The absence of personality

My back hurts from sleeping on couches & mattresses that don’t belong to me

The bare walls of the bedroom across the hall haunted me for months, a premonition into my future

I want you to be able to see me in my room even when I’m not there, not just because my t-shirts are spilling out of the dressers but because my disposition is reflected in the dim lighting, my state of mind at the time is apparent based on how cluttered the floor becomes

When I’m away from the me that exists inside, I start to feel like I am the barren walls, the big light is shining through me and everybody can see how void I am of the personality I have strategically built over the last 22 years

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Are we dead yet

There are 3 different versions of me

Two of them are strangers, their feet have sunken into the earth. They are the ones I present to the people I love because they can hold conversation and make me look sophisticated, educated even.

The third version is the one holding onto a balloon full of helium, she’s never known balance yet I let her make all of the decisions. I think I feel most comfortable when she’s in control because I favor chaos over stability.

Gravity keeps me from floating away, my two parts pulling against the one who wants to let go of the life I have here, leaving behind the idea that I have to be something to be someone.

Only strangers will ever know me because nobody wants to believe the person they love is trying to escape the reality everybody else is clinging onto.

Who is she

When I was fourteen I ate an entire bottle of aspirin, because when I looked in the mirror I didn’t see me behind my eyes, it was a stranger staring back, I wanted to abandon this body, the one that didn’t belong to me.

When I see that same bottle in someone’s medicine cabinet you would think I would cringe but instead I feel homesick, a reminder of the day I thought I could swallow my sadness whole

& I think we’re all the same, I look in the mirror & I want to look like somebody else. Maybe if my jaw line was more defined, or if I was 5’8 instead of six feet, maybe then my body would feel like mine. Even though I don’t like the person I see, she looks more like me than she did when I was fourteen.

Staring into my eyes reminds me of being five years old, you’re holding my hand on the playground, staring out at all the other kids playing. I feel the same isolation I felt at nineteen standing in my aunts kitchen staring down my thanksgiving dinner plate as tears fell into the valley between green bean casserole & a pale slice of turkey.

I don’t feel alone though because I would rather feel small & insignificant than to feel lonely. I don’t love my features but I can see my soul behind my eyes & for a moment I feel like this body might belong to me.

Uphill both ways

Sometimes I think

I’m sitting on top of a mountain

but really I’m just laying in bed

The darkness mistaken for solitude

Contact is within reach of my phone

Physical touch feels like gripping my car keys as I jog down apartment stairs

A hole in the sky guides me through the night

I clench my teeth, scared someone will slide a cover over the light

When they inevitably do & I loose my way

I’ll open my eyes, only to see your face

I’ll wish I was sitting on top of a mountain

Just for you

He showed me love that I hadn’t felt in what seemed like forever. The kind of love that crawls into your skin, lives in your shoes and listens to your favorite music. As quickly as it was given, it was taken. At some point I thought I would do anything for this man, maybe it was delusion, the love I had been withholding from myself because I thought I didn’t deserve it. My company, my reflection, wasn’t worthy of an emotion this deep.

You were there the night I got black out drunk and threw up for hours, you held the trash can, wiped the spit off my mouth and told me I looked beautiful. You cleaned my blood off the bathroom tile and you laughed when I peed on your leg because you stood guard while I squatted behind a tree in the park, you folded my laundry while I was at work and made sure all the shirts faced the same direction in the dresser. When you left all I could think about were the physical ways in which you had shown me love. I wanted someone, anyone to make me feel deserving of that kind of love. I let you into my life, despite the hesitation, and the doubts you had, it meant nothing to me because I was getting something I had wanted for so long.

Before you, I drove myself home after a late night out, I cleaned the throw up out of my trash can the morning after. Picked myself up off the floor during a crippling panic attack and found comfort in my solitude. I didn’t realize that I had been doing these things for myself before anybody had ever inserted themselves into my life. Now that I know those are acts of love, I see all the ways in which I’ve been quietly loving myself. I hope he knows if it wasn’t him, I would have fallen in love with somebody else only to come to the same realization. I have been here for myself longer than anybody ever has or ever will. While he continues to chase mirrors, looking for his reflection in-between the legs of somebody, anybody. I’ll be staring back at my reflection falling in love with myself over and over again. So one day I can look in the mirror and confidently say “I did this for you.”

Making Room for the new

At twenty years old I feel as if I have lost all understanding of the word love. How can it be so different for everybody and in every different relationship? How do you develop the people you love in your mind? I have trouble continuing someone’s story after deciding I love them, even with family my capacity for their development is smaller once I have let them in my heart. It’s the same fear of change that I carry for myself, I don’t ever want to move on from what is now, and what will eventually become the past. I never feel ready for the future so I tend to linger in the oldest identification of everyone around me. Everyone is changing and I am feeling left behind, not because I haven’t accepted my future self but because I don’t want to leave behind what we used to be. I’m sitting here trying to decide how to make room, where can I fit the new identity inside a body made for only one. How can I forget everything while still taking on new information?

The simplicity of pooh

My parents were the organized working type of hippies when I was younger. I’d throw fits and instead of first spanking me or locking me in my room they would sit me in a corner and give me three heavy metal balls with little bells inside that would jingle when they moved. I was to sit there and roll them in my hands and think about what made me upset. Of course when you’re seven years old and sitting in a corner you don’t appreciate the comfort the walls provide, and the jingle of the three beautiful spheres. Instead you throw them at what made you angry.

