Tag Archives: confusion

Helpless.

“How dare you.

There was a tragedy placed before me and those were the three words that rang through my mind. They were at the very forefront, refusing to be ignored.

“How dare you.”

I filled in the silence that followed:

“How dare you be so selfish. How dare you be so wrapped up in your own damn mind that, even as this story is being shared with you, you can’t push away your pain. How dare you be holding back tears because of your ‘pain’ when there are so many people in this world who are going through SO MUCH WORSE things than you. You are being selfish. You need to get outside yourself. You need to be there for the people around you. You are so consumed with the fact that no one has reached out to you that you’ve stopped reaching out to others. You’ve isolated yourself. You can barely handle other people’s pain because you can’t handle your own. How dare you. You are supposed to be able to carry other people burdens. Why can’t you put yours aside for a moment? Why can’t you get out of your own head? You should be taking care of people- loving people. Isn’t that what you do? You haven’t been doing that lately. You don’t even care about the people around you. You’re being selfish, only caring about yourself. How dare you. This is not how you are supposed to act. You need to snap out of this. It’s ridiculous. You need to get up. You need to do something. All you want is for someone to see you and, yet, you keep to yourself. You want people to ask how you are and then lie when they do. How dare you. How dare you get so wrapped up in your own problems like this. You are supposed to be better than this. What you are dealing with is nothing- NOTHING- compared to other peoples pain. How dare you. How dare you. How dare you.

I had no words to fight back and other peoples pain layered itself on my own and tears came to my eyes and weight came to my arms and my hands shook and my breath fought against me and I tried to think of ways I could help and my mind swirled and I wondered if there was anything that could be done and sadness hit me again and again and again until I fell. Helpless.

-Melissa

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Fog.

When I was in early high school, I was still riding the bus because I couldn’t drive yet. I remember some mornings, I would walk outside to wait for the bus driver and the air would be thick with fog. The kind of fog that covers everything. We would ride to school and I couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t even see the school until we were pulling into the parking lot. And it seemed like it was popping up out of nowhere.

I think fog is pretty fascinating. I don’t know why. It’s always just seemed to contain some sort of mystery to me. You see, I think there are two sides of fog.

The first is comforting. It wraps itself around you; keeps you to itself. It’s inclusive. It welcomes you in and forms to fit you. It envelopes you with it’s presence and you’re safe.

The second is terrifying. It blinds you to everything around you. It steels your senses from you and forces you to go in blind. It isolates you. It offers no warning for the danger that could be lurking just out of your sight.

I kind of had a family emergency this week. That’s a lot more like the second side of fog than the first. It settles upon you without warning and catches you off guard and, senseless, you fumble through the blinding mist trying to find something familiar. When this happens, if you and your friend and family are Christian, people tell you to pray. And you should, they’re right. But sometimes, I just can’t. It’s hard for me to focus on anything because my mind is either spinning or it’s numb. And, especially at the start of it, I could barely talk about it. My words were slow and I left long pauses in between them because my thoughts weren’t… there. I can’t think. So it’s hard for me to pray, even though I really need to.

And you know what? I really think that’s okay.

Because I think God’s presence can be like the first side of fog. I think He surrounds us on every side and becomes as close as our breath. I think He wraps us in Himself and becomes a think blanket of comfort. In the midst of confusion and chaos, He’s there, holding our heads up or sitting next to us as we stare blankly into space, not being able to think. And, truthfully, in those moments, I think it’s enough to invite Him into that numbness with you. To simply utter, “Could You just sit with me for a while?” and rest in His presence. I think He has more than enough grace for that.

I also believe that, in distress, it’s the responsibility of others to pray for you. I pray for others a lot and so I hope when I can’t pray, they’re stepping up to pray for me. I just think that’s how it’s supposed to work.

“What can I do with my obsession with the things I cannot see? Is there a madness in my being? Is it the wind that moves the trees? Sometimes You’re further than the moon, sometimes You’re closer than my skin. And You surround me like a winter fog; You’ve come and burned me with a kiss. And my heart burns for You. And my heart burns… for You.” // David Crowder

-Melissa

Excuses.

I was trying to think of how to explain why I was 24 minutes late in turning in my paper. The prof I was trying to turn it in to is one of the most gracious people I know so he probably would have accepted any excuse. But I literally couldn’t write one.

Not that I didn’t have one.

But her words were in my head. Her words. “Results, not excuses.” Pounded into my brain a dozen times, directed at me when I wasn’t the only student in the room. When she called me out by name to say those words.

As if I did something wrong. As if I did something bad. Her unwillingness to hear me explain. Her unwillingness to believe that there could be anything valid for me not doing something perfectly. For me not understanding something.

