Tag Archive: Mental Health


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.

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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?”)

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Q&A: Weakest

The seventy-third question for the Q&A section of this blog is: “What was the weakest you’ve ever been?”

Well, let’s see; are we talking physical weakness, mental weakness or emotional weakness?  If it’s emotional weakness, I would say it was probably 10 months ago, when my ex-boyfriend moved out.  We’d been together for more than three years, and most of that time had been spent with me supporting him through school and through a chronic illness he was suffering, so when he suddenly ended things the day before my birthday, it was incredibly hard to deal with. The relationship had certainly needed to end for some time, but the unexpected nature of his departure, the timing, the disdain he suddenly seemed to have for me (and seems to have held on to), and the curves that threw into my life in every way possible were, at the time, just too much to deal with.  I spent a good length of time trying to recover from that, which led me to come down with pretty much every illness under the sun as a result, and I was a complete mess emotionally. Luckily, I got through it, and it’s been a very long time since any of that has bothered me, but I’d still have to say it was probably the weakest I’ve ever been emotionally.

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Mentally, though, I think I’d unfortunately have to say that the weakest I’ve been has been in the past few months, as I’ve attempted to navigate the new relationship I entered into almost six months ago. I’m with a wonderful guy, who I am very happy with, but there are a lot of issues with his ex-wife and their son, as well as insecurity issues on my part, as he is the first person who has really wanted to be with me for me and not for what I can offer him…which is surprisingly hard to get used to. So it’s taken a lot of work to struggle through, but he (and our relationship) is worth it, so I’m trying to keep strong. I’ve definitely had more than my fair share of weak moments as a result of it, though.

Now, as for physical weakness, my weakest point could either be now, when I am basically unable to even do dishes or drive, and sometimes end up in severe pain just from showering…or it could have been after my stint in the hospital 8 or so years ago, when I basically had to relearn to walk because I’d been in a hospital bed on heavy duty meds for too long. I was going to go into more detail on that, but then we’re tying into the mental and emotional weakness again, and that could get confusing, so…now is not the time.  But hey, at least this was finally a real answer to something!

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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 strongest profanity you use?”)

Q&A: Hard Love

The fifty-seventh question for the Q&A section of this blog is: “What is the hardest thing about love?”

This question is very well timed, as this is something I’ve had to deal with a lot lately.  See, I’ve been in many relationships in my life, but as much as I’ve been through and as much as I’ve thought I loved people before, I never actually had to face how hard love really is until now…because I guess I never actually felt it.  I mean, I loved the people I was with before, to some degree, but considering how significantly different I feel in my current relationship, and how much it has already changed for me, I have to think that there’s probably a pretty good chance that I was never in love before.  Or maybe it’s just that this is the first healthy relationship I’ve had in a long time, if it can be argued that I ever had one before it at all, so I’ve had to approach it completely differently than I did my previous unhealthy relationships.

Either way, as I said, lately I’ve had to face the fact that real love is not easy, but not in the ways I had thought before.  In the past, I let a lot of bad things happen in my relationships, because I completely misunderstood what people meant when they said that love and relationships weren’t easy, and that good ones took work.  I took that to mean that they required sacrifice, which is true, but not in the ways that I was sacrificing myself in the past…and that because a good relationship is worth fighting for, that that excused any amount of actual fighting that went on, because obviously we wouldn’t fight if we didn’t care about each other, right?  Yeah.  I was very naive, for a very long time, and things got pretty bad because of it. I let things get way out of hand, and stayed in situations I logically knew better than to stay in, because I thought that I must love these people if I was willing to give up so much of myself for them.  What I failed to realize was that if the relationships had actually been healthy, I wouldn’t have had to give up myself.

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Anyway, what is the hardest thing about love?  Being vulnerable.  That’s not something I’m used to.  In the past, I never really felt vulnerable in any other sense than that I knew that the possibility existed that the people I loved (whether my partner, friends or family) could die (which was and is something that worries me a lot more than it probably should on a daily basis); otherwise, while I knew that my partner could leave me at any time, I never really thought that they would.  See, in my previous relationships, no matter  how dramatic or horrible they got, I felt a certain sense of security in them, because I knew those partners needed me (for one reason or another), so even if we weren’t happy, it was less likely for them to leave unexpectedly.  I also never really gave my whole heart to those relationships, both because they were never really my ‘idea’ (that is, I was not the pursuer, and in most cases I actually wasn’t even all that interested in the person in the beginning, I just gave it a shot because I knew it was what they wanted and I felt guilty) and because I was never really all that happy in them, so I didn’t ever worry about how much the loss of them would effect me until it was happening…at which point the upset I felt was more because of how much I had invested into the relationship (time, money, energy, etc.) and how much I hated that I felt that much further from finding someone to spend my life with, than it was because I was actually sad to lose the person.

Ultimately, I knew none of them were “the one” for me, as much as I wanted them to be so I could stop starting over in relationships all the time, so I guess I just never gave as much of myself emotionally as I could have had I actually been in love with any of them…though of course I didn’t know that that was the case until I met someone I actually did fall in love with, and could see the difference.  And the main difference, of course, is how vulnerable I have felt since being with him.  It’s been almost crippling, at times, to be honest…and without the amazing support provided to me by both my lovely boyfriend himself and the best friend anyone could ever ask for (Mike), I would have run away from this relationship long ago.  And that would be the single worst thing I could ever do to myself.

