yesterday. 30 july 2022

salt-fired porcelain dish that reads *RAGE ON*

I have all of this proof
Physical proof of how good I am, how talented, how good, how kind.
I have emotional proof.
People say lovely things, in front of other people.
About me they say these things. Lovely things in front of other people.
It can be an entire day of people saying lovely wonderful things about me, showing how much they appreciate what I have to offer.

And all it takes is one motherfucker to bring it down.

I was already in trouble when I woke up yesterday morning.
My only goal was to get home to Mojo.
To keep that in my head to get home to him, to make sure that he was eating, that he was feeling okay.
My only goal, my far point was Mojo.
I talked to myself all through my shower to make sure that I brushed my teeth.
I brushed my teeth.

I was still not okay when I got out of the shower. I was not okay when I got dressed.
The entire drive. Not okay.
Knowing my far point.

Got where I was going. Shared that I was not okay. Shared enough fast enough to be as clear as possible.
Eyes bright and wide.
On.
I know that when I am like this
(you know how you get)
I know that when I am like this I have to protect myself at all costs because to not do so would be dangerous for everyone.

The day went. Carefully.
Shared my work to delight, to lesser delight.
To what seemed cursory, perfunctory, obligatory.
Unreal. Inauthentic.
I want people who love, truly.
I don’t want someone uncaring, not in any part of my life.

Other skills, gushed over. Lauded. Delighted in.
Shared.
shared out loud.

All day all day I had teetered on the edge, this rollercoaster poised and threatening at the very top.
LOUD VOICES CLOSE
CLOSELY
loud and close and disharmonious and unyielding
eyes slitted, accusing
Voices louder.

No.
I can’t be, there.
I excuse myself away, not far enough but out of sight
but not out of tension’s grasp.
The only thing I have left to help is disassociation because I cannot physically get far enough away.
So I go away.
Eyes burning into the computer screen
totally focused on the pen in my hand
and the rage behind it
summoning internal music to fill my skull loudly
drown out the screeching noises outside and in.
I share. Bits of what’s happening.
To exorcise it. Flush it out.

My face is a mask, deadened expression, eyes down. I comply when needed.

The only thing I can remember now is this:
“I know you get anxious when it’s loud and there’s a lot going on and and and but you can’t let that SHOW. They said you’re always angry.”

i cannot anymore.
I cannot.

I am not okay.

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.

812p 22 may 2022

i hate being alone so much.
i hate it hate it hateithateithateit
quiet and alone and lonely and cold even in this heat
cold.
even in this heat the cold strangles my blood
freezing it cold solid cold
i shiver in this heat.

i could have stayed at yours but no.
i am afraid.
the rain, the dark, the aloneness.

you held me in your arms you squeezed me closer
felt the heat bloom from my body setting it afire
holding me closer.
i tangled my fingers in yours
hoping to keep some of you for me
when i go.

i sit in your kitchen, smoking
vibrating in place i cant sit still inside
i don’t know how i appear, manic, most likely
i hate coming to you, needful, needy.
i don’t think i ever feel pity from you, i don’t think
(if i begin to think i won’t let go so lets just not)

i know i am not always like this i know that
but right now i am very much like this and it is hard to be.
much less be around.

i know i am exhausting.
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

741a 3d february 2022

I am feeling crazy this morning.

that in itself isn’t so unusual but this is just

This is so much on top of so much on top of so much please.

I don’t want this I don’t want this it doesn’t help to say I don’t want this until I say it I don’t want this I don’t like this I don’t want this none of it thank you please stop

stop.

what do i do now 854a 17 october 2021

my voice, transcript below

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.

you’re
gone.

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.

Shower, head north. Make more stuff I guess.

the seventh day. 13th september 2017/2021

I never heard your voice again that last day, today.

By now (8:18am) you had already had a stroke, you were already being prepped for neurosurgery. I never heard your wonderful, delicious, boomy voice that day again, today. That voice, when it was being clever and kind, I could listen to for hours. The last time I heard your voice, a few hours earlier as I was leaving your bedside for some sleep, it was pure and true and you told me you loved me and I take that with me into Oblivion.

I have the words you wrote to me, I have the texting we were doing about the kitties, about your anticipated relief from the meds they gave you every day to soothe your terror, I told you that “they will, my love.” You did not tell me about the stroke. You saved me from that. You gave me the most selfless gift of not having to worry when worry wouldn’t help.

