This is stupid. Why am I doing this?
P.S. I mean, who else is going to be reading this? I’m not a princess in the middle of a love triangle. My high school crush, whom I suddenly run into at a local coffee shop (why is it always a small, cute, local coffee shop? Why can’t it be a McDonald’s?), is not going to pick this up when it falls out of my sparkly pink designer handbag and then take it home with him (because he wuvs me and doesn’t know it, obviously). Then he’ll read it while thinking, “Oh, golly, I’m in love with her whole thought process, I am in love with her, I know her, she is me," etc.
P.P.S. Thus, in summary, I will not be writing my name at the bottom. It’s not because I am having an identity crisis, or can’t accept myself, or whatever. It’s because it’s pointless. (Also, if the diary fell out of my bag, the crush should already know it’s my writing. If he doesn’t figure it out, then that’s on him. Guess we’ll never fall in love and buy a castle with a moat.)
P.P.P.S. Also, my full name is long. This way, I save your time, Gregg, and mine.
P.P.P.P.S Is it legal to have this many postscripts?
P.P.P.P.P.S. Still can’t believe I’m doing this. Writing in a diary, I mean. Not the therapy thing. Or the postscript thing.
P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Now I’m just having fun.
Client Name: Parvati Date: 02/26/20
Summary Notes: Was enrolled into therapy in a combination decision of herself and parents after repeated anxiety and panic attacks. Resulted in housing switch: moved back in with parents. Discomfort visible with that decision. Minimal talking in today’s session. Doesn’t seem comfortable discussing her social and mental situations, but admitted to only going to class and back home for food. Reads a lot. Comfortable talking about her favorite books. Went through her breathing exercises multiple times when trying to talk to me. Walked her through positive thought process. Goal for next week: attend one group event and continue weekly diary entries.
This week was like last week. Obviously. Nothing ever changes.
The diary is, in and of itself, a childish, fantastical, multisyllabic concept.
P.S. Only 19 more of these to go!
P.P.S. Oh wait, no one else can celebrate with me. Because this is just a journal entry to a future, even-more-bored-and-tired-and-awkward version of myself. (And, I guess, to my therapist. Who’s a cool dude. (You’re welcome, Gregg.) But still. This is lame. My point still stands.)
Client Name: Parvati Date: 03/04/20
Summary Notes: Mood worsening today –more angry and frustrated. Opened up more today though. Stated that frustrated with self and her loss of control of emotions. Goal of going to one group event: unmet. Trying smaller goals. Admitted to me today that had not previously “been this way”. Had many friends in high school/was very social. States that had not experienced this level of social and general anxiety before college. Admitted to “complicated but loving” relationship with family. Goal for next week: attend any college-affiliated event besides classes and continue with diary entries. Reminded to try to make them longer.
Just for my own sanity, I will be starting off some entries with a quote that I overheard on that day that I thought was funny. Today’s features our two favorite topics: drugs and bros!
Person 1: “Dude, I am so high right now.”
Person 2: “Haha, oh yeah?”
Person 1: “I’m high off your awesomeness, bro.
Person 2: “Bro” *they do that bro fist bump thing*
Never underestimate the power of the bro.
(Yes, I did make this up.)
Also, I have a new friend.
P.S. I know you’re what you’re thinking: Progress! I am no longer alone in college, huzzah! (This is what you’ve been dreaming of Gregg, don’t lie.) But no. One friend does not a full, loved human maketh. That’s probably in the Bible, somewhere.
P.P.S. Not that I would know. I’m Hindu. Stop pretending like everyone knows the Bible, America.
P.P. P. S. Also, I guess, maybe, this is working. She said I sound positive. I haven’t been deemed positive in a long while.
P.P. P. P. S. But don’t get your hopes up.
Client Name: Parvati Date: 03/11/20
Summary Notes: Mood worsened, more use of sarcasm to hide feelings. However, is very positive and excited about friend. Goal: met. Attended a dinner with some classmates. Shocked that it went well. Happy that “feels wanted.” Goals for next week: Follow-up with those classmates and new friend. Continue diary entries. Requested to write about family a little more. *NOTE: concerned about parent-child relationship.
My parents asked me today about how therapy was going. They are sweet, I think, but there’s this weird gap between us now. Like, I’ve been taught that I’m supposed to be telling my parents everything, and I have been, for the most part, but they feel now that I’m hiding something monumental from them. Like the therapist is taking on their prized role as confidante of their child. But a parent doesn’t equal a therapist. Parents already do so much for you. They can’t handle their own mental burdens and all of your own, too. They shouldn’t have to. No one should have to.
