Letter – with more thoughts on the return of hope

29th of February 2020

Hi there.

So I was a day late. But I have a good reason. I was celebrating hopes return yesterday. Good company, good conversations and sushi. I even got a small present. But the return of hope is worth celebrating. Even if I still feel wary and uncertain about whether hope will last or not. It feels fragile and small and like it’s still taking root. But it’s there. In my chest. Alive and growing.

Last week, just before I left work, I talked to someone who informed me that a job, a real job, might be possible for me where I work now. Part time, but with the necessary accommodations and with a salary I can live on. Not lots of money, but enough. It’ll still be almost twice what I have now and I won’t be stuck in this in between place where my situation is always uncertain and where I get money from the government because I don’t have a job and everyone knows it’s temporary but no one knows how to help me move on to a job or education. It would be so much more stable for me. So much better. A lot of things would stop being uncertain. I would have an income. I would have work to get up to and know what my life looks like (work and finance wise) in six months. I haven’t had that ever.

The depression didn’t magic itself away. But part of the heavy cloud of darkness, and lack of a future and the complete hopelessness lifted. I felt lighter and happier and more like a real person again. I’ve felt less depressed. Not free of depression. Just less depressed. But there is nothing just about that. That is a big deal to me. The hopelessness has lasted two whole years. I stopped believing in anything resembling a future, and any conversation about any kind of future had me back in bed crying and thinking about suicide. Because I believed there was no future. And now there is the possibility of a future. It’s not like an open door. It’s more like light from a keyhole, promising a door is somewhere nearby. There is no guarantee this door is for me, that I’ll find it, that it will be opened for me. But after years in darkness with no way forward… I don’t even know what words to chose. I’ve been stumbling around for so long, with no direction and no goals. That light gives me something to head toward. All my stubbornness and fight, ambition and drive now has somewhere to go.

I don’t want to think about what the loss of this hope would do to me. I am trying to prepare for it. What if there is no door. What if it’s locked and I won’t be allowed through. So much could still go wrong. This hope feels too fragile. Or maybe I am too fragile. Would I survive losing this hope? Would I break if it doesn’t pan out? Maybe. There is a really good chance that would hit me hard and that I might not be able to come back from that. And I try to use the newfound energy to look for more options and be open to more options.

The greatest part of this is that it supports my own theory of my depression. I am not depressed because of some chemical imbalance in my brain. I am depressed because I am stuck in a bad situation and my brain is reacting very naturally. Telling me something is wrong. Medication cannot fix not having a future or being disconnected from people. What I needed was a future. And I couldn’t give myself that. But someone else could and they did and I feel so much better.
I am so tired of the way depression is approached by doctors and my family and systems that doesn’t understand this exact thing. Last year I read “Lost Connections” by Johann Hari and that is the first time I felt understood and felt like someone else saw depression the same way I see it. It’s a good book, easy to read and so worth taking a look at if anyone is reading along and wants to know more about depression and a different approach to it.

I haven’t been reading so much this week. Which is kind of ok, but not really. I’ve read more than one book a week the last 3 weeks. So I’m not behind on schedule. But in a few weeks I am meating up with a newly started local fantasy book club and I need to read a specific book for that. But I find myself rebelling against the fact that someone chose a book for me. It’s probably not a bad book. It’ll be easily read. I just find myself refusing to start reading it. Hopefully I might begin tonight or tomorrow. Or I might read something else first to get myself reading again. I am just a little sad an disappointed that my really good reading streak broke. I am also sure that I’ll get back to reading soon and that this won’t destroy my “read a book a week” project.

I don’t think I have more to write today. I want to write more, but I am having a slow, wrapped in blankets, good movies, kind of day. And digging into anything more would require feeling something deeper. And today that is not where I am. Any other day I love to dig into all the deeper stuff. But today I am going to just exist in the nice warm feeling yesterdays celebration gave me. And that is enough for me.

