Life Amidst The Fog

There comes a time in ones life when the inevitable realization arrives that the ability to manifest our individual destiny lies only within us.

For some, this happens very early in life and for them the path may be more clearly defined or perhaps it is that they do not have as high of aspirations.

For others, such as myself, we struggle and we stumble through life searching for answers in a world we seem to always be disconnected from; a reality where our kind is rarely understood.

Throughout much of my life, I have felt more like an observer than a participant.

I can be in a room with a crowd of people and still feel alone.

Sometimes, it is as if I am hovering above the noise, looking down on the world as though it were a delicately crafted snow globe resting in my hands.

And when it all begins to shake, I find myself scratching through the glass in an attempt to navigate my way amidst the fog.

Human connection is a rarity for me, although many would be inclined to disagree, but that is simply the result of how well I wear this mask.

Mind you, it is not for me, but rather for you.

The pain I feel is my burden to bare… if you chose to call it that…a burden.

It is not something anyone can fix, nor does it need fixing.

However, for those who walk the line of normalcy, being broken is considered the same as going through life with a rock in your shoe.

It simply must me dealt with and disregarded.

I would argue… that it is my color, my muse, the main attribute that makes me..ME.

I have spent my life in pain, so much so that it has become a comfort to me.

I have tried normal, ordinary, typical and it is simply not for me.

After all, how can one be content with the predictable, when they have spent their whole life living through the unexpected.

It takes a lot for me to truly open up and it is not simply that I am guarded, but rather that human relationships take a great deal energy and it has been my experience that many of them are not worth the time and effort you put in.

As a result, I am picky, not scared…don’t get it twisted.

If you are one of the rare that I have allowed myself to love, please know that although this may not mean a great deal to you, it means everything to me.

For you see, you are one of the few. Uniquely flawed and perhaps as equally dead inside as myself. And for someone like me that has more value than conformity.

The more pain you experience, the more you begin to understand that relying on others for your own happiness is a fool’s errand and leads to dependency and the constant need for validation.

Those who have learned to walk alone are themselves on the path to true independence.

They do not need anyone to complete them and refuse to settle for less, even if it takes forever to find or they never find it at all.

Late bloomers if you will, but in my opinion, it is well worth it.

Wouldn’t it be better to hold out for someone who adds to your life rather than chasing down your “other half”?

Be a whole person, find another whole person and spend the rest of your life building the life you have always dreamed of together.

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Conveniently Disregarded

In this life, we are forced to make decisions on an almost constant basis. Sometimes we operate on auto pilot and in others we ponder the choices before us, exploring every angle of their consequences.

I think the true character of a person can be found in neither. But rather in the instantaneous actions or reactions to a choice made quickly. In the fragile moment before action, the place one’s mind goes reveals a lot about their true intentions, even if they don’t realize it.

In the age of cell phones and Apple watches, an un-returned message can be taken much more harshly than someone not returning the message you left on their answering machine in the 90’s. People are expected to respond, if not immediately.

And why? Because when you think about my a fore mentioned point about those fragile moments before one makes a decision…No response = Non-priority, or at least that is how it is perceived.

I disagree however, I think that is a little dramatic.

I never expect an immediate response from anyone. Do you know how many times I simply turn my ringer off on a Saturday, spend the whole day in the yard, never looking at my phone once?!

I think it is important to detach sometimes and I know that I personally need that or I would lose my mind!

Now if you have had no response from several texts, than chances are you are being conveniently disregarded.

And let me tell you from experience, it’s most likely your own fault. I like to think I have always been the loyal friend everyone can count on. Even those who have wronged me end up forgiven and I fall back in line again for their torture.

Then one day I realized that maybe it was time to start setting higher expectations. Not just for my friends and family, but for myself. I always said I wanted someone who would fight for me, but maybe the reason no one ever does is because I never give them a reason to think I’d ever go away.

If I want to be treated like someone with value, than I had better start learning to value myself.

Ever since my mother left the first time, I have had this overwhelming feeling that I was unlovable, that there was no point in revealing my true self to anyone, because in the end they all just go away, so what was the point?…Dark I know.

It became the main story I told myself for years and years. There was always going to be something wrong with me, some deal breaker that would make anyone I tried to love end up leaving me in the end.

As time moved on, various relationships and friendships continued to validate this idea that in the end I was destined to walk among the strange. Fitting into the world, my armor, as I struggled to make it through the dim normalcy of the every day.

I think it’s time I put down the armor…or at least try a little harder to shed a few layers 🙂

I need to be done apologizing for being myself, for needing my space, or for taking the time I need to heal over whatever, whenever. It has been my experience that keeping up this charade, the appearance of togetherness is debilitating.

