Dear Diary

November 6, 2013

Human interaction: pleasures and pitfalls.


The weather is cold and pretty, making me want to be outdoors a lot, all the time. But more than that, I want to get outside of myself. The upper half of an entire wall of my dormroom is a window, and I usually position myself so that I can look outside just by lifting my eyes any time I read or use my computer. When I gaze at the outside world, my skin feels less solid, more permeable—like I could easily escape through it.

As the week progressed I felt less and less contained, not just because of all the staring out the window. People may see me as a body—and I usually feel like a body—but looking outside makes me feel like I’m also a part of what I see. Like the energy in me is everywhere I look.

On Monday, a graduate student in one of my classes startled me as I was packing up by turning to me and speaking: “Me and a few others like to get coffee after class. Would you like to go with us?” I freaked out. I had a French class after that I was going to skip anyway, but the surprise of the offer was enough to make me panic. I stuttered and said uh a lot, and apologized for what seemed like an infinite amount of time before finally asserting that YES I WOULD LIKE TO GO. I very much wanted to go with her and the French graduate student who was going with her because they’re crazy smart and interesting, and I hoped I didn’t mess it up by being initially hesitant. Talking about it now I can still feel that moment of anxiety like it’s happening in real time.

After coffee, I hung out with a girl from my French class I’ve been talking to. We started by having lunch, then talked for a while, then extended our hangout into studying together. After she leaves, I feel like my mind has been freed of something warm and heavy, though in reality it’s just received a lot. I feel crazy energy in my fingers—like I could extend them into the universe if I wanted to. I forgot that talking to people could make me this way. It was so distracting I couldn’t focus on schoolwork until later that night.

I continued to talk with others throughout the week. How was I able to study so much in high school when I was interacting with people all day? By Saturday morning I was more like the version of myself that is slightly more fun to be around—it’s one of the times my brother would say my personality is “on.”

On Saturday night Chloe and I went to a fetish-themed party in a dorm across campus. I didn’t have any spectacular clothing, so I spent tons of time putting on weird makeup—purple and pink eye shadow, thick winged eyeliner, black lipstick, and double rows of false eyelashes. I looked tame-ish, partially because my outfit was just a wool plaid skirt with a black top, tights, and heels, but I felt proud that I didn’t look internet-trendy, and that it felt like my outfit was communicating a bit of the energy I was feeling. I felt like Nelson Sullivan as Amnesia when she says, “I feel so pretty that I feel like I must have always looked this way.” This was going to be the first college party where we would have fun. Maybe we would even meet people we could get along with. Everyone we’d been meeting thus far seemed more conservative than us.

An hour later, I’m standing in line alone while Chloe tries to talk our way into the party, which is at capacity when we arrive. From outside I can hear that the music selection is good, and I catch glimpses through the windows of people inside dancing, not standing around bored like they usually do at parties. The line is moving, but depressingly slowly. Finally Chloe returns, shaking her head no. The security guard informs us that with 40 minutes of official partying hours left, we probably won’t get to the front of the line in time.

We break out of the line. I scream into the air and start running toward our dorm. I look bonkers, but there aren’t many people out. The screaming turns into one long ugghhhh, my running becomes jokily bratty stomping. Chloe catches up to me and groans.

Later, over glasses of chocolate milk, we whine about how good we look. I whine about how badly I wanted —want—to dance tonight. I guess I talked to some cool people in line, but I want to dance around people who also feel this gorgeous energy. ♦


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  • o-girl November 6th, 2013 7:24 PM

    ruby. you are the greatest person. i really genuinely love + admire you and i hope things get better. and i know you will. you’re the greatest.

  • Paprika November 6th, 2013 7:48 PM

    Ruby, as somebody who has also been hospitalized multiple times for self harm I feel for you. I never expected myself to get as bad as I did either, but I recovered. Thankfully the worst damage that I did to myself healed without scarring, but I still have small pink marks on my arm from other times. It’s hard to let go at first, like an addiction, but with time recovery is possible for everyone.
    Get well soon! If I can, someone as strong and amazing as you can for sure!

  • thelilacparadox November 6th, 2013 7:53 PM

    Hey Ruby, I don’t know if you read these comments, but if you do, I want you to know this: you are not alone.

    We care about you, Ruby. Never forget that.

  • Rebdomine November 6th, 2013 7:57 PM

    Hang in there, Ruby. We’re cheering you on. <3

  • sailerc November 6th, 2013 8:00 PM

    I’ve never commented on Rookie before despite reading it all the time, but I felt the need to say—Britney, your journal entry really hit home. I feel so much like you do when it comes to socializing, not feeling motivated at school, and being in my own head all the time. Hopefully it’ll all work out in the end for both of us :)

  • Maki Unicorn November 6th, 2013 8:05 PM

    it seems like most of us seek to find a soul mate. to live through the autumn. it looks so.. natural, i don’t know, so pure.
    i still haven’t found mine though.

  • LikeLenora November 6th, 2013 8:06 PM

    I hope that everything gets better for you, Ruby. You’re incredibly brave.

  • ironsides November 6th, 2013 8:06 PM

    Ruby’s entry hit so close to home. I just got out of a week long stay at a psychiatric hospital. It was simultaneously the worst and best experience of my life. Either way, I never, ever want to go back.

