it's been quite some time since i've managed to summon the inner strength and courage to make public any of the thought processes that sometimes shuttle through my head at the speed of light. now don't get me wrong, friends-i am indescribably happy and peaceful at most times. Some moments though, they shake me to the core and that core is a little more rotten than i'd like to think. I fear articulating what goes on inside the secret mess that i hide with a lion's mane, i fear for the response it may stir in anyone who may read what i write in this little corner of the internet, because my fleeting moments of instability may be misconstrued as a lasting mental inmbalance that may be unfixable. Truth be told, i feel some days more than others that i've become a sham, a fake; one who's crumbling foundations are becoming more and more apparent with every tremor or earthquake that life brings. I feel some days like a shimmering wall of positivity and good energy that people flock to in droves, others i feel like i may just self implode into a black hole of nothingness. The black hole days are very very few and far between, but when those days are upon me...there's nothing on this earth that can remind me of how it feels to be the sunlight.
I would hate for this blog to turn into another rant of how i used to be a tiny little girl, armed with a needle of snowflakes and a heart of dying flames. sure, i've come some distance, but i'm reminded a little more with each passing day of just how innately damaged i've become.
Being damaged is somehow worse to being "flawed". Think about it. A porcelain doll in a china shop with a rough chip on her shoulder from a careless drop, with a worn yellow tag screaming
DAMAGED 50% off!
If another porcelain figurine was "flawed", it would quietly sit on the shelf and gaze upon me with a cold, glazed stare of seeming superiority, although we all know it's just indifference (dolls don't feel anything). Maybe it's left foot is slightly discoloured or it's paint is not as shiny; barely noticeable yet still enough to be considered a "flaw". it's part of it's character-it's just how it was made. It's never known any other life, it still gets picked up off of the shelf every once in awhile for a dusting, or occasionally to be admired by a set of adoring human eyes. Maybe a grandmother adding another to her collection, maybe a young man courting a young lady and looking for a gift to show how much he cares. The DAMAGED will silently watch as they both inevitably pass her by because she's somehow cheapened by the fading label someone once placed on her. She once was shiny and beautiful and new, but a little carelessness on a blank faced stranger's part, *oopsie, dropped the dolly* and a little piece stays on the ground, to be swept into the garbage at the day's end. Maybe that chip is what gives that sad little doll character. Maybe she deserves to be treasured too. Maybe someone has a little paint at home that they could take to her and make her shiny and new again.
People want to cling to the hope that she might be salvageable, but it's simply too much work, dear. People don't want the residue of paint, or glue staining their hands in failure as they inevitably put the damn doll back on the top shelf, out of sight and out of mind; still chipped.
if she could sigh in defeat, she would (but dolls don't sigh). "Shoulda got the other one," the shamed new owner would think to themselves. Maybe the girl getting wooed by the charming young man who gifted her with it would think less of herself, undeserving or somehow unworthy of an unbroken present.
If i were something to be purchased in a shop, i would come with a disclaimer. "Warning, may exhibit signs of borderline personality disorder, associate inanimate objects with past repressed emotions and eat (or not eat) foods in an unnatural and slightly disturbing manner."
I might cry when someone tells me not to eat popcorn and think nothing of it, except for that i'm clearly a fat cow who doesn't deserve to occasionally indulge in a salty, highly caloric and fattening snack. I might frown when someone notices that i spend a few minutes studying and inspecting my food for temperature, size of vegetables, and spiciness before i throw it all to fiery hell anyway by dousing it in hot sauce.I may even stop eating when someone points out that i've already eaten a "normal" amount for the day so i really don't need to eat anymore if i don't want to.
christ, if i had my way i wouldn't have to eat at all some days. If my tastebuds were a bunch of tiny dicks, they would all immediately be rendered impotent at the first mention of my weight.
and oh yeah, WHO THE HELL THINKS IT'S ACCEPTABLE TO MENTION WEIGHT TO A GIRL ANYWAY?! especially virtual strangers? It's the equivalent of me walking up to a stranger and saying, "Hey bud, you're not bad looking buuuut...your ears kind of stick out funny and you should get a new stylist because your receding hairline is not AT ALL flattered by your current cut."
