Right here, right now

The script is out. Finished the A4 formatting, checked the entry page, wrote a short intro letter, and clicked send. No more thinking.

As usual, I was hit with a wave of manic energy afterwards. Bad enough my brother mentioned it was affecting him. I headed to the gym.

Think I might have turned the corner on my weight issue. Think I might have dropped some excess weight without quite knowing it. I mean, I wear sweat pants almost 24/7. It’s hard to judge where your body is when you’ve always got elastic waisted pants on. But I caught a few glimpses of myself that didn’t make me look wider than I am tall. A few sidelong looks where I thought gee, my stomach doesn’t stick out as much as it used to. And, hallelujah, I’ve found my collarbones again. Don’t even have to sink my chest in to see them – I can just stand there as usual and out they pop.

The house is pretty clean, thanks to my bro helping me on Sunday. I felt bad for a fleeting moment; he did the hoovering and ended up in a sweat because…well, it’s hoovering. Means you gotta move all the furniture and get underneath. It sounds like an easy job, but it isn’t. And I reminded myself of all the sweaty hours I spent cleaning this place, and the last one, and the one before that – and suddenly I didn’t feel so bad or guilty for allowing him to take on this tough task. Sometimes I think my bro needs to be reminded that hoovering sucks, that doing the dishes every day can make you lose your mind, and that housework doesn’t just get done all by itself.

No rehearsal Monday. The director bowed out with a sore throat. More than happy about that; I’m over anxious about staying healthy and my number one freak out is being exposed to other people’s illnesses. No rescheduled date yet.

Strangest thing this morning. Two strangest things. One, my hoodie is missing. It’s not in my room nor the living room, and I was just using it yesterday. Two, my coffee cup is missing. Gone. Non-existent. Had to use a secondary cup, not my normal one (didn’t feel right). Can’t for the life of me figure out why someone would come in, grab my hoodie and coffee cup and split. But I’ve been up and down this tiny place and see zero sign of either of them.

Finished reading the book on the Night Witches my director gave me. Need to make some notes. The bibliography lists several sources to check on for factual info. I’m well pleased with the info provided in this book. Gives me a good grounding on the groupings within the military and how they work in such a strict hierarchal system. And I’m beginning to see the play. Found my main character the other day. She’s still developing, but I caught the first glimpse of her. Beginning to know some of what the characters will face in the play. It’s big – and exciting. The setting I’ve chosen to write about allows me to bring in as many famous flyers as I want. It’s a strong skeleton, and I’m pinning my ideas down with factual points – dates, names, deaths.

First, tho, finish the US formatting for the current script. Get it out to as many places as I can find, because I think this one is a doozy. Do my Dutch homework. Keep getting to the gym. Keep following through on my commitments. Keep myself focused and busy in the now, not the past, not the unwritten future.

Right here, right now. This is where you make the change.

Brown Cow

imgres.jpg

How now, brown cow?

An existential question, indeed.

Now is where it’s at. Always. Getting confused in the past or future is a hinderance and it prevents you from seeing what’s right in front of you.

My now is pretty full.

Took a two hour stroll yesterday with a pulled back (the walk worked out the problem but it was a bit painful) to look at cheap furniture. With J and his boyfriend coming soon, we at least need a place for them to sit, and preferably something they can sit in and be comfortable for a few hours. My bro found a furniture outlet about 25 minutes from the house, so we walked there and then walked around a warehouse jammed with this and that. We also need chairs for the dining room table; it’s been sitting in the middle of the room since we got it but we have no chairs for it. So up and down every aisle, measuring this, sitting in that, walking away from the high priced items. We think we’ve found stuff that will work.

All the better. J told me in a recent message that he’s so short of cash he might not make his rent this month. We may end up hanging out here more than I imagined.

Don’t care. Space will be tight. It is already. But I’ll get to see my friend’s face relax with laughter and conversation. We’ll enjoy good food together and catch up with each other in the way you can only do face to face. Those are the things I’m really looking forward to.

I’ve made a whole batch of sour trahanas, which is how I pulled my back. It’s a fantastic Greek dish. It takes a few days to get it right, and the trahanas gets very thick – I broke a wooden spoon once while stirring it. The effort was worth it: I now have enough dried sour trahanas to make several meals while J is here. It takes about 10 minutes to make once I have it this far, so it’s fast, delicious, and completely vegetarian. Perfect.

Today I’m transplanting tomato seedlings. Every year the supermarket chain Albert Hein gives away little packs of seeds and a small seedling pot as a gimmick in spring. I hit the jackpot this year and got cherry tomatoes. All six have sprouted. That’s a perfect number of plants for my apartment windows. They’ve finally all got their first grown up leaves, so it’s time to get them separated and into larger accommodations. I LOVE the smell of tomato plants in the room. It’s kind of peppery. Double bonus that they give you tasty veg.

*sigh* I’m now at the place I knew I’d be in: more ‘tasks’ left before J flies in than I can possibly do. Got to winnow through the chaff. Figure out what’s the most important to get done and concentrate on that…. Give myself a moment and there it is. Gee, I guess it wasn’t all that tough to figure out.

  1. Take care of myself so I feel good while they’re here.
  2. Get in enough seating so we can all sit down at the same time.
  3. General cleanliness.

The order WAS going to be different, but I remembered what I need to remember: people are happiest around me when I’m happy. That means don’t push myself, sleep in, and get my hair done. Priorities, priorities, priorities…

It also means giving myself enough time to talk to the girl. Today. Right after this. Because I’ve been putting it off. She’s been okay with it; no nagging thoughts that have been waking me up at 4 a.m. But I want to check in. Make sure she’s okay. Make sure we’re okay. I don’t want her jumping out while my guests are here because I didn’t take care of her.

