• Nick Hartkop

Since starting treatment over two years ago I have been able to overcome many of the daily struggles I faced. Verbal abuse, smashing technology, threatening suicide to control those around me, physical altercations, emotionally disturbed sense of humor at other people's expense, my misogynistic language, my repressed sexuality, my anger and my hatred, but something I haven't been able to treat is the shame and regret I feel for my past. It is holding me back from moving on in my life because I feel like those things define me. I want to be a good person and I have had the education and therapy to stand for what is right in the world and I feel like a good person in my heart, but I also feel like a bad person because of who I was in my past. I feel like if I try to move on from who I was without the constant reflection, that I truly haven't gotten better, but I don't want to continue to live in the mindset that I am not allowed to move on because people will think I am faking my treatment which goes to show that I still care so much what people think about me when I shouldn't. I think it's because I crave the validation that I am good and forgiven for my past, but someone wise told me that forgiveness is earned but not always given and that's hard for me because I regret the external struggles I have had and for hurting people and myself. I think it is possible for people who have been bad in their life to become good, and treating my BPD/BP has allowed for me to have healthy relationships and be a good person, but I wish I had always been this way. I hope that I am able to find peace and accept my failures someday and it is something I am actively working towards.

I went into Downtown Seattle this weekend and saw a sports car in front of a homeless camp. It bothered me deeply and I can't stop thinking about the symbolism it stands for. Someone driving past people living on the streets in an overpriced vehicle. It made me reflect on who I am as a person and how I can help those in need around me. I have been blessed with the gift of using my words and voice to connect with people and I don't want to waste that. I hope I am able to use that gift to help people all my life.

I am hoping that this is the last blog I post about my regrets and truly start to move forward in my life and not constantly think about my failures because it is hindering my growth. Life is about moving forward in a positive way and growing everyday into the person we need to be and want to be, and I want to be a good person. I think maybe I keep saying that because if I do I'll truly believe it, but what I can do is follow my words with my actions. It is okay to have failed in our lives, but what's not okay is no longer growing and being the best versions of ourselves. I won't give up on being a good person and helping people and myself.

I am so insecure about everything that is me and I don't want to be anymore. I want to be good, I want to be loved, I want to be forgiven, I want to be accepted, I want to show acceptance, I want to show love, I want to be the best version of myself. To anyone who is struggling with the failures in your life, know that you are capable of being whoever you want to be and capable of being the best version of yourself.

Today is the day I start to move forward and not allow my regret and shame define me, even if that is easier said than done.


  • Nick Hartkop

The power of love is the most powerful force in the universe, but feels hard to find. We crave it but fear we will never feel it. I feared I would never feel it. I never felt it from my parents, from myself, from my relationships, but I feel it now. I feel its power and what it can conquer. It conquers anger, shame, loneliness, pain and want. How do I demonstrate love? Love that’s more powerful than anything else? It takes all parts of ourselves. Our bodies, minds, and spirits. The energy from the universe. The love we crave when we lay alone at night in our beds staring at the ceiling, wishing to be held.

True love is rare, and it takes dedication and sacrifice. When I was a child, I would lay and hold a stuffed wolf into my chest because I wanted to hold and love something, and now I do that to my partner. The person who hasn’t given up on me and in my lowest moments showed me guidance, education and acceptance, even when I didn’t deserve it.

Love is lying next to someone in their hospital bed, love is rubbing their back while they puke from chemotherapy, love is crying together and laughing together, love is counting the stars together and dreaming together, love is listening to music in silence together in a car, love is holding back tears when you say goodbye and crying when you see each other again, love is a feeling and a smell and a touch and a part of yourself, love is more powerful than pain, love is pain, love is watching your partner sleep, love is holding hands, love is confusing, love is complicated, love is healing, love is everything you want and everything you need, love is saying you are sorry, love is forgiving one another, love is acceptance, love is beautiful.

I am in love and it is beautiful.


  • Nick Hartkop

Updated: Mar 13

Salish thematically deals with various things that have taken a long time for me to process from when I was a teenager. Hatred that I had towards my parents, insecurity regarding my sexuality, jealousy, and ultimately my own reflection of who I am now and the question of how I move forward to be the person I want to be.

