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Hello friends. I’d like to remain anonymous under the name “Bunny.” I’m a 22 year old female from the southeast working as a paralegal.
The past few months have been full of pain and self realizations for me, but it’s all been for the better. I came face to face with so many faults, flaws, and ugly bits within myself. They were things i was already aware of, but i tried to deny their existence. Things like my propensity for lying and my nagging need for attention and “love.” I’m prone to defensiveness when someone tells me I’ve hurt them or done something wrong. I was aware of these problems, but I tried to ignore them. I pushed all these problems away and told myself I’d get better, I just had to stop doing these things. I made excuses for why I was the way i was. But the thing about excuses is that even when they are valid, nobody gives a shit unless you actually try to be better.
I really really had a hard childhood. My mom was in and out of jail, addicted to alcohol, using drugs in the house, and constantly bringing shitty men into our lives with whom she’d scream at and fight with. I’d spoken to police at my house amd DFACS at my school way too many times by the time i was 14. If it wasn’t for my dad gaining custody of me right before high school, I’d either be dead, homeless, or an addict. or maybe a dead homeless addict. He really saved me, but not before i was already traumatized and a little fucked up. I never had a good example of healthy love and relationships. My parents were divorced and my grandparents were either divorced or sleeping in separate beds and never showing affection or saying “i love you.” All i saw was dysfunction. My mom would invalidate my feelings, disrespect my boundaries, and make everything about her or how she felt. She never owned up to anything, either. Imagine how fast my heart sank when I realized I had been doing those same things to the love of my life.
My partner and I have been seeing each other for about 1.5 years, and a lot of it has been messy. He was in a long term relationship that was on a break when we met, and I was exiting a relationship with a person that I was living with. There was infidelity on both of our parts before we even got together officially, and lots of guilt. We were in a relationship from December 2021 to June 2022. We broke up and were in a friends with benefits situation that was pretty painful for both of us. We’re exclusive to each other now and working on rebuilding our relationship, but it took so much pain and reflection to get here. I almost lost him for good, and that flipped a switch in my brain that the way I was treating him and our relationship was not okay. He didn’t feel safe, and I vowed I would fix that. I can’t speak on how he’s feeling now, as we haven’t had that discussion yet – I’m giving him and myself more time to heal and get better before asking – But we just got back from a wonderful vacation this week, and he was happier and more loving than I’ve ever seen him.
So once I realized all the hurtful things I was doing, I had to own up to it. I had to face it, or I’d never stop. You can’t fix something if you just ignore it all the time. After my partner and I had been through so many terrible fights, I was so worried that showing him the ugliness inside me would make him run away. I was scared that admitting my faults would make him hate me. I never believed that anyone was capable of truly loving me unconditionally. But the thing is: he already saw it, and he’d stayed the whole time. He was already aware of all my bullshit, my lies, my problems, but he stayed, because he loved me. Once I realized that, I felt safe. I apologized and told him everything. Even when he was swearing up and down that he was finally going to leave this time, I was still honest with him. I didn’t try to guilt him into staying, or convince him to stay. I accepted the consequences of my actions and apologized without making excuses. Which is something my mom never ever did for me.
That was when I vowed to fix myself and get better. I vowed to unlearn my habits and patterns. I was so fucking tired of living the way I was living. I constantly needed validation and attention. I didn’t like being alone; I was always looking for someone to talk to when he wasnt around, and often turned to old flings or crushes to talk to. I have an anxious attachment style, and I couldn’t get it under control. My partners pain was often shadowed by my pain. I was so damn selfish and inconsiderate without even meaning to be. It was never on purpose, it was just how I grew up being treated and what I saw. It was what I learned. I signed up for therapy on betterhelp, after years of trying to go through my doctor for a referral or look through my insurance for therapists. It was time to take that leap and take a chance on the resources I had available to me. It’s been wonderful. I very much recommend betterhelp, and anyone who wants my referral code is welcome to it.
