I don’t think anyone knew. Maybe sometimes they heard the meaning behind my words. “I’m not doing so well.” Maybe sometimes they picked up on the illness I was describing when I said I had been feeling “sick” lately. Some people probably did, and they probably figured that if it was bad enough, I’d come to them or reach out. The problem was that sometimes, sunlight would come through the cracks, and I’d be blinded by hope and optimism. But as we know, the sun always sets. I’ve been living predominantly in the darkness, and the light creeping in has actually begun to irritate me.
Vexing: working 24/7 to will myself out of this depression, out of the suicidal thoughts just to be faced with harder circumstances than before. Finally building myself up to cope and move forward, just to come face-to-face with more hurdles. Everyone says life is a rollercoaster– you have to go through the lows to get to the highs. That may be true, but the build to the high points of the coaster are rarely quick. The build to the high is a slow, incremental click-clacking up a track that someone else designed. The rider fills with anxiety as she approaches the top because she knows the fall is coming.
This isn’t a fair analogy, because I love amusement parks and rollercoasters with all my being. And the scarier they are, the better. I love the rides with a slow build, and when the cart reaches the top, I love when I’m stuck staring at the ground I’m about to be falling towards. In fact, the longer I stay up there, the better the ride is. But it’s not as fun when it’s your everyday life. My life for the past 3 years has felt more like a slow build all the way up to the first wave, and once I get there, the cart holds me staring at the low I’m about the be hit with. So if all I can see is the low point, even at the highest, what does it matter that I rode it out to get there?
Maybe someone else could think about the next wave, maybe even find comfort in knowing what’s ahead. I’m not that someone, though. Maybe that’s because of my personality. Maybe it’s my personality disorders. Maybe it’s the depression. Or the borderline. Maybe even part of the PTSD. Either way, even if it’s all in my head, its still in my head.
I have tried to explain it. I have tried to change it. I have torn myself open and presented every fucked up thought and idea, every weakness to a select few people. I believe they tried to help, and gave up. I don’t blame them. I’m ready to give up, too.
I was never anyone else’s responsibility. And therefore, no one is responsible for me or my decisions. I own that. I do maintain that some circumstances and the people who created them hindered the progress I either had or was trying to make. But ultimately, it is my inability to cope and be okay. There is genuinely no one to point fingers at. I think many of you know that by now.
I have written a few letters. To anyone who doesn’t have a personal letter, please don’t take it to heart. I have gone back and forth for well over a year with which people I should say farewell to, which people would even read a letter I wrote, which people needed to be left out of it, etc. I can assure you that in the past 12 months alone, I have considered every person I have made contact with. I didn’t forget any of you. Those of you who wonder if I was upset or faulted you will truly know in your heart the way I feel for you. I’ve never been big on discretion, have I? There’s one woman reading this right now who always sent me literature on my own feelings without me needing to ask her. She knows who she is. It’s you, and I’m grateful for the time you comforted me as we were leaving Opry Mills. I’m thinking of you.
And I’m thinking of those of you that I have never met in person, but confided in through many conversations. I’m thinking of you, who on the first day of meeting me changed me and took me in when I didn’t have anywhere else. I love and miss you. You, like so may others have always had my best interest at heart. I’m thinking of all of you.
To those of you who recognize that we are not on good terms (the ex-friends, the family, the natural enemies reading this with amusement), I really don’t know how any of this will make you feel. If it makes you angry, it isn’t the first time I have. If it makes you sad, thank you for your compassion. If you feel like there was unfinished business, animosity, etc., take comfort in knowing what I do— it’s all over now. It can be dissolved and washed away. Hold no hatred or guilt in your heart. Just move on and do your best. That’s all anyone can do.
As for my best, I tried it. And I tried creating new bests. I tried being a different person, doing different things. It has been fruitless. I have made it this long only because of my fear of disappointing or hurting those I care about. I still do care, but I have come to realize that many of you suffer more with me involved in your lives. To anyone who has tried to help me, from just giving me a hug to giving me their home, I understand your frustrations. I’m sorry I couldn’t figure it out for you all. Believe me, I wanted to, more than for myself.
The only piece of information I wish to share is this—
There are very fine lines between healthy and unhealthy behaviors. There’s a difference in losing your temper and losing your temper on someone. Some things said out of anger or frustration can be taken back or overlooked. But when you develop a habit on consistently putting others down to get your anger out, whether violent or just emotionally damaging, it becomes a way of life for the people you are hurting. They say abuse is a cycle. And it is. For those of us who need to break it, please understand that you cannot break the cycle of abuse if you’re in the cycle with someone who is abusive. Trying will leave you exhausted, frustrated, and hurt. Please love everyone, even those who would do wrong to you, but please do not submit yourself to the abuse of someone you love. Even if it absolutely kills you, know when it’s time to say goodbye.
I have nothing but love in my heart for all of you.
Laura Danielle Plaisted