One Good Week

I did not get much sun today, or any other day this week, but for some reason I was happy.

Happy enough to practice on my writing and to contact my ex so that we could talk about us. I was happy enough to do a lot of things that I wouldn’t other wise do on a normal given day. With this new feeling I mustered up the strength to take more showers and to get out of bed regularly to prepare food from the kitchen. I also applied for a job at a Paris themed bakery and called the manager to make sure that he got my resume.

This isn’t necessarily impressive looking in on it from the outside as any other person other than me, but it was quite heroic on my end.

My depression sometimes stops me from doing the simplest things like getting up in the morning to brush my teeth. I will have good days and those days consist of me pushing myself to undo the damage I did while under a sad spell. Sometimes I succeed, but when I don’t failure hits me like a bullet train.

I haven’t read a novel in three months and this is strange because I usually read a new one each week with enthusiasm. I’ve done this since I was five. I like to read because I’m naturally curious and I enjoy the arts. I also enjoy the smell of the book pages and the look of the ink on the paper. Somehow depression has taken that love from me. My brain no longer has the time to concentrate on words that I can’t comprehend. It all sounds like white noise to me-reading anything. I’m amazed at how easy it was to turn something that I used to love dearly into a chore that I now avoid like the plague.

So, yes, I celebrate the good week. This one good week of bliss . . . before it all goes away. Before I bruise myself trying to patch it all up again.

Maybe it’ll be my last good week.


The First Time I Truly loved Someone

The first time I truly loved someone.

We see love expressed on many mediums. On TV, love is a grand gesture or a game of bachelors and bacherettes. In books, love is a handwritten letter or a connection that happens the moment you lay eyes on someone, in real life . . . love is messy.

When I was little, I thought I had a pretty solid understanding of what love was. Love was chocolates and flowers on Valentine’s Day and a spontaneous date to the movies. I wanted to experience this first hand. Many people do. Love is all part of being human, and often times it can’t be avoided. As that saying goes, everybody wants to love and be loved. But everything changed the moment I met him. For the sake of privacy, I’ll call him Sam.

It was a Friday night around 12:00 am. I planned on meeting a friend at the beach and was on my way there. We talked online for a month about things we enjoyed and endured like nihilism and depression and about how we both grew up in extremely religious households and hated it. I arrived at the beach thirty minutes after he got there because my Lyft was late dropping me off. I was nervous about being late and about meeting him for the first time in person. My palms were sweaty although it was sixty degrees outside and extremely windy. I haven’t had a good friend in a year and I didn’t want to blow anything or come off as weird. I was going over what to say in my head, how to introduce myself and wondering if I had wore something nice enough because I wanted to leave a good first impression.

When I got to the beach, it was so dark that I could hardly see the waves in front of me. There was nothing but the faint light of the pier to my right and the streetlights from the road behind me. I spent about five minutes looking around for him. I could make out a couple people there, a man fishing to my left and further down near the ocean was a body sitting down facing away from me, watching the waves in front of him.

I figured that had to be him so I approached cautiously then tapped him lightly on the shoulder. “Are you Sam?” I asked.

He looked at me. I was genuinely surprised by his appearance. I saw a couple of pictures of him before, but he looked different. He was smaller than I imagined, a little bit taller than me, and despite his young age he had a beard that was thick and black just like the curly hair on top of his head. And his eyes were wild and round, studying me curiously in the dark. Finally he said, “Nope you have the wrong person.”

I opened my mouth to apologize, but then he started laughing and informed me that he was joking and that he was indeed Sam. I sat down in the cold sand right next to him and introduced myself. He was shy and quiet, despite his little joke earlier, but I didn’t mind because so was I. Throughout the night we talked about things like the isolation of stars (from where we sat we could see the Big and Little Dipper) and how they reminded us of how little we are. We talked about our lives. He grew up as I did. We both suffered from some sort of depression brought on by the troubles that we faced growing up and the troubles that we were still facing at the moment. We spent the whole night there by the water. Talking and laughing and smoking a roll of weed that he had bring with him.

