Gaping Maw


I am a gaping maw – a wide open gaping maw of unending unquenchable need. I feel as if I ever opened that maw, if I ever asked for help, if I ever showed my true self, my need, my pain, it is so great that I would scare off others, so great that no one could deal with it, so great that no one could love me. 

If I let others, even my husband, see my true need, my true pain, my true self, they would run off in terror. So I protect myself with a shield, a facade of strength. I don’t let people close, not really. I just seem to. Actually, I hold everyone at arms length. I let no one, not even myself, access to my true self, to my deepest pain, to my longing, to not feeling lovable, to not feeling truly able to love. I hold back always. 

I may appear one way and feel quite another. I appear capable and loving, but feel like a failure, never quite measuring up, never earning something that always should have been offered unconditionally.

31 thoughts on “Gaping Maw

  1. thrulesyeux July 5, 2016 / 6:31 pm

    Thank you for being so open about this. I have come to learn that a few of my friends have/are dealing with their mental health. I don’t know how to be there for them (especially when they pull away). But reading this gives me more understanding of what they are going through.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley July 5, 2016 / 6:37 pm

      Thank you. Glad that it helps you understand. People do not want to be so needy. We can be ashamed. Not want to be a burden on those we love.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Viv July 4, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    I relate to all of this — more so when I’m under extreme, often seemingly insurmountable stress. Life’s hard. Reaching out is hard. I just spent an amazing weekend with a dear friend in order to regroup & clear my head with the hopes of gaining some much-needed clarity. Now that I’m back home, it hit me that I spent many conversations trying to convince her that I’m okay — great even. She loves me & knows the good and the hard…and she knows
    that the whole reason for the trip was because I’m NOT necessarily okay… but still, I felt the need
    to put on a strong brave face. Sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley July 5, 2016 / 6:28 pm

      Glad that you have that friend who can see behind the facade. Glad that you take the weekend for yourself. Great to spend time with a good friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marcy July 4, 2016 / 10:14 am

    Such a powerful expression of your feelings, Kitt, and a powerful image as well. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. bpnurse July 3, 2016 / 1:39 pm

    I can relate all too well.
    The only time I ever really let the mask slip was when I told my husband “I want to hurt myself”. (That was right before my hospitalization.) Otherwise, I try hard to keep a stiff upper lip because I’m afraid to need. I have a great support system but I don’t want to be a burden lest they go away. Intellectually I know that won’t happen, but I wish someone could explain it to my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Susan Irene Fox July 3, 2016 / 12:02 pm

    Kitt, I used to feel the same way. Until I began to reveal myself – my vulnerability.

    You know what? I found out I wasn’t alone. I found out I wasn’t unlovable. And I found out there are people out there who love for me who I am, big ugly flaws and all. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley July 3, 2016 / 3:32 pm

      Really the first time I felt loved unconditionally was my senior year of high school. The friends I made that year remain my friends. They literally saved my life when I was suicidal by accepting me, loving me, and insisting that I get help.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Bipolar1Blog July 3, 2016 / 9:37 am

    Oh Kitt, how brave of you to write what I and I’m sure many others feel. Always putting on a front, I do that too. Like Dyane said, totally relate!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lookingforthelightblog July 3, 2016 / 1:59 am

    So glad to took to the sky for a few days. I didn’t know there was someone like me or like you. I let people closer than arms length but still think my husband is tired and will leave. We pray for strength, work on loving ourselves and understanding why the nasty shells won’t fall away.
    M

    Liked by 1 person

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