Haven’t heard back yet from the theatre. Non-communication and bird shit shoveling does a lot to deflate those flights of fancy.

Good news is that the work on the balcony is beginning to pay off. I don’t think flowers or tender plants would ever be safe out there, but I may be able to get a couple of small, hardy bushes that can take it. We’ve had a few hard rains since I did the shoveling so it looks much better. Still have to clean up the railing. Got in some disposable gloves so I can finish the job.

The joys of city living.

Well, in Ireland it was shoveling sheep shit out of the gravel drive. Sheep herds were always getting in. Some days the drive was like a mine field.

I guess the lesson is that you ALWAYS have to shovel shit, no matter where you live.

…Maybe I shouldn’t approach the situation with such irony. Maybe there’s a bigger lesson to learn there.

If I want to keep my garden area or balcony clean, I have to shovel whatever shit lands on it. Well, MAYBE if I want to keep my life in a certain manner, I’ll have to keep my personal space ‘clean’ as well. Aha! That means (buzz word coming) that I need to know my boundaries. I need to understand how close I’ll let the shit of the world come to me.

Not very close at all.

I have been likened to a princess in a tower. Not so much because I sit and wait for someone to rescue me, but because I have a very separate life inside my head. It’s a double edged sword; it’s filled my loneliness, but it’s also become a hinderance at times, intruding on social situations and making me appear ‘flighty’ or ’empty headed’. When I’m bored – which happens often enough that when I’m NOT bored it’s notable – I go into my head. Think a million thoughts. It happens often. Sometimes for a nano-second, sometimes for a lengthy two or three seconds. Then I come back to the conversation, sometimes knowing what’s being said and sometime having lost vital communication. I can then make inappropriate comments that have nothing at all to do with the subject matter being discussed. Been noticing this tendency in me a lot lately.

Back to the NOW, brown cow.

Remember the River

imgres.jpg

Summer warmth and sunshine broke through yesterday afternoon, just in time for my walk. And I walked! Further, longer, and without pain. Came back home and rested for a bit, more out of habit than need.

More clean up and organization. My bro and I are trying to find a way to fit two more chairs into the living room so when J and his boyfriend visit they have places to sit. Some of the studio equipment is getting taken down temporarily to make room. J suffers from fibromyalgia and some days has worse pain than I do. Plus I heard back from him; they don’t have many plans, other than to visit with us. So I’m guessing the apartment will be chill central, where we’ll sit down and talk the afternoon away and maybe listen to some music. Or it needs to be set up that way! Another shelf needs to go up to tidy up a corner, and we’ve got to find some very inexpensive small chairs (maybe folding chairs?) to use at the dining room table (Snort! Dining room table, indeed. I should say dining area squished into a corner table). And I want the balcony to be cleared of all hazardous bird poop.

That’s a tall order to get everything ready in time. Oh, there’s a whole month and yadda yadda. I’m talking about energy to do all the work and then keep it clean.

Plus it’s time I get back in the pool.

Took a few weeks off from water while testing my shoes. Oh, hell! Okay – now that I can walk without pain I feel like I should walk as much as possible. I’ve only got so much energy, so it’s walk or swim, and I’ve been choosing walking. The time off has given a feel for how much I can do on my feet, and I think I should get back in the water. Good news is it’s done my shoulder a lot of good; I can now raise my arm without pain. It’s been YEARS since I could do that. Any aggravation of it will mean the pool is a no-go place for now.

*sigh* I’m backsliding on keeping promises to myself. Every day I promise I’ll be better with my diet, try harder to get more exercise, spend more time learning Dutch…and every night I catch myself having a ‘treat’, sitting on my ass, and falling asleep before even doing the app on my phone for 10 minutes. It’s got to stop. I’ve either got to decide my mega plans for diet, exercise, and a learning curve NO ONE should have to stick to is unrealistic, or buckle down and do it. Problem is, I firmly believe I can do all those things and it’s just my current laziness that’s keeping me from doing it.

You CAN do it. You’ve done it in the past, which is why you KNOW you can do it.

Yeah. And I climbed a mountain during a bad arthritis attack, too. I remember. I am Superwoman. It’s just….Being Superwoman is hard.

Fuck. I’m reaching for more coffee and wanting to just roll up another J. This is a big issue for me.

Mmmm. Let’s apply a little logic.

My mom was fucked up. Narcissism for sure. Other than that? Well…Mom’s shell is a hard one to crack. She may have had ADHD – untold energy, the original Superwoman, juggling a full time career, three kids, a husband, a home, her husband’s business affairs, investment property, finances, taxes, duties of chef and head housekeeper. She always looked tired (unless she was jacked up on tons of coffee).

Add in my own experiences. Every job I ever had began with a surge of energy. I’d be there early, work harder than anyone else, get promoted, more responsibilities, put in extra time, more responsibilities, burn out. One place I left had to hire three people to take on the work load I was carrying.

So yes, I can be my mother in the work place or home. For a short period of time. I can’t do it full time. And she couldn’t, either. There’s a whole knot of reasons why mom got cancer at such a young age.

I don’t want to be my mom.

So why are you trying to act like her?

…Good question. REALLY good question.

I guess I still believe that hard work will get you ahead in life. Even tho that’s not the case. Obviously. It’s the sleaze balls, the worms who weasel their way around who get ahead these days.

The cheaters.

That’s hard to swallow. I actually believed adults when they said cheating hurts no one but yourself, and that cheaters are bad. Yet AS an adult…*shakes head* It’s a basic inconsistency between what I WANT the world to be and what the world actually is.

