Why I’m in the Biggest Reading Slump of My Life

Hey guys. A few weeks ago my life was still normal. Well, okay, not normal-normal, but normal for me. I went to work every day, and every night I’d read until I fell asleep. Every day, over and over, rinse and repeat, blah blah. My summer reading project this year was to complete Moby Dick. As of June 05, I was 100 pages deep; today, June 25, I am still at the same spot. On June 07, I was kicked out of my house. I didn’t care about that house. Since I was three years old, I’ve been moving  from place to place, transitioning from town to town, school to school, back and forth between my mom and dad, along with my two brothers. Mostly, though, I’ve lived with my mom. She homeschooled me for seven years until I went back to public school and graduated. She took me to get my braces on and off. She took me to get my license both the first time (when I failed it) and the second time (when I passed). She took me to get my wisdom teeth taken out and drove me home while I bled all over the place and complained about the pain. When I found a dog on the brink of death in the middle of the woods, she let me bring her home and keep her, even when I went off to college for the majority of the year. She helped me build a strong resumé. She helped me get a full-ride to college. She helped me with a lot of things and did a lot for me in life. I love my mom. I will always love my mom. And even though I always loved my mom, I didn’t like her on most days. She cared more about my accomplishments and achievements more than she cared about how I felt. She cared more about my physical health more than my mental health. Though homeschooling me gave me a step up academically, it severely affected my social skills. I was smarter than most kids my age, but I couldn’t make friends or order food at restaurants without sweating bullets. People scared me. I was socially awkward and still am, no matter how hard I try to be an extrovert.

My mom also tried to help me lose weight. Throughout my entire life, I have believed that I am fat. During my teenage years, my weight fluctuated between 130 and 150. My mom put me on various diet plans and signed me up for multiple workout regimes, one time even paid for a personal trainer. I have hated how I look for as long as I can remember because my mom would call me fat and tell me that I needed to lose weight, gain muscle, eat less, be healthy. Now, at 20, I probably weigh about 170, and I have never felt fatter in my life. I look back at old pictures and I can’t believe I ever thought I was fat. I looked fine for my age and height. And now I weigh a lot more and feel even worse about myself. But I’m too afraid to go to the gym because I panic — I feel everyone’s eyes on me and feel like everyone in the room is looking at me, talking about me, judging me. Logically, I know they’re not, but I can’t convince myself otherwise. I feel like that everywhere I go, every social situation, every public gathering, all the time. I’m told that’s social anxiety, but I don’t really care what it’s called, I just know I’m afraid to be around a lot of people because it makes me uncomfortable to the point I just want to tear off my skin.

And speaking of tearing off skin, I used to cut myself when I was in high school. I was one of those stereotypical sad teenagers, the ones who wore all black, listened to hardcore screamo music, and cut herself. I was sad all the time and I didn’t want to be. I hated being so sad. Sometimes I got so mad at myself because there are other people in the world who have it a lot worse than I do, so I have no excuse to be so sad. But I couldn’t help it. So it goes. I would write angry and depressing poetry to vent. It didn’t mean anything. It was just a way to get my feelings out. I was angry with my mom a lot, and would often write really horrible poems about her. I have never been able to talk to my mom. She is one of those people who have her opinions, and once she makes up her mind about something, you can’t change it. So she doesn’t really listen to you, she just argues, shoves her opinion down your throat by yelling and screaming, and nothing you say will change a thing. So I vented through writing and then I was fine. But my mom found my poetry and read all about my anger and depression. My mom practically stalked me — she went through my trash, tracked and limited my texting and internet cites, and went through my room. She found out that I was cutting, along with some other things she hadn’t known about. I was stupid and sad — I did a lot of stupid things. She had a right to be upset, but she did not have a right to make me pull down my pants and show her my cuts. She did not have a right to grab a handful of knives and ask if I needed any help. She did not have a right to say, “If you’re so depressed, maybe you should have just killed yourself.” I will never forget that. I know I messed up, I know she was angry, but she did not have a right to do any of that. That’s not how you deal with someone in my situation.