My relationship with my partner has opened my eyes to so much of my generational trauma, and it’s really made me feel more empathy for my mother. All I ever wanted from her was to realize and own up to the things she did to me, and that’s all she ever wanted from her own mother. She’s been hurting for so long and probably hates herself for the things she’s done as well. She’s a scared little girl on the inside who is worried that no one will love her if she admits that she’s done terrible things. And she doesn’t think anyone will love her, because she doesn’t love herself. When I realized that she probably feels the exact same way that I do… I started crying. Hard. I’d not felt bad for her in probably 10 years. She was just a damaged kid when she had my older sister at 19, and once she was in charge of a little human, working on herself was off the table. She was dealt a shitty hand to begin with, and wasn’t able to heal. Ever.
I don’t know if she ever will be able to heal. I don’t know if she’ll be willing to do the work. But I’ve started to have a little more contact with her now, and someday I’ll tell her all of this. Someday I’ll sit her down and start helping to heal us both. She’s in her early 50s now, and I don’t want to go much longer without a mother.
If you take anything from my ramblings, please take this: Apologize sincerely and often. Respond, don’t react. And face your ugliness. Do not run or hide from it. Please.
If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading. It truly means the world to me. Drop your favorite colored heart in the comments. 🖤
I’m always hesitant to tell my story….I feel like it’s some big look at me show….and that kind of makes me closed off a bit….but here goes….
So I grew up with four siblings. We were all super close. Our dad moved a few states away when I was about 6. So eventually we all ended up having a choice on where to live…..that’s how I became basically an only child for a while. As we got older, the others would go back and forth….my oldest brother ended up in prison. It made it a little rough to write those “what did you do over the summer” reports. Not many kids in junior high could say they got patted down and hung out in a big room full of criminals. I didn’t really have much in common with anybody. In high school, I became super close to youngest brother. He joined the military and went overseas my senior year. I’d always give him a little rubber bracelet or something dumb and make him promise to bring it back. He always did. He was the best. Always protected me from everything. I could talk to him about anything. So long story short, after highschool, I dated an abusive guy and did drugs for a while. Got a restraining order. Wild times. Things calmed and I ended up finding a new fella at about 24. We had a baby together. A month later my oldest brother gets killed in a freak accident. He got hit by a car while walking down the road. So like everyone else, I try to just move on with life in a healthy way. It seems to go okay for a while. Then my brother, my best friend, goes missing a month shy of the fifth year death-iversary. I’d been so caught up in my life raising my kid…I didn’t even know all the shit he was going through. They tried to tell me he’d taken his own life. He hadn’t. It took nearly two years to convince the medical examiner that she was wrong. Two years of staring at the autopsy photos….the scene photos….the investigation reports….that’ll fuck ya up a bit. It actually made me think I was cursed….that I wouldn’t make it to 32 since half of my siblings didn’t.
I got super depressed. I’d poured myself into work and gotten some killer promotions to the head of HR. From the outside, I looked like I was killing it, even though….I was really hating to wake up every day. Then about a year ago, I found Under the Rug. I kid you not, it flipped something in me. I was watching a live stream back around November 2022 I think….and they were talking about having faith that things were gonna work out for them as a band….and I had faith in them….and thought well, where is the faith in me? Is this as good as it gets? Because, honestly, this blows. The day after I turned 32, I quit my job. No backup. A little bit of savings. I got rejected from interview after interview. Then in February, I got one….and y’all, I’m allowed to laugh and breathe. I’m starting to get some life back in me. People are less impressed by the title, but I get to be happy most days and actually care about what I do. I don’t know what’s next, but I definitely know in the end, I just want to be happy and be there for people. All the crazy stuff that happens matters, but how we deal with it might matter more.
