The tracks of my tears

Around noon yesterday I headed to the toilet and saw in the mirror some dark, wet splashes on my T-shirt. Didn’t know until that moment that I’d been crying. I continued to cry…hot, heavy tears that literally leaked out of my eyes.

I was mourning the death of my dreams.

Step back: yesterday I had my one-one-one language lesson. Or should I say I sat in one a one-on-one conversation. The other student showed up, having been told that she didn’t have to pay for the lesson. I had to pay or I’d get kicked out. She gets a free ride. A bit of reverse discrimination that doesn’t sit well with me. It was obvious my teacher preferred talking to the other student. So little was said to me that I actually didn’t even have to be present or try to weave coherent sentences together for answers. And I heard two things. One, I need to calm down. Two, everyone is bloody well convinced I’m a fucking genius and with that conviction comes the expectation for me to do more.

Nothing – and I mean nothing – could have sent me back into 17 year old mode me like that. It’s not something I expected or was even aware of. It was my tears that tipped me off: I’ve been triggered, and I’ve got something going on.

This burden I feel to do more, be more, simply because I catch on quickly or register high on an IQ test is overwhelming. Making mistakes isn’t good enough: I’m too smart for that. Doing average isn’t good enough: I’m too smart for that. Doing only what’s expected of me isn’t good enough: I’m capable of more because I’m so fucking smart.

Oh fuck you fuck you fuck you!

Constant nagging. Constant expectations – and constant disappointment in those around me when they judge I haven’t lived up to their expectations.

I. hate. it.

It was like a memory bell going off in my head – aha! Yes! Now I remember. Now I remember why. And thoughts of teachers mingled with memories of my mother, and I heard echoes of those terrible words: You can’t. You can’t keep writing in English and master Dutch. You can’t be an actress or a musician because you’re too smart. You can’t do what you love because. Because.

I was told I need to establish boundaries. Yeah, says my brain, if I was capable of establishing boundaries I doubt I would count the rapes I experienced as three. Three times I’ve been violated. Plus the guy who liked to hit me, the stalker, and so much other sexual harassment and lack of boundary issues that it’s bloody well evident to ME that I have a real problem saying “no”.

And my heart and chest felt full. Congested, like your nose feels when you’ve got a cold. I found it difficult to take a deep breath. The full force of that terrible day – the day my mother quashed my dreams – came back to me. I felt every bit of me break. And finally the word I have so much trouble saying came screaming out at me in full lit-up neon letters:


You want boundaries? Here it is – and if you try and cross it again I’ll rip your goddamn arms out of their sockets.

…And why do other people need boundaries? Don’t they know how fucking rude they are? How wrong it is to harass, harangue, belittle, scold, or shame another person? Have other people NO empathy whatsoever?

Did I not say I was a writer? Did I not make it clear how necessary this is to me? Did you not see my face light up and my eyes glow as I spoke of my work? Did you not grasp that this is my reason for living?

*scoff* Put it aside! Like that’s gonna happen.

Ended up talking to my bro, getting it out of me. Went to the gym and burned hard; passed the 2km mark at 15 minutes. Spent the evening quietly, soothing my brain every time this issue resurfaced (and boy, did it resurface!).

What’s really bugging me is this insistent belief I have that I can do it all. Write my plays in English like a madwoman and turn around and ace Dutch. I’ve just been easy on myself. Lazy. I can do more. And the truth is, I can do more. I have, many times in the past. But…I also become a raging lunatic. Crazed. Angry all the time because I’m always doing something I have to do, or feel obligated to do, or shamed into doing, rather than doing what I want to do.

I mean…who’s life is this, anyway?

In the midst of all this desire to achieve, I’m in real danger of losing site of my main goal: happiness. I want to master Dutch. I want to write plays. I want to get in better shape. Goals aplenty; I’ve never had problems with that. But drive me too much, work me too hard, and I forget the basic axiom: be happy. I consider it a personality fault. A weakness. I’ve seen other people do more with less. Though, to be honest, I can’t speak as to their level of happiness.

All I’m really left with is a desperate wish that people would stop telling me how smart they think I am.

Stop expecting so much from me. Why is it you can be delighted with the offerings of morons, yet look on my contributions and efforts with a ‘eh, you could have done better’ attitude? Don’t I deserve a little cheerleading?

Don’t you see how much work I put in to look so smart?

…This is nothing I asked for. I was born with it. And, like so many of us, I pay the price for what I was born with every damned day of my life. And. it. sucks.

That much is evident in the tracks of my tears.


What only I can do

Yea. Finally, a day when I caught some breaks. Trains that ran on time, schedules that were correct, even people that remembered me and my bro from our attempt to take care of this last week. In fact, Amsterdam was the Amsterdam I remember, not the bitch-Goddess I experienced Thursday. She was quiet, dressed well, and kind.

