When The Aperture Shuts.....

"You will soon learn that only by hastily skimming the errors of the past can we hope to mostly avoid repeating what we dimly remember them to be in the future."

Vulnerability is a foreign, tricky sort of creature. One I'm torn between viewing as a positive and the catalyst of my demise. I don't let my guard down easily... Until very recently, not at all. I find myself envying those who aren't affected by the opinions of others. Is that something learned or owned? Both? 


From the time I was young(er) and naive(er), I was reminded to be ever-vigilant of what I portray and how that's perceived.  I was taught etiquette and social grace... The subjects to avoid in civil conversation and those to be altogether suppressed. Taught that black is slimming and certain hairdos will "add pounds". Everything I was - scrutinized at length and a red-lined report card handed out accordingly. I knew shame and humility. Fitting in and neither being seen nor heard. And all was right in the world. 


As time went by and experience piled up, all of that seemed a load of rubbish. I began questioning and venturing outside those isolating walls. Pushing limits. Boundaries. Buttons. Questioning. Discovering. Growing. 


It was so entirely liberating shattering the status quo. Rebelling merely by being. 


Still... there were always those nagging little insecurities tattooed upon my DNA. The what ifs and what thens leading to what nows. Consequences for my actions, even if only carried out within the confines of my skull. Self doubt and loathing. The pity tea parties I've referenced time and time again. 


As evolution tends to dictate, there was a period of adaptation to my environment. Of falling back in line and tucking the unsavory bits deep down inside. I found I often defaulted to the path of least resistance as a result of my years teeming with trial and error. All of this is to say the character I portray is merely the result of the traits met with the most positive response. For several years, now, this calculated effort has proven to be the sweet spot of an existence. For several years, now, I have been slowly, methodically and unwittingly killing myself. 


To have a taste of freedom... That delicious moment following an elaborate performance when you run off stage and strip off all the layers of this facade... Off with the wig, the makeup, the shoes, the dress.... the corset falls to your now bare feet simultaneously with the moment the stockings are tossed aside.... When you run naked through the emergency exit and the cold, night air hits the sweat of your scalp, sending chills racing across your flesh,... Forcing you to exhale for what feels like the first time since birth. Your eyes slowly adjust and focus in on the expansive ceiling of twinkling stars above. THAT is a freedom so exquisite, you can hardly contain the smile emanating from somewhere within your soul! 


In that single, perfect moment... To so much as consider doing it all again in a matter of hours... Well, let's just say fleeing the scene and going permanently on the lam doesn't seem the slightest bit unreasonable, irrational or insane. Yet every day, for bloody YEARS, I wake up, rinse and repeat. Despite resounding cries of "everyone LOVES Annie", my anxiety has been at an all time high. With disturbingly rare exception, I'm shielded from any negative remark or harsh word. The worst insults seem to come in the form of basically pointing out the obvious.... About my tendencies to flake out on plans or the fact that I'm never on time anymore. Even those criticisms are softened by excuses of "that's to be expected, you've been through a lot". I'm living a pretty sheltered existence, here, folks. 


But something has changed.


Actually, a LOT has changed.


Too much exposure? Perhaps the perfect amount. 


The stars are blindingly beautiful tonight.













From Out Of Nowhere

"You could spend hours just watching people, but it’s nothing compared to the time and money that certain people have spent watching you."

An email arrived at 1am from a ghost. Someone I haven't heard from in years:


"You ok? I think I feel you. From miles away. It's not good. What's going on? Something is going on.


Sigh. "

I read it around 3:40am...


I don't know how you did it... you knew before I did.... I'm about to share something very eerily personal.... something you just had a premonition about hours before it took place... I'm actually physically shaking....  I had read a blog post... the private message I wrote to the author directly after:


Damnit. Oh Honey, I love you...I just read your blog.... I'm sobbing my eyes out.... through blinding tears, I carefully selected the first link taking me back to the curb appeal house post... the red door, your emotions overwhelming me like blood soaking the crisp white of the page. YOUR blood... YOUR heart. Pain. Suffering. Sadness. Your attempts at reaching out. To strangers. To me. Unreturned. I thought the previous bout of as-yet-unending sobbing was monumental... Now I'm actually wailing and sobbing... that deep, hysterical sobbing that echos from the depth of the catacombs containing absolutely countless numbers of lost souls... I select the second link... The door is blue. 

My instinct is to shut it all down, grab my keys, crudely scribble a note of brief explanation to Brian and the boys, and hit the road hoping to reach you as quick as possible to just hug you and hold on for dear life. Some small ounce of common sense... or sanity... no, probably fear... stops me dead in my tracks. I'm not coping. My grief is so different. It comes from a different place. From a different situation. So how is it so very similar? Your words are more than familiar. I selfishly see them as my own. I want to email just about every last person I've encountered in the past six months and somehow broadcast your words at deafening volumes, over-dubbed with my own voice shouting "DO YOU FUCKING GET IT YET!!!!???? THIS!!!! NO, I'M NOT OK!!!!" I'm thinking that possibly wouldn't be received well. Even worse? At all. The file wouldn't even be opened. Yet again, there would be no validation. Shit. I'm an awful person. But I'm hurting. 


