Scenes over the last few weeks:
Thank god for spring.
( Content warning: not giving a fuck about suicidality. )
A few days ago:
My head hurts. It's the steady ache of my days, separating dream from reality. Lucid dreaming's a snap when you have chronic pain; if I'm in reality, then I'm in pain. The ache in my head is unrelenting, though modest, a steady drumming thrum of plucked strings and high wires.
My heart hurts: it aches so deeply that I experience "heartbreak" as so much more than a word. Maybe it's impossible to convey, that searing agony that forces me to my knees and desperate tears to my face, denial already on my lips, like a punch from a cannon into my sternum. But—but—it passes. It dwells within me and then escapes, only to come back at the oddest times to remind me of the pain, to make me think "Oh god, I will die. I'm dying right now."
You say hername went with you on that hike, and I wonder what else you're keeping from me. I remember how you said, "I think it's for the best." I don't know what's for the best anymore.
The last section speaks to the fact that while under unimaginable emotional stress, Josh broke up with me for a few days.
I told him, fine, move out, but I'm keeping the lease. I rallied my support system, and played "So What" by P!nk a lot, but I was okay, fundamentally. That surprised me more than anything else. Afterwards, he said he was proud of me for telling him to get out and asserting myself like that.
"What would it look like if it weren't that"
, my social worker asks me.
She nearly interrupted me when I started talking, a pre-emptive apology for phrasing it badly—that's how I know she was either embarrassed or I make fun of people too much for weird phrasing, but I interrupted her right back and said "No, no, it stuck in my head."
I'd been rambling about how I worry, like usual, that i'm not helping anyone at work and that i'm a major burden, but she had said that and it felt ... like a splinter, like the tip of an iceberg that would drench me in cold water once I'd worked it out.
So I thought about it, pondered in my mind what that meant to me, her words, because I can never resist a challenge.
What would the opposite of your fear look like, perhaps. And I had this feeling, concurrent with a stumbling inability to put emotions to words that I've recently discovered as a barrier to discussing the most important parts of me—a decent yellow flag if you think of it that way—
I felt like "the opposite of my fear is what's in reality."
As in, if I fear that I'm a burden at work, the opposite of that would be a valued contributor who pays attention to the moment and plans for the future, is rooted in reality.In reality.Yes, I am a valued contributor at work
, says the evidence. But I'm not looking for the shadow of the mountain of evidence, I'm not listening to the appreciative thanks that land in my ears, I'm not running my fingers over the embroidered deeds and words and support I've given happily at work, so I don't know it.
I fear that Josh is tired of me and sickened by me, and the opposite of that is that he loves me and wants to be around me more often than he wants to be around anyone else. Again, I think that has evidence for it.
But how can I know what being a valued contributor would look like, or being really appreciated as a partner, because I've never had those experiences before or if I did, they came along too fleetingly for me to understand them, underscored by the long uncomfortable punctuations of being hurt instead of heard?
(Hurt instead of heard: a small flippancy to the dreadful experiences that I hope you'll forgive me.)
This has the flavor of the uncomfortable perspective shift that always accompanies epiphanies for the first few days.If I don't know what it is, if I haven't defined it for myself, then I won't ever know it even if I do encounter it.
If I don't know what it is, I wouldn't recognize it were it right in front of me. Yet being with Josh, and working this last month, I've had the very strong feeling that these experiences are distinctly different from others.
However, when it was only
with Josh, and me not seeing this effect in other areas of my life, perforce unique, entirely, to recognize that he values me. Adding to that when I got this job and they value me too, it wasn't as shocking
and it also meant——hey, this isn't just a fluke.
Somehow I find this revelation comforting, even affirming. It says to me "yes, Virginia, there is hope. These things do exist, and may even be in your life right now, but you haven't learned to recognize them.
Now I know
I haven't learned to recognize them.
As Archimedes said, give me a lever and a place to stand.
The opposite of my fear is what's in reality also has another meaning to me. I think sometimes I... react to my fears like they are
reality. Even often, I do that, perhaps. Certainly more than I want to.
The epiphany of these last few paragraphs serves to move my world view a few degrees, and here I am, rotated into seeing my life differently with that arc of space.
Many times I fear things that may not or probably won't happen and act as though they must BECOME reality at some point. For whatever reason: a fertile imagination, past bad experiences, playing too many video games——that last was a joke.
I don't want to waste my energy like that anymore. I have better things to do.