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Old Diary Entries

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Posted 17th August 2008 at 11:52 AM by shadowplay
Updated 17th August 2008 at 12:07 PM by shadowplay

Found some old diary entries I wrote when I was 19-20, many of them revolving around Jack* ("Harvard Guy") and my gradual descent into depression.

*I've changed all the names.

Jan 26, 2003

I can't stop thinking about Jack. I had a dream about him recently, the first one where we actually kissed. It's strange but whenever I like someone I never dream about them. Maybe it means I'm thinking about him less. I was at least until I had this dream.

In the dream he comes back to [my college] and we meet and he says to me "I guess you probably want to get married. We probably will. Let me just think about it overnight."

The dream takes place in a dark, windowless room. More like dimly-lit. We're lying on the carpeted floor together and holding each other and kissing. And he keeps trying to take off my clothes, but I won't let him. I remember feeling happiest when he's not all over me, but I'm just gently stroking his black hair and softly kissing him -- when he looks most vulnerable, I guess.

Can't stop thinking about him. I'm so, so sad. Why does he have to be so important? Will he ever come back? Will I ever see him again? I feel like there's this huge question mark hanging over everything. But I sense that the Jack story is not quite over yet. I've noticed that things tend to resolve themselves in life. And whether the ending is happy or sad, something will eventually be resolved between us. But I shouldn't say that because things one predict rarely come true. So I take it back.

It's so strange how Jack is tied in my mind to all these intricate associations that branch off into my past. Something about him reminds me of this summer camp I went to with [my best friend] after sixth grade. It was a girls biking camp on Cape Cod. And at the end we took this long biking trip to Martha's Vineyard and biked for a week on the island. We biked something close to 500 miles total.

At the time I really hadn't been anywhere or seen anything and somehow the experience gave me a sense of hope, like I got a glimpse into an adult world. I was thinking about my future and what it would be like to be the same age as our counselors. They were all around 20 and from Scotland and England. That seemed like such an exciting age to me. I remember [my friend] and I used to have these long discusssions about what we would be like at 20.

One thought that really excited us was that the guys we'd eventually marry were doing something right at that moment, totally oblivious that their lives would eventually intersect with ours. Sometimes I still think about that. It's a strange but comforting thought.

I was full of such hope that summer. Just looking back I think I was happier then than I've ever been before or since. I felt like I was finally alive and beginning my adult life. Everything else to this day seems like a waking dream.

That summer I felt myself stirring, finally. I was beginning to know myself and things were going to change. I was destined for a great future. What happened? Can I ever regain that wide-eyed sense, that feeling of aliveness?

What's strange, and slightly disturbing, is I felt just as mature at that time as I do now. I was always mature for my age, at least when I was young. And that summer I made a huge leap and became much more aware of my identity. But then something happened. Things stalled or regressed, and eventually others caught up with me and passed me by.

At that age I felt so mature. I felt suddenly surrounded by people I couldn't relate to, and I longed for an older guy, like my uncle Joe, who would understand me. I got a prototype of this guy in my mind: older, off-beat, extremely smart and confident (but with a hint of vulnerability). By the time I hit college I thought I'd never find that guy. Even at [my college] none of the guys seemed to have the right smarts, looks and level of maturity. They were like babies.

Then Jack came along, and something finally clicked. I almost knew the second he opened his mouth that he was one of those guys, but initially I didn't think he was so important because I thought there were more where he came from. But I was wrong. I still haven't found one other guy with that special combination of traits. I know it's cliche, but God, he made me feel so alive. Even when he came back to [my college] I remember afterwards having this rush, like the world looked so much clearer and all my worries seemed so insignificant. Yes, I know it's unhealthy that it takes Jack to make me feel alive.

But I think that spark of hope has died down in me and only something huge can rekindle it. I hope that if I ever meet him again that by then I will have found that spark internally; I won't need someone else ot bring it out.

