Disappearing Act: Part One

The first step to disappearing is thinking it through.

It’s acknowledging and understanding your reasons. Identifying what it is you’re running from. Realising the consequences of disappearing.

This is a difficult step. It makes you face what exactly it is that’s leaving you feeling trapped and in need of escape. It’s acknowledging that something in your life is wrong and shouldn’t be there. This step is as far as some people get.

This step is the one that psychs people out. They realise that those things they’re trying to run away from can be solved…or pretend that they can to avoid the disappearance entirely. The other component that chases people away is the admin of it all. To disappear entirely is a lot of work. It means losing touch with everyone and stalking off alone for as long as you may require. While some people pull a temporary disappearing act, some vanish forever.

Often, I’ve wished for the effortless disappearance. To become as ethereal and as slight as smoke, to fade away into mist and slip between the cracks, never noticed and never seen again. I hope to become so tiny that no one even sees me when I walk in a room and no one noticed when I walk out. I dream of absolute insignificance. But the moment I feel it, I drown.

A disappearing act is not a ‘run away’. Not for me. I run away when I’m scared or overwhelmed. I disappear when I am finished.

A disappearing act is all that sits on my mind too much of the time now.

Though I, myself, have never passed Step One, I fear it won’t be much longer until I vanish completely.

love? ugh.

So, today is the day I drag us all to the other end of the spectrum. My last post was messy sadness and a lost mind, this post is wild happiness and a mind finding a route.

As mentioned, I feel I am in a place of vague smoke and uncertainty. I don’t entirely know what I’m going to do with my life and I’m not really okay with it but I have started to find ways to figure out what to do.

The main cause of this search for direction is a particular person: my boyfriend. I have mentioned him before and this post is a little bit centred around him more than the actual plans ahead (I’ll leave those for another time) which means that some things could get sappy.

Basically, as mentioned, I’ve had a shit couple of weeks and my head has been waging war against me for about as long as I can remember but it really rallied all of its forces over the last three months. The biggest change in my life three months ago was the fact that this is when we started dating (“properly”).  Over this time I have become more and more comfortable with him to the point that he has become my new ‘safe space’. This has meant that the trust I’ve built is a wonderful (and very scary) feeling but also that, because this is one of my first real safe spaces, I cry a lot.

I don’t like dealing with my problems, a problem he likes to remind me of, and this means that I often have a build up of emotion and panic and futility which often decides to expel itself in that safe space, ie: I have a full on panic attack and can’t stop crying for about ten minutes at least once every visit.

Love is living with tear-soaked stories and gasping wet t-shirts and holding back to let her breathe.

One of these such instances led to me having a full meltdown about my future. I felt useless and aimless and lost in that moment and he asked  me “What do you want to do?” At which point I realised that I didn’t know. At twenty years old I realised that I had no idea what I was interested in in life and all of my plans had crumbled to the ground and I didn’t know what to do.

And so, he found the sense, he suggested things to keep me busy that allowed me to earn some money at the same time and have started to actually feel some form of purpose. I have sent through an actual application for something that seems like I could really enjoy and also give me some purpose that I don’t hate.

Love is helping each other with the menial things but also offering advice for the big stuff.

The actual application process only happened yesterday though, after a weekend that I needed. This last week has been a complete disaster. I spent most of the week slowly dying from the flu while simultaneously struggling through one of my most dramatic crashes of all time. This meant that by the time Thursday came around, the day I always see him at work, I was a numb mess and when he left felt ready to cry for no reason. Luckily he reminded of the option to actually make plans together that weekend, which we did.

By the time Friday evening finally came, I was in pieces. I was overanalysing everything and exhausted beyond belief and was on the brink of locking myself in my bathroom with my bad habits. And then suddenly he was in front of me and looked as tired as I did and hugged me in that way and smiled at me and I sort of felt myself grabbing at pieces and holding it together for a bit longer.

The weekend didn’t seem to be anything special. We were in bed within two hours of him arriving and asleep half an hour later. Uneventful until my wonderful uterus decided to try and kill me at two o’clock in the morning. I woke up my poor tired boyfriend with my constant shuffling and sitting up and wanted to cry when he asked me what was wrong. Needless to say, it was a long night for me.

Love is back rubs and tight hugs when she has cramps.

The next day followed with the “uneventful” activities and we spent most of the day developing characters for an RP game he’s been looking into. And while it seemed that this was “nothing”, it felt like a big something in its nothingness. It took up most of the day and kept us busy together and beside each other but not interacting consistently. It was comfortable.

Love is doing nothing together.

