Flailing and Failing

I am failing.

All the brave words I have written to this point ring hollow in my ears.  It’s all just a bunch of shit that I believe for a brief minute before tossing it to the wayside again.

I am falling.

Into the abyss, the same one where I used to dwell.  Every time I think I have scrambled my way out, I find another level.  It’s like Dante’s nine circles of hell.  There are so many steps on the way up, I wonder if I’ll ever breathe free air again.

I am hurting.

I fight the demons.  I fight the sadness.  I fight the pain and the fear and the numbness.  I fight the depression and the tears.  I fight the memories, and I fight my past.

I am tired.

Every moment of respite has an underlying tinge of sadness to it.  I can feel the happiness and the joy and the pleasure, but the demons are waiting, waiting to swoop down and engulf me once again.

I am weak.

I just want to go to crawl in my bed and not come out ever again.  I want to pull the covers over my head and allow Morpheus to take me.  Though my sleep is filled with nightmares, in some ways, they are preferable to dealing with the pain of living.

I am lost.

I have no map, no guide, no faith to lead me where I need to be.  I look at the wide open expanse, and all I can feel is fear.  I have never been this far down this road before, and I have never been very good at winging it.

I am grieving.

That little girl, so small, so helpless.  By the age of eleven, I was suicidal.  Every day, I thought about how I didn’t want to be alive.  I hated every minute of every day, and the nights were not much better.    When I was at my niece’s eleventh birthday party, I was conscious of a bittersweetness permeating my brain.  She was so lovely and so confident (though that is already starting to erode, three months later); she just shone.  How I ached to know what that felt like at her age.

I am terrified.

The memories hurt as if the events just happened yesterday.  I can feel what that little girl felt, though I try valiantly to tamp down the intensity.  My body physically aches from the pain I’m experiencing.  I can feel my heart expanding until it threatens to explode with tears.  It is ripping me up inside, and I don’t know if I have the resources to stop it from destroying me.

I am mournful.

I know so many people who have gone through something similar to what I have experienced.  While it’s comforting to know that I am not alone on my journey, it hurts me that so many others have felt this way.  So many broken boys and girls who have suffered tremendously, alone in the night.  Some have clawed back from the depths of hell through sheer determination and contrariness, but so many more fall through the cracks.  They numb themselves, hurt themselves and/or others, and are the walking wounded.  They are psychologically dead, even if they are physically alive.  I know, for that is what I was for so many years.

I am longing.

I want the childhood I never had.  I want a world that seems unlimited as I gaze upon the wonders that surround me.  I want to believe that I can grow up and be anything I like, including a Tony-winning actor, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, and content in life and love.  I want to look joyously towards the future, dreaming of all the delights that await me.  I want a home that is a safe place, a nurturing place, a real home.

I am sorry.

I regret all the wasted years.  I regret not knowing better.  In the present, I am sorry because I still feel like I’m badly disappointing my friends who so firmly believe in me.  With all these awesome people rooting for me, supporting me, and being in my corner, why the fuck can’t I just believe in myself already?

I am broken.

I try so hard to mend what has been shattered.  Every time I stitch up one gaping hole, another wound punctures my soul.  I am practicing triage, and still, I feel the life force seeping out of me.   No matter how fast I stop the bleeding, I can never stem it completely.  The scars crisscross my soul, and they won’t stop throbbing.

I am in despair.

The pain is unending.  It continues, no matter how I try to ameliorate it, alleviate it, ease it, obliterate it.  I can envision a future, vaguely, but it moves further away from me.  How can I trust that I even have a future when so much of my past is a lie?

I am weakening.

Whatever strength I had, whatever resolve I possessed, whatever determination I mustered have all but dissipated.  I normally love the nights, but now, as night approaches, I find myself filled with dread.  That is when the demons come out to play.  That is when all the doubts, fears, anguishes, and horrors emerge from their cages.   Even when I manage to escape their embraces, I fall into the clutches of Morpheus, who is equally cruel.   He pelts my brain with images of murder, rape, mayhem, discord, and fear.  So much fear, I awake with my heart pounding as I gasp for breath.

