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Meet My Friend Ana

I met my friend Ana when I was in middle school. Ana and I started growing apart in high school. I was sad to see Ana go, but I was happy we parted ways. Recently Ana has tried to come back into my life. At first I thought nothing of it. I knew Ana and I could not be friends anymore, but I still wonder what life would be like if I let her back in. Would I be happier?

I seemed to welcome Ana with open arms. I wanted her to be apart of my life. She seemed to be the person who would pick me up when I fell down. I know she would distract me from my bad days and lonely nights. I quickly began to realize how toxic Ana was. She would constantly be putting me down. She would agree whenever I put myself down. She agreed with me when I thought that I needed to be punished. She never thought I was good enough. She always wanted me to push myself harder and harder. She always told me that I could do better and be better. I believed her.

I broke things off with Ana when I realized I deserved better. Ana wouldn’t leave me alone. She would constantly keep in contact with me. It took every ounce of my being to block her out of my life. Now here we are a few years later, and I think I’m letting Ana back in my life. What a tragic mistake.

Ana had her own distinct look. She was very thin. She had a tiny body structure. Her hair was very thin and stringy. She always wore baggy clothes. Her sweaters would hang off her collarbones, and even her belts wouldn’t always hold her pants in place. She also looked like she hadn’t slept in days. There were prominent dark circles under her eyes. All of the color was washed out of her skin. There was no twinkle in her eyes. You rarely saw her smile unless you saw her step on the scale.

One of the biggest things I worried about was looking like Ana since I was spending so much time with her. I started to change some things to fit in with Ana. I started wearing baggy clothes, so you couldn’t define my body structure. I would stop eating whenever I was around Ana, because she never ate either. I started to lose the twinkle in my eyes. My stomach started rumbling because of Ana. I didn’t socialize much due to Ana. For a while I thought I was turning into a completely different person. I was starting to not recognize myself when I looked in the mirror. Who was I becoming? Ana?

I’ve been doing better since I cut Ana out of my life. I wore whatever clothes I wanted. It didn’t matter if you could see my figure through my dress. The twinkle in my eyes returned and I started smiling more. My laughs were genuine, and I was beginning to accept myself more. I was slowly regaining my life back. I was starting to be me again.

I think Ana will always be apart of me. Some of her traits and quirks will always stick with me. Her comments will be engraved in my memory for a long time. I’m always going to remember Ana. At one point in time she was my best friend.

That girl Ana is a beautiful nightmare. She will never leave your soul whole.

_______________

When I was younger I had an undiagnosed eating disorder. I don’t necessarily think I had a specific disorder like Anorexia or Bulimia, but I just stopped eating.

At one point I had lost almost 30 pounds by not eating. I thought dieting was too hard, so I decided to speed up the process. If I had to eat I would slowly eat a small portion, and throw the rest away. Eventually it became easier since I wasn’t hungry anymore.

I also used not eating as a form of punishment. Whenever I failed, embarrassed myself, etc I would force myself to not eat. It was an alternative to cutting.

There’s a noticeable difference from middle school me to freshman year me. I was pretty skinny in my opinion. Sometimes I look back on those pictures and I don’t recognize myself. I always think about how miserable I must have felt. I felt bad that past me had to go through that.

I don’t think I ever snowballed back into my unhealthy ways. I thought I was doing a good job of taking care of myself. Recovering wasn’t easy. It was a long and difficult process. I had to learn how to take care of myself and love myself which wasn’t easy by any means. I had to convince myself I was worthy to recover. Food shouldn’t have to be your biggest enemy.

I’m trying diet for my trip to Aruba coming up. I want to lose weight and tone parts of my body. I’m trying to do it in a healthier way. Before now, I never allowed myself to diet. I always obsessed over things, and I think that lead to the decline of my eating habits.

I’m losing weight in a healthy way. I make myself a nutritious breakfast. I have a decent lunch, dinner is always balanced, and sometimes I’ll go work out.

I’m proud of myself. I am really proud of myself for putting all this extra time and energy into dieting in the proper/healthy way.

I’m not going to lie, sometimes I wish I could just not eat. Sometimes part of me misses it. I just want to have all that control in my life. Sometimes I’ll think about it. Then I remember how much time I put into my recovery, and I cannot watch myself self destruct anymore.

