A Little Closet

I spent the last two days at home, sick. I’ve had a bad cold. I could have still worked, probably. But I would have been infectious. Now most of it is gone, with only lingering physical exhaustion and a chest cough remaining.
Though I don’t know if the exhaustion comes from being sick or not. Sick in the head, maybe.
Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. He seemed kinda down, didn’t want to do anything much, wanted to keep to himself. I know that feel. We went out for dinner but the night was uneventful.
The night before we had a conversation, and I think he finally understands the scale of just how worthless I feel. We talked about a lot of things. I don’t think he truly understands some other things – like how I feel about beauty culture. I suppose he wouldn’t, he’s not mandated to participate. One thing he told me that surprised me is that The Couple had asked him repeatedly about why I wasn’t speaking to them. Huh, didn’t think they’d cared. All the same, I feel this tightly wound knot of anger, betrayal, misery, and anxiety relating to them. He acts like it’s simple, like everything can be the way it was. It can’t, because I woke up.

I gained that “social awareness” of how people viewed me, and it’s crippled me inside. I can’t speak, because I will socially f*ck up. If I socially f*ck up, people will view me negatively. If they view me negatively they will laugh at me and not be good to me. All a social competition. Who’s the savviest, who’s the wittiest, who has the quickest tongue, who’s the alpha talker, the queen bee, the best manipulator? I resent the hateful way people interact with each other.
I hate it. I hate the whole charade, the play, the act. I hate games. All I want is people that are socially forgiving, who don’t make veiled remarks I have to interpret. Whose words can be taken at face value. Sure, humans are socially complex animals and blah blah blah. I don’t care.

I don’t know if I can take the humiliation of some sort of confrontation with them. I told him a story about when I was a kid, and my stepmother comes howling into my room saying I insulted her mother about something, which, of course, was bewildering as I’d done no such thing. She told me that her mother was coming over and I could apologize. As I sat there in that little room, which had no posters or any visible signs of my personality (they wouldn’t buy me things I liked, because they were “boy” things), I felt this terrible, churning hole inside of me. This horrible feeling that mounted higher and higher by the minute. When I heard the front door open, I opened the curtain that substituted as a door for my bedroom closet and sat inside.

When my stepmother and her mother came to my door, they opened it and saw I was nowhere to be seen. I could see my stepmother through the gap between the bedroom door and the frame. She saw me, through the gap. Made eye contact for a few seconds. And then they just left. A small mercy, rarely granted. If she had been in a darker mood that day, she would have hauled me out of that closet, flung me at the bed, and screamed about how I was a spineless worm, and to apologize to her mother for something I had no clue about.

The point of the story is, I can’t do confrontation. I have been emotionally and physically abused to the point I just can’t handle it. Though the anger I feel is new. It’s a new variable in the stew of anxiety, misery, self-loathing, and I don’t know how it’s going to change the confrontation for me. I just imagined myself unloading on them. “F*ck you, f*ck you, f*ck your baby, stay away from me. I can’t be what you think I should be. So go away.” Those are the angry words of my heart.

I just don’t want to speak. Don’t make me speak. I want to stay silent and hidden in my little closet, safe from rage and spittle flying in my face. Don’t humiliate me. Don’t make me feel worthless. If no one speaks to me, and no one sees me, then I’m safe. No one come in and hurt me. Just stay away. Maybe then I can cry for once. I never cry.

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