Sure my crazy antics may scare people away and my sense of humor my be a bit rooted in the gutter, but let’s be honest, I’m a rare breed and rare breeds seldom travel in herds.

Call it an acquired taste, I’m not for everyone!

So I guess what I am saying is, the next time you are conveniently disregarded, don’t think about it as a disappointment, but rather the universe giving you direction. If you think about it, it could be a real time saver to pay attention to signs like these.

If I were to spend more time noticing what was right in front of me (or not in front of me), I’d waste a lot less time focusing where I shouldn’t be.

I have been paying attention to the moments I have just before deciding to do something and it has been quite revealing.

And well, I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say at the root of it all…I want what I want and I want it yesterday.

It’s a little hard to admit, but it’s the truth and it has been eye opening.

I will literally find myself making a decision that I know will bring me pain later, simply because I want the instantly gratifying feeling of disillusionment, even if just for a moment.

Perhaps it is the flaw in my code. The deep rooted comfort I seem to find in pain.

What can I say the darkness is my muse. 🙂

 

 

Creative Insanity – A Blessing Not A Curse

Have you ever wondered why people do the sometimes seemingly stupid things they do? I am sure we all have.

Honestly, I think the majority of people are clueless as to the why themselves. I look at people sometimes and think to myself, “wow, you have no idea how much of a mess you really are”. And coming from me that is not a shallow observation. I am a mess in a lot of aspects, but then again, I think we all are in some ways.

What sets us apart from the herd is the awareness of it.

For a long time, I expended great effort hiding my imperfections from the world until one day I realized by doing so I was hindering myself from the creative insanity that I was blessed with.

I began opening up more and more about the wars going on in my head, until I began to feel comfortable going out into the world uncloaked.

I no longer needed the mask of sanity I had worn for so many years, because I have finally reached a point where I just didn’t care anymore about keeping up appearances.

Which I apparently did very well considering several of my closest friends had no idea I even battled with depression, let alone that I was bi-polar. I was diagnosed with mild cases of both, in addition to social anxiety when I was in college.

By my 3rd year, my anxiety had gotten so bad that I couldn’t even answer a question in class with out turning bright red & fumbling over my words until I was almost in tears.

My boyfriend at the time knew how I felt about therapy, so he never pushed it on me. Instead, he did his best to be supportive and ensure we had a steady supply of self-medication on hand. Mostly for me, but I am sure it helped him to keep his cool when dealing with Tiffany’s seemingly un-provoked moments of mania.

Smoking weed mellowed me out and alcohol numbed the pain, but eventually neither of those helped and I knew it was time to talk to someone. By that time, I had switched my major to Psychology and it didn’t take a genius to realize that there was something majorly wrong.

Obviously, the depression wasn’t a surprise to me as I had dealt with that for as far back as I can remember. The worst was in high school after my mom disappeared and shortly after I went through the common right of passage for any teenager, losing my first love.

All I remember from that time is feeling alone. No matter where I was or who I was with, it was always like I was more of an observer than an active participant in my own life. I hated myself, my life and at one point tried to make it all go away.

That is not something many people know and a weakness I was ashamed to admit I almost gave into.

As you all know, my grandfather and I were extremely close. You see, it was he who saved me.

There I was, laying in my bed, about to down the rest of a bottle of painkillers I stole from my grandmother and something told him to come upstairs and check on me. If he hadn’t, I may not be here today.

The other time I seriously considered leaving this world was in Seattle.

It was after I had been sexually assaulted in my apartment, something else very few people know about me.

At the time, it was the only way I could see to end the pain that had became my existence. If it had not been for the one person who was present that night, I again may not be here today.

When I opened the door to my bedroom, I had full intention of running a bath and making my exit, but something made me walk to the living room instead.

My friend, sleeping soundly on the couch awoke to an ever spiraling Tiffany sitting on the floor next to him. I had tapped on his shoulder, waited for him to awake and with tears rolling down my face I asked if he would hold me. Just for a moment, I wanted to feel like I wasn’t alone in this world.

Without question, he opened his arms and in a welcoming embrace, he held me through the night. I owe him my life. When everyone else brushed me aside, he was there to help me pick up the pieces and put my life back together.

I love that man in ways no one will understand.

Talk about a true friend and one that sadly I never truly appreciated back then. I think part of it was that I didn’t want to be reminded of that time in my life, the time I almost gave up, and so unknowingly I pushed him away as a way of burying the past.

Looking back, I think I was frightened by our friendship. For someone who tried to hide her true self from the world, the fact that someone knew me so deeply terrified me.

There was only one other person with whom I shared such a connection with and even he never knew the gravity of the emotional issues I struggled with, but I had been in love with him since I was 18 years old, so baring all could have meant losing him and that was simply not a chance I was willing to take. And therefore, there was always this % of myself I kept hidden, even from him.