We then decided to stay a couple more hours to watch the sun rise. I’ve never seen a Florida sunrise despite me living here my whole life, so I was pretty excited about it. I was surprised about how easy it was for me to talk to him. It’s never easy for me to have conversations with people I just met, but with him words just kept pouring out of my mouth and I loved every moment of it. Around 6:30 the sun finally came up and I finally got a good look at this mysterious man.

I think this was the moment that I realized that he was going to be in my life for a while. The sun light up his face and his hazel/green eyes became warm and inviting. I could now see the smallness of his smile and the olive tone of his skin. I thought he was by far the most beautiful human being that I ever laid my eyes on. I was self conscious. I wore a beanie and an old T-shirt with flip flops that exposed my horrible toes. I looked away from him and studied the sunrise and all the shades of pink and orange that it created in the baby blue sky.

Then I noticed he was staring at me. I turned towards him again and before I could apologize for my appearance he said, “You look so beautiful.”

We started hanging out more. We went to places like the movies and art museums down in Miami where he lived. Everyday we would talk to each other. Every time he texted me, I got a warm feeling in my chest. He was someone who replied with full paragraphs and proper grammar which was entirely unheard of to me. He also texted good morning each morning and told me goodnight before I went to bed. If I couldn’t go to sleep, we would both stay up for hours talking on the phone. Then a couple weeks later he invited me over to his place. He wanted to introduce me to more of his world.

I spent a weekend over at his house. While there, I went to a party with him (where he introduced me to his friends as his girlfriend). It was the first time I saw him dress up neatly to go anywhere. Usually he would just wear a tank top and some shorts, but that night I waited in his bedroom as he showered. When he came out his curly hair was jelled back and he wore a clean ironed red flannel with dark jeans. My heart literally skipped a beat. This was also the first time he kissed me.

During the party he took me by the hand and led me to his car where we could talk. We had a short silly conversation before he leaned over and kissed me. I’ve been kissed before and I used to think that kissing felt like two lips pressing hard against each other. I didn’t get what the big fuss was about. But when he kissed me it was different, I disappeared into a safe warm place where my heart felt exposed. I felt myself light up and relax into him. He lifted his hands and placed them on my face gently as we kissed. I felt protected. I felt happy.

The next day we shared an even more intense experience. It was night time and his friend had left to go get some food so we were alone. He told me that when he kissed me he felt what I felt. He told me that he’s never felt so close to anyone before in his entire life and that I was simply his home. It was the first time that I cried around him. I didn’t grow up with affection and love. I squirmed when people tried to hug me, but with him I felt as if I could trust him with my life. I was developing deep feelings for this guy and it was happening fast. I didn’t know what to do.

The last night that I spent with him, we were laying on his bed. He was lying on his back looking up at the ceiling and I was on my side looking at him. My heart had this weird feeling inside of it. It was a mixture of wanting to protect him from ever feeling harm again and the fear that he didn’t feel the same. I was anxious. And I guess it showed on my face because when he turned to face me, he looked worried and asked me what was wrong.

I expressed to him how scared I was of what was happening. I told him how other men used me primarily for sex and how I never felt like this toward someone before and how it was scaring me. He held me in his arms and reassured me that he wasn’t going anywhere and that he was going to be there for me. He told me not to worry. We kissed and I felt that warm magical spark again. I guess he felt it too because he then asked if he could make love to me. I’ve had sex before and didn’t enjoy the experience, but I agreed because I trusted that he wanted more than my body. He was gentle and passionate with me. In fact, this was one thing that I enjoyed doing with him often. He was self conscious about his body, but I adored every inch of it and liked letting him know. But the way that he held me and looked at me and kissed me made me afraid. I didn’t know that it was possible to enjoy sex with someone so much and to feel so close to them while it happened. Afterwords he held me and kissed me on the forehead. That night he told me he loved me, and with out a doubt I told him that I loved him back.

But love isn’t so black and white. There are complicated gray areas in between that no one wants to feel or talk about. You’ve invested time and committed to one person who brings so much joy into your life, how complicated can it be?

