Letter about fears and feeling invisible

31st of March 2020

Dear reader

I was a little disappointed with myself that I had nothing to write this weekend. But I didn’t want to try to write dispite the nothing. I wanted to have something to share. And today I remembered this story that was on my mind last week. A story that felt worth writing.

I remembered it because my mom told me I am doing great. Like all my mental health problems were gone and everything is fine and there is nothing wrong. I am able to get out of bed every day, I get two meals a day that I make myself, I fight to keep myself active, I am not deeply suicidal. But it’s a struggle to do those things and somewhere underneath how I am coping, all the problems are there. Just waiting for me to drop my guard and let them take over again. I’m doing so great on the surface. I function. But something hurts inside of me and I want to rip it out, with roots and all. To make sure it doesn’t get to live inside me ever again. And people are telling me I just have to accept it, my mom especially wants me to just pretend it’s not there, the same way she hopes to pretend we are a close family. But I don’t want to pretend anything. I crave truth an authenticity. Even when it hurts. Because only then does happiness and joy and the good feelings feel true. Only when they are not a mask, asked to cover something painful, shameful or unwanted. And unlike my mom I have decided that all my feelings are wanted and welcome.

But it was the sting for hearing how well I am doing when it only feels like a thin layer on the surface that jugged my memory.

When I was a kid my parents signed me up for swimming lessons at the local pool. There were three pools. A baby pool, a longer pool, and a very deep pool. And as a kid learning how to swim you start in the baby pool. I was a slow learner. My body is not a place I know how to inhabit and I was uncomfortable in the water. So when after the first year the other kids my age moved to the bigger pools I had to stay behind for a while. A year I think. Or maybe just six month. I didn’t really mind. It wasn’t a social thing.

When I was finally told I had to move to another swim team at another pool I felt like I was supposed to feel proud and happy. But I didn’t like the prospect. Maybe it was the change. I was very ad at change. Still am sometimes. Or maybe I knew. I don’t remember if I knew. They moved me to the very deep pool. And I was so scared of the depth of the water. I have no reason why. It’s the only irrational fear I have. I don’t know if it’s a phobia. But the deep water terrified me. It was five meters deep. And looking down into that water made me so afraid. But I was supposed to go in the water and swim to the other side, and back, and again and again and again. And I did. Because I didn’t know I had a choice. I clung to the side of the pool whenever I reached it. I reluctantly let go and then made my way desperately to the other side, back to safety. If they let me swim next to the side of the pool I would stop and grap hold and I wasn’t supposed to. So often I wouldn’t get to swim there. And there would be no way to feel secure till I got to the other side.

Even now remembering this my body recalls the panic it felt and my mind refused to bring me a visual memory of the water.

One day after swimming my mom told me how much better I had gotten. How much faster. Especially with one of the swimming style that required my head to be in the water most of the time, and where I had learned to look at the bottom between strokes. And I can’t remember if I told her. I just remember the inconsistency between what she was telling me and what I was feeling. She told me I was doing well and she saw my progress. And somehow that was all anyone could see. The pure terror I felt at the water was invisible.

I feel so bad about this fear of mine. I prefer the ways I so often feel fearless. But deep waters still scare me. The times I’ve been back to the pools since, I stay as far away from the deep pool as possible. I have no intention of ever going in again. Deep water is also a returning thing I my nightmares. I don’t know why. I have no reason for this fear. And I hate that I have it. But maybe it’s good not to be fearless. Fear has its place. And it helps me have empathy for other people’s fears. I’m not afraid of heights or spiders or the dark. I am uncomfortable with some insects, especially worms, larva and snails, but I have examined that discomfort over and over and I keep concluding that it is disgust and not fear I feel. My mom has a deep fear of rats and mice. So I guess it might be normal to have something. But I do feel oddly ashamed that I am afraid of something for no reason. I did face my fear though, back then. I have decided that I do not need to do that again. Not at this point in my life. It is not a fear that prevents me from doing things, and I my nephew wants me to go to the pool someday I‘ll go with him and we’ll have other, less deep pools to play in. Because thought the water scares me, I am not as afraid in the shallow water.

