New Year’s Eve. Again. My least favourite holiday of the year. Over the past few years I’ve started spending NYE alone. And I like it that way.
For me NYE just brings up this flood of feelings from my whole life, what I’ve done, what I’ve been through, where I’ve been and it becomes overwhelming because I want the incoming year to be a better year (doesn’t everyone?) but nostalgia and I do not get along. I’m going to be painfully honest here, blunt and definitely to the point. Every NYE is when I wonder if I will finally kill myself in the coming year. Dark, I know, but it’s how my brain works. And even though I try hard to think of the good things, for some reason, NYE doesn’t cooperate.
An influx of memories for me is like a form of torture. Constantly remembering and reliving a horror story. A few horror stories really. So on NYE my mind likes to remind me of the bad things I’ve seen. Through years of rape, torture, psychological torment to moving forward, finding some good people and pushing myself through school to prove I wasn’t as stupid as he brainwashed me to think I was. To moving on to grad school and being happy because it meant I was the only one in my family with an education and we grew up pretty poor. How I got through school is a blur and not because I spent it partying but because my PTSD was at it’s full height. I had a seriously confidence boost some where along the way. After grad school I had a HUGE influx of self esteem and confidence. My motto became “Face Your Fear and Do It Anyway”. Even if I shook, I faced my fears. And because of that attitude I managed to get to do work that a lot of others would kill to do. I got to travel and meet people and hang out with famous people and best of all I got to work with teens and young adults and THAT is my favourite thing in the world. Then came more abuse and mistreatment. Which sent my self esteem and confidence plummeting as thoughts of “I was never meant to be happy.” “I deserve to be treated this way.” “I am not like everyone else, I don’t get to be happy.” Everything and anything that could make me realize that this happiness was bound to fail came to mind. Because of it my self esteem fell, my confidence shattered and people dragged me through the mud and worst of all, I lost a lot of the teens and young adults I was working with. Some of them stuck by me but due to the nature of what I was doing and who I was working for, many of them stayed on that side of things. I had pretty much everything I loved torn apart. I hid for a while. It isn’t hard to think you don’t deserve anything good because you were basically raised being told “You’re fat, ugly and no one will ever love you.” “You’re stupid and worthless.” These things play over and over in my head when I’m having a particularly bad day and usually that means NYE. You cannot turn this off. If you’ve been through something similar, you know, you cannot predict when this playback will hit your mind and you cannot just turn it off. It is a lengthy process of trying to find the right way to cope with it when it does happen.
I am pretty sure there is some PTSD from that time I thought I had found my happiness. I know there is because my self esteem and confidence are still at an all time low and it fucking sucks. I went from having no self esteem to feeling like I could do anything to dropping down to absolutely no self confidence and a constant state of self deprecation, self hate. It’s been hard to get out of that and after 8 years of trying, I know I’m doing a little better but every day is still a struggle to get up and function knowing I’m not happy at all with my life anymore. One thing I do try to do that is becoming increasingly harder for me financially is that I try to plan to travel a few times during each year so on NYE I like to think about where I want to go. I am a traveller and travelling is my heart. It keeps me sane. So of course that is slowly dwindling because, as his voice likes to repeat in my head, “You don’t deserve to be happy.”
So on NYE all of this comes back and makes me question if the next year will be better or if it will get worse. And before anyone says it, thinking about the good things in my life is hard for me on NYE which is why I like to spend it alone. I just fucking hate nostalgia and looking back because most of the memories my friends have or people who know me have are nothing like the memories and feelings I have to look back on even though maybe we spent a lot of that time together. I love my friends because I know I’d have killed myself a long time ago if not for them. They are my family. Maybe one day I can spend NYE with them but for now it’s me, myself and I as usual.
For those of you who get it, I am sorry that you have to go through this too. For those of you who have never experienced these things, I envy you. Hopefully everyone can have a good New Year though because we ALL deserve it.
I’d say a very large portion, if not the most damaging, part of my abusive and torture filled childhood was the psychological abuse brought about by the way words were used, how I was spoken to. I am sure many people can relate to how important words are and how they are used can change your perception of yourself when you are only young and just getting that grip on who you are. I’d like to share it.