All the world’s a stage

Someone who sees 5 a.m. as a regular thing shouldn’t have to set an alarm.

Yeah, I replied, but it’s been a long time since I woke up at 5 a.m….

And so I cursed myself. Hello, 5 a.m. You’re as grey and quiet as I remember.

Leaving the house today before my brother even gets out of bed. Have to be downtown at my rheumatology appointment by 8:45. Ho-hum. Go there, wait, see my doctor, get a new prescription for my meds, leave. Figure I’ll nap this afternoon.

Tonight’s the first audition. Don’t really expect many people; they called it quick and their advertising leaves loads to be desired. Had a message from the director. He’d like to meet early, to discuss the roles and go over things. Cool; I was thinking the same thing. And, thanks, because he assured me he really wants to do this by saying if we don’t get enough people with the first two auditions, he’ll call a third. My plan is to print up some notices and get them around to the libraries for the second audition. Been scouring the web for some sort of theatre call site. Found stuff for films, stuff for Dutch productions – all in Amsterdam. Nothing I felt was appropriate for putting out an English notice for a non-paid role. Haven’t heard from my film buddies, other than getting a thumbs up on the post. So far: two people have said on FB that they’re coming tonight. Two. I expect more to show, but…two. It might be a very early evening.

Well, I’m used to working hard on productions. Can’t quite figure out why the group doesn’t have certain things in place, like automatic notifications about auditions. But maybe they’ve been waiting for someone like me. Someone with the drive and the interest, someone who just does it. And I get it! I wasn’t willing to do this last year, for someone else’s script. But mine? Oh, honey! I’ll walk over hot coals to get this done – or close enough. Besides, it’s a labor of love.

Began working on a LinkedIn page. I don’t really expect to get anything from it. LinkedIn is for computer programmers and shit, not playwrights. Still. It’s my legit social page. Got stumped on the ‘summary’ section. Summary? I’ve only been at this for…what, a year and a half? Two years, max. As far as the theatre industry is concerned, I’m a bloody virgin. Not sure what to say yet. Hey, yeah, I’ve got loads of stuff the industry has rejected. Finally getting a production done; look at me! Ugh.

I’ll figure it out.

Meanwhile, I’m just happy. Happy to know my words are appreciated. Happy to say I’m a real playwright. Gotta keep reminding myself of it.

*sigh* Thinking I might have to go and get my eyes checked. Told my bro I think it might be time for bifocals. Not happy about the idea of spending more money – again. But these headaches are a bitch, and I can tell eye strain is part of it.

…My bro made a comment the other day about me hating men. Didn’t know what to say to that. My first impulse was to defend myself. But I just stopped, and thought about that. Thought about what my feminists rants sound like from the outside. I can see why someone might think that. I am very angry at men as a whole. I am very upset over the way women are treated like second class citizens (if even that well). And I am vocal about it because, baby, there’s plenty to be vocal about. But if push comes to shove I’ll choose men over women almost every time. I’m more comfortable in the company of men. I can just be me – the scruffy tomboy. The woman who’s ‘not like any other woman’. I feel more judged in the company of women. I see them look at my clothes, or my hair, or my lack of make-up or hangnails, and I feel it. It’s a combination of pity and disgust. If only she’d take some time with herself, try a little harder. She could be so pretty. Men, on the whole, don’t care. If you’re in a place with lots of people, men might care. They might want you to be attractive so other men get jealous of what they’ve “got”. But I have never met a man who confessed to liking to kiss a face full of make-up. Most men I’ve known (friends and lovers) have professed to preferring a woman in no make-up. It’s the women who think I should be doing my eyes, wearing lipstick, high heels, whatever. That’s where the real judgement comes from. Underneath it all: compete. Compete with me for men’s attention. Try and get the most desirable mate. Dude, I don’t want to compete with you. And I don’t think women have to be that way.

Yeah, yeah. I know. Show us the way. Be the model for it. Don’t think about it; just do it. No problem. This is my nature. It’s the prejudice and judgment I don’t like. So I keep pointing those things out. That’s sexist because… or Gee, they’re acting like that’s something new just because it’s a man saying it… All of it true. All of it building this reputation for me as a man-hater. Problem is, I do have a lot of anger over this. I am frustrated that so many people don’t see the same things I do. That comes out, over and over, in my statements.

…Why is all this coming out this morning?

Maybe it all has to do with the roles we play. The roles I’ve written, the roles I’ve played myself – and yes, I’ll admit to (in my 20s) playing the damsel in distress in order to get some guy to do something for me, like change a flat tyre.

I’m not a fan of Shakespeare. But he did get some things right.

All the world’s a stage.

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Own it

Been wondering if the the things I’ve been blowing out of my nose get up out of the trash and walk around when I’m not looking. You know; like that Doctor Who adipose episode. Gross, but…I swear I’ve seen some fully developed things when I’ve built up enough courage to look after blowing.

Joking aside, I’m healing. Slowly.

Headaches are finally easing off, too. Seems to have been a combination of sinus pressure and eye strain. Had to stay off the computer all week, other than fast email checks. No gaming. Haven’t really missed it; the cough medicine I’m taking knocks me out.

With the latest ‘gods, am I gonna die this time?’ cold finally going away, I’m able to think again. And my thoughts are lovely, because I’m a real playwright. 🙂

That’s my new mantra. I’m a playwright. A real playwright. My work is finally being appreciated. Just letting that knowledge sit inside me. It’s very different to feel so good about myself and my work. It’s very difficult to take everything in and not discount it one way or another. I don’t want to jump around or draw a lot of attention to myself. I just want to own it.