I’ve been thinking this week about my mom not being able to see how I really feel. And my conclusion is that it’s not entirely her own fault. I’ve worked hard to hide it. To protect her. To protect myself. She isn’t always a safe person to share the truth with. I don’t want my pain to cause her pain too. And I know I cannot trust her to allow my feeling to exist and to their job. She will try to dismiss them and call them unnecessary. As if any feeling that isn’t happiness is unwanted and unwelcome. She has dismissed my feelings and thoughts so much I believed I had no right to them. And now she has no right to know about them. That is one of the ways I reclaim my right to myself and to what I feel.

But still. I wanted the truth of my feelings seen and heard and acknowledged. And I wonder if I’ve done that with everything in my life. Made getting to the other side look like progress and like I am doing well. How often do I feel like I am drowning, like I am unsafe, like I am in pain or scared or angry or something else, and the people around me see me doing fine. I do not mean for that to be what I show the world. But that is often what they see. And I hate that. I know it can be a good skill to have, but it doesn’t feel like skill I can turn on or off at will. It’s just what I am. I so often don’t feel seen or heard or taken serious because people cannot see how I truly feel. I’m not sure what to do about that, because I would prefer that my truth was a little less invisible.

This was difficult to write. Mostly because English isn’t my first language and there were so many words and phrases that were difficult to translate. I hope I did it right or at least made myself clear. I should probably edit this, read it through a few times. But I can’t do that today. I think if I ask that of myself I will end up not posting at all. And I wanted to post this.

I hope whoever is out there doesn’t feel invisible and that maybe my story of being afraid can make you feel a little validated with whatever fears you have. I am still learning to accept that I have this kind of fear and that that is okay.

Take good care of yourself, I always ask people to do that. But I know it’s a little more relevant right now. Thank you for your time.



22nd of March 2020

A and I was supposed to do this together. This blog was supposed to be a thing I did with someone. And I wanted it to be a bit more fun and a lot less chore. Although I had somewhat realistic expectations about that. I love the idea of it being letters we wrote to each other. And I love the title and everything about the idea of Here. I need more Here. I need more creativity. And this blog isn’t giving me that.

I wanted this to be something that made me write and a space to be creative. I wanted more posts like the one about Hogwarts Houses and labels. And what it is is me whining and being sad. It’s me writing about nothing in a way that brings no value to me or anyone reading it. And this is not what I want to spend my time on.

Maybe I need to give it time. Maybe three months is not long enough to see any progress. Maybe all the great ideas I had and wanted to write about will come back if I give it time. Maybe any writing is better than no writing. But right now this feels like a waste of everyone’s time. It’s a waste of my time. An extremely limited resource that I want to spend better. That is the overall goal of this year. Spend my time and attention better. And I am not happy with the way I spend it on this blog.

I want to find Here. I want to find ways to be more present and alive in the moments I’ve got. And I used to feel so Here and so connected to what I feel when I write. But I don’t feel like this space offers me that right now. That might be a stupid way of phrasing that. I don’t know how to make this space that. I am doing the thing. The space is just there, open and waiting for whatever I fill it with. I am the one who doesn’t know how to fill it in a meaningful way.

Maybe I am doing too much at once. Reading more, bullet journal, less social media and less games on my phone, looking for communities, spending less time chasing people with nothing to give, and spending more time with people with all the wrong things to give. And then writing something for this blog once a week. Maybe I am just trying to do too many things at once, and not giving this writing the time and attention it deserves.

Maybe I miss A and feel sad and hurt that she is pushing me away.
Am I allowed to tell her that? She is fighting with every fibre in her body, with every part of her mind, to survive and stay alive. And here I am trying to make it all about me and my hurt feelings. I miss her and care about her, but if that doesn’t translate into something useful for her, or at least not something that makes things worse, those feelings inside me are worthless. These feelings should not be an excuse to make her life harder. And I worry telling her will make her battle worse. But is it a lie of omission if I just let things be and don’t tell her I feel hurt? I send her good thoughts as often as I feel I can. About once a month at the moment. Unless she writes. I want to do the right thing, but am not sure what that is exactly.

Writing used to be so empowering and helpful. But every time I try to write a letter for this blog I feel the opposite. I feel like I have no words, no voice, no inspiration. I don’t even have the discipline to write in advance and edit and at least try to make it good. I don’t have the energy to plan and find topics I want to explore and share. I am just blank. There is no skill, and nothing left in me to try and learn the skills I hoped to get out of writing every week.

