This. is why. I’m going. to a psychiatrist! So said I at midnight, still bouncing off walls while brushing my teeth.

The read through…wow. First, I’ll note how disappointed I am in the “members” of the theatre group. Other than the director, myself, and the guy who set up the read through, ZERO members showed. Everyone fucking blew it off. Trying to not take it as a diss on me or my work. But we had 9 people who claimed they had interest and said they’d show. Nine. Second: We did have six newbies show up from the FB post. Thank goodness! Without them, it would have been difficult to give it a read through at all. And it’s always nice to meet new people with similar interests. Third: oh, Goddess! Nothing will take the wind out of your sails like a bad read though of your words. And although the first words out of my mouth were and are ‘Thank you’, even I have to admit it was a BAD read through. These people claim they know English? Stumbling through simple words, unable to pronounce half the text…if I read aloud like that in my language class I’d be kicked down a level. Absolutely awful. That’s not even mentioning the flat delivery, or the almost inaudible voice of one person who sat right next to me yet even I could barely hear her! Saving grace: two of the readers were decent. They carried it.

Since everyone who mattered in the decision on this script was absent, it’s still got to be approved by the Board. Glad to say the director and the member who set it up both like the story, so I’ve got two people who’ll vote ‘do it’. No idea when a decision might come down the tube. With their track record, it might be another month. Or maybe it’ll be easy for them: We don’t have to pay her, so let’s just do it.

Best of all, yes – they all got the unspoken meaning and reason for the trilogy. And, as I walked back to the metro with the director, he again brought up Lovecraft and compared my work to that master of terror. The director is a well read, articulate guy, so I have high respect for his literary opinion.

I can write.

But, yeah. Bouncing off walls. Up late, too excited to try to sleep. Oh! And I forgot to mention the kicker (at least for me). Mentioned to the director that as long as he’s taking the helm, I’ll take a role if he needs me to. He turned to me with large eyes and said “I should hope so! I want you in this!” Ah…to be acknowledged on two fronts. My ego is full. And to have a chance to play one of these high-octane characters -! Speak my own words?!? Oh YES! PLEASE!

Full disclosure, I took a morphine pill last night to (1) calm the fuck down and (2) prevent myself from biting down on my teeth again since I knew it began from mania and I was (and am) as wound up as can be.

Today is as full of stuff – or as empty – as I want it to be. My choice. The weather is crisp and clear this morning, and it almost feels like I’m starting anew. Things I may or may not do include a visit to the gym, tackling two needed phone calls in Dutch, reading, and starting on my homework. I could also duck out of the house to meet my brother at the library so I can get a new library card. Might do that…the sunshine out my window is awfully tempting and considering everything a little shake-up of my norm is probably a good idea.

One of those phone calls I could make today is to make an appointment with a local psychiatrist. Saw my doc on Monday regarding my mental health (YEESH! It was difficult to write those words!). Cried a little. She was very understanding. So now I’m holding this phone number. Need to pop by the doc’s office and pick up a referral letter, too. Then call, set a date, get my brain picked, and get some pills. Mentioned to my doc how I often can’t even tell you how I’m feeling before writing. She thought that was interesting. Have to admit I’m a bit curious to see what this referral letter says. My Dutch is good enough I’ll be able to read all of it. Finally.

Follow through. Remember that! Steady, slow progress. You don’t have to tackle the world today, or even this week. Take a bite today. A bite tomorrow. And put on that brave persona. The one you hauled out on holidays, the one who knew she could leave behind all the angst and shyness simply by choice. You can be whoever you want to be. Finally, keep in mind that you’re harder on yourself than anyone else. No one remembers your flubs like you do. And you’ve cut all those awful people out of your life, the ones who liked to nag at you and verbally remind you of all the times you fucked up. …Hell, woman! You’ve got a cheerleading section these days.

Yes. S and the rest of the film crew. The director here. The artistic director in the states. Even my teachers. Such a glow in Monday’s lesson! And why not? Even I could hear how my language popped up a level after reading through that book. …A couple of other students wrote their essays – half sheets, a small paragraph. Me? Five pages of A4 paper with small, tight hand writing. I received a gratifying gasp from my teacher. In perfect Dutch, I said ‘I can make my homework shorter, but I really want the practice.’ She smiled, and said no, please keep writing just as much as I want.

I am, and always will be, a writer.


And so it goes…

Blank wall. Been trying to remember lately. Nothing worse than trying to force something; it never comes when you want it. I’ve had repressed memories surface. A strange, disjunct experience that disturbed me greatly. I quickly learned to tell myself it was okay, that I was protecting myself until I felt I could handle the memories. I’m telling myself that again. That whatever comes up, it’s okay. I’ll be here for myself.

But there is a wall of grey nothingness. Just…fog. I see that younger me, I feel her. But there’s nothing. No surfaced memories of long repressed angst or abuse. No ‘oh, yes, I remember that incident; it changed my life’. Just that teenaged awareness, that awkwardness, and the same old body issues that have plagued me forever.

Tore through more than 50 pages in my Dutch book yesterday. Now there’s one thing I’ve rediscovered: my obsessive love of a good story. I’m gobbling it up, so enthused I have to share every bit of the adventure with my bro (who is getting sick of hearing about it). In the last 10 years, I set myself the task of reading more ‘classics’. Many I’ve enjoyed, but some have left me feeling like I’m back in school. Read it because. Because it’s listed as a classic, because people talk about it, because. Not because I enjoy it.