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See, I’ve been through several abusive relationships, on top of a childhood that was largely good but also extremely screwed up in some ways (and, as I’ve learned, was perhaps even more screwed up than I consciously remember), so as a result, I have developed a lot of fear.  Fear of being cheated on, fear of being abandoned, fear of being left for someone better, fear of being abused again, fear of being taken advantage of, fear of taking advantage of others, fear of being abusive, fear of not being good enough, fear of annoying people, fear of being too damaged, fear of disappointing my partner, fear of confrontation, etc., etc., etc…I could go on for days with the things I fear.  The thing is, I didn’t realize how afraid I actually was until I was given someone to love who treats me wonderfully, because the fear of losing him is by far the single greatest fear I have ever had in my life, and has stirred up all those other fears so much that it’s been almost suffocating at times.  And yes, I have tried to run, and I am not at all proud of that, but at the time I didn’t know what else to do, and I thought it would be for the best for him if I left. Luckily, as I mentioned, my incredible boyfriend and best friend both stepped up and helped me see how much I was self-sabotaging, and have helped me find methods to deal with that, so I can move through the process of healing myself enough that I won’t be so scared and feel so vulnerable all the time.

Because, y’know, I really have never felt this vulnerable in my life.  This is the first relationship I’ve ever been in where I feel like I’m the one who loves more, and who is most definitely the pursuer and the one more invested in the relationship, and that is absolutely terrifying.  I am so afraid of screwing this up that even the slightest idea that he could be annoyed with or mad at me fills me with anxiety, and it’s only now that I have realized just how non-confrontational I really am.  I hate fighting, I hate drama; I just want everything to be happy and loving all the time…and I know that’s not possible, and I can accept that, I just really don’t want to do anything to make him leave me, and I’m so very aware, in this relationship, of how real a possibility it is that he will.  Why?  Because he doesn’t need me, he wants me.  There is nothing I can do for him that he can’t do for himself, and it’s very hard for me to accept that, because that means he’s only with me because he wants to be, because I make him happy, and…that’s not something I have ever experienced before.  I don’t know how to be with someone that actually wants me, and respects and loves me for who I am.  It’s 100% foreign.

So it’s a hard process, training myself out of past thought patterns and into better, healthier ones, and I know I’m going to feel very vulnerable and very afraid for a long time, but I also know he loves me, and I know he’ll always be there for me, so…I can do it.  It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it is also absolutely the most rewarding, amazing experience of my life, and I have yet to spend a single moment with him in which I wasn’t completely aware of how much I love him.  He is the most incredible person I have ever met, and I can’t imagine ever going through, with him, the things I went through with others.  Hell, we haven’t even been mad at each other yet, because we talk everything out so well. I can only hope to be lucky enough to make that last.  He is so worth it, and I am so grateful to finally be in a healthy, happy relationship.  It is more amazing than I even imagined it would be.

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Sorry for the incredibly long answer!

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 cruellest thing a person has ever said to you?”)

Q&A: Strong Personalities

The thirty-fifth question for the Q&A section of this blog is: “Who has the strongest personality among the people you know?”

I suppose the answer to this depends on whether you’re considering having a “strong personality” to be positive or negative.  If it’s meant in the negative sense, as in asking who’s the most overbearing/hard to take person I know, then…I can’t answer that, for fear that the person I’m thinking of would find out and be hurt by it.  I know this individual doesn’t mean to be that way, it’s just how they are naturally, but it’s definitely hard to take sometimes, especially for me.

If it’s meant in the positive way, though, in the sense that the person is strong, confident in their opinions, a good leader, etc., then I’d say that would have to be Mike.  So, there you have it!  Kind of an answer. 😛

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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 biggest injustice you have ever suffered?”)

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?”)

WHAT THE FUCK DID I JUST READ??

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Sorry for the outburst, but I am so absolutely infuriated right now.  No, no, no, no, no.  HOW did this book get published??  Why aren’t people LIVID about this chapter?   I don’t know how I’m going to write about this.  I really don’t, because I am just far, far too angry about it.

When I first flipped through this chapter, I thought, ‘Great, a short chapter; this’ll be easy!’  But no, of course that was too good to be true.  This chapter is so much more horrible than I could have imagined.  It is straight up fucking abuse, and Meyer tries to make it seem ROMANTIC, which is just…I just…aggh! I can’t even think straight!

It starts with Ian furiously glaring down at Wanda, Kyle and Sunny, and the look is both bad enough to scare Sunny and bad enough that Wanda actually feels like Ian and Kyle have switched faces.  But what does she add on to that thought?

Except Ian’s face was still perfect, unbroken.  Beautiful, even though it was enraged.

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WHAT?!  He just eavesdropped on a PRIVATE conversation you were having, heard something he didn’t like, and is now looking at you in a way that is TERRIFYING and reminds you of the face of someone who TRIED TO KILL YOU, and you’re thinking about how fucking beautiful and perfect he is?  What the fucking hell is wrong with you??  HOW IS THIS NOT GLORIFYING ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS?  And this is only the beginning!

Kyle asks Ian what’s wrong, but Ian doesn’t respond to him, he just grits his teeth and says Wanda’s name, holding out his hand for her to take.  Wanda says it appears as though he’s having a hard time keeping his hand from making a fist as he holds it out, which is always a good fucking sign, and Stryder seems to realize the danger, but Wanda just feels ‘miserable’ because she doesn’t want to say goodbye to Ian and now she has to.

The one good thing here is that she finally does realize that it’s wrong to just slip out without saying goodbye to anyone, but she doesn’t seem to see that Ian isn’t sad or feeling betrayed, he is fucking PISSED, and acting scary already.  Maybe it’s because I know there’s worse to come that this bothers me so much, but it bothered me the first time I read it too, so…I dunno.

Because Wanda doesn’t move the second he puts his hand out (she literally had time to think one thought before Ian was “tired of waiting“), Ian grabs her arm and HAULS HER UP FROM THE FLOOR.  Sunny hasn’t even had a chance to let go of Wanda yet, the movement is so sudden, so Ian shakes Wanda until Sunny lets go.  WHAT THE FUCK.

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Kyle asks Ian what’s wrong with him, so Ian fucking KICKS HIM IN THE FACE, because of course THAT was the logical, reasonable thing to do there, because it is allllll Kyle’s fault that Wanda didn’t tell him something that Kyle wouldn’t have even known himself until that moment!  Sunny throws herself in front of Kyle to try to shield him from Ian as Kyle tries to stand, which results in her accidentally knocking Kyle back onto the floor, while Ian DRAGS Wanda away from them.

