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Have you lost weight?

Oh, thank you, thank you! To an overweight person, particularly one not satisfied with her size, the above statement is probably the greatest opener you can use when you haven’t seen someone for a few months. I had the joy of hearing it yesterday, and even tho the scale stubbornly refuses to move (beginning to wonder if it’s broken), I felt uplifted.

My brother said I looked thinner because I was wearing my hair pulled back.

…Um…thanks for the honesty?

Tho I’m still not thrilled with the thickness of my body (that’s the problem, really – not the bulges or cellulite, but the thickness of my torso), I’m buoyed by my growing strength. 3.65 kilometers on the cross trainer. Go, baby, go! Did a little look-see online for cross trainer info. Apparently, that machine is supposed to mimic stair walking without the joint stress. I disagree. It’s more like walking through sand than it is walking stairs. Nonetheless, whether it’s walking stairs or walking through sand, 3.65 kilometers is impressive.

Let’s see that extra flab stick around NOW!

Need to head out today and find an ugly pair of pants at the charity shop. Keeps slipping my mind. Less than two weeks to curtain up; you’d think I’d remember! But, well…I had to send out a request to the director to please cue me in on Sunday’s dress rehearsal time and address. I’d think THAT would be something easy to remember, too, but seems I’m wrong. So I guess I can cut myself some slack. If the director can’t remember to inform one of his actors about a scheduled rehearsal, I can’t be blamed for forgetting to find an ugly pair of pants I’ll probably never wear again.

Also need to do my hair. Just gonna buy a cheap temporary color to cover the grey. No money for salon treatments. I’m even contemplating cutting it myself because it’s just out of hand. I’ve enough hair on my head for two people.

Got the second letter for my bro out to the publisher. Now it’s the waiting game. Gave them a whole chapter to look at. Hope I did well. Think I did.

Find I have to check my FB account every day for comments from my uncle. That famed social network just doesn’t work very well. I’m supposed to get an alert any time someone comments on my posts, but I find I don’t. I get a lot of alerts for groups I never said I wanted to join but somehow got into anyway. Found another comment, this time on a rather positive article about the Dutch agriculture industry. My uncle’s statement was: great, but what about overpopulation? I dithered for a moment – yep, actually had DOUBT – before I hit delete. Although there was nothing in his statement that I found offensive, it was coming from him – and as I said before, that fact colors everything out of his mouth. But what really tipped it to ‘hit delete’ for me was what I realized was very typical for him: that sideswipe comment that doesn’t really address the issue raised, but instead belittles the original statement or argument by attempting to distract and redirect to another issue HE wants to argue over. That, I take issue with. And that’s something he’ll never understand.

Right now, between the work outs and the upcoming performance, I could care less. Hit delete, then ignore. My focus is coming down to a pin-point. Forgetting what day it is, forgetting about language, forgetting about anything other than rehearsals and my role. Had a passing thought about writing the other day, and laughed at myself. Not gonna fall into that trap. I’ve set myself up for a masterful performance, and I’m not gonna blow it by losing my head in another story. I know who I have to be: her name is Wendy, and she is SO not me.

It’s just for a few more weeks. I know there’s another performance at the end of October, and I’ll need to keep the role fresh. But that’s later. Right now is right now, and I’m counting down to the first curtain up.

…Just a little obsessed. I know. But this is me using my obsession towards a goal. I know what I’m like – that one-track mind once I’ve taken hold of an idea. Perfect. Be Wendy. Not 24/7; don’t think I could stand myself to go that far. But keep her close. Once in a while I ask myself ‘what would Wendy do in this situation?’. I see things through her eyes for a moment. It serves to underscore our differences.

She is passive.

I’m active.

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I knew her

I called the number I found for L. There was a pause, while the lines made the long connections across the Atlantic. And then – a ring. My heart jumped. Two rings. What was it I was going to say? Three rings. I was ready to hear my old friend’s voice.

When a Midwestern drawl answered, I barely comprehended what was said. I kept on the line, listening as a pre-recorded message read off a list of extensions.

It was a company line.

Which means, of course, that the number’s been recycled. No one ever tells you that. That the new phone number you feel all shiny and happy about in your brand new home is probably from someone who died. Goddess! We pick the electronic bones of the dead.

