2020.11.25 07:55 throwaway202229 Learning who I am: Touch starvation, emotional isolation, trying to make the right decisions and hating myself for what I've done
Throwaway for obvious reasons. Sorry for the length, but this is killing me inside and I need to say it to someone.
I (30s/m) have been learning a lot about myself lately as a result of trying to address some of the difficulties I've had throughout my life. For starters, it has taken me this long to discover that I have adult ADHD, undiagnosed childhood ADHD as well, because I was fortunate enough to be classified as gifted from a young age and I was always able to test out of the problems caused by my undiagnosed ADHD. For those that don't know, and those that think they might have it, please look at the subreddits and get help with it as soon as you can. ADHD isn't fun, is not a small problem, and getting by is not a way to live for you or the ones you love.
As I've been getting my meds adjusted and working with a coach I have been learning about the stereotypical personality traits that typically come with the condition. There are certainly some things that might be considered upsides in certain situations, but the lack of organization/attention and making impulsive decisions have far outweighed those benefits for me. There are two things I need to talk about that might be related but are definitely both my fault. Despite my best efforts, intentions, and overwhelming desire and intentions to do the right things for the right reasons, I've hurt others and myself beyond repair or forgiveness. Being completely forthcoming: I deserve to feel the way I do, and I am so very sorry for the pain I've caused.
I love my wife. I've learned how to find a connection with her when we speak very different emotional languages and come from very different backgrounds. I fear that this may ultimately be our undoing, but I love this woman dearly, I know she loves me, and I am terrified that I am falling apart and will bring her down with me. Despite me telling her about my fears, that my problems will destroy us both, she has been supportive and has tried to show love in the way she knows how. Her parents were married young and were divorced when she (my wife) was very young, she few memories of them together and happy and it seems like her formative years were when they were separating, divorcing, and remarrying with vicious fighting and hatred all the way. They've made amends and become friends now (not buddies, but friendly), but my wife paid the consequences of their young marriage and vicious divorce. As a result, she is emotionally scarred. Her father hated her mother because he felt like she betrayed him, and he say her mother in his daughter. She saw her mother remarry and have another child, and her father remarry and have children as well. There are very specific problems with how that all went down (too specific may out me), but sufficed to say, she felt unloved, unwanted, replaced, and thrown away by everyone who mattered most in her life. It's fucking awful what she went through and she carries it with her in who she is. On one had she is the strongest woman I know, I admire and love her for that and I support her in all she does. On the other hand, it makes things hard for us when I come from a loving and supportive home with parents that always put us kids first. This difference ties in.
From when we first started our relationship, I've worked with my wife in every way I could. I haven't tried to fix her, she isn't broken and I have no right to think I could, but I've been there for her to counsel her feelings and to encourage her healing when she tries to reconcile her past, heal old wounds, and work through the emotional blocks she has in our relationship. It's been painful all around, but I wouldn't have done it any other way. In the past 10 years she has had big moments in her life: her father has admitted that he saw her mother in her and he hated her mother so much at the time that he let that come out at her. He has apologized and attempted to make amends and their relationship has grown immensely. She's gotten closer with her step-siblings who she unconsciously blamed for replacing her and seems to have forgiven those feelings of having her father taken away. She's expressed how she's felt about her mother emotionally abandoning her, literally (it's pretty bad), and attempting to buy her off rather than make that emotional connection. It had some success in letting her say these things and realize those feelings, but I don't think it had quite the response she wanted, her mother addresses it like a complaint and gives excuses as to 'why' rather than accept that her daughter feels this way and shows that she is remorseful. It's a defensive pattern that my wife also has, which ties into my problems now. Regardless I am so happy for her to have this growth and resolution, even if her path is still not finished, and I am thankful for her therapist for working on this with her, for her strength in addressing these issues, and one of my own sources of soothing my own emotional difficulties is that I've been able to help her in some way and improve her life and her family. No doubt, my wife has developed an unrivaled strength, but she paid the toll on that road.
Stop here for a moment: I tell you about my wife and her background because (1) she is a good person and I love her (3) these differences in who we are are key to our difficulties and how I feel, and (3) I'm going to tell you about my ex. Spoilers: I have not cheated on my wife, though I cheated on my ex. Don't feel sorry for me, I deserve the pain I cary for what I did to her.
I love my wife, I know she loves me, but I am dying inside. I've learn to think of this as a problem similar to alcoholism: you only have a problem because there is an absence of something you have learned to rely on and need. And that is key to everything now: I grew up with love, affection, dedication, and sacrifice. I knew that I was lucky then, but I've truly only increased that awareness as I have grown in my awareness of the world, and particularly after seeing what my wife went through. My wife is not traditionally affectionate though. She is emotionally needy of acknowledgement and support, demanding of what she wants, materialistic, hyper-sensitive, quick to anger, and has a vicious defense. She has learned ways of getting attention from her childhood that she does subconsciously that she is unaware of and doesn't believe when I try to talk to her about them, and it is always in a way that is only what I can describe as passive attention seeking, complaining, or constantly focusing negativity until someone (me) tries to pull her out. It's a weird power dynamic. She needs something from me, emotional support, validation, attention, affection, whatever it might be but I feel like I'm being manipulated into providing to her (not for her or with her) in a way that risks nothing on her part. To put it this way: it's like she is in her castle with her defenses up, archers on the walls, and alligators in the moat (MXC style challenges), and she is standing on the tower with a bullhorn yelling "Come get me, I am ready for you to give me affection!". I've run this gauntlet countless times, sometimes I've won and sometimes I've lost, but even when I 'win' I feel worse for wear. If I don't run the gauntlet, it usually comes back to me in being treated like I don't care. I've said this to her at this point, we've fought and talked about it and how it takes away from me, that I give it freely and happily to make her feel loved and to be there for her, but I am emptying myself and opening myself up to the trials of reaching her inside her walls, taking the hits and pain to reach her, but I'm not getting what I need back to heal myself from this, or to heal from my own struggles and problems.
I've never been in this situation before, my family was openly loving, showed affection, and put people above possessions. My wife shows her love by doing or buying things and she's not good at showing affection or dealing with someone who needs it. It's a cold feeling to be hurting and just wanting to be held only to be emotionally unacknowledged, unaddressed, to be coldly dealt with like it's just a problem she has to solve to make me stop feeling bad. (This is also why I don't try to fix her problems, I know they aren't mine to fix.). I just want someone that will listen to how I feel and tell me everything is going to be OK, to show me affection and make me feel loved and I am dying on the inside from the absence. I kid you not: I can recall two specific instances over the past few years where I've just felt like absolute trash and she stroked my head, like many of our mothers, partners, and even my own ex partners have all done for us without even thinking about it, and I fucking lost it. The second time was tonight. I cried so hard it surprised me, I didn't realize that something so specific could trigger and give a name to such a large absence in my life and relationship. I felt like one of those poor dogs you've seen in videos who knew nothing but getting beat for their whole lives and just yelped and cried like they were in pain when someone finally pet them and showed them kindness. I've known that I've been in emotional pain for a while now, I've tried to get the acknowledgment and affection from her in every way I can think of and in any way that I could find otherwise. It rarely comes, and usually doesn't. Tonight was only a moment, and I had to push my way over to her on the couch, lay next to her, and put her hand on my chest just to get touched, to try to feel that human contact for relief, and before that today I'd spent hours in front of her breaking down because I am struggling to do my job, address my ADHD, and be the husband she needs me to be. My work problems are also legitimate, we run a business together and her methods are selfish and inconsiderate as to what I need to get my job done, but that's another story. I fell to pieces this afternoon. She tried to 'fix' me, but I'm finding that the part of the core of my problem is that I feel like I'm losing myself, my soul, and that I'm suffering alone. It's making it harder and harder to do what I need to do in work and in life, and I can't even talk to her about it. I have tried. We come away either angry because her defenses (aka, aggression) have assaulted me back when I try to talk about it, or she is crying because I don't give in to her yelling at me for saying things that hurt her feelings so I become an asshole for yelling back at her that it is not OK for her to treat me like that when I am just trying to ask her to stop hurting mine. At this point it is not the way the message is phrased, I have tried all iterations and methods of bridging the gap.
This brings me to my Ex, and my shame. I broke her heart. I did it on purpose. I thought it was the right thing to do, I thought it was noble, I thought I was sacrificing what I wanted so she could have what she needed. I was wrong.
I met my ex in 6th grade, I liked her right away. She was pretty, the most beautiful girl in the world to my eyes, and I was smitten. She didn't return the feeling right away, we were young and still developing, but she was always there in school, always something special for me. We went back and forth through high school, she'd have a crush on me but I was elsewhere, I would go back to her and she was not interested. We got together shortly after high school and hit it off romantically immediately. This was it, it was a deep and unyielding love for us both. I'd never had that with anyone else, I don't know if I ever will again, but it was what I would call that true love, high school sweetheart, 80-something year old couple who are still madly in love sort of thing. We weren't perfect, but we loved each other and there was no question for either of us that we would get married, have kids, and live our lives together. I was the catch. My ADHD, as I mentioned, was undiagnosed. I returned home from state college before then end of the first year because I could not attend classes or keep up with the day to day life. I didn't know I had this problem, I just thought that I was lazy or couldn't handle the challenges that everyone else seemed to be fine with. It was weird, because I didn't seem to be lacking in intelligence or even the drive to get things done. I just....couldn't.
When I came back home I enrolled at closer college's satellite school and that's when my ex and I got together. She went to a different, private school, that was a hour or two away. We'd see each other often, especially over the summers, and I would drive out to meet her and spend time together. But after a few years I fucked up. I made irresponsible and impulsive decisions at a party one night while we were apart and I cheated on her. She was devastated, and she had every right to be. I was devastated, Why did I do that? I kept asking myself. I tried to make it up to her as best I could and this girl, this amazing girl, comforted me, me, when I broke down about what I had done. I think she may have known more about who I was at that time than I did. I didn't deserve her. She took me back. The relationship with her family was, rightfully so, never the same. It was off. I felt the same way about her, but it felt wrong, like they were waiting for me to fail and that I wasn't good enough for their daughter. They were right. I broke up with her again a little while after that, a combination of feeling guilty about who I thought I was and feeling doomed by the experience with her family. We dated other people for a short time. Then a very close friend died, someone I considered a brother. I fell apart and we found each other again. I had missed her in her absence but I didn't want to hurt her again so I tried to stay away, but this loss broke that resolve in me and we were together again. We had each other again. We were happy again.
It went that way until I graduated from college. It had taken me longer than normal, about 6 years, because I worked full time in the service industry while I went to class full time. I was persistent, just not traditionally consistent. We lived together while I tried to find a job, but it was 2009 and there were no jobs to be found (and particularly not for my liberal arts major). I felt pretty terrible about myself. I took admissions tests and applied to a local grad school, an old ambition and dream that I figured was worth following. She supported the idea but my application was late in the game. Another school reached out to me from across the country, asked me to apply. She was concerned about it, I was excited because it meant a path that I could make good on the support my family and my Ex had shown me. Make something of myself, make them proud, help care and support them in the ways that they did for me. Of course, I got in to the school. I packed up everything and drove across country to try to make something of myself, she stayed there and worked since she had a good job and career. This was only going to be temporary, or she was going to join me there if and when it was possible. I remember pulling out of the driveway with my car on a trailer and all of my stuff packed away inside and she stood there next in the driveway waving, crying. God I'm so sorry for what I put her through.