If there is anyone reading, I wish you good happy times, lots of things worth celebrating and someone who will celebrate with you in whatever way makes you happy. I hope that someone will give you hope when you need it most and I thank you for giving me a little of your time and attention. I know it’s a limited resource and I feel privileged to receive some of it. Take good care of yourself.


Letter about intuition and my different perspective

And hope did what hope does. It finds a way back, it returns, it lives again. Big words only hours after the resurrection. So unexpected and out of nowhere. Yet here it is. I’ll try to protect it and nurture it. The way you protect a candle flame in the wind, so worried it’ll just blow out again.

21st of February 2020

Hi there.

I do not have anything to say about this unexpected introduction. I am afraid of holding too much of it to the light. I am too scared of what will happen to me if this doesn’t find a way to grow into something reliable. So for now no more will shared here about it. I’ll let whoever reads this know what happens when I am ready.

I’ve been trying to embrace my intuition lately. Without knowing anything about how to do that or what exactly it is I am trying to do. But I guess the thing I have been doing is listening to the things inside me that I do not know where comes from. The things that do not feel like things I myself have created or called forward. And there is the strangest thought in my head that feels like that thought of thing. Except I do not think it can be. The thought itself feels like something that is true and real and not something I think because I want it to be true. It feels like it was given to me. Which probably makes no sense to say. But the thing about this thought is that when I look at it it doesn’t feel like something that would be given to me.
Context: most of my friends are having a really, really hard time. To the degree that I genuinely worry if some of them will survive. And others are in and out of bad times and not really an actual part of my life (even thought I do hold a permanent space for them) because they need to take care of themselves. I care about these people. I want to help them. And I know I have an saviour complex that sometimes like to take over. I am working on that. And by working on that I mean I am actively trying to minimise the time and energy I spend trying to save other people. I have actively taken a step away from that and am more aware than ever of the amount of emotional labour I do.
And then this thought came. And it feels like the things I try to listen to in my intuition. And it doesn’t feel like the saviour complex rearing its head. It feels true and real and beautiful and right. And all it says is “I have to guide them out”.

In some ways (with a lot of my friends, not all of them) I am two steps ahead. Not in every way, not at every point. But in finding the way out, in finding the way to a better way of living, that doesn’t hurt so much, that allows us to breath. There I sometimes find myself two steps ahead. And I was given those two steps (or took them) very early in life. It’s like I was given a gift of being who I am, which in my case includes being someone who will not compromise who I am or try to be someone else. And that gave me those two steps. Or gave me the ability to take them.

Sometimes I feel like I see the world in a way no one else does. Which is a stupid thing to feel, because no two people see the world exactly the same. But it’s like the lens I see the world through is so different from the ones the people around me have. I don’t know if it’s the autism, it doesn’t seem like just an autism thing. But I see things, sense things, feel things differently.
It’s like I don’t see the thing in front of me but the thing right behind it. As in I see intentions and causes instead of what is happening. And I don’t know if I always did or if I learned it. But I know that is how I see it. It has taken me a long time to understand that other people do not see the world like this. Or see people like this. I think it’s mostly people I refer to in this instance. I don’t feel like I have the words to describe this at all.
My best example of this is that when someone is angry I don’t really see their aggression or their rage. I don’t think of it as an attack. Not even if it’s directed at me. I only see the hurt and pain or fear behind the anger. It’s like the anger isn’t even there. And I still remember my confusion and surprise when I discovered that other people don’t respond to other peoples’ anger the way I do. They feel attacked and focus on the aggression. But all I see is what is behind it.

I don’t really know what I want to say with any of this. The words pouring out through my fingers are a surprise to me. Both the subject matter and the ease with which they flow. All I know is that that thought has been stuck in my mind, and I do not know if I should trust it. It feels like something I should trust. But it sounds like something my saviour complex would say. If it wasn’t for that deep and overwhelming feeling that this comes from somewhere else I would just have rejected it. But I can’t do that. Not with that feeling.

