The Curse of Feeling Trapped Everywhere You Go


If it's not obvious already, escapism is my favorite thing in the whole wide world.

I feel trapped so easily. Within cities and towns, within people and relationships, within places and things and concepts. So I leave. I run away.

For real though, I've lived in three different cities within the past year and a half. I've been through so many jobs and gigs within the past year that I literally cannot keep track. I haven't had a good friend or connection in a very, very long time.

It's so weird browsing online and seeing pictures of a bunch of people I used to know, together, doing the same thing they were doing a year ago. I think to myself, "I should be in this picture. I used to mean something to these people. Why the fuck did I leave? Do they still remember me? Do they ever talk about me? But then again, maybe it's a good thing I'm not doing the same exact thing I was doing a year ago?" 

And when I'm looking back at my childhood, I went through friends like seasons while other people generally stayed in the same social group their entire school experience. I would walk the halls talking to my best friend of that semester, seeing the old ones walk past me pretending I didn't exist. And I would pretend they didn't exist, too. When just a year or two ago we were in their car laughing the night away, pouring our souls out to each other. Why would I leave them? I didn't mean to, it just sort of happened.

I spread myself too thin. I don't give myself the time to make meaningful impact or connections. I'm in and I'm out. I seriously doubt my old employers, friends, colleagues, or whatever else remember me. I'm quiet like a mouse, I'm a lazy acquaintance.

Sometimes I feel very guilty about all of it. I know people who can walk into their old schools, jobs, houses, parks, or whatever else, and everyone will welcome them warmly. But if I walk into a place I used to know, my face is unrecognizable and my energy is flat. No one knows my name anymore. My situation is perfectly explained in Paramore's song Franklin. "So we stand here now, and no one knows us at all. I won't get used to this, I won't get used to being gone."

I'm impulsive and I don't always think about how my actions will affect my life or others. I burn bridges on a daily basis. And while that can be quite freeing, it's scary. It's like I have no choice, though. I couldn't force my mind to think before I act if I tried, because my mental health gets to that breaking point and I have to burn the bridge and run away before I do something insane.

So I'll escape. It can be something small like in a book or an album. Or a video game or a film. That's usually how I start my escapism process. Yet sometimes, it's a lot more intense. I'll leave town or I'll leave some pretty important opportunities behind. I'll walk out of a job and never call back. I'll stop texting someone and delete their name out of my phone. Going, going, gone.

The worst thing is? I just escaped to Los Angeles less than a year ago, and felt like a freebird at first. Now, I'm already feeling like a prisoner trapped in another cage I built for myself. I literally spent the past week looking at apartments and airfare in Europe because this time, I want my change of scenery to be a bit more intense.

But no. This time, I'm not gonna do it. Deep down, I know I'll always be this way. I'll always want to run away from everything and I don't think that's always a bad thing.

Yet I know I have to deal with it this time. It doesn't hurt to try, right? I am going to stick around a bit even though it kills me.

I'm going to play video games until I can't see the screen. I'm gonna go to the same old coffee shops and the same old beaches and I'm gonna enjoy it. Not everything has to be brand new for me to enjoy it, right?

I'm going to escape in books and try to forget about all the toxic things in my life right now, because change will come with time.

I'm going to listen to new music and meet new people and try to actually make connections and go out with them instead of being a hermit and running away from them.

I may feel trapped and all, but I can't afford the stress of escaping again. I'll have to make my world my own again.

Maria Elena

1 comment

  1. Wow, I can relate with everthing you wrote here. Almost structured like a poem...