I know part of this the depression and the disconnection. And that is the things I am trying to fight. I just feel like I am losing that fight every time I try to write something.

I am not sure I’ll write next week. I’m not sure I want to keep this going. Actually I really want to make this into the thing I always thought it would be. But if I don’t feel like I can do that I don’t want to spend my time whining about my sadness and depression on the internet. Absolutely no judgement on the people who do and who get something out of that. It’s just not what I want to do.

Maybe I need to give it time. No I definitely need to give it time. I am just not sure if the time is supposed to be spend not writing or attempting to write another letter every week. I’ll write an update when I know what I decide or maybe I’ll just write on or maybe I’ll just stop writing. But definitely one of those three.

This is actually the first piece of write I have read before posting in a very long time. And it feels more honest than anything I’ve written in a long time. Not that any of the other things were dishonest, this just feels deeper and more genuine and true to who I am.

Short Letter with an update on my reading and I miss work

20th of March 2020

Dear reader. If there are any.

I don’t feel like writing anything today. But let’s see what happens.

I’ve always thought of myself as an introvert. I need alone time. I need calm and structure and a safe space to retreat to. I need to be able to choose when I socialise and especially have the option of not socialising. But in exploring how good it can be to have the right people around me, how stimulating good conversations can be and how those things help fight my depression, I’ve realised I need people around me a lot more than I ever imagined. I’m still an introvert. But I do like time spend with the right people. And for a long time I’ve been unable to get my social needs met. Because I don’t just miss people, I miss the energy I feel when I talk to the right kind of people. The people who ask me to think and engage and who are interested in deep conversations about deep topics. And I have very few people like that in my life. The ones I do are so important to me.

I am staying home from work of cause. Like most people around me. I thought I’d easily be ok not going to work. But to my surprise I find this isolation to be a little difficult. I didn’t realise just how much I was relying on work to create structure and get input. The commute was a lot and not great. But I always got the kind of input that helps me not sink too far into depression. I learn a lot. I get new experiences. I am allowed to ask lots of questions about a field I know next to nothing about. There Are so many new experiences since I never really know what I’ll work on from day to day, so even when I work on my own I am engaged and learning and being challenged. I am working with my hands and the results of my work are very clear and tangible. And even though my tasks are very varied and my hours flexible, the frames the workplace offers me exactly the kind of structure I need.

And now I am at home. Taking the situation serious, listening to all the advice and taking precautions. I am very aware of the risks. But also feeling isolated and missing work. I actually started of thinking I would be just fine and that it would be nice with some time home, getting things done here. But I am already finding it hard. I hadn’t realised just how much of my weekly input and interactions came from work, and that I now have to fight a bit harder to keep depression at bay.

And it’s excatly because I didn’t have enough contact to people who could fulfil this need for conversation, that I decided I needed to read more. Actually I just wanted to read more in general, but it’s the thing that made me commit to it.
This week I’m rereading “Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It’s as good safe choice. I am a bit behind. Staying home and not having anything I absolutely have to do is not good for keeping me motivated and active.
Next week the plan is to reread “The Never Ending Story” by Michael Ende. A lot of rereading going on. But I needed some safe bets after some of the not so great books lately. Also I’ve wanted to reread this one for a while and a friend is going to read it too so we can talk about it. Looking forward to that.
Last weekend I read “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman and it was better than I had expected. I haven’t read any of his other books before, but all I had heard was that he is good and it didn’t disapoint. I just wasn’t sure what to expect of this one and didn’t want to set my expectations too high.

I am not sure I’ve got much more at the moment. But a few words did find their way out and I guess that counts as a letter. I am going to try again next week. But if my mind doesn’t get something interesting to work with I am not sure I’ll have anything to write.

Stay safe and take care of yourself and the people around you. I hope you find good ways to occupy yourself if you are also home in these days. As always thank you for your time. It’s a resource I have great respect for and I find it a great gift when someone offers me theirs.


Letter about traumas and being met with understanding

14th of March 2020

Dear whoever is out there reading.

