Don’t You Know that I’m Toxic?

Since I’ve started dating my Boyfriend–which, admittedly, has not been for very long–I’ve had (not had, but rather felt the need) to explain myself quite a few times.

The Night which started all of this, I slept in his bed. We were fully clothed, he was drunk, and I was wide awake at 4AM.

I distinctly remember the silence, and the light coming in from his bedroom window.

“I am very broken,” I told him. “Like, I have a lot of problems. I feel like you don’t know what you’re getting into.”

He turned, threw an arm around my stomach, and mumbled, “I may not understand, but I’ll always listen to you.” I may or may not have fallen a little bit in love.

I explained myself when we were baking cookies.

“Do you not roast me the way you roast other people because you don’t think I can handle it?” I asked.

“Well you reacted pretty badly when I told you I was going to punch you in the face–which is something I say to everyone.” It’s something say to everyone. But I had to explain.

“My ex-boyfriend had–never towards me–but, he would have violent reactions when we would get into fights. So I don’t like having violence directed towards me.”

I didn’t have to expand anymore. I can’t decide if it’s relieving or terrifying when he just…believes me. Not that I’m lying. But, rather, I’m not sure if he wants to hear it or not. Not sure if I should talk about it or not.

My ex-boyfriend did have violent reactions when we got into fights. He would put holes through his walls. He would punch things until his knuckles bled. He would inflict pain on himself.

I hate when you do that, I would tell him. It scares me.

But I would never hurt you, he would say. Not that I ever believed him. He bruised me, once, when we had been in a tickling match. He grabbed both of my wrists, and didn’t let go even when I asked him to. And even after I bruised, he never apologized. Just stared at them. Told me I shouldn’t have tickled him.

I explained myself today, when we were the only two left at our Frat table.

“My ex-boyfriend used to tell me that he couldn’t see us being together long-term. And I would just take it, and beg him, and try my best to convince him that we would be. Because I thought that was the best I was going to get.”

And I couldn’t look at him as I said it. I’m so embarrassed that I let myself get there, that I let someone break me so much.

“So I never think of things long term. Because I’ve been taught to assume that the other person isn’t thinking of it long term, either.”

He took that. He understood it.

I didn’t talk about the endless and countless nights we spent parked in front of his house.

I think I just want to be alone forever. I don’t want to spend my life with someone I met when I was seventeen. But I don’t want to break up.

And I would cry. And beg. And he would stay.

I explained myself in his bed, the night we got together.

“I have only ever known unhealthy, manipulative, obsessive relationships.”

I explained myself when I told him I was convinced he didn’t like me anymore.

“If you go longer than four hours without talking to me I usually assume you don’t like me anymore. And logically I understand that’s not what it means, but I have never had a healthy amount of communication.”

We haven’t had this discussion yet, but when my Ex dumped me the first time, he told me he’d been miserable for months. He told me that he took my virginity because he thought it would make him feel better about the relationship, and that it didn’t.

I don’t talk about my feelings from my sex life with my Ex. I don’t think I’ll ever recover from him saying that. That I, terrified and hopeful and unsure and “in love,” was stupid enough to give my body to someone who threw it aside and used it without a thought absolutely disgusts me. I’m so terrified of doing that again.

My Ex told me I was toxic. That I was crazy. That I was hard to love. Maybe I was.

See, I am not the victim from that relationship. I was just as awful to him as he was to me, and I know that.

I would talk about guys I found attractive because I knew it irked him. I would monopolize his time because I wanted him to myself.

Towards the end, I wanted him to hurt just as much as he hurt me. It got ugly. I got ugly.

I am not proud of how weak I let myself become while I was with him. I am not proud of who I became while I was with him. I am not proud of who I loved for the first time.

I don’t know how to say that to my Boyfriend. Don’t know how to explain how terrified and fragile I feel about the relationship. How scared I am to be hopeful. How unwilling I am to believe that it’s real. I have been so reluctant to address my feelings on that relationship. I talk about it the way I do my Dead Father–as facts, not feelings.

But I think it’s time I change that.

This felt like a pretty good start. I cried while writing it. Which can only mean progress, right?

-HH

Not What You Got, It’s What You Give

I am not the girl who gets–not the boy, the joke, the invite, the crown. If there are three things in my life I know to be true, that’s one of them.

The other two?

Karma and Soulmates.