Wanda tries to cry out to Ian, but he pulls her along so roughly that she can’t even speak…which we can tell is fucking horrible, but Wanda says it’s “fine” because she “has no idea what to say“.  THAT IS NOT THE POINT, WANDA.  Tell him to stop, tell him he shouldn’t have kicked his fucking brother in the face for no reason, tell him to LET YOU GO and STOP DRAGGING YOU, tell him to CALM THE FUCK DOWN FOR A SECOND, tell him he’s scaring you…ANYTHING!  The problem is, though, that he’s NOT scaring her, and that’s really the WORST part!  She’s totally okay with this!  WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF EXAMPLE IS THIS SETTING, MEYER?  WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO TEACH YOUR READERS??

Wanda says she sees everyone’s startled faces flash by in a blur while she stupidly worries about how Summer feels seeing this violence instead of worrying about what’s going to happen to her (NOT REALISTIC), but why the FUCK isn’t anyone DOING ANYTHING??  He’s dragging her across the floor by her arm, against her will, he just fucking kicked Kyle in the face, and everyone is just standing there watching??  Jeb is there, and though he said he’d dispose of his gun for Summer’s sake, he HASN’T YET, or if he has it’s just sitting in the hall close by; WHY hasn’t he or Jared grabbed that yet and held it to Ian to get him to fucking stop??

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At the very least, why hasn’t anyone intervened in any way whatsoever?  Why hasn’t Doc gone to Kyle, or ANYONE gone to Wanda to try to get her free from Ian, or gone to Ian to get him to let go of her?  This doesn’t make any sense!  These people have DEFINITELY moved quicker than this before for lesser reasons; they would NOT all just STAND THERE while Ian did this shit!!

Jared blocks the entrance so Ian can’t leave with Wanda, at least, but all he does is ask Ian ( far too formally; again with the crappy dialogue) what he’s doing to her, which we know damn well is NOT all he would realistically do in this scenario.  It may be Wanda that Ian’s after, but Stryder is still in that body, and there is no way in hell Jared would let her be treated that way.  He’d have all out attacked Ian by now.

Ian shoves Wanda in front of him and shakes her at Jared, asking Jared if he knew about ‘this’, which Jared ignores, yelling at Ian that he’s going to hurt her.  Ian asks if Jared knows what Wanda is planning, but again Jared doesn’t answer, so Ian takes that to mean that Jared does know, and punches him in the face.  PUNCHES HIM IN THE FACE.  He has now physically injured TWO people, and NO ONE IS DOING ANYTHING ABOUT THIS, and we’re supposed to think he’s completely justified in doing this because he’s upset about Wanda’s plan.

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Why isn’t Wanda upset about him punching Jared??  She begs him to stop, but he just says “You stop” (FUCK YOU) and pulls her into the tunnel, almost running down the hallway with her as Jared calls out to him.  After that, Wanda doesn’t seem to think of Jared again, which she certainly should have if she cares about him so much…and Stryder definitely should have spoken up here!

“‘O’Shea!’ Jared shouted after us.

‘I’m going to hurt her?’ Ian roared back over his shoulder, not breaking pace. ‘I am? You hypocritical swine!‘”

Ahhh fuck, I hate this.  Firstly, Jared JUST GOT PUNCHED IN THE FACE; he would NOT be referring to the person who did that to him by his last name when he usually doesn’t, because now is NOT the time for casual, friendly ‘nicknames’.  Secondly, “hypocritical swine“?  Seriously, Meyer, who the fuck says that?  EVER??

Thirdly, Jared is NOT being hypocritical, because HE is not going to hurt her.  Whether he figured out her plan or not (which has neither been confirmed nor denied, and even if it was confirmed, Ian doesn’t know WHY Jared hasn’t said anything about it), JARED is not the one that intends to do anything to Wanda.  You said it yourself, Ian; it’s HER plan, not Jared’s, so Jared sure as hell does not deserve your wrath and cannot be blamed for ‘hurting’ her.

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Besides which, doing this would be LESS painful for her, emotionally, in the long run!  You wouldn’t know that though, because you immediately jumped to whipping her around by her arm, yelling at everyone and punching and kicking people!   YOU are the only one that’s currently hurting her, the way you’re dragging and throwing her around!  Don’t act like it’s worse if someone else is hurting her (especially since they’re not)!

Ian takes off down the tunnel with Wanda, running so fast she stumbles to keep up, until her moans of pain from the grip he’s got on her arm (she describes it as being as tight as a tourniquet, which is horrible, and I mean either her arm is some fucking small or he’s really holding on THAT tight, if his fingers are overlapping while wrapped around her arm and her arm is going numb…so how can she not be afraid of him at this point?) and the fact that he keeps jerking her along when she already can’t keep up are too distracting for him to let her keep running.

He stops, and she tries to say something to him but she can’t get her breath and doesn’t know what to say besides, because he’s so angry, so he just grabs her and…okay, now I’m confused.

His arms caught me abruptly, yanking my feet out from under me and then catching my shoulders before I could fall.  He started running forward again, carrying me now.  His hands were not rough and angry like before; he cradled me against his chest.”

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…What?  I am trying so hard to picture this, but it’s like the scene with the crumbling floor and the pillar; I just can’t make sense of it.  So she’s standing, because she was just running and it did not, at any point, say she sat or fell down, and he…catches her somehow…in a way that pulls her feet out from under her…and then he catches her shoulders and carries her cradled against his chest?  Is he supporting her legs, or just holding her out in front of him by the shoulders?  But that wouldn’t be cradled…I can’t picture this at all.  I don’t know what the fuck is happening.  Maybe this is clearer to someone else, but I’m completely lost.

