i’m supposed to be working on my book today. for those of you who are frequent flyers here at accidental happiness airlines, you may recall that i am writing a book of memoirs. no? oh, well i did tell you, so you must have missed that blog. this was the weekend i intended to finish up the final editing; but life’s little lessons get in the way, and i see i must face some of my demons before i share them with the world.
Demon #1: Shyorcifel (also known as fear of intimacy)
i’ve been getting in touch with friends from my past, and i see that the vast majority of folk my age have spouses and children and homes. i began to scold myself today for not having a lover, and what is wrong with me, and all of that kind of thing. but i realized pretty quickly that the reason i am still single is that i never let anyone get close, and i never let men (or most of my friends for that matter) see the real me. it’s scary to think that you would hope in someone to love you on your worst day, with a big juicy zit on your nose, and no makeup on, walking around in yoga pants with holes in the ass, and then your supposed to trust that this person loves you when they’ve been around you at these times? when you’ve done something sinister or selfish? when you’ve told about your horrid past and how messed up you are? see, it’s easier to just never get to that level.
and that’s why i’m still single. so i have to wrestle with the intimacy demon and work out the kinks in my emotional vulnerability quotas.
Demon #2: Keeperoscipase (also known as Obssessive Hoarding)
ok, i’m not actually a hoarder. i lovingly refer to it as ‘being a Picker’. i collect. and while i love my books and papers and ephemera, my toys and clothes and crafts, i’m not going to be auditioning for “Hoarders” anytime soon. but – having watched my first episode today – i can see that i am made of the same fabric as these others. we are people who are afraid.
afraid of losing someone. afraid of letting go of the past. afraid of living in the now, and the uncertainties of life. afraid of forgetting something, or not having what we need, or throwing away something important or of value.
afraid of letting people in. afraid of looking deep inside. afraid of admitting we’ve been hurt, killed, beaten, worn down, abused, neglected and abandoned. afraid of being seen for what we are: weak, vulnerable, and hurting.
but hey! look at that. the entire human race is in this category. and while i might wash my hands too many times after tucking away another thirty copies of fiction titles i’ll never read, you might be socking down your thirteenth bottle of Labatts, or losing the use of your right arm due to a slip up with a bookie.
we’re all of us broken, wounded, beautiful creatures. and the fascinating part of life is watching each of us uncover the treasure beneath all the outer layerings of crap.
I’m still alive.
Maybe that should be my motto in life.
What I mean is that I’m still alive, even though I haven’t been blogging lately. Not because I don’t have anything to say, or get off my chest, but because I haven’t had the strength to do it. To write about it. To expose myself.
And even there I’m wrong, because I have the strength, I just haven’t had the energy. It seems that many things have come on me at once, and I have had to face many dark and ugly skeletons in my closet all at the same time. I’ve talked on here about building a fortress for myself, like I were a little Rapunzel come to life from the fairy tales. Lately, it’s as if a herd of giants have bombed my fortress, while a devastating earthquake hit, while the draught ate up all my vegetable garden and the wicked witch stole off with my prince charming. And while I love my interesting, tragic, colorful life (because it makes for awesome poems and deep emotional writing) it is sometimes tiring and draining.
I shan’t reveal all my secrets here, because I imagine I can drag out my dramas for at least a few good blogs, but I feel I must at least lay down the basics of my current drama, for myself, and I guess to explain my absence to any stoppers by who have become regular visitors and were wondering if I’d finally gotten around to shooting myself. And no, because guns are loud. Knives are shiny and prettier. Also they can act as tools if you lock yourself out of the house, though I suppose you could bash in your window with your gun, so that argument doesn’t really hold much.
Several weeks ago, maybe months ago at this point, my mother came to visit, and I haven’t fully recovered from that. Not because of HER, exactly, but because parts of the visit brought up some very dark, very difficult realities in my life. There will be several blogs related to this issue when I am able to deal with actually talking about it all, but the whole thing has rattled me and made me vulnerable and nervous. Because of my condition – both the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the Dissociative Identity Disorder – I can’t always remember things. So this visit reminded me that my life was, in fact, horrible when I was young. And I guess this realization also tainted some of the reality I was choosing to believe.
I’m also having insomnia horribly bad. I’ve had insomnia since I was in about the third grade, so it’s always been a constant issue. But until recently, it’s been something that I can manage or deal with. It’s been hard, and frustrating, and exhausting throughout my life, true. But recently it has become physically unbearable. I’m so tired I ache. My head hurts, my body hurts, I’m nauseous and no matter what I do, I haven’t been able to sleep much lately. I burst into tears from the pain of the non-sleep. I stagger around, because I’m no longer just tired, I’m sleep deprived. Drinking has been helping the situation some, but hey, I have enough problems in my life, adding alcoholism to the list is not something I’m keen on. There are reasons for this upsurge in my sleeplessness, which again will be revealed when I can manage.