Alright, enough from me. Night y’all. Twd
How do we end up at places like this? As i listen to homesick for another world (on my ps2 of all things because for some reason i don’t own a cd player) it all feels a bit like a movie. i’m sitting with this beautiful album playing, writing a letter to complete strangers after getting one from someone i don’t know. my cat sits at the foot of my crowded table and i type to you in dim lighting right after coming home form work. wes anderson eat your heart out.
i don’t know if i should share my whole story. i can say i grew up in a town of less than 300 people. it’s hard to realize a lot of things about yourself in that kind of environment. i think younger me, in that small town with every hope in the world of getting out, would have related a lot to lonesome and mad. i dreamed all my youth of escaping, of building a home for myself (metaphorically; i am no carpenter). I’ve experienced a lot of loss, a lot of grief, and a lot of things therapy is helping me with.
I can say confidently that i’m better now. I’m in my mid twenties and i’m renting out a house by myself, have a partner of six months who i really share a connection with, i have a steady job, and i just adopted a cat (his name is Huchu). i consider myself very lucky, even if i have more things i want to improve on. being stable is good.
yet, sometimes i wonder if i will ever do anything special. i feel like i’m destined for something great! but what? what will i do? it brings me great anxiety, this thought, because i feel i have no direction. then sometimes, sometimes, i think that, if the only great thing i ever do is love someone enough to be remembered… well, that’s enough. isn’t that what we all want? to be loved? i certainly do. i’ve wished for it so hard that it’s hurt me. all in due time.
if you’ve read all of this: thank you. my last wish to leave you with is this: live. Live and breathe and remember that the world is really something special, and even more so with you in it, with all of us in it. Leave this letter feeling hopeful, feeling softened and kind.
best wishes to you,
Dearest reader (whether that be UTG, a fellow Rugrat, or someone who stumbled along this by mishap),
I wish I had a better way to jump into my story, but that’s not how life works sometimes. There’s no lead up. Things just happen, and suddenly everything’s different. This past fall, I began my first semester as a college student majoring in animal science. After years of failure, I had found my passion over the two years prior in the field of agriculture. I met amazing people, experienced incredible things, and made the younger, more innocent me proud. She always wanted to work with animals.
About two weeks in, I attended my first event with a student led organization. I met a man there who became obsessed with me, and before I knew it, I was sitting in my residence director’s office filing a police report for stalking and harassment. With that, years of struggles with men collapsed in on me. My past had come back. The moments I had wanted to move past the most. Of sexual assault and relationship abuse and emotional neglect from my parents. I had worked my behind off for two years, conquering my mental illnesses, developing self confidence, and learning to trust. And just like that, everything was gone.
At the time, it felt like the end of the world. It was like I was back at square one, and after 18 years of being left to deal with my problems alone, I approached this problem no differently. But something had broken this time. That wasn’t an option. I needed people, and it scared the hell out of me. But damn, as hard as it was, that was the start of something new, and something spectacular.
About two months in, I connected with an old coworker of mine. There was always something about him. Something that made me feel so warm and safe. I had known him as a kind and gentle soul, but I couldn’t help but feel as though it could never work out. You don’t often see close bonds between a young adult girl and a man 19 years her senior. Yet, I felt called to him, and when the stars aligned, I took my opportunity to open up, and I walked into a new world.
For the first time, I felt so genuinely loved and cared for, completely unconditionally. I was safe. It’s the way a child is supposed to feel with their family, and in a way, this was a jarring realization as to the poor quality of my relationships with blood relatives. That didn’t matter though, because I was happier than ever in the midst of world-shattering events.
On February 13th, 2023, I asked him if he would be alright with me considering him to be chosen family. His response: “absolutely!”. It was the start of something new and fresh. I felt atop the world; the world I would watch crumble hours later.
At 9:04 PM, I’d hear his voice drop as I announced there was an active shooter on my campus. At 9:30 PM, I’d tell him I loved him for the first time, fearing it may be my only chance. At 9:47, I’d find myself screaming, cursing, and crying as I ran for my life after the gunman entered the dining hall I was in. For about 4 hours, I witnessed the horror of a school shooting, as would he, albeit from the other end of a phone. This was it. I was alive, but my world had just ended. Or so I thought.
