“How did you not notice Tim was videotaping you? I mean one of the iPhone cameras was in your brown bookcase that you looked at daily. And fuck the other videos, of you completely nude, Tim was taking himself through the white blinds. In broad daylight. No shame in his game by any means.”

Those were the first thoughts that raced through my mind the second my freckled, hazel eyes opened every single morning for a long while.

I refer to those lovely thoughts as Her. Her is the me, my subconscious probably, that loves to pin point all my worst fears, regrets, and shameful memories I’ve encountered over the course of my entire life.

Not only did those triggers arise about Tim, Her made sure to rationalize Tim’s creepy, completely his fault, behavior. And remind me that no matter what I told others, no one would believe me anyway. Or think once again I was asking for attention.

I’ve ruined every relationship I’ve ever had. Because of my crave and want for attention. I just so desperately wanted to be noticed. To be truly loved and not just property. Tim saw me as his sex object. And my mother sadly allowed Tim to use and abuse me, to continue her perfect image.

The desperate want for attention caused me to compulsively lie. And Her loves to remind me to just that.

“This is why your friends don’t support you. They don’t know what to believe. You always lie. How is this any different? You acted like you loved your dad? Your mom is your best friend?”

After I told all of my best friends, I’d grown up with, my truth, all of them disappeared the moment it happened. Even with the video proof.

I completely understand why. And not for one second do I blame them for turning their backs on me. In ways I deserved it. I truly did.

But this is why the stigma on mental health fucking sucks, lying is apart of mental illness. It’s a symptom of many disorders that one hide away from.

I was one of those that chose to live in denial about my behavior. I justified it. Because I was so terrified to say my truth.

Until one therapy morning, in my black Nissan, I just couldn’t handle the word vomit. My head began to overtake with the urge to just want to write. To be heard. I began writing all my thoughts and emotions on a napkin I found in my car.

“I compulsively lie. I know what I do is wrong, but I allow myself to overthink and obsess about certain circumstances. I so desperately want to be heard. I will go to any extent to do so. Including hurting those I love.

I lie to protect myself from hurt. I lie to protect others. I lie to avoid confrontation. I lie to seem happy. I lie so I don’t let others down when I make mistakes.

And to be completely honest, all humans lie for all the reasons I listed above. I just have a hard time letting the lies go. I allow guilt to overtake because I don’t want to be labeled as a horrible human. All I want is to be good. To do good. I need help.”

The napkin was crumpled, with what looked like coffee stains, and the words were all over, blending together. But I folded up the disgusting napkin, walked into my therapist’s office, and handed her my writing.

I realized I just couldn’t speak my words out loud and that was okay. I just needed to express to her how I truly felt. I trusted this therapist with my whole heart. She was the first person to notice me as a human and not just another mental health patient. I knew in my gut that I could trust her with this information and not be judged.

As Hannah Blum would say, I realized I didn’t need to change who I am, I was perfect being imperfectly broken.

My therapist read my note for a few minutes, no reaction to her warm face, looked up at my vulnerable eyes, and said “Welcome to therapy Brittian. How are you today?”

Ever since that moment with her, I’ve opened my heart and soul slowly each day, with setbacks in between. But I’ve never given up hope. I am learning to love myself as I am. And I am pretty damn proud of myself for doing just that.

Just remember no matter how hard life is to overcome, please don’t ever give up. There will be brighter days, you just need to start believing in yourself. And don’t you dare forget how badass you are to this Universe.

 

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