I am currently inexplicably wedged in to an enormous brown leather armchair munching on a gigantic and sticky Starbucks caramel waffle, so although I feel for the main part, like a bit of a hog, (Starbucks sofa’s must be made for people who weigh nothing! I am actually sinking!) As the gooey caramel lodges itself between my teeth, all over my lips and down my front and while the crumbly biscuit exterior makes best friends with my inner thighs (currently fighting to push each other away and failing miserably) the writing of this post feels strangely apt.
I am about to ask you a question,
She says cocking her head to the side, trying to take on the role of nurturing therapist while continuously munching away and slowly descending in to the back of the couch with every bite, so that my feet are now at a 90% angle above me,
But I would like you to have a good think about this question, and all the possible responses you can imagine before answering.
I am about to offer you one of my Caramel waffles. Really, they are delicious, delectable, mouthwateringly gooey, appetizing, and scrumptious and completely calorie free.
Stay with me here.
They are the ultimate biscuit, a biscuit to rival all other biscuits in their category and you desperately want one. By the time I have finished showing you the full delights of the super tasty taste sensation, and by the time I have finished wafting it under your nose so you can smell the super sweet-scented smell sensation, you are so desperate for a bite you almost snatch my hand off.
And you can have it if you really really want it (a zig a zig ah) but as always in life, there is a catch.
Each and every time you take a bite of this waffle, the waffle you simply cannot imagine turning down at this point, for the disappointment would be too great, I am going to thump and twack you over the head with a bloody big stick I have been surreptitiously hiding behind my back.
(You may have to help me up first though. I think I am actually stuck. I am typing this laying completely flat on my back but still sat on a sofa… only at Starbucks…)
This is the scenario you find yourself in ok?
The waffle is sat on the plate in front of you, calling your name, willing you to have a lick, just a single, tantalizing lick, but out of your peripheral vision you can now see me stick in hand poised and waiting to twat you across the head with every munch you try to enjoy.
(I am a full on bitch in this scenario, I know this. And really I am ok with it.)
So what would you do?
Stop reading now please, look away from your screen if you have to, and deliberate.
What would you do?
I REALLY REALLY want (ah zig a zig ah) for you to have a little think about it. (Get them cogs a-turning folks!)
Last week, while I was still existing on the ward and before I came up for parole, and therefore release, I was asked this very same question.
I mulled it over for a full 7 days.
Arriving back in my support group this morning, the air thick with dismay and rising damp, I was the epitome of smug Sally Wanker. (There was a girl in my class called Sally Wanker. There really was… or maybe that was a nickname. I cant remember, but either way she was smug.)
‘I know what I would do James.’ I proclaimed to my therapist, plonking my bag down, taking a load off (quite literally, I had dressed for Antarctic adventures but somehow it was now 80% and snowing outside…what the hell is going on with our summer??? Anyway, I digress…) and whispering hello’s to the rest of the mentalists with no identity at all. ‘I totally, full on, know what I would do.’
‘I am assuming this is about the waffle Lexy, but before you tell me, and as you have asserted yourself to speak first (damn,) could you please tell me about your week, we have missed you around here, what has been going on for you?’
‘Not much’ I say, keen to get this out of the way and finally be able to give him my answer to Waffle-gate.
‘I notice you are wearing full make up today, including lipstick, that’s a change from the norm, what has been going on for you?’
‘Are you saying I look like a transvestite?’
‘Did it sound like I was saying that?’
‘No. But I think I look like a man.’
‘Ok.’ He smiles kindly ‘I don’t.’
‘I am also wearing Skinny jeans James. Have you noticed my ultra skinny Jeans? I thought I would look skinny in them, well at least that is the effect I was hoping for, but as it is, I can hardly breathe and you may think I am wearing deep purple lipstick James, but it is actually a lack of circulation to my upper reposotries, to be honest.’
‘Your upper what now?’ He asks, concern pushing through the joviality in his voice.
‘My upper reposotaries.’ I retort confidently.
‘Did you make that word up Lexy?’
‘A little bit yes.’ I smile.
“I am sensing that you are (completely mad) a little all over the place this morning, so let us start simple. Tell me one thing this week that made you smile secretly to yourself?’
‘Stock response, something else.’
‘He did though.’
‘I am sure he did, what else?’
‘Well I smiled when I saw a beautiful friend, and felt truly content for the first time in a long while.’
‘Great but again, stock response, anything else? And really try to hear my question now. Please tell me one thing this week that made you smile TO YOURSELF SECRETLY.’
‘As in, is there something I am secretly proud of myself for?’
‘If you think that is what I meant, then yes.’
(FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!!!)
‘I’m taking back control?’ I state, as if asking him permission for this to be true.
‘Who is everybody?’
The million-dollar question.
Who is everybody?
I know my answer to this, and I am sure in our own way, we all know our own answer to this.
