In a split second, the weight of my mind can become unbearable. The feeling of my skin disgusts me. I remember everything that makes me ugly, all the anger and how I have hurt people. I start thinking about everything I have lost. I weave myself into the fabric of lies I believe in, as if they are prophecy. I become the nightmare. I become the noise.
Why does it still surprise me how easily, at 49, I can go from feeling good about something that I have achieved, feeling like I might actually not be a total failure, to feeling small and worthless, hating myself so fiercely I can barely breathe?
I started the year feeling pretty good, dare I say even a bit positive, about my writing and what I may be able to achieve in the future. But, it all turned to muck when my sister sang one song, so beautifully, while looking like a model doing it. When she sings, or talks or walks, or just stands on the pavement, the world stops and the light shines only on her. She was meant for it. She glows beneath it. I just seem to fall again and again into the dirt, as if I should be hidden away, disgusting and sad, something to be ashamed of.
When we were children, my Mom had special names for me and my older sister. She was pearl and I was plumb. That pretty much sums up who we have been all of our lives. She is something lovely and precious, protected by a shell. I am a fruit that when dried, helps people shit. She is pristine and special. I am crap. Living in the shadow of perfection, when you are composed of scraps and garbage, is impossible and so incredibly painful. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of blaming her, for far too many years.
I want so much to be able to look at my sister and simply feel proud, not be so fucking narcissistic that her success leads me to feeling worthless. And as far as her being beautiful and smart and musically talented (and the list goes on), well, that is all just genetic luck. She got all the good stuff from my parents, but that isn’t her fault. It is just how it turned out. I love my sister and I am incredibly proud of her; she has had an adventurous and successful life in so many ways, but when I think about it, I turn a scope onto all the ways my own life has been an undertaking of failure. It isn’t fair to her. I haven’t been fair to her. Just another of my failings. But, I don’t blame her.
My thoughts are in a loop and make no sense.
Today I started thinking about things I have loved to do and realized that so many of those things are no longer a part of my life. I remember spending hours, sometimes an entire day, on the couch, reading; it was one of my favorite things to do. Now, I don’t even have a couch I can lie down on, and even if I did, the four animals I share space with would never allow it. I used to love going to the movies in the afternoon when the theaters were almost empty. I haven’t been to a movie theater in years. Money and time always seem to be on short supply. Probably something of my own design to keep me wrapped up in depression. I remember loving to drive to beautiful hiking spots, just me and music and trees. I loved leaving the city and the noise behind. I used to love having a nap when I was so exhausted my body hurt. But, I can’t nap. There is too much noise. I am so tired.
I have been thinking about noise, feeling so repelled by it. I feel suffocated by the sounds on my block, the screams that have been burned into the pavement with rage and permanence. I feel battered by shouting and raving and barking and greed. I am surrounded by filth, afraid to take a step, wanting only to stay inside, but even inside, there is no space that feels comfortable or quiet.
How is it that in the morning I can snatch up glimmers of hope, while the city sleeps, but by afternoon, I am shackled to the repetitious brutality of my own mind? How is it that I breathe when I was never meant to? How is it that tomorrow, I will rise from bed and still hope, still believe that one day it can get better?
I am not looking to be told that my mind is full of lies or that I am somehow not the piece of shit I believe myself to be. I am not looking for reassurance that I can be something different or better, if only I try. I am not looking outward…..perhaps that is the problem. But for now, in this moment on this afternoon, I need to simply share the words that live in the confines of my mind. No matter how fucked up they may seem.