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Thursday, 17 November 2011

Here I am, the real Jon.

Dear friends, and whomever else wishes to read this long piece of expressive writing.
This is a letter to you all to expose myself to you. I will put out all my flaws and things that I hide, and show you the real Jon.
If you are to be my friend, and to be close to me, then you should know me for who I am - both the good and the bad.
I am sick of deceptiveness, I am sick of pretending and I am sick of hiding.
So today I am giving you a detailed insight into what goes through my mind, so hopefully you can gain some understanding.

I am not a passive person. If something bothers me, I am likely to say it. To me, this is the most logical thing to do - if you do not say it, they do not know it bothers you, therefore they will keep doing it, which will only cause future conflict. Better to get things out in the open and stop them in their tracks.

I like to always apply logic to emotion before I act. I like to be logical, not emotional, though sometimes I slip.
There are many things that I like about myself, such as my loyalty, my logic and my diplomatic approach to conflict.
Though the things I hate about myself far outweigh the things I like.
I hate how I can hold a grudge. I try not to, but I do. If someone has upset me, I will hold that against them unless I feel it has been properly addressed and resolved. If someone doesn't apologise for something I believe is wrong, I will not brush it off.
I hate how self-conscious I am. I hate that I hate my body, my appearance, my stubbornness, my constant loneliness, my erratic behaviour, my fears, and I hate that I hate them.

I hate my body and appearance, yet I hate feeling this way. I hate feeling that appearances are important, because I do not believe they are. When I see other people, I often do not see flaws until they are pointed out. When I meet someone, I automatically like them and this opinion does not change unless they do something to upset me. I hate that I feel so differently when it comes to myself.

I hate how I am nice to others, but not to myself. I hate that I have to hide all the time. I hate that I have to lie all the time about how I feel. I hate that I am not comfortable enough with myself to make myself happy. I must rely upon others.
When people ask how I am, I hate how often I have to lie. I hate how I have mastered hiding my feelings.
I hate that I seem so depressive, when really I am not. I hate how fickle I am.
I hate how fucked I am. I hate that I blame a lot of my flaws on my childhood abuse.

*If you do not wish to know the full details of my abuse, then continue to the next chapter*

For 2-3 years as a child, when I was around the age of 5 and 6, I was both physically and sexually abused, by both my grandfather and by a family friend. I received sexual abuse and threats from my grandfather, and both sexual and physical abuse from a family friend - one of my best friend's father.
My grandfather touched me, and made me expose myself to him many times. I am uncertain of this, but I think he also took pictures.
He also made me touch him. I was a child and I was not certain what was happening, though I knew I didn't like it and that it frightened me. He would make various and frequent threats to keep me quiet, but I had no intention of telling others anyway. I was too scared to say anything, or to stand up for myself.
My best friend's father would sneak into the room late at night when I slept over his house. He would remove the blankets and touch me in the dark. I was too scared to do anything, so most of the time I merely pretended to be asleep until he finished and left.
He would often make my friend and I sleep in separate rooms so that he may do this to me without being disturbed. More than once, he tried to have sex with me. I would cry from the pain and he would stop after a short while. Again, I was too scared to say anything.
Other times, the man would force my best friend and I to fight. We started off play-fighting, but he always forced us to go further. He would force us to hit each other and cause each other pain for his amusement. If I was ever winning, he would hold my hands behind my back and yell at his son to hit me so that he had the upper hand. My friend would cry and protest, but his father was a frightening man and eventually he would reluctantly hit me while I was restrained. I often had bruises in hidden places, or otherwise people would assume I got the bruises and cuts from being a playful child, full of mischief. Which, I was. A lot of memories I blocked out and repressed over the years, never to think of them again until recently. A lot haunted me for a while. As a result of years of abuse, I did not just repress the bad memories. I remember almost nothing of my childhood, especially around those few years.
I am sorry if some of you find this too graphic or disturbing. Yes, I agree with you. It has plagued me to my very core and caused many issues.

I feel disgusted with myself for what has happened. I feel disgusted with myself for how they took control of me and I did not resist at all, nor did I try to help myself, when I knew it was wrong. In my mind, I often refer to my grandfather and my best friend's father - the people who violated me - as The Kings. They had total power and I submitted and did not question that their authority could be resisted. Though the Kings were crownless, they still had the power to make me fear them. I always feel lesser than everyone else, as if I am ruined goods. I am broken from what The Kings have done to me. I feel subhuman and not worthy of the praise I get from others, so I cannot help but shy away from it. I do not deserve their words of kindness, as they are misplaced. They should be said to someone who deserves it more than I.

So sure, some of it is justified. I hate my body and I am very self-conscious, as I was violated for years as a child.
But I do not believe I am justified in saying "it's because of what those people did to me" all the time.
I am responsible for my own being. I have brought a good number of my problems on myself. 
I can see my flaws, yet I do not act towards improvement as much as I should.
I am blunt and distant with my family. A lot of the time, I value my friends above my family. 
Although I appreciate everything my family does for me, I am too awkward with them to express this all the time.
They believe I am unappreciative and selfish. Although I do not believe this is true, I do not try to prove otherwise.
I hate that I am so willing to accept that my family looks down on me for things that are not as true as they believe.

Yet I go out of my way to please my friends constantly. I warp myself, often to the point where I lose myself, which frustrates me.
There is a happy point, where I am more comfortable with myself and I am happy most of the time. This is the point I strive to maintain, though I so frequently get sidetracked and manipulate my personality to please another person, and I am lost again.

