She was sitting on the hard wooden kitchen chair, trying to muster up the energy to go to work. Thinking to herself that she really needed to get cushions for the chairs. They were so hard that they hurt her butt. As she sat watching the swirling tiny bubbles of her coffee swim around, the words continued to flash in her head from the evening prior. She couldn’t really place what they did to her, but they didn’t feel right.
She was not looking forward to being around people for an entire day. All she wanted to do was curl up in a ball on her bed and lay in her sadness. She actually wasn’t sad but she had no clear definition of what she was feeling and that was the best emotion she could think of. What did those words mean? Why were they so confusing? As she had questions flood through her mind, she felt so many familiar voices.
The voices all stirred and spiraled in her mind but she could not place the faces. They had all seemed to mesh together in one large mass. One booming voice, with no face only the feeling of wrong. It was so hard to shake. How many times had she been told she was wrong? Where did this feeling of wrong even come from?
The more she thought the more confused she got. There were not as many direct words penetrating her saying she was wrong. It was more of the feeling of being wrong. The words of others said with smiles and laughter but having the feeling of being mean and cruel. Somehow she was wrong about those feelings, somehow everyone implied that there were not hidden messages veiled behind the laughing eyes.
There were so many words that confused her. The words spoken confessing love toward her but in the same tone, gently nudging her to go in a different direction than she felt. Over the years having so many times been confused by words and actions that she finally settled for just being wrong. Her instincts were tainted and her thoughts were fantasies.
It wasn’t something done over night. The more she twisted the words and cycles of years around her head, the more she noticed how she had given up. It’s too hard to fight sometimes. How do you fight words that are constantly saying that you need to be fixed? How does one combat words that say that you are accepted fully but then tell you all of the ways that you need to change?
It is a hard battle to wade through. Especially when you have years and years of all kinds of people saying the same thing, in the same confusing way. Staring at the empty coffee mug, she looked at the clock. She was late and really didn’t care. Maybe it was time for a personal day. She never took time off from work, resulting in losing vacation time and personal days. Why did she feel so guilty for taking a day off? Was it too late to call in now?
She just didn’t have it in her to go in, reluctantly she picked up the phone and told her boss she was taking a personal day. Was that a jab at her? What did her boss mean by “Well, thanks a lot for calling now, next time why don’t you give notice?” It was a personal day, the policy clearly stated that you did not require notice for a personal day. What business was it of hers why she was taking a personal day? It was personal!
At that point she didn’t even care, she got undressed and curled up in bed. The pillows and loads of blankets brought her much comfort. Even though it was warm and sunny outside it didn’t matter. She loved being surrounded in a mass of thick blankets. As she crawled under the blankets, the thought of each one holding significance made her smile. Nothing could replace the soft fuzzy feel of her favorite blanket, or the heavy feel of her other blanket or the soft, cool feel of her comforter. They were her friends and support from the evils of the world.
Tired of being consumed by the many voices bouncing around in her head, she decided to really focus on what he had said to her the night before. The discussion had started with her sharing some of her thoughts about the beauty of the water she had watched dance across the lake earlier that day. Somehow it turned into a conversation about how she was disconnected and needed to find the root of that disconnect. Then it turned into a full blown conversation about how she really needs to listen to him more.
Where did that come from? She listened to him all the time. As a matter of fact that was all she did, listen. If she spoke about her feelings or tried to share her thoughts, he would talk about how wonderful it was that she was gaining freedom. Although, it didn’t feel right, what was that? Why was it so right but still so wrong? She was allowed to be herself but still was somehow being scolded for doing so.
She sighed a deep sigh, it was so confusing. What was she doing wrong? Why did she have to go over every detail of every conversation that she had ever had that was similar to this one? Why couldn’t she just let things go? Why did she catch the inconsistencies that others seemed to miss or were able to ignore? Why? Again with questions. Her mind never stopped. It was infuriating at times.
She closed her eyes and tried to get calm. She thought of calming methods and began to count by 2′s and then by 5′s and she laughed at herself for doing so. The cat came and laid beside her as she stared at the ceiling praying for the thoughts to stop. If only she could understand. If only she could see what people were talking about. If only she could know what others seemed to know.
But she didn’t, she was lost even after it was explained to her. The answers still had no comfort and she was left alone, with her cat and piled with her blankets. The only things that brought her comfort in the confusing world of language and emotions. Lost to her thoughts knowing full well by the end of the evening she had to put on the mask.
The mask that mirrored and played out in the theater without a script. The stage surrounded by the audience that was constantly applauding as they they yell “You fail!”. All of the smiles that seem so welcoming as they hug with claws. It was too much to think about, as she closed her eyes she whispered a prayer that was full of impact but were only two words, simply she said “fix me”. A single tear fell and rolled down her face, as it hit the pillow the echo splashed and it was stored in heaven.