I want to yell it. I want to hug them and whisper it. I want to write it in the sky and on a note that I slip into their bag when they're not looking. I just want them to get it: I understand.
I know the pain. I know the exhaustion. I know what the emptiness is. I recognize the look in their eyes because I've seen it in my own mirror.
Don't do it.
Don't give up.
Don't let the bitterness win!
Don't lose yourself.
Rage against the dying of the light.
(someone way more poetic and important than me said that, but, the first time I read it, I knew he understood too, so I don't think he'd mind my obvious borrowing of the sentiment.)
Its so hard sometimes.... to not only know that pain, but to see it reflected in others. It's so exhausting wearing that mask everyday. That "I'm okay" mask that you have to wear so people won't worry and won't ask questions that you don't have good answers to anyway.
"How are you?"
"I'm good." (I'm a liar)
"How are things going?"
"They're okay, thanks." (No, they're not, they're a big festering pile of not-okay-ed-ness, actually. But fuck off, cause I can't explain what's wrong anyway.)
"Well you look fantastic...."
"Thanks!" *insert smile that stops short of touching my eyes* (Now you're the liar, cause I look exhausted and I look like I've gained a lot of weight - because both are true. Oh, and occasionally I am convinced I am dead inside - completely sapped of any useful life-force, but totally, sure.... I. look. great.)
A coworker of mine once compared teenagers to psychic vampires: they are needy at times and when they are needy they suck the life-force from you until you're completely spent. And while I get the analogy, for me, it's not quite accurate.
I *want* them to feed on me.
Wait, no... that doesn't sound right... that kind of makes me sound like an accidental-pedophile. I'm not good with that.
(and why do so many of my thoughts come back to vampires?? oh Joss Whedon...)
I guess what I'm saying is that I'd gladly give up whatever psychic life-force it is that I have if it meant it would help heal their wounds, even if for only a short time. And I do. Over and over again. I can't help it. It's what I do. It's who I am.
Because I'm broken too. And I've been broken for so long that I don't remember what it means to be whole.
Just.... don't give up, okay? Because I'm still here. And I haven't given up. And whatever I have? You can have it, if it will help you.
You can have it all.