Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Real Girl

This thing happens, maybe when you're too young to know all the necessary words and the people who should be help you, build you up and adore you, are so busy protecting themselves they don't notice or don't care when bad things happen to you.

You have a will that is as much a part of you as your face. Some people don't like this about you. They find ways to humiliate and hurt it out of you. Just because they are supposed to love doesn't mean they do.

You forget who you are. You're young enough that you don't remember a time before forgetting. When you look into the mirror you don't see your own face.

Everyone thinks you have a nice normal family. Aren't you lucky?

The words directed toward you are sharp. You are expected to memorize, internalize, and reflect the following:  you are ugly, bad, stupid, fat, lazy, wrong, annoying, weird, inferior, clumsy, disorganized, broken. You can't do anything right, can you? If something is wrong, it's your fault.You are a hole. Your purpose is to contain all the guilt and blame. This is why you exist.

When you cry people ignore you and mock you. Sometimes they do one or the other or sometimes both. Sometimes they start with the mocking and then move on to the ignoring. Sometimes they mix it up for variety and do things the other way around. You're not sure which is worse, being ignored or being laughed at.

You are a pain in the ass. Don't forget.  You would do well to remember you don't really want anything, you don't deserve anything, and you have nothing of value to offer anyone but compliance and silence. No matter what you say you feel, You don't really feel that way. No matter what you think, You don't really think that. So you endeavor not to feel or think. This serves you well at home but nowhere else. You are starting to think that perhaps you are retarded. You tamp your feelings into a small cramped space in your soul unaware that you are loading yourself like a gun.

Mostly you're blank and numb. Sometimes there is a cramp in your gut and a sensation of weight in your arms, a pain in the back of your head. These are the first signs that doubt, that troublemaker, is on the scene, but you don't know that yet. Some little ghost of yourself  is asking if perhaps this is a sad life and unjust, but it's a film of a feeling that isn't accompanied by language.

Interactions with people from outside the family lead to the startling discovery that the whole world does not play by your family rules. This idea is unsettling. This means that maybe you have other options. This is the scariest thing in the world.

Who are you to question the fundamental truth of your utter worthlessness and soul deep deficiency?

Sometimes you get angry. It's irrational, you break the toys and rip the books you love the most when the rage tears through your heart. The rage is powerful. After years of being told you're powerless, to feel this surge is exhilarating and terrifying. According to those who matter to you the most, these irrational fits of temper point to a deep moral flaw. You are just bad.

You have two faces: the dull slack dim numb blank stare or rage red raw frightening hideous monstrous. Neither, you are reminded, is very becoming.
When you are older people say you have the patience of a saint.

It's because I'm not here, you want to say. It' because I'm only right and good when I'm nothing.

It takes so so much to make you angry and yet in the same breath and without irony, it's the little things that send you into a seething spitting fury.

So much and so little.

Why are you so angry, you wonder, after so many years.

What if your whole life has been built on a fiction told by hateful people and fed to you as truth?
What if you are not the problem?

And then you ask, what now?

And you wonder, where is the real girl?

1 comment:

Paul Pickering said...

truth, like silence, is yours. that infinitesimally small nugget at the core of all the tamping down, the corner into which the spirit presses itself when the emotional assassination attempts occur, the bubble of air, for the minute it is yours, under all that water - - this is where you are you and safe and strong. and after years of keeping your back on those words, or actions, when you notice that you are still there with the bubble of air, with the space in your now mature brain, with the pain still throbbing in your no-longer-a-child's heart, this is when you start to reclaim, and to pass on the love, the hope, the belief, to your children and to other peoples children, that the world can be better.