Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Seasons of Wither Holding Me In

I'm writing this in December, that's how backed up I am but felt it important to mention due to the season we're in now as opposed to the carefree days of September when I made this happy little chicken salad stuffed tomato over quinoa. 
I had a day off and even though I'm almost professional at fighting off depressive thoughts at this point, I heard a great song, Seasons of Wither,  from my past and it brought back things with it that I didn't even realize were connected to that time.  Sixteen years old and pretty seasoned already at self medicating.   I had years of trial and error under my belt functioning while inebriated in class at school but now I was adding the driving element.  The stakes were getting a little higher each year. Before I was not responsible for anyone else but myself.  I was now aware of patterns and predictable outcomes to bad situations.  Everything changed after 16.
I didn't understand that I was precious back then.  How I must have looked to anyone looking in.  I wondered if anyone ever did look in?  Maybe I dreamt of someone actually looking in and saying 'Oh my gosh. what the hell are you thinking?!'  Someone getting upset and horrified, taking quick action.  But I knew better.  I did.  Up until this day I didn't believe I valued myself or had any traits to preserve back then.  I thought you went out and made those or they were built through hard work or talents.  I figured I'd get some value after I got a little older and settled down, made something of myself.  I never wanted to say I was taught because that puts blame.  There was no blame, just memories. Kids were looked at differently back then as well.  We had a vague understanding of our rights. Godgiven or otherwise.  People got away with treating kids like crap.  Teachers, parents, neighbors, siblings.  It was all a little too survival of the fittest in the 70s.  But kids got away with too much as well, under the guise of being 'just a kid'. Not a person that has any control over their whole lives or futures.  Just a kid.  Someone who is overwhelmed with a new body, loads of hormones, feelings and emotions, is being introduced to love and heartache and the seriousness of the world through music and life.
But what came to me after hearing this song that used to bring my buzz down a bit way back then wasn't my sadness for that little precious girl.  It was a huge giant pie plate to the face of guilt for myself, to myself.  Splat! I realized I carry even more crap than I had ever anticipated.  But it was different on this day.  This day I saw clearly that even though some of my sadness was true and warranted, I was very guilty of knowing better after 16.  I knew enough.  I knew right from wrong, which is all you need to know in some ways. If no one else was there before, I was there now, looking in and I was horrified.  I was disappointed.  I was letting people down and I ignored that. I under achieved and let myself get away with it.  I fell into almost every hole out there.  I ignored all the tools in my bag.  I did almost everything I could to screw up.  And I saw all of it because I was there!  I wasn't going to become insightful. I already was at 16. And because of that I carry some of the blame that I keep avoiding.  I did know better!
If you know something, then you know it.  If you choose to ignore it, then it becomes partially yours to hold.  That is true now and it was true then.  And if I think about it too long or dwell on the truth, I could put myself through hell.  As a matter of fact, I think I already did.
But you know what?  I'm gonna go ahead and just forgive myself for screwing up all my opportunities and what could have been a very sweet perfectly respectable life. Maybe she knew even more than I can understand now, that kid.  It was a hard truth to swallow at first but I just needed to eat some humble pie on this day, along with a beautiful salad.

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