I’m trying to write about what I feel because the past 36 hours have been surprisingly, unexpectedly difficult.
I’m here in a café – the best one in this city-town – trying to put to words the inner turmoil and unease that has been suffocating me for an entire day. What is it about family that makes and breaks in every way possible?
(But) I don’t know where to begin.
Should I start by filling in hard details? For instance, that I was back in my parents’ hometown this weekend to attend my cousin’s – closest in age and most dearest among them all – wedding? Or do I need to backtrack some because maybe you didn’t already know just how much I hate weddings? I want to confess so badly to someone how much I loathe these damn wedding receptions; how I wish I am anywhere but at one; why the idea of marriage still shakes me; but where do I… how do I… do so without explaining the root cause? How do I do this without opening Pandora’s box from the past?
I keep thinking I need to be happy for those I love who get to choose love and be together for eternity. But every time I attend their wedding, I just find myself wanting to cry. “Another one,” I thought, “Lost to a concept I can’t comprehend.”
Or maybe I’m just selfish; I don’t know how to be happy for someone else.
I wonder if it’s okay to feel relieved that I did at least do the needful: I smiled (almost) the entire time I was there; I complimented the bride for looking (extra) gorgeous and beautiful on her big day; I took photos while I was there and even made sure to snap one with her… but the truth is, I wish someone would take me away, provide me with a reason to excuse myself early. “I don’t want to be here,” was what I really thought as I held back my tears. “I have no happy thoughts.”
Because the honest, painful truth is that maybe I still feel resentment and anger for a betrayal that possibly, in reality, never happened except within the chambers of my mind and memory. Maybe the truth is, I still feel that I’d been robbed of my childhood, now scarred and still wounded as an adult. I want to scream injustice about the aftermath: I feel emotionally handicapped with romantic relationships; undeserving and fearful. Weddings – I loathe them for damn well good reasons.
A year ago, exhausted at having held on for so long, I sobbed with all of my heart. “This fear [towards love] is real and limiting and suffocating.” Eldest Sis was my only witness. She’d gently replied, “[But] You don’t need to love something in order to accept it.” So here I am, a year later – desperately trying trying trying. I’m trying so hard to live by her words damnit; I’m trying so hard to reconcile an emotionally turbulent youth that forced me to mature early and grow up too fast.
As an adult now at age twenty-five, nearly a decade since those teenage years, I genuinely thought I have since softened and no longer hold grudges and bitterness. I’d thought that not only have I outgrown them but at long last, I’ve even quietened the storm. But yesterday I… realized… that the past lives inside of me, all along and all this while.
If there is a monster – it has always been myself.