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
It is need, now it is beyond want it is need I need to be out of my head taken out of my HEAD What better than weed and loud music and the dark Especially if I can stay home and have all three at once i need this to be louder more More louder glad I made it home. more more I need comforting I don’t think I am capable of being comforted need to scream need to be loud and that only ever hurts everyone do you see their faces afterwards they never quite look at you the same need someone to hear me. try making the music loud enough to drown out my brain I am glad there is no one else here Am I
this is so much.
I made it to the end of the day I made it I made it without losing everything and then why? I mean really Why thoughtless fucking fucking shit why.
once again, and again This, on top of everything else. Why? there is no why there is only keep going until you die
I have so much to say to you so much that, um, I just i keep thinking that
I keep wanting to
I just I just want to share with you. I just wanna tell you I just want you to see me now. I want i really
and I don’t think you would blame me for where I am. I don’t think anymore that you would blame me for where I am. Because I
depended on you so much
i depended on you so much and it just took everything away.
and everything you did stopped with you.
There’s no one here. To see me doing fuck all.
There’s, there’s no one.
No one to report to.
There’s no one here.
There’s Mojo. He was real happy that I went to bed at 9:30 and fed him first and got into bed and he came right in with me. And we snuggled all night, got up around six or something for his medicine. And then went back to bed. Had like 10 hours of sleep sort of
what the fuck am I supposed to do now? what do I do now?
I mean, if I thought there was no way before and then there was but now it’s like everything is used up. I, i If I spend the money I have on the car, I will have nothing else. nothing. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do now.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.