We tried the long distance relationship. It was fine, we talked all the time and I loved her dearly. Then my attention drifted. I cheated again. I was horrified, I didn't know what was wrong with me. I knew I love this girl, she was the best thing in my life and she had taken the absolute worst thing I could have done to her and came back to me. I was a piece of shit, and I still regret everything about it. Her parents were right, I knew what I had to do: I was the worst thing in this young woman's life and she was hooked on me. I thought I was doing the right thing, I thought I was letting her go or setting her free. She came out to see me and I had made my plan to do this in person because I owed her that much. It was so much harder than I had ever expected it to be. I broke her heart, I ended our relationship, and I will never forget her crying next to me while I asked myself if I was doing the right thing. It didn't feel right, but I didn't want keep putting her through the pain I couldn't stop causing her. I hate myself for it, to this day, and it is a. wound that has refused to heal for me that I have caused. I think it was worse for her. Her mother told my parents one day in a grocery store when they crossed paths that I had broken her heart. I did, they were absolutely right. I am so ashamed of what I did to that poor girl, that I took this beautiful thing we had and I smashed it to pieces because I thought I was protecting her from me. I was so fucking stupid. She's married now, has a kid too. I stay away, I haven't spoken to her since the last time I saw her shortly after I broke up with her. The lines are more blurry than that, but the point is that I had something that I wanted, something that fit and made me happy, and I broke it. I thought that since I loved her, I should set her free from me. I fucking broke it, and I have missed it every day since. I am so sorry for what I've done, but in some ways I am happy that she has what she deserves.
I met my wife shortly after that. I have never cheated on my wife. We did not have the same connection I had with my ex, we met during school and built our relationship through a common struggle and we've grown together as a result. We had fun in different ways, I didn't feel like I was unworthy all the time and we shared different interests than I did with. my ex. We care for each other, but we have often hurt each other without trying to, as I've mentioned above. In some ways I think that I have hung in with some things through our relationship that I would not previously put up with because I don't want to be the person that broke that poor girls heart. I never wanted to be that person, but I was. But that is how I know what I am missing, and I know I deserve to feel the pain of its absence. Don't get me wrong, I let her go long ago when I committed to the mistake I made so she could live her life the way she deserved to, I have given my relationship with my wife the room and space to grow unfettered by the shadow of my Ex. She will always have a special place in my heart, but I did not tell you about her because I am still pining for her. I tell you the tale of my ex, of my shame, and of my disgrace because it is how I know the absence of what is missing, how I know that I deserve to feel like this, and in some way to release the truth of that pain from where I've hidden it. I don't deserve consolation for what I've done, but now I understand why I was that person. I see those things in me now and throughout my entire life that I have struggled against and I have a name for it. It wasn't that I just wasn't good enough to do the right thing, to follow my convictions with my actions, I had a problem that I didn't know I had. That is not an excuse, but it encouraging that I can beat the problem now that I know what it is. I am faithful to my wife, I love her and I suffer regularly to make her life as good as I can, to support her and to be there when she needs me. I wish I did not have to leave this wreckage in my wake for me to get here though, I hate the person who I was and I don't know if I will ever forgive myself for it. I dare not ask any other to do so. But I am hurting, badly. I have hollowed myself out to be the partner my wife deserves and I have not been refilled. I miss affection, comfort, and feeling loved, and I miss being able to have my defenses down around the woman I love. I want so badly to be able to get to the place where I was with my wife, to help her grow into the loving relationship she wants and I need, but I am falling apart on the journey there and I am dying alone and isolated.
When I broke down today it was for many reasons, but the trigger was work related. It's a culmination of feeling like everything in my life is falling apart at the same time and getting hurt when I reach to her for help in my vulnerability. She did what she could, and I am so grateful and thankful for it. She did what she was taught, "Pick yourself up, suck it up and move forward" is essentially the message. She is there to lead me back to my feet, waiting for me to stand up next to her, and she is trying so damn hard to meet me halfway in a language she doesn't speak intuitively, but one that I am suffocating without. It hurts. So. Damn. Much. And I am ashamed of being nakedly vulnerable in front of her, to show my pain and wear my heart on my sleeve and have her step over me and shrug about it. I feel like I'm being trained to experience what she experienced, burning and cauterizing my feelings and killing the part of me that I killed in someone else. I deserve this, I think to myself when I wonder where my breaking point is and when the love we share won't be enough to pull me through the barbs and pain that I'm becoming accustomed to. I would grin and bear this for the rest of my life, perhaps as penance for my cruelty, but I'm afraid that I've overestimated my ability to live without the type of affection that I'm used to. I'm afraid that I'm going to fail us both, fail her, because I don't have that emotional satisfaction that I need to justify that daily grind or to get up and try to get over her defenses again after being knocked back down. I mentioned earlier that tonight I got touched in a way that triggered this realization, that made me realize I was starving for affection. I felt ashamed for having to crawl to her for it, to take her hand and place it on me to feel a connection. I am sad that is what it took, and that I was so desperate that I would do anything for it again. It was only a moment, maybe a couple seconds, before her hand went cold and just rested on me where it sat. Before long I was just a prop for her elbow as she watched TV and ate chips while I cried next to her. She asks me what is wrong and if I'm OK but I know I can't tell her about this, she will react aggressively in defense of the message and I don't have the strength left in me to take those hits right now. It broke my heart to open up and be vulnerable, to crawl to her for affection, and the get a taste of it only to be just enough to realize that it's missing. It hurts so much , and to feel the relief fading into shame as she stopped comforting me. Ashamed of being weak, of needing help, of being broken, and for ever thinking that I had a right to it when I deserve every bit of how broken and empty I feel.
I don't know why I've written this, but I suspect telling my story is the point. I've never told anyone, I have no one I feel safe telling. Before it comes up: i am not going to hurt myself, the friend I lost that I mentioned above died by his own hand under violent circumstances and i would never wish for anyone else to have to survive that trauma. I will admit that I am so very low right now. If death were to find me in my sleep, i would greet him as a friend.
Thank you for listening, even if no one is there. I am so sorry.
Tl;dr : OP feels shitty in relationship, deserves to feel shitty for being a shit head to others, just needs to say it out loud.
submitted by throwaway202229 to offmychest [link] [comments]
2020.11.25 00:04 Miscreant_24 College girls hidden
Hi. I want to share this story with you guys, and it’s a very lengthy story. I want you to read and know that this could happen to anyone. Be careful out there and listen to your instincts. Trigger warning for attempt at rape and kidnapping. To start this off, I live in a small town and you have the good parts and the bad parts of this place. I just started college and got my license so I needed a decent job to pay insurance and whatever else I needed. I’ve never had a job before but I knew I wanted to do waitressing and I wanted to do it in the safer part of town so my mom wouldn’t worry about me so much. I applied to this small restaurant that was kind of hidden and didn’t get talked about much, they hired me on fairly quickly and was super excited to have me as a part of their team. The first couple of months I worked there it was great, the customers were nice, my coworkers were amazing, and the money was decent. I knew I couldn’t find a better place to work. There was this one week were we had been super super slow and the only people coming in were truck drivers and people just passing through to get a quick bite before heading back out on the road. It was during the middle of the slowest day we have had in a while, when this really flashy car pulls up. I’m not sure what type of car it was but it was sporty and red, a really gorgeous expensive car. The man walked up and I jumped up to go greet him at the window, I was hoping to get some decent tips if I was nice enough. He smiled really slow and looked me up and down. My smile kind of slipped because he kept staring at me in a way that made me uneasy. I asked him if I could get him something and he answered with “ I don’t know. Can you baby girl ?” I glanced around and noticed some of the women I work with fake laughing to hopefully make light of the not so funny comment. I asked him again and he eventually gave me his order making side comments about how beautiful I was and kept calling me pet names that I wasn’t comfortable with. While paying our machine acted funny making me swipe his card again, which caused him to say “ what are you doing ? Flirting with me? If you wanted me to stay all you had to do was ask. “ It made me super uncomfortable. I hurriedly finished with his card and gave it to him. I got his ticket order on the shelf behind me for them to begin making what he ordered. After we are done taking orders we are supposed to get the next person or shut the window so we could help the kitchen if they need it. I smiled at the man politely and began to close the window but his fingers slipped through and he asked why I was closing the window on him. He seemed mad as I explained quickly our system and said I was supposed to and promptly closed the window with him standing there staring at me. I had one of the other girls give him his food as I didn’t want to speak to him because he made me uncomfortable. He left without saying anything to the other girl but continued to stare at me as he walked to his vet and drove away. It became busy after that and I didn’t have the chance to talk to anyone about the man and how creepy he seemed to be. That night I walked to my car that was parked on the side with everyone else’s. I noticed a couple of hands prints on the passenger side door of my car and the trunk. I had my boss look in my car to make sure it was clear before going in and driving home. The next day I was off and looking through social media and noticed I had a new follower. It was the same man at the window the day before. What confused me was he didn’t know my name. Not once did I say my name or have a name tag. I go by my first name at my workplace but on all of my social media accounts I go by my middle name. The only way to know it is as me is if I told you or if you were close to me. I was creeped out but decided not to say anything and quickly deleted and blocked his account off of my phone. The next week I had a night shift and had to give my coworker a ride to work with me. As I was driving I let her go through music on my phone when my messages kept popping up and interrupting her search. I told her read them and see who it was and it was Instagram from an unknown person. She clicked on the request and the message said where are you running off to? . She was confused and asking me what was going on and did I know who it was. I told her I had no idea and started looking everywhere around me thinking me being at a red light someone saw me and was messing with me. My heart started beating fast as I looked in my mirror and noticed a certain car behind me. A cherry red sports car that was right on my tail. My hands started shaking and I sped the rest of the way the my work. As I got to my workplace, he parked beside me and ran to the front door to come in but I ran to my boss and explained the situation and how uneasy he made me feel. I showed him the messages and told my boss the man was right behind me. My boss walked out refused service to the man. My boss and the man went outside to speak and once my boss came in i noticed as the man was leaving, he seemed to still try to spot me in the store. My boss came back in and told me that the man explained he was a food taster that travels and wanted to thank me personally for being kind to him the other day. I wanted nothing to do with it and was still a little uneasy about the entire situation. I was feeling stupid at this point for being paranoid thinking maybe he was trying to be nice. I couldn't shake the feeling as if he was trying to do something to me though despite what he told my boss. Over the next few weeks I would get random text messages from unknown accounts that I would end up blocking after reading the message. The messages confused me then. They explained which parts on my car were easily breakable , how the color of my car was so easily spot-able. That he could see the tattoo on my neck better when my hair was up during work. How my black hair was much sexier than the hair I had now, how the salon ( he said the name of the salon I go to ) was just eating my money because they weren't doing a good job. I was terrified and confused by the messages and didn’t know what to do about them and decided to deal with them on my own. I continued my days the same as I always did with work and school. I was going on a month or two without hearing from the random messages and I finally started to ease up. The last day I ever heard from him and seen him was almost a month ago. My day went by just the same as usual. Came in for a night shift right after classes. For some reason though my heart was racing that day and I was extra paranoid. I jumped at little things and couldn't stay focused. Before I left for my shift at work I had a sudden urge to go over to my mom and kiss her on the cheek and tell her I love her. I passed it off as me being over emotional. At end of my shift I said bye to my coworkers and noticed it was darker than usual as I was heading to my car which I hard to park in the very back of the lot due to construction. I noticed that the light on our shed had gone out explaining why it so dark. It felt like some lame ass horror movie and I was the victim. I was trying to make light out of the situation so I wouldn’t be so scared. I hurried to my car and put all of my stuff on the top so I could dig my keys out. I looked around me to make sure it was only me then looked down and was trying to find them when I caught the sight of my window. It was cracked. The glass seemed to be splintering in different directions. My breath caught as I realized that my car was unlocked. My windows aren’t tinted so I could easily see into my car. There was a duffel bag in the passenger floorboard that wasn’t mine and it looked like it was half way hidden. I also caught sight of rags on top of the duffle bag. I glanced in the back of my car and noticed that there was a cut up tarp and all of my clothes had been moved to make room for the tarp to fit. I started panicking as I realized what was going on, all of the cryptic messages that I received from all of the unknown accounts. I tried to hide my panic by still looking through my pocket for my keys and dug around in my bag for my phone. I wasn’t sure where he was or what he was waiting for. He knew I would see it, he didn't try to hide anything. I knew i was going to be out of time since all of the cars that were in the lot were almost gone. After a minute of fake looking , I thought I have to run now or I am going to die who knows where and. I dropped everything mid search and sprinted for the my managers truck. I heard a curse near the shed area and a second pair of footsteps behind me as I ran. I managed to trip twice during my run as I made my way to her truck and banged on the windows. She was already out and calling the police when I was near her. He ran off to the road and across it when he heard her describing him and was on the phone. They eventually caught the man with the stuff he left in my car and it turned out he was a 55 year old man who had raped his wife’s 9 year old son and 18 year old daughter, after his wife left him and he got out of jail he stole from his parents( where the car and money came from ) and lived with them. He told everyone he was a famous food taster so he could have a reason to be staying around restaurants for long periods of time to get one of the girls. Once they found him he had over 20 pictures of me and more young women. He had detailed descriptions of what he was going to do to us in his notes along with pictures of examples of the “ positions “ we were to be put in. The reason he had went after black haired girls with tattoos and green eyes was because it looked like his wife’s daughter. I have not heard from him ever again. I have no idea where he is at now, nor do I want too. To this day I won’t take night shifts, I look in my car before getting in, and I lock my doors and drive away as soon as I get in the car. For young women those three rules will save your life. So fake famous food taster who had ill intentions towards me, let’s not meet.