Found a handful of photos. All of them were from one trip: our infamous Grand Canyon/birthday bash in Arizona. Most are too distant. L along the handrail by a huge backdrop. A few were taken at night, when we rented a limo to take us out to the clubs. I had a lousy camera at the time, and all of the nighttime pics are overexposed from the flash. But there’s one. One picture that shows the L I remember. We were in the car, taking some back roads to an out of the way hot spring we heard about. She’s driving, with sun glasses on. I must have told her to look at me for the pic; she turned, and in typical fashion of L at that time, she stuck her tongue out at me. That’s the picture. Not the ones of her and I trying to look grown up as we stood by the limo. Not the ones in the hats. That one, with her tongue sticking out. That’s the one that made me cry.

My brother was gone all afternoon; he’s found a band to work with and he was at his first rehearsal. When he came home, he was full of energy, full of stories about the day. I kept quiet, my responses limited to short exclamations of happiness on his behalf. It kept on that way all thru the evening: me wanting to bring all this up, yet saying nothing.

11 p.m. The last episode watched for the evening, I muted the tv. And in that heartbeat of silence, I told my brother what happened.

Not just about the phone call. About all of it. This obsession that came over me the last 48 hours. How, while waiting to make that phone call, I googled other things. Pictures and videos of my old home town. Walked the google street views from my old high school through the local village and up the hill to my dad’s house. Took a car trip along Lake Michigan. Places I’d travelled thousands of times in my youth. Places I could have driven blindfolded when I was 21.

There was little I recognized.

Buildings downtown, large skyscrapers – they’re still there. Still look the same. The lake is still there. Fair grounds: just as I remember.

But the trees were all different. Many were too tall, and now obstruct the view I grew to know as a young woman. Streets were widened. Shops had changed hands.

The more I looked, the more nostalgic I grew. It was a strange nostalgia, though. A ‘member-berry nostalgia. Because it wasn’t real. I knew that even as I felt those tugs at my heartstrings. These pictures didn’t include the heat, the humidity, the insects. The audio didn’t include the crassness, the ignorance, the bigotry. And even as I felt I’ve missed so much! I knew I hadn’t. I left because nothing ever happened.

Ended by searching my eldest brother. Figured I needed to see what info was available on him, someone I knew, before I could make a judgement on the info I had on L. Odd thing. I found a sales record of the family home in 2005. And a new address for my brother. He never mentioned selling the house or moving.

…You know, some idioms are like onions: so many layers, it takes a lot of peeling to get down to the core. You can’t go home is an idiom heavy on my mind today. Thought I fully grasped that one years ago. Turns out there was a whole other layer to it that I didn’t even know existed until it was ripped away.

I’m leaving the past behind. Letting it go. My brother agreed that, when we have a bit of extra cash, I can pay for a death certificate search for L through the state records. Just don’t know if I’ll ever hear anything from her daughter. For all I know, I was demonized in her eyes. The bad girl that led her mother astray. So I’ll rely on that cold confirmation of public records. But for me – I don’t want to lose today because I’m caught in memories of the past. So I’m snapping myself out of it. When I’m done with this post, it’s dishes and bed making, then off to the gym. Gonna run my lines for the play, and get some writing done. I’ll listen fully to my brother, engage in real conversation. Later in the week, I’ll take the metro downtown and just walk around, window shopping. Remind myself of where and when I am.

I could get that picture of L reproduced in a larger size. Get it framed, put it up on my wall. And maybe I will. But more than that, I want to write her. I don’t know that I’ll ever capture the person or entity I remember. I feel it my duty to try, though. She was and will always be someone who had a great influence over me.

And I have no doubt that I will see her again. Not in the same form, obviously. But I know we will meet again. Our friendship was one of those strange old soul things; we knew each other the moment we met in this life. It’s strange to say that, because I can’t honestly say I know that much about her physical life here. Who were her friends, other than me? I don’t know. What happened all those years we didn’t speak? I don’t know. But that…that’s surface stuff.

I knew her.

I want it to happen

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A rare word to my followers: thanks. I’ve picked up a few newbies this week, and received some comments that have boosted my mood. It’s gratifying to know someone out there connects with what I write. I’m late in replying, late in acknowledging awards, late in reading and commenting on your words – and I know it. That’s my bad. I haven’t forgotten you or meant to diss you. I’m just a bit lost in my own life.

