Wizard's Eighth Rule: Deserve victory.
-Terry Goodkind
Lord Galen
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Lost, Upset, and Angry
April 13, 2012

Dear Galen

I was introduced to your site back in 06' 07'ish, and while my visits have been less and less frequent recently, I find myself coming back in search of advice from you. I'm hoping to get some advice with coping and general life choices.

I'd like to start off by saying that I have severe clinical depression from many years of bullying and abuse from other kids because of having Asperger's Syndrome. I've had financial issues ever since my father left in my freshman year of High School. Depression has become the stagnant or default emotion of my life. It's become something of a chore to get through each day. In my Sophomore year of High School, just days before I was afflicted with an Aneurysm that had caused a pulmonary embolism in my lungs. I suffered at home for about 19 hours before seeking medical help (out of fear for financial reasons.) A few weeks later and much surgery later, I was able to have the bloodclots fixed and recovered from my collapsed lungs. However, the Aneurysm has solidified in my back and I suffer from extreme pain daily.

I am currently a Senior in Highschool, (this accident left me short of many credits to graduate), and the depression has gotten far far worse. From the beginning of High School I had begun to fall into the deeper parts of depression which lead me to wanting to commit suicide. While I only attempted to commit suicide once, (in the hospital I pulled the life support/oxygen tubes out, which resulted in them being fastened to me), I am to this day plagued with a desire to end the suffering.

In case you don't know much about Aspergers, (I have a feeling you may know due to working with children and your tendency to learn more about your students and guide them, though I am only assuming), it has manifested itself in me by way of extremely sensitive nerves, extreme polar emotions (everything is all good or all bad), trouble with social situations and picking up on certain social cues (sp?), as well as extreme anxiety. On top of this, I get the physical side effects of being very clumsy and terribly coordinated. The trade off is that I have a good understanding of history and a strange clarity by which I can seperate myself from moments and better observe the things around me. Lately however, after a period of abusing painkillers (due to actually being in pain and being depressed from it), I find myself to speak somewhat slurred or slowly. This has also lead to social problems.

Anyways, moving on. After the accident I found myself to be extremely withdrawn and the few friends I had began to turn away from me. Out of sight, out of mind as they say. I eventually all but dropped out and began to slack on my cyber classes and senior project due to bouts of depression or physical pain. I have found some relief in volunteer working at a hobby store, (I got hooked on modeling and tabletop war games.) Despite all this, having a bleak outlook on life and little stimulation or satisfaction from things has lead to a chemical imbalance that years of therapy and anti-depressant drugs has only made far worse.

I was originally planning to end my life and acquire a handgun to take some known bullies and abusers (the kind of scum who don't deserve their lives because they use it to ruin others) with me. But to my luck, a beautiful kind girl befriended me and talked me out of it. We met playing an Online Game and I found out she lived in my old neighborhood from when I moved to my current state (about 500 miles away...) We fell in love 2 years ago on Christmas Eve (a week before my planned demise) and I finally began to feel like I had a reason to live. However, being friends with her family later lead to issues because she hid our relationship from her fundamentalist parents, who utterly disapproved of our relationship for many reasons. A, I was/am poor by comparison, as her father is a CEO of some temp company. B, I am an atheist, (or at least she told them I was. I actually am, but wasn't at the time.) C, long distance/internet relationships are fake in their eyes and they believed me to be a sexual predator. She is a year and a half older than I am and we both enjoy a committed relationship despite their constant attacking of us.