submitted by Miscreant_24 to spoopycjades [link] [comments]
2020.11.24 14:21 DJSwaleswritesbooks College girls hidden
I don’t often talk about why I left Paris last year, but my mind won’t leave it alone. Memories of my neighbour, Madame Blankenfelde, jolt me with the realization that there are things out there that want to hurt us. To hunt us. By things, I should be clear . . . I mean entities of this earth, but not formed of flesh and blood. This last quality is perhaps why they covet us.
I had left Dublin for Paris as a struggling poet – following in the footsteps of James Joyce and many Irish writers and poets who had their “Paris phase”. I even journeyed to the City of Light in the same manner of those luminaries – by boat and train. No low cost airlines for me! There has to be some hardship, I thought, I mean, I’m not escaping the mass deaths of the Irish famine, nor grinding colonial oppression. Nope, I had merely been performatively dumped by my girlfriend during a slam poetry evening. Our explosive argument practically shut down the event. I was so embarrassed – another reason to leave Dublin. It didn’t help our chances that my poetry had received twice as many votes as her own.
On top of being dumped, the gourmet burger company I slaved for, near Trinity College, fired me without explanation. I later heard from Niamh, a co-worker from Donegal, that my beardless face, ginger curls, and generous Guinness waistline just weren’t “hipster enough”.
“Hipster enough?” I cried. “For fuck’s sake I’m literally a starving poet!”
I can still feel the relief as I finally stood outside the sadly yet gracefully decaying Residence Rimbaud mansion block on that sweltering August day, after picking my way through the dog turds that peppered the pavement. Graffiti covered the length of the building as high as hands could reach. Being August, Paris was half empty, but the air was still thick with weed. At the base of the building were large incongruous foundation stones, the sad remains of a medieval abbey that now made up the building's basement, and apparently had a secret tunnel leading into the bone-filled catacombs. Five hundred years of dog piss had stained the noble stones like an abstract painting.
Behind me, a metro train roared out of the iron lattice of the raised Barbès – Rochechouart Metro station. I squinted at the hideous carvings in the honey coloured stone – gargoyle faces and macabre twisting vines and wilting flowers. They surrounded every door and window of Residence Rimbaud.
I think I sweated three bottles of Evian just lugging my huge suitcase up the first four flights of stairs. I remember pausing and leaning into the stairwell, trying to figure out the origin of some arabesque music that echoed around me as it very often would on the streets of what is now a very Tunisian and Algerian neighbourhood. Within walking distance were the picturesque hilly cobbles of Montmartre, made famous to some by the movies Amélie and Moulin Rouge, and known to others as the haunt of Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, and Picasso. Monetmartre was where I’d really wanted to live, but the rents were higher than the dome of Sacre Coeur, the neighbourhood’s crowning glory.
Shit! I jumped. A frail, thin little lady, hair the colour of snow, was watching me, emotionless, from the top of the stairs. I laughed at the absurdity of it, grabbed my suitcase and, out of nowhere, she was suddenly next to me. “Oh, excuse me,” I said. “I hope I’m not in your way.”
She looked into my eyes, crossed herself like a good Irish Catholic, then muttered something inscrutable as she melted down the stairs. That was weird, I thought. But I got used to it. That was my first experience of my decidedly eccentric neighbour Madame Blankenfelde.
A month after I moved in, I recorded Madame Blankenfelde’s routine passing phrase and posted it among my usual Instagram poetry stories. One of my followers is Latvian and she told me the words “var ļaunums palikt prom no jūsu durvīm” mean, “may you keep evil from your door”.
For my first few months in Paris I just wandered the streets by day, writing spontaneous poems and eating too many pastries. My Instagram profile and various blogs gradually attracted a meagre following of insomniacs, weirdos, and two potential stalkers. By night I pulled pints in The Foggy Dew, one of the hundred Irish pubs in Paris, but the only one that can lay claim to have been the haunt of Oscar Wilde, after he left England a broken man. It was hidden down an alleyway in the medieval district of Le Marais, next to a tiny gay bar, an old synagogue, and opposite a snooty interior design store where you had to ring the bell for entry. Bram Stoker was also said to have drunk in The Foggy Dew, after visiting the city’s skull-filled subterranean catacombs.
After work I’d lay in bed, listening to Gothic podcasts and working on my journal. I was researching the history of the Irish in France. Aside from when Irish famine refugees were ordered to stay outside the port city walls at night, the Irish had a glorious history in the country.
“There were Irish regiments in the French army,” I once explained to Patrice, one of the heaviest regular drinkers at The Foggy Dew. “They fought for France, but also to free Ireland from the British,” I explained. “It was actually an Irish General – MacMahon – that liberated Paris from the Prussians and the horrors of the Commune.”
“Ah!” said Patrice, “When the citizens turned on each other in every twisted savagery. Cannibalism! Madame Guillotine! Unspeakable acts! Not even babies were sacred. Bah! All so some fucker could write a musical called Les Miserable!”
Moments later I was on my knees in front of Patrice, mopping up his vomit. It was then that I looked up and saw a small face in the window. Madame Blankenfelde!
I dashed outside, my brow lined with confusion. She was shaking. “Are you cold?” I asked, but it was a warm night. Her face looked haunted. It was fear. Terror!
“Please!” she said, urgently pressing a thick envelope into my palm, conjuring the saddest weak smile. A few seconds later and I watched her speed away in her waiting taxi.
When I emptied the envelope behind the bar I found her keys, two hundred Euros and a small note, all in CAPS, saying:
HELLO RYAN. I MUST GO LATVIA. GRAND PROBLEMES FAMILY.
PLEASE FEED CLEAN DRINK CAT KAKIS. MONEY. ONE WEEK
KAKIS GOOD CAT.
PLEASE PRAY ME GOD.
MERCI – KATARINA
I showed the note to Patrice.
“Pull some fish out of the river, feed them to the cat, and pocket the money!” he advised. His breath still stank of vomit and I pulled away, lost in thought but now tasting my own bile at the back of my throat.
Three days into cat-sitting Kakis, I saw Mustafa, the janitor of the building, a broad and towering sixty-something mustachioed Algerian. He was mopping the tiles of the reception area, where a full time attendant once sat in better days. The wood of the desk was worn and scratched. On its warped surface a few thumb-eared tourist brochures had been abandoned by departing Airbnb guests. A large chandelier, missing most of its crystals, hung precariously on a cable that stretched up the full seven storeys of the building’s stairwell.
Mustafa spoke five languages if you included his spattering of English. He paced nervously on the spot, in open-toed sandals, as he explained that Madame Blankenfelde had been a housekeeper for a wealthy family in the 16th arrondissement for thirty years. This was only the third time she had returned to Latvia, the other times being the deaths of her mother and father.
Thirty years? I thought. How can that be, her flat is less than spartan. She has virtually no belongings. I didn’t mention the dozen crucifixes nailed to every wall and bibles laid around the edge of the floors in both rooms. The only faded black and white photo in the place was pinned above her bed. The faces of two adults were scratched away. I figured they were her parents, with the girl nestled between them being Madame Blankenfelde. All three of them stood in front of a thick wooden door, from the top of which three small symbols dangled from ribbons. One looked a little like a Swastika, while another was a triangle. Others looked a little more complex, but all angular.
“She no like go home,” pot-bellied Mustafa said, shaking his head ruefully. His fingers sought the chain around his neck, hidden under the I LOVE DUBLIN t-shirt I had passed on to him after putting on too much weight. The chain was taut on his thick neck as he pulled out a golden holy Hand of Fatima, rubbing it between his fingers as he spoke. I recognised the talisman immediately– said to protect Muslims from evil. I’d seen them sold at markets near the beach in El Gouna, Egypt. “You want?” asked Mustafa, seeing my interest in the object.
“No, no, just admiring,” I said, and trudged upstairs swinging a bag of cat food tins. I stopped in mid-step and swivelled to call down one last question: “Where is her husband? Latvia?”
Mustafa shook his head and, without looking up, said: “Bad thing happen, many bad thing.” A vintage telephone blared from a side room. He stalked away to answer it.
On the sixth night, I checked on Kakis after returning from work. It was 2 a.m. As usual, the affectionate Kakis was at the door with the first scrape in the lock. It wrapped itself around my legs and then tailed close to my ankles as I stepped over the creaking floor. I smiled to see the blue silver-haired feline attentively watching the world from the window ledge, in a gap between several small bottles of Lourdes holy water. In fact I was wishing I had a few more days of me and my new buddy.
