God Am I Different? Archives 2004
These are posts from a previous web journal of mine. It was written pre-aspie diagnosis.
This particular entry was written during a time that I would prefer never to go back to, since at the time I was extremely suicidal (even though it says in the post that that time had passed).
Last Update: Sunday May 16, 2004
“God, I’ve got a question for you.
Am I different now?”
Everyday, for the past week, I’ve prayed to God and asked that exact question.
“God? Am I different now?”
“God? Am I still different?”
I think that up until now, all of my changes in how I perceive things and how I go through life, have been gradual. I didn’t just wake up one day and decide that I was going to change into a different person. Granted, I didn’t choose to change this time either, but somehow I did.
“God, am I different?”
I didn’t realize how different I was until I got home and had some alone time. For gosh’s sake, even my mother noticed! And she doesn’t normally notice really important stuff like this. She said that I was quieter, and that I laughed less and that my eyes are sadder. She said also that I seem to have come to grips with being a bit of a loner.
Wait. HOLD ON. I’m not a loner, am I? I mean, I know that I don’t necessarily have the most friends or anything. And sometimes my brain goes on leaps that they are unable to follow; in fact, I do that to my teachers as well.
But am I a loner?
“God, am I different??”
I’m not the same. I don’t talk as much. I live inside my own head more. I refrain from saying as much as I have in the past (even as recent as 2 months ago). This is probably some facet of growing up, but I’ve never experienced a change in this capacity (time-wise or mindset).
I know that I am different. I changed for several different reasons. I changed because my roommate and I started going on different paths (we’re still friends, but we’re discovering different things we love). I changed because I became severely depressed–to the point where I almost committed suicide and still lived to tell about it. I changed because me and Cookman got to know each other better; and I realized that he really did care about me and really was (and will be) like a father to me. I think I came up with a title for that: “Outside Affirmation of Self-Worth From Someone Other Than Your Mother.” My roommate even said it, “Val, he loves you. He wants the best for you. You are like a daughter to him.”
And that’s all I ever really wanted. I can call him up if I need to. I can email him. He cares. And I don’t have that pain in my heart as much any more.
So, my mother and I flew to Minnesota on Wednesday to go see my brother Nathan graduate from law school. Even though some parts were fun, I don’t think that I really fit in with my family. I’m the youngest by a great deal. The closest one to my age is my sister-in-law’s youngest sibling, Krista. She’s 26. I’m 20. Think about it.
I swear my brothers and their friends drink and smoke pot a lot. I finally figured out a good out to not smoking pot. I have asthma and the two don’t mix very well–not with me anyway; but my brothers still try and get me to drink every chance they get. I just feel so out of place with my family.
The parents of the group (my mother, father, their mother-in-laws etc) don’t smoke pot, but they still drink some (not as much as the rest though).
My sister-in-law’s brother drank and smoke a lot. For example, on the morning of the graduation, he started out with a shot of whiskey. He brought the whiskey with him (and some pot, I smelled it on him later). And then after the graduation, champagne was served, and he had like four glasses. Then we got back to the house, and he smoked some more pot and had a couple of beers. Then we left him for a couple hours (which I have no doubt that he spent drinking). That night we ate at this place called “Moscow on the Hill;” and that was some seriously excellent food. There were four courses and cherry vodka. He drank about 5 shots of cherry vodka and a pint of some kind of beer. After we ate, my brothers, him and his wife and a friend went back to their house and stayed up until 2 am drinking and smoking.
My brothers also kept trying to get me to drink the entire time too. I did really good actually. The most I had to drink the entire time was four shots of cherry vodka; and that really didn’t do too much to me. Besides, that night I went straight back and went to bed (couch). I just got a little buzzed.
I don’t think I fit in with my family. I think my mother really fits better in with my brothers. I felt like an odd one out all week. I didn’t say much, and at least I kept from embarrassing myself from any stupid acts of incompetence.
I just don’t think I was intended for this family. It’s not just issues with my father; the issue encompasses the group of them. I don’t fit in very well. I’m the youngest of my all of my brothers and sister-in-laws and all of that, but then again, I’m one of the oldest cousins. I just feel out of sorts from the whole experience.
And every night, I lay down and prayed to God and asked him the same question.