My head is full of English. Another bad on me. Three people spoke to me at the pool this morning, and I did my fall back: smile, nod, and laugh a bit if their body language and facial expression indicates that’s appropriate. Make non-committal noises. Mmm-hmm and uh-huh are my two biggies. Did I understand them? A little. Not enough for two years living here, not enough in my book – although I’ll admit my book is a tall tome that’s intimidating to read and twice as scary to live. My grasp of Dutch is a constant struggle. And active listening is a pain in my ass! I want to hear and understand. Right now, I hear and have to think, translate, sort out the sounds that are thrown at me at such a fucking rapid pace I can barely distinguish where one word ends and another starts. It’s so much work!

The writing has begun. Nothing on paper. Nothing will go down on paper for a while. But the scenes have begun. The words are flowing. The ideas are coming. My time spent on the radio drama was very worthwhile; I’ve learned that short ideas grow into long pages all by themselves. All I need to do is find my short ideas, the three main areas I’ll circle around during each act. Act 1 is obvious: set up. Introduce the characters, the scene, the setting, the conflict. I know one character dies, tho I’m uncertain if that’s Act 2 or 3. And I’m thinking ahead, of the resolution. Do I end it with the end of the war? Not sure I like that idea. Too bleeding obvious.

Keep hearing music in this thing, too. Keep seeing characters burst into song. It’s not what I want to focus on, and I find it distracting. Though I’ve got to admit…I’ve had ideas for one or two songs that I might include. Showing the solidarity of these women through singing is appealing.

…Better check the rules. If they allow musicals…maybe. That’s all I’ll say. Maybe.

Shocker: came home from the pool to find my brother had the dishes done. I was doubly surprised considering he’s busy with writing and busy with beginning of the month stuff like paying bills. It was pretty nice, though. Volunteered to make an easy dinner tonight to take the stress of cooking off him.

Tomorrow I go downtown, get my blood tests done, and copies of the script printed up for Thursday’s read through. Where will my head be at by Friday morning? Should I even be thinking about that? Guess I’ve got to, on some level. There’s still the final touches on the radio script: last minute edits and final numbering. Technically, it’s not done yet. Just gotta keep it together a bit longer, though I already feel the pull of the next piece dragging me away from this world.

And I want it to happen.

Carnal Desire

It’s official. I’m mooning over my physiotherapist. Completely gone, daddy-o. Went so far as to find him on FB. I didn’t hit friend request, just looked at his page. Six out of his nine profile pictures are of him on the field with his football team. Somehow none of those pictures quite captures him; the flatness of the picture doesn’t do his smile justice at all. But for all and any interested, here’s the object of my obsession:

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And as I said to a friend this morning, the dude holding him is pretty damned cute, too.

I am on the brink of asking this very cute, much younger man out on a date. Honestly, he’s been intruding on my thoughts so much I think it might be better if I just bit the bullet and found out one way or another how he feels about me. My head is throwing up all sorts of walls. I mean, look at him. As far as I can tell, other than his game-time obsession with winning, he’s as clean-cut as he looks. Very sporty. Obviously very fit. Probably never smoked even once in his life.

I want to lick him from head to toe, then eat him up bite by bite.

Now, that’s been a surprise: how much he’s awakened my sexuality. I thought that part of me was long dead. It’s been 10 years since I’ve met someone I’m this attracted to. I wish it was someone I didn’t have a complicated relationship with. After all, he’s my physiotherapist. I’m pretty sure protocol would prohibit him asking me out, so it’s all on me. The prospect of hearing no, I don’t feel that way about you is really flipping scary. I used to be fearless. Wouldn’t bat an eye. But those were the days I could get four phone numbers in one night. Now, after a ten year dry spell, it feels like there’s a lot more riding on the answer than there used to be.

And damn it!! I’m bleeding well aware that at the moment we have very little in common. He’s a sport geek. I don’t even understand his chosen sport. I mentioned I was reading Anna Karenina; he didn’t know the book, much less Tolstoy. There are some very deep seated foundational differences between us, and that more than anything is putting me off. I know – and have experienced – that some differences can enrich us: as one partner learns about another, their own world expands. It’s not like the two of us can’t talk! That’s all we do during my appointments, other than his manipulations of my body.

