I don't really recall a time growing up where I've been happy for extended periods of time. I've always had an amazing father and sister that I love more than anything, but overall a general sense of happiness has never been there. I felt ugly and fat and unwanted by others growing up. When I was around 12 or 13, I decided that my life wasn't worth living. I didn't want to give up just yet though, so I started setting dates that would determine my fate. At the time, I felt that happiness was a process and I didn't want to give up before I really tried, so the first date that I set was on my 15th birthday. I wasn't going to think about suicide again until then, at which time I would stop and evaluate my life. If I was happy, I would continue living, and if I wasn't, then I would kill myself. When I finally did turn 15, I still wasn't happy but I thought that maybe I didn't give myself enough time, so I extended the date a few more times. During my teens, I was around 180 pounds (and short). By the time I graduated high school, I was probably around 230 or so. There were times when I lost weight and felt somewhat positive about my future, but other times when I felt terrible. I talked to a few people on and off in high school, but I never had any real friends. I had online boyfriends that I met on random websites... There was one in particular that I met toward the end of my freshman year. Within two weeks, I was completely in love and I thought I would marry him and just be happy forever. I was 14 and he was 19. I lived in Texas and he lived in Canada, but I really thought it would work out. However, I was an extremely jealous person. If he changed his MSN picture to one of an attractive famous girl, I would flip out. He once said he watched a movie from the 50s because one of the actresses was hot at the time, and I proceeded to call her a ***** and really I was just furious and hurt. For the next two years or so, I talked to him on and off but I held on hope that we could get back together. Even past the two years, he would occasionally try to contact me. The last time we really talked was when I was 19. I will admit that I still hoped that he and I would get back together, although at that time I realized that it wouldn’t happen. I was more or less set on the idea that I wouldn’t find anyone that was right for me, and that even if I did, I would be too jealous and drive them away. So I wasn’t going to seek out anyone, and I was content with the idea of being alone. In retrospect, I don’t believe I was that bad off at the time. I was definitely overweight but that was something that could have been fixed. I thought that no one liked me because of how I looked, although now at 285 pounds, I sometimes agree that I am attractive, or at least would be if I lost weight. My parents always pushed the idea on me of losing weight, and at the time I just thought of myself as this huge disgusting blob, but while I am that now, I wasn’t at the time. But I didn’t see that. I don’t think my parents told me that I was attractive or worth much, or at least I didn’t feel that they did. I love my daddy a lot and I know he would have never purposely hurt me, but I don’t think he realizes how much it did hurt me when he would complain about my weight. I see things with more clarity than I did in the past, and I can pinpoint moments where it was clear that people tried to befriend me and I pushed them away because I was self-conscious. I still believe that I was in love with the guy from Canada, even if it only took two weeks to decide that. I know that it wasn’t healthy love, and it was extremely obsessive, but I spend many hours throughout the years crying about it and missing him for it to not have meant anything. I never had a close relationship with my mother, although she is still in my life. During my junior year of high school, she forced me to get rid of a little beagle that I had adopted. I had my baby beagle for over a year and I loved her like crazy. She was a little trouble maker and very much unlike our other dog. It’s been so many years and I still cry when I think about her. I was lucky enough that I had a little bit of time knowing that I would have to get rid of her, and I found a home for her in Colorado. Her new owner is a friend of mine on Facebook and she is a beautiful person both inside and out. She has three kids and two other beagles. I know my little Claire is in a great home, but it kills me inside to know that she is no longer mine. About a year after she was gone, I asked her new owner if she would return her to me and said that I was willing to pay for any costs, but she said that she couldn’t do it because her youngest son was in love with the beagle and he would feel the same way that I did when my mother forced me to get rid of her if she did that to him. I understood and of course I respect her decision, and I believe that made me feel better because it confirmed that she was in a happy and loving home. She has said in the past that I was free to visit Claire if I ever wanted to, but I never could. It hurts too much. She has now owned Claire much longer than I had, and I still miss her greatly. I can’t talk about it without crying. I think I could live with the feeling of missing her, but what really kills me is that I feel like she thinks I must have abandoned her because I didn’t love her, but that isn’t true at all. I had a dream many years back in my early teens that I was tired of life and decided with my sister that I wanted to kill myself, but I was too afraid to because I thought I would miss my family. So in the dream, she and I agreed to kill ourselves and our family. She was assigned her people to kill and I was assigned mine. We went our separate ways to do it. I first tried to kill one of my dogs… I believe I initially tried to cut her but I thought it may hurt her without killing her, so I tried to strangle her instead and I instantly decided that I couldn’t do it, partially because I was still afraid but also because I was worried that our plan would not work out and I just could never hurt one of my puppies. So I called my sister to cancel the plan, but she told me that she had already started and I couldn’t back out. That was the point where I woke up, and I was extremely scared by the dream because it had felt so real. It was just a huge fear that I was going to miss parts of my family but I couldn’t do anything about it. These past few years have been strange. I’ve thought about killing myself many times, but I’ve never had an actual attempt. I’m mostly afraid. I’m afraid that I will attempt it and fail, and that will ruin my relationships with people or leave me crippled but alive. I’m afraid that I will miss my dad, sister or dogs. I’m even more afraid that they will miss me like I worry that Claire misses me, and that they’ll blame me and think that I did it because I don’t love them. I’ve kind of touched on this in the past with them but I’ve never been fully open with anyone about how I feel. I’ll say that I’m depressed or sad or unhappy but I can’t go into detail. About 16 months ago, my faith in happiness was somewhat restored. I would