Dryad by Evelyn De Morgan
Sometimes I struggle to write. Part of me still wants to pretend that I'm over it, none of that stuff I write about affects me anymore, and I’m done with all the emotional stuff. If I try to ignore what I'm feeling, though, it becomes stronger, more insistent. When I write about it, I feel more myself. I like myself more. I have problems, and that's okay. We all have problems.
I have struggled this week with feeling like I am a problem. I just talked to a friend who suggested that now is a good time to shed that image of myself. After a childhood of having that message pounded into me (literally), I still see myself in a certain way. That I can't do anything right. That anything I'm involved in will be a disaster. That I'm destined to be a failure. I face my future with a lingering feeling of dread- more bad things are sure to happen. If I start to think that I'm happy, my world is going to come crashing down again.
It broke my heart when I read some of my brother's writing after he killed himself, because he talked about feeling like a failure. He was only 19, and he was not a failure. He was smart and funny and sweet, and had so much going for him. I've wanted to talk to him so badly this week. Sometimes I feel so anxious about making decisions, because I'm sure I'll make the wrong decision. Then I beat myself up over stupid things, often over things I had very little control over. Things that are in the past that I really can’t do anything about now. Sometimes I try to take the easy way out, let someone else make the decision because that way I'm not responsible for it. That doesn't work either because I get angry with myself for letting someone else decide for me.
I tried to counter that feeling I was having this week by making decisions. Some were small decisions that were still difficult for one reason or another, and one was a very big decision about my life that I can't talk about on my beloved blog quite yet. A lot of people already know because I have talked about it a lot in the last 3 weeks. I started to feel like I was just dragging the decision out even after I had talked to practically everyone, weighed all the pros and cons, and had all the information I needed. So I decided. Whenever I go through major changes, whether it's moving or starting a job or what have you, I go through the grief of not having my brother to be there for me. He was my stability, and without him, I feel lost and groundless so much of the time. I hope that someday I will find that sense of stability in myself. I have found, even in the last 3 months, a confidence that I didn't have before. I feel more sure of myself. Even 6 months ago, I never could have decided to make such a big change in my life. The anxiety, the what if's and worst case scenarios would have paralyzed me.
Perfectionism still haunts me. I get the feeling that a lot of adults who were abused as children struggle with it. If only you were perfect, people would like and accept you, your parents would be supportive and treat you right, your relationships would work out, your houseplants would flourish, and your apartment would never be messy. If only, if only. If only I didn't see every situation as an opportunity for me to screw everything up. If only I didn't put that kind of pressure on myself. I feel my brother standing beside me, and he’s saying, don't be so hard on yourself. Look what happened to me.
I am ready to move on from that. I have what I see as the real me- the me that is confident and happy and doesn't take myself so seriously. The part of me that has doubts and fear and feels burned by life is there too. I have to acknowledge those feelings. They've found a voice in my blog, and I've discovered that other people feel those things too. My life is not such a disaster.
This is totally unrelated, but my apartment is freezing cold. I am reeeeallly sick of the weather here. I've had about as much of the rain as I can stand. It's damp enough in here to grow mushrooms. Did you know you can find psychedelic mushrooms growing around Seattle? You can just pick them, and eat them, and, you get the idea. Not that I have any personal experience with that. I do have plenty of personal experience walking the streets of Seattle getting rained on. Enough to last a lifetime. I know its sacrilege to complain about the rain. It calls your status as a true Seattleite into question. I’ve lived here for 14 years, though, and I wanna be warm!