My eyes blinked in the dark. It was 4 a.m. Urggh, less than two hours of sleep, thought. I heard footsteps through the wall next to my head. Madame Blankenfelde is back? No sooner had I thought the words than the footsteps grew louder. They seemed to stop right next to me, just through the wall. I’m not sure how long it took me to drift off again, but I didn’t hear another step.
I had a pounding headache all day at work and left early. Constance stood in for me, a hazel-eyed, half-Irish girl from Bordeaux with a “thing” for poets and writers. She had legs up to her neck and one eyebrow forever raised in a state of circumspection. On my first day at work she became my unrequited crush the instant I walked through the door. Her laughter, her words of easy temper and swift forgiveness were all delivered through lips that rich people might suffer a thousand injections to mimic. Just being close to Constance’s forever sun-kissed skin and long shiny hair – like dark satin – made each shared shift a joy. But, conversely, her absence made the achingly boring hours of pulling pints and lugging barrels a grind. Either way, I needed the money.
Constance’s family had a fancy vineyard in Pomerol, but she wanted to be a wild child in Paris for a few years – and she liked Irish men. I wasn’t complaining, we’d made out drunkenly a few times after locking up. But the mind-blowing kisses always ended with her confessing I wasn’t really her type. “But I love your accent,” she’d say as if it was compensation for not getting any further with her.
As I fumbled with my key at the front door of Rimbaud Residences I heard a car door slam behind me. I turned to find Madame Blankenfelde paying her taxi driver, her luggage at her feet. What the hell?
“Bonjour Madame,” I greeted her as she stepped forward. I was ashamed that my French was still utterly useless, cursing myself for working in a bar where people either spoke English or wanted to.
“Bonjour Ryan,” she responded, allowing me to pull her small suitcase. In her weariness the words hardly escaped her lips. Not only was her hair somehow whiter, but the blood seemed gone from her face, her eyes almost lifeless. Her skin was like a walnut, with deep furrows across her forehead.
I would not have thought it possible but Madame Blankenfelde’s face turned even more ashen in the hallway, as Mustafa translated what I’d heard the night before. Her hands dropped to her sides, with a look of defeat.
“Deaux minutes,” said Mustafa and gently pulled her to the side, where they exchanged whispers. Feeling awkward, like I was intruding, I bade them goodbye and hauled myself upstairs. The headache roared back, threatening to split my skull. As I passed Madame Blankenfelde’s flat I saw the line of light under her door. I thought I saw a shadow . . . something bigger than Kakis. For a second I was rooted to the spot, but heard Mustafa guiding my returned neighbour up the stairs. I’m sure it’s nothing, I thought. If there’s anything odd Mustafa will take care of it.
The next day, at exactly 11.11 a.m. I was awakened by sparrows chirping on my sunny window ledge. The headache had gone and I had a text from Constance saying: I’m coming over at 11.30. I’m bringing food.
“Suddenly everything is right with the world!” I said aloud, burying myself in my duvet and wondering if I had time for a shower or just a wet wipe “whore bath” as my sister called it. Will she want to play nurse?
“The door’s open!” I shouted when I heard the knock. After buzzing Constance in I leapt back into bed after drawing the curtain to cast myself in a more flattering glow.
“You have a gift?” asked Constance, as her smile filled my pokey two room flat.
“Someone left you something.” After leaving a shopping bag on the floor she twisted and plucked a small bag off the door handle. “Here”
“Oh, maybe it’s from Madame Blankenfelde, my neighbour.” I stretched my hand towards her.
“Ooh la la, an admirer? Am I interrupting a romance,” Constance said, pushing my hand aside, walking over the discarded wet wipes, and throwing herself onto the bed.
She felt so warm. I buried my nose in her long brown hair and kissed down to her neck. Her clothes peeled away. My hands, arms and legs enveloped her as she surrounded me. She smelled like mangoes and papayas. This is the Parisian dream, I thought, forgetting about the little bag.
That evening we were on the bullet train to Bordeaux. The new high speed line had just opened, her parents were away in Martinique, and we’d have the farmhouse to ourselves for five days. As the train whistled through the night I finally opened the bag in the cabin’s ghostly white light.
“They are so creepy,” said Constance, holding the carved wooden geometric symbols close to her face. She had just read me the note that accompanied them:
RYAN. THANK YOU PLEASE.
ONE IN WINDOW. ONE DOOR. ONE POCKET.
VERY IMPORTANT**. FROM LATVIA.**
“Ah, yes. I saw these in that old photo in Madame Blankenfelde’s flat.” I knew there was something familiar about them.
For the next twenty minutes Constance searched through webpage after webpage, reading me her findings. The symbols were from Latvian folklore, dating back to Pagan times and an ancient tribe called the Latgallians. They were and still are used to ward away evil and attract blessings.
When we pulled into Bordeaux, Juliet was waiting for us. I’d met her a few times in Paris at The Foggy Dew, learning in the process that she was nowhere near as accomplished a kisser as Constance. Juliet had been the main influence for Constance moving to Paris, then bottled out when she was supposed to join her. The matter was a sensitive subject once enough booze had been consumed.
Juliet leapt out of an old beat-up Citroën CX Familiale like a scalded cat. She flew across the ground, her stick-thin legs a blur of bright orange leggings. A huge baggy black turtle-neck sweater appeared to give her open arms wings. It was moth-eaten and looked like it had belonged to her father. “Your chauffeur awaits!” Juliet said, flinging her slight body into Constance’s arms and wrapping her legs around her.
Even with more changes of style than a chameleon, Juliet always looked striking. Her elven face greeted us that night with dark Gothic eyeliner, black lipstick and deathly white foundation. Her Elvira Queen of the Night look was framed by severe straight bangs and an angular bob – at its longest in front of ears, which were studded with a junk yard of metal.
Juliet pulled open the car door for us, bowing theatrically. I saw her long and perfectly manicured nails, painted with black varnish and couldn’t help imagining them scratching down my back.
The car had three rows of seats – one each! I lay back for several minutes then folded my arms around Constance from behind. The wheels screeched as we careened down roads flanked by endless lines of vines.
“Pomerol, directement!" demanded Constance, laughing.
“Of course my lady,” answered Juliet from the driver's seat, like an English aristocrat. Her black eyes glanced in the rear view mirror more than she looked at the road, joining Constance in constant laughter and machine-gun French. I hardly understood a word and I didn’t care. I could have spent a lifetime listening to Constance.
The first night the alarm at Constance’s family’s rambling stone manor house went off several times while we slept, scaring the shit out of us, but it was kind of fun as we searched from room to room for any interlopers – clinging to each other.
On the second night Constance was unsettled by shadow standing in the corner of the bathroom. “It didn’t disappear in the light!” she said, after racing back to my open arms in the warm bed.
“Of course your mind is going to see weird things in a five hundred year old chateau, miles from anywhere,” I said. “But you’ve got me now.” If anything the unexplained shared experience just brought us closer.
On the third night we put up the Latvian talismans in our bedroom window. We were undisturbed the rest of our trip.
Constance and I parted ways at Montparnasse station, exhausted, happy, blissful. With my tired eyes I glanced back at her as she climbed into her Uber. She waved from the window as it pulled away, warming my romantic heart. I’m such a love fool, I thought, as my heart panged at her absence. With that, I descended into the hot air of the Metro.
Back in Residences Rimbaud, I passed Madame Blankenfelde’s door.
I saw movement in the weak bar of light at its base. It swiftly went black, blotted out like night had fallen beyond the door. Hmm, Kakis must have laid down there, I thought, hearing scratches from the base of the door. The poor moggy misses me, I thought, aiming to knock on the door in the morning.
Unpacking my backpack I found the small bag and the wooden symbols. I read Madame Blankenfelde’s note again then did exactly as she had asked. Why was I so suddenly compliant? I don’t know. Something made me do it. A compulsion perhaps, or some primal previously untriggered instinct. I placed one talisman on the window, one on the door hook, and the last one in my pocket.
BANG! There was a huge thud against my wall.
“Shit!” I jumped out of my skin. I felt a cold surge of adrenaline. Ponderous footsteps, close to the wall, faded as they walked away. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I whispered as I heard them quicken and return. Another huge thud! The room shook, like a car had slammed into the wall. Goosebumps bristled over my skin. Cold air pressed in around me.
“Fuck it,” I said. I quickly headed to the door and into the corridor.
“Not another bloody note?” I stooped to pick up the torn paper outside Madame Blankenfelde’s door and heard the key scrape in her lock.
WELCOME BACK RYAN.
PLEASE CAN YOU HELP ME?
IT’S THE CAT. SHE HASN'T EATEN FOR DAYS.
MAYBE SHE MISSES YOU.
What the hell? I thought. Did she read my mind? And now she knows how to use apostrophes in English?
The double lock scraped again. The handle turned. An inch gap opened, revealing a strange absence of light.
Sunset is hours away, I thought. “Hello? Bonjour? Madame Blankenfelde?” I asked, without answer.
Where is Kakis? I thought. His expectant eyes and curious face usually tested the thinnest gap between the door and frame. I sensed something was wrong.
I waited, listening. There was no sound. Even the Metro trains at Barbès – Rochechouart station and beeping cars beyond her window were silenced. Then I heard the voice. Shivers of ice still trowel up and down my spine at its recollection.
“Ryyy –annn,” it said, in a thin, lingering hoarse voice. Like that of old woman sore and stricken with tonsillitis, who has to choke up each word. “Ryan, please come in . . . we’ve been waiting for you.”
“Sorry to hear that,” I said, my voice cracking. “Are you ok in there? Should I get Mustafa?”
“No!” ordered the voice, suddenly sharper.
The air around me was so frigid I saw the cloud of my own breath.
The door creaked open on its hinges. I didn’t dare step closer. Instead, I inched backwards, turning my feet towards the stairwell.
“Ryan?” asked the now impatient voice,deeper in tone, and exuding a latent threat.
As I backed away, the floor creaked. No, no, it can’t be Madame Blankenfelde, I thought, the penny dropping, neither the note nor the voice. She knows damned well that her beloved cat is a boy!
I felt an intense heat on my upper thigh, moments before heavy footsteps advanced from where I knew her bed to be. That’s where I put the old Latvian talisman! I remembered, hand on my pocket, as I fled for the stairs.
My short fat legs hardly touched the floorboards.
Halfway down the marble staircase I almost collapsed from the exquisite terrifying anticipation of those footsteps catching up with me in the stairwell. Instead, I heard a thunderous slam of a door.
The police called me at Constance’s flat that night. I was not prepared for what she would relay to me from the phone.
“When Mustafa and the police broke down the door Madame Blankenfelde’s room was destroyed,” she said. “Many crucifixes and the metal and wood from her dismembered bed were sticking out from the wall closest to your room – all thrown with inhuman strength.”
The worst was yet to come. Constance was weeping as she translated each line. “Oh my god. They looked inside a small high cupboard . . . they needed a small step ladder. Buried behind clothes and books . . . they found her body!”
