Tag Archives: mask

Letter.

To the fixers:

Maybe you don’t know what else to do, so you give a suggestion. Maybe my problem seems easy to you. Maybe you can’t relate. Maybe you see an easy solution and you can’t imagine why I haven’t seen it. Maybe I have. Maybe it’s not as easy as you suggest. Maybe I can’t do what you can do. Maybe your solution is just a step in the right direction, but that same solution is surrounded by obstacles in my life. Maybe I don’t need a solution. Maybe I don’t need you to fix this. Maybe you want to help and you want to take control and fix this. Breathe. Just take a breath and be here with me. This can’t be fixed so easily.

To the challengers:

I see my flaws. I know there are many things I need to change. I’m probably more aware of them than you are. You challenge me to have perspective. You challenge me to think in different ways. You challenge me to think passed this. I can do those things. And nothing you are saying is wrong. But you’re invalidating what I’m feeling. I’m in a vulnerable place and you’re telling me, “Hey. I know what you’re feeling. But stop feeling that. Because you haven’t thought about it in this way. You just need some perspective.” I am allowed to feel what I’m feeling. You make me feel like I’m bad because I’m feeling this way. Just stop. Just hear me. Empathize with me.

To the uncomfortable:

You asked me why I was crying. So I told you. So you made a face that said you understood. Then you looked away. And you looked back and talked about something else. You tried to make me laugh. You ignored what I said. I know you’re not comfortable. I know you don’t want to help me carry this burden. Then please don’t ask. If you can’t handle it, please don’t ask me why I have tears in my eyes. Please don’t ask me how I’m doing. Because watching you see my pain and then ignore it? That’s something I can’t handle. So if you want to engage in my pain with me, then please do. But if you don’t want to–if you can’t– then leave me alone.

To the distracted:

You heard me. You not only heard me, but you said all the right things. You are the closest I’ve gotten to feeling a bit of relief from the sadness inside of me. You have gotten my hopes up that maybe, just maybe, I’m not alone. But you are busy. And the hours and the days and the weeks pass by and you seem to forget everything I said to you. When you see me, sometimes I can see you still remember, but you’re hurried. You have to move on to your next task, your next meeting. You say we’ll connect again soon as you pass by. Or you are so busy and distracted that you never follow through. In any way. You don’t even ask how I’m doing. Either be one thing or the other. Either be my friend, or don’t. But do not get my hopes up.

To the listeners:

Where are you?

-Melissa

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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

Masks.

Listening to the speaker, I didn’t move. I didn’t fidget. I didn’t flinch as he described me perfectly. No one around me knew that I had every one if the “symptoms” he was describing.

I wondered if anyone around me was doing the same thing. Just pretending this was another message that they probably wouldn’t remember an hour from now. Just pretending that he wasn’t hitting close to home. Just pretending that this had nothing to do with them.

But I couldn’t have been the only one. I knew I wasn’t. I could tell by the way he had completely captivated his audience. Everyone was fixed on him. Everyone afraid to move and give themselves away, just like I was. Everyone afraid that if they moved, he would know. He would see right through their perfectly held facade- the one he was describing.

He prayed we wouldn’t just walk away and put our masks back on.

But we did.

-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

Positive.

Occasionally, I do my part in scrolling through Pinterest. And, by ‘occasionally,’ I clearly mean a lot. Probably too much. My favorite category is quotes. I like words. I adore the fact that only 26 letters can make so many words that can be arranged in an infinite number of ways and you can make them say whatever you want.

It’s funny how, even with all the possibilities, we can often find ourselves at a loss. But that’s beside the point.

The point is, in a lot of the quotes lately there seems to be this theme of ‘if you’re positive, life will be positive.’ Yeah, I know. Apparently all you have to do is think happy thoughts and then you’ll be happy.

Wish someone would have told me sooner!

The problem is that this only works for a little while. I mean, maybe for you it works all the time. But for the rest of us… It seems like a bit of wishful thinking with a lot left to be desired. When my mind gets on a train of negative thought, it is almost impossible to derail. The pressure to think positively either pisses me off or weighs me with a guilt I can’t readily escape from. Even when I can get myself to be a bit more positive, it almost just upsets me more because I feel fake.

And what about those that deal with severe depression? Do you really think that telling them to have more happy thoughts will make them happy? There’s no way!

Sure, thinking more positively can have a positive effect on us but to say that it will change our life is just a lie. I’m all for embracing true joy and being grateful for all you have but I also have to take everything else I to account. We were given the ability to have emotion. Being happy all the time can often be a masking of all of the emotion that we have deemed unpleasant.

I know I’m ranting, and for that, I apologize. I just… If I had depression and I kept seeing posts about how if I wanted to be happy, I would just do it, I think I would just feel worse.

And I just don’t want anyone to feel worse.

-Melissa