Thursday, June 15, 2006

Horror Head


Disclaimer: If you're not a fan of self-pity (and you'd be smart not to be), stay the fuck away from this post.

I don't even know how to write what I want to say.

I want to talk about being completely alone in struggling with something, and how hard that is. I want to talk about shame, and what it feels like when it's eating you alive, from the inside out.

I have no words for these things, which is only making me feel worse, because it means I'm an utter failure at even the one thing I'm supposed to do well.

I'm not good at allowing myself to be vulnerable. My greatest fear is I'll let someone know my weak spots, and they'll use the knowledge to destroy me. That they'll treat me like a subhuman speck of filth.

I revealed something today, said something out loud in the presence of others, that I'd never said to anyone, and that I thought would help me. I think I thought it would free me, bring me release. And maybe, as a secondary impulse, I thought sharing it would somehow make me feel less alone in struggling with it. Maybe I also secretly thought my bravery in revealing it was going to get me points and draw people to me out of admiration. I don't know.

It didn't work. Instead, what it ended up doing was make me feel even more utterly alone than I'd felt before I'd said it.

And then I had to walk away from this group, alone on my little path of shame and humiliation. Or rather, they absorbed themselves with each other so they conveniently didn't have to notice what I was doing, so I had no choice but to walk away, or stand there alone and ignored, like an idiot. So I walked. No one said goodbye. I was avoided. I felt like a big, hulking monster. Quasimoda. The Elephant Girl. Repulsive.

I went home, completely mortified, and cried the way you do when you're four. That loud, wave-after-wave body-wracking kind of crying--the way you do before you've learned it's not okay to cry like that anymore. That kind where every time you stop, you can't catch your breath before another wave is smacking you. I haven't cried like that in years. I thought maybe that would give me some kind of release. But it doesn't.

And I thought, I need to talk to someone; call someone. I just need one person out there to let me give them the full-on blast of my humiliated misery, the depth of who I am with all my flaws and disgustingness (and goodness), and have them love me anyway. Tell me I'm good and pure and that I light up their life.

And I just had no one to call who'd be able to do that for me. I mean there are people, but none of them can give me what I need in this particular situation. Or, I just can't bring myself to subject them to what I need. And anyway, if I tell them what I need, then it won't count. They'll be saying it to make me feel better, but they won't mean it. They'll just be doing it because I asked.

I don't know.

I've never been in this situation before. What do you do when there's no one you can turn to?

I guess you write a sorry-ass, non-specific, completely loserish post like this one. Because at this point, this is all I've got left.

Which makes me feel ashamed in and of itself.

If anyone out there has anything genuinely positive to say opinion-wise that would help me to see that this whole enterprise I call myself isn't completely useless, now would be the time to say it. As ashamed as I am to ask for this, again, it's all I've got.

But for god's sake, no pity comments.

10 Comments:

Blogger ducklet said...

i don't know you well enough to do what i normally do in this circumstance, which is to make a highly inappropriate and borderline offensive joke. my own issues, i suppose.

and i definitely won't be offering pity, because i have an even worse track record there. once, as i was trying to console a victim in a car accident (i used to be a firefighter) i said a few words that were meant to be calming (we were both inside an overturned van) and she reacted by screaming furiously, nonstop until i left her presence.

i'd hate to re-live that particular experience. but by all means, scream at my gravatar if it helps!

6/15/2006 11:49 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I'm just a reader and have never commented before, but regardless of how you feel about it, this is not a "loserish" post. This is a post by a self-aware, intelligent person, who is feeling acute pain. And the social circumstances are such that, for whatever reason, other people are at best unresponsive and at worse, lacking in humanity. You aren't their reaction (or lack thereof) and you certainly aren't a loser.

The post has the effect of making me want to be more compassionate towards those who feel and express shame, up to and including myself.

So, thank you for this post and for the blog in general. You write from authentic emotion and courage and you have an interesting aesthetic viewpoint, resulting in excellent writing.

Take care.

6/16/2006 1:15 AM  
Blogger Evil Minx said...

Loserish my ass.

You are not a loser. And you know it. That you could express yourself in the first place, and then write about it in the second present you as a coherent and intelligent person who can tabulate and order her feelings well enough for others to give a flying shit.

Personally, i give several. (Duck!) So there, ner.

And NO fucking pity. NONE!

