I’m sitting on the sidewalk at 30th and Laurel. My hand is so cold I can barely write. My heart is on fire.
I went to the art show tonight to find that none of my art was displayed. They neglected to tell me this. Apparently, the gallery chose 1 piece from every artist and they chose that I read my poem instead of taking up space with my art. I did not want to read that poem, especially tonight, and I left.
I know I’m not Picasso. I don’t paint huge masterpieces. I use markers and crayons. But I don’t paint or create for fun. I put my heart on the page as it is, what my feelings look like on the inside. And I don’t share what I create because it is so personal to me. But I took a chance this time on an art show that didn’t ask for brilliance. It asked for me. And I felt proud of what I had created.
The message given tonight was “there’s no room at the inn.” Not altogether disturbing. But the message received is “you’re not good enough.”
I am good enough, just not tonight. Just not long enough to stay and pretend to be happy and read a poem about my dying inner child, whom I can’t save. Not enough to not be crushed and hurt. I don’t have a collection of glass bowls or silver jewelry. I just have me. That’s it. A- thinks she offended me. I’m not mad at A-. She is a pawn in the game. I thought for a moment, “Why, God? Why?” But it doesn’t matter why. It just is… It just is.
I feel like a horrible person. It is the silent car ride home after a behavior – walking out of somewhere or screaming or telling someone off or running away. It is what I need to do in the moment to stay alive and sane, but no one else understands it. They want to know what’s going on and why and what the hell I’m thinking. Does it matter? No. All that matters is I’m not okay. But it’s not me that they care about. It’s the behavior. God forbid I embarrass myself or anyone else.
I have learned well that in the moment I want to scream or am beginning to tremble or cry I need to leave. If I stay, bad things will happen. People other than me will be hurt. And no one cares to see a tantrum or a meltdown. Nobody cares. And few are truly equipped to be helpful.
Now my mom is angry. I’d like a banana smoothie but we have no bananas and she broke the blender – a year ago. I don’t want to go home. I miss Sarah.
I should’ve gone to the Grant. I need music. I need to be free.
I don’t understand why this is happening. I don’t understand why this is me. Why things don’t make sense. Why people are mean. Why I can’t tolerate change or surprise or defeat.
A little over 5 hours ago I left an art show I was very upset about. I walked until I could walk no more, then sat on the sidewalk to write. Mom picked me up and I bought comfort food and stuffed my face while surfing FB. I was SO upset about the show. And then I forgot. I knew I was upset but not why. I’ve been typing blog posts and tonight’s writing feels ages away. It’s not important. I mean it is. I don’t understand.
I don’t want A- to be mad at me. If I had stayed there would have been a scene. Me crying and screaming is not art show material. There is no one to be productively angry at. Just a bunch of people I like and want to keep as my friends. I can’t do that if I’m screaming at them.
I wish I was the kind of person who could take it in stride, just roll with the punches and move on. But I’m not. I can’t stop the feelings, especially when they’re at 100%. And when I’m already upset. I don’t want to be the crazy person. I work really hard not to be. But sometimes I am. I can’t stop. But I can move it away from the people. I’m sorry, A-. I just couldn’t do it today. I just couldn’t do it today.
Some days I’m just crazy.
I am out of control.
Not everyone’s, just mine.
I wander the streets.
I walk quickly.
I have a destination but it’s abstract.
I never quite make it.
I talk to myself.
I talk to God.
I talk to whoever it is that’s bugging me.
And my feet carry me away, quickly away.
I don’t usually know to where I am heading.
Some place I can hide or be alone and cry,
Where no one will bug me or find me.
Not in the literal sense of the word but the feeling.
But nowhere’s safe.
And eventually somebody finds me.
And eventually I have to go home.
And face the fact that everyone thinks I’m crazy.
Well, not everyone.
There are a significant number of people who believe nothing’s wrong with me.
They believe I’m not sick, that I don’t have problems.
It’s all make believe.
But whether or not they believe, to most the wandering is not okay.
The anger’s not okay.
I don’t know what she told them.
Rationally, I am a mental health consumer who left the art show without reciting poetry due to a mental health event that I had no control over.
To me, I’m a horrible person who ruined A’s night and made a fool of myself. A crazy who’s not worth saving.
I feel awful.
Did I have to remember this?
© Michelle Routhieaux 2010