It took me up to the age of 34 maybe, to really feel like I could do anything, even though I had already done so much. When you grow up, from the age of 7 years old,  being told you’re fat, ugly, stupid and no one will ever love you and all you’re worth is as a hole for a guy and that is all you will ever be? Those words stay in your head, they repeat themselves over and over and over every single time you try to accomplish something. And for years they always knocked me back down.

For some reason a few years back I got this overwhelming feeling that I could do anything. It came after a depression, a bad one. One where I couldn’t get out of bed and really wanted to die. I think at that time I started to look at what I had accomplished even up to that point and somehow it clicked, I’ve always done what I wanted, I’ve accomplished a lot. These recordings from the past that loop through my brain have clouded my vision. They still do and always will but somehow I just went full steam ahead at that point, travelled, did work I wanted to be doing, loved loved loved the work I was doing but it was all short lived. All it took was one person I was working with, one sexist, ignorant, rude and insensitive person to trigger a total spiral. Not only did I spiral mentally but also socially. He has spent the better part of a month calling me names, making comments that were so similar to what my stepfather used that emotionally it became too much. The point where I knew I had to get out was when one day I had forgotten to do something or maybe I did something the wrong way (keeping in mind that up to this point I had been doing EVERYTHING on my own in that office because he was drunk or high from the time he woke up until very very late at night) and he looked at me and laughed and said, “You’d be worthless if you didn’t have a vagina.”

THIS man worked with young girls. I was there to work with them but he had constant contact with them, was constantly engaged in activities with them but when he wasn’t in front of them or their parents this is who he was. He told me behind the scenes that he didn’t care about the little “dykes” and that he just wanted their money. I couldn’t stay there. I felt horrible to bail on these kids but emotionally I was falling apart hearing someone talk like that. So I got out. But then things spiraled socially because so much of my life and work was online and with these kids and teens that they felt abandoned, even though I had had countless discussions with them about why I had to leave. These (a lot of them) kids took me down. Tore apart my name, my website where I promoted bands, artists, etc and did interviews, I was ruined in terms of ever doing my writing again. At least under that moniker. This whole thing caused me to have a nervous breakdown, take everything I had off of the Internet and withdraw completely. It took me a few years to be able to even think I could do much of anything again. At least anything I wanted to do.

I got brave again and ended up doing some work for some horror film activities that a director was starting up. It was great, the people were great and it was fun but emotionally I started to feel bad again as if I was anticipating some sort of disaster. I didn’t trust anyone because I assumed they were about to call me something or tell me I’m useless. And this time, like before, I suddenly had friends I never knew I had. (They just wanted to be near whatever or whoever I was working with) Once again that made me anxious because I waited for these people to go out and try to ruin my name because I assume that is what people will do to me. I ended up quitting because I couldn’t take the pressure I was putting on myself.

And again I find myself in a position where the situation is very different yet similar in terms of social media. There are people out there with no boundaries or emotions whose sole purpose is to destroy or watch others fall apart. I can’t go through it again. I think that maybe after coming from what I’ve come from and having a moment where I let my guard down and it fell apart I should just not bother to put myself out there. I can trace all of this back and know exactly why my brain immediately tells me “don’t do it” but my heart always tells me I can handle it this time but me…I’m nice to everyone even when they aren’t nice to me. In the end they always win. He wins, he wins, they win…the bad guy always wins in my story. I go hide and they get to go on being what they are.

When someone is raped, abused, tortured, physically, mentally, etc it never goes away. All of it, it’s still there for the rest of their lives. Sometimes they can overcome little things here and there and depending on the person maybe manage to get beyond the residual torment enough to really get out there but for some of us, we just feel like we’re better off hiding because we can’t trust anyone. Ever.