I watch myself in the mirror unaware of both my staring and word vomit. I've got my boyfriend on the phone. The words that have been swirling in my head release themselves like a broken dam. They can't come out fast enough and they are lethal.
He will leave me, I'm sure of it. He's already thought of it. He's sick of me, almost as sick of me as I am. I'm convinced. I display my toxic thoughts out in front of him and myself. Wanting him to cut me, wanting him to hurt me. Just say it I tell him. Just tell me the truth. I know you don't want me anymore. You've come to your senses. Just do it.
Manipulative, vicious, and cowardly I cut myself down so he cannot do it.
And I am aware of the little voice screaming in my head..."TELL ME I MATTER."
I find comfort in being able to protect myself in this way. Of course I do not see it when I'm doing it. The feelings are real. I believe with my entirety that I am unworthy, I am insignificant, I am unwanted.
It is safer to believe this than the alternative.
That maybe he could really, truly love me.
Because if I give him that power, he could hurt me.
He could cut open the wound that runs deeper than my heart.
He denies my accusations and I quickly try to pick up the pieces. What have I done? I'm just pushing him away. Now you've really fucked up. And the thoughts take hold again. More powerful than before, hungrier than before.
Power. Control. It's all illusive.
After we hang up I return to reality. Bullshit with friends. The conversation I just had in the back of my mind, buried, safe. He put the Band-Aid on it just like I wanted.
On my way home my mind wanders, as it does. What I should do, what I didn't do, how badly I did what I did do...
And suddenly I'm caught, snagged like on a hook and pulled into my mind. She's there. And I hear "It's not about him." And something to the effect of:
Watch yourself in suffering. Tell yourself, 'I am suffering right now.' You did not get what you needed as a child. As a little girl, a very little girl. And that love you seek from him, that comfort, that security, he cannot give that to you. This desperate, hunger, manic need for love and reassurance stems from something much deeper, much more powerful than him. Watch yourself in your suffering.
And so I did. I said "I am suffering right now." And the tears flowed, PUSHED out of me. Gasping for air, I violently go back and forth between the road ahead of me and the past. Struggling to stay present, struggling to breathe, I let myself feel.
I feel the pain of trying to live in an environment that was not safe. Surviving, not living, through my life. I felt the confusion, the sadness, the anger all at once. I grabbed my cuff I was given at FreakNight from one of the purest souls I've ever met off my stick shift. I cling to it, the stars digging into my hand, keeping me here.
Odesza's Light comes on and I am guided to well, the light. With the reminder of the kindness I was shown at FreakNight and the magic of Odesza's music I am reminded of the goodness in the world. I am reminded that there is true love. I am reminded of the unity I feel at festivals and in the music I listen to and the community I have submersed myself in.
I am reminded that I do not have to be on my guard anymore. I am no longer in danger. I am safe.
And I listen to Light and I cling to that cuff and I breathe in and out and I hold that little girl that didn't get what she needed. And I hold that 20 something that was destroyed over and over again by the evil in the world. And I hold myself. I see myself in suffering and I give myself what I have been searching for everywhere else.
I calm as my car stops. My breathing slows. And I can't really get over what the fuck just happened. The clarity and understanding and peace I look for everywhere else was just given to me, by me.