Today I must finish a quilt I've been working on for a benefit auction and then ship it.
I must take the injured kitten I've been caring for over the last few weeks to the vet to have her splint re-wrapped or removed, depending on how her bone is healing.
I must bake banana bread for a friend who just underwent cancer treatment.
There are dishes to do, and laundry.
There are floors that so desperately need cleaning, we stick to them. I wish I was kidding.
I must prepare food for my children, hopefully things that will nourish them rather than convenience me.
What I must not do is give any sign that the ground beneath me (figuratively) is crumbling. I must not let show the cracks in the facade, the hurt, the fear, the sorrow. I will not cry where anyone can see me, there will be no evidence of tears if anyone takes the time to look. I will have a pleasant demeanor, as always.
It is for myself that I perpetuate the illusion. For myself because I just don't want or need to hear opinions about my feelings and what I should be doing about them. I don't want to trot out my damaged soul one more time and show how tattered and worn it is, how it flutters in streamers smirched by shadow and history. I don't want to talk about it. Isn't it enough that I am experiencing it? It's exhausting.
This slow disintegration is tortuous. It's not a nice, quick cut of the psyche it's a long, horrible slide down the rusty edge of a cast off blade, itchy and painful and dull.
I am thinking things that are...unpleasant...things like why don't I just drive away and leave everyone behind and just disappear, because they'd all be better off without me. Things like I could drink those two bottles of whiskey all at once and be catatonic in short order. Things like why is my honor so bloody important that I let it get in the way of what I so desperately need.
And don't need.
Because not wanting to live and wanting to die are two very different things. Worlds apart. Huge distinctions. I can not want to live without wanting to be dead. I can look at the mess I have made around me and want to live differently without exactly wanting to walk through the other side to get to cleaner, less damaged ground.
This churned up muck that is sliding away from me while dragging me through itself is, at least, my muck. It's my experience, and there's no escaping that. Try and run away, it just follows, flows through lifetimes until the lesson is well and truly learned. May as well endure and learn now.
So none of the turmoil will show. I will look just like a fully functioning member of society with never a hint of the internal train wreck that's going on. Perhaps you'd be surprised to know how many like me there are in the world.