I hate how quickly I can go from sad to happy, from lazy to energetic, from worrying to not caring about anything. My mother is a mental health nurse and she has suggested that I may have bipolar disorder a couple of times, once very recently. I denied it to her, claiming I am fine, though it scares me how unsure of that fact I really am. My life often feels like a mess of unpredictable emotion.
When I am alone, I want company. When I have company, I want to be alone. There is no middle point. 
Sometimes, and for no reason at all, I will crave the company of some, and not others. I will not have no motivation to talk to certain friends, for no apparent reason at all. They have done nothing wrong. I simply do not wish to talk to them or hang out with them for a little while. I hate that I feel like this, too. It causes a lot of conflict. If I ignore it and spend too much effort with them, I will want to withdraw further and I will start to feel bitter towards them.

I withdraw from people at infrequent periods, where I will detach myself and not hold conversations, and isolate myself - either from everyone, or just certain people. Again, for no apparent reason at all. This is a major problem for me. It puts a strain in both relationships and friendships of mine. A friend of mine is similar and has put it into a perfect analogy. I am like a rubber band. Sometimes I will withdraw, making the band tight. If you try pull me back while I am withdrawing, the band will be too tight, and the bond will snap. I will not wish to associate myself with you, and I will feel bitter towards you, which will cause conflict, as I am not passive.
The best thing to do is simply accept that I am withdrawing, try not to take offence by it - as I never do it in spite or to upset people - and wait for me to return back to you, however long it takes. Days, weeks, or even months. It has happened. It has destroyed friendships, and caused a lot of conflict in my life. I wish that I did not withdraw, but I do. I have been forced to accept this about myself, and for someone to be truly close to me, they must accept this too, or they will not be able to maintain the bond for much longer.

My feelings for people are like a lightbulb. They can be flicked on in an instant, but also can switch off in an instant. As I said earlier, I automatically like people when I first meet them. I can grow to like them and have immense respect for them in a very short period of time. However, I can also be robotic in the sense that I can cut off my feelings for someone very quickly. It is a defence mechanism of mine. It helps me deal with loss. If I believe someone is more trouble than they are worth, then I can easily cut them out of my life and not think twice about them again. I will barely miss them. I will be robotic for a while, as it tends to cut off all other emotion, too, but I will still be free of pain or grief. Sometimes this makes me come off as heartless. Even my own mother has asked me how I can so easily just cut friends out and not care. She seemed to think I do not treasure my friends, and that they mean little to me. This is the polar opposite of the truth. My friends mean everything to me. I would do anything for them. It is merely a defence mechanism to shield myself from pain. Either that, or I have yet again mastered my composure into hiding what I am really feeling.

I am paranoid to the point that even I think it is ridiculous. I can say or do something, and will freak about it for hours internally, worrying how people will react or if I have hurt a friend. In my head, I go through every possibility, and as I do, I start to believe them. I will then feel guilty for how they feel, and it will just spiral out of control until I am under the impression that they now hate me, along with all my other friends. It happens more than I like to admit. I am constantly paranoid that people only pretend to like me. In primary school, people talked about me a lot. Since then, I have always feared that people talk ill of me behind my back, and I trust hardly anyone. I have seen how two-faced people can be, even people I hold closest, and I do not forget this. I fear it. Hence, I manipulate myself constantly so hopefully they will like me enough to not talk badly about me.

Being gay is a big issue for me. Sometimes, I do not mind being gay. Other times, I hate it to the point where I disgust myself.
I wish to be normal. I am sick of being challenged by society. I am sick of standing out. I'm sick of people thinking it is a choice, as if I would willingly CHOOSE a life of discrimination and uncomfortable conversations. I want to be married one day, as I fear loneliness and crave love above anything else, but I do not want to be married with people sneering or looking down upon me, including my own mother. 
I want to meet expectations, though I know I never will. I also bear the guilt of severing the Ketch family line. I can feel the disappointment from my parents, and I was even told by my mother that being gay made me a disappointment to her. I do not blame her, as in many ways, I am disappointed in myself. I don't want the Ketch line to cease to exist. I don't want that upon my shoulders.

I like how much I have grown over the past couple of years, yet I do not like how weak I was in the past. I ashamed of myself for it. I am ashamed of the worry I put my friends and family through. Scarred wrists and two failed suicide attempts. I tried to drown myself in the bathtub, twice. That is not something I should have put upon my friends. The thought sickens me. What I have done sickens me. Although I am a lot stronger and I am a better person, I am still ashamed by who I am. Violated, weak, and broken. I have so much room for improvement, yet I do nothing. I leave it all to my friends. I let them cheer me up, give me hope and help me grow strong. I do not take the initiative to make myself strong. Without my friends, I am weak and vulnerable. I have so much respect, love and appreciation for them, but I do not tell them enough. I am scared of how they will react, if they learnt how much I depend upon them. Well, now you all know.

Even though I hold my friends so close and dear to me, I am still surprised when I find any feelings reciprocated. I expect to be shunned, to be cast aside, to be rejected, as I have been in the past. When friends invite me out, I often thank them for the invite and do not just casually accept that I am part of the group. I always feel privileged, as if they are being generous as to allow me to join them. 

I have many flaws, I know. I have good features too, but if you are my friend, you probably know them. The point of this gigantic letter is so that whoever you are - best friend, friend or acquaintance - you may know me for the real me. This is a big deal to me. I am laying myself out for you - sharing the dark parts of my past so that maybe you will understand. I lay myself out before you, vulnerable and exposed. Accept what you will. At least you now know the real Jon, and what lies beneath the exterior.