On faith

All fear of hell ever did for me was keep me from giving up Christianity.

The reason I didn’t do things like smoke, drink, have sex, sneak out of the house, etc. when I was younger was because I was too scared to–both of the danger of doing those things, and of the repercussions of getting caught. I hated punishment, of course, but I hated disappointing Mom and Dad more. My goal was to make them proud of me.

Of course, I wasn’t exactly pristine. I started getting weird ideas when I turned 15 and found Bulletin Board Services like The Night Watcher. In fact, the first time I considered sneaking out (but didn’t do it, of course), was because I wanted to go to a party hosted by a BBS friend, and I didn’t think Mom would go for it.

There were also private things that I was going through that made me truly hate myself. I don’t know why, but I never quite bought the absolution from all sins thing. Either that, or I was too prideful to accept it. I didn’t want to need to be forgiven. I thought I was a sucky Christian, and because I was unable to force myself to be worthy–or I was too lazy to do so, as I often thought–I was absolutely miserable. The whole thing about not having to be worthy, because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, well, that just didn’t apply to me, because I was supposed to be better than that.

It was those things that started me down the road to losing my religion–and getting cancer, facing death, and surviving was what gave me the courage to actually discard it. Because, yes, for years I was forcing myself to “believe”, out of a fear of hell. There was a moment in the hospital when I had a fever of 105. I remembered Mom saying that you could die from a fever that high. As I lay there, closing my eyes against the dizziness, feeling my consciousness floating hazily around, I thought, “I could just go ahead and die.” And for the first time, it didn’t scare me.

I don’t think I ever actually stopped believing in God, though, because I hated him for years thereafter. My most frequent question was, “Why did he let me live?” At the time, I didn’t see the point. Not if I was going to be childless.

Sean was the one who pulled me out of my despair and gave me a reason to live. Seriously. He forced me to stop moping around, to embrace life, and I am so glad he did. I wouldn’t have any of the wonderful things I have now if I’d continued on like that.

So now I consider myself agnostic, because there might be a God and there might not, and I have no idea what the nature of that God is. I at once like and dislike the idea that “everything happens for a reason”. If there was a reason for me to have cancer and to become possibly sterile, I don’t know if I find that comforting. I can think of two huge “reasons”: so Dad would stop drinking, and so I could meet Sean. And those two things are great, and you’d think I could live with making a sacrifice for such wonderful things, but I’m selfish. Everyone who reads this journal knows how much I want kids.

Having cancer also gave me the time to learn web design, and kick-started my college career after a relapse. So these are also plusses. But in the face of never being a mommy, those things seem pretty pale.

If there is no reason for anything, on the other hand, then that puts the responsibility on me to add meaning to my life, and I’m scared that all I’ll do is drop the ball.

At any rate, I don’t think I can ever go back to Christianity. My self-destructive personality does not thrive under that religion. I don’t know that I will never go back to religion in general. The unitarian universalists, for example, are pretty interesting. Right now, however, I just feel like I want to let things “sink in” some more.

I’m so upset and unhappy right now.

Sean says that I tend to have periods of depression that eventually pass. I guess I’m in one of them now. I hate my job and the thought of going back in tomorrow makes me want to cry. The thought of not being able to find a new job does make me cry. I feel trapped and helpless, like I can’t do anything except commit to things I hate in order to have the money to make myself feel better by buying things and eating out.

Every time I try to start something up to better myself, I do really well at first, and then I just taper off until I’m doing nothing again. It was that way with FlyLady, it was that way with my workouts…my house isn’t a mess, but it’s not exactly stellar, and I have to force myself to even empty the dishwasher. Meanwhile, my stomach keeps growing and growing and growing. All clothes are uncomfortable. I keep thinking that I could be pregnant, which is impossible, and thinking about it being impossible makes me more unhappy. Even if I somehow did manage to be pregnant, we couldn’t afford to have a baby. We spend every bit of our paychecks and we have no savings.

But since it’s impossible for me to actually be pregnant, now I’m thinking that I must be having a false pregnancy, wherein my body, acting on cues from my subconscious which thinks about having a baby all the time, decides that, well, maybe there is a baby in there, and responds accordingly.

Mari says that stress causes weight gain in the stomach, so that could be it, too :P

Either way, I’m tired of it, tired tired tired tired tired. I want to scream, and I want to go to bed forever. I also want to kick my boss in the face.

