Follow-up to the previous explanation
Addressed to Nicole’s Counselor
I failed to mention in the last document what happened two(ish) weeks ago after I received the news about my position on EBoard. Also, this is very long, and some parts like the long, italicized sections may be skipped as they are just what was I was thinking and what was triggered in those moments.
After the meeting, and once I returned to my room where I could almost be safe to break down and attempt to process, I sent several messages over Snapchat to a few friends, Marshall, Bethany, and Leigha. The first one said,
“It’s just so hilarious that I went to the hospital feeling like I was getting better, only to leave the hospital after a week, then a few hours later feeling like I now would like my life to end.”
I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote this. Well actually, I wasn’t thinking; that was the problem. My mind was so clouded by emotion and disappointment that I didn’t even know what I was saying. It’s in no way an excuse for what I said and the worry I caused a multitude of people. I guess it’s just what I was feeling and irrationally thinking. The next message I sent was,
“I’m now no longer a PD. I’m on a break until winter break then my advisor will reevaluate whether or not I should return to the position. And being a PD was one the things that was keeping me going and not giving up.”
I found out that when I sent this to Marshall, he was at a conference for Student Senate, and a friend of his, the student body Vice President, (also she came to the group a few times last year), accidently saw the message over his shoulder. She mentioned to him that he had to report it, so he contacted Hannah, who then stopped by my room to see what was going on. This time I was definitely getting annoyed and bothered by my suicidal thoughts. I didn’t believe I was in danger though, I was just emotional and not thinking clearly or really at all. After Hannah left, my friend, Alex, who is an RA in another building, stopped by to talk to me. He also told me that Erin Rice (director of housing and ProStaff on call for the weekend) was going to stop by as well. Hannah stopped by a second time while Alex was still there and took me to the Student Life Suite to talk to Len.
Once I got to the offices, I waited for an excruciatingly painful twenty minutes with Hannah in the waiting area of Student Life. The next half hour was even worse when I talked to Len about what had been happening. I barely know him, and I don’t trust him with anything regarding my mind. I didn’t want to talk to him; I felt intimidated. Just being around him, I felt like he was judging me and my suicidal thoughts and urges to cut. He most likely wasn’t judging me, but I felt completely ashamed of my thoughts, my problems and just my whole being. In my mind, I was criticizing every tiny thing about myself.
During the entire meeting, I was beating myself up for writing those messages and for even thinking them. I tried to talk to him about what was happening, but I could barely speak due to my fear, and my mind was completely filled with thoughts that I’d rather be dead than in this meeting and dealing with all of this. My mind kept up with its critical dialogue, and it continued to make me feel worse and worse. The voice was telling me things like,
“Why are you so fucking stupid? You should have never sent those messages. You should have never even thought those things. You’re so fucked up and an absolute fucking failure. You should have just killed yourself and gotten it over with when you had the chance, then you wouldn’t have to be here in this awful situation bothering everyone. You could finally have some peace, and you wouldn’t be such a burden to all these other people who should already be home with their families on this Friday afternoon. You wouldn’t be such a burden to everyone if you had actually gone through with your plans back in April. You could have avoided so much of this, and you wouldn’t have to bother all these people who don’t even care about you. You know they don’t actually care about you; they’re just do their job because they are legally obligated to. They don’t really care. They don’t give a shit about you. Why would they? You are absolutely worthless and so fucking pathetic. Nobody cares about you. You are worth absolutely nothing, and you don’t deserve to have anyone show any concern for you even if they really were concerned. You may think that they are concerned about you, but really, they don’t care. They’re just acting and pretending to because that’s what they have to do. Why would anyone care about you? You know you’re worthless and pathetic, and you just burden everyone you interact with. Why would anyone want to help you or be concerned about you? The truth is they don’t. Why would they? Why would anyone? You’re an absolute fucking failure, and you just need to keep to yourself, so you don’t burden anyone else with your presence…”
For the rest of the evening, I continued to criticize and beat myself up. I didn’t stop with this criticism until Monday afternoon which led to my urges to cut over the weekend.
About the critical inner voice I wrote of last time, I didn’t hold back on exactly what was going through my mind. I don’t feel comfortable with profanities unless I am extremely upset or angry. I normally don’t write out those, but I felt when I was writing about my thoughts I needed to add those exact adjectives and adverbs. I’m not comfortable with speaking like that, and it is easier to write like that, but it still feels wrong to do so. That was one of the hesitations I had when you asked me what I recognize as the beginning of the critical self-talk. The other hesitation was that I did not want to say those words, because they, like you said, have so much power over me. When you repeated those words, my body’s reaction was to wince and cower, and my mind was taking what you were repeating as an actual auditory insult even though I knew exactly what it really was. I could not tell my mind that it was just words being repeated that had no meaning regarding my character or self. My mind is always doing this. I will hear someone say or repeat something that could be insulting or critical, and my mind will filter through it, selfishly change its meaning and purpose, and make it apply to me in some convoluted way. The amount I think about myself is so selfish even if it is negative. I’m so self-centered; I hate it so much.
As for saying that sentence in a different voice, in a goofy, silly voice, when you said to try this, my mind immediately began saying it in voices from friends and family, people I respected and admired. I tried to find some type of voice, but over and over again, I was going back to the same people, my mind confirming that sentence to itself. I have been trying to find some type of voice that I won’t take seriously, something that is stupid and easily disregarded, but I haven’t found one yet.