When I was fifteen, I came to the realization that the best survival method (for me) was to just keep my mouth shut and/or run away from my problems. For all intents and purposes, it worked.
Did it work well?
However, I do not think I had much of choice in coping mechanisms. Talking to others about my problems rarely-- if ever-- worked out for me.
My parents were severely stressed to the point where my father was drinking worrying amounts of alcohol, and my mother was neither eating nor sleeping well. They would talk to me (especially my father) about their problems, but I decided against talking to them about my
problems because they didn't need anything else to worry about. On the extremely rare occasion that I hinted my problems at them, my dad would brusquely brush me off, and my mother would either not understand or simply tell me to go pray to the Virgin Mary or something else Catholicky like that. I gave up with them.
My peers were hardly an improvement. They would look at me like
or simply dismiss me.
There were a couple of times when I did have some success, but to be quite frank, talking about my problems never truly did make me feel better.
I told someone what was bothering me. This helps me how?
But there were two things that did make me feel better: my imaginary friends and writing. My tulpas
were always far more interesting and mature than the people around me. They were so much stronger, determined, and resolute than the actual living, breathing humans I was surrounded by. If they wanted to chat, tease, or be teased, I came to them or they came to me. If not, then I would go pester or be pestered by someone else. They
offered me better advice, they
understood me better, but most importantly, they
And my writing? Oh baby.
I could finally sound like the way I wanted to sound: my wording more meticulous and advanced, my fingers didn't stumble or stutter the way my stupid mouth did, and I could always add or detract my words whenever I wanted to. I can't do that
when I speak!
When I wrote, I was no longer in my room anymore: I was in a grandiose New York City penthouse bigger than my house; I was in an overcrowded one-room cabin in the backwoods of Poland; I was in the middle of a Native American village watching people live their small lives filled with small dramas; I was watching a battle of epic proportions for the fate of fantasy lands; I was anywhere but reality.
By the time I began university and my family moved out of the house (they moved out, not me), I figured that walling myself away from people was the best solution there was and I wouldn't change it for the world.
Two years later, I rescind my previous attitude.
Two years later, I realize that stonewalling is not the "end all, be all" solution.
Two years later, I accept that I have a problem with stonewalling and running away from my issues.
This morning, I had an asthma attack. Wanting to be able to breathe again, I put the albuterol in the mask and turned on the nebulizer. The machine was on, but the medicine was not evaporating. Scowling, I checked the nebulizer to see what was the issue.
As it turns out, the filter was missing. Fan-fucking-tastic. How in the fucking hell did that happen when the filter was literally right in the fucking machine?
"Maybe it's in the bed," my boyfriend offered.
I rummaged through the sheets and he helped me.
After a few moments of searching, I gave up and let out a wheeze.
"Great," I muttered darkly as my head hit the window with a thud.
"Maybe you dropped it on the floor," he offered again. I ignored him. That filter was securely attached in its place proper place and had no chance
of falling to the floor.
He tried to encourage me to keep searching but I gave up. The filter is small so it's practically impossible to find. On top of that, the filter was old; the damn thing probably disintegrated to powder.
Wheezing, I went to my computer and searched for new filters. Twenty dollars. Fucking awesome.
Let me just tack that on to the rest of my expenditures:
Credit card: 280
Why is my credit card 280? Because I recently drove down from fucking New England to get back home after being misled. I spent over $130 on gasoline, over 70 for an inn, and little over 20 on food (the rest of the money come from other expenditures that my mother added before I left).
Guess how much I'm paying? None of it! All of the financial burden falls on my dad!
You want to know what else he paid? He paid my rent, electricity, and credit card last month, too! Guess what else he's paying! His $20,000 hospital bill! (And that's after
the insurance deductible.) His rent! His food!
I called my father and told him about my expenditures. He dismissed me and told me to just buy the damn filters. That's why we have credit cards. Throughout the short conversation, I held back tears.
Do not cry.
cry. Crying is weakness. Crying in front of others is especially weak.
I bought the damn things (why couldn't I only buy one? That was all I needed, not five.) and threw myself back down in bed, wheezing all the while.
I fucking loved my life.
"What's wrong?" my boyfriend asked.
I said nothing and continued to glare out the window.
"What's the matter?" he pressed.
"Nothing of worldly significance," I responded. And it was true: someone feeling like a leech was hardly worthy of global attention.
"Well, it is to you considering how upset you are," he said, circumventing my wall. "Please tell me what's wrong."
I didn't lie... but I didn't tell him the truth either.
didn't do anything wrong," I told my partner. "I don't see why you're
"Because you're upset," he countered. "Please tell me what's bothering you."
I said nothing, scrunched up tighter in a ball, and glared ever harder at the window. Fine. If he wouldn't be dissuaded by my words, then my silence would suffice.
He continued to press on until he finally gave up. After some time, I got up to go pee. When I came back, he held his arms open for me and invited me into his embrace. I went to my sliver of bed and continued to wheeze.
"I want to hold you," he implored me. Rolling my eyes, I turned over and went to his embrace. I was as far as possible from him while still barely being in his hold.
"I want you on top of me," he pushed.
Absolutely not. I tolerated our position for couple of minutes and then turned my back to him.
"Aw," he pouted.
Did I mention he bought me food last night? Because he totally did. Before I left on that wild goose chase to fucking New England, I emptied my refrigerator and pantry, figuring that I'd be gone for the entire summer. I came back to nothing to eat and was surviving on extremely sparse rations this past week. I finally swallowed my pride (on his perpetual insistence and threat to call my mother [not that she knew I was going hungry]) and asked him to buy me some bread, fruit, and cheese. More leeching.
God, why was I such a failure?! Why was I such a leech?!
"It's time for you to go to work," I told him flatly. At least he had a fucking job. He rolled over and embraced me.
I ignored his love and continued to sulk and berate myself.
"You're going to be late," I told him, not turning around.
"You really want me to go," it wasn't a question, it was a statement and we both knew it to be true. I did want him to leave. Not out of loathing, but because I didn't want to deal with talking to him (or rather, being talked at by him).
'Run. Run away and never return to your emotions and problems,
' I sarcastically thought to myself.
"Please try to feel better," he implored me again.
"Oh gee, why didn't I
think of that?" I sarcastically responded, trying to mimic Knock Out's tone.
He laughed lightly at me and continued to get ready for work.
When he tried to kiss me, I didn't kiss back. I just wanted him to go so I wouldn't have to face him or my emotions.
"I love you," he told me in a defeated tone.
"I love you, too." My heart wasn't into it.
It was then I realized that the tools that had once helped me to survive were no longer applicable. It was then I realized that I had to grow, learn, and adapt.
Stonewalling may have helped me in the past when hardly anyone bothered to listen, but now, I did have someone who wanted to listen, someone who was begging
To be honest, I knew that I could have gotten away without rectifying my mistake this time, and I knew that I could get away with it other times, too. But in the end, I knew it would hurt him if I did, and that hurt would eventually turn into resentment, and that resentment could kill our relationship. I didn't want that to happen-- neither of us did.
And so, as I write this, I'm going to see if he still wants to talk.
And he said...