Am I Unattractive or Unapproachable?

I’m sure a vast number of women (and men) have asked themselves this at some point. Honestly, I think I know the answer for myself–both.

Yes, I have pretty severe body dysmorphia; I spend copious amounts of time inspecting my face in mirrors, going over what I think is wrong with it. One of my eyebrows is slightly higher than the other, my nose is too wide for my face, I have low cheekbones, no jawline, my eyes are too small, my upper lip is too thin, my skin is flawed. The discrepancy go on and on with my face and my body. What I would give to not have the shoulders of a linebacker…

My self-esteem has gotten worse with each year. With each week, really. To be honest, I thought it couldn’t get any worse, but 23 has been the age I’ve experienced the lowest self-esteem of all time. When I look for books to possibly aid me, they really don’t delve into physical self-esteem issues; it’s almost entirely about emotional self-esteem issues. And no, I am not one hundred percent confident in that area either, but I am extremely confident about who I am as a person. I know my values, I know I’m intellectual and intelligent. I’m rational yet also emotional. I’m good at communication. I know I’m talented and capable, and I’m a great friend. I know my self-worth.

Except not when it comes to how I look, which seems to trump everything else.

It’s difficult to feel confident in how I look for a lot of reasons. I’ve analyzed my appearance with such scrutiny, and I’ve found “rational” explanations to explain why I’m so unattractive. And yes, my friends occasionally try to tell me otherwise, but they’re biased because they think my personality and who I am is attractive–not necessarily how I look. Also, throughout my entire life, no one ever told me I was attractive. Distant relatives and friends of my parents would comment on my brother and I and they would automatically declare that he was attractive. Me? I honestly can’t recall ever hearing that from anyone. It probably didn’t help that throughout childhood and adolescence, my brother actively berated me about being unattractive.

No one’s ever really complimented me (and it happens very rarely now–although I do have one friend to thank for telling me I look nice ever now and again), so I find it hard to believe.

I also know I’m unapproachable. I definitely have “resting bitch face.” In fact, I’ve had multiple people tell me I actually look like I’m on the verge of murder. At the very least, I know I look angry a lot of the time. Everyone I’ve ever become friends with has told me that before I actually talked to them (and sometimes after), they thought I didn’t like them and that I would be an unpleasant person.

Last night my friend and I went out for St. Patrick’s Day–sort of. I got looped into it, but I was glad I was sober for the multiple and extensive interactions with new people.

Soon after sitting myself down outside, I lit a cigarette and silently observed my over-stimulating surroundings: two very drunk girls standing next to me, a group of well-dressed men smoking a blunt on the other side of the picnic table, a man climbing a hardened snowbank to write something in chalk on the cement wall. A guy sat down across from me, and we made eye contact, so I gave him the inverted head-nod gesture. You know, when you quickly jerk your jaw forward in recognition? That’s usually what I do.

He was also silent, and out of my peripheral vision I caught him shooting me glances quite a bit. Eventually he asked me, “How are you?” I replied with, “I’m alright. How are you?” to which he responded, “Are you sure you’re alright?”

I laughed. “I’m alright,” I assured him. I knew why he was asking–I looked fucking pissed. “I use anger as a defense mechanism.”

We sat in silence again until I asked what was going on with him. It didn’t take me long to realize he was plastered. At one point he asked if I was single, to which I said yes. He asked why and I said, “Have you seen my demeanor?”

Nevertheless, I was happy to have talked to my new and very drunk friend.

Later in the night, my friend and I sat around the fire pit. Two of her friends had joined us as well. A bearded man in a short-sleeve button-up sat down next to my friend.

Listen, I actually love meeting new people, but I’m usually unwilling to break the ice–mostly, if not entirely, due to how I feel about the way I look. This guy eventually broke the ice for us by asking my friend what she studied at school. Then he asked her female friend. He didn’t ask me. So my friend came to my rescue and told him which school I go to, and then he asked what I studied and what I wanted to do.

It’s being an afterthought that really makes me feel hurt. It’s a pattern, and it’s a shitty one.

Soon it became just myself, my friend, and this man. The three of us talked, and we were both enthralled by his personal life for a few very specific reasons. I thought, “This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to speak to a man like this” so I decided that no matter what, I would ask for his phone number. I ended up asking to add him on Facebook, since that seemed more approachable (ah! That word). He seemed to happily agree to this and added the two of us. He also invited us to a party he’s having this weekend.

As the three of us were talking, a young man, extremely plastered, sat down next to our new friend. He asked the names of us “ladies.” After my friend introduced herself, he repeated her name and said “pretty” and licked his lips. Then I said my name. Boom. Not a person of interest, clearly.

We parted ways with our new friend as the lights of the bar came on and the bouncer shooed us out (although he seemed genuinely pleased that I wished him a good night; I’m sure it was a tough night for him). As I stepped outside, a dude said, “Hey girl” but I honestly don’t know if he was talking to my friend or myself.

As I pulled the car up, a man driving by honked at my friend.

Okay, I’m not wishing for myself to be sexually harassed in any way, but I’m the only female I know who hasn’t been (insert laugh track here).

