30 June 2009

Existential Exhaustion

Here is the thing; I am tired.
Like, bone-deep exhaustion tired. I am tired of being dependable.
Tired of being someone who takes on all the responsibility for things, even when other people offer, tired of the accompanying guilt when I falter under the weight of that responsibility, or when I allow people to take one some of that responsibility and they struggle.
I am tired of being seen as dependable and smart and, therefore, intimidating.
I am tired, so existentially tired, of being constrained by other’s conceptions of who I am, of what I am, of who I should be.
I am tired of keeping all my crazy, less-than-dependable, less-than-nice thoughts to myself.
I am tired of being alone, of being the person that people depend on and the dull, endless ache of missing the one person I could always depend on, who would always be there for me.
I am tired of the guilt of feeling I somehow failed her, the stupid, ridiculous guilt of thinking I somehow should have been able to save her or to at least make it not so hard, not so painful, not so ugly and awful.
I am tired of being so consumed with my own pain that I don’t have the energy to get to know all the women I am now responsible for.
I am tired of not knowing how to help myself and thus unable to help them.
I am tired of feeling like every part of my life that truly matters is one epic failure after another.
I am tired of lying in bed not being able to sleep because my brain is full of worry and fear.
I am tired of waking up exhausted, of falling asleep in the middle of the day and having vampire dreams.
I am tired of being intimidated by life, by the unknown, by the idea that I am set up to fail.
I am tired of not being the girl I remember, the girl who would spin around in her Wonder Woman Underoos thinking she could conquer the world. The girl who could confidently pose in her Teela and She-Ra costumes and mean it. The girl who didn’t yet know that when people told her she was smart and strong and responsible it wasn’t a compliment; it was a sentence to being given more work, more responsibility, more to do. The girl who hadn’t yet realized that Wonder Woman and Teela and She-Ra and all the smart, confident, strong women she loved to pretend to be were alone, left to save their worlds by themselves. That such women were branded ‘intimidating’ and to have any sort of life outside their strong, confident, world-saving selves had to create cover identities in which they pretended to be less-than and that only then would they have friends, but not really because they weren’t who they really were. They were who people wanted them to be.
I am tired of not knowing how to be that girl anymore, of saying yes when I desperately want to say no and saying no when I should say yes.
I am tired of putting off finding how to be that girl.
So I am going to take some time to myself, to figure out things I should have figured out a long time ago. Which means I might not be around for a while and I might not answer phone calls and I might not be the person you are used to.
But I’ll be fine. Because I am always fine.


Katie said...

I'm sorry life is so hard and crappy sometimes. I love you. Take all the time you need.

panini said...

sounds like a wonderfully worthy pursuit!

esperanza said...

I think this is one of my most beautiful and true posts I have read.

Nemesis said...

Hey. You do what you need to. Sounds like it's been a long time coming.

katharine said...

i'm tired too.

i hope you find the kind of rest you need.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Except whe you aren't fine.

WalkConkies said...

Even wonder woman needs a break sometimes!!! Love ya!

The Ringmaster said...

Take all the time you need and know that the circus characters and I are here if you need anything.
As a really good friend told me once, "you have arrived at a grand place. You can become more fully [you] and you will be happier and more fulfilled. God will watch over you during this incredible transition time. . . .this is an opportunity to become better than you were before."
Get some rest, indulge in your favorite things and do what you can to turn off - or at least muffle - the voices in your head.
I love you!

Treat Queen said...

You're post reminded me of a quote from The Incredibles.

"No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved, you know? For a little bit. I feel like the maid. ''I just cleaned up this mess. Can we keep it clean for ten minutes?'' "

Heather said...

I'm actually prayerful in my response to you. I never know exactly what to say. Words probably aren't the right thing.. but I'm going to attempt them anyway.

My heart is absolutely broken for you right now. Tears. I can't understand exactly the hurt you are feeling, but I know it is very, very deep.

And I have to tell you that I know without a doubt that you did not fail her. I hope that deep down you can let yourself believe that. She is so very proud of you for everything you are. And I'm so so sorry that you have to miss her so much. I can't tell you how sorry.

I know you want to be left alone, but I wish I could come over and play with you. We could watch Mickey Mouse Club and Kids Incorporated (or Buffy) and play with each other's hair :) If there was anything I could say or do to give you comfort I would do it. I really would.

You will be in my prayers even more than before. And I put your name in the temple when I was in Nauvoo last weekend. I hope you find what you need and come back to us soon.

Big bear hugs.

ZB said...


I get it. At least some of it in different ways I'm sure.

I get that feeling of losing your true authentic self and wondering what it is that you've accepted in life that you never dreamed you would. I guess we're supposed to change and lose a bit of ourselves in the refining process--hopefully the things that we leave behind are things that good for us to change. And hopefully the Lord fills the holes with what we need.

From experience, I can tell you that there isn't a single person on earth that can fill the "one reliable person" category. I know that sounds cynical, I don't mean it to be. I guess that's why the scriptures talk about putting our trust in God and not in flesh. But the beauty is that I also know from experience that if we put our trust in God that that is the ONE relationship we can give ourselves to freely, without reservation. Hopefully that thought brings you peace like it does me.

So, there you have it. I am not going to say anything else. You know where to get the answers and that's all any of us needs.

HY thanks you for the e-birthday card. He thought it was hilarious. Thanks for always remembering him.

chosha said...

What STM said. I hope you can work out the things you need to work out. I hope you can learn how to say 'no' to new responsibilities and really understand that you don't need to feel guilty about it. I hope you know it's okay not to be fine all the time.

And it might sound silly, but can I recommend comedy? When I'm really stressed or sad (or both) that break from it all is so valuable, just to laugh and not think for a while.

Rae said...

Hey Babe, I know it's a week late and not near enough, but know that no matter what-there's a place you can always be you. And, as much as I hate it when I hear this, this time it's true-I UNDERSTAND! June really sucked huh? Give me a call to celebrate our Elizabeth Gaskell find! :D