A child shouldn’t have to be a noose around your mind.
Worse, they feel like it’s all their fault that I’m “messed up.” But it’s not their “fault.” And therapy isn’t just something you go to when you have a diagnosed mental health issue or a literal crisis happening in your life, or if you’re “messed up.” Therapy is something everyone can and should go to, in my opinion. Anyone can get therapy. Anyone. Me. Or them.
P.S. I hate the word “fault.”
Client Name: Parvati Date: 03/18/20
Summary Notes: Mood is more positive and open. Honest and calm concern about parents, but I feel that she is hiding the severity of the issue. Admits to enjoying therapy sessions. Thought process exercises run through. Talked most of all past sessions. Admits to lower anxiety levels. Didn’t need breathing exercises at all. Goal: unmet. Goals for next week: same as last week. Didn’t mention friend in session.
Dear Diary, Future Me, and Therapist Gregg,
This week was long. Nothing happened, but it was still long.
Also, I lost my friend. We haven’t talked for two and a half weeks now. Is it my fault?
P.S. I know that it is. I haven’t texted her or called her. She texted once, and I didn’t respond. Why can’t I respond? What’s wrong with me?
P.P. S. Nothing….nothing nothing nothing, right, Gregg?
P.P.P.S. Here’s a fun drinking game: Take a shot every time I mention or allude to you, Therapist Gregg. (Gregg, I just want to see you get drunk and let loose.)
Client Name: Parvati Date: 03/25/20
Summary Notes: Mood –sad, angry. Quieter again today. Incredibly concerned and anxious about friend, despite calming reminders. Goal: unmet. Although ostensibly positive attitude, is continuing to mask true feelings. Slightly more open today, however – “willing to feel” her negative emotions. Goals: same as last week, with qualification of simply reaching out to friend, not having to actually meet next week. Stated that appreciated patience and smaller steps. Admitted that patience was an attribute learned from mom, but admitted to not being very patient.
Dear Diary, Future Me, and Therapist Gregg,
I found a cat. She’s nice and kind and sweet and doesn’t require social effort. She doesn’t text or call. I bought some cat food, and I put some out in the back, and she comes and meows hi. I love her fur. It’s so luxuriant. She takes such good care of herself. I’m weirdly proud of her.
Just in case you were worried I might actually be buying into the whole diary thing, here’s another funny thing I overheard:
Person 1: Wanna hear a knock-knock joke?
Person 2: Not even a little.
Person 1: Valid.
(That one’s real. I was close enough to others this time to actually overhear something funny. But then it was awkward because I was laughing and near them and they got suspicious. But they left behind this really big desk with a big desk light in the library. The prime spot. So, it ended up being a win.)
P.S. I’ve never owned a pet before. I guess she’s not really mine, I think she’s a stray? But she comes when I feed her and she lets me pet her. I’m just not allowed to bring her into the house. My parents aren’t really a fan of pets.
Client Name: Parvati Date: 04/02/20
Summary Notes: Mood – more positive. Really enjoys cat. Care, love, and closeness to other living things appreciated. Recommended to her to keep working with cat. Encouraged her to adopt cat or seek cat from shelter, etc. Studying in library rather than in house. Admitted to some resentment from parents and tensions between them because of therapy sessions and studying not at home. Goals: unmet. Goals for next week: same as last week. Encouragement to reach out to friend repeated. *NOTE: concern about emotionally strained relationship between parents and client.
Today, I tried to buy some more cat food, but the credit card my parents got for me was declined. I was filled with this weird panic, like I couldn’t feel anything, like I was just floating with a black bubble around my heart, pressing into my veins. I paid in cash instead. I asked my parents about the credit card, and they said that I shouldn’t let “that stray” into the house. I didn’t tell them that I got more cat food anyway.
Also, I saw that friend walking in my direction the other day, and I crossed the street. I don’t know why.
P.S. I’m hiding the fact that I’m still taking care of that cat.
P.P.S. I’m also hiding the fact that I lost a friend from my parents. I just can’t stand to see their disappointment anymore.
Gregg, why’d you talk to my parents?
Also, I texted my friend back and said that I was sorry, just a bit overwhelmed, and that I’d love to catch up. Hope I didn’t sound to clingy or too flakey. I really do think she’s cool.