This lead to them shipping her off to Bob Jones University for some Routine Brainwashing which lead to her leaving me for a 48 hour period before returning and realizing what they were doing to her. To this day her parents still do not like me or want her with me and due to my stress she left BJU after failing the majority of her classes. They think I am a bad influence on her and am just in it for the sex. I truly love this girl with all my heart, and their accusations truly offend and hurt me deeply. She has attempted to run away from home to escape their oppressive lifestyle, (and her siblings who have become increasingly abusive (physically even, she was beaten over a dispute where she owed the oldest, 21, about 15 dollars) and mean to her because of her choice to discard her beliefs in favor of thinking for herself). They always manage to bully or emotionally abuse/shock her, and sometimes physically prevent her from leaving. She is 19 soon to be 20 years old and they still treat her like a little girl. This drives me crazy and after many failed promises and attempts at being reuinited my depression has only worsened leading to me struggling with pill use and fighting off suicidal desires. I can consciously say that I do not want to die, I merely want a solution to my pain, and death is what "feels" like the best option, but I am held on by her, and the morbid curiosity of what would come after (as well as the fear of death and unknowing.)

Yesterday something happened that would completely shake both of us to the core. She was planning to fly to visit me on Friday but decided to change plans because I was very busy that day at my hobby store and so she could have time to work on her parents so they would accept her decision. However, she went to a local mall with a friend and while they were waiting for their parents to pick them up, her friend's ride showed up and she was waiting in the dark alone. She heard a noise in the dark and went to see what it was and was jumped by two men who attempted to rape her. She was groped and presumably molested (she refused to tell anyone or give me any details. I honestly don't want them because the information I have makes me cry uncontrollably. She said they just touched her "there" and covered her mouth and pinned her to the ground.) before a worker came by and threw them off her. I am completely and utterly shaken and wracked by guilt (which I hope isn't founded...) I don't know how to cope with this, she is a virgin still and while she still is, I feel just as violated as she does. I feel violated for her even. I suppose I shouldn't, but I truly care about her more than I do my own life.

Tell me Galen, how can I cope with this? She's so far away and I don't know what to do... I can't comfort her or help her, I can't make her tell people or seek help. I seriously can't stop crying. Even while I write this letter to you. She copes easier than I do. She just buries everything within. I have no room for that. I can't hold anything in. I'm so angry. I'm so scared. I'm so sad and upset. I just don't know how to deal with it. She doesn't want me to tell anyone, and I'm violating her trust by telling you, (I would like if this could be edited, or possibly kept private. I genuinely want your opinion and advice.) but I can't fucking hold it in anymore. My life has lead to me breeding a lot of hatred and anger and I can't let it out. All I can think of is gutting them and drowning them in their own blood...

How can I cope with this? What should I do about my situation? I want to know, is it worth pursuing a GED to get done with high school? (I've already been accepted to a tech school.) How can I cope with the stress? Does life ever get better after high school? Does depression ever go away when it's this bad? How can I deal with her parents? And most importantly, how can I help her? I feel as though I am dying inside because I couldn't protect her from this...

I hope you can find the time to read and respond to this. It would make an old sniper very thankful for your advice. Thank you in advance, and sorry to bother you if it's too long to make time for.

PS. I also apologize for any grammar or spelling mistakes, as well as my excessive use of possible run on sentences and comma use and parentheses. Some of these are bad habits, others are processed by my Aspergers brain, and the rest is due to mistakes. The crying makes it hard to care about all the mistakes. I'm sorry if the topic jumps around a lot, this is somewhat of a vent letter as well and I need someone to hear my story and offer me honest, no bullshit advice.

Lost, Upset, and Angry

Dear Lost,

First off, before anything else, let me address your request that I edit out or censor the part about the "rape." I don't do that here. You sent it, it gets published. I only censor things to protect your privacy and that isn't neccesary in this case since you did not include a real name and I *never* publish email addresses. If I had removed the part you wanted me to remove, I wouldn't be able to address it, now would I? So it stays and it gets a response, because it's important and deserve to be addressed. Let's get started.

