A look into my Mind.
Nice to meet you!
My name is Emily. This is what I must share, because tragically, it is so often forgotten. You are not alone. Although our perspectives may vary, and our vehicles constructed of blood and flesh illusion us into believing that we are separate, we are not. This is the marking of the beginning of my journey. I am daring myself to draw back the curtain to offer my experience. Our modern world is becoming intrinsically divisive. Maybe it always has been this way but only through the closing of borders, the merging of virtual reality and tangible reality, and the globally forming cloud of despair, we are finally able to see with clarity, the very stripping of our humanity.
I want change and if this serves as nothing more than a reminder to contribute, then I have succeeded. Like wettened cement, we’re heavy with shameful anguish. We are fractured people, carrying the weight of the burdens placed on us from those before. Still, there’s societal pressure to externally appear as if we have it together, without questioning the invisible forces intentionally tearing us apart. To live is to suffer. This is a thought I’ve had on a loop for months now. I want to fight, I want to see why the suffering is worth it. In unveiling my experience, I promise my truth. I promise that I am not keeping it together, I am letting it out. I am attempting to exorcise the demons of my past, misconceptions society has failed us with, and lastly the fantastical idyllic person I’ve been escaping myself to become. Change begins with you and with me.
A personal essay.
An Ode to The Past
It didn’t so much occur to me, as it came habitually, the practice of hiding. As it turned out, I was quite good at it, and I didn’t need to go far to find the peace offered by my make-shift sanctuary. The place I could most easily retreat to was inwards and so for months, I took refuge in the solitary confinements of my mind. The only thing that I could dearly call my own, for it had occurred to me early on that my body did not belong to me.
Nor did my voice, my laugh, or even my clothes (For all of those things were subjected to alteration). But it did belong to the eager hands of a boy, one I once even considered to be my friend. Wasn’t I to like it? Wasn’t I lucky to be desired? I had said nothing to my childhood friend as his hand inched towards my underwear. I’m still puzzled as to why my laying beside him was an invitation to steal my innocence. On an existential note, nothing is owned, only borrowed. Yet, on the note of a young woman, her existence is and always has been conditionally granted. Space does not belong to her, it permits her, and sells her dreams of freedom with crossed fingers. With all of my might I held his wrist to prevent it from creeping any lower. I shudder to think that not one word was spoken during this shamefully embarrassing and degrading encounter. Now, I ponder whether or not it had meant nothing more than a game to him. My friend was able to slip back into the normalcy of routine, I imagine he’d comb his chocolate brown hair, brush his straight teeth, and slick on his Old Spice deodorant, before heading out the door unafraid of the footsteps behind him or the truck that hummed as it slowly passed him. Regardless, my purity had been preserved that night, and I remained proud of it- for my dignity and desirability hadn’t yet been shaken.
He told me the following week that he didn’t remember a single detail from that night. I told him I hadn’t either.
A year had passed and still I viciously prodded and jabbed at my imperfections. With fists full of hair, and veins full of insatiable rage, I shook and I cried. I should be punished for what I’d never be, I had thought. The cycle would continue, where I’d rip myself apart to half assedly pull it together if there was a promise of love or of attention. I’d have done anything to keep love’s oily slick from escaping my flimsy grasp. With defeat, I finally concluded that the only explanation to my being unlovable, was that I was plainly not worthy. When I felt like being extra cruel, I would revisit the thought of my childhood friend. Maybe if I hadn’t been a prude, he would’ve left her for me. She probably allowed for his hands to touch her where I hadn’t, and although I found it repulsive, I also thought it favorable to being unseen.
Then at sixteen, a year otherwise marked by utmost confusion or the summit of my self esteem, trouble came knocking. He wore low doc martens and spoke almost solely in vague pseudo-intellectual-statements. To tell you the truth, our meeting begins with a girl, one who still isn’t aware of my prior infatuation. She was actually the one that I sought to be close to. In between passing periods, I would walk directly to the B-Hall restroom to make sure my mascara was perfect for our visits. Making her laugh became my favorite game…I didn’t care that I was making a fool of myself in front of dozens of watchful eyes, because I anticipated her laugh, which I knew to be the best melody in the world. We had a tendency of sitting close and I even liked it when she made fun of me or pointed out the black spots on my nose. The only issue was that the feeling I was experiencing was nameless and it invoked such intense
fear below the surface. Panicked, I could feel all of those years of holding my breath, gathering and pressurizing towards the surface; with one exhale I could’ve let each of my buttons pop, one by one.
Yet, I didn’t believe I was ready for the consequence of living truthfully. So, I suffocated in an attempt to be loved by those I didn’t even care about; parts of myself were lent and never to be returned, and the empty spaces were filled with what or who was in reaching distance. To my misfortune, he just so happened to be nearby.
so, no, my sanctuary certainly wasn’t paradise.
It wasn’t warm or forgiving.
But it was miles and miles away from those rotten things he liked for me to do to him.
it was only there, in that space, that time was at once forgiving. Tactile deformation softly tucked me into the staticky quiet; a ripple in existence where I could move my body from a far away place, without paying the price of feeling.
But the moment would come, where I was inevitably jolted awake, and released right back into the daunting realm of the living.
Where in real time, I got to see that ugly face he made seconds before it was over. As routine would have it, he’d turn his back to me, and leave me paralyzed in the vacancy of his slumber. Somehow I was even more still than I had been in his wake. The heat that radiated from his back was oppressive and it made me sweat. It intensified my body’s yearning for fresh air but I wouldn’t dare take up space- for that might’ve confirmed that I was indeed away from the safety of my mother, I was now grown, and I was half full.
The worst part was always here
Alone in the pitch black of his room, where consciousness was fully regained, and the urge to run was fought off.
I was entranced by one thought, he might really need me.
And if it had occurred to me then, that it was truly I, that needed him to need me-
I very well may have realized my hollowness, before folding inwards, and collapsing to the cold floor.