I realized Sam was cutting himself the first night we met at the beach.

I didn’t see the white scars until the sun was up and he had pointed them out, not wanting me to discover them myself and get scared away. I sympathized with his pain and couldn’t judge him for something that he felt shame for doing. I told him that he could talk to me about anything without judgement before I said goodbye that morning. A couple weeks later he called me. I was having a pretty shitty day so when I saw his number I immediately picked up wanting to hear his voice. But something was off. He was crying. I asked him what was wrong and it took him a good thirty minutes before he could tell me that he cut himself again and went to far. I told him to send me a picture, that it couldn’t be too bad and that even if it was he was a good person and I wasn’t going to judge him for it. I wasn’t expecting to see what I saw next.

I couldn’t wrap my head around how someone could do that to themselves and the kind of pain that they had to be feeling to want to carve up their skin that much to mask the feeling of it. I had a slight understanding because two months prior I was diagnosed with MDD (major depressive disorder) and this is what made me closer to Sam, knowing that I understood his sadness and that he understood mine. But I thought that with his cutting, me understanding him and being there for him was going to be enough. And that was stupid of me to think.

Before Sam met me, he had a life without me in it. And in that life he experienced extreme abandonment, betrayal, and neglect. The stories he told me made me want to break out into tears and hold him. And I did hold him when it became to much to talk about. I held him against my chest and stroked his hair. I experienced the same thing before meeting him. I was in the foster care system, my mother was (and still is) dealing with extreme kidney failure and my dad verbally abused me and my siblings. Our stories shared something, but they were different in their own way. Sam experienced heartbreak before falling for me on top of everything he went through growing up and because of this, it was hard for him to trust others and hard for him to love himself.

So here we were. Two people, troubled, who ran into each other’s aftermaths, trying to see where we fit in. He was like a star in the sky that I had discover. I could see him, experience his beauty and track his age, but I couldn’t experience the journey he took to get to me. When he was sad he called me and I told him that everything was going to be alright and that I was there for him, when I was sad he did the same thing for me. By the time we had told each other that we loved one another, there was a history of hurt flowing between both of us.

I wish then that I’d met him in another life where he never experienced the things that he went through and where I never experienced the things that I went through and where we loved each other, and was fully able to express it.

After the weekend that I spent with him at his house, things gradually started to get worse. My love for him grew no matter what I went through but I could sense something was wrong with him.

I conditioned myself to believe that he wasn’t going to leave me. I’ve had many people leave in my life and this was one person that I wanted to stay. I conditioned myself to believe that I was in fact his home because he was mine and because he told me so. He was my shelter. I conditioned myself to believe that he truly was in love with me because I was in love with him and I planned on being so until I died. But that wasn’t the case.

He might’ve loved me at one point and then stopped when things started to get more serious in order to prevent himself from getting hurt or he might’ve never loved me to begin with. The latter was hard to come to terms with because we shared many intimate moments in which he told me he loved me and in which he displayed actions that conveyed he loved me. We made plans with each other for the future and promised that we would help each other grow into something better. I was looking forward to growing with him, but somewhere down the line he decided he didn’t want to do the same.

I became his “friend” and his “homie” and hearing him refer to me as those terms felt like a hot knife through my heart. As if everything that we were never happened. He told me that he wasn’t in love with me and that he was simply lonely and needed something to feel. He told me that it didn’t mean that he used me and that the moments that we shared together were genuine.

But I felt empty and lost. What went wrong? What did I do? I knew that I was no longer his home. To me, I was more than a friend to him but to him he was perfectly capable or looking at me with that title. I was convinced that this was a coping mechanism for him, that pushing me away hurt less than the possibility of me breaking his heart in the future, but over time it dawned on me that maybe he didn’t love me as much as I loved him, maybe he didn’t love me at all.

During the course of three months he would call and check up on me. When I didn’t break down and tell him that I missed him, I told him about the date that I was going on or the gift that I was buying for someone. He would ask me questions about who I’ve been with since him and if I was seeing anyone. I was convinced that this meant that he still loved me and I was ready to drop everything in a heartbeat to test if this were true. But in doing so, I only ended up getting hurt again.

