What if it doesn’t matter if I throw dinner parties? Where beautiful people laugh in the ellipses of fake smiles. What if it doesn’t matter if I go to soirees? So everyone knows I was invited and not the scarred victim who wasn’t. The twisted kaleidoscope of thoughts in my head turns without being turned, The fires of self-doubt and paranoia rage and its just my insides that burn.
What if it doesn’t matter if I’m scared of people? Seeking comfort in the space between the split infinitive: I think she really likes to be alone, I think she really wants to be liked, But the white noise from the collective makes me want to run. Conversation where nothing is said. So easy for me to come undone.
What if it doesn’t matter if I don’t fit in? If books wrap me up in their words but your arms are flaccid; If my brain says the one thing that nobody’s thinking; And my mouth mouths the one thing that nobody’s saying. How is it nice to meet me if you’re eyes aren’t smiling? Why do you shovel slop upon your lies that keep on piling?
What if I want to be seen but I can’t show myself? Sometimes I watch from the middle but can’t get to the centre, Because my skin is porous and it hurts to be over exposed. A buck in the hunt; heart shaking, breath racing. Don’t shoot me down. Or I’ll bleed out around your feet. Your fears pool like platelets and they whisper, ‘she’s not very neat.’
What if you are just like me but I’m not so good at acting? Millipedes of feelings crawl inside me all day long. When I sleep, I lay awake and wonder who I am in your eyes. And if you ever feel alone or sad or wishing you were different. Naked, drowning in the black, I think could we be just the same? A counter and a die in an unwinnable game.
What if I woke up in the morning and knew exactly why I’d been put onto this earth and it wasn’t just to die? What if you gave me what I needed and I did the same to you? And nourish one another was all we knew to do. What if you held my shadow in your hands, a safe place for it to be, And the best of me was all that anyone could ever see? Would life be less impossible? Would they let my wrists go free? Could you tell them I was more like you, so they would more like me?
Anoushka offers psychotherapy in primary care at an NHS surgery in Lambeth and long term psychotherapy in the low cost counselling service of The Awareness Centre. She is also a freelance writer and published novelist of the ‘The Good Enough Mother’