Who shreds our confidence, who pushes our buttons and who do we have to fight to regain some of ourselves back? Each individual story is completely unique, but sometimes (and just to be completely enigmatic here) sometimes the person who commits all these heinous crimes against us, is us, Isn’t it?
Sometimes we need to take control back from ourselves, before we can even consider attempting to win it back from others.
I know I do.
How many times do I beat myself up with a big bastard stick? How many times over a 24 hour period, do I call myself incapable, stupid, fat, ugly, thick, not as good as that person over there, unhealthy, miserable, idiotic. The list is endless. And ok, I may not say them out loud. I may not say;
‘Hey Irish one, sorry I burnt your chips, it is because I am a thoughtless, worthless great big lump of wasted blood and organs ok?’
I may not say it out loud. But I think it.
I may not say;
‘Hey Irish one, please don’t look at me, or try it on with me or touch me because since having this baby my body is truly disgusting and the very thought of you touching it makes me want to curl up and die in shame. I hate myself and I would really prefer if you did too, thanks.’
I may not say it out loud. But I think it.
(I may actually try being honest next time, as I am quickly running out of excuses to not be intimate. Last night I literally told him I couldn’t, as there was a strong possibility of me having scurvy. Luckily, he has no idea what scurvy is, and I assume he imagines it to be a long the same lines as having thrush. Either way I got an early night so all’s well that ends well… Except it isn’t. Because I miss him, and I hate feeling like this… Damn houseboat. Anyway. )
I beat myself up constantly.
And not only that, I allow others to do it too, usually because I am in complete agreement with them.
I deserve to be hit with a huge stick while eating a waffle.
‘Would you eat the waffle Lexy?’ James asks, eyes wide open.
‘Yes James, I would eat the waffle, I wouldn’t mind so much really,’ I pause for dramatic affect ‘the pain of being hit, because the waffle would be worth it.’
I state this sitting smugly in my bubble of insightful intuition I have learnt over the last three weeks.
He urges me to explain further.
‘I know now,’ I explain thoughtfully ‘after being here for three weeks, just how much pain and torment I can handle, it is nothing new. So the waffle would be worth it you see. Sometimes a small amount of discomfort is worth the enjoyment…’
‘Would you now,’ his eyebrows knot in intrigue ‘you would eat the waffle, are you sure?’
‘Yes. I would eat the waffle.’ (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!)
He is thoughtful in his silence, before looking at me once again and continuing.
‘You would eat the waffle, even while being hit with a great big cricket bat?’
‘Eh? I thought it was just a stick.’
‘Ok. Now it is a cricket bat. Would you still eat the Waffle?’
‘What if the immense pain the cricket bat was now causing, began to completely outweigh the enjoyment of the tasty waffle, then what would you do?’
‘I would run away with the waffle James.’ I roll my eyes wondering to myself why I didn’t think of this response sooner. Running with the waffle is the ideal solution. I would be burning off the calories immediately (mine isn’t calorie free) and would avoid being battered.
‘Both of your legs are broken. Would you still eat the waffle?’
‘Do I have a wheelchair to escape on?’
‘No! Would you eat the waffle?’
‘If I had two broken legs?’ (Is it me, or is this getting a little out of hand now? It’s a bloody waffle. They aren’t that nice!)
I sigh, ‘I would have probably given up on the waffle by now to be honest.’
‘So’, his turn to pause for dramatic effect ‘You would deny yourself the pleasure of the waffle when it became too painful?’
‘Yes,’ I reply with a deep sigh ‘If you had broken both of my legs I would be most displeased as not only have I just bought new shoes, but I cannot eat when I am pissed off and although Starbucks waffles are delicious, I would not want my legs broken, so I would leave the waffle where it was.’
I am aware that I am waffling (no pun intended) but when I stop he urges me to go on.
I falter slightly before believing I finally grasp what he is getting at and ploughing on with what I deem to be his revelation full steam ahead ‘because some pleasure isn’t worth getting hurt for is it? I wanted the waffle, you offered me the waffle, but it isn’t worth the pain, so leaving the waffle seems the perfect solution. Even though I miss out on what I wanted…’
He smiles slightly before leaning slowly back on his chair, not losing eye contact with me once.
I am completely confused.
Now I have said it out loud, that doesn’t seem right at all.
The room is deathly quiet.
‘Can I ask you something Lexy?’
‘Go for it.’ I say shitting myself now; sensing something important is about to happen.
‘Did you never consider, even for a moment, that you could just take the stick off me?’
‘…And eat your waffle in peace, with no pain, just enjoyment?’
*This post was brought to you by Postnatal Depression. Finding the inner courage to take the stick away, personal insult by personal insult, believing in myself little by little and opening up and peeping from behind the wrought iron door, tiptoe by tiptoe.
‘Hey Irish one, I burnt your chips because I was busy being a brilliant mummy playing with Addison, and I set the oven a little too high. Ill bang some more in.’
Want a bite of my waffle?