good family. On the outside I have it all..or so it would seem. I show you the face that is more appealing, but it is a shield to protect myself from you getting too close to me. It doesn’t mean that what I am showing you, isn’t the real me. I just feel like if I love anything or anyone too much, it’ll just be ripped away from me. Not only have I ruined myself, I think I’ve ruined others too. I should’ve kept more to myself, but again my impulsive emotions subdued me. I am a slave to my bad habits and reckless heart.

At this point I don’t know how to love myself, and I wish people would stop fucking saying that to me, and instead show me exactly what that means. I ask for explanations and they don’t answer my questions. They give me some feel good answers by telling me take up new hobbies, try new things, focus on myself and reflect, but I find all their advice to be meaningless. I have literally done all the bullshit attempts of finding inner peace and happiness. If anything I have learned new ways to abhor myself even more than I did before. I’m trying to be happy again but it has been so long and I don’t know if that’s even possible anymore. And really I have no excuse. I am loved, I am appreciated, I am desired and welcome everywhere I go, at least by everyone else except myself. I am more accustomed to the darkness, the deceit and the pain that I find myself drawn to the bad things over what’s right. It’s probably because as my hatred for myself has grown so has my recklessness. I just need everything around me to just stop and I need the time and space to get away and recollect my thoughts. I need to be shown this self love others speak of and learn ways to show that to myself. I can’t forget that ultimately the only love that is actually going to heal me is the love that I can only find in God and in myself.

Invictus
Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.