I never thought I was a victim to this illness, until I started seeing the changes. I was not skin and bones, so I never thought anything was wrong. I didn’t think it was bad enough. Trust me, it was.

This is a hard mental illness to have. It consumes your entire life and leaves you empty, broken, and hungry. Sometimes it can leave your dead. I would not wish this terrible mindset and disease on anyone.

Nobody deserves to feel like they’re not good enough in their own skin. Nobody deserves to punish themselves for not being perfect.

 

Recovering from anything is difficult. It is not impossible. Recovery is worth it and so are you. You are too beautiful to be a prisoner of your own body and mind.

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My Best Kept Secret

I lost my virginity when I was fourteen. I was a freshman in high school. I lost my virginity to some guy I did not know.  I would call him a some what stranger. All I knew about him was his name, his age, that he had a sister in my grade, and that he dated one of the girls in my choir class. I think I knew more about him than he knew about me. Anyways, we we were in the same geometry class second semester. My schedule changed my class hour and teacher. I was the shy freshman girl who sat up front, while he sat in the back with his buddies. I had speech practice the first day back at school. I was thinking about canceling last minute since I started my period and did not feel good. He texted me as soon as I got home from school. He messaged me through Facebook. He told me that we should hang after school. I was somewhat excited and nervous. I always thought it meant that could hang out, and maybe that would lead to dating in the future.

Of course I said yes to hanging out with him. He said he would pick me up from school after speech practice. I had to make up some bullshit story to my mother about going out. I didn’t have any friends with cars or anything. We decided to drive around. I remember there was a lot of snow on the ground. He had to be careful because there was still a lot of ice on the roads. We had to stop at Aldi’s to pick up cabbage. While we were driving around his mom called and told him to pick up a cabbage. Aldi’s didn’t carry any cabbage, so we decided to head to Walmart. Walmart was a risky move. We did not want to be caught together. We walked around Walmart a little bit, and he saw a few of his buddies and one of the PE teachers there. I ducked and stayed behind him. By the time we finished in Walmart, it was getting dark outside. We sat in his car. He tried kissing me in the parking lot. I kissed him at first, but I pulled back quickly. He immediately went back in after I backed away. He started running his hands across my thighs, inching closer and closer between my legs. I tried to gently push his hand away, but he retracted, then put it back in the same place as it was before. After doing this a few times he finally got the message. I slumped back in my seat, and the car ride to my house was silent, apart from me giving him directions.

I told him he could come over to my house on sunday since my parents were not going to be home. I thought we could watch a movie and order a pizza. He agreed. I was very excited. Little did I know he did not want to watch netflix and eat pizza with me.

It was sunday, and I was excited but nervous. I messaged him on Facebook when my parents left for Chicago. They were off to see the Blackhawks play hockey. Before they left, my dad’s friend came over. He was our neighbor. He wanted to use our garage to fix his truck, My dad of course said yes. I forgot he was even here.

He came over around one maybe. I couldn’t get Netflix up and running on the tv in my room, so I told him we could squeeze onto my bed and watch it on my tv. He agreed. He picked the movie we would end up not watching. It was Turbo. He took up most of the room on my twin bed. I laid next to him, cuddling. His hand wandered a lot. I just looked at him. My eyes were wide open when he leaned down and tried to kiss me. I just turned my head and dodged him. He went in again, but this time holding my head to stabilize it. I tried dodging again and I moved my neck to the side. I got up out of bed and he looked at me angrily. In that moment I thought I was going to throw up. I contemplated everything going on. I looked at myself in the mirror and felt disgusted. I told him I had to pee (which was a lie) and locked myself in the bathroom. I had to do breathing excercises to keep myself from hyperventilating. I told myself he couldn’t see me cry. I put on my big girl panties and walked back to my room. I hoped back into bed.

I tried to start kissing for his sake. I did it even though I didn’t want to. One thing lead to another, and his hands started wandering. Every time I pushed away, he put them back in place, and had a firmer grip. Eventually my clothes came off, and he threw them on the floor, so I wouldn’t be able to get them. His hands wandered further down my belly. I was emotionless through it all. I thought what was the point of trying to scream or get away. He was a football player and wrestler. He could bench hundreds of pounds, and he could easily ruin me and my life. I stayed quiet.

