Not Feeling Brave

Or in fact like doing anything at all, except hiding.

Yesterday I went to storytelling. Fine. Talked about stigma, my idea for how to talk about it. My overall impression is that the circle is bored with what I have to say. I came up with an alternative way to approach my problem.

My problem is just this: I’m not afraid of public speaking, in general. I’m terrified to talk about myself and my past issues. Same reason I’m stalling on the memoir. Makes me cringe when people say things like you’re strong, because you know? I’m not.

Stubborn enough to keep fighting myself is one thing. Talking about that in a semi-closed loop (like the ‘net or my friends) is also okay. Talking to people in general isn’t.

I was programmed to believe that people in general would reject me. Yes, I know I’m not the “flawed” human I was brainwashed into thinking I was. However, I WAS brainwashed. And unlike someone who gets PTSD and their brain changed as an adult or young adult, I have no memory to use as a bulwark against the mantra that was woven into my DNA. Of course, I also don’t have the “WTF is wrong with you?” that folks who get PTSD as an adult have as I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have it.

Ironically, I want to talk about the stigma related to mental illness, and the stigma stuffed into my brain is stopping me, cold.

I don’t know if I really want to push through it. I “should.” Yes, I know. But another thing about being 60+ and having fought this damned stuff for 55 or so years is that I’m tired. It’s not an adventure. I’m not determined. It’s just the next, obvious step. It feels like this and the memoir are what I was “meant” to do — but despite all the decades of feistiness, I just don’t seem to give a damn.

I’m not merely tired, or weary, I’m drained.

That is mighty weird since I have fought for the life I wanted, literally since my first breath.




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