And that inconsistency flows thru me. Makes ME inconsistent. I vacillate between doing nothing out of rage (why bother?) to doing everything for my art (because it’s the only thing that DOES matter).

It sucks. It sucks because it makes me want to cheat, makes me want to be a weasel. Yet fate is cruel, cruel, cruel. For some reason what others can get away with – even flourish from doing – destroys me. I am found out, exposed, punished as an example to others.

I guess at heart I’m not enough of an asshole to get away with being an asshole.

What a conundrum. Feels like I’m doomed either way.

The only way forward is straight through – sticking to my guns the whole way. Plenty of artists have lived and died in obscurity, only to be hailed as ‘geniuses’ post mortem. I guess it doesn’t really matter. Hailed or forgotten, my art serves to leave my own little mark on life. To say ‘Beeps was here’.

Mmm. Just a little macabre this morning. Feels like I need to remind myself of something today. Something I’m on the verge of forgetting.

Your legacy isn’t your art. Your legacy isn’t your work record, or your voting history, or even your children, if you have them. Your legacy is how you lived. The people you interacted with, good or bad. Every minute of every day you have thousands of opportunities to change things. It begins with one simple concept: kindness. To yourself, first. You can’t be kind to anyone else if you’re not kind to yourself. Build a well of it. Dip into it regularly. Bathe in it. From there, it will flow over the rocks and stones in your life. It will soften their edges so you don’t repeatedly cut yourself on them.

Remember the river.

One of a Kind

images-2.jpg

I am clean and my hair is drying in ringlets this morning. Got up and in the shower before my eyes were properly open. It wasn’t a bad way to start the day, and reminded me how I used to live when I worked 9 to 5.

Today’s my last day in my trial shoes. I’m trying to accept that. Hoping I’ll get them back before too long. The impact pain they take away from my feet allows me to walk at a brisk pace, something I’ve not been able to do for years. I’m telling myself it’s okay. My new shoes are coming and coming soon. I’ll be able to do this again. I’ll be able to walk this summer. In the meantime, the occasion seems like it needs to be marked, so I’ve showered and plan to wear my new top and better jeans today. Dress up a bit. Because tomorrow I might not feel like it.

I’m ready for my appointment at the shoe shop. I’ve found the basic shape, the fabrics, the buckles, the heel, the cuff and the toe shape I want for my shoes. I’ll load everything onto a memory stick and take it with me. No idea how this is going to go down. If I can just open up the pictures and explain while the guy takes notes, cool. These babies are custom from the soles on up. I’ve never seen ankle boots like them before, and if I get a unique enough fabric, they’ll be completely one of a kind shoes. Uber, uber cool.

Kiss my so cool heels, baby.

There’s a spew to Coillette sitting in my therapy folder. It’s got many full lines of ‘you bitch, you cunt, fuck off’ etc. so I won’t bore you with the details. Just want it noted that I let myself do it. And once it was done, I was able to let it go for the day.

Did some baking. I’m about to enslave a dojo full of kids to my goodies. lol! Yeah. Had some extra bananas so I’m doing the banana thing again. This time they’re being made to take to my bro’s kickboxing class and give away. The only little sorrow for me is I won’t be there to see everyone enjoy them. That’s always the best part for me – hearing the ‘Mmmmm’ as they bite in and seeing the eye roll of ecstasy as the flavors hit them in just the right way. I once baked my famous triple chocolate cake for some kids who came to the studio to nuts around. I let them loose on it, saying ‘help yourself’. 15 minutes later I went to the kitchen to find HALF the cake gone. And it’s not a small cake! It’s a large round layer with three stacks on top. I expect the Dutch kids will be a bit more sophisticated than THAT particular incident, but I still expect they’ll enjoy the treats.

*sigh* I got the letter done for Heike. Feels like a real anti climax now, over a month since my last appointment. I wonder if she wonders what happened to me. Doubtful. She wasn’t that mindful of me when I saw her every week. I doubt she even realizes I haven’t been back. Out of sight, out of mind.

And that’s HER bad.

It only reflects on her incompetence. Her callousness. It does not reflect on my worth as a person.

I’m worth a call back. I’m worthy of a good therapist. Someone who remembers who I am from one appointment to the next. Someone who listens rather than disses. That’s why she and Addiction Central are getting the letter in the first place – to tell them I’m not happy with them and won’t be returning BECAUSE THEY DONT’ DESERVE TO TALK TO ME. Just needed to remind myself of that.

Talked with my brother about my ‘master plan’. How I want to ride the summer out. Be gentle with myself physically. Keep writing. Keep doing what works for me – walking, swimming, just getting up and getting involved with life again. I don’t need to ride myself about smoking. I’ve found that yes, I can quit if I need to and when I get busy with things outside the house I don’t even miss it. I’ve promised to ‘be mindful’ of my smoking, to try to not just sit at my computer playing games all day long while I smoke one joint after the other. I LIKE doing that. I’ll try NOT to. Come September, I’ll return to my huisarts and ask to be resubmitted to the place my brother’s going. Let’s call that place Head Shrink Central, because it IS the main hub for mental health in NL. While I feel (and my brother feels as well) that I’m doing much better these past few months, I have to admit that my suicide ideations – when they come – are much darker and more extreme than they used to be. That worries me, and it worries my brother. As he said, “I can take your highs. It’s the lows I’m worried about”. Yeah. Me too. I don’t like knowing my brother eyes me up while I’m standing on a train platform, just to make sure I don’t throw myself onto the tracks. It’s stressful for both of us.

