…I ran. I ran so far away.
And here’s why.
– warning: serious themes (mortality & mental illness), potentially kind of upsetting. –
I can compare living in Dunedin to being in an abusive relationship.
I would blame myself for things not working.
I would change myself in painful ways because I thought it was expected of me.
At times, I was both the abuser and the abused.
At once, I was vulnerable, defensive and aggressive.
I lost my sense of self, and my mind almost completely.
I would frantically and violently oscillate between feeling like I deserved to be hurt, and believing that I was sent here to hurt others, and that both those possibilities were simultaneously fully justified and completely ridiculous.
It was too much; all the contradictions and dissonance was extinguishing the light inside me.
I was feeling feelings I hadn’t felt since I was a child, but this time, with all the strength and pain of experience, and the weight of accountability.
Self pity, self blame, rinse, repeat.
Oh, yes, and my life was becoming smaller at an alarming rate, inversely proportional to my drug tolerance. Granted, there are still a few substances out there that I haven’t and will never try, it… really… wasn’t… good. I was a swirling mass of desperate wants and neglected needs, and I fell into some patterns that I can’t believe I considered normal, or even feasible in the first place.
I was lost, and about to leave.
A short while ago, I was the closest I have ever come to leaving. By leaving, I mean… enacting a permanent solution to my temporary problems. I still find it hard to say and write outright, because I’m still reeling from the experience, and I hope that one day, it makes more sense to me. It will be painful, but I will finally understand.
At best, I can say this: during my weakest moment, I imagined myself looking into an endless void, a total absence of being. I felt strangely calm. I wanted the hell-mouth to eat me. I wanted the shadow-hands to grab me. I didn’t just want oblivion – I was oblivion. I longed for the static to fill my ears and lungs, and to become something else.
Mummy, Daddy, I want to grow up to be… nothing.
Through the static, I heard distant crying, a child, a female child.
Who cares, keep going.
But she’s there, weeping, kinda fucking up my nothingness. Boot it, kid, let me go. Either join the void, or go back to the others.
But, holy shit, is this kid persistent. She’s incredibly upset with me, but not angry. Wait… is this kid… she’s disappointed? In me? Yet she seems glad when I finally look at her. Still, she never stops weeping.
Motherfucker. It’s me. Course it is. Just like in pictures of me around six-years-old. Really, really hard for me to look at without feeling something, which is very much not nothing. Uh oh.
“Please, please. Don’t.”
The sea of static begins to part. She… me… I can’t ignore her. It’s not fair on her and I will not be responsible for that.
As I finished writing a sloppy, drunken Facebook farewell and lifted the mask up to my face, Lexie called me. She hadn’t even seen my post, she just felt the intense need to talk to me. I told her everything, and it would have been difficult (remember, drunken & sloppy…), but she listened to everything. She always does.
I came alive. I cried, laughed, cried, and laughed some more, and we just knew from that point… something has to change. And my life – some good things were happening, some bad, but all in all, it was almost like I was being ejected from Dunedin, by circumstance.
And that’s me when I’m in a bad relationship or any other type of rut – I dig my heels in and try my hardest, regardless of whether or not it’s actually a good thing, until I utterly and totally can’t do it anymore. That’s what I’d been doing for the last few years, and it became obvious that I was losing hope, fast.
Anyway, sometimes the best solutions are the most obvious.
I’m in Perth now, and I have felt nothing but alive ever since I planned to come. This was initially supposed to be temporary, but honestly, it’s permanent. Within days, I was on my way to being myself again, and even if things aren’t perfect and there may be some challenges, I finally feel that I have the strength and support necessary to tackle any of these issues.
And… fuck me if I’m glad I didn’t leave.
Here’s to you all, as you’ve all influenced my life in positive ways.
And here’s to Lexie, for cutting through the static with her rainbow.
I have hope again. I love you.