I appear to have more journals than names, which is quite remarkable considering I have a fair few names. It’s not even a new thing, for decades I’ve had a near pathological inability to feel, let alone be, whole. Instead I open little cyber pockets to deposit parts of myself in for fear of losing them. It all boils down to the fact that essentially I have no idea of who I am. This isn’t a woe is me motherhood has stolen my identity ditty, if anything motherhood has at least given me something, if not someone, to be; a mother. I’ve been so many people I’ve lost count in some bid to pick one of the many voices to silence the others. It never works though, not for long. It’s like having a wardrobe full of dresses that you keep trying on yet none fit, not properly. So it’s the choice between that or nothingness.
It’s not the aching harrowing nothingness of depression, I should know I have that too. This is an absence of I. A genuine lack of self.
I can describe myself so far as physically. Inside though, I’m faceless. I can tell you I like vampires, and books and penguins. Beyond that? It’s just negative space.
Sometimes I’ll wake up and put on a new outfit, a new me. I’ll be full of purpose and identity. I am Eliza, I’m going to dress like this, have my hair like that, I’ll plan to study x or be a y. I’ll be a student or an entrepreneur. It feels good, I’m someone. I’m actually going to be someone. I’m full of plans and the sketch of myself in my head begins to fill out. Then it all falls apart because it was never real. It was just another badly fitting personality on a hanger in the wardrobe. Sometimes you won’t know they’re pinching here, or too loose there and you think it’s me, you think you’re seeing me. You’re not though, because there is no me.
I look back to my past and wonder, was that me? I quite liked parts of her. Maybe it was just my most successful attempt at being me to date. She unravelled at the seams too. They all do. They’re just sweatshop personalities.
I have no friends. That sounds terribly emo and pathetic doesn’t it? It’s actually true though. I’ve never found friendship easy. Ever. I fall into friendship as I do into love, too hard and always end up with scabbed knees. Friendship is exhausting as it forces me into someone. I can only describe it as trying on a dress that’s too small and someone offers to zip it up for you, yet once fastened it jams. It’s too tight but the zipper won’t unzip. I can’t breath so I rely on your oxygen. I am a flame yet without you I face being extinguished. I am the flame yet it Is I that gets burnt. I make you a part of me and then when you leave me for even a second the hurt is insurmountable. I hate you. I hate me. I’m a rock. I’m cold. Impenetrable and falling.
It’s your fault.
But worse, It’s my fault that it’s your fault.
You disappear and the dress unravels.
I’m nobody. Staring at all the different me’s in the wardrobe.
My soul is naked.
Who am I supposed to be now?
So I keep myself away.
Away from you.
Away from me.
I lost the key to the door I locked.
To stop you getting in.
This loneliness is excruciating.
The emptiness, of having no self is .
I just wish I knew who I am. What does she look like? How does she feel? What does she like? and want?