I’m not as good as you think. Actually, I’m probably a whole lot worse. Of course, here you’ll probably say that I’m being melodramatic and over the top. Sure. You’re probably right. You probably know more about me than I do. I’m too stuck in my own pile of shit to see or think clearly. Sucks to suck, I guess. Will I surface? Seems like every time I try I just end up digging deeper, fucking myself up more. Can’t do anything right–never have, never will. If you can’t tell, this isn’t really my night.
You know what happens when I come home? It’s absolutely awesome all for about two or three days, and then it all goes to shit. I end up in the same dark hell that I lived in my entire childhood–only worse, because I know what it’s like being fairly self-sufficient, confident, content. I come home, and I feel like shit. I’m useless, worthless. An emotional wreck and a waste of space. I cost too much to maintain, better to just throw out the baby that drowned in her bathwater. At school, I may not have a social life. I may not have awesome stories to tell. But dammit, I’m working towards my dream of one day encouraging others to tell their story, to fight for it, to dream big and chase after it because they’re loved, dammit. They’re worth it. And I believe that about myself, when I’m at school. I’m someone to fight for, someone to love, someone who matters.
The are four people who live in my house. It seems I am the only one of the four who feels the tension. At the very least, I feel the tension more deeply than anyone else. I spend most of my time shrinking into myself, compressing into invisibility, terrified that I will say the wrong thing, make the wrong move. I feel the weight of my dad’s dissatisfaction. I feel the strain of my mother’s attempts to fix everything and everyone and do all the work. I feel my brother’s rage and irritation and annoyance. And with all of that, I’m far too afraid to feel anything at all. At home, I don’t feel anything. I can’t. I have moments, like tonight, where I might get frustrated, but no more. I simply blame myself for the faults, the problems, the mistakes, the everything, and set about trying to remove myself from the picture. If I don’t feel, I’m not adding to the ammunition. If I don’t speak, nothing can be held against me, used against others, twisted this way or that. At home, it is simply better if I don’t really exist. I’m no daughter, no friend, simply a docile doormat.
I’m convinced that nothing or no one makes me feel like killing myself more than my family. It might seem like an overstatement. It’s not. There’s no other time when I feel more like a failure than when I can feel myself shrinking in, shriveling up, martyring myself for those who don’t give a shit about how much I work to keep things in balance. They don’t care that I fight to neutralize every situation, don’t care that I’m on constant alert to their emotions, adjusting to prevent making further waves. I can’t fight against it–or at least, in my 20 years, I haven’t learned how. No, I just turn into a petrified child. In essence, once again, I fail.
I was once asked how I would define my life before and after abuse. There really isn’t a before and after, for me. There are the two sides, the two threads of my life that intertwine so terribly beautifully. I am a failure. That’s the black side–failure. Worthless. Useless. Burdensome. This is the girl who doesn’t matter, who can’t get a job, who doesn’t have within herself a single solid backbone. No spine, just a doormat who lets herself be trampled by everyone, including herself. She’s as much dirt as is the color of her skin, as filthy as trash. But I am also Beloved. That is the purple side–beloved. Whole. Pure. She is a story, a soul filled with a fiery passion that pumps her heart and binds her bones. She is a raging fire, a strong pillar, the weathered face of a cliff that is resilient against death and addiction and abuse and fear. She is loved, cherished by the God of the Universe.
Which am I tonight? Both. I am always both. I am always the black, always the purple. If you want to know what shade of purple, look at the top of this blog. Something along those lines. See, my purple is no bright or soft lavender. No–it’s as deep as my scars, as vivid as my experiences. It’s a hard-won color, borne through my struggles. My purple comes from my black. The two cannot be separated from each other, just as I am always a failure and always Beloved. My struggles become my beauty. I am a warrior only because of my wounds. This is the life I live, the story I have to tell. It’s not pretty, not G-rated, not anything you’d read in a greeting card. I’m living a raw existence, but it’s a truthful one.
A Beloved Failure,