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I’m acting like


By Melissa IngoldsbyPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
I’m acting like
Photo by Fleur Kaan on Unsplash

I’m acting like I’m fierce enough for this and it’s killing me inside. I’m not insightful enough to know what to do, but I have survived this long by being brave. Being brave is a flexible experience and muscle. You can still be terrified when you’re showing your bravery in the face of injustice. In fact, that’s the most important time to be brave. When you’re scared shitless. When you know you’ll still get that punch. It’s a muscle you have to grow. It’s painful and you get sore but it is how you keep going. I grew mine from a brutal seed that required too much to produce even a single leaf. Is my dysphoria from my trauma? Why can’t I watch Love and Death without reverting to a childlike state where I relive my deepest nightmares? Why does the world showcase such beauty in the face of gravity defying agony and horror? The beauty grew from that horror. That’s why I feel beautiful. But I am not talking about American Beauty.

That’s what it is. The concept of finding truth in your illusion. My heart seeps into others and they drown in it, finding my presence a nuisance. I love without exception. Without expectations. I find myself drowning long after they’ve gone. They say they’re done with me but I leave traces of my heart along the bloody tracks.

I’m acting like

This is okay but nothing ever is. I know God is looking for me to find strength, in love and goodness. I have done this for so long that I can’t help but think that I’m swimming in a hole I can’t get out of. I see the light but I can never get to it.

I am acting like pain is nothing more than a distraction. A mere sensation that passes. But it never stops. You feel it a day after and a year later and ten years too. It’s like grief. Grief cannot be taken away from you. You can distance yourself from the utter black hole that grief brings, but it always sucks you back in.

I’m acting like I don’t laugh or cry or scream.

I laugh. Gut busting, painful laughs that fill an entire room with glee. I cry. But it’s only in a short alley where no one can be bothered, waves bouncing around like sickly balloons in a sea of running children.

I’m in agony from the pressure. There’s nothing like it. It collapses my brain and itches my throat. The dysfunction of the dissolution that created my identity, I recall it stemming from a sense of fear and depression. I tell myself it’s out of confidence and pride. I tell myself that I am good just the way I am.

I feel I am out of reach from my true nature, yet when I feel it inching closer, I can sense a healing inside that starts to boil over and settle.

I can’t imagine a more beautiful world in which we can all stop our busy lives for a moment to watch a plastic bag dancing in the wind. The film American Beauty showcases such a moment, and it really captures the moment everything feels like too much in such a small space of the world. It makes one want to explode and shout out to the rooftops.

I’m acting like one more rejection is no big deal

I’m acting like my rejections can’t touch me

But when I know that I can be beautiful and angry & forgiving and soft and masculine and kind

I know that bravery is still within me

Even though I’m


FamilyTeenage yearsSecretsHumanityChildhood

About the Creator

Melissa Ingoldsby

I am a published author with work on Patheos.

I am Bexley is published here.

The Half Paper Moon is available on Golden Storyline Books for Kindle & Paperback.

I hope you find yourself in between the spaces of my words.

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Comments (7)

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  • The Invisible Writer3 months ago

    This was very visceral. I loved the way you wove American Beauty within it. Such a great and forgotten film. I was completely captivated and drawn in by this

  • Omgggg, this was so profound, poignant and powerful! So intense! I also love how poetic it was! You're so amazing!

  • Only fools are not scared. I forget who said that originally but it tends to be true. There is no courage without fear, only naivete.

  • JBaz3 months ago

    I read this twice to understand the full impact, and am glad that I did. Very powerful message Well done

  • Daphsam3 months ago

    Wow, very intense- soul provoking work!

  • Rene Peters3 months ago

    This was incredible! I love the honesty in all the emotions people are meant to experience.

  • Heather Hubler3 months ago

    Oh my, this felt like blood and hope and pain and strength smeared all over the page with brutal strokes. Wow, your words and your emotions really hit me and resonated so hard. Thank you for sharing and big hugs to you!!

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