Dear Fifteen (15),
I don’t want to write this.
I’ve been procrastinating writing this the whole night and now it’s 3am and I only got 4 hours of sleep last night so I am done. I am so done.
Can you please just leave me alone?
I get it. I partied, I was a slut, I drank, I got high, I turned us into (a super hot, am I right?) bag of skin and bones, I threw everything away. I tried to be everything and ended up being nothing but on medical leave yet again and back into a treatment center.
Things were never the same after that.
I get it. You hate me, Ana (25) hates me. Everyone hates me. I’m the stupid screw-up that didn’t appreciate what she had, and now it’s all gone and we’ll never get it back. I’m the reason why everything is terrible.
I’m too tired to get into this, so I’ll just say this: that’s not fair.
This isn’t all me. This whole show got started forever ago when Cookie (11) started stealing cookies, and got worse when you (15) started trying to be a perfectionist and started purging. There are so many things that get lost in the time between each of us, but don’t just put me in a box and shame me.
I am so tired of that. Please just stop.
And even if I was the whole reason why everything is terrible, what is making me feel horrible accomplishing?
It’s a good thing I’m tired right now because I can skip all the mean things I want to say to make you feel just as bad as you make me feel. You’ve also just made me so sad that I probably couldn’t fight back if I wanted to.
You’re smart. You figured out how to get good grades in less than a year and got us out of that house and that school with nothing but sheer determination. You are amazing.
But I am also amazing.
I was able to hard-core party on the weekends, be a serious high-powered student during the week juggling two advanced science classes (both with 3.5 hour labs) and a foreign language class contemplating a double major, binge and then throw up all the time (sometimes multiple times a day), pull all-nighters right and left to makeup for all the partying I did on the weekends, pump myself full of all sorts of substances to pull it off, be super devious in order to get all those substances in the first place, be in an orchestral society and also be its web mistress, work in a research lab, run an Etsy business, be on the organization committee for a major multi-college fundraising event, and knit a bunch of things for another community service organization. That’s all I can remember off the top of my head.
You want to tell me I’m just a stupid skank partying it up and throwing everything away? Read that list and tell me that I’m not awesome and on the brink of being superhuman.
Yes, I was high on the new experience of finally figuring out how to dress and do my hair and makeup and throw up enough to make myself “hot.” I had never been that before, and after so many painful years of being the opposite of that, I was sucked in.
At first, it was thrilling. I was leading a double life, having it all. Then things started to splinter and by the end of the semester, I was barely hanging on by a thread.
I didn’t know things were going to get so bad.
I didn’t realize that if I tried to have it all, I would lose everything. I didn’t know. You guys telling me I’m horrible and stupid and unbelievable because I didn’t know the future is really unfair.
I would give anything to reverse this all and go back to that semester. I would cut back, make my goals reasonable, be healthier, tone it down a bit, focus on what really mattered, which was being a student at that amazing school and building connecting with my amazing classmates. I miss those guys so much. I wouldn’t have had to leave this second time and then a third time and spend my senior year locked up in my room alone because I didn’t know anyone else and was way older than everyone and just ashamed of myself and terrified people would find out what had happened.
But honestly, if I was given another crack at it, I don’t know if things would have turned out differently.
The whole thing was already on fire, I just dumped some gasoline on it to speed it all up and make it explode.
And what does this going back and thinking of what I would have done differently really accomplish? Nothing. We can’t go back.
And you know what? I am so happy that we are not this person who thinks she’s invincible and throws things away thinking she can get them back. I am so glad that we are humble and value things and count our blessings when we remember to not wallow in self-pity and hide from the world. I think that was only possible because of this downward spiral followed by “the fall” that happened the next year.
We should talk about that, by the way. Someday.
You guys just seem to skip over that whole thing because no one wants to poke the sleeping beast and wake that mess up again. In case you’re forgetting, that is probably 99% of the reason why we are here. Yes, I didn’t help and maybe made it more likely to happen, but you’ve got to stop shoveling everything onto me.
We have to talk about it. Because this isn’t fair. I’m just as terrified to open up that can of worms, but we need to get it over with. I’m tired. We’re all tired. This needs to end.
This is long and rambling and I just want to delete it all and start over, but I’m tired. It’s now past 3am and I just want to go to bed. So you’re just going to have to put up with this disorganized jumble of words. And me probably bolding things too much. I’m trying to get better at that.
Just stop acting like you’re so much better than me, than Ana.
You only criticize and never look beyond our imperfections to our strengths. Ana and I have our faults, but we are both incredibly strong, hard-working, and amazing.
You are, too. There is so much more to you than your imperfections.
Your perfectionism is what gets you out of that school and out of that house, but it also is driving you crazy. You are eating until you feel sick, hiding in your closet crying and hurting yourself. You guinea pig is your only friend in the world. You don’t go outside. You’re afraid of people seeing you.
There’s something going on that isn’t working, Fifteen.
You are incredible, but you haven’t figured everything out. Sitting on the sidelines criticizing yourself and criticizing us for not meeting your unrealistic standards isn’t fair.
So please, just be respectful if you can’t be nice.
I love you to death, but you are making me so depressed. Don’t go cry in your closet – I still want you around. I just can’t take you dousing me non-stop with all this criticism and hatred.
I am just so tired.
Take care of yourself.
This hurts so much when you do this to me, I cannot imagine what it feels like when you do this to yourself.
My brain is full of sludge and I am so sleep deprived. Go think of your own question. Maybe we should just get rid of the P.S. section altogether. And we need names. I just need sleep. Ana is going to hate me in the morning when she reads all the words I’ve just vomited onto here without rhyme or reason. OK, I’m going to stop now. Goodnight/morning/afternoon wherever you are on the planet.