Still this day he has a place in my heart, but I’m slowly learning that just because you love someone doesn’t mean that you’re meant to be with them. I didn’t understand this at first. It didn’t make sense. It was simple, if you were in love with someone and they were in love with you, it only made sense to be with one another.

I learned that love is peculiar and that Cupid sometimes drops a couple of loose arrows just to fuck with you. I learned that you have to love yourself (if not fully, then enough to walk away once things become emotionally/physically abusive). I learned that I would probably not love anyone as much as I loved Sam, but that it was okay because there was a chance that I would experience new love again and that that love would be greater.

Ten Signs That You Know A ‘Self Declared’ Victim

I am not a psychologist and non of this is back up by any scientific theory or study, it’s all in my point of view about a type of person that I’m sure exist and is quite hard to understand or deal with. Let me know in the comments below if you have ever known a person who fits this description. 

1. The Tragic Past

Within a minute or two of meeting this person you are well aware of their ‘troubled past or upbringing’. Either they will straight up tell you, because this tragic past is a big part of who they are and who they present themselves to be, or they will passiveagressivnely show that they’re bothered by something that you said, did, or wore because of their childhood or a “traumatic” event in their life.

2. They’re almost always right

They’re always right and you’re always wrong. Doesn’t matter if you’re an expert in what you’re saying or if you know for a fact what you’re talking about is valid they will continue to doubt you. Don’t ever catch yourself being wrong around them while they are right because that will convince them that you’re always wrong on a subject and that they are always right. They’re afraid of being wrong because they believe that it’ll reflect on what little that they actually know, but instead of learning from others they will continue to view everything they think of as correct. This type of trait coincides with their one-track mindedness: whatever they know is whatever there is to know.

3. They are partner/girlfriend/boyfriendless

Now a lot of people are single and there’s nothing wrong with that, but this kind of victim always seems to be single for a long period of time or they can’t keep a boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner for a long time. They’ll tell you that they’re single because they haven’t met the right person yet or that their past significant others were this way or that way when in reality they’re incompatible and hard to form a relationship of any kind with. They expect too much from a relationship and are never satisfied with what a person can offer them. 

4. They swear by self help books or by their happiness in general brought on by a god, person, or practice

They have a pile of self help books (many of them that are there for display and have never been read) that they swear has helped them through anything that they’ve had problems with. If you know that your problems aren’t simply solved with books or a magic miracle smoothie, because you know better or you have a serious illness that requires professional aid, they will tell you that they’ve offered all their help but that you didn’t want to take it. They will display to you that they’re in their best state of mind and that you could be too if you followed their advice, even when you know what’s best for you. 

5. They’re thrown off by people who aren’t exactly like them

When they encounter people who aren’t exactly like them ( don’t act, talk, or make the same decisions as them) they are often surprised or offended by their presence. They will gossip about, judge, or alienate this person without a second thought. 

6. They’re indifferent to your suffering

These type of people make the worst kind of friend. If you’re actually going through something traumatic or draining, they will bring up their “tragic” past or present life as a comparison to yours and tell you that you shouldn’t feel the way you do because they have gone through ‘worse’ when in fact they have not gone through worst, and don’t you dare tell them that or they will activate their victim card and feel deeply hurt by your completely true comment. 

7. Religion

I don’t have a problem with anyone who’s religious and I don’t have a problem with anyone who isn’t, no one should. This kind of victim, if they are religious, though, will not understand nor try to understand those who aren’t religious. They will blame whatever problem that that person is going through on their lack of religious belief and will make you feel as if you’re not going to get better unless you adapt this belief and live by it. 

8. Can’t make genuine friends

They have one, at most three, friends or peers and have a hard time making new ones because they’re difficult to be around, but their reason will be because people are always jealous of them or aren’t nice to them in general. The friends that they do have take all their crap without a problem, are more or less less attractive than they are, and/or have less going for them in a general sense. This kind of person keep these friends around to make them feel better about themselves in comparison.

