At this moment in my life, as I have a lot of spare time lying on my parents spare bed, I spend a fair amount of time with earbuds inserted and eyes firmly planted on on the ceiling late at night. My good friends George Michael and Cathy Dennis tonight whisper in my ears their familiar exclaimations of Love and Longing. I feel about 8 years old again (about as old as I was when these people were international pop stars of renoun) and it’s a feeling not of warm fuzzy pre-adolescent thoughts but of anxiety.
You see, I don’t have a lot of happy memories that I can recall at about the ages of 6 to 8, mostly when I think of these times, I feel a great deal of anxiety. In the stillness of the night, I can almost hear my parents arguing in the living room or expect the door to open, shattering any sense of privacy or security. These “trips down memory lane” fill me with anxiousness and a longing for stability. I think these ages stick out in my mind as the most anxious is because perhaps as I got a little older, I learned how to “protect” my emotions. I can’t really explain this. Kids are amazing is all I can say.
Tonight though, as I’m listening to songs of that time period, I simultaneously focus on the great deal of change occurring now in my life. This is another anxious period but very different. It’s as if I am between two distinct selves, a fragile self and the “now” me which longs to finally grasp stability and safety. This moment in time does not feel safe, I’m homeless essentially and jobless. I feel like I’m encased in amber, stuck for 1,000,000 years reaching for a future that seems to taunt me from the outside. Essentially, I’m stuck in tree sap, metaphorically.
I’m thinking about this (obviously, duh) and also contemplating this uncertain future. This future is inextricably fused with the past. The past echos with a familiar voice saying “You’ll never amount to anything!” or “You’ll never finish school.” It says “No one will ever marry you because you’re lazy and a slob.” It says “I wish you were never born.”
This time is fused with these words and as desperately as I wish to escape them, I am tied to them. I’m tied to them because at my own wedding, my Mother had to … be herself. She had to refuse to interact with me and decided to not show up to our reception. She never called me to apologize or explain. I called her several times but she never returned my calls. I got an odd text asking me why I had not bothered to call and check up on her/my Aunt. Not a call mind you, a text.
Needless to say, I cannot get this out of my head, especially as I will be departing this country in 8 days.
It’s a paranoid thought, certainly, but it’s as if some darker aspect of her personality cannot accept that I’m another person, a worthy person that she feels she is not and therefore this darkness feels the need to cling to me in a desperate last “dig” at my self-esteem. I know this is silly to feel that way and it’s sad. It’s so very sad. I should not be plagued with this much sadness right now but it plagued every inch of the months planning my wedding with the constant nagging voice “no one will ever marry you …” even though someone obviously decided to do so. I spent the entire time pinching myself and some how maybe even feeling guilty.
I have to keep reminding myself that I am not a helpless little girl desiring approval but a Grown Ass Woman who despite her own failures has managed to accomplish a few things she’s proud. I’m a WOMAN. I’m a good one. I deserve Love. I deserve Happiness. Perhaps she chose differently because she felt her past was a predictor of her future and therefore could not do things differently. I deserve more than that, I desire to have a different Life. My LIFE.
I also have spent a morbid amount of time worrying about my husband. I have never felt so secure and safe in my Life. When I am with Ken, I feel like I am completely safe. I am not afraid of being told I’m stupid, I’m worthless or I’m a disappointment. I know he loves me the way I am, even if I put on a lot of weight and haven’t worn much makeup in 3 months. Even if I’m anxious, paranoid and otherwise batshit crazy. He didn’t have to marry me, he chose to marry me. He loves me.
This causes it’s own anxiety (of course) as I worry about the unknowns. Every time he gets on a plane, I worry it will crash. When I’m not with him (which is all the time) I worry something bad will happen. He is the most safe and sane person in my life. I feel emotionally as if I cling to him like a life boat in these unsafe waters of life. That sounds kind of pathetic really, doesn’t it? It wasn’t that way from the beginning but it has become that way because the more time that passes, the more I realize how damaged I’ve been. No one wants damaged, do they? They may not but I’m stuck with myself and now he is too. That’s both a comfort and also a source of guilt. I tell him all the time that he’s “stuck” with me which he doesn’t seem worried about. It’s probably me just echoing the sentiment that I’m a horrible person who doesn’t deserve happiness and love and not the Truth.
The Truth is that I do deserve Love. I am a wonderful person. It’s just hard to remember right now during this scary time, this time without my Mother supporting me and without the things I’ve fallen back on when I needed to escape. I could work and not focus on my feelings or I could go out with friends, anything to avoid being with me. When I’m with me too long, I think too much.
It’s funny how as you grown older, you realize you fear the future and uncertainty more but you also don’t feel any older. I still feel about 16 but at the same time, I have a fear of mortality that I did not have at 16. I fear for my husband, his health, his sanity, his happiness, his success. If something happens to me, it’s not a big deal but if something bad happened to him, I would die. I’ve never been so scared for someone else, so worried about their health and happiness. It’s a really scary and pretty unselfish feeling. I imagine that’s normal seeing as how we are now married. I just never in 1,000,000 years thought I would feel the things I feel now.
Here I am, on the precipice of uncertainty. I’m scared I won’t be good enough. I’m scared my relationship with my Mother will never be repaired and she’ll spend her life miserable and unhappy. I’m afraid I’ll never reach the level of success my family would have liked to have seen me reach (seeing as how I’m semi intelligent). I’m scared that I won’t be perfect the way I assume everyone would like me to be. I’m just so uncertain about everything. It’s like falling out of a plane and your shoot won’t open. Am I going to hit the ground with a splat or will I glide to safety?
Or maybe I’m seriously freaking mentally ill. I am batshit crazy, seriously.
love – k
PS. Guilty feet have got no rhythm. Best remember.
PSS. What I mean by “nothing is new” is that I’m not the only one who feels this way I’m sure. Nothing you feel that feels this profoundly disturbing can be new. I’m pretty sure we all feel 16 except we age and feel more trapped in age and more distant from our youth. It’s the scariest feeling I’ve ever felt. Therapy maybe? Or perhaps just be happy and stop focusing on this crap. I’ll go with the latter.