So I’ll still seek out help. Medicated help. They can cram talk therapy up their asses. I’m not going to trust anyone soon with that. No, no, no. And if that’s all they offer me, then I’ll go back to managing on my own. With smoke. As much as I want, screw you guys.

That’s not very open of me. And that’s okay, too. I’m doing this my way. Maybe not the way anyone else would like to see me do it, but I’m making progress. And I’m protecting myself, keeping the girl safe while I do it. No fumbling around in my emotions by someone else. No more triggers. Writing here clears my head. Other people’s comments and blogs give me things to think about. If what I seek is my truth, my answer to all the why’s I’ve got, then it’s unique. One of a kind. Like my shoes.

Like me.

Come Out, Come Out!

imgres-1.jpg

Cold, wet, and dark. Welcome to Spring.

Yeesh!

Having a bit of a difficult time today. Spent time with me yesterday; let myself write and chatter and say whatever came to mind. I talked to myself about shoes, and found the girl doesn’t want sneakers, she wants ankle boots. Badly, like a jones you can’t rid yourself of. She even turned the tables on me and became the hard hitting therapist for a bit.

When did this flip around? You’ve become the therapist.

Does that matter? A false illusion is a false illusion. Doesn’t matter if you hold it or if I hold it.

So my problem comes from sharing my desire for ankle boots with my brother who, goddess love him, thinks differently. He thinks I should go for sneakers first, that they’ll end up being more useful to me. And he reminded me of all the great sneakers I’ve worn – Chuckies, VANS – all the shoes that made me strut and put on attitude. I’m back on the fence. In fact, I’ve let myself be swayed more to the sneaker side again EVEN THOUGH I found a very deep desire in me for ankle boots.

The girl isn’t happy. This needs to be rectified.

Let me butt in here. First, you’re talking like I’m not here, and I am. I’m always here, even when I don’t talk to you. Second, we’ve worn sneakers for twenty years because that’s all we could afford and generally sneakers hurt our feet the least. Yes, we’ve dug some pairs. We’ve HAD to. Like your sneakers or die; that’s what it was for a long goddamn time. Can we PLEASE do things MY way – for ONCE? Third, your brother is arguing to get sneakers first and ankle boots in three months, when you can get another pair made. He keeps telling you those ankle boots aren’t that far off. Then why not swap that? Get the ankle boots first and the sneakers second. And if you wear the first pair into disrepute then you KNOW I was right for asking for them and just get a second pair of ankle boots to keep in better condition! It’s a win/win situation! Ankle boots do everything. Dress ’em up; dress ’em down. Skirts to jeans, ankle boots got you covered. Why are we arguing about this?

*sigh* She’s right. Again. [And DAMN! She’s far more persevering than I am.]

She also taught me a thing or two about sex and love:

But how do you combine that safety and friendship with sex? I don’t get it. Sex is always predatory.

Sex isn’t about love?

No. It’s about getting off. Endorphin rush.

So boyfriends or long term partners are just people you like to get off with time and time again?

Yeah, primarily. It helps to like the guy, but it’s sure not necessary.

Okay. So what does love look like?

Caring. Standing by a person. Being with them day in and day out. Laughing together. Struggling against the world together. Hugging each other no matter what. Knowing your life would be poorer and less if that other person wasn’t in it. Wanting to make them happy. Supporting them.

But not sex.

No. Sex is physical, like exercise.

Yep. ‘Making love’ is just a euphemism to me. Never did it; never even came close. And a bit of hypersexuality, anyone?

THINK about it. Your brain used to focus on sex all the time. Who you might have it with, when you’d get it next. Every night out was an attempt to get fucked, not find love. Right?

I think I wanted more.

No. What you wanted was a full time fuck who could always make you cum. Someone you could stand being around, someone your family approved of. Someone who made a decent living so you could have the house and the car and the vacations. I know…Mom and dad were a fairy tale couple. We always said that, and that’s what we truly thought. But look at your siblings. You’re not the only one who’s had problems making a connection with people. You’re just the only one to admit to it.

She’s pretty ruthless in her opinions.

And she’s dead on.

NOW she feels validated. We just had to go that extra step and air our dirty laundry!

I guess a very grown up conversation awaits me today. I’ve got to tell my brother to back off on the sneaker idea and ask him to support my choice. Tell him how much I want what I want, how important it is to me to get precisely what I want, not what I’m told I SHOULD want. Hope his listening ears are on this morning.

My plan is to go mall walking later on. It’s scheduled to rain and rain hard for the next few days. I can kill a couple of birds with one stone by walking in the mall: keep pushing my trial shoes AND window shop for cool shoes and (gasp!) cool summer gear. If ankle boots are in, shorts are out and skirts are making a comeback. That means I need a slip…if they still make slips these days. Do they? Damned if I know right now. Anyway, tra-la and all that shit. I’ll be looking at girly things today, strictly for girls. No boy’s stuff at all. [If I haven’t ever said, a lot of clothes I’ve worn over the past twenty years are guys clothes. They’re cheaper and larger cut.] I think my brother is NOT invited to come with me today. I want to really look, not feel like he’s standing by doing nothing and just WAITING for me to make a choice. That doesn’t help me, especially when it comes to girly things. Boys’ stuff I’ll just grab and put on. Nothing to think about except is it roomy enough in the hips. But stuff for girls…for women..THAT I’m picky about.

A-HAAAAAAAA! I get it!! The girl is thinking about coming out again. THAT’S what this big fashion hang up is all about. She wants to make an entrance, her style. Let’s lay down the red carpet. Come out, come out, wherever you are!