I’m loving this book. Both for the story, and for the fact that I’m understanding the language. It’s a reinforcing circle. Haven’t felt this way for…well, since I was a teen.

Forecast today is for snow. The country is on yellow alert. The Midwesterner in me laughs; this country is much like Texas or Florida. They shut down for a dusting. Today we might get 1 to 3 cm. Ooooo! lol. But it’s good warning. They put out alerts because it isn’t the Midwest, and people don’t normally carry shovels and a bag of sand in the trunks of their cars. Same with sidewalks. Shovel…sidewalks? What, are you picking up the cobblestones and re-laying them? This leads to some icy patches until it warms up enough to melt everything. That’s a serious subject for me. Icy patches mean risk of falling and hurting myself. Plans are to get out and do what I need to do early, then return home to snuggle under my blanket and READ.

Have to get back to writing, too. Didn’t finish my homework yet. But later, later…after I find out the next bit of the story. Or maybe after the next chapter. Or…oh, hell! There’s only 50 odd pages left in the book. Just finish it!

…On the heels of rediscovering my love of reading, I’m also rediscovering a very uncomfortable guilt. I feel guilty reading all day. Isn’t that silly? But I was raised that way, getting yelled at if I read books all day long. That probably tells you everything you ever needed to know about my mother: she bloody well yelled at and belittled me for improving my mind. No wonder I’m all hung up about excelling intellectually or just giving myself the pleasure – the pleasure – of reading all afternoon. Unwinding that guilt is tough. It’s all tied up in my mother issues and my feelings of self-worth.

*sigh* I compare myself to others to try and figure out if I’m a wimp or not. I know it isn’t healthy or ‘right’. I’m just admitting to it. Pain levels in particular are something I’ve had to do that with: I was taught my pain was nothing, I shouldn’t even complain about it. Now, as adult, all I get are confirmations that that idea was wrong. Doctors look at me in horror. Everyone asks why I let things get so bad. …The thing that’s strong in my mind this morning is when my mother told me about her bout with shingles. She said it was the most painful experience of her life. Caveat: that was before the cancer. Nonetheless, it’s important. Because I can say with 100% certainty that the pain I complained about and was told I should ignore was much worse than shingles. My mother was the wimp, not me. She was the whiny one, gobbling up pain pills three times too powerful for what she had. She was the one who drugged me as a child. And she drugged me a lot: when I got sick, when I went to the dentist, when she got sick of me. Not when I complained of pain in my hands or feet. No. Those were growing pains, and must simply be endured. Deal. [And…erm…WHO taught me to use drugs recreationally??]

I hope some small part of my mother’s soul is still aware, and knows just how fucking much I hate her for what she did. It was such a head-fuck.

Two days into exercises for my jaw and OW! Took one of my last morphine pills last night because it just had that sharp, painful ache going. I might have to get a refill on those. Do not want to be caught without pain pills and then have it hit me like it did. Haha! And here it is Friday, and me with only two pills left. Better sign into the pharmacy and order them right now.

Ye Gods!

And so it goes…

Lick your wounds

Healing. My least favorite thing to do in the entire world. I’ve got to be on death’s door before I allow myself to lay back and rest. So exhausted, in such pain, that I can’t lift my head or do the dishes or even think. But give me even a hint of strength and I feel lazy, shiftless, and so damned greedy with time and energy that it’s a struggle to relax enough TO rest.

Somewhere in my past I must have been burned badly with the words ‘wasting time’. That’s my hiccup. I’m wasting time. I can make even the smallest reason into a justification, but not when it comes to healing. I can justify going to a party in order to ‘socialize’. I can justify not going to the gym because of my mood or fear of hurting myself. I cannot justify sitting on my ass the entire day long, watching tv, and doing nothing. I’m not in enough discomfort.

My meds, however, list dizziness as a side effect. Maybe I shouldn’t have read that; I might have retroactively triggered myself to feel it. But I do feel dizzy, within 30 minutes of taking my pills. So…rest. I’ve got an entire week of this.

Been refusing to put any more Dutch into my brain right now. I won’t even look at the subtitles on tv, tho I’ve got to admit that’s a tough one; my eyes keep shifting down to them and I’ve got to snap my attention back to the actors. English and Dutch are melting together. Half the time I don’t know what language a word is from. Is that…Dutch? English? Sounds and letter combinations are roiling around in my brain, all becoming mush. Thank you, Goddess, that sometime in my life I anchored this automatic writing in English. I will ALWAYS be able to get up and do this, even if my brain ends up flipping into Dutch or mumbo-jumbo for the rest of the day.

Meh. I suppose language is dependent upon your desire to communicate. I don’t know how strong that desire is for me right now. I feel less inclined to speak, and more inclined to sit silently observing. I get that way. It’s not a bad thing, tho some people find it annoying because I do grow reticent. But…there comes a time when I think, why speak? Why say all that I’ve said before? I have no new words to express myself. I have no new metaphors to light the darkness, to expand my consciousness or enlighten the ignorant. Just…hit play on the recorder; you’ll hear it. I don’t need to say it.

And frankly, I think you need to take time to internalize. You can’t live that way; that’s a mire of mental un-health if ever there was one. But you’ve got to get the words from your head to your mouth to your heart. Your heart is where it lives, those old pains and wounds we keep picking at and picking at. Your head can scream the truth at you, your mouth can form the words, but if you don’t get it inside you’re not gonna learn. You’ll just keep picking at those wounds, making yourself hurt, and not understanding.

