Monday, November 28, 2011

"The Secret Encourager"

I got my 4th anonymous letter today. The first three have been really sweet, sometimes a little too blunt for my tastes, but otherwise friendly and awesome. I'm sure the writer also had good intentions with this one, but I felt like it was full of blame. I'm having a hard time trying to understand it...The anonymous person obviously doesn't know me as well as she thinks she does. That's how some people are though -- thinking they've got me all figured out, judging from what they see or hear through the grapevine...

Paragraph 1: "I'm worried about you...I see people trying to reach've got to be willing to trust people..."
You really don't know me. One of my biggest flaws is that I trust too easily. That's how I get hurt so badly by friends that disappear. Once I feel like I've bonded with somebody, they have to do something really tragic to break my trust. The only people I'm guarded around are strangers. To everyone else, I see myself as an open book. And I am not trying to shut out anyone who is trying to "reach out" to me. I answer all text messages, e-mails, and Facebook IMs. Just because I'm not hanging out at the BCM like I used to doesn't mean I'm trying to close everyone there out of my life. I just don't want to spend my time in that building because there are too many sad memories.

Paragraph 2: "People invite you to things but you say no...I know you get paranoid by riding in're letting it be a crutch..."
This is the biggest giveaway that the writer has really never talked to me in person. (Outside of "hi, how are you...") If they were a close friend of mine, they'd know that I've suffered with this all my life. I had my first twinges of anxiety in Kindergarten (triggered by cars, heights, the dark, being in the country, and other enclosed spaces), first full-blown panic attack at age 10 (4th grade, taking a history test. I remember my exact chair and everything, it was that intense), was diagnosed with Panic Disorder (look it up) at 15, and heavily medicated from 17-20. It is a genetic anxiety disorder that is caused by both environmental factors and a brain imbalance. I will probably have it for the rest of my life. I can manage it with prescription Xanax and herbal relaxation drinks, but I don't have insurance since my dad cut me off, so I can't get my pills anymore. At the moment, I see myself as being similar to someone with a seizure disorder whose seizures are triggered by flashing lights. If they aren't able to access their medication to stop the seizures, their best hope is to avoid flashing lights unless they want to be really uncomfortable. You think I want to avoid car trips, just to be difficult? No! I know I'm missing out on a lot and I hate it. My hope is that soon, I can find a way to go back on Xanax so I can go on regular trips again, without messing up my body with over the counter sedatives.

Paragraph 3: "If it's so bad going home for Christmas...don't go."
Yes, it will be bad. The bus trip will be long and stressful, and I'll be very lonely/bored most of the time. But I owe it to my grandparents who are unable to travel, and to some awesome kids that see me as one of their own family (even though I'm not)...They all want to see me, and so they will. An ex, an old friend, and a friend of my mom's have all opened their houses to me for the holidays, and even if I know it will be hard on me, I'm going "home" for them. Not for myself. Plus, if I stayed here, that means two more weeks of food I'd have to buy, and laundry I'd have to drag to the laundromat all by myself. Everybody needs help sometimes.

Paragraph 4: "You've got to reach out to some girls...guys can't give you the advice you need...Make the effort..."
This deeply irks me. How does the writer know I don't talk to girls? Because I do. How could she not know that the person who convinced me to move to Cookeville in the first place is a girl? Is she not a good enough friend because she's not a Baptist girl? Because she watches R rated movies, swears, and doesn't go to church? When I posted on Facebook about running out of food, the only person to e-mail me and offer to help was a girl, and a Christian girl at that! She just doesn't live here. If I need girl advice, I get girl advice!
I take whatever friends I can get. I gravitate towards the people who make themselves available.
Should I have not appreciated the friend who came to watch TV with me before break started, when he could have been on the road earlier? He knew I'd be lonely over the long weekend, and he wanted to spend time with me so I could start the weekend on a good note...Should I have turned down the friend who let me sleep in his apartment when my electricity got turned off? Because he wasn't the right gender to "help" me?
Well, my power is gonna be turned off again this month, and since Kyle is gone, I bet no one else is gonna help me out. And I have to stay here a couple days after everyone else leaves for Christmas...a -guy- I know is staying here two extra days to hang with me the night before I leave, just so I'm sleep deprived and happy when I get on the bus...I doubt any one else would do that either.

Random anon writer, I wish you would talk to me in person and get to know me better. I would love new friends! But ultimately, I don't need them, in either gender. I know there are people who care, whether I'm privileged or broke...religious or not. And they know where to find me.


