“My brilliance is in my emotiveness.” Like I told Draconic Ally in a comment a while back, I thought up this sentence on the same day I came up with the idea for the blog. It was a statement that, I felt, came from the depths of my being. I have always been extremely creative, and I believe that comes from my ability to feel everything so very deeply. Without being able to feel as I do, I would not be able to do so many of the things I love.
But feeling so deeply has its downsides. Along with feeling deeply the how of intense beauty, I can also feel intense pain. Really, the best way I can describe that pain is… screaming. Loud, agonizing screaming. It fills my entire mind and eclipses everything else, making me feel like I can’t breathe. It’s not a physical sensation, just a mental one. I can’t focus on any one thing, can’t choose what to think about. Instead, my mind chooses it for me, and the topic is usually me. The screaming finds my every insecurity and attacks, and though I struggle against it, I can’t escape.
But the thing is, when the screaming starts, it isn’t obvious. It can start with something small, like being frustrated at Google giving me lots of crap about changing my password. Then it morphs and grows, oftentimes compounded by other little things until I start thinking too much, and my thoughts start attacking me. I start to crumble under their weight.
The outward signs start at my eyes. They, most annoyingly, are almost always the first outward sign that I’m feeling anything remotely intense, good or bad. The tears start to come, and then my nose starts to run, but I hold it together. Even though I understand most of the time that crying isn’t weakness or foolishness, when the screaming starts, my mind interprets it as such. If my parents are nearby, I do everything I can to hide them. I know they would want to know that I’m hurting, but they themselves admit that they aren’t really sure what to do when I cry. They’re such wonderfully logical thinkers that they seldom have to deal with tears themselves. Or, if they do, I almost never see them. So, to avoid bothering them, I try to hide my crying.
But they know me too well for that. More often than not, they’ll glance over at me and ask what’s wrong. I try to tell them, but honestly, I don’t know how to most of the time. I’m not always good with words when I have to speak them out loud. I certainly can’t fully convey the intricacies of what I feel when I can’t pin down a single specific reason for why I’m crying, because most of the time it’s a long list of reasons, and by the time they noticed, the reason why I’m crying has shifted from the original reasons to something I don’t like about myself.
But I try anyway. A lot of the time, they’re understanding and just give me space to work through it. But other times it happens in the unfortunate situation that we’re heading somewhere, and there just isn’t enough time for me to put the pieces of myself back together. And then they’ll tell me to pull it together, and another piece of me shatters, because I can’t, and everything hurts too much, and I don’t know what to do. It opens up another insecurity, and my mind tells me how weak I am, how pathetic. How ridiculous I’m being, how like a typical teenager. And that one stings a lot because it feels like I’ve let everyone who ever called me “mature” or “older than my age” down, because it was always a compliment. My mind tells me how much of a disappointment I must be when I can’t control myself. That one stings a lot because one of the things I couldn’t bear doing is being a disappointment to them, when I have worked so hard to make them proud (even though they would be without all that).
In those moments, I try to figure out what I want. To die? No. To not exist right now? No, that’s not it either. To be younger and more carefree again? No, that’s not it either, because then I’d just grow older and deal with this all over again. To be old and have all this behind me? Yes. Yes, that’s it. To be old, to have lived a full life, to be near to my life’s end, far out of reach of the screaming. To have that peace that so many of the elderly folks I know have. To look back on my life and smile because, even though there were hard times, I made it through, and it was so very worthwhile. And then I could leave naturally, knowing that I hadn’t wasted my life.
A little morbid perhaps, but thoughts like those help calm me sometimes. Help get the screaming to quiet enough to gradually escape and return to a normal mindset, if a bit battered and bruised. But then those bruises cling to me, the remnants of the screaming clinging to my mind like shrapnel, and I still feel that, even though the worst of it is passed, I’ve still become a disappointment. And I shy away from anyone’s, even my parents’, accidental touch, feeling that I’m unworthy to be so near them, that I might sully them with my very presence. But their intentional touch, a squeeze on the arm, a hug, those I crave so desperately in those moments. Are they likely to get me to crying again? Yes. But it’s reassuring. It tells me that, no, I’m not a disappointment. I’m not pathetic. They still love me. It’s okay to be weak sometimes, they’ll still be there, even if they don’t always know what to do with a crying me.
It’s in those moments my mind begins to breathe again, choking and gasping for air, but I again feel the air in my soul’s lungs, and I know that it’ll be okay. I will be okay.
Of course, at this point you may be asking me, “But what about your faith, Blackwater? Why don’t you pray? Won’t that get you through it?”
And the answer is, it should. And it would, if I could get myself to pray in those moments. But the thing is, those feelings of being a disappointment to my parents extend beyond them. They extend to God, too. And I know, even in those moments, that it’s a lie. But in those moments, it’s hard to get that knowledge from my head to my heart, to get myself to really believe that He still loves me. Eventually, when the screaming’s mostly subsided, my mind will be quiet enough to hear Him telling me that He loves me, and I’ll be able to believe Him then. It’s just so, so hard to believe in the middle of the screaming.
Someday, I think I will grow enough to believe that in the middle of the screaming. I’ll be strong enough in my faith to hear Him even when my mind is so loud, or I’ll be able to quiet myself enough to be able to hear Him. I look forward to that day, when I know beyond the shadow of a doubt, in my heart, that He still loves me then. But until then, I’ll keep that knowledge in my head during the screaming, and the truth of it will find its way back to my heart when the screaming is over. And I will survive the pain, even though it runs so deep.
So, dear reader, if you’ve ever felt any of the pains I’ve just described on any level, know you’re not alone. I’ve been there, too. I think we all have been, to some extent. Please know that feeling pain, crying, is not weakness. Anyone that feels that sort of pain and survives it is strong, and crying doesn’t diminish that. Embrace your tears, friend. Let those you trust see them, and let them help. Everything will be okay in the end. You’ll see.
And to my parents (I know you’ll read this; I’ve been very loose with my anonymity, as you well know): I don’t blame you for not knowing when this goes on inside me. Like I said, I do try to hide it, and I’m sorry for that. I know you want to help. We can talk about this later, if you want. Just not in the comments section, since who I am would be pretty obvious, seeing as I’m an only child and all. 😉
Your Beautiful Blackwater.
P.S. On a less angsty note, three days ago, I finished my first year of college. All the papers and everything are done! So much happiness! (Speaking of, there’ll be more happiness in my next post, I promise. ❤ )