The thorn in my side

To be misunderstood. That is the thorn in my side. That is the splinter that prods from underneath my skin. It’s a feeling that has grown foreign. I’d become accustomed to a wave pool that oscillated at my frequency. I find myself, mouth agape, as a wave crests every time. How had I gotten so woefully out of sync? All I long for is one still moment to take a breath. Instead it’s a pummeling that arrives sure and true everyday. 

‘Is it me?’ I wonder as the blood rushes in my ears. Why does nothing fit anymore? Everything in my life has shrunk to a crawl space that I can’t navigate through. Suddenly my existence here is all wrong, and I can’t work my way out. 

Shouldn’t the idea of a misunderstanding reassure me? They’ve all gotten it wrong. What they take away is a horse of another color. Or maybe they’re wrong. Perhaps it is them that feels inadequate. But it doesn’t, it doesn’t make it easier. It doesn’t stop the instant replays in my mind, it doesn’t halt the sifting for answers. I pan in their shallow waters for a source of truth and all I find is fool’s gold. 

Maybe if I just stop swimming. Maybe if I let myself sink. I’ll conserve the energy I’ve been pouring in the wrong direction. Maybe it won’t feel so visceral. And maybe while I’m down there, the undertow will carry me somewhere better. Perhaps this isn’t a situation you patch, maybe there’s nothing I can say. Plants can’t survive in a shaded place and stars are washed out by city lights. It’s not the being, it’s the soil. I simply have to be who I was always going to be anyway, and find somewhere that fits.

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