Once again I am struck by the feeling of not having anything to share. I know something will pour out on the page, but I am not sure what. It’s not that I don’t think about it during the week. I think about it a lot. But by the time Friday (and in some cases, like this one, Saturday or Sunday) rolls around I am blank. I have not excuse for not writing yesterday. I just forgot or kept thinking I would do it later. I’m trying out bullet journaling. And I somehow forgets to put it on my to do list for the day and I think that is making it difficult for me to remember.
I don’t have a super creative and artful bullet journal. I am more of an only what is most necessary and wow my handwriting is awful person. I am giving it two months. Maybe three if the two first isn’t a total failure. Then I’ll decide for good if I want to keep going. I really liked all the things I saw online about it, but all the things I saw for a long time was just so artistic and creative and every page looked like a piece of art. And I thought it wasn’t for me. But when I finally read about it I realised it wasn’t about art and creativity at all, and that made me want to give it a go. So far I’m doing all right, but it’s still early. Maybe I’ll write a real update on how I am doing by the end of April.

Along with writing on this blog, reading a book a week and looking for communities I feel like I am doing a lot. I also got myself to two days a week at work and feel really proud of that. It might be over soon. I don’t know how long I can stay there, but I am looking into getting an actual job there, where they pay me a salary and I am employed and stuff like that. I would love that. But hope is still tiny and some of the joy the possibility died down a lot when my mom decided to meddle a little. Not something I feel like I can explain.
She just took part of the narrative around this and around my feelings about this away from me in a context when I had already told her I wasn’t comfortable talking about it. I so need better boundaries with her and my dad. But I am so bad at boundaries (my own mostly). By the time I understand that the boundary was crossed I am usually home again and calling to tell them off is just so much work. I am looking into finding books I can read about boundaries to maybe help me figure out how t o get better at setting them. I’ve finally reach a place where I mostly understand I am allowed to have and set boundaries. The next step of how to do it and how to overcome fear of backlash and how to handle backlash is still a little too far away. But that is also something I am working on. The list keeps growing and my energy and abilities doesn’t. Plus the fact that all though I am fighting my depression (by doing all these things) it’s not magically cured with books and writing and my mental health in general isn’t great. It’s still kind of bad. I think I stopped checking in with it. The status kept being the same. But I am doing the work. Or the work I think I need to do.

I am also working a lot on trauma related to mental health treatments, my parents and those boundaries. The trauma of rape and sexual abuse is not really on the table right now. I don’t have the space to work on it. It also took me a long time to admit, but the trauma of the other stuff, the none-sexual stuff, is for me personally more severe and more stigmatised. I feel like I am allowed to name the rapes as trauma. But my bad experiences with psychologists and psychiatrists are somehow not allowed to be traumas. My undiagnosed autism, my parents not understanding me, the world not understanding me, the demands that I need to be something I am not and that I need to have other reactions and feelings than I do, the constant invalidation and lack of respect or consideration for my experiences and feelings, bordering on gaslighting. Those things are not as clear cut, they are not allowed to be traumas, I am not allowed to have unresolved issues with this. Maybe because there isn’t a clear cut villain.
My parents did the best they could, they were in an impossible situation with my dad’s health problems, my mom trying to hold everything together. Of cause it was easier to tell me to stop being difficult (especially because I understood why they needed me to behave differently and therefore from their perspective it worked to tell me that), than to figure out why I was being difficult.
Some of the psychologists who worked on helping me might have been genuinely nice people who wanted to help make my life better and easier. But getting the wrong diagnosis several times, lack of consent and information, no focus in building trust and my long history of bad experiences made every new encounter with any kind of therapist a new bad experience. A long with a few bad apples who did and said actually harmful things to me. I also might be smart but I am not impervious to confirmation bias. And I spend almost twenty years talking to more different psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, nurses and other therapists than I can count. That is a very big part of my life spend talking to people I didn’t what to talk to, who made me feel worse, that I’ll never get back.

It’s hard to explain exactly how or why these things are traumas. It’s so much easier to point to the sexual abuse and name that the bad thing that happened to me. But I also know it’s not the whole story. I know there are things that feel so much more shameful, so much more scary, things that to me was much more violating than the ways he used my body.