9. They have frequent pity fits or tantrums

When they feel that someone has offended them, or just because they need attention at the moment, they will have a tantrum, mental break down, or a period of moping and self pity in which they wonder why everyone around them doesn’t like them, but will have no intention of seeing theirselves as the issue. When in an altercation with someone, they will feel as if they’re the one who has been wronged and that the other person has intentionally hurt them, even if it’s their fault. They will never see theirselves as the problem of anything and will always believe that the world is against them. They are the martyr and everyone else needs to realize that and act according to that. 

10. Parents 

Although they have had a hard upbringing they are super tight and close with their parents in a way that indicates that they in no way were mentally or physically abused by their parents, despite what they claim. Their siblings and even their parents will tell them that they didn’t go through much as a kid, but they will insist that they’ve had it tough. They label themselves as things that they’re not, such as introverted or humble, to appear as a better person, or they will give themselves an illness or phobia to appear more complex or different. Even when people can prove that they don’t have this illness or characteristic, they will immediately  feel offended and will not admit to lying. 
That’s pretty much it, guys! Enjoy your holiday and make sure to stay positive through whatever you’re going through, there’s always an end, even when it doesn’t seem like it. Happy New Year!!! 

Skyline View 

-A Poem By Abby M. 

(Picture taken and edited by me)

Skyline View

By: Abigail Michel 

I have a view, I have a great view! I have a skyline view of you

I have binoculars, and spectacles, and a skyline view of you 

I can see the strands of your breath and the break of your mouth as you try to find out who 

But ma’am, don’t you know, I have a skyline view of your home 

I broke in once, this wasn’t a mistake, but boy did I like your room

It’s cold and alone from the rest of the house, but the idea of it is cool

I have a first hand account of your heart, a skyline view of the blood that runs through it

I knew it

You loved me once, I know! 

The thickness of it tells me so

I have a blue view, it’s true!

I have a skyline view of you. 

Exciting Moments In An Unexciting Person’s life 

By: Abby M.

The day was April 30th; May was just around the corner, marking the month in which I would turn eighteen. I sat down earlier that day on my grandmother’s comfortable, King sized bed and thought about all the things that I accomplished in my life so far (at the moment, I thought these ‘things’ were admittedly sufficient) and how everything was going to be ten times as awesome once I became old enough to do my own thing without, more or less, the judgement of my shy inner self telling me that it wasn’t time just yet. I was finally going to break out of my shell, travel the world, get a boyfriend and become a  notorious fiction writer.

I realized then, as I stared at the undecorated white walls of my grandmother’s room, that I had no life experiences to fall back on. I lived a predominantly sheltered, comically tragic life full of false milestone moments and worrisome uncommon events in which I perceived as normal. There wasn’t a prominently happy moment in my childhood that I could recall, because it was in fact, not memorable, but bleak. I couldn’t remember the names of any of my friends that I met along the way, or the locations of the many houses that I’ve lived in because I made it a goal of mine to forget them as soon as I moved-and I moved a lot. It dawned on me, suddenly, how incredibly lame my life was. 

Inspite of all this lameness, My 10th grade homecoming dance was just around the corner and I was excited to attend something that I thought would be the best moment of my existence (I was fifteen, forgive me) and although I didn’t have a date to claim, I had a couple of weird friends to parasite along with. One of those weirdos, my best friend, Katherine (a fabulous person) decided to partner up with me so that we could get a couples deal. If we bought a ticket as a couple then we could each get in for ten dollars instead of fifteen dollars per person. I didn’t, and couldn’t, argue against that because I was formally broke and in need of a night out (plus, plus, Katherine is fabulous remember). 

So we bought the ticket on Monday and the dance was on Friday and in between I did nothing but homework and sleep and more homework and then the big night came and I wore a blue and white striped dress that made me look “doable” and I got my uncle to drive me to the dance and there I was, provocatively clothed and ready to live life. And she, Katherine, was with her best friend, Samantha. 