Karma’s a pretty easy one for me: you receive from the universe what you put out into it. My life may not better or worse than it was when I was sixteen, but I’m a lot happier now because I’m a lot less angsty–and, so, it feels a lot better.

Soulmates is a little harder, because my views on it have changed. I used to think you only had one soulmate. That they were your Forever. But I think it’s probably (a lot) more complicated than that.

There’s Binta. She’s my Soulmate. She’s been my best friend since sixth grade and she gets me so well I usually introduce her as my sister, or my soulmate–not my friend. She and I have suffered through enough similar traumas that we have always inherently understood each other.

Then there’s Kayla. She’s my Soulmate. She’s also my polar opposite. She grew up in a progressive, religious, lower upper class household with two parents who’ve been married since college. She has always known privilege in ways I never will, and she is my best friend. On an intellectual level, we’ve always understood each other.

Then there’s N.A.U.L. Or–Mark. He’s my Soulmate. I used to think I was gonna spend my life with him. But over the past two months I’ve realized why we have built and maintained our friendship.

He reminds me of my dad. He has a lot of the same addiction problems. He ignores his feelings the way my dad did. He’s what my dad would’ve been like if my dad had had me in his life.

Which is to say–better.

I love him because he needs me. Because if I was not there to be his Panic Attack Battle Buddy, to talk him down from suicidal thoughts, to listen when he wants to talk about his problems–he would be dead. And so I do the only thing I know how to do in response to a situation like that. I open my heart and I love. I love him. But–and this had taken me awhile to understand–I am not in love with him.

I am not the girl who gets. I give. Unconditionally and to a fault.

I have so many pieces of me that I’m willing to give that it doesn’t even make sense that I would have only one Soulmate. There are so many parts of me to give. It’s hard to do that, to want that One Soulmate Forever Meant to Be, when you feel like you don’t get anything in return.

Recently I’ve been getting. I’ve been feeling valued. I’ve been finding value in myself. And having it reinforced from others.

It’s been amazing. And weird. I spend time with people I care about because I want to, and because I feel like they want to be around me. But when I leave them, my anxiety spikes. Should I have said what I did? Should I have done that? Do they think I’m annoying now? Should I just stop participating?

But I don’t. I’ll keep trying. Because I think I might be getting.

And it feels pretty damn good.

-HH

P.S. Thank you Tesla (the band) for my koala-tea blog-post-title.

At Least There’s Love

Last night I drove a friend back to his apartment, because he was still on campus and the buses weren’t going anymore.

Thanks for the ride, he said as he climbed out.

Any time! I’ll let you know how my immediate death goes after this Women and Gender Studies exam, and that sentence used to be normal, but he clammed up as he climbed out.

I’ve been pulling a lot of Cady Herons recently: lots and lots of word vomiting. For the most part I can deal with it because it’s just me not keeping my  mouth shut in social situations (to which my solution is to stop being in social situations or stop talking)–but this is something else entirely.

I went to high school with this friend. Our graduating class was a total of 29 people. The class below us graduated with maybe 40. We all had known each other since we were eleven/twelve. In less roundabout terms, we were close. Not just our class, but our school in general. Very tight-knit.

On Monday, we found out that one of our own had died. He was eighteen. Had graduated a year below me. We all knew him, all had our memories, our jokes.

I thought this year could still be salvaged–because even though everything else had gone to shit, at least no one had died.

Then someone died.

No one in our graduating class–in fact, as far as I know, no one in either of our graduating classes–had experienced as much death as I have. Sure, some people have dead grandparents, or parents, maybe a sibling or cousin. But, usually, I take the cake. The world’s most depressing party trick, if you will.

One friend cried in my dorm room for an hour. Another friend texted me for three, repeating the same statements over and over: ‘I am sad.’; ‘This is not okay.’; ‘I can’t believe it.’; ‘He did not deserve this.’ All I do is offer my company, and my ear. I cannot pretend to feel the way they feel.

I am just here. Dealing with death in the only way I know how: remembering its inevitability and remembering that despite his short time alive, his years were spent loving and being loved in return.

I always gave him hugs. I distinctly remember always being happy to see him, and his smile always being present. I remember sitting in a group with him, discussing Prom party favors. I remember his voice. I feel nothing but love.

It doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of good on this earth right now.

At least there’s always love.

