Are you learning?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I care.

And I always have.

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

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

Are you listening, my children?

Are you learning?

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Unstuck in time

A-a-agony! I’ve sat on my arse long enough to waken the back monster. Ow. I suppose lugging my heavy books around yesterday didn’t help.

Class was fun. Me and my bro and four other students. My teachers were welcoming to T, and he got a chance to show off his translated music theory book to them. He did well, too – keeping up with our in-class work and getting at least 50% of the answers right (he, of course, focused on the 50% he got wrong – a good reminder of what I must sound and look like). Next week is screwed up with holidays as well, and the teachers asked him if he’d like to come back. After that, he needs to apply for a class transfer thru the org that gives lessons. Two lessons with us will give him a good idea if he can make the move up. I think he’s more than ready. And, if I’m honest, worrying about T – whether or not he knew a word or understood the instructions – kept me from worrying about me. I just answered as best I could and laughed at myself when I didn’t know what to say. So it ended up being one of the lightest and most fun classes I’ve had.

And after starting the day with so much nothing in me, having fun by the afternoon was a real relief. I grinned for real, laughed for real, relaxed for real. Gods, I love school. So much. Learning is fun. Okay, I sound like some public service announcement, but it’s true for me. I get a real rush of excitement when I spell a word correctly or answer a difficult question well. Yesterday we worked on antonyms. I’ve done some of that: left, right; up, down, etc. This was, naturally, a step up in difficulty. My teachers know I’m a big reader, so they chose a hard word for me: ordinary (gewoon). I barely use the word at all, and have only sussed out the meaning thru my reading. My first guess was ‘ongewoon’, adding on the ‘on’ in Dutch that is akin to the ‘un’ in English. That got everyone to laugh. Then, out of this fog of unknowing, a word popped up for me: bijzonder. I knew it was correct, tho it is yet another word I don’t use when I speak because it’s only a word I know thru my reading. Same thing happened again later: I came up with the correct answer even tho I’m not using the word. It’s all thru my reading; I know more words than I think I know. Same thing happened to me with English when I was a kid. I find it freakier in Dutch than in English, tho.

Today: gotta go to the gym. Agonize my way over there, hurt for an hour on the treadmill. Get moving again. Open up that back. Well, there I go: in the end, the pain will drive me back to some sort of exercise routine. Shouldn’t sweat it so much.

Will tackle homework while my enthusiasm is so high. I always do more when I feel like this. Still have lots to do, and I have a new word puzzle to wrestle with this week.

It’s been raining for days on end now. Greyed out, wet, windy, colder. Does not entice me to go out much. At least there’s no chance of drought in the foreseeable future.

Want to get back to this comedy I’m tinkering with. The first act is turning into a set-up. I’m using stereotypical archetypes familiar to us thru television and film. Setting: a space ship. So yes, there’s a captain who’s pulling off the impossible, a first officer who’s offering up all sorts of suggestions (and who’s a ladies’ man), a science officer devoid of emotion, a hot-shot pilot, a sexy communications officer, and a combative security officer. I want it played hammy, shown exactly for what it is. Act 2 is where the twist comes in, and things change. Still don’t know how or if I’ll get them ‘home’ again. Most of these types of stories end by bringing your characters back to the original set point having learned something about themselves. Hm. Tho an idea did just pop into my head…

Boy, I like my computer. Typing is so much faster and easier than writing things out by hand. Pull up the file, make notes, add question marks where I’m unsure of my ideas (???), and boom; I’m done. I have a chance of keeping up with my head by typing. I’d need to learn shorthand to do it by hand.

Feels like I’m a bit unstuck in time. Just floating. Tuesday? Yeah, I guess it is. Feels like a Friday, tho. Fridays are days to begin shutting down and concentrating on me and my stuff. Tuesdays are days to take care of things in the world: work, errands, stuff you need to do but don’t really want to do. Like…going to the gym and walking for an hour.

Well, that still leaves me a lot of hours in the day. And hopefully my back will feel better.

