Syd Barrett lost his mind. Maybe it was all the drugs, maybe it was mental illness, maybe he left it in a club in Soho and it got picked up by a waitress and tossed into the trash, never to be found again.
I fear losing my mind.
I’m also a fame groupie. I want to be famous, though really, it’s probably the worst possible thing that could happen to me.
No, that’s a lie.
I don’t want to be famous. If I did, I’d be broadcasting my name all over the place, and I’m not. Not really.
I want the writing to be famous.
And that’s the wrong reason to be writing. It’s terribly unsatisfying, darlings, and so yesterday, my crisis of identity, or crisis of meaning, or whatever you’d like to call it, came to a head, and some truly wonderful people helped me through it.
I talked about walking away.
I talked about killing someone some of you have grown to love.
Some of the people I shared this with reacted much like Annie Wilkes (portrayed by the ever fabulous Kathy Bates in the film Misery) and called me a dirty bird and declared that I COULD NOT KILL THEIR FAVOURITE DILETTANTE or else they’d tie me to a bed and hobble me and make me write her (my) resurrection.
Others made me promise that if I was going to go into some sort of cocoon and come out the other side, that I at least gave them a forwarding address.
The problem, of course, without going into too much detail, was that I had lost touch with why I was writing, and why I am Helena in the first place.
I don’t need Helena.
But damn it if I don’t love being her.
And apparently, you love her, too, and the resounding cry that I got in return was that you would miss me if I was gone.
While that is gratifying in itself, all the reactions, all the advice, all the tough love — gave me a clarity that I’d been missing. I’d been listening to all the wrong voices (most of them my own) and I will be writing about the genesis of that very soon, but to hear others refute what I thought about myself, and point out things that I was downplaying was exactly what I needed.
Okay, I’m going to say something, and if you comment on this part of this post, you will be forever banned. It’s just something I need to say in print so that the words are there in black and white, and so that people understand where I’m coming from.
For many reasons (much of them external, and the result of my childhood), I hate myself. I hate myself, and I think and say horrible things about myself, that if someone were to say about someone I loved, would be grounds for a beating. But I take it. I allow myself to say and think these awful things, and I can’t stop it.
SO…. this means that I don’t take praise well. I’m cynical and jaded about it, and I laugh it off and am self-depreciating and I (bottom line) DON’T BELIEVE IT.
I’m always going to believe my own negative view of myself over the praise of others.
Someone pointed out to me (thanks L.) that this is very disrespectful and dismissive of the people who come and love my writing. It’s the equivalent of me laughing in your face and saying “What the fuck do you know?”
Forgive me. It’s how I’ve been built. I think that my parents got me from IKEA, and when they were done putting me together, there were pieces left over, and rather than read the directions and figure out where they went wrong, they just tossed them in the trash, and now I’m forever broken.
Made of cheap, shoddy building materials and held together at the corners with duct tape and binder twine.
Syd Barrett’s mind was pretty fragile, too, I suppose, but his friends must have loved him, because the rest of his band mates made an entire album as something of a sad love letter to their lost friend.
Think of me now and again. I’ll be around. I can’t promise I’ll be socializing as much as I used to, but I’ll be here. If I’m not here, know that I’m doing what I love — writing.