We’ve recently passed the two month mark since the shooting. So what do things look like now? Well, the man I once knew as a coworker is now someone I’ll often refer to as my “chosen dad”. He’s been there for me every hour of every day since the event. Checking in on me, calming me down, giving me advice, etc. he’s my hero. I cannot imagine a world without him. Sure, I suffer with some pretty severe PTSD, but because I have him, I know everything’s going to be okay.
Him and I both love music. From David Bowie, to modern metal, to one-off indie songs, we use it all as a way to connect us. When we want to talk but don’t know how to start the conversation, one of us sends the link to a song. Then, the other sends a link back, and it goes until we either find something to talk about, or until we’ve had our fill. My Spotify is filled now with songs that remind me of him. Every once in a while, one of them will play, and I’ll listen with tears in my eyes just thinking about how much I love him.
I came across UTG on my Facebook feed, and what I heard made me think of him. That’s something special. It was something I could just imagine him loving, and so I sent for my CD and letter. I’m excited to give it a listen, and I hope I’ll now get to share it with him.
If you’ve read through all of this, congrats to you! This was longer than I expected, but every detail felt important when I wrote it. I hope it all makes sense, I’m very prone to rambling. As you go on your way, let me leave you with the words I’ve spent the past two months living by.
Everything happens for a reason.
Best wishes my friends,
I am so sick of it all. My hours at work got cut, supposed to be temporary. I can’t pay my bills. I love my job. I like almost all of my co-workers, so I stay. But I am sick of hiding at lunch time because I have no lunch to eat. I am fat. You would think missing meals would help me lose weight. Seems like the opposite is happening because when i am able to buy food, it is cheap. Bagged mashed potatoes are $2.50. Cheap but fatting. I make too much money to get any type of assistance. I have come so far just to be worse off than when I made less money and got assistance. My husband’s C-PTSD makes it hard for him to get out of bed some days. My house is a freaking mess. My house needs a ton of work, but I have no money to fix anything. I am too tired and hungry to clean. My daughter’s boyfriend has decided he doesn’t like me. I have no idea why. He liked me for the first 6 months of them being together. Then one day I am a “horrible person”. Thankfully she still visits and calls me. She says he just needs time. How can I attempt to fix whatever if i don’t even know whatever is? I just feel so lost. Many things that I enjoyed doing in the past, I no longer have interest in. I don’t have anyone that i can call a true friend. Yeah, yeah. I should be happy. I have a home, car, and a job. I know others have it way worse. Maybe I should just shut up and quit whining like everyone tells me to. I am sorry I wasted your time…
UTR crept its way into my world at a very strange, stressful, and intensely lonely point in my life. Things were so chaotic for most of 2022, I’m not even sure when I ordered Adeline or how long its pieces sat in a cardboard box after my dog Murphy tried to make a snack out of the album.
All I know for sure is that I find myself on a discord server in late 2022, something I had vowed to never use again after getting overwhelmed by a different band’s discord server, ha.
I remember noticing immediately that the people In this new server, were “my type of weird”. And when my disorganized self finally got around to checking out this band of weirdos’ music, I was just floored.
Cut to a few months ago… I was either ILL, or I was having withdrawals from my anti-anxiety meds, or having a panic attack from the trauma of experiencing withdrawals several months earlier (one of the chaotic things of 2022). I was bracing myself to hit another emotionally low point, when the chorus of “Go to sleep” spontaneously starts playing in my head… and then I was miraculously able to go to sleep despite feeling like my body was about to combust!
Being able to meet and hug the people that provided the music that brought me so much relief while I was hurting on so many levels… I’m so, so grateful for it. TWFD <3
I hate my life. I’d never take it, though, because I’m too much of a chicken. I hate my job. I hate my situation. I have the hardest time making myself get up in the morning, eating, sleeping, just about anything. And i hate interacting with others on a face-to-face level more and more everyday. I don’t even enjoy my friends anymore, and they’re more megative than i am!
