I’m trapped in a paradox, silently screaming to be rescued, but slowly giving in to my own ensnarement.
In shedding myself, I’ve forgotten how to shed tears.
It’s seemingly a predicament with no desert of complaint, a masochistic desire in a world that glamorizes an emotionally bland utopia. Perpetual happiness. A lack of tears. An absence of pain.
But I’m suffocating under the weight of my smiles, drowning in the deception of the convincing appearance of my own comfort, entrapped in an everlasting emotional desensitization.
I no longer dwell in a glass castle, secluded from the searing pain of vulnerability, but I remain comfortably numb. I shed tears as I began to chip away at the fragile walls surrounding me, but my protective dwelling has long since shattered around me, leaving me with nothing but the powerful guise of comfort.
I’m hardened against my own life story, unable to feel the pain of my past amid the blinding bliss of complete openness. In becoming unashamed to live honestly, I have grown unflinching, unfeeling.
I long to feel my cheeks burn again, to feel the ache of tears hovering in the corners of my eyes, to taste the abrasive saltiness of my teardrops as they roll too far down my face. To feel my chest heaving as I struggle to choke out words, my breath clamorous in the wake of my tears.
I long to feel a raging headache lingering after all my tears have subsided — the relentless, all-consuming reminder that nothing, not even the gentle sting of teardrops, is without consequence. A headache that burns with such a dull ferocity that the only respite from the unending pain is a long nap — a restless sleep that soon becomes deep, filled with the peaceful haze of pleasant dreams.
I long to feel the catharsis, the calm after the storm. The moment I discover that I am still living, breathing. The moment I realize that life will continue on — no matter my disposition — and the problems consuming me will eventually reach a resolution. The moment I consciously choose to live — without regrets, without tears — until the teardrops sting at the corners of my eyes once again.
But, as I stand amid the shards of my glass castle — the remnants of my emotional walls scattered at my feet — I discover the extent to which I have contributed to my longstanding inability to feel pain — the dreary, yet piercing, the discomfort of my tears. I am lost, directionless, drowning in an open sea — the sea of my own openness — desperately wishing I could trade my fearless rawness for the ability to restore my glass castle — the ability to feel, the ability to cry.
As I continue to drown in the paradox of my unflinching honesty — my inability to truly feel as I continue to shed myself — I cease my silent screams to be rescued from my ensnarement. At long last, I resolve to rescue myself — by allowing myself to feel again.
I’m slowly learning how to cry again, in the hope that someday, I will rediscover the bittersweet taste of my own tears — the stinging salt of my teardrops cultivating the sweetness of true vulnerability.
*Previously published by Thought Catalog at www.thoughtcatalog.com.