I would like not to exist this week.
My birthday continues to be one of my most vulnerable times of the year.
I’m not all that adult around my birthday. I’m 10 years old and so lonely I want to die. I’m traumatised and confused and out of step with everyone. I’m surrounded by people I can’t seem to connect with. I’m alien. No one speaks my language. No one touches me. My loneliness and vulnerability mark me as rejected and make me a target for bullying.
I have built so much since that time. My advocacy and this blog has been a huge part of that. I have a community.
Respected is not quite the same as loved.
I am in so much pain.
I am hiding it because I have learned to be ashamed. Because I am afraid of being hurt. Because I don’t want to pressure anyone. I don’t want to take, devour, consume. I don’t want charity, pity, resentment. I want to share, to be connected. To give and be given to.
There’s times I feel myself part of the world, woven into a web of many people’s lives, seen and seeing, connected, useful, of worth, wounded and imperfect but sufficient and loved.
There’s times I free fall. I can’t see or feel anyone. I’m alone in the dark. There’s a memory of pain in me so huge it blots out the sun. I was a child who wanted to die. My birthday is reliably a time I fall. Every year I’ve tried a new approach and every year at best it partly works. There’s no hole deep enough for me to hide from it. I can’t bear to ignore it, to mark it, to celebrate or hide. There’s no right answer, no way out of the pain. It’s miles of barbed wire and the only way out is through.
I wish it was different.
But I can find a way out of the shame and the silent trap. Hey there, lovely ones. This is me right now. I’ll be okay. Don’t panic. It’s not the end. I don’t need to be rescued. Don’t overwhelm me with eulogies. But be kind right now. My moon is dark. Drop me a line. Offer a hug. Invite me for coffee. Send me a sympathetic we’ve-all-been-there nod across cyberspace. Tip your hat in the street, give me that goth-kin wink.
I know I’m incredibly weird and intense. I know I’m not the only one with my heart broken, baying at the moon. I see you too, I see your bewildered and terrified 10 year olds, being eaten by the night. It will pass. We’re all just holding on, my friends. Together and apart, friend and freak.
I would like not to exist this week. But given I’m stuck with it, how then shall we pass the time? I’ll bring the accordion, you bring the tambourine. I’ll bring the communion wine, you bring the hymns. I’ll bring the black lipstick, you bring the fishnets torn at the knees. I’ll bring the pack of cards, you bring the cheeseboard. We’ll meet under the bridge, in your dining room, on the front line, out back of the hospital. I’ll check you out of the ward for the afternoon and we’ll bum a few smokes. I’ll come to tea in a ridiculous hat and sit with my knees together. I’ll read you Keats and Slessor on the jetty over the water and we’ll cry into the wind. You’ll take my hand and I won’t feel a thing. Not a thing.
9 thoughts on “To not be here for a little while, please”
Catching up on my reading, i find this incredible piece as my birthday has just passed. I read a couple of your later pieces, including how you spent your birthday, before i came to this one. Funny, that.
I feel every word in my bones. They comfort and assure me that, even in my darkest moments, i’m not alone. When i’m tripping over things in my brain, and fumbling around, trying so hard to stay in my body – to feel what i’m feeling while knowing what i know – there is, if nothing else, kinship in these experiences.
I’ve gotten through with far less. This is such a gift. Thank you.
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To feel a sense of kinship in such difficult and personal experiences is a gift I know well the meaning of. I’m glad to be part of that for you. x
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E-hugs and butterfly kisses from around the world. ❤
you should NEVER feel Shame .i do not .IT IS OTHER PEOPLE WHO SHOULD .people never see the
every day effects .most people are very Snotty Nosed with there views..i am disabled i have aspergers
m.e .migraines .bladder and bowel problems ..i, was abused as a child .I AM ALIVE
i take part in a lot lot research
A powerful piece of writing, and the power is in you. Strength and blessings.
I hope you can make it through, from one goth to another. My birthday has always been difficult for me too. Hang in there. (And your writing is beautiful!)
I too feel this way at times. I see you. Do what you gotta do to make it through, and then enjoy the spoils of victory when you come out the other side.