I have been kicked out of my house multiple times. I made a lot of mistakes, and instead of dealing with them, my mom would kick me out. I would stay with my dad. And she would always get me back and place more restrictions on me. I don’t know what the parenting 101 books say, but I do know that the way to raise a child is not to shelter them and control every aspect of their life. You have to find a balance, and my mom did not have a balance. My mom had a rough childhood. A lot of horrible things have happened to my mom. So of course I understand that she’s been hardened by all of that. Of course I understand that all these things she has done is her way of loving me. So I dealt with all of it. I tried to be the best I could be, but I was never enough, and I knew that, but I kept trying. B’s in school weren’t enough. Weighing 150 was not enough. Working six days a week was not enough. Nothing I did was enough. But yet my resumé is very impressive. In high school I was in the National Honor Society and was the editor and book reviewer of my school newspaper. I was on the honor roll every semester for all A’s and even won an award for my writing. I was in the PSO program for two years taking college classes at Ohio University at the same time as I was taking high school classes. I graduated high school in the top 20 of my class. I won a full-tuition scholarship to the University of Rio Grande and received enough scholarship money from my good grades to afford a dorm without taking out any loans. I will only need three years of college instead of four to receive a Bachelor’s because of all the credits I racked up in PSO. I will be graduating with a Bachelor’s, two minors, and a GPA of 3.6 (maybe 3.7 if I can get it up another point) which means I will be graduating with honors. I am involved in a sorority, the All Greek Council, Psych Club, and the English Honor Society (which I will be president of for my final year of college). One of my academic papers that I wrote was selected to be presented at an international conference last year with the English Honor Society. I never did drugs. I never got pregnant. I did well in school and worked a job simultaneously. Most parents would be over the moon to have a child like that. I’m not a person who brags about anything. In fact, I’m a very self-conscious, anxiety-ridden, pessimistic person. I don’t say good things about myself. But come on! Seriously? Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect. But I like to think I did pretty well.

Last February I found a best friend at school. In August, she and I applied to be roommates for that year. I fell in love with her and she fell in love with me. In November we started dating. I was raised a Christian and still consider myself to be one, even though I consider myself more spiritual than religious. My mom has always believed that homosexuals are influenced by the devil and are going to hell. She believes it is a mental disorder, even though she believes things like anxiety are fake. I have never been interested in women before. I have never looked at a female and felt anything for her. But I’ve always believed in equal rights. I believe people are people, and who they fall in love with isn’t their choice — it just is. My best friend and I developed feelings for each other despite the fact that neither of us have ever been interested in a woman before. It was scary. It was awkward. It was new. But it happened. I wasn’t going to deny my feelings or hate myself for something I couldn’t change. We’ve been hiding it from almost everyone for months. It was hard, but necessary. June 07 my girlfriend slept over at my house. It was late, we were joking around, and she jumped on top of me and kissed my forehead. We didn’t know my mom was still awake and she was watching. My mom stormed into the room, and no matter how hard we tried to play it off as just joking around (even though we really were just playing around), she had her mind set: we were lesbians. She screamed, yelled, spit in our faces. She called us horrible names and questioned our morality. Though it was late at night, she sent my girlfriend away, said to never come back. My mom told me I had to leave, and immediately I started packing. I don’t remember much of the rest of the night. I remember what happened, but not the specifics. My mind shut down because I knew that this was it — I was done. While she questioned me, screamed at me, and demanded I explain myself, I methodically packed all my things and told her it didn’t matter what I said, she was never going to listen. She was never going to accept me or my feelings. She never has.

After a long hour of being yelled at, she called my dad and told him her side of the story. I thought he would hate me, but instead he drove two hours to come get me in the middle of the night. He loved and accepted me for who I am and what I feel. My mom gave up the screaming match (even though it was very one-sided) and went to bed. When my dad arrived, I packed most of my stuff in his car and we went to his house. The next day, my mom arrived at his house, dumped the rest of my belongings on the yard, and drove away. Today is June 25 and I haven’t seen her since. I haven’t heard from her since. She cancelled my car insurance, dental insurance, health insurance. She forbade my younger brother, who lives with her, from saying my name at all. I am erased. I am disowned. For a week I hid at my dad’s house, barely eating and crying every night instead of sleeping. I felt sick. My period was supposed to come earlier that week but my body has been under so much stress it didn’t come until yesterday. My younger brother can’t talk about me. I have no idea what my mom is telling my family about me. My dog, the one I rescued and was in love with, I’ll never be able to see again. I had to quit my job of three years, a job I hated but loved because the people there were my family. Because my mom blew this out of proportion, I have to go around explaining to everyone what happened and fear how these people will react to something as simple as my relationship. My feelings. Luckily, no one else has reacted like my mom. Even when they disagree with me, they love me. They are angry at my mom. I don’t blame them.