I was never allowed to watch caillou and I hated barney and every other show seemed a little too old for me at the time and since the barbie show wasn’t yet a thing I would make people read me books all the way until I was old enough to read on my own. Both me and my younger sister loved Winnie the pooh. I always wanted to be pooh or maybe Christopher robin because they were the most popular characters in the hundred acre woods. Tigger was cool but rabbit was always trying to get rid of him and I didn’t want rabbit to not like me cause I thought bunnies were pretty cute. Piglet was too anxious, sure he had fun but only cause pooh allowed him to tag along on all the adventures, and owl was too smart I didn’t want to give my self that much credit, roo didn’t seem to be as important as everybody else and I never wanted to be less than important,  and Eeyore was funny but too sad. And in my house if you’re sad you got the three jingly balls and the beautiful life book which were not something I wanted.

So I was pooh. I related to him and tried to attain his simple mindedness and good ideas. But the other day I read a story from Winnie the pooh a familiar one, my favorite one in fact. In this story roo and tigger are walking past a large amount of pine trees and tigger is talking about all the things tiggers can do. When roo asks if he can swim cause roo fell in the river one day and he can swim. Of course tigger says “yes I can swim better than any roo.” Then roo asks if tigger can climb a tree and tigger says “yes I can climb a tree.” That’s when Tigger and roo get stuck in the tree and everyone comes over to save them. After tigger falls out of the tree crushing everyone below him and everyone below him crushing Eeyore, tigger says “Of course you won’t find me doing anything like that again.” then when he’s asked where he’s going next he replies “Roo and I are going swimming.”

Tigger doesn’t know his limitations, he thinks a lot about what he can do and not what he can’t. Since he has yet to try doing everything then he doesn’t know he can’t do everything. As much as poo was loved for his simplicity, in my eyes tigger is loved for being much more than simple. Even though I always wanted to be pooh I never was. I was always tigger, loving pooh for his simplicity and being loved for my lack of simplicity. Because who knows, maybe I too can fly just as high as a bird.

Everything but wanted

Everyday I try to understand my self more and more, but I never have understood my complete lack of trust for people who care about me and the doors to my mind that I leave open for people who question whether I’m even worth their time.

It’ll begin with my father who begs for an explanation. He’ll start off with the synonyms of why. “Why didn’t you tell me you had your first kiss? How come you never said you had a boy friend? How did this boy get up in your room at 2 am? Where are your clothes? Explain to me why you don’t own any longer shorts? What are you thinking? How did this happen?” But I never did care, none of it ever bothered me. They’re just boys, I would tell my self over and over again. But as I got older and I found myself wondering why nobody loved me, why nobody wanted me. I would run through the synonyms of why putting every question under the same category ‘Why?’ even if it was never why or how come but just a riddle or a question. To me, it was still ‘why’ it was always ‘why’. Because why was it even a question I can’t be the only one whose bed is too big for one person I can’t be the only one who gets tired of hugging them selves.

I found the answer, deep in the blue eyes of a boy down the street who would bring me what I wanted when I wanted and I found the answer in between my legs, I found the answer in his name under the sheets. But after, I wouldn’t ask myself why because I had the answer laying right beside me. Every night I would tell the moon I did it, I found the answer and he found me and I’m going to be okay.

But when the answer turned into a question, when the answer became unreliable, when the answer told me I wasn’t worth his time he told me he was in love but her name started with a C and that’s funny I thought because my name doesn’t start with a C. So I started asking the moon “How come I thought I had found the answer why did you let him come in my room if you knew I wasn’t the question he was looking for.” But it never made sense because my unfinished metaphors never made any sense to anybody but me.

So I was back to the beginning, running through the synonyms of ‘why’. I convinced my self it was okay I could clean my room, I could stop crying, I deserved better. But it never ends that way, not with me because I’m not any other letter of the alphabet I am who I am and I always know I can fix things I’ll make him fall in love with me eventually, it’ll happen. The night he told me he didn’t love C anymore was the same night we joked about how one day I’ll see him on the big screen and I’ll remember that guy as a good friend of mine.

That’s when I realized, you can’t fix everything. You can’t change people and you can’t avoid the unavoidable. No matter how many words you count the amount you say will never be enough to change her mind, because the plants that bring her to a state of euphoria you have never reached, will never leave her taste buds or escape her sight despite the tears she cries at night. His hands will never touch your heart no matter how many times they’ve skimmed the surface and taken your breathe away you will stay the same to him, just a figure moving in the dark drifting further into his past so he can continue his future without you.

Don’t get caught up in other people, you have enough to worry about and very few chances.

Something more than nothing

All I ever wanted to be was important, meaningful, significant, different.The kind of person nobody could read, the main character of the story. The kind of person who could ramble on and on without having their thoughts interrupted. I wanted to be as courageous as Junie B. Jones, moody as Judy moody, to have a friendship like Calvin and Hobbes. I yearned to be someone important.

We all want to be more than what we are. When I was younger I would stare up at the stars and beg to one day be equivalent to all the specs of glitter that littered the night sky. I didn’t want to be a star, no I wanted to be more than that. I wanted all of my memories, experiences, thoughts and ideas, I wanted every single one to equal up to the amount of stars that you could only find late at night on my uncles farm. But as I built them up, one by one tossing them into the sky hoping they find their way, I realized none of it was worth it. I didn’t want to be as courageous as Junie B Jones, when I realized how much trouble she was always getting into. I didn’t want to be as moody as Judy moody when I realized how stressed she always was, and Calvin and Hobbes friendship was nothing more than an imagination.

As I got older, braver, and more intelligent I found myself begging to just be something more than nothing. For months that’s all I wanted. A life, no. A story. But recently I realized something; I’ve always been something more than nothing, I’ve always been as courageous as I could be, as moody as needed, and my friendships have been more amazing than I could ever imagine. I’ve always been Helen Forbes. The tall girl with an ever changing smile, the confident, loud, beautiful girl, that not every one loved but it’s okay because she loves herself. I love my self. I will always be something more than nothing.