I don’t want to hurt anymore.

Accepting the limits of my body… Every time I think I’ve mastered it, something new comes along. Oh, but that’s the trick to life! You never stop learning, never stop moving. Change is the only constant you can count on. You must dance on these change-lines. That’s how you progress. Every move you make modifies these lines, and the new configuration modifies your ensuing moves. It’s an internal feedback process. That’s the reason some people have come up with positive self-talk or smile therapy: put out positive vibes, and positive vibes will start to come back to you. That’s a recognition of the feedback process: change your dance, change the lines. The problem most of us run into is the lag-time. The time between changing our dance – a difficult and sometimes painful thing to do – and seeing results. Sadly, that’s only our poor perception. We move in space as much as we move in time, and when you recognize that you realize the vast amounts of area you must traverse to get from one place to another. It’s the difference between being next door to something or being all the way across town. Next door is easy to get to. Across town might take several stops or connections, some twists or turns that you don’t expect. I have an excellent example right here in NL. If I want to get from my house to Den Haag, a trip I’ve made several times, I either have to go out of my way to the west or out of my way to the northeast due to the train and metro connections. Life is like that: sometimes you have to head off in what looks like the wrong direction because that’s the only real route to get where you want to be. And when we bull-headedly head off in the wrong direction, thinking we’ll just power our way to our goals, we are often met with blockades.

…My words tell me what my head has so far failed to catch on to: I’m ignoring a flow. I’m trying to power my way somewhere upstream.

What’s the first thing you do when you get a cramp while swimming? Stop fighting.

Stop. fighting. your body.

Okay, animal. I understand you’re not doing well. You are tired, and ill. You are wounded, and in pain. You have allowed me to fight these symptoms many times. We have done wonderful things together. But now, I will listen to you. I will lay you down in a soft spot, warm and secure. You have been whimpering and I have been ignoring you. I’m sorry, my old friend. Rest, sleep, and lick your wounds.

The verbal truth

Having to rethink the Dutch people.

It’s easy to see the Netherlands as a fairy-land. The manicured landscapes, the oh-so-cute buildings stacked one atop the other, the canals. It’s easy to overlook, as a visitor, the graffiti or the garbage, the pushy tourists or short tempered natives. Especially if you partake at the coffeeshops. Then it all blends into one glorious haze. The language becomes the tram lines, the tram lines become your croissant and coffee breakfast, and your breakfast becomes the experience. It is something you cannot pick apart. You cannot explain the difference in food quality without delving into food regulations. And you can’t talk about food regulations without addressing the overriding social structure of humanism. Back home, you just shake your head and tell people ‘it’s different’.

And, it is different. Coming from the US, the Netherlands seems a doll-house world. The “wide open spaces” of the US (aka, suburban sprawl) are replaced by neat, tight neighborhoods clustered around parks, playgrounds, and needed services. I am still struck by the Dutch use of space: toilets in unexpected areas, steps up or down to add variety, whole floors of buildings hanging in the air as if ready to fall. They mix these tight, convoluted spaces with clean-lined furnishings, and the overall effect is one of spaciousness. As a first time visitor I was amazed at how much storage space was available in their rather tiny homes, just as I was amazed at how much orange taste they got in a glass of fresh squeezed juice.

I looked at this land and thought: Wow. Nice. I want to live there.

There is a polished edge to life here, a smoothed surface on everything. The food is better. The transport is better. The internet is better. The prices are better. The clubs are better. Everything is that bit up. Nothing can just ‘get by’; there’s too much competition. Before you know it, you’re used to the well presented top quality plates at restaurants, the cleanliness of the metro and public buildings, the efficiency and work ethic presented to you in every field.

But the Dutch are quick to say they’ve got problems. Things they’re not happy about. For some, that’s basic: government and taxes. Most, however, point vaguely to less concrete issues: inequalities, rising violence, kids left behind in the system. They seem to think first of the big picture, the stuff that affects everyone and their society as a whole. The small stuff – personal issues like how much disposable income they have every month – comes later.

For three years, I’ve sampled life here on the edges. Kind of getting involved, but the language held me back. You can do that. You can totally get by with zero Dutch. It won’t always be easy, mind you, but you can do it. But if you really want to climb into Dutch living, you’ve got to embrace the language.

Now that I’m there, it seems I can’t be held back. I want more Dutch films. And not just for the language learning. What I’m seeing, what I’m hearing, is teaching me far more than my visits and spaced-out walking around for three years. Art reflects life and vice versa.

Last night’s film… My brother was unashamedly in tears. It was a film about bullying, and so inclusive in its story and so well executed that – even tho it was geared towards the late teen crowd – I can’t imagine it NOT resonating with everyone. I was…stunned. On a couple of levels. First, it portrayed an environment I thought beyond the Dutch. An environment in which adults ignored the evidence, people turned away and said nothing. In other words, what I would consider a typical American mindset: it’s none of my business. Or, worse (since the object of bullying was an overweight kid), he/she deserves it. Having lived in this doll house cocoon, imagining that all of that was far, far away from me…well, it was a slap in my face. A wake up call. A realization that yes, it can even happen here. And no, I’m not so dense as to think that there aren’t nasty people everywhere on this planet. That much seems obvious. What I’m shocked at is this totality: the victim, the bullies, the other kids, the parents, the teachers. The small, unspoken collusions needed to set up this story in the first place. It speaks of darker problems. Larger issues, harder to tackle issues. Why? Because the bullies were shown in their own homes. A few scenes showed a life most people would want to escape. They did not wear black capes; they were not irredeemable. Just the opposite. Hateful actions, from characters you ended up feeling sorry for. And that brings me to my second level of astonishment: the unblinking stare these artists used in bringing out this story. No holds barred. No lines crossed, either: it was neither over the top nor schmaltzy. But they were not afraid to show us the hateful things. The terrible things. It was as if the filmmakers said ‘This is what’s happening. No frills, no added oomph. This is it. Look at it.’ And it was all the more powerful for that understated, quiet demand.