I want to own that I’m attractive. Ditch all that ‘I’m so ugly’ bullshit that I’ve hid behind all my life. Ditch my complaints over my ‘huge ass’ which is really quite tight and appealing. I want to ditch the ‘I’m so stupid and dumb’ stuff, too. I’m neither. A bit naive, maybe…okay: more than a bit naive and it’s definitely not a maybe. Still. That doesn’t make me dumb or stupid. It just makes me innocent and trusting. So what if that’s an oddity in this world, especially at my age? Just one more thing that makes me unique. Own it, girl: you be smart. Take it in. Most of all: I can write a damned good story. Piles of rejections from every corner of the industry do NOT negate that fact. The truth lies in the eyes of my audience, those that read my work. I’m gonna stop dissing other people’s opinion of me and start saying ‘thanks’. Just ‘thanks’. No justification, no explanations. Acknowledge it. Own it.

Dreams have become fragmented. Neon colored, bright – memorable in pictures but not in content. All I can say for sure is: no, I’m still not dreaming in Dutch.

Auditions have finally been called. Not thrilled to find the first date is set for this Tuesday, only a couple of days away. Have another date set, a week off. Hoping my film posse can make that one; I asked the director for some lead time so they could make it and he didn’t give me much. As my bro keeps telling me: not my problem. I am the writer, not the director. Also not thrilled to find the notice difficult to spot on the FB page, an old photo from last year’s production used to promote it, and the title of simply ‘auditions’ with no word of the play or what to expect. Hm. Then again, as I mused to my bro, perhaps the director is set on the core group doing this. It’s a bit more challenging to the actors: give me fear, give me rage, let loose with it. Some of these ‘actors’ are really uptight (makes me wonder if that’s why they try their hands at acting). Happy to find the director wants me by his side during the selection process. Tee-hee!! I get to sit there and see everyone. Very jazzed about that. And honestly, I already know pretty much how it will go down. I wrote the damned thing just for this reason: I watched the group over two years, mapping their personalities and their work. I saw how newbies were reluctant to join the group due to their – erm, shall we say relaxed attitude towards productions. I know who’s gonna be in it from the core group: L and J, two core female members and decent actors; and M and E, two core male actors who can definitely do the job. I’ve already said I wrote a part for me, and I did. Add me in, and that leaves one female and three males to find. The director can always step into a role if needed. And yes, I even wrote a few roles that don’t need much from the actors so I feel confident taking on a few newbies. In my head, we’re looking for one female and two males. I’m interested to find out who comes to the auditions. Already heard the people who attended the reading were asking about it. Might we actually have more people than we generally do? Man! That would be uber cool!

And…*sigh* There’s this other theatre group. A bit of a break-away from our group. They’re based up in Den Haag, and run by a director/writer…A director/writer I don’t have much respect for. And they’re going to bleeding Italy with one of their productions. Italy. I mean… Okay, I’m jealous. Envious. Wanting similar for my work, because I know it’s better than his. The group I work with has already mentioned a few possibilities: festivals in other countries we could apply for grants to attend. This is the script I want to do that with. I want to to take it to these fests. At least one, please. Let’s really do this.

It’s a big ask. Coordinating 10 people on a trip like that. Wading thru all the Dutch paperwork. I can’t do it alone. I can’t do any of it, other than possible help on coordination (like finding accommodations). But I want us to try.

I gotta put it out there.

Own it.

When will I learn?

My brother began shoving decongestants down my throat yesterday. I’m sick from these allergies, and I think you are, too. Sure enough. Stuff began to drain out of my head. I was so knocked out I spent most of the afternoon sleeping in front of the tv. Snot, coughing, drainage…it’s a fun ol’ time in the household lately.

But DAMN! I shut myself down too fast. I’m not listening to my body. He knew I was sick before I did?!? Holy Hell, I’m off track with myself.

As usual, I’m just out of it. Never really been able to concentrate while I’m ill. When I finally admit to being sick I’m so sick all I can really do is sleep, eat, and drink juice. The grand trifecta of health.

Woke up to see the winner of Eurovision plastered all over the news. Didn’t watch last night; see above for my reason. Gods, they’re letting themselves into the shit next year, aren’t they? Have to say, I can’t support it. Especially after the comment from the winner. Might actually write to the head of the NL Eurovision board and ask them not to go. I don’t believe Israel’s rhetoric any more than I believe the rhetoric from the states. And I don’t trust that it won’t turn into a horrible situation, either with severe political backlash or some sort of attack to prove a point. Nope. Wouldn’t touch that with a twenty foot pole.

Been trying to get my way thru my homework. Lucky for me, the homework isn’t that tough. Back to simple verb conjugation. It’s easy to move on, try to learn other stuff, but it’s important we keep working what we already should know. Been a few months since we’ve had this type of homework. And all the advanced grammar rules are mixing with the basics in my head now: is it a T on the end of that word, or a D? Does it get a “ge-” prefix, or is it one of those pesky irregular verbs? Good to go back and re-work this stuff. If I get 100% on it I’ll feel like I can really move on. It’s in my brain, cemented, correct. If not…well…my teachers have hundreds of more exercises like this one.

Might ditch Beedle the Bard and move onto another book. It’s a step up in reading level, and I’m down to “So and so did something to this thing, and then that happened”. Getting the gist, but not all. Some sentences are just too far beyond me. I don’t recognize one bleeding word in those damn things. Others are simpler. And, nod to myself, I caught another name change and this time got the joke of it. But I’ll need to hang onto this book, and try it again later. It goes on the ‘work on this’ pile.

