Rubber, Meet Road

Hello,

I’m not doing very well today and i’m not sure what to say about that. There are terrible and private things going on in my life that i’ve no one to talk to about. I have a therapist, but money is very tight, and we can only afford for one person to be seeing her right now and that person is not me.

I have no close friendships and i’ve suspended my social media. I’m so dissociative right now that i don’t feel like i have enough self-control to be on there. Everything everyone says either frightens, angers, or hurts me. These things that i want someone to talk to about involve the only people i have to talk to…

I don’t know what to do. All i have is this little piece of cyberspace and i don’t know what inside me is currently fit to print.

I do NOT like crying and i can feel my throat tensing up. I’ve got that terrible, painful ache that lives in the space behind the bottom of my sternum. That ache that spreads behind my breastplate, reaching up to fill the gap between my shoulder blades. The headache i’ve had for weeks is now at full throb and my sinuses are swollen and painful. And there’s a piano on my chest playing anxious music that sounds like something from a 60s British horror film.

Okay, i just took an hour’s break from this.

I’ll confess that i’ve been so low that i let my personal hygeine slip last night and this morning. Hey, i wasn’t dirty or smelly okay? Just slow, heavy, tired… sad. But y’all can read other blog posts that refer to the importance of regularity and regimen in my life, and particularly in this area. Clean house, clean person. I have set these routines in place when i was in a better frame of mind, to help get me through the times when i wasn’t quite myself.

So i thought, “Well, that will be a positive thing i can put in my blog, which will be better than going full Eeyore.”

Never go full Eeyore.

So i got up and stripped off my pajamas that i’d been in all day, and i dragged my unwashed arse into the shower. After that i did my skincare and took proper care of my teeth. I even flossed and gargled. Heck, i also lotioned and spritzed and put on a clean outfit.
In part, so i could come here and report that i’d done it.
I’d set that in place, too. So yay me.  /ns (not sarcastic)

Honestly, i didn’t feel much better. A little better, but still so low.
I had defeating thoughts. Like, “It didn’t help. Nothing’s gonna help,” and “I’m not gonna get through this without screwing up.”

Anyone who deals with this sort of self talk may be able to relate when i share that i almost bought in to those thoughts. I mean, that’s what has usually happened, right? I feel this way and i can’t get out from under it. So there’s this feeling of inevitability. And then there’s the lack of energy or fighting spirit. These feelings use up so much energy. I spend most of my will coping, with not much left with which to fight. None left to fight, it seems to my exhausted mind.

But i think about what could happen if i give in and stop trying/fighting:

– police involvement,
– involuntary commitment,
– suicidal feelings/attempts,
– pain and suffering for my loved ones,
– loss of my “streak” and at least some modicum of starting over.

So i tried to focus on getting supper ready.
My worldview shrank to very small chunks of time. Minutes.

Hang in there until my husband gets home.
Put finishing touches on pot roast.
Set table.
Distract myself with an engrossing program.

I made it until he got home. I’d shared with him by text that i’d lost a large part of the day and was not doing well mentally/emotionally.
He was gentle and kind and asked concerned questions when he got home.
He provided a buffer between me and a somewhat contentious teenager (hey, it happens, and he doesn’t know how awful my day has been).
They enjoyed the meal and said so.

After supper my husband hugs me and says how sorry he is about my day.
He asks if there’s anything he can do to help.
I say he’s already helped some, and i thank him. He works 12hrs a day, 6 days/wk, and so i keep supper late, and he sits down to eat before he showers, so that we can eat together as a family, before our son retires to his room.
While he’s showering i’m sitting right here and staring at this screen, trying to think of what to type. I want to be both honest and uplifting.

And that is when i realise that i can be.

You know what?
I’m in trouble. My mental health has been threatened by a terrible event and things could go very badly for me.
I have done all this hard work because, not only do i want to be happy and good, but i know that my mental illness can be a serious impediment to achieving those things. Especially when life happens. Which it does and it always will.

So i am sitting here with my fingers poised over my keyboard – waiting for something inspiring and poetic and deep and true to zing into existence inside my brain and zap my fingers into a rhythmic ratatat-tat on these blasted keys.

