August 18, 2010

An Offering of Truth

It's a rough night. One of those that comes at you out of the murk and you don't really understand its origins until you sit with your husband in the dark and just start talking and crying.

I am impressed by those who don't have much of a filter, who bare themselves in such a stark and poetic way that it makes my heart go wonky. This is something I try to do in my own writing, whether it's on this blog or in my journal or what-have-you. I have never shied away from talking about life and the ways that it's hard and the ways that it's happy, and while I understand that this is the internet (who knows what crazy is lurking about?), I find myself completely disillusioned with others who don't offer themselves wholly.

I think there's too much fear out there, and it starts so early that by the time we become adults we censor ourselves regularly so as not to make others uncomfortable or to appear offensive. And sometimes, yes, it's good to have a filter. I have no problem lying to someone to spare their feelings as long as there isn't a huge personal compromise in the process. Sometimes we need to be selective in what we share but so often I feel led astray by the abundance of happyhappyhappy out there. Like there is something wrong with me because I find myself crying in the dark on a Wednesday night for no particular reason at all. Perhaps it is not an interesting blog topic for most, but I would find it interesting. I like to hear about tears and their origins just as much as I like to know about the birth of happiness.

In the 3+ years that I've been writing this blog, I've strived to share my life and my thoughts in a way that is honest. I am not a very good prose writer, to be sure. I am too wordy. I feel the need to really explain myself. I don't want to be misunderstood. I've spent my entire life feeling misunderstood. So I explain. And explain. And oh look, I'm doing it again. But lately I've grown tired. I feel like this blog has run its course, and soon, whether I want it to or not, it will peter out and die.

In many ways I think that blogging has been an attempt to make myself special. That's all I ever really wanted - to be someone special, someone worthy of attention, someone who had the approval of the world. I have abandonment issues that run deep and crooked inside me; I need people to recognize my worth because I have a hard time recognizing it myself. I am often paralyzed with doubt, and I don't feel like a whole person. I feel like two halves - and sometimes, a collection of tiny little pieces, each/all struggling to gain the upper hand. It is fucking exhausting to be me some days.

Today I went to a member meeting for the moms club I just joined. The thing about being a SAHM is that it's an exceedingly lonely undertaking. There are the obvious benefits, of course, but no one really talks about the loneliness. The isolation that threatens to swallow you at times. The silence at naptime that is 50% peaceful, 50% unnerving. The constant fears that you will never amount to anything, even though being a mom is 100% enough.

I joined because I want to connect with others. But those initial meetings are so difficult. Having a child is an excellent buffer, as you can focus all your attention on him and try to forget about the fact that you feel so awkward. I don't like small talk at all; I'd much rather get that out of the way and get on with the good stuff, like thoughts and emotions and all that. Anyway, one of the members and I were talking about her daughter, who was very premature, and she brought up that she had a son who was also very premature (born at 21 weeks). Sadly, he didn't make it.

As soon as she shared that with me, my eyes immediately filled with tears, and I sat there wishing them away. But I just couldn't. And that is who I am. I am a person who cries when I hear sad stuff. I am not tough. I am not stoic. My heart hangs out in the open.

But even knowing this about myself and knowing that tears are a perfectly sane reaction to hearing about the death of a baby, I felt stupid for crying, like I was being too dramatic or something. I actually apologized for crying and then later wondered why I felt the need to apologize. And cue the internal conflict.


"Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes."

And speaking of multitudes ... here are a few more to round things out.

I love my husband more than I ever thought I could love another person. And I am convinced that he is one of the only people in the world who understands me. I have spent a lot of time imagining my life without him, because this is what people with abandonment issues do. We prepare ourselves to be left behind. Some might say that this takes away from the time we have together. But that's not true. I have given myself wholeheartedly to my marriage, to my husband. I am completely open to him and to what it means to love him.

I have epiphanies sometimes. And then they go away, almost as quick as they came. And that to me has always felt like a real tragedy: to have found a deep truth, only to watch it slip away.

In my perfect fantasy world, I still have the same beautiful blonde hair that I had as a child. I remember people making a big deal over my hair and how good that made me feel. Putting highlights in it now is just an attempt to hang onto that. It feels fake and insincere to me now, probably mostly because I know we can't afford the upkeep anymore.

I consider myself a lucky person. And because of all the good luck I've had, my life has been a breeding ground for laziness.

And yet I can't deny that some truly awful things have happened to me in the course of my life. And that I have had to work hard and diligently to sort through them all. And even with all that sorting comes the knowledge that once they have happened, they are always a part of me, and there is always the risk that the box of pain will be opened once again.

I am taking a break from all the birth books I'm supposed to be reading and have turned to The Catcher in the Rye. This is a book that I've read many times, and even as an adult, I can relate to Holden very much. I love the guy. I wish I would offer myself the same forgiveness and understanding that I give him.

I wish that I would have loved my past selves a lot more than I did. I wish that I would have told all those stupid mean boys to fuck off if they didn't like something about me. I wish I wouldn't have tried to change myself to suit them. And yet I have no regrets, unless wishes count.

I wanted to be a writer when I was a kid; that was my biggest dream. It still is, to this day. From what I understand, it's so rare for a person to really just know why they were put on this earth, especially when you're an indecisive doubtress like myself. But I always have. And I always will. Long after this blog dies, the words will still be what I turn to.

And speaking of this blog, I have loved writing here and I have loved meeting and getting to know all of you. For reasons that I can't really fully explain yet, I know that its days are numbered and that soon I won't be posting here anymore. I have felt this way for months, and I know that the depression I went through + all its implications for me now are big factors. I think I am just growing in a different direction; I feel that life is calling me and it's a call that I just need to answer. I plan to finish out the 30 day photo challenge, and then I'll take it from there.



weezermonkey said...

xoxo to you.

I may not always comment.

But I always read.

Crazy Daisy said...

I have always loved that you share complete truth. Thank you Leslie! Even though we have very different blog styles, we share so much in common. Hang in there dear! And always take care of yourself!!!

My blog (when I kept up with it) was a place for me to remember my happiness. I never felt like I had to tell everyone everything. It was just a place to write my thoughts. I felt I thought about the negative so much, I was always happy to take a break and write about the positive! :)

I believe a blog serves a different purpose for each person.


Eric's Mommy said...

This is why I love your blog so much. I will be very sad if you stop blogging, but you need to do what YOU need to do. I can relate to you so much and I love reading your posts. XXOO

Lydia said...

Some times you have to turn away from the blog world to get perspective. Instead of thinking "What a great/bad/interesting day...I can't wait to blog it" you can just keep those moments for's a twist in your mindset (at least it was for me when I stopped writing my personal blog).

I'll be sad to not have new words from you if you decide to stop posting, but I get where you're coming from.

sherthebear said...

I love your blog and always read it. I'll be sad when you stop blogging, but I absolutely understand the need to grow in a new direction. I love your honesty and I love how who you are comes out through your blogging. What ever you do, I admire you for doing what you need to do.

alejna said...

Oh. I'm not sure I know what to say. Reading this, I found myself thinking that we have a lot in common. I have abandonment issues, too. And I found myself nodding in agreement as you talked about self-doubt and wanting to be special.

I wish I could offer myself more on my blog, but there are people I love who could be (likely would be) hurt by things I want to say. I tend to offer myself more fully off-blog.

I'm sorry to hear that your blog's days may be numbered, but I hope that this just means you'll be writing elsewhere...

phairhead said...

Love the Whitman reference, I've used it before in one of my posts :D