This is what I admire. That forthright attitude. The outspokenness. The bluntness.

Yet I must grow accustomed to truth-speaking. I do it in my writing, but verbally, I lag behind. I stutter, I avoid topics, I outright lie if I feel under too much pressure. No! Really! It’s fine. I’m fine! All the while I’m dying inside.

There is a toughness to the Dutch I didn’t anticipate. It is not a hard slap in your face toughness, but a softer kind. A ‘I’ll tell you the truth because we’re both worth it’ attitude. More than the grammar or the words themselves, it is that part of Dutch that intimidates me. It is that part of life that intimidates me.

The verbal truth.

Save yourself

Slept decently. Yea! Small victories are sometimes the most important.

Woke, however, with one thing on my mind: the friend request on FB from an ex-neighbor who done me wrong. I’ve let it sit for a month, as I do when I’m unsure of what action I should take. I finally woke this morning finding I had something to say.

We are not friends. Not since you so coldly shut me out over the farmers’ market. Why are you asking to be my friend now? Do you think I’d simply forget your refusal to give me a lift, your refusal to talk to me at the time? Do you think friends simply ignore past problems and they’re magically white-washed away?

I was, and still am, hurt over your actions.

In fact, every single one of the women involved in that incident can go to hell. You all wanted to cheat the system, to by-pass the law, to sell illegally, and, most importantly, to sell substandard and dangerous products to the public. I didn’t call in any inspector for you or anyone else at the market, it was for me. Of course the inspector then saw the signs in town, and of course she checked things out. That was her job! And the law. And if people got in hot water because their kitchens were filthy and they were finally found out, it isn’t MY fault. Never was. It’s THEIR fault. Yet, I was blamed and ostracized.

I suppose in a strange way I should say thanks. I didn’t know at the time what a den of thieves and liars I was getting involved with, and that incident showed me beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are people I do not want to associate with.

Live your life out on your tiny plot of land at the end of that peninsula. Take what joy you can from the life you’ve created. I wish you no ill.

But stop asking me to be your friend.

Again, this is sitting on my desktop unsent. I’ll think about it for a few more days before I do anything. All I want from this communication is to state what I feel and think. How easy to tell someone how I feel if I don’t really care about them! Easy! This is it; you fucked up and I’m hurt. Wish I could do that with everybody.

But, I can’t. The more I care, the more I risk by telling my truth. And the more difficult my truth becomes to state.

I don’t trust a lot of people with my truth. That’s a mess. Don’t state the truth, resentment builds, eventually there’s an argument – which I don’t want in the first place. I’m working on it. Still haven’t got to the point I can say something like ‘Ow, that hurts’ when people say hurtful things to me, but the day is coming. I have some fresh, powerful memories of feeling good about myself and being around positive people. That helps immensely. I’m less likely to take shit right now because I’ve had a taste of what good relations feel like.

And I don’t want to be angry about this. I don’t want to stand up for myself with a red face, yelling or screaming.

I just want to be able to stand.

…That’s not asking too much, is it?

*sigh* And the thought occurs that I may have to do this over and over. Tell my truth to the people I was too afraid to say it to before. Seems to keep cropping up. Just when I think I’ve shaken off the last of my past, someone comes creeping back with a message or a friend request. …The weirdest part is that I know I’m making this harder than it needs to be. I’m the one reluctant to take the chance. And I’m the one who needs to be brave right now. Do it. I risk nothing by stating my truth; they’re already out of my life.

Shatter that last barrier.

No. more. abuse. Not physical, not mental, not spiritual. I have my foothold now. I know what it’s supposed to look and feel like. I found that ‘click’ with people I’ve been so desperately searching for. They’ve made me see a part of me I didn’t know I kept hidden. And they loved it, and loved me, and I loved them in return.

Your family shouldn’t hold you back. Your friends shouldn’t drag you down. If you’re out there in whatever time and space you occupy and the people around you make you continuously feel shitty about yourself, get the fuck out. Now. Don’t think about what you’ll be losing. You’re trained to think that way. You’ve been conditioned, subordinated, brainwashed. Just get the fuck out. You’ve a lifetime to sort thru everything, so give yourself that lifetime. Get. out.

And yes, you’ll be called a runner. A coward, for leaving. These people will try to shame you even as you attempt to save yourself. Ignore them. Leave. Cut all ties. Change your name. Whatever you have to do to get away from them, do it.

Save yourself.

Heaven makes a good cup of coffee

I was real ready for a good night’s sleep. Instead, I couldn’t get comfortable. Seemed even worse than the last few days. Finally drifted off, to wake up at 4:30 FROM A CAFFEINE HEADACHE BECAUSE I FORGOT TO DRINK ENOUGH COFFEE YESTERDAY WITH SEEING THE DOCTOR.


So I am awake. Nursing one of those stupid caffeine headaches that will disappear once I drink my coffee. And may I say, I’m pleased enough to be up and grousing about a stupid caffeine headache! Funny how things like that get turned around after awhile.