Oh, and I absolutely do not believe that his hands aren’t rough and angry anymore; I think she just can’t tell cause he’s not squeezing all the blood from her this time, so it feels better now than it did before.  Low fucking standards for care there.

He runs through the caves, carrying her past all the people that are of course listed because they always are, who are surprised by and suspicious about what he’s doing.  Wanda says it disturbs these people to see Ian doing what he is, especially looking as angry as he does, so they go after Ian and try to stop him to find out what’s going on…

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Oh wait, no, that doesn’t happen; that’s a different book.  You know, a book where this scene makes some fucking semblance of sense.  No, in this book, Ian keeps running and no one does fucking anything.  Jared and Jeb aren’t pursuing, Kyle isn’t pursuing, and NO ONE that they pass on the way pursues them either, despite that they all have VERY good reasons to, and they’re ALL apparently disturbed by what he’s doing.  He just injured TWO PEOPLE, and everyone is just fine with him running off with her in a blind rage?  What the hell kind of people are these?

Considering what’s happening, it can be easily assumed that either Ian’s doing something wrong or Wanda is doing/has done something wrong, so they SHOULD be trying to figure out what happened either way!  But no, no one does ANYTHING.  They all just stay where they are and think, ‘Well fuck, that was weird’.  WHAT THE FUCK???  Why isn’t Jared at least doing something about this?  She could be killed!  Considering how violent Ian’s just been, they have EVERY reason to think he WILL hurt her!

Ian keeps running until he gets to the door of his room, where he KICKS THE FUCKING DOOR IN and drops Wanda onto a mattress on the floor.  When the door hits the ground, it is described as making an echoing boom, yet AGAIN, NO ONE COMES TO CHECK AND MAKE SURE EITHER OF THEM IS OKAY.  THIS IS FUCKING BULLSHIT!!  There is NOTHING about this chapter that is okay AT ALL!

Ian angrily pulls the door back in place, which would be fucking TERRIFYING to me if I was in Wanda’s position, and then stands above her, glaring at her.  She fucking KNEELS before him, holding her hands out in the hope that something will magically happen that will calm him down, and isn’t THIS just fucking indicative of the nature of their relationship.  On her knees, willing to give him whatever he wants just because he threw a fit over not getting what he wanted.  FUCK THIS BOOK.

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“‘You. Are. Not. Leaving. Me.’

WOW.  Fucking WOW!  He actually fucking SAID that!  This is the kind of shit psychotic exes say before they rape and kill a girl; this is NOT something that someone who LOVES you will EVER say!  You do not INTIMIDATE and SCARE people into staying with you!  This is seriously fucking psychotic, and Meyer is playing it off as a reasonable way for Ian to behave!  HOW CAN YOU PROMOTE THIS SHIT, MEYER?!  It’s fucking TERRIFYING!!  How can you sleep at night knowing you may set young girls up to be treated like this??

Wanda sheepishly tells him that he has to see that she can’t stay, but he yells at her again, which makes her cringe.  At that, Ian collapses to his knees and buries his head in Wanda’s stomach, ‘locking’ his arms around her waist, and begins to sob.  This guy has some SERIOUS fucking issues if all of this is how he reacts to even the vague MENTION of something he doesn’t like.  I’m absolutely willing to bet that if he ever had a girlfriend before Wanda, she’s fucking dead now for trying to break up with him.  He clearly cannot handle people leaving him.  This is INCREDIBLY fucked up.

Wanda begs him not to cry, because apparently crying is ‘so much worse‘ than his anger, which is another fucking GREAT message, Meyer; THANKS for that.  If he found out she was going to do this and broke down crying and begged her to stay, that would be one thing; I might even have sympathy for him DESPITE all the creepy ass crap he did before…but to INJURE people, INCLUDING HER, lose his shit entirely, DEMAND that she not leave him and then have a complete fucking breakdown…no! This is NOT acceptable behaviour, he needs SERIOUS mental help/counselling, and Meyer should NOT be spreading a message that showing sadness and heartbreak is WORSE than BEING FUCKING ABUSIVE AND INCAPABLE OF CONTROLLING YOUR ANGER.  FUUUUUCCCCKKKK!!!!!!!!!

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Wanda continues to beg him, then FUCKING APOLOGIZES TO HIM, after how HE acted, as she begins to cry too.  He tells her she can’t leave, but she says she has to, and then they cry for a long time, and THIS is what SHOULD have happened at the beginning, not any of that other fucking bullshit!

Ian eventually stops crying and pulls Wanda into his arms, and when Wanda stops crying too, he apologizes for being ‘mean’.  MEAN?  You think that ‘mean’ is an accurate description of what you were?  Again, you were fucking PSYCHOTIC!  You were not mean, you were ABUSIVE and TERRIFYING!  There is a BIG difference!

But what does Wanda do?  SHE APOLOGIZES RIGHT BACK.  Because THAT is what we should teach girls to do when someone acts like this toward them.  Don’t run away, don’t get help, don’t hide, don’t defend yourself, no, APOLOGIZE to the person who abuses you and makes you fear for your life (or at least WOULD if you were a normal person who reacted to these situations with half a brain cell).  I know she’s apologizing for not telling him because she should have, which YES, I agree with, because she should have and it WAS selfish not to, as she says, but this is NOT the time to be apologizing for that!  His actions went FAR beyond yours, Wanda!

This seems fitting.

This seems fitting.

He tells her they need to talk about it because it can’t be a done deal, but she says it is, so he asks how long she’s been planning it.  She tells him since the Seeker, and he nods, suddenly figuring out everything.  He says he understands why she thought she had to give her secret to save the Seeker, but Doc knowing how to perform removals doesn’t mean she has to leave.  He says if he’d thought for one minute that it did mean that, he never would have let her show Doc how to do the procedure, and then the brief moment of calmness from Ian is over, as he starts yelling again.

