Last week I was going to kill myself. I’m not sure now whether I was really going to or I just really wanted to. What I wanted was to stop feeling so hurt. For more than a week I was hearing things like “You need to be more feminine,” “The play you directed wasn’t good,” “Why don’t you use happier emotions,” “Show MORE joy,” etc etc etc. And in response to these things I wanted to fall off the face of the earth. How do the people saying these things not hear what they are saying? Then take into account who they are saying it all to? I have short hair—shorter than it has been since I was a baby—and I have one half-real boob, my body has been through hell & so has my mind and these fucking people (they were my teachers) are questioning my femininity and asking why I can’t be happy on stage!
So I’m asked if I’m afraid to access joy. OF COURSE I AM!!!! I’ve had fleeting moments of joy in my life, but never lasting joy, and every time I get happy something awful happens. Example: Happy kid-Raped, Happy kid-Abused, Happy kid-Constantly told how ugly & stupid I am, Happy kid having fun- yelled & screamed at or continually ignored &/or laughed at, I grow up, I get over that shit (or so I think), finally getting my life together- car accident, find a good job with kids & get really happy- my mom gets cancer, Think she’s OK & get happy with new boyfriend- he’s an abusive psycho & my mom’s cancer is terminal & she dies & I get a restraining order on boyfriend, So I move away to make better life & try to fit in – but keep losing my job, Move to NYC to fulfill a dream & get happier than I’ve ever been- I get cancer. Afraid to be happy? Why is that question even being asked, and furthermore, why didn’t a single person in the room say: “Well, she did just survive cancer. We should be glad she’s still in school at all.”
It’s not the first time I wanted to die or thought about killing myself in my life, and not the first time this year. I wanted to die many times during chemo- the loneliness and isolation, and the pain was often unbearable. And after my reconstruction surgery I was so depressed and never certain if it was the anesthesia or something else, but I almost did do it a few days after. I was alone again & no one seemed interested in helping me. I’ve been struggling all semester & in that struggle I’m learning that without acting I’d rather be dead & these comments were threatening my acting. It’s the one thing I have that keeps me going through this shit and I’m baffled at how the teachers at my school don’t get this. Last year it was far better; the teachers were far more considerate & they made the classes safer so I felt good about being there. Now I feel in danger when I’m at school; like anything they say will destroy me because I don’t know that they care. I knew my first year teachers cared either because they told me or because I could see it in their actions.
People may think I am so tough & strong, but I am sensitive &, as my therapist explained, I have this open wound on my emotions & the more negativity I get the less I thrive & the more I hurt. It’s just stabbing at an open wound. I realize most people can’t fully understand where I’m at in this experience, but I am not healed and I am very scared. I feel alone constantly and I feel ignored and abandoned. All I want is people to talk with and have fun with, whether it is for distraction or just to find joy that I can feel safe with. I hope that makes sense. It’s not that I really want to die, but I want to gain control over something in my life, I want to feel safe, and I wanted to feel loved. I don’t know who I am anymore & I go to school to be other people. To do that one needs to know who they are. It’s such a conflicting state. I was me before cancer & before chemo, but I’m not the same anymore. I don’t even look the same. It’s definitely a crisis with identity & I wish more people in my life could see that & cut me a little slack; just take it into account. Just because I was who I was before does not mean I’m exactly that way now. I feel like I am treated as if nothing has changed. But the fact is, EVERYTHING has changed.