Right off the bat, I need to tell you to calm the fuck down. Your girlfriend wasn't raped. Let me say it again: Your girlfriend was NOT raped! Attacked? Yes. Sexually assaulted? Absolutely. But raped? Nope. She got held down and felt up by a couple of guys and those guys ran like the little bitches they are when confronted by something other than a weak and defenseless girl. It most certainly COULD have been a rape. It COULD have been a whole hell of a lot worse than it is. So before you dissolve into a blubbering wreck over what a terrible thing happened to her, I want you to just take a moment to be fucking grateful for what DIDN'T happen to her. You call it a rape. It didn't even get close to rape. This tells me that you're making it far worse in your head than it actually was and I'd guess that's probably because she's doing that too. STOP IT! For her, this is understandable. She's the one who was actually hurt and faced with the very real possibility of getting raped. So I can't blame her for letting her emotions run away with her. You, on the other hand, have no excuse. I don't mean to sound heartless here. I know how you feel. You love her. She's your world; your only reason for living. And some fucktards dared to put their hands on her. It sucks. It really and truly does. But right now what we have is a vicious feedback loop of emotions between you and her. She's freaked out and hurt and very vulnerable. You're feeding off of that and also becoming freaked out. In return, she's feeding off your freakedness and getting freaked out more. This makes you freak out more. And so on and so forth. The two of you are kicking each other's emotional pain meter through the roof and it needs to stop. I don't think I've ever told anyone before that they need to hide their feelings and keep it locked inside, but I'm telling you that right now. You need to be her ROCK. The steady and dependable and not-freaking-the-fuck-out-and-losing-it thing that she can turn to. You need to be the one helping her. The two of you are both drowning in a pool of emotion and, let me be clear, she's the only one who deserves to wallow in that pool right now. You don't. You don't need to be in that fucking pool with her; both of you flailing around and causing each other to drown. No, you need to be the one who can sit on the side of the pool and reach out your hand to her. You need to be the one pulling her OUT of it, not the one drowning in it with her. Yeah, you have to dive in to save a drowning person, no doubt. You've done that and I'm not gonna put you down for it. Being right there with her and trying to be understanding of her pain by sharing in it. That's probably done some good. But now that's over. STOP IT! Let me be really clear here, cuz you didn't write to me expecting to get fucking babied. You could've written to goddamn Ann Landers for that shit. Listen up: You are being selfish right now. You don't want to admit and it probably stings like a bitch that I just said it, but it's the goddamn truth! You're wallowing in how the attack on her makes YOU feel. Of course you're concerned about her. Of course her pain is your pain. I GET that! And I compeletely understand flippng the fuck out and crying your eyes out over it. Fine, you've done that. NOW, shut the fuck up, MAN the fuck up, and reach down to pull her up out of it. YOU didn't get hurt. YOU didn't get attacked. YOU can *afford* to emotionally distance yourself from that pain in order to help HER. She'll never get out of that pool without you, dude. You either pull her out or drown with her.

Now, I understand you have problems of your own. What I'm advising might be far too much for you to do. If you find that to be the case, then you need to be honest with her and tell her that you simply don't have it within you to help her and she needs to seek out the help of someone who can. For all the dipshit religitard things her parents might do or say, they're her parents and they love her and they WILL help her. In the event that you can't help her and she can't help herself, then her parents must be told. YOU would have to be the one to tell them. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. You'd lose her forever if you did that. You're probably right, but that's when the real questiion comes into play: Which is more important, helping her or keeping her? If you can only choose one, which do you choose? I accused you of being emotionally selfish. Am I right? You either help her on your own, or you help her in a way that will lose her to you. Pick one, because she damn sure needs SOME help.

The bottom line here is that you need to stop blubbering about YOUR goddamn feelings. If you love her, then your feelings don't mean shit. It doesn't matter how YOU feel about what happened to her. Nothing in the world could be less important than how YOU feel about that - nothing! She needs you to help her out of the pain she feels, not to share in it.

I want you to understand that I'm not critisizing your feelings. They're understandable and they are a credit to you and the love you feel for her. I am simply, dispassionately, telling you that they are not helpful to her. That's all. Nobody can blame you for how you feel, but it's time to stop dwelling on that and focus on her feelings. You probably think that's all the fuck you've been doing and are offended that I even suggest otherwise. Your letter tells a different story, my friend. You're so used to being in misery that you've taken this on as part of your own personal collection of pain. It isn't yours to take on and you have no right to do so. Empathize with her, sympathize with her, but stop acting like you were attacked too.