Amsterdam was also, on an August day, totally empty. I’ve been in August, and seen the tourists. Madness. Can’t even get down the pavement because there’s too many people, usually dragging suitcases behind them. Hell! I’ve seen Amsterdam busier in January than yesterday. Took me a bit to realize it. Rotterdam is always slower, and emptier than the capital. But by the time 10 a.m. came around and the hot spots for tourists were still half empty, I knew this wasn’t just a freak Monday morning occurrence. This was for real. The closed shops and restaurants confirmed it – tourism is down. Way down.

While bad for everyone who’s building their retirement funds from tourist income, it was a real pleasure for me and my bro. Easy walking, a cool day with just a hint of sun – Amsterdam became the fairy tale doll’s house it was when we first visited. We wandered through the canals and streets. Even ventured into Jordan to sit down in Paradox for a smoke. – And all that on top of getting into the consulate early, getting the paperwork for both of us done at the same time, and getting out (believe it or not) two minutes before our appointment was actually supposed to begin.

Came back and napped to gather some strength for evening rehearsals. I was nervous; haven’t put much time into running my lines over the break. No reason to worry, though. Had a couple of stumbles, called for a line prompt twice – stuff that shows I’m out of practice – like everyone else.

I did, however, have reason to recall my initial assessment of these people: snobs. Must keep that in mind; just because they’ve deigned to offer me a role this time does not make them nice, and it sure as hell does not make them my friends. We’re finally doubling up on nights, with two duos going thru their stuff. Had to actually pause and ask the girlfriend of the director to stop talking – she was just chatting away (rudely) with her partner while I and my partner ran our bit. Nothing new there; been reminding myself I tagged her as a bitch and I should keep that label in place. Then, after all was done, the group hung out and talked for 20 minutes. About money. To the point where I found it vulgar – that’s the word I used, that’s the only word my head screams – VULGAR. For 20 goddamn minutes, it was this amount per hour, that amount per minute, I find thirty euro an hour offensive, I make 35 euro a minute, I won’t get out of bed for less than a hundred an hour – etc., etc., etc. Completely and utterly disgusting. I will not sit through that again. I will simply leave – because if I don’t, they’ll get an earful about being completely out of touch with real life.

And today I hardly feel like passing any of my written work to them for consideration.

That makes me sad, because I’d started to hope. Hope that maybe I’d find a friend in the group. Hope that maybe something good – like getting a play of mine produced – might grow from this small start. Last night shattered all that. These people are base, and conceited, and miserly. They will only give – grudgingly – if they receive.

I walked back to the metro alone, deep in thought. Reminded myself they may all own million dollar homes, but that also means they’ve got million dollar problems. I honestly found them so repellant I considered dropping out from the play. But I auditioned and took the part for me, not for them. I’ll do what I need to for me – just like they’d do what they feel they need to do for themselves. I will not, however, extend that friendship branch again. In rehearsal, they’re okay. Outside of rehearsal, they’re triggering me badly. I’ve had plenty of that kind of people in my life. I don’t need to willingly pick more up now.

Just want to bring myself back to earth. Remind myself of the basics. Ignore all I was subjected to last night.

Perhaps, next time, I should stand and list out all my accomplishments and garnished praise. All those little facts that other artists would find irritating. After all, if they’re going to shove money issues in my face, I can retaliate by making sure (subtly) they all know I think they’re fuckers. Oh, my band is ranked number one in hard rock. My play got this praise. My book is doing so well! And the film my music is in has just skyrocketed with views! Millions, literally. I’d have to write a script out for myself to cover 20 minutes of this banality. But I could do it, just to stick it to them. Revert to statements like this every fucking time money comes up – which will be almost non-stop.

Mostly, tho, I remind myself they do this kind of thing because they feel small and unimportant.

And they are. All their grand ideas? Haven’t seen them create anything, just make money off of forms or time or whatever. Haven’t heard them saying their happy, either. Truly…how can anyone who talks all the time about money and how much they make be happy? And none are ‘successful’. There may be one or two who gets an acting role here or there, an extra in the back of a shot or maybe a line in some play, but none are famous, none are successful, none make a living at it.

I’m gonna go create. Write myself happy.

Do what only I can do.

Nobody said it would be easy

Friday lesson: better than I thought it would be. My teacher listened to me, for one thing. Not just listened, but he attempted to implement my suggestions immediately. That felt good. Being heard always feels good.