But I know all too well what this is: carnal desire. At the end of the day, that’s it. I’d be far more put off if we couldn’t even talk to each other, but I’d be kidding myself and everyone else if I said what I’m feeling is more than that. Don’t know how time outside the bedroom might go. Don’t know that I’d want to spend a lot of time outside the bedroom with him.

If I choose to start riding this roller coaster, will I be able to get off? Could I even say no to those eyes?

Would I even want to?

A bit drained

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Obsession came to visit. That kind of state where hours fly by and you don’t notice. For me, it included staying on my feet beyond what I should have. Five hours after saying ‘I’m turning on the studio’ and I was gasping with pain as I sat back down. Just didn’t notice it at all until I took a break, and then it all hit me at once. Ow. Ooo. Yikes.

I did break thru that wall. Got my rough underlay of ‘FINE” (btw, an underlay is music only so you can rehearse singing). Then I proceeded to wake up the gravel that my voice has become. Months without singing and everything is a bit off. Finally it was time to stop nagging at myself and start getting vocal lines roughed in. Took several tries to get CLOSE to what I want to  hear. Of course all the vocals will get re-recorded for the finals. Give my voice a month of singing three times a week and I’ll be back to where I should be. BUT I got four tracks down: a whisper, a mumble, and two straight on singing. This is a song about anxiety and irritability, so the voices are getting layered for that too many things at once feel. Very NIN in feel. My bro said it’s aggressive, but the kind of aggression that can sell. That’d be cool. Making money sounds good. Right now I’m just wound up in the creation of the sound. Get it right and I’ll never have to tell anyone what the song is about. They’ll get it in the first 40 seconds.

On the heels of FINE, which I took a rough recording of because I had the board set, I moved on to another song that’s been waiting for vocals. Again, I put something down tho it made me cringe and laugh at my own attempts. This thing is a rap, and I am terminally white. Can’t rap for shit. I sound like a privileged suburban American upper middle class nerd girl, which is pretty fucking close to the truth. Yeeesh! Never thought this new material was really for my voice. I’m turning into a songwriter rather than a performer and THAT’S OKAY. Or I’m telling myself it is. Damned difficult thing to work on a song you KNOW is a good song but your own voice makes it sound lame. Fuck.

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Housework is still sitting there, undone, because I didn’t do any of it and my bro usually rolls his sleeves up for housework once every six months. That’s a bit annoying. He always says ‘you get to it [dishes, dusting, cleaning the floor] just before me’. I’m not sure if that’s true or not. Sometimes I think he comes out of his room and says that out of guilt. Whatever. On days when I have nothing else to do, leave me all the housework, please. Keeps me busy. On other days, I’d like someone else to step in to do the dishes and clean the mirrors and all that shit. Because working on my projects, whether it’s music or writing, is more important than keeping my personal space clean. And let’s face it: the most depressing thing about housework is it never goes anywhere. Dirty dishes just stack up. Dust bunnies get more numerous. Garbage overflows. It’s not like skipping a day to put energy into my music or writing means I get to start with a clean slate the next day. No. Then I get twice the amount of housework because it wasn’t done at all.

..Received a reply from my uncle today on my ‘opinion’ that he wanted so much. It was regarding a political issue, and my missive probably clocked in around 1200 words. He asked if it was okay to share it with other people. A political thing. Apparently it’s okay to freely share private emotional information with others but you’d better fucking ask permission if you share political or world views with anyone. Geez! My fucking family! Black is white and white is black; we walk on the sky and isn’t that sun purple. *shakes head*

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Seems to me the weekends whip around me lately. I hit a point when I realize it’s Friday, then the next thing I know I’m facing Monday and a whole other week again. Time is speeding up on me. I must be getting more involved in life. Never quite feels that way when it’s Saturday morning and I’m facing an entire day with no specific plans to get me out of the house. Then the weekend stretches away and I wonder how I’m going to fill it up. But damn! Some timewarp pixie must come in to my bedroom on Saturday nights and sprinkle me with magic dust because by Sunday my viewpoint has completely shifted. The weekend is fleeting, gone too fast, and here comes my next appointment with Heike.