I have no conclusion. No anything really. I just needed to write something today and these were the words wanting to leave me. I do not expect that I am making sense and today that is ok.

I hope whoever and wherever you are that you are ok. Whether things makes sense or not. Learning to be ok in all the things that doesn’t make sense is really difficult. For me today is just that kind of day. I had a really good day at work. That might just be the thing that makes the difference. I wish good things for you and thank you for your time.


Letter about emptiness and missing meaning, about my saviour complex, and about not trying to skip parts of the process just because they hurt.

14th of February 2020

Dear no one or anyone or whoever is out there.

There is a lot of loneliness and emptiness in my life right now. My feelings alternate between a deep feeling of meaninglessness and the question “How do I save the people in my life who are not okay?” as if I do have a purpose, and that purpose is helping the people I care about get better. I am trying to keep my saviour complex under control, but the utter meaninglessness of everything makes it flare up and gives logic to its reasoning. I try to ask if these people, their lives, their pain and their healing are really my responsibility, and the only answer I find in myself is “of cause, that I why I am here.”And by here I mean alive. Like finding a way to help guide these people out of their darkness is the only reason I could possibly have for being and staying alive. I am that desperate for purpose and meaning.

My feelings of self worth and being allowed to be in this world are at a low I haven’t seen in a while. I so feel that I can only achieve worth and permission to exist if I earn it. And a part of me sees a truth in this, that my lying mind is so willing to abuse. Maybe because that is all there is right now. There is no future, there is no hope, there is nothing I believe in or look forward to, there is only the emptiness of now and the desperate need to make the world a little less painful and empty for the people I care about. And so many of the people I care about are in bad places right now. And their pain overwhelms me, and yet my answer to these things have always been to ask, “so what do I do about it”. The pain I see and feel in the world are calls to action, and yet I feel so small and so powerless against a world of pain, injustice and suffering. I want to fight. I want to act. I want to make it better. I just do not know where to start or what to do. Why was I given this urge to care and act and heal, to fight and give and face all the things that hurt if I am not meant to do something with it? I might be weak and powerless and small, but I am also a kind of resilient and headstrong and so incredibly stubborn. The odds are not going to stop me. When I am told the world just isn’t fair, my instinct is to ask how we make it fair. When things are not okay I ask how do we change that or how do I change that. I think this way both about my own pain and about the pain I see around me. It took me a long time to realise just how unusual a way of thinking that is.

Of my friends four out of six are currently not doing well and the other two are working their way away from their own dark places. That is a lot. Sometimes it feels like everything inside me has been replaced with worry, and there is nothing I can do. I so want to help and at the same time I am so worried about being too much if I reach out. And I know that their struggles aren’t mine and that there isn’t much I can do. I know it’s the emptiness and loneliness in my life making me desperate to make sure no one else has to feel that. But maybe I just need to sit with my loneliness and emptiness and stop thinking about how to make a difference for anyone else. It’s just that there isn’t any more to do about my life than I already do. The emptiness kills me. Slowly. But still it’s killing me. Death crept its way back into my mind, suicide became the only option again, and I have not believed in a future for so long I cannot remember the last time I could stand the thought of what comes next. I don’t meet that kind of thoughts with acceptance and open arms. To my surprise I never really did. I always thought I did, but now I see just how much I have always met those things with the same kind of “how do I fight this” attitude as any other kind of pain. It’s just that there are no more weapons, no more resources, no more ways out. And yes I can survive on stubbornness and patience and spite. But I am so tired of surviving. So tired of not being alive in a deep and meaningful way.