Weird incident, though. Don’t know precisely what happened, ’cause I was reading along in the book. But this other student, this guy (emphasis on that word because he’s a real character) must have touched or groped the female teacher. She almost jumped out of her chair. Bitched him out and told him to move, that he couldn’t sit next to her. He ignored her. Maybe it was an accidental graze. I really don’t know. What I do know is the dude in question is questionable; he’s always angry and makes no bones about it. And he stares a lot. At me. With a look on his face I can’t quite pin down. Hate? Lust? Both? I’ve found it unnerving in the past, and in future I’ll find it more so.

Nursing a big lump of angry disappointment. Heard from Bolton; suddenly they’ve modified their terms and conditions. Now a script can’t be more than 700 words. 700 words! My blog posts are longer than that. Why the fuck didn’t they say that up front? Don’t know if I’ll write something for them now or not. I can shit 700 words out pretty quick. But I’m still kind of angry. So I guess I’ll just wait and see how long my irritation lasts.

On the up side: plenty of places to send to. Writing up a synopsis (UGH) and updating my CV. Think I might have something that’ll work, so I’m in down mode now. Give it 24 hours before I read it again. Otherwise I’ll just go round and round – very much the proverbial dog chasing its own tail.

Stepping up research on the next script. Still do not know the name of my main character. I want to use real names, but I’m taking full artistic license with the names I choose. This is for an American audience, and if there’s one thing I know about American audiences, it’s this: give them too many Russian names and I’ll lose them. So I want to choose names with simple and familiar diminutives. Right now, she’s just ‘the new girl’. She’s already a pilot, and a little cocky about her skills. I’m getting a sense of the other women, too. How they react to this newcomer. And the men. The slurs, the set-ups. Letting my mind wander through these ultra short scenes. I need to pick and choose the best. Hone it down. Make it run on a limited cast. And figure out how – or IF – I can write a scene while the women are in their planes. Can’t expect them to have big sets. So it’s gotta be lighting and sound again. Hm.

Doing my best to keep up with a gym visit every other day. Not easy. When I get in that groove, I want to push every day. When I’m not in that groove, it’s a pain to just put my shoes on and head over there. Trying to do what’s best for my body – day on, day off. Meh. If only my body and my head would mesh better.

Still find myself just snapping at my brother once in a while. Why can’t I apologize to him for that? I should. Instead I ignore it and privately vow to do better. And I do better, for a while. Then I mess up again.

*sigh* I guess nobody said it would be easy.

Birthing Basilisks


Yesterday I had what amounted to an anxiety attack. Mine are pretty light compared to what I’ve seen/heard other people go through. Nonetheless, they’re distressing. Sitting in a chair doing nothing and feeling like I can’t draw breath disturbs me for some reason, go sue me. I sat, holding my solar plexus and just fucking breathing in and out for about an hour and a half before it finally let go. Fucking hate that.

Felt most of the day yesterday like I was carrying about a basilisk egg in my chest, ready to break open and give birth to death incarnate. I was able to pin it down – I did bad again, or think I did. I made a comment on a post and I’m afraid it wasn’t very nice. I don’t think it was terrible; the worst word I used was ‘boo’. And I didn’t put out my FIRST response which really was nasty. I guess right now I feel like I should have waited for my third or even fourth re-write before I put it out. I could have made a better argument and sounded less like a child (sorry, I revert to ‘boo’ to announce my distaste when my curse-riddled mind tries to not be so profane). Once again I get to feel self-disappointment. It’s a disturbing feeling.

I wonder how disappointed my mother was in me. Truly.

My sister liked, at her most vicious moments, to tell me in detail how disappointed my mother or father was with me in this circumstance or that. She knew that would hurt me most, so she always paraded it out whenever I let her. That was always her last slap at me. How could I defend against that? It wasn’t HER disappointment. No. That would have been easy to deflect. It was the disappointment of my dead parents. No one to slap back on that, nothing to say. I was there and heard mom & dad’s disappointment in HER, so I know they let loose with shit. And yes, she’s undoubtedly exaggerating, perhaps outright lying. That’s what she does. There’s also a nugget of truth in there, because my sister doesn’t have the imagination necessary to pull a scenario straight out of thin air. Something was said, some face pulled (mom pulled a lot of faces at me, I’m beginning to realize that as I watch more AbFaB and continually get set off by what Jennifer Saunders does with her mouth).

