If I fashioned myself as a container of blood, I would be clear glass and everyone could see the pulsing heart of me. But since I am made of skin I do my best to show everyone what it looks like in there, behind the steel frame of my ribcage. Here and here and here, I say, pulling strands from the center of me and holding out a fist. I am bleeding all over your carpet, and I'm sorry for that, but it won't stop me. Look at all the pieces, I say. The pretty bits and the ugly bits, the shards of bone and the vivid essence of red.
What I am not saying is, Here, look at me. Appreciate and validate and fix me. It's manically avoiding dealing with the inside bits and instead simply putting them on display. What I say is: Look, I have made another mistake. Look at that. Just look at it. Can you believe the mistake I have made? And then I file it away on a shelf, dust it off, step back, and take it in. Yup. That's a mistake alright.
What I am not saying is: Look how unhappy I am.
It's a nice, tidy form of apathy, a really good, self-perpetuating one. Because you feel like you are confronting something when you take it out and talk about it until the words stop making any sense. Done and done, I think when I step back to take a look at those things I end up filing away on the shelf. I did all the work. I did what I was supposed to do. And then I walk away.
This is not just apathy, though, it's survival skills, too. If I stop talking about the muck inside and around me it's like poison. If I took the time to dive in and start sorting everything out, I'd get bogged down so quickly, sinking and drowning before I even got through the first thing.
This is not easy, finding yourself waist-deep in the muck when you didn't even know you were in it.