Never have I ever fallen so in love that it almost hurts. Not because of anything negative but because I’ve never been so afraid to lose someone. All these years I spent in abusive, manipulative and just all around terrible relationships to fill some kind of void of something that was missing, and here you were all along, waiting patiently for me to arrive. Who’d have thought I’d have to move almost three thousand miles away to meet you and fall in love with you? I never thought it would ever happen that way.

At first I was reluctant. I was unsure of your intentions and frankly, worried myself into self-induced depression about it. I wanted you to love me the way I loved you. The way I still love you. I spent countless nights crying over you, but it was nothing you had done. You never gave me a reason to cry or worry. I cried and worried all on my own because, well, I was scared to lose you. After all of the terrible things I encountered in my last relationship, I met you and knew deep down you were the one for me. A big part of me knew. It never made itself super obvious but I knew it was there. I had to do everything I could to keep you by my side, and here you are, almost a year later. You are the love of my life and my entire world.

I love being able to glance over at you when we’re both on our computers and have you smile back at me. I love being in the same room as you but not ever having to talk, and just knowing how the other one is feeling. I love thinking and saying the exact same thing at the exact same time as you. I love falling asleep in your arms and waking up next to you. I never thought I’d ever experience this feeling, but I’m sure as hell glad I get to now.

You’re my other half in many ways, especially when it comes to the things we like, like music, movies, books, art, animals, etc. It’s so awesome to have someone just like me, but it’s also an amazing feeling knowing that we’re so different as well. You bring out the absolute best in me and I can’t thank you enough for that. Stay awesome, my dear.

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Tick.

I feel a twitch, starting from my hip all the way up to the top of my head.

I shiver ever so slightly when I feel the sounds of their voices again come alive.

The tick. Tick. Tick … Tick.

It always starts with my name.

I think someone is yelling for me.

Then I can hear them whispering.

Three. Maybe four. Four voices whispering at the same time in my head.

Then the ticking starts again. Tick. Tick … Tick.

Everything in the background becomes too loud.

So overpowering.

My head starts to hurt.

I try to comprehend my reality and my insanity.

At this point it’s a blur.

Slowly, they stir down and the whispering becomes less intense.

My head still hurts.

I think I’m going to put my music on.

A background noise I can actually stand when they start up.

Something I can focus on so they know they won’t win.

Something peaceful even if it’s chaotic.

Something to calm my nerves.

The ticking is still there.

It never stops.

Like that of a metronome.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Then I hear something like waves crashing in my ear.

Like I’m standing right by the sea on a windy day.

That is what I hear when I start to fall asleep.

Repetitive. Metronome.

Tick.

Tick.

Crashing waves against my ear yet again.

Tick.

Tick.

Then everything but the ticking goes silent. Sometimes for days.

A relief nonetheless.

I feel free.

I want to always feel free.

Love Me Just The Same

If I were “normal” would you love me more? Would you be more accepting of me and everything I am? Would you love me more or would you love me just the same?

Treat me like I’m human. That’s all I’ll ask. Well, for that and your patience. Sometimes I just need you to be more empathetic when I’m having bad days. I don’t need or want yours nor anyone else’s sympathy. I just want you to be more empathetic.

I’m not perfect. I don’t wish to be the way that I am but it’s not something that will ever change. I wish I could snap into a good mood just as I do a bad one. It’d make my entire life more easy, and probably yours too. Don’t scold me if I don’t understand right away or I make some mistakes along the way. I’m doing my best. Please believe that.

A lot of days feel empty and lonesome for me. Others I feel on top of the world or I feel absolutely nothing at all. It’s not easy to deal with, and I know it’s not easy to understand. Just lend me your ears and maybe a hug too. Some days I want to kill myself and others I couldn’t be more glad to be alive. It’s a paradox.

I’m doing my best to make you proud despite my past mistakes. Please, leave that in the past. Bringing it up after it’s all said and done only makes the present more difficult on every party involved. I’m learning from those mistakes and will make new ones, just as you have before.

I want to feel accepted.

