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August 21st, 2010

I don’t remember if I posted this here.  It’s old.  I submitted it to deviantART in 2006.  I’m reposting it because I feel like I’ve come a long way since then.

“You just don’t understand me!”

I remember yelling it when I was a child.

“You think you know me but you don’t! My heart pounds so hard I can’t hear anything else and all I want is for it to stop. I tell myself stories all day, watching faces form in the black dots on my ceiling. And my imaginary friend? He’s real. He’s the one that leaves the cabinets open in the afternoon. And at night, that’s when the real fun starts. I feel drunk. My bed bucks and sways like the ferry did that day when we went to see Gramma and got stuck in the storm. And all I can do is lay there and wait for them to take me away. The witches in the bushes. They’re waiting for a day when you go to bed before they do so that you don’t see them.” 

Every child has an overactive imagination. She’ll get over it. Get over it, sweetie.

Finally, I gave up. I stopped telling them about the things that went bump in the night. And then, they weren’t there anymore. But I never got over it.

“You never did understand me!”

I screamed it as a teenager. They stared in awe as I ran out the door to be with him. Sixteen and bearing a child and all I wanted was the world to slow down. For time to stop and me to be a kid forever. It went so incredibly fast.

Opening my report card, I remembered the one thing I could be good at if I cared at all. And then I tossed it on the counter and was off again. Spilled milk and muddy ashes. Not worth it. Lessons to learn and people to burn and a life to live. And I’m only seventeen. Everyone will forgive me eventually.

“I’d be better off dead. You’d be better off if I were dead. The whole fucking world would be better off if I were dead.”

It’s a phase. It’s just a phase. Tell her to get over it. Get over it, kid.  You’re not the only one with problems.

Packing up the house for the fiftieth time, I looked over my shoulder and what I saw disgusted me. I looked in front of me.

“It’ll all be worth it if he just has a father. He needs a male role model. Another shot. Another joint. Squint my eyes just right and he’s Prince Charming. They just don’t understand me.”

She’ll learn and come home. Have a nice trip, kiddo.

“It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that you don’t understand me. And it has become too difficult to pretend I am that pussy weak bitch that needs to depend on you. She disgusts me. You disgust me. And we don’t understand each other.”

And finally we agreed. In looking for that spark, that little fleck of something to salvage, we realized that the only thing there was the mutual agreement that there was nothing left. That there hadn’t been anything left since before he went away. And with a smile and tears of relief, I let him go, finally feeling the grievous weight lifting from my shoulders. I had other guilt to swallow, bigger fish to fry, smaller people to beg for forgiveness. He hadn’t been important since the day we met. It was just fun to pretend he understood.

I never could handle her tears. Say something nice. Make them go away. Maybe someday, in the future, we’ll both be ready for this to work.

Except we both knew someday would never come. What he didn’t know was that I was glad.

“You STILL don’t understand me!”

Except the demons I was screaming at are long since gone. And I still hear them whisper in the night. Keeping me awake. Making my heart pound so hard I can’t hear anything else. And all I want is for it to stop. For this incessant pain to make up its god damned mind and either claim me for its own or leave me to rot in peace. Cause I can’t take this guilt much longer. And now there are smaller mouths spitting angry obscenities at me.

And I have to squint to see that spark – that little fleck worth saving. And I reach out in the darkness, nightblind, praying to whatever god can hear me that they’re reaching, too. And that we’ll all reach it before my patience wears thin and I finally give in and my guilt swallows me whole.

She never loved us. Make her feel what we feel. We hate you!

Only… they’re wrong. And they don’t understand me. And with that thought comes the awareness that I really don’t understand myself. I know who I am and I know what I feel but I can’t see much past the end of my nose and I feel like I’m rushing at mach ten toward a great brick wall and my hands are shaking and the brakes have gone out and we’re all gonna die if I don’t figure out a way to stop us. Me. It all depends on me. And the me I used to be just isn’t there anymore. But they still see it and they still hate it and they don’t understand me.

And I look into my present and my future and I squint my eyes because the sun’s too bright and I see my Prince Charming. He’s standing next to me and He’s holding me up but He’s getting tired. And who wouldn’t be? The one thing I’m good at is being a burden. But holding my chains, He understands me. He sees me for who I am and He exploits it in a way that feels oh so good and it’s like nibbling the chocolate off a double dipped cone from Dairy Queen. Heaven hardened over heaven all swelled up in an oddly delicious, cardboard flavored cone.

I find peace in Your understanding. Will You please teach me to understand me?

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  1. August 24th, 2010 at 09:57 | #1

    people are stupid

  2. August 25th, 2010 at 00:24 | #2

    Yet another familiar sentiment. i’m sorry, i wish i could write more reflective comments on what you wrte, especiallybecause my experiences are so similar, but it’s too much for me to process and then write about all at once. But once again,congratulations on another stimulating entry.


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