Vulnerability is a Four-Letter Word

Like. Love. Pain. Hurt. Loss.

Those are the words that best describe the flurry of emotions that I’ve been feeling more and more of for the past year and a half or so.

Unfortunately, they’ve been felt in much higher concentrations than normal over the last month or so more than anything, and all because of a boy.

But that’s how it always starts, isn’t it? A boy or girl careens into our lives without us realizing its even happening until we are wrapped in a blanket burrito on our floor with all of our emotions oozing out of our face. It’s never pretty and the only people that seem to have a better view are the people that just drug our emotions through the ringer.

Something happened to me my freshman year of college that completely obliterated my pre-college emotional stability and it took me roughly a year and a half to get through all of the bullshit that it came with.

Long story short; I started dating a guy that I really liked, and we essentially jumped into our relationship and it was good until it wasn’t anymore and I basically carried all of the weight of the relationship for a few months, plus everything else that I had going on. It was NOT a fun experience for me since I prefer to work as an equal in a relationship and it felt like he was taking more than he was giving. So I dumped him and he started to date my RA roughly two weeks after and I had to see them ALL of the time and it hurt.

That summer I fell into a deep and dark depression that I fought in vain to keep at bay so that my outward appearance made me seem okay. Unfortunately that front didn’t last very long because my roommates at the time found ways to coax my problems out of me. Granted, it was a little like pulling teeth to get me to talk, even though they had a good idea of what was going on with me, but goddamn did they work hard. Especially when I insisted on staying in bed all day or going straight to bed and shutting off my brain as soon as I got home from work. Then one day one of them came in while I was writing or reading or something and they forced me to spill, and I (finally) did. I bawled in my friends arms and finally got some semblance of a release that I deperately needed that summer. But something still didn’t feel right after I cried. I still felt the enormous weight of the depression and agony of seeing them together on a regular basis.

I realize now how petty that is to say, but I had invested a lot of time and energy into that relationship and I didn’t feel appreciated on top of everything else. So, my natural response is bitterness followed by a hefty dose of depression.

Unfortunately, depression has always been something that I’ve fought tooth and nail to try and pacify, but it has this awesome knack of always coming back, and usually with a burning vengeance. I think, no, I know that it has something to do how ridiculously sensitive to the world around me that I am. I’m a walking, talking sack of nerve endings and sometimes I put myself into situations almost accidentally that leave me with no other choice than to cauterize my emotional wounds.

Then at the beginning of this semester I met someone that I felt a strong connection to and I somehow let them demolish the heavily guarded walls around my heart with a high-grade flamethrower. We hung out a couple times, intimate things happened and then they dropped a  bomb on me that I wasn’t entirely expecting. Their news was that they don’t want a relationship this year, but I do, so of course my heart started to kind of break in that moment and it has been unfortunately breaking more and more ever since. Mainly because I keep letting them into my life and my room, and they keep doing things that a boyfriend would probably do, like caressing my face, and kissing my cheeks and forehead, and every time they did it I would let it happen because who doesn’t like to be held and have affection when they’ve gone nearly three years without any proper connection and the connection is so great??

Why would you say that you don’t want a relationship but when you get the person that you know has more than lukewarm feelings for you you proceed to drag their heart and emotions through the mud?

 So last weekend I walked up to him one day and announced that we had come to an impasse and I gave him something that signified a white flag. I felt strong. I had prepared what I was going to say to him and how I was going to say it to him in the strongest tone I could muster and I was going to look awesome doing it. Then he hugged me and I melted into him again.

Now I’m currently cauterizing my wounds and I’m pretty sure that if I do it much more that I’ll be completely numb to everything and shut down more and more every time something horrible happens to me emotionally..because that works, right?

Unfortunately, this fiasco happened to me right as I was starting to feel completely healed from the last time this kind of emotional trauma happened to me and I felt like a shattered mirror, seven years bad luck included.

I hope that the bounce back from this doesn’t take as long to recover from as the last experience did. I don’t think that I have the energy for it anymore since it happened the last time.

A person can only take so much.

BEDA day 16: A note on unwanted male attention

“It’s frightening sometimes. Giving you attention is one thing, but giving you the “bad girl feeling” is another. We have a sixth sense, it’s true.” – Misty Ballew

(courtesy of Google images)

(courtesy of Google images)

A college campus is a hotbed of young men and women looking for romantic relationships, and it is also a place for women to feel very vulnerable and to be in the cross hairs of unwarranted and unwanted male attention.

I’ve never really had any issues with unwanted male attention since I’ve been at school, until the other day when I posted a simple Facebook status after receiving a text message from a guy friend of mine asking to study with me (even though I have more writing than studying to do at the moment) even though I had literally just seen him earlier that day and we had had the same discussion.  I will be honest the post that I wrote wasn’t the nicest, but it was the most direct. It said, “The creepers are out in full force tonight, and I’m not talking about the ones in Minecraft either. Those are almost my preferred creepers at this point.” Much to my *surprise* one of said creepers “liked” the status. Should I really be surprised? He likes everything that I post on Facebook, so no. I realize how conceited that sounds, but it’s the truth. Said person also likes to send me text messages asking me to give him back massages, and I’m sorry, but no.

All I want to do on most nights after work is to sit in my room in my underwear, watching episodes of Downton Abbey on Hulu, and/or reading,  and eating junk and not being judged for it. Not fending off the creepers. (I mean I’m good at it, I’ve had practice, but this shouldn’t be a skill that women should have to develop.)

There’s a ridiculously fine line between giving a girl attention and giving a girl the heebeegeebees. The Lonely Island even wrote a damn song about it.

Mental Health on college campuses

Mental Illness, it’s becoming a very hot topic as of late. It’s everywhere and the media has only helped to perpetuate the stigma and has also helped to glamorize the important issue at hand.

As a college student and a survivor of multiple setbacks of my health,  mental health has always been a worrisome topic for me, especially because I currently live on a college campus and I see people that may be suffering it’s debilitating effects. Depression, OCD, anxiety disorders, and stress are all major problems that college students (such as myself) are faced with during those crazy college years.

Even though I’m only a sophomore in college I have seen both sides of the spectrum. During my first semester of freshmen year I was placed by the office of Residential Life in a room with a fellow student who was a year ahead of me. Little did I know that this girl was the victim of a mental illness that she had yet to get diagnosed and treated. As the semester continued and I learned more about her I tried my best to help her but I also didn’t feel qualified to do very much for her other than just be there when I could and listen to her when she needed to talk. Unfortunately, for other college students, their roommates aren’t so welcoming to always talking to their roommates about their problems because they aren’t friends with them, or they just aren’t interested at all.

Most college and university campuses offer free or low cost counseling services to the students, and if the on-site counselors can’t completely help students then they will refer the students to the closest available hospital or therapist that could help the student out more than what was offered on campus.

So to my fellow college students, if you are worried that you may have a mental illness, please go and find out if your campus has a counseling center that can help you to feel better and to find out what may be wrong with you.

Later this semester I’m going to be writing an article about mental illnesses and how it’s affecting the women that live on college campuses and how the subject of mental illness needs to be a less taboo issue in this day and age, and I plan on posting all of my freelance articles from my school’s paper as soon as I get them written and edited because right now my laptop is dead and I have yet to buy a new one.

Helpful links for college students about mental health:

Graphic courtesy of Google images