Last night my busy, busy, anxious AF brain wouldn’t let me sleep, so i made 4 1/2 dozen refrigerator cookies. Chocolate Haystacks, a childhood favourite.

Today i realised that i’d lost time and i texted my husband and told him i was in a bad place.

I knew things could go badly and i knew i didn’t want them to and i knew that it’s up to me to cope.
I reminded myself that my brain works in weird and fantastical ways, and i may not handle things as well as i -or anyone else for that matter- might like.

Today, i made a labour-intensive, slowcooker pot roast, while switched.

I have made it through the day without going full Eeyore.

While i am not currently suicidal, i can feel it, looming in the background like dark wings ready to fly. Whatever comes i feel even more committed and competent to handle it than i did yesterday. And that is a reasonable expectation realised.

This piece may have a metric fuck-tonne of mistakes in it, but i think i should post it without proofreading. That’s something i never do, but i don’t want to overthink this and end up not posting because it’s so raw and lacking any flowery accoutrement. I admit i checked my spelling of the fancy French word. Heh.

Love and Peace and THANK YOU,

~H~

The Mystical Power of the Ninja Mouth*

*The title is firmly tongue-in-cheek, fellow nerds, so don’t go full Sheldon on me.

Ninja
noun
a person skilled in ninjutsu.

  1. informal – a person who excels in a particular skill or activity

 

I used to bristle when people would make any reference, no matter how remote, to me being a chatterbox. I still kinda do, but it’s slowly getting better. It wasn’t all that difficult to figure out why i’m sensitive about it – i just had to intentionally wonder for a while. It’s amazing how much stuff gets clearer when i do such an odd thing, eh?

I was a child made for a purpose. I had roles to play and there were scripts to follow, but none of them involved any lines about what was actually happening to me. That was never spoken about, except in the vaguest of terms. They used my nature, my personality, my love of communication, for their own personal gain, but forced me to subjugate all those qualities in any case where it may have been a benefit to me, personally. So i could talk, and in fact i had to talk, but only about the things they wanted, and in the way they desired. There were also periods of strictly enforced silence. I had to speak a certain way in certain situations; sometimes meek, hyper-feminine and unctuous, sometimes precocious and worldly. The times i had to keep my mouth shut were easiest, because i didn’t have to go too far inside myself to get away.

However, when everything you’re told to do flies in the face of every instinct you have, and you’re required to say nothing when you need to scream, it fucks you up, and even the best facade will develop some cracks. Those cracks were mostly obvious at school, with fellow students. I blurted a lot. I would say such strange things at such inappropriate times that i was regularly called a spazz. Or i would say something that was so obviously intended to fit in with the cool kids. They’d roll their eyes at me, swatting me like the social mosquito that i was. I was a know-it-all in elementary school during class, but the bullies and the popular kids (who often fit both categories) had pretty much crushed my love of class time, much like they’d squashed any social aspirations i’d held, by the time i hit high school.

Once i graduated and got away from home and school, i tried so hard to make friends. I ached for a place to fit in, but i talked too much and bathed too seldom. Heh. When i got a chance to talk with someone and perhaps begin a friendship, i came on too strong. I was that guy that approaches you in the bar and you wouldn’t date him for anything because you can smell the desperation coming off of him in noxious waves. I must have made one helluva double whammy. I would try too hard to impress; i wanted to be likeable, charming, smart, funny… All of it, all at once.

It took years of practise before i was able to dial it back enough to make some decent friends. Even then i wasn’t any good at sustained intimacy and commitment, whether sexual or platonic. Over time i became very good at acquiring friends, but terrible at keeping them. The closer they got, the more obvious it became that i was chatty, but not talkative. And the few i really talked to would leave. One that i loved and trusted very much even told me that i was full of shit. I didn’t tell anyone anything for years after that one.

