Her voice is smooth as I stare at the new nail polish on my fingers, “Electric Strawberry” (Affair in Red Square, you have competition. Grrrrrrrowl.) She is calm, and measured, and not at all the 53 she professes to be. I worry about starting into all of it, all of IT, my life. Not nearly so bad by some measures, but in Canada, it’s bad enough.
Sometimes I feel like I’m making it all up, wish that I was, when I begin to recount the events of my life, spoken of in “oh, and then this” or “well, I think that maybe it started when…” When what? When my mother died? When the neighbour couldn’t keep his hands off me? Or when my father didn’t know what to do with me, and left me to my own devices, left to wither, until he was angry drunk and felt like yelling.
She listens. She does what no one else ever does-tells me I’m strong for doing this every day, reminds me that sickness is still sickness even if it’s only in my head. Validates my stress, my anger, my depression. Suggests that maybe my medication isn’t working quite as well as I think.
She doesn’t laugh when I tell her I’m a bitch. She knows that sometimes I am, and that I’m calling to please, please help me figure out when to stop the train when it leaves the station. Please help me try and stop the anger that doesn’t mean anything, the anger that isn’t real. She listens and believes me when I tell her I can’t help it, that I’m powerless behind it, despite what anyone might think.
Think of yourself as an alcoholic she tells me. The path is the same. Name calling, anger, judgement, sins from the past, screaming, then crying, begging for forgiveness. It’s the exact same thing, but I have no excuse aside from my brain and who I’ve become, some small child unable to grow up, unable to be loved without drama, without something huge looming in the background.
She believes me when I tell her I want to be different, that I want to learn how to be happy, I want to know what happy people look like, how they eat, what they wear. That I want to be happy. She believes me.
Her voice is soothing, makes me want to tell her my secrets. The pity I can do without, yes, losing my mother was horrible but I’ve lived with it for 20 years and now, now I just want to leave it behind, package it and put it in a cubbyhole where it’s only taken out on holiday, petted, cried over, but ultimately left alone. I want all of it put away, I want to be left with the me who is behind everything else.
I fear there’s not much there, she’s been buried underneath all this stuff for so long, these things done to her or done in spite of her.
She worth digging for, right?
I want to change. I do. But how? How do you change after years of knee jerk response and a brain that’s like a separate person altogether?
I want answers this time. I want real answers on how to move past a lifetime of things I’ve “thought” I was over. I want answers on how to be less of a bitch and more of a real person.
I just want, after all this time, to be reasonable for once.