Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Letter Writing Challenge #2

Edit: This letter is LONG after a break-up and not about getting over feelings, but about healing about the past relationships' damage done on me. 

Letter #1b:

Dear X,

I don't know that I'll ever fully understand you or why you did all of the things you did and why you appear to continue to be that same person while (still) claiming to be someone else, but I've found that with every day I care less and less. The power of forgiveness or moving on is that you don't need anyone else's apology or permission. I know you tried your best to get me to hold on and to not let you go, the way you couldn't (or can't) completely let me go, but turns out "they" were right when they said I was too good for you. The truth is that in retrospect I realized how literally insane I was being to stay with you - "insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" I honestly thought that if I tried being a better girlfriend or dressing prettier for you or buying cuter underwear or this and that the way you like it, that it would change things. It took a long time away from you to realize none of it had to do with me.

I should have picked up on the red flags, but there was something about you (probably the reason why chicks like you and why you have so many friends) that drew me in and wouldn't let go. I gave you so much without asking anything in return, because isn't that what a relationship is supposed to be about? Except it doesn't really work out when it's mostly one-way. Quickly I learned the things we had in common and the traits you claimed to have weren't as true as I thought and what was real wasn't enough. The pain I felt during our relationship was so hard for me to handle, it wrecked me. One friend even related you to being a campground burner: i.e. the campground rule is when you go camping, you leave the grounds the same or better as when you left and the same rule is sometimes said to apply to relationships. Well, congrats on slaughtering that rule.

In my life, I've always tried to take a view that I am in control of things and that things don't just "happen" to me, so that I don't feel like a victim, but sometimes people do awful things and act horribly and the only thing that one can find responsibility in is not waking up sooner and realizing what they were allowing themselves to be subjected to. And that is what I realized in retrospect. 20/20 hindsight, they say. And oh, how I wish (often) that I had known about your history or known what type of person you really were before I got involved. Before I shared with you my time, mind, secrets, and body.

Sometimes I think about the girls you're with and I realize exactly why nobody warned me about you - because when you're an ex, you just seem psychotic to say anything to a new girlfriend, even if you know them. It's brushed off as past jealousy or a bitter breakup. But no, I really do wish that people could know beforehand.

The truth is, I never yelled at you. I never said anything mean to you any of the times that you probably deserved it. Even at the worst moments, I kept my cool and I didn't say or do anything that was unbecoming. But the fact that you, without taking any responsibility, ever apologizing or admitting anything you'd done, tried to be my friend and have the best of both worlds, is such a fucking shitty thing to do to someone. I gave you such an easy out of my life: don't apologize, don't admit anything and we don't have to be friends. You can't treat people like crap, walk all over them, and then expect that just because you  still like them, that they still want to be friends with you or be in any contact with you. The fact that it took me SO MANY TIMES telling you to stop talking to me or trying to see me/talk to me in person when we ran into each other is ridiculous. You lied to my face so many times it's crazy. I wouldn't even tell my friends hardly anything because they were friends with you too and I didn't want to be that person who creates conflicts because of upsets (valid, but who cares?) or a breakup.

I tried a few times to say things to you, whenever you tried to talk to me in person, and it always ended with the same way things went when we were in a relationship. You, with your smooth talking, manipulating me and making me feel like a fool for bringing anything up. It didn't take long for me to be sick of even trying to be civil and point out anything to you! I couldn't even get any kind of closure or satisfaction with you so I realized the only way I'd get that was on my own.

So, here it lies: I want nothing to do with you. Not directly, not by association, not by social standards. From what I've observed directly and indirectly, you haven't changed at all and I want to be totally clean of you. Because we have so many friends in common, it's impossible to cut all secondhand ties to you, but I'll do whatever I have to to come close. You treated me HORRIBLY and most of it was you manipulating me so much that I was so blind to it, I couldn't even realize you were doing such nasty things to me and lying to me so much. You were such a coward and it still sickens me that I allowed that. Being around you makes my skin crawl and I deserve to be happy and free of you and those feelings. I won't let that control me or my life.


PS. I call you Voldemort. :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Letter Writing Challenge Intro and Letter #1

I found that I often have a lot of things I want to say to someone way after I have the chance to. 20/20 hindsight and all that. So, I found a letter writing challenge post online and decided that I'm going to do it here publicly on my blog. I'm not going to do every single day of the letters, because many of them don't apply to my life, but I will write a majority of them.

