the day I start talking about the stitching on my purse, or the wind on my brittle bones, or the way my grandchildren are so disrespectful toward god-given morals- place me in a padded room. Hand me a book or two and put me in front of a mountain view. Remind me that life is full of so many beautiful challenges and small talk is for those who are weak and whose mind is deflating. Read me a poem about the weight of the world or one of my own. Even when I am eighty years old, the world will have so much to teach me that I would regret talking about anything less than the beauty of emotion, waves crashing or laughter. Please, never allow material things and everyday happenings or small talk to become what I fill my voided days with. I do not deserve a deflated life nor do I deserve the last thing I talk about to be whether or not I had velcro on my satchel. Push me cognitively until my synapses are no longer connecting. An entire life experienced and yet the only thing to consider is nail polish color. No thank you. I want to be inspired till the day I die.
A greeting- casual in fact. Two words that insinuate some kind of mutual exchange of friendliness. As if waiting for a response. Two words that come off as innocent, empty almost. As if somehow implying a lack of history. As my stomach dropped, my head became fuzzy, and my feet walked themselves out the door- those words echoed after me. But rather than empty, they were cold, full of resentment, anger, fear, history. It’s been six months of healing, of looking at the person growing in the mirror and becoming more and more confident, of everyday thinking about you less and less. And then with two words, and a glimpse of your snapback- you destroy that. You bring me back to a place of vulnerability- of hatred- of dependence. With two, empty words you bring me back to a place void of nothing but rather a place where every single emotion rushes through my bloodstream like poison.
They say when a snake bites you- you have to suck the poison out so the body can start healing itself rather than circulating the danger around the heart. Funny- how the animal kingdom is so applicable to the emotional damage we put ourselves through. I’ve sucked the poison out before- nearly drowned myself trying to prevent it from circulating my heart vessel.
Your bark has always been worse than your bite- it was your words that broke my bones rather than the sticks and stones you threw. But this time- you did both with two simple words. Once again inflicting your danger into my bloodstream-leaving me to save myself from a paralyzingly, slow death.
She was the sound of glass shattering- the sharp ringing in your ears. The perpetual motion of a spinning ballerina trapped inside a music box. The sad, tiny tune of of La Vie en rose.
She was the zig-zag in your straight line. The absence in your direction. She was every turn you took when racing through a hedge maze, against the setting sun.
She was the tide that came in and out, like the breath of the wounded. She was the blood that flowed between heart and head.
She was the book that was not written. The sentence that was not scripted. She was the word you wished you could have said.
I wander. Thats what I do- i get in the car and disappear without warning. Sometimes for a couple hours, sometimes for a couple of days. I grow silent. Thats what I do- I bottle every letter that is on the tip of my tongue and I shove them down my throat. I drink- thats what I do. I”ll take wine straight from the bottle or beer from a can. Keep your tequila. I curse, I scream, I say shit under my breath. I cry, I grieve, I grow restless. When I decide I want something- there is no turning back. When I decide I hate something- there is no turning back. I will not bring up my political opinions until you disrespect someone’s human rights but I will judge what shoes you are wearing without blinking. I want to go camping and hiking and fishing but goddamn it- I want my bubble bath with candles afterwards. I beg for constructive criticism but the second you question a decision I have made, I will verbally attack you. I am spontaneous but appreciate punctuality and itineraries. I go with the flow but want it to be structured. I need to know what the rules are so I am able to know just how far I can break them. I take people in with open arms but my door is always locked. I wear hoodies every chance I get but I’ll be rocking booty shorts right underneath; jeans, boots, and a tank top. I like my men bald with a beard and hairy chests. I want to work with children every day of my life but I do not crave to have one flourish within my womb. The sunset is the most beautiful part of the day but I’ll get up for the sunrise any day.
I contradict myself on the daily- in any conversation, with the clothes that I wear and the attitude I maintain. I hate marshmallows but love s’mores. Get the picture? I will make you cringe, cry, belly laugh, slam doors, drink away your frustrations, throw you surprise parties, and never walk away angry. I will make you crazy, tired, ecstatic. Am I more than you bargained for yet?
I am confused. I am lost. I am hurt. I am wandering, praying, crying, breaking, and barely making it through each and every day. But do not pity me. Do not belittle my sadness with memories of happier days. Do not threaten me with a good time to get me through the night. Do not think for one second that I will not make it through this- do not think for one second that I am uncertain about my future, my dreams, my strengths simply because I am uncertain of who I see in the mirror. I do not want your sympathy, I do not want your comfort, words of encouragement, or guiding hand. I see my dreams, my achievements, and my future goals sitting in front of me ready for the taking. I see the road I have to take in order to reach them. I will and without your approval, pity, and/or support. Get your binoculars because this road is my own to travel.
You. You helped me grow into one of the strongest versions of myself. I became confident in what I believed in, I had a dream I knew I could achieve, I woke up every single day happy with who I was and the way my life was going. You constantly told me how strong, motivated, and powerful I was and could continue to be. I believed you. I took the world into my own hands and accomplished everything I have ever dreamed to because of the strength you helped me develop.
Then, I met you. You intrigued me, worried me, pushed me to new boundaries of how I understood the world. And you so quickly turned that fascination with life and the world into fear and brokenness. You took my confidence and ripped it apart one by one. You found the things I was good at and found flaws in every single one of them. You deemed my world small, irrelevant, worthless. You claimed my dreams and accomplishments were useless and complacent. You broke me down to the lowest version of myself physically and figuratively. You broke my confidence, my idea of the world and most importantly my vulnerability toward the world. You took me at my weakest point and blasted that for the world to see. You shattered me.
And now, I am sitting in a coffee shop-halfway across the country-running from both of you. Running from myself and the jumbled mess of what the two of you have created within me. I am made of a silent confidence that I no longer let show. I hide my fears behind brutal sarcasm and a straight face. I do not want to show my weaknesses nor my strength because I don’t want a response from either of you. The combination between being so high, so courageous, so confident and then being so low, so scared, so near rock bottom- has made me unaware of where exactly I am. Some days I am proud, other days embarrassed. Some days I am taking the world on with every ounce of my being and other days I am hiding under my blankets scared to show my face. I want to be able to blame both of you for the pain I am feeling but cannot bring myself to honestly tell either one of you.