It’s always a white man, the white man who can make ungrounded arguments and thinks that he is so sentimental and deep. Meanwhile I sit on the other side, panicking at his lack of understanding and empathy. He is the one saying that his uncle with the walking disorder deserves no pity: As though people can be expected to act in non-burdensome ways even when they are ill. He says mediocre things like “I’m not good at math but I passed my statistics course”. I stared at him with a stoic smile, but wondered how someone can be proud of mediocrity. But then I remember how upper middle-class white people have the privilege of being mediocre. This privilege comes from not having to tackle systematic inequality and never being denied an argument based on their identity. And then I disclose too much, I disclose too much to prove that his oh so deep argument is actually a misunderstanding of normality. He says nonchalantly: ” the only life that can seem normal to oneself is one’s own life”. But hello my own life has never seemed or appeared normal. With the shifting moods it has only felt like a life that moves too quickly and I can barely catch up to: as though my life is a train and I am running to make sure that the door doesn’t close on my face. I told him about the bipolar that plagues me. He interjected by praising mania, exclaiming how jealous he is of people that are bipolar, and that yes he is aware of the coming doom, but the mania sounds amazing. Mania is not what the movies show it to be, mania is decisions which leave you empty, in problems, which push people away because everything moves too quickly and you have no inhibitions to control your interactions. I told him that it is not what he thinks it is. We moved on to the cliche topic of how terrible 2016 made everyone feel. He chimes in to say: “Now is the time to figure out how you would behave during the Hitler Era, blah blah.”He proclaims his knowledge that as a white cis-gendered hetero man with blue eyes, he faces no coming persecution. Everything at this point becomes noise, I am being pushed to an extreme discomfort and I don’t know what to do. I feel dirty, as though every part of me is soiled and unworthy. This man so confidently walks around being a disgusting excuse for a human being. All the microaggressions remind me that to indirect racists I am a stereotype, not a person but a reified phenomenon. Not real but an object; an illusion, an invisible figment, a sort of problem. I looked at him who has excused himself to go to the bathroom, and attempt to form a connection through a smile, he looks back, panic stricken, a half smile forming through force, and I know that apart from wasting 4 dollars on cold-brew and basically sabotaging my sleep, I have wasted so much vulnerability on someone who wanted nothing but a surface connection. I went back, I hid, I felt sad. This is the experience of having a complex identity, one who does not fit into definitions of normality, who as a woman am too direct, who has been able to succeed through the obstacles within education and don’t directly fit into the narrative of mediocrity, and yet as I sit with this particular white man, I start to hate everything about myself, particularly the part of me that isn’t mediocre enough to validate this man and in turn is validated. I have a great amount to learn and love still. I don’t know what normality can feel like, nor do I want to though.
cw:rape, mental health and medication
I woke up today and actually felt like a different person, as though a weight lifted and I’m plateauing back to rational. 2016 for me was a stretch of a year, one which made me face myself head on. The lithium medication left me stranded in a small internal hell that I couldn’t represent externally. But I stopped taking it, and even while on it forced myself to be productive. I do remember how inadequate and guilty it made me feel any moment that I was not being productive. I ended my relationship with Dan. I still don’t know how this makes me feel. A great amount of my choices are based on my mood cycle so I never quite feel connected to them, only in some distant way do I feel like they affect my current actions. I’ve gotten very good at compartmentalizing but this has also allowed me to survive the downfalls and bad choices that I have made recently. The resilience to continue despite wanting nothing but to stop has proved to be my best character trait, better than anything I could portray externally. I experienced a third case of rape this year; it left me angry, energetic, self-destructive. I think these feelings are staring to fade, becoming a quiet hum while instead I just want to make real connections. I became for a while this person who kept displaying inappropriate emotions and critique. I think 2016 served to humble me: it showed me that I am no one and that I am not superior to anyone, just living through this capitalist reality. I have a lot to externalize in the sense of repressed sadness but I think that eventually I will be able to and the days are staring to get longer rather than shorter. I think that I am ready to go back and to be at peace again. I beat the beast that was trying to suffocate me and I am in a non-cliche way new.
I ripped the candy wrapper,
Did you hear the news?
I ripped the candy wrapper.
I do not remember ripping it,
it must have happened beyond my consciousness
but I ripped it.
I broke it, I tore it, I killed it.
In some way parallel to how I handle relationships.
I ruin, and wreck, and never even intend to or notice.
So then I become apathetic to it, I don’t even feel sadness.
I blame it on:
and I find a new tv show,
or another person to distract me.
Because in reality I am sad,
I feel remorse and yet did I truly ruin it,
or did they just leave?
I convince myself that it is the latter, that way I did nothing,
I can’t fix it, and it is insignificant.
I stare instead at some image
Tonight I could write the saddest lines or I could stuff my face with the rum raisin ice cream in the fridge but instead I will write about the way my character has developed.
I did cry tonight and I roamed around holding yet another cigarette in my hand. I attempted to fall but I couldn’t. Maybe it hasn’t hit me yet that we broke up but maybe I just think that I couldn’t do anything to save the relationship. Even if it hadn’t ended he was talking about pulling away.
I know that I’m hard to love but maybe someday someone may think it’s easier than he did. I suppose after your third heart break, you just know that there is hope and that love does not end with one person. It’s always painful to see someone go. And the thought of the person who held you, holding another is almost unbearable. But after getting used to people leaving, and breaking, and scraping, one day your heart just becomes numb to it all.
It still hurts. I won’t act like I’m some emotion zombie but it doesn’t hurt like it did the first time. The first time may not have been the most beautiful but it is the most painful both emotionally and physically.
I didn’t turn on evanescence nor Lana del Rey today and instead opened a playlist full of new songs. New music brings happiness to your brain; it’s proven.
Even the darkest has arms is the title of the song currently playing and it’s true. When I was depressed the dark always seemed to have a power that the day lacked. Maybe in the dark I could breathe because I didn’t have to pretend to have it all together.
I am a very difficult person to love but I have a right to be an individual. I’m not losing myself, I can give my time but never myself. I may lose one hundred more people but at the end of the day I have myself and as long as I can live with myself, the rest doesn’t matter.
I’m working on my thesis and I’m reading lolita. I always fall in love with the language of the novel. I can try to be critical but I am instead mesmerized by the magic that words can make.
I do not want to be an easy book but instead want someone to find my complexity enthralling and beautiful.
I have much to do still to better myself. I have to lose 25 pounds still. But I have hope that one day I may reach a place where I feel comfortable being my imperfect self. I wasn’t enough this time. To be honest after the fights I almost feel incompetent to ever be in a relationship. I just heard you suck, you’re such an asshole, you don’t get it so many times that I can’t be sad to not be in a relationship where I wasn’t enough and I was the problem. Being alone hurts but it’s better than constantly feeling like a problem. I was somewhat an awful person but bad habits die very slowly. Maybe the best bet is being alone and working on my thesis, my life, my knowledge, my netflix queue, my summer reading books, and most of all myself.
I’m closing this relationship by trying to be a better version of myself for myself.