This Is Where I Say Something Witty

Get a grip.

This has become my mantra the past few weeks.

We saw Batwoman last night to get my supplements for my various mental and physical maladies. We were only supposed to stay for a few moments and leave, so don’t inquire as to how the situation went from a discussion of supplement dosage into a mother/daughter therapy session. I haven’t been remembering many details of conversations lately, usually I could type up word-for-word what happened, but nothing is in order in my mind lately, everything is scattered. I just remember laughing with Olga and my mom one moment and then crying on Batwoman’s shoulder moments before leaving the beautiful apartment building, with its white iron balconies and pretty bridges surrounding. I remember talking to my mom and having this conversation witnessed, like John Gottman’s ‘Love Labs’ which observed arguments between married couples to see which ones survived and which ones ended in a fiery divorce. My mind flicks to my latest day in Anatomy and Physiology class – the feeling of devastation when Mrs. Bare announced the weekly vocabulary quiz. I turned to my right and whispered over to Sydney, “Was that posted on the class site?”

“We have vocabulary, like, every week.” She replied before turning away. I felt Matthew watching me (a young man for another blog post entirely) and swallowed hard, staring with ice in my stomach at my blank notebook page where the definition assignment should have been lying plain as well. I flick back to saying goodbye to Olga, I suddenly sobbed and she stroked my hair like a mother would a child and spoke softly as she hugged me. I wanted to be comforted, but my mother was standing nearby, waiting for the tears to cease.

I want her to see I’m on her side, but I want Olga to help me.

I hold back when I speak directly to my mother, to Heather, to everyone in my life. Because no one needs my baggage. No one should have to be placed suddenly into the role of therapist when they have asked for nothing but simple conversation. But there is suddenly this person in my life, Batwoman herself, who has made it clear that (her words precisely) she would love to be my therapist. She wants to hear it all, she wants me to call her in the wee small hours when I need someone to talk to. It’s an incredible gift. No guilt, no regret. But I have yet to call her. Because she knows my mother.

The odd thing is, I trust her. She is what the Taoist monks would call a wood person. She creates boundaries and breaks them in her life, she is honorable, and she takes the initiative. I know she can be trusted because she does not gossip – it simply isn’t her, she is above it. I know if I asked her to then anything I say would go straight into a vault and never come out. But…

It’s been a long time since I completely let go of everything I was thinking to someone – I know, dear friends, here I am, baring my soul every few days. But this is different. To have that human connection and look someone in the eye while I say the things I tell all of you – there be dragons, either that or it’s the edge of the world. Heather used to be my unbounded confidant, but I care too much about her to put all of this onto her like I did before. I was so selfish, and I’m human enough that I still am, but now I know what I value enough to lie to.

Get a grip. Get a grip. Get a grip. Hold back here and there and write it out before stuffing it away in my doctors-bag style purse along with a dozen other little notepads and journals. Tiny progress reports on my life from there to here and onward. I sometimes wonder what the police, or anyone, would think if I were killed and they were stuck with all of it. Sorting through my various streams of consciousness at key points in my life. I’ve tried to read my notes through the eyes of an observer. Sometimes I feel envy, other times pity, others yet, anger. So much of my time is spent wondering how others perceive me – and trying to live up to, and move beyond, any of their expectations. But lately, I feel like I’m being dragged underwater, a ball and chain clamped to my ankle, pulling me down, down, down until I wonder if I should stop holding my breath – no, I am not holding my breath, I realize. I am not slowly and peacefully glancing wistfully up to the surface, wishing I could find my way back to where I once was. No.

I am thrashing. I am screaming, I am clawing at the open sea around me, watching the moon and the stars and everything I had such a clear view of turn murky and dark.

Get a grip. Get a grip. Get a grip.

I am so terrified of failure, of looking like a fool, of being perceived incorrectly, of having my character and reputation torn to shreds, that I’ve forgotten that it’s okay to look like an airhead. Appearances don’t matter and they won’t hold up anyway. But my mind is everywhere, I can’t remember what I used to remember so easily.

