The Whole Truth and Nothing But

I’ve never been able to be completely open and honest with anyone. Sure, I’ve told people bits and pieces but no one knows the real truth. When I think about what happened, I don’t feel like I’m allowed to feel how I do about it. So many people have things much worse happen to them. What I had doesn’t compare, but I’m ready to come clean. I’m ready to let it all out.

I was having a conversation with a coworker recently and it got me to thinking. He asked me why I was a virgin. If it was for religious reasons or something else, and all I said was, “I have my reasons.” Which is totally true. My comebacks to that question are always “I have my reasons” or “I’m not ready,” the real reason is that I’m scared. I feel so much shame all the time. I see shame when I look at myself, but that’s something that’ll never go away.

I was 8 years old when it happened for the first time. It was my mom’s boyfriend that later turned into my stepfather. We were at his house and we were watching the movie Big Daddy. He asked if I wanted to play with his penis. At that moment I should have ran to my mom and nothing else would have happened, but instead I said yes. I have my first hand job when I was 8 years old. He told me to promise to never tell my mom. To this day, I have never broken that promise.

I remember being 10, I think, and I was in the car with my mom and she asks me if ***** had ever told me to not tell her about something. I froze thinking that was it! Turns out he was just getting ready to propose and she was suspicious of it.

I never said anything because I didn’t want anything to ever happen to either one of my sisters. I didn’t want to upset my mom because I thought she was happy. Turns out she only stayed with him all those years because she thought we were happy. Twelve years I let this continue. Twelve years I let this man take my innocence and my childhood. Twelve years of this to make me realize how damaged I am, how dirty I am.

Just to add to that, anytime I spent time with my dad, my younger brother would sneak in my room at night and play with me. I never let him know that I was aware. I didn’t want to cause a scene. I knew that my dad and stepmom would take his side if it got messy.

I can’t be around a man without feeling extremely insecure and anxious. It doesn’t matter who it is. Whether it’s my incredible uncle that I trust with my life, or a friend’s father. It’s embarrassing and such an inconvenience.

I don’t even know what to call what happened all those years. He never went “in” me, so I am still completely a virgin. I threatened a few times to say something to people and he would just say, “You can’t rape the willing.” I guess because of that I’ve told myself that I have no reason to feel the way I do because so many other people have had much worse things happen to them.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to get over it and move past it. Maybe one day I’ll be able to look at myself in the mirror and not feel the need to turn away instantly. Maybe one day I’ll love myself.

Now, I’m going to run and hide and try not to vomit at the thought of people reading this…

I need to let myself breathe

I’ve kept quiet about this for so long and it’s eating me alive. Especially now. I thought I was protecting myself, but really, I didn’t want other people that know them to look at them the way I’ve begun to. I don’t want to make mutual friends see them any different. I try my hardest to not make people feel bad, so the last thing I ever want is for my opinion or my feelings of someone to alter how someone else sees said person (or people).

But honestly, why? Why do I care so much? When they made this decision, they didn’t. I wasn’t consulted. My feelings weren’t thought of.

Should I be over it now? Probably. Am I? No. Not at all. And I act like I am, but I’m not. I’m really not okay with it at all.

I am an extremely emotionally vulnerable person. I have zero sense of self worth. I have no self esteem, no self confidence…. So when your four best friends book an international trip behind your back and try to keep it from you, it kind of makes your mind jump to extremes and makes you spiral.

They’re headed off to Europe right now. They may see this, they may not. I’m not doing this to make them feel bad, no I would never want that. Ever. I’m doing this to make myself feel better. To get it off my chest. To be able to breathe.

I’ve been the bigger person for five months and it’s just too much sometimes. My family told me to cut them off. Completely. My family is still, to this day, pissed at them. If I’m being honest, I’m pissed at them. But I’ve been defending their actions. Why? Why should I?

Yes, we had talked about it before. All 5 of us, as a whole. At the time, I told them it wasn’t likely. Fast forward a month and a half. I had to get up at 4:30 am for work. The first thing I do when I wake up is check social media. I get on Twitter and the first thing that I see is that they booked a trip to Europe. Without making sure I still couldn’t go, without letting me know, without giving me a heads up. It hurt. It hurt so bad that I almost skipped a concert that night with 3/4 of them to see my favorite band. (Turns out I should’ve skipped anyway because I had a panic attack…..)

