September 30th, 2020
Country: United States
August 14, 2018
09/26/2020 11:48 PM
“Do you have anything to say?”
Swallow it back, even if it hurts; even if it burns the entire way down, swallow it back. Sitting in the passenger’s seat, staring out the window, Casey is guilty as charged and he and his mother both know it. There’s nothing to say; there’s no defense, or at least not one she’d buy into. She seems to be having fun playing the victim -- the mother in distress over her wayward son.
She’s shaking her head. She says she can’t believe he’d embarrass her like that, but really, she’s mad Casey ruined her date. “Casey?”
“No, I have nothing to say.”
“You’re damn lucky you weren’t expelled, you know.”
“No, you’re lucky I’m not expelled. I really don’t care.”
“You don’t care that I have to take time off work to watch you?”
“Not really.” Casey shrugs, folding his arms.
“I don’t get paid for that, you know. That’s dinner.”
“No one said you have to watch me.” Casey rolls his eyes, shaking his head before returning his focus on the window. He’d never admit it, but the idea of spending three days at home with Jennifer genuinely terrifies him. “You act like I did it just to mess with you.”
“Sure as hell feels like it sometimes when every time I turn around, you’re getting into trouble. Fighting, really?”
“Ch'yeah, I totally pick a fight and lose ‘cause I know it’s gonna piss you off. You’re totally right.”
“Jesus Christ, Casey…” Jennifer rolls her eyes. “You done?”
“Unbelievable.” Jennifer shakes her head. “You know, I really don’t know why you hate me so much…”
At that, Casey’s jaw tenses, a burning sensation ignited in his chest, spreading outward. Either she’s playing dumb or she really doesn’t get it, and he can’t figure out which is worse. “I could honestly ask you that same thing.”
09/05/2020 12:22 PM
drabble; fresh wounds.
[ A little continuation from this piece here. ]
Neither can brave the house, nor can they break the silence as they sit together on the front porch. Their house is no longer theirs, no longer a place he even recognizes, yet he knows he’s supposed to be gathering his things from inside. While the mission is clear, it’s not exactly simple.
He takes a long drag from his cigarette, stalling.
Sarah stares out into the street with tears in her eyes, and while he’d usually reach out to brush them away, she’s off limits. An invisible barrier, composed purely of grief and spite, both separates them and simultaneously unites them. How is it possible that they’re so intertwined in some ways, yet worlds apart in others?
He can't stay away from her, or ignore her when she calls on him, despite everything that happened. “I didn't think you were gonna come.” Sarah finally breaks the silence.
“I didn't want to.”
“So why did you?”
Casey shakes his head. The hope of normalcy was too much for him to ignore, but normalcy has become his phantom limb, severed, yet he can still feel it there. He still clings to it in spite of its absence. “I wanted my stuff,” he teases. It's too much to explain and he already feels silly enough.
“Wow. I’m sure tabloids would have a field day with this if they saw this, huh?” Sarah tries to joke, pulling her knee closer to her chest, wiping her face.
Casey rolls his eyes. “Ch’yeah… not like they aren’t probably already…”
“Yeah…” Sarah bites her lip. “Sorry.”
Casey shakes his head. “I deserve it.”
She doesn’t say anything. They go back to staring into the street, watching cars pass. Casey tosses his cigarette and prepares to stand up so he can finally start packing, but Sarah’s voice calls him back. “I hate you…”
His eyebrows furrow. It feels like something’s caught in his throat.
“I think you’re such an a**hole for what you did, but… I wish you’d stay…” She scoffs at herself. “I know it’s weird right now -- I mean, you have Christian anyway, but I don’t want you to leave.”
Casey stares at her, his lips pursed together. He neither has the heart nor ego to tell her he and Christian broke up too. He doesn’t think she’ll care anyway, and in fact, she might find satisfaction in it.
“We both know I can’t stay.”
“Because of him,” Sarah assumes.
“Because I can’t, Sarah.”
They both stand at the same time.
“Sorry. You probably think I’m a total idiot, huh?” Sarah whispers, folding her arms over her stomach.
He shakes his head slowly, running his fingers through his hair, a heavy sigh through his nose. “I don’t think that at all…”
“Well, I think I am… you obviously don’t love me, you proved that, but I wish you still did.” Sarah takes a few steps closer, leaning her head on Casey’s shoulder, causing him to freeze.There’s a small part of him that suspects she’ll punch him in the gut next, but she doesn’t. Neither of them move.
