When You’ve Become The Jaded One

Tess Mayer
Tess Mayer

I really wish I was cooler. I wish that I could let my burning hot anger slide off my shoulders and move on with my life. But I can’t. I stew. I stew and I stew and I stew until I can’t hold it in anymore and burst out angrily at whatever poor soul is nearest. This anger I feel. This explosion of feeling. It’s terrible; it hurts me when I hold it in. But I do not want to lose people. I do not want to be the bitter bitch I fear I am so very rapidly becoming. Keep it inside keep it inside. I stare straight ahead with a stony face and hope that no one sees my expression falter.

Deep breaths. Angry texts quickly deleted before I can send them. Staring in the mirror and wondering who I am and where the kind, soft self I once was disappeared to. She’s gone. Fuck. She’s so far gone and so disappointed in the person that I’ve become. The person we used to hate. Those sharp, sour women with no patience or easy smiles. There was a promise. I would never do something to make someone feel bad about themselves. Unspoken even to myself but always there and always of the utmost importance. And yet now I jump on the slightest transgression. I have no tolerance. For loud noises, for joy, for love. It all hurts me. It all hurts me because I am so outside of it and like a scared, wounded animal I try to hurt it back. I try to make myself feel better about the sad lonely hell my life has become by making everyone else feel guilty for the instances of selfishness that often come with their elation. I am relentless. I am alone and in my loneliness I feel like I see the stupidity that no one else does. But I am the stupid one. I am coloring the world to better suit my sad purposes and everyone knows it but me.

I go on dates with the expectation that the man will be a dirt bag. I sit and wait for him to say something the slightest bit off-color and off I go. I happily tear at him, feeling power. For a second I have control and it’s delicious because when it comes to romance I usually lose all of it. I knocked him down a notch and feel no remorse because in a few days’ or weeks’ time he’ll do the same to me. My armor is all-encompassing and it burns like fire if you try to touch it. Have I really been hurt so badly that I have to act like this? Can I even remember who it was who broke my heart in such a way that I put on scorching armor and use it to singe anyone who dares to come near? Maybe it wasn’t anyone. Maybe it was me, tired of rejection. Tired of heartbreak. Maybe I decided the only way to not have my heart broken again was to ignore the very things that make it beat. That withered thing sits in my chest and pulses only slightly when he tells me I look beautiful. I will it to stop. I order another drink.

Sometimes even the slightest thoughts make me fight back tears. Sometimes those thoughts build on other thoughts and then turn into anger. It becomes all about blame. Blame the rest of the world for the fact that I sit alone on Friday nights trying to fight off my sadness but failing miserably and drinking a bottle of red wine instead. Blame the rest of the world for the fact he didn’t want another date. For the fact that my best friends all fell in love and don’t seem to need me anymore. It’s because of everyone else that I ache so deeply. I spent so much of my life being warm and kind and I thought I was doing the right things but now I’m a monster. Karma is a lie. Karma is a big pulsing lie and it’s everyone else’s fault and never ever mine. I hate you and you and you and you and especially you with your laughter and your easiness and your friendships. Hate echoes in my head and the sensible bits that still remain whisper weakly that the word I really should be using is envy. That little voice is weak. I drown it with hard, cold thoughts and hope it never speaks up again.

I do not want to feel like this. I want to crawl out of this rut and remember what giddiness felt like. What it felt like to be unable to sleep because of joyful anticipation and not painful, weighty dread. I want to smile at strangers and be gracious and kind and patient. I need humans and touch and love and excitement but instead I crawl into an empty bed every night at 11 pm and read history books until I pass out from boredom. To change this would be to go out and see the rest of the world living an easy life I feel like I never had a chance at. Troubled Hillary with her strange, oversensitive soul. Hillary who cries at house parties and has panic attacks when someone asks her what she did over the weekend. I was never meant for that kind of a life. My body is strangled by the life my disease has doomed me to.

I need catharsis. I need to sprint a mile and scream into my pillow and throw books at the wall and scream into my pillow some more. I need to take those deep breaths they told us would be a cure-all for any unrest when we were all in the first grade learning how to be a human. Because everything in my body feels like it’s in an incredibly tight knot and I just need my limbs to stretch out as far as they can until they break free of the frozen lava layers that coat my body. I remind myself that darkness doesn’t last forever. I have the advantage of youth; I have the advantage of hope and possibility. Tomorrow is a salve for burns. TC mark

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