So at the moment I am also spending a lot of time and energy on looking at that. Naming my feelings and what happened and figuring out why it those things hit me so hard. I don’t need a villain to allow my feelings space to exist. I don’t need to name someone else evil to allow myself to acknowledge that my needs were fair and reasonable and that they were not being met. I can allow myself to be angry at my parents and the psychologists and still remember that they did the best they could and that my parents were having very real and very big problems that took precedence. No one knew I was autistic and that if they had known they might have acted differently and I might have gotten actual help and support.

I’ve also been operating with intention vs impact. And am allowing myself to look away from intentions and look more at impact. I’ve been living my whole life feeling like other people intentions were so important, that almost any impact could be excused. But allowing myself to look at impact and not get caught up in intentions allows me to better understand why things hurt, it allows me to acknowledge my own feelings and gives me permission to have boundaries. I don’t have to set myself and my boundaries aside just because someone else have good intentions.

And writing these things brings me back to how I responded to the sexual abuse. I actually let him excuse his abuse with good intentions. He actually told me he hoped sex would help me and that he wasn’t trying to hurt me. And when I thought intentions matters more than impact, I had no real right to be uncomfortable with what he did or be mad at him for it.
I also felt safe with him. I felt protected by him. Not from him, but from something else. From myself perhaps. Or maybe from all the other traumas I my life. Sometimes I think about how messed up a person’s life has to be for them to experience an abusive person who rapes them as the safest place they have ever known. And even now it’s easier to name him the villain, it safer to name his actions trauma, than to name all the rest that hurts inside me as trauma. I’m not saying what he did is ok. I am not saying what he did isn’t serious and bad. I’m just saying with him I know I am allowed to be in pain and not ok with what happened. And I don’t have that with the rest.

And that is what I am working on. Not because I want to name everything a trauma. But because I want the shame and fear and pain to have an outlet. So I will one day be rid of it. And to get that I need to look at it and name it and create space to feel and understand it. That way I think maybe one day I’ll no longer have shame and fear and pain about it. I’ll always have been shaped by it, but I won’t always be hurting and it won’t always mess up my present and my future. I’ll be able to leave what happened in the past. The open wounds will heal and the scars will be beautiful reminders to be kind to others and meet them with understanding and care and curiosity instead of fear and judgement. And they’ll remind me to be aware of both intentions and impacts. Both in others and in my own actions.

In doing this work I recently had an amazing conversation with a friend who listened and acknowledged and told me my feelings made sense. Just that. What I feel makes sense. She would feel the same if she had my experiences. I was so afraid of sounding mad, proper insane, delusional. And here she was. Just taking in what I said and telling me that I wasn’t delusional. I was having a very real and reasonable reaction to something that I couldn’t understand and was trying to protect myself from something that felt dangerous. She didn’t try to fix me or tell me I was wrong. She asked questions in order to try and understand me and then she imagined what I was going through and told me I made sense. Not logical sense, not “what you are telling me is the objective truth” sense. But sense in the way that my reactions and feelings were perfectly clear and reasonable in the context I was in and with the information I had.
Never underestimate the power of doing what she did. It was like this shameful secret of my reactions and feelings no longer had to be shameful. I didn’t have to hide them. She didn’t think less of me and she didn’t believe I was insane because of what I told her. And what a gift that is to give me. I am not done working on the thing I talked to her about. But I am in a much better place to do it. There is less shame, less worry, less fear. And now she knows me better and can understand me better. And that opens up a lot in the communication between us. A new trust has been build. I know I can return to her and feel safe that she will try to understand me and see my perspective, before she introduces me to a new perspective on what I work on. And that, I think, is the key. To trust and understanding and growth.

I am grateful to have such a friend. I am grateful that people like her exist. And I am inspired to keep trying to meet people like that. It might seem like a high standard to set, but a worthy one.

Thank you for your time.


Letter about looking for communities, faith, love and the big picture.

7th of March 2020

Dear reader

I am not sure what to write today. This week as been hard and exhausting and I am just too tired.

My commitment to spending time with people who have more time and energy for me, is both good and bad. I am seeing people more and that is nice. But I am seeing people who drain me and who are more likely to me feel empty than like my needs are met. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. I am just unsure what the right cause of action is.