Sometimes I wonder if mom hated me. I can’t quite wrap my head around it all. Intellectually, yes. But not inside, where I need to understand. She just fucking gave up. She didn’t even fucking try. Everything I did was taken with an attitude of ‘Oh, really? You’re gonna do THAT? Well, ok. It’s your life’. Great when you’re fucking 20. She started to do that to me when I was 15. Man, she was SO fucked. I remember clearly the last time mom put her foot down with me in any manner: it was a party held by the swing choir/theater kids from school. Now, these were all pretty much kids mom would have wanted me to be friends with. They had ambitions, they did well in school, they were happy and open people. These were also the kids she embarrassed me in front of by insisting on picking me up at 9:30 p.m., even after I’d had an offer from an older friend to get a lift home. I cried all the way back, knowing I’d NEVER be invited to anything like that again, and I never was. That was the faux pas that isolated me from those kids, and it wasn’t mine. She did it. The funny thing is, after that mom didn’t give a fuck who I hung with or where or how late. I hung out with the WORST people in school and she could give a fuck. Go to bars when you’re 15? Here’s what she said: “If you think these people are your friends, just remember that if the police bust you it’s your friends who’ll pay the price. They’ll lose their liquor license and maybe go to jail.” I never said any of THOSE people were my friends. And after she’d fucked all chance of me hanging with people I WANTED to hang with, what the fuck did she think I’d go and do? Namby-pamby and hide in my shell? I was 15, and fucking angry. I dressed up and found out how easy it was to get into bars and clubs. I was WELCOMED. I was POPULAR. I could sit at a bar stool and literally have a half circle of men around me, talking, joking, buying me drinks. Yeah, I know all they were after was a quick fuck. The point is that overnight I went from this shunned fat girl who felt people were laughing at her as she walked down the school halls to someone who had 8 different guys calling her every week. Little wonder I began haunting bars and becoming a regular. I so craved that attention. ANY attention. I took it wherever and however I could find it.

Bleh. Back to mommy dearest. I keep seeing those sappy programs where everything comes out okay ’cause your mother is your mother and she’ll do ANYTHING to protect her kids. ANYTHING.

I don’t believe that of my mom. Remember the old scenario of you and your family being caught adrift in a sinking boat and someone has to go overboard and sacrifice themselves in order to save everyone else? It was a common question in our schoolyard (maybe we were all morbid kids; don’t know). Well, these days I think mom would have tossed me or one of my siblings or ALL of us in order to save herself and her husband. Yep. Every one of her babies would have to go into the water before she would. And she would NEVER have let dad go. She would have given the idea lip service. She would have spoken up in that voice which we all knew, that voice that meant here she goes, she’s gonna make the ultimate sacrifice for all of us even though it’s the last goddamn thing she wants to do. “Oh,” she’d say with that mournful sigh, “I’ll do it.” And then we’d all say no, please don’t, we’ll throw ourselves overboard but please don’t put yourself through it AGAIN for us, mom. Fuck you. You were SUPPOSED to throw yourself overboard, you fucking bitch. You were supposed to sacrifice again and again. What the fuck did you think having fucking children was all about? Kids fuck up, mom. That’s what kids do. Sometimes that needs discipline. More often it needs fucking guidance. But the only thing you ever guided anyone to is fucking self-serving interests, mom. You raised a couple of fucking bastards, you do know that, don’t you? D may be redeeming himself, tho I’d hardly know since even if I email him he won’t bother to respond for 3 years. And K…well, you really did a number on her, I must say. She is one self-righteous fucking CUNT of a bitch. There’s not enough curse words created to fucking describe HER properly. As for me…

Here ya go, mom:

Goddamn you to hell for not caring. Goddamn you to hell for ignoring me. Goddamn you to hell for ignoring my fucking pain, you cunt. You did NOT deserve to have someone like me in your life. When I think back on all the fucking times I DEFENDED you because I so wanted to believe that you loved me I want to just die. Cut my own fucking guts out. You treated me like a piece of fucking garbage, mom. Some stain left on the fucking carpet that you just couldn’t quite wash away but didn’t have the money to replace. I hate you for the way you treated me. I hate all the times you forgot about me and left me standing and waiting for you. I hate all the times you told me how crazy I sounded and then tried to get me to open up to you. I hate you for your goddamn SELFISHNESS, mom. You were never fucking there. Even if your body was present, you sure as fuck weren’t. I have zero memories of you ever playing with me. Zero. I have zero memories of ever doing something that I loved and having you support me. I have zero memories of you EVER being honest with me, other than that ONE time in the van on the way home from grandma and grandpa’s. And then it was too late. You were already fucking dying by then. You chose to do nothing about it, say nothing about it until it was too late, and then you fulfilled your life-long fucking dream. You became the fucking drama queen, the operatic fat woman dying on stage with a long aria about how her life had done her wrong. Fuck you and fuck the way you decided to die you fucking cunt.

Basilisk, indeed.

That’s ok. It’s what’s there. Someday I hope to love my mother again. To feel that warmth when I think about her. Right now I have a real problem with that. Hells bells, someday I hope to be able to think about my sister and not be angry. I can’t manage that, either. And that’s ok, too. It’s where I am. I suppose I’ll continue birthing basilisks for a while. At least ’til the supply runs dry, but oh my! There do seem to be a large amount a them eggs.