…Holy shit. It’s May. Didn’t quite realize that.

I’m more unstuck in time than I thought.

Bump on a log

Bump on a log. I have sat for days, zombie-like, in front of my computer or the tv, not really hearing much, not really seeing much. My brain has felt fully empty – an oxymoron, I know, but that’s what it’s felt like: so much emptiness there’s no room for thought. What do you want for dinner? I don’t know. What are you gonna do today? I don’t know. When are you gonna start writing again? I don’t know. There is so much ‘I don’t know’ to sit and ponder over I can barely make a start on the basics, like dishes or making my bed.

This is my process. I begrudgingly accept it: the lengthy instances of sitting on my ass and seemingly doing nothing. I was taught this was wrong. Something to fight against. Oh, the years of harassment and nagging! The inevitable guilt I feel when it happens. I know I am a bump on a log. I know I sit there and sit there. It’s what I need. Just like the early mornings, the pacing sessions, the web searches. My brother handles this better than I. He is unfailing cheery, unfailing willing to pick up the slack I leave sitting around (for the most part; the dishes still aren’t done). It would be annoying if I paid more attention to what’s going on.

Ach, that’s two dishes references in as many paragraphs. Guess we all know what my trigger is.

Finally made a start on the dreaded tech notes check. Taking it slow. Trying to not drive myself insane.

Finished my latest Roald Dahl and began another. Have a loosely scheduled trip to the library today…sometime. Fine. Get me out. It’s been days…I think. Saturday? When was the last time I left the house? …Probably Thursday, when I took out the recycling. Yeah. Well, if I have to think that hard about it, I need to get out. A little metro ride, a little walk, return the book, pick up some smoke, a metro ride home. All in the sunshine.

*sigh* Keep forgetting to take my pill on time. I began at noon, brought it up to 11 a.m., but now it’s scooted back to 1:30 because I keep bloody well forgetting. I’d like to get it to either my pills in the morning or pills in the evening, but neither of those times are set in stone and my anti-depressant needs to be a bit more regular. So I’m floating. Trying to find a time I’m always aware of – now that’s difficult. Not sure what to do.

The tapping stopped, for the most part. I can go off into it at any time. It’s right there in my feet. But I’ve found if I don’t start, I can prevent another afternoon of incessant sound. And…keeping my shoes off helps.

… _ _ _ … (that’s SOS in text code, for those of you wondering…)

Some of the fog is clearing. I’m beginning to think again now and then. My brain really does go far, far away when it creates and when it comes back it’s like a snap into focus. I become aware in an instant of many things simultaneously: undone work, my surroundings, my brother’s mood, the weather. I can feel this coming to an end. I am ready to get back to something like a routine, albeit a summer routine. Not sure now what I’ll write. I was so certain, the other day, but now… Now I feel very different threads coming together in my brain. There’s something else up there waiting to give birth, and it’s almost ready. Or…it’s ready enough to sit and gestate quietly now that it’s kicked its twin out of the womb. I can wait. I know how it goes when I wait: an easy birth. One great push and out it comes. Cool. Just give me that frontal lobe back, please. I need it for my day to day.

Been haunting my emails again, hoping the theatre group would just pull themselves together enough to begin talking about auditions without me nudging them. No such luck. I’ll need to write something to the board member and the director. Worried about bugging them too much. The director, especially. But auditions should have at least a week’s notice; in my mind, two weeks would be better. It’s almost the end of April. That puts them mid-May at best. If everyone thinks they can pull this together after summer holiday, I’m willing to let them try but there’s one condition: I want the actors to have the script over the summer, so they can read the story. Once you know the story, the lines are simple. They follow the action. It’s logical, scene to scene. Just…read it.

Every day is too long, yet flies by. Maybe it’s the sameness. Everything blends into one big mass of blah. Sun, heat, tv, games, Dutch, dishes. Over and over. My wrist continues to hurt. It’s annoying, and keeps waking me up at night. Maybe it’s time to take out the big pain pills. The paracetamol ain’t doin’ it.

