Maybe this is just me. Maybe it's everyone. Either way, I have no real way of knowing because I'll never be able to experience being someone else; but I have this sensation, often, of emotions derived from other times in my life being as pressing and vivid as they were the day I first felt them. The anguish of learning Eevee is dead. The fear of whether or not my father will burn the house down. The anger of a senseless fight with Tyler. The emptiness of a teenage Carly, sitting in the tub with the shower on, craning over her ankle as she tries to cut away the pain.
Everything is happening all at once. Our perception of time is poor at best, completely wrong at worst. Suddenly I'm eight years old telling bullshit stories to the teachers at school about pop bottles and the next moment I'm conducting a meeting with my coworkers. I am a child, an adolescent, an adult all at the same time. Sometimes it's like I'm watching myself, out of my body, observing my behavior in a calculated manner.
When I was younger, I used to have blackouts. I'm not really sure how to explain them any other way. I'd get so fucking worked up, then suddenly I'm at the other end of a conversation, not remembering what I said, wondering why they're walking away crying.
Having a fucked up childhood makes you grow up quickly yet you fail to learn a lot of specifics. Trying to define exactly what "adult" is happens to be impossible. "Normal" is just an abstract concept we define through sitcoms.
I cycle a lot. Good and bad. Well and unwell. Depressed and manic. Everything follows it's own tide. I've gotten to a point now where I can feel the water begin to well and I take a deep breath to prepare. I don't drown like I did when I was younger. The waves are unsettling all the same and every now and again, I'm afraid I won't be able to take a breath in time.
For most of my life, I assumed this was a "phase". That when I got older, I would mellow out, I wouldn't have to deal with this sort of thing anymore. I now realize that I was wrong. This is who I am. I am a little crazy. Sometimes I say ridiculous shit. Often I feel unfulfilled. Occasionally, it gets so hard just to exist that I sleep all day, then lounge in bed all night, wondering if there's really any point to continuing. I don't want to kill myself anymore, psychedelics have taken that away. Once or twice I've gotten emotional enough that I've fantasized about it but deep inside I always knew I could never pull the trigger.
I've improved, definitely. It's easier to recognize now. The emotions are slightly more muffled than they were when I was coursing with the hormones of puberty but the sensation is the same. Sometimes, when it gets bad, I speak their names like a curse word. Charade! Catalyst!
When asked how I dealt with my social anxiety in my job position, I told them that it was easy. I wasn't really Carly. I was Carly Kaxt, the most well liked person in the room. She was pleasant in all the ways I am not, accommodating and knowledgeable. Carly Kaxt can relate to anyone, put a smile on anybody's face, give directions everywhere. Yet another character chaotically cast in Carly's Cabaret.
I put on this third facade more often that I realized at first. I only noticed very recently. The irony is that I must have known, should have understood that by creating a stage name I was creating an entity in and of herself. Carly Kaxt is by no means an exclusive phenomenon - I assure you all performers make some sort of alter ego, even if they use their real name. However, having a borderline personality means that I find myself using this character outside of her intended audience.
Is this necessarily a bad thing? I'm not sure. Life is often about balance so surely a little bit of Kaxt in everyone's lives isn't such a bad thing. But at which point am I sacrificing the integrity of my true character? Am I even really certain of what my true character consists? Surely I will be untangling the finer details on these questions most of my life, just like all other humans. As long as we are searching and facing the results with honesty, I suppose that's all one can ask. If nothing else, may we constantly improve ourselves and love one another while we're here for our short time.