The Story I Never Tell Part 6

The Story I Never Tell Part 6

Yesterday a friend of mine said something to me that sort of poked holes in my confidence in the value of my project. I do struggle with appearing ridiculous with such an endeavor. And I do struggle with the absolute knowledge that to indulge in such self flagellation when my life is so blessed is absurd. I am crushed with the weight of that awareness. This awareness has kept me from admitting the depths of my depressive state for so many years. I am deeply ashamed of being so weak, and so unable to see things clearly, of being unable to just shake it all off. I am deeply embarrassed to share this struggle. But, I am also aware that if I share this struggle then I am free, because everyone will know the full truth about what’s up with me, even if when they find out they say, “Dude, what’s wrong with you? Why was that such a big deal? Get over yourself.”

I am unfit to write a novel freely now. The fiction is false until the woman is free, or so it feels to me. I’m not strong enough. I cannot write anything I know is beautiful until I am willing to take my gloves off again, and I cannot take my gloves off until I am free of fucks. Yesterday my friend said something to me that again proved that I still give fucks. She judged the value of this project because it was not the project she thought I should be working on. I should be writing a novel because I am a novelist.

I agree with her. I should be writing a novel because I am a novelist. There’s the shame of it. And my friend commented on the silliness of distracting myself with a blog when I have novels to write. But I’m not doing this for her or for any of you. I am doing this for me. I wrote my novel for all of you; I’m writing this for me. And this is going to have to be good enough for now.

I am a little crumpled at the thought of you reading what I am writing and rolling your eyes at how ridiculous I am, writing this instead of writing a novel. I do cringe at the thought that I am foolish, ungrateful, entitled, suffering imagined hurts when others suffer real hurts, etc. etc.. I can go on for days burying myself under layer upon layer of shame. But on October 13, 2018, I hope to not give one single fraction of a fuck what any of you think of me. I’m not there yet though. And knowing I might appear ridiculous with my little website and my many blogs, offering advice to folks when obviously I am a puddle of insecurities wrapped in a veneer of good words and nice phraseology, is really, really embarrassing for me. I’m thinking, however, that I will use this little event as my first experience with that sort of judgement against my project. I asked God to help me overcome my painful reaction to being judged for never doing what people think I should be doing, and in less than one week the judgement came, from an unexpected source, and I was so ashamed. Immediately flooded with shame for being so publicly ridiculous, even to my friend. And of course she never in a thousand years meant to hurt me; she’s the best and the bravest. She just wants me to do what I’m meant to do and what she knows I want to do.

But maybe the thing she never considered is this: I want to tell stories and I’m telling stories. I’m okay with getting strong here first. I’m proud that I learned to build a website. I’m proud that I learned to post a bunch of blogs to it when WordPress isn’t designed for that. I’m proud to have opened my Facebook Fan Page when a person like me even having a Facebook Fan Page is ludicrous. I’m proud to be exploring Twitter for the first time in so many years. I’m proud that I’m inching toward releasing all this shame and all this guilt and all this miserable bullshit that I’ve been holding onto like it’s the life raft when it’s actually the lead weights on my ankles. What a skewed world I’ve been living in. A Bizarro life. And for the first time in many years, I am not embarrassed not to be actively writing a novel. This is what I want to write right now. This is pleasing me and this is buoying me. Unloading all this crap and admitting how fragile I am to everyone, so we are all on the same page with regard to Sujatha, is what I am doing now. I know some of you have ideas about what I should be writing. As soon as I write something, I get texts from folks telling me what I should be writing. Folks feel perfectly comfortable inserting themselves into my creative engine. Maybe it’s like that with all writers. Maybe that’s something that only happens to me because I’m not an alcoholic, and I’m always smiling, and I don’t get mad at folks. I have never had protected boundaries.

But I’m not looking for ideas on what to write. I’m never looking for ideas. I do not want for ideas. Ideas I got. Courage is what I’m in need of, and it’s not like I didn’t come with courage. I am a courageous person who got the courage stripped away from me by trying to be someone I am not so other people could feel better and happier and more comfortable in their skin. The problem was that I still have fucks to give, and to be a writer you have to have zero of them. You need all the courage and none of the fucks. That’s the project. Courage School. Remember? I told you guys on the very first day.

Because I entitled this Part 6 of The Story I Never Tell, and then went on an aside, I will go in a few steps deeper so as not to have falsely advertised: I, feeling like an ugly girl with big teeth and terrible, unruly hair, join a Tae Kwon Do studio where I meet a man who is 11 year my senior. We will call him Rolando, though that is not his name. He pays attention to me. I am 15 and I think I am ugly, a dangerous combination to be young and harboring insecurities as to my appearance, but it’s not like many teenagers don’t feel this way. I think there was a lot more to my own poisonous brew-of-self. I have thoughts on that, but I’ll share those later. Suffice it for now to say that I was not ugly, but I didn’t know that. He knew that though. But he spent the next 4 years telling me I was smart but I was ugly. I was smart but I was ugly. I was smart but I was ugly. I was an Indian, and Indians were a backwards people; we smell. And I wasn’t even the good Miss Universe kind of Indian. I was the other kind. The monkey kind. And I was a Hindu and he was a Jew. Jews were obviously superior to Hindus because Hinduism was like a Vegas show. Our children would be smart but they would be hairy, because [see above] I was the wrong kind of Indian. Please remember that I was only 15, and a person who comes with unprotected boundaries [see above, above]; I might not have fully believed him, but I sure enough was shook. If you read my book, Dr. Russell Worthy is based on this man. Dhanya at UVA was based on me (Gita at UVA was also based on me, but that’s another story for another day). Dr. Russell Worthy and Dhanya at UVA was the story of us. But there’s more to that story. It really isn’t pretty.

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