“Madam Blankenfelde’s body?” I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
“Brace yourself for what I am about to tell you,” said Constance, her face grey. “Poor Madame Blankenfelde was crushed . . . into a small suitcase.”
“No! How?” I asked, spluttering. My heart was broken. “Impossible. I helped her carry that suitcase into the building. No one could fit inside it, hardly even a child.”
Constance gasped and covered her mouth in horror as she listened, the phone pressed to her ear. “Her neck and limbs had been snapped like twigs.”
I slumped to the floor and wrapped my arms around her legs, my head in her lap. She stroked my head as she spoke.
“The police think she was murdered about four days ago. There was an old photograph in the suitcase with her, with three faces scratched away.”
“Three? No, I saw only two had been scratched.”
It was then I realised Madame Blankenfelde had lived every day knowing one day she would be found. By what I do not know.
The love that Constance and I shared was a light soon snuffed out by the darkness of what transpired at Residences Rimbaud. On my thigh I still bear the red angular scars of the talisman Madame Blankenfelde gave me. I wonder if the being that hunted down the members of her family was too strong for the symbols, overcoming the faith held in them. Or, long ago, had some dark act by someone in her family invoked the hunter, nullifying their power – like those foolish people who were said to invite vampires over their thresholds?
Before Constance and I broke up for the last time we travelled to Riga together, the capital of Latvia. Supposedly it was to enjoy the romantic Christmas markets. We also sourced more of those ancient carved wooden talisman symbols.
Kakis was never found . . .
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2020.11.24 02:16 kalenryan13 College girls hidden
I have to write this now. I don’t know why I have the urge to write it all down, either. I think it’s the other half of me trying to bide itself more time… that’s why I should keep this brief. Every word’s an inch closer to- shit. I can’t put it on paper just yet. My name is Thomas Bruno. I found something in my basement the other day that opened some doors that really should have stayed shut. Ever since I found it, my skin has been rippling and chills have coursed through me. My organs don’t feel like my own. The dog is off its leash, now. But I don’t know if I’m the dog or if I’m the man walking it...
I moved out of my parents’ house a while ago. After high school, I decided to stay with them for another two years, just to get on my feet. I used to laugh about our differences. My mom and dad are unshakenly Catholic, while I’m borderline atheist. I was surprised they even let me stay with them for two more years, considering my history with parties, women, and weed, the latter of which I cut back on to get into better shape for football. My hair is dark, my eyes are brown, and their hair is blonde. My father has green eyes, while my mother has blue. I bought a house after the fourth time my parents had come into my room and caught me with another girl. My father came into my room later that night and told me the next time I was caught like that, I had six months to pack everything up and leave. I told him I’d get out of his hair early. I had all the money previously saved up, and I managed to get myself a small house, built in ‘74, painted gray with two stories (counting the basement) and almost zero square feet. During the moving process, I found a small VHS tape packed inside of a cardboard box.
I blew a cloud of dust off the tape, realizing there was a sticky note stuck to the VHS. I read it, and in faded letters written out in red pen, I could see that it said ‘BIRTH.’ I stuck my tongue in between my lips, staring at the chicken scratch letters. I put the tape away like I was lowering a slab of meat into a pen of alligators, drawing my arm back with haste once it was in the box. I fixed myself some dinner, just a plate of bleeding steak. I tossed and turned that night, thinking about the house payments and my own paycheck from work. It was frigid in my room, and goosebumps coated my arms and body. I remembered the tape, thought about it for a second, then threw it into the back of my mind. I thought back to that fourth time getting caught, my bedroom door opening and the oh shit look on my girl’s face, and the blank expressions that were on my parent’s. I remembered my mom throwing a condom wrapper into the trash, raising an eyebrow at me and saying,
“I hope these are all women that disrespect you just as much as you do them, Thomas. And I hope you treat your wife and kids better.”
The next day was a hellish one. I spent hours slaving away at my job, came home, and went to bed after lifting some weights. Football, college, and work were already weights on my chest, but there was a new weight. All day at work I’d thought about the house, and the opportunity that came with it- the chance to find a girl I loved and settle down, maybe even start a family. Over the weekend, I woke up early to my unlit bedroom bathed in shade. I was about to lay my head back down when I felt a squirming in my guts, like a worm writhing through my body. Without control I stood up and started to walk. The thought wormed its way into my head. The tape. BIRTH. It festered there for a moment, and by the time I had reached the kitchen, I’d decided I’d go into the basement and find the box.
I swallowed a mug of cold coffee, and chomped up a small stack of pancakes, without syrup or butter. I didn’t cut the cakes either; I just took a fork, stabbed a chunk off, then scarfed it down. I rushed into the basement, engulfed by the darkness. I tried the light switch, but it wouldn’t flick on.
“Ah, so it’s a pieceashit type of old house,” I murmured.
I ran back up the steps like I would down the football field, tore open a drawer, and ripped out a flashlight, slamming the drawer shut. I charged back down, then shone the beam of light into the cool, murky basement. There was a tiny leak in the corner, droplets of water spilling out into a bucket with a steady drip, minutes away from overflowing. Might wanna save up for some inspections and repairs, I thought.
Cobwebs were sprawled about on the ceiling, a few spiders crawling around through the silky mess. I cringed when I saw them. Ever since I’d been bit by a spider as a kid, I’d stomped on anything you might call a ‘creepy crawly.’ I rummaged through the cardboard boxes and plastic totes, waiting for the VHS tape to reveal itself. I found a dusty, scarlet red blanket in a pile of pillows and stuffed animals; my mom had made it for me when I was four. Hidden underneath a pile of various sports relics and kids’ toys in another box, I found the first football my father had ever gotten for me, when I was in kindergarten, still playing catch with him out on the front lawn. I also found a mangled action figure, one I must have played with all the time. It had a black cape, wearing a gray suit with eyes that I’d crossed out with pen or paint. I laughed to myself and put the figure back into the box.
I came across the box I was looking for. Inside, wedged under a few old picture books, was the tape. It stared at me without eyes… it conjured up images inside my head of hungry wolves and snakes flicking their tongues. I lifted it up and studied it, brushing off another spot of dust, checking the label again. I was surprised to find an old VHS player in the next box that I searched. As soon as I did, my chest ached. I stared at the tape, and then the player. There was a scream in the back of my mind, a booming voice, like God himself was crying out to me, SHATTER THE TAPE AND THEN BURY THE REMAINS TWELVE FEET DEEP. I dwelled on it a few seconds longer, thinking of the time when I was a boy, and my friend, Cameron, and I were going to walk down the railroad tracks. I’d warned him that the train might hit us; he punched me in the shoulder and said,
“And what are the odds, stat-man?”
I took the tape and the player upstairs and set everything up.
I took a deep breath, stared at the VHS as I held it, and then pushed it into the flap. It pulled the tape in like an invisible hand was on the other side, snatching it up to eat it. I listened to the electronic shuffling as the player worked itself back to life. My palms were sweaty, and I wiped them against my shorts, tapping my foot against the carpeted floor. It sputtered, and I expected the tape to fly out in a cloud of dust, and the VCR to set itself on fire. I took a few steps back from the TV. A few of my hairs stood on end. I whispered aloud,
“What are the odds, stat-man?”
The TV came to life. Static covered the screen. I hit a few buttons on the remote controller, and the screen went back to darkness. I tapped my foot again. Nothing happened for a few seconds, but it felt like minutes. White letters flashed across the black, a date. I skimmed it over and looked at my own reflection in the darker parts of the screen. My eyes were wide, like a cat’s in the night. A circle of candles lit themselves, my reflection in the middle. I gazed at the TV, my eyes adjusting to the darkness on the screen. The silence continued. The camera went in and out of focus, the images of the flames blurring for moments at a time. I almost fell backwards when the camera came into perfect focus. The candles were arranged in a pattern in the dark room.
The orange glow provided enough light to reveal the feet swaying back and forth above the circle, and the sound of a groaning wooden beam.
“Jesus Christ,” I uttered.
Men concealed in maroon robes and cloaks circled the pentagram like sharks. The room got brighter and the camera picked up more grainy images. There were five chairs placed around the room, and each chair held up a pair of feet. Shaky breathing could be heard now. Each cultist started towards one of the chairs and placed their hands on it. With a gasp of wind, the flames of the candles waved.
The cultists all yanked the chairs at the same time.
Five necks snapped with the crunch of a popcorn kernel between your teeth. I winced as I heard a gasp of breath released by the survivor.
With a sharp tug one of the cultists silenced them.
The cultists gathered inside the circle, each one holding a different item. One was a plant with black flowers. Another cultist, one with a mortar and pestle, ground the plant up and scattered it across the circle. Another held a goat. It bleated, struggling in the grip of its captor. With the other hand, they brandished a rusty knife, which they slid up the goat’s stomach. The goat bleated louder as blood covered its body. The blade reached through the goat’s neck, the point jabbing out of its throat. It collapsed and stopped crying. The body was dropped into the middle of the circle with a thud. The veins in my wrists felt like they might explode.
What are the odds, stat-man?
The worshippers hummed, and one waved a cross in the air. They held it upside down, a leather-covered book in the other hand. They were reading a passage from it.
I felt my stomach churning, the taste of not-quite-digested coffee and pancakes in the back of my throat. Steam began to rise up from the pentagram in a thick cloud, followed by the humming and chanting growing louder. My vision grew hazy, silver flecks of light floating in front of my eyes. In my head I saw the tape’s label, the name written in shitty handwriting from a red pen. BIRTH. I spun over. A cloud of vomit projected out from between my lips, carpeting the floor. I panted, held onto my couch, and dragged myself forward like I’d been shot. My leg skimmed the puke, hot acid coating my knee and shin. I laid down on the sofa, waiting for my strength to return. My vision got blurry again, but returned back.
It came back twice as strong.
My eyes were sucked towards the TV. A geyser of blood exploded from the pentagram. The steam shot up in blasts of misty air, blocking out my vision of the ritual. Stripes of static and electricity crackled across the camera’s feed. For a second the tape displayed nothing but what looked like a broken phone screen. Distorted, gravelly laughter echoed from the VCR. Another bout of laughter came. This time, I heard it ringing out from around the house. I heard it in the very back of my mind, ebbing through my brain, clogging my synapses. The steady chuckle transitioned over time into the cry of a baby. My breaths came easy now.
From the blood came a torso, a head, arms, and legs. A baby of boiling blood hovered in the middle of the circle.
The tension in my chest had disappeared. I watched the baby materialize like I would’ve watched the morning news. I looked into the corner of the screen and read the date on the tape. 11/17/99. November 17th, 1999. Now the tension in my chest came back in a tsunami wave.
I scrambled to grab the remote, flicking the TV off in an instant. My breaths came in shallow gasps. A new feeling was born inside me. It was the sense that I was being torn apart from every direction, bloody hands and fingers plagued with boils and arthritis reaching out and yanking at a part of me. I threw up again, vomiting chunks of digested food and sour, bitter acid all over the floor. My skin pulsed, as if it were having muscle spasms. I rolled around the living room floor and screamed. I suppressed the salty tears as pressure built up behind my eyes. I slammed my fists against the floor like a monkey trying to escape its cage. There was a man in the room now. I couldn’t see him, but I felt him. I heard his laughter, distorted and gravelly, like the horrific shit that grumbled out of the TV.
