To 13 year old Marie (me)

I know you feel different. Shh, stop, you don’t need to tell me you’re okay, or that you haven’t really though about being different. You don’t need to put your armor up. I know that you feel different. And it’s okay. Don’t worry about me knowing. You can trust me. And by the way, I feel different too.

You don’t know me, and I think that if you met me you wouldn’t put your trust in me. But Marie, that’s not because I’m not trustworthy, or because I don’t care about you. It’s because you don’t trust anyone. But even if you don’t, I wanna tell you this: that you can trust me! I care about you, and I know you, and I see you. I swear that I’m here looking out for you, and I believe that you need to let someone in. I believe that you need to trust someone. Someone. Because letting someone in will never mean that you’re weak, it means you’re strong.

You know all these nights, the minutes before you fall asleep, and you worry that something bad is gonna happen tomorrow at school? Don’t. Don’t worry. Or all those nights, the minutes before you fall asleep, and you cry because of something bad that happened at school? I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry that you have to go through this. But I’m gonna tell you something, and you have to listen real close, okay? It’s not true. What they are saying, and the feelings you get about yourself after it happens, and when no one is there to help you or see you, those feelings they’re not true. Not at all. You are valuable. You are so valuable. To me. And I know that since you don’t know me, those words probably don’t hold any merit. But this might: You are so valuable to your family. They are caught up in their own shit, and they don’t see how much you’re hurting, but believe me when I say that it’s not because they don’t care. It’s merely because they are hurting too. But, and this is very important, tell them! Tell them what you are experiencing! And I know, I know that you’ll say that they should know without you telling them, or that you’ve already told them, but tell them again. Tell them again and again until they hear you, and until they help you!

Someone loves you, Marie. And I know what you’re gonna say, that everyone hates you, and that you know that for a fact. Well, I’m a grown-up, and this I know better than you. I’m insufferable right, thinking I know things because I’m a grown up? I know, I know, I’m partly teasing you, but mostly I know that someone loves you. And what more, I know that someone likes you. And one day you’ll figure out that it doesn’t matter whether or not all your classmates likes you, what matters is that you’ve got friends that’s there for you. And you got that! And hey, it’s OK to love books! It’s OK to love the puppy, and spend time with her, and with your family. I can promise you’ll never end up regretting not going to parties or being popular when you were a teenager. I know you miss it now, wondering why you can’t like it or want it. But what if I told you that you don’t miss it because you long for it, but because you think that somehow that would make you feel less as a fuck up, Marie, sweetie, it won’t. Because that feeling doesn’t come from not going to parties, or from anything true, it comes from the lies people have been telling you. It doesn’t come from you being a loner, because you’re not. It doesn’t come from you not having a life, because well, truthfully I don’t know of any other 13 year olds that lives as much as you do. You don’t need to do as much as you do! You don’t need to be the best at everything. You are good enough. Pretty enough. Thin enough. Perfect enough. Simply, you’re enough. Give yourself permission to stop up and breathe, and give yourself the opportunity to figure out what kinds of things that you actually like! And then when you’ve figured out what you like, do those things.

I wish I could make you live a little more based on what you want, based on what you like. But I’m not sure this letter can do that. I wish more than anything that I could make you believe that you are worth something, not just something, but so much. I wish I could force the people around you to give you the help you need, so you won’t have to grow up to become like me. Or so you wouldn’t have to grow up suffering as much as I have. But I’m sorry, I can’t. But be strong! I know you are. You have always been. You might not see it, but one day you will. And then, one day, you and I will meet. And maybe I’ll know how to tell these things to you in person. I believe in you. It’s gonna get better.

Yours truly,
Marie

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Peel off my skin and make me feel your love

I feel so desperately bad. So desperately alone. So desperately lonely. It’s not a steady pulsating pain, it’s gasping for air and screaming. I’M ALL ALONE! I feel like no matter what words I use I can never convey what I’m feeling. I’m just so hopeless.

I need someone to help me, to hold me, to heal me. But that doesn’t work now does it? No, because my body, my mind and my heart rejects every ray of light, and turns away all the open arms. I’m wondering if I’m broken! I think I’m broken. And you can’t hear me choking on all of this, on this night, on this life. Fuck. It hurts so bad!

I think the only way for me to feel close to someone, connected to the world, would be if they sliced me open and reached in and grabbed my heart. “Hush, darling, you’re not alone.” Maybe not even then.

I’m gonna say it, what we dread saying because we don’t wanna offend, and because we don’t wanna minimize someone else’s pain: I wish I had been raped and beaten instead. I would have known it all would soon be over, and I would’ve had a safe haven somewhere else and I wouldn’t question whether or not what was done to me was wrong. Instead I’ve lived for two decades believing I deserved it all.

(Please don’t take this the wrong way. I’m sure someone would rather have what I’ve had instead. But fact is we don’t know how we would’ve reacted to the other, but it’s still easy to think “if only”. And many end up where I am because of rape and abuse too, I guess the best thing would be to have happy things instead. But yeah, whatever, I think we all think like that once in a while. We image having the ailments we don’t have as better than the one we do have.)

And he doesn’t even know he ruined my life.

It hurts. So. Bad.

Standing on a cliff is not as glamorous as you’d think, step back you fool

Don’t ever try to kill yourself. It’s just not one of those things you put on your bucket list you know. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s not relief and freedom. It’s not a bright-bright light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not easy. It’s not easy. And it definitely isn’t pretty. Don’t try it out, don’t let yourself go to see what happens. Don’t ever try to end your life. It won’t live up to your expectations. It’ll be horrible, awful and a hundred more words for gruesome. And for what? Most likely, you’ll live. 

