Someone gave me some colouring books for Christmas, six to be precise. Okay, I get it I’m stressed. Written in a soothing pale grey are words along the lines of ‘mindfulness colouring’ and ‘colour therapy’, one of the books is full of ink blot like drawings, while another is full of animals. One word…
I feel more stressed out with the tiny little spaces that I have to colour inside and picking the right colours for the right parts, it is alien to me. My comfort zone was messy and big, scribbly, not neat and within the lines and always, always black and white.
I preferred plain paper to instruction manual type art. Paint by numbers would probably have become paper mache, and even watching Art Attack with Neil Buchanan, if he made a pink boat I’d make a blue rocket. My head didn’t work the same, I would see a patterned rock and find an image in it somehow.
Then one day I couldn’t see the faces in the trees or the pictures in the bathroom tiles anymore. It was like being in a white room. My house is decorated similarly right now, it’s like I’m scared of colours. A man with visible scars and pain in his eyes said the word mindfulness to me and I thought it was for smart people, I still don’t fully understand it now but he believed in it and it made me consider it. At least until I got these bloody colouring books!
He’s a smart man, well read, but his mind ticks faster than normal and his body rejects the speed, they fight each other and the mind always wins wearing the body down. I feel the same now but my scars are on the inside and my pain is hidden beneath my customer service smile and years of fakery.
I haven’t got to meditating, that’s not me, but I think constantly and I question more and I stop myself from thinking negatively now more than I did before. Of course my memories never go away.
I’m seven. I’m in the playground sitting cross legged on the freezing concrete in a circle with my friends when some older girl comes and sits on my shoulders and pours dirt in my eye. I haven’t done anything to her.
The school disco was the only time we could wear our own clothes and have fun and no one cared, it was hot and sticky and long before make-up and boys and they played YMCA every year. I’m excited. I’m wearing my favourite mini skirt, thick black tights and my denim jacket. Then stupid Carly comes over and says something to Lance, I don’t know what, and he called me a tart. l don’t value his opinion at all, I think he’s thick, but my night is ruined now. I sit on the steps with a ladder in my tights until the music stops and my uncle takes me home.
School disco again. I’ve come to school in my uniform and asked if I can stay in the classroom to do extra work. There’ll be no more dancing for me.
I was on my second high school, the first being an utter bitch-fest, I moved to escape them and ran right back into it when Chloe tackled me in P.E and called me everything for not being good at football.
I’m a recluse. The school sent a counsellor over to my house who’s talking about sending me to a school where there won’t be any P.E or anyone to call me names. I like the sound of this place.
It’s hard for me to leave my house for fear of what others will say about my clothes, I can change up to three times a day if I think that somebody gave my jeans a funny look or I thought someone was laughing at my hat. My skirts are long, my cleavage is covered so no one will ever say that I’m a tart again. I will refuse to participate in any kind of sport and I make sure that no one gets close enough to pour dirt on me.
Mindfulness for me is like blinding myself from myself, the real me is rocking in the corner afraid to go get her car cleaned by the Polish men down the street because she can’t understand what they’re saying, and the mindfulness me walked past real me and is getting in the car already.
Sometimes I can be mindfulness me, I can control myself and tell myself that they’re not laughing at me and that no one is looking at me but then the rest of the time I’m in 1995 not knowing what I’d done wrong and why everybody hates me.