I know that mental illness is scary. It’s scary for me too. I don’t understand the voices I see, apparitions that pass at any given time. I don’t understand the highs and the lows I deal with day in and day out, and I wish I could because maybe I could stop them outside of having to take pills daily. I don’t enjoy it. No one really does. Even addicts really don’t enjoy them.

Being put on new medicine is a tiring, difficult process as I never really know what to expect outside of maybe a good mood and motivation to do my best. It can make you physically ill, more suicidal, more homicidal. More or less depressed. Less or more anxious than before. You never really know. Sometimes it makes you feel nothing at all, kind of like a zombie and that sucks more than being sad all the time.

No one wishes to be born with a mental disorder because, like all physical ailments, mental disorders hurt not only those with them, but also those surrounding that person. They feel like they’re a burden on their family, friends, etc and while realistically, we know we aren’t, your brain tricks you into believing that. Or believing other things, like you’re unworthy of love. That’s how I feel most of the time. I feel like I don’t deserve all the good I have in life because I feel like I’m a worthless person.

Not having as many panic attacks anymore has been a tremendous feat in my road to recovery. It’s been awesome. I want to tell you how happy I am, but I know it’ll get blown off to weight loss or jobs. It can never be that I’m just happy I am to have a day or two without a panic attack. Panic attacks not only affect my personal life, but also social and work life as well. I can’t tell when they’re going to hit. No one can. Most of the time anyways, unless it was triggered by something.

Do you know how annoying it is to know for sure you locked the car, but then your brain starts telling you that you didn’t and you should double, triple or quadruple check? And you do. I deal with that every day. Washing my hands constantly? Also every day.

I just want you to treat me and love me like you would if I didn’t have mental illness. Love me just the same. I want to be accepted and loved. I want to feel like I have someone to talk to. Just listen. Don’t talk. Just listen to me and understand I didn’t ask to be this way. It is something I deal with and have for a long time, and I’m doing my best to comprehend what’s going on in my head. I promise I’ll always do my best. Please just be there for me.

Manic/Depressive

Most of the time, you can’t just tell you’re bipolar because there’s so much more that plays into it outside of erratic mood swings. I was once told I had Major Depressive Disorder when in fact, it ended up being Bipolar II, which means 90% depressive episodes and give or take 10% manic episodes or feeling absolutely numb. It’s scary at times because I don’t even know what my brain is doing. It’s like “hey, I’m depressed for no fucking reason again. You shall remain this way for three weeks.” Then I’m depressed for no reason at all for three weeks and no matter how hard I try to push through it and just ‘make myself happy’ (which by the way, it isn’t THAT easy). Then out of nowhere, happy ass mania comes along and says “I’ll give you a mini break for like, a week. Maybe. If you’re good.” Then I’m all sunshine and rainbows and that is also frightening. It’s almost like “who am I?”

Then the cycle of back and forth continues and holds no answers as to when one will end and the other will start.

Did you know it only takes one documented manic episode to be considered Bipolar? I didn’t until I had been diagnosed. I explained in detail what I deal with daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. I had to get down to the raw, hard to talk about situations and emotions I feel to finally see some kind of light. It’s hard. It’s not ever easy talking to a stranger over Skype about your past, your present and how you constantly feel. Then they also want to throw you on a few different medications and it’s an endless cycle of “will this work or will it not?” So you go through a few until you find one that works (for a short period of time) and then they’ll up the dosage or give you something new until that one stops working. Yes, it’s not 100% medication that make you happy and sometimes you have to put in some effort too. However, this doesn’t mean you need to tell me constantly to make myself happy because if I could, I absolutely would. I don’t like feeling this way and I really don’t know anyone else who does either. Some people are by far much stronger than others in this aspect where they are able to go medication free and follow strict coping techniques. I envy those people. Not just because they can go without medications and live pretty much normal lives the way I do on medications. I envy them because I’ve tried it more than once and each time it hits harder and harder, so right now being med-free just isn’t an option.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar II last year and have since been on mission to figure everything out. Let me tell you, it’s been a difficult process. I document every mood I have, how I feel, what my weight is, whether it was a high or a low, any panic/anxiety attacks, and overall how I’ve been sleeping. Most of the time it’s a depressive episode and I either sleep way too much or way too little. I don’t think I can physically get enough sleep on my own. Plus I have nightmares most of the time so sleeping isn’t very high up on my list of things I love.

