I knew my reason for existence before I knew who I was as a
person. I’m here to aid in the soul-recovery mission of reconnection lost, buried
and disowned parts of self with Self. I’m a shame-eater; someone who lives as
unabashedly authentically as possible in order to provide space for others to
do the same.
Coming to know one’s self when all you have to go on is
chips of cracked porcelain takes patience and reconstruction skills. Nothing
feels permanent to me about who I am; the projected image fills in and reshapes
faster than I can process at times. I work often from the outside in; I alter
my external surroundings, my appearance, my relationships and suddenly another
motif of identity is emblazoned on the wall of my being.
Above all, I am fluid. Every pot I shape that bears my image
solidifies only so far as I shield myself from the kilns of predictability and
unity of self. I gaze with envy at those who know themselves, not simply as
well as I know my pieces, but who know themselves whole and as one. I can tell
you the story of how I move but not where I’m located; my being resists roots,
resists entombment, resists place.
This is for survival, this ability to reshape and reform at
a moment’s notice. Quick, gather the shards and make haste at any sign of
danger. Present as battle-worn and shield or as open and tender, whatever works
in the moment. But others take my façade as being; the true cracks are too well
hidden and the visible fissures their “aha, weakness” distraction lines. They
see me as I want to be seen, as I need to be seen, not as I am.
I go piece by piece, holding each up to light, notating its edges
aloud, and still I without witness. My dog, truthfully, can ferret out my lost
selves better than any, which somehow makes it worse. Lacking community, I must
be mirror and container and wall and ground for myself.
Many of my margins break from center. I am nonbinary. Panromantic. Asexual. A sexual abuse survivor. A person with dissociative identity disorder, multiple anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD, chronic pain and on and on. A person without family, home, deep cultural ties or social support. I am paradox: rigid, brittle and yet able to bend and restructure myself instantly.
I know why I’m here and what my task is. I know why I was
shattered beyond recognition early on. The unfairness of it is irrelevant; my purpose
is fixed. I find myself and know myself and super-glue myself as I live it out.
I know joy in simplicity and hope through endurance. Little that I have has come
easily. Nothing makes me prouder than being present as a cracked and worn piece
of self is cupped in palms with delicacy and honor. Even flecks of glass catch