Tag Archive: friends

Q&A: Self-Confidence

The one hundred-thirteenth question for the Q&A section of this blog is: “When did you have the weakest self-confidence ever?”

Oh, geez…this is a hard one for me. A whole bunch of answers pop into my head at once, and ranking them isn’t incredibly easy. When I really think about it, if you asked my friends when they thought I had the weakest self-confidence, I’m pretty sure their answers would be very different from the one I have to give here. Theirs would sound much more reasonable and logical than mine, but I do believe mine to be more accurate, based on how I actually felt.

See, it would stand to reason that the times I had the weakest self-confidence would be when I allowed myself to stay in abusive relationships, even after knowing they were abusive…and certainly, the last ‘relationship’ I was in would be a good contender in that regard…but I don’t think any of those were when my self confidence was the lowest. I think, in fact, that my self confidence was the lowest when I started to heal from those abuses, as odd as that might sound to say.

I’m not sure I really can (or even want to) explain why I feel that way in a way that will make sense, but what it comes down to is that when I finally got into a healthy, stable relationship with someone, who supported me and allowed me to be vulnerable to them…I got all kinds of fucked up. Apparently that’s a completely normal response to something like that, but at the time it really didn’t feel like it; it felt like I had finally found someone who loved and respected me and wanted to help me overcome my past, but that instead of being all I could be for them, I was a massive ball of anxiety and mental illness instead. The reason why makes sense; I was not at all used to having a healthy relationship and therefore had no idea how one would work, so I had to basically un-learn everything I had ever known about relationships for 28 years, and learn something entirely new, which is overwhelmingly difficult…but despite logic, it just felt, to me, like I was a horrible person.


There is a lot more detail I could go into on this one, and part of me feels like I should, but most of me is just having a really hard time writing this, because I am massively sick and it’s messing with my brain something awful…so before I make this really weird or incoherent (I’m really just hoping I haven’t done that already), I’m going to end it. Sorry, guys; this might have been a good one, but I just don’t have it in me at all right now. Damn illness…

Check out Mike’s answer at http://emptystress.wordpress.com, and please feel free to post your own in the comments! :)

(Next question: “What is the most inexplicable thing you’ve ever witnessed?”)


Q&A: Unattractive

The one hundredth (!) question for the Q&A section of this blog is: “Who was the least attractive person you were ever attracted to?”

I hate to say it, but this is a bit of a hard one for me, because when a relationship ends for me, once I get closure I tend to be completely incapable of finding that person attractive ever again. Not just “I don’t want to date you again”, but rather that I don’t really see what I found attractive about them in the first place. That is not all-encompassing, of course; usually we can remain friends, and I can see a lot of redeeming qualities in them (and some have so many that I will still “gush” about all their positive traits), but it certainly affects how I view them physically, because for me, physical attraction is largely based on my mental/emotional connection to an individual.


That being said, there are a couple of people who popped to mind right away when I read this question, because the negative qualities that they had that broke us up are still quite apparent in them, to the point that I’m not sure how I ever “put up with” them, and of course, that makes them quite unattractive to me in the physical sense, as well. It is to the point, with a couple of them, that I just absolutely do not understand what I ever saw in them physically, because when I look closely at pictures of them now, I cannot find anything at all that I would be attracted to.

Now, I guess I should say that I have never dated anyone that I found unattractive before entering the relationship. My “tastes” are very broad, so I can find a large range of different types of people attractive, because again, it’s mostly based on personality for me anyway, so I found them all attractive when I was dating them. It’s just looking back on them now that makes me able to view them as unattractive.

But even though a couple of people came to mind when I read this question, there is only one person whose photos, if I see them, will consistently make me feel actively nauseous, and that’s the guy I very briefly dated before I met my current boyfriend. It’s kind of funny, because I’ve been in relationships where I have been raped, used and abused, yet I can still find those individuals more attractive than this guy. Why? Because he was a potentially very scary, and definitely very abusive jackass, who tried to manipulate me into believing he was otherwise (and that I was horrible), because he knew I would be vulnerable to that, given my history…and he let that show far too soon.


When we first met, he seemed like the perfect guy; absolutely “too good to be true”…and he was. The first time I saw him, I found him physically attractive, and that only grew the more he shared with me, and the more I developed feelings for him, but through it all, I couldn’t shake this nasty little feeling of anxiety that I had about him. It was like he was saying and doing all the right things, and I knew I should trust him, but I just couldn’t bring myself to actually do so. Something was not right, and my gut knew it, but he kept convincing me that it was just the abuse from my past clouding my mind and making me doubt both him and myself. He kept assuring me he would never do those things, and that he didn’t know how anyone could. But still, I just couldn’t get comfortable with him.