For the first time in a week, I feel I can think again. Even contemplated writing this morning (serious writing, that is). Not sure I’ll go there, but it feels good to be able to string a few coherent thoughts together without getting interrupted by pain.

Heard from S, my new friend. Actually, she called me twice and sent me a text message while I was out of it. Did not hear my phone go off once. Filled her in on what’s happening, and bless her heart, she sent me a lovely message full of good wishes and asking if there’s anything she can do. My heart is full. Don’t know how or why I grew to love S and the rest of the crew so much so quickly. It’s like I finally met decent people, and my entire being responded without me thinking. I became nicer, more thoughtful, more gentle. I became who I wanted to be, and I guess that made me love them all the harder – because they’re the ones who made it safe for me to feel this way.

Also heard from someone I knew in Ireland. This woman was my neighbor, and for a short while we were friendly. When I began baking for a local farmer’s market, I went about it the way the law was written. I contacted and got cleared for my kitchen. All sorts of stuff. The upshot of this was the government agent saw the local farmer’s market that I was selling at, and that prompted her to stop by and check out everyone selling something – which raised complete and utter hell. Most of those people were operating very dangerously, in very unhealthy conditions. As usual with those types of people, I became blamed for ‘starting the whole mess’. I was ostracized. My up to that point friendly neighbor cut me off and refused to give me a lift to the market so in the end all that work I did to get certified was useless to me. She also refused to talk to me on any level. And now, she’s trying to reconnect on FB. I unfriended her some months back when I realized I’d never done it. Obviously, we’re not friends. But here she is, asking to be my friend. And gee whiz…it’s right on the heels of the posts about my films. Just gob-smacked at the bald balls this woman has. Seriously? After all that? I’d suggest you begin with an apology for treating me like shit. After that, I might talk to you. But, lady, I’ve sampled your kind of friendship – and I don’t want another helping.

I find it interesting how, on the heels of me saying ‘no’ to various members of my narcissistic family, my life took a fast upswing. Oh, I know I’ve got new issues to deal with now – acceptance, respect, and love. I’m not saying it’s easy. But I’m looking at a possible 2018 with a new film out, a play in the US, and a play here in NL all in the same year. Two of those things will definitely be happening. And who knows? I might get two plays done in the states; I’ve got enough material over there.

My point is that I dithered on the family issue for…well, all my life. And my life showed it: some upswings, but mostly downers. Shed those blood suckers and finally I bloom. I know I’m still stuck at wanting their approval, but it’s amazing how easy it’s been to get respect for me and my work once I let them go. There’s no one to continually tear me down. No one to niggle at me with ‘jokes’ meant to ‘put me in my place’. Just the opposite. And now that the shits are gone, I find myself better able to let in the positives. I really feel buoyed up by the likes on FB and the positive comments. Everyone’s been telling me I haven’t been letting the compliments get in, I just negate them immediately in my head. And they were right, to an extent. That was programming from my family. All those subtle things they’d say that were digs at me. I felt every single one like a knife.

They ruined my fucking life.

And yeah, I know eventually I’ll need to get past that statement, too. Not yet. I’ve a lifetime of anger stored up. That’ll come out, eventually. I hope. I don’t want to spend the rest of my time blaming my family and ignoring my life. I just want to live happily. Enjoy feeling good about myself. Have friends I trust and love. Maybe be able to prevent this from happening to someone else.

The toughest thing about this was sticking to the decision. I was scared it would be hard having little to no family. Cutting everyone off. But standing up for myself was the hardest part. After that, it got easier. Easier than I’d ever imagined. So easy it’s throwing me for a loop.

Maybe this is all mania and morphine. Like I’d know.

But, oh! To have people I click with, people I trust, people I love so easily…now couple that with respect for my work.

Did I die and go to heaven? Maybe so.

And if so, I gotta say: Heaven makes a good cup of coffee.

Thoughts and thanks

Ninety minutes.

I’m not a big phone talker. Maybe when I was 14, but not since then. Use the phone to make a date or a plan to talk in person. So much better! But last night, I was on the phone for an hour and a half with S, the casting director from the film. Unexpected? Absolutely. But not unwanted, even tho the call came in around 10 at night (she’s a night owl).

I think I might have found a real friend.

Heard about the last day of filming, which went great. Heard how much everyone missed me, which felt great. And then, it was just talk. Talk about life, relationships, self confidence, our past…Well, we had a long conversation, so we covered a lot.

She said I was a role model. That she thought I was brave. I’m a bit stunned. Me? Brave? Maybe in front of the camera, but other than that I know how deeply chicken shit I tend to be. Yet, there it was: I was tagged as brave. I think that might be the first time in my life I’ve earned that particular label. I don’t feel like a role model. But then, I’m older. I’ve let a lot of stuff drop. I used to worry about people finding me attractive. Now I think about being a good person. I used to worry about saying too much, being too blunt. Now I state my opinions simply, without an argumentative tone in my voice. I understand how, as a younger woman, that might look brave and like someone you want to emulate. And good if that’s what it is! If I can take one day off of another woman’s internal suffering because they admire how I deal with life or men or politics or whatever, then I’ve lived a life worth living. I know how long I’ve sat in the shit. I don’t think anyone deserves to feel as bad about themselves as I have.

And I am so tired of seeing women tear themselves down. That shit that surfaces from competitiveness and petty jealousies. The nasty comments behind the back and to the face. The use of male branded put downs, male dominated ideals, male led lives. We have allowed ourselves to be led around the ring by our noses, just like the pieces of meat so many misogynists see us as. And those of us caught in that web deny it: I’m not jealous; she’s just a whore.

