We are brittle, ashamed, and human

When you live in solitude long enough, there comes a time when you recognize who you truly are. “True”, in the sense “unobscured by others”.

I am not used to taking care of myself. I have more to do since I have to do everything. I am lonely.

In the beginning you could use the solitude as an excuse. But one day you will realize… this is who you are when you are on your own. When everyone has been hidden away from you. When you don’t have anyone to rely on to give you a role, a script, a mask. When you are left alone, vulnerable.

This is who you truly are.

Without any imput from the outside, you become both numb and overly sensitized. With the hard shell holding everything together stripped away, inside the crumbling mess you find pieces of yourself you had hidden away so that no one can see it. Weaknesses. Embarrassment. Shame. Disgust. Surrender and hopelessness.

Fall apart.
So easily… fallen apart.

No one can know. Because if they knew, and they rejected you, you couldn’t live with the pain. Because if they knew, and they embraced you, you will fall apart into pieces. Even now, you are waiting for someone to pick you up and tell you that they love you the way you are. Even now, when you have hidden yourself away from everyone.

Hide. Don’t hide.
Give up. Don’t give up.

Empty. A corpse is so empty and so cold. A lifeless thing. No pain, no pleasure. Give the knife in your pocket a reassuring pat and gather up. Go on living… because life is whatever you think it is. Find comfort in life, in death – wherever you can, however you can. According to your own compass that you build and take apart, build and take apart…

Alone… Together.

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the month of mental strain

Writing – when I am not trying to write something fictional – used to come naturally to me. The first sentences would flow through my head, giving me some strands to work with. I used to feel the need to get those sentences out on a paper or on my laptop. And after I was done, I used to feel this relief, quiet happiness and calm.

In January I did not want to write at all. It was as if the writing part of me – which is the most unknown but in a way the most important part of me – had suddenly died. In hindsight maybe it is more apt to say it went under, that it was slumbering.

December was a month of physical strain for me. I had taken on more workload than I can calmly and skillfully manage, and it was suffocating me. As usual, I’d expected myself a lot more than I can fulfill, so I can later hate myself or something. I was ill for two weeks, and exhaustion was my constant companion. So at the end of December, I requested a leave of absence from my voluntary work, silently cut off one class, and gave myself more breathing room.

Then January came, and at first I slugged through the huge workload – exams coming up in mid-February! -, the stress, the occasional sharp and sudden pangs of longing for my family. I woke up, I ate, I went to classes, I studied, I returned home, I slept. But even that pretense of normalcy stopped about ten days ago.
It started with a migraine – and wow, do I wish I will never have to experience that ever again – and maybe that was a part of me saying that I need to stop a damn second and look around myself. So I stopped. I only went to classes I really have to go to. I stopped the weekly apartment cleaning. I ate what I felt like eating. I watched LOTS of Gilmore Girls because it soothed me, let me forget the reality, and inspired me.
Behind that migraine was not only my stress about the exams or fear of my inadequacy. Nope, there was my toxic relationship to my father, my friend’s toxic relationship to an abuser, and me losing the sight of what I wanted. I felt – feel – lost in the sea of strangers telling me what I should do, of my imaginations of strangers telling me what I should do, of silent expectations, of the naked terror of having to rely on myself, and myself only, to pull through this muddy, sticky, toxic mess. Every breath I took settled on my chest like a lead weighing me down, down, down, pulling me under. Whenever I am feeling like I am under attack, and alarms are flashing, my vulnerability does not allow me to share any of these with anyone. At least until I am ready. That’s why I didn’t write at all in January, I suppose.

When I reach the bottom of all this – mental collapse? – there is always this question, nagging me, making me doubt, creating this huge mess. Is what I am doing right? Is this what I should be doing? There is a problem in this line of thinking, and that’s that I let myself – still! After all the years and exercises of banishment! – think that there is something I should be doing, some sort of unwritten rule of my destiny, a cosmic reckoning, whatever.

The only thing that I know, and this knowledge comes from deep within myself, is that I need to write. Write, write, write. Write something, anything! Write something intelligent, silly, suspenseful, boring, personal, small talk-ish chitchat, diary, report, research paper, whatever. Writing is an integral part of me. I knew it when I decided to become a writer in the fifth grade or so, my English teachers knew it when they encouraged me to write more, my mother knew it in some way when she said, over and over, that my writings had some sort of living essence. Of course, she discouraged me from winning my bread from writing only because that’s what parents usually do. Today I wish that she would trust me more, at least enough to recognize that I know what to do with my gifts. I wish that my family had encouraged me to write more, try out different kinds of writing, that they had accepted writing to be a big part of me. But I do understand that they were all busy with their lives, they wanted me to be “realistic”, they are more terrified of poverty than I am and not just because I am “still young, oh-so-idealistic”. I am plenty afraid of poverty. Just not enough to let it dictate my life. So instead of embracing the core of me, I am keeping this blog (and plenty others that came before this) a semi-secret. (I do not feel the urge to make my blog wildly public to everyone I know but I am not going to lie about its existence or anything.)