My printer is on the fritz, so I’m taking the time to write out my notes by hand. No one said make notes, but I feel this last week was such a head twist for me that I need to communicate what happened. I can get muddled on dates when under stress, so forget that. It’s note time. Of course, I’ve already got that inked in capital ‘A’ standing out on Friday. Can’t miss that one. Made sure of it. But the calendar doesn’t contain checkboxes for so many things, like losing it or crying uncontrollably. Or wanting to lie. Man, I’ve wanted to lie. Especially on the two days since my blow out that I’ve smoked 6, not 5 Js. It’s been so tempting to not include that last check. I almost did it again; yesterday was a sixer. So far I’ve remained honest. I want to keep it that way.

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Holding fast to my commitment to honesty is more difficult than I imagined. I said those words thinking about my need to talk about my past. About my thoughts. Not about my actions. I’m finding admitting the truth about my actions to be the hard part. Yes, I rolled and smoked that 6th one. Yes, I knew it was one more than I wanted to smoke that day. Yes, I said fuck it. And I keep bringing myself back to 5. I keep making those checks and holding myself accountable.

I. am gonna. get through this. Fuck! I feel a bit drained.

Another Whine: Talking to Obese Wraiths

I woke up this morning talking aloud. My feet had barely hit the ground out of bed by the time my mouth started to form words and arguments to….my sister.

Sometimes when I start talking aloud it’s just to me, to hear the words vibrate in the air around me. Other times, it’s stuff that’s being mentally vomited up – like this morning. GODDESS, I hate my sister! I hate her so much I can’t even sustain that level of hate anymore; it’s burned down into glowing embers of resentment that pop and spit out sparks every once in a while. I really want to make her hurt. I want to strip away all of her defense mechanisms and leave her weeping. I want to hold up my mind and memories as a mirror and show her what a circus freak she really is.

Spent many, many hours imagining my sister being ripped in two by a horde of rampaging zombies. It’s my favorite death for her, and modeled closely after some of the great zombie deaths I’ve seen in films. I smile even as I write this, thinking about her body being torn and her intestines being ripped out and eaten while she’s still alive. Happy thoughts.

That’s sick, isn’t it?

See, I know it’s sick. I don’t really care. It was the only image that allowed me to let go of that all consuming anger towards her in the first place. And even as I see that wonderful dream in my head over and over again, I know in reality I would never want my sister dead. Because when she’s dead she can’t suffer, and I believe she deserves every moment, every inch of suffering this world has to offer.

See? Sick. I want her to hurt. I know why; THAT’S not a problem. She hurt me, I want revenge. It’s in the top 5 automatic reactions humans are wired for. I don’t blame myself for feeling that way or imagining the zombie scenarios. But I DO acknowledge that a completely healthy and generally happy mind would NOT be doing what mine does; hence, my concern.

Yeah, I know I’m beating a dead horse here. I’ve bashed my sister for years, and will continue to bash her forever more if I don’t find a way to grow out of this. We don’t talk anymore. We don’t have to. I know every response, every nuance and look she’d throw at me. I know all the manipulations, the biting putdowns, the selective burns. I know all the doubt she’d instill in my heart – doubt in myself.

It’s very difficult to have someone in your life who claims everything you think, feel, and remember is false. Yeah, I know she’s not really in my life anymore; I’ve completely blocked her out. Yet just like my mother who died many years ago, I can’t shake the sister I’ve got in my head. She was too big an influence. She was there too much to ignore or forget. She hurt me too many times. I know she’s still out there, just like the stalker. And, just like the stalker, I know my sister harbors a huge well of ill will towards me and she’ll use it each and every opportunity she has. She hurts me deliberately and she doesn’t stop with a surface wound.

Vomit. Digital vomit. Vomitvomitvomitvomitvomit.

I must have had some sort of dream last night that’s setting me off. I sure as hell don’t remember it, but I can think of no other logical reason why I’m so damned wound up this morning over that BITCH to whom I don’t even speak anymore. She’s kind of like Voldemort in my house: she is SHE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED. I’ve got a nickname for her; the ugliest woman’s name I could think of. I don’t use her real name when discussing her because that names links her to me by family and she is NO family of mine. Most of my ‘family’ is not family to me, and they proved that a long time ago.

fuckfuckfucfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckingfuck!

