Saturday, June 25, 2011

Breaking free*

*This was originally posted in my Facebook account.

This was written way back in November 2010. It was written out of the overflow of my heart, and although months have passed, the words still ring true to me. This is a thank you to the person who broke me out of the prison I was in. I will always and forever be grateful for what you did. I can only pray that I be given the same opportunity to pay it forward and help another the way you did for me. 
Maybe I thought wrong when I said that this, whatever the hell it was, was over. Maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Or maybe I was PMSing. Or probably, I was just having a bad day – apparently, one of the many I had all too often when you were a constant. Or maybe, for the first time in such a long time, I may actually be right, and my misinformed conscience is trying to make one last stand to hold on to a past of murky intentions and misdirected emotions.

See, that was the one thing I could not get. I could not write for the longest time. Sure, I could come up with decent papers for school, and passable editorials for work, and maybe a poem or two when the occasion called for it. I thought for sure that I was unable to write because I was dealing with something bigger than me that I just could not process. The added responsibility I was trying to block out, the complications you brought about, the brother I could not fix, the father I could not find, the mother I was angry at, the drinking that was starting to spin a little out of control because it was my numbing option. I thought for sure my mojo went missing because I was far too torn and broken and down and out.

I thought wrong. You stole my mojo. And you did it so cunningly that I never even knew what you were doing until somebody who knew better bitch-slapped me back to the confines of reality. Point blank, I was told that my writing sucked and lacked the depth it once had. It was writing for the sake of complying. The love that once was its driving force was all but gone. And that was what broke my heart. I was gone, and I was part of the walking dead.

You are the best vampire of them all. Other vampires, at least they have enough decency to present themselves the way they really are. They have no pretenses, just their usual moves of getting close and then sucking the life out of you. But you! You are the best vampire because you are also a master of disguise. You came along, the knight in shining armor that you were in your mighty steed and sword slashing away at MY demons, and you “rescued” me. You picked me up out of my hellhole only to throw me somewhere far worse, because you locked me in a prison of my own fashioning. You were brilliant that way. You were never direct in your attack. You dropped subtle hints – that I was wrong; I was doing things the wrong way; I was not being faithful to God; I was being stubborn; I was being a wayward daughter, sister, and friend; and probably the best hint you ever dropped: I was never enough. You never said it outright, but everything you did pointed and screamed that thought out loud. You were clever, cunning, and downright vicious, because guess what? I started to believe you. Not only did I start to believe you, I started acting the way you were hinting. And before I knew it, I was lost. One day I woke up and I no longer knew the woman staring back at me from the mirror.

And before I knew it, I was wondering why I could not, for the life of me, WRITE. I could not write the way I used to, no matter how hard I tried. It was the longest and most depressing drought I had ever experienced, and it almost killed me. Each and every time I tried, I would end up hitting a wall. Even if I did manage to come up with something, it was never anything I could be proud of because it was all so perfunctory. The sad thing was, I think I also stopped writing because the rare times I did manage to come up with something and I would show you my work, you never even took the time to appreciate the effort I put into it. And that almost killed the spark. And for a time, it did die. Perhaps that was one of the most devastating things I have ever had to experience – the death of my art.

The funny thing is, my knight was never one I even considered. He saved me, in more ways than I can give him credit for. He broke me out of my prison cell, and he showed me how to fight back. He did not fight for me. Instead, he did something so much better – he handed me back my weapon and he told me to fight back and escape the clutches of the vampire who held me prisoner all this time. Because of him, I was able to recover what was rightfully mine to begin with. My lust for life has returned with a vengeance, and I am about to show the world what I missed all these years.

My knight came to me when I had almost nothing of myself left. He came to me at a point in my life when I no longer had the guts to face the world, or even look at myself in the mirror because I was too ashamed to look into the eyes of a woman who had no semblance of identity left. The courage that used to burn for miles on end was all but dying, and the voice that used to ring so loud was now nothing more than a faint whisper choking back desperate cries for help and biting back the retorts because the fight had left her already. The tough warrior who never backed down was reduced to a spectator in the arena, watching from the sidelines as her life ran by. The only sign of life left in the former shell of a person that she was were the tears that flowed when no one was looking, and the half-formed words that were barely coherent to anyone, much less to herself. I don’t know how or why, but my knight understood even the most unintelligible phrases uttered in those dark moments. He could make sense of the things I could not even define. He took my hand and he gently prodded me to stand up, brush myself off, and take back what was always mine. In those times I was too weak to walk, he would walk with me and there were times he had to half-drag, half-carry me just so I would move. And during the times I was too scared to fight, he would give me all the reasons why I should. And he would be there, reassuring, constant, stable, unmoving in his belief that I could.  

I am writing again. I have had to give up certain things, and that part was painful and devastating, to say at the least. I have had to rethink, re-evaluate, and re-define, and I continue to do so. My world is in a state of flux, and I don’t think it is about to end anytime soon. I had to let go of those parts of me that were holding me back, and that included my vampire, who I thought of for the longest time, as my truest and best friend. When I did, the words just seemed to flow and they took on a life of their own. It is like I am trying to make up for all the years I have not been able to write. I was so busy burying myself and trying to be someone else that I turned my back on who I was.

I am nowhere near finished. I am only getting started. I have a lot of lost time to make up for.

As for my knight? I hold him in my heart, the only place I can truly show gratitude for such an act. He did not have to break me out of my prison cell, but he did. He did not have to help me fight my demons, but he did. And he most certainly did not have to help me write again, but he did. And that is something I will treasure for my entire life.  

So was I wrong? Perhaps not. Because the greatest changes always require the biggest sacrifice and the most painful undertakings. So yes. I stand by my decision. 

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