It’s been a few days.
I keep having visions. Not dreams, but memories. They always come whenever I’m waking up in the morning, speaking to someone at work, or trying to fall asleep. I have visions of the unskilled blowie I got in eighth grade and I see the faces of every girl I’ve ever played around with. I see my friends and I rolling joints while the music screams in our ears and purple lights half-blind us or waking up in front yards of houses we don’t remember going to. Sometimes I see my grandfather. He died when I was five, but we visited him often because his wife was found bloodied in a bathtub when I was two. Him and stomach cancer had traded blows for years. He liked to talk football with me, and we went fishing a lot, too. I stood at his side while the life flowed out of him. With a dusty, winded whisper, he said,
“The Devil lives inside all of us.”
And a few days later the police closed the case on my grandmother’s murder.
A bloody knife was found in a box in my grandfather’s basement.
I was getting into the shower the day after I watched the tape, and froze when I looked into the mirror. A ripple tore through me. I grabbed my side and supported myself on the bathroom counter. My head throbbed with a stinging pain. I put a hand over my hair and felt something stabbing into the palm of my hand, so I pulled away. When I looked back into the mirror, a white knob of a horn had started to protrude out of my flesh. I stared at it, tapping it with my fingers. I looked into my own eyes. They were fiery orange, flickers of yellow and red behind the flames. I smiled to myself.
My teeth were razor blades.
I’m sitting on my living room couch right now, writing this. A loaded revolver sits to my left. I understand myself now. If I had full control over my thoughts and actions, I would’ve reached for that gun, cocked the hammer back, and repainted the walls in an instant. Every few minutes I pause and check the chamber of the gun, and I see that there’s still six bullets in there instead of five. I place my thumb on the hammer; after putting the gun down I continue to write this. At the beginning of my suicide note, I thought I was writing this because I didn’t have the strength to go through with it. Or, the Devil wouldn’t let me. It’s clear now. This wasn’t meant to be my suicide note, whether I knew that or not. This was meant to be my ‘wanted’ note. A warrant for my death.
I hope I still have the strength to get it outside of this house, into the hands of someone with the guts to pull the trigger.
submitted by kalenryan13 to nosleep [link] [comments]
2020.11.23 20:41 thatreallyshortchick Welcome to Charlie’s: Your Local Family Department Store. Cashiers & Professional Wendigo Hunter Wanted.
I clear my throat and grab the microphone.
“Good morning and welcome to Charlie’s, your local family department store. Today we have a sale on chopped liver. Go ask Gary over at the deli all about it.”
I look over in the direction of the deli to see Gary violently chopping up said liver. I don’t really know where he got it, though. He just told me to add it to the morning announcements.
“We’ve also updated our holiday section so all customers can find whatever they might want or need for Father’s Day. To all customers currently shopping with us...”
I glance over to the bench by the front door and see our only customer. If he can even still be considered a customer because he doesn’t look like he has much life left in him. Did he just pull the skin on his feet up like socks?
“...we’re sorry to inform you that our restrooms are currently out of order until further notice.”
That’s because when I came in this morning, both the men’s and the women’s restrooms were covered in blood. When I say covered, I mean floor to ceiling, drenched and dripping. It’s been happening for months now and we have no idea how. It always happens during the closing hours, the camera always glitches when it happens, and no one is brave enough to stay over night to figure out the source of it.
“Have a nice day, and thank you for shopping at Charlie’s Department Store.”
I finish the first announcement of the day, and let go of the microphone. As I do, I see Gabe speed walking into the front doors. He has a look of terror on his face and he’s breathing heavy.
“It must be out of its cage?” I ask him. He slams his messenger bag down and I can see rips and tears in it.
“Yeah, and apparently it only ever finds me tasty for some stupid reason,” he says, clearly frustrated that our unintentional pet wendigo is a picky eater.
“I’ll tell Gary to give it some other....less fortunate meat selections he might have. We need to get it back in its cage before we get a rush.”
Gabe’s face contorts into one of disgust at this comment, but I’m not sure if it’s at me discussing Gary’s mystery meat selection or at us getting busy. Or maybe it’s at the thought of the wendingo munching on his flesh, who knows? I tell Gabe to begin setting up his register space while I go over to talk to Gary.
When I walk over, I see Gary chopping up some very disgusting, gray meat. “Hey Gary, uh...you know the owners don’t like when you try to sell customers meat past its expiration date,” I softly reminded him. Gary was usually a total sweetheart to all our workers, but it still wasn’t the best idea to make him mad.
He grunted, then said “Gary hear wendigo out. Gary help.” He slammed his butcher’s knife down on the counter, completely obliterating whatever bone was in the mystery meat.
“Great job, Gare Bear. Always ahead of the game.” I tap the counter twice before turning around and walking back towards the front of the store, passing the bathroom where I could see Sheryl mopping blood off the tiles. I could have sworn I saw her lick some excess blood she had acquired on her fingers, but I try not to look too deep into things like that around here. However, I did notice and call out her failure to post an “out of order” sign on the door, to which her response was, “Oh, is the restroom out of order?”
Once I handled that situation, I passed the earlier mentioned customer, a seven foot tall “man” whose skin never seemed to fit him properly, and we greeted each other. He had to close his jaw using his hand after the greeting, but I tried not to stare because that’d be rude of me.
Just a usual morning here at Charlie’s.
-–——— 1:43 p.m.
“Um...sir?” said the young girl who just walked up to me. She looked college age and absolutely normal, so she really shouldn’t have been in here. I stood up from the shelf I was restocking and looked at her, waiting for her to state what she needed help with.
“There’s these two little girls over there on—“ she pointed over to a nearby isle “—that isle, and they seem to be lost. They’ve been standing at the end of the isle for quite a while, but they don’t seem to have a parent or anyone with them,” said the girl nervously. She genuinely looked worried for their well being, but it was hers she should have been worried about.
I nodded then asked, “Are they twins?”
She nodded back, confused that I didn’t seem so concerned. “You already know about them?”
I ignored her question and asked one of my own. “Did you respond whenever they asked you to play with them?”
“I...I asked them where their mom was. Why do you not seem more worried? What if their mom abandoned them?” She seemed to be getting somewhat flustered that I wasn’t doing more.
“Ma’am, I’m sorry to tell you this, but you are now basically their mother. You spoke to them and acknowledged their presence, so now they are attached to you.”
She looked at me in completely bewilderment. Then it quickly changed to a look of fear, probably from me, those girls, and this whole establishment. “What are you even talking about?”
“They said they wanted to play with you for forever, you stupidly responded, even though you didn’t know any better, and now they are yours. Which I am very sorry about but also can’t do anything about.”
“Are you crazy? Is everyone in this store crazy? Is that what’s going on? What even is this place?” She was starting to not take me seriously. She had a look on her face that reminded me of all the dumb blonde girls that used to bully me in high school. I was used to people looking at me in fear thanks to Charlie’s, but looking at me like I was stupid was another thing. I suddenly decided I didn’t care much for her well being anymore.
I shrugged and told her the honest truth. “It’s a grocery store, but not for people like you.”
She inched away from me at this point, but she still asked, “What do you mean ‘people like me’?” She was starting to sound like a Karen, but I could also see the fear come back in her eyes, betraying her tough act.
She stared at me for a few seconds in silence. I could see the gears turning in her head, looking for a response and unable to find one. The two twins walked up to each side of her, each taking one of her hands. Her left hand was occupied by a bag of sugar which the twin taking over happily launched over her shoulder, causing the bag to bust with the force. The force of the throw actually made some of the sugar turn to powder, so it looked like a freak snowfall had occurred.
“Good luck” is all I said, albeit sarcastically, before the girls dragged her out of the grocery store. I could feel her eyes practically burning a hole through my skull. Clearly, she did not get the memo about it being rude to stare, but she didn’t say anything else, I’m assuming out of fear.
I looked at the snow storm the twins had caused and groaned, grabbing my walkie-talkie. “Hey, Gabe, clean up on isle—“ I glanced up at the broken isle sign above my head, then glanced at the broken ones in surrounding isles, and inwardly cursed myself for being unable to do basic math, “—whatever isle looks like Frosty the Snowman just shit himself. Thanks.”
————— 5:07 p.m.
I was restocking the magazine racks up front by the registers when a thought occurred to me.
“Hey, have you seen Gabe in the last few hours?” I asked Sheryl begrudgingly.
She paused her very difficult task of organizing a pack of m&m’s by color and thought for a second. “I think he clocked out and left already. The schedule says he got off at 3.”
“I know that, but he’s been missing since before three, Sheryl.”
“Oh,” she replied, as she scrunches up her stupid face in confusion.
“Aren’t you colorblind?”
She pauses again to look at me. “Yes, I am. Why do you ask?”
The thought of seeing if the wendigo might be interested in a taste of Sheryl enters my head mere seconds before a messenger bag soars through the sliding glass doors and lands with a loud thud just in front of her register. It’s nearly ripped to shreds, but I can see one of those tourist key chains with the name “Gabe” on it hanging from the somehow still intact arm strap.
“That looks like his bag, doesn’t it?” ponders Sheryl, making me literally want to rip her head off at this point. I stare at the bag for a few seconds, honestly angry that Gabe was gone and not her. “Oh, wait!” She swings the m&ms bag in her hand towards me in an effort to grab my attention, making two m&ms fly out and hit me on the cheek, “I remember Gabe went outside after he finished sweeping up the snowman. You didn’t tell me Christmas decorations had come in!”
I slowly turned to look at her, completely confused as to how someone could be so stupid and oblivious, and grabbed every single bag of m&ms off the rack behind me. I threw all of them on her conveyer belt. “Here, count and organize these for me. Don’t leave your register until you’re done. Better yet, don’t talk to me until you’re done.” She chirped in excitement and got to work.
I made a mental note to tell Gary there was possibly a new meat selection for tomorrow outside, then headed towards the office. I needed to call the owner and let him know we’d need to hire another cashier.
———— 7:14 p.m.
After I had gotten off the phone with the owners, I was doing a sweep around the store to see if there was anything that needed to be restocked or reorganized. I stopped at one isle whenever I saw a woman kneeling on the floor with her back facing me.
“Can I help you with anything, ma’am?” I asked her. Honestly, there were few things that scared me anymore thanks to Charlie’s, but something about this woman made the hairs on my arms stand up. I stared at the back of her head for a few moments, noticing how her hair was matted into one giant strand of twigs, dirt, and whatever else was hidden in that mess. She could have had a dead animal in there for all I knew, which would help explain the horrible stench that was coming from her. I took a couple steps towards her.
Suddenly, I heard a loud snapping noise, like she had broken her neck, and her head slowly started to turn towards me. It stopped moving whenever she was facing me, as if she was an owl, and I finally got a look at her face, or, really, what was left of her face. She had horrible scars all over her face, some healed and some still open and clearly infected, dripping blood and pus onto the tiles. The whites of her eyes are the only thing that shown, and they looked milky. Even though I couldn’t see her actual eyeballs, I could tell she was looking me in my eye. Her jaw looked broken and hung loosely, letting some weird, black tar looking liquid drip onto the linoleum tiles, mixing with the blood and pus. She tilted her head back and forth, I’m assuming to crack her neck, but it strangely ended up sounding like a creaking door you would hear in a haunted house.