“God, am I different?”
Long Term Mistakes Last Update: Friday May 28, 2004
I have one friend that I’m still in contact with from my high school days. Actually, we were sort of friends in middle school too, but we didn’t know each other very well.
I remember that all we had together was gym class. We sometimes would stand over at the side together and talk in low voices, so we could avoid the stares of the other kids. We would also walk around the gym together, because we were both pretty bad at sports.
That’s the most I saw of her in those days. At first, I didn’t know her name, but generally, after enough association, anyone can remember a name–even me. Personally, my speciality is numbers; give me your phone number and I’ll most likely remember it for the next ten years.
I never really had all that many friends while I was growing up. I just couldn’t connect to very many people too well; but me and this girl got along surprisingly well. In fact, I think it was her eagerness to be my friend that really kept us together. It was strange. I think she needed me, but over time it got so I needed her back, and never really thought about it much.
Our senior year was the year that we really got close. I’ve always been a late bloomer. I never saw much sense in rebelling from my mother before then, but that was the year that we stopped seeing eye to eye. So me and my friend started hanging out a lot more. Sometimes she would come over and spend the night–but not very often, because I didn’t have much time.
We would talk about our plans for the future and where we wanted to go. She was the pessimist, and I was the optimist (mostly). She worried constantly, so she fit in with my family perfectly. I suppose that’s why it didn’t bother me much. I was used to the worrying from my mother and my grandfather and my father. My dad always worried about people being on time. He was (and is) fanatical about it. I guess I picked some of that up from him too. That whole thing about the crowd you’re with is true; you really do start to be like other people sometimes.
But, she wasn’t all bad. I mean, she worried too much and was pessimistic, but who in this world isn’t? Don’t answer that. When I was with her, I felt more alive than I was when I was with other people. We knew each other so well that sometimes we just had to look at each other and we knew immediately what the other was thinking.
When I was with her, I felt like I was really me, as opposed to just being a mere copy of me. She could make me real, but sometimes it was scary, you know? The talks we would have were important and not just teenager stuff. We had important talks and we dreamed important dreams.
When I went to college, we stayed in contact for the most part. I mostly saw her on the internet, but that didn’t bother her. She didn’t care, as long as we got to talk.
The problem was that as I became more involved in college life, we talked less and less. She sometimes got very angry at me; accusing me of trying to forget her or some kind of crap. You know how it is, you move on to new things and let go of the old. I made new friends and she didn’t.
When I came home last summer, she was very, I guess, happy to see me. We did some drinking together and hung out, but it was different than before. She was . . . more needy. She needed to see me more, because I was her only contact at that point. Sometimes she even tried to make me feel guilty for trying to leave her. I’d tell her that I wasn’t leaving her. So, I tried to hang out more and be more the person she wanted me to be. But, eventually, I realized that she was turning into a drag on my personal well-being. I tried to disconnect with her some, but she knew me too well.
She knew how I thought and just the right things to say to keep us together (but maybe not friends).
When I went back to school this past year, I tried once again to distance myself from her. True, no one else made me feel as real as she did, but there were those who came damned close. I figured I could just hang out with them and it’d be the same. And hell, it was and more . . . but they weren’t always there. I really like to talk to people. I don’t like to be alone. So I’d talk to her and make up for awhile.
But it’s hard. We get along pretty good, but I think I’m better when I’m not around her. I genuinely like her, but we just get into so many arguments nowadays. She keeps making me feel guilty.
I’d mentioned her to some of my friends before, and they’ve all agreed that I need to drop her before she drags me down. They don’t think that she’s very healthy.
But they don’t understand! I’ve known her for such a long time, we’re practically sisters. I love her like a sister . . . but I hate her like one too.
I feel like everyone is trying to take her away from me. It’s like standing in the middle of a rushing river, holding on to someone while the water pounds at you from all around.
She’s my closest friend, but I think I hate her now. I don’t know how to act when she’s around. I make bad choices, and I feel like my head’s spinning.
If someone asked me to choose between her and my surrogate dad, I’d choose my s-dad, but I don’t think she’d relinquish me as easily. I can’t just let go of her. I don’t know how.
You see, her name’s Depression, and I’ve known her most of my life.