Feb. 20th, 2015

jexia: (Me 2015)
My insides are made of fear and inadequacy. I bolster the walls with chocolate, but sometimes they leak. Tiredness wears them down; frustration and hormones wash away at the foundations. I plaster on a facade of competence, slapping flaking layers on top of flaking layers, keeping it together.

In the towering mess, my creativity lives in the cellar. To get to it, I have to scale the battlements, fight my way down through hordes of slavering self-doubts, and fish around frantically through a tiny grate, hoping to find something, anything to write about. It's exhausting. It often takes an emotional breakdown, and at least three glasses of gin.

Week, after week, after week.

I tried to, this week. I couldn't even get past the battlements. My facade crumbled, and took the walls with it. I didn't just leak; I flooded my entire world. I gushed fear and anger and self-loathing. I spilled a history of self-sabotage. I drowned in exhaustion.

Glub. My daughter was still awake two hours past her bedtime, again, because she doesn't know how to go to sleep without her thumb in her mouth, and she has to stop sucking her thumb. She spent every moment of the week throwing tantrums, from the moment she woke up, until she finally fell asleep in exhaustion. Every moment. She's hurting, and unsure, and doesn't know how to regulate her emotions without that comfort.

Glub. My eldest son's drama teacher emailed me. She wants to kick him out of the class because another parent complained about him being off-task. I was distraught, sobbing in the bathroom at work, until I realised that it was her responsibility to deal with it before it got to that point. She doesn't like him, and that made me cry all over again.

Glub. My youngest son wanted to wear the dress his sister gave him to school. I worried about him all day, though he was of course fine, filled with a self-possession and confidence that I don't understand, but cherish beyond words.

I wanted to quit. That's that self-sabotage again. I'm not good enough to do anything well, so if it looks like I might do something well, it's time to stop. I said I didn't care, but of course that was a lie.

My champions stood around me. They threw me a line, again and again: you can do this, you're too hard on yourself, it'll be okay.

And I ignored them. Ugly and weeping, I floundered around in the swamp, my nice familiar swamp.

They threw me more lines, and more and more, until it didn't matter that I wasn't catching them. They filled the water until I was pushed out onto dry land, whether I wanted to or not.

Then my champions stood me up, shaky and exhausted, and started to rebuild my walls. There's not much there yet; a few stones gathered in a circle. In the centre is that rusty grate. Maybe my creativity is there, waterlogged, drowned and shriveled. Maybe it washed away. Maybe it found a cranny to take root, and will soon spring forth in an explosion of growth.

But this week I'm too frail to check.

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jexia

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