Howdy

Hi guys. I haven’t posted in a while. Think we might have some catching up to do.

Hi, my name is Naomi. For those of you who don’t keep up with me regularly (which is likely most if not all of you), and for those of you who do, here is a crash course into who I am currently.

I am almost 18 years old. In one month I will be moving out of my house with my parents in a rural town to move in with my sister in a city somewhat north of Seattle. I am going to be a senior in high school participating in a program in my state called running that allows high school students to gain dual credits while attending a community college. I have hopes to attend a real university in the Carolina’s next year to be closer with my family living on the east coast and to meet new people and expose myself to the different cultures brewing up throughout the US.

I have worked in retail for nearly 2 years and have loved it until recently. Sometimes customer service is incredibly rewarding; the satisfaction that comes with helping people and seeing them be truly thankfuk for your help is an accomplishment all its own. Beyond that, I love every single one of my coworkers. Until one of my friends got promoted to “head cashier” and has since become somewhat of a tyrant. For that, I am thankful to be leaving soon. By the middle of September I should be a licensed and practicing Nurses Assistant working in an assisted livin home. I hope to gain extra training to allow me to work specifically in restorative therapy. Mostly though, I’m in it for the higher paycheck.

When I get to college next year I hope to focus on biology or bio-chem, with minors in neuroscience and/or computer science and/or psychology. Since most of the schools I’m interested in applying to are liberal arts colleges, this actually isn’t too far fetched. I like understanding who people are and why they’re like that, and I think it’s crazy to think that all of it is predetermined and hardwired into the way your brain, a single organ in your body, operates. And I think it’s even crazier how mallelable it can be in new and different situations, and how you can retrain your brain to think and behave differently. I want to understand exactly how it works.

My name is Naomi and I’m not very close with my parents. I feel like a shitty daughter most of the time for how distant we are but I don’t know what I can or what I’m supposed to do about it. We never were close. Not really. It’s just that now all of a sudden they notice. Now all of a sudden they care even though they didn’t before. And I don’t know what I’m supposed to do about that.

I have an eating disorder. It usually gets triggered when my family makes me feel like shit. This means that the holidays are a double whammy. I haven’t had a good thanksgiving or a good christmas in probably four years. When it all started, actually. Whenever I feel like a total complete outsider or like I’m feeling too much or feeling inappropriate emotions for a situation, I shut down and numb out by not eating. I let the hunger take over instead. I become zombie like. I drink water and eat minuscule amounts of food throughout the day. This last christmas triggered one of my worst cycles with the disorder in a while. I restricted my eating from January until March, and then from April until June I practiced a lot of bulimic behaviors because I was so terrified of gaining weight but couldn’t control my cravings anymore. Plus, chewing, especially on crunchy things like banana chips, helps my anxiety. It’s like a compulsion when I start. I can’t bring myself to stop and then I feel like the most disgusting, unloveable pig on the planet. And it just triggers more anxiety which triggers either more eating or vomiting. And vomiting always leaves me numb again. Then from June to July I mostly just binged. Constantly. I’ve mostly stopped vomiting because I find it isn’t helpful anymore in what I’m trying to accomplish for myself emotionally. Which is probably still just control. This week though, the first week in August, my mom triggered it for me again. I lost my appetite almost completely. We’ll just have to see where it goes this time. I have been talking to my therapist about getting dedicated and more consistent help and support for this, but we’ll just have to see where I am when I’ve moved out. I’d be more comfortable changing my habits and lifestyle regarding such a sensitive topic as this in the presence of Emily rather than my parents. Go figure.
My name is Naomi and I’ve been questioning my sexuality since February. I always told myself that sexuality is fluid and that it can change depending on where and who you are at the moment in your life. Laregly I still believe this, but I also wonder how much of that was me just trying to leave the door open for me to explore. Sex wth Doug was really good. But all my other sexual encounters have been… subpar. I definitely enjoyed Jared more than Doug, but he didn’t make me feel as good physically. And also… I don’t know how much I like straight sex? I stopped masturbating after the whole sexting with Doug thing happened twice (from October to November and then again from February to April). And even then, those were pretty much the only times I masturbated. And I haven’t been interested at all in sex unless a person is physically in front of me since that. And even then, it’s kind of a long shot. The main reason Jared and I ended up fucking was because we were drunk. 

