im often spoiled by the comradery and conversation that I find in online spaces. Imagine logging on every day to meet and engage with people who nurture you and leave you thinking every time you talk to them. Only to go back to dealing with people who seem extraordinarily shallow by comparison. I find in my real life spaces I am the nurturer, the teacher, the one often pointing things out that my friends don’t even think about. But online things are so much more balanced and reciprocal. I am someone who prefers face to face contact but what happens when the contact you do have just isn’t fulfilling anymore? What happens when you’re going through the motions because you feel as though you’re having the same conversation over and over again? I’ve met and encountered so many brilliant, thoughtful, giving people online that it’s hard not to conpare and feel like something’s missing. The first people I want to share good and bad news with, are people I’ve met here. The people I want to vent and really express myself to are here. The people I learn from, the people who make me better are here. I get my cup filled by so many people I’ve met in these spaces that it’s hard to pull myself away from it. I wish I could meet everyone of you and be blessed enough to share your space. The emotional intelligence, the empathy, the genuine concern and friendship is refreshing. You truly challenge me and help me become better. These spaces have gotten me through a lot. I’ve felt alone a lot of the time but every text, every call, every little engagement gets me through. I can’t really devalue or trivialize online relationships as I once did because they have very much become my lifeline. I’m appreciative of you all because you’ve done more for me than you will ever know. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I “moved” out of my mother’s house a few months ago. By moved I mean she kicked me out and dropped me off here. I’ve experienced a loneliness I never thought I’d feel again, especially since I was married at one point. I’ve been dealing with depression, health issues, and I’m constantly struggling finenciallly. I have two very good friends and they’ve helped me with so much. Whether it’s food, money or taking me to do errands, they’ve been there. But something has always been missing. I don’t really get emotional support and I don’t blame them. I can’t ask of people what they’re not equipped to give. I’ve been going to dialysis for a few months and the treatments are nothing compared to the loneliness I feel when I see couples/friends sitting together and talking or just sitting quietly because sometimes it’s just nice to have someone there. My friends know I have kidney problems, my friends know I am on dialysis but I don’t think they understand the gravity of the situation. It’s the same thing with my depression. I told my friends I had depression about a year ago and they were just kinda like “oh ok.” Didn’t treat me any differently, didn’t approach situations with me differently, nothing. That’s when I realized as much I love them, as much as they do for me, I’m not going to get emotional support from them. You might know me from twitter and you see that I’m on there ALOT. That’s because I don’t really go out and I don’t have money for cabs or the bus. More than a social outlet though twitter has become my emotional support system. Where I go to vent and express myself in ways that I can’t in my real life spaces. I got some bad news today and the first people I thought to tell are the people who have emotionally supported me on twitter. The people who have checked on me and asked me how my treatments went. The people who have been emotionally present and have made space for me. I was at treatment today and the kidney doctor was making the rounds. He told me I was a great candidate for a transplant but my insurance wouldn’t pay for it. So here I am, left to process this on my own. No one to grieve with, cry with, hug. This is a moment in which I’ve realized just how lonely I am. I feel as though life has been hitting me all at once and eventually I won’t be strong enough to take the punches anymore. Kidney transplants cost close to 260 grand and there’s no way I’m covering that out of pocket. I can barely feed myself now. I’m paying rent that takes half of my 733 dollar check so even if I wanted to I can’t save for it. I don’t have any emotional support, I’m broke and alone. I don’t know what to do and I just don’t know if I want to keep fighting to live in a world that lets me know I’m not valued or wanted here at every turn.