Time stands still. His whole body is about to double over in pain.
“I wish we could just pretend for a bit that none of this was going on,” Sarah mutters into his shoulder.
How many times has he said those exact words, but not to her? How many times had he leaned against Christian and asked him not to talk about it?
Hold me, and forget the black eye.
That’s not a part of my life that exists right now.
And yet, when faced with the same request, he can’t do it. The thought of pretending -- the thought of hanging on, of desperately grasping at such frail strings, has him sick to his stomach.
Casey takes a step back, shaking his head. “I need to go.”
“No, I really need to go.” Casey holds a hand out as he makes his way down the steps, though he softens when their eyes meet. As messed up and sick as he is, he can’t even imagine what it’s like to be her.
While he softens, Sarah’s face turns to stone. She shakes her head, looking away from him. The tears from earlier return, making tracks down her cheeks once again. “Go ahead then.”
“I’m sorry. Let’s talk some other time, okay?”
“Whatever, just get out of here, Casey.” Sarah starts back up the steps. “Eventually, you’re gonna have to come get your crap before I throw it out.”
“I know.” Casey finally turns his back on her and starts toward the car. The front door slams just behind him, loud enough to make his ears ring.
Sarah would never believe it, and he doesn’t have the heart to say it, but he wishes he could forget about it all too.
08/16/2020 02:49 PM
drabble; cold shoulder.
[ Christian’s POV. ]
“I almost thought you were never gonna talk to me again,” Christian teased.
He didn’t get much reaction. Casey just continued loading equipment into a large truck, his face entirely flat. “Kinda hard to work together if we don’t talk, right?” He mused, then turned his back entirely to load in another case.
Things were weird and Christian knew very well why. The tour, while wildly successful from an outsider’s standpoint, had been an endless supply of confusion and awkwardness, and Casey -- rather than face it apparently -- had chosen to give him the cold shoulder while attempting to process it. Christian wanted to understand; he wanted to give him his space, but he wasn’t keen on being treated like an enemy.
“Dude, what the hell?” He finally snapped, reaching out to grab Casey’s shoulder. “Casey --.”
“Don’t!” Casey smacked his hand away, but as quickly as his flame erupted, it simmered down and he receded a few steps back, running his fingers through his hair. “Don’t, okay?”
Christian backed off, but couldn’t bring himself to drop it entirely. “What’s your problem?”
“What do you think?” Casey leaned his back on the truck, folding his arms over his stomach -- as if to put as much of a barrier as possible between them. How was it so easy for him to block himself off when Christian couldn’t stay away from him? He caught Casey’s eyes starting to glaze over just before he looked away. “This whole thing is f***ed up, dude, you know it is…”
“Hell yeah it’s f***ed up, but it was both of us who did it, not just me, so I wish you’d quit treating me like I’m some kinda creeper or something.”
Casey shook his head, rolling his eyes. His sass made Christian laugh most of the time, but when it was turned on him, it was infuriating.
“I told you we should talk about it, and you said you didn’t wanna think about it anymore, and that you just wanted to forget home for a bit,” Christian pointed out. “I didn’t think that meant you were just gonna blow me off forever.”
“I told you I needed some space, I don’t know why you’re acting all surprised right now.”
“Space is one thing, being cold is another.”
Casey shook his head again.
“I don’t like feeling like I was just a distraction to you and literally nothing else.” Christian admitted. “And I definitely don’t wanna feel like you think I was making you do anything.”
“I don’t feel that way at all…” Casey muttered. “I don’t feel that way at all and that’s the problem, so I need to like… stay away from you for a minute.”
“That’s what you want?” Why did that hurt so much, even though he knew it?
Casey scoffed a little. “No, it’s not what I want…” He came in closer finally, and though he didn’t unfold his arms, he leaned his forehead on Christian’s shoulder. “It’s REALLY not what I want, but you’re right, I need to figure this sh*t out.”
Christian wanted to bring his arms around him, but couldn’t bring himself to for fear of being shoved away again.
“Sorry, Chris.” Casey lifted his head. Finally, his arms unraveled, and he reached up to place a hand on Christian’s cheek. “I didn’t mean to get you involved like this. You weren’t just a distraction, and that’s exactly why I have to figure it out, okay?”
Christian nodded slowly. “I get you.”
“I hope so.” Casey lowered his hand, then turned to lock up the truck. Before walking off, he nudged Christian’s arm. “It really wasn’t meaningless to me, okay?”
