Giving The Thoughts Their Voice

It has been a while since I’ve posted here. I am not sure there is any more cliche line on the blogosphere than that opening sentence, but it is the truth, and I can identify most of the factors that have led to that: the need to distance myself from such close contact with all the stories that were worsening my own mental health; losing my ability to express myself; being unwilling to expose myself to those who happened upon this space in search of poetry, and not the unwieldy emotions of an emotionally stunted girl; a lack of willingness to deal with said emotions; and sometimes, guilt, and frustration at being chained to emotional experiences that seem circular in nature, that are circular in nature.

Those factors have all significantly influenced my inability to word vomit in meaningful ways, but none moreso than the latter two. I suppose this can be considered me caving to the need to express how I feel, word vomits, and all. Twitter meltdowns can only do so much–something I have known since I first began to use it as a crutch, and people have never really been very present options–difficult to turn to them when they are the centre of your distress; are willing but inept at being there; or have become such representations of danger to you, that your entire being revolts at the idea of trusting them. Still, I am not sure that I would have cracked, if it did not feel so important to organise my thoughts, and see them all laid out, structured, and articulate, so that my feelings could stop pulling me in the distressing tug of war of, “You’re right to feel this way, but you’re also wrong. Every thought, and feeling, and every bit of anger, and hurt, is wrong. All wrong. Petty. Immature. Unfair.”

At some point, one has to weigh one’s sanity over one’s pride, and tendency to feel guilty over one’s right to acknowledge harm.

I guess we can say, that I am at that point.

It isn’t that I don’t know that I am entitled to these feelings; that I don’t understand that they are free to exist because I matter, too, but my God, is it hard to give them their right to exist when you once spent a significant part of your life convincing yourself that they didn’t matter; that they do matter, but that they should be ignored because they’re too strong a reaction, or the circumstances that led to the source of your hurt occurring, mean that you should be considerate of them, of that, of everything, and everyone, but yourself, because they need this–you, a forgiving, and open wound to be poured into, and ‘indifferent’ in all the ways that free them of accountability, and guilt.

God is it hard to hold people accountable when you’re terrified of hurting them, of destroying all the progress they’ve made, or the great place they’ve finally, finally gotten to…sometimes on the back of your own destruction. And I thought I could do that forever: always be some kind of bottomless container for people to pour their worst things into, because I was unbreakable, I was strong, I could handle it; it was only fair that I gave them what I did not need. But I was wrong. Very, very wrong. And the burnout was so severe, that I am still reeling from it. How does one spend only twenty two years on Earth, and burnout before one has even gotten to the ‘real’ stuff? But I did, and it was bad. It is bad.

It feels like a motor struggling to keep going; cutting out, and starting back up again, convinced that this time, it’s okay, it can keep going, it can keep pulling all this weight, and carrying things it was perhaps never meant to. And it sucks. It is horrible. It is like a never-ending well of exhaustion. Different from the depression exhaustion–that one is a dryness made of listlessness, and lack of motivation, and just…an exhaustion from existing, from trying to exist, from trying to convince yourself that you should do, and do, and do, so that you can have an existence when you wake up from…whatever this is supposed to be. But that burnout? That ‘I’m so tired I could cry from the sheer exhaustion.’? That ‘I want to give, but it feels like I’m pulling from nothing, like there isn’t even a vacuum, or a void there, just the absence of a bottom beyond this bottom’? That is an entirely different feeling. The knowledge that there is no further to go. That there is nothing else that can be pulled from that place within you, to give, because this is it. You are empty. There are no reserves. There isn’t a reservoir. There is just you, and this dryness.

