Life on the Ledge


Swimming today. Didn’t clear my head like it usually did; I found myself muttering not so under my breath about mothers being holier than thou with their children as I clambered out amongst a throng of small, shrill people and their parental units.

Pull it back.

I’m on the uphill side of down these days. Still have that gaping hole of I’m a piece of shit and don’t deserve anything in sight, still find my grip sliding and slipping back into it, still reaching for another, stronger hold to pull myself up. Fucking sucks when every other ounce of energy is spent containing the negative, breathing thru the worst of it, and building myself back up to face yet another moment of blistering reality.

But I’ve laughed in the last 24 hours. Briefly. It was enough to remind that I can.

Put on my orthopedic shoes for my first walk around the neighborhood. Took 45 minutes before I began to feel the pinch in my left foot, where the blister was last time. That was just as I was entering the building post-walk, so I chose to use the lift, something I’ve been avoiding. Not a big deal; I had occasion to run out for something later on and took the opportunity to do the long slog up, gasping as I always do on floor 3 (or 4, if you don’t count ground). Best of all, I had my jeans on for the first time in weeks and found that my belt slipped down a notch without me even noticing. That’s the first confirmation I’ve had that all my work is paying off, and it felt damned good.

Stuffed my brain with more Dutch words. Wishing for the thousandth time I had a job or a husband or boyfriend or anyone or thing to get me out of the house and talking more. The info I studied today all had to do with job related ideas; not something a technically unemployed person comes up against every day. And that’s my problem: so much of what I’m studying is not something I use every day, so the knowledge is hazy and gets forgotten easily. It IS a lot of what other people talk about, so I have to learn it first to know what the fuck people are saying -! Kind of a Catch 22. Just have to buckle down, repeat the lessons a few times, and try to use the words asap. Nothing cements in knowledge for me like using a word various times, in different conversations and contexts.

It’s come to mind that this is what I need to convey to my new teacher if he has any hope of remaining my teacher. My old teacher seemed to understand that about me without me having to tell him. Either that, or we were always on the same wavelength. It worked really well for me; he’d allow me to read and study at my own pace, from all the sources available. When I was ready to try out a new word I’d do it with hesitation, waiting for confirmation that I got it right or correction if I messed it up. Then I’d move on from there – but anyone paying attention would easily hear I used what I knew as much as possible. Give me something new to chew on, let me mull it over, try it out, give me encouragement, and viola! Idea learned. Throwing a hundred new ideas and words at me all at once and expecting me to just be able to batt them back at you without blinking an eye is beyond me. Sorry; I guess I’m not THAT smart or that kind of smart.

And that’s perfectly fine. I want strong language skills, not fast language skills. I’ve heard fast language skill users, and they don’t speak clearly. They can’t write for shit. A lot can’t read. I want it ALL, everything the language can give me and I’m not willing to take one bite less.

Been observing myself as much as possible lately. Not easy when I’m in it, but I’m doing my best. I noticed that imagined scenarios always turned bleak. My thoughts over this new teacher always include him snubbing me. My thoughts over the upcoming volunteer work for this weekend’s festival were similar. I was sure they’d just not call me. Especially after the first phone call, when I had to ask for English. But no. Got a call last night. Very friendly, very happy I’m willing to give my time. I’m wondering if everything that set me off last week in my language lesson was all in my head. Imagined. Things that looked and felt like triggers, so that’s the way I reacted. Frankly, I don’t know. Which brings me right back to my need to observe. Everything. It’s important to not discount myself. If I’m feeling triggered left and right, well, that’s no place to put myself even IF it’s not intended. On the other hand, if the intention is not there, I’ve no right to just go off on anyone.

Oh, I’m right back to standing up to my sister. I KNOW that’s at the heart of this. That evil, evil, bitch.

She’s not here. It’s not happening. She can’t get to you. This isn’t that. Stop it right now.

*groan* Think I found the hot spot in my emotional baggage of the moment…

Oooooh yeah.

Handhold: I’m right. She’s not here. The nightmares my mind is conjuring aren’t actually what’s happening. Handhold: I’ve got the power – and the right – to say no. To walk away. Handhold: I have available, viable alternatives. Handhold: Snap decisions are the weakest. I want strength. Remember that. Handhold: I AM getting stronger each and every day. Handhold: I AM learning new words and ideas each and every day. Handhold: I CAN do this, no matter what my fears are telling me. Handhold: I AM doing this. Every single minute.

Can’t say I’ve reached the top, but I did get to a ledge. And damn it, I’m clinging on.


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