I got over it eventually. Or at least, I thought I had. But as the trip started getting closer, the worse it’s gotten. They’re going to be gone for 10 days and with the way my messed up brain works, I am going to be awful, and no one seems to understand. I’m in tears writing this because of all of these emotions. I know deep down (way deep down) that some of these feelings, maybe even most of them, are not valid. But does that help me? No. Not at all.

To my girls (if you’re reading this): I love all of you dearly. Have fun. Be so so safe. (I may be slightly paranoid and worried right now…) I’d say I can’t wait to hear all about it, but honestly, emotionally, I don’t think I’ll be able to hear about it. Keep me in mind when you’re over there!

xoxox

Meeting Tim McGraw

I got my first CD when I was 7 years old. It was Tim McGraw’s first Greatest Hits album. I still have it, it’s scratched all to hell and hardly plays, but I still have it.

When people ask me what’s so special about Tim, I don’t know what to say. I explained it once and the way I explained it made it seem like I saw him as a father figure. I’d never thought about it that way, but the more I think about it, the more I see how true that is.

It’s no secret that I don’t have a relationship with my biological father. Yes, I know who he is and I see him from time to time, but there’s no relationship there, no father-daughter bond. None of my stepdads (not including the current one who kind of resembles Tim….) have been great people.

When I explain my love for Tim, I tell people that his music has helped me through every milestone in life. I tell people that he has been the only stable male in my life, for my whole life. I guess that’s where people get the father figure thing from. I don’t necessarily like to think of it that way because it makes me sound crazy. He’s just been an amazing male role model for me.

I’m not blind, I know he’s not perfect, and even though he doesn’t know, he’s never let me down like everyone else in my life. His music is always there. Whatever mood. Whatever emotion. Whatever time of year. The music is always there.

I recently went to Nashville with a group of the greatest women. We talked about our favorite country artists, obviously mine are Tim and Faith. We talked about what we would do if we ever got to meet our favs. I remember telling them that I didn’t think it would ever happen for me because you can’t buy meet and greets for Tim, you have to win them. I have never had any luck winning things like that.

Fast forward to May 17th and I get the MCGRAWFAN newsletter, that I get for being a part of Tim’s fan club, and there’s a link to enter a contest to win two tickets to the Tree Town Music Festival in Forest City, Iowa and two meet and greets for Tim. I entered for the hell of it. There wasn’t a single bone in my body that thought I would win. Not even for a second. And honestly, I’d forgotten that I’d even entered after that.

On Thursday May 26th at 11:45am, I got an email saying that I had won! After letting in sink in, I sat in my bed and sobbed for a good 30 minutes. How in the world was I supposed to get to Iowa in THREE DAYS when I am out of a job and saving for a move?? I couldn’t believe it. I just won tickets to meet my number one favorite person ever….in IOWA.

Then I started to tell people. Not even for a second did I think that I would get the reaction out of them that I did. I have never in my life felt so much love and support from the people that I adore. They all wanted this for me almost as badly as I wanted it for myself. They knew how much this would mean to me. A couple of them even pitched in in different ways to help make it happen! And I will never be able to thank them enough, even if they are telling me that I don’t have to thank them…

Flights were arranged and booked that Friday. I flew out of Atlanta to Minneapolis Saturday afternoon and spent the rest of the day (and night) with one of my soul sisters. We parted ways around 8:30 Sunday morning and I hit the road to drive the two hours down to this tiny little town in Iowa. After food and coffee, of course.

The weather was nice when I got into Iowa and when I got to Forest City. I picked up my event tickets when I went there, but the meet and greet passes weren’t ready yet, so I wondered the festival grounds for four hours alone. Trudging through the mud and trying to evade the rain (and storm) that came from nowhere. I was so stressed out from the weather and being alone (social anxiety sufferer over here) and the mud and my ankle was throbbing. I honestly thought about just saying whatever and leaving.