I know that the last words of mine that you saw were that I was coming to you and that I would see you when you got back. I have that unbelievably beautiful post that you put on Facebook that morning. I didn’t know then that these would be your last words. You were so concerned with last words you had a whole book of them on your side of the bed. You didn’t want to end up like Pancho Villa.¹

I know the last words of mine that you heard were from my mouth to yours, to your ear, my head on your chest, your hand in mine. I know you heard me because the doctor told me you could hear me. I told you you were safe, that you were loved, that you were okay. That everyone was working on you to help and that you were okay. That you were still going the right way and that I would see you soon. That I wasn’t going anywhere. I told you that I loved you. I told you that I loved you. I told you that I loved you.

I am posting this to you directly because I want certain people see it. I want to know (even though I won’t) that certain people are aware of what today is, that certain people are thinking about you.

Of course I won’t know. Of course I know that that part is a useless, useless exercise and one that will not bring me any joy. I know that that part is petty and small. And still I feel the need to do it. Perhaps someday I won’t. I believe your memory deserves to be cherished in a way that perhaps your life was not.

I have been learning how to exorcise from my life the things that do not serve me. I have been learning how to be more patient. I think you would be amazed. Truly. And yet I don’t do these things to amaze you, I do them because I am finding my way towards happiness, for truly the first time ever.

I know that every breath you ever took in and exhaled is still out there in the air, circling and eddying and dissipating and coming together again.

I know that the electricity that powered the supercomputer that was your brain and that faulty thing that was your heart is still reverberating out here in the ether, in here, inside me. I know that the ashes and broken bits of bone and teeth that I have on my bookshelves, in the room where I spend most of my time aren’t indicative of who you were, that even at their most concrete, these remains are the most ethereal ones.

Things are still so hard. The pain is getting easier to bear. I have people who love me who are helping to ease the weight. There are times when I feel you in the room with me, when I am transported for a moment, and it is comforting.

There is so much I have to tell you; so many things I need to say. So much I need for you to hear.

I am learning so much.
I need to tell you everything.

bisous,

glitter

¹ https://truewestmagazine.com/article/the-lie-of-villas-last-words/

four years/forty years

Last year I turned off Facebook memories for 2017-2018-2019 for this week beginning today. Today is the beginning of the end. Today is the beginning of the last week that Gary was alive.

So much in my life has changed in the last four years. I am not the same person who I was four years ago. I am not the same person I was forty years ago.

Forty years ago is when my bipolar disorder began to truly manifest in ways that other people could see. When my behavior became outwardly observable. Things that only I could see and feel and experience from age five were finally coming to the surface. The person that I grew into, the person that I became was by necessity, a damaged, broken, angry, fearful thing. I was shaped by my experience, by the storms inside my brain that no one could understand, but the results of which everyone could see.

The person that Gary met, she was a powerhouse. She had divorced her first and second husbands. She was taking care of her cats. She was running her own shop, she had an employee, she was working a lot. She was working out a lot. She was taking care of everything around her. She was not taking healthy self care.

She was, however, manic 24/7 and hella cute and driven.
And on fire.

She is still here, in my brain, part of The Committee. She listens mostly. Doesn’t have much to say anymore, more an observer. She sits back and nods knowingly, joint in hand, smoke curling from her lips. She is Rosie Revisited, captured in a portrait, hanging on my wall. There are times when she does speak, a forceful, if gentle “STOP IT.” I have evidence.

your author. 📷 Gary Hoffman 2002

Four years ago I was forced to stop. I became incapable of movement in any appreciable direction. The formerly driven, push-through-ahead-no-matter-how-miserable-it-makes-you person could not go any further. The “attack wife” had no fight left. I had no accountability to any other human. There was no one there for better or for worse. My life spun completely and totally out of control. I lost things, am losing things I can never get back. And yet…

I have found a new self, a calmer, more even self. I am finding the capacity for euthymia, for a happy evenness above my emotional equator. A firm-yet-squishy pleasantness that exists beyond the edges of what I smoke and carries me through the day and into my involvements with others.

I am no longer miserable.

In voicing this thought, however, there is such exquisite pain for the reality that Gary could have been helped. That perhaps he too could have finally found some measure of relief, as I have. That we just hadn’t gotten here yet in researching. That given enough time, we would have.

We didn’t have enough time. But I do.

I miss you so much.
I wish you could see me now.
I wish you could hear me now.
I wish I could talk to you.
The only thing you can do is listen.

And all I really want is to hear what you have to say.