I‘ve been thinking about just that lately. The being alive and having meaning and purpose part. I am also working a lot with old trauma around my parents. So naturally I finally managed to out words on the way I ask for purpose and meaning and feeling alive, and how my mom answer is that I need to do the dishes every day and vacuum clean and tidy up my home. She doesn’t see the disconnect. And honestly it took me a while to put the right words together to understand just why her answer was so painful to me. She doesn’t care if I am alive, if my life has meaning and purpose. She cares if I clean and cook and takes care of all the practical stuff, and I fail at that so she things that must be the problem. To me it’s the other way around. I fail at dishes and laundry and vacuum cleaning because life has no meaning and I have no purpose and surviving like a little machine isn’t enough for me. It feels too small and too empty, and I don’t want empty or small. I want big and adventurous and calm and exciting and full of all the emotions and experiences. She wants clean and tidy, and I am a mess in every way. I’ll never fit into any of her expectations of me.

I almost wrote I don’t fit into any of her boxes. Which is an unexpected sentence bringing unexpected memories and feelings. When I was first sent to see all those therapists my mom told me the reason the psychologists didn’t like me was because I didn’t fit into any of the books or boxes they believed children should fit into. She always talked like she was proud of who I am and of my choice to just be me, and yet she always acted like I did something wrong by not conforming. I never realised (till just now) how much she wanted and still wants me to conform to her boxes and her idea, even when she knows that she is supposed to tell me I am good enough for who I am. I am not. Not to her. Not to my dad. I am just not. And I am digging a lot into that at the moment with all the grieving, crying, sadness, hurt and sometimes anger that that entails. I feel very unloved. I am probably not as unloved as I feel. But I feel it anyway. And I am not in the mood to convince myself of anything else at the moment. I am always too much in a hurry to find next step. Right now I need to be here, in this step, in this part of the journey, in this grief and sadness. It’s all part of the process, Trying to skip ahead will not help me get there. It’ll only mean I’ll have to go back to this step over and over again. And 5 and a half year ago (tomorrow) I took a decision to get better. Real better. The kind of better that takes a long time and hurts a lot to get to. The kind that lasts and works. And so I need to feel this step, before moving on to the next. I know it and I try. But wow this step hurts.

I think this is it for today. Writing was difficult and painful today. As if the words didn’t want to leave my mind. My body is full of shame these days. There are only so many fights I can fight at a time. I’m not sure which ones I am leaving behind at the moment. All I know is I am not leaving any of the people I care about behind, I am here for them and I will keep doing what I can for them. And as for my journey and process, it’s long. It’s going to take years and years and years before I am something I’ll call done and something I’ll consider certain. I am allowed as many steps and detours as I need. And there is time enough for all my stubbornness to let me get stuck somewhere on a step. I’ve spent so much of my life in a hurry, to get better, to get out of the pain. People have always told me to look ahead and try to be open for the possibility of change and of other perspectives. I am finding so much power and empowerment in saying no to that, in letting myself be at this exact step and not looking at the next one till I am ready. And right now that means grieving and feeling unloved and being sad, before being open to the idea that maybe I am not unloved,  maybe the love just gets lost in translation, since no one in my life speaks my love language.

Thank you for your time. I hope where ever and whoever you are that you are in a better place than me. And if not just know you are not alone and that I don’t want you to be left behind either. Even if I don’t know who you are, I know that.


Letter – my thoughts on dæmons

8th of February 2020

Dear reader.

I finished with “His Dark Materials”. The books, not the TV-show. I haven’t had the heart to watch it. What if they changed something? What if that actor isn’t what I pictured that character like? What if something feels wrong or isn’t like I imagined it? I know they changed the design of the alethiometer. I am sure there isn’t any actress in the world who would be Lyra to me. And I love these books so much. I don’t want to watch any adaption (except maybe the theatre production). I didn’t like the movie. I don’t think I’ll like the TV-show. And that has nothing to do with the TV-show. It’s because it’s an adaptation of my favourite book series and I am so sensitive and protective of them that nothing will really be good enough for me. I hated Disney’s Narnia movies too. They didn’t feel like Narnia and that broke my heart.
I am going to watch this show eventually. I actually like several casting choices and the fact that they are going to try this hard to make the books into a show is a good thing. The books might get a larger audience and they deserve that. I am just going to have to reconcile that this show will exist and that it might be really good objectively, but that I will never be objective when it comes to it and that I will always love the books to much to accept anything a TV-show based on these books could be. Because a TV-show is something very different, and a movie is something very different. And it will never be the book in movie format, but an adaptation. That is okay. And I am allowed to have feelings about it, I am allowed to not like it for reasons that are purely subjective and have nothing to do with the quality of the show. I just have to be aware that that is what I am doing and of the good things that this show will also do.

