silence

Loud.

They called me L O U D.

I don’t talk like normal girls.
I use my hands to express myself.
I talk an octave higher than everyone else.
I express my emotions when I am happy or upset.

Girls always said they could hear me a mile away. “You’re so loud.”, they would say. That’s the first impression I give people.

I never understood why that was bad. Why people felt the need to silence my voice because their voices quivered in comparison. Why it always left me feeling like I had done something wrong.

“Porque gritas? Aqui estoy.”, is what my Mom would say. Why do you yell. I am right here.

Minutes later she would grab the phone and talk to my Tias. In a voice louder than a whisper. I would hear her laughing and talking into the phone as if she was screaming to me from another room. But she’s talking to her sisters.

“Mami, why do you have to yell on the phone?”, I would ask.
“No estoy gritando. That’s how I talk!”, she’d answer defensively.

I am not yelling. That’s how I talk.

I find myself shrinking myself for a lack of a better person. Shrinking myself into a shell of who I used to be. My voice becomes softer than a whisper and causing me to mumble in places where I should be talking.

They call me “Loud”, when I express myself. “Loud” in places where I should be whispering. “Loud” when all I am doing is talking.

If I can’t be me, who should I be? I should stay quiet for the fear of what people will think of me. I should speak no louder than a whisper for people to find me delicate and gentle. But that’s not who I am. I am tired of shrinking myself to make other people feel better. Instead I speak louder than my voice. Causing shakes through my bones. Opening waves through the dark corners and making cracks through the pavement.

I would rather speak an octave higher than everyone else. I would rather express myself through hand gestures to get my point across. I would rather be LOUD, then ever be told to speak no louder than a whisper.

Loud is who I am.
Loud is how they see me.
Loud is what separates me from everyone else.

But I am not Loud. That’s just how I talk.

 

 

 

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8/29/2015 – Day Fifteen.

I have had a problem with food for as long as I can remember. Longer than I would like to admit. These days I wonder if those fears are my karma for my current situations. I haven’t been the kindest to myself and in this new era of body image, owning who you are, it’s easier said than done. I’ll be completely honest, its hard to transform 28 years thinking in a matter of a short months or years. For every 10 good days, there are 20 not so good days. For everything and in-between, food has been my scapegoat for every way of thinking. Food has a way of bringing the good with the bad. Triggering memories and forgotten expectations. You think about how much you didn’t care in your younger years, and now as an adult this need to be socially conscious about everything you put in front of you. Now a days, I fear food more than I enjoy it. I hold it at an arms length against me. Separating myself from my past and my expectations of my future, not realizing the repercussions of my present. It makes me think about everything I’ve done to distance myself from food, when all I’ve ever wanted to do was enjoy it.

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Recovery is a pain in the ass. Its hard to tell someone that hasn’t been through what you have, how you feel. I have felt really alone in my recovery. Its easy to put up a positive front, to post a photo of myself eating or enjoying food but reality settles in. I will always see myself as 70 lbs over weight. I will always think twice about what I eat. I will always feel guilty about over eating and feel this need to punish myself. It’s hard to tell someone that what I see in the mirror paralyzes my way of thinking. It has been a long time since I have truly enjoyed a meal. A good fucking meal. Something someone put heart and soul into. I am not going to be an asshole, I’ve had great meals but so many of these meals build up on my fears.  Its genuinely hard to enjoy them without feeling squeamish or guilt. Most of the time, I feel guilty about the things I eat. It’s something I have to live with that makes me so indescieve about where or what to eat. How do you tell someone I can’t eat what I love out of fear of the outcome? You can’t. Being in another country helps. I don’t feel guarded. I don’t feel the pressure to be anything. While the fear still plagues me, it doesn’t hurt as much as it does at home. Its weird to be in places with different customs then your own. To adapt yourself into things you have stopped doing at home. Sometimes I forget to eat in the rush of getting to and from places. Often times I overindulge in the things I love but mostly I don’t. Then I feel guilty of eating and I psych myself out. I don’t know. Being far from home I don’t feel as self conscious as I am used too.