Here it is mid-May and still no word on the theatre production. I feel like I can’t prod the director again. Thought he was clear in stating ‘after the holidays’, but then I realized May is littered with Dutch holidays, so it might actually end up being the end of the month. I just hope once we get working everyone shows a bit of enthusiasm for the story. I’m beginning to feel like they think my work isn’t worth putting time into, that they feel it’s ‘just her story’ so they can slap it together haphazardly and it won’t matter. Telling myself that’s just my paranoia and bad experiences; it’s not happening this time. Also reminding myself that I held a room full of Dutch people spellbound just by reading one of my stories aloud; anything up on that will be just fine. It’s a strong idea. Even if it gets flipped by performances into the black comedy range, my core message still comes across.

Gonna try to get a shower in today. Nap, because I’m already feeling tired again. See if I can worm my way thru the rest of my homework, even if I do make mistakes. Just get something in on every blank spot. …Gods, I’m so bleeding tired.

Guess it’s a good thing it’s Sunday. A day you can sleep away and never feel too guilty over; it’s Sunday, for pete’s sake! Nothing’s really open and the focus is all on tomorrow. It’s a no-day. A day you catch up on whatever you didn’t finish during the week.

The only thing I feel up to ‘catching up on’ is my health. I’ve allowed my focus to shift off taking care of myself, and I fell ill.

There’s only one thing that matters in all of this: me. Take care of me, and the rest will fall into place. Take care of me, and I can see it through.

*sigh* One step forward, two steps back. When will I learn?

Are you learning?

Two days of walking and my back is almost pain free. At least I can get up out of a chair without moaning from agony. Thank you, Goddess, for giving me such an easy fix on this one! I swear I’ll do better from now on.

Had a long letter from J, my street bro and friend for decades. He’s had a major blow-out with his DNA sister, and I can tell he’s upset. Need to write back to him today on it. Give him some support and kindness.

Writing a bit. Playing a bit. Telling myself all I need to do now is walk and get my back into shape. Everything else comes second.

Been pondering from time to time my feelings of worthlessness. I keep watching tv and film and wondering how these jerks and idiots get jobs that pay enough for them to live in the manner they live in. Keep remembering how I never felt I was worth that much money, despite my knowledge or degrees. And I’m sorry, but no one’s worth that much money for anything. This person made 36 million last year. For what? Being a jerk? Acting like an asshole? They didn’t solve any crisis, they didn’t save anyone’s life, they just made money. Why do we have such inflated salaries? Who needs that much money to live on?

I don’t want to be – and will never be – that decadent. If tons of money come my way, I’ll use it differently. Invest differently. No stock market schemes, all straight personal investments in people I believe in. People are the only real resource, anyway. Why invest in cyber space or gold? It’s meaningless, worthless. Why invest in real estate or things? You can’t take any of it with you. The only thing worth investing in is people. Changing their lives for the better. Giving those that really struggle just to make ends meet a chance.

I don’t want things. I want people to remember me. My jokes, my advice, my help, my kindness. I want people to stop and ask themselves what I’d do before making any choice for themselves. I want people to think. I want to help people over those hard spots in life, point out the pitfalls so maybe they can do better than me. I want people to try harder to understand others and themselves. I want others to do better in life than I have, and I hope my experiences, advice, and help, are valuable to them.

That’s the only real kind of immortality any of us can ask for. A lot of people have kids to pass on their knowledge to, but after growing up with my older siblings I was all too aware of the idea of how far the apple can fall from the tree; biological children were never the answer for me. You are my children. Everyone and anyone reading this is my child. This is my experiment: to treat every human like my child, to see everyone on this planet as an opportunity to be a bit kinder, a bit better version of ME that leaves people pondering their own behavior and hoping to improve themselves. The only real way I know how to do that is be honest. Destroy the pedestals even as they’re erected: I am not perfect. I yell and scream. I can be petty and purposefully hurt others. I make a lot of mistakes. See me for what I really am, not that rose colored version of me. That version will be built in the future, not in my lifetime. That version will be the myth, the legend, the one that lives on in the tale told ’round the campfire. And hopefully that version will be inspiring, even if it’s not realistic. The problem is, of course, that we all build our our mythos. Our actions build it, day by day. And just like you can’t really see when your body drops a couple of pounds because you look at yourself every day, you don’t realize what kind of mythos you’re building until you get some feedback.

So no, I don’t really know what I project. No one does. I am heartened, tho, by those few who open up to me. Who come back to me when they’re hurting. My children, wanting a kiss on their boo-boo’s. That’s a bit condescending sounding, and I didn’t really mean it that way. Oftentimes all I feel like I can do is kiss it, remind them how important they are to me, how great I feel they are, how much I care about them. I can’t offer much concrete help. But there are people out there who return to me with their problems, offering them up to me in messages, hoping to get that inspirational letter in response. I know that, and do my best to be there for each and every one of them. I always say I’m not the ‘mothering’ type, but I do have a lot of ‘mothering’ characteristics.

And I guess the word ‘mother’ got a bad reputation in my head. Just like the word ‘lady’ got a bad reputation. Those words were brought out to shame me, to justify horrible behavior, or to constrain my impulses. I can not remember one day of wanting to be a ‘lady’ or a ‘mother’ in the sense C used the words.