Letter #1a:

Dear X,

I've never known quite what to say to you and quite how to say it, which is often how I felt during our relationship. (It always made me laugh because writers are always supposed to have the "right words.") But I guess the first thing to say is thank you. I feel like out of all the different relationships I've had (of different sorts) with guys, ours was the most positive learning experience for me.

Although the end wasn't perfect, the relationship we did have was so wonderful that it taught me a lot of what I'm looking for in a significant other. The qualities you possessed and the way you treated me showed me how much I deserve and how nice it feels to have that. Our relationship is the only one I can talk fondly about and (at this point) without much hurt. I sincerely think that you helped me to regain a lot of sanity in relationships in general and your playful, kind attitude and how much care you showed for me was sincere and wonderful.

It always hurts to have a relationship end, whether it's your choice, someone else's choice, a mutual choice, or any mix of the above; especially unexpectedly. But I don't hold on to any distasteful feelings for the end; I remember the time fondly and hope that I always do. If we're being honest here, the way we broke up hurt. And it hurt for a while. I know I wasn't the only one who was hurt by it, but I definitely look back at our time together in a sad/happy way. Happy I had the chance to be with someone like you, but sad it ended the way it did, unexpectedly and too soon. I can only hope for your happiness and that I was as kind to you as I thought I was and that you enjoyed our time as much as it seemed.

So again, thank you. Thank you for being a good boyfriend and showing me good guys exist.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Eating Disorders and Body Dysmorphic Disorder

(Possible triggers: mentions of ED, compulsive eating, anorexia, bulimia, triggers, dangerous relationships, and BDD.)

I started this study quite a while ago, and although I plan to re-survey in the future, I wanted to write about my research and results thus far.

This is a very unusual and personal piece for me, being that it goes into some very private "issues" (for lack of a better word) and various things which I myself would not normally talk openly about with just anyone. I am a writer, however, and I feel that I can best express this in writing.


The first step is to admit that I have somewhat of a"problem" with food, exercise, and the like. This either makes me more of an "expert" to write my thoughts, experiences, and findings on this subject - or it disqualifies me from being able to have a clear head. You can decide.

After surveying many people, several things became apparent to me. The first was something that I've always suspected, but never was sure of until I did this survey: self-confidence does not directly intertwine with one's outer appearance. What I mean to say is that I always thought beautiful, skinny, or fit people automatically had this great self-confidence and knew they were one or all of the above. When a skinny person would talk about how fat or ugly they were, I could never understand why. (Besides the fact that it made me cringe and it would trigger my own issues.)

75% of people who answered my survey felt that they had an eating disorder or habits that would pertain to one.
50% answered that they have had (or did have) an eating disorder for 1-8 years, while 50% have had one for under a year.
80% said that a big part (or the entire part) of the development of their habits or eating disorders came about as a result of a boyfriend/significant other and something that they said.
100% answered that the habits and eating disorder(s) developed pretty gradually, starting with somewhat healthy goals, workouts, and/or dieting and developing into a problem and an obsession.
30% of people who answered said that they felt their sex life or relationship with their significant other(s) was affected by their eating disorder, whether by being uncomfortable and embarrassed, or simply by their physical state affecting their level of sexual interest and desire.
80% said that they weren't actually overweight or fat when they felt that they were.

The above may seem like they are "just" statistics, and may seem a bit easy to brush off. To be frank and very specific, the emotional wreckage that eating disorders cause on people is unanimous. Most individuals who develop eating disorders have a constant discomfort and discontentment with their body and self-image. Regardless of whether they weigh 100 pounds and are in excellent physical shape, are 80 pounds and extremely underweight, or are 190 pounds and completely out of shape, it seems that eating disorders cause people to see themselves as fat or ugly, and to hate their body or specific part(s) of their body.

It's a common misconception that only anorexic or obese looking people have eating disorders. People see someone who is very overweight or underweight and often will assume that these are the only two types of people - the over-eaters and the under-eaters.

The shame and guilt that comes with an ED is also a large stress on an individual, because of the constant attention being put on what to eat, not eat, when to eat, when not to eat, "calorie counting", checking one's body constantly to see if one is gaining weight or appears bigger, fatter, pudgier, etc. The obsession with needing to be thinner, in better shape, or look a certain way can drive one to stop eating, start eating much less, or to binge and overeat.