-HH

 

 

A (Sweet, Delicious, Human) Potato

It’s been almost two years since I got into my first serious relationship. It’s been almost a year since I got out of my first serious relationship. I haven’t dated, or even tried to, since then.

Friday night was the post-Induction party for my fraternity. That night, at my second-ever college party, I learned that drunk college adults are the equivalent of sober twelve-year-olds at their Spring Fling–glow sticks included.

By that I mean that once one person heard who I’m interested in in my frat, so did the drunk girl next to her, and so on. I thought it would end terribly. It actually worked out.

Turns out, he likes me too! And yes, he was drunk at first. But no, I wasn’t just a convenience.

I DD’d for eleven people that night, him included. I brought him home last, and we went up to his room. We laid in his bed, fully clothed, and talked.

“I’m wide awake,” I told him. “So I’m going to keep talking.”

He didn’t mind. He talked to me about his family, and asked about mine. We talked about fraternity stuff. We talked about liking each other.

“How did you not know?” I asked. “I thought I was obvious.”

“When we were leaving the volleyball game Wednesday night, people started teasing me about you–‘So what’s up with y’all?’ And my heart hurt.”

“What does that mean?” I laughed. He mostly was talking into his pillow, words slurring together. He wasn’t saying it directly, but I knew what he meant: I didn’t realize how I felt until it was pointed out to me.

“There was a literal pain in my chest, and I was like ‘Oh no. I’ve never felt like this before. What do I do?'”

It’s been a long time since I felt like I was experiencing such genuineness in a person I know is interested in me. Everything felt comfortable but not boring and fun but not exhausting.

“I’m a potato,” I told him. It’s not a new phrase for me to use; most of my fraternity have heard me say it several times about myself.

Throughout the night he’d responded to my saying that with different adjectives, “A sexy potato. A beautiful potato.”

His drunken and tired stupor left him with only a handful  of adjectives before he stopped having good responses.

“A delicious potato.”

And as I burst with laughter, he groaned. “I’m drunk, please ignore that.” But I didn’t.

Instead I told him about N.A.U.L. (I introduce N.A.U.L. as my Best Guy Friend to new people). “I called myself a potato the other day to my  best friend and he told me I was never allowed to bring it up again, but that if I am a potato, I’m a sweet potato.”

He groaned. “I messed up. I missed my opportunity.”

I laughed and liked him a little bit more.

Then I started to worry aloud. “What if things don’t work out between us and we’re both still in the fraternity and–”

He tightened his arm around me. “Don’t think about that.”

So I didn’t.

I was the little spoon, and we’d been quiet for awhile. I was worried he was asleep when I asked, “Will you regret this in the morning?”

“Nope,” he said immediately, tiredly. “Never.”

And I squeezed his hand, and asleep we were.

He was right. I woke him up around 8:30 with a joke from the fraternity GroupMe. We barely left the bed all day, talking and joking and laying on each other. He gave me a donut. We talked with his roommate.

At 4 I left after napping on him.

And I don’t know what we are. But I’m excited to find out.

-HH

To Be A Hurricane

I got my URL from my Abuelita. We visited her for Christmas a few years ago, and my Tia talked about the different nicknames Abuelita has for all of her grandkids. She has one she uses pretty often for me, but when I was younger she called me her Huracán–or, hurricane. I liked the idea of having a personality like a hurricane, despite what a negative impact it has on people.

Hurricanes are wind, rain, hail, heat. They have eyes and edges. They are harsh. They leave disaster in their wake.

I could see where I got that nickname as a kid.

I used to think it was beautiful in an abstract kind of way. I mostly don’t feel beautiful or like a hurricane anymore.

Recently I kind of feel like a wishing flower. I don’t know what they’re actually called. Dandelions, I’m pretty sure–but at that stage of their life where your wish comes true if you blow all their fuzzies off in one go.

What I mean is that I feel fragile. That if the wind blows too hard, all my bits will fly away.

I don’t drink. Some comments today were made to me about the fact that my not drinking has ostracized me within my frat. I thought it was just my anxiety that made me feel that way, but it turns out I am actually missing out on a part of bonding with other people.

That doesn’t change anything for me. It does make me feel like shit though.

My grades seem to improve in some places and become a disaster in others. I don’t quite feel like I have a home, or a handle on myself or my life.