  1. I have to admit, I have never had a lengthy conversation with you, but it's not from a lack of trying on my part. I have tried to talk to you several times and you stare at me with no response back to my greetings. Even the time that I offered to help you out in person, you stared at me and didn't even offer me so much as a thank you in return. I find it a little hypocritical of you that you are constantly saying that you don't want to be judged when your blog is nothing but judgmental statements. I think your secret encourager has a point on all accounts. You are always saying on here that you've been hurt by friend after friend. Maybe if you would accept help that was offered to you, you would find a true friend. I pray that I am lucky enough to have a good enough friend that would be so honest with me as your secret encourager is to you.

  2. Owch! Anon and YSE, feisty words! Tone it down just a lil. I don't like to see fire and name calling being thrown around. You aren't perfect, that's why I'm around to keep the world in alignment ;-)

    Good points were made, YSE, presentation, we can work on that some. Email me sometime (email on blogger profile)

    Anna, yes it's time to break out! I like the emphatic feeling of going out and being courageous that YSE is trying to share. Just include your friends! Text them/call them, for a Christmas cookie party perhaps?

  3. To both the above commenters,
    I wasn't angry at YSE's letter, I just wanted to clear up a few points. (That I do talk to girls and that I can't just "get over" a lifelong mental condition. I know she had good intentions. I hope she can see where I'm coming from more clearly.)

    And anon, I'm sorry that you felt slighted by me, but it has never been on purpose. Often, I just don't know what to say. I don't remember the incident you speak of, but if I was in a damaged emotional state, I was probably snapping at everyone, not just you. I try so hard to be nice to everyone whenever possible...
    and I don't know where I come across as judgemental? I do express my opinions on this blog, but I'm trying my best to be polite!

    @Blog-God: I do know there are people out there trying to break me out of my shell. :) There are talks of a Christmas-wrapping party. This may be a good thing.

  4. Okay, this one got me heated. First of all, if the incident meant so much to you Miss Anonymous (you didn't deny that you are a Miss), why are you anonymous? Why not show your identity to the world? Stand up for yourself and your beliefs. Otherwise, you come off as judgmental and cowardly. I agree with Anna 125% that you don't know her because if you did, you would know that what she said was true about her talking to everybody she knows and makes new friends as much as possible. I'm living, breathing proof of that. However, she shouldn't have apologized to you in my opinion. To me, she doesn't need to. And God Blogger. Normally, I like you. You have given great advice and continue to do so, but the advice wasn't needed this time around. She already follows your advice whether you know it or not. She keeps in touch with friends all the time, again something I'm proof of. It seems like you took Miss Anon's side a bit on this one, so -1 for you. But know this. I'm not sticking up for Anna because I'm her friend. I'm sticking up for Anna because she is right. -Sincerely concerned with who gives Anna trollage, Shawn T. Goodwin- (Stuff that Miss Anon)

  5. Seriously, that letter you received today heated me up as well and I was just a third party! I mean I sucked down how many Pepsi's to keep my mouth shut?

    There's a difference between hard honesty and being plain out blunted rude. If they were a true SE would read this and go, "Well now I feel like a dork. Now I understand how she feels; maybe my help can now be more efficient with this knowledge." She was pointing out things her SE apparently didn't know; and if they get offended... PFT they can be offended; it's not like anything is going to happen. Being offended tends to be a personal beef.

    You have a ton of friends, and that right there proves you have support even if we are scattered. It's like Kyle from South Park said to Cartman, "One fourth of the world is stupid and cruel. Here's let's take a sample. There's 4 of us, you're a prick, that's 25%"

    And with as many as you have that can seem like every day. :) And that's a GOOD thing it means you know people. Heck we could do that at our table Tuesday and have the same outcome. Haters are going to hate; and that's the point I always see you make! You thank them for their lessons and move on.

    Even when it gets tough, I'll be here for ya. I'm the reason you're here and I'm glad I met you! :D Despite what anyone says.

    Heck, Anna if you were to blog about all the good things I'd have no room in my inbox. <3 I'd come to all these updates and drown.

  6. Anna, I've known you for quite some time & though we haven't hung out or talked a lot as of late, you're still the cool & awesome person I've always known. When I've looked past any disorders you have, you're the same kind of chick that runs into things on accident, freaks out over some things that some people wouldn't understand, & also you're pretty socialable. Yes, ANNA IS A SOCIAL PERSON. Anyone who doesn't agree with me can go stuff it! Things could have changed some since we last hung out, but I'm pretty sure they've stayed the same. Like the saying, don't judge a book by its cover. In this case, don't judge a person til you walk a mile in their shoes! I've first hand experienced your fear of riding in a car. Its understandable, & heights, I'm afraid of heights too!!! I know what its like to have anxiety or depression, so I know all to well the things that come with it too. Don't let anyone tell you you're not cool, not awesome, not a good friend, not good anything. You are good & have a heart of gold!!! Don't ever change, & last but not least, IGNORE THE HATERS! :D