Whisper Sweetly

I have never been able to view myself as smart. Other people would hold that for me- teachers, tests, peers. My self esteem would not allow it. My parents had a systematic lack of regard for what I HAD done versus what I COULD do. “A 97? Why not a 100? A 100? Why not perfect attendance? We’re worried about your weight. Say, why are you coming home in tears so often? I guess it’s a teenager thing. Must need some space.” I lived in the shadow of my own potential, and my potential whispered sweetly about dreams and a future and having worth.

I cried writing the end of that sentence right there. It sinks me that I remain so far away from viewing myself as a creature with worth, yet I can dialectically hold the concept that all lives have inherent worth. I remain a raw, rotten lump of meat in the corner, an exception.

It’s been a rough 6 weeks or so. I’ve gotten strep, kinda beat it, had it come back with a vengeance and morph into walking pneumonia. My testosterone shot caused a giant weird painful lump in my leg. My mental health regressed enough that I ended up in a crisis residential program for a week. Additionally I’ve been in the ER three times, the Urgent Care once, and my PCP once. I got in a car accident and messed up my shoulder nicely. My anxiety is through the roof. Also, I’m not sure if it’s related to the car accident or the strep-hell but I can’t bind because it makes me completely unable to breathe. I’ve missed enough work that I’m worried about whether they’ll just give up on me like my last employer did.

I also got married, so that was cool.

I kept doing this weird thing during all this stress though. I kept house shopping.
See, I found out we were eligible for a down payment assistance program that’s really nifty.
It was a fun distraction if nothing else. But I let myself hope, and when it came down to it, if you’re getting 36 hours and your company still calls you part time, you have to have been there for 2 years.

Bye-bye hope.

I’ve had big dreams in the past.

Now all I want is a cute little fixer-upper and to SOMEDAY finish a damn degree above an Associate’s.

I was supposed to be so smart. One of those assholes that throws off the curve.

I’ll probably work entry level for the rest of my life because I am deeply, profoundly mentally ill.

Maybe smart doesn’t mean much if you’re broken.

The big bad monster crept out of my mind to stab potential repeatedly.

It doesn’t whisper anymore.

Or else it gets the hose again…

I caved and bought face wipes and moisturizer the other day.

I liked my skin. My skin was alright and did just fine on its own.

BEFORE TESTOSTERONE.

Now I’m an oil pit and yet somehow a dry oil pit. It’s a real bastard.

I’ve noticed this self care appreciation thing coming on gradually as I’ve increased my ritual before bed.

It really began with rubbing scar gel in where I was scratched at work. I’m seeing results, which is really like, dandy magic.

Then I bought the fancy floss.

God, I don’t even know what’s wrong with me. I’m so easily marketed to. I just- you know- I like nice things. I hadn’t known that floss was a fancy thing that I needed, before someone told me. Someone on the internet. Who was selling the fancy floss.

It came with a travel newsletter entitled “Flossophy.” There’s quizzes and recipes. Yoga instructions and an instagram challenge. It’s the most hipster goddamn floss on the planet.

But it is nice. Super scrubby feeling. Very effective. Why did I pay 8 dollars plus shipping for floss? BECAUSE SELF CARE THAT’S WHY.

To be honest, it’s worth it if I floss even a little bit more because of the fanciness. I gave up on my teeth for so long. I have such bad habits. I felt like there was no chance I’d even live to 30, so why should I worry about cavities?

I’m in a better state now, and I wish I could take that back. I think everyone that has neglected their teeth feels that way.

Now, though, I choose self care.

I rub scar gel onto my arms, so my battles can be my own business.

I floss so I can chew for many days to come.

I moisturize to keep from flogging myself with feelings of inadequacy.