I don’t know what love is. To be honest, I don’t think I ever will. I think this because the topic of love is so broad of a spectrum. People say ‘I love you’ to their friends, even when they may think of the word ‘love’ as being the same as ‘romance’. I don’t understand this translation of love, but to each their own. In any case, I don’t understand it. When asked, people say of their loved ones that they ‘get them’, but what if one doesn’t ‘get’ themselves?
I don’t understand myself. I identify most strongly with the character Genim “Stiles” Stilinski from the MTV show Teen Wolf. He is the character who is the outcast- human among wolves- but he is still as loyal and understanding as he can be. He researches and helps out as much as he can, and he does so much for his friends. He wants to be Batman, and he knows he could be, but he accepts that he is Robin. Only one person believed he could be Batman, his Catwoman, and she’s gone. The thing about Stiles is that he is always talking. He has ADHD and takes Adderall for it, but he is still hyperactive and he talks fast and he is always happy – and when he isn’t, he is broken. When he isn’t on the high road, he’s on the lowest one available. I am just the opposite in this way; I am usually on the lowest road but when something makes me happy, it makes me really happy. I take medication to make me happier, not tone myself down. At the same time, I feel underappreciated. I am the girl people can talk to. They tell me things, because they know they can trust me. And they can. I won’t tell anyone. Ever. My friends are the most important thing in my life. They have kept me from starting to self-harm more times than you can imagine, without knowing it.
I still feel like my friends don’t know me, though. I may not know me, but I want someone to. I want to. But I want them to more, I want them to know that I am not their trashcan. I complain about my problems to them too, and I had a slight emotional altercation with my best friend earlier in the year because of it. But I’ve started to move on. I say started because although I am friends with the person it was about again, that friendship is the most fragile it has ever been and the slightest thing could make it worse. I am walking on eggshells around him. In any case, I feel disrespected sometimes because I can only worry about their problems and my own life has taken a backseat. I know I am parroting what someone else has said, about me, and if she is reading this, then I am so, so sorry. I know how she feels now and it is the worst feeling in the world. I wish I could make it up to her, to everyone.
I also wish they would make it up to me. One of my friends came out to me last weekend, and another of my friends has a crush on them. One of my friends has a long-term crush on her best friend’s boyfriend, and her best friend’s best friend is being awful to her. One of my friends broke my heart, but doesn’t understand that he only made it worse. One of my friends is mean, just mean, and although they mean well and are just trying to say it like it is, it still hurts and recently, I’ve been wondering why I’m friends with them. One of my friends talks about nothing but the boy she’s dating and how awful his past girlfriend was, even though she knows that the ex is one of my best friends. One of my friends I never see, I don’t know what’s going on with them. One of my friends is annoying and attractive and away for two weeks.
And two of my friends are there for me. They talk about themselves, and they have some issues, but they don’t force them on me and listen to me and hug me and set boundaries. They are the two who split apart last year, hated each other with all their hearts, and this year have become peaceful and there are no hard feelings. These are girls who know how to deal with things and resolve them with minimal violence.
I am not one of those girls. I backstab and lie and gossip for my own gain. I am not kind, I just care too much. There was a piece of Teen Wolf fanfiction I read recently, and there were two quotes belonging to Stiles that stuck with me. The first, “I get obsessed with people, and I want that to be okay. I want to not feel like I have to tone it down all the time, because I can't, I've tried and I'm not…I'm not good at it. I can't just turn it off,” and the second, “I don't get me. I don't think I even want to. Sometimes I feel like I'm a hundred different people at the same time, and I'm sick of trying to pick the one that's going to win out, or work best for someone else. I'm sick of trying to choose the winning line on my own freaking personality.” These two quotes sum up how I feel a lot of the time. I am stuck on the outside looking in, watching my millions of selves converse and learn from each other and disagree on everything. I wish I knew who I was, who those millions of selves were, but I don't and that's the worst feeling in the world. The first quote struck home better, though, because I know that I get overexcited and I overshare and I care too much, far too much. I'm used to it. It's a part of who I am, and as much as I wish it weren't, I can't help but be glad for it. It drives me crazy in that I can't make it stop, that I'm always going to care that much, but it makes me that much easier to talk to (which in itself is a problem). This was the in the resolution of the story, the part that made me cry. I don’t cry unless the author has developed the character in such a way that I know I have been there, that I have felt that way. I feel like Stiles. Lastly, there was a quote from the exposition about Stiles: “He's capable of kindness, can pull it out when he needs to, knows how to work it as an angle or apply it as a tool, but it's not his default state and it never has been, either. It doesn't mean he doesn't care about the people in his life--if anything, he cares too much, pushes past the acceptable boundaries of investment into territory that's often uncomfortable. Kindness, Stiles has come to realize, has nothing to do with that. Kindness is about putting other people's feelings before your own.” This is like my definition of ‘okay’: even if I’m not fine, still carrying on like nothing is wrong. It’s wrong, but it still fits perfectly. I am a messed up individual. I don’t know where my mentality deviated from the normal track, but somewhere along the way it did. I don’t know if this is a predisposition or if something happened to change me, but this is who I am and I don’t like it at all.
