I’ve been thinking about what I’d write here for the last month.
It isn’t that I haven’t had ideas. I have several posts sitting in my drafts, getting dusty. I could’ve just pressed “publish” and and patted myself on the back for blogging. But something about those posts felt inauthentic to me. So I let them sit there. For weeks.
In the mean time, I’ve been to Boston to hang out with one of my best friends, started making friendship bracelets again, read four books (The Indian Bride by Karin Fossum, The Dissident by Nell Freudenberger, Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino, and Boundaries by Elizabeth Nunez). I nearly passed out while crossing Queens Boulevard after a hot Vinyasa class on a 96 degree day (in other words, I almost died). I’ve missed a man, started tapping, and gained five pounds. I’ve spazzed on a co-worker. I was annoyed, but the sheer nastiness that flew out of my mouth surprised even me, and while I think everyone else involved was also annoyed by his actions, my sharp Scorpio tongue was not completely warranted, especially at work. I’ve written in my journal and cried and prayed and spent a day on Long Beach wishing and hoping that summer will stay forever because my moods are so much heavier when it’s cold and dark out. And that’s pretty fucking awful. I’ve gotten bad news and planned fantasy vacations, bought a new dress in a bigger size and it still didn’t fit. I’ve worn makeup for the first time in a long while and gotten annoyed by the compliments, by people staring at me, telling me how pretty I am. Like, shut up. That is why I stopped wearing it in the first place. No one ever says I’m pretty without it. I’ve stared at my phone, waiting for it to ring, and turned it off for two days because it disappointed me. I’ve washed my hair twice and dreamed about locking it because I am tired of the constant maintenance my loose natural hair requires. I ate grilled chicken salad with fries three times in one week and remembered that, fifteen years ago, I would’ve just thrown it all up. I’ve seen friends hurt and I’ve wanted to hurt someone– a woman who finds ways to passively-aggressively intrude upon my life. She wants to know the truth, but she doesn’t want to ask. I know what I will say should she ever muster up the courage to ask what happened, nearly six years ago. Funny how the past haunts us both.
In my last post, I wondered if I had the tools to get through this on my own. I ditched my therapist a year ago because I didn’t feel like she was helping me. I chose her initially because she seemed to understand me. We were from similar backgrounds. But I think perhaps we crossed the line. She spoke to me sometimes as more of a friend. She revealed some of herself to me. And because of the things she revealed, I could no longer trust her with my secrets. I couldn’t tell her, my therapist, the things I can’t tell anyone. And if I couldn’t be candid with her, how could she help me? I stopped answering her calls. I never know how to break up with anyone.
The fact is, though, that I’m pretty sure yoga and prayer are not enough for me. When I first met my therapist, she made me complete a battery of tests and told me that I had no diagnosable mental disorder. This was the same thing I’d been told by a psychiatrist my mother took me to see when I was in high school, after I was almost suspended for cussing out a classmate in front of several teachers. In college, I was a peer counselor, and our requirements included attending sessions with our director, a licensed therapist herself. She told me she worried for me because I took on what other people felt and made it my own. I seemed self-destructive to her. A year later, a boyfriend told me, “You know what your problem is? You need to quit feeling sorry for yourself.”
The solution was that simple to him, and it seemed to make sense at the time. Whenever I’d hit a slump, like this one, I’d tell myself to get it together, to quit feeling sorry for myself. And I’d find something to distract myself and pretend I was okay.
It took me almost a decade to realize this: I don’t feel sorry for myself. I’ve had a fairly easy life. I know this. I appreciate it.
I am angry. With myself. Furious. Seething. For the mistakes I’ve made. For the secrets I can’t share.
I’ve been carrying this anger around with me for much of my life. It started from a tiny seed, deep in my belly, nearly 18 years ago. And it grew, flourished really, with each horrible predicament I placed myself in. Now it’s like kudzu, thriving and invasive. It’s what has me here, today, looking at my path, at what I feel are my only available options, and seeing the destruction Cassandra saw when she looked at me, when I was only 20 and clueless. Now I know what she was talking about.
I don’t need to quit feeling sorry for myself. I need deliverance.
Yoga and prayer help. They do. Yoga made me confront myself, made me acknowledge that I was even angry in the first place. I know I’ll never discuss any of these things that make me angry with anyone in my life. I don’t talk about my problems, because who wants to hear a privileged person complain? Even writing, sharing this is difficult.
The truth is, I just need a little help.