I feel scared. I feel scared a lot, actually. When I am scared I give it a moment to wash over me and feel the feeling. Then I hold it in my hands and turn it over like some million-squares rubix cube, trying to figure out what it is doing there in the first place.
I feel alone a lot, too. I grew up pretty isolated, physically as well as emotionally. The hallmark of my adult life has been to hold tight to my independence with both hands and not let go. I think the reason for that has been because I don’t like rules. The other day I articulated myself poorly in saying that I don’t like to be told what to do. That’s not true, I love being told what to do because I don’t like having to organise myself. What I wanted to describe is that I don’t like rules. When other people’s rules are forced on to me I stop and I get off the bus.
Many of my childhood memories are stained with the word NO. No, you can’t do that or no, we are not doing this. I am a normal adult but I developed quickly as a kid and the other side effect of having been neglected is that I was constantly under-stimulated. I felt trapped all the time like I was in solitary confinement and the warden was drunk and terrifying. I remember being so hungry but so scared of leaving my room because I didn’t know what I would find on the other side of the door of our tiny, suffocating little house. There would be no escape for a few years yet. The boredom still lurks around sometimes.
My only escape was to shut it all off. A short time later I had my first breakdown, at 15. It was brief but returned a year later. Again brief but this time I was really present with it and I was scared. Everything went cold and under me was a dark pool of terror.
I stopped feeling anything all together for the next eight years. The only thing I could feel in that time was rage or nothing.
I smiled, I laughed, I looked for love and lived my life but it was hollow.
It scares me looking back at those words and realising the gravity of it all. When you’re young none of this stuff matters because kids bounce and you still think you’re immortal and all you know is that nothing is certain and nothing is forever. You just went along with it.
But as time goes on you realise that even with all the work you’re putting into getting better and with all the work you’re putting into trying to live your life despite it all, some things you can’t fix in time before they become rusted on.
This is where I am now. I’ve fixed pretty much everything else but this fear of being trappend and under-stimulated remains. Until this point I’ve been trying to solve this rubix cube on my own. After that meeting I had the other day, I realised the missing piece was that I can’t. I need someone to hold my hand. I don’t want to face that on my own.
Now, I’m ready to start.