I realize now that I was going about all of this in the completely wrong manner. The more you try to please the world by fitting in the box labeled normal, the more you lose yourself.

My depression wasn’t really something I talked about openly because I thought of it as a disability, but it’s not.

A friend of mine described it quiet well.  He explained, after the darkness, everything seems to shine brighter. It is where we draw our creativity and in many cases our strength to manage our way through the next manic episode.

Spiraling out  as we call it is like riding out a wave. If you fight it, you are working against the natural course of nature and may end up stuck beneath the undertow.

Where we are doomed to repeat the cycle over and over again until one day it breaks us.

Brave are the ones who are not afraid to admit that they have been weak. To be weak is to be human and it is what allows us to grow.

By masking ourselves from those around us, we are doing a great disservice to ourselves and halting the potential be extraordinary.

For we are the dangerously creative, our madness a gift and the world our canvas.

“Wear your tragedies as armor, not shackles.”  – Anonymous

Dust on a Shelf

I think I may be getting stranger by the day.

And I seem to care less and less about the opinions of others as the days go on.

My edges are growing jagged and my heart growing cold.

Am I turning into a narcissist or is it just that I am settling into the sociopath I was always meant to be?

Either way, I feel lighter and more in control of the world around me.

I have spent so much of my life as a marter, a people pleaser, and where has it lead me?

Sure it is to the benefit of everyone else in my life, but in the end would they do the same for me? – Some…yes, but for most, I am just a convenient doormat on which to wipe their feet when life gets them down or they are needing a bit of validation.

And then, after I have served my purpose of stroking their ego or providing comfort in their hour of need, they put me back on the shelf where I will sit and collect dust until I am needed once again.

I know being reliable is a good trait to have, but I don’t think I can be that person any more. Nor do I want to be that person anymore.

It is unfulfilling, exhausting and honestly a waste of the talents I now have the confidence to embrace.

And what’s so wrong with being a little selfish sometimes?!

Selfish people know what they want and are not afraid to ask for it. Isn’t that what most of us are struggling to figure out in this life? Does it really make you a narcissist or a sociopath just because you are not afraid to put yourself first?

And besides, who says being a sociopath is such a bad thing.

Oh ya… those whose definitions are skewed by the constructs of modern medicine and societal stigmas.

Contrary to what you’ve heard, not all sociopaths are psychopaths. Even though much of the psychology field uses the term synonymously.

They are not all completely without empathy and/or remorse as many of their defining traits would have you believe.

It is simply that they don’t express such emotions in the way most people do.

Sociopaths view the world much differently than the mass population and in my personal opinion, in many cases, their view point is one that has evolved to a place of more rational, individual, intelligent thought.

They hold no desire to fit in, to follow the herd or to live the life that has been laid out for them.

Instead, they chose to pave their own way and live the life they desire and say the hell with everyone else and their opinions.

Seems to me like a rather freeing existence.

And why this sudden revelation you ask?

Because for once in my life, I know what it feels like to be appreciated, valued for the person I truly am and not just for what I do for others.

There was a time in my life when I was afraid to stand up for myself or even speak my mind for that matter.

Looking back, I allowed myself to feel such misery. All because I was worried about losing someone.

Well you know what?

All those people I compromised myself for and even the one that I didn’t, left me behind anyway.  The knowledge that I would always be around made it easy for them to brush me aside until they needed something from me once again.

After my last broken heart, something snapped inside me. I realized that all the pain I was feeling, I brought on myself by once again being too available to someone who merely needed me for the moment. Now that the moment has passed he is no longer in need of my comfort, he never gives me a second thought or any thought for that matter.

I realized, I was broken inside, but he wasn’t.

I loved him so much that I never stopped to ask myself if he ever really felt the same about me. If only,  I would have realized sooner that I was merely a comfort to a friend and nothing more, then maybe I could have avoided all those sleepless nights.

It was in this moment of revelation when everything changed.

I am tired of sitting on a shelf waiting to be needed and I am not going to do it anymore.

I am putting myself first for once and moving on with my life.

When the same people reach out to me for sympathy, validation or assistance, they may be quite surprised to find that I am no longer there.

They can blame all those who have come before them and drained the very essence of my being, but it will make no difference.

All I ever wanted was to love and be loved in return, but I wasted that love on all the wrong people and now I fear I have nothing more to give.

So, from here on out, I shall put myself on the pedestal I reserve for everyone else.

This is my time to be selfish, to find the joy I have allowed so many others to take away.

I no longer crave feelings of love and acceptance from anyone but myself.

I am worth so much more than how I have been treated and it is time to take back my life and discover the person I have never had the courage to be.