Superwoman.

I think there’s a superwoman in my head.

Really, I do. I think she takes charge and gets stuff done and pushes forward. I think my ideas come from her, my grit comes from her, my strength comes from her.

I think she gets defeated sometimes. I think she goes to battle with the other voices and forces in my head and she looses. Before I know it, she’s buried beneath the debris of the fight and I can’t find her anywhere.

It’s in these moments (or days or weeks) that I’m at a loss. It’s when I find myself taking every possible minute to myself. When I find myself giving all that I can to my job but that’s almost nothing. It’s these moments that I find myself desperately trying to figure out what to do, searching things on the internet like “how to deal with depression at work” and “should you tell your boss you’re depressed.” It’s when I look up therapists in the local area, only to come to the conclusion that I can’t get myself to spend that much money.

I’m tired and I’m sad. This day is no where near over and I can’t find superwoman.

-Melissa

Can’t.

I have these two people in my life who I would call friend. I haven’t known them for long. About eight months or so. I think they actually might want to be my friend.

I can’t believe it. I’m not saying that in a surprised way. I’m saying it in a ‘no’ way. Like, no I can’t believe that. I can’t. I won’t allow myself to believe it.

And it doesn’t seem to matter that they seem to… like me. Seem to actually want to be my friend. Seem to actually enjoy my presence. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how many hours I spend with them or how many conversations we have or… or anything really. Because why would they want to be friends… with me?

Just… why?

Why would they want to be friends with me? It doesn’t make sense. I don’t have any good to offer their life. I’m not fun and I’m not nice and I’m not… anything. So why would they bother?

And I have these moments that I’ll cherish forever. These moments that make me smile and make me feel like maybe, just maybe, I’m wrong and they really do think of me as a friend. Maybe they actually do like me and who I am as a person. But that can’t be right. And I’m so scared.

I wish I didn’t wake up in sadness. I wish I didn’t feel like crying so often. I wish I wasn’t guilt ridden and paralyzed by insecurity.

But it’s okay. It’s okay, right? Because five minutes from now I’ll be smiling. Five minutes from right now I will push all of this aside and do what I need to do. I will be who others need me to be. And then I’ll hold out until I can be alone again.

I should probably talk to one of them about it. But… what’s the point? They would just feel bad. Or realize I’m more screwed up than they thought, and really, who wants to put time into that? Or… or they could just decided they didn’t want to be friends with me. They could turn away from me and act like I was never even a part of their life.

I mean, goodness… It’s not like they’d be the first.

-Melissa

Torment.

“Just keep your damn mouth shut; they don’t need you or your negativity.”

I felt tears growing in my eyes at the words. They were harsh, bitter. I thought about how I could do just that – keep my mouth shut and not infect those around me with my own irritability. I really should just listen and not add anything to the conversation. I mapped out conversations, wondered over how I could successfully deflect, agonized over how unhelpful I’ve been, worried over how much I revealed about myself.

“Just keep your damn mouth shut; they don’t need you or your negativity.”

I couldn’t argue with the words. They were true, weren’t they? I did need to talk less. Everyone would say I needed to talk more but, I mean, what do they know? They don’t know me like I know me. They don’t know my thoughts. They don’t know the kind of person I am. Because what good do my words add? And if they add no good, why say them?

“Just keep your damn mouth shut; they don’t need you or your negativity.”

And I don’t need to talk. No, people need to be heard. That’s one of the only things people want – to feel heard. So I should give that to them. I should listen. That’s all I should do. Let them talk. Prompt them to talk. Give them my undivided attention. And I should stop giving advice or adding my input; it’s not helpful and they don’t need it. What if it’s even harmful? I should just keep my mouth shut. They don’t need my input. They don’t need me.

“Just keep your damn mouth shut; they don’t need you or your negativity.”

The words, harsh and bitter as they were, were also silent. Your own thoughts often are after all. And, I don’t know what your thought life is like, but mine isn’t always pretty. It’s so interesting to me that, when thoughts like that fly through my mind, no matter how painful, you just… keep moving. You smile, you hold you head high, and you keep walking, even through the torment.

“Just keep your damn mouth shut; they don’t need you or your negativity.”

-Melissa

Anything.

I asked her how her day had been and she skirted the question. She answered it, technically. But I could feel more beneath her response. I asked again, differently. Again, she answered, but not fully. She said a certain part of her day had been fine.

