One of my friends sent it to me and said it reminded her of some of the things my husband and I have gone through.
It is uncomfortably real. So I started writing a response back to her.
And, as I suspected, avoiding writing, and then starting to write about how I’m feeling free-form, isn’t really something JUST for her. It should go here.
So here it is.
“It’s clear that some of your thoughts are not socially acceptable. Your feelings are unsettling to people who have never been unsettled like you have. You hide your dangerous and silly and preposterous thoughts, burying them behind routines and small talk and forced smiles.”
There was another comment on a tumblr something along the lines of “The people who you like most in fiction are the ones who are most what you want to be” and someone jokingly said “Um. Should I be worried?”
I pondered it for awhile and, Hannibal came at a time where I DESPERATELY did not want to feel any more. That feeling things, other people’s emotions was just. too. hard. And naturally I wanted to associate with someone who does not give a crap about other people’s feelings.
Followed up by the “People will think you’re doing better than you are”
“People start asking you when you’re going to move on, asking you what’s next for you. What’s next? What’s new? And you’re stunned. You barely just figured out this. This huge, unwieldy, cumbersome burden that you’re still carrying, that’s still breaking you. Where other people expect you to be? You’re not there yet.”
The article talks about nightmares, etc. And that’s very true. I still have nightmares about losing my job. I still have nightmares about my husband being carjacked. They’re further apart.
AND OH GOD THE PROCRASTINATION. Like, moving forward is so exhausting you can’t even fathom it and going back is impossible because its a yawning chasm of impossibility and terrible moments waiting for you to fall in it.
I can tell you, that really, just in the last week, am I coming to terms with losing my job on top of everything else. One of the other people who was let go asked me how I could have been so calm when it all happened. And I tried to explain to her that, in the moment, I wasn’t even surprised. Because SO MANY terrible things have happened back to back that, naturally, this was the only thing that could happen. But I cannot BEGIN to tell you how angry I am. How angry I STILL am. Some days I’m so mad that its all I can do to just get out of the house and walk around until I’m too tired and cold to not be mad any more. I have fantasies of telling off the former director about how they ruined my life. I have fantasies of being on the witness stand at a trial of the gunman and blaming him for ruining my life and demanding that there is no release from prison for him because he is irredeemable.
And those things aren’t me. Or aren’t the “me” I’m used to. I’m not someone who lives with a fury bubbling just beneath the surface, ready to explode at a hapless victim. I’m not someone without mercy.
Except that I am. Because I feel like there has been no mercy for us, even though I know, logically, that we have been incredibly lucky. It is so INCREDIBLY frustrating. Because I want to keep talking about it, but when I sit down to write about it, its just an outpouring of rage that is both unfamiliar and distasteful and I’m so ashamed of it. Like I don’t have the right to be that angry or hurt or scared.
But I do. I have the right to it. I have a right to being upset, to breaking down, to still being damaged and hurt.
And it talks about losing friends and gaining them. And pushing them away. There are times I cannot BEAR to be in the room with other people because I feel like these people, my friends, who I love, would be so horrified at the thoughts in my head and that they can see them. That they can, somehow by looking at me, see what I’m thinking.
Its like a monster. Or that I’m becoming a monster. And I’m staring in the mirror and my reflection shows horns and fangs and a visage so awful that, were anyone to see it, they would run a stake through me or a silver bullet.
And its just because I’m hurt. And I’m scared. And I’m trying so very hard to be capable and that I can fake it. I can keep things together. But if something goes wrong…even a little something. That’s it. I have nothing left for the day.
But none of these things are me. These are the things that I have to be, right now, to survive. Things are already starting to sort themselves out into new realities and experiences. And, after having been through so much, I know the greatest cure is time. I know enough now, to know that, despite how painful and hard things are right now that time WILL make it easier to live through and last through.
“Time takes it all whether you want it to or not, time takes it all. Time bares it away, and in the end there is only darkness. Sometimes we find others in that darkness, and sometimes we lose them there again.”
But the thing is, I know that after the darkness comes the dawn. After the longest night comes day. After the winter comes the spring. All of the goodness and reward will come after the pain and agony that comes before. I just keep striving to find pockets of joy to hold out through the long winters night.
In the words of an old friend,
“Well. It would seem I’ve just bared my soul to you… Trust is a horrible thing… [this] made me face some things I usually like to keep buried. So I didn’t bare my whole soul to you only the basement. Where all the dark, dank secrets are held in dusty custody…I can’t quite sort things out half the time.. Mayhap you’ll have better luck.”
I feel better after moving all these basement boxes of emotions around. I’ll come upstairs, curl up by the fire, and leave those boxes to their own devices for awhile until I don’t need to open them any more.