2 YEARS – December 5th, 2018

I am not going to lie. Right now, I am terrified. I can’t tell if I am being brave, or stupid, but I am about to face the thing that I have been avoiding all these years. I am about to bring some perspective on my life that I’ve been hiding because it really, really hurts. But I need to show you the wound, if I am to heal it. I am aware some of you will try to stitch me up, and others will aggravate it. But this isn’t about me. This is about the whole thing. But I have to start with the basics: these are my reasons, not my excuses.

All I ever wanted to do was help and love people, but instead I have allowed myself to become corrupted by jealousy, anger, and malicious action throughout my life. I do believe this to be natural, we do all tend to get angry at injustices, but I have felt immense and terrible guilt to the point of not allowing myself to get angry at all. I want to elaborate on the choices I’ve made in my life and address the damage I may have done to others, be it stranger or friend, and the immense damage done to me as a result of my silence and mental and emotional suppression of these issues.

I have to bring these things out of the murk because I truly do believe that I am here for a reason. I’ve been through hell and back, but I am still standing and strong. Since the day I was conceived it’s been a real battle! I’m not trying to make anyone pity me, or feel bad for me. I want people to remember that you can survive the worst trials of life, that you shouldn’t let the world beat you down, and you should fight to the death for what you believe in.

I’ve been a shitty person on multiple occasions in varying degrees throughout my life. A lot of this is lashing out because I didn’t have mom around and my dad was quite the disciplinarian. I didn’t have a lot of love growing up, and it wasn’t anyone’s fault. My mom was a drug addict and my dad loved me enough not to give up on me, but he had his own issues. My dad is in his 60’s and he’s a war veteran, and has had an extremely hard life from day one. My father was very militaristic and as such I had an extremely strict lifestyle growing up. The parent who loved me and was supposed to protect me was also the parent I was scared of on a daily basis. I was lucky that my dad did explain & apologized why he punished me, but as I grew older and it didn’t stop I started to grow resentful towards my dad. I wasn’t allowed to fight back, rather I wasn’t stupid enough to fight a man more than twice my weight. I moved out at 17.

Since then, I’ve been a legal adult and felt a sense of maturity beyond my peers because I knew how to use any means necessary to escape a shitty situation. However, this lead me to believing my whole identity is being a strong person. I didn’t allow myself to feel angry, contemptuous, jealous. I only allowed myself to feel love for people after a few bouts of immature maliciousness that made me feel weak and barbaric. I completely plugged my emotional vents by the time I was 20, and some of you will be familiar with the coping tactic of self-harm to ‘punish oneself for being a bad person’. This is when I got seriously addicted to drugs because I felt absolutely inadequate and undeserving of all the blessings in my life.

I found Adderall when I was 19, in the winter of 2011/2012. I loved drawing a lot and I was starting to become a new upcoming artist in the furry community, and I was pretty high on the rush of all this new attention and support. Adderall helped me produce the work that people loved and kept me focused on doing that. I had no idea that the maliciousness I had renounced was about to strike in the form of bitter karma. I was just having a really good time making people happy with my artwork and finally getting the support I needed to finally flourish in life. I only used drugs as a tool to get my work done and enjoy my craft because sitting still is hard for an ADHD child. I had no intention of abusing something that granted me such tranquility of mind. Well, it was a good 3 months while it lasted…

Karma readied it’s rifle, took aim, and fired a poison iron bullet at my heart. It would take me two more years of Adderall-fueled frenzy to finally collapse (2012-2014), and another two years of what I can only describe as a trap house horror show (2014-2016) to finally begin to address the self-made curse that was killing me from the inside out. I hated myself, and I had to figure out how to fix that or I was going to die.

The first thing the evil/poison did to me was rob me of my trust for people. Suddenly, I didn’t feel like I deserved friends, so I shut out all of my close friends. Then I started to distract myself with work, and the drugs helped distract me from the pain in my heart. I would drink, smoke, sex, and party the night away when I wasn’t dead-eyed staring at canvas after canvas on 120mg of Adderall. I hated myself and lost my purpose in life. How could I help people if they hated me? I beat myself up to hell and back over this. I knew in my heart it wasn’t my fault, but when your favorite artists who once supported you begin to shun you over smear campaigns and lies, it seriously wounds your ego, especially when you’re still young and based your worth on who liked you. I realize now in my experience that these things do not matter, but at the time, between the addiction, naivety of youth and depression, it began to break my heart.

Then it just didn’t stop. My silence caused people to create their own speculations about me and I was terribly bullied and gossiped about, and being a popular artist didn’t help either, your whole life seems to become a drama that belongs to other people. As a kid I just wanted people to be strong enough to overcome the heaviness of life, it was my dream to help people in a mass way while also helping them on a personal level. Art was the medium I chose to address my dream to the world. When people started attacking my art, they struck at my soft underbelly and shot venom into my heart. It would be years before I would learn how to heal myself with this venom.

