Friday, February 3, 2012

The Dark Side

Today I have a very special blog for you fine folks.  My girlfriend, Angel, has decided to highjack my blog with a little personal piece she wrote between yesterday and today, entitled "The Dark Side".  I can't help but notice the (intentional?) use of a Star Wars reference in that title.  She really poured her heart into this one and it would be nice for her to get some feedback from you kooky kids.    Now, keep in mind, this is all her.  She wrote this from start to finish.  I did very little to polish it up for it's finished form.  I am very proud of her for doing this and for the bravery it took to actually let me post it in my blog for the world to see.  So, please, read on and enjoy:

The Dark Side

Everyone has a boogeyman.  The little voice in your head that makes you doubt yourself, constantly telling you that you’re no good at anything you do.  Well, you haven’t seen one like this until you have met mine. What you read may be disturbing to you.  You’re about to enter my world.  The way things are seen through my eyes. Crazy as it may seem to you, keep in mind a lot of this I don't have control over.  I'm still working on things.  I have a lot of major damage that was done to me, some of which I’ve never talked about before.  It's very hard for me to ask for help.  I mean, how do you ask for help by explaining that your self-conscience is telling you to do things to yourself?  That’s impossible without the other person thinking you’re insane and that you belong in a hospital.

Everyone that knows me knows I have serious self-confidence issues.  Most of it started when I was younger.  When I was in eighth grade there were two girls that wanted to kick my ass.  They used to call me a slut and a whore all the time.  They were always saying it in front of tons of people.  They were the popular girls in school so naturally I thought everyone was going to believe them.  This destroyed me.  As someone that was quiet and kept to myself, I never understood why they were doing this to me.  I had never had sex, so what they were saying wasn’t true.  I now know that it was because I wore skirts to school all the time.  Later, during my senior year in high school, my self-confidence suffered another heavy blow; my boyfriend cheated on me with my best friend.  All I can say is that this left me alone, devastated, with no one to talk to.  I had just lost my boyfriend and best friend, all in one shot.  I don't recommend anyone letting their life revolve around just your best friend and your boyfriend.

When I was married I would sit and wonder, “I know you love me, but I don't understand why you hurt me by putting me down and making comments that make me look stupid.”  Then I’d think, “Well he loves me and we have been together for 10 years so it must be true.  Why else would he say things like that?”  It has happened to me again since then.  I think, “Well Ed (my ex-husband) has said that to me, too.  It must be true if he is saying the same thing.”  People at work have talked to me like I was stupid.  It’s funny how, when they can’t figure something out, they come and ask me for help.  So I must not be that stupid.

I know I have a dark side to myself that I like to go to.  I like to be alone, sitting in a dark room with no light.  Just complete darkness.  Sitting there with my pillow and some music playing.  As I lay there, I look back on everything that I have done wrong in my life. What can I do with my life?  I need to do something with my life.  Make something of myself. Do something so someone can look at me and be proud of me and the things I've done.  Not where everything in my life is a big screw up.  

I still have a lot of times where the bad side comes out.  My conscience still talks to me.  Every so often it tries to send me back to that place where I do bad things to myself.  It tells me that I'm a bad person.  That I don't deserve what I have.  That I'm just going to ruin Mike's life just like I did to Ed's.  I start to believe everything that it is telling me.  I don't know how to get it to stop. 

I was at the point where my answer was to overdose.  There was no way that I could fix any of it.  In my eyes I screwed up three people's lives.  I have two boys that were going to hate me because I broke up their family.  All because I felt like I didn't exist anymore.  One thing I swore would not happen to me was I would never be divorced.  I wouldn't let that happen to my kids.  I would never let them go through that.  Look where I am now.  I had to be a disappointment to my parents because of what I did.  How could I even show my face to anyone?  Everyone would be better off if I was gone.  I had it all planned out. 

Then I met Mike.  I didn’t really just meet Mike.  I have known him for at least 5 years.  I always felt some kind of weird connection with him.  I couldn't explain it.  When I decided to go off all my medication cold turkey, he stuck by me.  He told me that I didn't sound like I was in a good place.  One weekend, my family went away for a few days.  Mike said he didn't think it was safe for me to be home alone and convinced me to stay with him so that nothing would happen to me.  When I was going to get sick (from quitting my medications) he sat with me on the floor in the bathroom.  That meant so much to me, that someone would take the time to do that for me.  I don't know why he would do that for me or what his reason was for it.  

He had to have felt something.  He made it clear he didn’t want a relationship so I was ready to give up and go through with my self-destructive plans.  Except for one thing; he had told me that he loved me.  Something told me that no matter how he acts or treats me to continue to stick with it.  I've never really truly fought for something that I believed in.  I'm not one that believes in soulmates, that there is someone out there that you're really meant to be with.  Nonetheless, there was something there.  Something I have never felt before.  I knew that he had been hurt several times before.  I knew that he was just afraid of being attached to anyone because the pain that comes after.  I know all about disappointments.  I think that is why, for some reason, there was always some weird connection with us.  We have had a lot of the hurt and disappointments in past relationships.  I stuck with him, and eventually he come around. 

