Readers Write




A Sense of Self-Worth

1 response | February 12th, 2013


(anonymously submitted) Where do you get your sense of self-worth, your sense of value to the world?  I've always found it externally, in what I do for others, in what others have praised me for.  When I succeed, I am happy; when I succeed in helping others, I am ecstatic.  When I am wrapped in the cocoon of my loved ones, I feel secure.  But when I fail, when I let others down, when others don't let me know what I am worth, my ego deflates.  When I can't fix all my husband's problems, when I overreach at work, dropping balls because I'm trying to juggle too many of them, I feel that I am worthless, of no value.  I retreat into myself, sleeping, escaping in novels and games, diving into more work or sometimes even excessive social activities, trying to redeem myself, trying to regain some of that external reward that I need to feel that my life is worth living. Was I always this way?  Did I lose my sense of value when I was abandoned as a baby, thrown away like so much trash? Or did I lose it ...

BFF Break Up

comment | December 19th, 2012

broken hearted

(by anonymous) so it's been just about a year now. A year when i made a really big decision,the decision to not be friends with my best friend at the time ,anymore. We were inseparable we told each other everything ,and most memorable now is that we hid within each other. We hid from people,situations,and the world. When we would confide in each other we would come to conclusion that were negative and weren't really conclusions at all. We needed each other because we both didn't know how to live,or how to deal with life. Looking back at that friendship it was like a relationship in which we demanded each others time it was something serious that we were both in. Although i can go on and on about the negatives of this friendship and how i'm better off now there's a part of me that misses who i use to be in that friendship. It could just be the connection of being someone with another person or the fact that i could say whatever i wanted and not be judged for it. One thing that i really miss and ...

#chestismsRaise Your Effing Hand

11 comments | December 8th, 2012


This was submitted anonymously, as a comment to another reader's story about "Playing It Much Too Safe".  Here's how we got it:

I won't lie, this quote is a little harsh; but goddamnit, it's true. It's by an author named Christopher Gutierrez. He's amazing.

"you know that feeling when you're in class and you want to raise your hand to disagree, to add to the discussion? that nervous energy that prevents you from raising your hand and hearing your own voice? the one that makes your heart race? that nervous energy wins when you keep your hand safely on your desk and miss the opportunity to add your two cents. thats what failure feels like. thats the feeling of you giving up a little more of your life. thats when you throw away your votes. and unless you want to take your place in the list of billions of fakes, sheep and ****, the next time you have something to say, raise your f*cking hand." {end story}

Doesn't matter how long it's been since you've been in class, or a meeting, or at a dinner with family and friends, or riding on ...

#lifestagesDon’t Want Kids

comment | November 30th, 2012


(by anonymous)

I don't want kids.  My mother's going to kill me. {end story}

You ever find yourself not wanting something someone else wants (or expects) you to want?  Big buzzkill if you let it be.  How do you deal with it? 

The Strongest Woman

3 comments | November 14th, 2012


(by Theresa) Someone whose opinion I respect a great deal recently told me I am the strongest woman she knows. I wanted to tell her she was wrong. How could I be the strongest woman she knows? My mother was the strongest woman I have known, and she to my knowledge never had a panic attack. In fact, I don't think anyone in my immediate family has. I can remember the first time I had a panic attack. I was at a band rehearsal after school, struggling with one specific measure in the music. I was also in college credit courses and working at Wendy's, so I had a lot on my mind. When it came time for me to play the measure, I flubbed it badly and got a lot of what I perceived as negative attention. I ended up in tears, hyperventilating, and shaking so bad the section leader told me it was ok to go home. I felt like a failure and that added to my panic. How could I be considered strong? My mother never to my knowledge battled depression. My brothers seemed impervious to those demons. Sure my biological ...

Not As Pretty As I Want To Be

7 comments | October 31st, 2012

black explosion chestist

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist, now on OOC rewind)

We're assuming this comes from one of our younger readers.  Any advice from any of you who've been there before?  Here's what she's got to share:

I always felt really sad for not being as pretty as I wanted to be.

Then I had a nose-job and I was sure I would feel better, because it's an expensive plastic surgery that is supposed to make you look better (even if it's not that much) but never worse. It turns out I look worse.

I had this surgery 6 months ago and I've been crying since then. Not only because I still don't feel pretty, but because I actually miss my face. I looked better before. I'm disappointed and now I don't have any hope. I totally regret this surgery. I wish I could go back 6 months and tell myself that I looked just fine. Now I can't even take pictures 'cause my nose looks bent. I try to think "It's just a little imperfection" but that makes me angry, because I wasn't born with it, it ...

She’s Tired Of It

comment | October 21st, 2012

chestist sad

(by T.B., 19)

I am tired of thinking I'm not enough.

I am tired of being the one who compromises all the time.

I am tired of sleeping with my phone wondering if you'll write back.

I am tired of wondering what she has.

I am tired of being tired with it all and I know that I deserve better. {end story}

No matter your age, there are moments in all our lives (ok, maybe most of our lives) when we feel this way.  How do you deal with being tired of it...whatever it is?