When I was a teenager, I was grounded for a majority of the time because my parents found a note from my partner at the time wanting me to do something sexual. It was my freshman year of high school and puberty and feelings of attraction were new to me, and it was reinforced that it was a negative thing. I remember my dad coming home from work early because my mom found the note in my room and he was so angry at me and it made me feel so shameful. They wanted me to not see that person anymore but I didn’t understand how those things were worth punishing over, and the anger in my household festered. I felt like having relationships of any kind was a bad thing and I felt like I was wrong for feeling those things. In reality, it was a natural part of adolescence.

It was something that caused me to see my parents as my enemy and I hated them very much for it. I carried a chip on my shoulder because of it, and it even carried into my adulthood. I was always stand-offish because I felt like they didn’t love me and looked down on me for wanting to have relationships and be in love. There was a time when I was grounded when I wanted to go to a movie with my dad and he told me that if I beat him in a chess match that he would take me. It ended in a draw and I remember being heartbroken that we didn’t go because I felt like there was a rift in our relationship all because of my sexuality. I felt like I had to earn his love and It seemed like I never could. I wrote this song about a year ago when I still wasn’t in communication with my family and it’s something that’s helped me process those feelings of resentment alongside my therapy.

I have started to rebuild my relationship with my mother and father and, in my heart, I forgive them for the pain they caused me and the isolation and shame I felt because of their judgment. They are good people and I care a lot about them even if I don’t agree with the way they raised me. I look up to my dad and he tells me he loves me all the time now and it is the best feeling in the world, but there was a long time in my life I felt like he didn't. As an adult, I realized my father was dealing with a lot behind closed doors and I always wish I could have been his friend. I feel like if he would have gotten to know me as a friend when I was growing up that I could have been there for him more and maybe he would have seen me as a good person beyond my sexuality and loved me more. I know he did love me, but that part of my life was so traumatic that it still bothers me to this day when I think about it, and I still do a lot.

Salish, also deals with things a lot of teenagers experience. Sneaking away to get high, being made to feel imperfect by people who aren't perfect themselves, and reflecting on relationships that have fallen apart and wishing you could move on from them and not have to think about them anymore. Another uncomfortable thing the song deals with is that I have always been very jealous of sex and have felt like I am bad at it and that I am worse than my partner's past partners. It’s something I’ve worked through in therapy but is relevant to the song because I felt like that my entire life. In my life now I am blessed with a partner who loves me and accepts me and I love and cherish them and it is amazing to have them sing on the song with me. The song also deals with where I am in my life currently and have been for a couple years: Who am I as a person and how do I show the good of my heart to others? How do I become the person I want to be and show the world I am a good person? I don’t think it is possible because I can’t live my life waiting for the approval of other people. I have fucked up and made a lot of awful mistakes in my life, but I truly am more than those mistakes and I think that’s something a lot of people feel. We are better than the worst parts of us and our lowest moments. I hope this song resonates with people because I think pain, resentment, isolation, jealousy, and wanting to be loved are all things we experience. Thank you to anyone who checks the song out. It is currently on all streaming platforms. On a side note, I will be answering emails these next couple days so if you want to send a message I’ll make sure to get back to you. It may take me a couple days but I’ll make sure of it.


You drove off your college campus

so you could go get high

in your mother's Tesla,

let me ask Alexa

how to fix my partner,

so they aren't disgusting,

so they never hurt me

maybe you could love me

I was playing dress up, beautiful and flirty

put my favorite dress on, pocket full of posies

Ashes on her tombstone, dancing in the basement

drunk with all the lights off, I hate this

My dad's working at the grocery,

he was always pissed off, Never said he loved me,

unless I fuckin earned that

told me to learn patience, my mothers sick and dangerous

she's manic and she broke my brother's bones again

could we go and see a movie?

Made me play a chess match, just to prove if I lose, we won't go

Felt bad,

but he never told me

I think I could have helped him

I think he would have loved me more if I did

And I was sick in the head man, but you were sick too

The only difference is I can't drown my problems in alcohol like you

and I'm at the bottom of that bottle, and your brother is too

and you're the end of the joint that I smoke in my room

And you're the things in my past that I want to forget

and you're the thoughts in my head that cause pain in my chest

and I get sick when I think about them both in bed

but it gets easier with time and with love said a friend

and I drowned

Away away

in a ship that sank

away away

from my own words

away away

How do I become who I want to be, not who they say I am?

Theres a change here

in the air here

could you hold me close?

Will you hurt me too?

Will you love me true?