Before the tale of yesterday closed for me, I had already learned to hate my checklist/calendar for smoking. Makes me feel like a petulant schoolgirl, checking off every time I’m naughty. I understand the strength of it, of taking notes for 30 days then analyzing when exactly I’m smoking and how much. I still hate it. Part of that is my own fault. To reinforce my self questioning every time I roll, I’ve made a point of leaving the damn thing in a place where I always have to get up to make that check. It’s working on that front – I’m questioning. I’m also saying fuck it.

Up at 4 a.m. not so much because I couldn’t sleep, but because I wanted to hit a few messages before I went swimming. Much to my surprise, I received a message on FB this morning from my oldest brother in the states. He writes to me once every 5-7 years, and this is typical. Jumps right in like no time has elapsed. Sent me a pic of his grandkid, who looks just like his dad (my nephew, who once told me to kill myself and/or never contact him again. I granted him the latter part of that wish and blocked his ass years ago.). Then he asked me my opinion of Bitcoin and the refugee crisis here in the EU. Like he’d ever fucking HEAR what I have to say on either of those topics. Still I wrote back in my typical manner – or should I say my NEW typical manner. My reply contained as many ‘fucks’ as I say out here. I expect to have another vacuum of communication from him post-reply. Anything else and I may have a fucking heart attack out of sheer surprise.

The message threw me. It shouldn’t have; as I said, it’s fairly typical. But the coldness of it struck me: this is my blood brother. Supposedly a close family member. He didn’t ask how I was, and he didn’t tell me he cared about me in any manner.

My feet took me to the swimming pool while my head was everywhere but thinking about the water. I did something I rarely do these days. I got in the slow lane and just puttered for a good 15 minutes. Let the water caress me. Not push. Relaxed. Enjoyed. Then I picked up the pace in the middle lane. It’s a pity my heart wasn’t into it; there was only one other person in the lane with me. I kept watching the clock, thinking more about getting out and having breakfast than concentrating on my strokes. Kept at it for 50 minutes, which has become my new minimum time.

Between the walks to and from the pool and class, I managed to rack up an additional hour of walking today without trying. That’s it. My knee is better, but I’m still being easy on it.

Language class was fun, as it always is. I like learning new things and being in an environment where I’m encouraged, allowed to make mistakes without being ridiculed, and corrected. It’s always refreshing for me, a new discovery. Damn. Suppose that says a lot about me.

Today was the first alert on my computer, and as scheduled my daily mantra came up with a bell. Honesty. I already have a rough note written up for next time. A very rough note. It’ll get re-written. I figure that I’m just going to tell the docs I have something to say before we begin and go at it. I read Lola’s comment on my post yesterday, and she’s dead on right. My therapy session got highjacked, and I need to speak up. I’ve got all sorts of excuses WHY I was thrown, why I didn’t speak up. They’re excuses. I didn’t speak my truth. I won’t beat myself up over it, though. I couldn’t put those words together before yesterday’s post. Now I know, and I’m gonna take control. Truth is, the control side of me is SO strong right now that I’d like to get my note into Dutch – even if it’s horrible grammar and over simplified. I want them to completely understand me, not get the gist but miss the nuances. So I’ve got to craft each sentence as simply as possible – a real challenge for the poet in me. The good thing is I have time to do it. I can also ask my teacher for help – which will require another level of honesty from me. That leap is bit higher. I trust him a lot, and like him. But revealing some of the things I need to discuss with a psychiatrist? I just don’t know right now. I’d rather err on the side of caution, and sound a bit silly with my Dutch.

People keep telling me how everyone in NL speaks English. Yes, and no. Sometimes speaking English is down to hello and fuck off or the words of a song. It’s not really conversational. Kind of like my Dutch. Yeah, I speak Dutch. Kind of. A little. As long as you use simple words and talk slowly, I can get most of what you say. I might even know how to respond.

Saw an interview with a Syrian refugee today. He barely spoke English, but he did it. Kept trying. Puts me to shame.

Okay. Fear. Ik ben bang. To speak Dutch, to let go of English. I need to. I need to jump into the deep end. Fuck. I may be fearless in the water, but this fucking makes me want to screech. Not scream. But screech. Too close to my fucking childish nightmares about being mute and unable to speak. I know I gotta do it. But I don’t want to.

My teach said today that most native Dutch people have a very difficult time with grammar. They can’t write their own language. Now I’ve got to learn how to straddle my tongue; learn to speak Dutch while writing English. Tricksy. Ve-e-e-e-ery tricksy.


4 thoughts on “Tricksy

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