The change happened gradually. I couldn’t tell you when or where it began. It’s just one of life’s fleeting moments now… but why does it slip into my mind so often? Is my subconscious trying to relay a message to me now, 16 years later? At least, that’s when I really started to noticed it. I didn’t think too much of it before that- though I always knew something felt wrong.
The message never left. The message made itself right at home. The message is engrained in my brain, and no amount of pills or therapy could erase it.
The loneliness, the emptiness, the feeling that everyone is just slightly out of reach… That’s the message I’ve been told since I was a child. The message has been relayed in hundreds of different ways. Being left alone at home so young and for so long. Feeling like I didn’t even belong in my own home. Feeling like an outsider every single time I moved. The stares and glares of my peers; their eyes cutting deep into my soul. I don’t know if they realized what they’ve done. For every door that closed, when another one opened, I closed my eyes. I was too afraid to see what was beyond it. All I saw was darkness.
I don’t know where the source of it began.
Even right now, when I think about all my yesterdays, it’s almost suffocating me. There’s so many voices and memories that want to be heard. They’re plunging their way out of my throat so they can be seen, so they’re not forgotten. They’ve become covered in dust because digging around for them is too exhausting, too painful now. I see them there, but I don’t look too long.
I feel myself pulling away from reality right now. I’m trying to acknowledge so many thoughts and feelings right now that my brain wants to shut off. But I don’t want to turn out the lights right now. I need to get this out of my mind.
I feel so alone, even with so many people around me. I’m alone when you’re there, when she’s there, when he’s there. The empty exchanges I share with those along the way. You’d think that in such a vast world, I’d feel whole. But no. I am not whole.
So many parts of me died long ago, and I’ve been trying to bring them back to life all this time. I don’t think it’s possible; I can only bring to life new things along the way now that fill those spaces up. I don’t know if these things that fill up these empty spaces are permanent or if they will also die out, only for me to find a new thing. Maybe these things are ever-changing. Nothing is permanent, after all. But even in this non-linear reality, my heart keeps breaking and my feelings sink further below the surface of what any of you see.
I remember a little girl, lost and alone. I remember her standing at her bedroom window staring outside, her headphones on. She had the album ‘Mizundastood” by Pink on repeat. The messages were so more mature than she should’ve comprehended, but she understood. She absorbed every message. It resonated with her. Was a 12 year old supposed to feel so dead inside? How could these songs be the only thing that gave her a little bit more life? These songs… they were her tangible companion in her solitude. Music was all that stayed. It still has remained.
That little girl was me. Those moments have never stopped. I’m still looking out that window, staring into the nothing. But now, I’m just a shell of who she was.
I never learned how to handle those moments, never knew how to process the feelings. Nobody showed me how. I grew up on my own, teaching myself and observing how things were supposed to be or how someone was supposed to feel. I did the best I could for how young I was. I’m still trying. A result of that dysfunction is everything I am now.
All these emotions, all these thoughts, everything I feel can be so overwhelming. As I’ve grown through my time, all the way I process these things have changed. It’s gotten worse at times, better at others. It’s still a gradual process. Some days, I’m strong and I can take on the weight of the world. Other days, waking up my brain and opening my eyes is too heavy of a task to do. Days like these, thinking clearly isn’t an option. I used to act on impulse to try and rid myself of these uncomfortable feelings.
These days though, I numb myself mentally. I check out. I dissociate. I drift away on autopilot so I don’t have to process the emotions, thoughts and feelings. Even as I write this, I’m on complete autopilot. This has been my coping mechanism for awhile now. I realized acting on impulse did no good for me. The better choice is to slip away than to face the feelings. This is how I currently process things. Is it healthy? I don’t know. I’d rather be in this almost catatonic state than out in the world. Here in the shadows, I’m safe. And yet… I’m still left to my own devices.
My feelings are just too intense to feel. I’ve somehow learned how to fence them in and cast them out. As I write this, I’m pushing feelings of insecurity and abandonment away from me. I don’t want to face them because they’re only there to instigate confusion and overthinking. I don’t want to feel them… I’m just drifting away. I refuse to feel them right now, and I refuse to think of the things that have provoked these feelings.
My feelings don’t mean a single thing, anyway. They never did, and they still don’t. I was taught that at a young age… the invalidation only grew. Now here I am, at 28, invalidating myself because that’s all that makes sense in these moments of crises.
Please don’t look at me- all you’ll see is a lonely little girl whose lost her way, once again. She grew up on a broken path, without a hand to hold. The rain clouds are rolling in, casting themselves above this path and begin to pour down.
The phantom of that little girl is still on this path, looking for the pieces of her broken heart.
How tragic knowing that she’ll never find all the pieces again.