The first time anyone suggested to me that I was bipolar, I argued why I wasn’t. I didn’t have those mood swings everyone talks about and I was depressed most of the time. I never had very manic episodes, except three that I can remember. I figured it was just a relief from the depression for a few days until my brain decided to kick back into depressed mode. It wasn’t even in my radar of things that could possibly be wrong with me. Did you know that most mental illnesses are actually a genetic problem as well as a situational problem? That’s right. It can be passed down from parents to children.

When I have a manic episode, I feel on top of the world like nothing can bother me. I feel great most of the time and I have an unlimited supply of energy and motivation to be the absolute best I possibly could be. I love those episodes sometimes because I feel genuinely happy even though I know it will end.

I also get angry more easily than I’d like to admit. Not always a raging, fuming kind of angry. Just irritable. The tiniest things will send me into irritability, which then sometimes turns into anger. Things like tapping, loud breathing, popping of gum, people chewing with their mouths open, etc.

I am also an extremely impulsive being and this is probably my biggest flaw. For the longest time, I had a gambling problem (mind you, I’m only 24). I don’t think about things sometimes and just do them. Cutting my hair, giving myself another piercing (don’t worry, I pierced professionally so I know what I’m doing), spending a ton of money on others or on things I don’t need. This is one thing I can’t stand about myself so I’ve been working towards bettering myself as far as impulsive tendencies go. It’s hard sometimes, especially when I feel the burning desire to buy a ton of lottery tickets. Now, I limit myself to buying one a month with my boyfriend so we can play together. It takes the edge off of wanting to buy one because now I’ve associated it with playing a scratcher with my boyfriend, and I’d rather enjoy it with him instead of alone. Impulse control is hard but it is totally doable. I swear.

Just because I’m having a good day doesn’t mean I’m happy, and just because I’m having a bad day doesn’t mean I’m depressed. It can vary. Some depressive episodes do have reasonably good days just as manic episodes can potentially have some bad days. I always need to remind those I’m closest to, to always be patient with me. I don’t try to be this way and I wish I wasn’t. It’s a difficult way to live but I’ve managed for nineteen years on and off with all of this. I wish I could be societal normal as far as mental states go. For now, though, I’ll continue to break this cycle of manic and depressive as much as I can and keep moving forward.

Stay strong, friends. If you have any further questions about Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder/Schizophrenia, or any other mental illness, feel free to contact me via email and I’ll respond as soon as I can. I can also refer you to other pages with more information.

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, please reach out for help. Call 1-800-273-8255 or text CONNECT to 741741.

 

 

 

 

Washing My Hands

I know it all seems strange, but to me, this is my normal.

 

 

I know the title seems silly, but being silly is the most trivial thing to get caught up on. No, this isn’t some article written about the proper ways to wash hands (although I do feel some people need to really read up on it). This article is written to describe what living with multiple mental illnesses (including good ol’ OCD) is like on an average day.

I won’t reveal too much about what I deal with on a daily basis. I will admit I have bipolar disorder II, OCD and schizoaffective disorder.. I know it seems like a fuckton, and believe me it is, especially when all these things kind of collide into one another and make you feel like one big pile of empty shell. It’s hard to exist some days, and some days I feel like I’m on top of the world. It’s scary sometimes to be completely content and within minutes your entire mind switches into a high or a low (also known as a manic or depressive episode with bipolar). I wish I understood what was going on inside my head sometimes, but for right now, I’m just doing my best to exist.

I’m suicidal a lot of the time but I also have no real … desire to die, I suppose is the best way to put it. I really have no desire for anything most of the time and it really affects those closest to me. Sometimes I just want to be held and told everything is going to be alright and then others I don’t want to be touched. Back to the suicidal feelings; talking to a therapist and being put on all kinds of meds works for a little while, but the feelings never subside. They just kind of get buried in there with everything else I’ve been feeling for almost nineteen years until another depressive episode or panic attack hits. And they fucking hit hard.

