When I look back on my writing from that time it fucking kills me. It’s so constrained, so limited, so desperate and terrified that it doesn’t even think it has the right to struggle. I want it to never exist, or I want to fix it because it feels broken and terrible and I am ashamed I ever produced something so false. I hate that it is this terrible, broken, contrived pile of bullshit, and that it is actually the most accurate representation of who I was as the time. I want to tear it to bits and put it back together, because it feels so out of place and wrong, like I’m wrong; I was wrong. But emotions aren’t wrong, and people aren’t wrong, they just are. So I am left with a moral and philosophical conundrum as both an artist and a human being. My work from that time is honest in that it reflects my desperate and obviously futile attempts to convince myself and everyone else that I had my shit together; it is the most accurate depiction of my lies. So the art in itself is a lie, but it exposes the truth of whom I was so desperately trying to hide. Do I leave it? Do I change it? Do I leave a disclaimer? I want to apologize for the monstrosities I’ve created. I don’t want someone to read these pieces and say, “Oh, but it’s beautiful!” because it is heinous to me. I don’t want it to resonate with anyone because every single note of that sick song is a ruse. I don’t want anyone to fall in love with it because I don’t want such a false thing to be shown such a true emotion. I don’t want any of it to have ever existed, but it did. And it still does. I don’t want to have been such a false and hidden and twisted thing, but I was. And this terribly true and entirely false collection of emotions is the only tangible evidence of that. It is a lie, and a truth. I hate it. I hate this piece of my past, and I hate everything and everyone associated with it. And by that last statement, I also hate the idea of forgiveness and the idea that I could ever let go of that pain and the person at the core of it, but I also hate that it eats a hole in me every day and makes me question every single thing I do. Every single thing. I want to be alive without feeling like I need to apologize for wanting to be so. I want to breathe in the same room as people who are different from me without wondering if it is my moral imperative to think I’m superior. I want to feel like – I want to BE, a complete person, and this pain has been a part of me for so long that I don’t know if I could withstand letting it go. No, it’s not that I wonder if I could handle it, it’s just the prospect of cutting so much out of my norm is terrifying. And it’s all irrational, but all the more real-feeling for being so. What if I fill the cavity with something just as, if not more, sinister? That’s what happened in the first place, I didn’t know that letting one person in would be so astronomically destructive. I don’t completely trust my judgment, and I don’t know if I could stand being so intimate with something, someone, so poisonous. And would I recognize it as such before I died to myself again?
And I’ve been working on cutting out the small daily reminders of that time – stickers, pictures, clothes, even related people – so that I might find more peace. And I also have to wonder, is it making me stronger? If I can’t ever stand to be in the same vicinity as any tiny reminder of that time, how do I ever expect to forgive him? To not be rattled by my memories? To look at my past calmly and nod to reality? But I suppose you don’t build callouses without some healing time in between the pain.
I suppose this is why people need God’s grace. People tend to be pretty pitiful examples of wise, collected individuals when left to their own devices, and the only thing bigger than an existential crisis is the one who made existence a thing in the first place.