Starved For Love
A few weeks ago my new roommate said one of my cats was starved for love, as an observation of his hyper affectionate nature.
First of all, ouch.
Sure, he’s very friendly. And needy, and makes his desire for attention and petting known. But does it mean he’s actually hard up for love? I don’t know. Maybe he is. I’m not home a lot. But when I am I do try to cuddle him.
Anyway, this isn’t about me and the type of absentee pet mother I am. (we can get to my mothering problems later)
I’ve been wanting to write about addiction and self-inflicted abuse for a while now.
I wanted to address the ways we choose to hurt ourselves, and how we try to act oblivious not only to our self destruction but also to the choices we make that lead to our undoing.
I wanted to address how we devalue ourselves and try to throw away our personal power.
I’m not saying that every bad thing that happens to a person is automatically that person’s fault. I’m saying that if you spend all your money on bullshit and then run out of money to pay your bills, that situation is your fault. (And I would know, seeing as I’ve done it to myself two weeks in a row now.)
If you don’t stop throwing away your money and start paying your bills then whatever happens next, as a result is actually your fault.
Our lives are reflections of the choices we make.
It can be exhausting to always have to be aware of this and to live consciously when you’d rather the world just work according to your whims. Tough break, kid. Make a choice. Take an action.
Addicts and people who self harm make decisions that get them there. To keep cutting and to keep using is also a choice. People have to make the choices to get themselves out of their dark places. Not asking for help is a choice.
Feelings aren’t always a choice. You can’t always control how you feel. Feelings are generally the fucking worst but still…
You can control how you behave.
Years ago I took to cutting myself. My left arm is an obnoxious mural of scars. Now, I hate that I did that to myself. But when I was doing it it was the only thing that me feel better about feeling inadequate. It didn’t hurt to slice my own flesh. The sight of my blood was soothing. My tears stopped and I took a deep breath.
Unless you’ve hurt yourself or really listened to someone who’s hurt themselves I don’t think you can fully understand the transference of pain going on, or the level of emotional distress a person has to be under to take it out on their own body.
I hate that I had to overcome my fear of wearing tank tops and short sleeves. Because I still hate wearing short sleeves. But I didn’t want to spend the rest of my adulthood running from questions from insensitive fools who could care less about why I hurt myself, and were just digging for dirt to dress their misguided perception of me as a “crazy chick.”
Crazy is not a nice word. When people are struggling with depression and trying to cope with years of abuse or battling demons inside their own mind that tell them they are worthless, crazy is the cruelest thing you can say.
Words have power, and some people are more sensitive than others. It’s cruel to use words wrecklessly when you’re smart enough to know that someone is/was in an awful place. We have to be better humans to one another.
I had to take my power back. Yeah, I fucking cut myself. Yeah I was really depressed for a a couple of years. Yeah so what? It’s fucking rude for you to stare at my arm.
Eventually I learned to be better to myself.
It took time and the conscious decision (read: CHOICE) to want to stop hurting myself.
Coping with upset/life is a constantly evolving process where I have to learn new ways to deal and be okay, without harming my body or devaluing myself. And it isn’t easy.
The last time I felt like cutting myself and was able to stop was 2012. Thankfully I had someone to call and she talked me down. Unfortunately, my most recent scars came two summers later. I’d like to say I’m better now because I honestly do feel better. And I don’t believe I’ll take another razor to my skin ever again.
But when you like to stifle your emotions the way I do there’s always another way to dull the pain. The last three years saw a lot of coke and a lot of ho behavior.
An aside on ho behavior: if you like sex then do sex. If you can get sex, take sex, if you like sex.
Own your ho shit. Don’t let society shame you.
Don’t let anyone shame you because sex is fucking fun and if you can get two guys to take turns eating you out in one session then FTW and DO IT.
The trouble came when I realized that for all my avoidance and inebriation and 7am, 8am, and 9am cab rides home, I was missing something.
Yes, I was choosing to avoid it, but when the high wears off and you’re all alone taking the ever ineffectual coke nap before you wake up around 4pm and shower for work, is the time when the truth confronts you.
Your brain is fried. You don’t have nearly enough juice to put the mechanisms in place to silence your pain.
You just lie there numb as fuck, fidgety, unable to sleep, thinking of everything that you hate about your life, about yourself, about the night before, about the guy you’re stupidly crazy “in love with” who treats you like the thought after the after thought.
Or maybe you’re not in love with him. Maybe you actually can’t stand him. But you exploit yourself for him. You chase him as though you couldn’t slide that pussy anywhere else. You make yourself look desperate and weak for him. And he treats you like shit because your actions told him he can.
And for why?
You know very fucking well that no one deserves to be treated that way (unless of course they choose to allow it). You know that you are are better than him in every way. You know you deserve better and you hate yourself some more for being that pathetic.
For being that starved for love.
Eventually I just got tired of being tired, and anxious, and unable to sleep, and for taking less than I deserved because I was throwing myself at the wrong men. To be clear, I was not tired of the fucking. I could have kept on with the fucking, but the context was always in the wrong places with the wrong people doing the drugs.
It was always the fucking coke.
I just wanted to be to fucked up and not in my life. I felt more fun fucked up. Everyone liked me when I was fucked up. And as long as people were getting fucked up with me and we were all having fun it was okay.
Yeah,that’s complete bullshit though isn’t it?
I still don’t know what the hell my life is going to become. And that uncertainty scares me. And the thought of being alone is the worst feeling. And I’m still trying to chase it away.
That’s why I’m always out. Or trying to convince my best friends to live with me. I hate being alone so much I could cry about it if I wasn’t so against emotional outbursts of vulnerability.
Look, everyone has something going on.
We are all looking for or chasing, or chasing away something.
Life is fucking hard. The world is an awful place. Between governments, corporations, misogyny, rent, and the MTA it’s a never ending shit show/rage fest.
You can make your time and space here a lot worse or you can reach out and ask for help. You can ask God, or your mom, or your friends. You can ask your higher self. You can ask you internal goddess.
You can stop degrading and humiliating and endangering yourself and others. You can stop being a hot topic of conversation that genuinely annoys and disturbs others.
You can stop.
You have to want to stop. You have to believe you’re worth something, that your life and your mind and your beauty are valuable additions to the shit show that is Humanity. You have to believe you have something unique to offer and you have to stop trying to shred your magic to pieces.