occasionally post crap on Craigslist and just talk to a few people here or there, nothing serious. This time I made a post in which I was open about my weight and my shyness while searching for a boyfriend. Realistically, I never thought I would find anyone. I had guys that I liked in the past online and nothing ever became of it. I had my jealousy issues and I didn’t think they would ever find me attractive. It was more or less something that I did just for the heck of it, never thinking that it would result in anything. Despite what everyone says about people on Craigslist, I did meet someone that I really liked. He and I talked for a while and I felt a huge connection with him, which is something that I had felt with some people online at other times but it usually died out quickly. He lived about 40 minutes away from me. We eventually started texting and we would chat on Skype, but I was very shy, and I came to terms with the fact that he would never like me in person, so when he pushed me to meet him offline, I stopped talking to him. By this point, I had already mentioned him to my sister and she knew how much I liked him. She urged me to contact him again but I refused. After about a week or two of not talking, he sent me a message asking if we could talk again. I said yes although I was hesitant. In the past, whenever I had gotten upset with someone that I was interested in online, things were always blown out of proportion or hurtful comments were made in both directions, but it had been different with him. He hadn’t said anything mean to me even though I had told him that I didn’t want to talk anymore out of no where. He asked me to be his girlfriend and then we met in person, and surprisingly enough, we are still together. I love him and he loves me. I’m still very shy about my body around him (although I’m working on it, or at least trying to), but overall he is just amazing. I don’t have that feeling of distrust with him that I had with others. I have felt a hint of jealousy a few times, like when he said that he had dated one of his female friends, but for the most part I’ve been fine with all of it. I never in a million years thought that I could have a successful relationship that wasn’t tainted by jealousy and hurt, but I have that now. I genuinely believe that he cares about me and I know that I can trust him. I am upset that I’m uncomfortable with my body and can’t fully open up, but I’m trying to work on it. For the longest time, I’ve been worried about money. I live at home. My mom doesn’t work and my dad was unemployed for a while, although he has a job now. But I still worry that something may go wrong and we’ll lose everything. The idea that I was in school and would eventually graduate and get a teaching job is what kept me sane. I had a letter of commitment from the district that I went to school in because I took a teaching class in high school. So when I graduated in May, I thought that it would be easy for me to find a job. Now after searching all summer, I am still unemployed. I cannot express how much this upsets me. I know that another student who did his student teaching at the same school that I did it in did not put nearly as much effort as I did. Even during the first semester when we only needed to be there for six hours, I was regularly putting in 15+ hours, on top of all of the work that I did at home for my students. I put in 100% effort. Meanwhile, he would complain about the hours and admit that he was doing as little as possible. Now I see that he has gotten a job within the district and I still haven’t, and this just infuriates me. I know I am shy and this lessens my interview skills, but I don’t know how to show people that I am dedicated. I am much less shy in front of the classroom than I am during an interview. I was skeptical about my abilities when I first started my student teaching, but one of my cooperating teachers “set me free” in the classroom and I am absolutely confident that I have what it takes now. I just need to be given an opportunity. I had two interviews in May and absolutely nothing since then, which is disheartening because I had applied to every single opening that is within an hour from my house (and some were more). This might make sense if I lived in a rural area, but no, I live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, so this is definitely covers a large area. I feel upset about not having a job to the point where I don’t just feel upset… I’ve been sad and pissed off and everything in between and beyond. Part of me is angry that I keep getting looked over. Another part of me is just hurt about it. Finding a teaching job would be amazing in so many different ways… I want to be able to know that I can financially support my family if I am needed. I am tired of feeling this dependence on them and knowing that I cannot help when things come up bothers me. I have nightmares about this all the time. Aside from that, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. I’ve dreamt about what it would be like to teach so many times. I know that I’d be a fantastic teacher and that I would love my job. I don’t just want to get a job for the money… I’d be happy with getting a job at the worst paying district just to get my foot in the door. But I’m not even getting called in for interviews and this scares me. I am going to try substitute teaching but that is just such a teaser. It embarrasses me to know that I graduated college with a 3.85 (and high school with a 4.0), and that I’ve put in so much effort into my student teaching and gaining the necessary knowledge to teach and be successful just to be overlooked and have jobs that I deserve going to people who are louder and more outgoing than me. I get anxiety and sometimes I think I need to be medicated, but with no money or health insurance and no job, that isn’t going to happen. I don’t even know what to do now. I thought for so long that I would finally reach happiness when I had financial independence and a job that I loved and now it seems that I can’t have that. More than anything else, I am scared right now. I constantly think about killing myself but it scares me for so many reasons. I feel so close to achieving things that I’ve always wanted, but my feeling are yo-yoing right now. At times I am positive and I know that happiness is right around the corner, but at other times, I feel like I’ve gotten close but I’ll never reach it. I’m afraid I’ll miss my family and my beautiful puppies and my boyfriend if I kill myself and they will miss me. I’m afraid that I’ll never have the courage to kill myself and I’ll be unhappy forever. My head feels tight from constantly crying and I want to just relax and let my brain rest but I can’t. I want to do so many things but I also just want to sleep forever, but I can’t even do that. This summer has been the summer of the worst sleep. I have nightmares. I twist and turn and I feel uncomfortable in my bed. I don’t feel like I deserve to be this unhappy or confused. I am a good person. I am a hard worker. I love my family. I don’t purposely hurt others. For the most part, I believe in doing the right thing.