He says no one is going to force her to have it done, and that he’ll break Doc’s hands if he tries to touch her, which I’m SURE Meyer thought was a romantic thing for him to say, but when that becomes what’s truly considered romantic, I’ll be officially fucking done with society and probably go on a killing spree.  He has NO control over his rage, at all, and he really fucking needs to get some.

He yells that no one can make her do it, so she tells him that no one is making her do it (thank fuck she finally admitted that so she can stop talking about how she ‘has to’ do it), and explains that she didn’t show Doc how to do the procedure to save the Seeker, she did it to save Stryder; the Seeker’s being there just made her have to decide to do it sooner.  Again, this is fucking bullshit.  She clearly had no intentions at all of doing this before the Seeker.  I get what Meyer is trying to make us believe here, but no.  There should have been SOME indication beforehand.

Ian gets even more angry at the mention of saving Stryder, which is again fucking scary, so Wanda goes on to explain how Stryder is trapped, telling him that it’s worse than prison for her because she’s like a ghost.  She says she can free Stryder and give her herself back, so Ian argues that she (Wanda) deserves a life too, but Wanda says she loves Stryder.  Yep, you really love her.  It was really obvious, all those times you were a bitch to her and fucked her over.  And this is still not about her, it’s about your guilt, so again, fuck off.

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Ian tells Wanda that he loves her, and asks if that matters, which she says it does, but that only makes it more necessary. He takes that the wrong way and asks if it’s so unbearable to have him love her, which it FUCKING SHOULD BE GIVEN ALL OF THIS CRAP, and then says that if it is, he can keep his mouth shut about loving her so she can go be with Jared if she wants, but he just wants her to stay.

Yeah fucking right, Ian.  Not buying it, given your previous comment when she told you to stop kissing her and you didn’t; remember how that time you said you would have the rest of your lives together and that you would change her mind on Jared instead of respecting her wishes?  You never fucked off before when she wanted you to, so you sure as hell wouldn’t fuck off now.

Wanda doesn’t see that, so she’ll go right ahead and buy your bullshit and think you’re sooooo sweet and selfless, and that you love her soooo much, but in reality, I know you still just want to fucking bone her, and you will NOT give up if she stays.  There is NO way.  Even if she begged and pleaded, you would never leave her the fuck alone, and this chapter just proves it.  YOU HAVE FUCKING PROBLEMS.

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Oh, and this is YET ANOTHER TIME when Meyer is giving her readers some wonderful fucking lessons.  SO FUCKING GLAD YOUNG GIRLS READ THESE BOOKS.  This is not AT ALL a contributing factor to why teenagers have such COMPLETELY FUCKED UP relationships nowadays, is it?  Maybe if they weren’t constantly reading crap like this that makes abusive, manipulative, creepy, stalking behaviour from partners seem ROMANTIC, girls would stop staying when men treat them that way., and actively SEEKING OUT partners like that!

Wanda of course can’t stand that Ian thinks she thinks it’s unbearable to have him love her, because POOR FUCKING MANIPULATIVE JACKASS, so she cradles his head in her hands and tells him that that’s not it.  She says she loves him too, which makes my fucking skin crawl, and then explains that it’s her that loves him, meaning the silver worm in the back of her head, but her body doesn’t and it never can, so it pulls her in two.  She says it’s unbearable, but she seemed to bear it pretty well before by just not associating with Jared at all.  Didn’t even seem like Stryder was getting in the way of Wanda being with Ian, despite not liking it.

When the hell did Wanda fall so deeply in love with Ian, anyway?!  I know we’re supposed to believe she did, though it never really made sense to me, but how the hell did it become so involved that she’s not just willing to put up with abuse from him, she DOESN’T EVEN SEEM TO SEE THAT IT IS ABUSE??

No, Ian, you don't.

No, Ian, you don’t.

This is not love!  I repeat, to all Meyer’s readers: THIS. IS. NOT. LOVE!!!  Someone who loves you WILL NOT treat you this way, and staying with someone when they DO do this is ALSO not love! Especially not if you’re acting like it’s fucking OKAY for them to do these things to you!  Not once does Wanda seem to think Ian is out of line, not once does she cry out for help, not once does she do anything other than take blame and try to make HIM feel better!  I get it, he’s upset, but that is NO FUCKING EXCUSE for acting like this!  DO NOT LET PEOPLE TREAT YOU THIS WAY, PEOPLE!

I could have borne it.  But watching him suffer because of my body’s limitations?  Not that.

Ohhhh, so it’s unbearable because she doesn’t want to hurt HIM, not because it’s unbearable for HER, so she must REALLY love him, right?  It’s really a VERY strong priority for her.  Fuck that.  And fuck you, Meyer.

I’m sorry for all the swearing; I’m pretty sure it’s obvious how much it bothers me when people romanticize bad and abusive relationships, and that’s all this chapter is, so it’s a bit hard to control.

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Wanda watches Ian’s eyelashes glisten with tears, so Stryder tells her to go ahead and do whatever she needs to do, saying that she’ll “just step into the other room“.  What?  The first time Stryder says ANYTHING and it’s not fearful of Ian, it’s not upset because of the two people he injured, ONE OF WHICH WAS THE MAN SHE LOVES, it’s not about any of the rest of this crap, it’s ALLOWING Wanda to be physical with Ian.  WHY?!?  Why would she EVER do that??

Wanda is putting HER (Stryder’s) body at risk letting Ian treat her this way, and Stryder SHOULD be fucking PISSED about what Ian has done, but instead she’s letting Wanda do MORE that is uncomfortable and horrible for her!  Seriously, what the hell kind of messages are these to send to young readers??

Wanda thanks Stryder and kisses Ian, which leads to them making out for a bit and something ‘changing’ inside Wanda.  Oh fucking great.  Wanda describes it as not being the ‘wildfire’ type feeling that came with kissing Jared, but instead a deeper and slower burning, ‘changing the very foundations of the world with its advance‘.  Ugggggh.  Not romantic, Meyer. Not after all that.  And I’m NOT happy that things are changing in a way that’s positive for THIS relationship.  Not at all.

