This is not the end though..

Posted September 9, 2013 by Debby in A Personal Note / 1 Comment

Umm… Hello there. Remember me? Debby? Yeah. I’m still alive. (HOORAY!) But you’ll probably have noticed that I have been remarkably absent as of late. And I’m really sorry about that. At first, I just had an incredibly busy week that completely exhausted me… then I fell into a reading slump… then I just kind of collapsed all together. But! I’m feeling a bit better and hopefully I can get back on track.

So What Happened?

Before I begin, note that this post is going to get very personal and massively long. You are free to press the little x now and leave if that’s not your thing. I won’t take offense. I debated whether posting this was smart or not but… it’s necessary. Once upon a time, I had a Livejournal in which I just blogged about my daily life, and it was very therapeutic. Though I don’t do it anymore, I miss it a lot at times like this. Basically, I haven’t really been feeling good for a while. Though I really like my internship, blogging had been going well, etc. etc. my mood was shifting steadily downward. And it all came to a head the last weekend of August.

I don’t exactly have the best relationship with my mother. Far… far from it. Basically, when my parents got divorced, it was originally decided that I should live with my mother, things fell apart, and roughly a year later I ran away to live with my father. You can imagine that doesn’t exactly do a relationship much good. For a few years we barely had any contact at all. Then I decided I should at least try, because it’s my mother.

There’s some fundamental and deep things that I don’t agree with my mother on. Ever since the divorce, she hates my father and will ceaselessly try to turn me against him. However, my father is honest, rational, and open, and he’s kind of my hero. I don’t want to hear that. For many years, I heard the arguments from both sides and it drove me crazy – things didn’t add up and one of them had to be lying to me – until I broke off contact with my mother again. She just constantly feels the need to paint herself the victim of everything evil in life. I’m honest and direct, and I call her out on her bullshit, and so, obviously, our personalities don’t really mesh well. TL;DR: everything my mom says is correct and she’ll never hear a word against it. (And mother, if you ever stumble across this and are now rolling your eyes, scoffing, saying, “Here she goes again, making me the enemy, ha, I’m not listening to that,” that reaction is exactly what I’m talking about.)


So that’s what it mostly comes down to: I don’t feel like I’m ever listened to, for real, with my mom. What does this have to do with that weekend? My cousin got married. The wedding was fun, but what surrounded it wasn’t. It started back in July, when my cousin told me that my mom and my sister had reserved a hotel room for the two of them and I’d have to search for something myself. I was a bit… taken aback. I mean, we don’t have the best relationship, but since my mom moved back here in June, I’d been making an effort again. I ended up asking her about it, and then she admitted to it, but called the hotel and changed it to a room for 3.

A few weeks later, she announced to me that she and my sister were going to Berlin in September to celebrate their birthdays together. My sister’s birthday is in July. My mother’s birthday is in August. My birthday is in… August (and I still haven’t gotten a present from my mother, btw). And this is where the years of self-discipline kicked in and I gritted my teeth and said nothing. Asking my father, my friends, my uncle, about it later though… hmmm… no one seemed to think this was normal. Nobody could believe I wasn’t asked to go with them. My father called it a new low, and I tend to agree with him. My sister openly resents my father, yet he would never consider not inviting her on a family vacation. Hearing that other people found it strange comforted me a bit, and I guess I was kind of numb to it, so I brushed it off like it didn’t hurt me that much.

The Wedding and the Aftermath

At the wedding… I was greeted by my family – which is huge, by the way. And multiple times I was asked where I was staying, as apparently all my uncles and aunts also knew my mother initially got the hotel just for her and my sister. Then people talked about how cool their trip to Berlin was going to be and… nobody said anything. I bit my tongue and kept quiet, and often sought out my cousins who are younger than me and not involved in this stuff. Once the party came around, I had a great time, dancing for hours.. until my mother decided it was time to go back to the hotel. I already had a cold, and all the wedding activities were outdoors, so I wasn’t feeling too hot. My mother originally had planned that the next day we would go to her birthplace, the three of us, and make a nice day of it. But seeing how I didn’t feel so well, I told her I didn’t think it was a good idea for me to go with them, and instead I should go home and rest up, or my workweek would be totally thrown off. She seemed like she understood.

The next day, she complained about how dropping me off at the train station would force her to take a detour, and she didn’t want that. So she arranged for one of my uncles to drop me at the station. I was a bit… stunned. But I just wanted to go home. The car ride with my uncle passed in painful silence, as if he didn’t want to talk to me, as if my mother had been talking shit to him about me, which just made me feel ten times as awkward. He dropped me off at the train station, and when I got to the platform, a conductor informed me that there would be no trains from that station that day due to maintenance. My uncle had already driven off.

I broke.

I started crying and I didn’t stop for at least two hours.


Everything I had been holding back for the past months just came spilling out. Obviously I was upset and angry about how my mother treats me like the ugly duckling and clearly, in every action and conversation, favors my sister. But what’s gotten to me even more lately is how no one says anything to her about this. I mean, she emailed the whole family about the Berlin trip, and no one asked about me. I talked about it with my favorite, closest uncle, and he admitted he thought it was strange, but also said that he knows how my mother is: if he spoke up with an opinion she didn’t agree with, she’d just get mad at him, and he’d rather not have that. So he didn’t say anything.

Whether the same holds true for the rest of my aunts and uncles, I don’t know. But I don’t think anyone realizes how damaging it is to not ever have anyone stand up for you. My cousin, the one that got married, (or her sister, I’m not quite sure) said it best, once upon a time. She told me, literally, that she thought I had a shortage of love, growing up.


