The Mixed Bag

My life has been such a mixed bag lately - my emotions have been all over the place, and I've been really struggling with more than I care to admit. I've been writing quite a bit, mostly out of a desperate need to make sense of what happened over the last year, and spending a great deal of time allowing my mind to wander, allowing myself to feel everything, the good, the bad, and the in-between.

For awhile, I was terrified to share anything that was really going on - publicly, in this space. Because, you see, despite my desire to be a teller of truth, I'm deathly afraid of confrontation, of ruffling feathers, of using my voice in a way that might offend someone, somewhere - especially someone I know or I'm struggling with on an interpersonal level. I've seen this year how even innocent words of defense (for myself) can truly hurt others, or how one word in a blog post can be singled out and the rest of the post is then moot for that particular reader. Our words are powerful - they can ruin relationships and skew our own thoughts, they have the power to change opinion and religion and faith and politics and can make us cry, laugh, fight. Yet in this fear of offending, I've found myself feeling incredibly silenced, especially within the last year.

My words in personal relationships that I took part in damaging have gone unheard, even my apologies. Speaking of our travels and how much it changed me, for the better in so many ways, for the worse in others, have fallen on deaf ears. Returning home meant it was over to everyone we knew, and they needed me to just be the person they recognized, not a changed being. My desires and goals for my life have been severed by my ex-husband, who still has power over me in ways that make me sick to my stomach and desperate and afraid. In feeling this loss of control over the trajectory of my life, loss of lifelong relationships, a friend who came back into my life was then gone again, just when I needed him the most, not someone like him but him, the best friend I've ever had outside of my wife, and a loss of traveling, this beautiful and terrible and wonderful and difficult thing that gave me the most me I've ever been, purpose, love, life, an awakened existence. 

In the past month, I've found that allowing the emotions to come, powerful and breathtaking, often suffocating, have spiraled me toward a dangerous depression, one that has left me crippled some days, stoic in my approach to the day, just surviving some days long enough to get to an acceptable hour for a cocktail and early-to-bed, burying myself in television to escape the intensity of the emotion. I am angry, I am scared, I am sad. I am naming these emotions at the urging of a dear friend, a counselor, who spent most of yesterday afternoon selflessly helping me through this mess that I cannot find a way through alone. I woke this morning realizing that I am grieving, and I am grieving alone - and that grief isn't solely applicable to the death of someone loved, but can be for a great many things. Ultimately, my grief is for being silenced in my own life, for going unheard or misinterpreted, for the inability to express my pain to those I need to hear it most, to know I'm sorry, to know I'm changed, to know I wish things were different. My letters and apologies have gone unanswered, my pleadings with my ex-husband dismissed, the best version of myself, the one living free and unhindered on the road, gone.

I cannot be silent any longer, I believe that is a terrifyingly sad thing to do to a lover of words, of expressive communication and teller of truth. My life isn't what it may seem elsewhere, it's hardly put-together or magical or easy these days. I believe my presence here in this space, on social media, paints another picture altogether, and my heart cannot take it. The omission of my realities, my pain, my anger, my sadness, my fear, my grief, for fear of offending or causing confrontation or looking weak or dramatic or whatever someone will peg me as for sharing honestly about my shortcomings as a human being, has made me into someone I am not, a glossed-over version of my actual life and day-to-day. I was once unafraid to share my heart, with anyone and everyone, and now that heart, completely broken, needs to have a place to speak freely. This is the only place I have, this ridiculous void of internet space, to not keep it buried, buried not far under the surface where it could burst.