ghost castle

guilt

what is this i'm feeling now? like a cold rod at the center of my soul. where is this guilt coming from? what is going on?

the last week has been nice. good, even. friends, conversations, jokes, sharing pain nonjudgementally. i should be happy. i feel like i'm happy. at least, when the feeling isn't being undercut by this guilt i feel. this sneaky guilt, internalized whenever-it-was. the part that says, "you can't be happy, you don't deserve it. look at what you've done." it's been waiting for this exact moment to hurt me. like a toothpick in a shag carpet, i stepped right on it.

but that isn't fair! of course i'd step right on it when "stepping on it" is "being happy." i can't never be happy for fear that i don't deserve it. i can't isolate myself forever, from everyone, no matter what the last few years have looked like. i think for me, for a while at least, being happy also means being in pain. like debriding myself of rotten thoughts. pulling the toothpick out of my foot. no anesthetic.

how many parasitic ideas do i have swimming in my head, feeding on my joy? how many times am i gonna feel struck down mid-stride by some evil image of myself with a jagged dagger? would knowing make it any less painful? or just make it seem to take longer?

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