This is a real message that was sent to me by a real person. This person is very near and dear to my heart and was going through a rough time on the anniversary of her friend's death. All of the people described are real so I have censored their names out of respect. This message concerns a number of GLBT individuals so please be considerate when leaving comments. I have posted this as a reminder that we often judge and ridicule others without knowing who they truly are. I hope you get something out of this like I did.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Word From Me

True Beauty is natural beauty. We all have it, whether we believe it or not. Sometimes I feel like we forget as human beings that nobody is perfect. I think it is those imperfections that mold who we are and what makes us beautiful. I have struggled my whole life with my body image and like so many girls I turned to disordered eating, and crash dieting to make myself into what society sees as "beautiful". Ultimately, I destroyed the person that I was. I lost all of my friends, and developed something called Body Dysmorphic Disorder. No matter how much I looked in the mirror and sucked in my belly, I always appeared so much larger than I was. I remember standing in front of the mirror sucking in, my ribs sticking out, and all I could see was a large gut. I was unhappy not because I wasn't a good size, but because I wasn't THE size. I feel so deeply for girls who go through this. It's not right to have to destroy yourself for the approval of others. After I had my son I put on not only the weight I had lost, but about forty more pounds leaving me at a now staggering 215 pounds. All of that work to end up worse than I was before. But the difference between the girl I was then, and the girl I am now, is that I am no longer seeking approval. I am no longer trying to impress. I am going to lose weight, but for my health and nothing more. If there is anything I can say for girls, or guys who are struggling with their appearance, it's that you should cherish even the smallest beautiful things about yourself. If you waste away your life trying to be perfect, while perfect is constantly changing, you will wake up one day and realize that your youth is gone, and now you are just trying to stay alive and well. Please don't do that to yourself. It's not worth the pain, because no matter how thin you get, it will never be enough. No matter how large your implants, they'll still be too small or too lumpy. No matter the size of your muscles, you will still see yourself as weak. Learn to accept who you are, and find beauty in the small things.

Friday, February 24, 2012

My Response

That was the most beautifully worded thing I have ever read. You know what's truly special about you? It's not that you are "different" or "unique", and it's not the way you make any situation more bearable. It's that you have the purest, most raw personality of any person I have ever met. Behind the jokes, and the high fashion grunge-chic style there is an unadulterated beauty that no pretty face can compare to. You are real, and passionate. You have such a big heart, and sometimes it's a burden, but you bear it with so much grace. People see your scars as a reminder of the past, but I see them as a tribute to pure burning love that is your soul.

It's kind of interesting, how I drifted away from everybody. I became so superficial and so shallow. When somebody told me that G*** had transitioned, I couldn't even believe it because the few times I had hung out with him he seemed way to "butch". I remember being at a POD concert with G*** and M**** and K**** and J**** and a few other people and I never would have guessed then that he wouldn't "exist" today. I think I found out about her death like months later and it shocked me, but I never knew her so I couldn't offer anything other than "huh". The way you talk about her, though makes me kind of sad that I didn't know her. It's rare to find people who are raw, which is why I cherish my friendship with you. People always seem to lose sight of what's good in a person when that person breaks social conduct. It's sad that she lost friends, and it's infuriating that B****** would have so much to do with it. People don't notice that the person who they abandoned is still human. They let their spirit dwindle, and it isn't until something drastic happens that they realize how cruel they truly are. And even then their media driven nature poisons their brains and eventually they forget to care, and it's as if the person never existed.

If there is one promise I can make to you, it is that I will never forget you. I want you to know that. Even if you feel like nobody is there, and things are hopeless, I am still thinking about you. I am still praying for you. I am still missing you. I think everyone was to immature to handle what happened to A*****. To them it was just another fashion statement, but to her it was a final frontier, her last grasp of reality. People like her, and you, and I guess me are old souls. We have more to give and people just don't have enough depth to accept it. People like us need other deep people. It's our nature to desire the companionship of people with an equal emotional capacity so we don't feel overwhelmed.

