GIRL SPEAKS: selective mutism

i can pin point when it all started, when i just stopped talking, opting to bottle every emotion i had and letting the heaviness (the burden of carrying this weight) rot me from the insides. it was memorial day weekend of 2019, my return home after graduating from college and learning to navigate (or at least trying to) a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend after living with him for months.

i hate change. maybe thats obvious at this point. too much change, and i crack completely (orchid children or whatever they call it, the fragile ones prone to breaking).

i hated living in houston for pretty much the entire time that i was there for college, retreating back to my hometown the second i finished my last in-person final, spirit flights purchased on impulse out of the need to be home.

you changed that. my last year in houston was by far my favorite, and its all thanks to you. i owe you for that, for making the best year of my houston/college experience, for being part of my story; i cherish those days when things between us were just easy, light and i just really fucking loved you.

i was happy. maybe the happiest id ever been.

i dont even know if im capable of that happiness anymore.

and on my final year, i found myself struggling to let go of that dirty, old houston apartment, even though the apartment has smelled like cat piss since we moved in and no amount of baking soda or professional cleaners and products had been able to successfully eliminate the atrocious scent. but that apartments important, monumental; because thats where we began, thats where our story started.

sometimes i wonder if those days are gone for good, that our lives together will ever feel as pivotal as it was back then and all i needed was you. and i wonder if we hold on to these memories too tightly, and were just lying to ourselves to try to make “us” work.

what changed between us? did we already reach our peak, and all thats destined is the inevitable fall?

i need clarity, so fucking badly (ive even reached out to my psychic, since all her predictions have come to pass and the universe refuses to offer me a sign).

and i cant stop thinking about when things went south with us, why i cant stop snapping at you lately, what happened between us to make conversations more scarce to the point of just pure silence. i cant stop being a bitch to you and i know im going to push you away, and maybe i already have.

i miss “us,” the old “us,” and i mourn that loss everyday as i continue to give you the silent treatment, plotting my escape to my parents house just for the sake of running away.

im shutting you out – i know i am. i just cant help it, imagining the worst case scenarios, that youll leave me because i dont think i make you happy.

maybe theres still a part of me that resents you for putting me through a long-distance relationship in the first place (through no fault of your own). youre here now; physically, i guess i am too but mentally, ive been checked out, engulfed in my own world, consuming thoughts.

you werent there when i needed you the most and maybe theres a part of me thats unable to forgive you for that. you werent there that night my 16 year-old maltese passed away, when i received that frenzied phone call from my parents while out to dinner with our friends. they said he wasnt able to hold his head up, and doesnt seem to be lucid, that were losing him.

you werent there when my mom told me my nanny/my third grandmother died due to surgery complications when i was in my last semester of college. my parents never fucking told me when it happened. conveniently my mom had to tell me this immediately after my dogs passing (great timing, mother).

it signaled an end of an era – the end of college, the end of childhood itself with the combined losses of my dog and my nanny, someone i had gone to visit each time i returned. the last time i saw her, i had a breakdown. maybe even then, i knew i would never see her again.

too much change, too many endings – so i stopped talking. i shut the world off, closing the blinds and surrounding myself with my thoughts. i kept (keep) everyone at a distance, and the shift was palpable.

these days it seems like anger is my primary reaction to everything, and i cant seem to find a balance in any aspect of my life; not with my boyfriend, not with my friends, not within myself.

“im gonna tell you how it is, dont give a shit about how you feel.”

im trying to find my voice again, to have the ownership and power of my own words. i need to be in control of my life again.

“look me right inside my eyes and you tell me the truth.”

what exactly do you even see anymore?

emptiness and sadness built on resentment, selective mutism, and the refusal to forgive, but maybe a slight glimmer of hope (the light at the end of the tunnel). thats what youll see.

GFY, fleur

GIRL SPEAKS: blurry vision, blurry life

sometimes i wonder if im a real person still, or if ive just spent too long blindly complying to everyones wishes with no free will of my own.

what is free will at this point?

passive – its a word i simultaneously embody and despise. and i let the days fly by as if they dont matter; as if i dont matter.

i see people (shadows) of the past, their lives moving forward as if everyday had been filled with intent and these cliche life milestones while mine just lingers, my mind rarely ever present. my life just is.

and i feel translucent as the days continue to lose their opacity, fading away into the abysmal non-world. i cant tell whether the events of last week happened months ago or years ago; time is bleeding together into a whirlwind of “what if’s” and the immense unknowns.

blurry vision and even blurrier memories. how can i know what i want if i cant even remember yesterday (the basic events and conversations and all)?

and i listen to the old playlists, trying to recreate a past forgotten, to help regenerate the person i once was – someone with adventures to call her own, with stories to tell instead of bitch rants; someone with a bit of darkness, bittersweet humor, and glitter woven in between the seams of it all (this could still apply to me today).