I haven’t known what to do about my mouth. Do i talk more, or less? To whom? About what, when? I don’t trust my own judgment because when i finally disclosed my story, my closest girlfriend called me a liar and ended our friendship. I was pretty sure i knew how to have better, longer lasting friendships, but only by being someone else. It’s hard to be genuine when you’re still chipping away at the marble, not entirely sure what the figure will look like when you’re finished. So i just withdrew. I don’t want to be someone i’m not anymore, and i don’t quite know how to be me yet, so i went away. I went back to Start with a brand new playing piece and 200 bucks.
END of PART I

 

Oral Hygiene

My mouth used to get me in so much trouble. It’s funny though, because i never said the things that most needed saying. You know, like, Help me, or Someone get me outta here.

Nah. I told a couple of friends in high school. They probably half didn’t believe me and half didn’t want to hear it even if it was true. They couldn’t have done anything about it, and besides, i only had to make it through high school and i’d be free. Told my favourite teacher, my last year. We were working on something together and i blurted out the reason i’d left home, was working full time and living with my best friend. My confession was followed by one of the most excruciatingly painful silences i’ve ever endured. And then we resumed our work as if i hadn’t spoken at all.

It had to be obvious that i wasn’t quite right. I mean, the students all knew it – every one of them. In every class in every grade in every school i ever attended. My clothes and my lack of participation in any activity that required money made it clear that my family was about as poor as it gets in my country. I think my mouth may have overshadowed everything else. I was loud and obnoxious with students, which made me an even easier and more frequent target than i would have been had i just been fat and poor. And as is the case with so many abused children, i lied. A LOT. I exaggerated every detail or just flat out told a total bullshit story. It was all for attention, and of course it worked, but not the way i wanted.

I’m sure i frustrated the teachers, some to the point where they’d call in my parents for a meeting. Maybe they were even sizing up my parents, looking for signs that they might be the problem. I don’t know if anyone even picked up on my situation, let alone cared. To be fair, my parents were highly intelligent people who could make you believe just about anything… for a while. And when the mask finally slipped and people started asking questions, we simply moved.

I remember one time i was going home on the bus, and i realised the kids were laughing and whispering and making faces at me because my hygiene was terrible. (Super embarrassing, but true.) I made up the most ridiculous lie. Like in the history of lies it was the one that wouldn’t even fool your little sister when she was 4 and you told her chocolate milk came from brown cows.

I didn’t tell them my clothes were always dirty because my mother rarely did laundry, and if i tried to do it myself i’d sometimes get beaten for doing it wrong. I also didn’t tell them that a lifetime of sexual abuse had made me hate my body so much i could barely stand to touch myself. The bathroom was also a place where i was extremely vulnerable. I was terrified to be naked at all, and baths and showers were done in a panic, and not with any regularity.
I didn’t consciously know the truth, so i couldn’t have told them why i smelled like an old boot filled with cheese. I just knew i was gross and bad and i had to make it someone else’s fault so they didn’t hate me.

I tried to be anyone but myself, and i used words to try to be funny, cool, smart, even tragic (oh, the irony), but i only ever came off as strange and awkward and annoying. I tried too hard and it made the decent kids uncomfortable while the bullies could barely contain their glee. I was scorned by crappy humans and pitied by the rest. Still, i just kept talking. I lacked the self-awareness to manage what i said. I blurted, i leaked, i was a constant stream of words. My mouth was the bleed valve that eased the persistent pressure in my head. I tried so hard to be interesting, but they either disliked me or wanted to like me, but i made it difficult.

I carried that into my adulthood, and it has only been in the last year that i’ve been learning to rein in my mouth. Not to stifle things that i want or need to say, but to check my intent and to consider the cost. Balance is tough for me, but i try to check myself just enough. I used to obsess over everything i said as an adult. I’d rehearse it in my head a bunch of times before i said the thing i wanted to say. But that was different because my intention was wrong. I was seeking approval, acceptance, and affection at any price. Now my intention is to be genuinely myself.

I’ve spent this last year not saying much of anything. I’ve been around other people a few times, but there was still not enough control, so this last 6 months i’ve not been around very many people except my family. I don’t know if i’ll ever be much of a social person again, but i’m weirdly unconcerned. I’m learning who i am and how to be myself. The only place i feel truly safe is my home, and the only people i fully trust is my family. It’s sort of like dress rehearsals for a show that may never open.

Happy Tuesday,
~H~