Friday, 2 August 2013

Where this came from...

For a long time I was so badly damaged by my experiences that I couldn't recognise when someone was being good to me. It had become so alien to me, somehow, that I just could not interpret it correctly.

Language is so subjective.

That "long time" was, for me, a very long time. I believed, not that people were bad and would hurt me without thought or consideration, but that I was owed that kind of disrespect, that I was unworthy of anything else. I didn't suspect that a kind gesture had a hidden motive, instead, the kind gesture was invisible, because it was impossible for anyone to be kind to me.

This lasted about 10 - 12 months.

I'm sure it wasn't a whole year. [EDIT: actually, doing the maths, it must have been just over a year. Wow]

To anyone outside, it must have been like a blip. But imagine a world where no-one cares about you. Where you are all alone. Where it doesn't matter how many people are holding onto the glass bubble you have surrounded yourself with, where it doesn't matter how many words of love are spoken to you, where it doesn't matter how much support and true, sincere love, affection and care you are surrounded by because you are utterly impervious to it.

And now, imagine being so, so twisted inside that you think it's right for you to be alone like that.

I am so lucky.

There was someone who literally carried me through the worst. Someone who, without me noticing, taught me that my expectations and self evaluation were both far, far too low.

That person left my life at the 6 - 8 month mark, but it was the right time. I had to stand by myself, I had to take steps to rebuild myself and question the outside world.

After 2 more months "alone" I had successfully cast aside the worst of my hurt and began to deal with the lingering damage in an abstract fashion.

I wrote. Sometimes I let out the kid in me, sometimes the hurt, sometimes the soul of me and quite frequently I took on a persona and wrote about an imaginary man, a fantasy, on which I could build a minimum expectation level for the future men in my life. I used it to draw a solid line between what I had experienced and what I was worth. I exorcised my demons, I built my non-negotiables for the future and, in doing so, I also wrote some damn funny stuff.

I don't need either of them now. I don't need the fantasy man. I don't need the outrageously flamboyant, courageously mad, dramatically expressive woman who so gorgeously embodied the accumulated longings for connection harvested from a year in isolation.

But, while I'm willing to wave goodbye to him, I don't want to lose her.

She is glorious. She isn't me - just an exaggeration of one of my many facets. But she's an exaggeration I could bear to live with.

Over the last two or three months I have left my bubble. I've made space for her in my life - I'm taking more joy out of my freedom and I'm not wasting time pretending that it's not fun when it clearly is. I'm kind of hoping she'll keep giving me stuff to write, but if she doesn't, that's OK. I can keep this going by myself. I can take all kinds of risks by myself.*

As Great Big Sea (sort of) say: "I might fall, but I'll never lie down".

Alicia

*Literally as I hit the full stop on that a pigeon landed on my skylight and tried to convince me to let him in. So maybe not all kinds of risks, but certainly some of them.