Caution! Read with Care

I want to write about triggers but I am worried that some people might freak out and be offended by the fact that it may be triggering to talk about triggers.

I’m going to do it anyways. I am purposely attempting to write what pops in my head without letting the opinions of others continue to silence my brain.

Especially because it is imaginary opposition.

Until I push post I will never know what anybody’s thoughts may be and even then, my goal is to get people talking so it makes no sense to let the worries of what others “might” think prevent me in any way from sharing my own thoughts. If anything I welcome the feedback and opinions of others, even if it isn’t what I want to hear. I don’t mind haters. They are passionate. They express themselves. They are vocal. They encourage exciting and stimulating conversation and when listened to and not taken too personally they often make valid points.

But  sometimes it feels as if people don’t really even hate anymore. Or they hate falsely.

Everyone is walking around with so many repressed emotions that triggering is a real, honest to God excuse for people not to communicate.

When did everyone become so deathly afraid to talk about topics that may cause someone to experience a real idea or express a true feeling? I’m not trying to pick a fight by discussing sensitive things; I’m trying to start conversations about how to make change happen. I don’t know when and how the line between communication and confrontation became so blurred and the infuriating thing is that I don’t know if it is actually ingrained in people to ignore reality intentionally or if they honestly believe they can’t say what they feel.

It seems more and more as if people are desensitized when talking about anything that matters. I would rather talk about something that could be considered triggering in a conversation than continuing to actively avoid anything and everything that is important so as not to upset, offend or cause anyone to explore a repressed thought.

When and how did everyone become so stale to an actual conversation?

I refuse to keep living a shadow of who I was meant to be by banishing what I truly feel. So weighed down by sadness and responsibility and judgment and exhaustion and disgust that numbness has become the acceptable way to be. What kind of example is that for my kids? For anyone? I have a responsibility to be better than numb.

We all do.

word vomit

imageWhen I was in the sixth grade I wrote a paper that was chosen to be read aloud at an all school assembly.

The theme of the paper was to write about a lesson we felt individually captured the essence of a recently completed school wide drug abuse education program.

Some of you may remember D.A.R.E? Drug abuse Resistance education.

It was a pretty big deal back then. A local police officer would come in once a week or so and lecture to us on the evils of drugs and why we should never partake in such wrong doings. Marijuana was the main topic but other illegal substances were covered as well. I don’t remember ever talking specifically about what made drugs so bad, just that we needed to say no.

Always.

No, no, no. Just say NO! I think there may have been a police dog mascot or something? I seem to remember stickers featuring a gruff looking dog saying “No!” but I could be mixing that up with some other animal imparting life saving advice to Americas youth.

I don’t remember much about the whole program, just that drugs were bad and killed people and we should just say no. No, no, no to drugs.

The entire middle school was asked to write about their experiences within the program and try to capture that one thing that stood out to them. That important piece that ensured we would never in fact turn to crack in our times of solace.

I wrote my paper, handed it in and forgot about it.

When my teacher told me that they had chosen my writing as one of the papers they wanted to share at the assembly I was shocked. It is always a validating feeling;being chosen. What she neglected to tell me was that I was going to have to be the one to read it.

In front of the entire middle school.

Wearing a D.A.R.E t shirt that was at least 2 sizes too small.

Three papers were chosen. One from each grade. 8th, 7th and me.

I tried getting out of it. Trust me. I begged and pleaded and told them I was sick. I may have cried a little. But the show had to go on. What had we learned about saying no to drugs? Share children, share.

This experience was the beginning of the end of my public speaking career. I had to go first because I was the youngest. I looked out at all of the people and kind of lost my shit. I could feel myself shaking and I knew my face was bright red because it felt like it was on fire and the tremor in my voice made it sound as if I was crying as I was reading. The shaking progressed to the point in which I couldn’t hold the paper. I tried to read as fast as possible so that this hell could just end and started running the words together like they were all just one long sentence.

It was so, so, incredibly bad. The worst kind of embarrassment for a sixth grade kid.

That might have been the end of it.

But let me introduce the bane of my sixth grade existence.

I won’t use his actual name. We will call him Lamey. Lamey Sloopy.

Lamey sloopy went out of his way (we didn’t even have classes together) to torment me about how shitty the reading of my paper went. He stalked me in the halls purposely to reenact my performance, the shaking and all. He was never satisfied until his squad of goon shit friends all had a laugh at my expense. This went on for weeks.