But I do want to help people. Protect them, shelter them from the worst in life. Whether that’s lady-like or motherly, I can’t really say. It is a base impulse in me, tho.

…Sorry; I still can’t use the M word in association with myself. I can accept I’m a carer. That’s straight-forward, and clean.

I care.

And I always have.

I cared about my high school prom, even tho I loudly proclaimed I didn’t. I care about my current poverty, tho I do my best to not worry too much. I care about the world, and people, tho I shout and scream and tell everyone to go to hell from time to time.

I care so much I have to shout about how much I don’t care so when I get hurt it’s not as bad and no one thinks I’m as big a wreck as I am…

Are you listening, my children?

Are you learning?

Something

Right. Let’s just do this.

I am terrified of becoming a bag woman. A homeless bum on the street. A mad woman who never showers, who trundles around behind a shopping cart full of her ‘stuff’ and mumbles perpetually about ‘them’.

I have no savings. No job. No income. I am totally financially dependent, and at least 50% physically dependent on help.

This is the truth.

… … … And it’s a hard truth to own.

I tell myself my artistic endeavors will one day pay off. That even Van Gogh lived in obscurity and complete dependence on his brother. I assure myself my value is not dependent on how many slips of paper I can entice people to throw my way.

But sometimes I just wonder if I’m kidding myself.

And I wonder, on the whole, what difference it makes. What difference does it really make if I die alone and in the street? Death is death, and once you’ve seen it up close you know that as fact. It really doesn’t matter who’s there or what the circumstances are. Death is a completely solitary experience. And it comes for you no matter what.

Still. I am afraid of the struggle. Everything in life is a struggle. Getting out the birth canal is a struggle. Taking that first breath of air is a struggle. Learning to walk, going to school, loving, hating – it’s all difficult. Aging and death are no different. And despite most of us having to go thru each of these experiences at some point, we fail to adequately convey to others what it’s like. Worse still, if we experienced disregard and belittling of our own pain and struggles, we’re more likely to react with those hated behaviors towards others.

I do that. I find myself often comparing the pain of others to my own. Finding their side lacking, complaining, overly dramatic. I attach all those hated words I was told as a child. Keep telling myself to stop that. Hear what the other people are saying: they’ve had enough. It doesn’t matter if I think I could ‘take more’ in their situation or not. This person, in this circumstance, says they can’t do it. Drop all that other shit and hear that. It all happens rather quickly, and I get to understanding very fast, but…I am ashamed of my first thoughts. They are mean and nasty, and they tell me that part of me hasn’t healed yet.

I don’t want to be mean or nasty. And I don’t want to be afraid. …Do you think the state would give me a lobotomy if I had to become a homeless person? I always imagined I’d be happier with one.

Gods, I’m fucking morbid. The sun is shining, it’s a bloody holiday, and I’m thinking such happy fucking thoughts. Yeah. Well. The whole nihilist movement had to come from somewhere, right? Part of me feels I should just embrace this inner goth. The girl who always kills everyone in her stories. Part of me wants sunshine and rainbows. The two fight. Sometimes one wins for a while: I wear black continually, or swap suddenly to color. And the goth girl hates the sunshine and rainbows girl; she thinks S&R girl is flighty and silly. S&R girl doesn’t hate goth girl, but she does think she’s an awful sourpuss and should just get off her ‘life is shit’ shtick. No matter how much I try, I can’t get these two to cooperate. They are too separate. Goth girl can’t understand how S&R girl can be so damned happy when there’s so much crap in the world. S&R girl doesn’t want to listen to goth girl because she knows goth girl is right about an awful lot but that doesn’t matter; S&R girl wants to play and laugh.

Is this normal? Or is this something I should tell Dr. T because it points to some other problem?

Get up, get out, get some fresh air. You don’t have to walk far or anywhere in particular, but get your brain out of this bleeding closet for a bit today! Listen to yourself!

Fuck.

Why do I keep feeling sadder and sadder? I felt good there, for a few days, on the increased medication. Now I’m feeling worse. More anxious. More fearful. More sad. Just shit coming up? Yeah, we got notice of another rental increase and no, it wasn’t welcome and brought a discussion of needing to move. And I really don’t want to move. But that was just discussion, batting around possible ideas to keep in mind for the next few years. It wasn’t pack your stuff up and get out now.

…Okay. You can ask why from now ’til forever. You know that. Just deal with what you’ve got in front of you today. Unhappy? Get some fresh air. Stretch your legs. Play some games, watch a good film. Talk to your brother. Make sure to take your pill on time. You don’t have to run from this. You can move forward without hysterics. Without anger or meanness. Sure, you’re sad. It’s okay to be sad. You’ve a lot to be sad about. Know that, accept that.

Or, darling girl, keep it in mind. You haven’t learned to accept this yet, so let’s not heap a bunch of stuff on our own heads that we can use to shame us in the future. What you have learned to do is to use it effectively. You’ve woven it into your writing. So the answer seems obvious, doesn’t it? Just begin. Anywhere. Wrap your fear and sorrow up into a scene. See it, feel it, write it. Find out where it leads you. Wherever it takes you, it won’t be here.

That’s something.

I be so ignorant

Gentle and patient. That’s what I said, and that’s what I went with out into the world.

I took some time choosing my clothing. Brushed my hair and teeth. Washed my face and applied some moisturizing lotion. The weather’s cooled off and it feels like spring again rather than summer. I wrapped up warm, not caring that other people were walking around in hoodies or lighter clothing. Get sick if you want; I’m staying healthy.

