Freedom lies in truth

My maternal grandmother had Alzheimer’s. My uncle used to joke that at least she could hide her own easter eggs, but he couldn’t visit her. He couldn’t see his mother like that & they didn’t have a particularly great relationship.

In a short space of time, I think about 6 months, my grandfather & father both died, as well as my gran’s brother, a son-in-law and a nephew. It wasn’t a particularly easy time for any of us.

Anyway, my gran went to live in a home where they could look after her properly. This after having a big house & garden with fruit trees & the lot must have been difficult. But she would always ask when my grandfather was coming to fetch her – she would usually say that she came to help put up some curtains or something. For a while someone would explain to her that my grandfather was dead & she’d be distraught AGAIN.

My dad worked at sea for most of his life so she was used to him being away but she’d be mad that he wasn’t coming to visit. Not that she’d remember if he did, but we just told her he was at sea when she asked.

It wasn’t lying, it was making her & our lives easier. That’s clear & I don’t think anyone would have an issue with it.

I have a tattoo, a tramp stamp if you will, that says ‘freedom lies in truth’. It was a phrase that constantly ran through my head for a couple of weeks after a rather shit breakup. So I had it written on my body. It has always been more bearable if the person breaking up is honest about the reasons why. Being honest about who I am has been liberating.

But a lot of people have disagreed. And yes, if you’re gay & living in Saudi-Arabia the truth is probably going to cause your death or at least imprisonment.

I recently had a disagreement with someone about being clear & honest about some fairly personal aspect of myself. I was told that I was lying & a whole bunch of other things. I’m still trying to define it myself, so I don’t believe there will be much freedom in sharing something that could change especially since it has the power to hurt some people. I also know that is specifically has the power to hurt someone in a very fragile state. Is my freedom more important than potentially causing irreparable damage?

I ‘lost’ a friend last year because I was brutally honest. I didn’t think it would have the effect that it did, because I was sure they would respond in the character I thought I knew. I don’t regret what I said, but I would probably approach it in a different way in future.

So does freedom lie in truth?

The window

*disclaimer: I’m perfectly fine, I promise*

It’s a window that brings happiness to my room – crashing waves & laughing children.

It’s a narrow slit of a window but I can probably fit through it, taking care not to fall.

As I step through I’d flash back to the days in London where I’d slip under a sliding window and dangle my feet, while reading a book, 4 stories up. No one ever saw me.

They won’t see me here either. I’ll stand on the ledge – this one is almost a balcony without a railing – not the 20cm space I sat on in London. And the height would be pretty daunting. I’d probably sit down. Dangle my feet, trying to remember why I did it. I will hear children laughing and wonder why I stopped. I’d see the people on their phones and holding hands and walking together and I’d wonder why I always walk alone.

And I would be far from home so none of those who still care would see me, or have to find me.

I’d leave a note saying that I’m tired and tired of being lonely. My writing would be neat, my confidence would be in the tidy slant, the equidistant letters.

I’d leave a note apologising to the people who’d find me. I always try to be considerate.

And I would slip off the ledge. I’d fly at last, I’d feel freedom until I no longer feel.

I wonder if I would stay silent?
So the only sound would be the slap of my clothes on my body?
Would everything be quiet?

Would I remember one last thing I wanted to do? Or would I be grateful that I ticked this one off at last?

And when I hit the ground, would I split open on the places my skin has broken before? Or would I find new ways to break out of this skin that never really felt like mine?

Would cars block the street and people complain about the hold up? Would they feel momentarily guilty for complaining or would they deem me inconsiderate one last time?

Would my mom remember that I don’t want a church service? And would she think of asking my friend Charlene to do the talking? Would anyone but my close family come?

How long would it take for everyone who once cared to find out that I was gone? Would anyone wish they had called just one last time? Wish that I had asked for help? Would they call it a waste or would they call me selfish or that this was what I had always wanted?

But none of this will happen. I will wait for daylight one more time. Wait for the sun to fight back the dark thoughts. I will remind myself that the thoughts are irrational, that they are probably just hormonal and that it will get better.

And in the morning I will smile at the strangers, listen to the laughing children and wonder how it ever felt so bad.

I firmly close the window and turn the air conditioning on instead. Fresh air can kill you know.

Petty pretty pretty

So, a friend posted this image on twitter:

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I responded with “good thing I’m not pretty or beautiful ;)” and then someone else did the whole “don’t make me come over there” bullshit.

I was a little pissed off. I don’t care about being pretty or beautiful. I generally hate the word ‘pretty’ anyway but if you want to call me beautiful I’d much rather it be about ALL of me than my appearance. I wasn’t trying to put myself down, I’m quite happily average in appearance.

Would I like to be a bit slimmer? Yes. Would I like my skin to look less than that of a 16 year old? Yes.  Do I care about either of those things to change them? Apparently not.

The insecurities I have & try to fix are not about my appearance. I’m always a little amazed at the women I’ve managed to date. I always think they are the most beautiful people I know and they’re so beautiful because I know all of the parts that make them beautiful. Their compassion, their minds, their sense of adventure and yes, their physical beauty. And I know I got to date these women regardless of my appearance, they saw something in me too. And the relationships certainly didn’t fail because of the way I looked.

I had a conversation with my mom yesterday about how grateful I am that she taught us that it’s ok to not always win & that we didn’t always have to be the best. I really believe there’s a shit load of issues in the world because people always think they have to be the best.

Why do I have to be beautiful or pretty? I am incredibly grateful for my brain, for having compassion, for having & being able to do a job I love. I also have awesome hair.

Anyway, I kind of think that we should compliment people on things other than their general appearance. If you think someone has great hair, say it. If you think someone has a beautiful brain, say that too. But pretending we’re all conventionally beautiful is bullshit. That there is beauty in all of us, is a complete different, and very true story…

Closing that tab

You know how people keep a gazillion browser tabs open so they can watch that video or read that article? Well, I don’t. I have the tabs open for whatever I’m working on, tweetdeck and usually facebook. The rest I read/watch/file away. But today I’ve been sitting with a tab open for a very long time. I can’t just close it. I desperately want to, but I can’t.

You see, it has the number for my psychologist. I need to see her, but part of me is absolutely terrified of taking on this next part of therapy. What if I can’t be a nicer person? What if I still can’t maintain relationships? What if I keep manipulating situations with people I’m in a relationship with?

I realise I have a shitload of history that has ingrained terrible habits. It’s a daily fight to stop the habits depression left me with. There’s that constant self doubt. The minute I’m wrong or criticised I doubt the value of my life. It’s a very, very difficult habit to break.

The constant feeling of just wanting to die is gone. It has been for a while. But the habits have stayed behind and they are proving so incredible hard to break.

I have been a terrible friend, a difficult partner & I want to change it.

I need to make this phone call now. To take that first step again, and it’s fucking terrifying.

 

* Please don’t tell me that I’ve not been a terrible friend, etc, I might get it right now & then. That doesn’t mean I didn’t fuck it up in a whole lot of other places.