If the Horseshoe Fits…


In a few short hours my first appointment with Addiction Central will be over. Managed to get almost 8 hours last night, thanks to my little pills. A little writing, a little smoking, a bit of breakfast and another pill to help me keep my cool and I’m out the door.

Received another notification of crazy in the family. My uncle sent me a message that had been plucked from the family ring. It contains information on a very distant cousin of mine – from my grandparents’ siblings’ offspring. He just ‘wanted to let me know’ because he knew we had chatted on FB. Anyway, this cousin of mine apparently suffers from Munchausen Syndrome, a lovely little disease of the mind. Seems it’s only when everyone’s an adult that anyone in the family is even willing to whisper MENTAL ILLNESS and then it’s only a ghost of a message with a veiled warning to not believe everything I read/hear because these people just aren’t trustworthy.

I’m tempted to send out a message to all the ‘adults’ of the family asking some forthright questions. Like, how many crazies ARE there in the family? Do we have more people in the family line who take people hostage at gunpoint or suffer from Munchausen Syndrome or had a ‘nervous breakdown’? Cause it seems like every year of my fucking life another one comes to light. And then it’s all ‘oh, yes, we knew about that but we didn’t want to say anything about it’. Um, I could USE that info – the TRUTH this time – right now. All of it would fill in the blanks at the doctor’s office. Instead I get things piecemeal, like it was all stuff I should have picked up on from brief encounters with these people at family reunions. Oh, you didn’t know they were insane? Gee! Let me fill you in on all the gory details so you can worry more tonight.

What IS the color of crazy? Because my family has a stripe a mile wide painted on our backs.

Fuck. Time to turn my focus to the present, not the past. In 3 hours I’m gonna be getting assessed. Wish it were as simple as taking an IQ test. Wouldn’t be nervous if that’s what I was doing. I find myself almost HOPING the person I work with at the counseling center has limited English. Damned difficult to get worked up emotionally when you don’t know anything but the most basic of words. And looking something up in the dictionary to make a point takes all the sting out of the words themselves; they just become syllables of sound with little to no meaning. Saying ‘het is pijnlijk’ has far less charge to it than saying ‘it hurts like a mother fucker’. ‘Ik huil elke dag en nacht’ is easier than telling someone I cry every day and night. Maybe in some weird way, learning Dutch will give me some emotional distance from certain words that trigger me. Who knows? In a year I might not WANT to speak English.

Moving to a foreign country has to be the ultimate re-invention. New language, new customs, new challenges every damned day. Given enough time, I could return with full grasp of the language, new habits born from this new society, and a kick ass wardrobe you just can’t get in the states. The NEW me, the IMPROVED me. Who is this classy, sophisticated woman I see in my head? The one without my frizzy hair. The one wearing the very classic look? She is so CHIC. So WOW. She speaks Dutch, yes, but some German and French as well because once she cracked one language the rest came flowing in. Her body is trim and powerful. She holds her head up high – won’t catch her looking down at the ground unless something’s right there. She smiles, too. An easy smile. A smile that says she’s been there and done that, thanks, but now she knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. And she’s so CASUAL with it all. Gone is that urge of the 20s woman who needed to prove she had it, gone is the determination of the 30s woman to use it once she knew she had it, gone is the confusion of the 40s woman who felt she had it and threw it away. This is a Queen I see: a woman so powerful she need not flaunt it in any manner. She approaches life with quiet study and reflection, weighing the merit of each situation before investing time or laughter.

I think I have time for one more costume change before the final scene in my mini-melodrama. I look forward to playing that woman. In the meantime, backstage in my robe and still trying to tame my still frizzy hair…

Today’s gonna be a plunge. I didn’t bother to find the place ahead of time; it’s close to the hospital I visit to see my Rheumatologist so I figure it won’t be difficult to find. 20 minutes should get me there. I’ll give myself extra time because of nerves. Have a J rolled and ready in my backpack. Maybe two. I may need a smoke before and after. Already told my bro that if I’m really riled up I’ll walk back. It’s supposed to be a clear day and the walk won’t be more than an hour. It’ll do me good. And to remind myself that time won’t come to a stop this morning (even if it FEELS like it has), tomorrow I am back in the pool.

Forward, HO! Irony again. I was likened to a horse during my tender teen years, and I still do that to myself. Well, if the horseshoe fits…


14 thoughts on “If the Horseshoe Fits…

  1. I asked a couple of family members once, about mental illness in the genes….. There was none, absolutely and unequivocally none, they said. Great great grandfather and his father both committed suicide – one hanging and one cut throat, “well, he was a sail maker, so we can presume he was good with knives.” and then there’s great aun t Lucy, who “went under the ice” of a frozen dam and who rumour has it, may have been a lesbian. And grandad’s nervous breakdowns after ww2 and then of course there might be a few who drank too much, but that’s not a big deal.

    So….. Mental illness in my family? Nope, I have it on good authority that it’s just me, the aberration.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chic woman sounds cool, but you’re pretty cool as you are, horseshoes and all. Another language will definitely distance you. It’s a fantastic coping tool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 Thanks for the compliment. I’ve found learning another language isn’t just learning the words, but learning the mindset of the grammar as well. Saying something like ‘I have hunger’ is different than saying ‘I AM hungry’. Finding that easier mindset runs through the entire Dutch language; their greeting literally translates into ‘how goes it?’, which I find much more gentle than any English equivalent.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I get that. I had an argument with a friend the other day, she was trying to tell me that “I’m hungry” in French is “Je suis faim”. I told her in French they say I have hunger, “J’ai faim” and she fucking argued and argued until my wifi finally kicked in and I showed her a grammar website.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. SNAP! Got that same sophisticated woman in my head, kinda similar to you, my age and abuse has given me half a hunch back, I have a fluffy pink dressing gown/house dress. But the frizzy hair…..SNAP AGAIN! Untamable ! Good luck and here’s to family (half) truth’s…… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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