Recently I ended up making a glib comment (when someone made an allusion to a vampire) about having had enough dealings with vampires to last me a lifetime.
This surprised the guy who was training me in my new job. He’s very nice as you’d expect a responsible guy, who takes care of everyone. I opened my mouth in a series of soundless false starts. I talk a lot but when it really matters: I goldfish. I can’t find the conviction to push the words out, even if I want to. I stop gesticulating and my sparkle leaves me – for an intensely still, vulnerable truthfulness.
“I have bipolar disorder,” I said calmly, trusting the universe and my own tone, “I take potentially toxic medication so I have to have blood tests every three months. So that’s why I’ve had enough dealings with vampires to last me a lifetime.”
He said, “Riiiight….” And then waited to let me explain. He listened so well. I never planned to disclose this at all at this job because it wasn’t necessary and it is so nice to be considered normal, even forgettable. Just the pretty, clever girl who likes languages.
As for the vampire in my head that looks like Keanu Reeves I physically wrote that scene on paper but it’s dialogue driven and reads like screenplay. Bad screenplay. Ugh. He sits there vocalising very intimate things about me. I may have to write the bastard just to get him out of my head.
After I’d explained about hormone spikes and the tips of neurons looking like broccoli florets and everything I said:
“Please keep this to yourself. Please don’t treat me any differently, like I’m made of glass or anything, and please don’t call me brave, I just did what I had to do.”
“I wasn’t going to say you were brave. I was going to say I think you’re very strong because you kept going. Anything you tell me will be confidential. And if there’s anything we can do, let us know.”
Then other stuff poured out. Mainly about loneliness. And fear of further loneliness. I felt like I do every time, just a little bit more glad that people were actually listening to me about my condition and seeing it as just another human thing.
My colleague was very kind and said with the kind of conviction a lot of people seem to have about me – which I wish I had – “I think you will find that. You’ll find what you want, that compassion.”
Of course I meant love as a subtext (not with him obviously – he’s married for a start.) I think he was complicit in the subterfuge, and kindly didn’t mention what we both knew we were really talking about. I said I hoped so with not much hope. Still it was a relief.
I was scared but I did it anyway. I tried to trust the universe.
~ Pola ~