I've been in the service industry for years, and i've heard it all. "Oh ma gawwd, your makeup is amazing!" "....whoooaa, rough night last night? hahaa!" "...jeez, yuri, where have you been eating? Auschwitz?" "wow, glad to see you've put on somne weight gurrl, you look healthy!" "eat a fuckin cracker, Kimura!" "so...when is the baby due?"
that last one fucking kills.
to hear that feels like...like someone took my heart and pulled it to the floor of my stomach. My eyes went hazy, my lips went numb, my hands started to shake and my pinky fingers went cold. all in a matter of seconds. I felt like i was going to hurl. In fact, i wished and regretted not eating something previous to hearing this question, because throwing something up would have made me feel loads better. I feel like i should maybe wear a sign that says, "Warning: extremely sensitive about weight. Past history of disordered eating and dysmorphia." aahh yes, the disclaimer.
A girl does not lose 50 lbs in a year without a little wear and tear on the heart. In fact, the mind goes through a much more drastic transformation than the body does. it doesn't matter if you're a 5'10, 110lb male who starts hitting the gym and becomes a grotesque bodybuilder or a 5'7 178lb girl who decides to put down the fork and pick up the rolled up $50 bill for a well balanced meal of what is seemingly the sweetest little pile of icing sugar in the world. She may one day put that nasty little habit to bed, but she will forever miss the days of smashing hip and collarbones with her friends when they exchange insincere one armed hugs that are actually little competitions to see whose bones are more prominent. Both sides will pull back and wince, and sigh, "ohhh i'm having such a fat day." A fat day is defined by consuming any more than half of the calories that you've already burned double the amount of. Sick. Sick that this is what once brought me the most joy...and i took it away from myself. I took it away and threw it to the wind to make room in my life for things that brought me joy and pleasure again, food, family, friends, music, art, photography, clothing, kids, fruit, biking, reading, ...writing. Such a thing cannot be thrown without caution to the wind without carrying over repurcussions into the next life. The ramifications of how my past choices are affecting those currently around me are astoundingly apparent, especially in a "normal" social setting such as a restaurant or dinner table. I can't help how i eat. I can't help that i feel like a tiny worm under a microscope, or that i wish that a trap door would open up and down down down the rabbit hole i would tumble, like a tiny little Alice. Anything to get me out of the situation. Food is funny. Actually, it's fucked up. It's one of the things i'm most passionate about and love to make and share with people i love, and it's ultimately the one thing i can despise and resent with an unbridled hate that is rivalled only by things like pedophilia, world hunger and child abuse. These things all fire me up and bring out the punk rock FTW version of Yuri who is very rarely seen around anymore.
For awhile, i think i was subconsciously on the hunt for someone who would save me; save me from myself, save me from the big bad cruel world, save me the little devil on my shoulder (who bore a striking resemblance to me, except with bigger hair and sluttier fishnet stockings. ha.) and save me from my inevitable end which i was hurtling headforce towards, with zero disregard for anyone who may not wish me dead. I was at a point where i literally did not care if i lived or died. I wasn't suicidal (anymore. the one person who ever made me feel like dying was out of my life completely at this point.), i didn't have an intentional death wish. I didn't really feel like i had much to live for, except for my family (little brother especially). But the times when i wasn't really quite sure if i woke up or not...well, it's sad really. I just didn't care. now i feel like i have so much to live for, and have had so many second (third, fourth, fifth) chances that i head to the doctor at the slightest indication that i may not be well. I want to live as long as possible, and get as much as i can out of this little slice of life that destiny decided i get to be in control of.
Some days i feel like my life has become such a total 360 turnaround from what it used to be that i'm not actually the person i'm claiming to be. I feel like a character of what the total opposite of a pathetic eating disordered little lost girl should be. I like baking. I like smiling at strangers who look like they could use it. I like holding doors, giving the hitch hikers on osborne whatever leftovers or day old stuff the restaurant has, or bringing them coffee on the cold mornings. I like to remember snippets of conversation with friends and surprise them with things that remind me of those little snippets of my time with them long after they think i've forgotten. I like to trade recipes with customers in the restaurant, i like to believe that
...well, i might not be a sham. I might actually be a little bit fixed?
I didn't need anyone to do it for me. I realized my most fatal flaw was trying to find someone to pick up my pieces and put them back together for me. I needed to do it for myself, because only I know where all the pieces are and where i left them. The cracks still show, some days more than others. But maybe these cracks show character, because i know that i sure as hell have fallen hard for other damaged dolls. Some have hairline fractures that are the small scars of deeper breaks, some wear their damage with pride...but they're all strangely beautiful in their own sad and powerful way. (I just read that people who don't capitalize their 'i's' or the first initial in their names have low self esteem, or perception of self. i'd like to think i'm just too lazy to hold the 'shift' key down...that, and i also cross all of my 'i's' with little x's in real life...so maybe the non-capitalization is the digital equivalent to that? hrmm.)
