Inside These Pretty Walls

Lovely white wainscoting. 

On the walls & even the ceiling. A bronze chandelier because we dislike brass but silver was too brash for the space. 

When it’s 3am, they’re all asleep and I’m in my finest form, I wander the halls of my house. Delving all the way back to childhood musings to the fights I had yesterday, I recount every moment of how I came to be here. Born into a trailer to an alcoholic father & absent minded mother, I was simply another baby born into a September. 

My illness tells me I am not a good mother. It lies and tells me I am not a good spouse. It lies. Yet I still believe the lies. I ignore my son telling me “love you more Mommy” and demanding another hug. I ignore my soon to be wife’s face as she smiles when I enter the room. I ignore it because it’s evidence to the truth, the love, the happiness.

My illness lies & says I do not deserve to be happy. I gave a child up for adoption. I am gay. I am not Christian. Swirling thoughts seduce & beguile me in the darkest forms. You see, when your mind plays tricks on you, as its apt to do, it’s captivating. Deadly & dangerous but captivating nonetheless. I have developed a rather analytical approach to my bipolar diagnosis. I am my very own case study. So immersed in tracking triggers, viewing statuses from a year before on social media only to find I was in the exact same state as now, seeing patterns and making charts to track the data… I even became a bit lost here, thinking about it all. I rarely play the role of the balanced woman. Certainly in love with motherhood, I give my all to my son. He is my alpha and my omega. Certainly in love with my partner, I give my all to my girlfriend. She is my sunshine. Yet, eventually they sleep. I do not. 
I wander halls. My thoughts reach back to poverty stricken beginnings. I ignore that I developed a successful photography career. I ignore my computer science degree. I ignore my ongoing educational pursuits. Every transaction at the market met with dread, uncertainty, a sickness in my stomach even as I know there’s more than enough money for what I’m buying. Vacations met with the excitement of a child as I never saw the ocean in any way that mattered until I was 25. 

I check on my son in his room. He’s covered in a cartoon animal laden blanket. His toys spread across the floor along with a wooden train track set. 

I check on my girlfriend in our room. She’s sleeping softly next to my empty side.

I look up at vaulted ceilings. There’s that wainscoting again. My hands trace the perfectly matted and framed photographs from our adventures. An entire wall in covered in my “Marilyn Monroe” obsession. Black and white portraits on canvas, I love them all. 

“You don’t deser-”

“Shut the fuck up. Shut up, go to your corner & sit there. No one asks you.” 

For the moment I’ve told my thoughts to go away, be quiet. My medicine soon takes effect and my mind is clear. I see the truth as it is. I deserve everything my heart wants. It isn’t about a lovely house with pretty walls and pretty pictures. It’s about loving my home & those in it. 

It’s 3:01am. Time for bed. 

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