Gregg, oh sweet Gregg, why’d you talk to my parents? Why’d you tell them to let me have a pet?
P.S. I think this might be my last therapy session. And my last diary entry.
P.P.S. She just responded! She said she’d love to meet up!
It’s been a few weeks now. I guess I was right about the therapy session, but not about the diary. You were right, Gregg. They aren’t so bad, after all. I’m sorry I teased you, and them. I hope you’re okay, Gregg.
Why can’t I do anything right? Why can’t I get people to stay in my life and keep caring for me? Why do things have to change, just when I get comfortable?
P.S. My parents found and threw away the cat food. I saw the cat come by once, but she didn’t stay once she didn’t see the food. Does she miss me?
P.P.S. More importantly, does she still have a food source? I’ve got to at least help her, if I can’t help anyone else.
P.P.P.S. Can you say “anyone” to refer to a cat? Any-being else, maybe?
P.P.P.P.S. We had dinner, my friend and me. It was awkward. I think I was too much. She’s way too cool. She’s got other friends, anyway. Guess I was wrong about us. Time to find a new friend.
The cat came by again today. It’s because I put food out for her.
Also, I think someone else read my diary.
P.S. I think it’s my parents. I don’t know what to do.
I'm glad I'm back to therapy. I also hid this diary better.
Guess my life is more dramatic and interesting than I thought. Never thought I’d have to hide this thing.
My parents don’t know where I hid the cat food.
P.S. The cat food’s beneath this diary.
P.P.S. My parents don’t know about the therapy, too. I’m old enough that apparently, I don’t need their signature.
P.P.P.S. Gregg, I’m so glad to see you again.
P.P.P.P.S. Honesty is the key to relationships. And reaching out.
P.P.P.P.P.S. But I don’t know if I can apply that to where my parents are concerned.
I met up with the friend again, randomly in the dining hall. I really listened to her more, I think, though. I tried not to be too funny or interesting, or dramatic. Just myself. I mean, that’s already too much funny for the world anyway, I don’t need to try, haha.
And I was more honest about how I was doing, and I think it helped her open up. I’m still finding the balance between listening and talking.
I don’t think you can “get” people to care for you, so I’m trying not to change myself to fit others. I don’t think it’s working.
But, life’s a work in progress? I guess?
P.S. The cat hasn’t come back for a few days. Is she okay?
I know you weren’t expecting two back to back entries in the same week (shocker!), but I forgot to explain something.
My friend is nervous about her exam. That’s all I learned, but I think that’s important enough. Also, she has two sisters, and a dog. I like dogs.
P.S. I figured out what happened to the cat. I found her lying in my backyard. She fell or something, because her paw is bleeding. Why does school not teach you about where animal emergency rooms are? Why am I learning about Shakespeare instead of cat doctors?
P.P.S. DO CATS HAVE SPECIAL DOCTORS? This is the essential information I need, Gregg.
Sorry about that last entry. It got partially ripped up.
I think you know why.
We had a fight. A big one.
P.S. I think we are talking tomorrow.
P.P.S. My friend wanted to see my dorm room. I wish I were normal enough to be living in the dorms. But after this therapy stuff…you already know about all this, Gregg. You already know about the drama. But the pain and fear and loneliness? You know the facts, but my emotions are harder to explain.
P.P.P.S. Thanks for letting me burden you, Gregg and Diary.
I figured out why my parents were mad. They felt guilty, guilty about everything, guilty about me, but guilty of how I felt I was being treated, guilty about their own “failures” as parents, and tried to cover it up instead of talking about it.
That sounds very familiar, doesn’t it?
Sometimes you have to let those who love you take your burden. And you have to help others by taking theirs. Love is a two-way street, after all.
They didn’t fail as parents. They’re just struggling. Like I am. We are connected down this chain of pain.
P.S. My friend was willing to come to my house!
P.P.S. I showed her this diary. She said I was amazing.
P.P.P.S. I can’t stop smiling.
Our spirits have just a little bit of goddess in them, I think, and sometimes we feel our god power more than other times.
Sometimes, all you have to make your power shine is to listen.
The cat is going to be fine.
P. S. But Diary? We’re not done yet. We’re never done. That’s not such a bad thing, after all.
Client Name: Parvati Date: 05/02/20
Summary Notes: Doing excellently. All Personal Goals: met. Goals for next week: continue relationships with friends and classmates. Open up lines of communication further with parents. Continue positive thought processes.
*NOTE: I'm proud of you, Parvati.