therapy of words

Allow yourself to cry until you fall asleep, if that’s what it takes to smile the next morning. I’m not saying deny that you aren’t okay. I’m saying acknowledge it so you can move on. I’m saying sometimes the only way to get back up after you’ve fallen is to stay on the ground. To give yourself a moment to regain the air in your lungs.
therapy

i’ve sat here for hours
And talked to you about everything
what i feel
what i know
who i like
the emotions i don’t show

you know everything about me
and it’s scary
the way i walk
the way i talk
my mental status
and my racing heart

you know the bad things about me
the things i don’t tell
you know i drink
you know i smoke
my sexuality
the ways i cope

you know i’m not sane
but i’m “stable” enough to be alone
i’ll stay in bed
cut my thighs
sleep off the pain
and dry my eyes

me and you
i think about it all the time
us curdled up post love making on the couch
you tell me i think we should get married
i laugh at the mere idea and say lets just sleep for now
but i see the seriousness in your eyes and i know there is just a matter of time
decades of platonic infatuation accompanied by these years of complete romantic adoration
can only lead to one inevitable fate
i wake up the next morning, long after you and walk out to the porch of our one bedroom apartment
it’s a sunday
i can hear you in the kitchen, making my coffee like you do every sunday
you hate coffee
the ambience of the sun reflects the swelling of my heart when i realize it
i am going to marry you
me and you forever
—  but right now it is a friday night, i am alone and you are with him
Steven’s Mental Health in Season 4...

…and why he didn’t save the Rubies, unbubble Bismuth, or confront his feelings about Jasper.

Because there is a reason, brought to light by the events of I Am My Mom, and it fits rather well with Steven’s character as of late.

Throughout Mindful, he doesn’t want to think about what he’s gone through because his personal trauma from it is just too great. But then it all comes crashing down at the end, and he forces himself to confront it, right?

Well no, actually. At the end of the episode, Stevonnie just lands in the field and smiles at the sky. At the time, I criticized this for being a quick resolution, but now I realize that that was never a resolution at all: It was just Steven burying his emotional problems even deeper so that not even Stevonnie could be affected by them.

That’s why he doesn’t immediately go to make amends with Bismuth or Jasper or Eyeball: The traumatic stress he associates with their encounters override any sense of empathy he has towards them, and he subconsciously tries to forget so he doesn’t feel that guilt and can just go back to the way things were before (much like a certain singing Diamond he’s heard so much about…)

I think that once Steven’s mental state improves, he’ll consciously try to make amends.

Take a look at the next time Steven’s issues came to a boil, Steven’s Dream: This time, all it takes is a simple question from Steven and a panicked outburst from Garnet to drive Steven into an angry rant about “everyone lying” to him. The problems from Mindful were still eating away at Steven, he probably just didn’t realize it because he was pretty much avoiding those thoughts altogether, and for a while, it was working.

So, Steven goes to Korea, Greg gets kidnapped, and now Steven has a whole new set of things to be guilty over. No matter how justified his actions might have been, Steven’s biggest character flaw is his guilt complex, so he inherently feels responsibility for what happened. (And this isn’t recent, we saw a glimpse of it in Message Received when he blamed himself for Peridot’s supposed betrayal)

However, in the episode Steven’s just too busy worrying about his dad to hear “Oh Steven we’re so sorry” and he rushes them into space. They run into the Rubies and Steven does say “We’ll pick them up on the way back” but pay attention to his tone of voice: It doesn’t sound like he’s saying “Oh no they’re out here we have to save them,” he’s saying “Yeah yeah those guys yeah let’s get back to work and save dad okay” because Steven wasn’t exactly in the best emotional state at the time. I can completely understand his subconscious just NOT wanting to think about the Rubies at all because the events of Bubbled leaving a lingering negative connotation.

After Steven gets back, he’s forced to confront his demons yet again in Storm in the Room, but hey! Everything’s fine in the end because Greg got pizza and it’s all smiles…

Until we get to Lion 4 and he’s right back in the thick of an existential crisis. Sure, he gets a talk with Greg and this is resolved in the end…but is it?

Because by the end of that very week, Steven is giving himself up to be executed in his mother’s place. And all it took was a small mistake he made long ago, and a scenario in which there were no other immediate options.

So, to answer the question of why Steven supposedly let others suffer throughout season 4, it’s because he is suffering himself. He’s been wallowing in it all season, and he hasn’t done anything substantial about it because in his mind that’ll just make things worse and make himself a burden to others. I mean, look at what happened every time his true feelings rose to the surface:

- Mindful Education: Connie almost fell to her death.

- Steven’s Dream: Greg got kidnapped.

These were things that were resolved in the immediate, sure, but long-term? Steven doesn’t want anyone to get hurt, and he’s been indirectly led to believe that by confronting his problems, he’ll just cause others harm.

So we get to I Am My Mom, and he’s given a way out: Sure, he *thinks* he’s doing it to save the Earth and his friends, but subconsciously he’s doing it because it’s his ticket out of the mess he’s been stuck living in for the past four seasons.

The takeaway I get from Season 4 is that Steven’s emotional issues are much bigger than anyone could suspect, and that a million “Sorry’s,” “It’s not your fault’s,” fusion therapy sessions, and sweet words & smiles can only help him so far.

This isn’t the season of Steven letting people suffer for no reason; It’s the season of Steven suffering himself without anyone taking enough notice to do anything, to the point where he inadvertently lets people suffer out of his own desire to not make things worse.

“Don’t worry,” Greg & the Gems probably told themselves after Bubbled, Mindful Education, and the Zoo arc, “Steven’s fine now. See? He’s happy, he must be fine. We told him it was alright, he must be fine. If there was something wrong, we would know about it. He’s doing fine.”

Well he wasn’t.

In those little moments of loneliness, she began to find herself.
She took a pen and paper, closed her eyes,
scribbled her thoughts, gave them words and music,
and then,
magic happened.
—  Bini //magic