I often wonder, am I worthy of love? With all of my emotional baggage, my financial situation and my health problems, should I not even try? I am an affectionate person, I live to please and let people know what they mean to me. I have no problem doing that within platonic friendships but you see, most people will hold back in those situations. So you won’t feel truly supported and loved unless a romantic relationship is involved. I’m isolated and lonely, because Orlando where I currently live isn’t really accessible for people like me who can’t drive or walk long distances. I spend most of my time at home. I rarely see the friends I do have and there’s really no way for me to meet people. So I go on twitter, and sometimes even that can be too much. When you see the way people shame you because you don’t have a lot of money or because you don’t have life figured out, makes you feel less than worthless. I suffer from depression, I have kidney problems and cerebral palsy, but ask anyone who has bothered to get to know me and they’ll tell you I would do anything for them. I don’t take friendship lightly, and though I’ve only had one long term relationship I always did my best to show her she was loved and cared for. I don’t have money, and I never will. What I bring to the table is intangible and I don’t blame anyone who doesn’t want to commit to something like that. Yet, I also don’t like what I bring to the table being undervalued. Emotional intelligence, a heart to please, the ability to read your partner without them needing to spell things out, these things are important too. If you don’t feel what I have to offer is enough, that’s fine. But I don’t owe you or anyone else an explanation as to why I don’t have a job or why I’m not as productive as you think I should be. I don’t believe in trying to impress people, I’m good. Don’t misunderstand, I’m going to put my best foot forward, but the things I do will be things that come naturally, meaning I will always do them without even thinking. I’m not going to lie to myself or you so we can start a relationship based on performance and an idea, not who each of us really is. Still, the more I read and the more I see others’ perspective I get the feeling that, that’s not enough. This capitalistic society makes it so that productivity, quantity not quality, defines what good we bring to the table. Most people say this and people assume their being dramatic and extreme, but honestly I feel like I’ll probably be alone. It’s something I’m coming to terms with but it’s made even harder by the fact that most of my platonic relationships are distant and lack the closeness and community I’ve always desired. If I don’t reach out, if I don’t make plans, I don’t hear from them. So I’m left wanting for any kind of validation, any kind of affection, any kind of intimacy. Since my divorce I have not experienced a warm touch, a good long hug, or the kindness and tenderness my marriage gave me that helped me so much. Society constantly reminds me that I’m not worthy of affection and may never experience it again. I wish that was hyperbole, I wish it was just me being extreme, but more and more I believe it’s true. I cannot offer what society has deemed important and I always feel like lesser for it. All I want is the freedom to exist in someone’s space and to be loved simply for being…
If you follow me on twitter then you know that I am a very open person. I don’t hide or mask my vulnerability. This makes some people uncomfortable, but I refuse to perform for anyone. I have worked to change the culture in my space and let my friends know that it’s ok to breakdown, it’s ok to not be ok. My hurt, my sadness, my frustration, its genuine. My posistivity, my enthusiasm for people, all that is real. I bare my soul so that people can see there’s nothing wrong with unapologetically being yourself. Don’t fear your vulnerability. Don’t stay around people who don’t give you the gift of simply being able to exist. I understand that it’s much cooler to be sarcastic and mean spirited about everything and I can do that with the best of them but I’d rather show people a better side of myself. I will always be honest, and for me that’s not an excuse to say cruel things or be rude to people. To me being honest is giving people their flowers while they’re here. Vulnerability is me admitting my troubles to you but is also me opening up about what you mean to me. Never assume something is “understood”, you never know what someone is going through, what they’re feeling. I am a complicated, whole person. Seems like the most obvious and simple truth, yet people never treat each other that way. We fear our own vulnerability and have a real problem making ourselves emotionally available. I have worked to show people around me that I’m here only as myself. I embrace my vulnerability and I understand that it is healthy and natural to simply feel what I feel. There are a lot of jokes made at my expense because of how open I am and sometimes they get to me because I don’t have the thickest skin. I was never taught or shown that my empathetic nature and sensitivity was a quality, I was always being told to toughen up. I spent a lot of time performing what I was taught a man should be. Eventually I stopped trying to do that and just let people know from jump who I was. I am vulnerable, I place an emphasis on emotional intelligence and I dedicate myself to understanding people fully. I don’t fear my vulnerability or yours, I welcome it. Don’t carry everything on your shoulders, share it with me. Again, it’s ok to be vulnerable and I hope you find people who let you be that with them, and I hope you can be there for someone else when they need it. Being vulnerable is not a crime.