Today I am sharing my girlfriends bed. My belongings are stacked in her closet. I got a new job that I hate. I am in the process of getting my own insurance and trying to get my life back in order. Technically, I am homeless. In two months I’ll be able to move back to school for my last year, so I don’t have to burden my girlfriend’s mother much longer. My whole life changed and I’m still getting used to it. I have been doing mindless activities when I’m not at work, like watching TV. I have never watched so much TV in my life. I’ve been binge-watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Grey’s Anatomy, because I can’t read anymore. For weeks I’ve been trying to pick up Moby Dick, or any book for that matter, but I can’t read. I read a sentence over and over and over and can’t comprehend what it says because my mind is on ten million other things. I can’t concentrate, so I watch TV and play stupid games and numb my mind. I’m sleeping again. Three days ago was my seven month anniversary with my girlfriend, the longest relationship I’ve ever been in. I am 20 years old and my mom is never going to talk to me again. I still lie awake at night and cry sometimes. I still can’t concentrate on a book. I still miss my family. I still get nervous telling people that I am dating a girl. My whole life is different not but I’m still here. I hope to be reading again soon. My blog is everything to me. Books are my life. I’m an English major and my life depends on books. I’m sorry this has been such a long post. I didn’t just want to say “hey I’m in a reading slump, some stuff happened, sorry, hope to be back soon!” because it’s a lot more complicated than that. I thought you all deserved to know what happened. And this blog is my way of venting. I don’t write crappy poetry anymore. I blog about what I love: books. And sometimes I blog about personal things, like this. I know this post was poorly written. I can write a lot better than this, but this isn’t an essay or an academic research paper, this is a blog post in which I vented. So thanks for being patient with me, and thanks for following my blog, and if you read this, thanks for getting to know me. Despite all this darkness, I am happy. I have family who love me for who I am, I have friends who are here for me, I have a girlfriend that means the world to me, and I have professors who are there to listen and to teach me, and I have you guys, who actually share the same interests as I do and can share all that with me. So thanks. I hope to be reading again soon and blogging about all my thoughts and feelings. I miss you guys. And I miss my books. Happy reading, everyone!

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8 thoughts on “Why I’m in the Biggest Reading Slump of My Life

  1. I’m sorry about your Mum. I hope you get a chance to see your little brother again soon. I am glad that you’ve got a loving Dad, and that your girlfriend’s Mum has put a roof over your head. And most importantly you’ve got somebody you love and loves you back.

    I hope that things get easier. Maybe returning to school will help to bring even a little bit of normality back to your life.

    And I hope that you get back to enjoying reading again soon. But in the meantime, enjoy discovering some awesome TV shows.

    Even when life is being shit, try your best to enjoy even the little things that make you happy ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my. I am so sorry this happened to you. At least you have found a tad bit of comfort in being at your girlfriend’s. Hopefully your mom will come to her senses and see you for the truly amazing person you are. ❤ Keep your head up, and remember we (your readers :-p ) are always here for you, even it's a rant post about personal things. We like to see bloggers are just like the rest of us. Haha.

    Hope you are able to start reading soon! Slumps are the worst, but I totally understand it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ohhhh noooo. So so so sorry. I didn’t realize/come out about being gay until my early 20s bc it also wasn’t safe in many ways. I understand how scared and hopeless things must feel right now. It sounds cliché, but I PROMISE it gets better. And it will get easier. Just remember — you are under no obligation to justify love to anyone. ANYONE. And if you want a book recommendation to help, try Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden. Or A House Like A Lotus by Madeline L’engle. Good luck, and much love.

    Liked by 1 person

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