A trip to the grocery store, being surround by puppies, watching Bob’s Burgers for the millionth time. It doesn’t matter where I’m at, what I’m doing or who I’m with. When an episode or panic attacks hits, it hits. There’s no stopping it. Unless I remember to ground myself, especially during a panic attack. Sometimes I forget.

It’s easier to just throw my headphones on and ignore the world. I put the music on full volume to drown out the outside sound, but also the sounds inside. Sometimes it’s just my name, other times it begs me to just kill myself. It tells me I deserve the bad. It tells me I deserve to be happy. It refuses to make up its mind. Well, they refuse. I hear more than one on a daily basis. Sometimes they’re really quiet and I barely notice them. Most of the time it’s like they’re shouting over one another like the women on Maury; like the little angel and little devil on my shoulder. Sometimes I hear different noises; frequencies that no one else seems to hear. Then I see him.

The black shadow man I’ve been seeing for years upon years. He never says anything; just lingers in the corner like he has nothing better to do. I move; he moves. I close my eyes and he’s still there. It’s like my shadow has detached itself and follows like a lost puppy. I know he’s harmless and I know it’s a he because it looks like a he. Very strong facial structures, even for a shadow man. It scared me at first, but ultimately I got used to it. No one seems to understand why I see him, other than my therapist and she’s said it’s the way my past has manifested itself and it’s like my protection. I’d have to agree in the acknowledgement that he’s not real. Or at least I say he’s not.

I wash my hands probably close to one hundred times a day. I can’t stop. When my hands get dry, oily, gritty, anything but soft from the warm water I bathe them in; I get angry. Sometimes aggressive and mean. It’s the most irritating thing in the world next to tapping of pens, bursting of gum bubbles and people who chose to eat with their mouths open (this seriously drives me nuts. Please don’t do this while I’m around). I get chuckles from coworkers and bosses because they don’t understand my need … my constant need to wash my hands. I don’t even understand it. I just know I need to, and when I need to, no one better stand in my way.

Have you ever felt so worried about everything but not actually give a shit about anything? That’s a lot of what I feel every day and it sucks. I become so numb to everyone and everything and the world around me turns into a blur and half the time I don’t even know who I fucking am. What’s the point of knowing who I am when I hate who I am anyways. I really don’t hate myself, but I tell myself I do because that’s what I hear being screamed at me by the little bastard devil on my right. I’m useless. So he says. It’s scary when they yell back and forth. I can hear their swords clash inside my head and the noise penetrates my entire body and I shiver.

The sound of anyone other than me brushing their teeth will give me goosebumps. I’m terrified of eyelashes and portabella mushrooms. I check behind every single shower curtain I come into contact with (EVERY. SINGLE. ONE). I have to wash out every cup, bowl, plate or mug I use before I can use it (but first I must blow into it to get rid of any debris that may reside there). I have to constantly check locks three times … exactly three times before I can go into work or go to bed and even then when it’s a car I’ll check twice … exactly twice with the key fob to make sure it’s really locked. I do the double take to make sure and then go on with my business like nothing happened. I only read paperback books; hard cover bother me and are hard to get into, plus they smell funny. I steal my mother’s shoes when I sleep. I constantly have to fix my sheets if they move a certain way or they’re uneven. I only like even numbers and will go to every extent to ensure it is an even number when faced with numbers. I take my medications in a certain order every single night and never change routine.

I know it all seems strange, but to me, this is my normal. This is the average day for me. I kind of feel bad for everyone who involves themselves with me because I feel like I’m just some kind of paranoid, depressive lunatic. I’m so blessed to have the support I do from my family, friends and other half. Without them, I don’t know where I’d be right now.

I guess the point of all of this is to show you that it’s okay to not fit what society deems normal. It’s totally fine to ask for help. It’s better you ask for help instead of suffering alone. I wish I would have. I started late and a lot of this could have been resolved years ago when it started making its presence apparent. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel suicidal. It’s okay to feel depressed, or anxious. You’re not alone.

It’s Not Always Sunny In Philadelphia: The Story of Charlie Kelly

While many It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia fans enjoy the show for its crude and inappropriate humour, very few actually know of the darker aspect.