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It’s easy to say I am on vacation, I can do what I want. To get in this gluttonous stage and have no self control, but I can’t do that. It’s lonely to eat alone but it’s lonely to have to come to realization that you can’t eat the way you are used too. We settled into a restaurant inside the town square. After looking over at the menu, we decided to take our chances on a little restaurant with it’s rustic pirate vibes. I wasn’t expecting much. Just enough to fill my belly and provide the energy I needed for the rest of the day. I get really anxious when I eat. A part of me still believes I am 70 lbs overweight and another part of me still believes I will make myself sick after eating. For the longest time my meals where based on what was easier to come out at will or what would get me full the fastest. If I ate exactly how I wanted to eat, I would open up the wounds that have been trying to heal. If I don’t eat, its another series of triggers, I can’t contain. I usually order to avoid suspicion and times I don’t like what I order. When you are comfortable you forget the silly instances that make up your anxieties. Sitting on the bench in the resturant, I didn’t look for an easy way out. I wanted to try everything. I wanted to eat everything and for once I didn’t want to feel guilty about what I ate. It felt like we were eating for hours when really it had been minutes, since we had ordered. Mere minutes as the plates started arriving. Each plate sizzling, oozing, and exhuming delicious flavors and tastes. It didn’t end at the first or second plate. It didn’t stop with the drinks, the momentum continued, as we talked about family stories, family traditions, and inner jokes between us all. As each plate reached our table, another plate would disappear.

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It didn’t hurt. This layer of anxiousness shed off my skin and I felt something I hadn’t felt in all the meals, I have consumed over the past years. I felt love. I felt hunger to try everything. Even if I felt guilty, it wasn’t going to hurt me. I had been feeling self-conscious about my outcomes that I never focused on my journey. How alone I felt in my battles and lonely I felt in my war. No matter how many times I heard positivity, I was focused on the negative outcome. Focusing on the mirror that was haunted with two faces. As the plates started dwindling down, as my belly felt full but content, I looked around at the faces I saw before me. This is my journey, my battle but I don’t feel alone. This is love I feel in front of me and after every course, I am going to be okay. Maybe I’ll never get better but at least today, the journey doesn’t seem as bad anymore.

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8/13/2015 – Day Seven.

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My body is in a state of shock. I have bones aching and muscles sore. I am exhausted. The lack of sleep from the nights before, make waking up harder than normal. I woke up to sunny skies escaping my window but my body still ached for the cold of the night and the darkness. Sleep makes you forget about things in your waking day reality. You become so transfixed in your dream state you forget that you have to go back to reality. I could stay lost in my dreams forever. Lost in this idea of make believe instead of waking up to this sickening pain of reality. I hate this feeling.

This exhausted feeling could only bring me enough energy to get dressed and eat somewhat. Even getting dressed was a hassle. You reach this point where putting on your normal every day clothes seem far fetched, I wanted to put just the most comfortable manageable clothes. My head was pounding due to the altitude and I felt dizzy and distraught. That feeling you get when you don’t feel like talking and you find yourself ridiculously quiet? Thats how I felt. I am not usually a quiet person but I had this need to not say anything. When I have nothing to say, why say anything. Why pretend I have something to say, when I have nothing at all. All I wanted to do was sleep. From my fingertips to my toes, everything shakes. I could live in this bed forever, hiding under the covers and looking out toward the sun that illuminates from under the drapes. I could. I would if I could.

I should be doing a million things. Start unpacking, start a million different ideas and complete them with a follow through. The more I thought about these things the more the pain continued to hurt. The tighter I held on to the blankets and kept falling back asleep. I shouldn’t think about the things that I do. I should be in a better mood in a beautiful place with amazing people. No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake this mood. This feeling of hurting physically that was hurting emotionally. I wrapped myself in that blanket, covered in comfort, warmth and this feeling of pure security. Before I knew it the sunny skies morphed into an overcast afternoon. Waking up to the cold air and skies cascading in colors from white to slate to dark grey. I could have laid in that emotional bliss forever. This weather that matches my aches and pains and cuts into my mood. I knew I would have to go back into reality. I knew I would have to start talking again. I knew eventually I’d have to admit to myself exactly how I was feeling.

In this moment I felt the cold inch closer to me. Greeting me like an old friend. It was then I moved the blanket closer and fell back asleep.

 

 

8/7/2015 – Day One.