I laid on my back quiet and still while he tried to put himself in me. I fought back tears. I gasped in pain when it happened. He was too focused on himself to notice me. The tears started welling up in my eyes when he started moving. I tried to push him off me, but he resisted. He kept going. I wanted to scream, but I was afraid. I whispered, “stop”, but he didn’t hear me. I zoned out. I was not trying to pay attention to him or the pain he was causing. I felt all of the innocence leaving my body. I felt lifeless. I felt like I couldn’t move.

I forgot our neighbor was over. He banged on the door. He yelled for me. I quickly put my shirt and pants back on. I had no time to put a bra on, otherwise he would suspect something. I was taking too long. I walked out and assisted him with his breaks. He didn’t seem to ask any questions about my appearence. I went back inside, and he went back home when he was finished.

I walked back into my bedroom. He was there sitting on my bed. I told him I was sorry and he got up and walked over to me. My clothes were stripped from my body and put himself back in me. He tried moving to a different position. I blantently said no. He didn’t care. I fought him, and I lost that fight. I almost knocked my head on my bedside table. He was being rough with me. At one point he even picked me up and did it. The tears were trying to escape from my eyes. I thought he would understand. I thought he got the message when I swatted his hand away and told him no.

He left after he finished. He wore a condom and placed it in my garbage can. He was getting ready to leave, and saw me standing infront of the mirror in my room. I could see him in the reflection. He looked at me in the eyes, through the mirror.

“You’re not going to tell anyone about this right?” he asked. I nodded. “Good” he said. I didn’t watch him walk out the door. I heard it close, and his engine started. I sat on the floor of my room and cried. I cried until I made myself sick. I didn’t want to be alone. I called one of my old friends at the time. She came right over. We sat on the couch and talked a little bit about it. She helped me throw the quilt in the washer. I didn’t know how to laundry per say. She left after about an hour. I didn’t know whatto call it. I didn’t know what to do. All I knew is that I needed to tell someone what happened.

I decided to tell Mel. She was my ex neighbor. She was like a second mom to me. She unfortunately moved. My birthday was a week later, and I called her that night when my two friends were around. I told her I wanted to talk to her about adult things. She said okay, and told me she was free the next night. I had a speech meet the next day. It has been a week almost and I haven’t told my parents. We visited my friends that lived near the town the speech meet was at. On our way home I asked my mom if she could drop me off at Mel’s new house. My mom thought something sketchy was going on, but she obliged. I toured the new house. No one was home except for Mel. We sat in her daughters room and talked. She helped me figure things out. She mentioned the word rape. I didn’t think that was possible. I dont even like saying that.

She told me that I needed to tell my parents. She offered to come help me for moral support. She took me home. My parents were sitting together in the living room. My mom got all serious and started questioning me as soon as I stepped in the door. My anxiety went throuh the roof. Tears streamed down my face. I tried dodging her questions, but she wouldn’t give. I was gasping for air. I couldn’t breathe or think or do anything. I know i went into the kitchen a few times for air. I returned to the livingroom. My mom had this really angry look on her face. I didn’t know what came out of my mouth until I said it.

“______ raped me.” I said.

Her expression changed instantly. Her and my dad had tears in her eyes. She spoke in a soft tone from then on. She was all lovey and all over me. My dad took it hard. He got up and went and stayed in his bathroom. It was like ten at night and my mom went out and got Plan B from Walmart just to be safe. She had me get an STD test and pregnancy test. I opted out of a rape kit because it had been a week, and I thought there wouldn’t be any evidence left.

That trauma had a profound impact on me. I didn’t deal with it like normal people did. I had sex again about half a year later. I felt nothing. I had these random hook ups off and on from then until now. I just don’t know what I was thinking. All I knew is that I wanted to regain the power that I had lost. I tried to move on way before I was ready. I wanted to show myself that this event was not going to consume my life.It devestated me when we talked briefly about sexual assault in one of my classes. Someone said that victims never move on fast. They made a statement about how victims are always afraid. It seemed like I was the only one who tried to get over it quickly.

Since I tried to mask the pain by sleeping with random people and not telling anyone, I thought my feelings were not validated. I slept around and people talked about me. It seemed like everone at school knew about my history. They never knew my side of the story.