I finally finished “The Amber Spyglass” and it was just as wonderful and emotional and heartbreaking as always. I was a few days late with it but I wasn’t worried, because I read “Lyra’s Oxford” and “Once upon a time in the North” too, and they were short books that only took a few hours each. So technically I am one book ahead of schedule. But that is nice. What is a little less nice is leaving this world behind and reading new things. I love this world. But there are no more books for now.

So I guess now is the time if I wanted to write about dæmons. In these books, in the world Lyra lives in, people have their soul outside their bodies and it is shaped like an animal. They can touch it and talk to it. And everyone else can see it and talk to it too. Touching another person’s dæmon is very, very wrong, but peoples dæmons can touch each other. When you are a child dæmons change shape. They can be anything and be something else the next moment. But they often have favourite shapes or will change into something useful to the person. Like being an owl if they need to see something in the dark or make themselves big and scary if they feel like protecting their human. Once a person reaches puberty the dæmon will settle and have only one form for the rest of that person’s life. And what your dæmon settles as will tell you something about yourself and in the same way you can learn something about other people by what kind of dæmon they have.

Dæmons are not a separate being, they are one with the human. They are the soul. But they do have their thoughts and feelings and are not always agreeing with the human. It is difficult to explain but it makes so much sense in the book. They are almost always the opposite gender from the human. So Lyra (the main character ) is a girl and her dæmon is male and his name is Pantalaimon.

I’ve been a little obsessed with the concept of dæmons. Some people care deeply about their Hogwarts Houses or their patronus, but for me it’s dæmons. Maybe it’s the therapy and the constant need to look inside myself and work with what is happening there. I can’t help to wonder how different that process would be if I had my dæmon. What would he be like? What shape would he take? What would his name be and what is the sound of his voice? What would he tell me when I am depressed or lonely? How would he comfort me and how would I comfort him? What colour does his eyes have? How much wisdom could I learn from him and hoe much easier would it be to learn to love myself with his help? I have no answers but the questions keep being there. I try to imagine him sometimes. I think I am too worried that the shape I imagine for him is wishful thinking to tell the internet about it. But I do have a shape in mind. I cannot find his name, though sometimes it feels like it’s right in the tip of my tongue. But it always disappears right before I catch it.

I don’t know why this idea speaks so much to me, but it does. It has always made so much sense. As if all I had to do was reach out my hand and my dæmon would be there, because it wasn’t a thing invented in a book, but a real thing and our world just forgot how to see them. And I know that is not the case. But I cannot stop thinking about this concept and how it might help to have a dæmon.

The first book has this quote about dæmons and the forms they might take:

“There’s plenty of folk as’d like to have a lion as a dæmon and they end up with a poodle. And till they learn to be satisfied with what they are, they’re going to be fretful about it. Waste of feeling, that is.”

And I guess that is part of why I am worried my thoughts of what mine might have been is just wishful thinking. I have several idea that I like, but one I keep returning to. I honestly cannot imagine that I would not love whatever his form is. And I am curious about what I would learn about myself from his form. Because I know I can wish for anything, but the dæmon isn’t about what you wish for. And that is also why it’s not the same as a patronus. A patronus is joy and happiness, it is your happiest memory taking form. A dæmon is all of you, all your good sides and your bad sides, it shapes by the things you do and say and think. It tells you who you are. The patronus tells you about your happiness, which I guess is why several of the patronuses in the books are related to romantic love.