Damn it I can whine about this for fucking ever. Feels like I have been.

You know what? I want to be at a place where, when someone asks me about my family I can say, “oh, we’re not really close” or some such little statement that says it all and nothing at the same time and LEAVE IT AT THAT. Not go into detail. Not tell people my life story. And I want to be able to say it without malice or regret; just a statement of fact and then move on. No further thoughts left dangling; no memories stirred up to haunt me.

And no more waking up to argue with insubstantial wraiths in my head. Or, in my sister’s case, obese wraiths. That would be nice.

Shaken, Shaky, and Shamed: Personal Update

It’s a full week since my last post, and, more importantly, a full week since my pelvic exam which threw me into a world of horror. I’m still not in a good space. My head has not been troubled by circular thoughts I can’t banish. That’s refreshing, at least. But my body’s been holding onto the pain.

It took 5 days before the “physical” pain subsided – quotations are used because I really don’t know if it was just physical or psychological or a combination and I’m not going to make that call here. But my body is still very, very tight. Yes, there was constipation. Still is a bit. Odd truth: I can’t seem to keep enough water in my system. I drink water all day long, but my hands remain prune-wrinkled. Since I’m not doing dishes or anything else that would make my fingers look like that I’m assuming it’s dehydration. But no matter how much water I drink I just pee it out and my hands remain looking dehydrated. So I don’t know.

I keep testing my subconscious and failing. Every time I imagine the exam in my head I catch my body twitching: my torso tightens up, my legs clamp together and I get very rigid. It takes a lot of deep breathing and effort to make myself relax after that, and it shouldn’t. I shouldn’t be reacting this way at all. But I am, and it’s just one more symptom I’m carrying right now that tells me my conscious mind has shoved everything into the closet and it’s stewing back there.

This week I have to do something I’m finding very difficult to do. I must see my doctor again. Yes, she was there during the exam. The shame I feel over my reaction is so deep I’m having a hard time making the appointment to see her. Unfortunately, I have no other option. My next counseling session is coming up and I need a new referral letter from my GP to check for bipolar in order for my counselor to proceed.

My head has been screaming since I realized this. I’ve never heard so much back sliding in my own mind. Oh, I don’t want to do this! Here’s a bit:

You’re not really bipolar. You’re just neurotic and mimicking the symptoms. Checking for it is a waste of time. You know it is. You’re not qualified to make any judgements, and you know only fools diagnose themselves.Besides, as soon as you step into her (my GP’s) office she’s going to want to talk about the exam and you don’t want to talk about the exam. Never, never, never. Don’t touch me. Get away. Leave me alone. Even if you can dodge a big conversation about what happened she’s going to want to talk to you about the whole bipolar thing. No one is going to believe you’re bipolar because you sleep too much. That’s just the fact of it; you heard it yourself last counseling session. You’re just an out of control neurotic with who knows what other shit is going on type of person.

ugh….*mental puke* I can pull that up to write it down but it isn’t easy to let it go. Don’t really feel like I have let it go, just shoved it under the covers.

For fuck’s sake I feel like I’m prepping to go to war and it’s just not that big a fucking deal!!!!! Just make the fucking appointment with your damned GP and GET IT OVER WITH. Talk to her. Yes, you’ll be embarrassed. Of course. You were during the fucking exam. Deal with it. And yes, maybe she’ll judge what you have to say: that’s HER problem. You need this so get the fuck out of your chair and make the goddamn fucking appointment!

…….I heard in the news this morning about some publicity stunt Clinton pulled with Putin and a ‘reset button’. I wish I had a reset button. I’d hit it with no regrets………

And even as that’s written down I know it’s a lie. I wouldn’t. I’d be very, very tempted right now. However, I’m an old SF fan, so the story of resetting one’s life and then turning into a jerk is far too familiar to me. It’s the pain and rejection in our lives that truly end up defining us: they cause us to react, whether we want to or not. We make choices, we move on. Things change. And when that happens, we learn (or so I bloody well hope. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one on this damned planet TRYING to learn). With luck, we become better people. But if I could hit a reset button for myself that rid me of the rape, the abortion, last week’s exam, and all the other ugly and horrible memories I have without touching anything else…..