I let that thought pass and I went and picked up my meet and greet wristband. When you win stuff like this, it almost always comes with two. Duh. So I had an extra one and I didn’t want it to go to waste. I spent the next hour scoping out people, trying to pick out someone that would appreciate it as much as I would. Y’all! It is so hard to find someone like that! BUT! I found someone! Her name was Sydney. She looked like she was going to cry when I gave it to her and she kept saying “I don’t even know what to say right now!” Needless to say it went to good use.

We were told to start lining up at the meet and greet area at 9pm, but of course, being the punctual person that I am, I was there at like 8:20.

While waiting in line, these two people behind me were trying to buy their friend a shirt and they were two dollars short. After everything that everyone had done for me, the least I could do was give them two dollars. So I did and they thanked me for the rest of the night and I had friends to talk to while we waited. Turns out that they loved One Tree Hill and Sophia Bush and the Chicago trilogy, so we had plenty to talk about!

9:30 is when they started the pictures. I wasn’t too far back, so I knew it wouldn’t be long before it was my turn.

Two people are in the tents at a time; the person getting their picture taken and the person on deck. So I get to look at him for 2 seconds before it’s my turn.

When I walk up to him, he smiles and shakes my hand and asks how I am. I don’t know how I was even able to form words, but I said “I’m great!” and we take our picture! When he pulls away, I turn to him and I say, “Okay! Before I forget! These are your lyrics!” And I show him the tattoo on my arm that says ‘theres a diamond under all this dust’. He sort of grabs/holds my hard and you can tell he’s reading it. When it clicks in what song it is (Better Than I Used to Be), he gets the biggest smile on his face! He says “Oh wow! That’s awesome! That’s amazing! I love that! That’s great!” And so I thank him like 800 times and walk away and I cry.

It was so quick, as I expected, but it was so worth it. The stress of figuring out how to get there, the stress with the rental car company, the stress from the weather and the mud. Every bit of it was worth it. I don’t think I would change a single thing, except maybe the mud because my shoes were ruined. Everything happened as it should have.

To all of the amazing people that helped me get to Iowa (who tf goes to Iowa?!), thankyouthankyouthankyou! This meant more to me than I will ever be able to explain. I love you all immensely. I’ve got the best people in my life.

 

TIM MCGRAW

 

I Want To Be Me Again

I’ve always had pretty bad anxiety. If you know me, you’ve known this. It’s really no secret. It’s pretty obvious, and slightly pathetic at times, but it’s there. Lately it’s been worse. Oh so much worse. To the point where I’ve been having at least one panic attack a week. I actually had two in front of my friends recently. First time that’s ever happened and man oh man was it embarrassing. I keep being told not to be embarrassed, that it’s not something I can help, and that it’s not like I want to have them. All true, but that doesn’t change the fact that I have them. And that I had them in front of my friends. At concerts. Yeah, that’s the worst part. I was in public. With like, A LOT of people.

But see, that’s not the only thing that’s been going on. I’ve also lost all desire to do anything. Eat. Read. Study. Go to school. Go to work. Most days I’ve lost the desire to even wake up. I have a million and one things going on right now, yet I cannot physically make myself do anything. I didn’t want to think anything of it at first. I just kept saying that I was lazy or that if I skip this day of school, I’ll be fine. I was on the way to school one morning and I had The Bert Show (an Atlanta radio morning show) on, and in this particular segment, they were talking to Producer Davi. She was explaining her lack of energy and no desire to do anything and her depression in general and that’s when it hit me: not only have I been more anxious than ever, I’ve succumbed to depression again. The lack of energy to perform daily tasks, the increased anxiety and panic attacks, change in diet (not that anyone can tell, but I’ve lost 15 pounds), the constant aches and pains that I feel all over my body. I’m depressed. And not just the “oh my favorite TV show got canceled” depressed. The real, mental (and somewhat physical) depressed.

It feels like my brain has stopped working the way it used to. The way it’s supposed to. I’m not Kelsey anymore. I’m someone completely different. I’ve pulled away from friends. I’ve become careless. I hate it. I hate it so much. I don’t know how to fix it. I’ve been asked if my school offers counseling, they do. Free counseling for enrolled students. But here’s the thing, this anxiety I have, it won’t let me call and make an appointment. I NEED to call and get that first appointment over with so that I can start getting better, but I can’t because the idea of talking on the phone makes me want to vomit. It always has, actually. But there’s this other part of me that says why even get help? Why seek it out? People are actually paying attention to you. You look weak and pathetic, but people are looking at YOU. Yeah, yeah I’m not weak or pathetic, but that’s honestly what it feels like. It’s even worse because I want to be a counselor and help people with these very same issues. Ironic, huh?

