Friday, 9 March 2012

Shop-girl / All these things that I am.

We have just come back from Seville and Madrid.I'm back to the everyday. this new everyday that I'm still not in tune with...I've been "working" for myself since September last year. With equal parts relief and anguish.
I didn't deal well with a full-time retail job somewhere I hated, where the customers were more than just challenging- they were plain nasty a lot of the time. I'm good at pretending I'm dealing with things, keeping my laid back exterior, giving the sarcastic quips...
Trying to make it look like I'm just a little rude, not crumbling inside from the effort.

Sometimes I couldn't breathe, the whole room would spin. I felt like I was cowering behind the counter waiting for the next assault on my senses.
I'm sensitive. and unless I know you very well, I hide it the best I can. like anyone alive, I know how brutal the world can be when you look weak. I don't want to give myself away.
I didn't get to know many of the people I worked with well, too afraid of interaction with people who may or may not like me. Or figure me out. See all the mess I was hiding.
Yeah, basically I was a pussy.
I figured I can't lose anyone if I don't have anyone in the first place.

And people can be terrifying things, I'd started that job a wreck. less then half a person.
Dragging myself along the streets trying to find a safe place to work (I took the first job I got offered. the first job I applied for. on the the first day I went looking...). I could be faceless.Where no one knew I would spend my days off in bed, or rolled up on the floor unable to find a reason to move, getting chased through the dark streets by a boy who said he loved me and would rather kill me than let anyone else have me.
No one wants to know that. I had to be a nobody.
But it was just that lack of care that I couldn't deal with. the way you would get stared through. the way people would throw their money on the counter instead of placing it in your hand- like you were a leper. the assumption that you were stupid. that this...this was all you were.
There was no respect. It was disgusting and inhumane.(it was exactly what I was looking for- but didn't  realise at the time!...)
It made me angrier than I was already. I'd never been angry before- or never admitted it.
I'd always turned it into other things.
like shame, or guilt. or pain.
But all my other emotions were exhausted. so. my anger got the best of me. it was all I had the energy to be.
I stood up for myself...I stood up for other members of staff, I got myself into trouble for not just smiling sweetly and saying sorry for things I shouldn't be saying I was sorry for. to people who it seemed thought that we only existed so that they could take out their frustrations on us during their lunch hour. make themselves feel like the all powerful ones.
But I had had, quite enough of that at home.

But,...what's my point ? well...it could be that any job is bearable if you are treated with respect...
it could be that some people need a taste of their own medicine... but no. my main point is.
that I escaped the job. I'm on my way partially at least to doing the job I want to be doing- with a lovely part-time job at a haberdashery as a side-line...
And yet, I have not escaped what got me into that shitty job in the first place.
And the fear.
Yesterday was International Women's Day. Highlighting the struggles that so many women still have to face all over the world. Equality is still not in existence. And though domestic abuse is not the only issue, by far...
In many places, domestic violence is either "just something that happens" or something that is not spoken about, the idea that it is an accepted thing in some places- leaves me wordless.
It is the thing that broke me. stopped me in my tracks. made me wish that my life was over.
I just didn't want to feel any more.
How can it be accepted, or brushed under carpets?
It is the reason for my loss of self. Five years on from the end of that relationship, even after apologies and the admittance of responsibility, it still haunts me. still effects my current relationship.
I have learnt to be defensive. the words "I'm not him" cause me guilt and sorrow. Because how ever hard I try I cannot seem to erase this feeling of danger from my bones. this need for distance. this need for a defence.

When we argue, I need to escape. I need to run. the worse the argument the more I feel my body contract.
It makes me want to destroy everything just so I can get away from the immediate situation.
I'd break my own heart to still the feeling I get in the pit of my stomach.
Wherever I go, it finds me. it is in my soul and I can't scrub it out.
I never feel safe.
From myself.
It is where everything begins, and where everything ends.

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