I am a couple days late writing this. I was away from this platform on Suicide Awareness Day (aka September 10th), and yesterday I was busy with other things, rather than writing.
Trigger Warning. Bullying, suicide and depressive moods will be discussed below.
I’ve never quite felt like I fit in anywhere. I’ve always been labeled as different, and when I’m not high from the thought that no one else out there is anything like me, I’m low and lonely. There are times when I feel like I’m alone, but what keeps me going is a faith in the weirdness and novelty of humanity. I have faith that somewhere out there, there are people that will understand me in a way that I’ve longed to be understood in since I entered public school. While this faith alone is not the sole thing that has kept me alive, but I will discuss my other inspirations below, this faith is sometimes the brightest, most exciting reason I get through my lonely ruts.
I was born and have been trapped in the Southeast of the United States since the start of my existing in the body that I have today. I hate it here, the backwards-ness of society, the criticism of social and technological progress, the judgement, the overwhelming pressure to conform to a way of life that was only deemed acceptable 70 years ago, and the people here have not gotten the message that society has grown and changed since then. I’ve longed for another life since I can remember. I’ve longed for another place since I first learned of the constraints of the place that I happened to be born into. When I was younger, I found that I could relate to Lilo from Lilo and Stitch a bit too much, and around the winter holidays, I was more excited that I could watch Rudolph again than I was for Santa Claus or even for the snow, because Rudolph comforted me in a way that most popular culture figures simply could not, at the time.
As the workload in school kept increasing with my age, I found that my peers looked more to me for answers for tedious busywork, and I was happy to provide, if only for the few seconds of attention that the more popular kids bestowed upon me. Suddenly I found that during class, I had a good amount of people to talk to, but at recess, no one invited me to play games. Instead of begging for attention, I took to the swings and flew by myself for the half hour of free time in between classes. Eventually I found at least one person to talk to at any given down time from school, but there was always some complication with that, my ‘chosen person’ was either a few years younger or older than me, or they had a large group of friends that I never quite fit in with, or they ended up moving away. Eventually even the girl that I had grown the closest to moved away during our Junior year of High School.
This led to me being pretty lonely throughout my time at public school. Eventually all I could find was a sea of superficial friendships with superficial people, and the older we got, the more I noticed that they fell into the Southeastern US culture, and the more I did not fit in with that culture at all. My Junior and Senior years of high school I rarely did anything outside of school with any of my peers. Maybe you would think that this is where my depressive moods began, but you’d be wrong.
I don’t really know when these dark, sad moods began because my memory’s moods and images don’t really match up (for example, sometimes I can remember things that happened in life, but I don’t have many emotions attached to them and sometimes I remember feeling a certain way very strongly but I can only remember a single picture of where I was at the time). I suspect the depressive moods began in elementary school, because while I had felt left out since I first entered school, the first overt bullies that I can remember entered my life from 3rd-5th grades.
By middle school, I hated myself, or at least my personality, and I knew it. Now I longed for a new identity more than ever. I wished I wasn’t so quiet. I wished my boring brown eyes would magically change to some more interesting color. I wished I could wake up one day and fit in with the most popular kids in my year. I started idolizing mean girls who started wearing makeup and short shorts long before I did. I thought that middle school social hierarchy determined who one was to be for the rest of one’s life, and I was afraid of being some loser for the remainder of mine. I had no idea how shallow my wishes were, but somehow, even despite all my outward efforts to fit in, I always managed to stand out.
I began daydreaming about taking on a new identity and running away around the time I was 7. At that age, with the imagination that I had, I dreamt of morphing into another creature and disappearing in a way that no one would ever find any trace of the mortal that I used to be. It were these daydreams that started my lifelong obsession with mermaids. I visualized that I woke up to find that I could become finned at will, and I dreamed of running out to the lake that is beside my childhood home and leaving everything I ever knew behind, in favor of something more, something gentler, something increasingly colorful, something with a more distinct cultural flavor than the one I had been born into. Every day after school, I spent hours on an ancient computer at my house searching ‘become a real mermaid’ and other things in general that had to do with the myth. Eventually I found spells that promised gills and fins, but I repeatedly was disappointed. To this day, I love the idea of the Fae (mermaids, dragons, faeries, etc.), and I remain intrigued with any depiction of them in media. I was always fascinated with the idea of reincarnation (even before finding Paganism) so I imagined what it would be like to disappear from this life and find myself in a completely new life, somewhere far away, call it the dreamers disease if you’d like, but sometimes I felt very serious about leaving myself behind.
My suicidal ideations started somewhere between middle school and high school (again sometimes my memories and strong emotions don’t match up, or I get one but not the other). Eventually, I started hating more about myself, wishing more parts of myself away that my visions of leaving the place that I loathed evolved into some part of me leaving the whole of my body, leaving no where for me to go. This vague wish grew into a death wish. I found a whole new type of vision, a dream in which I died. I never knew how calming thinking of my own death would be until I really considered it. Most of the time, in my head, no one person caused my death, not even me, it was from an accident, usually a car accident in particular. Sometimes I even imagined what the accident would feel like, what my last few moments would feel like, as my nerves lost sensation, as my breath lost it’s ability to sustain me…
WHY I KEEP LIVING
1st-12th grades sucked, just not as equally and in different ways than they had sucked previously. As the years progressed, the external bullying decreased, but my mind’s warping affect on me increased. What started as wishing for something else turned into wishing for nothing. That was the most dangerous part of it, when I realized that I didn’t NEED to take some part of me with me in the act of leaving. Even struggling with suicidal ideations, I still found a way to love myself, and I feel like Paganism has really helped with that, more than I know how to express in words. I came from a faith in which humanity was flawed from one simple biological act that two people did before history was even concerned with becoming history (the story of Adam and Eve, anyone?). Once I found Paganism, I had permission to experience joy without giving thought into some unjust concept of sin. I had permission to be wrong, without some eternal burning punishment waiting for me. I had permission to explore without worrying about going ‘too far’, as long as I didn’t harm anyone in the process. Most importantly, I had permission to be myself and love myself without having to hold myself up to some crazy standard that no mortal could ever attain, but would still strive themselves to uphold. No more did I look at the world and see sin, I looked upon the world and found beauty! In many ways, Paganism is the reason why I’m still alive today, Paganism has saved my life many times, and through Paganism I’ve gained a faith in humanity, especially of the crazy, artistic, open-minded, Pagan sort. Through Paganism I’ve met so many wonderful human beings that I actually fit in with. The LG(B)T community has helped me in similar ways, so they have honorable mention here, but even when comparing the two communities and how I fit with them, the Pagan community is where I find my deepest, most true home.
I realize that maybe if you’re not Pagan, you may not relate much to my previous explanation on why I keep living, so here are some things (in bullet form, I’m kind of tired of writing in standard form for today) that keep me inspired…
- Glee… Everything about Glee.
- Fascination with mythology
- Awesome youtube videos starring passionate YouTubers…
- LGBT fandoms
- Fandoms in general
- Lucy Sutcliffe
- Stevie Boebi
- Connor Franta
- Grant Gustin
- Ally Hills
- Ally Hills Music Videos
- Cole Sprouse
- Dylan Sprouse
- Nick Jonas
- Gabriella Lindley
- Meghan Hughes
- Faking It (MTV)
- H2O: Just Add Water
- The Flash
- The Secret Circle
- Heroes: Reborn
- Pretty Little Liars
- Young & Hungry
- The Secret Life of the American Teenager
- The Vampire Diaries
- Asian Food
- Vegan Food