repercussions and bravery

(please note there is content in this post which can be triggering to some. I have brought attention to these possible triggers with a * on either side. I would hope that the removal of these statements will not detract from my meaning as they are only in place to further my examples.  I apologise in advance for the morbid content, I’m sure some of you were expecting something different. thank you all x)

“repercussion” – noun, an unintended consequence of an event or action, especially an unwelcome one.

There are two very separate but simultaneously related things I need to talk about today, so grab some snacks and settle in because this is a long one.

Repercussions are something I have known of and dreaded since I was very young. I was raised by a woman with little to no filter in most situations. In my childhood, I was never really exposed to the part of her that had a filter and, consequently, felt that unfiltered was the best way to approach life. In the years since that very lack of filter of hers has caused me embarrassment, shame and, often, anxiety. Due to this, among other things for another day, over those years, my own filter built itself up and layered until even I am uncertain of what “unfiltered me” is. However, despite this filter, I do often do things impulsively as I did when I was a child and often say or do things that, while not wildly problematic, will be a source of cringe, embarrassment, and general nausea for years afterwards.

Those repercussions, the ones you will know of forever but most people will most likely forget are the lesser of the evil repercussions. This post is directed more towards the permanent form of repercussions, two specific types in particular. Although this is directly referring to my particular examples, it applies at large to most unfortunate repercussions. These two types fall into specific categories: physical and emotional.

The exact ones from today are due to a time not as long ago as I would hope when I was so angry at myself and at the world that I took drastic measures to “get back” at all of us to somehow feel better about life. *It didn’t work, unsurprisingly, and all I have now are stupid scars in stupid places and horrible memories of bloodstains and bathtubs.* These are a source of embarrassment and shame more than anything now and these physical repercussions have come to ruin my life.

I knew of these repercussions and was warned against them, told exactly what would happen and, three years later, found myself saying the exact same thing to other people who did the exact same thing I did: ignored those warnings completely. While the physical repercussions, until recently, were mostly just a nuisance, easy to conceal and, if noticed, ignored by most because taboo is a thing in the 21st century, they have recently become a source of fear. In my own home, they must remain hidden so as not to make my “housemate” uncomfortable and remind her of my mistakes in the past, around my own friends they are unknown and can never be referenced, although some have been noticed. It has reached the point at which, when by myself entirely, I cannot bear to have them exposed even to my own eyes. I am approaching a situation in which it is going to be testing to keep them hidden.

I have a visit to an old friend approaching and, while she slowly becomes more and more ecstatic, I become more and more nauseous with fear over her possibly uncovering them. I’m about to be thrown into situations in which it may be almost impossible to avoid it. There are only so many times you can wear long sleeves or full-length trousers and lie about hating swimming pools, despite “living in any you could see” when growing up. There are only so many times you can put a shirt back on the rack because the sleeves weren’t long enough or sigh longingly at pairs of shorts you could never consider wearing.

There are only so many times you can continue putting everything into hiding these repercussions before you turn around and decide to “fuck them all”.

The physical repercussions, although unfortunate and inconvenient and ugly, are lesser in almost every way than the emotional. The emotional repercussions of my stupid angry actions are worse but much easier to conceal. They are repercussions that, unless you decide it, may never be known of by anyone. It’s that decision to let someone see them that is truly the absolute worst catharsis. The absolute terror of allowing anyone that is paralysing and “a big deal.”

That willingness to let someone see is possibly one of the bravest acts I can imagine.

This pushes me to my second topic: bravery. This week has been a brave week for me. I agreed to my first driving lesson (scary), met five new people in one day as me rather than a receptionist (daunting) and not only agreed to plans but went through with them and, subsequently, agreed to that access to me in a way that I usually do not allow (absolutely petrifying).

Two of these things happened in the space of about twelve hours and were, to quote a friend of mine, “profound”.

I bought myself this fake leather-bound journal a couple of months ago with the intention of taking it on adventures and sharing my thoughts with the world. Since then I have carried it on every adventure to the shopping centre and shared my own thoughts with…myself. I often pull it out in the middle of a shopping aisle or restaurant and, once, in the middle of a bar (much to my friends’ horror) to make sure I could capture a certain setting, person, feeling or atmosphere I could ever use or felt the need to keep. For the first time in a long time, I took my journal with me and didn’t take it out once throughout an entire evening in a new environment. Though I wanted to write things, I wanted to describe bookshelves and house facades and watching a movie in the dark and having trouble focusing on anything but my own breathing and find adjectives to describe another person’s excitement and nerves and scribble verses of feelings and questions and pour out everything that overwhelmed me onto paper, I resisted. For some reason, from the first moment I ignored my journal, I knew I wanted to remember it as it happened and absorb each event as it happened rather than be able to look back and vaguely remember having to pull out a pencil every fifteen minutes. When I collapsed into bed, exhausted, just after midnight, I appreciated that resistance.

I had intended to leave this post to a later time, to when I had left myself enough minutes, hours, days to interpret an entire night, but felt I needed to share last night with the world before I lose this week’s bravery on Sunday night like a Cinderella-esque midnight ball. I dread the end of that bravery because I fear the permission I’ve granted will extinguish with it. I discovered that being able to allow someone into your emotional repercussions is a liberating experience, and finding someone you’re willing to allow in is something immense and I fear losing that more than I fear the terrible things they will discover with that permission. I have never been more relieved for something and more intimidated by the absolute power I have surrendered but cannot find a single regret and, strangely, am finding it difficult to fear any repercussions of this decision.

A bit of a word splurge, I do apologise: I haven’t journaled in nearly two days and felt like some word vomit (is that not the most beautiful term?) was necessary to help dispel the nausea bravery carries with it.

Lovely days to all you lovely people (especially if you actually managed to get all the way down here.)

[ Yellow songs of the week: The Girl, Hellberg feat.Cozi Zuehlsdorff / I’ll Follow, Fancy Cars X SVRCINA / Something Beautiful, Robbie Williams / Ocean Drive, Duke Dumont ]

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