Just to let y'all know, I'm super-nervous about writing this. Not even due to fear of judgment, but because I want to replicate the experience and try to get my thoughts down the best I can....and they're slipping away. Okay.....*breathe in, breathe out* Please bear with me, this is unnerving but very therapeutic for me, to come to terms with this after many years of burying it into my subconscious.
On Wednesday night (I think...either Wednesday night or Tuesday night) of this week, I climbed into bed with the full intention of falling asleep within a few minutes, like any other night. Instead, my mind began to race. I felt agitated and restless. I kept having to sit up in bed and put my head in my hands, because laying down wasn't offering any relief. Then the rush of emotions and negative thoughts came swirling in.
"You crave attention and obsess over people. You can't have a real relationship or even friendship because it's all about what you want in that very moment. "........"You bounce from person to person to not feel so alone."........."Evan...Nick...Ken...Adrian...Irfan."......."Why won't you learn??? You're 24 and you're still very much a child."........"You have missed so many opportunities with friendships, possible relationships, and leadership roles in your young adult life. When will you change?"
Loneliness, jealousy, longing, guilt.
And then came the memories. Memories that I didn't even know were hiding back there. It was a Saturday, and me and Meagan, my sister, were at home watching Space Camp. (It's a cheesy movie for kids that we rented from the library, about a group of teenagers going to space camp, and danger awaits them. Anyway...) I was eight, Meagan was twelve. We were halfway through the movie, and I was really bored with it. Besides, I couldn't focus on what was happening in it. There was a palpable tension in the house...the house I had grown up in, the only home I'd ever known. Mom and Dad kept going in and out of their bedroom, sometimes together, sometimes alone. I had no clue what was going on, but something wasn't right. The feeling in the house even had a texture to it....it was rough and jagged. Occassionally I would hear their voices. They were raised, and the words were coming faster and faster. But they were muffled and somehow subdued behind the walls of the house. I tried to center all my attention on Space Camp. But I never knew how it would end (and I still don't.)
"Why don't you go golf with your fucking friends?!?" The bedroom door swung open as the words tumbled out, and slammed shut after them as one of my parents left the room.
I stared at my lap. Meagan stared pointlessly at the ancient 80s TV screen. This was the end. I never knew it would happen like this, but at the same time, I knew it all along. When we were riding in the car to the library to pick up a movie, Mom was in a listless mood. "What do you guys want to watch....."
Before I knew it, Meagan was crying hysterically. God, I can even remember the shirt she was wearing. Red and white plaid with little red flowers in the squares. I don't remember ever moving, but somehow I was curled up in her lap, silent, completely numb. The characters in the movie were lost in space. And so was I. My whole world was falling apart around me before my eyes.
A suitcase. Meagan bawling and pleading. Mom pacing the kitchen.
I heard the garage door open and one of the cars rumble out noisily. I couldn't move. I was eight years old and my life was shattered.
Those memories. They finally resurfaced. I mean, I knew every detail of the incident from the moment it happened, but I had never experienced it so vividly. I was laying there in bed that Wednesday or Tuesday night (I was finally able to lay down again), sobbing into my pillow. "I feel so alone." But at least now I understand why. I never really knew my father. I knew his face, his laugh, his leather loafer shoes that I would stand on as I walked on his feet. I ran out of bed to see him every time he finally came home from work. But I never really knew him until I was entering adolescence, when I would see him every other weekend. And I think that's why I feel so insecure, so unsafe, in so much need of love and comfort and attention.
I think that's about it. I know it's extremely personal, but I wanted to unlock these emotions and release them at last. I want to then take a step back and be able to leave this incident behind me, in the past where it belongs. Also, I wanted you guys to know that we ALL hurt in different ways, even those (like me) who hide behind their humor and wit and seem to be impossibly positive about everything. Also also (LOL), I haven't written like this in a very long time, and it just felt good to express myself. I've always wanted to do a YouTube video about this subject and the emotions surrounding it, but I'm not very crafty in the video department. So I thought that this would be a good idea. Anyway, thank you for reading, and please know that we all struggle.