My Birth Defect

“You know what your problem is, Cait?”

Oh, do tell.
“Your problem is that, well, you just don’t know how to be happy!”
Ah, you certainly cracked that code, Miss Marple.
My reply, “I was born that way.” It seems like a simple answer with a slight hint of sarcasm. However, I wasn’t just being silly or stubborn. I truly believed this odd theory.
To me, there are three groups of people. People Group #1 are born happy with their corny smiles super glued to their faces. Everything to them is bunnies and sunshine. Group #2 are basically happy but may experience great tragedies in their life causing periods of sadness. I would say they are normal. The last group is made up of the people who were born just plain miserable. They totally bring down the party. I am a mix of all three. I was born slightly miserable and pessimistic but carry along my plastic smiles. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do have many happy moments. They are just not always as significant to me as say, Group #1 or 2.
My theory is based, however, on me and is not at all factual. I’ve just been this way ever since I could remember.
When I was seven, I had an altercation with my mother. I was so worked up and heated from our harsh voices clashing against one another’s and my thoughts of everything not being “fair”, that I decided later that evening I wanted to die. I stood in front of the open kitchen drawer, picking at the cheap contact paper peeling off at the corners. I picked out the perfect knife, pressed the blade against my chest, inhaled, then put it back.
Not too long after that, perhaps a year or so, I tried to suffocate myself with a pillow. This is much harder than it sounds ( but is in fact as amusing as it sounds). Eventually, after many attempts, I just got bored. I set the pillow under my head and took a nap.
About the time I was in fifth grade, I had read a book about a boy and his grandfather and their life during the Great Depression. (For quite some time I believed the Great Depression was a time period where people walked around and embraced their sadness while gray clouds hung over them. I was very upset that I had missed it.) Because they were in such debt, the grandfather became hopeless and would lay in bed all day staring up at the ceiling. I then got the notion that depression must be like a coma. I’d lay in my bed, staring at the ceiling until my eyes would water, hoping to “slip” into depression. Alas, just like my pillow plan, I became bored or hungry.
It went on like this for awhile, but only I knew about my ideas and plans. It remained a secret until my freshmen year of highschool. I found myself in the counselor’s office with my mother answering questions about the scars on my arms.
Cutting is not always what they say. For me, it was not a cry for help. It was not the way I wanted to die. I would inflict pain to myself just for the sake of the pain itself. When you don’t feel anything, sometimes you’ll do anything. I just wanted to feel something. I wanted to have control over me.
The meeting did not last long. I had them convinced that I was done cutting, and it would never happen again. For the most part I never did cut again. My mom did the whole “I’m here for you”, “You can tell me anything”, “I love you” deal. She said we didn’t have to tell my dad about my newest hobby; he just wouldn’t understand.
To this day, my mom refers to my self-mutilation as “that thing you used to do.”
I believe that it is very important at this point to say that I am not suicidal. I want to live. I see now that I did all the aforementioned things with the intention to kill, but not to kill myself. I wanted to kill the part of me that didn’t smile, didn’t love, and most of all kill the part that made me hate myself.
I am still damaged, although it doesn’t show as obviously on the outside. I am often quite happy because a wonderful person came into my life. ( I always hate when people give credit of their joy to their infatuations, but sometimes it does help). I met a boy, Justin. He has been my happiness, but he has also been the cause of my madness. Now that I have something amazing in my life, I worry. I worry day and night that he’ll leave. I drive myself mad wondering if he loves me, how much he loves me until I finally just fall asleep from the exhaustion. I’m so full of anxiety that it begun to drive him away.
“You’re going to leave me, aren’t you?” “ You don’t love me at all.” “ I’m nothing to you.” “ Please don’t leave.” These words have become very common to him. He will reassure me because he knows that’s what I want. I appreciate his patience and kindness, yet I get so frustrated with him because I know he doesn’t understand.
Once during one of my maniac episodes, I hugged him, apologizing for being so childish.
“What’s come over you?” he had asked.
“Yeah baby, you. What’s come over you?”
But he wasn’t listening. I had given the most honest response I had ever given to a question. Me. I was what had come over me. I am my own hell.
Justin would offer for me to talk to his mother. He said she was good with “stuff like this.” I know he was trying to help, but at the same time I know he was also just tired of my behavior. I lied saying that I would make a professional appointment myself. But I won’t. I’m too afraid of a real psych evaluation. What if I am beyond repair? What if I have to take happy pills for the rest of my life? What if those happy pills cause me to be suicidal?
But those are just pretenses. That is not what I’m afraid of them finding. I am afraid of what they don’t find. What if there is nothing wrong with me? This disease is me and that ultimately, I was born this way.

My Birth Defect


Joined January 2008

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  • beckyjosie
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