the rest of forever

This figuring out of things this
Figuring out of how things came to be
Things came to be me how I
Became.

It is overwhelming in every single way in all
three hundred sixty degrees.

It is inwardly and outwardly and upwardly and completely bowling me over and tearing me apart

no it is never too late to learn I just wish you were around so I could show you what I’ve learned who I am who I have become.

Who I am still becoming.

I am sitting in my car and I am smoking and I am shaking and I am full of fear and full of love and they are the same thing.

They have always been the same thing.

As I am parsing all of these things as I am
As I am.
As I am uncovering all of these separate very distinct very discrete things
As I am peeling back the layers and understanding implicitly very explicit differences in things
I am filled with patience and sadness at all the time lost in between then and now.

Knowing that I have the rest of forever to be well.

Having promised you the rest of forever to heal.

I had the rest of your forever.
and you have mine.

1 june, 2022. perseverating.

text below, written longhand

i would very much like
to exorcise certain memories
i would really very much like
to delete things from my brain
to remove them from my everything
with extreme prejudice.

but would that mean
that would mean
that i did not have the lesson.

it hurts so fucking much because
because you aren’t here for me to say sorry.

and i am so sorry.

4/9/89 11:21 pm | 757a 24 february 2022

typewritten 33 years ago. found in the attic at the last possible moment.

darkness — thick, oppressive
congealing as if blood around an open breathing wound
i
am this
the wound
ed
panic steers this two-ton beast
not i racing
racing heart racing through mazed streets
dimly lit by infrequent lights
sudden dip
plunge headlong into wooded thick
et
cricket thicket surroundsound
i turn up the radio to shut out the nature
nature of this two-ton beast of steel racing heart racing.


I wrote this 33 years ago on the way home from somewhere/something stressful. My engagement party? I was less than a month away from turning 21.

I would have stopped to pull the car over to write this; wherever my first Filofax disappeared to, deep within its pockets lies a piece of looseleaf covered in my handwriting, tense and manic and completely out of control from the feel of it. This was about 6 months before I married my first ex-husband, The Sociopath. I hadn’t yet gotten anywhere close to the diagnosis I finally have, I mean I had finally gotten away from the schizophrenia misdiagnosis and was hovering somewhere in limbo, hinting around manic depression and clinical depression, but no one understood suicidality and ADHD back then, much less accounted for the PTSD I already had and would continue to have. I’m pretty sure by this point I had been put on Prozac which only helped to launch me fully into extreme mania.

The terror that I know that I was feeling that night, it is a familiar one. The time of year, well into the beginning of spring, added to the mania I know I was experiencing. Without understanding that this is how my body acts in spring, without any tools to help mitigate what would always be outside of my control, I can feel (finally, I think) really aware of just how much I have survived, and continue to survive.

I kept going when I had no proof of better times to come. I have that proof now.

I am that proof.
My proof lives in me.

It always changes; it always shifts. It gets better and it gets worse and it gets better again. Gam zeh ya’avor / gam zu l’tovah. This too shall pass and it is all for the good. גם זה יעבור זה גם לטובה

i do not know if I can take being loved this way.

Yesterday was my birthday.
I turned 53 years old.
I spent the entire weekend with people and missing people who clearly love me and who I love so much.
I spent the weekend

I spent the weekend doing familiar birthday things,
Going to the Lyndhurst craft fair as I have done for decades
(maybe half the artists this time, different layout, timed ticketing, all due to covid restrictions)
stressing out from all of the unknowns
(known and unknown, thank you D. Rumsfeld)
wanting so much for normalcy
(but what is “normal”, anyway? I certainly don’t have a fucking clue)
feeling so much that I have to explain even though I know I don’t
It seems like all I have been doing for the past three and a half years is explaining and explaining and explaining because honestly I
don’t understand any of it.
Just when I think I do I get caught off guard and none of it makes sense again.

I suppose I’m not explaining to others so much as to myself.

I miss all of the things that we talked about, all of those things that we never did.
All of the ways we responded to each other, all of the good, all of the terrible.
The contrast, I think,
the contrast is what’s killing me now.
i do not know if I can take being loved this way.

I can say things out loud and
I can say things out loud and not worry about feeling stupid for saying them.
Being made to feel stupid for saying them.
I can say things out loud and not worry about
I can say things out loud and not worry about being instantly and immediately criticized.
I can say things out loud and not worry about who might be on my side.

I know
I know for sure
I know now that you loved me but I didn’t then. I never knew for sure. I never knew from one minute to the next.
You would rescind and retract your love like the outgoing tide.
Snatch it away from me,
away from my

craven, grasping, grubby little paws

I want to forgive you for saying these things to me.
I want to forgive you for this so much.