I wonder if I have sex and go after guys more becuase I’m trying to convince myself that I’m straight than because I actually like them. I wonder if maybe I have such an extreme case of internalized homophobia that I seek out attention from men to try and persuade myself that that’s what I want. “See? Isn’t it nice to feel validated? To feel hot and sexy?” Maybe that’s why I have such a fucked relationship with men and relationships. Because I know deep down that I don’t want a man at all. 

I have a hard time deciding if a guy is “hot” in my eyes. All my friends can look at one and instantly tell me if he’s cute or not and why. It’s a lot harder for me. I have to really look and pick. Maybe it’s because I’m just not that “superficial”. But maybe it’s because I’m gay.

There was a girl on one of my tours for a college today. She was really pretty. Gorgeous. She smiled at me a few times. We ended up talking at the end of the tour while we walked with our mom’s to the gift shop / book store. She was super cute, from Kentucky, and nice. I wish I had asked her name. And thinking about her gives me these excited butterflies? Especially when I think about how she was looking at me and then smiled when I made eye contact. And on the drive back up to Virginia, I was thinking about her, and about all of this, and if my mom hadn’t been in the car with me I would have broke down crying. Because what if I really am gay? What if I’m a lesbian and I’ve been lying to myself and to my friends for all these years? Would they look at me the same? Or would they get paranoid whenever I showed them affection, thinking I secretly just wanted to fuck them or I was actually making a move? And what if I’m a lesbian but no girls like me? It’s hard enough feeling like guys find me attractive, but switching over to girls? Standards get higher. There are so many prettier girls than me. 

I feel like maybe I’m just terrified of the implications. I feel like I’m terrified of the possibility I have been lying to myself. Of the possibility that I haven’t had sex with anyone because I actually liked them but because I was trying to prove something to myself. And I’m scared too because what if I’m doing all this questioning, and it turns out I am straight? Was I just doing it for attention? To try and jump on the train of people who struggle with internalized homophobia and who are homosexual? All I do is question myself. The car ride tonight left me scared and sad and feeling so lonely.  What if I am actually a lesbian? Does that change how I see myself? How I act or dress? Does it change my philosophies or things I thought were vital to who I was? I don’t know. I haven’t gotten that far yet.

And I’ve always been so much better at creating deep and personally close relationships with women. I’ve only had one deep and close relationship with a guy, Sam, and I’ve beat myself up over why I’m not attracted to him on and off for months. Sometimes I think I trick myself into thinking that I am and then realize again that, no, actually I’m not. And I can’t tell you why. Because from a rational and factual stand point, he would be perfect for me. We would be the perfect couple. We’re honest, communicate well, express ourselves openly to each other on a regular basis, we have fun, and we challenge each other in positive and healthy growth oriented ways. Literally the GOALS OF A MODERN DAY RELATIONSHIP and he is the last person I’m interested in. And I can’t help but wonder if maybe it’s because I’m a lesbian????? How else do you explain being so opposed to dating someone? Or to dating men just in general. With Doug I had a hard time in the beginning with putting a lable on it, with calling him my boyfriend or with saying we were in a relationship. And I don’t know if that would be different for me if I was with girl. If maybe I have such negative feelings about it because I know deep down that I don’t want to be with a guy. 

I don’t know. There’s a lot of things I don’t know right now, but I’m trying to figure it out. 

Thanks for reading, if you did. I appreciate it.

I took the maximum number of laxitive suggested. I feel sick. My stomach feels hot and i feel clamy and like i could puke. 

I gained four pounds this week from being bloated and on my period and not being again to handle my cravings.

All i eat when i do eat is total crap. Junk. Chocolate. Hot dogs (because thats the only food we have in the house). Cheese. 

Thats basically it. But this week i added doughnut holes and mac and cheese because my cramps were so bad i couldnt walk and i woke up at 2am.

I might be subconsciously avoiding my therapist. 

Its scary thinking about working on this. About changing my habits. Yeah i dont like my current methods but its all i have. Its all ive ever had really. And i dont know how to change or get better or what it looks like or if i even can.

And chole and her boyfriend just think im the stereotypical angsty teen whos angry for no reason. He isnt even a part of this family and he gets to quip in with the sardonic comments about how i “look too happy”

I dont know. Its one thing for them to not protect me from each other, but letting an outsider in on it… 

it just doesn’t help anything. It just makes me feel even more of the misfit than i normally do. I know i have a lot of myself to blame for that but he hasn’t even been around a year and its like im the one who should be the stranger in my own house. At Christmas and still today. He fits better than me. 