While many It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia fans enjoy the show for its crude and inappropriate humour, very few actually know of the darker aspect.


It took me two years to finally piece it all together, and frankly (no pun intended), it ultimately brought me to tears. The main focus of this entire piece is on Charlie Kelly and his life. 

Before you start saying “it’s just a TV show; no need to get analytical,” understand that this is not a crucial, need to know thing, but it helps you understand and sympathize with Charlie a bit more. Face it, Charlie is one of the most beloved characters of It’s Always Sunny, but behind that goofy smile and his crazy antics, there’s a past so dark, you may need a tissue–or two. 

Charlie makes references, however small, throughout all eleven seasons that seem trivial and unimportant.

Things most people don’t pick up on, because unless we’re watching some sort of crime drama, no one really cares about a character’s background or life. Very rarely does any show, especially a crass comedy like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, open its audience up to the background of their characters, especially with a past like Charlie’s. So where do we start?

Charlie Kelly is uneducated, poor, and makes terrible life choices (like many, many people) but I feel they created his character so we could see the contrast between him and perhaps a child. Charlie is basically a man-child, and it shows frequently with his actions. While he strives to do his best and keep the gang on their feet, he fights his personal demons that not even the gang knows about. 

He’s repressed memories of a childhood trauma that is vaguely mentioned throughout the seasons. The first, and blatantly obvious hint at childhood trauma is when he writes “The Nightman Cometh.” 

“But the Nightman Cometh is funny.” Indeed it is, but once I am finished with this you will understand why this show is as funny as it is depressing. Charlie states that he wrote the play just to write a play, and in a way, I feel as if he still has these memories repressed, hence he writes a play. The Nightman Cometh is a metaphor for Charlie’s life, from the waitress to the “troll toll” which will come into play later. 

While the gang jokes around about the Nightman/Boy “rape scene,” it is clear Charlie’s rage is much more than him being irritated with the gang. It may seem innocent, but I feel this is where he realizes his repressed memories and it begins to eat away at him. 
In the episode “Sweet Dee Is Dating A Retarded Person,” Charlie is found in his apartment, high on paint fumes writing a song. It’s not obvious (until later) when he mentions handsome hands. We’re meant to think this is funny, but once I get more in depth, you’ll see why it’s tragic. 

In a later season, Charlie is seen speaking with his mother. While he asks to stay with her, she mentions she had sublet his room to Uncle Jack. He explains to her after she says she needs money that she owns the apartment and doesn’t need it. She replies again with “I need money.” Seems innocent enough until Uncle Jack refers to the past and brings up wrestling to Charlie. He is overwhelmingly interested in sharing a room with Charlie, yet again. 

“So, your point is?” Remember how uncle Jack is obsessed with hands, especially his own. Remember Charlie mentioning handsome hands in the original Dayman song? Remember the Troll Toll and how Frank conveniently mistakes “boys soul” with “boy’s hole”? Uncle Jack is the Nightman. Charlie’s mother is the troll. Charlie is that little boy who becomes the Dayman. 

Uncle Jack paid Charlie’s mother to let him stay with her and Charlie when Charlie was a child. Charlie was molested for years by Uncle Jack, all while his mother knew and continued to accept money from Charlie’s “uncle.” My initial thought was that while Frank and Bonnie did have sex, I have an inkling Uncle Jack was Bonnie’s boyfriend at one time, and that he may be Charlie’s father. We are pointed in the direction of Frank being Charlie’s dad, but something tells me he isn’t.

 

Back to Charlie:



Charlie has been a victim of sexual abuse for many years as a child, and while his personality seems quirky and innocent enough, many of his issues stem from the prior abuse. He shows signs of an abuse victim (wanting to be accepted by his peers, drug abuse, self-destructive behaviour, being obsessive and clingy to others) but that isn’t where it ends. 

Charlie’s obsession with the waitress may seem innocent, and I believe his intentions are innocent. However, because of his past abuse, he has this overwhelming love and attachment to a woman he will never have. Charlie wants to be loved. He wants approval and acceptance of those around him. He doesn’t care if the attention is bad or good; so long as someone notices him. Notice that while he does stalk the waitress, all of his intentions to love her are childish. He has no thoughts of explicit sex with her, which is shown in a later season when the gang gets caught up in a store robbery.