Blah blah blah, extensive melodramatic descriptions of the changing and how Stryder’s body not loving Ian gets in the way, and then Wanda starts to cry again as she realizes that the kiss might be changing Ian too.  She describes him as “this man who was kind enough to be a soul but strong as only a human could be“.

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KIND ENOUGH TO BE A SOUL?  Unless you want to go by MY definition of how fucking kind souls are, this is FUCKING HORRIBLE.  By Meyer/the book’s definition, this is the WORST fucking thing she could have said, because after all of Ian’s abuse in this chapter, he’s made out to be extraordinarily kind!!  HOW is Wanda this stupid?  How can she just dismiss everything he’s just done, and how terrifying he’s been??  I thought since she was an alien, she should be all upset about anger and violence, so why didn’t THIS upset her more than anything?  Ian should be the LAST person she thinks is kind or feels safe with by now!

Ian starts to kiss her tears away, telling her not to cry and that she’s staying with him, which leads her to go on about how she lived eight lives and never found anyone she’d follow when they left or stay on a planet for.  She asks why it should be him that’s her ‘partner’ (wtf is with that choice of word?), especially because he’s not even the same species as she is, and he just responds that “it’s a strange universe“.  Because, y’know, he really DOESN’T care about all her emotional bullshit, he just wants her to stay because he’s got no one else to fuck if she leaves, so whatever, it’s just a strange universe.  Simple as that.

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Wanda begins to whine about how unfair it is that she found love right when she had to leave, and why oh why did she have to love Stryder, because she still doesn’t fucking GET IT that she TOOK STRYDER’S BODY, so she SHOULD care about her, and it was unfair of her ever NOT to…and then whines more about how unfair it is that Ian should have to go through pain because of her.

He deserved happiness if anyone did.

*twitch* I….cannot address that.  Not again.  I need this chapter to end now.  I can’t handle more than this.  FUCKING END, CHAPTER.

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Wanda tells Ian she loves him, and he tells her not to say that like she’s saying goodbye, but she feels she has to.  This is supposed to be all emotional and sappy and make us feel our hearts swell and things, but how fucked up do you have to be to have that happen after what else happened in this chapter?  I do NOT feel for them, aside from feeling like I wish they’d both fucking die in a fire, him because he is abusive and lacks self-control, and her because she is incredibly fucking stupid for reacting THIS way to what he’s done (among other things).

“‘I, the soul called Wanderer, love you, human Ian.‘”

I keep thinking I’ve found the stupidest line in the book, but then in the next chapter, there’s another that’s even worse.  This is the winner for this chapter.  Poorest fucking dialogue I have ever experienced.

She tells him her love for him will never change, no matter what she might become; that she will always love and remember him, and he will be her only partner.  Uh huh.  So that’s why you said Sunny wouldn’t love Kyle when she got to her new world.  Because shit does not apply the same way to you as it does to anybody else.  Fuck this shit.

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His arms stiffened, then constricted tighter around me, and I could feel the anger in them again.  It was hard to breathe.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ONCE AGAIN, HE DOES THIS!  And ONCE AGAIN, he will not have to deal with ANY repercussions for it!  WHY DOES SHE KEEP ACTING LIKE THIS IS OKAY?????

He tells her she’s staying there, so she tries to say something, but he won’t let her.  He tells her his decision that she’s staying isn’t just for her, it’s because she’s too important to everyone in the caves – even the ones who would never admit it – to leave, because they all need her.  Because of that, he says she won’t be ‘kicked out’ of the ‘community’ without discussion.

Wanda argues that no one’s kicking her out, and he agrees, saying not even she is.  He kisses her again, then CURLS HIS HAND INTO A FIST AROUND HER HAIR AND PULLS HER FACE TO HIS, then asks her if that was good or bad, like he did the first time he kissed her.

How does she respond?  “Good“, of course!  WHAT THE SWEET FUCK?  There is NOTHING good about that!  Nothing at all!!  But he says that’s what he thought, because he was just trying to scare her into giving him the ‘right’ answer anyway, and this is more fucked up with every passing sentence!

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He kisses her yet again, squeezing her so tightly she gets dizzy with lack of breath, but then loosens his grip and creepily whispers “Let’s go” into her ear.  She asks where they’re going, and then seems to panic a little, repeating to herself how he is ‘her’ Ian, in a way that Jared will never be hers and her body can never be Ian’s.  I don’t even know what the fuck this was all supposed to be for.

Ian tells her not to ‘give him any trouble‘ because he’s ‘half out of his mind’, and I do NOT know how anyone could ever at all interpret this as anything other than abusive and horrible.  Once again, THIS IS NOT OKAY, and I am VERY uncomfortable with and upset by this.  This book should not exist.  This promotion of abuse should not exist.  How are people not upset about this??

She asks again where they’re going as he pulls her to her feet, and he tells her they’re going to the game room, and that she’s going to wait there until he gets everyone else.  Wanda is so fucking stupid that she can’t figure out why he’s FORCING her to go there, and MAKING DECISIONS FOR HER, so she starts to wonder if he wants her to play a game to ease the tension.  But then, of course, he tells her he’s calling a tribunal, and the chapter ends with him telling her that she is GOING to abide by the tribunal’s decision.

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It’s really fucking great when your ‘boyfriend’ tells you that you have ZERO free will; that you don’t get to make your own decisions about ANYTHING in your own life, and that you’re just going to go and do what he says to do and wait like a good little girl for other people to tell you what you can and cannot do with yourself.  It’s especially great when he does so while trying to fucking scare and intimidate you, after being physically, verbally, mentally and emotionally abusive!  Even BETTER when NO ONE has done anything to help you while he does ANY of that, and probably still won’t!