What You Need

I did not go to the famed Kralingse Bos yesterday. I was ready, even eager. But my brother corrected me; he’d suggested we go after I get my real shoes (and after I get an increase in meds) and would I PLEASE rethink it because it’s fabulous that I walked the day before and think I can walk even more the next day but could I get real for a minute and just CHILL?

Did I just zip off there somewhere?

Yes, yes I did.

My plans scaled down as fast as I’d like my waistline to slim. Cooler weather than forecast (weather forecasts HAVE to be the most optimistic things on the planet by definition) kept me near home. I fed the ducks. Still no George; he’s off with his lady friend or moved or I don’t know what. Haven’t seen him for a bit now. Without him, it’s just an okay experience. A plus one in fun. Used to be a plus ten, every time. I MISS that duck.

I came back home to four new shelves neatly hung in my room. Spent part of the day digging under my bed for a few of those tucked away cartons I haven’t seen for over a year. What’s in this again? Within five minutes the virginity of those new shelves was popped and STUFF came out to go on display. I have places for things again (silly of me, but the highest jazz factor is having a specific place for all my girly nail polish stuff). I found my 3D glasses for the cinema. I found my dart set. The charger for my toothbrush is now off the floor. My room looks cozy and inviting, not small and cramped. I like.

The house is officially dual language. Without saying anything about it to each other, my bro and I have just begun speaking in Dutch as much as possible. It helps that my brother has a better grasp of the language. When I tried to do it before he’d just get that look he gets, which is far too easy to misinterpret as anger (it isn’t; it’s frustration). Now he thinks for a minute, then I see that lightbulb go on in his brain, and he tries to answer me. Much, much better. I must remember to thank our teacher when I see him; my brother’s progress is completely due to his gentle guidance.

Today is Easter. Happy, happy, if you celebrate. To me it means I’ve been seeing bunnies and eggs for over a week. Even the dinner rolls come shaped as bunnies here. You can get butter and cheese and sandwich meat shaped as bunnies for real kitschy snacks. Now all that gets phased out. Maybe somewhere there’s a mass grave for bunny shaped food; I don’t know. I do know that as of tomorrow morning it will be out of the stores.

Not that I’ve been tempted. The goodies this season didn’t hold much fascination for me.

Because I made my own.

Ach, okay. It was my brother’s birthday during the week. He said don’t make a big deal, so I didn’t. Kept it low key. But I did bake up a treat for him. He’s been on a banana kick so I made banana cupcakes with chocolate/vanilla frosting. Wow. Been a while since I whipped out the mixer and made one of my own recipes. The Dutch bake well, but they don’t do what I do. These fabulous birthday cupcakes taste like a banana split. You get the chocolate/vanilla in the frosting first, then the bust of banana in the cake. Lush! lol! We began with 12 cupcakes and I see my bro did a nighttime raid; there’s only one left.

I like baking. And I like what I bake. Dangerous combination! [And for the record, if you’re listening, Universe, YES! I would take offered money and open a small bakery somewhere. The hours would suit me.]

Supposed to talk to the girl today. Let her moan write out what she needs to. Can’t help but judge it right now. I feel it’s useless. Worthless. Silly. Hmmm….I guess I’ve been silly an awful lot in my life. Doing so again – by choice, and knowing it’s silly when I go into it – isn’t such a bad thing. My therapist is the folder on my desktop marked ‘home therapy’. I can read, re-read, or ignore any or all of what’s written. It’s just there, for now. Like a bellybutton. Pull on it and all my guts come out (WOW! Where did THAT metaphor come from?!?). Ugly imagery aside, I’ll tug a bit today and see what spills out.

Time is whipping around me again. This week is charging at me like a bull. Friday is the day I’ll beg to be allowed to keep my trial shoes, or if I DO have to give them up, to please, please get them back to me ASAP. I’ll make a special trip for them. Still wishy-washy on what I want my first pair to look like. Yeesh! There is very little I’m more uncomfortable with than having absolute free reign to choose ANYTHING. I can’t make up my mind. I’ve been leaning towards a stock pair the store has on their website. That might be easiest, and get my shoes to me the fastest. Yet…If the world is open to me, shouldn’t I be a bit more inventive than to just point to a pair of shoes and say ‘Those are okay’? And there’s so MANY shoes I like the look of.

Maybe the girl can help me.

lol! Now THAT’S a switch. I’ve set out to help the girl, and within this short span of time I find myself asking help FROM her.

Maybe that’s what I need.

Go on, kiddo. Let loose. Tell me what you want. I’ll give you what you need.

Hell Yeah!

imgres-2.jpg

Wow. What a day I had yesterday!

It began in the rain, with half hearted promises that yes, I would get outside the house on that very afternoon. My brother, on one of his many runs thru the city, happened across a shop that had pre-cut fully finished shelving boards on sale. The plan was to go, look, and buy a few for my room. I didn’t relish the idea of going out in the rain, but realized a good sale wasn’t going to last long in this town. Buy it or lose it.

By the time the metro delivered us near the shop, the rain stopped. The air had that just washed smell in it. Want to look around a bit? Yes, I found I did. We went to the Markthall, a relatively new building (it was finished a few months after we settled here). It’s shaped like a big horseshoe:

imgres.jpg

And yes, it’s actually that cool. The ground floor is one huge permanent market, with food stalls and restaurants galore. Going in that building is akin to saying bye bye to any diet you thought you were on! The scents of food and spices and good things to eat were EVERYWHERE, and within 15 seconds my mouth was watering over half a dozen amazing looking dishes on display. Lunch was a no brainer by that time (if any of you come to visit, I’ll take you there and see how long YOU can resist eating something!). And my walk up and down the aisles told me exactly where I wanted lunch – the Greek place. They had a monster gyro on display that I just couldn’t pass by. In we went. Then it happened.