I want to change, I honestly do. I want to be happy and easy to talk to and not have problems. I take anti-anxiety meds and anti-depressants and I wish I didn’t have a reason to. I stay up too late because the idea of sleep disgusts me because in sleep, people dream, and as much as I like the idea of dreaming, mine are never good. I may pretend that they are, but even in the ‘good’ ones, they are imaginary scenarios and I always wake up with my pillow stained with tears because I know that they aren’t like real life. I don’t sleep because dreams will always be better than reality, and I want the opposite of that. My therapist specializes in art therapy, and I cannot draw. I don’t like my ability, which is sometimes none. I have maybe three or four drawings that I have done in my lifetime that I am truly proud of. I can use color, because color speaks to me, but I cannot use shapes and lines because that isn’t how my brain sees things. I connect objects to memories and ideas, like my rocking chair being the most comforting place in my room because it makes me think of being young and fresh and not so sad. The butterfly keychain makes me think of my yearly visits to Northern Michigan, of being in the place I love with politics I don’t understand and actually being happy for a week.
No, my mind doesn’t see objects as things, it sees them as memories, and I can draw those memories in color and vague lines and vaguer shapes. I see those high heels as the bathroom upstairs. They are black, but they are the color of wine and lace, the color of my phone keyboard and my cheeks once I was done crying over him. My mind works like this, the way it’s doing now; I find myself through writing essays about one topic that flows into the next such as this one. When I write, I write to feel. There is a poem in my yellow journal that is about how I write, how I want to write, and how I am numb. I write to thaw parts of myself, because I am icy inside and I can’t feel anything. I have nearly cried at least five times in the writing of this essay alone, because I remember things and places and feelings and it makes me feel and that is the best thing in the world.
I can’t remember what being happy feels like. I know it sounds strange, but I am apathetic or depressed ninety percent of the time. The other ten percent is superficial happiness to appease other people. I know it’s a sad figure, but it’s what I feel to be true. And truth isn’t data, truth is what you choose to believe. Even in science, there is dispute because some people believe one thing to be true and others don’t. I don’t even remember what it felt like before my medication, but I do know that it’s only gotten worse and worse since I started. I don’t want to tell my mom, I don’t want her to worry. When she worries, I worry and get more and more anxious and depressed and I often feel that I don’t want to make it to the kitchen.
In school, I feel constrained. I want to be learning Latin and Spanish and French and I want a good choir teacher and to be able to take classes in Forensics, criminology, mixing and DJing, television production, set and lighting design, marine biology, creative writing, screenwriting. I say I want to be a writer, but if this is the best that I can write, I don’t know if I could go anywhere with my writing. I’ve been called a ‘queen of narcissism’ about my writing because I think I’m okay, but I don’t want to come off as unsure of my abilities. Besides, other people have said I’m good, and okay, maybe I let it go to my head a little. I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I want to do something I love, but I don’t know what I love, to be honest. I like forensics and marine biology, but I don’t have the stomach for them. I want to learn to mix music, but I don’t have the time or patience. I want to write, but I’m not good enough and I don’t know how to get better. I want to work in television, but how would I possibly get into the industry if I was even good enough?
I had to write a short story for my English class recently. When I write, I feel free and like I can do anything because the character may have my traits, but the character is not me. The character is happy. But with this assignment, the story had to include elements of literature and it had a page limit. I can’t write with constraints on me or the writing. I slow down and don’t get things done because I’m not focusing on the writing, I’m focusing on the assignment. I never feel like I’ve done as well that way, but I always get the better grade. For this assignment, I fell in love with the character and I just let myself write, taking ideas and suggestions and the story ended at 10.2 pages. Two and a fifth pages over the limit. I had to take things out, change things that I liked, just so that it was ‘good enough’. I don’t have elements, though. I know they’re included, but I focused on making my work the best it could be because I never get to write for school.
My teacher chastised me for this, telling me that I wasn’t following the assignment correctly and that I needed to change it. I wanted to cry in class, but I didn’t. That teacher, my English teacher, last year wrote me a note on one of my papers that ‘writing is your thing. It’s what you love. I love that,” and this year when I continued that, she told me what I was doing was wrong even though it was oh so right and I was completely in my element with the short story assignment.
I guess my point is that I don’t know myself. I don’t want to, but I want someone to think they do, and to explain that person to me. I want many people to do this. I want to compile a person based off of what they say, compare it to who I think I am, and ask myself, is this me? Is this who I want to be? If not, then who do I want to be?
I want to love and be loved in return, faults and all, and I want to be understood and respected. I want to be Batman, and I want someone to tell me I could be. I want to have an adventure outside of my mind, a romance with someone I know for real, a life beyond worrying and not feeling and wishing I was okay. I want to be someone, just not the person I am. I don’t even know if I am a person at this point, if I could be classified as mentally being human. My mind seems so deformed, by reading and television and sex and scarring that it couldn’t possibly be human at this point, so what I wonder is, is it? How has it changed so much since when I was six and I was okay? I just want to know, and be okay with it, and love myself instead of this.