Sunday, June 8, 2014
Circling your head, Contemplating everything you ever said
I have had recently both horrible writer's block, and a desperate need to lay digital pen to paper. I'm trapped in the confines of what I feel to be a community and societal pressure to be almost perpetually positive, eternally tough and always "bright sided". And inside...inside, a silent scream to be heard, to be really seen. Because I'm not feeling positive. Or tough. Or even, very bright at the moment.
Yet, I'm stuck in a paralyzing grid of rules and expectations that I can barely navigate any longer. Surrounded...alone. I crave friendship, a chat, a kind word...for others to look in on me, pick up the phone or make the first move. I can't ask, it seems, because that's attention seeking. Desperate. An emotional drain.
If I tell you how I'm really feeling, that I cry myself to sleep at least 3 nights a week, that my long suffering husband cares but can't be my lover, my friend and my community all in one package...if I tell you that the weight of scraping the bottom of our pockets to feed ourselves each week leaves me feeling like the worst failure as a parent...as a breadwinner...as a human being. If I'm raw and honest and tell you that I really just want to have friends who talk, not just text, who tell me personally before publicly...that's demanding and petty, and selfish, and high maintenance. You "whinge" too much. Why don't you have an "attitude of gratitude". Be positive.
So somehow I find the mask and I slip on my rubber smile. I Facebook my new job, and how thrilled I am...neglecting to mention how bittersweet it is because my husband is still unemployed and how unfair that I can find a new job while still employed at the old one, and he is desperate to work, but can't. I make lots of positive noises about how it's a good thing we haven't fallen pregnant straight away because it gives me time to settle into new my job...and stay silent about the pain of knowing that it's not for lack of trying, that we have been told that but for God's grace, we won't conceive naturally. I'm tired of the knowing looks, the judgement and cynicism about Baker Boy's unemployment. If you have all given up on him, then God knows why you feel surprised that he struggles not to.
And I'm tired. I'm exhausted, pretending that it's OK, pretending I'm OK. Pretending I don't care that I feel so alone surrounded by people, crushed by the weight of expectation and the pressure not to need real connections. So I sit...paralyzed. I have no idea what to do, where to turn or how to climb my way out...all I know is that writing this down, and letting it out...you'll probably think it's wrong. Maybe it is.
But maybe isn't, maybe it's time to be real and stop dying to politely distant perfection.