Playing Hurt

Rachel said “Of course, your family finds it impossible to read your blog.  They need to believe that what they demand you to swallow is no big thing, like when your mother thinks she is offering you a chance to dress up in your room like some closeted crossdresser.  But if they read your blog, they will know it is your entire nature that you are forced to deny, that you have been forced to deny, and the cost to you is huge.  That’s something they can’t afford to engage.”

The expectation for me is simple: I am required to play hurt. That less than 1/2 inch of space between my body, my elbow and the door on my sister’s old car may mean that my elbow always aches as it is smashed into the door, but I just gotta play hurt and learn to be smaller, driving like a Muppet who has no elbows.

One thing I was never allowed to be seen as is being delicate.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I am not delicate. It just means that I wasn’t allowed to express being delicate. Someone always told me to take it like a man, to put on my big girl panties, or some such aphorism that meant to me my behavior wasn’t acceptable in their eyes.

The problem, though, with denying my own delicacy, beyond the price to my own soul, is the challenge of identifying boundaries where I am denying too much, being too tough, to the point of long term injury to myself. If I was obligated to play hurt, then how hurt did I have to be before stopping and seeking help? Shouldn’t I just keep taking the pain and go on?

I don’t know. This may actually be an obvious line to normies, who aren’t actually expected to deny their entire essence, but to me, caught between the narcissistic indulgence of my mother and the asperger’s disconnection of my father, well, there has never seemed to be any middle ground.

I just learned to live through decay & desperation, through separation & suffering. It’s what I did. The intern may have been stunned I turned down pain meds in the emergency room when I had a PER4 ankle sprain with broken bones, but I just had learned to be tough, not delicate.

Problem is, of course, that under all this carapace, I am really delicate. I just know that I can’t go there, because being delicate requires taking off the shell that protects me.

I need to be able to be in my own pain, to crash and be not OK, not always ready to be out front and serving.
I need to not have to have all my distress written off as “just emotional” and have any good points I make washed away as just part of that pointless emotional shit.   My emotions have to be real, someplace or other, engaged by humans as real and not just as terror.

I do know how to play hurt.  But I know that playing hurt gets me more damaged, and playing hurt denies me the power of getting well.  I have to take the sickness of others and internalize it, holding it away so it doesn’t impinge  on their comfort.  They get what they want, and I get to be more marginalized.

My elbow hurts.  I know that I want to externalize the pain I feel inside, make it visible and present, but I also know that the only one that hurts is me, because when I do bring it forth and then have it made even more invisible, I only hurt worse.  I learn to play hurt, and that only hurts me more.

I spent an hour with Caroline Russell, CSW, a few years ago.  “You are so smart that I could listen to you forever,” she said at the end, “but what you keep telling me is how much pain you are in, and when I look in your eyes, I know that to be true.”

Rachel & I talked about why no one but the non-watchers care about House’s use of Vicodyn.  People know he is in pain — is “miserable,” to use the writer’s term — and they understand why his x-ray vision isolates him and demands he keep distance so he doesn’t fail.

House plays hurt all the time, cause he is too damn delicate.

I am sick of playing hurt, because I am sick.

Does that make any sense?