 

(I know what I wrote sounds preachy, but it’s not meant to be. I was going to continue it with a tale of mine from a horrible, awful and a hundred more words for gruesome experience, but the truth is, I can’t phrase it. I can’t find the words to capture it. To be hundred percent honest I can’t really capture it inside myself either, it’s hard to think about. So my appalling story that was meant to scare you away from doing stupid stuff will remain inside myself, and hopefully scare myself out of doing stupid stuff. 

But if we stop to think about it, what good does it do us to continue sabotaging ourselves? Why do we continue telling ourselves the shit our abusers used to tell us, when the sound of their voices isn’t anything more than a memory to us now? Wouldn’t it be great if we could stand up for ourselves against ourselves, the same way we wish someone would’ve done it against others, who treated us bad, back then?)

Delusion – the world is flat right?

I think I see the world for what it is. I think I got it all figured out. But somehow my only thought as I’m driving home from a great night at some friends, as I’m walking the last steps over to my bed after a hard, good day at work and some relaxing hours on my couch, or as I’m giving my mom a hug because it’s been so long since we saw each other, my only thought then is: I wanna die.

It’s never because I don’t appreciate them, or it. Because I do. I’m so grateful for my job. I’m so grateful for my couch. I’m so grateful for being able to drive a car, and for having one at my disposal. I’m grateful for the spring in Norway, and the long summer nights. But most of all I’m grateful for being loved, for having friends and family that I get to care about, and that cares about me. I appreciate them. And I’ve said this before: I would be grateful to the moon and back, and let my soul, mind and body be healed by appreciation, but no matter how much I give thanks, I won’t get well because of that. It’s just not how it works. Sadly.

So I think I see the world for what it is, what it can be for me, what my life could give me. I think I got it all figured out, and that I know what’s to come. I think I understand what the future holds. But somehow my only thought as I’m picking apples at the grocery store, as I’m slamming the door shut to my apartment, or as I smell in the scent of freshly made laundry, my only thought then is: I wanna die.

I take this as proof. I see the world for what it is, I know what the future holds, and I still want to die. Obviously that means I really should die, right? I am in control of the solution, because I can see clearly now. I take this decision based on facts. I know the world! I know what’s in store for me, I know there’s good out there, but I don’t want it, I choose death. Right? RIGHT!?

I think I see the world for what it is. It’s a dark, dark place that looks a lot like my mind.

When did I get lost in this?

Do you wanna know how many days it’s been since my day went by without thinking about dying? No? Because you know that’s more days ago than I can count. Do you wanna know how many months it’s been since my day went by without thinking about dying? No? Because you already know that’s too many months ago. But do you wanna know how many years it’s been since I had a day without thinking about dying? No? Because you know the answer to that is nothing but tragic.

I wonder what the world looks like behind eyes that don’t colour everything a shade of grey. I wonder what it looks like from a perspective where death isn’t default, it’s only the last resort. I wonder if the world would look more or less daunting than it does with my eyes, because the fall would be further right? But at the same time, could it be more daunting than this darkness? I wonder what the world looks like from inside someone who isn’t already broken.

Because I cannot remember anything but this.

Sunday morning, winter’s here

Is 7.50pm. It still feels like morning though. It still feels like winter.

Is there any one point in my past where making a different choice would’ve changed the outcome of my world. If I had just chosen not to be a smartass (not really a smartass, but good at school), maybe I never would’ve been bullied. If I had chosen to ask my parents to get me some professional help when I was 13, maybe I wouldn’t have become so depressed. If I had thrown all the pieces of shattered glass into the trash, maybe I wouldn’t have become a “cutter”. If I had just brushed it off, held my head high, and kept going after the things I wanted, maybe I would’ve been there by now.

No.

But I can dream about that. Dream that I finished high school with the rest of my peers at 19, smiling, hoping, laughing about my future. So happy to have the summer of my life, and then heading off to uni. By now I would be 4 years into my masters. I would’ve had 2 different summer jobs, by now. 2 summers working as a cleaner at the hospital (boring!), and 2 summers as an assistant at the district long-term psychiatric ward. Uni would’ve been super stressful. I was going for head of the class as always, making sure I was noticed by the lecturers, maybe they would give me some good references. I would’ve been far on my way to becoming someone who would make a change in the world. I would soon be able to make a difference. And by volunteering once a week at the local church’s outreach program I would already be making a difference. My boyfriend wouldn’t have to cope with extreme mood swings and a girl that was always covered up because of the endless scars. I would be vibrant, alive, loved.

It’s strange to think about the life I could’ve had. Because the life I dreamt of, thought of, and planned … it’s so extremely far away from the life I have today. Maybe some of my dreams still can come true? Maybe I’ll have what I wrote of above, just that I’ll be 30 instead of 22. Maybe.

But most likely: No. Most likely my past, and my present, will haunt me for the rest of my life. Most likely this depression will be back regularly, stopping by, making sure my life never gets too cosy.

But you know what? Fuck it. YES, mots likely it will check up on me regularly, but if I survive this, I can have sunbeams in my life. And I will cherish them. If I live (something I don’t want! but IF I do) I will cherish the periods I’m not suffering. I will cherish making a difference, even if it’s not on a grand scale, but only on a really really small one.

I promise you, if you keep going, it will get better, and you will get moments that will make it worth it.