Can we be honest? Can we say that a lot of that surfaces because we’re all dick hounds after a good fuck? Because we all want this fairy-tale ideal we were fed from birth, that a perfect life includes a husband who has a good job? Okay, I know I’m ignoring the lesbians (sorry) and the non-sexual people out there. I’m making a point. This shaming of women BY women comes out of competition. It’s insidious, and it’s been instilled in us for forever.

Every time we do it, we play their game. Every time we do it, we support their foul opinions of us. Every time we do it, we kill ourselves and hamper our futures and the futures of all our daughters.

It’s got to stop.

If the only way you feel you can get ahead in life is to tear someone else down, you’re not making any progress.

I guess considering the world these days, that attitude alone should make me a role model. Embrace it, Beeps. You’re a knight in shining armour. Hm. And thus, comes understanding of how roles are thrust upon us. You just…live long enough that you become an oddity. An oddity that people admire, but an oddity nonetheless. And then they tell you, and you begin to monitor your own behavior. You start to become what they see you as, because a part of you doesn’t want to let them down. So you try. You reach for the bigger part of yourself. You keep doing that, keep trying.

And so you become.

That’s not to say you buy your own marketing. Therein lies the problem. I guarantee you that at the base of any star’s suicide is a deep seated belief that they didn’t really live up to their image. Maybe it’s not the ultimate tipping point, but it’ll be in the mix. It’s a big and ugly problem. Because people need those heroes. People need role models, the personalities larger than life to inspire and lead them thru dark times. But it can feel like a lie. I’m not really that good, I’m not really that smart, or that talented, or that beautiful… You need to balance what is and what is perceived.

Tread lightly, oh walkers of life! You never know when you will become. And you never quite realize, from where you are, just how difficult that balancing act is.

So. I have a friend. Admiration. Dizzying amounts of respect. It is as tough to take as the opposite. Especially after years of having no friends, no admiration, and no (or little) respect. And I don’t want to fuck it up. I want friends. I want people in my life. People who are happy to see me, people who are sad if I’m ill. People to share things with, because fun is amplified a thousand fold when you share it.

I am…at a loss. I don’t know why I’m getting this outpouring. I don’t know what I did so right to deserve it; if I did know, I’d keep doing it. All I can do is be the brightest me I can be. Listen, care. Slow down enough to really interact. Share my sense of humor. Hug people when I know they need it.

Waking every day with a sense of thankfulness. It’s totally new. I’ve had it for short bursts, over little accomplishments. This feels big, and solid. Like a river of lava flowing thru my life: huge, encompassing, and burning away all those truly inconsequential things that have been hampering me for so very long.

Thank you.


When it rains…

Oh, baby! Flood me! C’mon! I think it’s safe to say I have never experienced the type of upswing currently underway in my life.

Signed into my pen name email yesterday. Usually there’s nothing there. So often, as a matter of fact, that I complain about tumbleweeds rolling thru. And, to be honest, there was only one email waiting for me. But it was a doozy.

The group I sent my first thriller, Blue Whale, to has contacted me again. They loved my story, but at the time they thought the tech requirements were beyond them. Do not know what’s changed, but they want to consider it again. And they contacted me. I’m just in a tizzy. Theatres and artistic directors don’t do that. They say ‘we’re open for submissions’ and sit back and wait for stuff to come to them. They do not pursue writers, they do not contact writers days ahead of notifying the general public to say ‘please, please, can we try your work?’. It just don’t happen.

I’m living a dream.

They’ve also asked if I’ve anything else. Think I’ll send them Taman. It’s done, it’s tight, and they might really like it. I have nothing to lose; they’re going to consider Blue Whale no matter what. So enthralled and thrilled I don’t dare ask if their tech requirements have changed. Talked to my bro about it, and he thought maybe they’ve been thinking about BW this whole time. Considering what they can do, how they could make it work.

Erk (that’s me, choking a bit). People…are thinking about my work for months?!?

…And here I am, emailing back and forth with a bleeding ARTISTIC DIRECTOR of a theatre like we’re old friends! I – I – I….I’m stuck on amazement.

More coffee, and another J.

Feels like I’ve hit a wall. A wall of excitement. I can’t be any more excited. I maxed out days ago. This…just stuns me. And I think that if more excitement comes my way, if things keep up this momentum, I’ll find that new balance of living IN this. Get the role? Exciting, yes, but no reason to jump up and down. Blue Whale gets done? Same again. Taman gets noticed? Ah, yes, add that to the list.

I’m waiting now to see if the last piece falls into place. If, when my teachers get a hold of the children’s story I’m writing in Dutch, I hear that I should send it out to get published.

Got a feeling that might happen.

Today is all mine. Did as I said, and contacted my Thursday teacher to tell her I wasn’t coming to our lesson. Got to the gym, stretched, did a long walk on the treadmill. Today I run lines, shower, prep for tomorrow. Hell! I even did my nails last night – cuticles and polishing – because I figure most women my age would do that type of thing, and it’s the small details that make a role.

