By way of explanation, I am writing a fictional letter to a fictional person in an attempt to capture emotion, pain or inner angst. The view, as most of my writing, is from the perspective of a traumatized person. I hope you enjoy.
A Letter To You.
I can’t be who you want me to be. Do you see this? I am who I am, complete with all of my emotions, moods and behaviours that cause you frustration. I no longer live to please you, I live to survive me. Right now I feel like my own worst enemy and I’m trying to lay down some kind of alliance and forge a cooperative relationship. During this time, I will be up, then down, then crashing. I do not live this life to please you anymore. I live this life to survive.
You don’t understand what survive means do you? No my life was not in danger that day. There was no threat to my own life and no I do not fear for my life at the hands of others from day to day, I fear for my life at the hands of me from day to day. I am upset with how my life is now. I am upset that I feel out of sync with myself. I am upset that I can’t make a simple decision anymore. I am upset that I feel fear in places that never caused me fear or anxiety before. I am upset that the things that cause me fear are logically irrational. I know my fear is irrational, please stop telling me this repeatedly. I do not know why I react the way I do, the fact remains that I do. If I must deal with this and accept it, then how about you give it a try too?
All of this upset with myself stimulates depressive thoughts; it feeds internal pain that you cannot imagine. Day in, day out, I fight to stay grounded. I fight to not feel comfortable with death…because deep inside, it frightens me to say that I wish for it. I wish I was me again and since I am not the me I used to know, I’d rather not exist. Can you understand that? I don’t want to die, nor do I want to take my own life, but if I were to encounter an accident, I would not be upset, I would welcome it. Do you get that? I think it’s due to this lack of a sense of meaning in this life I simply exist in now. I am not living. I am existing.
I am not the person you used to know. Who am I? Wow, if only I knew. I see shadows of the me I used to know, sometimes I even act like nothing has happened and I am the person I used to be for a few seconds, minutes or hours at a time. I feel like a normal person in those times you know….then it disappears in a flash, an image, a memory and this highly vulnerable person emerges to take over this body and mind.
I smile on the outside while inside my mind is scanning, calculating, evaluating, protecting. My boisterous laughter is actually an attempt to combat the needling tingles of anxiety in my gut. I pretend I don’t see other people but I’ve scanned them, noted them, and evaluated their tones, behaviours and looks. I’ve already noted colors and locations of vehicles in the parking lot, speeds, movements… Sorry, what did you say? Ha, ha, yeah, my mind is doing so much that you don’t even know about.
I have trouble feeling good. Can you even try to imagine this? Happy. Not sure if I know what that is anymore except in recollection. Recollection is important to me now; it’s how I mimic who I used to be to put you at ease. I don’t know why, perhaps maybe it just saves me more grief. You lived with a person you liked, you knew, you could predict, all I’m trying to do is uphold the status quo. It can be really exhausting for me, so forgive me if I can’t do it on some days.
Anger. Now there is an emotion I can really get in touch with, instantaneously at times. It frightens me. I was never an angry person…until after that day. No, no, there’s nothing you can do to change it, it’s the new me and until I learn to exorcise it effectively, it will keep surging forth.
Ah ha. There is another issue. You can’t fix me. I know this is really hard for you because I know from your perspective it seems so darned easy to just snap out of this, but try to understand that you do not see things from my point of view. My point of view has been tainted and in that taint my trust in the world around me was destroyed. How does the world regain my trust? Not really sure. Blind faith is something I find really difficult to trust in as easily as you do. Sorry. Wait, no, I’m not sorry.
I want to tell you, I am no longer going to feel sorry for being who I am now. How about you think about it this way….a few years ago, a strong, hard, cold person walked into a room and after encountering extreme horror, out walked a more blatantly human version of that person. In fact, I pity you because you have not changed. You will live your life sheltered while you witness me struggle to come to terms with my greater humanity.
I may not know who this person is, but one thing is sure, this person is wholly human now. I hope you can accept me as I am.