1.1.07

Forgiveness And Love Are The Best Things

Ted, over at PayPerPost is giving away some HP digital photography gear. They're 6 mega pixel cameras and photo printers. According to Ted, he's going to pick out his 5 fave sob story posts and give away a camera and a photo printer to each one of the five people.

Sob story you want. Sob story you got.

Let's see. How to begin. Firstly, I'm in college, although, that situation sometimes vacillates according to whether or not I have a freakin' nervous breakdown during whichever semester I'm currently enrolled for classes. I'm not kidding. This last semester was the third time almost right in a row that I've had to drop all my classes because I was too depressed to even go to them, consequently, I lost all my financial aid for next semester and will have to write yet another appeal letter to the financial aid board explaining to them that the reason I keep dropping my classes is because I'm crazy. (Just a side note: I'd really rather drop them and keep my grade point than keep them and fail all of them and have my g.p.a. fall faster than a rock with another heavy rock tied to it. Right now, even though I've had all these mental problems, my cumulative g.p.a. is at 3.5, which is pretty good for a crazy person I think. It's not that I'm not intelligent enough to do the work assigned to me in class, it's that sometimes getting to class is the problem.)

In July, my brother-my best friend-the only man who ever treated me like I was more than just T&A-died suddenly. It was a shock, to say the very least. I had started therapy several months before and thought I was making some progress, but when David died, I completely fell apart. I went to the visitation at the funeral home and when I saw his body laying there in the coffin, I nearly passed out. If my friend, Mary, had not been there holding me up, I would have hit the floor for certain. It's so weird to see someone you love just laying in a coffin like that. It's almost like he was just pretending to be dead and would just all-of-the-sudden sit up and yell, "Made you look!" But he didn't get up. After the first time I saw him in the coffin, I couldn't look at him again. I just couldn't. I walked around the funeral home in a daze trying to see through my swollen eyes leaking tears that I wasn't even aware of. Everyone kept saying, "That's not really David. His spirit is not there. He's gone to heaven. His body was just a shell for who he really was." While this makes sense to me logically, I couldn't wrap my head around it at the time. All I could grasp was that he was gone and I felt this new empty space in my heart where he had been. I came to find out in the following months that this type of pain is sharper, more persistent and way more immediate than any depression I've ever experienced.

David
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My psychiatrist upped my Prozac and put me on a new med called Lamictal because I was having such a hard time. After David's death, I began having very strong suicidal ideations and I began to self-mutilate by pressing a knife into my arm that I had held over a flame until I knew it would sear my flesh. It hurt. I can't say that it didn't. But at the time, it hurt less than the pain in my heart and it felt like my willingness to inflict so much pain on myself sort of was an outlet for the pain I felt and couldn't express.

Here's one of the examples of what I did to myself:
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There were 3 or 4 more after that. I just passed the one month mark of the last time I did this to myself, so consequently, I have a bit more scarring and burns than here. This was the first time. I took the picture not to say, "Look at me. Pay attention to me. See how bad off I am?", but to show myself just how bad it was and to keep as a reminder to myself that I'm never far from having my knees knocked out from underneath me. I didn't try to cover it up with long sleeves. I wore short sleeve shirts and tank tops. Again, not to call attention to myself, but to force myself to have to face up to the fact that I did this to myself and to have to go through the pain and embarassment of having to explain it to those who loved me. I didn't want to hide anything. If I've learned anything, I've learned that hiding things only makes them worse. At least it's that way for me.

But this is not the reason I'm giving you my story. It's only the background info.

Because of my severe depression, daily suicidal ideations and self-mutilation, there was no way I was going to be able to get, much less hold down a conventional job. I had been relying on my financial aid to get me through the semesters. Since I live with my dad (he's 74), I don't have many bills so I used my financial aid money to buy groceries and other things I needed (like birthday and Christmas presents for my friend-sisters). Because of a minor paperwork error and the refusal of my financial aid counselor to admit her mistake, I was not given my Pell Grant for last semester, which amounted to a little over $1,000 dollars. That would have helped me out a lot. I only got $677.00 after tuition, books and all was finally tabulated for my refund check. I kept hoping that the financial aid office would resolve this matter since I had turned in an appeal letter explaining the whole situation to them, but to my disappointment, nothing happened.

