This year I went through one of the worst depressions of my life. It was the type of depression that makes you tired, sometimes physically but mostly just mentally exhausted. Eventually, I felt better but I think it just shifted form. Im still wildly unhappy. I stopped dating for awhile and for the first time in my life I had no desire to connect with a man. Of course the universe sent me a male best friend instead. Someone I have no interest in dating but we make great friends. Ive never had a male friend before. I resent the boundaries I have to create and enforce with men. It is very different than having carefree female friendships.

The past year and a half have been rough. I think it started when my male mentor came on to me and offered to be my sugar daddy. It was a lesson learned. Of course I blame myself for being too nice and not enforcing more professional boundaries with our friendship, but ultimately I recognize that it was his choice to cross the line. It hurt me because I really thought he cared about me.

After I graduated from community college a situation at work culminated. My boss was a very confident, smart, charismatic man who charmed everyone he came in contact with. Or he tried. In retrospect, he is the type of guy that vomits knowledge all over someone in an attempt to impress them. It usually works. I had worked with him before, I even went to his wedding, and he got me this great new winery job which was a great opportunity. You can probably guess where Im going with this. Eventually one day we had a “moment”. He would rub my leg, rub my shoulders, give me hugs. Long hugs. He would text me late at night, often inappropriate texts. He told me about how unhappy he was in his marriage. I told him how lonely I was and sick of dating idiots. He knew I liked the attention and he knew I looked up to him. Again, I should have kept stricter boundaries and I learned my lesson, but he was in a position of power over me and should not have crossed the line. Both because he was my superior in the workplace, and because he was fucking married. I ended up quitting my job and moving to Berkeley for school. To be clear, nothing physically sexual ever happened between us. I eventually wrote a letter to his boss explaining what had happened, but I didnt use his name. I had heard from my friends that he was sleeping with an employee and also texting other employees late at night. I felt used and manipulated. There is so much more to the story but the bottom line is that he humiliated me and made me feel incredibly ignorant for trusting him. I still havent gotten over it, I dont know how. I never want to see that man again, I have nightmares of him.

When I moved down to Berkeley I started dating someone who I thought was really cool. I thought we had a lot in common. AS IF I COULD KNOW THAT IN A WEEK OR TWO. We slept together too soon. The sex was devoid of emotion and I was already feeling used by men in my life. It was bad sex. I ended up crying and leaving his house. He acted concerned. The next day I apologized (WHY!?) and I explained that some bad stuff had happened to me in the past and that sometimes trauma gets triggered out of the blue.  At the end of the text I told him that he didnt need to respond if he didnt want to. He didnt. He ghosted me. Why do I give men permission to treat me badly? I cant believe I said that. I havent slept with anyone since. I feel broken and closed off.

My grandma also passed away last year. I saw her a month or two before she went, she was withering away and her thoughts didnt make much sense. It made me so sad.  A few months later a classmate of mine burned to death in the Oakland Ghostship fire. Our last conversation was about what we planned to do after college and how we wanted to help people. For weeks I had flashes of her burning alive. She was the first almost-friend that I made down here.

I feel alienated from this area, I dont understand it and although I have some friends now, I dont have any that I want to burden with all my problems. Its a lot to deal with and I think I have yet again come to a breaking point. I havent been sleeping well for months, and Ive been resorting to drugging myself with painkillers or drinking in order to pass out at night. I think I’m so afraid to be alone with my thoughts that I stay up until I am absolutely exhausted. I keep myself as busy as possible, all the time, so that I dont have to contemplate how shitty life is. I study how shitty it is for everyone (Sociology) but thinking about how shitty it is for me is different. My mother tries to tell me that its all about positivity and attitude which I think completely negates mental health issues and structural inequality. The ideology of positivity is rooted in individualism and conveniently places all responsibility on the individual. If you’re not happy, its your fault for not being positive enough. My mom blamed my attitude/energy, for the way men are towards me. She says that I draw bad situations towards me. I cant believe she said that.

I feel like University has opened my eyes to a lot of things, but I feel like it is a secret society and my family doesnt know the same knowledge. They no longer understand me and I havent found a way to explain it to them. My mom thinks I am a bleeding heart liberal and she will probably blame Berkeley for corrupting me further. In reality, SHE taught me empathy, and I dont even recognize her anymore. It breaks my heart. If I could sue Alex Jones for all the bullshit his program fed her, I would.

Recently, Ive been attempting to date a little. Ive had some successful dates but they fizzled quickly. I just feel like nobody likes me anymore. Nobody seems to give me a chance. Im a little rough around the edges these days. Im realizing now that I need to heal myself before I can move on, but I dont know if I will ever be able to heal. I often cant see past a future that involves me killing myself. Im not suicidal right now, but its hard to imagine myself happy because its been so long. Ive become fixated on trying to find a man that I am compatible with, I want so badly to be loved. I want to start a family of my own and I can feel time slipping away. I also know that this is my life, I am living it right now and should be making the best of it.