Christian couldn’t help but smile. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t meaningless to me either.”
“You always said I was a trouble-maker, right?” Casey smiled back, rolling his eyes. “C’mon, we gotta go.”
Christian watched as Casey took off toward their group. He was able to turn it off like their conversation never happened, and even start laughing with Jacob, but Christian wasn’t so sure he could do the same. He’d said back in the hotel room that Casey should figure it out without thinking about what he might do if the outcome wasn’t in his favor -- without thinking of losing him. If he’d known, he might have savored the night more, though he instantly spited himself for thinking that.
Maybe he needed to sort some things out too.
08/16/2020 01:21 PM
- - -
Casey couldn’t wrap his head around it -- how in just a few weeks, they seemed to lose everything. Maybe not in a monetary sense. They had their house. They still had their careers and all the notoriety that came with them, but none of it was enough. How could they go from smiling and celebrating and talking about the future one month, to not even being able to look at each other the next?
Casey sat at the piano, staring at the wall. He had started to play, but it all sounded too dreary. His mind just wouldn’t go anywhere else. It couldn’t be pushed to optimism even for the sake of a lousy song that might make him feel a little better.
“Why’d you stop?”
Sarah stood behind him, shoulder leaned on the wall leading into the living room. They hadn’t talked in days, and the last time they did, it was a mistake; but she was more docile standing there. Even if she wanted to yell, she didn’t look strong enough.
Casey pursed his lips together, breathing deeply through his nose. “It wasn’t really coming out right.”
“I thought it was nice.” Sarah came over to the bench, running her fingers through his hair, sweeping it off his forehead. “You haven’t slept, have you?”
Casey gave a faint smile. “You should be resting, not worrying about me.”
“That’s a no.” Sarah sat beside him, doddling idly across the piano keys. “I haven’t been able to play anything.”
Casey used his left hand to play alongside her, but stopped when she did. “Give yourself time.”
“I wish it was as easy for me as it is for you.”
“You think it’s easy for me?” Casey’s eyebrows knit together. “Because I don’t.”
Sarah leaned her head on his shoulder. “Easier. You can at least TRY to play.”
“Everyone’s different, Sarah. When I was growing up, this was all I had, you know? So it’s my go-to. I’m doing what I’ve always done, but it’s not YOUR go-to.”
“I’m sorry for yelling at you the other day…” Sarah trailed off. She always did that, but Casey knew later on, they’d come back to it -- once she had an answer prepared. “I didn’t mean to get like that.”
“It’s fine.” Casey shook his head before leaning it on top of hers and shutting his eyes. He’d have stayed in that moment forever; it was the first time in days, weeks even, that they’d come in contact with anything close to peace. “Just… remember that we’re in this together, okay? I’m on your side.”
08/16/2020 01:21 PM
blog post; normalcy.
BLOG POST | normalcy.
Hello. Been awhile. Maybe a little too long, eh? Enough time for people to start worrying and speculating, but I promise I’m okay!
I’ve been thinking a lot about normalcy the last few weeks -- about how, in all this, I keep saying “when things are back to normal” but what is normal? In my life, normal has never really existed. My childhood was not unheard of, but definitely atypical. My career, my marriage, and even my own struggle now with sobriety and mental health ( let’s not even mention my sleep schedule, that's for another blog… ). If I were to define MY normal, I would say that it’s absolute chaos.
I’m used to unpredictability, to survival, to erratic schedules and erratic relationships. So, I guess, the “normal” I’m dreaming of when this is all said and done is not one I’m even very familiar with.
The “normalcy” I’m referring to is actually just stability? But the thought of that almost scares me a little. In a weird way, I think chaos has become my security blanket, and when I’m unsure of things, I run to it, because it’s what I know. It’s what I do. It’s… Casey? So, how do you break out of that and redefine yourself without feeling like you’ve lost what makes you, you? Without this chaos, who am I?
Maybe I’ve grown a little too comfortable in my disheveled persona, and maybe that’s why this has been such a roller coaster for me. I know -- boo hoo, woe is me, right?
I’m still moving forward the best I can. The last few weeks haven’t been easy ones. I’ve seen all your Tweets/messages/etc. about my trip to Vegas. Please don’t worry, I’ll be okay. We’re excited about our next event for AMT, as well as some details about our upcoming album ( we’ve teased about it long enough, we know ), and with a new album of course comes a new tour. Stay tuned!