I guess what I’m saying is that the wind is blowing really hard.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m trying to be a hurricane again.

-HH

Exhaustion and Therapy and Anxiety

I (probably) should go to therapy. (No shit, says anyone who’s read all my posts.)

There’s only so much introspection one person can do before they realize that their thoughts aren’t normal.

I realized, when I was a Junior in high school, that it wasn’t normal to daydream about dying. That was a pretty life changing moment. I was on the bus. It was morning. I realized that not everyone had those thoughts, that they were probably intrusive and unhealthy.

I’ve realized recently that most people probably don’t have obsessive and intrusive thoughts about the bridge they’re driving over collapsing beneath them.

Tonight I realized my approach to starting new (romantic) relationships is probably not healthy. It is probably obsessive.

I don’t think that knowing the source of my problems will solve things. I’m sure it has something to do with my Daddy Issues and fear of being abandoned. I’m sure my self esteem problems, unhealthy relationship with food, general self hate, and overall anxiety about social situations all stem from traumatic childhood bullshit.

I don’t care about why I’m broken. I care about fixing it.

I realize this is probably a part of the problem.

I really like this guy in my frat. I also don’t know how to approach romantic things. It’s been almost two years since I tried to be romantically involved with someone. Several people have told me I’ve been reading too much into everything and that it’s “Chill. Just chill.” I don’t know how to explain to them that chilling or non-analysis is not how I function.

I don’t understand people. I think that’s why I’m so honest all the time. It’s my motto that if I’m honest with people, people will be honest with me. If they’re honest with me and I know I can trust them, then I don’t have to worry about understanding social cues or reading body language or overanalyzing one interaction or statement or facial expression. I notice everything. I have to.

Learning that not everyone will be as honest with me as I am with them has been difficult. It hasn’t stopped me from being honest, though. Do I start keeping things to myself? Is that the solution?

Mostly I just want to give up on this thing before it even starts. I’m physically exhausted from thinking about it. Not because he exhausts me, but rather because I am exhausting myself.

I am exhausting.

I’ve been thinking that maybe therapy would help me understand what a healthy relationship is. All healthy relationships. With myself, my friends, my family, my prospective partners. I don’t know how they work. I don’t understand how to achieve them.

Explaining that to my mother will be hard. She’s never been very understanding. Or good at listening. We usually just end up yelling at each other.

This is not a well written post. Tonight I’ve done everything I could think of to deal with my anxiety. I’ve colored, cleaned, done a face mask. I drank water, took my vitamins, I danced to Eminem. Nothing has helped. I thought writing would. My shoulders still feel tense, my heart still thumping, my skin still tingly, my body still thrumming for something to make me feel less like I need to scream.

Maybe I should make the appointment soon.

-HH

Dear Hillary,

I am a “millennial.” I voted. For you.

I went to bed at 10PM tonight, because I was so anxious that my body physically could not stay awake for the election results.

I woke up at 4:32AM to the news that Donald Trump is the next President of the United States.

I am a female, LGBT, person of color. I am in college. I am working class. I am Southern. I am surrounded by people who support Donald Trump.

And still, somehow, it seems unreal.

I’m sure it seems more unreal for you. I’m sure the disappointment is crippling. I’m sure the anger, frustration, and overwhelming sadness is life-ruining. I’m sure you’re wondering how a country can vote based off of fear, and not hope, or progress. I know I am.

I’m sure you know that you will not be able to express your disappointment. That attacks against you do not stop because the election has been won. That being a female politician just became about ten times harder; that being a female American in general just became even more so.

I do not know if this is normal. I do not know if the overwhelming panic and fear that I am experiencing is how Republicans felt when Obama won, or Democrats when Bush did. This is my first time around a presidential election, after all.

I am asking for you to give me hope. You may not have much left right now, and I want you to know I understand that. But you got closer than any woman ever has to being President of the United States. You were willing to be the face of this country. You were willing to lead us. I’m asking you to lead us right now, anyway. Lead us to hope.

This fear is warping my–well, my everything. My desire to be American, for sure. I am asking you to reassure me that these four years are not the end. That complacency will not prevail. That education will reach the working class in a way which sticks.That change will come after Donald Trump.

Give me hope that the change will be good, one day.

I’m begging you.

-HH

P.S- If you haven’t heard/read her concession speech, you definitely should. I begged; she answered.