I am not sure I have more to write about dæmons. Not now anyway. But I am a little glad I finally managed to write something about these thing which I have been thinking about for most of my life now. And thought Dust is a concept that I have also thought and been shaped by I do not feel like writing about it at the moment.

Maybe this is it for today. I have no idea what book I will read next week. I have so many I want to read and a few I feel I should read. A lot is happening now. I am doing a lot of emotional work, trying to get a better understanding of my own traumas. It’s hard and I am sad a lot. I am also not really giving that sadness enough time and space, but hurrying a little toward the conclusion and the lesson and what comes next.

Thank you for your time and your attention. Thank you for sticking with me. I sometimes feel like I make no sense. But I write and that is what is important.


Letter about an unintentional lie that hurts, not feeling like a person, and autopilot

4th of February 2020


I’m just here with a short extra letter, that more than most of my letters really embodies what writing to here means.

Autopilot as been on a lot lately. As in the last 3 months.

The last week or so has been weird. It’s like I am fine, but I know I am not. I just can’t feel it- I just can’t reach and act on it. It’s like I have given up on all the things that matter and that fine is all I have. And fine today is better than in pain today. But at the same time, some part of me is screaming, some part of me doesn’t care about today, because I was supposed to have a life ahead of me, and I am not okay with letting that die. But there is no hope. There is no future. There is no life ahead of me. There is only know and if now is fine autopilot is happy to take over and function for me. Guess that’s the thing. More than feeling fine (because I don’t feel) I am functioning. And functioning is a good sign to everyone that things are fine and so I think they are fine. But they are not. I know they are not. The state of things are killing me, and if I don’t snap out of functioning I’ll never be real or alive or here again. I’ll just die, when the pain comes back.

I think I have been doing a thing I used to do as a kid. Not consciously but maybe as an old reflex, as an old habit I thought I had lost. I used to try and keep my mental state at this place where I was completely numb. That way I could function. I wouldn’t be a person, just a thing. But I would function. And everyone would be happy with me. My mom always needed help with everything around the house. Laundry, dishes, stuff like that. And there was homework and school. And if I didn ’t feel anything I would just do all those things and not be a problem. I would just sit down and do my homework after school. I would automatically help my mom when she needed it. I felt more machine than alive. I stopped being a person and became a thing. Sometimes I could find and keep myself at that exact level for a few weeks. But I would usually fall a little too close to feeling bad again, and then something would have to give. Helping mom or homework. My mom needed help and got mad if I didn’t just help her automatically, so usually it would be homework. I don’t know why housework is so important to my mom, but I think the importance it has to her is why I hate it so much and why I cannot find it important at all. If I got worse, which I almost always did, I wouldn’t be able to do either homework or help mom. And I would have a hard time with school My stomach would hurt and my parents would tell me I was making it up so I wouldn’t have to go to school. But I didn’t think I was making it up. They weren’t really mad at me for it. Maybe a little sometimes. But more often it would dismissed with a small laugh or smile. Like they were thinking “This again? Really? I thought we went over this.”
My mom always told me she wanted me to be happy. That my happiness was important. But that was just words. The moment I was happy I was distracted by whatever made me happy and I forgot to help her. I didn’t mean to forget to help her, but I did. Because something else felt important to me. And she would get mad. And homework wasn’t fun if there was something else that caught my attention. So the only way to do all the right things and be what others needed of me was to feel absolutely nothing and want absolutely nothing and need nothing. And then I wasn’t really a person. I was just a thing. Just a thing doing what I was told to do. I never thought of it like that of cause. I just thought of it as the only state in which I functioned. Like the rest of the time I had too many broken parts, too many feelings, too many needs. It was better for everyone if I wasn’t those things and instead just functioned. And I tried so hard for years and years to just stay at functioning. But it was a hard setting to find and I often just missed the right level and ended up in pain or sad instead of numb.

