"I’m just a fucked up girl who’s looking for my own peace of mind. I’m not perfect."
January 31st, 2012
This is what I didn’t tell you.
I didn’t tell you that within 24 hours after writing flying or falling, my heart shattered.
I didn’t tell you that I spent the next three days unbelievably sad.
I didn’t tell you that I walked up Mont-Royal in the rain and slipped on ice three times with clothes wet and loss.
I didn’t tell you that, one by one, everything I cared about left — not only the people I loved most, but the passion I had for contribution and, with it, slowly slipping away from me, my sanity and my will to live.
I didn’t tell you that I broke down over the weekend, confronted with an even bigger and more insidious fear to which being hurt by anyone else could never compare: losing my mind.
I didn’t tell you that I imploded my anger upon myself, and realized that that was the answer: I had recognized years of suppressed sadness after beginning the journey of recovery, but I had never allowed myself to be angry about anything — the assault, the abuse, the betrayal. The lies and the dishonesty. The heartbreak.
I didn’t tell you that I almost self-destructed.
But now I’m telling you, because I’m just another human being. I’m not perfect and I never will be. I am no higher or lower than anyone else.
My infatuation with the desire to appear perfect is what has broken me, over and over again. It is what sparked my self-hatred; it is what fueled my eating disorder; it is what tumbled me down into relapse. It is what caused me to do nothing but inject sugar into my bloodstream indirectly last summer rather than acknowledge the fact that I was sad, and that I was struggling.
I tried for years to be perfect. I tried to apologize to them. I’m sorry I’m not perfect, I repeated, over and over. Will you ever see that?
This infatuation kept my fury inside. Anger isn’t peaceful, I told myself. Anger isn’t “good” or loving or kind.
I was wrong.
Anger is liberating. Anger is freeing. Anger is transformative.
Anger set me free.
At the very least, anger is constructive. More constructive than wallowing, than pity, than grudges and self-hatred and attachment.
But I was scared of anger. I was scared of what it would do to me. Would I kill someone? More likely: Would I kill myself?
So I kept it in. I never let myself be angry about anything. I wasn’t angry when I forced myself to keep calm as three different ephemeral characters in this reality yelled at me and sent me abusive messages last year. I wasn’t angry after I was assaulted. I wasn’t angry after I was essentially raped by my first “partner.” I wasn’t angry after I was mistreated and hurt, over and over again, by the people I so achingly loved. I wasn’t angry after my heart broke. I wasn’t angry after anything.
I went numb instead. Or conveniently forgetful.
Or I simply swallowed all my anger, just as I swallowed all my tears during the first arc of my eating disorder.
Because this was what I was taught, growing up: If you’re angry, hurt someone. If you can’t hurt someone else, hurt yourself.
So I did. I did for years. I carved my anger onto myself, and then I carved it onto my body and burned my throat and slaughtered my stomach.
And then I decided to stop. I didn’t want to hurt myself anymore. I didn’t want to hurt anyone else, either.
But I had no place for anger anymore. Anger was scary, it was bad, it would make me want to hurt someone. Myself. Anyone.
So I didn’t let myself be angry. And I almost fell apart more than I ever have in my life.
I was standing in the middle of someone else’s house. I felt like screaming. I felt like breaking everything. I felt like scratching apart my skin until it burst open, red blood raw.
I didn’t understand where this came from. That one day I could wake up with a madness I’d never known. That I could feel so bad that it wasn’t even bad enough to let go. Sadness, depression, heartbreak I could handle. But this? I didn’t understand. I had never experienced anything like it before. What was wrong?
What was wrong?
I am angry.
I am angry that I held in my anger for years because I thought it wasn’t peaceful or loving.
I am angry that I held myself up to such self-destructive expectations of perfection and utter inhumanness again.
I am angry, but anger is not bad. It is not anything.
It was the actions fueled by anger that destroyed my childhood: the abuse, the screaming, the constant fear. It wasn’t the anger itself.
I can’t let anything go if I don’t even allow myself to experience it.
So, I am allowing myself to be angry. To feel fucking furious. And sad and mad and depressed and anything else I could ever feel.
And I am allowing myself to find the joy in this, too.
Because I know this: for everything I am angry about, I feel endless gratitude in equal measure with my rage.
I am not perfect. I will say this again and again until I remember that I don’t have to be. I will say this again and again to let you know that I am only here because I decided to be, because I have made the choice to live instead of die. There is no real difference between you and I, and our humanness.
You are beautiful, because you are alive. There is nothing that needs explanation. You are love.
And so am I.
Not because I’m stronger, but
because I’m alive.
I’m alive, goddamnit.
And if that isn’t the most beautiful thing in the world to be, I really have no idea what could be.
I love you.