Language class. …I know my teachers are babying me a bit. They used to be a bit tougher on me – right up to the point where I broke the tooth and told them it was from stress. Now, they emphasize the positive. Um…is it okay for me to say I like it? I like the support and the positivity. I like the assurances that I’m gaining ground and getting better. I like feeling like it’s okay for me to speak up and ask the definition of a word I don’t know, or to mess up and make mistakes or draw blanks on answers I really should have down. Doing those things more and more now, and my learning is improving because of it.

Remembered to take my book to class to read over the break, and I had the occasion to be damned happy about it. Total shut-out, and there were only 5 of us in class so it was pretty damned obvious. Once again, people were willing to speak to me before class but not during the break. Difference? One of those two women who seem to be spearheading this ‘ignore her during the break’ movement walked in a bit late to class. She wasn’t there before the lesson. But she was there for coffee. I hesitantly tried, choosing a seat next to their four person table that was full. I half turned my body towards them and dithered around, pretending to check my phone and sort thru my backpack. All things to give them a chance to turn their chairs slightly and include me, say ‘hey! come join us’. They didn’t. So I took out James and the Giant Peach and began reading. Only took two sentences to fall into the story. Then I was reading for real, at my regular pace. I smiled to myself, enjoying the language, the story, the jokes. It didn’t matter to me that I wasn’t talking. Let those people with their pidgin Dutch talk about homework or their husbands or children or the immigration process. I want more.

Ach! And one woman had the gall to complain to me that all the reading in class was ‘too childlike’ for her. This from the person who’s lived here twenty some years and can’t speak properly or read with any great comprehension. My response was simple and un-confrontational: Oh. I have noticed a great difference between myself and the other students: they are still grasping at the big words thinking they’ll have the language if they learn all the 36 letter long shit that stumps me, while I am concentrating on those pesky little words that pop up over and over in every sentence knowing that’s where the real communication lies. It’s not in the big words; it’s in the small words that color every sentence. I know I can look up a long word, or ask what the hell it means. But it’s the ‘just’, ‘only’, and ‘yet’ words that everything tips on. Even, maar, toch, al, nog… The words that seem, at first, easy to fly by in reading – yet when you get them, you realize it’s precisely what you need to fully understand the message.

Have the option of coming in next week, a scheduled holiday, for an extra lesson. Of course I said yes, and of course the teachers weren’t surprised. Three or four of us said we’ll come class. More one on one with two women I respect the hell out of! Oh, they intimidate me. I sweat in class, trying hard to do my best. But I know they hold the keys to learning, and I am so hungry for that. They see it.

I’ve finished the first viewing of the third Twin Peaks event. Wow. Got off into a discussion of alternate realities and time loops with my bro. He thinks Cooper and Laura have jumped into an alternate reality, one where Laura never existed. I think they’ve time travelled to earlier, before Laura’s family bought the house. I need another viewing. And another. But I recognize the tight loop Lynch created and hats off to him for it. It’s a great nut to crack.

Chop block today: wear in that new pair of shoes again. Back to the gym, more movement. Work on Dutch; I’ve a pile of homework. Work on tech notes. Find time to take care of me – something I’m doing without bitching and moaning. Been working on my cuticles, applying some moisturizer late at night while I watch tv and can I say they’ve never looked better! Nor felt better; those pesky fly away pieces of flesh that often bled and hurt seem to be a thing of the past. Didn’t realize with a little perseverance I could help myself so much.

And there we go, because I need to learn to persevere with being gentle and patient with myself. Somehow being gentle – and particularly being patient – seems to be at loggerheads with persevering. Patience seems passive to me. You patiently wait. You have patience with a tantrum throwing child. I am only aware of working on being patient when it becomes difficult to maintain, when I must persevere with patience in the face of whatever the hell is setting me off. …In other words, I feel I need to practice being patient. Is that even possible?

The gentlest and most patient answer I can give myself is: I don’t know.

…I can accept that. Admitting your ignorance is the first step to learning.

And I be so ignorant.

I’m not stopping

Life just has to keep giving me evidence of the two opposites I orbit ’round. Up and down, high and low…it gets mimicked in my life so often I’m getting sick of it.

Language class. Definitely a mixed bag. Thirty minutes before I had to leave, I remembered the underlying cause of my reluctance to go: the stone wall of diss I’ve encountered during our class break. I have sat at small tables with people, nodding, trying to get into the chit-chat. But it always seems to devolve into the other students reverting to Farsi, or some other language, and/or totally ignoring me. I sit there, either trying to listen to just zoning out, while they talk back and forth faster and faster, not even making eye contact with me. This has become the norm, and I don’t like it. I’ve gone out for fresh air, headed to the bathroom to diddle around so I didn’t feel so awkward, gone back up to the class early, and sat reading or working on Dutch. One or two women seem to head this up: they’ll see me somewhere, come and join the table, then take over the conversation and monopolize it. Right. I get it; you don’t like me. I don’t think much of you, either. I’m just trying to use my language skills here, and when you don’t give me any opportunity to form a sentence, well…fuck you.

There is one exception to this behavior: the only man in class. He often seeks me out for conversation, at least before class when we’re the only two students in the cafe. Every time he’s done this (and yesterday was no exception), he ends up asking me out for coffee on the weekend. Every time he’s asked, I’ve said no politely, saying I’m too busy. And then…then one of the women walks in and joins us, and he drops it like he never even asked. I suspect that he’s looking for a little something on the side (he’s mentioned a wife and family in our lesson) AND that the other women are somewhat aware of his intentions. It explains his hot/cold potato behavior. Sad. Once again, I am given an example of men’s behavior that I just find repellent. Does the Universe want me to become a lesbian? Sure as hell feels that way. Why do men only talk to me if they want to get into my pants? Why are women so fucking catty to me when I’ve done nothing – nothing!! – to deserve it?

