This is for my fellow soldiers trying to navigate this world with a complicated past. I tend to discuss my life in snippets, stories and sarcastic remarks. One reason is because I don’t think anybody ever wants to hear the parts that aren’t funny and the other is because you need a god damn flow chart to keep up with it. Having divorced parents, one of which was a highly erratic lunatic who moved a lot makes it hard to explain parts of my life. Schools and houses are a blur to me. Questions that seem simple are now a three part essay with the possibility of no actual conclusion. Where did you go to school? Where did you grow up?
It never fails that when these basic questions arise I get nervous and my head starts to spin. How do I answer this without it turning into a long drawn out explanation while I watch my victim slowly spiral down a hole of confusion or pity? This is why even my closest friends don’t really know me as well as I wish they could. I don’t like the pitiful looks or the rawness of someone knowing that much about me. I built an armor so long ago I don’t know how to take it off now. Its like my second skin that protects me from the outside world. There are pitfalls to this much self protection but I don’t think it is all bad. I constantly read those damn Facebook quotes and hear the TED Talks about being your true self and if you can’t take me at my worst… so forth and so on.
Okay, a rant on that last part- What do you mean I have to take you at your worst? Isn’t that a matter of what your worst is? What if your worst is you screaming profanities at me while throwing kittens across the room? So are you saying that your best is so amazing that verbal abuse and kitten chucking should be tolerated? Sorry just had to get that one out. I feel better now.
Back to my actual point. I know, to many folks I can seem harsh. I tend to just disappear from peoples lives that hurt me or wronged me in a way I find unforgivable. I know that seems harsh but why? If I have been a good friend or daughter to you for years why should I allow you to treat me as if I wasn’t worth a second thought before you decided to use me as your punching bag for the day. If you couldn’t take a minute to think about how what you said or did would affect me then I am going to take away the thousands of minutes I spend trying to consider your feelings. If I don’t deserve it then neither do you. Instead of lashing out I remove myself from the situation. Maybe if you took the time to actually get to know me or I don’t know, the few times I did actually try to tell you personal and painful things you actually listened instead of just turning it back about yourself then maybe, just maybe, you would see that I have been trained like many others who share a similar past, that the best thing to do is run away from painful situations. And that we have been proven right almost 100% of the time that if they will do it once they will do it over and over again and it just gets worse each time.
Another point to my fellow people who’s personal life lurks in the shadows of conversations. - You will figure out who truly cares about you. It’s the friends and family that just know. You don’t have to get deep into it. They sense it because they know you. They know you can’t handle that much of yourself being out there. We are a hard sell, it takes a long time and a lot of effort for us to fully trust another person. This is why your true people also know that once we do trust you we are the fiercest protectors of it.
I am sure a professional would say I need to open up more and express my true self. Well, fat chance of me changing this late in the game so instead I adjusted. I have learned to stop trying to form personal connections with people that don’t truly care. ( Shut up Robin, I know I still need to work on this but this my blog and I can pretend I am as well adjusted as I damn well please.) Maybe it isn’t always a detriment to be this way. I find I can sense when people have more to their story but don’t feel comfortable saying it. I tend to study people more closely, always looking for the ones who have that little twinge of sadness and fear in their eyes. I swear its like we can smell each other, no words spoken, you just know a compadre is in your midst.
Another great quality I think we posses is the ability to find the humor in almost anything. I think if you have had multiple points in your life where you realized that a situation was so terrible that the only thing to do is find something to make it bearable so you could survive it, you look for the funny. Humor also becomes a safety mechanism to deflect from talking about uncomfortable things. If you ever witness me all of sudden get much louder and then fling out a bunch of witty remarks then high tail it in the other direction. That is my magic trick, I throw out the bomb and disappear before the smoke clears. I am a one woman disappearing act.
On a final note, can we all get together and write to these damn companies and their “Prove Your Identity” questions. There needs to be two options - (A.) If you had a normal childhood and (B.) If you had a complicated upbringing and don’t know the answers to these questions or these questions cause you some distress. I want questions like:
“ Do you prefer cats or dogs?”
“ What is your favorite color?”
“ What food makes you vomit in your mouth?”
“ What kind of McDonalds fry person are you Crispy or Soft?”
“ What is the right way to heat up pizza?”
“ What food would you eat every day if you had no shame?”
These are questions that won’t change and cause joy.
“What was your Mother’s maiden name?'“
“Who was your childhood best friend?”
“What is the name of your elementary school?”
“What was the nightly bedtime story your mother read to you while your dog curled up at your feet and you ate fresh baked cookie?”
Okay, I made up that last one but it might as well be one of those questions.
So to my fellow people that need either ,flow charts to explain their life or magic tricks to get away. I feel ya. We may be weird but at least we are almost always funny and hold the true knowledge of what the worse that can happen really is.
My mood is strange lately so I am guessing y’all will be seeing more rants than stories in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, I have no control of what this insane, over-active, blob inside my skull wants to do so my pain will be your pain.