I’m often afraid of these holidays. Rightfully so. They require energy I do not possess. Merriness I cannot wield. Socializing that is too much for me. So many times during these holidays I hit new lows. New ones because I tell myself every year this is the lowest I can go. But I am often wrong because the next year brings a new low. I wish this year was different. I hoped it would be. It has been a bit different. But it has also brought a new low as well as a frightening thought I cannot shake off. First, I cried in front of my family without warning. At least it might have seemed so. I really do not want to talk about that. Instead I will mention what had happened before that. We were talking about the church and depression. Some of the stereotypes and statements that the men of cloth say about mental illnesses without providing evidence. Me being me, I decided to speak out and point out the wrong things said. I wish I had just shut up because that speaking out was my undoing. Some things were said which well, broke my heart in new places and I started crying. I wanted it to be silent tears. Something I think I have mastered. This time it did not work though because I really cried and left to go cry in my room. This story is not about me crying, it is that I think if I had shut up maybe the discussion would not have taken place. Maybe those hurtful words would never have been spoken. Maybe I would have a whole heart as I write this. You would think this is getting better but unfortunately it is not. The next day in an online group, I again being me, spoke out for someone who I think had been treated badly. So someone told me that I should stop being people’s defense. I apparently cannot live my life watching out for offenders. Girl, you think this is what is happening here? The truth is, I cannot stand injustice. I cannot stand people being mistreated. Discriminated against. I cannot stand people being put down. So I speak out. I speak out for those who cannot. Those who are too afraid to. Those who have no voices. I use my voice. Lately though, I think I am going mute. I think I will go mute because my life is drained out of me. What does it matter anyway. I know it will boil my blood and set me on fire, choosing to swallow my voice. But I do not know what else to do.
Every time I see a new therapist, they ask me if I have ever been bullied. My answer is always a no. I do not think I have ever been bullied but lately I have been thinking what bullying really is. You know in All the bright places (the book), Finch says he runs, literally runs, so that all the mean hurtful words he has ever been called do not stay within him until they are all he thinks of himself. I know that. I know that because because I have been called names too. Weird. I try to tell myself weird is cool. Ugly. Unattractive. Said out loud in front of people in my presence. This has followed me has it not? Lazy. Because I am low on energy on a lot of days. Too loud. Because I speak out for people and myself sometimes. Liar. Fraud. Pretender. Because if I am so mentally sick how come I am not institutionalized? How come I still go to school and lead a somewhat normal life? Outcast. Unbelonging. Because I cannot fit in with people even my own extended family. Unseen. Because it is so easy to ignore me. Idle. Because I am always trying to help others. Don’t I have better things to do? If I know so much about mental illnesses why am I not an expert? And the list goes on and on… I try to run like Finch. To outrun these labels.
The sad thing is that Finch did not make it. I am running but I do not know if I will make it. So I think I am going to go mute.
In Half Blood Blues(another book),it is said, if you do not tell your own story someone else will tell it for you. And they might tell it wrong. That is what I am avoiding. I do not want someone else telling my story and telling it wrong. Someone saying something false about my illness. My thoughts. My aesthetic. My intelligence. Me. But telling my story is using my own blood and this story is becoming too bloody.
What were the last words Finch told Roamer before he(Finch) killed himself? “You will never call me that (freak) again.”
Ps. I am trying to tell my story here but I do not think it is enough. Tell me how much blood is needed?