I opened my mouth to give my order to the waitress and Dutch poured out. No English. Only Dutch. And I understood what she said to me. From there on out, it was a Dutch day. Even my brother joined in. I spoke English only to my brother, and only when my ideas got too big for my grasp on the language. As soon as I could, though, it was back to Dutch. And it lasted all. day. Right up to bedtime.

To be able to communicate!!! Oh, goddess! What a feeling! Okay; I know I still get some things wrong. Mix up word placement. Struggle with meanings. But to know I can now open my mouth and SPEAK -! I can ask for help, I can reply to simple things, I can get thru a basic conversation without reverting to English.

I feel free.

We got the shelves and continued on our merry way back home.

My feet felt GREAT. My brother had to ask me twice to slow down because I can now walk faster than he can.

The night was topped off by watching Maze Runner on DVD. Great film!

Yeah, I’m using a lot of exclamation points. That’s how jazzed I feel this morning. 😀

Today the sky is rosy and the weather forecast is for a balmy 16 degrees. Big plans to go to Kralingse Bos, a huge park I haven’t seen yet because my feet haven’t been up to it.

imgres-1.jpg

I’ll be taking my camera.

Man, I just said I wanted to have fun this summer! No sooner do those words cross my consciousness than fun presents itself. In oodles. Not sure why but thank you, thank you, and thank you again.

And I did that internet search for theatre groups in my area. Found one. It’s close by Kralingse Bos, as a matter of fact. According to their website, they’re in rehearsals right now. I want to check out their performance and see what they’re all about. The only thing is, everything they do is in Dutch. There are some English speaking theatre groups, but all are quite a trek to get to. Besides, now that the language is unlocking for me I WANT to use more Dutch. That means I’ll be on the side line for longer than I may want to be. BUT ..that will allow me time to get to know the troupe, how they operate, etc. I can help with background work and still have fun. And all the time I’ll listen, and repeat, and learn.

I want to find a way to do this. Really do this. Make the time commitment and stick to it. That means my body has to cooperate (you listening, body?) and my mind needs to ease off (don’t worry; I’ll still give you time). I can’t have stragglers in my head, the nay sayers who nag at me and wear me down. If we do this, we ALL commit to it. Can I get a hell yeah?

Guys?

Can we make a few conditions?

Um, sure. What are they?

We’re worried about our health. We can’t run ourself down while we do this. The time commitment needs to be flexible.

I understand your concerns. You do know, though, that they’ll have to have some sort of schedule to stick to.

Yeah. Can we find out about that before making this commitment? If it’s every night…You know how tired you are in the evenings. You know how easy we fall ill. And you know that the more excited you get, the easier it is to fall ill. Can we do this slow? Please?

Okay. I haven’t even emailed them yet. Is it okay to do that?

Can we mark the calendar and go see their performance first?

You sure you’re willing to commit to going to that performance? You won’t back out on me, will you? Come up with some excuse last minute?

I’ll try not to. Can you promise to remain calm all the way up to that performance date?

Nope.

Then you see how difficult it is for us to promise to go on the night, yes?

Yeah. I get it.

Okay. I’ll check that performance date. I think it’s in June, if memory serves. I’ll mark it down on my calendar. I’ll even set an alarm for earlier in the week to remind me it’s coming up.

No pressure. We only do this if it’s fun. Okay?

HELL YEAH!

Ramble On

The rage dump yesterday was exactly what I needed. I didn’t carry that out into the world; it got left behind on my computer screen while I spent the morning smiling and laughing in my language class. My teacher is a very kind man who believes putting pressure on people who are trying to learn a new language is counterproductive. We read, we talk, he corrects us and explains things we don’t understand. I feel confident enough in the language to make mistakes (it’s okay; it really is!) and even pulled a joke yesterday.

And my head is making the switch. For the first time every yesterday, my brain used a Dutch word rather than an English one. It was only ‘van’ (meaning ‘from’), but I slipped it in so fast and flawless that I startled myself. Some things have only become Dutch; for instance, in the house my brother’s condition is always stated in Dutch (Ah-Day-Hah-Day) rather than ugly English – which we both tried to do, and you know what? The English was hard to say as quick as the Dutch. There are even words in Dutch that I know and use correctly, yet translating them into English takes me a moment because it’s just a word that I know, not something I run thru my translation filters in my head.

Ik ben blij (I am happy). There’s still tons of words I don’t know yet, but I’m learning every day. I understand more that’s said to me, I can reply with more Dutch words, and I’m not feeling like such an idiot with the language. Yea!

Of course I thought how nice it would be if my language instructor could somehow become my therapist. I like him, I know he’s a kind person with a real heart (saw him tear up when he talked about his favorite dog that passed away), and I feel safe talking to him. Then I think about what happened with my huisarts and how I don’t feel comfortable right now even with her. No. Better to leave my teacher as my teacher. I don’t want to lose another person I feel is a good support in my life.

Still not sure what to do about my huisarts, btw.

My sore throat is better (even there! I first typed ‘beter’, the Dutch word – the computer corrected me). I correctly diagnosed it as oral thrush. Think I might have missed a calling in medicine; I’ve got an uncanny knack at diagnosis. No, I didn’t see my huisarts. Didn’t need to, just like when I knew I fractured a bone in my foot. PUH-LEEZE! Nothing worse than having to sit and wait somewhere for hours only to have someone come in and tell you exactly what you already know. Especially when the course of treatment is just ‘rest’. I’ll get more rest just not going in for the diagnosis, then, thanks. You have no idea how much that pisses off doctors, especially when there’s a fractured bone involved. You should have come in! We need that on record! *rolls eyes* They get to see me once in every three incidents. I’ve got SOME semblance of a life, you  know.

