Within my screaming mind I hear such noise
Cacophonies reverberate immense
Tempestuous and lacking shape or poise
Staccato sounds unformed make no real sense
My mental maelstrom silences my voice
Prevents my thoughts form clearly in my head
Like tongue-tied mute I struggle, stripped of choice
My larynx flayed, I cry a storm instead…
But in a while my wild brain calms once more
Such quietude replaces strident shout
And settling, soft words soon come to the fore
Caress my tongue and dance so sweetly out
Soliloquies flow gently with such ease
Like ribbons streaming freely in the breeze…
I’ve come to the difficult realisation recently that I tend to live life at arm’s length. Even the people I care for most tell me I can feel decidedly distant from them at times, disconnected and detached, and however uncomfortable it is for me to accept, sometimes I feel it in myself too and know they are right.
In holding on so tight, so carefully to the fragile core that feels essentially me, I inadvertently create protective barriers in my heart. These barriers may well prevent further hurt from entering, but to a certain extent they also act as a shield to deflect the full force of the love that is on offer from others, and stop me from fully returning it too.
I engage cautiously with life, but do not fully commit to immersing myself in it. I remain forever stranded on the shore, wading dejectedly in the shallows and the shadows, existing in the imagined safety of a kind of liminal space where I am neither out nor in, hedging my bets, sitting on the fence, and feeling dismally alone.
My aloneness hurts, but deep down it feels better than the risk of rejection. But I’ve had enough of paddling perpetually on the periphery, restricting myself to always appearing reserved and remote. I want to learn to trust in myself to trust others, to trust in life itself, and move forward to a new level of involvement where I can feel truly comfortable to give life and love my all, come what may…
Usually I prefer the original version of any given song to a later cover version, but there are always exceptions to the rule. One of these is ‘Mad World’, originally sang by Tears for Fears in the early 1980s – I liked it well enough at the time, but I didn’t love it.
And then years later I heard Gary Jules’ haunting version, and it made the hairs on my arms stand up on end – to be honest it still does. I found myself quietly singing it yesterday, mournful and melancholy like my mood, so I thought I’d share it today…
All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for the daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere…
Most people would agree that some practical decisions ideally need to be made without much emotional involvement – major financial decisions for example – and yet often in life I’ve found that however much careful research and thought and planning has gone into a particular difficult decision, what looks on paper to be the best way forward for me has then proved problematic to follow through in practice.
Regardless of the logic and reason and plain common sense in some decisions, the bottom line for me is if I just don’t feel it, there’s no point in me forging ahead. I imagine most people sitting somewhere central on a continuum of reason and emotion, with some being more naturally cerebral and others being more essentially intuitive in their approach, so always weighted towards one side slightly more than the other.
It seems I’m most definitely a gut reaction girl, I feel the world around me and act accordingly, apparently unable to fully separate heart from head. So sometimes the deciding factor for me in any big important situation is not only a case of logically asking myself ‘Can I afford it?’ but also considering the emotional consequence of my decision – ‘Can I afford not to?’… 🙂
I’m sitting here alone on my sofa on a Sunday evening watching TV, and Crocodile Dundee is on. I remember watching it at the cinema when it first came out way back when, and I just loved it! The humour is great, even if the styles and the themes are more than a little corny and outdated, but yet still it makes me cry. And inevitably it’s making me think about difficult stuff from my past.
It’s also making me think of other old movies I love, and why I still love them so much. Pulp Fiction and True Lies, Working Girl and Mona Lisa Smile. Going back even further, there’s Grease, and Dirty Dancing, and Strictly Ballroom. And never forgetting Saturday Night Fever. They all touched something in me in their own way; a hurt to be salved, a need to be fulfilled, a desire for something more in life.
Perhaps I’m more of a romantic than I think, yearning to be loved and taken care of. And perhaps I’m more of an extrovert in my imaginitive spiritual soul than I am in my fearful introvert heart, dreaming deep down of daring to be brave, be wild, be so much more than I am or ever can be in real life. These movies were my fantasy, my alternative future, my escape from unhappiness.
Thankfully I no longer feel that same agonising need for change, but somehow watching these old movies today still touches that little kernel of magical memories that grew into a precious germ of hope all those years ago, and for that I shall always be eternally grateful… ❤
Even the merest thought of how I might respond to today’s Daily Prompt word has me all tied up in knots. Sometimes I feel baffled by the prompt word, or uninspired, or just too damned lazy to bother, but occasionally a prompt word jumps off the page and whacks me on the head – bam! ‘Guilty’ is one of those words that leaves me stunned and reeling at the sheer enormity of how to answer. Do I make light of it, or delve deep into my psyche, or write a never-ending list of things that make me feel guilty?
It took me years to try to understand the difference between guilt and shame. Apparently, guilt is feeling bad about something you’ve done to some else, whereas shame is something you feel bad about for yourself, and we often conflate the two. Hmmm… to be honest I’m still not sure exactly where to draw the line with some things.
For example, I feel guilty about not being the kind of daughter my mum wanted. Actually, even before that I feel guilty about being born a girl in the first place – my mum wanted six boys, and I came along first and spoiled it, or so she’s spent a lifetime joking about to all and sundry. Funnily enough, I’ve never quite enjoyed being the disappointing punchline, and the joke certainly wears thinner with every year that goes by.
So to me, I feel guilty because me being born a girl, and so not good enough straight out of the box – well, the womb – definitely feels like something I’ve done to someone else. Although according to several therapists I’ve seen over my lifetime, not meeting somone else’s expectations for me is not actually my problem, but the someone else’s. Even if that someone else is my parent. But in my mind I don’t feel ashamed of being female, so to me what I feel, feels like guilt.
See where my rambling confusion comes from? I even feel guilty about not properly understanding what it is I feel guilty about, and even of being sure if it’s guilt I feel at all. Aaarrrggghhh…! Maybe I can just offer a defence of suffering a metaphorical concussion from the bang on the head from today’s hitting-all-my-buttons-with-bells-on prompt word, and plead guilty as charged… 🙂
The most important thing when dealing with a narcissistic person, so I’ve found, is not to take the hurtful things they say personally. Because it’s not about you, it’s about them – it’s never about you and always about them, no matter what. Knocking you down is never about keeping you low but about keeping them high – your feelings are incidental, nothing but collateral damage in their interminable quest for puffed-up perfection.
They need to feel good about themselves, and so you must be kept forever not good enough in their eyes in order for them to facilitate and fulfil their own fantasies of grandiosity. And so it’s never about deliberately hurting you, it’s more about salving their own suffering, ironing over their own inecurities, denying the desperation of their own delusions of grandeur. You are a mere inconsequential bit-player to their shining main protagonist.
To have an ongoing familial relationship with a narcissist, you must remain steadfastly strong enough to refuse to see yourself through their compassionately deficient eyes. Instead you must recognise their inherent weakness, pity their perpetual inability to see the reality of anyone or anything as existing outside of their own distorted worldview. Only then can you be free…