I’m sorry I have not expressed my needs, wants, and wishes. I often feel selfish and believe I shouldn’t voice my concerns, but I’m learning that the path to healing requires me to be a little selfish. In the past, when I’ve attempted many different things, I didn’t succeed and believed I just wasn’t good enough. With this attitude, I stopped trying and would get upset when no one did something for me. How could they? I never communicated what I wanted; what I needed. I’ve been angry for so long never realizing I’m the one deserving of that anger.
I learn something new about Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder every day and am reminded that everything I hate about myself is a symptom. These are symptoms I may have the rest of my life. One of those symptoms is the failure to express one’s needs, wants, and wishes. Not everyone can get what they want, but there is a kind of power that comes with vocalizing them. It’s similar to writing down one’s goals. Something about that process makes them real. I won’t list everything I want, but I will try to communicate them more often. That alone will be a struggle.
The purpose of this letter is to make you all aware of the problem. This is my problem that I must deal with, but I need you all to be aware. I hope you will support me in this. I hope in some ways you will help me with this. My goal for the remainder of the year is to express my needs more often. Hopefully, it will not be in a burst of anger, but please take this with a grain of salt and remember that even if I’m shouting, what’s important is that I’m communicating. I most certainly need your patience and understanding as I work through my personal issues.
This is only step one in a journey that will take several years. I don’t expect to be good at it in the beginning. I expect to forget about it now and then, but I hope you’ll remind me. The future looks terrifying, but I’m determined to win this battle as well as the oncoming war. I’ve found that ever when I’m in a good mood I still have an underlying bad attitude so maybe this will help with that. I must say one thing. I don’t think some of you know me as well as you think you do, and I think some of you will not take this letter seriously. If you want to say something you think is funny, don’t say it to me.
You sit there, reading, minding your own business. To everyone else you look normal. They all think you’re a normal person having a coffee reading a book. Most of them don’t notice you. You blend into the crowd. You hide in plain sight. None of them could know what you think and feel, and you dare not tell anyone. You’re afraid it will scare them because it does scare you.
You sit, invisible to everyone; with your chest pounding, your thoughts racing, your hands shaking. You’re reacting to something. Something triggered you. Sometimes you know exactly why you were triggered. This is not one of those times. You don’t understand. You can’t explain it. You pick at your fingernails and cuticles. You twirl a pen or pencil in your fingers. You refill your coffee. Was it the coffee? Should you stop drinking coffee? The coffee didn’t bother you yesterday.
You survey the coffee shop. No one knows what’s happening to you. Even if they knew, they wouldn’t understand or care. Why should they care about you? They have their own problems. They’d think you were just some jackass craving attention. You know that’s what they’d think because that’s what you would think. But no one cares what you think just like no one cares what you’re feeling or what you’re doing. You’re the most insignificant person in existence.
You’ve pulled one of your cuticles too much and now you bleed. This distraction only works for a minute. Your thoughts stop racing, but your chest never stops pounding. You want to runaway but don’t know where. What you run from will follow you. How do you get away? Your thoughts are racing back, and your bloody finger doesn’t hurt anymore. You can’t even hurt yourself properly. There are never enough distractions.
You leave. You walk. You burn energy. It distracts you some and makes you tired. You need to feel tired. Keep running away until you’re tired; until your thoughts are tired.
I am unemployed. I search for work almost every day. Now and then I get lucky and get an interview, but they always find someone else who’s more qualified for the job. I feel I’m not qualified enough for any job. But still I search and apply. I have an internal battle every day. I want to push everyone in my life away and become a hermit who hides from everyone and everything. This hiding isn’t so much out of fear but because I can’t learn to function around other people. No matter how long I’ve known them, I find myself feeling out of place and lost everywhere. But still I try to connect with others and force myself into social settings.
I have several things I want to do; several ambitions. Being unemployed and barely having money for food or utilities has put many of those things on hold. It’s an issue of priority. Basic needs must come first, followed by security, and then pursuing the many ambitions I have. It’s never easy foregoing one’s dreams to deal with basic necessities. But still I pursue those dreams. Though at a slower pace than I would prefer. The dreams always feel too far away to reach. But still I reach. The negativity in my mind holds and pulls me down deeper and deeper into a black pit of darkness. But still I fight to break free.
I’m beginning to feel that my only options are to move to another city and another state to find work, reenlist in the military which means I’ll be sent who knows where for at least 3 years, or do something that will send me to prison just, so I can have food and a place to sleep. Each of these scenarios means moving farther away from my dreams and ambitions and giving up everything I’ve built thus far. I grew up being told by everyone to follow my dreams. All that has brought me is more struggle and pain. But still I dream. If I had given up on my dreams, I would be even more depressed and miserable than I am now.
I don’t know what the future holds. I feel stuck and trapped and it feels like my situation keeps getting worse. I know things will get better, but my concern is how long that will take. How long will I fight and struggle and lose everything before I can move forward? Will I keep fighting to the bitter end or will it all finally get to me, break me down, and cause me to give in and give up? I can’t give up because I have nothing else. I feel I’m stuck in a room full of people, but no one is allowed to speak to me or help me. I’m an outcast; a pariah. Even when I ask for help, I still have to fight it alone. But still I persevere. I never give up and never surrender. I never let the darkness keep me.