Or I WANT to have…

With spring here and summer on the way, I find myself not wanting to begin too many new things. Heat always does a number on my joints, and I’m not stupid enough to think this summer will be any different. I hope it will be better; I hope an increase in my meds and my new shoes will do a LOT for me and help me get out to do everything available during summer months. But I expect to spend the hours of 11 a.m to 4 p.m. inside, on my chair, just about every day. I sure as hell don’t want to begin with a new doctor and diagnosis and all that shit when I KNOW the chance is high my body will be hurting.

Maybe I’m being a pussy. Weak. Avoiding.

So be it.

I want to have FUN this summer. And that means giving me every chance to feel good, which means no poking around in my head to see what sets me off. I’ll continue to write. Don’t think I could STOP blogging now. But for the rest…Meh! I’ll smoke when I smoke. And I’ll think when I think, and use my words and talk when I need to. This summer I’ll discover myself in a safe and loving way. I won’t push. That’s new. Last time I tried something like that would have been long, long ago (in a galaxy far, far away) BEFORE all my dreams were trampled under my mother’s feet.

Maybe…maybe with my better grasp on the language, I’ll seek out a theatre troupe. Not with the intention of actually getting a part, but…It might be fun to sit in on things, to read the script, to try. I used to live for that. It was my entire existence – the desire to act. I haven’t allowed myself to participate in that world since mom shut me down. And I think I’ve been missing a huge part of myself… I should do a web search. Find out where the closest group is. Find out if it’s within the realm of possible first, before I fly off.

Well, there you have it. My summer homework. Language, gentle care of me and my body (and I remind myself right here and now that my poor body does everything it can to struggle through the pain and problems it has), and find a theatre group. No therapist could come up with a better plan. Now to negotiate the path. Slow, simple, step by step.

Time to ramble on.

One More Mountain

imgres.jpg

I think the whole feel good movement off the famous Forrest Gump line ‘Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get ’til you bite into one’ would have been remarkably different if Forrest Gump existed in the Harry Potter world, where candies and chocolates could have vomit flavored filling.

I think those feel good people would have shut up then.

Because then the line would have to be something like ‘Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know when you bite into one whether or not it’s gonna taste like vomit’. That puts a whole different spin on it.

Got a lot of sleep. Almost 9 hours, and I was dozing in my chair for an hour before I went to bed. Could have slept more, or I felt like it. It was only a nagging headache flitting around my brain that made me get up. I don’t know if the sleep and headache are stress related or RA and allergy related. I’ll deal with them first as real, physical problems. If they don’t abate, then maybe it’s all stress.

Tried to rest yesterday. My wrist and foot pain have been high, and I can’t seem to do much before I pull up with a sharp hiss. All this sitting around is difficult. My body needs rest, but my head doesn’t stop telling me I’m lazy, I should do this or that, I’m such an awful person for taking so much time off. Been compromising, and doing ‘easy’ things (easy in that I don’t have to exert much physically). Got the appointment for my passport renewal set, and pulled all the paperwork (a shitload) to print. Wrote out a draft of the letter to Heike, telling her I’ve quit smoking and that I will not be returning to Addiction Central. Still no call from her. And no need to turn off my phone, either.

…Writing that letter to Heike…difficult. Fuck! I can’t even form a goddamn sentence about it. Yes, I’d say it was fucking difficult! Obviously!! Still goddamn fucking difficult, isn’t it? I’ve got to fucking resort to fucking swearing to get anything out right now goddamn it goddamn it goddamn it!!

Okay. No one has this address. It’s still a safe place for me. I’m still a faceless nothing, not on record, not being watched other than by the usual BBBN (Big Brother Bullshit Network; call me paranoid, others have). This remains a safe place.

I’m smoking. My break did a lot; I am no longer smoking as much or as heavily, nor am I smoking the highest grade marijuana, or even the second highest. I’m down to mid grade mixed with a little bit higher grade. About 4 a day. I feel I CAN take it down to less, even quit outright if that’s what’s needed. But it’s not needed right now. What’s needed right now is something to help me over the paranoia still in me from that panic attack. I SO don’t want to experience that again. Ever. Please. This is a straight out fear reaction. I’m terrified of that. Can’t function at all when it happens. And mega problems functioning for hours/days after.

How is anyone supposed to live a life when that happens?

I know what I need to do is make it safe for me to remember these things, right? But no one seems to be able to tell me how to do that. It’s not a do this, think that, and you’re done kind of thing, and I want it to be. I want an instruction manual. I want to know that if I invest the time on it I’ll make progress, like learning a new language.

But there are no guarantees.

The only thing that IS guaranteed is more pain. Pain from reliving it, going thru it. Maybe over and over. The goal is – what? To grow so immune to the fucking triggers that you can finally slow down the film and dissect it without getting emotionally involved? What? I don’t get it. ‘Forgive myself’?!? I remember one decision time. Not the specifics of what the decision involved, only that I saw two choices in front of me: honesty, which would prove my innocence but condemn someone else which I felt would crush my parents; or take the blame, which somehow I felt would be easier on my parents. I don’t know WHY I felt that way, but I did. So I took the blame. Because that’s what loving my parents, particularly my mother, looked like. Taking the blame. Shouldering the responsibility that was passed onto me.