My mom used to hug me and tell me I was ahead of everyone. Not right now but in the long run. Because of my dedication to homework and school. Because of my intelligence and niceness. I think I am finally understanding that that was a lie. Not an intentional one of cause. I didn’t even know I had bought the lie. I didn’t know I cared. But I did. And somehow that lie just breaks my heart at the moment. I wish we had all known about my autism back then. Then that kind of lies wouldn’t have been needed. My social difficulties would have made sense. I would have made sense. And no one would have felt the need to tell me it would all be okay later when my peers all caught up to the idea of taking school seriously. Maybe I wouldn’t have expected things to get better. Then again, if I hadn’t expected things to get better I would have killed myself. But maybe with the autism diagnosis things would have been a little better. Enough better that I didn’t need lies about the future. I don’t expect it would have made everything a lot better, but a little would have been nice.

I’m thinking about the man who raped me. He was a part of my life for almost seven years and the sexual abuse happen through most of that time. He made me feel like a thing too. With him it was also better to not be a person. At least during those things. And it was so easy to just disappear and stop being a person. It was like I could make myself not exist. The biggest conflict, the biggest problem was that he didn’t want me to disappear. He wanted me present. He wanted me to participate and like it and have thoughts and feelings about it. But all I could think and feel was disgust and how much I didn’t want this. But that answer was unacceptable to him. And I could never give him what he was really asking for. Because I could never really like it, never be present, never be a person when those things happened. I think I just didn’t understand why he couldn’t just accept that I wasn’t that kind of person. All I could do was stop being there and let myself be nothing but a thing. And he tried so hard to change me, to get me to be what he wanted.

And as I write this I realise that has always been my response to people trying to change me. I stop being there. I stop being present and real and here. I become an empty thing they can ask things of. But under that, hidden inside, somewhere, I am still a person. Unchanged. My quiet defiance. Refusing to be what I am asked to be, refusing to change what I am asked to change. Making myself an object to survive the situation

And that is why I am afraid of my current autopilot. Why I am not grateful when I function. I am scared because it makes me feel unreal, unalive, not here. It’s like I am returning to a pattern I hate and that I know do not help me. And recently I have twice been told it might be good not to feel all time. But that is not what I feel is happening, but my voice was too lost for me to tell them that. It’s not a break from felling. It’s being a passenger in my own life, while autopilot drives me in the wrong direction. I don’t need to flee the pain. I need the pain to tell me what is happening, where I am, if things are getting better or worse. I need hope and a future. And autopilot is the opposite of that.

I want to be alive, to feel real, to find my way here. I spent too much of my life felling like I wasn’t real. Like I wasn’t a person. Like maybe I was a ghost, walking through the world but not really here, not really present, with no power to affect anything. And somehow it’s like my voice is failing again, like it’s at a risk of getting lost. I feel so disconnected to the world and to people. And all the systems I meet makes me feel unwelcome in the world. Not the people, just the systems that don’t know what to do with me and makes me feel like I have no value.

Hope died a long time ago. I need it back, alive and well. And I am so desperately looking for it, for ways to revive it, for truth and meaning and connection. For a future. And autopilot has no setting for that, no one has programmed it to know what those things are.

I feel like I should write more about the man who raped me. About the ways in which he made me feel like I was real and not a ghost. But honestly I can’t do that to myself right now. But I will say he did manage those things. And that is part of why he is so on my mind at the moment. I don’t miss him. But I do miss some of the things he did for me, some of the needs he fulfilled and some of the ways he made me feel. Mostly that he made me feel like I was real and like I mattered. And I didn’t know those feelings before him. It’s been difficult to separate him from the things I miss. But I am getting better at it. There are kinds of progress.

I’ll try to write again as scheduled on Friday. If I fail I’ll call this this week’s letter. But I’ll try to write something.