You grow up thinking abuse is physical. You grow up thinking abuse is walking around with a black eye. Everything else is you being sensitive. Everything else is you reading too much into it. Ever since I was a teenager I knew something wasn’t right. I knew there was no way being talked to like this was was justified. I knew there was no way being treated this way was ok. I was constantly put down and criticized by my mother. I was always being told how stupid and sensitive I was. I always pushed back, I always fought. My mother views it as disrespect and arrogance. She believes she deserves respect simply for bringing me into this world. She believes she can degrade me, make me feel like absolute trash and still get nothing but respect from me. She calls it “tough love”. Tough love is just another way to say abuse. Nothing and I mean NOTHING positive comes from speaking harshly and callously to someone. I’m dealing with depression, the after effects of a divorce and dialysis every other day and I have no one for moral support. No one checks on me, no one asks me if I need anything. My mother just pops ups to tell me I left dishes in the sink or I left clothes in the bathroom. There’s no affection or warmth behind anything she says to me. My mother is one thing but then you have her wife. She complains about me to my mother every day so then I get to hear about it. She stalks my twitter, she listens to my podcast to hear mention of her name. Recently, she stopped buying water for the house because she didn’t want me to have any. One day, she was going to take an entire pot of food to work so I wouldn’t have any. When I bought a PS4 with my income tax she complained to my mother about it. She did the weirdest thing at the hospital when I was there to get my first dialysis treatment, she kept announcing to the nurses that she was my step mother. I’m getting emotional abuse from two people every day and I’m getting no moral support from anyone in my real life space. I begged and pleaded for my brother to let me stay with him but his husband said no and he basically said he couldn’t help me as though I was some stranger. My entire family is trash and I have nothing left. This emotional abuse, this loneliness, the way NO ONE understands the urgency of my situation. I’m tired, I’m drained and I don’t know what to do. My mother and brother are spineless cowards and I’m so angry I’m related to them. It hurts when “family” invalidates you, makes you feel like you’re making it up. I don’t know how things will turn out, I just know that I’m beaten down and my hope is fading. This is emotional abuse the likes of which I have never experienced before and I just don’t know how much more I can take.
I haven’t felt a warm touch in such a long time. I haven’t heard kind words in forever. I’m tired. No one understands, no one feels the way I do. I take things personally, I dedicate myself fully, I give all that I have to people who don’t love as intensely as I do, and I’m tired. I spend hours on end by myself. My mother treats me like a burden. Her wife hates me, there is no love for me here. My friends are there as much as they can be, but it’s just not enough. I miss the touch of a woman. The soft tenderness of a woman’s voice. My existence is pointless. I go to dialysis treatments and come home to people who are constantly telling me and showing me I mean nothing to them. Today, today is one of those days that I take solice in the thought of death. The worst thing that could happen is death. Really, at this point in my life it would be a reward.
Very difficult to explain your depression to people, especially people not intent on doing the emotional labor required to deal with us. After someone finds out they’ll tell me, “sounds like a cop out” or “you can’t blame everything on depression” which I’m not, far from it. Toxic behavior is toxic behavior. You do not owe it to me to be my friend. But I go to dark places, that will never change. I’m telling you, because it would be irresponsible not to. It’s not a preemptive excuse or a get out of jail free card, it’s my reality. At my best I will encourage you, affirm you, love on you until you can’t stand it anymore. At my worst I will be extremely cold and distant. I will treat you as if you’ve already abandoned me. Because as far as my mind is concerned, you have. So when you do leave, it means nothing. That it is what is to live with this. To believe that you’re worth less than the shit at the bottom of your shoe, but again you don’t owe me. Some of you have been around a long time, you know this is fact. I wish it wasn’t but here we are. When I’m positive it is genuine. Because I know what it is to constantly perform, to deny your sadness when all you want to do is break down. I don’t abuse myself that way. Be positive and mean it. Be sad and mean it. Be anywhere in between and fucking mean it. That’s how I’ve chosen to live. I love people, but have a hard time believing they love me. That has been my struggle since I was 13 wondering why I was sad for no reason. If I don’t hear from someone in a certain amount of time I delete their number. My mind has already decided they don’t care. If someone is short with me one day, I’ll delete their number, my mind has already decided they don’t care. These are people that have been there for me, people that matter. But even they don’t understand that this is not simple sadness. Again most people will not undertake the emotional labor required to deal with us. And they don’t owe us that. They really don’t. But I wish they would just fuck off from the beginning, truly. Maybe that’s harsh but it’s how I feel. I’m here. Trying to love and be loved like anyone else. It’s just a little harder for me than it is for the average person. While I can say it, I will tell you that I love you, and I appreciate you. Because I’m counting on you to remember that when the storm hits. That, is what depression is. I am draining at my absolute worst. But at my best I will be the kind of understanding you’ve never known. So, if you’ve stuck around, thank you. I appreciate you. And I hope that at my best I have added to your day in some small way.