For those who need it, my comment section and inbox are always open for you to discuss anything and find someone who might be struggling in the same way you are. They’re a safe space to find support, comfort or anything else. I can’t promise that I, myself, will be able to respond to EVERYTHING, but I’ll do the best I can. Thanks for reading.
’Til next time.
08/16/2020 01:20 PM
drabble; i wish.
A signature, a name, a handshake, a thank you, repeat. Signature, name, handshake, thank you, repeat. After so many times, you begin to work yourself into some kind of groove, or maybe even a trance, or another dimension in which it’s the only thing required of you. Faces are mostly unfamiliar and even blurry, though there are a few you come to recognize as they travel from show to show.
Most of the conversations run together, save for a few questions that spice things up a little, and in most cases, put a smile on your face. A girl wants you to talk to her friend on the phone. Someone makes you something really amazing that you and your merch team never thought of. A birthday card. Flowers. Snacks they heard you mention in an interview a thousand years ago.
Most of the time, signings are my favorite part of the job. They’re my favorite until they aren’t -- until something catches me so off-guard, I literally hear tires screeching in the back of my head.
The tour had been difficult (that’s putting it nicely). It was my bright idea to bring Sarah along with us in the hopes that maybe a little time away from home might lift both our spirits, but all it really did was expose the Hell we’d been living in to everyone close to us. I was sure whoever was unfortunate enough to occupy the rooms on either side of us hated our guts, but they could have never hated me as much as I hated me -- as much as I hated her.
“Did you fall down again?” Was the question that yanked me out of my trance, dragging me back to reality by a rusty hook. I could feel the pain of it deep in my chest, but I couldn’t say anything. This wasn’t like the time I drunkenly asked my friend to punch me. It wasn’t like the hundred times I busted my ass on stage before. “Someone’s gotta wrap you in bubble wrap or something.”
I should have laughed and gone along with it like everyone else was, and in my head, I was screaming at myself. It wasn’t the joke that was unexpected, but my inability to process it, brush it off like nothing, lie -- literally anything but sit there staring. I really was losing it, wasn’t I? Faster than I could scrounge up something to say, my eyes started watering. My mouth hung open. I saw the girl look back at her friend for some kind of reassurance, or maybe distraction.
I got a sudden mental image of me stalling Sarah in a rampage long enough to guard myself in bubble wrap. She was off somewhere else with her friend, but if she’d been nearby and heard it, I wondered if she'd have frozen over like I had. The staggering absence of normalcy between us finally bled into every single aspect of our lives, even our designated safe spaces, our getaways.
I wished I never invited her. I wished it really had been another instance of me being the band klutz.
I wished I could speak.
A hand on my shoulder finally snapped me out of it. Jacob was looking at me with his eyebrows furrowed, mouthing “you okay?” but I couldn’t readily answer him either. Not at all. I looked at the girl again. She was flustered too, bright red, looking like she wanted to get the Hell away from me, but I still had her CD. I shook my head, took a deep breath and picked up the marker after what felt like hours to me, so I couldn’t imagine what it felt like for her.
“Sorry. What was your name, did you tell me already?”
“It's Alaina. Um... sorry.”
“Please don’t be.” I handed the CD back, trying to smile, but it was glaringly obvious the encounter was ruined for both of us. What was wrong with me? “Thank you for your concern. I’ll have to look into the bubble wrap thing.”
I was really losing it, wasn’t I?
08/16/2020 01:20 PM
drabble; we're not friends.
“You’re not gonna eat that either?”
The question came after a long, infuriating silence, in which Casey and their new house guest spent staring each other down from across the table (mostly Casey, Ben seemed rather oblivious). The constant mental image of Ben wandering the apartment in a towel, using his toothbrush as if he lived there was enough to kill Casey’s appetite for the next five years. It was as if he were slowly trying to shove Casey out, down to taking over his possessions.
Apparently Wanda never mentioned his little stunt at the corner store. That, or Jennifer didn’t care, since he got caught anyway, the toothbrush conundrum going unsolved until he felt like bringing it up, which he didn’t. In the back of his mind, he contemplated waiting it out for awhile. A two-dollar toothbrush wouldn’t phase her, but an enormous dentist bill for her kid’s rotting teeth might do the trick.
“When did you start hating my cooking so bad?” Jennifer went on. She was trying Casey’s patience with her Visiting Jennifer act, and even more annoying, Ben was buying into it. He was smiling.