I also said yes to this fantasy book club and the first book we had to read was so bad I barely made it through it. I have no desire to read about a male protagonist with no personality who spends an entire book looking with both longing and lust at a woman who spends the story telling him she’s not interested and him trying to figure out how many chivalry points it takes to get her to love him back. Not a single character had personality and the love interest was every “I’m not like other girls”-trope thrown together with a bit of damsel in distress and only seeing her through the eyes of a man who only sees her as an object he can win and not as a person. The plot was thin, the language boring and there were so many inaccuracies that I just got frustrated.

I did spend 7 days not reading at all. So reading this one was a good thing. And it was the 12th book of the year, so I am not behind. But I am hoping I get to only read better things this year. No, actually, it can only get better, because this was definitely as low as it’s gonna get. I so hope the rest of this book club agree with me about this book. Or it might e a very short attempt at joining a book club. But if that’s the case I’m ok with that. I was hoping to spend energy both reading and being more social/look for communities I could join. But doing those two things separately is probably more my thing anyway.

I had also looked into joining a new autism group for teenage girls with autism, to get back to doing volunteer work with kids. But my first meeting with them left me feeling unsure and with a weird feeling about the whole thing. I was told they would write back to me the next day and felt almost relieved when I didn’t hear from them again. But last week I got an email about a new meeting and I honestly don’t know if I should go or not. I want community. I want to make a difference. But the weird feeling from that meeting makes me unsure if this is the place to do that.

And lastly I was invited to join a group at my local church, where I used to volunteer with kids and teenagers. This is a social group for adults and it feels too religious for me. Too much talk of all the answers being in the bible. I don’t like that. And the group leader, a very kind and caring woman, keeps trying to sell me this group as being something it isn’t. I think in part because we are very different people with very different understandings of the words and contexts we are talking about, and in part because she really wants me to join this group. And it’s such a nice group of people. Everyone seems so nice and welcoming and like a good community. And I need community and people and a place to belong. But the times I’ve been there I just feel so out of place and like I’m in the wrong room. And then the bible is brought up and everything feels even worse.

And that is part due to the fact that I have no desire to be religious or only find answers in one book. Another reason is that I recently discovered I lost faith. My faith was never really defined, as anything. I grew up chosing to go to church. I found a place I was welcome and being an autistic person who didn’t know why I felt so different, having people embrace me and make me welcome was important. And back then it was never about faith or religion. I learned some bible stories, but I felt free to question and disbelieve and never felt like anything was forced upon me. This group feels different. The way they talk about the bible and answers and all that makes me so comfortable.

I guess faith used to just be in some higher power, something I couldn’t name or describe, but just something more. And that was enough for a long time. I called this thing I believed in God because the word was as good as any word, and it was a word I grew up with. But I didn’t think of myself as a Christian or religious. I prayed sometimes and it used to be helpful. And then the unjustness of the world, the cruelty of what happens, the inequality, all of that was something I finally looked more into. I always felt it, like a splinter in my mind, but I had just enough privileged to not look at it all the time. But I have been actively looking to understand the world better and the cruelty of it hit me so hard. And I spend a few years being mad at God. Trying to be ok being in this state, so sure my faith would help me through to some new state after that. And instead I one day realised I wasn’t angry any more. The entire idea seem foolish because there was nothing to be mad at.

That feels so sad. A part of me is grieving, a part of me is empty. I do not think my journey with faith is over. I don’t presume this is the final state of things. But it’s my current state. And it might last forever and it might not. All I know is that I have to allow myself to stop and be inside the things I feel and experience and think. If I am always looking at the bigger picture, always looking to have a greater perspective, I lose what I am feeling and experiencing right now. And I need to be better at living in my life and not just thinking about my life. I have to get better at stopping myself from thinking ten steps ahead and allowing myself to live in this step. And in this step faith is dead. And I am sad. Because if I cannot believe in God, there is no God to love me, and then I am not loved.

Somehow love is a theme for me right now. How disconnected I feel from love. How I try to act from a place of love and with acts of love. And how I know some people love me, but their love doesn’t reaches me and their love feels like it’s about them and what they want and need and not about me. And that makes me feel very divorced from their love. Like I have nothing to do with it. Like my needs, my love language, my feelings and experiences are unimportant to their love, because their love is all about what they feel and not about what I am receiving. That makes me think very hard about how I act and speak when I want to give love, because the love I want to give is not about me. It’s about the one receiving it. To me the other person receiving the love is more important than what I feel. By which I am not trying to say my way is better, only that my way is my way, and that I am choosing it in part because of the things that aren’t working for me in the choices of people around me.