I don’t feel like I’m going crazy, I just feel like I’m losing my mind.

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

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5 thoughts on “This Is Where I Say Something Witty

  1. I don’t believe it is uncommon to fear what others may think of us, or to shrink from the idea of what they may perceive. I struggle with this often myself. It’s never really that we’re afraid that they will not like who we are; it’s a dread of being misunderstood. We are always afraid of making an inaccurate impression. Of making people think that we are something that we never were.

    It’s so hard to let go of things that have already been said and done, but can never be taken back. I often recall conversations from months ago, sometimes even years, where I said something, and wished ever after that I could have that moment to do again. I wonder why I care so much; if I’ve already corrected the situation, why do I feel the need to relive that mistake over and over again?

    I know this isn’t exactly encouragement. I just felt that I couldn’t go on reading your blog without saying something – anything – to let you know that I understand where you are, and I’m praying for you. Because God’s always here, He’s always listening, and He never gets the wrong impression.

    • About a year ago I suddenly realized I had a reputation amongst my family and friends of being this intelligent, determined, clever human being who could accomplish anything I wanted to. It was nice enough to enjoy while talking to hem, but there is always the inevitable moment when I have to get to work doing what they think I do. I’ve read more than once that the thing about cold readers (mentalists that use psychology and knowledge of human nature to pretend to be psychics) that makes them so sensational – that gives them such great reputations for accuracy in their readings, is that, at the end of the session, the customer will only remember what the cold reader got right, and forget what they got wrong. That seems to be what has happened – I have a flash of genuis every now and then, and anything that I lack in seems to have never been mentioned. There is a man, an inventor, who was interviewed by Psychology Today a few months ago, and he said the most important lesson he learned was that you can’t be afraid of looking like a fool. I want to be like that, unafraid of looking like a fool and asking every question I can think of. But I feel as though this is at large risk to the reputation that I’ve unwittingly built for myself. Certainly a lesson I need to work on.
      And your comment was encouraging, I will keep it in mind, I sincerely appreciate it.

  2. You’re not perfect, you’re only human, and we all have fears. It’s hard to discuss our fears with most people, and sometimes the biggest reason for that, is that we are afraid this person, who is supposed to love us, will no longer do so, once they see what a mess we are, but if the person is true, and they truly love you, then, they will always be there for you.

    Fear of ridicule, fear of looking foolish, fear of looking weak, all these are very natural, but hard to conquer and a lot of the time, we struggle.

    You say no one needs your baggage, but we all have baggage, and a true friend who loves you should be able to deal with it.

    If you ever feel like you cannot talk to anyone, then write it all down in a journal, that may sound like a waste of time, but it does work….(you can always email me too)

    • Fear of being alone causes people to do rather illogical things, I’ve noticed. I know Heather wouldn’t run, but she has so much on her mind already – getting married, going to college, saving every cent to have something to live off of when she leaves the nest for good. When I told her everything all the time, she worried about me, especially when I called her crying or going mad because my eating disorder wasn’t making me lose enough weight. I feel like I’ve treated her wrong by constantly sharing all of my problems. I don’t know, really, we haven’t been in contact very much at all because of her schooling, so any time I do talk to her or see her I want to be positive. I suppose a part of me does think she would stop making as many attempts to see me if they aren’t pleasant meetings, and I wouldn’t blame her.

      Thanks,Alannah 🙂 I’ll keep that in mind.

      • I do understand. I have a good friend who is going through a lot herself, and I do feel bad when I email her moaning about one of my problems, which are silly and petty when compared to hers.

        Just be sure to stay in contact with her and be there for her, that’s actually quite hard to do at time, because some of us, tend to overwhelm ourselves in our own problems. I’m guilty of that myself.

        Yes, the offer is always there 🙂

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