Delivered to you wrapped in cellophane
Waiting on your doorstep, every day
Delivery, a basket filled with pain...
Something snapped in me a couple of weeks ago. In the lead-up I'd been dealing with quite a bit of work stress, I'd been chatted to by my supervisor, about my 'overworrying' so I was trying so very hard, to not try so very hard - or at least make it appear that way... I understood what I was being told, but I was trying to prepare myself for any foreseeable outcome, I was trying to arm myself with every weapon in my arsenal, but I simply couldn't carry the weight. I was trying to be perfect, flawless. I was told it was unrealistic, it was unnecessary. I knew what they were saying, but I was trying to prove myself. I've been trying to prove myself my whole life.
Work has been a mixture of strange feelings for the past weeks. I'd been thrown back into a role I hadn't done in a long while, back with people I didn't necessarily mesh well with, relying on their assistance and my own skewed sense of competency. I'd also been sitting across from the source of my malignant workplace crush: Manchild. Working with him made getting out of bed in the morning easier, work more bearable and weekends became excruciatingly long. This 'crush' has also come to make a dire mess of me.
It was a Thursday, my last day in this challenging work rotation and it was set to be a long day. I was strangely well-composed, even 'chilled' on the exterior. My last hoorah - come what may! In the late afternoon, I hit a speed bump - I was overtired and frustrated. Manchild had been away for work, was due to return this afternoon, it had been three days since seeing him. As I was reaching speed on my decline, he walked in... he shouldn't have been there. My heart leapt and I was overwhelmed with the sudden desire to cry my eyes out. It was as if my very own knight in shining armor had knocked at my castle door. People talk about being unable to wipe a smile of their face - I now understood this kind of smile.
Unbeknownst to me he stayed. He stayed until I finished. He stayed for me? Then as I was collecting my things he told me he had decided to pursue a longstanding passion that would almost certainly take him out of our shared workplace, and out of our hometown. Tears were welling in my eyes.
It was like John all over again. A lesson not yet learned, manifesting in some new cruel way. I had to flee immediately. I feigned part exhaustion, but I fear even a blind soul could sense my upset, my tears freely leaking.
I had to rush to the safety of my car. Sobbing part way there - begging the Gods that I not bump into anyone I know. I got to my car and I sobbed heartily the whole way home. I'm quite surprised I actually made it home without incident. My parents could not understand why I was in the state, and neither could I really. I continued to sob in the shower, as I pleaded with God, the Angels, or whoever dared listen: please, not again.
I went to work the next day. On the drive home at the end of the day, I became a similar teary mess.
Monday rolled around, back to my old menial role...ripped from the company of Manchild, I slipped further into an ugly black hole. I started crying, in front of a coworker. I couldn't collect myself - I had to hide away in a dark room - more than once. I could hear other coworkers, including Manchild having a jolly old time in another part of the office. It seemed an added cruelty on my already frayed emotional state. Much of that day was spent fighting the urge to cry. Each evening going home, feeling ill with this darkness. Tuesday, Wednesday...fighting tears. Evidently I had lost the footing I had so solemly maintained after John, after changing jobs, after the death of my beloved pet, after so many knocks. I'd finally succumbed to the black dog again, and he had me in his jaws.
This week just passed, went by in usual fashion. I thought I had begun to make some headway - but another work incident knocked me on Wednesday, and I went down again.
I have whimpered and howled in bathroom stalls, showers and in the dark silence of 'bed-time'. I have hidden sneaky tears at customer service counters, and inhaled and exhaled the muted upset to just make it to another day. To make it to another day in which Manchild would finally declare his feelings.
"I can't do this again" is what I cried to the Divine. Wrong. I won't do this again.
Again, I have lost sight of who I am, near-drowned myself in the shadow version of me that I thought he'd like. That I thought, the 'cool-girls' would like. I've been trying to be ok with eroding myself. I'm so messed up with these muddy thoughts that I don't even remember what I'm doing from one moment to the next. I cannot believe I sabotaged myself again. I cannot believe I fooled myself again.
It's late, and right now I should be sleeping, but I needed to get this out. I had hoped to spill everything; for as sure as I know I put myself here, with my thoughts, I know also that the situation does not belong solely to me.
But most of all, with this anger-tinged clarity, I needed to write down, for the 'me' that will undoubtedly weaken momentarily again... I need to tell her - that this guy, these people, this bullshit morphing of myself is utter fucking crap. That none of it - that none of our late night imaginings, warm affections and sassy office repartee are anything other than slight of hand, smoke screen distractions from our self. I - we - started a journey of self discovery, we knew that the path to love was going to start with loving our own self - even the dark parts. I got lost. I got transported to another dimension, but I will get back to myself.
Manchild is not the answer you seek. Nor is an attentive boss, a flattering friend, an approving parent, a complimentary stranger. These archetypes are not the missing piece of the puzzle, they are not going to make everything better - the power you are assigning to these faceless figures does not exist. I know it doesn't feel like it, but this is something we must believe - we must know, that all the power we will ever need, all the love we are seeking to find is already there, inside ourselves. Believe it. Don't be distracted by anything else, because this is the only love that matters, and it is the only thing that is going to fix you.