A year later I found out I sat at the lunch table with one of his best friends. He told me that he had talked about me to him. The best friend told me that _______ said I cried during it. I hid in the bathroom after that.

I stopped telling people and opening up about it, because of the reponsese I got.

“You’re making up the story for attention. It didn’t really want it.”

I know you secrely wanted to do it.”

You’re a little slut aren’t you.”

Why did you sleep with him.”

Why didn’t you say no more.”

If I were you I would just push him off.”

It’s not rape.”

You were asking for it when you invited him over”

I felt dirty and disgusting. I felt like my pain was never validated. I thought it didn’t count since I didn’t try harder, since I wasn’t attacked, since I brought him into my house… I always felt like it was all my fault. It is true when people say it is not the victim’s fault at all. I should have never thought it was my fault.

I still continue to lead a sex life. A lot of times I will get flashbacks while doing it. I either zone out or start crying. It’s something that I am working on. My rapist is still apart of me, whether I want him to be or not. I can’t get rid of him. I can’t get the images out of my head. I can still hear myself screaming after he left. I can picture myself pushing his hands away, but they snapped back into place. I will lay there still and emotionless.

To this day my current best friend does not know this… only a handful of people. I decided not to tell anyone else after the responses I got. I guess I decided that I need to share my story. I guess it is a way in which you can understand me a little more.

It’s a little nerve wracking sharing such a private thing on a public platform. I want to share my story to let others know that they are not alone.

So this is my best kept secret….. I was raped when I was 14. 

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An Open Letter to my Friend Who Committed Suicide