I think traveling would be good for you. The world is such a big place and it's not good to be confined to one tiny speck on the map. This summer J*** might be in Alaska, so maybe you could visit then. And I would love to take a trip with you for like a week somewhere, but I would prefer it to be when J*** is home so he could take care of Z***. I used to dream about traveling with you to amazing fun places. Maybe it could still happen, it might just be more spread out since I have Z***.

You are so cool you know that? You matter so much to me. And I am sure that your life has so much purpose. Everything will be okay. It's hard now, but like you said it will help you appreciate the good times.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Most Beautiful Thing I Have Ever Read

I met G*** the first day of freshman pe. I** and I were sitting in the bleachers, he was sitting behind us. He fended off the mexicans who hated me because I couldn't play soccer. He ran the mile in like 5 minutes and always offered me free drugs, no pressure. I met his dealer once at the park when I was with M****** and B******. D***** was his name. I would hug his throat with a rope if I could, if it would mean anything. One day, the summer before she died, A***** came to my house and dragged me to the movies with her. It was her, her brother M****, me, I**, and I**'s sister H****. Her lips were painted red and her eyes were lined with black. I told her she looked hot. I remember M****, who L*** was freaking obsessed with, was playing Cancer by My Chemical Romance on the piano at home, and he played The Dresden Dolls on the radio when we went to Regals. A***** lit a cigarette in the house. Her mom yelled at her to go smoke outside. It's ironic, A*****'s mom is practically best friends with my Aunt L**. She is the same Aunt who drives down from Valley Springs to pick me, M******, and I** up for the memorial service. A***** gave me a bracelet and some other stuff. I later wore it till it broke. She had really skinny dogs with long legs. A***** paid for my movie ticket. She insisted I get a drink and candy. We raided a gas station. I called her G*** by accident, but I said it so softly that no one heard but M****. He gave me a nod, as if to say, yeah it's okay it happens. It was a kind gesture. I think I was one of the only ones left who hadn't completely abandoned her since she switched schools and transitioned. We watched the movie 'Wanted'. I** sat on my right, signing what was happening in the movie to H****. A***** sat on my left, between myself and M****. Her shoulder dug into mine and throughout the movie she whispered to me and shared her energy drinks. I remember the glow of the movie screen illuminated her pale skin. There were scars from her wrist to her elbow, with no empty space. The movie ended. We piled back into the car. She started wondering outloud about God. I wasn't even saved yet. I was too scared to admit my thoughts. I know now though that A***** respected me. She would have heard me out. They drove me to M******'s house. A***** asked if M****** would come out and see her. M****** said no because A***** had said bad things about her. Bad things about me too, which I had pushed past that day, but it would late come to light that those were all lies on B******'s part. I apologized to A***** because she had waited outside for M******. I hugged A***** and I** goodbye and went in the house. It was the last time I ever saw her. Next February I get a "A*****'s in the hospital". Then after Biology on the 21st, an "A*****'s dead."
I stared. I laughed. A***** couldn't be dead. Pills couldn't kill her, only she could kill them. I did not know how to feel. I only went to half of the memorial service, because B****** did not want to stay the whole time. She stood there eating cookies and bragging that she was bulimic, while I hadn't eaten in over a week and was at the lowest weight of my lifetime. B****** had just told me a month before that I was skinnier than G*** now. I want to vomit whenever I think about it. She had crumbs on her stupid khaki pants. M****** and I blinked. M**** was there. I didn't say hi. We only shared a sad look. The whole thing is an ugly blur, but I remember being so so bitter at B*****. She claimed she had been in love with A***** later that day. Once again she was using a tragedy of someone else's loved one to gain attention. We gave her none. Later we came to know that it was B****** who went on to push and prod A*****, encouraging her to take more pills, encouraging her to fall deeper and deeper into self loathing. I blame B******. I blame myself.
Someone at her memorial service mentioned that she had given her life to Christ 2 days before she fell into the coma. I wondered if she meant it. I wondered where she would go.
I remember I** burst into tears. We brought her outside. B****** walked up with a plate full of muffins and cookies. She stared at I**. Asked why she was crying. Offered her a cookie.