once, i was someone who wasnt afraid.

maybe im still unafraid, ive just been too zonked out to react or too fucked up to remember. then again this weekend, i did kick the door shut aggressively and yelled at my neighbor to “go fuck yourself, you stupid bitch.”

hindsight is 20/20. however, i have no regrets (no shame) in telling her to shut the fuck up. at least theres still some fight (somewhere) in me. unhinged, out-of-control; maybe i just miss the chaos of my previous life. i crave the disorderly.

i need a sign (for clarity, of course) – whether it be a shooting star, or a message in a bottle concealed by sand and weathered by the waves, a treasure map guiding me in the “right direction” (whatever the fuck that means).

a sign – something that happens (and this could all be chalked up to a timely coincidence maybe); a text at the right time, a song that randomly plays on shuffle that has the truth written between the lyrics, the meaning youve been looking for this whole time, but its something that strikes precisely when you need it the most.

i look for truth – answers – in every surrounding im placed in. in traffic, i look for signs in the billboards for concealed, subliminal messages, observe the cars that speed past me; their colors, their bumper stickers, their license plates as if they contain some cryptic code. i surround myself with my comfort shows, as they always seem to offer sound advice like the universe had summoned it (or maybe i just know what episodes hit at the right time).

and i look for answers in music – i want to feel. to absorb the sadness and the pain certain tracks evoke, the lightness in others that allows me to time travel, rewind, to brighter days.

theres a hopefulness that resides in youngboy’s “astronaut kid,” the same hope that lies with vampire weekends “step” and kacey musgraves “rainbow.”

i hope those songs never lose their magic, the personal application, the infatuation behind the song itself. my thoughts might contain a few black voids, the details fuzzy but at least the music will always be there.

today i want to reclaim myself – my identity, my independence, my chaos and disorderly. i dont know how, or even where to start but maybe the universe will give me a sign (because i sure as hell need it right now).

GFY, fleur

GIRL WITH COVID: quarantini

so i currently have covid. apparently, its the gift that keeps on giving, as ive graciously given covid to all my roommates (theyll thank me for the following months of immunity after this all passes).

covid – miserable? yes.

quarantine – lonely? yes.

reason why i got covid – worth it? yes.

ive (tried) to be the type of person who “doesnt shit where they eat,” my mind automatically painting neutral situations as either black or white, categorizing people as good or bad – defined boundaries, a fine line between two polar opposites (minding my own fucking business in hopes of you minding yours too).

but the happenings tell a different story.

“dont shit where you eat,” they say.

yet im the girl who hooked up with her roommate and best friend, all wrapped into one.

he said he wouldnt date me – and i said “ok.” he said to hook up with other guys, as if i should prove that im non-committal to him – and i said “ok.” vulnerability refuses to unravel, and feelings are left unspoken. and all i can say is, “ok” – for the fear of knowing, the fear of fear itself.

at some point, the walls come caving in, crumpling like paper mache; the line is blurred, and theres no escape from the undeniable reality – the chemistry being the most obvious, rejection a coping mechanism for the both of us. he said he wouldnt date me – well today, hes still my roommate but hes also officially been my boyfriend since then.

i guess with risk there comes reward (or vice versa?). i won the lottery with who i chose to be with. no awkward introductions, or act of approval from the friends whos opinions i value so much – they already know you and i do too (the perks of dating someone in your close-knit friend group).

so how my relationship started – i shat where i ate, and in return, i received a boyfriend, one whos reserved in his emotions at times, but shows his love in actions, checking on me to make sure im okay (because we all know i love attention).

and sometimes i wonder how we got to this place – a place of comfort, safety, and trust. i wonder where time has gone, as we continue to live in this streamline modern historic home with our two roommates (another couple), this place weve called home for almost two years. i wonder where time is going, what to expect as naturally, i always picture the worst case scenario.

and then i wonder if ive changed, if im still that self-sabotaging, manipulative bitch that the ghosts of my past claim i am (was?). i wonder if i just continue hurting person after person (why does everyone like playing the victim?), half-assed promises thrown out the window and words piercing like glass shards. i wonder whether the calm in you can balance the anger in me. i wonder if you deserve a category of “be better” that i cant offer.

and i wonder what life would be like if i were with someone who didnt let me blast “sincerely, kentrell” on drives together, the songs we skip when listening to the album by ourselves the same as one another, as if our brains communicate telepathically (“sad boy never happy again,” our little inside joke). i wonder what life would be like if i werent with someone as patient as ive needed, someone who makes me coffee each morning, someone who force feeds me gatorade as im slurring, plastered and shitfaced, to soothe my morning hangover (or hold my hair as i puke and holding my cup of ice cubes for me, if all else fails).

am i worthy? thats yet to be determined.