In total, we only dated for about a month, and in that time, cracks had already started to show in who he claimed to be. He would get frustrated with me for not being able to make decisions that I had absolutely no basis with which to make, while he did, and he would push me into situations I was not comfortable with, like meeting my friends (which was a huge red flag for me; I’m usually very excited for my significant other to meet my friends, but in this case, I didn’t want him to at all, and kept trying to find ways to stop it from happening, even though I wasn’t quite sure why I didn’t want it…at least I did manage to lie my way out of him meeting my family), and then talk shit about those things (and my friends) later on. He preached “no judgment”, yet he constantly judged me and the people in my life, considering all of us to be “lesser than” because we weren’t as “worldly” as he was.

He also tried to diminish me by repeatedly pointing out things he liked or was interested in (activities, favourite foods, etc.), and talking about how disappointed he was that he wouldn’t get to enjoy those things because “I couldn’t” (because of fears, allergies, foods I disliked, whatever), even though in most of those situations, I tried and tried to get through to him that I wanted to try them. It didn’t matter what I said, or how much I genuinely wanted to try something (or could point out reasons he was wrong in saying I wouldn’t enjoy it, or modifications that could easily be made so I would); if it was something he really liked that he could find any way I might not like, he would essentially ban me from trying it so that he could continue to remind me of how much I was holding him back from the things he loved. Every weekend he visited, we had to have pizza, because he refused to cook for me because I “wouldn’t like what he likes” (even though he claimed to be a phenomenal cook) so it was “for my own good”, and made me very uncomfortable with the idea of cooking for him, because everything I liked was apparently so “bland”.

There were other red flags, as well, but the biggest thing really was how uncomfortable I felt with him, and how I very quickly stopped wanting him to come visit. I didn’t feel right about any of it, and I didn’t see how we could have any sort of future, but he kept telling me how good he was going to be for me, and how I was letting my anxiety hold me back, so because I didn’t want to do that, I stayed.

Then, on Canada Day, we went on a road trip to Six Flags, and that’s where it all fell apart completely. I won’t get into all the gory details, but suffice it to say, I almost had to find another way to get home, and his true colours really showed during that trip. I only made it back to Canada because I managed to convince him I still wanted to be with him, and that I was going to comply with doing the things he wanted to do…but once we were back, I dropped the act and told him “no” when he tried to force me to have sex with him instead of meeting my friend, who had cooked me dinner and was waiting for me (after already telling him no to his suggestion that he invite himself along), and that was the end of that. He was so pissed that I said “no” to him, that I never saw him again after that, aside from when we exchanged a couple of things we’d borrowed from one another (at which point I met him in the parking lot and didn’t even speak to him, because I wanted him to leave as quickly as possible). And I’m not sure I’d ever been happier than I was when I realized it was actually finally over.


So, yeah. Too much, too soon, too scary, and I even got an infection (not an STI, to be clear :P) out of it in the end (which, of course, was all my fault according to him, even though the doctor said otherwise), and now, seeing pictures of him or thinking too much about what happened with him legitimately makes me feel like throwing up. I hate knowing he was in my life for even just as long as he was, and I think he’s the only person I’ve been with who I 100% wish I had never met. I know what I saw “in him”, but it wasn’t who he actually was, and who he actually is is by far the most unattractive person I’ve ever met. And that is all I’ll say about that.

Check out Mike’s answer at http://emptystress.wordpress.com, and please feel free to post your own in the comments! :)

(Next question: “What has been your most difficult breakup?”)

Q&A: Waste of Time

The eighty-fifth question for the Q&A section of this blog is: “How do you waste the biggest chunk of time each day or week?”

Facebook. Without a doubt, that is the answer for this one; I check it way more than I reasonably should. What can I say; I like to know what’s going on in the lives of my friends! …Yeah, I know, that’s not a great excuse, especially with my friend count.  Still true though. So yeah, pathetically enough, it’s Facebook.  And that’s that!


Check out Mike’s answer at http://emptystress.wordpress.com, and please feel free to post your own in the comments! :)

(Next question: “What have you been most naive about?”)

Q&A: No Values

The seventy-sixth question for the Q&A section of this blog is: “Who has the weakest set of values in your family? And among your friends?”

It’s sad to say that there are a few people in my family with pretty weak values, but it’s the truth; I mean, for example, I do have both a half-brother and a step-brother that have never even met their nephew (my son), despite that he’s almost 5 years old, and they’ve been living in the same city as I have since before he was born. Perhaps that, in itself, is not too terrible (though it still feels like it is to me), but both of them have also used and abused their fathers, completely disregarding how their actions made them feel, and considering neither of their fathers (particularly my step-father) deserved it at all, it’s impossible to imagine a world in which I could ever respect either of them again.

