It’s coming, can you feel it? The world is taking on a certain sense of transparency; where once there were lies buried too deep to see, unearth a disturbing truth. We all have things we have been hiding from ourselves and others for years. I am going to guess there is a very small percentage of people out there who experience telling the truth and being fully authentic in every moment.
I mean, to be totally authentic is not an easy task when you have been brought up to buy into both the program of “being honest,” and “keeping a smile on your face.” These things to me, seem in direct conflict of one another.
Websites like Facebook have opened the flood gates for potential pity parties catalyzed by vague statements made in a status up date. Facebook is one of the first places people go to vent out their angst. They realize they can get some acknowledgment for their struggles. Commiserate over children, whine about traffic, or confess a crush.
But you never see any one say, “I beat the shit out of my kids today. I hate that I did. I am having a hard time right now, I could use some help. Can any one offer me therapy, or some assistance. I am having a very tough time coping with this alone. And the kids don’t deserve it. I need the help of my community.”
or how about, “I have fallen back into destructive behavior and substance abuse. I could really use the support of close friends right now.”
We talk about the disease, but we rarely discuss how we got there. Then when things pop up, it’s like they came out of the blue…but even discontent has a birthday.
We shield ourselves behind the most smiley pictures and phrases we have. We keep up the illusion of 24/7 joy. We want Joy so badly. We want her to fill our hearts in every moment… In our hearts we feel this would be an ideal reality.
So in the cyber world we construct a design that allows us to do just that. Create an illusion. A place where every picture is funny, beautiful, or adorable. And status updates are smart, provocative and sometimes depressingly honest.
People think they know everything about us because they watch every video we post… but does every body read ever note in the notebook? Or do they just read the ones they are tagged in. Narcissism is the blindness that keeps us from seeing the truth between the lines and pictures.
For instance, I have left a hearty online trail of my angst, but I don’t think too many people read it. It is “depressing” and it has nothing to do with you….No tags.
It does have something to do with you, though. Do you ever feel pain or discontent? Then you may know what I am talking about, and you may realized you never admitted to yourself, your own struggle with it.
I don’t think you can harness that joy without first confronting and tackling the dark part that continues to pull your view from the light.
Personally, I only remember moments where I was happier than others. But few of them were consecutive. I have never had a phenomenal month of Joy.
My whole life has been a struggle with the dark side. Trace my writing back to it’s beginnings of child like journals and thoughts too big for the child writing in the journal.
October 17, 1995
I stare into this open abyss and for all I know, it’s nothing. Just a blank spot in the future, waiting to be filled.
But as time ticks on, pictures fill that black emptiness.
The pictures are vague and fuzzy at first. But they keep coming and they get more clear and focused.
My friends and family are there, but no one sticks out the most. I can’t think of their names and the faces are all too familiar.
I look on amazed and bewildered at this sight.
It is so real, but something is wrong, or maybe something is missing.
All of a sudden this picture passes quickly, soaring past my face. It brings tears to my eyes. It has hit a nerve.
No, it’s not right. You’re there.
But WHO exactly are you? A ghost? A spirit or a devil of some sort?
It is scaring me. I more I think about you, the less I know about myself.
It is so confusing.
Slow down. The pictures have stopped now and the tears have stopped.
I am alone once again staring into that open black abyss.
Still waiting to be filled once more.
I started out knowing myself but I left barely knowing who I am or where I belong.
I wrote that on page 63 of my first real journal started in January of 1993.
From the earliest point in time, that I can remember. I can recall feeling disassociated from my peers and my family. I have felt the struggle of loneliness creep deep with in me. I refuse to call it depression.
In my youth I had big dreams of doing big things, like acting in movies and sharing the TV screen with Comedy’s Greatest.
I thought, it would make me feel less lonely being around all of those other misfits that find themselves in the lime light. I am sure have the potential still, but I realize now that the only reason I REALLY wanted any sort of lime light at all, is because secretly I want to be better than “you and you and YOU.”
I still think about the mistreatment in my youth, the “third wheel Syndrome,” the taunts of being “weird,” or
“freak.” Not having friends to play with at recess and opting for picking up trash or grading papers for the teacher. Or maybe the lectures about how peers feel like I “talk down” to them. A feeling of not being able to do ANYTHING right, and the consequence being extreme dissatisfaction.
In my adulthood I get along better with plants and animals, small children and old people…. peers, eh peers still leave me a bit confused.
