There was a time not so long ago, when I was afraid of being inside my own mind. I distracted myself with work, people, and movies. Anything to avoid being alone with my thoughts, to drown out the voice that threatened every moment to turn into desperate screaming. When did it end? Not the threat, but the need for distraction.
The screams will rise again. But there is quiet now.
Silence. Broken by smiles. Light in my eyes that is not the glimmer of tears.
A tiny flame inside me. Survivor of the storm so far. Will it last? I know not.
It is safe for now.
Books. Clothes. Gifts. Photos. Where does it end? How many things do I have to get rid of before it’s done? Before I feel sufficiently sanitised to take “clean-up” off my to-do list?
Each action, each deletion kills a part of me. So many holes now that I don’t know whether I’m more here or missing.
I do wonder sometimes how is it that I am still alive, how is it that I still breathe, and walk, and even laugh on occasion.
I do wonder sometimes about how little is left of who I was.
What do people see when they look at me? Do they still see me or has enough of me vanished that they just look through me?
The gold is gone. Today, tomorrow, or next week, which will be the day that someone realises the worthlessness of what’s left?
At least it will free me of the burden of having to stand any longer.
Control. The only thing that seems to matter. The satisfaction in changing the river’s direction. Does it matter why the change? Not really. What matters is that you can control it.
Can you stop the flow of memories? Can you stop the numbness from spreading? The only thing that matters. Control.
Clenched hand. Power in my fingers to stop everything. Trickle. As slow as I want. Because the flood is terrifying. And because I can.
Because I need to know I can.
Control. The only thing that matters. Because everything else can flow from it.
Jealousy. Distaste. Envy. Wonder.
Not the right words. Not the wrong words either. Just incomplete.
Disturbing reactions to happiness. Because the reaction is mine but the happiness is not.
Love and hate in the same glance. And guilt, because the love is as real as the hate. More real? Perhaps not. But with a longer life, for sure.
Missing the innocence that loved untempered. Unadulterated. Missing the little girl, now lost in a world that doesn’t seem to make sense.
If only the doll house was enough.
A question I had managed to avoid for 4 months. Now, loud. Echoing. Demanding attention.
Don’t ask “why me” when something bad happens, when you don’t ask “why me” when good things happen. Except I do occasionally ask “why me” when good things happen.
Send some good out into the world. Not expecting returns. And the world will be good to you.
No. Send some good out into the world just because.
Why me? Why not me? Disturbing questions. Heartbreaking answers.
The mirror shatters. Multiple reflections. None complete. All true.
Glimpses. Of me. Broken glass. Liquid shine and crushed glitter.
Walled in. Walled out. Because that is the only way it works. That is the only way to stand. And smile. And be normal.
It is hard to admit. I’d always thought of myself as a fairly strong, independent woman. Someone with her own identity that went beyond being someone’s daughter, someone’s sister. And yet, at some point, without even realizing it, I had become that girl. So intent on making others happy that I was convinced that those were the things that I wanted. I was on a road where I believed I was making my own choices at every turn, but I was really only making one choice – to walk the path someone else wanted me to.
The scariest part? I didn’t even know I was lost. I didn’t even know I wasn’t myself anymore. That I had changed into someone I didn’t even like. Someone who didn’t know how to be happy.
And I’m left wondering just how bad a place I was in that I feel so free now.
I could feel myself cringe every time I said it. Was it bitterness? Perhaps. Anger? Maybe. But I couldn’t help it. Neither the word, nor the reaction. A good girl. That’s who I was, that’s who I had been for a long time.
Girlfriends’ mothers would wish their daughters were more like me, boyfriends’ mothers would wish their sons would go out with someone like me.
I used to think that it was just a pretense I put on to make the mothers (including mine) happy. When did the pretense become real? Or was that who I had always been?
Today, I ask what being a good girl got me. The answer is not pretty. Heartbreak, loneliness and tears. I was too innocent to realize the truth, too naïve to understand what someone else would have known much sooner. And I mourn – not the loss of innocence, but the fact that it survived for far too long.
I’ve never been so uncomfortable with myself, never so unhappy about who I was. She is here inside me, the good girl. A survivor, tempting me to solace in tears and ice-cream. But I’m not sure anymore.
Can I break the habit of years and be someone else? I hope so. I’m at least going to try.
Thursday. It has been a week now. The last time I slept through the night. Also the last day I ate 3 meals. The last I lived without tears. Can’t even ask why because the reasons are obvious, and endless.
Ambition and desire. Such beautiful and powerful things, driving forces for so much that we do.
Right now I have only two ambitions – to sleep through the night, and to finish a real meal. When did life get so simple? When did my needs become so basic that all I want is hunger and sleep?
Feeling suddenly lonely. And tired.
I can feel the hesitation. Can hear their thoughts in the uncomfortable silence that follows. Tip-toeing around me, unsure what to say. Because they care, and they don’t want to say the wrong thing.
But I need this, being able to talk about this as and when I want, and can. I need it so I can believe that I am ok. That this is all just a playground bruise that I will be laughing over soon.
I’m not sure what reaction I want. I’m looking for something but I don’t know what. Compassion, pity, sympathy I have already turned away. Perhaps all I want is for them to join the pretense, to pretend to believe that it wasn’t such a big deal. That it doesn’t change anything. Even though it was, and does.
The hesitation scares me. Because it makes it difficult for me to keep on believing. Because I start to wonder if there is judgement in that silence. The weight of their unspoken thoughts presses down on me.
Ignore my fragility. Believe, or at least pretend to believe, that I am as strong as I am trying to seem. Because in doing that, you let me believe it too.
I’m feeling the beginnings of bitterness. Add yet another thing to the list of things that scare me right now. I don’t deserve to be feeling like this. I don’t deserve to be up in the middle of the night because I can’t sleep. I don’t deserve that moment of terror when a casual acquaintance walks up to me and asks me if I am okay, because it means I am failing. When friends feel the need to go out of their way to get me lunch, just to make sure that I eat something. When they all begin to feel that they have the right to advise me and lecture me on what I should be doing.
I’m not this person. Weepy and clingy and needy. People keep telling me that this is good, that I need to let myself feel this way, to let it all out so that I don’t fester inside. But I don’t know who this person is that inhabits my body but behaves nothing like me. Do you know what it is like to share a consciousness with someone you don’t like, don’t want, and can’t seem to get rid of?
Too many questions to which I don’t have answers.