The answer is obvious, if I just ignore that fifty foot wall of self hate I’ve built up: I am drop dead gorgeous. …Feels good just to say that for once. I do not mean physical beauty; there are many women more beautiful than I am. But there’s a combination in me that’s hard to pin down: something between my intelligence and my sense of humor, that kid or big dog that comes out in me wanting to play…people find that attractive. Combine it with looks that aren’t hideous, maybe even a bit attractive on their own, and boom! You got me. I have always believed it is my soul people are attracted to, not really my body. Men…they react to the body. Anyone sexual reacts to the physical. I don’t truly believe for one second that’s what’s behind all this. And the physical reaction…I find it tiring. Good Goddess, can’t we get beyond your penis? So many can’t. Then they find they’ll never get what they want from me, so they leave because they have no idea how to be friends without being sexual. I’m am tired of that. I just blow them off before they even start.

*sigh* Still. I am uncomfortable with the reaction from the women. They’re pleasant enough in class, in front of the teachers. But on break, it’s a whole other ball of wax.

More separation. Our teachers talked to us a bit about another, higher level language class. They thought some of us might be ready for it, and they invited us to check out a class or two this spring to see if we liked it. The man popped up and said he thought he could go to the lesson. The teachers were quick to point out his problems with the simple prepositions and sentences we’re working on. You’ll be lost. I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to go. Then their eyes focused on me. You could do well in that lesson, but it’s up to you. Go to a few and see what you think. It’s your choice. A few other students were talked to, their progress discussed. No other student was told so boldly that yes, they were ready to move up if they wanted.

And if I have to choose between my fellow students or my teachers, I’ll choose my teachers every time. Hands down. One had done some spring cleaning, and came to the lesson with four hard cover children’s books for me. Three Roald Dahl even the big library downtown doesn’t have, and one JK Rowling I’ve not read. I am thrilled. Even when I have to puzzle over an idiom’s meaning, I’m thrilled to be able to read and understand at the level I’m at. Ha! to everyone who ever said to me that Dutch was a clunky, unexpressive language. It is rich and full and beautiful. You don’t read well, do you?

Give me more, please.

So. Super high on my teachers. Super low on my fellow students. It’s so like school during my childhood I feel like I’m on a continual, low level LSD flash-back.

And, like school during my childhood, I’m ignoring what I can from my fellow students and holding onto my hunger for learning. They can sit on their asses if that’s what they want. They can do the minimum if that’s what they want. They can even resent me for it, for whatever they perceive in me that trips their trigger.

I’m not stopping.

Freak

I was told I had the cutest ‘nose holes’ (nostrils) ever. That is, without a doubt, the strangest compliment I’ve ever had. Admittedly, my nostrils are unique. Each has a tiny notch by the cartilage. It’s natural; always had it. Just like my eye thing: one pupil massively big, the other middle to small sized.

Strange to get compliments on things you think make you into a freak.

…Took a walk outside yesterday. It was too nice to go to the gym, and I wanted fresh air in my lungs. Besides, in a month it will be too hot to walk outside and I’ll be back in the gym to protect myself from UV (cloudy yesterday, early April, and the index still hit 4). Did the shopping, the dishes, and made cookie dough.

Dreamt of icebergs. Huge, city-block sized things in the water: massive and frightening by their sheer size. I was on a boat, sailing past them. I felt no fear that the boat would hit an iceberg, it was just that they were so big and solid and powerful I felt frightened. I have always dreamt of things that were huge and towering over me: monsters, helicopters, tornadoes, icebergs. And in real life, I had the same fear reaction. I remember my Dad once took his boat into the city via the river… The huge cranes and bridges overhead scared me. I don’t know why. Tall buildings don’t frighten me. Natural heights like cliffs don’t frighten me. But bridges, cranes, and lifts (or elevators, if you will), do. Particularly frightening: freight elevators. Terrified of them.

I’ve always supposed that was a control thing. A reaction to what my mother did to me; the abuse, etc. No one will prompt an epiphany in me by noting that I must feel out of control. Duh-uh. I’ve known that for a long time. It’s one of the reasons I take control when and where I can, to help remind myself I’m not just a mote driven by every chaotic wind that batters me here or there. Sadly, my head operates at two levels. While I assure myself I can take and am in control of myself, I am also aware of what happens when we move beyond our ideas of dimension: time collapses. This is where “fate” comes in: there is no time, there is no choice. Our path is already over. I am both alive and dead at the same time. And…I can operate there. It’s not a very happy place, but I get it. The idea doesn’t drive me mad. I am also very aware that once I theoretically step outside of time and our known dimensions, I walk into the multi-verse: that place where every action has it’s equal, where all possible outcomes are played out in ‘bubble’ universes that exist both within and separate from our own. There are connections between these bubbles. Ley lines, if you will. Find the right place, at the right time, and perform the right action with the right words…and you can make the jump. I think we make those jumps all the time. The changes are generally too small to notice: suddenly, you’ve misplaced your keys. Or someone who you used to be on friendly terms with now takes issue with you. Our literature always makes the changes obvious: purple stop lights, flying cars, dinosaurs. That’s silly. That would take a big jump. And while big jumps are possible, they’re not very probable.