Do I expect Ian to EVER have to account for his actions here?  FUCK NO!  He’ll get exactly what he fucking wants, and Wanda will get NO say, because THAT’S APPARENTLY WHAT MEYER THINKS IS OKAY IN A RELATIONSHIP.

To Meyer, THIS is acceptable behaviour in a relationship.

To Meyer, THIS is acceptable behaviour in a relationship.

Fuck, I am SO PISSED OFF about this!  I need to stop now. Again, I apologize for freaking out about all this; I’m sure I didn’t seem much better than Ian here.  But this topic has very significant personal meaning to me, and I am so absolutely far from okay with the way Meyer presented it that I can hardly stand it.

So now I’m going to go get my son, and let my mind focus on something GOOD in the world, instead of this.  Because I swear to god, my son will NEVER treat ANYONE the way Ian treated Wanda here.  If he ever did, he’d have me to answer to about that.  Wish me luck on the next chapter, please.  I’m pretty sure I’m gonna need it.

(See Mike’s take on this chapter at http://emptystress.wordpress.com!)

Q&A: Ultimate Sin

The twenty-sixth question for the Q&A section of this blog is: “What was the biggest sin ever committed against you?”

I’m not sure I can answer this question.  I mean, I know the answer, but it’s…rather personal, and implicates a certain individual from my past in doing something very serious, on more than one occasion.  I’ll just say that there’s not much worse this individual could have done to me, especially in the way they did it, and leave it at that.  No gifs today either, because the nature of the sin committed here really was too dark for me to feel right ‘livening it up’ with gifs.  Sorry guys; hopefully next post will  be better.

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

(Next question: “What sin do you most enjoy committing?”)

Q&A: Strength

The twenty-third question for the Q&A section of this blog is: “When were you the strongest that you’ve ever had to be?”

Well, aside from when dealing with some of the stuff outlined in the last Q&A post, I think the strongest I’ve ever had to be was the first few months after my son was born.

My son was…not planned, I suppose you would say, and originally the pregnancy was supposed to be terminated, but so many people wanted the baby that I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, despite how little I wanted to have a child.  I never, ever in my life wanted a child; I’ve never been comfortable around them, there are loads of societal issues that make me think it’s almost cruel to bring a child into this world, and there are multiple other reasons why having a child was not something I ever wanted or thought I could do (and trust me, we tried very hard to prevent it, he was just determined to exist, I guess), but when the time came to have the abortion, I just couldn’t do it.

So when he was born, I…didn’t connect with him the way mothers usually connect with their babies, I guess. I mean, his father and I were no longer in a relationship by that time, though we were on good terms, I still didn’t want a baby and I absolutely did  not think I could handle one (much less be a good mother to one), and I just could not see how life with him was going to work.  I had hoped that when he was born I’d have that “moment” where you just fall in love with the baby, but what I’ve learned since then is that infants just aren’t my thing.  Some people love infants, some love toddlers, some love children best when they’re older, and I just wasn’t an infant person, so I didn’t get that moment.

In the months that followed his birth, I took care of him as well as I possibly could, but it took until he was able to smile and laugh before I really began to warm to him.  I didn’t hate him before that, of course; I thought he was cute, I did what I had to do for him (as I do with anything), and I know on some level I loved him, but I wasn’t in love with him, I guess you could say.  So it was a hard adjustment for me to parent a child in the first place, especially with my mother coming down on me any time I’d be upset, saying that I was “just like my father” because I “wanted the child but didn’t want the responsibility”.  Except I didn’t want the child.  I had the child because they wanted it; the responsibility was the only thing I’d been able to prepare myself for.

What made her comments even harder were that my son had significant issues with eating at that time, and that was most of why I was upset.  I had tried to breastfeed him for the first few months, and at first it had gone well, but about 3 months in, he stopped eating altogether, and his weight began to decline rapidly.  I took him to multiple appointments with doctors and specialists attempting to find ways to make him feed again, but in the end, it was determined that there was an issue with my breasts that was keeping him from being able to get enough milk out (which I will not go into the details of, as only one person in the world knows the details), and that was discouraging him (because it was a lot of effort for him to try to drink, and the reward for the effort was not enough), so we would have to try formula feeding him.

But he wouldn’t drink formula either, and the doctors could not figure out why.  We tried method after method, but he would not eat, and his weight continued to decline, to the point that the doctor told me if he went 24 more hours without eating, he would need to be put in the hospital on an IV to get nutrients into him.  So throughout that period, I spent a lot of my time with my son crying, because I knew he was hungry  but I could not get him to eat, and it made me feel like I was a failure as a mother already.  I felt like this was payback for not wanting a child; I hadn’t wanted him, so now I’d have to watch him die and be unable to do anything about it.  I was miserable, and my mother just couldn’t seem to understand that every day that I got up and tried to feed him was another day that I was trying to be strong.  Another day that I wasn’t giving up on him or the responsibility.

So many times I did want to give up, though – on him, on myself, on everything.  I knew if he died, I was going to kill myself.  There was just no question about that.  It only seemed fair, and I didn’t know how I could possibly live knowing I hadn’t been able to save him.  But still, I thought of running away even if he managed to live…putting him up for adoption in the hopes that another mother could be what he needed that I couldn’t be, killing myself, just…anything to give him a better life than I was giving him.  He was a sweet, easy baby aside from his eating issues, and I knew he deserved better than someone who couldn’t even fulfil one of his most basic needs.

But I didn’t run.  I stayed with him, and I kept trying to get him to eat until one night – the last night I had with him before he’d need to be admitted to hospital – he finally did.  It was a battle to get him to take his formula every time he had to, but after I’d managed to do it once, I knew with perseverance I could do it again, so I didn’t give up until he’d at least had something.  And over time, he began to gain weight, and though he’s never reached a “normal” weight for his age/height, doctors said he made it to a safe range.

