Some days I watch the news and I think, if someone killed me, no one would really miss me other than my husband and children, then there are days I think they would be better without me; for everyone else I seem to be burden on them. Not happy enough, talkative enough, too bossy or controlling, too kind, too helpful. Being told by family members that I’m never going to have friends, that I allow people to walk all over me, but also that I am too opinionated, too caring. I have been told by “friends” that I am too much and for some not enough. I have even been ridiculed for having faith.
And I wonder why my head and heart spin so much. Am I not enough or am I too much? Why can’t I just be? I know I do not fit in with everyone in this town. I never have.
In my clearer moments, this is what I tell myself:
I am me. I am an individual. I have something to offer people, be it friendship, a smile or a helping hand. My Dad always told me to stand on my own two feet. Never rely on someone else to get you through the day or to get you to where you want to go. And for the most part of my days, that is what goes through my head. I put on a good face to the outside world. I smile because it makes me happy. I believe I can tell myself what to think, I won’t let others dictate how I feel. I choose to be happy. I choose to have faith in myself that I can get through this. I choose to live. I choose to ignore the negative people who are so sad in their own lives that they feel they have the right to put someone down, to tell them they are nothing when they themselves are nothing. No one can tell me I am not worth my life.
Sounds very uplifting. Very strong.
Until it’s not.
During my good days, I always believed, and
I guess some part of me still believes, that you should always smile when in
public. I tell my children, always smile
and never dismiss anyone because you never know what others are going through.
Maybe that smile or that hello is what helps someone feel better about
themselves or helps them see that not everyone is judging them or ignoring them.
This is something I have always done; hello
to the cash register operator, smile at people as we cross paths on the
footpath. And I did not think anyone
really bothered with me doing it. Until
one day, someone who I use to think was a friend, not a best friend but a
friend, told me that I walk around the town like I own it, like I am so much
better than others. When I asked them
what they meant, they replied, “you are always smiling and so nice to
people. It’s annoying to watch”. First,
how does someone say that to another person … where do they get the impression
that it is ok to complain about how happy someone seems. Is it because they themselves are not that
happy and don’t like others to be?
Obviously, the saying – misery loves company – comes to mind. But what that person did not realize is that
the need for my “friend” to make me feel bad for spreading happiness was yet
another trigger for one of my declines into blackness. I was not strong enough to dismiss the comment
as their own problem, not mine. I was
not strong enough to ignore my raging thought that everyone in our town thought
the same thing. I was not strong enough
to think logically and realized that that person was not a friend but a grim
reaper of my soul. I was not strong enough
to stop myself. I was not strong
Even today, reliving that experience, my
chest rises and falls with pain, with tightness; my eyes start to water and my
anger is rising. How do I let people get
to me like this? And why. Just why? I don’t understand what makes
people think they the authority to speak to someone like that, to have such
disregard for how their words affect people.
Even though I understand that people are this rude and horrible it still
hurts. I would not say anything like
that to anyone I know or don’t know because smiling and being happy does not
hurt anyone. It is the one thing that
costs you nothing but can be worth a lot to someone else. Except when you are me and you have the “friends”
I have, it then costs you enough.
I remember the first time I considered telling my husband about how I was feeling, no not just the normal marriage feelings, but …. the feeling that I can’t get passed the feeling of sadness. A feeling that weights heavy on my mind, weights down my normal thoughts, pauses my normal emotions and just stops me. You can imagine the look of confusion. There were no visible signs, there was no eyes rolling in the back of my head, not anything that he could “see” to be able to understand what I was saying. Hello I could hardly understand it. As I mentioned, I have struggled with this for some time.
Don’t get me wrong, over the many years together he has tried, and tried again to understand, to help and sympathize but then, every time we get into an argument, I am thrown the “go take your tablets” or ” you need to up your meds”. Why is it that the ones who you love, who you have shared your daily struggles with hurt you with the one thing they know should not be used. How do you go back to trusting that person. Yes, yes, we only hurt the ones we love …. I don’t get that. If you love someone then there should be no conditions to when you love them and when you don’t. Love is unconditional right, even though I am the one with a scattered brain I would never use something against them like this. I guess the reason why I would not use someone’s sadness against them, is I know how that feels, how it cuts, twists, rips, burns at every cell of my body. It drops me into a spiral without words or sound, just blur and swirl, I want to go down and not come back. I am obviously not good enough for him. Not someone you want to be in public with, someone to wrap up in your arms and hold, protect, shield. I have learnt to stand on my own two feet in childhood, in my marriage. I have learnt to not rely on others for safety or protection to get me through, or so it looks on the surface. All the while I am screaming inside, crying for someone, desperate for anyone, anyone who can hold my hand and keep me from drowning. Tell me I am not alone. Tell me I am worth staying around.
But I am a person who likes answers. So I read a lot, tried to figure out what was going wrong with me. But not before I hit rock bottom, and I do mean, what I think, is the bottom of the anything and everything.
The moment that I replay over and over again in my head, the point in time that jolts me back to my path … It was a normal weekend, everything started out fine, no real sadness to report, no shaking or hokey pokey feeling. I remember, sitting on the end of my bed as I have done before, looking down at my hands but not really seeing anything, except a red pool, the white carpet, the ease with which i could do it and thinking; I could just leave this earth and all my sadness would go away. The feeling of numbness, sadness, hopelessness would just go away and I could be happy again. No one would really care. My husband could find someone who doesn’t have to ” up their meds”, my family wouldn’t have to try to understand me, my kids ……. it was at that point that one of my kids called for me, I blinked, I blinked again and I decided at that moment, in that split second, that I don’t want to feel that again. I felt it too many times.
So what did I learn. I learnt that I now have to deal with my life
in a different way than others.
You know what I want to do, I want to sit outside and feel the sun on my face without any worry of the darkness.