Goddamnit, I may be hurting more today than the day it happened. I'm "supposed" to be over it. That's how I feel every time someone.... ANYONE.. asks how I'm doing. They're not even referring to THAT so I try not to respond from a place of THAT. THAT is where I'm at, though. And they're tired of hearing it. Maybe they don't even know? I almost feel that would be worse... they have no business in my life, no, not even simply to hand me change for the pack of smokes I just bought, if they don't understand it was the biggest, most excruciatingly devastating event to ever happen to me!! It's not getting better. Why the hell isn't it getting better? I don't know. I'm fairly positive grief counselors don't exist... they're the proverbial men behind the curtains, but these curtains are fabricated from heartless drones working the phone trees. What a sick thing. I've shut down because I've long since lost the strength to reach out into the emptiness for help I've decided will never come. I'm in a dark place while the sun is shining on the rest of the world and the birds are chirping, which further invalidates my very existence on this planet. 


I think I've been waiting for this poignant moment to commence where I recognize the beginning of truly entering a set phase of grieving I know I've needed all this time. And it will be precise and tangible and I'll come out the other side healed or fixed or at peace. That point where I actually CAN email or text or call or just utter the words "I'm all better now! It happened! It's over!!" All that while smiling ear to ear. It's just not happening. 


This is supposed to be a letter filled with sunshine and eloquence and baby pandas and rainbows, but I can only be honest with you and that is to say you moved me and I'm here. I'm grateful for you and not a day has passed where I don't think of you. Not a single day, even through my selfishness, where I so desperately wish I could take away your pain and shower you with gifts of happiness and peace. You have forever touched my life in ways I never could have fathomed and I really just need you to know all of that. 


For once in my life, I'm not in need of validation... I just needed to tell you. I love you, Honey. I don't have all the answers... I don't even have one. But I'm here. That is to say, I'm there. Right there next to you because you're not alone and now I realize I'm not either. Thank you.


How did you know????? I'm shaking. 

Kitty

Monday, May 16, 2016

When The Aperture Shuts.....

"You will soon learn that only by hastily skimming the errors of the past can we hope to mostly avoid repeating what we dimly remember them to be in the future."

Vulnerability is a foreign, tricky sort of creature. One I'm torn between viewing as a positive and the catalyst of my demise. I don't let my guard down easily... Until very recently, not at all. I find myself envying those who aren't affected by the opinions of others. Is that something learned or owned? Both? 


From the time I was young(er) and naive(er), I was reminded to be ever-vigilant of what I portray and how that's perceived.  I was taught etiquette and social grace... The subjects to avoid in civil conversation and those to be altogether suppressed. Taught that black is slimming and certain hairdos will "add pounds". Everything I was - scrutinized at length and a red-lined report card handed out accordingly. I knew shame and humility. Fitting in and neither being seen nor heard. And all was right in the world. 


As time went by and experience piled up, all of that seemed a load of rubbish. I began questioning and venturing outside those isolating walls. Pushing limits. Boundaries. Buttons. Questioning. Discovering. Growing. 


It was so entirely liberating shattering the status quo. Rebelling merely by being. 


Still... there were always those nagging little insecurities tattooed upon my DNA. The what ifs and what thens leading to what nows. Consequences for my actions, even if only carried out within the confines of my skull. Self doubt and loathing. The pity tea parties I've referenced time and time again. 


As evolution tends to dictate, there was a period of adaptation to my environment. Of falling back in line and tucking the unsavory bits deep down inside. I found I often defaulted to the path of least resistance as a result of my years teeming with trial and error. All of this is to say the character I portray is merely the result of the traits met with the most positive response. For several years, now, this calculated effort has proven to be the sweet spot of an existence. For several years, now, I have been slowly, methodically and unwittingly killing myself. 


To have a taste of freedom... That delicious moment following an elaborate performance when you run off stage and strip off all the layers of this facade... Off with the wig, the makeup, the shoes, the dress.... the corset falls to your now bare feet simultaneously with the moment the stockings are tossed aside.... When you run naked through the emergency exit and the cold, night air hits the sweat of your scalp, sending chills racing across your flesh,... Forcing you to exhale for what feels like the first time since birth. Your eyes slowly adjust and focus in on the expansive ceiling of twinkling stars above. THAT is a freedom so exquisite, you can hardly contain the smile emanating from somewhere within your soul! 