And I’m trying to open up to love, which is challenging, nervousy, worrisome and feels potentially threatening. It’s not like I haven’t been in love before; but I haven’t ever really opened myself up to people in general. I’m doing a great deal of work to make myself ready for the kind of relationship I deserve, and long for. But the whole process makes me have to look at myself, and my inner demons, my insecurities, and my feelings of un-worth. If I give my heart, will it be trampled? If I open myself up, will I have to mend my heart back together in the long run? I’ve conditioned myself to be protective, evasive, and funny. I skirt the difficult questions with a charming smile and a flippant answer. Asked recently what my father did for a living, I said, “Oh, you know…he’s a criminal”. Which isn’t entirely true, but somewhat. There are more honest and forthcoming answers, but I never truly believe that people want to hear the truth from me, which is conditioning both from my family and society.
Add to all of this my work place, which has become a strain. Since I also have OCD, I certainly don’t want to neglect that area of my crazy brain. So I’ve given myself a task in my workplace: go through intensive ‘exposure’ situations with an entire department of people to watch you. The reality of the situation is hilarious – I’m just having to move my desk to another department, a different location. But this particular location sets me up for a whole windfall of emotional issues and Post Traumatic wig-outs, and OCD management techniques. Again, I will share what I can in the future, but the bottom line is that at work, and in front of all of my co-workers, I will basically be confronting one of the worst and scariest fears and phobias I have as a human. And I feel as though I’m on a reality rehab show, and have to expose myself in front of the world, and air my dirty laundry to everyone around me. Which is quite different than typing on my laptop at home and sharing my dirty laundry with complete strangers. These people have to look me in the eye the next day, and try not to laugh at my stupid irrational phobias. I am ashamed, and fearful, and worried. I’m having panic attacks, and hyperventilating, and shaking. I’m crying, and feel faint, and worried that I’m going to fall apart in front of people that don’t understand me and probably don’t give a shit about my life.
So I’m tired. And small. And not much of a writer lately. I don’t have the ability to make things sound pretty, or interesting, or poetic. I’m just me. And it’s ugly. And raw. And very very vulnerable. But real. So what else can I do, but live through it, and stop and look at the paths ahead of me, and ask myself: which path are you going to choose, Denelle? LOVE? Or Fear?
And I know how to back out of relationships. I know how to make a guy crazy so he leaves me. I know how to run away from a guy when he starts to feel too strongly for me, or starts to see the “real” me. I know how to pick losers that I will eventually get bored with, or flight risks that I know won’t be able to stay around for too very long due to their nature.
What I haven’t known how to do was open up.
I haven’t known how to let someone in to that little part of my heart that has always been guarded. I haven’t known how to tell someone my darkest secrets, and trust that they won’t trounce all over my soul. I’ve made attempts to share my dark secrets and icky skeletons with men I cared about, but it’s never really worked out well for me. Usually I can’t actually say what I want, or they freak out and run away from my too much intensity kind of self.
I’ve heard many times that when you least expect it, and when you aren’t looking for it, love comes along. And yes, I understand that there are no guarantees. There are no sure bets and no fixed outcomes. Love may not come for me in the way that I’m hoping it will. The odds may stack themselves up against me, and I may well end up broken hearted, devastated, empty handed. I may be pushing all my chips in to the table only to find that my pair of two’s isn’t quite enough to win that delicious pot that is worth the risk of it all.
But who can say? Who can say what the future is? How do I know what the path ahead holds for me? I wish only the best for my fellow players in this round; I wish success and happiness for all. I mean no harm to those I bet against, and no disrespect to those I ante up to. I’m not trying to trick those at my table, deceive anyone with my hidden tells, or coerce the outcome I desire by manipulation or seduction. I mean only to throw in my lot with the rest of those at hand, and see how I come up.
Because at this point, what else can I do? To win big, I must risk it all. To find that which I desire, I must sacrifice some of the safety I have. To walk away with the spoils, I must give everything I own. And it’s crazy. It’s insane. It makes no logical sense, and there is no reason I should do it. What I should do is walk it off. Shake it off. Sleep it off. I should pick up my belongings and cash in my chips at the door. I should go saunter up to that cute bartender and see if he doesn’t have something that will cure my ails. Maybe that would be the more logical choice.
But I can’t. Because I’m already in. I’ve already fallen in. I’m ALL in.