Hide and Seek with Emotions
For as long as I can recall, I've avoided my own emotions. Afraid that if I were to act out on them, it would cause more harm than good. When I had a crush on a girl, even back at age 6 or 7, I avoided her so I would not annoy her by unwanted attention.
I flooded my brain with reading and video games. I suppressed my emotions. I hid from them. I pretended they did not exist. Though at age 8, an emotion popped up one morning, when I noticed how my family didn't pay much attention to me. I decided that day to go a whole day without speaking, and figured they wouldn't notice. I almost made it, but happened to need to speak to get supper that particular day.
When the day was finished, I forgot about it for the longest time. I went back under my blanket I had set up, to keep my emotions from finding me. Distracting myself from whatever emotions were near. My way to help the world, was by denying myself as a human being. Shutting off my emotions so they could never make anything awkward or weird because of me.
Skip a few years, and I have my first crush on a girl in high school. I talk to a friend about my feelings and such. A few days later, girl has a boyfriend, who tells me he doesn't like me talking to her. Obviously I made a mistake letting my feelings take over, so I hide again. I want to tell my friend about the update, but by the time I would get the courage to, he moves away.
Feelings rushing through me, no one to tell. What do I do? I play hide and seek with emotions. I hide from them the best I can. Hide from the pain. Hide from the shame. Hide in fear of messing up again.
A year goes by, and depression finds me. Of all the emotions that I could say I truly felt, sadness and depression are the first. They found me like no other emotion had. I hated it at first. It hurt. It was painful. The sadness was great as I began to open my eyes to how the world saw me. An insignificant life that isn't worth the time of day to remember. An insignificant life, worthless in every way.
Had a crush on another girl, and I tried to talk to her. I was too shy in person though, so online was the only way. But my messages to her... trying to connect, went unanswered. Short, nearly meaningless messages would reap short, one word or two word replies. I tried to tell her I liked her, and again, no response. I became upset with her, but I can't stay mad at her, so all hate turned on me.
Sadness, Depression, Anger, Hatred, the first four strong emotions to stick with me for longer than a few moments. They kept me up late at night. I quit my job because of it. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't rest, I couldn't handle it all. I was quickly becoming tired. I had no one to turn to. Darkness was filling my life.
I began to convince myself that I was nothing, worthless, undeserving to be happy or have fun. I began to believe that, if I had positive emotions, others would suffer on my account. As if they were being punished for anything good in my life. So I beat myself down even further emotionally than ever before.
My depression increases. My anger and hatred towards self raise drastically. I try to hide, but sometimes it's hard. Depression finds me easily now. It's known me long enough, that it's hard to hide from it anymore. Sometimes, it's almost like a friend. At least when depression finds me... I know I'm feeling SOMETHING.
One night it gets bad though. I write a suicide threat. A few people respond. Someone tells my parents. Someone sits to listen to my ramblings. I can't explain everything... because I don't understand it myself. I'm still trying to figure it out. I am still new with emotions. And when I realize my reasonings are stupid... I lie about my reasonings, so they won't think I'm an absolute idiot.
A few months pass, and I make a friend. We start talking about more personal things. I call her my best friend. Not long after, she moves away. Leaving me in the dust, no replies when I try to contact... so I hide again from the feelings that rush through me. No one to express myself to.
Then one day, I get a call. It's a therapist my parents set up. They never once tried to talk to me about my depression. Not once did they approach me about my feelings. They just decided to get me a therapist, a stranger, for me to talk on the phone to, rather than trying to help me or talk with me.
Therapist shows up at school, and I have to talk to go out of class to talk to them occasionally. By now, I'm used to hiding my emotions from people. When they are near, I mentally shut myself off so they can't even see a trace of the sadness in my eyes. So during the talks, I give just enough to make it appear I'm getting better. She tells me to do things that will help, and I don't do them. I keep living how I live, but when with her, my therapist, I essentially manipulated her into believing I was getting better. Perhaps I manipulated myself too, so that I could believe what I made her believe.
A few months passed, and I found another person I began to open up to. I discovered I liked to write, and I had her read my very first story. A story about a boy who lost essentially everything. By page four, the story tells of how the boy lost most of his siblings. One to a car crash. Another was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got shot. Another sibling was sent to jail. It was a messy life. I wrote that... as my very first story to write. Something so sad and gruesome. There was still hope that would come later, as everything I write seems to have some of. But the whole premise of the story was to tell of a boy who had lost everything.
I was hesitant to call this new friend as a best friend. But I finally did. Not long after, she vanished. I didn't know where she went for months. Communicating online was slow. She wouldn't respond for months at a time. And the replies weren't that long either. Again I felt... alone, lost. I felt it was what I deserved... for even calling her a best friend. That I wasn't meant to be happy. That I was meant to be alone. I felt as though it was my destiny. I still wanted people, but, at this point, it was beginning to get difficult believing I could be allowed anything but loneliness and sadness.
Darkness became my domain. Depression became my friend. Depression inspired stories. My second story, which was about a guy that had to live the same event in his life over and over again. The event was him, believing his girlfriend was going to break up with him. His dad dying. And then getting shot in a parking lot by one of his friends. Then the event would restart and he would live through it again.
Depression let me feel. Depression reminded me of how worthless and pointless my existence was. Depression let me see how little people cared for me... how they cared only for themselves and everyone else. Depression became my comfort place. Depression became my best friend. And the idea of leaving it behind, killed me. I began to hate being happy. I even tried to teach myself not to laugh at anything anymore. I tried not to smile at anything. I tried to stop talking altogether if possible. I hated myself, and depression let me know that it was okay to do so. Depression let me sink into the pillow of apathy.
But finally, after many years of this, I came across someone. They had some art of a character from a video game I played. I commented on the picture, amazed by it. They replied back. Then something happened, and before I knew it, we began to talk in a chat box place. We grew as friends. We drew closer. And it was scary.
Part of me was happy to have a friend like this. Another part of me wanted to run and hide from these emotions. How could I let it happen again? And as we became closer, I became more afraid. I feared that something bad might happen to her. I was afraid something would happen, and I would lose her forever. Part of me tried to push her away. Part of me couldn't let her go.
A year went by, and we began to chat on Skype. This time of my life was a break through in several ways. Her and I drew even closer as friends. I was pulled past a huge fear. I'm not as scared about losing her as I was in some ways. In other ways, I'm even more scared of losing her at any time. I've gotten to the point, that I have called her my best friend, and she hasn't vanished yet. She makes sure to keep in contact with me. Unlike so many others from my past... who I'd get close to, and then they would vanish, and then act as if they never knew me.. as if I never existed. But she is different. She makes the effort. And because of that, I don't just let her go, I put in effort to keep in touch as well.
But even with having pushed beyond some of these walls... some of these blankets to hide from emotions... there are still a number of blankets for me to hide behind. I'm still afraid of my emotions. I'm fighting whether to come on out and let my emotions find me... or pulling back all of the blankets over me and never coming out again.
I'm afraid of showing emotions. But, with this friend, and a few others as well, I'm seeing emotions can be worth it, emotions beyond depression and sadness. And while part of me still wants to play hide and seek with emotions, playing the part of the one that hides... there is a small part of me who wants to begin being the seeker of my emotions.
And that is the tale of my life playing Hide and Seek with Emotions.