Watching him leave was the only downfall of the entire visit (as always) and it broke my heart a little bit to watch his car drive away (as always) and when I got home I felt motivated (briefly).

I had had a nightmare that restless night from which I awoke in tears (later discussion) but which was a plot with which I can work. I don’t usually dream vividly and when I have night terrors, they’re usually vague feelings that stay with me rather than actual events. This story stuck (every dramatic and heart-breaking detail – well mostly, my memory is not what it once was) and for the first time in a long time, I have a plot. I have characters falling from my fingertips – granted, they are vague and insubstantial mostly but this is more than I have had in a long time and something that is hugely exciting.

Within moments of beginning my plans, I hit a snag and collapsed. As always, he was there to lift me again. It may not have been physically but through our phones, he offered support until I found my feet and managed to fill out my application, I looked into industry and professions and even made progress in it. I found a short course to suit me and constructed my newest to-do list. I felt actual motivation and managed to get down a character onto paper, a character with whom I am completely besotted. A character who may one day actually appear on here.

This motivation and lifted mood carried me through today. It was a long Sunday, with a host of complaints and various refunds that had to be arranged and apologies issued and an endless list of things going wrong. It was a day from absolute Hell with various members of management in terrible moods and a receptionist giving me attitude relentlessly, and somehow my mood has held. My Mum and I (we work together) were emotionally exhausted by the end of the day but my strangely positive mood helped her to get through it all. We may have spent ten minutes laughing manically over the fact that I did not know what an electric frying pan was and she may have pretend cried over how terrible her parenting has obviously been (it’s not that bad most of the time) so we both realise that this could be a front which could drop soon, but my good mood refuses to dissipate.

I know that this is because of my mouse who wasn’t in quite as good a mood as me (poor lamb spent the last day violently ill) but was somehow keeping me going through every complaint and glare and apology and exhausting question. Somehow, even now, my productivity is levels above its usual exhaustion. While I know it can’t hold out forever, I am simply enjoying the wonderful feeling of contentment this really wonderful person has somehow managed to drill into me in the space of fewer than twenty-four hours.

Like I said, it was going to be sappy, I’m not as good as saying these things to him but I hope, in reading this, he can sort of see my point of view and understand everything he does for me.

So, my lovely little mouse: thank you, as always.

 

I tried to put some love and yellow vibes into the below link for everybody. Please enjoy.

the little girl and the mouse

Love is comfortable and content.

a couple of words

nuisance

trapped

useless

aimless

This honestly feels like a shitpost generator right now and probably will remain so – I’m sorry. Basically: life is shit. That’s sort of the realisation I’ve come to over the last two months. No matter what you do or how you push or how much you hope and cry and try, everything will fall apart in the end. My head has never been a fun place and over the last few months, big things have happened to it – things that I expected to inspire me and lift me and turn my life into what I imagine a sunflower field feels like. It hasn’t.

Instead, I overthink and feel ridiculous and fall apart and constantly question every single thing I do.

I was promoted, I fell in love, I found a path and then lost it (repeatedly), I found old friendships that I thought I had lost, I reconnected with family members I hadn’t seen in years, I grew up and I started seeing life for what it is. In seeing it, I decided that I don’t want it. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life questioning if I’m doing something for myself or for the person I love, I don’t want to feel like I don’t know what direction I’m going in and I don’t want to worry about things like feeling needed. I always thought that a relationship would solve my insecurity related issues. I thought that a job would make me feel needed. I thought that finishing high school would give me freedom. I finished high school almost exactly eighteen months ago, and I have never felt more trapped. Not a single thing in life is actually ensnaring me, but my mind feels like all of it is.

It twists the good things in my life. It tells me that my friends don’t need me anymore and only keep me around out of pity. It tells me that I am a constant nuisance to my boyfriend and that he would be better off with anyone else in the world but me. It tells me that my mum would be able to get by more easily in life without me. It tells me that my grandmothers would prefer a granddaughter who was capable of calling once in a while and putting an effort into involving herself in their lives. It tells me that someone else would be better at my job and that I should just pass it on to someone else who wouldn;t screw up. It tells me repeatedly that I am nowhere near thin and that I will never be thin no matter what I do and that I’ll always be a mess because of the scars on my thighs.

My head is slowly torturing me, slowly pushing me further and further to the edge in the hopes that sometime soon, I will slip off the edge and take it with me. Recently, I’ve been wishing for it to finally just do so.

I sit through my manager asking how we can get the hotel occupancy up and think about all the things I should be doing to raise it and panicking because I can’t think of anything else. I sit through phone calls with guests who are certain and decisive and demanding and wish I could be like them and simultaneously loathe their existence. I stare at a laptop screen with no words on it and wish for anything to come. I wish that I could be the writer that I always wished to be, or even the doctor or vet or journalist or artist I had vaguely hoped for. I wish to mean something, to exist somewhere else and deserve the wonderful things that I am given but can’t do anything with.