Ben injected himself into the conversation with an ear-piercing laugh without even swallowing his food, smushing Casey further into silence, pushing him out little by little. “My little girl used to be like that too. One week, she loved broccoli, the next we couldn’t even have it in the house. Asked for lasagna every night, then decided she was a vegetarian on a whim. At twelve!”
“He’s not suddenly vegetarian, he’s just being a brat.” Jennifer rolled her eyes.
“Where is she now?” Casey finally piped up.
Ben’s eyebrows furrowed. “What do you mean?”
“Your little girl -- where is she? Shouldn’t you be hanging out with her?”
“Casey!” Jennifer snapped.
“I’m just asking. He keeps wanting me to talk so bad, that’s what I wanna talk about.”
Jennifer slammed the palm of her hand into the table, but quickly retracted when Ben started laughing again, halting both of them. “Whoooa, easy, now. You still upset about the toothbrush? I said I was sorry, kiddo, I thought it was an extra. I got you a new one.”
“I don’t care what you thought, you don’t live here. You can’t just walk around here in a towel, you can’t just use peoples’ stuff. Stop laughing!”
“Enough.” Jennifer held a hand up, then pointed at Ben. “Quit laughing at him. You, quit being a brat. Eat your dinner. Apparently it got taken care of, so just knock it off.”
Even though Ben stopped laughing, he was still grinning. He wanted to laugh and Casey could tell. To Ben, he was just a ridiculous kid throwing a tantrum. “It’s not funny,” he snapped. “It’s gross.”
“I wasn’t in my right mind,” Ben admitted. “A little too far on the booze, you got me. But hey, we can still be pals, right? I said sorry, I made it right.”
Casey shook his head, shoving his plate a few inches away from him and standing up. “We’re not gonna be friends.”
“Casey, really?” Jennifer glanced at Ben, then up at Casey. She looked more exhausted than furious. Part of him was satisfied to wear her down first when it was usually the other way around. “Do you have to embarrass me in front of everyone who comes to visit? You know what, no, never mind. Go to your room if you want to so bad.”
Sometime later, Casey found himself outside on the curb, knees pulled to his chest and chin leaned atop them as he watched cars pass back and forth along the street. He didn’t want to be inside where Jennifer and Ben were. Even having to hear them was making him sick. If he had the guts -- or maybe the energy -- he’d have run off and never looked back. How far did the sidewalk go? And the road after? And the road after that? How far could he make it before he passed out from exhaustion or worse?
What did he really have to lose?
“There you are.” Ben’s voice came from behind, but Casey didn’t look. “Your mom seems pretty convinced you ran off somewhere.”
“So, my kid lives out-of-state with her mom.” Ben came to sit beside him. Casey scooted an inch or so away to keep the gap between them as large as possible. “That’s what you wanted to know, right?”
Casey shrugged. “It doesn’t really matter anymore. I’d rather know why you thought it was cool to use a toothbrush in a random house.”
“Hey, like I said, wasn’t in my right mind. We all make mistakes, right?”
Casey didn’t trust the nice guy act. It was the same one every guy used before either hurting him personally or walking out without a trace. “Well, that’s a pretty big mistake.”
“I know. I didn’t know there was someone else in the house.”
What was worse -- the fact that Ben was drunk and decided to use his toothbrush? Or that Jennifer forgot to even mention he lived there, leading Ben to believe it was free game?
“Let’s start over, what do you say?” Ben proposed, holding out a hand, but Casey remained hugging his knees.
He shook his head slowly. “You should really just get out while you can, dude. Even if you don’t, we’re never gonna be friends.”
07/18/2020 02:08 PM
blog post; looking to the future.
BLOG POST | Looking to the future.
I’m sure in about a month’s time, you guys might be sick of seeing these, and maybe I’ll even get sick of writing them. But for now, here I am with another. I appreciate the kind responses to my last post. To everyone who left comments or even reached out personally, I appreciate it. To those who used it as a platform to speak about your own experiences, please keep doing that. Maybe together, we can create a small web of resources or support. If you find solace in that, then I do too.
This week’s been a little weird with everything being set into motion again after what feels like the longest, most obnoxious pause in the world. At the beginning of last week (not too long after my last post) I was diagnosed officially with clinical depression. Before I say another word, let me just clarify that me disclosing this isn’t an attempt to get myself off the hook for any mistakes. It’s not an attempt to garner sympathy or explain myself. It just is.
