May 3, 2011

The Loss of Self

the loss of self

The loss of the self is a wretched thing, and it was really the last straw for me at the time. I had lost all trust in myself- perversion had gotten the body, a stinging love my heart, and a then beast too frightening to name my mind. My sister had been the guiding star by which I moved through life, and after her moving I couldn’t seem to set my own course quite right, and in my confusion I fell into myself and my return to a world outside my own fears was a long time coming.Words and writing had been my magic. I filled my world with strong thoughts, words. I screamed my soul from the rooftops of my mind; spilled truth on pages of notebooks and in the chords of Nietzsche, Kundera, Winterson, Camus and Niffenegger. These were the tools through which I survived – with them, I had been whole, I had been sublime. I rolled through the world untouched by pain, these things made up defenses not even the cruelest barbs could crack.

But my sister had given me those words – shown me their strength, and love had taught me to project my voice. In the loss of the two…I lost my power. It was taken from me because I abused it, they were never meant to be worn as armor or used as weapons. I had a lesson to learn.

I wished on shooting stars and four leaf clovers, rainbows, dragonflies, sunsets and heart shaped clouds for the aching to stop, for things to go back to the way they were. These things can be magic, and they bring people their small wishes from time to time, extra money, a promotion, maybe a good game of pool. However, real love is a bigger and older magic than all those things combined, and my wishing on them was in vain. Love had changed me, and only it could bring me back to the steering wheel when it was done with it’s teachings.But I couldn’t wait, I never was patient…and I’ve always read the last chapter of a story first. My world rocked back and forth and every part of me was hungry. I grasped and clawed at the world around me, and nothing eased the sting.

The solution seemed simple at the time – if I couldn’t ease it, I would shake it out of me, and in this moment of false genius, I turned to escapism to light myself up and burn away the person who hurt so fully.
In plain terms, free of creative prose and flowery descriptors – I was fed the hell up, and if I had to intoxicate myself blind to feel in control again, well then that is what I was going to do.
Fear saved my life.
On a night hotter than anything even I could tolerate, I was standing in my bathroom, with a nose that wouldn’t stop bleeding while my pulse raced like a hummingbird beneath my fingertips. Watching blood trickle from my nose into the sink, not bothering to do anything about it, I shifted and caught a glimpse of my reflection that froze my heart in it’s tracks.Mirrors are magic too sometimes, showing us what we are without any sort of bias –and this mirror broke a spell. There I stood, gaunt. Once upon a time I had been a girl with curves and softness pale yellow skin, white teeth, cheeks that never stopped blushing -beautiful by any ones standards, but sweet all the same. Here I was now, angry angles in the place of curves that once ached to be caressed. My skin seemed to be ready to crack over my bones, and impossibly dark circles and shadows clung to my face like jealous lovers. I looked like a corpse, granted I was breathing, but this wasn’t any kind of alive I had previously experienced. Through the fog I managed to surmise that if I didn’t stop I was not just going to dissolve away the hurt, I was going to dissolve away myself and disappear. As I stood shivering and staring down my too honest reflection, I chose to live. Suffice to say, the remainder of that season sucked, the truth had broken the denial’s initial spell, but it could do nothing for the pain as it washed itself from my system. I was sick all the time, I shook. My body rattled and in my bed with the ceiling closing in on me. I dreamt of the ocean, of blue skies, of warm sun on my skin. I dreamt of a better time, a better me

I gave in to all sorts of vices more than I ever had; my throat was raw all the time. I wanted to live, but I still needed to stifle the words somehow…. I started eating again, rice and meat heavy with garlic and onions and spices I can’t name…Fried mother drove out to the far-away but better grocery stores to buy me food to cook me…it reminded me of my previous lifestyle, and of a place before my world became fragile. She never complained, to her credit…I believe seeing me eating, moving, talking and even on occasion smiling wide enough that it hit my eyes, made her not give a damn that she was spending all that extra time.

Somewhere in all those meals that were therapy in themselves, I started being okay again and this was a start. My magic wasn’t gone, just out of shape.But I was back where I started, naked, and still lacking in armor, but it didn’t matter. I became consumed with questions…and lacking in answers, I finally let all my words go. I cried more than I knew was in me, and when I ran out of tears, I screamed.I screamed not just for love passed, but the loss the last years carried in their weight…I had trusted in God, fate again, and they repaid me in a fashion I deemed unforgivable. Time passed, and that became bearable and then it faded.When I finally quieted inside, without rage, and simply listened…I saw the world anew. I saw God in kindness and in my family, I saw fate in the fact that I was still breathing, and that I had regained my mind. I forgave myself, and I forgave a world I used to curse.I no longer loved things gone, but I was my own vibrant picture without their landscape overlapping. I looked for other loves from friends & family and eventually I found it. I healed and discovered a self stronger than the one past. My words and my writings aren’t my weapons anymore, but my joy. I hold them close and give thanks to the solace they bring. I’m defenseless now, but without need for protection- my world is brighter than it ever was. I carry my memories not with regret for what is gone, but a grateful heart for them having been there at all. I’m not afraid anymore of being hurt, I looked at death in the face, and I chose life in all it’s extremes.

I will die someday, but not until I’ve experienced as much as any one woman can, I will have pain and joy, and I will use my voice to tell the world about all it all. I have taken the hard road to understanding, and I am sure I will always take the long way around – but in doing so, I hope my magic fills other people and helps awaken their own.


  1. Great writing skills. I liked this post.
    Hot Pink Day

  2. This post made me tear up. I'm glad that you're getting better at living.

    on a happier note, I think you should be a writer. The way you composed this post is phenomenal.

  3. This is really a powerful post. Powerful because it was real and courageous yet vulnerable at the same time. Who would have though that someone as gorgeous and seemingly perfect like you goes through this? You are an inspiration because I think it takes a certain amount of strength to tell yourself that you are in pain; more so to share it to others as most of us would like to pretend that our lives are all rainbows and blue skies. I just want to say that I think you are even more beautiful than you could ever fathom as you are brave and resilient.

  4. Wow, very strong post. I actually needed to read something like this right now. You never know how your experience can be encouraging to others. I'm going through a lot, and really the only thing keeping me happy is fashion blogging, so I appreciate you sharing this with all of us. I'm glad you are becoming stronger.

    Live Life in Style

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