It's 3:25 am, which, for some reason, is the time when my brain decides it's time to think about life, the universe, and everything. Nearly every single introspective journal entry that I do is between 3:20 - 3:40 am, or at least starts there. I won't be able to sleep now until I get this out, but it's good that I write it down anyway, or at least, that's what I tell myself to feel like I'm being therapeutic and not just rambling to the world.
I watched the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's today. I'd love to read the book, but I can't speak for it, because I haven't. I know that the movie affected me deeply. It's a fairly deep, nearly depressing movie to start with. But this isn't just that, and I recognized the feeling from the start. I was lost. The movie is confusing in the start, but that wasn't just it. It felt far too close, somehow. I'm probably imagining this now, I don't know. What I do know is that some people have movies that are extremely important to them. I don't know if I like the movie, though that's probably what I would call it to explain easily the deep feeling, but it's more like I already have a longing to watch it again, to lose myself in it, to study the characters, their every line, their every expression, and find that meaning I know is there.
"You call yourself a free spirit, a "wild thing," and you're terrified somebody's gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you're already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it's not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It's wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself."
In a fit of rage, where often the most truths are told, this quote is said to the main character. She has a couple names, probably more than we know, but it doesn't really matter to me. It isn't the character I relate to, specifically, though she does remind me of some people. It's that quote.
The thing is, while I'm not as obvious about it as she is, nor am I even sure I run as much as she does, I do run. I do hide. I have my own cage, I think a lot of us do.
Often I get very scared, and it's never an external thing. I'm rarely scared of someone or something. I feel trapped, yes, and alone, mostly afraid. Now, some of you are already thinking anxiety, and there's probably that. But there has to be a source, right? And I finally, finally, after all this time fearing the darkness, fearing this unknown horror, realized what it was.
I'm afraid that all humans really are bound by their own cages. I'm afraid that no one can ever get out of their cage, that no matter how hard I try, I can beat everyone else, I can escape any bad situation, I can succeed by society's standards as much as I damn well want to, and I will never, ever escape myself. I will never heal, I will never grow, I'll be trapped, and in the end, on my death bed, I'll still be trapped, alone and afraid, and it will be no one's fault but my own. I'm afraid that there's no one to blame, that no amount of finger pointing or smiling in the face of everything will fix the fact that I'm fucked up.
I'm afraid, quite simply, of myself.
I've often felt inexplicable guilt, too, a dread that everything that's ever happened to me, that's given me the issues I have, is my own fault. I've felt the need to punish myself for what's happened to me. Even typing that something has given me issues, rather than that they're self inflicted, that they're only there if I acknowledge them, makes me uncomfortable. I've only been able to feel real anger at people for my emotional problems a couple of times - and never, actually, toward my father, who is most at fault. Logically, I know I should, and I often 'blame' him, but the belief that I didn't do something wrong has never settled in my mind.
No matter what anyone says, no matter how true it is, that feeling that at six or seven, I was somehow able to cause what happened to me, hasn't gone away. When I thought that the trial regarding that was coming up again, my main feeling was guilt, for putting my father through such a thing - nevermind what he did to me. It was my fault he might go to jail. And when it ended up not being that at all, I felt relief. My father would remain unpunished for my sins a little longer. Everyone says he deserves to be in jail, and I, of course, express my agreement, while thinking that he doesn't, not at all. Maybe it's not such a surprise that I'm afraid of myself, if I've projected every horror of my childhood onto my own psyche.
I wish I could end this with an inspired last message, how I now know not to let myself be a cage, not to be afraid of myself. But I can't. I'm still caged, I'm still afraid that I will always be caged, and I have no idea what do to about that. Self awareness is nice, I suppose, but it doesn't give me any answers. I feel, in fact, even more afraid now that I even know what's going on, and I still can't fix it. It terrifies me.
The character in the movie, at least, Breakfast at Tiffany's found her catharsis through love, and accepting it. But where's mine? Shouldn't this breakthrough be it? Shouldn't I feel all better? In the book, apparently, it ends differently, and she keeps running. What if I keep running, and I still can never run from myself, never break free? What if nowhere ever feels like home, because I'm always afraid?
I've been making some fairly good choices for myself lately, I'm proud. But I'm still scared. I'm still avoiding a lot of things, I can list them right now, simply because I'm scared. I go around life constantly worried, constantly wondering what people are thinking about me - not, I think, because I believe they're actually thinking anything bad. But because I'm wondering if they're thinking the same horrible things I think about myself, in the back of my mind, where I can't do anything but push the thoughts away.
I think maybe that's why I like control so much. Anyone who knows me, knows how much it bothers me to not know even little things - where we're going, what time it is, when we'll be back, what we're doing, what we're watching, what we're eating, what people are whispering about, whether it has anything to do with me or not. But when I know those things, I'm less afraid. I can prepare myself ahead of time for things, I can build my little cage. I like spoilers, I think, for the same reason. If I know what's coming, I never have to worry about how it might affect me, if it might shake the walls of my hiding place.
There's one more question, too. If it is possible, to break out of your cage, to be free, what then? What protects you? How do you keep your heart from being broken?
It's days like these I wish I could believe in religion. I understand completely how easy and relieving it would be, to hand your fate over, to put it out of your own hands. To simply say, "It's all part of God's plan," and never be afraid of my own cage.
I find it sad, I really do. I feel like it would be such a warm and inviting little crutch.