I can’t believe that it has been at least one year later since it first happened, since I first realised that I had nothing left to give, and I still feel like…I…have nothing left to give? And I feel so unbelievably guilty for it. I feel like a shitty friend for not being able to laugh things off, and return to ‘equilibrium’; for not being more patient, and willing to push back when I know they aren’t okay; for not trying harder; for not doing more to show that I am still there; for becoming the very thing I hated most in my life–being the undependable person, the one always too late, or being too little, or too distant, or there, but not really there at all. And I hate it. Absolutely despise it. But I’m not okay either? I’m not okay. I’m angry, and hurt, and I want it to be known, and acknowledged, and to not feel petty, and unforgiving for the fact that there is damage, and I resent it. I resent that the only people I cared about, the only people I was willing to be destroyed for, to allow to hurt me, and see me in ways that I considered rightfully theirs, are the ones who are at the centre of the damage done to me. That I resent that they broke me in ways my uncle’s actions never could, or never will.

I am furious. I am furious that I am still finding damage. That I am still finding destruction when I think that I am healed. That I can stumble across posts on emotional abuse, and say, ‘This is familiar. This was done to me.’ That those posts, and people unintentionally screw me up for hours. That I am here right now because I stumbled across a ‘funny’ meme, and had a split second gut reaction where I wondered, ‘Had someone gotten a hold of one of our conversations, and posted it?’ even though I knew it was impossible; that I would never reveal something so humiliating as the time when I felt like I deserved to be hurt, or knew that you treated me like I wasn’t worthy of more, but I took it because I loved you. That I forced myself to laugh at the stupid, frigging meme, even though my body immediately began to spiral into hurt, and anxiety, after weeks of feeling nothing. 

I am furious. So furious. And I resent the fact that my inept attempts at explaining why I can’t stop throwing pithy, sarcastic comments that we all laugh at, are only the surface of what I feel. That I rarely use profanity, but every time I am accidentally forced to confront the sheer scope of the damage done to me, I want to say, ‘Fuck you.’; that I would genuinely not care if you walked off a cliff, and yet…I can’t, which is what I resent the most. That despite being so aware of all that has been done to me; that I will continue to find more damage that I will ineptly attempt to explain, while my frigging tongue stumbles, and I stutter, because my mind refuses to give me the words to say what was done to me, and to hold you accountable for it, I will still never be able to walk completely away, or turn off the care that still guides my actions, because it is automatic that I make sure everyone is okay; that I make sure they know no matter how angry, or disappointed, or disgusted I am; that I am still there, and available.

I do still resent the fact that a year later, even the thought of being emotionally close to other people, leaves my body strumming with tension. I resent that the very idea of other people, caring about newer humans, terrifies me, because I’ve seen myself destroyed, seen myself give until there was nothing left to give, and then been told by the people I’d done that for, that I was a fool to have ever done so. I resent that no matter what I say, or how I say it, I will always come away seeming like the one who has made mountains out of molehills, because I worked so hard to protect others from themselves, I forgot to protect me from me, and them. I resent that I grew to hate the parts of me that were my best selves; that were the soft, and gentle, and kind, but truly, most of all, I will perhaps never cease to resent that I will always be there. That the reason I will always find myself re-experiencing the same feelings, rehashing the same conversations, demanding an iota of the respect, and concern I deserve as a person, is not because I ‘can’t let things go’, or because “[I] forget nothing.”, but rather, because I will always be trapped in the same unhealthy patterns–where I cease to exist–because despite what you’ve always said, beneath the surface, the implied requests that I be there, sustaining, pretend that I need nothing, while given nothing of sustenance in return, is our implicit agreement that I cease to exist so that you can.

I resent not the giving, but the demand that I shrink away, shrivel up, and die, so that you might be free of guilt, and responsibility. That is why I put my foot down. That is why I became cruel, and unforgiving. Not because I couldn’t forgive it all, but because I was only worth the effort if there was no effort at all.

***

This made me feel better, surprisingly enough. It felt good to touch the tip of the iceberg, and give it a voice.

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Ghosts.

Ghosts.

 

Note: This shares a name with an older one-line piece.

Additional Note: (I am about to begin back-posting pieces from NaPoWriMo–which I will post in order, meaning they will probably not show up after this one, but rather between Capture. and Rising Birds Reminds Me of Home. I will also most likely push out one essay to cover what the last year/two of poems don’t)–so if you need to, do mute/adjust your notifications. Although, as fair warning, I almost always write in spurts (of 2-3 poems), so…)