…You know, I’ve had shit hit me like this. One thing after another ’til I felt like I was gonna break. Being on the flip side is weird


So weird, it’s completely blanked out my anxiety over finding my audition tomorrow. I’m too up. I’m also too focused. Not the usual drive myself ’til I drop manic focus. Oh, no! This is a down to earth, get enough rest, think long term focus. No amount of excitement will prevent me from sleeping. No amount of excitement will prevent me from doing what I need to do – like getting to the gym for regular exercise. No amount of excitement will rile me up to the point where I can’t write. …Good Goddess, do people operate on this level as a regular thing? Or have I flipped into some hitherto unknown hyper-mania?

Television has been shit lately, so yesterday evening I ran some of my recorded Futurama episodes during dinner. Watched the one where Calculon comes back from the dead. Kept laughing at his hammy acting and inflated ego, right up to the point when someone in my head said, ‘That’s what Mom was afraid you’d turn into.’ *groan* I examined that idea, and you know what? I find it fucking insulting. You thought I’d turn into that kind of ego maniac? What made you think that? The way I was so quick to backtrack, so fast to take the blame in any situation, so immediate with my ‘I’m sorry’ exclamations? Or maybe it was how proud I always was of myself – after all, I’m the woman who allowed herself to beaten at the hands of partners and raped multiple times; obviously my ego is out of whack. What. the. fuck -?

Oh, yes! And before I forget. Had an apology – APOLOGY! – from Celtx about their original email. Ye Gods! I really will burst with one more thing.

The words of my hated sister ring in my ears this morning. You don’t know how to handle success. Can’t stop thinking about it because she was right. She said it as an accusation, obviously. My sister’s modus operandi: shame me. But it’s also a statement of fact. I don’t know how to handle success, because my family never let me succeed. Not in their eyes! Now that I’ve basically cut myself off from them (excepting my occasional nostalgia driven internet searches), I’m free – FREE! – to experience success. But no, I don’t know exactly how to handle it. It’s all new to me. The good feelings, the flattery…the sheer headiness of it. None of that underhanded nastiness I’m so used to. At least, not yet. It’s out there; I know it is.

But for now, it’s pure, and clean. Real admiration. Real compliments. I feel like they’re raining down on me in one, huge burst from the Universe.

And baby, I’m mainlining.

My writing speaks for me

Whirlwind. The dust bunnies are settling (no, I didn’t get to them) now that it’s over. What was the reason? One day of massively concentrated writing.

Taman is essentially done. A couple of typos I caught on the last read thru. But the extra scene, the additional dialogue to spin out enough time so it didn’t seem like everything happened in two days, and a few references to modify the tone here and there…that’s done. Finito. In a few days’ time I’ll take the pdf from the system and wipe it from my page.

Good on me. Good on me for thinking ahead. Had some time after the gym yesterday (never really feel like taking on a big project post workout) so I buzzed around the internet, searching for theatrical props suppliers. Wanted to know what sort of costs I was running up in the thriller, asking for a gun and prop knives. Found some articles that made me think we might not be able to get said props here in NL. Asked the group, and sure enough, it’s a big hassle. Toy guns are okay. Prop guns are not. I’m assuming at this point that prop knives are just as big a hassle. What I’ve been reading seems to indicate that.

So, knives are out. Oh, sure, maybe we could find a rubber one, but I wanted retractable knives to stab. Just wouldn’t be the same. That makes Act 2 tough: how do the two siblings kill each other? I’m thinking poison, voluntarily taken… Sad to think Act 3 might feel a little cheap using a toy gun. But I gotta have a gun. I’ve thought and thought about it, and the gun is…it’s poetic. It’s poetic and frightening and terribly sad all at the same time. The last scene just wouldn’t be the same without it.

Sat in my chair last night during telly, half watching what was on, half listing out all the ways to kill someone without using guns or knives. I like electrocution. It carries the possibility of a good scene. But it implies forethought, and these killers do not think ahead. They just kill, using whatever is at hand. Beating someone to death is basic – and I’ll use it. It will take more physical acting than I’d anticipated – I’ve got a fight scene, but not a fight to the death. Most importantly, tho, I don’t want to double up on deaths. I don’t want everyone to die from gunshots, or stab wounds, or strangulation. I want variety. Total variety.

Gotta say, spending my time looking at all the things in a room I could kill someone with is…weird. I feel a little weird doing it.

….Hm. Too bad nothing I’m writing is near water. Drowning is always a spectacular death…

On land, without forethought, I’ve got strangulation, suffocation, poisoning (a little forethought there, but I can make it work), beating to death (body), pushing their eyes into the brain (difficult to pull off without FX), pushing someone off a height, hitting them over the head hard enough with an object… There’s always variations, too.

And there’s a thought! Can we get break away bottles to use rather than the guns??? I could make that work. Easy. Make a note to check.

…Now that I think about it, I could write a drowning scene. It only takes a few inches of water to drown someone. It can be done in a sink. Hm.

Rather morbid thinking for 7:30 in the morning.

When I’m done rambling, I gots Dutch to do. Meh. Not looking forward to it. I’d rather sit and pontificate on paper. But I need to look at those verbs, and write out my homework. It gets two hours of my time before class. No more.

My bro’s been proclaiming (loudly): Don’t forget to say ‘you’re number two’. I think he’s put that in my brain at least a dozen times since my crying jag. Still don’t know how to properly say it in Dutch; suppose I should try and look it up. The idea behind it is that I’m a writer. I write. Do not ever ask me to give up my writing. Ever. For anything. Because everything comes second or lower. This is an idea I need to communicate to my Monday teachers. I enjoy being challenged – but do NOT grill me or act disappointed when I say ‘I was writing’ and didn’t study. You do not come first; you are second at best. Third, if I’m honest, because I’ll blow off all my Dutch including my class to act.