A*****'s mom loves B******. She doesn't know the reality of it, and I won't let on to the truth. The last thing I need to do is ruin one of the last extensions she has left of her daughter.
Senior year I wrote to A***** every day. I thought it would help. It didn't. I am angry that no one could save her. But I am even more angry that people milked her death for attention. People like K* are the ones I wanted to punch. People like K* are why I hate the world. She tried to paint it to seem as if she was friends with A*****, as did many people. That people should pity her because she had lost someone that didn't mean a thing to her. I did not see anyone we knew at the memorial service. No K*. Just me, B******, M******, I**, M****, my Aunt. I was not best friends with A*****, but she was one of the only girls I know who would take a bullet for the people she loved. It shouldn't have been her. It should have been one of us. A***** meant something to me. She was a gem in comparison to all the rotten kids we hung out with. It shouldn't have been her. It is sad how the best people are the ones who hate their own guts.
The true injustice is that three years ago, people milked her death for attention, and three years have passed and hardly anyone remembers, while I have her pictures on my wall and notebooks full of letters where I ask myself if I missed something. If perhaps there was a way she could have been saved. I am past a lot of that, but February 21st will always be a day that I cannot carry on my shoulders. I wish I could have held her hand and told her it was going to be okay. That she didn't have to bleed anymore or swallow any pills, that she just needs to hold on one more day. If I could have been able to do that, she would probably still be here. We wouldn't be friends if she was still alive, I bet. She would hate who I am, for the most part, but I still like who she is if it makes a difference.
It is funny how the stupid kids we knew "got over it". You don't get over something like this, you learn to live with it, and if they got over it then it didn't mean a thing to them.
All of my friendships fell apart after A***** died. It changed all of us. I realized that I wasn't invincible, that we don't have forever to make things right or to hold someone's hand or to try to save someone's life. I know I told you about it once. But it feels like a lifetime. I don't know, I have accepted that A****** is gone, and that if it was my fault then it is a shared guilt. It wasn't only my fault. Today is just the cherry on top of life as lately. It makes me think of how torn up I'd be if a closer loved one died. It is inevitable, and it will be so painful.
You, my brother, V******, D***, Pastor J****, Pastor J*****, hugs from D****. These are the things that I thought would always be with me in this town to get me by. Now I am lucky if I get to see any of you once a year. I am so alone and sad. I know I need help, and I will go to the doctor eventually to stock up on xanax or beta blockers, but for now I am just admitting to someone that I'm not okay and that I'm tired of watching Friends from 1-4am because having the tv on makes me feel like I have people in my life, and that I've left my house maybe 4 times in the last 2 months.
I feel like I've been taken for granted. I fantasize about one day just leaving. Going anywhere but here. I could write letters to my grandma or email her. No one would find me. I would just vanish off the face of the planet. Start over new. I think about the people who called themselves a friend of mine, the ones who ironically never ask me how I'm doing. I think about how sorry they'll be. That they'll finally appreciate all the times I made sure someone didn't kill themselves or all the times I had to call 911 or stay up with someone all night so that there isn't another A*****. Or just all the other crap I put up with, trying to see the best in people, trying to encourage them, just doing my best. I think about A*****. I think about how I AM sorry. They will be sorry, and I would be even sorrier. I am tired of hurting people. I just want everything to be okay again. I know I can't escape anyways. You can try to run from the past, but who I am is messed up, and I cannot escape from that.
I know I won't feel like this forever. Feelings are always changing. I can't change what I feel though, and that's frustrating. So I keep telling myself that one day it won't be like this. Nothing good lasts forever, so this piece of crap funk I've been in for what feels like eternity will have to come to an end too. I guess that's the bright side. Even though all my hopes and dreams will come to an end lolol so will all the bad things. I have the best life ever. I have fantastic, lovely people. They are just so far away.
It will get better, it will get better, and until then I'll keep watching Friends.
Sorry for that rant lol and thanks for listening to all this crap. It is therapeutic sometimes to say things how they are.

