I was born defective, only nobody knew it then. It wouldn’t become evident until later, when I was in high school. My mind, my heart, and soul were always in this very sad, dark place. Nothing could cheer me up. I couldn’t keep friends (and honestly, I don’t even blame them looking back. Who wants to be with someone that is constantly a downer?), I believed I was fat and ugly, had many crushes but not really a serious boyfriend, and stopped trying in school. By senior year I just sort of gave up. I just wanted to move far, far away and hoped that moving and getting away from the town I grew up in would help me. So eventually, college came around and thats what I did. It didn’t help though. My eating disorder became worse, I lost all relationships with my friends because I gave up trying (I always felt that I was the one putting all the work into friendships and then when I finally would get tired of putting the work in, they would die…..but now looking back, maybe it was me. Maybe people just couldn’t be friends with me because I was so messed up, or did I expect too much of friends? Was I the unreasonable one? Probably. But I’ll never know because we are no longer friends so I can’t find out.)
I was engaged and then called it off right before my college graduation and when I did that, I thought to myself, maybe I’ll never be happy. Maybe there is nothing in this entire world that can ever make me happy and I’m going to die a miserable cat lady whole lives all alone with a million cats (that I’m allergic to) and some crazy old sweaters. That’s truly how I felt because since high school, I could never feel true happiness in my heart. I graduated college with 2 bachelors degrees and I wasn’t even happy with that. I was happy that I was at one of my lowest weights ever on graduation day, but not happy with my academic success. I was even less happy because I had to move back home to Chicago and live with my parents again because I couldn’t find a job.
So, off I go, to their house. I’m back in Chicago and have ZERO friends. My friends from Chicago had stopped talking to me when I started college and my friends from college were still down at school because they were younger than me. I found a job making next to nothing, but it was at a law firm so I took it. I worked 12-13 hour days and even weekends sometimes. My social life was nothing, I woke up, went to work, came home from work, ate dinner and went to bed. I was more and more miserable and I was gaining weight which upset me too. So, after 9 months of that job, I found another one. There was more money, better hours (much less overtime) and I met a few friends. Yet still felt like I was dying inside. I could NOT figure out why I couldn’t just be truly happy! I couldn’t figure out why all my friendships went sour (but always blamed myself somehow because I thought my constant sadness was the reason) and couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t have a relationship with a guy that would last more than a few months. (I blamed it on being fat and ugly, and being completely unlikeable. I believed I had no good attributes, and that I couldn’t do anything right, so why WOULD anyone like me? That attitude alone probably added to my already permanent unhappiness) I was 23, still living at home with my parents and felt like a complete and utter failure. I was completely convinced that I was never going to be happy another day in my life.
My mom said I should try eHarmony. I was skeptical and after looking at the huge long questionnaire, I settled on Match.com. Regardless of the site, I knew that I was going to attract a ton of people that would see my picture and that was all they would care about. While I believed in my heart and in my soul that I was completely fat and ugly, the world told me otherwise. But, I humored my mom and did it anyway. I figured, I know I’m already super defective and nothing good would come out of it, but at least it would make my mom happy and then I could show her that I really was a completely defective model of a human being.
A few awkward dates later, I received a message from an attorney who traveled a lot, but wanted to meet up. The age on his page said he was a little older than I was looking for, but figured why not. A few reschedules later we finally met and I had a good time. Up through a few months later, I was getting royal treatment, went to a lot of events and had fun. I began to think that maybe I wasn’t defective after all and I just hadn’t met the right person until now. I continued seeing him, he lived in the city (a bonus because I was still living in the burbs with my parents), and spent more and more time at his house because the commute to work was easier from there.
Since I was making a little more money, I thought it was finally time for me to get my own place, maybe show myself another little boost that I might not be totally defective. So I did, a nice little one bedroom apartment in Wrigleyville, right off Lakeshore Drive, so it was right by a bus stop and a direct route downtown to the office. Well, despite my move, I still only spent a few nights a month there and the rest at his place. After a few months, I began to realize that this apartment idea…..another
I had miscalculated my finances when I moved out, so I was slowly falling deeper and deeper into debt, which was then causing more and more depression, anxiety and frustration. What added to my anxiety and utter defeat was the fact that my boyfriend was well off financially, so I felt like a complete failure. I mean, for the first year or so of dating him, I could hardly believe he would date a girl like me because I came from a very middle class life. So, going to Broadway shows, golfing at the country club and golf lessons with golf pro, balls and galas, and expensive nights out with friends at the hottest clubs in Chicago was so very foreign to me. It felt very Cinderella-like, but it was definitely a whole new world to me. A world I was not familiar with, so I was constantly afraid that he was going to think I wasn’t good enough, or didn’t fit in.
AND THEN IT HAPPENED……things really started to get weird for me. I started to get super angry when I would drink (I was never an angry drunk. I was always a fun drunk, occasionally I would get a little sad, but for the most part, I was a happy, fun drunk girl). Who knows where that fun drunk girl disappeared to because suddenly, when I would drink, I would morph into someone or someTHING that wasn’t even me!!!!!!!!!!! I would do horrible things, say horrible things, and be just plain nasty to the people around me. Including my boyfriend. I just couldn’t understand why, or HOW, I went from being able to handle my alcohol and remain a fun normal intoxicated individual, to this mean, and nasty, horrible and wretched person!!
I would spend hours and hours trying to piece it together or trace back in time, but my brain would spin just trying to make any sense of it. I was so embarrassed, I didn’t want to tell anyone else about it (I mean, really, enough people had seen this defective model, no need to let a few more in on this mortifying detail) but I started to see my psychiatrist more frequently. I tried to stop drinking, but with the lifestyle I had been living, alcohol was always around. Finally, this defective model completely broke down and took herself in to the hospital for a tune up. Well, 2 hospital visits in 3 months, and about 6 months of outpatient therapy, and I thought everything was going to be ok. The docs had found out the malfunction, tuned me back up and things were going to be ok. It was just a case of bipolar disorder. Nothing I couldn’t manage after all the therapy I now had under my belt *very, VERY thick sarcasm is present when I say that*
WRONG….. Things are NOT ok. It’s 5 years later and things are just not ok. That was a TEMPORARY tune-up. I didn’t realize that those tune-ups are temporary! I feel like this defectiveness will never go away! Well, let’s be honest, it won’t. At times, the symptoms may go into remission and I can reach stability and manage my moods top notch, but this lil bitch is genetic and isn’t going anywhere in MY lifetime. But, even though I know its possible, I still sometimes feel like I will never get to feel good again. I mean, after all of my therapy, there were some major life changing events just before our wedding, and I don’t think either of us are even remotely recovered from it. Right now I feel like I’m climbing a ladder, but the ladder goes up through the clouds so you never really see where it ends or how much further you have to go. And as I continue to climb the ladder, my defective components keep nagging and I slip down a few rungs…….
I’m defective. I always have been. I always will. Kinda like they say at the beginning of the movie Beauty and the Beast “For who could ever learn to love a beast,” I feel like I’m the Beast. Things tend to start going so well and so I begin to fill myself up with hope. I work my hardest and do my best and then, just as I am ready to get nice and comfy and settle in at the top of the ladder, it all falls apart. Always. How can I ever become ok with being defective and accept that I will always have the defect knowing that I might not learn how to work with the defect and adapt to it and might eventually end up in the defective model bin??????????????