“So what wasn’t fine today?” I asked.

Finally, I’d hit the right question. She blurted out what she hadn’t been saying, coated with annoyance. She avoided any detail, so I asked another question. And then another.

And then she was crying.

I pushed away the anger I felt growing in me, not toward her, but toward those that had hurt her. I pulled her in for a hug and just held her why she cried.

“You didn’t do anything wrong.” I told her quietly, combing my fingers through her hair, “You didn’t do anything wrong.”

I wondered what I could do to help, to fix this, to retaliate. Nothing, really. Only this. Hold tight to the hurting and brush away their tears, even if they continue to cry.

You didn’t do anything wrong.

-Melissa

There.

Last Friday was a year since you last spoke to me.

Four days later, I got a card in the mail. There was no return address, which I found a little odd, but the handwriting was simple and friendly, so I opened it. My mind scanned to the bottom of a written page. It was from your mom.

I quickly shut the card and shoved it back in the envelope. Not now. I told myself, You’re at work and you’ve got to get this task done. I knew if I just jumped in and read it, I’d be crying in the office. Which, you know, is not a preferred method.

I read it later. I read it quickly and then shut it again. Her handwriting is flowy and hard to read. The only parts I remember were that she’s apparently on your no-contact list too, that she’s praying for you, and that she’s also praying for me.

You screwed up, man. You really did. Kick me out of your life? Fine. I’ll back away and give you space and cry somewhere where you can’t see me. But your mom?? Dude. Come on. It’s your mom.

I’m sitting here reflecting on your relationship with your mom, the one I witnessed for nine years, and I’m only coming to one conclusion: You must be confused and in a hell of a lot of pain right now. I’m so sorry. Sincerely, from the deepest parts of me, I am so sorry you’re facing so much pain right now.

Brother, know this. Know that I am in pain because you left me behind and, when or if you regret that decision and seek my friendship, know that we will have to work through that and it probably won’t be pleasant.

But also know that, when you need me, I will do my best to first and foremost be there for you. I know you’re hurting and really struggling right now and, as soon as you need me, I’ll be there in whatever way I can. I will do my very best to support you and stand next to you as your life seems to go up in flames.

You’re my brother, kid. I might be mad at you and, yes, you’ve hurt me very deeply. But if you call me, I’ll be there. Even if you wouldn’t do the same for me. You still have my number. And, apparently, your mom has my address. So if and when you need me, don’t be afraid to reach out.

-Melissa

Okay.

There’s something inside of me that is just… screaming right now. I don’t know what to do when I get like this. The logical part of my brain is patiently trying to calm me down, but the screaming…

It’s a restlessness. An anxiousness. This part of me that’s… terrified. And frustrated. And annoyed. I feel like I’m in a box and all of the walls are slowly getting closer and closer, threatening to suffocate me. Just… what is this? What is this feeling? How do I make it stop? Where is it coming from?

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

I am okay.

-Melissa

Not.

I have caught someone in a lie.

They’re now floundering a bit. Basically, they lied about me in a meeting, so I addressed it in an email. Then they contradicted what they said in the meeting with what they said in their email response. I pointed out the contradiction and now they are saying they don’t understand why I am upset.

???

You lied about my work performance. Fortunately for you, I am a rather passive person. Which means, even though you’ve said a lot since I’ve worked with you that you have gotten away with, I haven’t thought most things were worth the fight. But you lied about my performance, and therefore questioned my work ethic, in front of my boss. Nope. No, I won’t stay quiet about that.

It’s one thing when you make rude comments under your breath. It’s one thing when you try to force friendship on me. It’s one thing when you throw a fit because you say you don’t understand what’s happening. It’s one thing when you blame your poor emotional reactions on the rest of us. It’s one thing when you try to demand your way.

But this, this, is another thing. This is the straw that broke the camels back. Honestly, it’s not even that big of a deal, because I’ve already talked to our boss and they now know that you lied. But this is something concrete, that I now have in writing, that you cannot refute.

I’m not even doing this to be mean. I’m not doing this to get back at you or to push you over the edge or anything of the sort. I’m doing this because what you did was wrong. And I am so, so tired of no one in this workplace holding you accountable for your actions. I will be the one to stand up for what’s right. I think they’re all afraid of you.

But I’m not.

-Melissa