I’m pretty sure there was a load of stuff I intended to do today, but after a couple of hours of reading, and a blog post about a potato (for which I am eternally sorry because what even was that?) my plans dissolved into endless labrador cuddles (for which I was extremely grateful, because my brain took the quiet time alone to finally let itself think about things). When you’ve piled up as much stuff as my denial and I have been piling up over the past few days, this is a necessary but pretty overwhelming step. I never realise I am ready to take it until I am already walking through things I didn’t think I was ready to face. It was time to step up and face reality, especially as there was no way to avoid it any more. Alone, with nobody to make insensitive comments or roll their eyes or get frustrated with me, I let myself think, and when my mind shied away from those thoughts, I turned it around and faced them again.
My dog snuggled up against my body and tucked his head into my neck, and I wrapped my arms around him in return (the only way he would stop nudging me with his nose). I watched him fall asleep as I tiptoed through the things I wasn’t ready to think about. I was glad that he wanted to be held, because I needed something to hold, something that won’t ever run when the going gets tough. Something that will never let me down.
My mind started pining for some human support, for some guidance, for an objective, un-emotional person just to talk to face-to-face. It was a longing so intense it became almost a physical ache, because I realised that I somehow blew all chances of that. I had that, a few months ago, but I became too good at pushing people away. I protected them but left myself vulnerable. I still felt that this was partially the right thing – at least for them, which was all that mattered… And yet, I really wanted somebody to be there – I don’t want to do this on my own, I don’t know how to. And yet… I am.
I am in a house full of my amazing family in a world full of people… And
it felt it feels like there’s nobody there except the fur I found between my fingers as I went to lift my hand to my face (like I said before, I reach out for hands and find only paws to hold). I looked down to see the big brown eyes of the dog that that fur was attached to staring back at mine as my heart was almost torn from my chest and left in the dust beneath the sofa we were laid on. I hugged him a little tighter, he sighed and snuggled further into my neck. I knew there and then that he would always be there, because he always has been, through the good and the bad. I buried my face in his fur and went to sleep on him – relaxed, safe, necessary. My heart didn’t break, neither did it sink, it remained firmly tethered to my furry rock.
The thing is, I’ve been bitten (metaphorically, don’t panic) so many times that I’m a thousand times shy. I find it hard to depend on people and when I do that’s a huge deal for me… And every time I’m stupid enough to let down my guard, they walk away with a huge chunk of who I was, and seemingly never look back. I’ve never really been able to confide in other family members, or talk to our family about stuff, because it would get back to my parents and often my family remain in the dark about my health, so that would cause a lot of arguments as to why they weren’t informed (sometimes all I want is for them to know, for someone to know, for someone to stand with me through it all without throwing frustration in my face). I finally approached my grandparents. I gave up caring what my parents would think of that. I didn’t say anything, I just asked if I could go and stay with them and my heart is already breaking at the thought of walking back into situations like those I am trying to remove myself from.
My grandma phoned a couple of days ago… And she was worried.
“She’s worried about having you there.” Well that was a punch in the gut.
“She wanted to know what to do if you get ill.” Winded.
“People are scared!” Hearing these words was like a hand to the throat, forcing me up against the wall of reality.
“Of me?” I was stunned, I don’t know why. All I’d met was frustration and misunderstanding and misinterpreted concern that wasn’t shown in ways I was trained to recognise… I’d never, through all of it, thought that people were scared of me. Scared. It’s one thing to annoy somebody, to make them want to hit you or scream or whatever… But to scare the people I love, to put them on edge, to make them afraid? How do you live with that? I didn’t know how to look at myself in the mirror, couldn’t even look down at my own hands. We were stood in the kitchen. I looked at the sink.
“People are scared to have you around because you’re so unwell!” Kick in the teeth, hammer to the skull, knife in the heart. Haemorrhaging.
“I-” What? How do you respond to that? I HATE MYSELF AND I AM SO, SO SORRY. I don’t want to stay with them. I don’t want to stay here. I want to set you all free from this why did nobody tell me people were scared? How do I stop it? Maybe I should just remove myself from existence and untether you all from the unpleasantness of my health. Tell me how to stop ruining you all. I’m so sorry. I really need someone because… I…
I’m scared too. (I FINALLY ADMITTED IT TO MYSELF)
And I tried to bury that for days. I wanted to blog it and I didn’t have the heart but it has been eating me alive.
At this point, I really wanted to talk to a uni parent; I don’t know why I’m so hung up on
the only two people in the entire world I could talk to, who cared and listened and were patient and told me over and over again that I wasn’t a bother even though I felt like a huge one them, but that ship has sailed, burned and sunk, so why am I diving around in the wreckage trying to salvage a piece of what once kept me out of the shark infested waters of thought that I am now drowning in? (Hurt me, hit me, shout at me, make me hate myself… But never let me down. “You don’t have to do this alone, we’ll get through this together” MY ARSE. You were just like the rest of them, and I hate you for that… But you’re still the only person I could talk to right now because you’re so blunt I don’t have to worry about what you really think).I wondered why everybody I trust ends up making me hate myself, and of course, my heart began to sink again.
I hugged my dog. He will never understand enough to be scared. He will never hurt me in any sense of the word. I just wish he could talk, because I really, really need someone to talk to (and the blogging community has been excellent at this for me recently).
I thought letting myself feel the hurt would let it pass. But fear… Fear is an awful, horrible, destructive thing. I love them so, so much… And they are scared of me.
People are scared.
And I am sorry for that with every single cell of my body (even the stupid ones that don’t want to work right).
And I am alone in this.
And maybe just a little bit terrified.
“People think being alone is lonely, but I don’t think that’s true. Being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.” – Kim Culbertson
P.S. To everybody who was ever under the illusion that I am inspirational or strong or whatever, I am sorry. Clearly I am not. In fact, I think I may be a bit of a monster. Aim to be something better than this. Ask anyone in this house and they’ll set you straight – in fact, they will probably plead with you not to turn out like this.