How can I miss you so much and still be so angry at the things you did to me?
That we did to each other.

I told your sister once that I never really had an accurate sense of your feeling for me, not that I felt I could believe anyway. That I always thought you thought I was stupid and not enough and too much all at once.
That now I can look at the last things you wrote, and know.
I can look at all the small lovelinesses you left behind.
I can look at those things and know that they are real, they are proof.
Not soon enough to be able to enjoy with you, no.

The very desperate need to hold onto them

((craven, grasping, grubby little paws)screaming to the sky to talk to you
for you to hear me

I am trying so hard to do everything I can to be well.
I am still so
I am still so unwell but I don’t feel crushed by having to hold up every other damn thing anymore if only because I have given up on everything it seems)

I can look at the small lovelinesses that you left and see them for the huge gestures that they were. Everything is relative.

I can see the unexplored and forever unknown possibility of us becoming better to each other, to ourselves.
Knowing how difficult it was even in the very best of us
knowing I would not be this person if you were still alive
proving my progress to the memory of a dead man
wanting so much to escape your critical eye, your devastating words
and yet wanting to show you that I am okay
I am not okay.

Yesterday was my birthday.
I felt loved, and cherished, and adored, and so sad for what we never had.
If you could see how people treat me now.
If you could see how people love me now and aren’t afraid to say, to show.
I know you would, too.

north of 4am

Up at four-something; the sound of an upchucking cat isn’t a noise to be ignored. Pushing him (gently) off the bed so I won’t have to wash the entire coverlet again. Tangled in the comedic/horror movie mess of giant bed + weighted blanket + CPAP mask and racing against the threat of a heaving animal simultaneously a thousand miles away and on top of me, I know that my day is going to be a fight.

The waves of depression and subsequent rapid cycling and eventual mixed states yesterday only subsided because I smoked myself into oblivion. I ate a shit ton of sugar and passed out. Took an edible to stay asleep.

Mojo.
DUDE.

I go to the bathroom, look at my phone, my email. I’ve been avoiding the actual mail and swiping left on my email like it’s a dating app. The email saying my rent is posting today.

Okay.

I’ve been looking at my balance, not buying things. Nothing. How do you get money?

You sell things.

You have things to sell. Good things.
You even have photos.

why, then.
why frozen.

Fogged.
Stuck.
Frozen.

I can do for Mojo, I can take pretty good care of him. If no one else.

It’s 6:14 in the morning and I realize I can’t go to work. I can’t control this today.
I barely could yesterday.
(there is no longer any thinking about what would happen if I had to, about how terrible it would get)

there is no longer any fear of safety.

that is a difficult sentence to write.
to digest.
I cannot breathe.
i cannot breathe.
.
breathe.

breathe.
.
What it means
what it means is that I can do what I need to do to care for myself without worrying about getting written up, or in trouble, or fired, or discarded. Left. Ghosted.
It means that I have compassionate people who care about my safety for my sake first.

My safety for me, not as an asset. A tool. A toy.

It is 6:27 in the morning and this is what that is, this rage, this dysphoria. This sadness, this depression.

This makes it so clear to me, finally.
The sheer disparity.
Reminders of how it felt.
The unpleasantness, the imbalance.
I don’t want that. Not ever.
Not even knowing.

So, now what.
Delete the playlist (again. It has one song on it.) Done.
Back away.
Understand this isn’t ever going to change. Really, though.
Understand you don’t have to burn it to the ground, either. Really. You can continue to walk away.

you know there isn’t always a trigger
but a lot of times, there is.

it is seven in the morning and I am inside as the rain begins to fall.
it isn’t, though, raining outside
but sure as a rainfall cools the planet
feeds the plants
smoke slakes my thirst, soothes my fear.

the sky is lightening, the grey becoming less so
enough to douse the harsh overhead light
and open the curtain.

Mojo in the foreground, backlit, sheer grey linen curtain gathered in the center. hanging from the window: a suncatcher in the abstract shape of a whale, made of driftwood and vintage beads, and a small astronaut 7:08am

I am worrying about how I will manage things
but right now the fear isn’t strangling me.
it’s sort of set apart, a bit.
It isn’t going to stay there, not today.
Today is going to be

(oh, Mojo)

better at home. Quiet, as I need.

it is seven forty-nine in the morning and
and there isn’t much getting done today.

That isn’t true, no. no it isn’t.

progress, however glacial a pace,
is progress still.