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Dear Andrew,

I miss you… a lot… too much sometimes. I know you probably knew that. I just want you back too. I want to go back to how things were. It’s too late. You’re gone, and I can’t get you back. I don’t know what hurts the most, you not being here or me not fighting for you.
I have so many unanswered questions. If you haven’t noticed, a lot of people are plagued with difficult questions when someone dies. This was the first death by suicide I have gone through, and I can’t believe it was with someone I used to call my best friend…. but I do still call you my best friend.
I don’t know if friendships were only one sides but I liked to believe that we were best friends… I mean we acted like it. We were at one point in time best friends. I mean we had a past together, and you were honestly my first heart break but you know, we moved on and remained really good friends. And I failed at being your best friend. I have no idea how I can label myself your best friend when I wasn’t there for you when you needed me the most. I am so sorry Andrew. I didn’t mean to leave you.
I have so many regrets Andrew…. so many
I blocked you because the last time we facetimed I guess something happened and I got so angry I blocked you. I think the thing that killed me the most was the fact that I went on like life was okay and that we weren’t talking. And it continued for a while.
I always wondered…. did you ever try to contact me? Did you cry to me for help? Did you try to call me before you shot yourself?
I remember that one time you called me after you and Lynn broke up and you decided that you wanted to hang yourself. It broke my heart because I was super scared to lose you. You came to me and we talked on the phone for the longest time. You said that I helped you. I felt so happy that I had the chance to help you out like that. I took it as an honor. You said I really helped and it means so much. More than you’ll ever know.
I remember another night when you told me thank you. I never thought I’d see the day where you would thank me… but you did. And I was a little taken back, not gonna lie. You seemed pretty sincere too… If I remember you correct, you told me that you loved me. Is it true? You told me that you loved me like a sister and that you were thankful for my help and being
there for you. That sticks out in my heart.
I guess now I can finally say what I’ve been keeping from you…. I still liked you… sometimes more than a friend. And I loved helping you out so much. Sometimes I was so over it but I sucked it up because I didn’t wanna lose you.
We’ve had so many random conversations. So many that you’ve probably forgotten most of them.. you may have even forgotten me. But I haven’t. A lot of those centered around football and half the time I acted interested and pretended that I knew what you were talking about. Other times we would talk about your love life or you would insult me, and that was okay. It was okay because for a moment i knew that you felt better and you laughed and I laughed and that’s what you need to do in life. Those are the moments in my life that I want to remember for the rest of my life. Those are the moments that I will forever cherish. You made me so happy. And you always make me so happy but so sad whenever i think about you.
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I miss you.
Life has been tough. You were always here for me when I needed you. You would always distract me and make me laugh and you always knew how to make me feel better. Gosh, so much has changed. There are moments when I just think to myself, “I wish Andrew was here.”. I’ll admit it…. I break down a lot… over you. I can’t believe that you’re gone. It still hurts my heart to think you are gone. Whenever I’m down I want to pick up my phone and text you or FaceTime you and then I am slapped in the face with reality. You are gone. You will never return my texts or answer my FaceTime calls…. we won’t ever get to speak. That’s worthy of a breakdown right? I don’t think you know how much your hurt me or how much I miss you. I’m always begging and asking if this is how it’s going to be for the rest of my life. When I was out on a date, walking in a city, looking up at christmas lights and watching fireworks all I could think of was you. I always had this thought saying that you missed out. It hit me that you wouldn’t ever have the chance to watch another sunrise or go on vacation or celebrate christmas or new years. Hell, you won’t get to celebrate your 16th birthday. It’s too late.
As I am typing this right now i need you. I know I shouldn’t depend on you to make me happy or cheer me up but you were the best. Everything you said and did helped. You always put me in a good mood and you were enough. I always smiled when i got those super random FaceTime calls from you either at night or directly after school. Now theres no rush to get back home from school. You were always there for me and that’s the one thing that kills me inside. I can’t believe I wasn’t there for you since you have always been here for me.
Andrew, you made an everlasting impact on my life and for that I am forever grateful. You changed my outlook on life. I am truly a better person because of you. I have also learned to value life a little more. I no longer say, “Man this makes me wanna shoot myself in the head.” I think i’ve learned to value life a little more and the importance of being there for each. I knew both of those things were very important but this has changed me. I know it sounds so cliche.
 I guess this is just all part of the grieving process. I know from Grey’s Anatomy that one of the first steps is denial. I don’t think you realize how many times I go and look at your instagram page or your Facebook page and I just scroll through it like I’ve done a hundred times before. It still stings like it did the first time I checked. I do this daily about. It breaks my heart to see your mom in this much pain. Andrew you hurt her so much, and i hope it kills you because you killed her. She died too. She’s just not being buried. Some days it just hits me really hard and I have to remember that you’re gone. It’s not a good feeling. The second step in the grieving process is anger. I think your mom has made it to the second step. She has seem angry a few times. I’m starting to get angry at you too. I mean how could you just leave all of us in the dark like that? What made you think you had the right to go and kill yourself? What about us? You weren’t thinking. You were being so selfish the day you decided to pick up the gun and pull the trigger. There’s always going to be a part of my heart that’s missing because you left. A lot of times I get very angry and upset because you’re not here and I need you. Some days i just really need you and you’re not here and it gets me so angry because I tried my best to be there for you. Where are you? The third step is bargaining. I think i’ve done some bargaining with God but I’m not exactly sure. The fourth step is depression. Honestly you being dead has really hit me hard. There’s not a day that goes by where I am not thinking about you in some way. Some days it just hits at random times at the day. When you pop into my head, i go quiet and I shut down for a little bit, until I reassure myself that I’m okay. This isn’t just me who feels like this? Why did you leave us Andrew? And the last stage is acceptance. i have no idea if i have accepted your death or what all of that entails. All I know for sure is you’re gone and I’m gonna have to move forward.
I honestly feel stuck thanks to you. We have a past and now i just feel stuck because when something little reminds me of you, I am reminded of the months that I don’t want to remember. I am reminded of some of the lowest points in my entire life. Bring me to my highest points Andrew.
Help me. Guide me. Please don’t let me do this alone, I can’t.
I’m so sorry I wasn’t there for you when you needed me. Please take this regret off my shoulders and let me know you’re doing okay. Let me know that I’ll be okay. Please tell me it’s not my fault.
I’m hoping that one day I will wake up and it won’t hurt as much.
I love you like a brother Andrew. I miss you so much.
Fly high and rest easy.
Love,
Andrea.
Andrew Burr committed suicide on September 4th, 2015 due to excessive bullying. 
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal ideals or thoughts please find professional help or call the national suicide hotline at 1 (800) 273-8255

My Top 17 Songs in 2017

Here is a list of my favorite and most played songs from this year! Most of them are older, but still great.

