January 13, 2017

I'm staring up at the ceiling of the psychiatric ward of the Northern Lights Hospital in Fort McMurray, its 11 pm and I feel an emptiness within me that hurts. The morning of January 13 a close friend wanted to talk, I found out she learned that I had been lying to her and instead of being an adult and facing the consequences of my actions I ran. Like a coward.

Control had always been the way I use to run my life. I would lie to be in control, I would manipulate others, I would use anger to control reactions and I would take kindness that was given to me and use it to my benefit. May 3, 2016 I lost control, a Forest Fire came through Fort McMurray and the house of cards that I had built my life upon crashed. Driving to Edmonton on May 4 I realized all of the material possessions that I had collected over the years all of the things I had to try to fill the emptiness inside me weren't going to cut it. I was alone, I was scared, and the first words out of my mouth when I got to my parents place was "I'm fine". I lied and I would lie until January 13.

I learned to lie in high school, I am a lesbian but I went to a private Christian High School in Edmonton where homosexuality was a sin and I believed I could change my sexual orientation. So while many people in their teenage years develop a sense of self, a sense of style, preference for what they like and dislike I was trying to change a core part of my being. I believed if I worked hard enough, if I lied hard enough one day I would be straight and I wouldn't spend eternity in hell. And if you are wondering why I didn't just google "Are lesbian spawn of the devil or are they human?" its because it was the early 2000's and Blockbuster was still a thing. This also meant that my maturity level stayed at that of a 16 year old until 2017 when I learned how to have self esteem. 

That immaturity meant that lying became my way to get close to people, I would lie because I felt I needed to have the best story, to say the right thing, to hide my loneliness and to try to belong. Belonging has always been a challenge for me, I am Sri Lankan so not white and my peers were very white. And when I say very white I mean like a Nickleback Concert in a barn type of white. I have always felt I needed to be better, to not be the person that I actually am, to be straight, to be whatever the other person wanted me to be. 

This lack of sense of self turned me into a monster that almost ended in suicide. I lied throughout my twenties to make people feel sorry for me, to make people like me, to pretend to be a hero and all that time I just didn't have the courage to be myself. Regret sits very heavy with me right now and I am so sorry to the people that I have hurt. 

But now I move forward, I am going to share my struggles, I am going to be open about who I am and I have learned that I am enough just the way I am. Coming from a darkness that has consumed 13 years of my life and being free to feel what I want to feel has been the greatest gift.

This picture is the discharge summary of my time spent in hospital. My life will forever be divided to before and after this point. But the world is a beautiful place and i'm finally getting to see that. 

In Kindness, 

Sithara