I am loved. But I do not feel loved. I am cared about, but feel like no one cares. I have people who want the best for me, but I feel so lonely. I am spending time with people who leave me drained because I cannot bear my own company or my own thoughts any longer. And am keeping busy because I know if I stop, even for a moment the world will crash and burn again. I am not better. My depression not cured, my traumas not healed, my autism not understood, my boundaries are still not up. And the world asks me to carry on and acknowledge all the good that is happening. And I do. I just can’t do that and be in my own body and my own mind or my own life without breaking. Because all the good doesn’t erase all the bad and the more I am only allowed to acknowledge the good, the more the bad weighs on my shoulders. The more alone I feel. The more life has no meaning and death feels like the only honesty left.

I am trying so hard to do my part. To not just be victim of my own mental health. I am trying so hard to pull myself out of all the darkness. But I carry the darkness with me. And there is no room for what I am in the world. There is no room for the things inside me. The parts that hurt. I want to rip them out, with roots and all. And the world tells me I want the impossible. I need space for what I feel, I need someone to look at it with me, someone who’ll be a mirror and help me adjust my thoughts, feelings and experiences of what my pain is.
There is so much I can do myself. And I do it. I promise. I do all the hard work. But there is only so much I can do myself. And even when I do all of it, there are still parts of it I need another human being help me with. That was the hardest thing for me to accept and to allow to be true. I cannot overstate how big getting there was for me. I think we all need a hand to hold through our lives sometimes. I just can’t seem to find a person who can be there for me. And that makes me feel lonely and deeply unworthy of love. I was told last summer that I think I am fantastic. I felt very called out, but had to admit it’s true. I do believe I have a lot of good qualities. My intelligence and kindness, my way of looking at the world, which mostly consist of a willingness to be wrong and an eagerness to learn. I pretty awesome. I have so much good I want to give to the world. But I do not believe I deserve love or that I should be loved. And I certainly don’t feel loved. Loved is probably the most empty thing I hear people tell me I am.

I happen to know one person has been reading along. A person who expresses love for me. A person with faith and with whom I have previously talked about God. To this person I need to say that I don’t need any talk of God for now. If that is the way I am supposed to go, I’ll get there when  I’m ready. That is not now. I can just hear you tell that even if I cannot believe in God I am still loved by him. But that isn’t helpful right now. Right now I need to find my own way in this. And it’ll take a long time, because I think I have a long way to go, and going is slow. Give me time to find out where I am heading. Give me space to find out what might be helpful.
I also want to say that I know this one is hard for you to read. But if I have to think of that I cannot write, so I have to not care. This is my blog, my space, my letters. And I need to allow myself to name what is happening. I need to write. I need to dig all this out and allow myself to look at it. Even when it’s ugly and not the whole truth. And I am sorry this one is hard for you. I am sorry you might be hurt or sad. But I am not going to censor myself even when I know you are reading. And we agreed I shouldn’t. I do hear the love you express for me. I am trying to receive it. And I am failing at that right now. Don’t think who you are or what you do aren’t enough or right or unappreciated. I am just a messed up person trying to navigate a lot of stuff, including a history that doesn’t make it easy to receive what you offer me. I don’t walk around taking other peoples words or actions personally. My intuition tells me it’s only about themselves. And therefore I always feel weird telling other people not to take what I do or say or feel personally, because for me that is a given. But I understand that not everyone sees the world the way I do, so even though I feel weird saying this, please know that me feeling unloved and lonely and all that is just about me. I know there is love out there, but right now I am not capable of receiving it. And just writing this brings be back to bigger picture and perspective and all that, so I’m going to stop myself there.

It’s good to remember big pictures, but I am beginning to understand that I cannot live in the big picture. I miss all the details and all the nuance and most of all I miss right now. I am so good at living in the meta where I think and talk about my life and my thoughts and my experiences and forget to actually be in them. I am dedicating energy to be in them.

It’s only been a few months, but I do feel like I am doing a lot with this year of being more intentional and having a few goals. I wish you dear reader the best with your goals.

I think that’ll be all for today. To whoever is reading out there, take good care of yourself. Thank you for your time.