When it comes right down to it, though, I’d have to say that my half-brother wins for ‘weakest values’, because his actions in the past few months have gone above and beyond what I believed he would be capable of in terms of horrible treatment of our father, and when you add that to the years of neglecting his family, while simultaneously acting like he’s so much better than everyone else and deserves not only their love and respect, but also their money…yeah, I think he’s lacking some moral fiber, and has definitely lost any sense of family values. I won’t go into any more detail about the things he’s done, but really, a year ago I never would have thought someone could outshine my step-brother in the ‘selfish, entitled child’ department, but my half-brother has certainly succeeded there.  And I look forward to the day I get to tell him exactly how I feel about his actions.


As for my friends, I’m not sure.  I’ve certainly had a few friends who have been perfectly fine with living off of others and doing as little work as possible to get through life (and usually bitching about even that), but I don’t actually want to think too much about who has the weakest values out of my friends, because my friends are awesome people, for the most part, so…I’m gonna end this here.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Check out Mike’s answer at http://emptystress.wordpress.com, and please feel free to post your own in the comments! :)

(Next question: “When do you have the strongest ability to concentrate?”)

Q&A: Forgiveness

The twenty-eighth question for the Q&A section of this blog is: “What is the one thing you’d most like to be forgiven for?”

Before I answer this question, there’s one thing you should know about me:  I have a huge guilt problem.  I feel guilty about everything, especially if I shouldn’t, and I can’t get over that guilt until I’m able to make up for the wrong I feel was done somehow.  The problem is, I feel guilty for things that are entirely out of my control, and that I know it’s kind of ridiculous for me to try to do anything about, not just the things that I should feel guilty for.

For example, many years ago I took a trip to Toronto with my mom and sister for a few days, and each of us came up with one ‘big thing’ we wanted to do before we left the city.  My sister’s was done the first day, mine the next, and the last day before leaving was supposed to be my mom’s turn, because it was the only day that the activity she wanted to do was available.  Unfortunately, her activity involved a helicopter, and on the day it was supposed to happen, a huge hailstorm rolled in completely out of nowhere, so we were obviously unable to go.  My mother was disappointed, but of course she didn’t blame me or my sister, because there was nothing we could have done about it…but I felt so guilty that she didn’t get to do the one thing she’d wanted to do that I still, to this day, get a feeling of heartbreak every time I think of it, and feel sick at the knowledge that she hasn’t been able to do it yet.  I have vowed to myself to one day take her to Toronto to take that helicopter trip, even though she may not even want to anymore, and she certainly wouldn’t want me to be paying for it.  It’s just the only way I can ever imagine assuaging my guilt, despite that I know that the change in weather was not my fault.

So, yeah, that’s a thing I do, and I do it a lot.  There’s a long list of things I feel like I have to make up for that were absolutely not my fault in any way, but that I can’t let go of until I’ve made right, so I will someday.  There’s also a shorter list of things I legitimately feel I need to make up for, because they are things I did wrong (or things that I wanted to do for someone but wasn’t able to for whatever reason), and I feel overwhelmingly guilty about those things every time I think of them as well, but for the most part, I right my wrongs as they happen as much as possible.

Because of all that, there’s not a lot I need to be forgiven for, because for the most part, everyone involved in the things I’ve felt guilty about have either not viewed what happened as my fault in any way at all, or have already forgiven me for what I did – I just haven’t forgive myself.  That makes this question a bit difficult, because I have to think of something that someone other than me has not forgiven me for, and there’s only one thing I can think of that would potentially fit that category.  So here goes.

Wayyyy back in elementary school, I was one of the ‘popular girls’, as I’ve mentioned in this blog before.  I can’t remember exactly what I’ve said about my childhood on here, so I’ll just explain it all and apologize if I repeat anything you’ve already heard.  So yeah, I was ‘popular’, but in my school all that meant was that everyone in the class liked me, and I was friends with all of them – despite being probably the shyest person in the class.   For most kids, being popular would give them a certain amount of self-esteem, but it didn’t work that way for me; like I said, I was excruciatingly shy, and most of it was due to the fact that I had no self-confidence, so I was consistently afraid that people either secretly didn’t like me and were just pretending to be my friends to make fun of me, or did like me, but wouldn’t if I made the slightest wrong move.

