My goal is to be back by the end of the month, art wise at least. There is a lot in the pipes to be released, though probably not all at once, but enough to last a little while.
The thing is, I wanted to talk about a few things. The reason I took this hiatus, and where I'm at. I'm going to talk about a few things that, at the moment, only a few close friends and/or family know. Those people who know what I'm about to say, thank you for being there for me thus far. I don't think I'd have made the progress I have without you. It means a lot to me. For those of you that don't, be forewarned: Uncomfortable topics ahead. Don't read it if you don't feel compelled to, but I need to get it off my chest. I would rather people know what's going on than having to explain it to each individual person, as well.
Note: I just finished writing everything. I don't have the mental energy to go back and edit it. I'm sorry if there are any grammatical errors.
It's difficult to know where to start, but I guess I'll start with the reason I took this hiatus. I took it because I felt like I needed to take the time to do things for ME. Art that I wanted to do, focusing on my health, taking time to relax, etc. Has it been successful? Only mildly. I've gotten to do some of the above because my other big goal for the moment - saving enough money to move - keeps causing me difficulty and lots of stress. Primarily because there is a timeline involved. I know I have to get a second job and with college starting again soon most of my time for art is going to go out the window. Its stressed me out to the point where art and writing don't hold as much enjoyment for me, my bad habit of stress eating has made a big comeback no matter how hard I try to resist, and I feel so exhausted all the time physically and mentally. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if I could be diagnosed as depressed.
So, obviously, I shouldn't be so stressed about moving, right? Big deal, just put it off for an extra semester. The thing is, I don't feel like this is an option for me. I want to leave by January, but I have until March at the absolute latest. Why? Because my dad is going to be released from prison then.
Before someone freaks out, no, I am not afraid for my safety. He didn't hurt me or my family. What he was arrested for, however, was possession of child pornography. It was a huge shock, especially considering that while growing up several of my friends thought of our home as the safe house. Most got along with my dad quite well. I've never really liked him, but I at least respected him. I had always felt something was a little off about him, and I never felt like he treated me with the respect I deserved. He would only be supportive about very specific things, and would refuse to help me if I somehow managed to get myself backed into a corner. 90% of the time I had to depend on my mother for help. Long story short, I want to get out of dodge for TWO reasons:
1. I am disgusted with him and I feel even less comfortable around him than I ever was. I honestly want nothing more to do with him. I have seriously considered disowning him except for the fact that I know it would be devastating for my mother. (Which is honestly even more stressful for me considering it feels like she's trying to guilt trip me for feeling this way every other week or so).
2. My mother wants to try to make their marriage work. I'm personally staying out of this decision of hers. She's an adult and can make her own decisions. But, I don't want to be here in the middle of that shit storm. I don't want to be caught in the middle, especially when I'm trying so hard right now to build a life for myself. What's worse, is even though my mother KNOWS that I don't want to have anything more to do with my dad, I haven't outright told her that yet. Why? Because I do not have the mental capacity right now to deal with her freaking out over it. (Also, mom, if you happen to read this, sorry - but it's true) I'm having enough trouble dealing with keeping my life together. And I KNOW that if I stay here after dad gets out, she is going to attempt to force interaction between us one way or another.
So, my goal is to reach $6k. I think that should be a good 3 - 6 months of emergency expenses when I move. I want to start applying for jobs in the area I want to move in November. I'm about 1/3 of my way towards my goal, the problem is every time I start to get passed that point, financial setbacks hit. Since the beginning of the year I've had to spend nearly $1500 on my car, had a few unexpected medical bills, and had to make a payment on my student loans since I was out of school for six months. Thing is, before a few of the car payments, I thought I was doing well enough that I spend some money on a few things - namely comic-con and too much Starbucks. I admittedly didn't look for a job about four months, but that was to help take care of my mom when she was on her own after dad was sent to prison. (I also feel like my efforts were for naught. Almost NOTHING I did has stayed done. I've actually gotten to the point were I refuse to do anything but the basics for her anymore because of that). Without the unexpected expenditures I would be within a grand or so of my goal, if not AT my goal. And now, with car registration and insurance coming up in a few months, I'm beginning to wonder if I'm going to make it at all, even if I GET a second job. I'm honestly a bit scared about that. I'm going to be out of this house by March, come hell or high water, the question is just about where I'll be.
And what sucks is that I feel right now I should be allowed to focus on my life. On getting everything together and going to college, spending my extra time on my art and writing so I can improve to where I want to be. I feel like I should be able to focus on my dreams. And that has been taken away from me. It's even more devastating because I've been finally starting to get into it over the last few months/year after having set it aside for so long. Which brings me to depressing topic number two.
I invested so much of my resources, set aside my dreams for what I thought was the most important relationship of my life. I dated a guy for five years, give or take (with a split of six months in the middle). I won't go into all the reasons for why that relationship turned out to be such a disappointment, but I honestly am so upset for letting it get in the way or my art. After we moved in together, he would basically get in the way any time I tried to work on my art. If I wanted to draw while we were watching a movie? He would get upset. If I wanted to draw while we were chit-chatting (not in depth conversation)? He would get upset. Basically, the only time he wouldn't get upset about my art was when he was already doing his own thing. Unfortunately, most of THAT extra free time was spent with me sleeping, since I was working two jobs of upwards of 60 hours a week on top of driving his ass back and forth to work at ungodly a.m. in the morning. I'm not going to say it was his fault that I stopped drawing, but he discouraged it more than he encouraged it, and I let him.
What's more, is probably the one thing that I've been having the most trouble dealing with. A large part of me doesn't even want to talk about it like this because it feels like I'm showing weakness or that I'm whining. But again, I feel the need to talk about it in a public domain.
He raped me.
It wasn't one of those weak 'no' rapes either. It was full on me trying to get away, bawling, begging him to stop type rape. He was the one who had been super protective of me and helped me get over the first time I had been sexually assaulted. He was the one who helped me stop feeling like a victim after a rash of less-than-healthy relationships. But he had got it in his head somehow that sex was the way to get me to calm down when I was angry, and one day he took it a step too far. What was worse? I stayed with him for a year after it happened. I buried the memory and refused to see it as rape. I later broke up with him for different reasons, at which point he became what more or less equated to verbally abusive.
When I was talking with a friend at a later time about certain aspects of that relationship, ( Which was mostly be trying to convince myself NOT to get back together with him) the memory fizzed to the surface again. With force. When I confronted him about it, I got a weak apology and a bunch of excuses about him not being in his right mind. I wanted to believe him so badly, but then another aspect of what happened resurfaced. Afterwards, I had asked him "Why?"
There was no "Why what?" There was no denial. His only response was "You needed it." That right there tells you all you need to know.
Since making that realization, I have cut all communication with him. No more of this "trying to be friends" shit after realizing that. Now trying to make friends is difficult for me. Reaching out is difficult for me. Trust is a hard commodity from me right now. There is only a handful of people I trust significantly, and even with them it's a guarded trust.
I don't exactly know what I'm going for in spewing this out into the world. Not pity. Hell no, keep that shit. Maybe advice, but even then I give myself those 'pep talks' ever day. Fake it till you make it. Just keep pushing. One day you'll realize how far you've come and how strong you are. Yadda Yadda. I think, more than anything, I just wanted to let it out. Keeping it to myself has felt like a burden. I've told a few people, but even then it feels like I'm keeping secrets though they aren't things I'm trying to hide. If you read this far, thought, thank you.