Monday, September 7, 2009

And so I wait.

I feel like I've been puttering around in a fog, arms swinging, feet bare, aimless. Waiting for direction in this strange place that is foreign and also so familiar.

I feel like I shouldn't mark a heading, should just drift for a while. I feel like I can't take a conscious step in any one direction. So I wander.

You know, my ex, the one that said I was personally responsible for the downfall of all things good and decent after I told him to get his shit and get out, he told me once that I was a floater, not a swimmer. And as much as I would like to discount everything he ever said as baseless and asinine after that little 'you destroy everything you touch, you ruthless harpy' comment, I think he might have been onto something.

I'm not a goer, not a doer. I don't make plans, I let the plans make themselves apparent and then I go with them, toward them. This isn't a part of my personality that I'm comfortable with. It sings to me of weakness, of a lack of character. Strong people make choices. They have goals. They fall short, they have regrets, they make mistakes. They don't putz around in the fog because they're too scared to step into the light.

I don't, as a rule, have regrets. I've always told myself it's because I think its wasteful to regret things you cannot change, and that regretting something devalues the experience itself and what can be gained from it. The past is the past, we can only try to do better. We can refuse to make the same mistakes. This is not to say that I'm not sorry -- I am, more than I can say, for more mistakes than I can name. I'm sorry for the people I've hurt and the things I've done that were hurtful or wrong. I'm sorry to have been the thing to cause pain in anyone's life. But being sorry isn't enough, and it's not the same as regretting the thing itself. So instead of regret, I promise to do better.

Maybe they are one in the same, maybe I'm confused. Maybe feeling sorrow for something you've done is the same as regretting it. Although I would like to think that I do not regret things because I take them for what they are, appreciate them, learn from them, and change my behavior accordingly. So while I'm sorry for the pain they've caused, I'm not sorry they happened because they brought about an opportunity for growth and change.

If that makes any sense. Hell, I don't know. I've been running on fumes here, which is adding to the murky atmosphere of the dream-like state I've found myself shuffling through.

I feel like I'm letting go, and I don't know if that's okay. I don't have anything to judge 'appropriate behavior' by, and so I wonder frequently if I'm seconds away from a massive mistake. This letting go, stepping back, it scares me.

See, my mother held onto things very tightly. She was a paranoid schizophrenic, with borderline multiple personality disorder. (Although what that means, I can't begin to guess. She almost had more than one personality? She was close? She sometimes did? Doctors make no sense. Fuck them.) With these issues you'd expect a person to be obviously impaired in some way, one of those poor souls you can point out at the grocery store as being a little off. Different. She wasn't, though. The woman was incredibly high functioning, intentionally so. She decided that no one would ever look at her with pity, with that knowing little nod of "Poor dear. Bless her heart." She held herself in check with an iron fist, fooling everyone, even her doctors. This, I think, is most of the reason that when she was home, she so frequently imploded. I think it must have been very hard to maintain such a level of control, very stressful, so when she got home (a relatively safe place, as much as any place could be for her) she would release all of it. She would let go. Or maybe it was just the fingers of that iron fist finally breaking, I don't know. In any case, the result of her rigid self control while in the outside world was often complete disorder in her own. Our own.

And so letting go scares me. As much as I drift, float, have no point on the compass that I aim for, whatever, I do try to maintain some level of control. How could I not? I know what happens when you let go. People get hurt. Mistakes are made.

Yet here I am. I have no desire to take the reigns at this point, none whatsoever. My life has somehow wound up where it is, by some miracle of whatever god you believe in and by absolutely no determined, conscious choice of my own. So maybe letting go isn't so bad. Maybe whatever spark of luck brought me to where I am will continue to sustain me. Maybe if I don't move, it won't wink out. I hope. I have to hope, because I feel as if I may have crippled myself at this point, and hope is all I have to rely on.

It's just that I have this feeling, this looming sense of OH SHIT, that as soon as I make a move toward something it's going to get jerked away. Just now, not always. I'm afraid that once I really realize that this baby is 2 months and some change away from being born, that something will happen. Once I decide to believe it, I'm afraid that he'll be taken away. This is why I do not make choices, if I'm being honest: I'm afraid to regret. I'm afraid of the pain. Once, when I was younger (And believe me, I'm still young enough) I was brave. I forged ahead, marching with ill-begotten confidence down whichever path I felt suited me best at the time.

Then it all fell down around me and left me on my knees, shocked and shaken and destroyed.

I can't do that again. I can't come back from that again.

And so I drift, and I hope, and I wait to see what will happen. I keep my eggs in my pockets, my basket empty in my hand. I refuse to invest in this future until it is here in front of me. It's too good to be true. I won't ruin it by breathing.

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