I'm glad my angst has helped you realize things though. It is stupid of me maybe, to feel all the things I do, but I figure there are a lot of days that I have had to act strong when I was not. It is okay to cry for a day.

Although I have a distaste for J*** as always, I think that if he treats you right for the rest of your life then I will be okay with him and that what you have going is a beautiful thing. Though I know things are not easy for you, I mean you're gonna be spending all this time with Juan for a while at least. You're right, might as well cherish it right? It's funny, maybe you could look back on these days as the good ol' days sooner or later. We all dream about the finish line. The finish line where we prove all of the haters wrong, the finish line where we don't have to worry about money. The one where we don't become our parents and where we are truly happy. People get to that finish line and it's never what they dreamt it would be. It never tastes as good as they imagined. They were running a race of sweat, blood, and tears to get to a life they thought they would be happy with. They didn't realize that the journey was the true marrow of life. The sweat, blood, and tears were when they were the most alive. When they were fighting for their lives to get by. If I never re-experience what it is like to so deeply hurt myself, hate myself - how will I ever like myself? How will I ever heal myself? Yes I am absolutely miserable, but if I did not know what this felt like, I would not know how good it feels to smile. I could not fully enjoy the capacity of what joy feels like. I know it is shortsighted of me but I wish I knew more people who had depth. I know everyone is suppose to. We are soulmates. You're one of the only people on this planet that understands me. I wish there were more people with your kind of depth. There are suppose to be. That is what I'm told. Everyone is so shallow though. They are so busy with petty things like getting their nails done, they refuse to have intelluctual or meaningful conversations. I need to live deeper. There is more than this shallowness that I'm faced with everywhere I turn. I know I can be shallow, but there is more to my heart than what I am given credit for. For an example, if I even provide a hint that I don't like myself, 100% guarantee that a Christian girl will be like GOD THINKS YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL. Do people really think that is what everyone cares about? Who I am is deeply flawed. It is not so much about what I look like on the outside but my insides are rotten as well. Someone telling me I'm beautiful does not make me feel any better about all the broken things and guilt and loneliness. I am not that shallow. You get that. It would be like if you admitted to someone that you are trying to recover from bulimia and them being like, "But you're beautiful!" I am tired of looking for people who have depth. It is too difficult and tiring. I am hoping maybe I will accidentally discover someone brilliant. I am tired of trying, of being let down, of opening myself up just to get hurt or used. My best skill is pushing people away, but my greatest inability is to trust. I am damaged goods, but I am not damaged to you, and you understand my panic! at the disco jokes. I wish there were more people like you in this world, and that is not something I say to a lot of people. Despite my classic teenage self-loathing, I think we are pretty brilliant people. We have souls. Remember that, you have a soul. Soul is the marrow. It is the currency of life.
I really miss you and I hope we can hang out soon. I would visit but my parents literally 100% believe that J*** is going to beat me to death/poison me and kill me. I know you would not let that happen if you had some say in it, but it is one of my reoccurring nightmares as well so there must be some truth into what my parents say. Though their assumption that he would burn me in the firepit was not really spot on last summer. I will write soon if that is all I can do, but idk man I need to make some more good memories and be happy for a while and stop being a carbon copy of P*** W****. Goodness. Idk I want to do some traveling maybe, but I don't wanna go alone. I was going to ask you if you wanted to go to Chicago with me this summer but you have a family and it's kinda a gutter dream cause it's so freaking expensive. I am so stupid I just want to have fun for once. I want to read more, to listen to more music, watch more cinema. Write more, breathe in the art, smile more, find souls that matter.

It is strange to think that I am looking for people with more depth. They are looking for us too. It gives me such a strange feeling. How about you? Think about it, someone is looking for you. They don't know your name or what you look like or your music taste but they are nostalgic for a companionship with a human they have never even met. Not even romantically speaking. I mean, there are people who are already in love with who you are, who I am, and they are looking for us because they know there is more than looking pretty.

Everything is going to be okay.