No matter what you’re going through, never forget to consider the thoughts and feelings of others. That does not mean sacrificing yourself and doing things when you don’t want to/can’t. It means that no matter how hard life gets there should always be space for kindness. My own pain and struggle does not change the fact that I love people and want to be there when I can. What many don’t realize about their situations is that simply talking about it can be a life saver for someone else. People are so used to performing happiness and being fine for one another that when someone is emotionally open and honest, it resonates with them. Though when we think of the word testimony, we think of people talking about how good god is in a church, it’s also just expressing yourself and what you’re going through. My experience has resonated a lot more than I expected it to because I thought depression often made folks uncomfortable. Especially when it came to the communities I’m always engaging with and grew up in. The truth is many of us are hit hardest by mental illness and we’re often ignored and chastised as though we’re making up our problem. You are not alone, I believe you, it’s not your fault. I hope you can find solace no matter how big or small in the fact that there are many out there sharing your struggle and rooting for you. I have received so much love/support/affirmation from others and really found my voice recently. It’s been a confidence boost and one of the few spots of joy in a pretty dark time. Thank you for loving on me and even when I’m at my worst I try to never forget the kindness you’ve shown. I appreciate you, thank you.
I do not force or perform positivity for anyone. But that does not mean I am toxic or negative/demeaning to my friends either. Anyone who has been good enough to stick around knows they are loved and appreciated by me. Depression does not mean I’m a abusive or degrading my friends. Nor does it give me a liscense to. It’s because I love and care so deeply that I separate myself sometimes. If all that’s on my mind is darkness and everything that’s going wrong I don’t want to turn my friends into my personal emotional dumpster. You are more than that. You are people I laugh with, care for and cherish. I love you too much to subject you to me going on about how hopeless I feel. I will never perform for anyone, but I won’t take advantage of people’s kind nature either. Sometimes I need to disappear. It’s hard for me to do because I’m an extrovert who craves social situations of any kind. But I’m not in a good place and while I’m tired of talking about it, it’s the only thing on my mind right now. So any interaction with you that seems joyous/happy would be performative and exhausting. You are a beautiful community and I’m thankful for you and that’s why I want to get some things situated before I come back and see you again. I want to be able to share good news, feel genuine joy and join in on your fun without faking it. I know many of you have told me that my words about depression resonate with you. I will talk about and express that here. Let me remind you that you are not alone and my DMs are always open. I appreciate you all. You are worth it you are loved. I appreciate you, keep being great. Thank you for existing.
That people who use the phrase “you can love me or hate me” do not know what experiencing someone’s hatred really feels like. To constantly be trying to at least have peace and civility while someone won’t let you simply exist in any space without conflict. My mother’s wife has hated me for ten years because of the emotional abuse my mother put her son through. Whenever she sees my mother being remotely affectionate to me in anyway she becomes resentful and hateful. I’m receiving all of this animosity because she would rather hate me than confront her issues with my mother’s treatment of her son. I’ve never had to deal with someone who treated me like this on a daily basis. Someone hating you is not a good thing, it’s not something to be proud of. It’s draining and tiring. It makes you wonder what it is about you that made them feel this way. You can’t ignore it, you can’t have a good attitude about it. When you’re living with them you get a constant reminder that no matter what you try to do there will always be something to complain about. Something to criticize and tear down. She stalks my twitter, she hate listens to my podcast. Constantly complains to my mother about me. If I could leave I would. But I have no place to go. My brother and I are estranged because when I needed him he turned me away. None of my friends have room. The loneliness I’ve felt these past few months has been immense. I have no one, nothing. I’m empty and I don’t see things getting better. I’ve never had someone be this antagonistic towards me before. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.