Charlie’s mind is like that of a child, as stated earlier. He has this deep yearning to be a child again since he was robbed of his childhood. We, as viewers, assume that Charlie is just dumb, when in fact, the child-like state he remains in is his way of coping from the trauma of the past, and that in itself is truly tragic. Victims of sexual assault, especially those who are assaulted as children, never really grow up. They like to, subconsciously, stay in that childish state to hang onto what was lost. This leads me more into believing that Charlie was in fact, sexually assaulted as a child. 

While we continue to laugh at the quirky jokes, a part of anyone who reads this will sympathize more with Charlie than ever before. Charlie is by far, out of every person in the gang, the most innocent, and to be honest, when I made my initial discovery and put the pieces together, it brought me to tears.


Please remember that while the show itself is hilarious, sexual assault is more common than anyone would like to admit, and it has adverse effects on the victims.

Stay sunny, turkeys. 

Season 12 will be airing January 2017 on FX. 

My Life, My Rules

“Oh, you have a great personality,” “you have a pretty face,” and “I prefer larger ladies like yourself.” These are some of the things I’ve heard repeatedly from friends, family and guys who are interested in me. You’d think I would be enthusiast about these comments, but in fact, it hurts more than just saying “you’re fat.” 

I haven’t been a healthy weight since I was roughly six or seven, and while most people blame the parents at that age, it was my own doing, and as an excuse, it was a coping mechanism for childhood trauma I had experienced. It was excuse after excuse for me, up until a few months ago when I finally accepted the fact that I needed to change. Excuses only work once, and after that, everyone knows you’re pretty much full of shit.

I continued for years to gain, and lose repeatedly until I reached an all-time low in my mental illness. Sure, losing weight boosted my confidence a little, but not much. No amount of weight off of my body would suffice. I’ve dropped 76lbs since August of last year, and am currently stuck in a plateau stage. I’m still far off from where I want to be, and it will be at least another year to a year and a half for me to get there. 

I’m glad other people are confident and happy being overweight, but I am not. I see the damage it causes and how utterly disgusting can be. I don’t want to lose limbs from gangrene, I don’t want to end up wearing tarp like clothing just so something fits, and frankly, I am disgusted with myself for getting as heavy as I was, and currently am. I don’t want to die young, especially from something preventable. What is glamorous about heart disease, lack of mobility, and diabetes?

Absolutely nothing.

After watching my mom deal with type one diabetes, even with her being an overall healthy woman, I don’t want that. She suffers day in and day out, and if I can physically prevent it, I will. I refuse to continue to be another statistic. I deserve true happiness and I will continue to drop weight until I have achieved it. I am not happy in my current state no matter how much I’ve tried to pretend I have been.

I’ve developed PCOS, which could have been prevented. Once I lose that weight, I know it will go away and my chances for any of the obesity related diseases will go down. My only hope is that once I’m done, I haven’t already developed these diseases. I have a lot to live for, and I want more than anything else to play music for a living because it’s been a dream of mine for 20+ years. No one takes you seriously, especially being female, if you’re overweight. Sure, they may like your vocals, but any other interest in you is simply materialistic. What can she give me if she gets anywhere?
I’ve spent days in bed because of my

depression and anxiety. I was terrified to go out and be around people because I didn’t want to be ridiculed. I hate the way m clothes fit, I hate looking at myself in the mirror, and I hate this feigned happiness I’ve been portraying. Since dropping 76lbs, I’ve got lose skin, and it’s especially noticeable in my arms. It’s humiliating. I know that lose skin is inevitable, and there are ways (light weights, more reps) to rid of it. 

I’m sure I’ll catch shit for this because I’m technically “body shaming” even though it’s just myself. The reality is, is that I am NOT body shaming, but I am talking about the cold, hard reality of being overweight. I want people to like me for me, not just ‘like’ me out of pity.
One other thing: please, for the love of all things sacred, stop telling me to accept and love my body because you enjoy being fat. Stop telling me that people will use and abuse me if I lose weight. I’ve been used and abused being overweight, and I’d rather be confident in myself and happy with my body the way I want to look. I refuse to stay fat to fit your agenda. I am my own person, and I deserve a life in a body I like and happiness in who I am.

