I don’t want to go to this party.
I don’t want to.
It’s going to be fun and happy and there will be wine and talk of novels that everyone likes.
It has friends and people that I have met before; it has yummy snacks and I said I would go but when I think about going I get a pain in my head. A pain that feels like lies and burns me.

Why don’t I want to go to this party?
Parties like this are chock-full of normal interactions: Y’know, normal people asking normal questions while nodding a normal amount. These ordinary things sometimes help uncomfortable things feel better; sometimes it’s easy to predict the script to this next interaction, or that person’s joke is really lame but we feel happy to be together when we all laugh. To be human is to have your time filled with mundane interactions that feel like a bonding agent in their commonness, their repeatability. We all know these things

I swear I can feel the sensation of being choked as it crawls up from my voice box and into my brain, squirming around to make room in my skull while it points: Here! Here! We lay our eggs and hatch our spells Here! Here!
Pain fanning out just like the fireworks I heard about two hours later.
Is it really so bad to go to a party?

No. Of course not. Parties are fine. People are okay. I hate having to reassure everyone about themselves all the time.

Maybe I’m not the person who likes to go to parties. Maybe I’m not actually excited about new chocolate bakery items. Maybe I’m a something that had to be conversant in “normal” in order to pass myself off as it. Maybe I am actually not okay. Maybe I am something new. Maybe I am not the things I had to use for cover.

It’s possible that I’m not the person I thought I was.

My brain was giving me the perfect out: I’m not feeling well. I have a headache
But I called it what it was right away: a reaction to getting ready for the party
So by the time my brain got around to asking me: What’s it gonna be? The party or a nap? I knew already what my answer would be. This may have been the first time I didn’t need to fool myself; I was actually aware: Aha! I. Me. I… am avoiding this party.

So which part of me is it? And, is it the same part of me that’s avoiding sleep right now?
I’m scared to know. I have no shame in admitting that.
This part of me has seen me through some good times. I didn’t know how to be happy, and this part of me helped me learn how to do it like other people. Of course it would jazz me up to be a part of something like a party, but I was like a mirror instead of a good friend. I had nothing when I was alone and I had no follow up to a night of togetherness. To me, that was it. There wasn’t something else. And I started to suspect that wasn’t correct. I knew it was fucked up when I loved my first boyfriend. We had a strong connection right up to the point of vertigo and no further. I was nothing; nothing but reflections and light. He was real and I couldn’t feel real. It broke my heart. It broke his. And it broke our friends in ways I couldn’t comprehend.
Soon, I can tell; soon I’ll break through to even these mysterious worlds. I’m recovering and it’s like the water is receding after a great flood. I’m becoming myself. It takes everything within me not to run.


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