Honestly, the fear that I felt right now made me just want to run away and pretend I had never even seen this woman, but I knew the owners wouldn’t like that. The thought of upsetting them scared me more than this woman did, so I stayed and tried to offer help. However, I have this bad habit of making jokes whenever something makes me feel tense or scares me, so when I heard the god awful creaking noise coming from this woman, my immediate response was:
“If it’s WD40 you’re looking for, we have that over on isle 10.”
Clearly, that was not the product she was looking for, though, because whenever I recommended it, she started screeching at the top of her lungs.
I don’t know why, but I panicked and started screaming back. Then whenever she stood up, I grabbed a broom that was leaning up against the shelves and pointed it at her as a makeshift sword. This immediately made her start cackling, which caused her to choke on the black tar coming out of her mouth. She waited until she stopped coughing and then grabbed her head and twisted it back to its normal position. Then she turned to face me. She slapped the broom out of my hand, and it flew into the shelves, causing an avalanche of canned vegetables to drop to the floor.
“Stupid boy, do you really think you could defeat me with a broom? What are you gonna do, sweep me to death?” She cackled some more, and then took a step towards me.
I took a step back and said, “I don’t know, maybe.” I grabbed a couple cans of beans off the shelves, ready to toss them at her if provoked.
“Relax, child. I’m only the messenger. I wish more than anything that I could rip your fingernails off one by one to make a delicious snack, but the Father said you are not to be touched....yet.” She grinned at me with rotting teeth that looked as sharp as then softly waved one hand upwards, causing the two cans in my hand to launch from my hands and into the ceiling. They exploded upon impact and showered beans and bean juice onto the isle we occupied and the surrounding isles. I heard a customer mutter a confused “what the hell” in the next isle over.
“Who is the Father?” I asked nervously.
She cackled again, swiping beans off of her shoulder. “Oh, you haven’t heard? He’s coming back. And He will rule this world with an iron fist, bathing every thing in a beautiful fiery blaze of despair and agony! He will rid this pitiful planet of every single wretched human and monster, including you and every one else in this portal to Hell.”
I was going to ask her what she meant by “portal to Hell,” but I let her continue her speech instead, tears forming in her eyes as she did. I didn’t want to be rude in case she decided she really did want to rip off my fingernails.
“If you think you’ve felt fear before, you’re in for a hell of a ride, silly boy. He will torture you in ways you never could imagine: ripping off your eyelids and sewing them back on, ripping open to abdomen and making you feast on your entrails while they are still attached to you, chopping off your tongue and shoving it into holes you didn’t even know you had...the possibilities are endless! And since this is a portal after all, just expect us to be here a lot preparing for His return.”
She finished her speech with a little excited applause, I’m guessing at whoever this “Father” guy was. Since I finally had the chance to speak, I asked “Are you talking about the Devil? And what do you mean by ‘portal to Hell’?”
She looked at me like I had asked the dumbest question she had ever heard in her life (if she was even still alive, I couldn’t really tell). “The Father is the most powerful being in the world, and His name is Xuberen! Not this stupid “Devil” character everyone is always talking on and on and on about! And how did you not know this is a portal to Hell? Did you honestly think all of the weird stuff that happens here is normal? Are humans really that stupid?”
Speak of the Devil (or is it the Father?), Sheryl chose this very moment to walk up to us. She paused at the end of the isle and stared at us, and we stared back as well.
“Is it Halloween?” She asked while staring at the woman.
“No, Sheryl,” I rolled my eyes, but then realized she might be able to help me. “Actually, though, Sheryl, while you’re here, do you think you could get me a bottle of water? I’m kind of parched.”
“Sure!” She chirped happily as she walked off to complete the request.
I turned back towards the lady just a second before she waved her hand and slammed me into the shelves to the left of us.
“Do you really think I’m as stupid as you humans?” She walked towards me and got right in my face. Her breath made my eyes water with how pungent it was. “Did you really think a stupid trick like “holy water” would be able to defeat a disciple of Xuberen?” She put one of her hands around my neck and started to choke me. “If you weren’t going to be used as one of the Father’s pawns, I’d kill you right this instant for trying something like that!”
She started to speak to me in what I assumed was angry Latin, and I began to see stars. I tried not to look into her eyes, but I was unable to look away or close mine because of some unknown force. In her eyes, I saw every single scenario of torture she wanted to act out on me. It was like seeing your life flash before your eyes but the exact opposite. Right when I felt like I was on the verge of passing out, she let go and I dropped to the floor, coughing so hard I thought my lungs were about to pop.
I was too scared to look up towards her, but I could feel her staring daggers down at me as she said “I’ll be back, and I’m bringing some friends with me.” With that, she walked away, and I stayed on the floor, trying to gather my thoughts and catch my breath.
I looked up when Sheryl appeared in front of me, struggling to carry ten different water bottles.
“I didn’t know you which brand you liked, so I got them all,” she said, and then she dropped every single one of them on my legs. “Oops.”
———— 9:07 p.m.
It is actually after hours at Charlie’s right now. I’ve just finished locking up the place, and I am currently sitting in my car. I can see the wendigo’s red eyes staring at me from inside of one of the plastic dog houses we have displayed for sale out front. Maybe if I got him a bed and some chew toys he’d be less inclined to chew on my workers. That’s the third cashier we’ve lost in 6 months. And it was a shame, too. I had just finished training that one. Maybe I should start training them on how to defend yourself against wendigo attacks. And maybe I should train them for the possible end of the world. Who knows? I don’t really know who or what this Xuberen guy is, but I told the owners about what happened. They just kind of laughed at me and then hung up the phone, so I’m not really sure what I should do. I guess we will just have to wait until the lady and her friends come back.
I just realized the scary lady never told me her name. I think I’ll call her Deborah. She seems like a Deborah.
Anyways, this concludes a “normal” day at Charlie’s. It was one of my friend’s ideas to write this little diary of events after I told him how hectic it is working here. I don’t think he believes 100% of the stories I tell him, but maybe you guys will. I know for sure he won’t believe today’s events, so please tell me you guys do. Writing this has helped relieve some of the stress of managing this place. You guys taking me seriously will also be a big help. If you do, I might continue writing these. Working here definitely has helped me realize that humans aren’t the only monsters in our world, so stay safe out there guys! And make sure you avoid any weird ladies that look like they are named Deborah.
submitted by thatreallyshortchick to nosleep [link] [comments]
2020.11.23 19:45 rebox-lawl College girls hidden
I am writing this post as a woman with ADHD and high functioning ASD. I am fed up of hating myself, hiding myself and masking. This is my rant to my critics.
All my life, I have hidden myself away until I did not know the girl in front of the mirror. Lockdown has made me realise who I really am and has forced me to confront myself.
My ADHD and ASD is not something I should be ashamed of, it does not make me less of a human. I am fed up of being told of who I need to be or that I should be ashamed of myself. It is a part of who I am and no amount of medication will change that. But I do not need to change, I don't want to change
I am sorry my ADHD and ASD is an inconvenience. I am learning ways to live with my ADHD and ASD, and I will be better. I do not mean for any malice, and I didn't intend this.
But I am not sorry for the pain in your soul that makes you so critical of things I can't change; I am sorry you feel it is necessary to call me out of smiling too much, I am sorry you feel I take too long to say what I have to say, I am sorry you feel inconvenienced when I take 10 seconds more putting milk in my coffee; I am sorry you don't think I deserve extra help with college... Most of all I am sorry it hurts you so much to see me thrive.
But I thrive, in spite of the criticism, in spite of the words said behind my back, and in spite of living in a society that has been built to hide me away.
Having ASD is so hard, having ADHD is so hard and being a woman is so hard. I know everybody has it hard, and I respect that. But please respect me, and my struggles because everyday is an uphill battle. I will try my best to not let my struggles spill into yours. Being disadvantaged by a disability is one thing, I do not need the added pressure of being discriminated against or being shunned.
If you think a person is less deserving of human kindness because they have a disability or that disability inconveniences you, I am not the one who needs to change. It's not hard to find the person in needs to change, all you have to do is look in the mirror.
To the boy who could have been, I am sorry you could not accept the parts of me that are ASD and ADHD. I tried my best to be what you wanted.
Most of all I am sorry to myself for the past 22 years hiding you away, and for believing others when they told you who to be, and not myself yourself. But from here on, I am saying no more. For all of the women reading this do not be afraid to be yourself; to be a woman and to display your symptoms of ADHD.
In the spirit of Maya Angelou: 'I'm a woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman. That's me.'
submitted by rebox-lawl to adhdwomen [link] [comments]
2020.11.23 18:15 ClassicDisneyFan1994 Plot Synopsis for Dope (2015)
Malcolm Adekanbi and his best friends, Jib and Diggy, are high school "geeks" living in "The Bottoms," a high-crime neighborhood in Inglewood, California. Malcolm is confident he will be admitted to his dream school, Harvard University, but his school counselor is skeptical and suggests he take an interview with local businessman and Harvard alumnus, Austin Jacoby. While biking home, Malcolm is stopped by Dom, a drug dealer who instructs him to invite a girl named Nakia to his party. Malcolm charms Nakia, who tells him she will only accept if Malcolm goes as well. Jib and Diggy accompany Malcolm to the party, where Dom’s purchase of high-grade, powdered molly is interrupted by an armed gang, and several people are shot. Malcolm escapes as the police arrive, unaware that Dom has hidden the drugs and a gun in his backpack. Nakia drives Malcolm home, and he offers to help her with her GED. The next day, Malcolm discovers the drugs, gun, and an iPhone. An unknown caller reveals that he knows Malcolm's identity, and instructs him to turn over the drugs. After school, Malcolm prepares to hand over the drugs when he receives a call from Dom, in custody, who tells Malcolm not to give the drugs to the other caller. He texts Malcolm an address and tells him to ask for AJ. Malcolm, Jib and Diggy flee to the address, chased by the unknown caller, and are greeted by Jaleel and his sister Lily. Since AJ, their father, isn't home, Jaleel invites them inside their mansion and takes Jib and Diggy out for food, while Lily seduces Malcolm, finds the drugs and takes a heavy dose. Intoxicated, Lily passes out while driving Malcolm to his interview before urinating on a bush while bystanders record, and Malcolm drives her car to the meeting himself. Arriving at Jacoby's office, he notices photos of Dom, Lily, and Jaleel and realizes Jacoby is AJ. Malcolm relays Dom's instructions to Jacoby, who denies any knowledge and implies that the contents of the bag are now Malcolm's responsibility. Jacoby reschedules the interview, warning Malcolm that if he has not sold the drugs by then, he will not receive Jacoby’s recommendation to Harvard. Malcolm, Jib and Diggy seek help from hacker Will Sherwood, who sets up an online black-market website to sell the drugs through Bitcoin transactions, which soon goes viral. The three friends enroll in a Google Science Fair project to access the school lab and computer room, where they can sell the drugs to the various buyers. Even though no one suspects them, they almost get caught one day during a routine police search. This episode frightens Jib who wants to leave, but eventually accepts to go on to finish the sales. Malcolm helps Nakia study, and she opens up to him, but he accuses her of being sent by Dom and pushes her away. The next day, Malcolm asks Will to extract cash from the Bitcoins, and arranges a meeting with a money-laundering gangster named Fidel. Malcolm leaves the meeting with a bag of cash, but is assaulted by the school bully, who takes the bag. Desperate, Malcolm pulls out the gun, retrieving the money and earning the bully's respect. Returning to AJ's office, Malcolm tells Jacoby that he has sold the drugs but has left a trail leading to Jacoby – unless Jacoby gets him admitted to Harvard, Malcolm will transfer the Bitcoins to Jacoby's checking account, incriminating Jacoby for the sale and leading to his arrest. Later Malcolm types his college application essay, describing two students – Student A is a music geek who plays in a punk band and gets straight As, while Student B suffers in the hood and makes money in immoral ways. He asks, "Which student do you think I am?" Malcolm waits for Nakia at prom, but she does not show. Later, Nakia meets Malcolm at his home and thanks him for helping her pass her GED, giving him a pass to Six Flags and kissing him on the cheek. He returns to his room to find a letter from Harvard on his bed. He opens it and looks at the audience before smiling.