The thing that makes life the most shit is that it really isn’t shit at all – we just don’t know how to see that.

This wasn’t what I wanted to write about. I wanted to write about aimlessness or falling in love or dreams and hopes or tell stories about the little girl and her mouse but all I managed was more mopey disasters.

I’m sorry.

crash and burn

There comes a point at which a drop is not quite enough. I reached this point today and have surpassed my drop and reached the Crash and Burn level.

This is a very indulgent, depressed post essentially talking about myself being sad. I’m sorry in advance, but this is just depressing word vomit.

I’ve recently received a ‘promotion’ of sorts which gives me new responsibilities and has meant a larger workload and longer hours. Mostly it has meant having to deal with a lot of issues from the people who work ‘under’ me (sort of).

I have four receptionists I work with and each of them pose their own issues. The first one is unreliable and is currently off on sick leave for two weeks. The second and third are both inexperienced and lack common sense. One has too much attitude and the other doesn’t think. The last is my main problem at the moment. My new position is temporary (until I leave for the UK) and this fourth receptionist is pushing to take my job. Which would be fine if she didn’t have an attitude problem, struggle with authority, suffer from mood swings that even guests notice and leads to her being rude to guests and not care enough to bother try learning anything.

Tonight, after a run of thirteen days of nine to eleven hour shifts without break, this fourth receptionist gave me attitude, asked me stupid questions that she easily could have answered and then had the audacity to ignore our general manager and act as though she knew better than the rest of us.

I know she had an issue with me because I’m nine years younger than her with less than half as much experience in hospitality as her AND have the job she wants, but this is because I am actually better than her at what I do. And while I may not love my job sometimes and plan on moving industry as soon as I can, I take pride in the fact that I am actually quite fucking good at my job considering I’ve been doing it since I was fifteen and was trained by one of the best general managers in the industry who also happened to be the woman who raised me and put me in a hotel kitchen when I was six days old.

So basically, I lost my shit mentally. I was exhausted, annoyed, then got yelled at once I got home because I mentioned work, had to deal with phonecalls from the hotel after finishing a ten and a half hour shift about stupid things that a receptionist trying for a promotional n to management should be able to handle herself after I’ve spent the last two weeks steadily dropping. I fucked myself up enough to have enjoyed four days in a row of cutting myself and a second day of leaning over my toilet bowl with my fingers down my throat and I came very close to actually just slashing my wrists and neck until I bled out. Practicality and sense stopped me because the honest truth is that there instead anyone trained enough to take over from me at work and blood stains probably aren’t fun to get out of porcelain.

Here’s to hoping practicality keeps me from it every time.

Goodnight lovely people x

separation

“separation” – noun, the action or state of moving or being moved apart

I have been accused of running away before, and have addressed it myself as well. I have been told I am avoiding something before and acknowledged it ungrudgingly. I do run away and I do avoid. I zig and zag through the minefield in the hopes that I don’t have to actually deal with any of my issues.

I don’t really see it as running away or avoiding, which is why I don’t see it as unhealthy. Instead, I consider it separating myself in order to prevent the repercussions of whatever difficult thing I have to attempt to tackle. I am a small person and do not have the strength to tackle half the things I need to so, instead, I separate myself from the game entirely and leave the sports to other people.

This doesn’t always work well for me. Sometimes, in moments of panic, I separate so far that my head seems to wander somewhere else entirely and I lose time, lose experiences, lose my very self. The other issue which comes from this is that I often have to attach myself to something strongly in order to separate from my own internal issues and that thing is becoming my job, which is already stressful and draining before trying to immerse myself in it until I’m drowning and don’t know how to talk or think about anything else anymore.

It’s got to the point where people around me are noticing that I can no longer talk about anything but how work is going and how the people I work with are or what happened while I was with a guest and I can feel it starting to annoy people. It annoys the people I work with because they manage to separate themselves from work and it annoys the people I don’t work with because they can’t actually follow the stories most of the time and are beginning to find “exciting hotel stories’ dull.

While I do it, my mind and body is draining entirely to exhaustion and I believe I may have finally passed the point of panic and fear and reached the calming peace of depressed numbness. Strangely enough, and unhealthily so, I am welcoming that feeling back.

I can feel myself splitting further and further away from myself and while I am hoping to soon not be able to feel myself anymore, I am also beginning to fear what I will become when I finally do manage the complete split.

what?