I can’t even figure out what I want out of myself, because for the longest time my only motivation was to be accepted by others, and when that didn’t work; I worked at being better than others. And when I realized that the conventional constructs of school and work pit us against one another anyway; to get better or more efficient production. I stepped out of the game.
I use to think I was going to take all the talents I have and do something AWESOME and AMAZING and worth RECOGNITION from all those people who were mean to me, or left me out. I would SHOW THEM I was more than just a freak with no shoes wearing thrift store throw backs.
Everyone wants to be somebody, someday. So I started on my adventure dead set against marriage and children so that I could do that thing that would blow every bodies mind, and make them wish they knew me better. That they had helped participate in making me SO EFFING GREAT.
I wanted you to have your babies and dream about MY life. To find envy in the freak you use to call some sort of obnoxious enigma.
My motivation to do and be better, never came from loving myself. It came from a place of proving to others that they should love me, and in turn, perhaps I could finally know what it was like to love myself.
If you say “Mandie, conjure up now, in your mind the feeling of love. The excitement of communion!”
I would honestly struggle. I have a hard time getting excited about things, I have had too many experiences of loose lips, sinking ships.
Most of the things I have gotten excited about, and mentioned to people in my life; have fallen through. Then I am left to the descriptions of failure, and stagnation.
Few people know these things about me.
I move around a lot. If I stay anywhere long enough people catch on that my perceived high energy is a rouse for how low I actually feel inside. I at times avoid communion with those who say they love me, to be alone or around strangers. I don’t want to bring others down, and secretly I want to talk my issue to death. I want to kill this feeling of detachment and replace it with love.
Despite it all, I continue to learn lessons, which I hope to pass on to others, and I do. However it does not console this void.
I wonder if everyone feels this way and just hides it from themselves by filling it with relationships and children and nice houses. Working the conventional ladder hoping one day it will all settle into that feeling of utter connectedness.
Honestly, I feel this struggle is our direct feeling of disconnect from Source. We miss the feeling of being connected to God or the Universe, the distractions from it are so plentiful. The possible connectors should be endless. I see the face of creation in the earth, and rarely does it bring a smile, mostly it exacerbates my desire to cry.
I don’t want to put on the happy face anymore. It isn’t real. I want to smile when I genuinely feel something worth smiling about. I have been more vocal about this feeling lately because it feels like it is getting out of control. I had friend I have known for about 5 years say, “Wow, I never knew that about you, I had no idea.” That’s because I am a fine actor.
You know that ball in the throat feeling you get just before you cry? Imagine feeling that to some degree every moment of every day for as long as you remember. That is just one ailment of this malady. I can’t remember a time with out it, therefore I can’t imagine not feeling it. Replacing it with a lightness. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if it just went away for a week…. if then I could possibly get a jump start on continuing on with lightness in my chest.
I have been ready for a life with out pain for a long time. In the mean time I try to connect as many dots as I can, to try and harness a way around it. I know that the first step is to be brutally honest with it. You can live a very creative and melancholy life, and get by, but there will always exist this self inflicted issue.
I think to myself, “If only I had people around me who constantly lift me up, and send along the encouragement that I give them. If only for a while it was all about me.”
And I have had spurts of that, but inevitably I push them away or isolate myself.
Someone with a stronger Ego could make this happen every day if they wished, but I excuse myself from imposing on anyone. And I complain to myself that “no one REALLY knows me.”
Relationships start and quickly end when I realize I have so much internalized detachment that I couldn’t possibly let some one try to love me. I have nothing really to give back, except the fear of being seen for what I really am; lost and confused, somewhat scattered, still after all these years.
Fiona Apple said it best “He knows I’m a mess, he don’t wanna clean up.”
I am trying to clean up my own mess, but the loneliness makes it easy to regress to places more familiar. Spaces of inferiority, spitting in the faces of authority, and refusing what is seen as “best for others.”
Ideally I work all this out, around loving people. Who can remind me of the best parts of myself when my focus turns inward to my failings. Ideally all that love starts a chain reaction of positive feeling that I can easily rope in again when I can’t find a friend to hold me.
I still have a hard time being touched. A stroke on the arm feels good physically, but emotionally it will open the flood gates, and at this time and place it is not appropriate for me to cry. That’s the problem, it is never an appropriate time. I need to go to Camp Cry and wallow for a month in my own tear bath.
Be careful when you touch me, I am fragility hidden behind the illusion of a brick wall.
And my brick wall, is starting to crumble.