We do have a lot of fights and I get scared that I'm just screwing up everything I’ve gained.  This time I wouldn’t just be destroying me but it would destroy my boys as well.  They both have become very attached to him.  He has been the back up and the structure that both the boys and I have needed.  It has been very hard on him to have to adjust his life around his newfound family.  Going from being alone and having it quiet all the time, to having 2 boys in the house.  I can see his frustration. 

I have finally met someone that understands me and the things I’ve gone through.  He may not understand everything but he tries to understand the things that he doesn't.  I haven't figured out how he knows some of the things he does.  Most of the time he can figure me out without any problem at all.  It amazes me sometimes.  He knows when something is wrong before I even know.  How is that possible?
I know that at times he gets extremely frustrated with me.  I know it has to be very hard on him, dealing with someone in my extreme condition.  Making sure that I am taking my medication.  Making sure that it is being taken correctly.  Watching over me to make sure that I don't slip into the bad place that I was in once before.  I have nothing but appreciation for everything that Mike has done for me.  I'm sure it has put my parents more at ease, knowing that there is someone out there who loves their daughter enough to watch over her like she needs.  Someone that may not understand everything that I'm going though but sure as hell tries with all his heart to understand me.  

Now I'm in a better situation.  I found someone that I know loves me and my boys enough to invest so much of his time into making sure I'm taken care of.  He makes sure he is there to talk to me so I don't go over the edge.  I'm a much better person than I was, which is better for the two people who need me the most.  I'm lucky to still be alive today.  I hope that maybe I can give inspiration to someone else who is dealing with their own dark side.  

No one realizes how much you’re worth to them until you’re not around.  Yet sometimes I still wonder if I'm doing something wrong because more than one person has treated me that way.  I know that none of them know exactly what that does to me or how deeply it has scarred me.  All it does is feed the boogeyman, or the dark side of me.  Do I really come across as some stupid human being that is a waste of everyone's time?  Do I really deserve the negative things that people say and do to me?  Like I said in the beginning, I'm still working on things.  I know on this subject I should live by this quote: "So long as you are still worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them." -Neale Donald Walsch

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Last weekend Angel and I headed to Maryland for a much-needed weekend of friends and booze (otherwise known as No*Con).  We had an amazing time with friends both old and new.  There are too many people who made me laugh and/or gave me invaluable writing advice to name them all but, suffice to say, it was like taking a crash course in creative writing.  I was surrounded by people representing the full spectrum of published authors.  From the war-weary vets to the grunts fresh out of boot camp.  All of them had wisdom to impart on the subject of writing and the publishing industry.

But that's not the only thing gained from this past weekend.  I made quite a few new friends, many of whom I had at least talked to online at some point.  It was nice to finally meet them in person and make the connection from cyberspace to a real flesh-and-blood individual.  Some of them were not how I envisioned them in my head from communicating with them on Twitter or Facebook.  Which, I guess, is to be expected.  I also got to see old friends.  Old friends who I don't get to see nearly enough.  It sucks living so far from them all.  I wish I could spend way more time with them because they have a way of bringing out the best in me.

I could go on and on with funny stories and inside jokes that occurred at a rapid fire pace all weekend long.  I could do that.  Yet, I won't.  Those memories are for those who were there with me.  It's like a secret code between us when we make a reference to something from that weekend to one another.  It helps to keep a sacred bond between those of us who participated.

As an added bonus, we visited Edgar Allan Poe's grave.  This was an unexpected side trip that was revealed while we were all eating lunch at the Ale Wife in Baltimore.  It was weird seeing an old cemetery nestled between office buildings and the like.  It was definitely a cool experience because, as most of you know, I adore Poe.  There were also tombs.  Tombs, I say!  That was way cool.  I've never seen a tomb close up before and it was interesting.

My only regret is that I didn't read my flash fiction piece on Saturday night when everyone gathered to read their work.  I could have.  I SHOULD have.  But I didn't.  I wish I had so that I could get feedback from my friends and peers.  I mean, the story already got accepted to a publication and will be coming out sometime by the end of this year so it must not totally suck.  That's not to say that it's particularly good.  A handful of people have read it and said that it was good.  Not all of them were friends either so I would hope that their assessment would be less biased because they don't know me personally.  Oh well, there's always next time.  Hopefully by then I'll have a few more complete stories to choose from.

I want to thank everyone who was there for No*Con.  It is great to be a part of something so fun and meaningful.  You guys rock!  I love you all.