Healthy habits and somewhat restrictive tendencies can rapidly become obsessive habits, over-the-top exercise routines, and excessive restrictions. Feeling guilty when one eats is one of the consequences of an eating disorder, even at times when one is eating quite healthily and attempting to have a balanced diet. The desire to skip meals or to binge and throw up consumes some individuals, to the point that one becomes unable to eat healthily on a day-to-day basis and take care of themselves properly. Often, it just seems easier or more effective to cut down on calories and general food intake in order to achieve the results of weight-loss.

It seems to be a general consensus that one's parents, friends, siblings, and significant others have a huge impact on how one feels about their body and even how one handles their eating disorder, both at the start and in recovery. Restrictions on their food, friends, and members of the opposite sex made by their friends, family, and significant others tends to trigger one's bad eating habits.

The desire to work out excessively or participate in physical activity exceeds the "norm" for a lot of people who suffer from BDD and ED's. Paired with a lack of proper diet, this can become unhealthy very rapidly. As I, and many others have experienced, the drive to be fit and lose weight can cause someone to want to exercise to fix themselves (or their flaws) ALL THE TIME and EVERYWHERE.

The obsession with looking like one's ideal perfect woman or man can be overwhelming. And it seems like so many of the things that people do and say around you are triggering, even the positive ones. When a friend talks about their own weight or your weight, even in a friendly and kind way, it can be incredibly introverting. Even when someone tells me how great I look or that I look thinner, fitter, better, etc., it can make me feel immediately self-conscious. When others talk about their success with a certain diet, health plan, exercise program, or going to the gym regularly, it can make your own plan or exercise routine feel inadequate.

One person I surveyed, Liv*, was adversely affected by her unhealthy relationship with a boyfriend, who was extremely over-protective of her and what she could and couldn't do. Having restrictions on her friends, especially male friends, created a huge problem. An unhealthy relationship such as the one that was described to me, wedged a block between Liv and her friends, leaving her virtually friendless when the relationship became rocky and eventually ended. This, combined with her shaky home life at the time, created a subconscious desire to change her body in order to get her relationship(s) back to the way they were.

As it does for many, what started as a simple diet "quickly escalated out of control". For Liv, and for many other people who struggled with food and ED's, when one is having problems in their relationship(s) or home life, one's body and what they eat seem to be the only things they are in control of. Being able to decide to not eat anything or not eating hardly at all and seeing changes in one's body gives a person an odd sense of accomplishment. But not having a goal (number of pounds loss, ultimate goal weight, muscle mass gained, etc.) can cause a detrimental effect on one's progress and gains.

Liv described how the loss of a boyfriend's affection and their break-up, combined with the lack of genuine friendships in her life and the rumors he started, were just the start of a mess of problems in the following years. She suffered from anorexia and bulimia (wherein she expressed that she has seen every case of anorexia lead to bulimia) and left her feeling depressed and alone; completely out of control. She described bulimia as being a more devastating, hectic, and shameful disorder because it lacks the feeling of "clean self-control and progress" that comes with anorexia. I have heard very similar descriptions from others that I interviewed for my research, as well as from support groups and the like.

Another important topic I wanted to cover is the way that eating disorders and BDD affects one's behavior and comfort with their significant other, or in their "dating life." Liv, among other women (myself included) felt that it made her more self conscious about her body. There were hundreds of times, she told me, that she didn't go out because of ED related feelings, discomforts, and urges. Sometimes she wouldn't have sex for the same reasons. Many women and men feel more out of place or uncomfortable within relationships, because it's exposing them and what they consider to be their flaws, to their significant others. Usually, one's significant other's opinion is very important.

Liv, like many other women who are not clinically overweight (sometimes not even close) definitely felt like she wanted to be thinner, even if she knew that she was not overweight. She enjoyed the feeling of being as light as possible and being in control. Knowing that she looked tiny, was turning heads, and able to wear any clothes was something that was important to her and many, many other women I have personally interviewed and known myself. This is something that is becoming more common in younger teenagers as well.

Luckily, for many men and women, there is hope and there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel! The shame and secrecy can be blown out in the open, taking away the power that ED's carry with them. For some, exercise (in moderation), yoga, meditation, shopping, and other activities can really help to lighten the energy and improve one's mood.

*all names have been changed for privacy purposes.

