I compartmentalise. A lot. A vestige from childhood – little girls learn early and often that intelligence gets you nowhere if you exhibit it; have it by all means, but never ever show it. A vestige of trauma – disassociation, the protective shell of lies one weaves when one pretends everything is okay, and still and forevermore the knowledge that it does change how people see me and treat me and think of me. A vestige of being an outsider, no matter where I am, I guess is what it comes down to.
Which means a startling amount of loneliness, I’ve realised. So few people know me across the board, know this side of me and know the real me and all those messy, broken little parts, and love me for them or in spite of them or alongside them. And I cling to those people like a vine.
Acceptance is the headiest of drugs.
God, I fucking miss it too, when it’s gone. The answer, as always, is to be more honest and open with people but with the absence comes pain too. So the balance comes; who to be open with, who to shy away from, and how to deal when friendships lay dead at your feet.
I don’t subscribe to the idea that dreams, and their symbols, contain something more than narrative heft, but that narrative heft comes from somewhere. I write to make sense of a world that is sometimes too big, too harsh, too hard to understand, and dreams sometimes come from that same space where I can find peace in the scrawl of ink, the shapes of pixels.And so that dream I had, feels weighty. I dreamed last night, of another friend, and an immaculate scrapbook detailing her rape. The flowers and the vintage polka dots and the cute, well-rounded swirls of her handwriting, with words I’d hoped to never have to read (but know I do, over and over, because if I can’t bear witness to another, it makes that loneliness worse). Those memories of being tainted, being less than, being rejected and pushed away for something you had no control over.
And now, choosing to do this, to write what I write while I am also the person I am? That every time I tell somebody what I do, I wonder how they will react. Are they going to assume it means I want to hear about their dicks, or their sex lives? Will they assume I am doing it for my own gratification? (…not always) Are they going to intrude upon my boundaries? So I just…don’t, usually. I don’t ever want to deal with those things (again) and I don’t want to watch relationships fail, because I tried. If they know about the trauma, are they going to use that against me? It makes sense to me – obviously – but others seem to struggle.
So, it’s another part of me I don’t talk about. I’m published, with amazing authors, but I don’t talk about it. Except to a select few.
I don’t talk about my past. Except to a select few.
I don’t talk about a lot of things, even as I make a whole lot of conversational noise. Except to a select few.
And so I cling to all my broken, shattered parts, and I cling to the people who fit alongside those parts like they were always meant to be there, and try to cling to some sort of faith that things will be okay. With battered ripped nails and bleeding fingers I cling, but at least the faith is there right?