Fractured and torn.
Upside down and inside out.
Losing grip on reality, capturing it for a fleeting moment, only to watch the wisp of normality slip through my fingers.
The Boy: “Just be normal!!!”
Me (screaming): “WHATS NORMAL????? HOW AM I NOT NORMAL?????”
I know I am not ‘normal’ – and please don’t start the age old debate about what is normal is abnormal – we don’t need to intellectualize the concept.
I am struggling with normal reactions, emotions and how to respond in social situations – I have always had to be careful, wary and watchful to ensure that my reactions are appropriate. I am constantly trying to assess my reactions, copy others, think of the way I should be responding rather than being the awkward adolescent I am.
The longer I am sober, without drink or drugs, the harder it is to hide the fact that my grasp on reality and life is tenuous at best. Since I can remember, I have always looked for cues on how to behave, react and just be – I have used other peoples perceptions and standards be my guide on who to be.
To my grandparents – I was the perfectly respectful grand-daughter who always wore the clothes they liked, had my hair neatly in a bun or ponytail, stood silently until spoken to, called everyone Mrs/Mr and was the most politest child I could possibly be. In return I had their unconditional love and support, the safety of their home and was looked after well. I was loved.
To my mother – I was the Mother. I looked after her. I was the grown up. I still am today, although I feel like a lie, an alien and I wonder how long I can keep up appearances.
I always related best with adults – they always had an agenda and an expectation of who I was. Children didn’t – they allowed you to be who you wanted to be which was scary as I didn’t know who I was. So I became a grumpy, surly and defensive little thing – hard to make friends with, but once you broke down the ice fortress I was overly sensitive and continually watching and trying to fit in.
Now, as an adult, I am lost. Completely and utterly lost. I don’t know who I am, where I am going or who I want to be. I am raw, without protection or layers of skin – I have been flayed in the last 6 weeks until I do not know who I am. Nor do I have people around me who want to tell me who I am – they just want me to be me.
How can I be me if I am afraid of me? Afraid of who I will find if I let me out. I am petrified and feel like I have lost grip on everything I had built up – I felt myself in some parts of my job, yet that has gone and that persona is too harsh and structured for real life.
I want to be happy, free and loving – I just don’t know how to be.
I am upside down and inside out and feel like I am in pieces – scared that I will shatter even further until no-one will be able to put the pieces back together again.
Now I know why I was so scared of reality – in reality there is no me.