This blog is not FDA approved
“Some days I wish I knew what it felt like to be you,” my husband says. He says it with a smile because I’ve gone and done an “Ericka” thing again like panic because I’ve run out of gas only to realize I haven’t actually turned on the car. He means it with love. He means it with purely innocent interest. And all I can think is “like fuck you would.”
No one wants to know what it feels like to be me.
I’ve done it all, mastered it with deft feet and fake smile. Those moments in crowded rooms with women older than me or even my age who know how to smile and laugh and ask each other for their phone numbers so they can set up play dates for little Johnny and Betty Sue, and my heart starts screeching as I shovel another mouthful of dip into my gaping hole because my social anxiety won’t just ruin my life, it will ruin my daughter’s, too. She’ll grow up one day, a blonde and beautiful thing, smart, too, but she won’t want anything to do with me because I can’t stop tripping on my tongue and smiling that stupid smile. I can’t truly connect even when I try for her sake. These are the things I think about at night.
But there are other things, too. My heart. It’s been hurting these past two weeks and not in a “it’s broken so let me fly off the ledge of this building” kind of way like I’m used to. I almost wish it was more like that because I can navigate that sort of crazy, but the current crazy is a little more psychosomatic. My brain is invading my body again and there’s a quake in my chest, an organic revolt springing through rib, suffocating the sternum.
If it ends like this she’ll be motherless. Perhaps, that wouldn’t be the worst thing.
“How are you feeling?” my mother asks on Sunday as I help her set out the appetizers for our weekly family meal. “Great,” I say because what’s the alternative? “I can feel my cells breaking down, dying one by one”? “I’ll be lucky if I make it through November”? No, that’s not a thing to say. That’s not a thing real people say. Oh, how I want to be a real person.
Some days are beautiful and the air smells too good like there’s not enough of it. I’m greedy with it. There’s energy popping in me, through me, around me and I walk like the others do, the normals with their trendy purses and hair sprayed hair. But then in the mirror it’s just me like it’s always been. Bobby pin digging in against my scalp. Bra strap sneaking out beneath my shirt. The let down. It shoots through a vein, aims at my heart.
“Some days I wish I knew what it felt like to be you.”
A big “thank you” to Le Clown for letting me release a few demons (hopefully they don’t bite too hard). And of course, for creating a supportive blogging community for those of us who seem to be defining crazy (hell, even redefining it) on a consistent basis.