Along with everyone telling me that it is my job to get help and that only I can fix it (it’s a whole hell of a lot more complicated than that), SO SO many people are telling me to pray about it. I’m not a super religious person. I never really have been. That’s just not me. Yes, I grew up going to either Methodist or Nondenominational churches in the south all my life. Yes, majority of my friends and family are very religious. I have nothing against you if you are. We all have things we believe in. I’m not saying I don’t believe in God, but I don’t believe that you can just pray away anxiety and depression. Saying a prayer isn’t going to fix a chemical imbalance in my brain. It just doesn’t work that way. Hopefully I haven’t offended anyone by saying that, it’s just what I believe and how I feel.

People so often think of depressed people as suicidal. While, yes, I have admittedly had thoughts of killing myself in the past, I would never go through with it. That was the past. My depression now is simply disinterest in everything. Yes, sometimes I do believe that the world would be better without me, but would I ever act on those feelings? Absolutely not.

I feel like anytime I ever write anything here I end up rambling. I guess I really just wanted to get it out. Feels better somehow. Knowing that maybe someone will read it. Maybe they’ll reach out to you in hopes to ease your pain. I want to be Kelsey again. I want to be able to go to work everyday and see my friends (who are the funniest people I’ve ever met) and be able to laugh and smile around them and have it last for longer than the amount of time I’m with them. I want to be able to be on my own at work and not have those constant thoughts that my friends would be better without me. I want to be able to go to school and make a friend. I want to not be absolutely terrified that I’ll say the wrong thing in class when my professor calls on me. I want to be Kelsey. I want to be me. But I don’t know where that girl is anymore……

I Can Beat This!

Okay, so I’ve been trying to figure out how exactly to get this out, and I’ve come up empty. Several times. What better way to do it than right here? Yes, it is absolutely nerve-wracking knowing that it is out there and that the entire world can see it if they wanted to, but there’s also something very comforting about knowing that I could be helping someone else. I mean, that is my ultimate goal in life.

I’ve always had extremely low self-esteem. Like, basically none, along with the worst body image issues. People will make comments about me being pretty or beautiful and I just brush it off and say “Yeah, okay.” Especially if it’s a male. Ohhhh boy, it gets so bad when that happens. It’s a problem that I’m working oh so hard to fix.

A couple of months ago, I started having issues with my stomach. It was to the point that I could eat nothing without feeling nauseous or without getting a migraine. There were certain things I could eat, and I would be totally fine, but those foods were few and far between. I spent my entire trip to Cape Cod nauseous (yes, even the One Direction concert). Most of my trip to Chicago I was afraid to eat anything for the same reasons.

This became a recurring thing. I would eat once a day for about two months (early September to mid-late October). I randomly stepped on the scale one day and noticed that I’d dropped ten whole pounds! T E N pounds! That’s more than I ever lost when I would try to diet and exercise. It felt great seeing a lower number. But at what cost? I was losing weight but I felt the worst I had ever felt. I was moody, irritable, didn’t want to be around anyone, lost interest in simple things, my bouts of depression were so much worse, I could hardly enjoy the Taylor Swift concert and that sucked! (That was also partly due to the child that insisted on standing in her seat the entire time blocking my view, but that’s not the point.) I was eating once a day. And that one time I would eat would be my break at work that happened to fall between 12:15 and 12:45 on a regular day. And when I didn’t work, I would grab something small, like a granola bar and a bottle of juice, on my way home from school.

It started as a health issue that we thought might’ve been my gallbladder and turned into this eating disorder, of sorts, in just a few short months. I saw accidental results of weight loss, so I kept going. I was essentially starving myself. I was never this person. I love food. Why did I let this happen?

I have self harmed in the past, I have let selfish feelings cloud my judgment, I’ve been the kid that would never leave their room, but this? I always joked that it would never happen to me, and it did. I am slowly working my way back to the top where I deserve to be, but it’s taking a lot of work. I’ve slowly started incorporating more (healthy) meals into my day. Getting three is nearly impossible seeing as I have to work at 6 am most days (and I love sleep), but I’ve been slowly adding in one more when I get home later in the afternoon.

