I have been in therapy since I was fifteen years old. If I were the type of person to actually admit to my age, you would clearly see that this is a long freaking time. It is not something that I am embarrassed about, or really ever worry about; just a part of me and this wonderful disease. But as I was sitting on yet another couch last night, I realized that there are some repetitive dialogue amongst all my doctors. Granted the moment I recognized this I should have been cataloguing those similarities in order to somehow magically find a solution so these very real, and very destructive behaviours could be remedied. Not me; I may be too lazy to do that, or maybe it is I am simply too scared to change.
Change is scary whether we are talking about a hair color or moving to a new city. Big or small, real or imagined, change sucks. It is crucial, it is important for the continuation of our species, but it still sucks. I don’t actually mind the physical change, it’s those emotional changes, those mental changes, that stop me and make me run as fast as I can in the other direction.
After many, many years of sitting in various therapists offices, I have come to the conclusion that I am nothing but a loner who once had great dreams, but have been beaten down by the reality of this earth. My solution is and always has been to simply hide. Not confront, not evade, not even acknowledge, but to rather take the cowards way out and hide. And trust me, there is no other word for it: it’s the coward’s way out. I am, and will always be a coward.
I suppose in many ways I am a loner, who is forced by the economy to work and by my children to socialize but the truth is I would really rather not. I think besides my children, I ultimately don’t want to need anyone else. Through life’s lessons I am constantly learning that those you should be able to count on, disappoint you. It is a lesson that is drilled into me over and over again.
I have found in the last year or so that I am starting to lower my expectations. Not believe those around me when they make a promise. Not talk to others about what is going on, so they can’t hurt me. (My mother, who I once was so close to actually asked me, the other day, why I didn’t ever talk to her anymore.) While this is never a lesson I want my children to learn, what I have learned is that people are selfish; they are naturally egocentric, they enjoy being mean. People wear makeup, they wear jewelry, they wear all the trappings so they don’t have admit they don’t know, they don’t care, or they like to be just what it is they are portraying to be. Family, friends, husbands, are solely in it for themselves, and once you learn this lesson, life gets so much more darker.
It is a horrible lesson that an adult has to realize. The lesson that there is no safe place to lay down. There is no safe place in this world that will give you what you need if only for a second. Those places you find for yourself are either taken by someone else, or worse, there is a perception regarding you resting for just a moment. The arms that were promised you so long ago, get filled with other demons, so there is no place for you. Those moments of pure relaxation can’t exist in a world that moves at a pace that blurs in photographs. So we lower our expectations, not only of ourselves but of those around us until we recognize that all those dreams, all that hope we once had for our life and for ourselves has long since passed us by.
I love those people who are rolling their eyes, and yelling at the screen to simply get up and make something happen. There are those out in this world who don’t need safe places or nice spots to hold onto when the world gets so dark. They simply hold onto the sheet beneath them. And they are the lucky ones; disappointment can’t touch them because real life can’t touch them. They fly so high that the truth is either ignored or the perspective of truth is as pretty as a graphics designer can make it. They live in a world of rose-colored glasses where feelings of tired, being beaten down, and ultimately of surrender can not penetrate. They live in a beautiful world of their making. Many of us look at these optimists and hope to be them, but I have often found that the reality of my life is such that those same people simply scare me.
I often imagine running away, not to another world, but rather to a world that I have made. I often think of that great library in the sky that will allow me to finally bury my head for all of eternity. I often imagine silence, peace, and a soft place that is mine. A place in someone’s arms that is comfortable, warm, and solid. A person to take me in their arms and make me believe not that everything is going to be alright, but that I am alright. A safe place where I don’t have to know the answers, I don’t have to take the responsibility, and no one needs anything from me but the soul I already give. A place that does not need questions and answers, a place that does not need forgiveness or strength. Just a place to rest. Maybe what some would call the ultimate hiding place.
I am so disappointed in this world. I am disappointed that the dreams that I once held are no longer relevant to me. I am disappointed that today, at least, I am willing to simply sit down and take another slap against my face. God, I used to be someone else. While it is possible that I was never as daring or adventurous as I once believed, I would like to think that I once believed the possibilities while limited, were still as great as I could make them. I once believed that it was up to me to make this life great, this life palpable. I once believed that if I just tried enough, if I just believed enough, or worked enough life wouldn’t be perfect, but palpable. I once believed that there were things greater than ambition; love, for instance. I once believed that being selfish was for those somewhere else, not for those that profess that which they can not give. I once believed in faith. Now, its hard to believe even that.