Thursday, August 28, 2008

I wrapped my fear around me like a blanket, I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it

But I definitely haven't been closer to fine for the last few days.

I started to wrap a cloak of depression around me. Home with no space of my own, teenage niece with the television on all the time, all this stuff I need to do, being mostly not out because my family doesn't know yet, working at a job that is not fun anymore and leaving my little one behind for two weeks - all of those things are factors.

I've been crying a lot. More than is healthy. And I tell myself, well, hey, at least I'm feeling. I'm not numb. That's something.

But fear, fear is always behind my negative thoughts.

I don't have to come out to my family right now. I get to choose the time. But not telling them is slowly killing me. There's a great big secret that I'm keeping, and I feel like every time I'm around them, I can't be myself, I can't tell them the things that are important about my life. N and I are not together anymore and they don't know yet. I need to tell them, I need to get this out because I want to move ahead with my life and I'm stuck in one place until I can tell them.

And why am I scared? Well, there is a fear of losing them, or at least being cut off temporarily (the cut off I refer to here is emotional because my family is pretty darn good at not talking about things, at glossing over the unpleasantness that they feel. Some of them, anyways)> and the actual telling of it. What do I say? When is a good time to sit down and have a nice little chat like that? And I love to put unpleasant things off until they disappear.

This won't disappear. But as long as I'm not open, I feel like I'm ashamed of who I am, that there's something to be embarrassed about. When there isn't. And if I'm truly proud of who I am, why am I not shouting it from the rooftops, instead of merely whispering it to friends that I already know will understand? I'm not a rooftop shouting kind of person, and I've always kept certain things contained.

I promised myself I wouldn't do that any more.

And then I start thinking about this whole socializing thing. I really don't know many people in the city where I live, and I really should get out more and meet people...except the mere thought of doing that, or anything approaching socializing with people that I don't know is enough to send me straight back into the turtle shell I build for myself when i was fifteen.

I actually feel like I'm fifteen years old a lot of the time. With the same anxieties and insecurities that I never really resolved when I was fifteen. I just ran and hid from everyone. I know that being around adults is (not very often) not like being a teenager at all. No one is going to judge me based on my appearance, and if they do, what should I care anymore? I'm not fifteen, remember.

Except that I am, and when I even think about having to talk to people that I don't know, or heaven forbid, going into a situation where I know absolutely no one I feel like I'm about to freeze. My throat starts to close up and I get that awful choking feeling I used to get when life was just too much for me and I wanted out. Out.

Here's the silliest thing about these fears. I drove myself all the way to Michigan, walked into a place where I knew no one at all, and went home feeling strong, loved, and valuable. So how is that experience different from others I might have?

I had a dream the other night, and in my dream I was wearing a backpack. it was extremely uncomfortable and I refused to take it off. I wore it everywhere. And I had some friends with me that I kept leaving behind. I kept forgetting that they were even with me, and I'd take off without them.

That's not an obvious message at all. I don't need the defenses anymore. Instead of protecting me from whatever threatened me when I was fifteen, they are hurting me. But I keep them around, just in case I need them, just in case some day I have to validate my insecurities by saying "See. I knew all along that I was unlovable."

I fear that most of all. That underneath this skin, there really is nothing of substance to love.

I was so excited the other day when I found out that Amy Ray is coming to Toronto in November. I've waited a long time to see her live, and I actually started thinking of not going - because I don't know anyone who listens to Amy Ray (solo) and I am terrified of going alone. To a club, by myself, where I actually might have to talk to people.

Yeah, I know, it's bull**it. Why would I do that? But when the fear overtakes me, I lose all rational thought and I just think about everything that can go wrong.

And really, I'd rather not be in Toronto by myself, navigating the bus/train/car whatever, but I've already assumed that nobody will want to go, so I've already planned in my head that I will be going alone. Does this make sense?

But it's real, and it's my own way of escaping from stressful situations. I just worry my way out of them, and rationalize all the reasons why I shouldn't go.

And then, N offered to take me. Perish the thought. I think I'll find a way to get there without him. Because I know that once I get there, get through the doors, find a spot for myself, I actually might meet people and have fun.

I can do this. I will.

If I had someone to talk to, things might not seem so scary.


Earth Muffin said...

Oh, I hope you DO go to the concert! Do it for yourself, you deserve it. And if it really freaks you out that much to talk to strangers, then don't talk to anyone at first. Go to the concert and enjoy the concert and don't feel compelled to be a social butterfly. Mr. EM is not the most sociable person in the world, but when a group he's dying to see comes to town and none of his buddies wants to go, he goes anyway. I would imagine that he sits alone, absorbs himself in the music and then leaves when the show is over. And that's ok. You can take baby steps with the socializing. It will all come together in time.

Hugs to you!

an ambrosia life said...

What a chance for huge self empowerment....I came out late in life....and it started out very similar...but then one step leads to the next and pretty soon you will not only be shouting you will be leaping from of tall will be super-dyke!

Seriously coming out is a process, but can be so empowering...there is so many opportunities to work through things that in the end give you so much strength.

Oh and one thing you never thought about was could end up going and not one soul will talk to you. I have often been disappointed at going solo to events like this....I hope to meet new people and make connections and it doesn't happen....ha!....then I start questioning my lesbian appeal..hang on it's gonna be a hell of a ride!