Would it be so bad to be untouched by some of the horror I’ve seen? Would I be so bad if I remained untouched by it? I can’t answer either of those questions, of course. Still, the questions remain in my heart. I can’t help but wish for a life where none of it happened. Because I think if I had that life I’d be happy. Every time I imagine it I’m smiling. But that’s not the truth, and I know it.

The truth is I’ve had ’emotional’ problems right from the beginning of my life. My earliest memory? A recurring b&w nightmare I had as a child. The first emotion I can remember feeling? Guilt. Those two facts alone point to early life problems that had nothing to do with the rape, the abortion, or last week’s exam. Add these early life facts to the equation:

  1. Recurring stress induced illnesses as a child: If I was worried about something big coming up chance were 100% I’d be running a fever and vomiting by the morning. Every. Time.
  2. Recurring poor relationships with women: My very first friend in kindergarden was over playing one day. I had a new book of stickers – beautiful bird stickers. I showed them to her. As she was leaving I caught her with them stuffed up the back of her shirt. The sharpness of this particular memory is strange: I remember so well her lying to me, and saying she hadn’t know they were there. To date, number of true female friends in my life: 1. And I managed to fuck that one up.
  3. Recurring mood swings: My depressive moods have always been easy to see for anyone caring enough to look. However, people who have encountered me when I’ve been on ‘a high’ emotionally can never reconcile that person with the depressive. I’ve even been accused of having split or multiple personalities.
  4. Recurring self destructive behavior: Sex without protection? Yes. Alcohol abuse? Yes. Drug abuse? Yes. Maxing out credit cards? Yes. Exercising to the point of hurting myself? Yes. Taking on too much work? Yes. Do I have to go on here?
  5. Recurring irritability: My dad used to say I’d have “a hard on for the world”. No topic, no comment, no situation, NOTHING can occur that will elicit anything nice out of me. Everything falling from my lips is dripping with anger, blame, sarcasm, and dare I say it – irrational fury. As a woman growing up during the time I did, the most common question asked of me was: having your period? Yes, that served to infuriate me even more. No, don’t get in my way when I’m like that because I will take your head off, drink your blood, and LIKE it.

……The one thing I truly regret in my life is learning how to lie with words. I was taught so early to not talk about my problems, to misdirect with what I say, that I have a real hard time talking about it now, when I need to. So once again in my life I must fall back on Yoda’s wisdom: I must unlearn what I have learned.

In the System: My first appointment

Wednesday I saw a counselor for the first time in my life. I’m kind of jumbled up about it. It was easier than I worried over; the person who spoke to me was fluent in English. Unfortunately, it was also a woman. I have a real hard time with this – I’m a woman myself, and always damned glad to see another woman in high end professions, but I don’t want my counsellor to BE a woman cause I’m not comfortable with them. They trigger all my mother and sister issues and no matter how hard I try not to I spend a lot of time trying to please them. But I walked into the appointment expecting trouble, so I was well prepped mentally. I almost choked when I told her I thought I was bipolar (had a very short out of body feeling when it came out of my mouth) but I did get it out and we talked about it. The upshot of everything is this: I’ll be headed back ASAP to see a psychiatrist to determine if I really am bipolar. The counselor was very clear about one thing: I beat myself up. Yep. She got that one right; heard it all my life and am completely unable to stop it for the long haul. I HAVE improved – there was a day I wore holes in my back from doing too many sit-ups, and I don’t do that kind of thing anymore. But I do push myself, berate myself, and generally give myself a really hard time. I know that. Sometimes it’s the only thing that gets me up doing SOMETHING other that sitting around all day smoking a joint and losing myself in music or video games. And if I wasn’t harsh on myself I’d be as fat as my sister – who, by her own account, once topped 360 lbs at 5 foot 6 inches. Fat, fat, fat! Jumped off the track of my thoughts there. Sorry, got caught in the fat loop. I have a new understanding for anyone undergoing psychiatric evaluation. After questioning me about my sleep habits, the counselor told me that I was still within the ‘norm’. But it’s not normal for me (which I told her). And when I say I spend 7 hours in bed, it doesn’t mean I spend 7 hours sleeping. It means I spend 7 hours lying prone on my bed letting my body rest. I’m usually playing sudoku for at least 1 of those hours and I toss and turn during a lot of the rest. But, just like in a court case with a witness being questioned by an attorney, the counselor led the questioning and didn’t always allow me enough time to fully give her all my info. I know that’s partly due to the fact that I’m manic right now (told her that) and I’m far more wordy than I need to be. Plus I get off track a lot. Talk about frustrating! She did bring up medication. I’ve thought a lot about this, especially since I went cold turkey off all my meds (including an anti-depressant) when I moved to the Netherlands because I wasn’t fully registered, didn’t have health insurance, and had a lot of bills from the move. It was the toughest 10 weeks I’ve had to live through and I don’t know that I could do it again. On the other hand, I’m very ready to move on with my life and be happy. Maybe even have some friends. And if there’s a medication out there that could give me that – even if it’s only for a short period of time – well…Let’s just say I’m so hungry for normality in my life that I think I’m ready to risk the side effects and any possible future scenarios just to see what it feels like for a while. Goddess, I hope I’m not making a mistake. One more thing. It was worth it all; the pre-worrying, the frustration, the fear, JUST to say to someone else that my sister is, in my opinion, the biggest sadistic bitch that walks this planet – and have it noted down. THAT felt good.