As for calling.. i'll call you. If you like. You know how that would cheer you up. It might drive you straight into the arms of an overlarge tub of ice cream, but hey -- there's never anything wrong with that.

Love you,
Minxy

6/16/2006 5:20 AM  
Blogger NotCarrie said...

I've totally had those "I have noone to call!" moments. Hope things feel better today.

6/16/2006 11:28 AM  
Blogger Elle said...

No, you are far from loserish. You're only be genuinely human and there is a lot to say about those you are real.

I don't know what I can offer to you in words from afar. Sometimes words just can't express support. Or else it sounds cliche, like those posters you see in class rooms - the hang-in-there kitty, dangling from a branch! I can only relate and, perhaps, you can find solace in that.

I have been living away from home for the past two years. I have many a moment where I feel isolated or lonely or foolish or shamefully embarrassed. I have no one to call here, when I have such moments. Sure, I have people back home but I don't want them to worry about my state of mental health. I want to call them with good news rather than another one of my typical moments of self-loathing.

Instead, I write. I listen to bad 80's hair metal. I walk down the street hoping an expensive sportscar will drive over cardboard boxes (that may, however, only make me laugh). I try my damndest to know that I do have a support team behind me - regardless if I have the courage to turn to them or not.

I think you have a good support team backing you. Count me in!

6/16/2006 12:51 PM  
Blogger schmutzie said...

I don't know what you're dealing with, but I have had my share of things that felt similar.

You're brave to say it out loud. The fact that it hurt afterward doesn't erase your bravery.

6/16/2006 1:05 PM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Thanks to everyone who answered/emailed. And sorry to have posted something so soppy; it was just a bad day. (Shudders--will that phrase ever be able to be uttered again without instantly bringing up strains of that godawful song?) Shame has now been absorbed and processed, and to look at me you'd never know.

Brando: You know me better than you think. Highly inappropriate and borderline offensive would have been most welcome. Offers of bourbon and porn are also good. (Well, okay, I'd actually prefer single malt and porn, but let's not quibble over minutiae.) In any case, you've offered to let me scream at you AND an emailer offered to let me beat him, both of which made me laugh. Bless both of your manipulative kinky arses.

Robert: I'm always happy to meet a lurking reader; though I wish it had been under happier circumstances. Thanks for your comments. I hope you'll be inspired to say hi again sometime.

Minx: Someday I totally want to call you! But not when I'm crying. I'd rather do it when we can laugh our arses off. But I can't imagine making you pay for that kind of thing. I think there may be other alternatives that might allow you to avoid that...we'll talk.

NotCarrie: Thanks, darlin'. You know, I was never much of a SATC watcher, but that post yesterday made me think of a line I once saw on that show that always stuck with me. I don't remember the circumstance, but something had made Miranda (the redhead, right?) feel all alone and she said something like, "The only person I can list on my 'call in case of emergency' form is my mother. And she lives in Conneticut. And I don't even *like* her that much." Yesterday felt a lot like that, even though I'm exaggerating a little. There are people I could call--I just couldn't handle doing it, because I didn't think they could give me what I wanted in this particular case. Or maybe I just couldn't bear retelling the story and the confession again at that moment and having it rejected.

Elle: Thanks. I'm SO looking for a cardboard box to put near a main intersection now. And of course you're right, I know they're there...part of the problem is me, not making the call (see above). People. We're timorous beasties, sometimes.

Schmutzie: Thanks. You're right, of course. I know this in theory. :) In fact, the truth is, as miserable as I was, I'm still not sorry I said what I did. I think in the end it *will* help me. I just wish I could have had a better response the first time around.

6/16/2006 3:40 PM  
Blogger Ray in New Orleans said...

If you want a song that reclaims the phrase "It's been a bad bad day" for you, Gram Parsons' "$1000 Wedding" is pretty fucking lovely for those kind of days.

6/16/2006 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Circe said...

I wish I would of read your post earlier, when you were feeling sad (I'm no stranger to that kind of weeping...). I would have teleported you to Texas and fed you basil pesto over whole wheat pasta, we coulda sat on the porch with some excellent, similarly teleported single-malt, watched the chickens and cats, and talked about everything and nothing.


xoxooxoxox

6/16/2006 6:56 PM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Ray: Thanks for the recommendation. I'll seek it out. Anything to exorcise the American Idol demon.

Circe: Aw, can't we do it today anyway? Sounds like a little slice of heaven.

6/16/2006 11:18 PM  

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