This blog post is part of a series that I began for telling our story. You can read the first post here.

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I just heard a noise in my office ceiling. Something was running through. I am trying my hardest to imagine it was a cat that somehow got in and got stuck in our ceilings… but I know that it’s probably an R.O.U.S. (If you had to click the link to understand, I will forgive you. If you still didn’t understand it after clicking through, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore).

I’m going to imagine it was a cat anyway. And then imagine it already got out and is happy and free somewhere far away from this building. One of the gifts of my vivid imagination is this ability, to pretend that something isn’t as bad as it seems. Now, that could mean putting off a problem far too long, but in my case, I don’t use it to avoid dealing with a problem. Instead, I use it when there is nothing I can do in the moment, and I still have to live with the issue.

My skin crawls and I get creeped out over everything creepy-crawly. So when there is nothing to do after traps have been set and exterminators have been called, I use my imagination to pretend away the scary thoughts. Instead of assuming that there’s something lurking under my desk, I actively imagine it is gone.

This only works as long as my senses don’t betray this lie. I’m currently on edge as I type, one ear trained on the ceiling.

I think it’s why I’ve avoided blogging for so long, too. As long as I pretend away my feelings, pretend away my history, it’s like it isn’t there. But it’s not true. The sorrow and grief are just out of sight, nibbling on the wires of my mind and making it harder for me to concentrate. The memories lurk in the shadows and dart out in unguarded moments, making me want to scream or cry.

I so desperately want to be well-adjusted, to be seen as confident and put-together. To keep people from feeling uncomfortable around me. I don’t want them to see the cracks and the emotions and the chinks in my armor.

But maybe that’s not actually helping anyone, because only when we’re real with each other can we have any sense of community.

Next post coming tomorrow.

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