Thursday, 28 July 2011

The Past

From 1998 to 2001 I kept a paper diary. Intentionally. Diligently I filled it in every day, chronicling my life for all to see. And literally, too; I always write with the intention of if being read by, or at least read to, somebody at some point. I do write mostly to entertain and I'd like to think people see the purpose of that, even if I am writing a paper journal. When I finally made the switch to LJ (the two briefly overlapped at points, with me printing out and sticking in LJ entries towards the end of 2001), it seemed a natural progression. I knew everyone in the sixth form was reading my LJ, but I didn't care; I was going to write what I like when I liked. And yes, maybe I angered a lot of people, but then again there were a lot of emo whinings there, and I was being picked on constantly by so many people, I did have a reason.

I've been re-reading my paper diaries, and of course there's rarely any mention of sex in any of them. I know, at the age of 14 to 16, you'd imagine any diary to be full of mentions of sex. But there's barely a whiff. There's quite a lot of innuendo, but that's there for the sake of me telling anyone reading my diary to get their mind out of the gutter. There are even a few allusions to girls I fancied, but not even so many of those - in the first of the three books full of writing, there are several cryptic references to the Zebra Project, without any particular explanation of what it was or what its significance may (or may not) have been. Only in the final journal - 2001, the one in which I was at my lowest point - did I explicitly mention any names, specifically one, being the first and only girl I ever specifically asked out, and my first ever rejection. That was it. I didn't want to talk about stuff I didn't want to go into.

I had sexual urges, of course I did. I started having them at about 11. But I never mentioned them, not even when I realised nobody was going to read my diary anyway. And I had crushes, but they were always heart-wrenchingly bitter and doomed, it seems, to failure, so I didn't want to depress myself any more, when I was doing such a good job of it anyway myself. I didn't even masturbate until the age of 17, so I didn't even have that to write about.
And it turns out that the only girl I wrote about in any amount of detail - mostly my proclamations that I'd never want to live without her - I wrote about because she was the only thing on my mind. It took me a long time into my LJ years to get over her, and that's mostly due to the efforts of Louise, and later Soldier Girl, to guide me back in the right direction.

I ended my December 31, 2001 entry with this:

Hmmm... I managed to survive another year, not exactly by my choosing, but I did. I was forced to survive another year, that would be the closest thing to telling the truth. So here it goes with 2002.

It's not fun, no. But I was determined to give things a go, and thus I made the jump to LJ. I even tried to keep an audio diary for a while, like Tony Benn. But I gave that up by the time Easter rolled around. And I pushed forwards. I still wasn't writing my best. I didn't even think of writing about sex for a very long time. Even after I started having sex I barely even mentioned it. Rebecca was writing about it, and I was even slightly ashamed by what she wrote. I didn't want to add to that, really.

Looking through my old journals (because my sister mentioned them, natch) has put ILB more into perspective for me. The stuff I write here is all the stuff I should've, would've, could've said back in those days, where my journal entries were stacked full of self-pity, self-harm and Green Day. Maybe if I still were writing a paper diary, I still wouldn't be mentioning sex much. But I think this, after all, is a much better way of doing said things... and besides, it's opened me up to a whole host of new experiences and new people, and if that's not the life progression I was hoping for ten years ago, I genuinely don't know what is.

5 comments:

barenakedlady said...

Sounds like you were in a dark space at a certain point. Not the amazing angel I know now.

I hope I never find my diaries again. They are stupendously terrible. I do vaguely remember what was in my last one. Last entry was about jumping someone sexy's bones. A week later, he rejected me.

Catharine said...

You are such a sweetie. Your blog always makes me want to cuddle you.

Innocent Loverboy said...

@BNL: Yes, I was in a dark place - I've always been honest about that. I didn't pull myself out as much as was dragged out and occasionally it attacks me while I sleep, but embracing my angelic side, which is still relatively recent, has helped me with that.

@C: You are wonderfully wonderful. Cuddle me tomorrow, yeah?

[Word verification: "person"]

barenakedlady said...

I love that you're being so honest about that headspace you were in. Tell me if I'm wrong, but I deduct from your post that you self -harmed?

I never got to the point of self-harm, but I did suffer from a major depression for years. I'm still on the meds and see a psychiatrist regularily.

And don't worry, everybody has to go through a Green Day phase at some point. God knows I did...

Innocent Loverboy said...

You're not wrong, I did self-harm, and in a variety of different ways too. It's not an uncommon thing, but what's more common is the ignorance as to the actual purpose of self-harm. I still have the scars, but they are faded. They're more apparent in summer, when the sun gives my skin a slight tan.

I, too, was put on meds - Citalopram initially, which is an SSRI. Prozac was also considered. I didn't end up on either; I did take Citalopram for a while, but there was no effect whatsoever, so I stopped taking it. (I also don't take any drugs at the moment; every medication I've been put on I've stopped taking after a while.) I was in my first year at university at the time, and three myself into creative/expressive pursuits instead, which helped a lot more than any drug would.

I also saw counsellors - lots of them. Various ones at various points. I'm not at the moment, but then again, I'm OK at the moment. Not perfect, of course, but more stable than I used to be. Let's hope I don't need to ever go down that route again.

Also, I haven't bought the latest Green Day album. Although I still have find memories of seeing them in 2002, when I was in the sixth form... ironically, directly after a counselling session.