In my final year of elementary school, my closest friends and I decided that we should create the first yearbook in our school’s history, because not everyone in the class was going to be going to the same junior high school, and we’d been such a tight knit group.  We worked hard on it, and incorporated ideas from teachers and everyone in the class, and in the end, it came out quite well.  There was only one problem – one of my friends decided that we should do a sort of ‘info sheet’ for each student, that they would fill out so people would know their likes, dislikes, best friends, etc.  Why was that a problem?  Because of one question – “Biggest Pet Peeve”.

I hated that question.  I remember sitting in front of the computer (one of those huge, colourful iMacs) for hours trying to think of how to fill in that one little blank, because I couldn’t really think of anything I disliked enough to call it a pet peeve at that age (I have many now, trust me :P), and I was afraid to offend anyone by putting something that might have been a habit of one of my classmates.  Eventually, a few of my best friends showed up to work on theirs, and I asked them what they’d put down as their pet peeves.  That was a huge mistake.

They informed me that they’d all put the same thing, and that they thought I should put it too, since we were all best friends and it would be weird if I didn’t…but that thing was the names of two of our fellow classmates, Shaun and Jessica.  They went on to make fun of the two of them, and I remember feeling very uncomfortable with it, because I liked Shaun and Jessica.  Shaun had had a crush on me since first grade, and I still, to this day, have the valentine he gave me that was my first ever, on which he’d written that he loved me.  Of course, he was too young to love me, but I just thought it was so sweet that I could never get rid of it.  Shaun and I didn’t hang out much, but he was always very nice to me when we did, the others just didn’t like him because they found him annoying.

Jessica they didn’t like because they thought she smelled like fish.  They made a lot of jokes at her expense, and again it made me uncomfortable because none of them knew a damn thing about Jessica.  She lived up the street from me, so we would often walk home together after school, and yes, she did emit a certain odour, but I knew why – her parents were in an incredibly bad financial position, and couldn’t afford to use enough hot water to allow Jessica to bathe more than once a week.  She had siblings, and one of them had a physical disability, so most of her parents’ money went to caring for him and feeding the family, leaving little left over for hot water and heat in the winter.  Jessica was a sweet, smart girl, who appreciated what she had, and my ‘friends’ knew nothing about what she didn’t have, and…it just wasn’t right how they treated her.

But of course, there’s a reason this is something I need to be forgiven for, and I’m sure you can guess it’s that I marked their names down on my form as well.  Why?  Because I was afraid to lose my friends.  It’s not a good enough reason, I know that now, but at the time I felt so pressured and scared about what would happen if I didn’t, that I did it.  I remember the day the yearbooks were printed, flipping to my own page and seeing those words written there, and how awful I felt.  How upset I knew Shaun and Jessica would be when they saw them.  I betrayed them, plain and simple; they were good to me, and I turned my back on them in favour of ‘friends’ that didn’t even bother with me anymore once we entered junior high, even if I had wanted to continue to associate with them.

Few people know that that’s why I became depressed in junior high, and excluded myself from everyone else.  People still liked me – in fact, I remember learning in grade 9 that the ‘popular people’ in junior high had always wanted to spend more time with me, and they were actually very sweet people (an entirely different group) – but I had no desire to be close to anyone then.  I could not handle the guilt I felt for doing what I did to Shaun and Jessica, and I did not want to get close enough to anyone else to risk making a mistake like that again.

Neither Shaun nor Jessica ended up going to the same junior high or high school as me, so I was never able to apologize for what I did, and because the yearbooks were ready right at the end of the school year, I was never even able to face either of them to fully understand the measure of the pain I must have caused them.  Who knows; maybe neither of them cared…but even if that was the case, that doesn’t make it okay that I did what I did.  I shouldn’t have done it, and I wish so badly that I hadn’t.  I wish I’d given up those ‘friends’ then, that very moment; I wish I’d been able to see that those were not the type of people I wanted to spend my time with.

So, that is the one thing I’d most like to be forgiven for, and I never will, because I cannot remember Shaun or Jessica’s last names, and no one else from my elementary seems to remember either, so I’ve no way of ever contacting them.  I’ll just spend the rest of my life wishing I could have apologized to them.  More than that, though, I wish I could just go back and change it all; make it so it never happened.  I’m sorry, Shaun and Jessica, but I know sorry is not enough.  I wish there was something I could do.

Again, no gifs this time because of the nature of the story.  I hope you understand.   Reflecting on this again has quite upset me, so I’ve got to go deal with that now.  I wonder if that was the moment when I decided I wanted to do everything I could to help as many people as possible as much as possible.  I still want to.  Someday, I hope I’m able to do more than I can now.

Check out Mike’s answer at http://emptystress.wordpress.com, and please feel free to post your own in the comments! :)

(Next question: “When have you come closest to meeting the devil?”)


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