The bullying wasn’t so bad. I was used to being an outsider. What sucked was that my paper was good. I knew it was. And because my fear had kept me from delivering it confidently my message had become a joke.

I never got over my hatred for Lamey Sloopy. I probably never will. I have a terrible habit of holding a grudge for far too long.

I’m thinking about all of this tonight because tomorrow I will be reading something I wrote publicly. The piece was awarded second place in a writing contest and the winners have been invited to share their work.

I’m freaking the fuck out. I’m having anxiety to the point that I’m making myself sick. I know I can do it but I never quite got over Lamey and his attempts to make me feel inferior due to his own feelings of inadequacy. Things like that stay with a kid. What if I do the same thing? It’s entirely possible that I will. I will look out in the crowd and imagine him there, mocking me. Waiting to corner me and make jokes about me for the entertainment of others.

Or I could own this shit. In is honor. Read this writing like the bad ass I know I am and finally let my burning hatred for Lamey Sloopy go.

Because after all, that was almost 30 years ago. I do believe it is time to let that shit go.

This one is for you Lamey. I release the power you have held over my confidence after all this time. Even though you probably had no idea I was still holding on to how your dickish actions affected me and in fairness to you there were many other contributing factors that led to me hating sharing my writing. Or even trying to write.

But still, this one is for you. Thank you for teaching me at such an early age that people suck but that their suckiness isn’t worth holding me back. If anything, it gives me fuel to fight that much harder.

Cheers Buddy! I honestly thank you for helping me become the wary and anxious yet amazing warrior bitch I am today.

Just say no to doubting yourself. And to drugs…

 

Rage

I’m sitting here with nothing but my rage.

The crying has not helped. It has not made the pain subside. I have cried enough.  My eyes lids are swollen to the point of popping. I wish they would.

All the better to not see things clearly.

I can’t breathe. My nose is raw from blowing snot and I’m running out of the bodily fluids that release suffering.

The agony of this.

I wish I could explain through key strokes the scream that is demanding to be heard. Building and building. Cracking through. Desperately trying to crawl out.

The guttural, primal rawness.

How can I ever mange the truth of it?

Why does it have to be so damn familiar?

A new fight would offer new experiences and possible new ways to deal with the opponent. New ways to deny and compartmentalize. Possible opportunities to manipulate facts.

This though. This personal, unavoidable and familiar enemy. It is mocking me.

“What are you going to do now?”

It taunts, dancing around my brain.

“Your move. How are you going to fight me this time? You can’t win. You will never win.”

It fuels my rage.

It is there and it deserves to be heard. I have not honored it. Have not broken shit or raged irrationally at the wrong people or gotten shit faced or tried to numb it away or blamed anyone other than myself.

I have not given it the usual pampering and attention that it craves, this disdain that is my shadow companion.

My anger had not dissipated. Not even a fraction. But I have yet to act on it. That is the glaring difference.

Is this how I win?

By finally acknowledging that the anger can be a part of me without letting it claim me?

And why does the test have to be so soul wrenchingly, blatantly personal to everything that I know to be right? A slap in the face to the injustices I know more should be angrier about? There is no deserving or not deserving. There is just the knowing that pain is inevitable and being right doesn’t make a difference. In the most crucial battles, winning and losing are interchangeable.

Absorb that injustice into your system and sit with it.

Do I have every right to unleash this part of myself?

Of course.

Do it now…

Let.

Me.

Out.

I could defend it. Explain it. Rationalize it. It’s mine. I have earned this rage.

But I cannot. I have not. It has everything and nothing to do with me.

Releasing my inner demon will not help this time and it is pissing me off even more that this is the lesson in which I finally have to learn that reality.

What now?

I believe…

I believe in the impossible.I believe in prayer.I believe in angels.I believe in knowledge. I believe in connection. I believe in second chances. I believe in miracles. I believe in the right to walk away. I believe in universal energy. I believe in spirits.I believe in love. I believe in hope. I believe in innocence, even after it has been lost or taken. I believe change is possible, no matter how terrifying it is. I believe in soul mates. I believe in honesty, even when it hurts. I believe in big foot. I believe we are all here for a reason and we all matter and we are all worthy. I believe in healing. I believe in using your voice for those that can’t, no matter how sacred you are. I believe in magic. I believe in God. I believe in those who don’t. I believe in acceptance of each other no matter what we may believe unless it harms someone else. Most of all I believe that we are all imperfect but that each and everyone of us has the potential to make this universe better in some way. We just need to believe that we can.