A big thank you to everyone who participated in the survey and those who wrote me with their stories.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

No Regrets

When does this get easier; I need all the help that I can get
Forgetting you is a task within itself that I will soon regret
I promise in the end it'll all be worth the risk and pain
but the time it takes to get there is taking the fight out of me

I can't sleep, my eyes get heavy but they just won't close
The end is near, but exactly where, nobody knows
Overwhelming pressure to be like everyone else
It's as if our own identities have up and disappeared

Such sinister statements spoken in tongues
Your look upon me squeezing the breath out of my lungs
Crying out is pointless; it's as if I'm in a soundproof box
Just run away, far away, and never plan to return

Monday, June 25, 2012


I’m drowning in a pool of nothing
Forcing myself to toughen up
This plan isn’t working out like I’d hoped
It didn’t happen like you said it would
With your fake smiles and consoling words
I didn’t need sympathy, I needed reality
Why can’t people be honest anymore?
It’s like it seems easier to keep up with your lies
Than to just tell the truth 
And so here I am I’m not heartbroken 
I know you want me to feel like 
I’ve given up something real 
But the truth is all you are is a disappointment, a step I’m glad to be done with 
A bitter taste in my mouth 
Spit that stains the concrete 
Sighs of relief when I can finally leave this wretched place 
And feel empty again

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Second Chance

So talking is a waste of time
Another chance for another line
Just one more opportunity to lie
Promises that will never be obliged

Complications that never arise
Alibis that she always buys
Listening to stories that never end
Something I would learn to apprehend

We all wait for the apology we'll never hear
So much easier just to disappear
I'd do it all over if I had the chance
Never looked back or took that second glance

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


We hide tears with scarlet paint
Pretending just to save face
It's gone like the wind
And everything feels displaced

Forever loses its meaning
Facades are like new cars
Mismanaged habits
You hone your skills in bars

Overlapping feelings
Climbing up the walls
Trying to learn new tricks
While attempting not to fall

Repeating words we hear on tv
You see relationships as threats
Forgetting we're heartless
Sometimes I forget to forget

Friday, February 3, 2012

Things I Ponder - Getting Older

Last Tuesday was my birthday and I started to think about age related things, and how getting older affects us all. Everyone has their own way of celebrating or "dealing with" their birthdays, (depending on how old they are turning) but most of all, we all notice the emotional and mental changes we experience as we get older. There's this internal drive or push to do certain things and be accomplished in different areas that clicks in as we reach certain milestones in our years.

Sometimes I start to wonder if we're restricted or enhanced by being so obsessed with age and each anniversary that we reach (whether we like it or not). Everything seems to be so date conscious; we base so many decisions and pass judgement on age. Another question would be is if these decisions and judgement are justified? Are we qualified to pass a judgement on someone and decide if they are worthy or unworthy of something simply based on how old they are?

We have these goals that almost seem like limitations: go to college and get a degree, get a fantastic, well-paying job by this age, fall in love by that age, be married by this age, have kids by that age, etc. The list seems endless. We have to accomplish all these certain things at these certain times and people judge us based on whether or not we have reached these goals at the right time.

If we reach our goals too soon, we can be judged for that too. One who has done this or that at an age perceived as "too young" is said to have "grown up too fast" or even been corrupted. Many laws are also based on age, such as when one can drive, live on their own, serve their country, buy and smoke cigarettes, buy and consume alcohol, among many others.

It came down to this intriguing question for me:

Would we be better off without these age limits and goals; would we get along better without them or would we fail miserably?

More on this later. Feel free to comment...I'd love to know what others think about this and how you would answer the question!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Atypical behavior
Expecting a savior
Easily disappointed
Quickly disjointed

Rapid replies
Simple demise
Shallow breathing
Forever grieving

Intensely ashamed
Incorrectly blamed
Sorrowful glances
Empty romances

Jagged edges
Broken ledges
Foreign tongues
Empty lungs

Monday, January 9, 2012


So fake, so cold
How bleak, how bold

Foreign languages we spoke
All the promises you broke

Every lie recited
And each cell ignited

Your lingering gaze
The always burning blaze

My never ending trek
To avoid an inevitable wreck

So oblivious; eyes closed
How hilarious; so composed

Monday, January 2, 2012


On the outside
There's a smile
Nothing to hide
At least for a while

It's easy to act nonchalant
Sure you're just fine
What is it we truly want
Alone, waiting for things to align

Because now the truth is clear
We're all searching for something real
Someone to protect us from what we fear
A place we don't have to pretend not to feel

Casually we breathe
Searching far and wide
Inside we secretly seethe
Wishing we had never lied

While it's me you haunt
I'm listening to the perfect cadence
More than simply what I want
Perfectly imperfect and shameless