So, I knew that I was not going to be able to buy Christmas presents for my two best friends, Sally and Tanya. As it turned out, though, one night my dad gave me some money to get a wireless router for my computer (since my new one has wireless internet capability). I didn't really need it, but you know, it's one of those electronic toys and I just love those.

On the way to the store, I kept thinking that maybe I shouldn't get the wireless router and instead spend the money on a Christmas present for either Sally or Tanya. Since Sally was meeting me at the store, and it turned out that the wireless router I wanted was way more expensive than I thought it was going to be, I decided to instead buy a Christmas present for Tanya.

So, the Holidays loomed in on me. I hate the Holidays because the last time I was raped was either right before or right after Christmas and nearly every day, I was reliving the rape as if it had just happened. Still, grieving over David, worrying about my lack of money, inability to get a job, my growing pain in my hips and sometime inability to walk because of my scoliosis, and the knowledge that I wouldn't have any money to get Sally a Christmas present-I broke down completely. Again.

More suicidal ideations. More urges to self-mutilate. As I said before, the last time was approximately a month ago. I didn't attempt suicide, though. It might seem silly, as I told my therapist in one session, I'm so scared to commit suicide, because even though I'm a confirmed and dedicated Christian, I'm still afraid that if I do such a thing that God will shun me and I'll wind up spending an eternity away from him. I couldn't bear that. That's the one thing that keeps me alive.

I didn't hear from either Sally or Tanya on Christmas day. A couple of days later, a new friend of theirs called me. He said that they all were coming over to my house so we could hang out and maybe wander around Wal-Mart and act silly like we usually do when we're in Wal-Mart. (I don't know what it is about walking around Wally World late at night, but it just brings out the silliest silliness in me. And there's so many opportunities to be silly in Wal-Mart, especially when you've had too much caffeine.) I told them at first to come over and then I got angry, text messaged them back and told them not to come over because I didn't want to see them. I immediately got a call back asking me why I didn't want them to come over. Talking to Sally it was as if God had turned on my Waterworks Switch and it came. Boy did it come. I cried. Sobbed hysterically. That kind of sobbing where you can't talk and you have trouble breathing because you're so upset and crying so hard. I was having a panic attack and hysterically sobbing at the same time. Everything fell in on me at once. Even while I was sobbing to Sally over the phone, I was reliving the rape. I told her I was angry with her and hurt that I didn't hear from her on Christmas day and that she should have called me because she knows how difficult this time of year is for me. Playing the victim. Yes, I was.

She kept saying, hurt by what I'd said, "I'm so sorry! I love you with all my heart! I was doing family things." But all I could think was, "Am I not your family too?" (Depression makes for an extremely selfish me.) After much sobbing, pity-pot sitting and trying to calm down, I agreed to let them come over. All three of them had Christmas presents for me. I just had one for Tanya. Even still, Sally gave me the ones she had got for me. Even her parents had gotten one for me. I felt stupid and embarassed. As I watched Tanya open her present from me, I felt a stab of guilt that I wasn't able to get one for Sally, but she just sat in my living room smiling at me like she didn't even notice that I hadn't gotten her a Christmas present. Like she didn't care. Like she was just happy to be there with me and Tanya.

Here's where I get down to what I really am asking for: I want the HP digital camera and photo printer to give to Sally because I still have no money to give her a proper Christmas present. Have no doubt that I will give it to her. I will not keep it for myself. Besides, I already have a digital camera. What would I do with two? But Sally doesn't have a digital camera. Surprising for a girl who seems to have everything, but that is something that she doesn't have and it would make me so happy to be able to give it to her. And it would be part of my apology for acting like such a jerk.

Sally
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Tanya
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Sally, Tanya and me
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Please send me the camera and printer, Ted. I don't think there would be anyone who would appreciate it more than Sally.

This post is sponsored by HP.

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