Eventually, I finally surrendered to the beatings dealt to me upon myself and the world, and chaos began to really take a firm grip on my life. I dated people I hated, I did drugs I never thought I would touch, and I was treated with such disrespect that I completely lost my self-worth. I was seeking validation from people who were as broken as I was, so I spent two years in a trap house. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means a place where drugs are pretty much given freely in order to entice you to buy more. I chose to date the drug dealer of the trap house. What happened during this time I do not wish to disclose — just know that this was two years of Hell. The Devil inside of me had finally pulled me down, and I was caught in the fires of its punishment. 

This period of my life ended December 5th, 2016, when things finally reached a fevered pitch and I had to make a choice, so I called my father and he picked me up from this situation. I stayed with him for about a month, before he said hurtful things towards me. I also reached out to a best friend around this time, and they had no idea what to do with me. I just needed a friend to let me vent my frustrations of the tortures I had been through, and I scared them away. I scared friend after friend away. I was a wicked, hurt, snarling animal mistrusting the people I desperately needed to help me. I should have gone to rehab, perhaps then I would have had more love and support, but pride kept that idea completely out of my mind. 

In the end, if things worked out, it was because there was a person who sent me enough to pay the first half of what I needed to get a small apartment, and when I thanked them, they sent me enough for me to afford it in whole. I couldn’t believe it. Someone out there believed in me, and as far as I know, they had no idea what I had been through. That unconditional trust, love, and belief in me caused me to come back to life, if just a little bit, but it was a first step. I was with my best friend at the time, and I was so shocked and excited, and I happily told them, and they just weren’t happy for me. They seemed jealous. My own best friend. That hurt a lot — they were there for me at face value, but held my spirit at arm’s length — much like how I am treated online. Perhaps they thought I was just another drug addict, that I could make my own money, or that they deserved it more than I did, I’ll never know. All I know is they didn’t believe in me as much as a stranger on the internet did. I would face many more heartbreaks like this over the course of my healing and realization, but this first one left me confused. Obviously, I was too happy and always will be too happy that person did such an altruistic thing at such a significant moment in my life. That kinda of stuff makes me believe that there’s something greater than all of us looking out for us. Sometimes it speaks in whispers, and other times it roars, as in this moment. I will NEVER forget this. I still have the studio apartment I got from this person’s kindness. LOL I’m crying right now!! dgjdgslhkdfh it’s just. Unreal. 

The same people who bullied me into believing I was such a bad person that I destroyed myself for years over their lies are the SAME people who brought me to this place of chronic contentment — the people who aggravated my mental illnesses are also the people who alleviate it. I have thought long about why the handful of abusive instances hurt more than the OCEANS of praise, love and support people have given me over the years, and it because of this: 

It is easier to remember a stabbing than it is to remember a hug. 

The stab (abuse) can become infected if not treated properly with the correct love and attention, and you can be reminded of if through the pain, and eventually through the psychological scar it leaves on your being. If you touch it often (that is, talk in excess about your pain) or open it up to look at it or show it to people, that will never allow it to heal. You should only open up your wound to people you trust to heal you if you feel it isn’t healing properly. Abuse is real and the damage it can inflict on our psyches is lethal. Ignoring the wound of psychological abuse and expecting it to heal without infection is also not wise. To heal, one must show the wound to the right people, and for the right reasons. Ignorance is the route I took with my stabbings. Like a wounded animal, I shut out all of my friends and found a dark hole in which to curl up and die; little did I know that the universe had other plans for me. My Heart is what has me completely disemboweled in front of you all here, because I believe in the Good of my Heart and I trust it to bring me to all the beautiful and wild places that modern man has forgotten.

I am today — December 5th, 2018 — two years clean of hard drugs. I only smoke marijuana now, and stopped drinking September 1st, 2018. I quit smoking cigarettes sometime before that. I am taking Zoloft for my depression/anxiety and Strattera for my ADD/ADHD. I have established a routine in my daily life that is helping me stay grounded, I’ve started working out, and just generally being a good person to me. I can’t help others if I can’t help myself, right? This next year will be all about healing.

I want you to know that I am truly sorry for the way I have acted towards people who only wanted to help me, that I have been a lowly person towards those who have only wanted to show me praise and love, to those who have welcomed me into their home only to discover what a monster I can truly be. I did not know how to handle all this attention with any sort of grace, because I have always been the underdog in real life — I chased the acceptance and validation of my peers in my youth. Now that I am older, and hopefully a little wiser, my value is no longer tethered to the praise of others:

Beauty does not need attention. Beauty just is. If a flower gets attention, that is no fault of the flower.

With all the love and light in my little heart,
Summer

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