One day i will work on all of this, i promise. It just feels so good to get it out of my system simply by writing it down. I have fleeting moments of happiness that i wish would last forever, but they don’t 😔. I will make it through. Life is too short not to make a change and not to be surrounded by positive and wonderful people. Maybe it’s because all the ones i want to be with are dead and no longer available. It just sucks. Everything sucks. End rant. Thanks for your time.
I have schizoaffective disorder bipolar type. In the winter/spring of 2022 I had a mixed psychotic episode that really took it out of me. I had to take a leave from school (again), and was hospitalized 3 times before they figured my meds out. For a long time I lost who I was. My mom did me the greatest favor and put together a digital photo album of photos of me chronologically throughout my whole life. She’d call me and tell me stories about this person I was, willing me to remember and connect with it.
It’s no wonder this period and the year following it were full of an artist’s block more profound than any I’ve experienced before. I lost my ability to cry, I was numb and disconnected, and I felt repulsed by the idea of creating anything. I received the advice that sometimes we have art blocks because we need to heal first, and that I should care for myself, and with time the art will come. So I did. And I waited. And as the months went by I grew doubtful it ever would.
But it did. I’m still crawling out of the hole, but I see the daylight now. I feel more like myself as time goes on. I laugh more. I’ve even cried a few times. My friends tell me I look brighter. I’ve made it into a couple art shows with new and old pieces. I went back to school and just finished my first semester back with a 4.0. I got a competitive summer fellowship. I’ve even started dating again.
It’s all terrifying!! I’m 26, I’ve lived a lot, but still it all feels brand new. I am fully an adult, mature and independent, but sometimes I feel stunted. I’ve moved back in with family, and I still haven’t finished my degree. I’m broke. I have friends who are getting married, one even has her first kid. I’m sick of living in New York, but I’m stuck here finishing my degree. I just want to be done with school, working a job, with the resources to move somewhere with sand and rocks and cacti.
Time moves ever forward, though, and a year ago I couldn’t imagine me standing where I am today. I am finding myself and crafting myself and working towards a better world for everyone. Learning constantly, keeping an open mind, accepting the gifts the present moment has to give me. That’s all we can do sometimes, I think. Embrace the present, hug yourself, grow, and keep on keeping on.
Most days, I don’t think my life story is worth sharing. I’m a 36 year-old woman who is tired of feeling “old”, tired of my job, tired of so many things. I dated a boy in high school, through college, and we got married after we graduated. We moved for his job and things spiraled from there. We had grown up but not grown together. We were together 11.5 years, from junior year of high school until 5.5 years of marriage. It’s so hard to explain to people what happened because it’s so complex. I think people want a “simple” divorce story. But I really don’t think that exists. We both grew up trying to be what everyone else wanted us to be and I think that is what we were to each other too. As we got older and more established in our adulthood, this caused trauma responses that we didn’t know how to handle. I had to drive my husband at the time to a mental in-patient treatment center because life had gotten to be too much for him and he tried to take his life. I thought afterward, we were on the up. But we were not. Instead, it helped him get healthier and demand what he needed, which was for us to no longer be together. See, we were both actually unhealthy for each other. My insecurities and sometimes rash actions were not good for him, and his expectations and lack of needing me was unhealthy for me. IT was a horrible time of my life, yet it was absolutely 100% needed. It’s a weird place to be when you know something needed to happen, yet that something also hurt you to your core and you still don’t know if you’ll ever be fully you again.
Flash forward 7 years and here I am, in a relationship with a man who supports me, balances me, doesn’t try to change me. We shouldn’t villainize the people in our lives that we have to escape (well, I’m sure some are actual villains). Without my ex-husband, I wouldn’t have learned about myself and I wouldn’t have known what I needed in this new relationship. It’s funny to me that writing my story about myself includes so much about others. Hopefully someday, I can write my story and be the main character.