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to another episode of the exciting rollercoaster you’ve all been waiting for: Word-Vomit has returned!

*cue applause track*

But on a serious note, my head is a little bit all over the place which means that there is not going to be any sort of structure or sense in the following passages. It also means it’s likely to be very short, so let’s get started.

Firstly, I am officially twenty years old, I know: I’m an old woman. So, this meant several things. To begin – I had a birthday. I’m not fond of birthdays, they feel awkward and there are far too many hugs in a day. But also, all through my life, something goes wrong on my birthday to completely ruin the day and this year was no different. It wasn’t terrible enough to really mention if I’m honest.

This led, however, back to that feeling of stagnancy. I sat at my desk for about twenty minutes freaking out yesterday because I worked in a place that, though I didn’t dread going to every day, I feared implicitly. I work with several people who started working at the hotel as trainees or for their practical…and then never left. I worry that I will soon join them and find myself never leaving either. I lie awake sometimes imagining myself twenty-five, thirty still at this hotel at a desk that I have grown to loathe and then I see myself at forty, still in the same town, in the same industry with some other people demanding things from me that I will help with because “that’s my job”.

Needless to say, I’ve been a state of permanent panic for the last few days and constantly aware of the time passing too slowly….but also far too quickly.

This is the other thing that contributes to that panic. I have mentioned my current relationship several times before and the various things related to it. The biggest one over the last week or so has been the fear it creates in me. That’s not something I really want to talk too much about right now. But this relationship is making me wish the time was passing more slowly, giving me more time to appreciate this as it is rather than what it will be if the current path we’re on continues.

Besides this, I have also been trapped in this everlasting feeling of absolute uselessness. I have had this before, the need for some kind of meaning, some kind of proof that I can make a difference in the world. This is something I have drafted the beginnings of a blog post on and hopefully will elaborate on soon. But, essentially, I have a need to matter in the world and to make a difference of some kind. This was the reason I considered becoming a doctor, a psychiatrist, a vet. I wanted to spend the rest of my life making big differences in people’s lives. When I sit and realise that for the past two years all I’ve done is help rich people demand things and in the future, all I’ll ever do is regurgitate words from writers and journalists and poets from times past, like all wordsmiths do in this age, and I have begun to feel redundant.

This has meant that my darker urges have resurfaced. Unfortunately, it isn’t just wanting to scar or empty myself anymore, the plan to end my life has entered my mind several times recently and, while I know I can find a million reasons to not do anything, I worry that I may soon lack the effort to look for them. The biggest reason has actually been the admin of it all. All I imagine is my poor mother having to get hold of someone to remove me from our house or clean up blood, or the search she will have to go one to find someone to replace me at work. On a selfish side, I imagine the collection of enough pills or pressure behind the blade in order to make a difference and, to be frank, I can’t be quite bothered at the moment, which is possibly a good thing.

My depression is actually keeping me from killing myself which is a paradox I had never expected.

This has been a fair bit more morbid than I had hoped for. Unfortunately, I have spent the last two weeks in varying degrees of a drop and, again, can’t be bothered to find the positivity or energy to lift it.

My day today was lifted a fair bit, I can mention that. I had a wonderful visit (not really, he has to come to my office so I suppose it doesn’t count) and was gifted with strawberry milk and wine gums (the only real way to my heart) and it was possibly one of the brightest moments of my day.

Okay, I should go to bed now, sorry it’s a fair bit shorter than usual. Watch this space though, I may start popping a project of mine up here.

Lovely days to all of you lovely people

x

[Songs: Slow Hands, Niall Horan // Unsteady, X Ambassadors (Erich Lee Gravity Remix) //  Nothing Else Matters, Marlisa]

stagnation and isolation

“stagnation” – noun, the state of not flowing or moving

“isolate” – verb, cause (a person or place) to be or remain alone or apart from others

So, I’m writing this one from the bottom of my well, that is to say: I have dropped phenomenally far, so this one could be interesting. Apologies in advance.

The two definitions sitting at the top of this are neither positive nor encouraging words I am afraid and I have no clear plan as to how to link them properly yet, but I do have a metaphor and, as the, like, two regular readers I have may have noticed, I like metaphors.

For the past year or so I have felt like a lone sock, a single from a pair, left in a laundromat tumble dryer a couple too many times. I’ve been through the spin a couple too many times and am starting to feel dizzy and wear thin. Each time someone throws their laundry in, everything gets dumped on top of me, I get dragged through a soggy, overheated rollercoaster and when the rest of the clothes get pulled out I get picked up, frowned at and surreptitiously placed back in the dryer as someone else’s problem. Lather, rinse, repeat basically.