For me, it was equal parts terrifying and relieving. On one hand, there’s a whole list of steps that take place after this; on the other, I finally have something to reference and link back to. I finally have some clarity about what I’m going through and feeling -- what I have been going through and feeling for years now. Maybe this isn't the perfect analogy, but it's kinda like a name-to-a-face feeling.
The past couple months, if nothing else, have been extremely humbling. I think maybe I needed to be brought back down to Earth a bit, although I could have done without the crash landing. I have seen some people saying I’m faking it, or that I’ll go on this adventure again if I get into trouble again. That’s okay. I can’t control what other people think and I won’t waste the time convincing those who only wanna see one image of me. I regret a lot of the things I’ve done. I absolutely regret having to go through a lot of this twice because I screwed up the first time, but I can never regret being real.
Fake is something you’ll never get from me, even if it exposes something ugly from time to time. That being said, one thing those people are right about, is that this might not be the last ugly thing you see from me, and that’s okay. Because humans weren’t designed to be only beautiful and nothing else. They weren’t designed to be perfect and these necessary flaws help us learn from past mistakes, both individually and as an entire community. With all our broken pieces, we can create something both flawed AND beautiful together.
This has been the most difficult thing for me to learn. Anyone who knows me at all knows how worked up I get when something doesn’t go quite right in the studio, or the sound is off on stage. I’ve had to let go of a lot of that, and learn to embrace just going with the flow, and frankly, I still do a sh*tty job at that. Small steps.
Anyway, I kinda got off-track, so if you’ve made it through my tangent (or many tangents, honestly), I do have some exciting updates. I haven’t shut up about it, so most of you know the Summer Break Sessions are kicking back up on the 15th. I’m stoked to announce this will be the day we will have a date for the new EP, but even further than that, we will have some details on another new project that we think you’ll be pretty excited about.
I have also been working on growing a personal endeavor of mine that started years ago. If you’re familiar with Another Man’s Treasure and wonder whatever happened to it -- well, it’s undergone quite a revamp. I will have details to share on the 15th as well.
That’s it. I think I’ve rambled long enough now. If you chose to read this, I thank you. Can’t wait to see you all again.
07/18/2020 02:07 PM
blog post; purging thoughts.
BLOG POST | P u r g i n g T h o u g h t s
cw: suicide mention, alcohol/drugs, self-harm
Been awhile since I updated my blog, wow. A little over a month in recovery and purging thoughts. Maybe it’s a little self-righteous of me to talk about healing when I’m not totally healed myself, but make no mistake, I know this is scrambled and faulty. It’s by no means meant to be taken as professional advice, but merely perspective. It’s by no means a statement that I’m suddenly cured and feeling great, because that’s still pretty far from the case.
Is it selfish to mourn the loss of your own childhood when you finally figure out its gone? Is it stupid or naive that you actually didn’t even realize it’d been taken from you? Is there such a thing as empathy for the past self -- the self you’re no longer in touch with? Even further, is it possible to begin cherishing someone you’ve been very much trained to hate?
When I look back on past experiences, it almost feels like I’m thinking of a totally different person. And sometimes, I cry for him; I cry for that kid who was so badly damaged that he threw away any chance to make improvements because he didn’t believe he’d ever do any better.
I cry for the kid who took shelter on many nights in the bathroom of his apartment because it was the only place with a lock on the door. Who never knew how to trust anyone because everyone who came into his life either abandoned him or hurt him. And I cry because of him; because I barely remember BEING that kid (shout out to massive amounts of drugs and alcohol), but all his pain manifests in ways that have entirely crippled me even now. I cry because I hate him for not being strong enough to handle it all and that’s making it really hard for me now. Which then begins a whole other cycle of self-loathing over my tendency to sit here feeling sorry for myself, but that’s an issue for my therapist, not my blog.
Another funny thing about my past self, though, speaking vaguely of self-loathing, is there was once a time I was proud to be him. I knew I was tough and volatile, and I liked it. I liked having a reputation that kept everyone at an arm’s length, but didn’t realize at time I was actively sabotaging myself. Because if every single person is at an arm’s length, then who do you turn to when something bad happens?
You turn to things like drugs or alcohol or self-harm.
