Call Me Scary Spice
March 30, 2014 § 3 Comments
When I was a pre-teen during the Spice Girls Crazefest, I always wanted to be Baby Spice. She seemed so sweet and bubbly, so approachable. She seemed like someone everyone loved.
We all dream. “The grass is always greener” and all that.
The truth is, I’m Scary Spice. I scare people.
I should have predicted that this would be coming, another depressive episode I mean. I used to have them every two weeks so when I hadn’t had one for three weeks, I foolishly thought I was “cured.” I was feeling so good this afternoon that I even thought of going off my meds, thinking that maybe I’m better and no longer need them.
That’s not how mental illness works, kiddo. Didn’t you see how well that worked for Dad, going off his meds whenever he felt like he didn’t need or want them anymore instead of following the doctor’s orders? That was a stupid, stupid thought and you better not have it again.
This week is going to be an especially hard one (again, I should have predicted a depressive episode on the eve of it).
It’s my birthday. Birthdays have been pretty rocky for the last couple of years. I had to put Cleo down just days after my birthday last year and the year before that my Grandmother had to take my Great Gran off of life support around the same time (almost to the same day). Makes it kind of tough to look forward to your future birthdays when you remember so vividly the grief that surrounded the last few birthdays. This year my favorite aunt’s mother died, but it was a few weeks ago so I’ve been schizophrenically wondering who is going to die in the week following my birthday.
There are other issues too. I don’t have many people to celebrate with this year. My friends group has all but dried up, I’m totally single, and the only one who seems to really care about my birthday is my grandmother.
There isn’t much to celebrate either. I’ll be turning 26. I feel like I have so little to show for it. So few goals reached, so few life milestones crossed. Quitting Facebook has helped alleviate that feeling of failure some but it’s still there. As a teenager, I thought I’d be married by now. I thought I’d have a stable career. I thought I’d be somewhere exotic or ultra cosmopolitan.
Boy was I wrong.
I was already feeling alone, as I often do on the weekends, but I’m in a slightly different situation than I used to be. I used to not know how to ask for help, so when I ended up sobbing hysterically and hyperventilating, I at least thought that if I could bring myself to do ask for it, I could get help from my nearest and dear.
But the few times I’ve revealed that side of me, a true depressive episode, I’ve scared my nearest and dear. I am Scary.
I don’t *want* to scare people. I don’t want to scare my family and friends. I don’t want to look in their eyes and realize that their perception of me has shifted significantly, that they’re going to approach me in the future with caution and concern.
So when I’m bending over trying to catch my breath as I sob so uncontrollably that I can’t breathe, I think about how alone I am because I can’t share this side of myself without scaring someone.
Perhaps I’ve seen too many Disney movies, but I have hope that Mr. Right will be the perfect person for that job. He’ll be someone who knows that he can’t say or do anything to make me feel better and that he shouldn’t even try. He’ll be someone who holds me and rocks me until I stop crying, someone who will wait out the storm with me without being afraid of and for me. Someone who can deal with my Dark Side rather than being terrified of it.
Does such a person exist? Or will I always be crying alone?
Even those closest to me, who I would think know me the best, don’t seem to know me very well.
Last night I identified a strange conundrum or contradiction in my relationships (friendly, familial, and romantic). When I’m upset about something small, somehow everyone can tell even though I’m trying to hide being upset. They know I’m upset.
But when it’s something big, people for some reason *can’t* tell that I’m upset. They accuse me of acting like I “don’t even care” that our hearts are breaking simultaneously. I LEFT the STATE for a MONTH. Surely that’s a sign of the double heartbreak I was experiencing? Or did people honestly think I was just going to the beach for something to do.
It worries me that people think I’m that cold, that I’m so uncaring. But I guess that fits with Scary Spice. No one would accuse Baby Spice of being uncaring. Everyone would know when her heart was broken. Everyone would realize that she’s a human being.
I worry too about my trust issues. Lord, have I got them, especially after the last year. My now ex-best friend lied to me repeatedly for almost a year. My now ex-boyfriend held my hand, looked me in the eye, and made me a promise but mere months later, he broke that promise and said I deserved it. My dad says he’s here for me, whenever I need him, but he doesn’t keep in touch or check up on me by reading this blog. Guess he’s not really concerned, huh? I remember I was in the midst of a depressive episode when I was in Dallas and actually called my dad–the first and only time I’ve reached out for help like that–but he didn’t bother to call me back for hours. He said he was away from his phone, that he couldn’t hear it ring, which I suppose is legitimate but if you know you have a depressed (and potentially suicidal) child, you should probably keep your phone handy especially when you tell the kid that they can call you anytime they need help.
But hey, nobody’s perfect, right? I’ve heard that a lot lately: “Nobody’s perfect.” What, like I don’t know that? Like somehow I’ve magically made my way to age 26 without learning that lesson a thousand times over? Yes, I understand nobody’s perfect but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have lines, boundaries, basic expectations and self-preservation strategies. Trust is one of my most important and unmovable lines. If I can’t trust you, I can’t be in any kind of meaningful relationship with you. Nobody’s perfect but honesty and sincerity aren’t something I can compromise on. And I don’t think I need to apologize for that.
I tried to ignore my self-destructive thoughts tonight, tried to blank out my brain every time a tempting glimpse of sharp metal flitted across it. But denial is unsuccessful, of course. So I tried bargaining instead: I made a deal with myself that if I still feel like putting a blade through my arm tomorrow, then I can. But for tonight, we should hold off because we’re in a dark place that is far more dramatic at nighttime than in the fresh light of a new day.
Seems like a good compromise. Both sides of my brain seem satisfied.
Tomorrow is a new day. Take your meds. Go through the routines. Plaster a smile on your face. And scare no one.
Scary Spice was everyone’s least favorite anyway.