I talked to my father about it a week or so earlier… about no one ever standing up for me. He came to the conclusion, which I think is pretty fitting, that I’m strong. When life pushes me around or gets me down, I struggle with it, but I get back up. People see that, they see that strength, and think, “She doesn’t necessarily need help.” And in a situation like the one with my mother, when they know that speaking up would only provoke anger in their direction, they choose to stay silent to cause the least amount of drama.

On the one hand, I like being strong. I’m proud of that. But when it happens time and time again that people don’t listen to me, show no consideration for me, or just plain ignore my feelings… it hurts like hell to not have someone to stand up for you. And this is something I have struggled with my whole life. And while I was sitting there, waiting for the bus that would take me to the closest train station, so that I could travel for FOUR HOURS to get home, I started connecting those dots.

My mother’s messed me up. In friendships, I’m absolutely terrified of being ignored or left out, or being shown no consideration. The question of whether people find me important, whether they keep me in their thoughts, is irrationally yet immensely important to me. When I see it start to happen, people distancing themselves from me or just innocently forgetting about me, I freak out. I overreact. I give those people the treatment I wish I could give my mother: cut them out of my life for good. And all that time I’ve been waiting for someone to, for once, stand up for me, treat me like I’m important, and shout that to the world. But they never came.

And Then I Disappeared

And if you were paying attention, the following Monday, I announced a Twitter break. To be honest, Twitter had been making me feel the same way lately. With my busy work schedule, I was so out of the loop of all conversations, and out of touch with people, that I felt kind of out in the cold. And I had been getting a bit upset with myself, because obviously I had been way too addicted to Twitter. I’ve been blogging and on social media for years, but I’ve always remained convinced that real life is more important. Or at least, it shouldn’t be a substitute for real life. And what the people on social media or blogs are telling you, when they offer you support, those are easily just empty words – because it only takes a few seconds to write a message of how much you “love” someone and hope they’ll get better soon on the internet. I know, I’m a terrible cynic, I need to work on this.

I was in too deep and needed to get myself out. That was the hope for my Twitter break. I would return to the real world, get my act together, and come back stronger. Yet…

Then I Became a Goodreads Bully

The following day, however, the Nathan Bransford post appeared. And I was labeled a Goodreads bully. I was so kindly informed of this by some random commenter who showed up on my September Girls review. The author-reviewer drama finally dropped on my doorstep and couldn’t have come at a better time.


The post was honestly infuriating, and considering I already felt rather depressed, the tears were not far off. However, considering the other allegations made.. I decided to get on Twitter and just toss that break thing out the window – even if it were only to post shortly about my frustration at this situation. Which I did. And my twitter feed exploded.

*tweets are somewhat out of order.

Then I kept scrolling and got to the replies I got when I posted I would be taking a break because I wasn’t feeling very well.

You all are amazing.


You guys got me to stop crying (once I got the tears of joy out of my system anyway). You guys told me my opinions matter. You guys convinced me these were not just the idle, easy words that anyone can toss out on the internet. But you showed me you actually cared. And just like that I started to feel better. This whole deep, deep pit I’d fallen into taught me something about myself as a person that I can work on, but also, that finally, there are some people, aside from the 4 or 5 very amazing people IRL, who truly care about me. Who cares that you all live all around the world? God bless social media. One physical shoulder to cry on would admittedly be great, but some hundred virtual shoulders? That almost makes up for it. I’m not saying I feel 100% again because that’ll take a while, but this got me to take a huge leap in the right direction.

TL;DR:

What I’m trying to say is…

Now that I have all those clichés out of the way, don’t worry – we’ll get to our regular dosage of snark and lame attempts at wit soon. I just wanted to share this story with you all, because you seriously made me so happy when I didn’t really see a way out of my own depression. This community is absolutely beautiful and I am so incredibly blessed to be a part of it. As for my hesitance with online communication and the believability, my fear of getting in too deep? Screw it. I’m a Twitter addict and proud. I couldn’t do this without you guys.

And I’m aware, it’s incredibly ironic that this is the result of an allegation that I’m a bully. An allegation that caused the amazing Steph and Blythe to take breaks from blogging. Steph, Blythe, if you happen to read this, which you probably won’t, know that people have certainly said these kinds of nice things 1000 times more to you in the meantime (including the super sweet Samantha Shannon, author of The Bone Season, who I met today), and we all really hope you’ll come back soon.

Now, I didn’t write this to get pity (or more compliments). I didn’t write it to get advice on how to deal with my mother, because seriously that’s pretty much a lost cause. You don’t have to read all of it (though I guess, if you’ve made it this far…). You don’t have to comment. I’m writing this mostly to myself, as a post I can come back to when I need it. And if it managed to cheer you up and make you smile, after all the doom and gloom stuff, all the better. And if you start watching The Newsroom because of all of these flawless gifs, you’ll make my day. Just saying 😉

P.S. Because every “dark” phase of my life needs a soundtrack…

When I have those darker moods, I tend to wallow in self-pity for a while, arguably strong competition for the Grinch. But one thing always helps me take the next step to getting over it, and that is finding the perfect song to describe the situation/my feelings. I talked in my monthly digest vlog how I was obsessed with Hercules by Sara Bareilles… Well that song obviously resonated with my subconscious, coping with these feelings before I had really recognized them. Because the lyrics fit 100%.

 

This is not the end though…

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