Women in Metal: Overcoming the Stigma

So, there’s been this stigma that’s been going on for years, that any woman who attends metal shows, is only there to get laid by a band member and has no idea what she is listening to. I realize that a woman liking or doing things that are a “man’s” thing is taboo, but it is 2016 and it’s time us women who do enjoy metal shows (for the sake of metal, thats why) are acknowledged and brought to light.

Sure, there are those women who do only go for those reasons, but I can guarantee, whether we know one song or every damn song, the band member’s names present and past, etc. we are there because we enjoy music too.

Metal is NOT just for men. It’s for women as well. If all you’ve ever experienced are women looking to get laid by band members, you must not talk to many of us. We aren’t “posers,” we are just human beings with tits who enjoy the same music you do.

Who cares if a woman dresses a certain way at a show, but doesn’t dress like that outside of a show. Hell, I only own a few band tees now, and mostly just stick to colourful tank tops, jeans, and tennis shoes. Does this make me any less metal? Nope. It just means I wear what I’m comfortable in while doing my day to day bullshit and save my nice shit for a show.

Even having been in many bands and playing many shows in front of small and large crowds, I wore whatever I felt like. I don’t always wear makeup either because news flash! I’m allergic and dont enjoy having my eyes tear up and turn red as if I’ve smoked a copious amount of weed (I don’t smoke that much, I promise.) So I save my metal look for shows, because chances are I will be too distracted having a blast with my friends, moshing and head banging to even give a shit.

Just because we are there (and sometimes there are a few of us who can hold our own in a pit) does NOT under any circumstance give you the right to grope, fondle or touch us in a sexual manner. Especially the women who crowd surf. I’m pretty sure as a man, you wouldn’t be too fond a woman grabbing your jewels and ass constantly. Please don’t do it to us. We just want to enjoy the show; not be inappropriately touched. I dealt with a situation like this a few years ago in Philadelphia. I was in the pit and a guy grabbed my boob. Initially, I let it go. After the third time, I punched him repeatedly and was thrown out of the show. Mind you, I am in no way a violent person, but I will defend myself and others as needed.

As far as women playing metal, get over it. I find it awesome to see a girl hang with the dudes and kick ass while doing so. Being a female metal vocalist myself, I’ve found that it can get both discouraging amd encouraging. You will always have the “elitist” metal dudes who will talk shit and act all high and mighty since there will be very few of them there. God forbid they’re vocalists too, because if as a female you’re really good (especially with gnarly lows like Mallika Sundara
murthy of Abnormality) you will be shit talked, and it will be more apparent. Nine times out of ten from my experiences, those dudes secretly like what you’re doing, but will never admit it.  Granted, words do hurt sometimes and you will be undermined, but guess what. I promise you there will be more people in the crowd respecting what you do and cheering you on than there will be “those guys.” From what I’ve experienced, guys find it fairly attractive when a woman is a metal vocalist. I’m not sure if they just like being growled at or what: but it’s there.

I’ve encountered my fair share of hate over the last ten years and honestly, it’s still hard to get used to. It’s not because I’m a female metal vocalist; it’s solely the reason that the work I’ve put into what I’m doing, the work that I am extremely passionate about, is being put down. You will never, ever appeal to everyone and that’s a given. I have learned to let the negativity go and learn from it.

Honestly, the next time you see a girl or woman at a show, no matter what her initial intentions are or how she is dressed, give her a high five. She paid the money to get in, probably paid for gas to get there and is supporting something that we all support. Metal is something that should unite men, women, and children alike. We shouldn’t put someone down because they look like they belong at Hollister or are hipsters. There is far too much negativity surrounding metalheads already; why add “being elitist assholes” to the list? We need to support and accept one another because, you may end up making a new friend. Gender is meaningless when it comes to loving music. Be respectful and rage on.