A Bad Morning: Letter to the Universe

May 12, 2015

Dear Universe,

You were shitty this morning. Outright.

I woke up an hour early – 5:30 am – because I was excited about heading to the pool. It’s not that I don’t appreciate being reminded how nice dawn is; I do, and I enjoyed that early morning buzz from air that’s been cleansed overnight and left so fresh each breath is like a hit of nitrous. I practically danced to the swimming pool, enjoying some INXS melding with bird song, only to find you were in a bitchy mood.

For some reason, they wouldn’t let me swim without giving them a phone number. My Dutch is very limited; I’m a lazy scholar, I’ve only been living here 8 months, and frankly it’s only been the last few weeks I’ve even been ready to tackle the language. So I really couldn’t grasp what was the reason for all of it, only that I couldn’t participate this morning like I was looking forward to because, of course, I didn’t bring my phone. I REALLY didn’t expect to need a phone at 8:30 am. In the pool. And sorry, but memorizing phone numbers is just a thing of the past with me. *sigh*

I know it’s probably pretty small of me to feel so disappointed over this. All I need to do is go back next week. I could even go back earlier than the class and get this whole thing sorted out. They DO have open pool hours each day. It’s only the class that happens once a week. So I could go back with my phone, get all the paperwork or whatever they need done, and viola! Welcome to pool-time.

Unfortunately, you triggered my ‘all or nothing’ button. My first reaction was ‘fuUUUUCK YOU!’. If I can’t do it now, forget it all together. I realize that’s counterproductive and won’t get me anywhere, but I’d be lying if I told you anything else. After a few nanoseconds, I looked at my other options. If they really need my phone number and I don’t know it, then I’ve got to have my phone on me when I go swimming. Since I didn’t, my only option was to head back home. I have to say the journey back was very different from the journey there. I still had INXS on and the birds were still singing, but my mood was very black and it took a lot of self control to not storm back like Darth Vader stalking the halls of the Death Star. And I can’t say I was all that successful, either.

I do feel successful at having made a decision sticking to it. I decided that I was NOT going to let you sucker me into hurting myself by walking back too fast to get my phone and then hurrying to try to make the class this morning. You can’t keep fooling me that way; I’ve learned my lesson. I did note, after returning home, that there’s an open swim time at 11 this morning. I’ve not made up my mind to go yet; after what you pulled this morning I’m leaving it open. My body isn’t used to being up at 5:30 am lately, so I might poop out early.

The pattern here is clear to me: I get too focused on a future event happening a certain way and when it doesn’t play out that way my mood goes down the toilet. The problem is, I don’t know how to break it. Where’s the line between happy imaginings of future events and obsessing? I don’t need hindsight on this: it does me no good to see I’ve been obsessing only once my mood hits rock bottom.

Shit. Why couldn’t you just have let me swim this morning rather than bringing all this up?