You cling to the comfort and safety of death because you know it’s the ultimate back-up plan. You know it’s the surefire painkiller when nothing else will work. And maybe all you really needed in the end was someone to talk to… maybe all you needed was for someone to say “tell me why you’re crying” instead of “stop.” And you needed them to say that before you were convinced it wasn’t allowed or was inconvenient or annoying.
The biggest thing for me has been accepting that it’s not embarrassing to need help. It’s not weak or inconvenient to acknowledge pain when you’ve been hurt. For more of my life than I care to admit, I thought I was invincible. I thought I WAS strong for everything I’d been through, and my recklessness was a symbol of the fearlessness I’d earned having made it through a life that was far less than ideal. My recklessness was nothing to be proud of; it was nothing more than a mask. Because if you intimidate people with outrageous-ness, they might stay away from you. Because if people think you aren’t afraid to die, then they won’t try and mess with you, right?
I hid much of myself behind that shield, and avoided thinking about it with every numbing substance I could possibly get my hands on. And that screwed me out of a lot of opportunities (case in point, my entire time on Talent!) but it also protected me. Which then begs a lot of questions about how to turn your back on something that’s kept you safe for YEARS. How do you learn to resent the only thing you took solace in? Well, I’m still figuring that one out. Obviously.
This experience has been anything but perfect. And despite all my talk about crying (blah), I can at least say I’m much better than where I was. Days where I wake up thinking there’s no possible way I can even get out of bed are few and far between right now. I have a killer support system who keeps me in check when I need it. Most of all, I have a new-found feeling of actually deserving to recover, and the realization that the kid I hate so much deserved it too…
I keep that kid in my heart because in a weird, probably a little narcissistic way, he reminds me of empathy and humanity. He reminds me that it is possible to recover.
I’m moving forward with a much clearer head, and doing everything I can to keep it that way. I might screw up still. Next week, I could decide to completely trash this, but that’s something to realize too. Healing isn’t linear and it absolutely is not always uplifting like this either (I'd venture to say this scenario is actually rare, at least in this stage). You take the good with the bad.
That’s all I have to say for now.
For all of you that have stuck by me even while you watched me light my entire life on fire via social media (embarrassing, I know), thank you. To those who offered encouragement even when I tried and failed the first time, thank you too. And to those who maybe, possible, saw all of this and learned from it, I hope you realize one day that you deserve to recover too, no matter what you’ve done, or what people have convinced you of. You deserve to have some empathy for yourself.
07/18/2020 02:02 PM
drabble; if you lose a limb, 3.
one | two | three
If you lose a limb, it’s possible to reattach it if you get help in time. That being said, even if it appears salvageable at first, the tissue can still rot after reattachment, resulting in an amputation despite the effort. That was what Sarah and I had become; and Christian had become my crutch, or my prosthetic. I know there’s something in there about phantom pains too. Maybe that was why my chest hurt so bad. Maybe that was why I felt physically sick when faced with the prospect of losing Sarah, even though I had Christian.
“Date didn’t go so well, huh?” He asked.
We sat together on the porch outside his house. He still had some friends over drinking, but I didn’t really want to see them. “I’m just… lost right now.”
“It’s ‘cause you won’t decide what to do, bud.”
“Okay, this isn’t lecture time.”
“Okay, but it can’t always be Casey Sulking With No Solution time either. That’s clearly not working.”
I rolled my eyes. He was right.
“Eventually, you really are gonna have to decide what you wanna do. If you wanna fix things with her, tell me to get lost, but if you don’t, you can’t just leave her hanging, or then what? You both just live together and never talk? Just pretend nothing’s going on?”
Christian leaned in a little closer to me, kissing my temple. I crumbled into him. How did he always get me like that? “Listen, I wanna be what helps you forget, but even more than that, I wanna be what helps you break away if you want to. What I’m not gonna do is stand by while you drift back and forth between us. It’s gonna cause problems if she finds out before you tell her.”
“I don’t wanna do it anymore,” I admitted. “Any of this -- the sneaking around, the fighting with her, I just wanna be done with it. I don’t know why I keep hanging on.”
“Because you hate change.” Christian teased me. “You always have.”
I scoffed through my nose.
“Why don’t you come in? You don’t have to talk to anyone, we’ll just hang out, okay?”
“Sure, just…” I started to pick myself back up, moving away so I could look at him. “No more Sarah talk right now, okay?”
“I don’t want you to keep pushing that off,” he said, but he was smiling at least. For some reason he was taking pity on me, but I knew I didn’t really deserve that. “But for right now, let’s just enjoy the night.”
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