Truth: I once witnessed a park moving. It was in Canada. I lived several blocks from a very beautiful park. Walked to it almost every day. Knew every path, every route. Then… One day, it changed. It took longer. I kept expecting to see the park at every turn, but it was further than I’d mapped out. My brother was with me on this occasion, and noted it as well. After that, the park stayed there: further from our place than it originally was. I noted no other changes, but then, that was only in my local ‘burb.

While we’re on big truths… I once – no, more than once, it happened over an extended period of time – saw something impossible. It was in Ireland. One of the places we rented was on a hillside, overlooking a valley. You could see a few cottages dot the far hillside. One in particular always stood out: a pretty pink cottage, all alone in a sea of green. In Ireland, I’d wake up early and go surf the internet by the window overlooking that valley and cottage. And while I waited for the very slow dial-up to connect, I looked across the valley towards that cottage. There was something there. It looked to me like a huge earthworm with a humanoid face. It was wrapped around the cottage sinuously, it’s head up, looking straight at me. I was stunned. Transfixed. Told myself over and over it was in my head, an optical illusion. Then one day I had enough: I went down the hall and woke up my brother. And he saw it, too. So, hallucination? No. Optical illusion? Maybe. But it happened for months, every morning. You’d never see it in the afternoon or evening. Just those mornings. Over and over.

…Right. Now I’m starting to sound like one of those creepy pastas. Thing is, I’m not making it up. I couldn’t dream up some of the shit I’ve experienced.

Which brings me back to…freak. Ghosts sitting on the edge of your bed? Yep. Unexplained dreams that come true? Yep. Contact from the other side? Yep. Knowing things that were impossible to know? Yep. Physical evidence of something outside the norm going on? Yep.

These are things I won’t tell Dr. T. Too concerned he’d see it all as psychotic manifestations or something. It isn’t. I’ve considered it all: what condition I’ve been in, my stress levels, logical explanations. Over time, I’ve even had witnesses to various occurrences.

I’m a freak.

Please hear me

Oh, blessed silence! Why do people have to make so much damned noise the moment they wake up? TV goes on, radio goes on, coffee maker goes on, shower goes on, and talk, talk, talk. Some people seem to go from the quiet of sleep to full volume in under ten seconds.

How can you even think?

Amazed at how well my face/empty tooth slot is doing. Seems to swell up a bit during the day with talking, and it’s still tender. But damn! Healing very well, very fast. Happy about that.

Happy about not smoking much, too. It’s pretty easy for me to sit and not smoke for most of the day. I’m allowing myself one to two Js if I want, tho I know it’s better if I don’t. But I am no longer reaching towards an ashtray every ten minutes to grab a joint and take a hit. That action is already gone. Want to stay at this level. Only smoke a J in the evening – one J – while I watch tv? Only think about a second joint if I’m really fucking upset and out of sorts and I’ve already tried my reading and game playing and other distractions? Yeah, that’s pretty fucking good.

Finished my book in Dutch. Just in time to turn it in during class. Began reading the CS Lewis I checked from the library. That’s tougher, and I might just return it and find something else. I don’t mind reading something that every few paragraphs throws me a word or phrase I don’t understand. But when that frequency jumps to every sentence, I find it hard to keep going. It becomes a drag, stopping and looking up every word, trying to figure out these long Dutch sentences. My head shuts down, and I don’t want to read. And I want to want to read.

Anxiety is very high. Keep reminding myself to relax my shoulders, let them drop naturally. Five minutes later and I’ve got my shoulders hunched up again. Keep breathing deeply, trying to reset or find some zen point. Must not be doing it right, because it’s not sticking at all. And I never really do relax.

Thinking about real goals. Concrete goals, not that thin soup of ‘I want to be happy’. What a fucking lame request. ‘I want to be happy’. Too vague, and not enough signposts to even know if I’ve reached my goal or not. I don’t know what the fuck happy looks like. Last time I thought I was in the ballpark of happy I clenched my jaw until I hurt like hell and ended up breaking one of my teeth. That doesn’t sound happy to me, and that’s the closest I think I’ve got.

So. Simple, but concrete goals. First: really relax. Really feel all my muscles turn to mush. Really let myself sleep just as long as I want. I want 24 hours (minimum) without finding I’m holding my shoulders tight, without having to deep breathe through anxiety, without that sick feeling in my stomach. I’ve gotta know what that physically feels like, ’cause right now I’m clueless. Second: chill. I’d like to walk out my front door without my heart rate jumping up into the hundreds because I’m afraid. Sometimes Often that happens with simple things, like going to the supermarket or the gym. It makes life difficult. Third: I want the first two goals without turning me into a zombie. I want to still be able to think, to do my homework, to write. Don’t chain my mind down. It’ll make it worse in the long run.

Everything else is kind of gravy.

Things I don’t want to hear: I don’t want to hear this is a long process. I don’t want to hear I’ll ‘have to talk it out eventually’. I don’t want to be told what to do, how to act, what to eat. I don’t want to be told what I already know, either. No tired old memes thrown out at me verbally because you don’t know what the fuck else to say. I don’t want to be ignored. If I say I do something (or don’t do something) I’m being honest. Remember honesty? It’s something old fashioned, and I’m old fashioned, so I still do it. Don’t nag at me about something I’ve already told you I’m all over. It tells me you don’t believe me, and if you don’t believe me, why the fuck should I believe you?