“dont shit where you eat,” i say.

i say that to my boyfriend whos ever-present eagerness to meet new people shines through as he started befriending his coworkers, seeing them on a more personal level i wasnt able to relate to.

i judged him even, for befriending his coworkers, looking down on them from my trash throne. maybe i was angry (jealous even) – to want something you dont have, to have people you can actually be honest with at work instead of pasting on a fake mask. maybe my competitive side always needs to be the center of attention, my ego tended to and nurtured.

work and personal life – two separate matters and two separate worlds, the overlap of the venn diagram blank for all the emotional, private aspects that shouldnt cross over into the professional realm.

it took one week – a business trip in vegas, a few days without the comfort of my roommates, boyfriend, home. one week – a slowly changing perspective, stories told over copious amounts of alcohol, a line thats losing its definition, fading gradually.

it took me almost three years to realize – i dont hate my coworkers. even the ones i thought i disliked, and im still trying to understand – their unspoken traumas, their loneliness in this large world and billions of souls.

it took me three years to realize that the people around me are more similar to me than i would have ever assumed on a surface-level. the self-described “geriatric man whos bedtime is 10 pm sharp” coworker (shes closer to my age by the way) recognizes the anxiety and the darkness too, and were both still learning how to deal with it.

and tales told over a bottle of “demon slayer” sake at the bougie japanese fusion restaurant we were treated out to, secrets unravel – psychic readings that have your future written out in stone, the edibles experience at some live action new york event with vanishing faces, people disappearing as the light strobes, (really trippy i hear), the golf tournament after popping some shrooms chocolate. not work appropriate conversation, id think, but those taboo talks speak deeper than the exterior “professional” shell we put on. its real.

so anyways, i guess that makes me the hypocrite, queen of mixing emotions into every situation, a chaotic worldwind. center of attention, self-declared queen of who belongs and who needs to get the fuck out – its all been needs, not wants, and sometimes were cornered in our mind, forced to pick a side before the whole story is revealed.

if theres any takeaway, i judge too soon. i expect the worst out of people most of all, as not all intentions are as pure as they may seem initially. im trying to not see everyone as evil.

but overall im grateful – to get to know my colleagues and work relationships for what they are, who they are on the other side, without the fake “happy colleague” mask or business casual attire – just some drinks, slots, and clubbing in a funny but fascinating “professional development” stance. worth it, even if i got covid as a result.

it would have been sad not to see that side – who we are underneath the mask.

“dont shit where you eat,” they say.

but sometimes honesty can come as a relief – youre not alone. and people see you for who you truly are, and maybe thats ok.

GFY, fleur

GIRL WITH SHORT HAIR: a creature-of-habit dreads change

when i was five, i received underwear as a birthday present, a gift from my then-best friend’s mom. she had assumed my family was so completely broke, unable to afford any clothing for me other than the only jeans she ever saw me in, worn out and tattered, covered with patches added weekly to cover the holes, and the two sweatshirts i wore interchangeably, for year’s on end.

it was an act of charity.

at twenty-five, i find bittersweet humor in that moment — five year-old me with straight bangs, wearing a lime green tee with the little mermaid embroidered onto it, eagerly shredding the pink wrapping paper to reveal a three-set of powderpuff girls underwear.

at five years-old, i was unaware and oblivious of how others perceived me. i didn’t give a shit what you thought about me — words like self-conscious and insecure didn’t resonate. i was just happy to exist in my own brain space, a place where i played pretend and based my identity around whichever character i fixated on.

i was obsessed with disney’s a bug’s life, a phase in my childhood where my entire life was dictated by the film — my mother fondly recalls me rejecting my real name to my kindergarten teacher and insisting on going by the name of flik. donning either the forest green crewneck with a graphic of flik’s face or the pink fleece with an embroidering of atta, i embodied my infatuation.

so maybe things haven’t changed that much since i was a kid — sure, my world doesn’t revolve around a bug’s life anymore but old habits die hard and sometimes, the only thing that keeps me from forgetting the past is resisting the change that evolves over time.

time-and-time again, i still find myself refusing to try anything new. theres a comfort that comes with consistency, the word “change” forbidden and overwhelming for all the unknowns it can bring. its fear of the unknown, really.

girl who orders the same dishes each and every time we dine out (if girl even eats – thanks, adderall); girl who cant admit to herself that her current living situation with three (previously, four) roommates cant last forever because she cant stand the idea of being alone; girl whos kept the unbrushed and messy ombre hair for years just because one of her infatuations said he loved it.