I am turning twenty later this week and had very specific plans for when I was twenty. When I was fifteen, I was going to be in the middle of my medical degree by the time I was twenty, living in an apartment in Cape Town with a tank full of fish to keep me company. When I was sixteen, I was going to be working part-time in a theatre while I studied Drama in Durban and lived right next to the beach. When I was seventeen I was going to be dead. When I was eighteen, I was going to be in England, working towards my English Literature degree with a roommate and a job and a stable future. Just a month ago, my plan was more flexible, less clear and vague enough that there are some very large blurs, but it was something more.

Instead, I still live in a house with my mother, the same one I’ve lived in since I was fifteen, still work at the same place with my mother that I’ve worked since I was sixteen and have somehow accidentally taken on more responsibility with a position at a place which was supposed to be “temporary”. I saw an old friend of mine and commented on how being “comfortable” with something (we were talking about her boyfriend at the time) wasn’t a bad thing. However, I’m beginning to notice how very “comfortable” I am getting in my office with my coworkers and my phone calls and reservations systems.

I keep getting thrown back into that dryer and the door keeps closing on me. The problem I have realised is that this particular sock has a voice which I am choosing to keep quiet. I have the means to turn around and say “Let me out the damn dryer. I don’t belong with these clothes in this place. There’s somewhere else I’m supposed to be, some other socks I am supposed to be with.”

This leads to my “isolation” definition. (Damn, look at that flawless segue :P)

This post was initially going to be about flaws and the only reason I changed it was because half of the flaws I wanted to discuss correlated directly with this particular word. All through school, I was one of those people who was “friends” with everyone. I never really had a problem with anyone and could easily have a chat or pop down to the shops with pretty much anyone I went to school with, regardless of their friend group or whether or not we knew much more about each other than our names. This meant that I typically didn’t put a lot of effort into keeping friends. I always had that small group of friends who meant a lot to me, but I found it easy to keep them as we were of similar mindsets and naturally stayed together.

Since finishing school and no longer having to see everyone every day, I have slowly lost the motivation to put effort into those friendships and, while if I bumped into one I know we would have a chat, I don’t bother trying to make those chats happen anymore and, similarly, it seems those people gave up on me. This was something I was fine with a year ago when I was leaving the country and had to leave these people behind, never to see them again, and thought it would be easier to lessen the pain of the goodbyes then rather than when I would be leaving but my own limitations that I’ve managed to find for myself ( a lack of driver’s license, a loss of interest in most social events of any kind and general wallowing) means that I’ve slowly been pushing myself into a lonely corner.

I also recently entered into a relationship (I think I’ve mentioned this before) and am finding myself dedicating more time to this than is probably healthy. While we are both are aware there may be aspects of this relationship that may not be normal or “healthy”, I am realising more and more that there are more things that may not be considered healthy for me in particular, I’m finding it harder and harder to care.

The main one I’m noticing recently is that I am allowing it to contribute to this isolation. Being in love with someone means that you dedicate a lot more of your thinking time to them. I am also the kind of person that finds it hard to give too much of myself to too many people at once, hence the very small friend groups. This has meant that, as I give more and more of myself to him, I’ve been taking bits of myself from other people to hand over to him instead. This isn’t his fault nor is it anyone’s but my own and for some time I thought it wasn’t a bad idea because, again, fewer goodbyes. I would rather have three immensely painful goodbyes than fifteen just very painful ones.

 

While I didn’t mean to lose touch with some friends, I grew impatient and tired and gave up on a lot of conversations. Many of my old friends had moved to other sides of the country or even the world and I see no point in making new friends in a gossipy town which I can’t wait to leave. This has meant, however, that the only people I ever spend time with are the people I work with, my mother and my boyfriend and this worries me in that my life is beginning to lose meaning.

After a particularly long day; I go home and realise that I am expending all this energy and time on a job that I don’t exactly like and don’t plan on staying in any longer than I have to. This, added to my general drops and usual triggers leaves me a bit of a mess of a single sock rolling around in a dryer beginning to find itself simultaneously comfortable and despondent.

Those other pieces of clothing I am in with now are wonderful, mostly, and I love them all to pieces, mostly, and they are all very functional pieces of clothing and very nice as well, some are particularly soft and fluffy and nice to be stuck in there with, but all I can think about is getting out of that dryer.

The only worry on my mind when I reach this point though is: What happens when I finally get out of that dryer?

Robyn

x

[Sing Me to Sleep, Alan Walker // 4 Life, Robin Schulz ft. Graham Candy // We Don’t Have to Take our Clothes Off, Ella Eyre]