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But I'M NOT BITTER...
The Goddess of battle, strife, and destruction explains it all for you

Born To Run

by

October 18, 2009

When I was growing up, I suppose my parents yelled all the same things at me that other parents do: "Eat your carrots!" "Do your homework!" "Turn down the music!" But the only one I recall being repeated with both frequency and increasing exasperation was "Why do you always have to be different?"

Two things about that. One: I wasnít actively trying to be different. In fact, for much of my early life, I was desperate to fit in.† It just wasnít going to happen.† I wasnít doing it to annoy anyone:† I was just being me.† And two:† why was being different such an indictment?

I was aware from very early on that I was not like the other girls.† My illness made me alien.† Being constantly hauled out of school and stuck in hospital, not being able (and later, not being allowed) to hang out with my peers or do the things that other kids my age were getting up to - these things set me apart.

But so did many of my experiences. Itís not such a bad thing.

I learned to live in my head a lot, especially when I was in hospital.† I rarely got to the point where Iíd be so divorced from my own body that I could be present at some particularly humiliating/grueling/painful test or procedure merely as a spectator, but sometimes I did.† When it got too hard I did. Most of the time the drugs took care of that, but when they didnít I made the effort to stay present and connected with what was going on - I instinctively knew that some things (even back then) deserved to be remembered by my whole self, even when that memory was stored distorted by drugs or circumstance, by an incomplete understanding.† Though I couldnít quite say why. ††It just felt important.† †

I had more or less accepted the fact that I was different by the time I was 14. †At first, I resented it.† Then I renounced it and for what seemed like the longest time (but was probably only about 8 months), I laughed when everyone else did, I pretended an awareness of things I had no clue of, concealed knowledge of things I knew I could never speak of.† Then it was back into the hospital with me and by the time Iíd emerged, everyone else had become young ladies.

And I still felt like a freak.

So I embraced it.† I gothed out big time and I have to say, I certainly have the complexion for it.† Obviously, thereís only so much you can get away with under the beady eyes of the Faithful Companions of Jesus, but even if theyíd roast you alive for putting a safety pin through your ear, out of their hearing you could still become cool if you were blasphemous.† Itís the Catholic girlís version of being dangerous and dark.

Itís a habit I have yet to break.† But now itís just fun.† Nothingís sacred - I put it all out there.

I wore my difference like a badge:† I flaunted it.† I dared people to make it an issue.

These days, Iíve come to accept it. Itís nothing deliberate: itís just the way Iím made.† I donít have any particular problem with it, but there are many who do.

My friends roll their eyes a lot and have, to a woman, become rather proficient butterfly net wranglers, but they know that thereís really no harm in me.† Iím the fun kind of lunatic (most of the time), not the eee-eee-eee scratchy violin music type.† I make them laugh.† Theyíd all prefer that I get out of the house more but God love Ďem, with the exception of Christine, theyíve all stopped asking me when Iím going to get a boyfriend.† Natalie still calls me a Flagellant but she stopped calling me a recluse some time ago - thatís just sort of taken as read.

I like being alone.† I cannot settle.† Iím either running from something or in search of something, but itís probably a combination of the two.† Iím not so much of a lone wolf as a stray cat. †Time has made me realize that some people are uncomfortable in the† mainstream.† We sing off key, we donít get the jokes, what we see is not what is so evident to everyone else.† To me, the brass ring of the picket fence and the same body in my bed for forty years holds no appeal.† I appreciate its allure for others, but it has no power to seduce me.† Iím too restless, the urge to wander and to be apart is so encoded in my DNA that someone elseís suburban dream represents only captivity to me.

I am awkward with the conventional.† I donít understand the construct.† Being different is not simply a way of rebelling against conformity:† itís the way I fit into the world.† Itís the covenant that life has made with me. The price I pay for being here and the reward for it as well.

Iíll never have the family picnics and the great anticipatory build up to Christmas, the shared traditions, the same stories told annually by the same relatives twice removed.† I donít find comfort in the unceasing sameness and predictability that spells safety and contentment for many of my friends.

Instead I get to stay up, awake inside the breathing of the night. I write, I sing, I read poetry and particle physics and law, I slip into the skin of otherís realities, I let my neural pathways take me where they will.† I dance around in the wee hours in my underwear, waltzing the cranky, protesting cats around the place, I laugh uncontrollably at something Iíve written. †I lose myself in music.† I cry if I want to.† I imagine that all things are still possible, that eventually life redeems all hurts.

I get words and music and imagination.

I wouldnít have it any other way.

Till next time,

 

Morrigan



Copyright© the Morrigan & Heartless Bitches International (heartless-bitches.com) 2009
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