  • Celiaruth November 6th, 2013 8:51 PM

    Ruby- I love you and want you to know that I’m always here for you but your in the basement right now and walking down stairs is too much energy. You are the best sister ever.

    • Ruby B. November 6th, 2013 9:20 PM

      seriously celia i can hear you watching gossip girl from here, you could have just yelled

      • Anaheed November 6th, 2013 10:16 PM

        ❤❤❤❤❤❤ at this whole exchange.

  • die_mad November 6th, 2013 8:54 PM

    The world is too big

    • o-girl November 6th, 2013 10:03 PM

      i feel you. i feel lost constantly and like my hometown is always changing and people are always growing.

  • lilagrace November 6th, 2013 10:38 PM

    Naomi, that sounds like so many good experiences. I’m really happy for you!
    I’m going to try and get Arcade Fire tickets this weekend too :)

  • TessAnnesley November 7th, 2013 1:25 AM

    Oh Ruby Ruby Ruby I love you so much and I promise it will be OK, I speak from experience xoxoxoxox

  • Sarah November 7th, 2013 1:52 AM

    Thinking of you Ruby and Britney xoxo
    It gets better, really.

  • devonlea November 7th, 2013 3:34 AM

    Ruby: If the strength you carry with you is even half the strength with which you write, I trust you will find a way out of your dark place. Thank you for sharing your words, today and always xx

    For you, and anyone else who needs it:

    • whiskeytangofoxtrot November 7th, 2013 3:16 PM

      YES!!! to your youtube link. <3 I've seen him live twice, both laughing like a hyena and crying like a baby each time.

  • giov November 7th, 2013 5:19 AM

    Ruby, I hope you get better soon and I hope you’re getting some good help wherever you are.

    On the other hand, I feel a bit funny about knowing your last name (if Book is your last name). We don’t know the other diarists last names (I think), and you’re only 15 (right?). I’m not sure about privacy issues with this sort of situation, and I don’t think there’s anything to hide or be ashamed of about one’s mental health struggles, it’s just an observation.

    • Danielle November 7th, 2013 6:37 AM

      It’s not her last name.

      • giov November 7th, 2013 1:00 PM


        • Danielle November 7th, 2013 1:41 PM

          Also, all of our diarists are listed on the contributor page, so we’re not keeping them a secret! :)

  • Shmoll November 7th, 2013 9:25 AM

    There should really be a trigger warning for entries with self harm.

    • Danielle November 7th, 2013 1:39 PM

      We’re definitely sensitive to that, which is why we put the self harm tag at the top of the post.

  • pizzaface November 7th, 2013 3:08 PM

    This is beautiful and sad… :’(

    • pizzaface November 7th, 2013 3:15 PM

      *btw, this was a comment on Ruby’s part

  • pizzaface November 7th, 2013 3:11 PM

    And now please a giant list of things you don’t want because you already have them and they are great and you appreciate them.

    That’ll make you feel better.
    My rule: For every bad thing you think of, think of 2/3 good things.


    • pizzaface November 7th, 2013 3:13 PM

      *oops, this comment was for Britney’s part

  • Tambourelle November 7th, 2013 3:13 PM

    Katherine- just the other day this guy (who I really like) started talking to me but he caught me off guard so I sounded really rude and sour he was being friendly and sweet i wish I could be more calm and just relax.

    Britney- We are on the same wavelength! I’m always writing down in my diary how I wish things could be like having late night chats with friends and lying around not saying anything at all and being content. You basically said everything on my mind!!

  • Kourtney November 7th, 2013 5:36 PM

    Naomi, I’m so happy for you :)

  • Kourtney November 7th, 2013 6:18 PM

    BRITNEY, I FEEL YOU GURL. My current situation sucks :(

  • NF4awesome November 9th, 2013 5:39 PM

    Ruby! Ever since you got out of the hospital last time I’ve been rooting for you! I know you’ll make it through again :)

    Britney: I feel exactly like this. Literally, almost exactly.

  • Octopus November 10th, 2013 10:57 AM

    Ruby, after being in hospitals pretty much all of last semester, I thought I was getting better. Then I ended up in the emergency room and the worst hospital yet. I was discharged a few weeks ago and was lucky enough to make the rookie yearbook 2 signing. Have you ever considered a planned hospitalization at a really good hospital (not residential, but a longer term inpatient?) I cannot handle regular inpatient, but at a longer term inpatient they let you have earrings, shoelaces, makeup, glass bottles, and things like that. They even let me knit and wear short sleeves (the last hospital didn’t take care of my newly stitched up arm). It saved my life and I even ended up telling someone about my abuse because I felt so much safer.

  • Sophii November 10th, 2013 10:58 AM

    ‘I want to not feel the need to fill up hundreds of pages with my wants that eventually turn into needs that bite at me with their teeth until I feel like clawing at the walls around me.’ This sums up exactly how I feel at the moment! I feel so out of place at school and the workload is so much that I have no time to fully express all the other things I want from life. It just builds up more and more each day and I feel like I’m going to explode. School seems like such a repressive environment to me at the moment. I can’t wait to leave and meet lots of interesting people like Naomi is at the moment xoxo

  • dragonfly November 13th, 2013 7:17 PM

    I love you all.