I know that’s a weird thing to title a blog post, but it’s kind of appropriate. I’ve been struggling a lot this year, with a lot of things, and some that I haven’t been able to handle well. I can’t even tell you what started it or what triggered it. But it’s something that’s been with me for a long time, and it’s caused me to sabotage a lot of good things in my life.
In fact, I haven’t been able to put a name to it until recently, and even now that I have, I’m not sure I’m right. It’s nuts, but it seems to explain a lot of my self-sabotage in my life and the way I retreat from public when things start going wrong.
I remember in elementary school, I got put in the corner because I refused to speak in class. Actually, I refused to speak outside the house at all. At home, I babbled like there was no tomorrow, but as soon as I hit the public areas, I was a mute.
People tried everything to get me to talk and that only made it worse. I’d sink behind my mom or dad and hide. It was so bad, that my first grade teacher wanted to hold me back. But my parents told them no. When I got older, my dad asked why I did that. And I didn’t have an answer for him. Only that I just didn’t want to. I’m still not really sure why, but I think it’s partially fear.
When we moved, and I was starting third grade, we went to see Mrs. Tucker, who would be my 3rd grade teacher. I still remember her saying hello to me, and encouraging me to just say hello. And I remember that it was the hardest thing I had ever done to that point to say hello back. It was mumbled and quiet, but I managed to get it out and I don’t think I’d ever seen my parents so happy. It was a huge deal for me. It opened the gateway for me to talk in school, and in other places where I had previously been mute.
I’ve had so many instances like that, where there was something that was so incredibly hard for me to do that wouldn’t have been that hard for anyone else. My life is full of those little cornerstones. I never understood that these were little things that bothered me but not others.
I took pretty much the entire year off from writing, social media, and shut myself off from the world. I can’t tell you why, or what happened to trigger it. But it’s the same as when I was a little first grader who got put in the corner for not speaking in class. A year later, it was incredibly hard to make that first post on Twitter saying hello or that post on Facebook saying “hey, I’m still alive!”
It’s been a week now that I’ve been posting here and on Twitter and Facebook, and while I’m not back to normal, I do feel a lot better about it. It’s another cornerstone passed, another hurdle overcome. I wish I knew exactly what happened. I have theories, but I don’t know for sure.
I feel good that I’m getting back online. I’ve missed so many people–writers and readers–and I’m loving reconnecting with them all. It’s exciting to me, like a while new world, and daunting at the same time.
I still don’t really know what the fuck is wrong with me but that’s okay. Eventually, I’ll figure it out. For now, I’m happy seeing peeps I haven’t seen in forever.
They may be online friendships, but some have been good friends for a long time. They wouldn’t let me give up on them. They sent me text messages and called me, made me check in to make sure I was alive and okay. They also respected my space and knew I needed it.
Those are the friends I’ll keep forever, even when I try to push them away. Because they are worth it.