Worthy

“You need to work on yourself and get your depression and anxiety in check. I can’t deal with that kind of thing,” you said, eyes emotionless. It was a low blow and tore me to pieces hearing that, but I knew that was one thing you were right about. After discussing working on ourselves and staying apart, you were quick to move on, and I worked on myself. Alone.

Being single has always been a difficult endeavor for me. It felt lonely, and I always felt hopeless not having someone by my side. I needed reassurance that I was loved and appreciated, even though I was never given those things. One bad relationship after another, constantly dealing with mental and emotional abuse, being cheated on. It didnt matter, so long as I had someone to call mine.

It ultimately wasn’t until you spoke those words that I heard the most truth come from your mouth. It took someone I had loved for so long, someone I gave my entire life up for, to finally realize what I really needed. It wasn’t another relationship: it was getting myself together and keeping it that way until I knew I was capable of making good decisions and finding someone worthwhile. Sure, I dated someone briefly (an entire six days), but I realized quick he wasn’t for me.

I will never obtain perfection, even though in many aspects I’m a perfectionist, and my OCD exacerbates these issues. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not worthy of finding true love. It doesnt mean I should settle for anything less than the best. It doesn’t mean I give my heart to anyone who looks at me or calls me beautiful. It means, I wait until the time is right.

I refuse to live any longer as a person who clings to anyone to justify not wanting to be alone. That’s what family is for. That’s what friends are for. That’s what pets are for. To ensure you are not alone. Sure, not having anyone to cuddle up with at night is tiresome, but I’m adult enough to admit a teddy bear my mom made me suffices.

Being single for the last five months has not only been freeing, it’s also been an adventure. I’ve made an array of new friends, got my flirt on, gone to concerts, lost weight, learned that being independent is a great thing, and overall, while still fighting it day to day, I’ve managed to stop my medications and can live a mostly normal and functioning life (other than occasional panic attacks while I’m at large stores or malls, my constant need to wash my hands, and occasional short-lived self pity in which I’ve acquired the PMA attitude and lifestyle to counteract it.)

I had a difficult time accepting being single after two years, but it was what I needed. I needed this; I needed you to treat me wrong to finalize my desire to wait for someone who will treat me right and I cannot thank you enough for that. I won’t ever settle for just anyone again, and this goes for you and every other guy I’ve dated except one, and he knows who he is.

I will always be flawed and I will always have an off day, just like anyone else would. It doesn’t mean I’m unworthy of being loved. I deserve the best, so thank you for making that a possibility.

Invisible

I’ve come to the realization that, while I’m learning to build myself up rather than break myself down, my heart knows that I would never suffice for you. Even if I had a rocking bod and the most epic face, I’m far too imperfect for you. Would it be negative thoughts if I admitted the truth? To admit defeat and realize this now, rather than go through life hoping and waiting only to be let down later?

I’m merely invisible compared to everyone else in your life; I’m no different than the thousands of other people you’ve met, and that’s quite alright. Ultimately, this entire post isn’t to whine about my flaws, or to tell you in a vague way that I’m into you. No, this post is simply to tell you about the impact you’ve had on my life, even if it is small.

It’s hard to find someone who is willing to take time out of their day (and to not act bored out of their mind) to listen to you ramble on about insecurities and flaws, likes and dislikes, etc. and I cannot thank you enough for that. The people I’ve previously had surrounding myself always brushed it aside and told me “eh, you’ll be fine.” To have someone actually seem like they cared; it helped a lot.

I also found solace and joy in listening to you speak about your flaws, passions, life. The spark in your eyes when you spoke of the things you love most tugged at my heart a bit. Why? Because it’s also hard to find people who are truly passionate about something, especially something that I’m also passionate about. It’s always a great feeling to have at least one thing that pulls you in towards other people: music is the one thing I cannot and will not ever live without. It’s phenomenal to meet others who feel the same damn way.

I know you won’t ever read this, and that’s absolutely fine. I think in a way it’d be better like that. Perchance you do scroll past this at some point in the future, just know your words, compassion and love for other people has impacted me for the better. You’ve shined an entire new light on how to live and cope with mental illness, and I will never be able to thank you enough for that. Thank you for making me feel worthwhile, even if our time spent talking was short-lived. You’re a fantastic human being; don’t ever forget that.

E