May 14, 2003

I'm really upset right now. I just got into an argument with John (my brother). It started when I was talking to mom about saving up money and John got angry at me because he wanted to get a movie and I thought it was too excessive to get another movie this week. Anyway, he grabbed my arm really hard and I couldn't shake it free so I reflexively hit him in the lower shin.

All of a sudden the whole family was screaming at me, and the worst was dad (as usual). "You're an ugly person, you're vicious, you're evil." And he started running after me, but I got into the bathroom and locked the door in time. It's always striking to me that whenever I get into a fight like this he always rushes to John or mom's defence and always starts berating me. I hate it when he calls me "sick." He makes me feel like some kind of monster. What the hell have I done to him? I've just kept to myself this summer because of my stupid depression and anxiety.

Will things ever change for me? For anyone in this godforsaken family? It's like the same thing as when I was 18, when I was 16, 12... Nothing ever changes! Why? I'm exactly the same as I was last year. In less than two months I turn 20! I'm about 14 emotionally, maybe younger. 1) I'm about 8 in terms of impulsivity, ability to control myself. 2) 13 in my ability to relate to others. 3) 22 in my reading comprehension, writing skills, general intelligence. 4) 16-17 in my ability to articulate myself. 5) 25 in my aesthetic tastes. Isn't that ****ed up?

What is it about trying that's so hard? Is it just a fear, or an inability to encure any of the discomfort that trying entails?

I have to try again because I care about myself. That's one thing I have which most severely depressed people don't. I really want to be happy. I know it's a broken record, but I need to try again.

August 19, 2003

So I'm dating David. We've been going out for about a month now. At first I didn't want to go out with him, just wanted him to like me. And when he finally made a move one night on his roofe after we'd been going out as friends a few times, I was a little scared off.

He came on pretty strong the first time he kissed me. Then the second time I kind of liked it, and decided to give the whole thing a shot. He told me I was beautiful, and before he knew me that he couldn't believe I was shy because I was so pretty. He said I looked like I should be the most popular girl in school, so maybe I was just ultra hip instead of shy.

But we've run into some problems. We both started obsessing about the relationship, wondering if there was really a "spark," if the whole thing was too serious. I felt hurt by some of the things he said and temporarily broke up with him after the our first week, but I called him back and we decided to have another go.

Since then things have been good, and every time I see him I like him more. I'm keeping the physical thing at a slow pace -- above the waist -- for now.

He's gone this week. I sort of miss him but not as much as I expected. I've actually been thinking about Jack these last few days. Not obsessively, burt sort of in a good, enjoyable way.

Jack is on a whole different plane from David. He means so much more to me. Not that I don't care about David, but it's different. I really hope I can go out with Jack, even on just one or two dates. One day while I'm still young.

September 28, 2003

It's strange how the world seemed so good to me a few weeks ago and now I see injustice everywhere. I had a feeling for a long time that people were never overtly bad, and if you did the right thing they wouldn't mistreat you.

Maybe before when I thought everybody's motives were good, it was because I took blame for everything bad that happened to me. If someone didn't like me, it was my fault. So in a way it's a relief to realize that the rest of the world isn't perfect. Sometimes I"m really naive, almost on purpose, because I always imagine the worst case scenario to protect myself from disappointment.

But the Jack thing -- I wonder now if I got him completely wrong. I thought he was basically a good person, but I'm not so sure in retrospect.

I don't feel as much for him now. Even before I found out he hadn't responded to my email, after I had just sent it out, I felt like this huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I was finally free of him (at least partially).

Who is he anyway? Just some smart, spoiled Jewish guy from DC. When I liked him I was limited to one vision of happiness that he represented. Everything beautiful I observed filtered through his image in my mind.

It's like in the last two years, I've collected all these beautiful images and emotions and built them into a Monolith of Jack. But what they all add up to is a one-dimensional view of happiness.

Happiness comes in different flavors, and it's impossible to detach every distinct flavor from the thing that evokes it.
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