And I do not want to hear ‘you’ll never get the language if you don’t stop using English’. I’ve heard that nugget of donkey shit already. No. I’ll take longer to learn to the language if I keep using English. It’s not fucking impossible, and I won’t believe it is.

And you know what? I’m cocky enough this morning to say that I’ll eventually get the writing side of Dutch enough to do my thing with it. Maybe I’ll never speak like a native. I think I could live with that, if my writing passed the mark.

I’ve never been real good at off the cuff. I can do it, and if it’s a subject I’m knowledgeable about, I can be intimidating. But…ask me how I’m feeling, what I’m thinking at any one moment… Then I stumble. Then I say things poorly. I can’t seem to find the words to explain myself clearly; I’m too caught up in the jumble.

Which is why I write. It gives me time to think. Time to lay out my ideas – as much for me to see as for the world. Once I’ve done that, I can be as bluntly honest and quick on explanation as anyone. But not before. My verbal communication has never been strong.

My writing speaks for me.

Ready to step out

My brother hauled me out of here yesterday. Said I was going clothes shopping. Didn’t matter if I kept to the minimum or not, my b-day’s coming up and he thought it high time I had a couple new pairs of sweat pants and a fresh set of pj’s to lounge around in during my off days. He took me to a mall we don’t usually go to because we have to swap metros to get there – but it’s the only place I’ve found frozen soy “ice cream” that I can eat to my heart’s content because it doesn’t contain cow milk, and I hadn’t bought any for months and months and months, and…well, I like it.

For less than a hundred euro, we both walked away with new sweatpants and matching hoodies. I also got a spare set of sweat pants (seems I can never have enough, going to the gym like I do), a new light grey sweater that’ll be nice for class or going into town somewhere, my pj’s (men’s, top ‘n’ bottom, a cottony soft set I might not take off today, good day or bad), and 5 frozen cartons (bought them out) of chocolate soy deliciousness.

Gods, that frozen chocolate soy whatever-you-want-to-call-it is good!

Received a surprise email from a board member of the theatre group. They’ve had a request for actors from some film students, and I was asked if I want to participate. No pay, but reimbursement for travel costs and food and drink on site. Plus, the credit. Can’t forget that. Yes, yes, I’m interested! Hope to hear back this weekend. Hope they just send me the script and the shooting schedule (plans are to shoot between 7-10 December in Den Hague).

And I know! I know. Just shot myself in the foot, didn’t I? Yesterday’s post I bemoaned the idea of not having time to do what I want, and here I am making plans to jumble up my agenda and give myself even LESS time.

But…it’s a film. A real acting credit that might be seen by someone else. Something I can add to my IMDB page (yes, I have one).

And after all my crying and epiphanies and moments of self-realization, I can’t say no to my dreams when opportunities to make them happen are just handed to me on a platter.

Following that email was another email regarding the vids from the play. Nothing terribly important about it, just a ‘can’t wait to see them’ statement – but it came from the father of the board member who sent me the film opportunity. I feel a little pressure being put on me. Talked to my bro about it and decided I’ll proceed like a real, live grown-up. I’ll use his video work as a bargaining chip. I’m not gonna say ‘give me the role and get the video’, but I also feel if the role IS given to me, I need to make sure the group (and in particularly the board) stays sweet, so I’ll release it. Had to get my bro’s ok before I used his work like that. He’s all for it, naturally. He’d be all for me killing (literally) the competition if it got me what I wanted.

Now, I wait to hear from them. Have it all set to fall like dominoes at the word go.

And so, the Universe brings to me a solid damned reason to create boundaries. A real, live commitment that will force me to say at least once to my Monday teachers: I’m sorry, but I can’t do this homework. I’m too busy. Too busy with what? they’ll ask. And I want to learn how to say this in flawless Dutch:

I’m busy with making my dreams come true.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Meantime, the daily drudgery continues. Top on my list is to get Taman going. Dutch is going to the side-lines today. Maybe I’ll get a lot done and be able to work on Dutch tomorrow; maybe not. I’ve already put in a lot of time on my homework. What I will NOT do is sit around on my ass and create an emergency situation where I’m trying to finish Taman, do Dutch, and film at the same time. Forget it. I know what’s likely to come. I’ll prep for it. That includes doubling down on hand washing, eating well, getting to the gym, and sleeping enough – all that pesky shit I have to do to stay healthy. I had a passing thought of ‘well, if I fall sick now at least the play is over’. Uh-uh. Nope. Stay on the up. The wheel’s turning and I’ve got to be healthy and strong enough to grab it this time!

Goals within goals within goals. Other people stack plans or lies like that. For me, it’s goals. Stay healthy, so I can get the role. Get the role, so I can make connections. Make connections, so I can find someone interested in taking my work to film. Get someone interested in taking my work to film, so I can really have a career in writing. And if it just so happens that I become well known for my acting along the way, I won’t be complaining.

*snort* That’ll be a change of pace.

I find it difficult to stay calm in the midst of all these possibilities. Difficult to stay anchored, difficult to meld the heady dreams with the cold and somewhat greyed out reality of what it takes to get there. Difficult, too, to take the disappointments that come out of living like this. …Honestly, I don’t know that I’m ready. Don’t know that the world is ready to really see me. I’m not medicated (yet; the subject was touched on again by my bro). I still struggle with that concentrated emotion I seem to have so much of. There’s so much of me that’s unfinished.

But I’m ready to step out.