As if I needed more guilt.

And tears filled my eyes and all I could think was: Shit. She got in my head.

So I said I was sorry for turning in the paper 24 minutes late. I said I would explain, but I’d been taught not to. And then I gave him the paper.

I have no idea why this hurts.

-Melissa

Missing you.

I couldn’t find the vanilla.

I knew exactly where it should be. I’d been down the baking isle three times. I wondered from it, up and down every isle now because clearly it had to be here somewhere.

A song came on the radio. The familiarity struck me even before I realized what it was. It was late enough that most people were in their homes instead of grocery shopping so the store felt peaceful. I sang the song softly as I wondered around. What had I been looking for?

Did you still listen to this band? Hmm. I never would have heard of them if not for you. I found myself looking for a drink you once got here that I’d never been able to find since.

Where would I be….How different would my life be…. If you were still in it?

I squeezed my eyes shut for just a moment and tried to picture calling you right then if nothing between us had ever gone wrong. Because I wanted so badly- I want so badly- to talk to you. And not to rehash anything or figure out what happened. Just to talk. Just to hear your perspective. Just to hear you. Just because I miss you.

Yes, even still.

But I couldn’t picture what my life would be like now if our friendship would have lasted. I can’t imagine it. It’s taken so many unexpected turns since I knew you. I don’t know if they would have been effected by your presence in my life somehow or not. I just don’t know.

But I do know it sure would have been nice to call you today and here your voice… I so much hate that…. it seems like a foreign concept now. I’ve… I’ve lost pieces of you as time has gone on. I so much wish I had never had to. But I… the person you knew no longer exists and the only memories I have of you… well, they’re actually hers.

The way you cared about me wasn’t fair, you know. The way you saw me wasn’t fair. It didn’t make sense. You shouldn’t have been so good to me. You shouldn’t have been so in tune with me.

Because now I miss you quite terribly.

And then the song ended. Something much friendlier came softly through the speakers above me, like the other song had never played. And no one noticed the change. No one felt like something so, so, so good had been cut way too short. No one felt an emptiness in it’s absence.

Except me, of course.

Now….where was the vanilla?

Missing you.

-Melissa

Too.

I sat quietly, trying to read one of the thousands of pages I’d been assigned. Unfortunately, my mind wasn’t anywhere near the book I held in front of me.

I replayed the moments in my mind. Not the good moments, though I had many of those to choose from. Just the awkward ones. Just ones where the silence lasted a touch too long. Just the ones that didn’t go perfectly, that made me question every single thing either of you had ever said to me. And my mind worries over every single second.

Because what if one of those seconds made you realize I’m not as great as you’ve somehow made me out to be? What if one of those moments caused you to wonder why you had bothered to come? What if you realized how uninteresting I was and got bored? What if you suddenly became aware of the fact that I am a horrible conversationalist? What if you came to terms with understanding that you had an idealized version of me in your head?

And I know none of those things are true.

Maybe it’s because I can’t read either of you very well. Or I think I can’t. Or maybe it’s because I… well, I honestly think you’re really cool so I can’t imagine you actually wanting to be my friends.

I do realize that this is not fair to you. I know that. I know that you, if I said these things to you, would argue relentlessly. I know. I am aware. I know you’ve proved me wrong countless times by now. And yet I question everything. I wish I could just turn that off.

Wouldn’t that be great? Do you have any idea with how much more comfortable I would be around you? Do you know that I rarely, if ever, fully let my guard down around you because I am so focused on how I’m being perceived? No, you don’t. Because I can’t tell you. Because that would legitimately hurt you, and for good reason. Because I should not be like this. I consider you close friends and yet… I’m afraid it’s too good to be true.

I’m so sorry for that.

-Melissa

Missing you.

Someone asked me the other day how I ever could have been friends with you.

For once, I tried to put myself in his shoes. Really, in their shoes. Because I know he wasn’t the only one. I knew how… hard you could be. I knew, vaguely, how other people saw you.

And I listened as he tried to explain why it never made sense that you and I were friends. How it never made sense to anyone. He said the same about another one of my friends too. Honestly, he doesn’t see much clearly. But I understand what he was saying. I mean… sort of. I understand what he thought he saw.

But that’s just the thing. He didn’t see you. He thought he did.

But he didn’t see the first time you spoke to me. I sat there quietly, just like I always do, and you made conversation with me. You know, I don’t remember the moment I first meet someone. Most of the time, you just wake up one day and you’re friends with someone and you can’t remember the moment it started. But I remember you. Because I could tell you…saw me. Do you know how rarely that happens?

