all last week, before the cold grabbed me, i'd been feeling like i really needed to cry, let loose. but it's extremely difficult for me to release without a catalyst. crying often requires a logical progression of carefully controlled environmental factors.
i tricked myself into all this a long time ago. as a good little girl who didn't want to get anyone into trouble, i got exceptionally good at hiding my pain.
i had rules:
- if you must cry, only cry when you know you're utterly alone.
- if you're caught, say it's about something else.
- talk to the dolls, your angels, and god.
- breathe deeply. inhale the tears.
- in a pinch, push it all down into your stomach (note: remember not to eat for a few hours after this trick)
not only did i get good at hiding my feelings from other people, i became proficient at hiding them from myself. i learned that it could be hard to hide the tears when i couldn't stop the ugly thoughts rushing through my mind. sometimes i had to get up early. or stay up late. i didn't have time.
mostly, i just put my fingers in my ears and refused to listen. and more of that stomach-pushing.
occasionally i took it out on a boyfriend or lover, or cloaked it in a dream like haze to take the edge off. the most benign option: find a way to fictionalize it and write it out.
these were my survival tactics and, as such, have been difficult to relinquish.
the very idea of letting go, showing weakness--even when i'm alone--can terrify me.
some part of me is stuck in time, holding back that huge dam of black water that threatens to overtake and kill me if i let it out.
but i know better.
the water's been drained, purified, redirected, released.
the pain is not what it was.
i am not who i was.
lately, these kinds of revelations are coming in waves. i know it's part of a push to revert me back to my true(st) self, but even that's laced with fear. it's a self i don't quite remember.
i cannot begin to explain how difficult it is to consciously remember what i was "before". i used to think my cloudy memories were simply a manifestation of how i process information. now i wonder if it's really a symptom of the neutralization of so many powerful, life-altering feelings.
apparently, when i was younger, i used to say i wanted to grow up to be an actress.
it'd be interesting to see what i could do on a stage with all this real-life training...