I do not have this deep, innate sense of knowing with law. I think, I believe, I would be saying the same thing had I studied English Literature instead of Law. There is some relief and consolation in that. But while I don’t know whether studying law is part of me, I do enjoy it. I don’t enjoy the exams, I’m not a lunatic. But I do enjoy getting to know the systems, the rationales behind them, and how we could make them better. That’s why it would be a pity if I failed the exams three times and got expelled. And my fear of doing exactly that is what drives me bonkers every time before the exams. On the one hand I don’t believe I am going to fail the exams. I mean hey, I know something, so I should be able to get it coherently on paper, right? But once I take a look at the details, this sudden terror grips me and I think Holy shit there is still so MUCH I don’t know, I am totally going to fail!
… I hope my professors take pity on us students.

Oh, and I feel much better now.

It’s not the end, it’s just a beginning – Samhain

I don’t know exactly when it started. Looking back at the past, though, has revealed something about me that I have been ignoring for some time now:
I’m impatient to get to the end of my life.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I don’t mean this in a suicidal way.
It seems I have subconsciously mapped out a plan for my life, and I just want to get to the end of that plan, so I can say “So there. I’ve done something with my life.” The plan isn’t even terribly creative: finish high school,  obtain a degree in Law, get a “good” job, love & live with my soul mate forever after if I find him / her.

It’s funny. Some years ago, I found myself living in the past, running away from my presence. Now I’m doing the exact same thing, just in another direction: I’m barely enduring my presence and fleeing towards the future.

It’s like I’m tightly coiled to a small ball, ready to strike out to anyone and anything. I need to force myself to relax my iron grip on all those controls I have surrounded myself with. I need to slow down and try to see the beauty in the life that I am currently breathing in. But it’s so hard – so hard to let myself go, to let myself feel .

Add to that the fact that I am now in a completely new environment with no friends to count on. I’m a shy person, so it’s hard for me to chat up strangers. And I’m reminded – involuntarily – of all those disastrous times whenever I started a new school, in the 5th grade when I have just moved to Germany, and in the 7th grade, starting high school. My brain still remembers all those embarrassing moments when I said hi to people I have met the day before and they looked at me distractedly and then ignored me the whole time. The times I have walked among a big group of girls, saying nothing and not being noticed whether I was there or not, just so I wouldn’t have to be alone. That time when I thought I had made two good friends and we would be friends forever, and then finding out that they just let me tag along as a third wheel because really, those two were BFF with each other and there was no place for me to join in. I still remember how the conversation would die out whenever I wanted to join in – was I too serious, too intense? Did I look bored? Did I smell funny?
All those attempts to fit in, and all those little scars that have accumulated over the years as I looked despairingly at myself, trying to figure out the flaw so I could erase it from my system. I wanted to be funny, talkative, outgoing, cheerful – the kind of person that attracts other people like a magnet.
And finally I gave up all that. I had by then a group of people I was comfortable with, and even though it’s loyalty to each other that still holds us together, I settled for my group of friends, more than content. The last two years of high school were great, because by then I knew everyone and I had many inspiring and deep conversation with my teachers (for which I was looked at funnily).

And now? Now I’m exactly at the same place as six years ago. I don’t know anyone, the teachers are more professional and less personal, and there is little opportunity to mix with different groups of students (the first-year Law students at my school are around 460 in number). I think I have been trying to protect myself from being hurt again while navigating through the turbulent waters that I call socializing. So far, I have been keeping to myself, not trying to attach myself to an unknown group of people, not reaching out, just curling up to a small ball. It’s not like anyone notices anyway, except for maybe one person, and I only know her because she’s a friend of my sister’s. I just don’t know how to start a conversation, and more importantly, how to keep it going. And truth be told, I’m tired and wary of all those small talks.

It’s Samhain. The Witches’ New Year. A time for me to make resolutions.
I want…
To be more honest and careful with myself.
To try to be more open and friendly.
To be more positive towards myself and my life.
To do more things that make me happy.
To write more, because it seems to have a healing effect on me.
To be able to relax in stressful situations.

Happy Samhain.