In that single, perfect moment... To so much as consider doing it all again in a matter of hours... Well, let's just say fleeing the scene and going permanently on the lam doesn't seem the slightest bit unreasonable, irrational or insane. Yet every day, for bloody YEARS, I wake up, rinse and repeat. Despite resounding cries of "everyone LOVES Annie", my anxiety has been at an all time high. With disturbingly rare exception, I'm shielded from any negative remark or harsh word. The worst insults seem to come in the form of basically pointing out the obvious.... About my tendencies to flake out on plans or the fact that I'm never on time anymore. Even those criticisms are softened by excuses of "that's to be expected, you've been through a lot". I'm living a pretty sheltered existence, here, folks. 


But something has changed.


Actually, a LOT has changed.


Too much exposure? Perhaps the perfect amount. 


The stars are blindingly beautiful tonight.













From Out Of Nowhere

"You could spend hours just watching people, but it’s nothing compared to the time and money that certain people have spent watching you."

An email arrived at 1am from a ghost. Someone I haven't heard from in years:


"You ok? I think I feel you. From miles away. It's not good. What's going on? Something is going on.


Sigh. "

I read it around 3:40am...


I don't know how you did it... you knew before I did.... I'm about to share something very eerily personal.... something you just had a premonition about hours before it took place... I'm actually physically shaking....  I had read a blog post... the private message I wrote to the author directly after:


Damnit. Oh Honey, I love you...I just read your blog.... I'm sobbing my eyes out.... through blinding tears, I carefully selected the first link taking me back to the curb appeal house post... the red door, your emotions overwhelming me like blood soaking the crisp white of the page. YOUR blood... YOUR heart. Pain. Suffering. Sadness. Your attempts at reaching out. To strangers. To me. Unreturned. I thought the previous bout of as-yet-unending sobbing was monumental... Now I'm actually wailing and sobbing... that deep, hysterical sobbing that echos from the depth of the catacombs containing absolutely countless numbers of lost souls... I select the second link... The door is blue. 

My instinct is to shut it all down, grab my keys, crudely scribble a note of brief explanation to Brian and the boys, and hit the road hoping to reach you as quick as possible to just hug you and hold on for dear life. Some small ounce of common sense... or sanity... no, probably fear... stops me dead in my tracks. I'm not coping. My grief is so different. It comes from a different place. From a different situation. So how is it so very similar? Your words are more than familiar. I selfishly see them as my own. I want to email just about every last person I've encountered in the past six months and somehow broadcast your words at deafening volumes, over-dubbed with my own voice shouting "DO YOU FUCKING GET IT YET!!!!???? THIS!!!! NO, I'M NOT OK!!!!" I'm thinking that possibly wouldn't be received well. Even worse? At all. The file wouldn't even be opened. Yet again, there would be no validation. Shit. I'm an awful person. But I'm hurting. 


Goddamnit, I may be hurting more today than the day it happened. I'm "supposed" to be over it. That's how I feel every time someone.... ANYONE.. asks how I'm doing. They're not even referring to THAT so I try not to respond from a place of THAT. THAT is where I'm at, though. And they're tired of hearing it. Maybe they don't even know? I almost feel that would be worse... they have no business in my life, no, not even simply to hand me change for the pack of smokes I just bought, if they don't understand it was the biggest, most excruciatingly devastating event to ever happen to me!! It's not getting better. Why the hell isn't it getting better? I don't know. I'm fairly positive grief counselors don't exist... they're the proverbial men behind the curtains, but these curtains are fabricated from heartless drones working the phone trees. What a sick thing. I've shut down because I've long since lost the strength to reach out into the emptiness for help I've decided will never come. I'm in a dark place while the sun is shining on the rest of the world and the birds are chirping, which further invalidates my very existence on this planet. 


I think I've been waiting for this poignant moment to commence where I recognize the beginning of truly entering a set phase of grieving I know I've needed all this time. And it will be precise and tangible and I'll come out the other side healed or fixed or at peace. That point where I actually CAN email or text or call or just utter the words "I'm all better now! It happened! It's over!!" All that while smiling ear to ear. It's just not happening. 


This is supposed to be a letter filled with sunshine and eloquence and baby pandas and rainbows, but I can only be honest with you and that is to say you moved me and I'm here. I'm grateful for you and not a day has passed where I don't think of you. Not a single day, even through my selfishness, where I so desperately wish I could take away your pain and shower you with gifts of happiness and peace. You have forever touched my life in ways I never could have fathomed and I really just need you to know all of that. 


For once in my life, I'm not in need of validation... I just needed to tell you. I love you, Honey. I don't have all the answers... I don't even have one. But I'm here. That is to say, I'm there. Right there next to you because you're not alone and now I realize I'm not either. Thank you.


How did you know????? I'm shaking.