Listening to Myself – Part 3

I’ve been feeling much better since I wrote Listening to Myself – Part 2 about a week ago. I want to thank the people who reached out to me in response to that post: your support has meant the world to me. I’ve come to realize that I influence more people than I can possibly be aware of, often for the better… even in this time when I feel like I’m barely doing anything with my life. I may never see the whole, but I’m part of something important; something that needs me just as much as I need to remain a part of it. Connected.

I really needed to express what I wrote in my last post: feeling trapped, like I couldn’t express myself, like I needed some really big changes to happen or I wouldn’t feel like my life was worth living. Expressing those things – writing that post – was engaging in the very process of Creation that I felt cut off from. It was uncomfortable, and to be honest I feel guilty about the discomfort it caused others, but the very act of expressing those thoughts and feelings provided some of the relief I sought. It’s also helped me to start making some of the changes I need: volunteering, applying for jobs, spending quality time with Fox and Banji, creating art to enjoy the process, and starting to learn Tai Chi.

I’m so grateful for this space where I can express my most powerful, “dangerous” emotions safely. I’m so grateful for the people in my life who respond with concern and a desire to help however they can, without denying me my autonomy or pressuring me into silence.

I’ll admit my first instinct is to want to apologize for causing others – especially people I care about – discomfort and anxiety; sometimes it’s tempting to just take it all back and pretend to be “fine.” Let the machine run smoothly. But human emotions are important; they inspire us to do what is necessary for our individual and collective well-being. To say I “made” anyone feel a certain way is just plain inaccurate. I wrote a post expressing painful thoughts and emotions I couldn’t express anywhere else or in any other (safe) way. People read my post, experienced emotions (gasp!), and responded however they were willing and able at the time. That some responded with concern is nothing to feel bad about. It’s something to be celebrated! I’m part of a family; members of that family care about and do what they can to help each other through times that are more difficult, times of vulnerability.


Listening to Myself – Part 2

In Listening to Myself – Part 1 I quoted from posts leading up to my wedding last November. In those posts I had expressed feeling trapped and stifled, particularly in my relationships with Mom, Fox, and Fox’s family. Those feelings haven’t particularly gone away, despite efforts to improve communication.

I’ve been feeling suicidal again; Will Hall argues that feeling suicidal is not giving up on life, but needing significant change and feeling helpless to create that change. (Giving up on life would be going through the motions expected of us by society… interestingly enough, I expressed that view in my post, Giving In.) I need to figure out what changes I need, and acquire whatever help I need to make them happen, really soon. My mind’s come up with a specific way I could kill myself, and I have the means. It’s just a matter of will.

I keep telling myself that if I straighten this place up it will be more pleasant to live in, but it doesn’t happen. Why? I keep telling myself I’ll feel better if I follow through on the summer course I’m registered to take in August, or the second composition contest I learned about, or planning the family celebration of my wedding… but it doesn’t happen. Why? I keep telling myself if I exercise and make better food choices I’ll feel better and be happier, but it doesn’t happen. Why? I keep telling myself that if I want to be a music therapist I need to practice my instruments and learn songs, but it doesn’t happen. Why?

Am I waiting for permission? From Fox? It’s not going to happen. It’s just not how he operates. It’s not how anyone operates.

I need to lead; I need to say, “This is happening now. Please help me.”

But I’m so tired. I stayed up at least an hour later than I should have last night because… I don’t know. He was on the couch with me, and I wanted to interact with him. But all the dialogue was happening inside my own head and I was falling asleep and he was trying to solve a puzzle on his phone. Moving so I could actually sleep took so much energy…

The alarm went off early this morning because we wanted to beat the heat and do the yard work Mom’s agreed to pay us for. He reset the alarm and went back to sleep. My mind continued the incoherent dialogue from last night and I kind of wanted to get up, possibly do something meaningful? I guess reading articles and watching videos about topics that are important to me, and commenting on them, is meaningful. I guess writing this post is meaningful. Right?

I feel like there’s so much inside me, but I can’t let it out. Some of it, like the irrational anger, isn’t safe to let out. Not in the form it wants to come out, anyway. Some of it, like the tears, is just more of the same old stuff I’ve been expressing over and over again, with no change. It doesn’t seem to be helping anything, so why bother crying? I think I may have figured out why I have these urges to cut myself; my emotions want to create a crack in my armor, a weak point from whence they can burst out. Or, if I can’t let them out, at least I can let something out…

Every so often I feel happy for a second, and I have to remind myself that it’s okay to feel happy. It’s okay to have energy. It’s even okay to act a bit silly. But it’s hard when the person you’re with can’t pick up on that and amplify it. I feel like I have to be depressed when the people I’m around are depressed. What, I have emotions? No, that’s impossible. I’m just a mirror for everyone else. I reflect whatever emotions they seem to be expressing.

I feel cut off from Creation – by which I don’t mean “nature,” though I could use some quality time with it that doesn’t involve getting sunburn, killing plants (“weeds”), or being terrified of yellow jackets. I mean I feel cut off from the process of Creation that is so important and sacred to humans, most religions attribute it to at least one of their deities. Music, art, writing, dance, building, gardening, political debate, bungee jumping, anything! I need something to do that creates something other than waste. I feel like all I’m doing is consuming: food, media, energy, money. My mind tells me I’m a waste of space and resources, and it has a point. What good am I doing by merely existing?

Hell, if I had a job I hated at least I could put part of each paycheck into my savings account and create… a savings account with a balance that increases periodically. That’s the thing: I could play music, write, draw, whatever… but would what I created be meaningful? Would anyone else care that I created it? Would it actually do anything?