My advice, honestly, is probably more for my readers. Dude, I don't think you're really capable of doing what I said. From the history you gave me, I don't think you have the emotional control or stability to help another person through a traumatic event. You've got some serious goddamn issues, bro, and clearly whatever counseling you've had isn't working. I know this may be a revolutionary concept, but how 'bout you go find a fucking better therapist than whatever crackpot is working on you right now? An actual psychiatrist, not a psychologist or psychotherapist, as those two things are just a few rungs above "witch doctor." And the good thing about a psychiatrist is that, like with a medical doctor, if his treatment isn't working for you, you can always go to another one until you find one who isn't stupid. Some decent shrink out there can probably put you on some medication that actually CAN even you out! You don't think so, but that's because you haven't BEEN helped yet!

You might not even need it though. Believe it or not, the state you're in could just be something you "grow out of" (as stupid as that sounds). Yeah, I DO know a thing or two about aspies. You know that test they give where they rate people on a scale? Around 14-17 is the score for "normal" people. A score of 35 means you're *just* barely on the autism spectrum as a high-functioning aspie. I scored a 31. I'm just barely not an aspie. And I hear so much of my younger self in the things you describe about yourself. I had a girlfriend once who had been sexually molested a few years prior to meeting me. Nothing ever came of it because it was her cousin who did it and she never told. My man, it used to fucking burn me up inside when I thought about it. I can remember being so enraged about it one night that I sunk my teeth into the wooden frame of my waterbed and just screamed. I left permanent teeth marks in that bitch. And what did I accomplish by being in so much pain and rage and so selfishly acting for all the world as if I'D been wronged? Not a goddamn thing, that's what. I remember feeling lost and hurt and angry about so many things growing up. Shit, dude, I was in my early 20s before I truly learned emotional control to the level that was neccesary for me to be happy and to really even LIKE myself. I'd like to hold out the same hope for you. So when you feel like dying, don't. In a way, I was lucky to have been a strong believer (Christian) as a teenager. I had the razor to my wrist more than once and every time I couldn't do it because I was terrified of going to Hell. I guess my mind latched on to what it needed to keep me alive. In a way, I guess Jesus really DID save me!

You put a whole lot of problems into one letter, but I think I've hit the big ones. I *can* tell you that I had a lot of the same feelings and pain as you growing up and that I DID get better. I AM happy now and I LOVE my life and myself (as if that weren't evident)! If I did it, I think you can too and I want you to hold on for that day. The day when you can look back and just want to fucking SLAP the younger version of yourself! That'll be a good day.

My final word on what happened to your girlfriend is this. Everything is alright. Everything is fine. It's ok now. She could've been raped, but she WASN'T. She could've been seriously hurt, but she WASN'T. She could've been robbed and murdered, but she WASN'T. Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, what happened to her is almost nothing. Almost, but not quite. Be fucking grateful that "almost nothing" happened to her, rather than the alternative. You could be mourning her right now. She could be raped and dead in the ground right now. Be happy you have her and she's alive and no matter what you feel about it, she honestly wasn't hurt. At least not physically. Frankly, you're both overreacting to what happened, but I think she's entitled to overreact since it was her personal pain and trauma and nobody (not even me) gets to tell her how to fucking feel about it. She's entitled to overreact, but you're not. Got it?

Seek help, bro. You're not strong enough to handle ALL this shit alone and there's no shame in admitting to your known weaknesses. Or, be like me, and embrace it. That's how I got through, by embracing that rage inside me and fucking owning it; making it mine, a part of me that I cherished. The pain burned me up and like a motherfucking pheonix, Lord Galen rose from the ashes. I like myself better this way, truly.

All My Hate,
Lord Galen

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