submitted by ClassicDisneyFan1994 to copypasta [link] [comments]
2020.11.23 04:03 sufferlittlekids College girls hidden
I was a totally normal, feminine girl with a very happy childhood. I played D1 sports, and I was recruited from a young age. I never heard of trans people until I went to college, but I readily accepted them, and I'm still friends with some of the trans women I met then today. When the idea that "gender is a social construct" was taught to me in class, it made total sense because I understood I was bisexual. At the time, gender did feel like a social construct, because I was depressed and felt empty inside... college athletics were super hard, funding and enthusiasm for women's sports fucking sucks, and I had blown out my ACL. I had surgery and then intense physical therapy and lifting everyday, and from school I had a new group of 'leftist' friends who valued me for my wit, not my capacity to chase a ball like a dog, which I couldn't see the point in doing anymore.
Then when Occupy happened in 2012 on campus, I built up a following on twitter for livetweeting protests. I joined a queer feminist reading group, I cut all my hair off, and I dropped out of school and sports completely. I tattooed something like ACAB somewhere on my body, and I made anonymous accounts online to post from because I felt the need to hide my weird politics from my family, who had stopped talking to me. After a few years, I became 'non-binary,' like many of the women in my new friend group, all the while being in relationships exclusively with men. I got tons of tattoos, experimented with binding, fucked with my hair, changed my name, ruined my relationships with polyamory, and when I went back to school and on to teach, I instructed students to use 'they/them' pronouns with me because 'gender isn't real' in my first year.
Unfortunately, I look back on all of that as humbling evidence that I am truly retarded, and that our brains are wet, impressionable mush until age 25. Thankfully I repaired my relationship with my family and I never chopped my tits off.
What changed everything for me was deleting my Facebook and Twitter 3 or 4 years ago. I did it for tedpilled reasons, and because cancel culture is so freaky. But once I was way less online, I noticed that every non-binary person in school was a narcissist and the rejection of gender had become a gender, which made no sense. I felt pretty hemmed in by the decisions I had made, so I moved away.
I didn't know about Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria until I read the detrans subreddit.
I felt non-binary because I didn't feel like I had a gender inside of me, and I still don't feel like there is a gender inside me. That's why I don't think trans women are women 'inside.' Trans women do not have some mini Platonic ideal version of themselves in a dress and heels at the helm of their consciousness, hidden by their corporeal form. I think they are just people who are more comfortable presenting feminine, either because they want to attract a man or because it's hot to them. I don't think we are 'assigned gender' at birth because our sex is instead a material reality that is empirically observed. With sex surgery available, why is it wrong to say that if you have a pussy, you're a woman? Post-op trans women are women, pre-op trans women are trans women. 'Non-binary' people aren't real. People will look at you and guess your gender no matter what you try to do. There is nothing beyond material reality.
And I totally support free hormones and free sex surgery under a nationalized healthcare plan for anyone over the age of 25. Puberty blockers stop brain growth and permanently ruin your fertility. Wait until your brain is done growing. You might be a nihilistic teen right now who wants to kill all men and can't conceive of birthing another person into this meatgrinder, but children are a very wonderful thing and your feelings on that might change.
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2020.11.22 20:23 Afrocircus2 College girls hidden
Hi, this is my first time posting on RBN. I just joined a week ago and boy, has it been a whirlwind. After tons of research I’ve discovered that I am being raised by narcissists. This is a journal entry that I wrote at 2am last night. I think there’s enough context for everything I mention in here, but if you have any questions feel free to ask. I’ve been struggling why I feel empty so much, and why that feeling has intensified this year. I figured it just has something to do with perfectly hidden depression. I just realized yesterday that it’s actually been a trauma response. I hope the paragraphs/text alterations make it easier to read :)
if I say “us” or “we” I’m talking about me and my siblings
WARNING: super long (TLDR at the end!); emotional abuse mentioned; slight mentions of physical and verbal abuse
Journal Just found out a couple days ago that my mom is a narcissist of some level. For now, from the research i’ve done, all I can say is that she has a narcissistic parenting style. I don’t want to be quick to assume yet, but from reading tons of RBN posts about other people’s experiences growing up with narcissistic parents … it’s all too familiar. I’m learning about this because I want to understand more about my childhood. I want to know how the things I went through affect me now. I want to know how much trauma and abuse I’ve normalized. I also suspect that since I naturally adopted the Gray Rock technique into my daily life (which I just found out about 4 days ago), I’ve used it so excessively towards mom (and dad) that I have detached from my emotions almost completely. It’s scary. I didn’t realize that my young teenage self adopted a method already recommended by psychology professionals because I found it so effective. I had to be the peacemaker almost, the person that maintained balance. No one else in the family was going to be quiet, everyone had to assert themselves. And since mom already said I have an introverted personality type (which isn’t true, I’m only quiet around adult relatives, including her), it was very easy to go down that road. It was natural for me to swallow my emotions, because that’s how I cope with disappointments and other daily life things.
I think I can’t handle intense or strong emotions because I just avoid them so quickly. I remember growing up, I put on this persona as being “the strong independent girl” and I was proud of not crying, even rarely by myself. I think I took this from the way my parents treated emotions. Whenever I was spanked for doing something wrong, if I ever cried or reacted in a way that showed my shock/hurt, I was punished even more by my mom AND dad. As I grew, I was ridiculed by my mom for showing that weakness. I internalized this mentality, learning that showing my emotions was wrong, and I took it as a positive aspect of my personality. Currently it’s been a struggle for me to understand why I feel so detached from everything. BUT NOW IT’S COMING AROUND FULL CIRCLE! The reason why I have felt this way for so long (now I realize it’s pretty much been all my life, my earliest memory starting elementary school) is because dissociation is a trauma response to the emotional, verbal, and sometimes physical abuse I received whenever I reacted to anything. In my teenage years I saw how mom reacted to me for reacting to something she has said. She is combative by nature, and often throws harsh words and unfair punishments for simple mistakes. I learned that defending myself against untrue assumptions she makes and trying to make her understand my intentions is completely counterproductive. Instead of making her more understanding about my circumstances, she actually sees that as completely disrespectful. It doesn’t matter how loud/soft I speak, how much I reaffirm her statements, how much I validate her feelings, how much I show my gratitude, how much i choose humility, and how I answer her questions (which are ALWAYS traps), she will always see my words as attacks towards her. She often says “I don’t know what you’re trying to prove” and she always alludes to us “blatantly trying to disobey her” as a rebellious statement, none of which is true. She always assumes we have the worst intentions, and we are always trying to attack her, no matter how we come across. The only time she ever approves of me speaking is if I agree with her and obey her blindly. I learned years ago that if I stay invisible, she will find no problem with me ... I have always been right. Before I even knew what it was, I have gray-rocked her more and more, especially this year. Whenever she yells at me, I always keep a straight face. I respond with a monotone voice. I completely hide the emotions I’m feeling and I deliberately prevent myself from correcting any lies and other forms of gaslighting she has chosen to express.
NOW I understand how incredibly traumatized I am. I’ve been forced to look at situations objectively and remove myself from situations from such a young age. Although this is admirable for a child/teenager, this just shows how I had to mature so quickly as the oldest child because I had to cater to my parent’s emotions and my younger siblings’ emotions and ignore my own. I cannot even feel emotions accurately anymore. I don’t remember a time when I did. Unfortunately quarantine has magnified this internalized gray rocking even more. I don’t think I feel happy, I just respond to happy situations accordingly. I don’t feel sad, I have sad moments. Most of the time I just feel empty. From a young age, I always prided myself in not being able to feel jealousy. I also prided myself in not feeling nervous when performing. That’s only because I so readily detached my emotions from those threatening situations. I think fear is the only emotion I can identify and feel the most intensely. It’s an emotion that I almost feel daily. Because respect and fear are synonymous in this family, I am not surprised that this emotion has been drilled into my childhood.
Due to my background in performing arts, I have been able to adapt socially by being outgoing and showing the appropriate emotions accordingly. Little did I understand that the way I showed my emotions externally only stayed external. I don’t really remember feeling any of the things I experienced. I have hidden my feelings and my wants and needs for so long that I can’t even bring much of myself into friendships or other relationships. Within conversations, i pride myself in providing my intellect into the conversation, because I was praised for that. But when it comes to asserting myself, sharing my vulnerable feelings about things that are affecting me in my personal life, I always provide that on a surface level. I also think I talk fast because I have to do so quickly in order to say what I need to say before my parents interrupt me. I have no voice. My value and worth are based on how I contribute to the family –– chores, high level of achievement in school, participation in religious activities, and future financial contribution. Yet my successes are never celebrated, they are always taken for granted because “that’s what I’m supposed to.” There’s no room for making mistakes ever; even the smallest mess ups are punishable. I cannot even show my emotions about the things I love like my hobbies or talking to my friends, because everything I ever love will ALWAYS be used against me. Even my friendships are used against me, so now my parents don’t know anything about them. I don’t talk about the things I’m interested in unless I have to. I’ve been blackmailed far too often to fall into that trap again.
First of all thank you so much for reading this far and providing any help. I really need it and I’m so grateful you took the time to read my words.
TLDR: I’ve gray rocked my (newfound) narcissistic parents, especially my mom, more and more since before middle school (over 6 years), to the point where I’ve internalized it and almost completely detached from my personal identity and emotions.
Questions: Am I avoiding the truth by calling it a “narcissistic parenting style?” They aren’t self absorbed around other people, they actually listen to other people and their struggles and are very helpful people. But they, ESPECIALLY my mom, have this entitlement that intensifies once they establish their superiority over their kids.
Has anyone else felt like they internalized their gray rocking?
What am I supposed to do? My parents are divorced and I live with my mom since I’m going to college soon. This is too much for me to handle rn honestly bc I know I can’t really do much at all, especially in quarantine.
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2020.11.22 12:57 Joineci What you are looking for is..... (Link in the Desc.)2
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