And then it happened – the tears, oh the flood of tears.
Sudden and unexpected, totally left-field and out of the blue. Words and worries and fears so pressing of late, all of which I’ve forced down my throat each time they threaten to appear, pushing them deep deep deep down and feigning I’m-fine-just-fine ‘tude – which I am, maybe just not completely – gushed out with a force of their own this morning, in front of Eldest Sis. Of course her; always her. Only her.
It was a quiet kind of Friday; her daughter was in kindergarten while the newborn was sound asleep. Another typical weekday morning whereby everyone else has scuttled off to work leaving the two of us to busy ourselves. Without intending to, today we conversed all morning, discussing everything and nothing in the way we always do and I genuinely hope will keep doing forever, moving about in the family home from her temporary bedroom to the kitchen then to the main hall, where something inside me finally broke. Our voices filled our surroundings with not just painful honesty, but also aching clarity of the learned and experienced.
I’ve grown so much over the last six years of being away and on my own –
but the last nine months, I feel, were most evidently felt.
One minute we were talking about her friends and the many different and varied ideas about marriages and relationships and infinite forevers, and the next minute there I was, all teary-eyed and shaky voice. Darn it, this wasn’t part of any plan.
“I’m so afraid,” I confessed, “I just don’t know how to believe in it. I’ve softened in my opinions about it but if you ask me honestly – honestly – I don’t believe in it. I don’t know how to, I don’t know if I can. But I’m a person of faith, so I understand that for me, it is a means to a particular end. But I hate it. I am less angry now yes, but I don’t hate it any less. Because the single example we know is so persistent and encompassing. It alters everything. I hold no grudge nor grievances towards anyone over everything that happened but the emotional scars cut deep, a lot deeper than I thought.”
“It’s like when it hit me I’m twenty-four – aren’t I supposed to feel a certain way about these things, perhaps believe or think about it differently the way others do? But I don’t. I feel premature about it – literally slow, late. It’s foreign – it’s the most foreign concept. I don’t know how others are able to see it differently. And I find it ironic that I think so much, all the time, yet I can’t conjure anything when it comes being a party of two. It’s blank; everything’s blank. I can’t even imagine anything, draw up different alternatives the way girls tend to, you know? This fear is real. I feel like there’s a part of me, deep inside, that’s broken. I’m still wounded.”
“I used to think it’s an attachment to my childhood days because you know how I am, I tend to hold on to the past and so I’m kind of hung up about those years of innocence – the naivety I no longer possess – but I think I need to own up to the truth: I think it is me. The emotional scars… they still live inside of me. Even now in adulthood, I’m still there. I cannot forget.”
“And this scares me so much. [Because] I don’t know if I’ll ever recover.”
Remember this – remember this well, and often;
“Despite what you’ve read, your sadness is not beautiful. No one will see you in the bookstore, curled up with your Bukowski, and want to save you.
for a salvation that will not come from the grey-eyed boy looking for an annotated copy of Shakespeare,
for an end to your sadness in Keats.
He coughed up his lungs at 25, and flowery words cannot conceal a life barely lived.
Your life is fragile, just beginning, teetering on the violent edge of the world.
Your sadness will bury you alive, and you are the only one who can shovel your way out with hardened hands and ragged fingernails, bleeding your despair into the unforgiving earth.
Darling, you see, no heroes are coming for you. Grab your sword, and don your own armor. ”
— Emily Palermo, Your Sadness is a Poison
Despite what you think, your sadness is not beautiful.