I cannot remember when it started, not all of it, just recently. Extra hazy, extra anxious, randomly tearful, defensive, resigned. A whirlwind of hate and fear and darkness just outside the peripheral of my mind, tendrils creeping in…caressing, reminding, whispering, promising.
The thought grabs hold of me and it disturbs me. Not because of what the thought is about, but because of how much it calms me. I let the thought roll around in my mind's eye, taking shape, as it clears away the fog and settles in a sense of peace I long for.
I realize with a jolt that this is it, this is what has been clawing at my ankles, grabbing at my thighs, biting at my hips. 528 days I have kept this promise, 528 days since I have released. And now it's harder to remember why.
A perfectly imperfect line dug into the ankle, I would keep going until I felt it. You knew when you were done, that blissful moment of release, like an exhale. Instantly you were free, emptied of self-hatred, drained of resentment, you were forgiven. 528 days I have been captive, I try to remember the feeling, try to force it with a visual imagining.
Run a finger over the faded memories to raise them with whiteness, bring them back to pink with a warm bath…you never truly realize it's always there until it's screaming in your face.
I struggle to remind myself why I made that promise. It wasn't for my own health; if anything I am the worse for wear. It wasn't because of what people think, well kind of, but not because they knew. It was actually a point of contention that no one ever noticed, on their own. I never tried to hide my marks, people just either didn't care or really didn't see it. However, it was just another thing I had to keep in, another dark secret that lent itself to prove how broken I really was. I have told people before, which was met one of two ways. They would become so overly concerned and uneasy about it that it wouldn't be brought up again, or they would consider it a cliché weakness of a stupid girland it wouldn't be brought up again. What I honestly wanted was to find someone who could know without trying to fix it. Someone who would see a new addition and look at me and say "Rough day?" much like you would to someone who's long faced into a hard drink. I wanted acceptance I suppose. And by making my promise 528 days ago, I essentially was saying I would never get that.
That's why it tugs at me from time to time, like a needy toddler at its mother's shirttails. Because no matter what I do or say, it knows I am here, that I accept it, that I appreciate it. And just like a toddler it can't seem to grasp the full reason of why I keep turning my back on it.
After all…we all just want to be accepted. Tomorrow will be 529…