And now I have this party to figure out. My friend actually can’t go, so I have to fly solo. And there’s no fucking way I’m gonna be sober for it, so I’ll have to shell out money for an uber. But that’s not the problem. The problem is, I’ll be alone. I’ve never been to a party myself. That’s terrifying enough, but even more terrifying is the fact that I barely know the host.

However, I’m very much into the host. It may be a little rash to declare that, but the more we talked with him, the more I realized how much I was aroused by him. It didn’t help that he put on an incredible red velvet blazer as we exited. What a dreamboat. Viewing his Facebook photos sealed the deal. Well, for me anyway.

Basically, I can’t determine if he was more into my friend than me. I would guess that he probably was. I just imagine him being disappointed that she didn’t show up. Also, I don’t flirt well. I never do it consciously and when it does happen inadvertently, I’m usually extremely aggressive or become a little self-deprecating to try and avoid actually becoming flirtatious.

This is a conundrum. And I don’t have therapy again until after the party happens, but perhaps that’s a good thing. I don’t know how to end this post–I guess my original statement still stands. The answer is both.

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Temporary 

I don’t know what I’m doing.

I don’t even feel like a person anymore. At least , I don’t feel like me, although who else could I be? This is just another facet of who I am but it seems so foreign and feral and disconnected. I can’t even jerk off without disassociating. I lie on my back and stare at the ceiling, feeling inhuman.

Everything feels cinematic and unreal. I feel reckless, on the brink of frenzy. All my instincts are primal and I keep them in check because I’m not completely psychotic, but fuck, I just really want to beat the shit out of someone or get beaten by someone else, spit blood, break my knuckles, something. Snort a bunch of lines and never come down because the goal is to never come down. I’m functioning incredibly well on less than 6 hours of sleep a night for at least two months. 

And I fear that whenever I wake up, I won’t be like this anymore.

I would take the compulsive masturbating and rage and OCD and racing brain and agitation over deep depression any day. 
I remember not being able to get out of bed. I remember needing 12 hours of sleep just to barely function. I remember dozing off in every class, pushing my work until the last minute, being a zombie, the constant mental breakdowns and wishing I would die because I already felt like I was.

I would do anything to not be that way again. And every time I have a second to myself, I fear I will slip back into that place and I won’t be able to escape.

Porno Flickers

Am I doing the right thing?

I mean, everything feels like a wrong turn.

My manic energy, however wavering, and lack of sleep has given way to a compulsive, stressed, panicked being who needs to cum six times a day just to distract themselves.

That is, until the questions pop up as pounds of flesh and blood swirl around on my computer screen, and suddenly I can no longer feel my own body.

It all just feels so…hopeless.

I know that’s a cliche.

It actually feels surreal–to know there is no right answer, no correct choice, no way out, no solution to anything.

When I was younger, I didn’t even think about the possibility of my whole life becoming, well, shit.

Every smile feels forced. Every laugh is followed by internalized anxiety and paranoia. Every conversation is emotionally draining, usually followed by irrational rage at people I love. I’m tired of the blank stares, the tired half-smiles that are a poor attempt to reassure me that I’m not going to sit on the train tracks and wait for my body to be run over and crushed into nothing.

My hatred for others has grown immensely and quickly. I lash out. I make jokes but they’re meant to burn. I dread seeing people I call friends.

And you know what? They don’t actually care. Nor should they have to.

They have their lives. And despite all their own problems and all their own complaining, I would take any single one of their lives over my own.

I feel like my best friend and I are drifting apart. And I’m self-aware enough to know this isn’t because of my current state–I’m always in a good mood when I see her, but that mood is dissuaded throughout our interaction because she just seems so…distant. So irritated by me.

I have my guesses as to why.

But I don’t want a repeat of last year, where she held everything in until she exploded via text message and I had to drive to her house and threaten to leave if she didn’t fucking talk to me about what was going on.

I know she doesn’t like to talk.

I just keep feeling like I’m letting her down and I don’t even know why. I feel insecure. I don’t really ask her to hang out anymore. I’ve almost stopped completely. I’ve learned not to text her because she never texts me back.

Every time I’m with her, it’s like we’re not actually together.

It makes me even more sad.

I just want to sleep for a while, stop jerking off so much, eat an actual meal, wear clothes that aren’t work clothes or gym clothes.

But tomorrow I’ll be back to staying up until 3am watching porn to, what? Distract myself?

I’m running out of distractions.

Withdrawing.

Another night of feeling invalidated, feeling alone. Sure, have another one of my cigarettes. Tell me all about your plans for the future. A friend of a friend comes to the table, reluctant to sit down (later I learn about his transphobic and homophobic nature, it’s no wonder he didn’t want to sit with us, we probably reek of queerness). My friend starts to introduce us to him and I interrupt by blurting, half-drunk, “He doesn’t care” and am I wrong?

My mood fluctuated from cackling in the passenger seat of my best friend’s car about how we didn’t even want to go to this stupid thing to sulking, slumped, drinking a two-dollar Shock Top and smoking a Seneca, texting my best friend, “Sorry, I’m depressed.”