Ive been secretly hoping maybe i get an ulcer or something. Something to force me to work on my problems for real. But i dont know. 

It gets lonely. I love writing but talking into this virtual notebook gets lonely sometimes. Like right now. I feel like a deflated balloon most of the time.

Papa.

Can we ever truly move on? Is living on in memory the same as living?

I went to see my Papa’s grave today. I wondered if seeing the place he lays now and has laid for nearly 16 years would make it feel more real. Ever since i was little it has felt as though he would walk through the front door at any moment, finally back from some long vacation with arms wide open ready to pick me up and twirl me around.

I have no memories of him. He was gone two months after i turned 2.

I have photos of him, arms around me and loving eyes looking on me. But no real memory of him lives on in my mind. My whole life everyone has spoken of him. As if he was still here, as if he was never really gone. My grandma speaks of him with fondess and regret. Regret of the time with him wasted, regret for the place our family is in now, regret for how soon he was taken. She speaks of his integrity, his accomplishment, his love, his selflessness, and his good hugs. My father speaks of his shortcomings. The flaws that made him human. He talks about how he worked constantly, rarely saw him or seemed to take interest in him. He talks of how he felt unloved by him.

My uncle speaks of his accomplishment. How he revolutionized the supermarket business, turned a failing company into a fourtune 500 in the 11 years he worked as President.

My sister wonders if it was a secret blessing how he was taken so soon. She questions how well he would have handled his grandchildren straying from the church, how he may have handled us growing into our persons; me relatively immodest, Emily divorced and not looking to remarry, Chloe refusing to go to school.

I wonder what he was like. I wonder who he was, really. In his head, how did he see himself? What inner demons did he wrestle with? Would he have been as resistent to change as Emily feels he would be? Would he have been most fond of me? Or would i have been one of the most disappointing if he knew the way I thought of things; of religion, of modesty, of politics. I wonder how much more tempered my Grandma would be if he were here. I wonder if he would be able to to soften her victim complex and her narcissistic tendancies. I wonder. I wonder. I wonder.

It feels as though ive searched for him most of my life. Ive looked for parts of him in me. I have his eyes apprently. Im sure there are traits of his that live on in me. But i dont know for sure which they are.

True to form, we had to look for his grave. We had to wander and look over and over for it. I picked up fallen pots of flowers and placed them gently back upright as i found them. Finally we went to the front office to ask for where he was. And then we drove back to a place we had already looked and had to search around again.

And we found him. And i stood over his plaque and our family named spelled out in large letters on the bronze plate and looked at his name written above in smaller script.

James

1938-2001

A man with integrity who walked humbly with his God.

I looked at it. I read it. I took my shoes off and felt the grass above him between my toes as the breeze picked up and touseled my hair and picked up little leaves and sent them twilring through the air. I sat gently down above him as the clouds moved over and away from the sun with the breeze.

The ground had never felt so sturdy or so firm under me. I picked at the blades of grass and left some pieces of my hair beside the plaque. I imagined the breeze was his arms wrapped around me, hands messing up my hair playfully. I pictured him with me, soft, wrinkled hands on mine. I kissed my fingered and placed them gently on his grave.

“Hi, Papa.”

I murmed quietly. Grammy walked back over and i stood up slowly and put my shoes back on. We walked slowly back toward the car and i wrapped my arm around her waist and she wrapped hers around mine.

“I’m sorry you didnt get to know him, Naomi. And i just hate thinking about all the wasted time.” I leaned my head against hers and kissed her cheek.

I walked around the car and the wind blew gently by again and carried the words “Bye Papa,” gently from my lips before i got in. Grammy was looking at an old photo of me and telling me how she sent it to her sister and was telling her how well i could dress myself.


How quickly time moves forward.

Papa is gone. I dont know if it will ever feel real to me. If he will ever feel real to me. I wonder if he can ever truly be gone until his myth is laid to rest too. I wonder. I wonder. I wonder.

I didnt get to meet you papa. But my heartĀ sings for you. My one wish in life is to have met you. I dont know if there will ever be a day i can stop searching for you.