i lopped off my hair in september 2020, and it was a change that terrified me. its the letting go, the tidal wave of emotions, the new starts and the endings – truly, the end of an era. a time for new beginnings and moving on from my past self, my identity.

so maybe thats what it comes down to – loss of identity. can you even lose your identity if you dont know who the fuck you are?

sometimes, im certain of who i am – a mid-grade hoarder, who cant stand the thought of my belongings being (feeling) lost or seeing food tossed from the fridge even if i dont really eat; loud typer at work with my headset volume turned to 100 to block out the noise, both in my head and in the outside world; lover of youngboy and someone whos mood is determined for the rest of the day by a song; a girl with heightened emotions and the occasional outbursts and a great fear of rejection or being disliked.

the occasional people pleaser, but also someone whos not afraid to cuss you out and threaten you with her plastic “brass knuckles” cat keychain when crossed or spoken to in the wrong way. and i know i anger people too. i do it on purpose, poking the bear and being a pain in the ass (for fun).

for someone who wants people to like her, i sure have a way of pushing peoples buttons and burning bridges, caution tape wrapped around dead friendships because i always leave first (before i am left). i make plans i never intended on keeping in the first place, i cancel last minute and i dont reply for weeks (or maybe ever).

most days, i have no fucking idea who i am, what my purpose in this lifetime is other than to play karma and be the vengeance that other people deserve (and asked for).

i dont know who the fuck i am. but i have short hair now, permed silky smooth, a 180 to how my hair was previously, a cleanse of my past. and i wish cutting my hair (the thing i dreaded the most as a kid), suddenly gave me a better understanding of who i am and why im here.

and maybe im still learning to let go, traumas hidden in the shadows as i continue to run from them, the lessons learned never truly sinking in. maybe ill never be ready to let go, because moving on from the past traumas threaten my fragile identity as it stands.

so maybe thats who i am – girl afraid of the future, but also afraid of the past, just passing the days by lying to herself (and others) while simmering internally with anger.

GFY, fleur

GIRL WITH BLOG: my intention was never for this to be depressing

is the glass half empty or half full?

glass half empty (10000%).

maybe i expect the worst of everything. i mean, the worlds a fucking shitshow. im a mess and i cant clean myself up. i cannot accept reality yet im angry at this world, the higher powers or whatever karmic universe that controls us like puppets from the beyond.

and this was never my intention: a repeat of my tumblr days, my continued qualms with life itself. this was supposed to be fun – about the memories i want to keep.

“i wanna paint down my memories, so i dont forget.”

and ive forgotten so much – scatterbrained, empty-minded and stumbling my way through. memories are all thats left and im ashamed and terrified of all that ive forgotten, moments that meant something but i was too black-out to recall.

“the darkness doesnt have any answers.”

and thats what it call comes down to – the vulnerability, the pain, the heaviness. looking for answers in the wrong places, my darkness.

the feeling that the world owes me for what its taken, whats lost. anger, geared at anyone who dares step into my war path. i hate. and i keep hating people, circumstances, the way life plays out. i hate the higher powers who clearly havent given a flying fuck, watching us scramble, tittering to each other as we suffer.

“what happened to us?”

in my world, its so fucking black and white. tiptoeing that fine line between love and hate, walking on thin ice thats crackling with every step. instability? clarity? who the fuck knows.

im taking my anger out on all the wrong people – but theres just so much to be livid about. and if there was a blinking red *SOS* button in my brain to turn it all off – the “stop using others as a human punching bag”, the guilt of brainfog and lack of memory, tragedy.

and in this world, are we just infatuated by the idea of love or is it remotely possible to be in love (if we dare admit it)? is it real love? or love due to convenience?

why is it so hard for me to admit love or show that i care?

i dont know. i guess im still trying to find the answers to that one.

and lastly, “people always leave.”

and it was never my intention to hurt those i love the most.

but its easier to be the one leaving. its easier to give someone reasons to leave you, self-sabotage to barricade the lonely heart, the one who plays the mindgames and tests the other as vulnerability lingers above me – the enemy, like a black cloud.

it was never my intention, my 2013 angsty tumblr days (take two).

and im not really sure what to do anymore. maybe were all broken, and we just learn to deal – to function – as if we were shattered pieces of a porcelain doll, precariously pasted back together with an elmers gluestick. maybe were all hot fucking messes who cover it up with fake smalltalk, cheap facades to hide who we really are underneath the mask, the things weve mourned, the shit life has put us through, the truths and realities we want to bury.

my intention for this blog was so i could remember – the good and the bad, cherished moments and moments where i need a safe space to empty out my thoughts.

im just trying to find the healing in all of this – in writing, in music, in art. to have faith in people, and not thinking the worst in everybody right off the bat.

im just trying.

and thats probably all i can ask for right now.

GFY, fleur