And then the sex talk begins and I just want to smash that beer glass into my face.

I’m mad at everyone and I have no right to be. I’m just crashing back and forth and the rage from my disorder is erupting within me at random points. Something as small as a facial expression or the positioning of a limb or how this new guy sounds like every other boring fucking white kid on the planet is enough to trigger me.

Two beers down and I’m drunk, in part due to exhaustion, in part due to an empty stomach. We get up to leave. My friend (who we came to see at this shitty sports bar) asks, pleadingly, pathetically, “You can’t stay for five more minutes?” and I growl back, “No.”

Let’s fast forward to the next night. Riled up yet devoid of all energy–how it’s possible, I’m not sure. I binge eat and go from dancing on my patio to The Weeknd to sitting on my bed (with this terrible pain in my neck), totally exhausted but resisting sleep, listening to Radiohead. What a turn of events.

I have plans for tomorrow morning but I’m honestly not sure if I’ll be able to wake up in time. Waking up has been a struggle.

Also, those deep feelings of sexual repulsion have still been happening to me. I thought they would subside, but I guess not. But that’s just another thing for the people around me to not take seriously.

Should I stay for five more minutes?

This Is (Not).

It’s not what I want.

This depression is numbness, total indifference. I can’t feel enough to even write a half-assed poem or work on a draft of a story. It takes me weeks to answer emails. Every decision feels like it was made in a fog of carelessness. I can’t wake up in the morning. I really can’t. I now require eleven hours of sleep. It never used to be like this. And when I do get up, my eyes are slowly closing in my 9:30am class, but I can’t even have caffeine to alleviate the struggle, so I just get up and go to the restroom and sit and go back and try to keep my head up. I’m late with all my schoolwork and so little effort goes into it.

I thought I was doing better for a while, but now I realize I was just becoming numb.

My answer to most things is something like, “I don’t care,” or “It doesn’t matter.”

I just need to keep pushing through

but that’s all I ever do anyway.

Four Months

Almost four months I’ve been gone from WordPress. I don’t know what happened. Well, that’s a lie. I became very depressed. I just didn’t have the motivation. My last post had to do with the election. I still stand by “Fuck Trump.”

Over the past four months my life has consisted of extreme lows of self-harm, depression, suicidal ideation, apathy, and stress, as well as a month-long hypomanic high that basically just had me sexually aroused to the point of being in pain. Unfortunately, the hypomania didn’t last. I rarely ever experience hypomania, so when I do, it’s a fun change from the rampant depression.

I got some gene testing done to give me more insight into my medications. Turns out everything I’ve ever been on (except Lithium, which can’t be tested) is ineffective for me. Except Latuda, which I found strange, considering it did nothing for me while I was on it, and Invega, an atypical antipsychotic which I’ve been on for a couple months now. It’s okay. The side effects are terrible. I’m already a binge eater but the Invega has increased my appetite and I’ve gained a little more weight, which is the exact opposite of what I need, and it also obliterated my sex drive. Which sucks because, hey, I enjoy(ed) masturbating, but now I have no desire to. I’ll go weeks without it now, and any depiction of sex or even affection on TV or whatever makes me feel sick.

But I feel a little bit better on the Invega. Stress on “a little bit.” I definitely don’t want to die, but I’m not where I need to be. I feel stressed and out of control, like I’m just going through the motions of life while not truly enjoying anything, and I have a severe issue with lack of motivation. I haven’t been doing homework and I haven’t really been going to class. A lot of this is situational. Which makes it more difficult.

For those of you who have stuck around–thanks, I appreciate it.

– Z

Less Than.

On my days off I sleep for ten+ hours, which is excessive and gross. I blame my new schedule, work, and my medication (the Latuda, specifically, which I recently increased and does nothing except make me more anxious). I want to decrease my dosage, against my doctor’s orders, but as bad as the side effects are now, I don’t want to know what the withdrawal will be like.

Jealousy permeates me to the core. I feel bad because I’m making others feel bad. No one wants to listen to someone tear themselves down, and incidentally blame others for their shortcomings, but it’s become habit for me now. I just looked at myself in the bathroom and was proud of the new glute muscle I’ve achieved–I’ve never had an ass before–but then immediately thought about how my best friend, who is more beautiful than I could ever dream to be, started doing squats so really, it doesn’t matter how many wall-sits or squats I do, or how toned my arms are, because I will always be the less attractive one.

It’s hard to be constantly surrounded by and associated with such beautiful people when you are not included in that sentiment. I know my friends don’t see it that way–how could they? I’m one of them, in their eyes, but I am not.

The thing is, it’s not as if I’m not trying. It’s just more effortless for other people. I have to try and look socially acceptable and I barely manage to do that, and I certainly do not pass for “attractive.” For my friends, they don’t have to do much. One of them doesn’t even wear makeup. The other lost weight because her medication decreased her appetite, so she just doesn’t eat. The other is just naturally alluring, but I haven’t quite figured out why.

This sounds pitiful, it really does, to go on and on about being less-than. But I know what I am.