Now, my son is almost 4 years old, and he’s the most wonderful child you could imagine.  He is still a pain to feed, as he is a very picky eater and doesn’t have much of an appetite, but all that means now is that I need to have patience with him during mealtimes, and keep taking him to the nutritionist he sees at the hospital to make sure he’s at least getting what he needs.  And now, people (including my mother) say that I am a wonderful mother, and my son is so completely devoted to and in love with me that I couldn’t imagine ever leaving him.  He is the light of my life, and I love him to death.

Whenever I get weak, my son is my strength.  When I think of giving up, I see his face, and I can’t bear to think that I could ever be the reason he goes through pain.  And then I find my strength.  So the strongest I ever had to be was in that period, and the strongest I ever am is when he’s with me.

Sorry for the lack of gifs in this post…it just didn’t seem right to add any this time.

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

(Next question: “What room of your home do you spend most time in?”)

Q&A: Problematic

The twenty-second question for the Q&A section of this blog is: “What is the most difficult problem you’ve ever had to solve?”

Honestly, I think I’m still in the process of solving the most difficult problem I’ve ever encountered, and that’s because it’s not just one problem, it’s a series of problems that have been going on for the past few years.  I’m not going to get into too much detail on this one, because it involves personal details about someone else, but long story short, this individual and I have been very close over the past few years, and they have had significant problems in…pretty much every possible aspect of their life.

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It started with being cheated on right before I met them, the divorce of their parents, problems with employment and living situations, then even worse problems with employment, as well as with school, incredibly difficult problems in their family life, mental health issues, betrayal by their last remaining friend, and horrible health problems that have only become worse and worse over the years, and which we cannot seem to find a diagnosis for to even begin to correct them.  Add to that the fact that they are involved in some ‘drama’ that other individuals have caused in my life, and you’ve got a giant shit storm of issues, all at once.

I helped this person solve everything I could on that list, and even solved some of them entirely on my own for them, but there are still some (namely the health and family ones) that we are working through, and I absolutely hope we can solve them someday, as this person does not deserve all the pain they are going through.  So…each of those things on their own would have been difficult to solve, but solving them all at once?  That has been incredibly difficult.

too-much

If this answer was supposed to be the single most difficult problem I have solved, then I really don’t know what it would be.  I tried to think of something, but everything I thought of didn’t seem significant enough, so maybe I just suck at solving things.  Oh!  I did manage to get two narcissists who were at each others’ throats to have a discussion once, and mediated it until they were able to come to peace with each other, and if you know anything about narcissists you know how difficult that is…so I’ll go with that.

…And I also managed to keep someone from killing himself, despite that even I could think of nothing that was going right enough in his life to give him a ‘reason to live’.  That sounds horrible, but you’d need to know this guy’s life to understand.

Anyway, I think that’s all I’ve got to say about this one, so there you have it!

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

(Next question: “When were you the strongest that you’ve ever had to be?”)

Q&A: Self-love

The sixteenth question for the Q&A section of this blog is: “When do you love yourself most?”

I am disproportionately excited about this question, and have been since I saw it was coming up.  I’m pretty sure the reason why is because this may be the first time ever that I’ve had an actual answer for this question, so it’s just absolutely perfect that it came up now.  I remember answering this with “never” in previous years when my friends and I went through this book, and up until a few weeks ago, I probably would have said the same, but that’s no longer true.  I’ve recently realized that I’m kind of awesome sometimes, and I am incredibly glad to have had that revelation.

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So, when do I love myself most?  When I let myself be completely, unapologetically myself, and especially when I do so despite how others feel about me, or are trying to make me feel about myself.  I’ve spent the majority of my life letting myself be taken down by others and their views of me, letting their bad moods tear me apart, and believing what they said about me even when it simply didn’t add up and I knew, logically, that their words were untrue.  I let other people define who I was, even if that wasn’t how I felt, and I took their comments to heart far more than I should have.

I suppose that explains why I have a penchant for staying in abusive relationships; I truly believed that I was not good enough to do any better, and that I must be all of the things they said I was, so I just had to be better.  No matter how much I gave, no matter how much I did, no matter how much I loved, it was not good enough, and it was all my fault; I had to do better, and I had to be someone else if I wanted anyone to love me.

That, my friends, was complete bullshit.  And it is no longer who I’m going to  be or how I’m going to live my life.

I am so much more than what those people made of me, and I can be even more than that.  I may not know what’s out there for me, and I may not know what I’ll become, but I’ll tell you right now, it’s a whole hell of a lot more than what I am right now.  I can do things, and I will.  It’s just a matter of figuring out how to take those first few steps.  But it will come.  I know it will.

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Yes, I am indeed burdened with glorious purpose.

…Kinda got off track there a little bit, for a moment.  Sorry about that.

As I said, I love myself most when I let myself be myself, and that comes easiest to me when I let myself get totally lost in music or movies.  Those are my two greatest passions in life, so I find if I’m feeling bad, especially about myself, or if someone has brought me down, I just head off to a movie, or put on my headphones and get lost in music, and I’m fine again.  The music works best because it leads to me dancing and singing like an idiot, which makes me laugh at myself, and absolutely not care what other people think of me…and I love myself, then.  I know I’m fun, I know I’m ridiculous, and I know someone will someday appreciate that in me as much as I appreciate it in myself.

I am not as little as I let myself believe, or let others tell me, and I’m going to be completely awesome someday, all because I’m going to finally let myself!  And I’m not going to let others bring me down anymore.  I love that about myself too.

I guess really, when it comes down to it, I love myself most right now.  When I’m letting myself love myself.  When I’m seeing my own worth, and what I have to offer, and what I can do.  I feel completely full, and I never want to feel any less than that, ever again.  I’m going to end this now before I get repetitive!

And this is, quite simply, how it happened.  It just *did*.

And this is, quite simply, how it happened. It just *did*.

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

(Next question: “What would you most readily die for?”)

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