Inbetweeners: Rules

Note: This is a part of a small collection of short pieces written when I couldn’t decipher what emotion I was feeling. There I found the “in-between.” These pieces were written quickly when my brain needed an outlet and then lightly edited later.

I’m ashamed at the raw sting I feel under my eyes. It’s the second time I’ve cried in my car this week, and I’m frantically drying my eyes just in case someone looks over at me as we wait for the green light.

They probably won’t, but the “if” looms large in my mind.

I’ve trained myself to swallow my anxiety tears unless I’m in

1.) the shower,

2.) my office’s bathroom (only if it’s empty),

3.) a stairwell (it also has to be empty),

4.) my bed,

5.) or my car.

Part of my training has been tied to spending time on my makeup and scolding myself into not ruining it. I’ve broken this rule a few times when the panic attack makes me forget all of that, and I’ve cried in

1.) Dobb’s dining hall at Mizzou (RIP),

2.) the hall coordinator office at Jones (also RIP),

3.) outside of Ri Ra in Midtown,

4.) in the bus on the way to Delta Chi formal,

5.) and a Waffle House.

I hate crying almost more than I hate vomiting (which always makes me cry). Sadness (anxiety-induced or not) has been something I’ve always struggled with emoting. I feel constant guilt because my tears might as well be over spilt milk compared to the problems of others/the world.

My brain is sneaky enough to make me feel shitty about feeling shitty.

Sometimes Sunday Scaries turn into Monday Bad Moods that last all week. Sometimes a pang of despair hits the bottom of my stomach so quick that I’m numb for a second and then it’s like nothing happened. Sometimes hormones activate the tightness in my chest and the feelings I’ve tried to forget.

But most of the time I try to follow my rules. Most of the time I don’t feel the salty sting under my eyes. Most of the time the little happies hush the sads (if not for at least a little bit). Most of the time I know better.

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In-betweeners: Silence

Note: This is a part of a small collection of short pieces written when I couldn’t decipher what emotion I was feeling. There I found the “in-between.” These pieces were written quickly when my brain needed an outlet and then lightly edited later.

It’s funny how even the loudest people can find themselves stuck in silence while their body is screaming.

When hands you don’t want are creeping at and under your waistline, when a face is inches away from yours, trying to transfer the poison from their lips to yours.

All the while, two sleeping beings are the thing keeping you from doing more than pushing until he walks away. A shocked silence that is dripping in confusion.

A silence that I’ve shamed myself for more than I would like.

I’ve wanted to break the silence, shatter it with even the dullest of knives, only slightly placing blame. I wanted to mutter something to the mutual friends that would probably easily sweep up the shards of the truth right under the rug.

But I swallowed the sharp edges. “I stopped him before it was really something,” I’ve convinced myself. “I was lucky.”

But it has rarely felt like four-leaf clovers and jackpots at the end of rainbows when the silence is sometimes still ringing in my ears, my brain still trying to urge my throat to emit some noise, any noise.

I know I am not alone in this silence, but that doesn’t really comfort me. It just proves that my peers and I aren’t the only ones that need to open our mouths. We shouldn’t feel the full burden of the silence, yet it weighs on us heavier than the hands and bodies that gave it to us.

No matter how we carry it, we must know that we are strong. Let that be the push to hopefully one day free us.

Although I thought that silence weakened me, I refuse to let it keep me quiet.

In-betweeners: Sickly Sweet

Note: This is a part of a small collection of short pieces written when I couldn’t decipher what emotion I was feeling. There I found the “in-between.” These pieces were written in haste and then lightly edited later.

It’s funny how easily we push away the goodness that we truly deserve.

We taste the sweetness of genuine affection, appreciation and respect and grow to think that it’s only a treat.

A treat that we can’t have a lot or else it will make us sick.

But instead, your brain is already ill and develops a taste for something much worse for you in place of that “treat.” It’s an addiction to poison but you’ve tricked yourself into thinking it’s good for you.

You’re too numb to notice it’s not.