She brought Sam as a guest. Here’s the good part, yes there’s a good part, a great part! Sam couldn’t get into the dance-We found that out after I bought my ticket, got into the dance, and waited for the other two for a while. I didn’t see Kathrine or Sam so I went back outside-side note: when you’re at a highschool dance, you’re not allowed to just walk in and out because there are a lot of people trying to get in and the principal and student government class (the ticket givers) need to keep track of who’s a student and who’s not because, duh, safety!- So before I walked out the first time, yes, the first time, I had to show them my ticket and tell them that I’ll be right back. The principal (a fickle old lady) let me go without issue. When I went outside, Katherine was standing over her hyperventilating best friend. She turned to me and said, “they won’t let her in.” Now this meant one of two things, me and Kat could go in and leave little Sam to fend for herself in a random high school parking lot or we could all just leave together. We ended up deciding to leave together and walk to a McDonalds which was about two miles away. I was like “ok, sure” but I didn’t have my shoes on (I took them off the first time I went in) so I told them to wait for me. As I walked back in the building, I could see the principal and student government class eyeing me. I could see the vigilant gleam of authority behind their eyes as they recognized me and the girl who walked out earlier. One of them approached me and asked for my ticket. I showed them my bracelet and told them that I had to go back in to get my shoes. So the principal chipped in and said, “sure go in, but you can’t come back out.” I could’ve just left my shoes in there, but I didn’t want to so I walked in and put them on, I had a problem then. I couldn’t walk back out or I would get in trouble, but I couldn’t stay inside because I was the only one in there. So I took a deep breath and decided to walk out. On my way out, I could see everyone’s eyes on me. That’s when the principal pulled me aside and said “what are you doing? You have to go back inside.” I nodded my head like “of course, sure I’ll go back inside” but then I walked pass her and out the door. Before I walked out, I could hear her asking someone if they knew my name and grade, I figured so I can get in trouble later on. 

When I walked out, Katherine and Sam asked me what took me so long and I replied, “I got kicked out.” Now I said this because I was full of hype and the town was going to be ours and I thought it would sound cooler than me telling them I walked out.  

So we started walking to McDonalds, and at the time, I lived in a little city called Port Saint Lucie and this little city was stuck in the Stone Age where streetlights and sidewalks were crazy men talk, so we walked on the side of the road in the dark all the way to McDonalds, provocatively dressed, while cars passed us by and honked at us. To a group of young girls such as ourselves, it was a fun walk, but to me it was one of the best nights of my life. I never got out much, and by much, I mean I never went out at all. And although we were just walking to mcdonalds to borrow a phone to call Sam’s dad to pick us up, it felt like a scandalous adventure. I was the shit. I got kicked out of homecoming. I walked all the way to mcdonalds in the dark. I was finally cool. I was finally hip. This was experience. 

Katherine and Sam started talking about the Beatles and other classic rock bands as we got closer to mcdonalds; I nodded my head and added little open-ended comments every now and then but overall I couldn’t relate to anything they said about Lennon. At one point, we were crossing the street, and Sam came up with this great idea to stop in the middle and pose like the Beatles on the cover of the Abbey Road album and that’s when it hit me, while Katherine and Sam mimicked the infamous cover of one of the greatest bands alive, I realized that I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know any modern pop references, I didn’t know an old pop references, I couldn’t relate to anything that anyone had ever said to me ever, and yet I wanted to be a writer. I wanted the people around me to know that I was smart; I wanted them to know that I could do anything, but could I? 
When I got home later on, I went over all of my old writing and everything I wrote was stale and one dimensional. My characters were lifeless, my plot was all over the place, and the setting was uneventful and unrealistic. I was a horrible writer, but I convinced myself a long time ago that I was good enough to not improve. When I figured out that that was nowhere nere true, I felt like a failure. 

I had all of these accounts of exciting moments in my life, but when I went back I realized that they weren’t really exciting moments, I was just a boring person. 

If you’re stuck with your writing, or if you feel as if you’re missing something in your life, maybe you should reevaluate what you considered exciting. Look back on your experiences, and instead of using those to write, crate more eventful ones. Do something more. Don’t follow the expected crowd and claim their adventures as yours but, crate something new. Create your own story.