I’m twenty-two. I didn’t think this happened to people my age.

They say it takes twenty-one days to start a habit and I so easily fell into the one of not eating. These next twenty-one days I am going to focus on getting my body healthy. And hopefully from then on out, it’ll be easier for me to eat what and when I need to. I know it isn’t going to be easy, I’m not naïve enough to think that, but I do know that I can get through it. I’ve overcome so much in my life, I can beat this!

 

 

P.S. If anyone has any tips or advice, I’m so open to it..

Nightly Thoughts…..

So, I’m sitting in my bed tonight listening to random shit in my iTunes and my mind is reeling. Thinking of everything and nothing all at the same time. Past, present, and future, it all gives me anxiety. I remember not too long ago I tweeted that I was ready to tell my story, but I wasn’t sure who would listen and I was worried who would judge. I got so much support from old and new friends telling me that they would listen without judgment and that my story could possibly help someone else come to terms with what’s going on in their lives. And for some reason, that’s really hitting me tonight. I’m not going to divulge every little details, because, let’s be real, no one wants to know everything, but I do want to get some of it out. Even if no one reads it, it’ll still be nice to have it out there.

At a very young age, I was taken advantage of. I won’t say the actual word, but I’m sure you get where I’m going with that. Not only that, but the man that my mom was with, my siblings’ biological father, was a horrible person. Drug addict, alcoholic, thief, abusive. One of my sisters almost died because he was too worried about getting his next fix. She was barely a year old at the time. So much shit happened before I turned 8 and I remember nothing. All I have are stories that I’ve been told, but other than that, I do not remember anything. It’s like a black hole. Now, as a psychology junkie, I want to know everything, I want to know what caused this, but at the same time, I’m terrified that if I were to find out that it would mess me up even more than I already am. In addition to that, I also have no relationship with my dad. Never have. Yet I have a great relationship with his younger brother.

Anyway…..on to the real reason I started this. In school, I was picked on. Bullied is probably an appropriate word, but when I think of bullying, I think of kids getting beat up and all of their books being kicked around, like you see in movies and such. I lived in a doublewide trailer and wore clothes from Walmart and was a little bigger than some of the girls in my classes. I developed quicker than a lot of girls in certain areas. Because of that, the boys in my classes thought it was okay to talk to me like I was a piece of meat. We were 11. That isn’t okay in any world. I had boys ask me if “little Susie” wanted to come out and play… I was an emotionally vulnerable child already and add in the fact that these prepubescent boys wanted to talk to me like that, it’s a wonder why I’m able to look at men, period.

I was called ‘trailer park trash’, disgusting, white trash, and all other names that you could think of. There were also many rumors that I was a lesbian. I hardly had friends. And the friends that I did have, I only saw them at school. I was never ‘cool’ enough to hang out with people outside of that. The first two years of middle school were the worst. When I was in 7th grade, I wanted to die. I actually wanted to kill myself. If I hadn’t been so worried about how much it would have destroyed my mother, there is no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be here right now to write this. I still have some psychological issues from that period in my life and I honestly don’t think they’ll ever go away. There are still days that I think the world would be better if I wasn’t here. Days that I actually think about letting go of the steering wheel when I’m driving and just see what happens. Days where I wonder why my friends even want to be friends with a loser like me. My very best friends know my whole story, and there are days when I think that they’re only friends with out of pity. I know it’s not true, but I have to force my head to believe that. I have to force myself to believe that I’m not a piece of trash and that my mom isn’t the only one that would be devastated if something happened to me.

Growing up with thoughts like these is rough. Going through life with these thoughts right now is rough. I’ve come to terms that it never goes away, but sometimes talking about it helps. I guess that’s the real reason I’m writing this right now. I mean, I’m pretty sure I’m just rambling right now and it probably doesn’t make sense anymore, but yeah. There’s a little of my past. Please don’t run away. If I start to push you away, pull me in close, because if you don’t, I’ll just keep pushing until you’re gone for good. Check in on me, make sure I’m okay. Chance are 3/7 days of the week, I just need someone I can talk to and don’t know who I can turn to.