As I sit among the rubble of the snow globe cottage I still have barely begun to rebuild, the ground beneath me has finally stopped threatening to rupture. I am not, it is safe to say, numb any longer. All I can do is offer my deepest apologies to anyone I inflicted my volatile self on over the weekend. If I was grumpy, withdrawn, waspish, prickly, snappy, overreacting, angry or any other negative variation on ‘moody’ while I was with you, I’m sorry. It was almost definitely not your fault. I have been, for the most part, empty of emotion for a very long time and now that I can feel more than the odd deluge of panic and the occasional flicker of something else now and again, I’m not entirely sure what to do with it all. The closest I can come to explaining myself is that I felt much the same as I did as a small child when I would be quiet and perfectly well behaved at school then come home and go to pieces. The intervening years have improved the length of time for which I can be a semi-functioning person from around five hours to around five days. The resulting sense of being utterly overwhelmed by everything was much the same.
This blog was going to be about Jado Kuin Do, but I’ll try to get to that later in the week. Instead I want to explain why the rubble and wreckage of my snow globe cottage is a fairly accurate metaphor for where my mind is. I am still inside a snow globe. The glass now is, in places, thicker than ever. Sometimes when I’m out walking I can barely feel my feet touch the floor. I mean that in a literal sense rather than a euphoric one. It is as though everything is a dream and just as in a dream you can be terrified or heartbroken, so I can react emotionally to what goes on. Like a dream though there is that occasional sense that there is something just out of reach, that this, what I am experiencing isn’t real. I have to remind myself that other people don’t simply snap in and out of existence depending on whether or not I am looking at them. This level of disconnect is disconcerting to say the least.
The rubble then. I don’t know how to be a person. It’s like coming back to university but scaled up a hundred fold, it isn’t about remembering or relearning, it’s about trying to build an identity from scratch. Like it or not the truth of the matter is I am not twelve years old anymore. I can’t go back to who I was then. I will say now, no matter what your personal feelings on the matter are, please don’t reach out to me with platitudes. I am trying to articulate how I feel and the precise words for that are still just beyond my grasp. Pointing to illustrations of how I am a person with a personality outside of depression, anxiety and generally having faulty mental wiring is not going to help.
So why is twelve the age that springs to mind? Why not eighteen? Because I didn’t feel like a person at eighteen either. As a child, with all my eccentricities, all my infuriating faults, between the meltdowns and social ineptitudes, I had an imagination. I was creative, I was dynamic, and my mind was overflowing with ideas. Even then there were times when I would slip into darkness or feel the isolation that is being alone inside a snow globe without the words to explain it, but somehow the curious, creative part survived. When I was eight, possibly nine, I became completely convinced that I would die before I turned sixteen. I wasn’t afraid, it was something I just knew and accepted as an unspoken fact. I didn’t have to put real thought into growing up because I knew I never really would. By the time I was thirteen and everyone I knew and cared about were busy growing up without me, I was waiting for the inevitable to happen. I would get on the school bus half expecting it to crash. Every random ache, every cough or cold, I would automatically assume was the deadly disease that was going to finish me off. I would fall asleep not expecting to wake up. Or at least not expecting to wake up in this world. The creativity, the spark, the energy was all put into waiting rather than growing, changing, evolving to keep up with my body, my intellect, my stage of life. That is why twelve is the age that springs to mind. For all of the crazy moments and meltdowns, that is the last time I remember being an entire person.
Here I am, six years past the birthday that should never have happened just beginning to contemplate the idea of having a future but still with no idea where to start. I care about things now, far more than I have in the past few years. I suppose that will form the foundations of my new snow globe library. I want to be a person not a degree label and a collection of mental symptoms. I want to be a person with interests, thoughts, opinions, hopes. I want to find somewhere buried deep beneath these ruins, the spark I used to have. I want to ignite it, to nurture it, until it can be creative and alive at this age, in this world. I want to learn to like the person I am now and that means first learning to be xem.