If we have to be honest, nobody likes admitting defeat. Nobody likes to admit they are wrong. Nobody in their right mind can admit to feeling any ounce of pain, when the rest of the world is feeling otherwise. Which is why in many instances we hide how we feel in the fear of seeming crazy or vulnerable. Because we were taught at a young age that showing a tiny fraction of vulnerability would be your ultimate downfall. We all want to be strong, we all want to be right, we all want to be just fine. As you grow up, the world changes. Now a days everyone wants to express their feelings. Everyone wants to admit they’re wrong and show their faces through feelings of weakness. How do you give up a lifetime of hiding your feelings, into tiny moments of vulnerability? How do you change the fear of feeling hurt when everyone wants you to embrace your pain? I wonder why it takes longer to forgive when we’re faced with everything we are trying to forget. I just haven’t gotten to that point yet.

The past few days I’ve felt more emotional than usual. I have cried more, complained more, fought this inner turmoil of the devil and god that continues to rage inside of me. As of recently I have begun to develop a paranoia of telling anyone my problems. As of lately I have been keeping a lot of my worries to myself. Its stupid, I shouldn’t do it, and it only makes me feel worse inside. However, I just don’t care to deal with the “What you should do”, “When that happens to me”, usual verbiage. I guess in a weird way, I want to confess how I feel without judgement. Without the shame, without someone stopping me to tell me their story. I feel suffocated with words but to express them would be my greatest downfall. I am not prepared to hear the outcome of my worries. I am not ready to express my feelings without worry or doubt. I am not ready for people to come in and nitpick my feelings and tell me how to change them.  Today of all days, I don’t feel very much like myself. Today of all days I want to shout to the heavens to hear me out. Today of all days I want to get out of this suffocated feeling and get out of myself. Even if it’s just for a few hours.

As I had mentioned in my previous post, I have a hard time doing things alone. I have this anxiety in regards to my peers that paralyzes my social interactions. I can’t explain it and even writing it down, I have a hard time believing it. I am fine when I do social activities with my friends. I make jokes, I amuse myself and others, I over exaggerate situations, but to do anything on my own I am frightened. At any moment something could jump out and take me out of the safe bubble I am in. When I am on my own, I plot my strategies and plan my exit routes. Everything I do alone is perfectly calculated and memorized. You don’t know how frightening life can be when you can’t do things alone. I can’t tell you how this started, I can’t tell you why it continues but I can say that I can’t do this anymore. This never ending waiting for people to come in and help me realize my frustrations. Today of all days, I just need a moment to collect myself and get out of my current frustrations. If I had it my way, I’d run away to the highest hills. Into the deepest forests and away from civilization. However, I also have a huge fear of the great outdoors which limits my hiding places. On the days when I need to get lost within myself, I hide in plot lines and other peoples stories. I hide between melodies of film scores and conversations of other individuals written words. I have been in love with film for as long as I can remember. As long as I can pretend to be someone else on someone else’s time. I only as of recently started going to the movies by myself, as a way of entertaining the idea that I can do things on my own. But how many of us are really alone when we are attached to our cellphones and social media? For the past few days I have deleted all social media on my phone (which the exception of Snapchat). Since I haven’t been feeling like talking to many people, I haven’t been social with very many people either. It is no fault of anyone and under no fault of my own, I just feel this need to be on my own and alone.

Since giving up on social media, I have limited my outlets to be social. I have always been distracted with taking photographs and immediately posting my whereabouts on social media. The last couple of days, I just haven’t felt like showing people how I feel. Showing people what I’m doing, who I am with, or even giving people a glimpse into my life. I don’t care if anyone reads what I have to say, but to see what I am doing is causing a huge paranoia that I don’t need in my life. Everyone is quick to judge my hypocrisy but never want to comment about what I am going through. I really don’t know who I am without my phone in my hand or a camera in front of my face. I have almost lost my identity just pushing objects in front of my face to hide who I am. Getting lost in someone else’s idea of reality gives me a chance to breathe. A chance to pretend that someone else’s life is connected with my own. I’ll be honest, I don’t like the movie theater in my hometown. The snacks are lousy, the popcorn sucks, and they don’t have any fancy soda fountains that the other theaters do. If I had my way I would watch every film at The State Theatre in Modesto or The Vine in Livermore or Archlight in Hollywood. However, I live quite a bit away from all of those places, so the AMC Theater in Manteca will just have to do. I have my movements calculated that going to that theater is almost routine. I follow the same roads, I park in the same spots, and I just know what I am doing before I am doing it. It’s a routine I follow every time, mainly insuring that I always have a parking spot, another that I avoid every human contact possible until I reach the theater. It’s just little things I do to give myself a moment before I have to be faced with interactions of any sort.