1. I Fall Apart – Post Malone
2. Capsize – Frenship + Emily Warren
3. Praying – Kesha
4. The Night We Met – Lord Huron
5. Nobody Knows – The Lumineers
6. Poison and Wine – The Civil Wars
7. Young Dumb and Broke / Thunder – Khalid + Imagine Dragons
8. Trouble (stripped) –  Halsey
9. Fast Car – Boyce Avenue Cover
10. Closer – Tegan and Sarah
11. Alright – Keaton Henson
12. Lions – Skip Marley
13. Honest – Drake Bell
14. Cross My Mind – Arizona
15. Ophelia – The Lumineers
16. The Louvre – Lorde
17. How to Save A Life – the Fray

Have a happy new year! 

12am Thoughts : What Would You Binge?

I think I’m a little extra emotional tonight. I watched a lot of heart wrenching things on The Night Shift. It’s one of my favorite shows at the moment. I finished up Royal Pains in a few weeks. I wonder what shows were your favorites. I wonder what you would want to binge watch by yourself or with your girlfriend. Maybe you wouldn’t want any part of the Netflix scene. Would you rather play basketball? I mean everyone loves Netflix. I think you would too.

But I wonder what you would watch. That’s the thing. Your taste in everything can change intstantly. I remember that you said you loved the movie Radio Head. It was a sports movie. I think I tried to watch it when I first got Netflix. I don’t think I ever watched most of it. I stopped like ten minutes into it. I really wish I could finish it, but I have no idea if it’s still on there. I don’t think I could anyways. I think it’ll hurt too much.

There’s a million other sports movies out there. I personally really like them. One of my all time favorites was a Warriors Heart. It was a lacrosse one. It centered around a guy who was angry after his father died over seas. He was a big lacrosse player, and he took his anger out on the field. He was taken to a work camp ran by Native Americans. It’s a really good movie. Now does that sound like something that would interest you?

There’s not really any tv shows that focuses on sports dramas. So I’m wondering if you would like the crime dramas. Would you like NCIS? Would you like Bull? Were you ever a CSI person? I can see you really liking NCIS… but maybe not the New Orleans one. I’d like to believe that you would be interested in all of the trending netflix shows like Making a Murderer or Riverdale. Riverdale seems like a really interesting show. I haven’t watched it, but from what I heard it’s good. OOOOO. I think you would like Stranger Things. Again, I have never watched it. I know it is super popular. You may even be an American Horror Story type of guy. I think I tried to watch a few episodes of that, but it seemed weird.

Oh and were you watching the Alabama vs Clemson football game? I was rooting for Clemson. I bet you were betting on Alabama. I know you’re a gamecocks fan. I wanted to go to one of the USC vs CU games, but unfortunately it was over Thanksgiving last year. I know basketball is probably more of your thing. I don’t remember who won for March Madness. Basketball was never really my thing either.

Tonight I was asking myself what were you binging? Now I’m kind of wondering what kind of music you would be listening to. I remember I gave you my iTunes account once so you could buy yourself some more music. I remember the songs were all stuck on my phone. I tried to delete them but they were still on the cloud??? I have no idea. It’s not my forte. But I kinda got the feeling you were this big shot baller who liked rap. Other times, I think you would like some country music. How could you not??? You live in South Carolina. I know you liked the song Stay by FGL. I love that song too. It always reminds me of you. I know you also liked that Compass song by Lady Antebellum. Sometimes it’d start playing out of nowhere. That’s when I’d stop and stare at you.

Why am I getting the vibe you’d be a Thomas Rhett guy??? I’m making so many assumptions. I wish I did’t have to assume anything.I wish you were around to tell me.

I knew the thirteen year old Andrew. The guy who was so/so about playing All Star Football. You were also the guy who liked so many girls. Okay. I’ll say you were passionate about them… but I mean what thirteen/fourteen year old guy wouldn’t be. I know you loved basketball. You were always seen shooting hoops. You restarted your Instagram and one of the three pictures on there is you shooting a basket.  You were also in a rough spot. I don’t know to the full extent, but I do know you were hurting. I remember some of those nights. I have no idea what you would do now. I do not know what you would have become. I don’t know if you would have ever stopped hurting. I don’t know. I guess I’m better off not knowing, because if I did know, I think it would kill me.