Love & SexNot Good Enough

1 response | October 3rd, 2012

chestist sad


my boyfriend just broke up with me..and I started laughing my ass off because for some insane reason I'd thought I was good enough for him. {end story}

Odds are (statistically speaking) most relationships don't last.  When yours end, do you think it's a reflection on you?  Why?

#lifestagesHe Lied About Me

4 comments | September 25th, 2012

chestist sad

(by "Breezy", a 21 yo Chestist)

I think we can all agree, sometimes some people suck.  This story is one of those times:

A good friend of mine lied to his friends and the guy I've been dating about sleeping with me. I just want to know why. I don't understand. It really, really hurts me, and it makes me feel sick, used, and betrayed. {end story}

This ever happen to you...where someone, let alone a good friend, made up a story about you...somethingthat was so false and hurtful and left you wondering wny and WTF?  What happened?  How;d you deal with it?  How'd you get past it - or haven't you?

If you haven't, we say let it go.  it's doing nothing good for you.  But either way, share your story here, won't you?


3 Things I Want You To Know

5 comments | September 21st, 2012

3 things

(by Liza, 22)

I miss you.

I forgive you.

I'm past you.

{end story}

Whoa, right?  That's a short story with some punch. Any 1, 2 or 3 things you want to get off your chest and let someone (or all of us) know?


#bodiesMy Biggest Insecurity

6 comments | September 13th, 2012

chestist sad

(story submitted by Allie P., a 16 yo Chestist)

Allie may only be 16 but - sadly - nothing about how she's feeling is limited by age.  We'd bet that at least most of us have (and sometimes still do) felt this way.  How do you deal with what she's feeling?  How have you gome from feeling like shit for what you're not to feeling good about what you are?   Remember, if you share your story maybe you can help change hers.

My stomach, my chin, my butt, my thighs, everything about me is horrible. I just feel that everyone else is so much thinner and prettier, and there is no one that will accept who i am. I'm finally understanding myself a little better, but my body is still my biggest worry and insecurity. {end story}

#lifestagesCrying About This

4 comments | September 9th, 2012


(by Sally, 34)

I was a 17 year old virgin, with no self-esteem.  He was older, good looking, naughty, and paid a lot of attention to me.  We hung out for a while, but I knew if I didn’t sleep with him, he would move on.  The night came.  I did it, but didn’t want to.  It was awful.  He dumped me anyway, and it turns out you CAN get pregnant your first time.  I just wanted it to all go away, and so did my parents.  They took me to go have the pregnancy terminated, which was also awful. 

In this paragraph, you can just use your imagination, and fill in what kind of self-medicating, self-destructive behavior you can imagine a very broken girl, in her 20’s does to herself.

So now, after a major rock bottom, I’m 34, and I’m all cleaned up.  I’m 3 years sober, my career is great, my mortgage is on time, and I finally have some peace.   There’s one very large broken piece though, that rips my heart out and haunts me.  I want children.  I want them now.  I’m single, and there’s no one ...

#lifestagesIn It Together

3 comments | September 6th, 2012


(by Abbie, 17)

i believe that everyone in the world is interconnected, so I think of each of you who are reading this as my sister. as part of your universal family, i feel it's my responsibility to each and every one of you to say that it' okay to not know. i've spent the past five years driving myself crazy trying to make sense of everything in my life but, the thing is, life doesn't always make sense.

That's okay. It doesn't have to be understood to be experienced. There is a reason for everything and I truly believe that. The misconception, for me, lay in feeling the overwhelming need to always know the reason. It got to the point that I was willing to settle for believing something other than the truth.

From trying to make sense of my physical and sexual abuse as a child to trying to make sense of my eating disorder and PTSD today, I think I've finally seen a little bit of truth. The truth, my truth and maybe yours as well, is that sometimes logic can be what we use to color ourselves and ...

#bodiesI Am Not My Stereotype

1 response | September 6th, 2012

50s chestist

(story submmitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

We're probably all guilty of having judged a book or two by its cover.  Feels a lot different when we're the book though.  Here's how she feels:

I have bleach blonde hair, big boobs, and apparently a decent ass. That doesn't make me stupid or shallow. It doesn't mean my life is perfect or that I am happier than anyone else. I have interest and issues too. I'm so sick of people taking one look at me and deciding I'm some sort of Barbie doll. {end story}

You ever been a victim of stereotyping?  When, how, why?  You ever been a stereotyper (most of us have)?  When, how, why?   Here's the thing about stereoptypes, they suck.  You can quote us on that.


3 comments | August 29th, 2012


(by Mary)

Your past is always a part of you. But if something makes you uncomfortable NOW, then it is about what you need NOW to feel safe and comfortable. You don't need to apologize for or justify what you need nor where your boundaries fall. They simply are what they are. {end story}

Mary posted this as a comment on this story.  While the original piece was about Surviing Abuse, we think her point about boundaries transcends the original and abuse.  Knowing where our lines are and how far we'll go...and won' all kinds of circumstances can help us know how far to push things (inlcusing ourselves) and when to ease off. 

Sooooo, do you know where your boundaries and limits are?