December 3, 1994, 6:26 PM – Beta Convention (16 years old)

Is it vain to love your own eyes? Mine are so wonderful, and it’s so great to have contact lenses so that other people can see them.

They’re a lovely shade of blue-grey, speckled almost but gradual enough to be a fuzzy conglomeration of color.

When I came to this convention I didn’t think I’d have much to write about. Turns out I have lots to say but no time to say it in!

Gotta go, but will return. -general assembly & dance time!

8:55- I’m back, & I’m not a happy camper. I was so excited before, but now I’m depressed. The thing w/Alex…I didn’t get to run for president…I didn’t win in Creative Writing. Barf! I must have next to no talent whatsoever. Occasionally I come off with a good line, but the rest of the time I must stink. (At least in timed writings!)

The reader doesn’t know about the thing w/Alex, does he? He’s a guy who kind of picked me up yesterday when I was depressed. I don’t feel like going into the details at this position of the earth’s rotation. Why? I’m just too depressed, bud.

So will I go to yonder dance? I haven’t any idea. I was going to go & wear my green pants outfit, but now I’m not too sure.

Want to know why I hate pictures? I look ugly when I smile.

I really do. I have a fat face and when I smile, all the fat pouches up and hides my eyes. I would have decently-accentuated cheekbones if I wasn’t so overweight.

And to think that this book was supposed to be a romantic tale of the life of a teenager. Tragedy sells, to be sure, but that’s not the kind of autobiography I wanted to write. Well, that’s life, and things never turn out exactly the way you expect them to. So I might go to that dance and actually have a good time. But most likely I’ll just get more depressed, because I’m not a very outgoing person. Oh well–going to try on my pants outfit now. —

9:13- I’m reverting back into the self-destructive hatred of Heather Aubrey of my sophomore year.

I hate myself! I was so rude to Alex, my writing sucks, Michael never really wanted to date me in the first place, I’m fat, I’m ugly, I’m stupid, and I cry over ignorant things. Like I’m crying now.

I’m such an awful person! No wonder poor Alex never tried to find me after last night.

My hideous ponch sticks out so far I look terrible in my beautiful pants outfit. My waist must be ten inches more around than it should be.

And I thought my creative writing piece was good. Just shows that I’m stuck up to boot.

I want to call Mom. I think I’ll try. No reason for her not to be home, unless she’s at work :(

Can’t. These phones don’t call long-distance.

My butt is so huge! And my flabby face dwarfs the only good thing about me (my eyes), so even they’re not beautiful.

I’m not going to eat dinner tonight. I need to lose weight. I’m so ugly. Maybe if I lose 15 pounds I’ll look good, but it will probably take more than that. (15 off would only put me at 135, and the average girl of my height should weigh 115. I’m lame, huh, weighing 150 now. That’s 35 pounds I have to lose, and of course, I can’t do it.

I’m so lazy, dumb, procrastinative, unmotivated, lethargic…I’d need a Thesaurus to cover all the facets of my horrible self.

It’s awful being this way and a perfectionist too. Being down on myself makes me even more unattractive than I already am.

Alex was such a nice guy! I’m such an idiot! He was caring enough to offer a depressed girl a place with him at dinner. (That would be me.) He was sweet enough to give someone a quarter to use the telescope out on the river.

He liked Star Wars!!

I’m such a fool!

I was consoling myself earlier with the thought that I’d never see him again, but that’s cruel.

I need to go to the dance and find him. Sitting up here rotting over self-hatred isn’t going to do me any good. I have to make amends for treating him the way I did!

11:27- I couldn’t find Alex. Plus, I had a horrible time at the dance, per my prediction. It’s probably my attitude. I expect to have a bad time, and it happens. Maybe someday I’ll be able to go to a dance and actually enjoy it.

I’d have to be outrageously thin though, so I could “shake it” without flopping my fatrolls. Yuck! Michael says he’ll teach me how to dance if I ever want to learn. I might take him up on that.

I was getting suicidal earlier. I hate that. Thought it stopped my sophomore year. But no, it started again this year. Great.

I think it’s George coming. Perhaps my bad thoughts will go away. I’m already feeling better because I took 2 Midols.

Malinda (one of my 3 roomies) brought a guy back to the room. Just like I brought Alex back here yesterday. That’s so sad.

I think I’ll go try to find him again, & then mingle w/ my friends. He should be leaving tonight.