Pain And Prejudice

“The worst thing about that kind of prejudice… is that while you feel hurt and angry and all the rest of it, it feeds you self-doubt. You start thinking, perhaps I am not good enough.”
Nina Simone

It’s a haunting feeling that sometimes overwhelms the central nervous system and shuts me down like a light switch. I’m lucky enough to be at the point in life that I can realize what my mind is doing and what my heart tells me to do. When I get backed into a corner and feel like there is nothing left to do, and there is no more fight left in me, I just fall asleep. A spontaneous falling asleep, not a nap, not a daydream, but a cold hard sleep. It’s not a narcoleptic fit, it’s not fatigue, it’s just my brain turning off. Like I said, like a light switch.

Often times it will happen during movies, when the plot doesn’t make sense or I can’t relate to what is going on. It’s almost as if my brain gets overheated and the cooling fans have long sense stopped working. My brain tries to wrap itself around the topic, but it eventually gives up. When nothing is making sense, when everything might as well be in a foreign language, my brain throws the white flag and goes to sleep. Sort of like a computer can go into sleep mode, but for me, you can’t just move my mouse and wake me up. Once I’m out, my brain will remain out until it’s good and ready to be a productive member of society. Sometimes that take an hour, sometimes it takes a few days.

This is especially pertinent in daily struggles and torment. For me, there has forever been this thorn in my side of never being good enough. Call it child trauma, call it a feeling of insecurity, call it an abandonment issue, but I am never good enough. Not only do I not consider myself not good enough for others, but not even good enough for myself…this is when I go into sleep mode. I use a prejudice against myself, I hate myself for who I am although I know other people don’t understand. Just like racial, religious, and political prejudice, it’s just a deep seated hate with no rationality except the statement “I don’t like the way they, it, you…” You get my point. Although there aren’t many things to be textbook prejudice against me about, I guess I struggle with it anyway.

“You ain’t from here, are you.” Bam, not good enough. I’m from Wisconsin, so that automatically means that I’m not as good as those born and raised in the south. You’re damn right I’m not from here, I don’t want to be. I actually have pride in the fact that we’re a melting pot of diversity, not a bunch of people that just stay here because their daddy’s daddy fought in the Civil war and it’s a territorial thing.

“You’ll never be _____fill in the blank some famous hot person____”. Bam, still not good enough. I can be whomever I chose to be, a runner, a soccer mom, a dancer, an alcoholic, but I’ll never be a super model actress with smokey eyes and a body that slams. I’ve lived too rough a life, and have too many scars to even dare try. Besides, the amount of time and money that it would take to get me looking that way, well, lets just say that my candle is already burning at both ends and I barely have time to shower some days let alone spend three hours on hair and make up. I can fix up nicely, but then again, who exactly am I doing it for? A bunch of people that are going to compare me to people that I can never be? That’s not fair.

“You’re not that smart, are you.” Bam, not good enough. Apparently that’s a big thing nowadays, and although I know a lot about obscure things, like lyrics to songs only few people have heard, I also have a bit of street smart. Sure, that’s just the low IQ version of intelligence, but then again, I’ve gotten myself out of some pretty hairy situations, all because I’m smart in a different way. My brain doesn’t exactly fire on all cylinders sometimes, and I can blame a few things, but that’s not the point. If I’m going to be judged by my intelligence, I’ll go back to hanging in dive bars where nobody has a level of education higher than grade 9.

I shut down, I close my eyes, and my mind rests. It’s almost as if my brain wants to return to a happy place, one that doesn’t hurt. My brain wants to be in a place where it feels safe, and can instill a calm surrounding. My brain just poops out.

Although last week wasn’t exactly the highlight of my adulthood, I did learn some things about not being “good enough”, and the pursuit of some sort of stability in my mind and thoughts.

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”
Ernest Hemingway

I’ve gotten pretty good at dusting myself off, but it’s getting pretty hard. After the past couple of months I’ve realized that the best thing in the world for me has been lost. The things in life that I took great enjoyment and love of are now contorted into some sort of mangled mess. My life has become a vagabond in the streets seeking what was lost, but never forgotten. I grasp at the memories that keep me sane, and I grasp at the things that broke me in order to renew my faith in my future. I want to put back those broken pieces and become a stronger person, but I can’t. I’m not good enough.

For all the times that I’ve gone on “adventures” in order to find myself and get my thoughts together, I’ve never once wanted someone there with me. I wanted to be alone, I needed to be alone, but it seems that alone never happens, I’m afraid to be alone, however, I’m also afraid to be around others because in my mind “I’m not good enough”. The personal prejudice kicks in and I hang my head. I keep a brave face and confront the world, all the while I’m bleeding inside from self inflicted mental wounds. “You’ll never be good enough, Nikki. You’re fat in a bathing suit, you eat too much, you drink too much, and you’ve got a problem saying what you really feel. You’ll never be pretty, you’ll never be smart, you’ll never be her.” And that’s when the knife twists and the blood flows. It’s not my fault.

Picking myself up from the bloodshed, I look down at the imaginary puddle that forms around my chest where I broke open my own heart. With words like daggers I stab myself over and over again in a sort of self healing. Maybe if all the bad blood comes out, my body will produce less self prejudice. I love everyone else, I have no prejudice towards genders, sexual orientation, race, or even religion. If only I could love myself as much as I love the diversity in the world, it might make life easier. For now, I’ll just hang with Zips, he gets me.

2013-10-27 14.11.39

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