I am on my knees.

No matter how I try to bolster myself, no matter how I try to brace myself up, I can’t stand on my own two feet.  Every time I make a move to rise, a hand shoves me back down to the floor again.  Without a core, I cannot defeat the forces aligning against me.  How can I defend myself when there is nothing there to defend?  Why should I even try when I’m not sure what IS there is worth defending?

I am silently screaming.

I learned how to be quiet when I cry.  I learned not to be outwardly angry.  For the most part, I can put on a happy face no matter what I’m feeling inside.  This ability is slipping, but it’s still functional.  All I want to do is scream and rage and howl and cry.  Instead, it’s all on the inside.  Even when I allow the tears to escape my tightly closed eyes, I grind my teeth together so no sound can escape from me.  Another legacy of my childhood that I have yet to fix.  The greater the pain, the quieter and more still I become.  Maybe then, it’ll go away.

I am vulnerable.

Every defense has been ripped away.  Every shield I had crafted and erected has been smashed to smithereens.  I have nothing built in their place, so I am scrambling to find a way to protect myself from the pain.  Yet, since the old defenses are all I knew, I don’t know what to do.  I know how to hurt myself, to numb myself, to go so far into the blackness that I am in danger of never returning.  I don’t know how to protect myself in a healthy, positive way.

I am defeated.

I can’t keep getting up again.  It’s too fucking hard.  The punches are too fast, and way too fucking furious for me to cope.  My tank is hovering just above empty, and I don’t know how to refuel.  More to the point, I don’t want to fight any more.  I want to wave the white flag of surrender.

I am done.

P.S.  I couldn’t embed the NIN version of Hurt that I liked the best, so I’m substituted the Johnny Cash version–which is almost as good.  The NIN version is here.

18 Responses to Flailing and Failing

  1. why the fuck can’t I just believe in myself already?
    ~~~~~~~~
    It takes time. You can’t just say, “I believe” and make it so. You have got to say it over and over again like an affirmation. After all, that’s what it is, an affirmation of your worthiness.
    WE know you are worthy of kindness and love, you just haven’t accepted it yet.
    Until you realize your own self value and not that one imposed on you by people who hurt you, you will not accept much in the way of self love or self belief.
    Just remember, those are the people you can’t trust with your heart, so don’t listen to the lies they left behind in your head.

  2. I daresay that not a single person who reads this will feel that you are failing him or her.

    The belief and love of those who believe in and love you is not conditional. They believe in you, as a whole person, and your struggles will not change that. And it certainly won’t change because you haven’t healed overnight.

    The healing is not something you owe anyone. It is a process you are undergoing, and will be for a long time. Even the despair and pain you feel right now are part of that process, since you are allowing yourself to feel them. Healing is not linear – just because you are broken and exhausted right now doesn’t mean that you aren’t continuing on the healing path.

  3. whabs, I am counting on you to be one of those people constantly reminding me that my demons lie. I admire the strength with which you’ve faced your own difficulties, and I am trying to emulate your bravery. I will try to act like I have faith until I actually do.

    Betsy, I can’t tell you how grateful I am that you have started commenting on my blog. I very much appreciate your wisdom and your kindness. You’ve said exactly what I need to hear.

  4. Hear, hear, Betsy!

    Minna, you are not disappointing me, or anyone else. It’s not even in the fabric of your being to do so. You have every reason to be EXHAUSTED with the sheer weight of what you’re doing right now. Every thing you are saying rings true to yourself. I am so proud to call you my friend, now or later.

    I have every reason to have faith in you being you. That’s enough for me.

  5. Minna, I am so sorry for the pain you’re going through. But of course you aren’t disappointing me, as everyone else has said. I can’t begin to imagine what you’re going through, but I still believe that the pain you’re experiencing is part of the healing process. And that through all of it you can be as honest and eloquent of this testifies to the strength that will ultimately see you through to your victory over your demons.

  6. Choolie, thank you for fiercely supporting me and for teaching me methods of dealing with this shit. I can’t tell you how much it means for me to have you in my corner.