There was a lady named Wendy who wore her damage with shame. She lived at the Osborne Village Inn for years, and came down to the restaurant daily. I judged her for her cracks. I judged a book by it's cover, even after all these years. I would roll my eyes when her back was turned because her orders were always so messy and demanding. Extra tartar sauce, extra caesar dressing, extra lemon wedges, extra napkins, extra soup crackers, extra pain in the ass. Really, in the grand scheme of things not a pain at all. These kinds of things i gladly do for any other customers, and always without being asked first. my mind somehow retains all the subtle details of people's orders, and i make sure that the girl who gets extra honey dill sauce everytime gets it every damn time. and with a smile, because it's how i roll. I like seeing other people happy.
I thought Wendy was a meth or crack head. She was so thin, so gray and sunken but drank so much it seemed the only logical conclusion to draw. I have turned my back, (out of ignorance? self preservation?) on the live-to-die drug addicts from my past life because they make me so sad. So sad and angry. Sangry, if you will. I've learned that there is no helping those who don't want to be helped. So i feign indifference and move on with trying to keep my own little light shining. Sunday afternoons, I close the restaurant at 4pm. Hell, 8-4 is a long mother day after dealing with my customers single handedly, so i seldom feel bad for turning people away who come in at 3:55 asking for huge meals. My cook and i decided to start shutting down around 3:15, getting the dishes done and finishing prep for the next day etc. My tables were all wiped and set, and i was in the midst of cleaning the coffee machine when i heard footsteps behind me.
"Sooo uhhh, do you still have that eggs benedict?"
"Sorry, Wendy. All the breakfast stuff is put away. The hollandaise is already cold."
The look of disappointment in her eyes was clearly evident. She smiled her crooked and broken smile in an attempt to sway my decision the other way.
"Aww man! Who's cookin? Roxy? She always makes the best..."
"Sorry Wendy, we're closing up soon. Do you want anything else?"
"Oh no nooo, that's all i wanted. Say, those are some neat glasses. Are they new?"
I continued cleaning and wiping and giving her very little eye contact as i said hurriedly, "No, I just never wear them."
"Well kiddo, you look great in them. You should wear less makeup all the time!"
"Uh huh. Thanks. Sorry bout the Benedict. See ya later."
The next morning around 10am i got a text from my other server, Faye.
"they found wendi dead in her room like an hour ago."
I know it's not like i could have saved her sad depraved life had i given in and gone that extra 1/4 mile to make her the eggs benedict. I just got this sudden feeling like rocks in my lungs that maybe just maybe her last meal could have been something she truly enjoyed instead of a cigarette and a flat bottle of coke left sitting on her dresser.
I felt (feel) guilty that i cringed away when she drunkenly hugged me once. I felt (feel) guilty that i didn't comment on her new glasses when she commented on my old ones.
I found out that she was actually once a successful and happy school teacher. She developed some kind of cancer, her husband left her for someone younger and cancer free, she in turn left reality and looked for a new one in the bottom of a bottle. She lost her home, her husband, and her job. She moved into the zoo and had one of her best friends take care of her on the days she was too fucked up or in too much pain to move. She walked with a limp which i mistook for a drunken swagger. Those were the days she was barely alive. Even on those days, she found something nice to say to me, despite the fact that i sometimes pretended to not hear them.
What the hell is wrong with me? She deserved my fucking hugs. She deserved her shiny new glasses to be pointed out and complimented; they were the only thing she was proud of.
I hug people i secretly despise. Walking down the street, or at a show...seeing old friends from my past who squeal with glee when they see me because it's just been soooooo long!
It takes too much effort to explain why i think their life of parties powders and pills is soooooo yesterday so i usually just one arm hug them and get on with my merry little life. In the past, all of the ex boyfriends who fucked with my head and fucked with my heart and fucked with my soul, i clung to them like a Titanic survivor clinging to a lifeboat. People who smile to my face and stab me in the spine...yup, i hugged them too.
The one who maybe just needed a little eye contact or reassurance, or that one last hug...
i didn't hug.
So, the life lesson learned here is that life is short, we all die, if we choose not to die, then we also are granted the choice to choose how to live.
I want to live with peace and honesty and freedom. I want to own my choices, and decisions. I want to make choices and decisions that make others' lives better as a result. I don't want to be a sad broken doll, or damaged goods. I want to see in myself, and in others that sometimes, the damage is sometimes worth a lot more than that which has never needed a little fixing.
i'm going to eat grapes now.
tra la laaa.