I made that choice. Right then and there. It was not a novel choice in my life; I’d been making decisions like that over and over again as I grew up. I was – as I see now – groomed to make that choice. That only makes me angry. Realizing now, FULLY realizing, that other people grew up with parents who really supported them blows my fucking mind. It was always just a fantasy to me, never reality. Those cases were fairy tales, stories. I saw it in films all the time.

I still see it. Now I look at strangers in the street and think about it. I wonder if I can see it in their faces. Everyone seems happy to me. They have purpose, things they care about. Are they faking it, like me? Or are they actually part of this freakish group, these people who had parents that supported them? My parents threw money at the problem. Or my mother did. Well do I remember the shopping trips, the afternoons off from school so she could take me here or there for a ‘special’ day. My older siblings called me spoiled. But you know what? Money is cold. It doesn’t give any comfort or love. It doesn’t soothe anything. Not for that little girl inside me. She needs something else.

So I’m doing the best I can. Day by day. Minute by minute. Probably screwing up a thousand things, but hey! I’m still trying. If I’m the only one who can get thru this, the only one who can really change things for myself, then who’s to say I’m not doing exactly what I need to do to get me thru it? As long as I keep allowing myself to confront it, to explore it, little by little, isn’t that all anyone can ask?

I accept that. I’m doing exactly what I need to do, at the pace I need to do it. I once climbed a mountain during a very bad RA attack. Putting one foot in front of the other was difficult. Yet I did it. I stood at the top of that mountain.

This is just one more mountain.

Live it

George’s canal has been invaded by an uppity-assed swan. If you’ve never been confronted by a swan you may think I’m a pussy for backing down. You don’t know how big those damned birds are. When I say we saw eye to eye, it means that bird’s head was the same height as my own – and let me tell you….being approached and hissed at by a bird as tall as yourself that WON’T back down but keeps on advancing, hissing, and spreading its wings is intimidating. It chased me right off the patch of grass that I stand on, onto the pavement and almost right into the street. Lucky for me and George, swans don’t move all that fast. We had a little bit of time before that monster climbed out of the water to chase me. George remains bright eyed, comical, and cute.

I love that duck.

My body has obviously readjusted to not smoking. I have no ‘withdrawal’ symptoms other than being angry, and I’ll challenge anyone who claims my anger is from withdrawal. No. I was that angry BEFORE I quit. It was the reason I quit. The rage just gave me the impetus, the sheet stubbornness to get past the first day or three sans toking.

What I am exhibiting are a lot of suicidal tendencies. I have NO INTENTION of killing myself. But yesterday Cherished79 from Living in Stigma posted this:

b5092a39b0f001690239d9ef2074f3c9

and I realized that I said yes to ten of those warning signs. So I’ve put myself on suicide watch. Talked to my brother about my macabre fascination with the train tracks and fantasies of throwing myself off a building. He is on alert, and watchful. And doing everything he can to support me, goddess bless him.

Have I ever tried to kill myself? No. If I had, I wouldn’t have fucked up. The fact that I’m still here says I haven’t tried it. Because when/if I do it, I’ll succeed.

Just like my mom.

Ooooo. That burned. But it’s true.

Another week has rolled around. I’ll have to call Heike. Really don’t want to. I expect it to muddle the bit of calm I’ve achieved, to rile me up again and throw me right back into the rage I’ve been feeling every time I think about Addiction Central and the treatment I’ve received there. I also expect Heike to pull out all the stops with her manipulations of me. She’ll try to get me to come back to see her again, to make another appointment, to talk. If I had an email address I’d do it that way rather than risk shattering this tiny ledge of non-anger I’ve managed to find. No such luck.

It’s snowing this morning. I may finish this and go stand in it. First time I’ve seen snow fall at this rate in Rotterdam.

There’s not much this week for me to look forward to. Tuesday will be the highlight of my week, when I return to the shoe shop to try on my first pair of ‘dummy’ shoes made for me. That’s not enough to get me through. I’ll need to think up something else to do as a treat. A film, a meal at a restaurant, shopping – something to help me anchor myself. Maybe all three, and more computer games thrown in just to be safe. With the extra money saved from me not smoking, I’ve got plenty of options and plenty of cash to spend.

Just got to find something I give two shits about.

That’s the tough bit.

That’s always the tough bit.

I have zero interest. I clean the house so I can say I’ve cleaned the house. I take walks for the same reason. I swim because it’s habit. Don’t want to do any of it. Don’t care about any of it. I do it because they say it’s the stuff to do when depressed. It’s mechanical. Robotic. I’m going thru the motions. Putting on that happy face for the world to see. Oh, look! She’s trying, isn’t she? Keep it up, you can do it, it’s not that bad.

Make me puke, why don’t you?

And now my mood is falling as rapidly as the snow. Just thinking of those rainbow spewed adages makes me want to scream. So glad others have got thru it. I’m not them. And don’t give me “I know you can do it”. I know I can do it, too. That was never the issue. The issue was to do this in a kinder, more gentle way for myself. Instead I find myself doing what I’ve always done, toughing it out by myself. It’s not that I CAN’T do it. I just thought maybe there was a better way, maybe there was a way I could do it and not end up here. So much for THAT fantasy!

Getting more and more tempted to stop blogging. I feel I have nothing to say. It’s always the same shit, different day. This is my only form of ‘therapy’ at the minute tho, so I’m trying to stick with it. Say what needs to be said out here, at least. My usual thing would be to withdraw completely from the world. I don’t see that as being helpful. I’m doing my best to help myself, to think outside the box I’m in. That’s why I keep coming out here and blathering every morning. Even if I’m repetitious. Even if I have nothing to say. Even if I just fill the page with whining.

I’ve got nothing else.

You don’t have to read it.

I’ve got to live it.