    Gregory, keep the faith, Gregory, for I have little. Thank you, always, for being such a good friend to me.

  7. Minna, I don’t really have any different qualities than the next person, but I’ll tell you what my secret is.

    I do the exact opposite of what my first reaction to do is.

    That’s it. I suppose you could call it checking myself, but it has led me to be less reactionary and less impulsive in my assumptions.

    I also decided that because I’m not super confrontational, I don’t ask questions and try not to rock the boat. When I do this I “fill in the blanks”. In other words I make up my own theories and stories which are never really on target.

    I have tried to recognize when I am making up a story and just accept what I see. If I need to know something I force myself to ask someone to fill in the blank, but I try not doing it myself.
    Basically, I had to train myself to question myself and think my reactions through. I suppose that is why I over think everything now. I’ve gone from one extreme to another!

  8. Maybe this is the wrong way to look at it, but let me give you a parallel I think you might recognize, since you’re a firm advocate of it on BJ. View the the fight through the lens of the current political farce. It took how many years to screw things up, yet the wingnuts babble on about it not being magically fixed only a few months into the effort. You are among the many who rightfully deride such insincere arguments.

    For yourself, the pain started years ago. Your recognition of it and your efforts to explore and understand it all have only been quite recent if I am reading your posts here correctly. It’s not something that will magically repair itself with a simple snap of the fingers. You, your friends and supporters may wish that it were, but it is indeed a struggle, a battle joined. Each day, each step, each breath is one closer to resolution.

    Again, I apologize if this seems too facile or seems to trivialize your struggle, that is decidedly not my intent. I simply wished to cast a somewhat different light on it. This certainly doesn’t lessen the pain you are feeling nor quell your fears. It may, however, give you a subtly different perspective.

  9. Thanks for that – I’m glad that my words have been able to help, even a tiny tiny bit. I hoped I wasn’t intruding by commenting on something so deeply personal.

    Thinking good thoughts for you!

  10. whabs, my problem is thinking too much and stifling my natural instincts. Or something like that. I do think both of us will find the middle one day. We’ll find it together.

    Gravenstone, that is a great analogy since I am very passionate about politics (as you know). You are right in that it’s taken a long time for me to become this way, so I can’t expect to fix everything in the first hundred days of a new administration. Thanks for giving me another way of looking at my situation. Different perspectives help.

    Betsy, I have enjoyed your commentary over at BJ, and I like what you have to say here. You are not intruding. If I post it, it’s open to everyone. Besides, you are a wise woman, even if you don’t see it yourself.

    Alex, that is an apt song for my situation. I know this is heretical, but I like Lennon’s solo work better than his Beatles’ music. You are so positive; I really appreciate that.

  11. Actually, YOU deserve it just as much as I do!
    This is what you called it…fruition. It has taken a decade to happen. It is the direct result of my hard work, and willingness to wade through some really crap filled, turbulent, painful, suckie, I hate it and want off this ride, waters.
    I told myself over and over again, when I didn’t believe it, that I was just as entitled to what I saw others getting that I didn’t allow myself.
    You might not have The Girl waiting for you at the end of some of your rainbows, but you know that feeling I shared with you by showing you this moment? YOU deserve that moment too and you will get there.
    When you do, I will shed a few tears for you because really Minna, YOU deserve it JUST AS MUCH AS ME.

  12. Arse.

    You are Minna. You are who I know you as – funny, sarcastic…but mostly funny.

    Oh, and you like to drop the f bomb on whabbs’ blog a lot.

    Fuck ’em all – I like you for who you are 🙂

    See…you and whabbs should come over and have a few beers with me, then I’ll tell you all the BEST stories first hand – the ones that don’t make my blog 😉

  13. whabs, I wish I could believe that. It’s much easier for me to champion the worth of my friends than it is for me to believe in myself. Right now, I am just too sad to even think about what I do or don’t deserve.

    Alex, thank you for the link. It’s given me something to ponder, though I do not agree completely with what she’s written.

    snee,, how I wish I could meet up with you. I have a feeling you could help me over my current case of blues in a rather fun and creative way.

    whabs, ditto that.