I don’t know what I am doing anymore. That’s a fact. I find myself rubbing my hands together in frustration just trying to calm my nerves down. This anxiety of being alone and with no one to comfort these fears. This fear of being completely open without saying a word. I didn’t realize how much I depended on my phone. How much I depended on communications from the social media world. How jaded I have become from the faces I see in front of me, just by staring down on a tiny phone screen. I almost don’t know what to do with myself. What do you do when you can’t occupy yourself and your fears with a tiny digital underworld. I arrived to the movie theater early and after deciding to see the film “Southpaw”, (mainly the curiosity of the film being Kurt Sutter’s (Sons of Anarchy) first film script and second being the beautiful beast of Jake Gyllenhaal), I had time to kill before the movie started. You don’t realize how much you separate yourself from the real world when you’re focused on the digital world. You have a habit of forgetting how you got through life without a phone attached to your hand. I found myself sitting on a bench waiting to be let into the theater. Sitting, thinking, analyzing, wondering, people watching. Life has a way of wanting you to photograph everything. Every passing moment that happens right in front of you. I found myself fixated on these phantom photographs of people that passed in front of me. Men, women, and children, their variety of reasons for being in the same place that I was. For different reasons or this comfort of being surrounded by the people they cared about most, intertwined with someone else’s idea of reality. My hands still twitched, feeling this need to tell someone how I felt. Show people everything that I was seeing. Instead I rubbed my hands together and kept everything to myself.

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I love films that give you this mystified way of feeling tragically heartbroken and happily moved. For my current state, I thought the film was great. I thought it truly emphasized this need to overcome demons and prove that people can be better than their past. I loved that it allowed me this need to escape from what I was feeling and transport myself into someone else. I know I am not okay. I know I have fears of doing things alone and being able to do something like this takes everything I have inside of me. To give this false illusion of being somewhere else in my mind, allows me to breathe again just for a little while. I have 99 more days to go and I wonder how much longer I can take it. How much longer I can continue before I completely break. Then again, maybe I am suppose to break in order to be put back together again.

Only time will tell.

Left and Leaving.

I am afraid of Goodbyes, which has made it hard for me to let go. Holding on to things long after the after glow. It should be easy to be done and over with it all, but I keep coming back for more. Waiting for people to change, waiting for everything and the in-between. I can change everything else in my life but I can’t change the feeling of letting someone go. Holding on to the nostalgia of different times when things really mattered, realizing it never really mattered at all.

Why does it always happen to me? Am I not enough? Don’t you care enough to stay?

People are so self consumed in there own misery to notice you. I am no stranger to that. But when you need something you call on me, I always listen. It’s only when you need me around that you can find me. It’s been months since communication stopped and still you need me around. It’s hard letting go to the people that only need you sometimes. The flood of memories surrounding you don’t out weigh the outcome. If I bleed, would you even notice? If I said I needed you, would you bother to be there? We are all in the market to use someone. We make friends to legions and flocks of people, just to use from them all their resources. Needing something from everybody. Occupy our time with the expectations of a good time. I can’t pretend that it doesn’t hurt when people forget me. I can’t pretend that no matter how many times I try, It’s just not enough. Who am I to compete with the beautiful and damned? Who am I to say that feeling alone is never really lonely?

If I was perfect, people would want me. If I had everything you needed, people would need me. If I hadn’t said all the things I said, people would care enough to listen to my story. People can go into silence and pretend that memories are just ghost stories of the past. Maybe that’s all I am, a funny story of the past. Something you tell yourself to feel better about the past. When you’ve dried up your last resource is when people come back. I wish I could be that person for you. That I didn’t feel like just another photograph that you filter out the imperfections. Some days it hurts and some days its easier to forget people. Thats all I am trying to do, have the courage to forget people. Making the goodbyes, easier to say.

For the first time I didn’t feel like inviting you out. I stopped including you in my stories. I stopped planning adventures and asking you to go. If I pretend you don’t exist, it makes it hurt less. Maybe all silence ever is, is a softer way of leaving and letting go.  I watched the memories turn to dust and replaced them with something shiny and new. It’s after you are left alone that the leaving becomes easier. If it wasn’t for me to reach out, I wouldn’t be in this mess to begin with. All we need is to be alone with our thoughts to finally grow up and let go. I find myself becoming a grown up. I am growing up, as much as I wish I wasn’t. We all are, even you. I just wish I could see it all through.

2/4/2015