Suggestions: Refer to any appointments with the psychiatrist as ‘check-ups’. Just a verbal check, seeing how I’m doing, a little chat, and that’s it. No in depth therapy. Nope. Just a chat. That doesn’t scare me. I’ll chat away about all sorts of things. That’s never been the problem, and anyone who’s talked with me in the last six months knows that. I’ll talk about the abuse, my lack of self confidence, the mania and the depression.

Most of all: don’t push me. I am a stubborn animal. I don’t mean to be, but when someone tells me I must or I will no matter what, I balk. Dig my feet in and say ‘No!’ Case in point: my dad always harped at me that I’d have to learn how to drink coffee. Outcome? I wouldn’t even try coffee before I was 30. Don’t tell me what I must do, because I’ll do my damnedest to avoid it.

I want help I can accept. If you make it into something I can’t accept it’ll just frustrate me and make me quit. So, chats. Check-ups. Nothing heavy. Don’t say long term.

Please, please, don’t freak me out any more than I am.

And…allow me time. Allow me thought. I do things differently. Just accept that, okay? I’ve heard it for 52 years. I’m okay with it. I need YOU to be okay with it, too.

This is me asking for what I need.

Please hear me.

Am I alone out here?

I told you so.

Today’s kicker: an article on a study showing that the DNA of women who have babies is on average 11 years “older” than women who don’t have babies. Wow. Can I say that’s like finally coming out and admitting menstruation causes pain in the female body? Duh-uh. I noticed that very early on: women who have children grow old fast. And why shouldn’t they? Having a living thing tapping into your body for nine months, sucking off your reserves, eating up the vitamins and minerals a person needs…no great surprise to me to find mothers age quicker than normal women [I am using ‘normal women’ here to reassure myself and the rest of the bleeding world that choosing to NOT have children is normal, not some freak accident of nature]. I’ve watched it again and again, through people I’ve known and strangers.

So happy you men finally caught on. Maybe now you’ll begin to recognize why I consider the ‘keep ’em in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant’ is such an indignity. You not only use women like baby factories and slaves, you endanger and shorten women’s lives every time you do it.

Will this open up lawsuits against states and countries that force women to have children? I sure as fuck hope so. Endangering the lives – purposely shortening the lives – of women should be a criminal offense. I hope they hang you fuckers up by your balls.

But no. Some man will probably invent some way for men to have babies. And then we’ll hear it. Then we’ll have story after story of these “courageous” men. We’ll have detailed descriptions and graphic pictures of their pain. We will be told how they’ve never felt anything like it, and no one could ever know how painful it is until they go through it themselves. Then, the men will be lauded. Oh, good on you, old boy, for breaking that pregnancy barrier. By jove, if we’d known it was that painful we’d have given you more powerful drugs. Here! We’ll make something new that will take all the pain out of childbirth because no man should ever have to go through that again. You are a pioneer! And then the book will come out, followed up by the film.

Think it won’t happen? Do you remember how I began this post?

I like men individually. But as a group, you’re assholes I’d rather the world did without. Justice to me looks like several thousand years with men tied up in some holding cell and milked for their semen. They can never see the light of day without a woman’s permission. They can never vote, can never change their circumstances, and will get ridiculed, belittled, and abused every time they dare speak up for this “equality”. Do that for three or five thousand years and we’ll be even. Maybe.

Like any good little girl, I know my anger at men begins at home. Let’s talk about Dad.

Dad, I knew, loved me. Individually, as me. He did not see me as a second class remake of my sister, like my mother did. I need to say that up front.

However…

Continually saying things like ‘women should never be president because they’ll have a mood swing and hit the button killing us all’ did not build up my self-esteem. Telling me I was pretty as a consolation when I was in tears didn’t convince me I was attractive (just the opposite, and I’ve a clear memory of my mother telling me how SHOCKED my father was by a comment from a colleague who said I was beautiful). Lecturing me to hide my intelligence from the world because if men knew how smart I was no one would ever marry me did nothing other than add to my complexes.

I was raised by a Neanderthal. A loving Neanderthal, but a Neanderthal nonetheless.

But Daddy liked his little girl. For all that negativity, he was the one who encouraged my verbal skills, my debate and logic skills. Even when I grew old enough that my logic caught him out and triggered his anger, I felt he was proud of the fact I could do that in the first place. It was as if he wanted me to be one way in private, and another way in public.

Again: secrets. Keep the silence. Don’t let them know. Hide it.

There’s always a second message when secrets are involved. The implied message that you’re somehow wrong if you can’t keep the secret. You talk too much, you don’t care about the other person, you’re self-centered…pick one. They’re all implied, and you can latch onto whichever one your programming set you up to accept.

I have never been accused of talking too much. Saying too much, yes. But not talking too much. My only assumption all these years (and that’s been backed up by the actions and reactions of others) is that I’m different. Somehow. I don’t have certain filters in place. I just say things. I talk about subjects that people don’t discuss. I reveal “secrets” about myself that others think they can use against me. That, of course, is their perception problem. I say those things so I take my power back. If I’m up front about my body issues, no one can shame me by pointing a finger at me and calling me fat. Yeah, I’ve already told you I think I am; you’re just pointing out the obvious to me and that makes YOU look like an idiot. So I talk about my uncomfortable self. I reveal my anxieties – not crying, nor wringing my hands, just stated. I have panic attacks. I have body issues. I have self-esteem issues. My mother abused me.

To me, this is just truth. This is honesty and communication. But the looks I get -!

Perhaps it is too much honesty. Too deep of a truth to reveal to some people. Does everyone hide that much?

Am I alone out here?