Write on track

Deep down in the deepest darkest place where hope lives, a writer sits and waits.

I’ve always been drawn to writing.  It’s the hardest and best thing I can ever do.

I set myself goals, do a Nanowrimo here and there.  I struggle and strain to put the words on the page.  I think about my characters, I think about who they are.  I worry when I’ve left my protagonist stuck on a mountain top and I don’t know what comes next.

I think I’m not doing enough.  I’m not clever enough.  Not polished enough.

Recently I read a blog that said writers have to be careful not to let their blogging get in the way of their actual real writing.
And I get that.  And I’ve judged myself for it.  Because here I’m churning out words almost everyday.  As for my WIP?  Not so much.

I’ve beaten myself up over that fact.  I should be writing, doing my proper writing.

Except right now, writing here creates a space.  And everyday it creates more and more space in my head.  Years of thoughts and worries and misconceptions about myself are making themselves known on the page in front of me.  There is a silence in me, a silence that gets bigger and bigger with every word.

In silence, my true voice can finally be heard.  And it is and will be the voice of my dreams.

The Lord helps those who help themselves.

Years ago, during a short lived stint of therapy I learnt about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

Basically, you look at a problem and ask yourself if you can deal with it right here right now.  If the answer is yes then you use the CBT process to work through the stages of addressing the problem.  Sounds great right?

Sure does.  Except if the answer is no, I can’t do anything about this right now, CBT allows you put the problem aside to come back to later.

Well, I heard this and woohoo!  This information was like the voice of God.  Not only did I not have to chew over every piece of crap that was worrying me, I could actively send it away.

The key to CBT though is to come back.

Aaaaahhhh, but not for me.  I put shit aside, I pushed it down, I looked the other way.  CBT said I could.
I stopped looking at my anxiety.  I stopped looking at my unhappiness.
I swung from one extreme to the other.  I went from fixating on every little thing to almost ceasing to exist on an emotional level.
And for someone who struggles with emotional regulation and had experienced a lifetime of abuses, this left me in a very dangerous spot.
Now I was relying on others to tell me if things were bad.  Some of those people were not trustworthy, others ill-equipped.

I had handed my life over to other people to decide what was good for me.
I was desperate for help, and it seemed my every action and inaction cried out for it.

I don’t think you know how I feel.

Sometimes self harm looks like suicide.

Typically we cut and there’s blood and making yourself bleed means you want to die.  Right?

Then it’s very small leap to make to think that instead of just self harming, you really do want to end your life.

I remember, not long after my eldest child was born, sitting in the bath as he screamed in the next room.  I remember my husband treating me with disdain as I asked him to help me with the baby.

“He’s your kid” he said.  “You wanted him”
I remember feeling confused.  Wasn’t he the same man who openly wept as he held his tiny child for the first time only weeks before?

Entirely hopeless, my mind buzzed as I broke open the disposable razor.  I hated the sensation of the sharp edge against the thin skin of my wrist.  I hated the sting.
But the red blood signified something.  It offered something tangible.
“This how I feel!”  Help me.

And in the other room the baby still cried, and somehow that lonely noise pulled me out of myself.

He was alone too.  And whatever I was doing there in the bath, in my despair, placed him at risk.

What if I did kill myself.  What if I died and he grew up to blame himself?

That was not a burden I could put on him.  I was hopeless and floundering, but I couldn’t abandon my helpless child.

The blood didn’t mean I wanted to die.  It meant I needed help.

It would be a long time coming.

 

Am I not pretty enough?

Every parent is doing the best they can with the skills they have at the time.

At least that’s what they say.

But what if that just isn’t enough?

What if, you (me really) deserved better?

What if you deserved to know you were loved?
What if you deserved to feel accepted, unconditionally.
What if a hug, or a kiss good night as you were being tucked into bed, what if that was the thing that would have made all the difference?

What if, instead of being made to feel like an outsider, or being told to go away, you were made to feel safe and wanted and important?
What if you deserved all of that, and your parents just fucked it up?

What then?

 

Who’s the fairest of them all?

What do you think when you come here and read?

“This person’s a jerk, a giant babywoman complaining and whining about nothing in particular”

Or maybe you think – “here’s a bunch of introspective navel gazing wank…”

Perhaps you see a human who’s struggling.

Or perhaps someone’s who’s winning despite all the angst.

I don’t know what I see when I come here and read.

The picture isn’t any clearer from this side.

The mirror is old, the reflection cracked.

And sometimes I feel like I’m looking at myself, over my own shoulder.

 

 

Home Sweet Home.

Things I remember as a kid.

We lived in an old house, and from a very early age my parents would leave me alone, unsupervised.

I snooped through drawers and cupboards.  I knew every nook and cranny.  I found and ate food my mother had hidden.  I knew where my dad hid his porno mags, and where mum hid the Christmas presents.
One day as they were going out my parents said to me “See that power outlet?”

I saw it.  It was the old fashioned kind, black bakerlite – real old school dangerous.
I nodded “Yep”
“Well, don’t stick a fork or anything in it, because you’ll get electrocuted,” my dad said.

The instant I saw the car reverse out of the driveway, I was straight into the kitchen to find a fork.  I climbed up onto a chair and I poked that fork into the socket.

I can’t remember what happened next exactly, but my parents came home many hours later, and my arm still hurt from the electric current that had shot through it.

Another time we went to family barbecue.  There was very little for the kids to do – you know because it was the 1980s and kids were still expected to be seen and not heard- so me and some other kids were just wandering around this person’s garden.

Then my dad pipes up “See that bush over there?” And he’s pointing at the biggest chilli plant I’ve ever seen.
All the kids nod.
“Well whatever you do, don’t pick one of the chillies then touch your eyes or mouth or nose….”

Well, I think you can guess what happened next.

My little faced burned and tingled for hours after.

You might think the common factor here was me doing stupid shit repeatedly.  But I think, that’s a thing all kids do.

No, in fact the commonality here for me is that even at that very young age, I knew that if I made a mistake, even one that put me in harms way – there was no one to tell.

I never said a word, and no one ever asked.

I’d learnt how to keep secrets.

 

You’re the victim.

I am no mere victim in my own life.

I have been harmed and in being harmed I have harmed others.

I’ve shouted.  I’ve lied.  I’ve hit.  I’ve hated and hissed venom.

I’ve wished for and said the most awful things to those closest to me.

And often I’ve felt nothing but justified.

Remorse is hard.  It’s a thing I have to work on.

I’ve never really seen it.  I know people apologise.  I know it’s an integral part of any relationship.  But the words often sit like a lead weight in my throat.

I’d rather drive my car into a lake.

Is that a fear of being vulnerable?

Or is it really that deep down/right below the surface, I’m a despicable, self centred ego maniac, just attempting to be human?

I’m trying to fit in.  I want to be the good person other people see I am.

But maybe I’m a wolf in sheeps clothing.  Maybe that’s all I’ll ever be.