He also didn’t see the time I had to deal with a death surrounded by people I barely knew. You were the only person here that I could tell. He didn’t see the way your face fell when I told you. You had no reason for your face to fall. You didn’t know them. But you let yourself feel my pain.

He thought he saw you. And maybe he did. But it wasn’t the real you. It was the hard you. The you others couldn’t see past. The you people were afraid of. Who pushed people away. Who constantly built up your walls, higher and higher. But he didn’t see that crack in your walls. Just barely big enough to let a grain of sand get through. And I got through.

I just… I didn’t know how many layers of walls there were. Not that that would have changed anything. Okay. Maybe it would have. Because I do hope I would have fought a hell of a lot harder than I did at the end.

What terrifies me now is that I know you’ve pushed me out. And you repaired that crack in that one wall. And your walls got higher. Stronger. And I’m… terrified you won’t let any one else find another crack. I’m afraid you’ve repaired them all so perfectly that no one else will even be able to think about getting through to you. I’m afraid you wake up every morning and take a walk around the wall, a bucket of mortar in your hand, and fill all the cracks, even add another layer of cement where you think it might be weak. And then, when you get a chance, you go out an buy a few more bricks and make the wall thicker and taller. And it’s just this ongoing process where you make sure that no one sees you.

Which… I don’t even think you see you. Actually, I know you don’t. Because you choose to see the you other people see in you.

Ha.

Not me. Other people.

Because you never believed any of what I told you.

Oh, what did I tell him? When he asked why I had ever been friends with you?

I told him he never saw the you that I did. He didn’t see the way you talked to me. The way you cared for me. The way you were literally there for me whenever I needed you. I told him about the time when, at four in the morning, you were begging me to come outside to talk because you knew how badly I felt. Because you knew how much pain I was in and you knew I needed to talk about it.

I told him he didn’t actually see you.

Missing you.

-Melissa

Missing you.

I did something I probably shouldn’t have today.

In my defense, when I woke up, it didn’t take me very long to realize what day it was. If I could have just forgotten, it wouldn’t have been a problem. But I don’t forget stuff like this. So when I realized the date, reality hit me.

It has been three years since we last spoke.

It has been three years since I woke up to that horrible message. Three years since confusion and pain undid me. Three years since I was sick and literally green from crying, which I didn’t think was possible.

“Save your ammunition for somebody else; I’m all second chances.”

Three years ago, in the last conversation I had with you, you reminded me that you loved me. You assured me that everything would be okay. And I believed you. After all, you are my best friend.

You haven’t spoken to me since.

So, while I was cleaning tonight, I did something I shouldn’t have. I found the playlist you made for me and started listening. It took me back to a time when we used music as a drug. Maybe you still do.

I found myself on the floor, listening to one of the first songs you suggested for me. “I think about life and oh how it changes so fast. And oh how it’s so hard to last here waiting for something to give. I think about time. A luxury so hard to find and I just can’t figure out why I wasted it all here without you. But I’ll be fine, oh don’t you worry, because I’ll be fine. I’m in a hurry to be gone away awhile. Tell me all the things that I, I’ll be missing here in this old life, man, because I just don’t know. I just don’t know.”

Life does change pretty fast. In a day, I lost a friend who knew me and understood me better than any other friend I had ever had. Honestly, it was one of the worst days of my life. And time does seem like a luxury. Somehow, three years have past since I’ve spoken to you, and yet, you come to my mind all the time. And you were in a hurry to be gone. No explanation. You left so suddenly that sometimes I wondered it we had ever really been friends at all or if I had just lost my mind and made the whole thing up. But that doesn’t sound like me.

I just wish you would have stuck with me. I know I’m not the greatest person, but for goodness sake, I accepted every part of you! I adored your friendship. If nothing else, I’m loyal. I would have stayed beside you. I would have kept your darkest secrets. I would have helped you in any way I could. “Because I can feel your pain in my bones. I can feel your pain deep in my bones.”

But you pushed me away. You shoved me out of your life then turned your back as if you never knew me. And one of the worst things was seeing you after and still being able to read emotions you hid behind a very hard mask. Because you can’t just turn that off. I could read you like a book and I could tell when you were reading me. And I hated seeing you in pain.

And now it’s officially to the point that I’ll probably never see you again.

The last song on the playlist tells the listener to not blame themselves. “Oh don’t blame yourself. Because I know that you tried. You need someone to be, someone better than me, in your life.” But the truth is, I didn’t need someone better than you in my life. And don’t blame myself? You know me better than that.

How I wish the person I am now could go back to three years ago.

Missing you.

-Melissa

Quoted lyrics from Safteysuit, Paper Route, Andrew Belle, and Manchester Orchestra