Sometimes I wish that I had the courage to just not care. It is my fear that causes me to behave the way I do. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of being alone. Fear of being unloved. Fear of being less than perfect. Deep down I know that all of my fear is ridiculous and unnecessary. But when I am in a trying situation, my emotions take over. I react poorly. I don’t think. Or if I do My head is full of negative thoughts such as I must be ugly; I must be fat; I must be slow; I must be inappropriate; I must be… whatever negative thing you want to add there, I’ve thought it. These thoughts,  negative self-talk, cause me to do the most stupid things. Things that have no place in a healthy life. A person with good coping skills would not behave the way I do. Why am I this way? Where did I fall off track and miss that lesson? That very crucial learning period where we become who we are going to be? I’m not really sure who I am I guess. I know who I used to be and who I want to be. But right now… I am stuck.

Why can I stop the negative thoughts from taking over when I am racing and I can put aside all my fears and just be an athlete? Why can’t I do that in life?

When I was younger I was a gymnast. I would practice 3-4 hours a day. And in the fall we had meets almost every weekend from September to December. The Gym was my refuge, my escape. When I walked into that building everything disappeared. I had no family except my coaches and my teammates. I had no fears except the balance beam. I had no issues except how could I become more graceful. All of those things I could face. Easily. I was home there. The day I quit, was the worst day of my life. I remember sobbing so hard. My brother came into my room and was scared because he had no idea what was wrong with me. I didn’t really know either. I mean I knew I was sad. Gymnastics was a way of life for me. But at the time, I didn’t understand what it really was. It was an escape, a crutch, a way out of my reality. I had turned my bedroom into a gymnastics shrine. Mary Lou Retton covered my walls, along with Nadia, Missy, Olga, Kristy, and many more. I had ribbons and medals and plaques displayed showing myself, the world, that I had done something. I was good at something. I was special. When the yelling and screaming and crashing was happening in the other parts of the house, I would go there and cry. When he gave me those looks and displayed himself to me, I would go there and cry. He would try to get in and I would pull the shades closed and lock the doors and push my dresser in front of the door. That made him mad. So he just go violent. But at least he wouldn’t touch me in that way that makes me sick still to this day. My mother put up with so much abuse. I don’t know why she was so weak. Why didn’t she leave. Take us somewhere and never come back. I would have gone anywhere. I ran away once. I was gone for about 8 hours. No one noticed. I decided to come back because I couldn’t go to the gym if I was on the street somewhere. I needed the gym. I’m still not sure if that was the best decision. But I guess I would probably be dead or a crack whore or something if I had left.

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