I want to scrape myself off myself, if that makes any sense. Scratch this tired repetitive zombie off me. Rinse it down the drain in the shower. Say ‘goodbye, inaction’ and become that calm, forward moving person I know I can be. I’m almost there. Please be patient with me a little longer.

Have this bad feeling this summer will be tough on my RA. It’s not even May and I’m contemplating morphine pills for my wrist pain. Fuck. And you know what the worst thing is? If I say something about it, I’ll hear the old make sure to get regular exercise stuff. How does walking or using the cross trainer help my wrist? No one’s ever been able to tell me. They just repeat how important regular exercise is, like I didn’t know.

Summer: my hands and feet swell. My knees and back get bad. Does not matter what I do or don’t do. And I love the idea of summer. Warm sunshine. I have great memories of summer activities.

But now… Now, summer puts me into bump on a log mode. Thinking in dark rooms. Babying my hands and feet because of pain. It’s a natural de-evolution.

Bump on a log.

Balance

It is NOT just withdrawal. Nope. Indulged after my 4am freak storm. While I felt a bit better, it didn’t stop the feeling of a knife sliding into my temple. It’s a light sensation compared to what I’ve been through but still there. No…this isn’t just withdrawal. This is something else. Neuralgia? Maybe. Not for me to diagnose. Just for me to live through.

My biggest fear in all of this is they’ll end up saying ‘it’s stress’. And then every time I complain about something, that’ll be their first go-to explanation. It’s a discount. And it’s why I don’t go to the doc with every single complaint. I know my body reacts to stress. I know about sleep problems, digestion problems, headaches, etc. because I’ve lived it. This ain’t any of that. Or if it is, it’s at a new, hitherto unexperienced level. That’s scary. Just contemplating it is scary.

Woke up to a shitload of crap in my inbox. Mostly junk. But one email from the theatre group. It was ‘Hey everybody! The date for watching the video is coming up fast. Where are we meeting?’ I didn’t even know the date was coming up fast; no one told me a date had been decided on. I sent a note back saying ‘Didn’t know the date had been set. I know I’m not on your social network, but please let me know when and where. I’d like to see the video with everyone.’ Hope that wasn’t mean or nasty. Didn’t mean it to be. But…really! I have to roll my eyes with these people. They’re all so “connected” yet they can’t keep me informed? If they used the tools they tout, like Facebook (which we’re all on), this wouldn’t happen. It’s their insistence that FB is old school and out of date that creates this situation with me out of the loop. In my eyes, that’s one more way to just exclude me. You’re old school, you’re out of date, no one uses that anymore. Then why try to use it to advertise the group? Why claim you’ll communicate thru one medium and then throw that away and make it difficult by using another medium that not everyone in the group has?

…Gods. Whatever. I’m not putting all my eggs in that basket.

Been talking with my bro about producing my scripts via his company. He’s under pressure to produce something, some product that uses Dutch people and is done right here. I want to see my work done. Yesterday we got a flyer from a place within walking distance that’s got sound proofed rehearsal rooms and a small recording studio. Our home studio is…well, shoved in a corner, under wraps, and currently needs some repairs to be back to 100% usefulness. This new place advertises room rates that we could afford. My brother is beginning to be excited. I’ve been spending loads of time on YouTube, culling through all the unsolved mysteries and creepy stories looking for new subject matter. Why not do my scripts? We can monetize them on-line. Frankly, I’m sick and tired of hearing about internet millionaires while simultaneously seeing such a small trickle of income reach me. So the talk is now of renting rooms, finding actors, producing my scripts. My thriller trilogy is so sound intensive it can easily be turned into an audio script. And I’ve already got a radio script set to produce. Find a few creepy pictures to accompany the productions, and viola. The idea hits all the bases: my brother’s need to produce something here using Dutch people, my desire to have my work done, it’s within our financial abilities, and it’ll be something that can generate some money.

I like that. Something real I can hang my hat on. Something I know I can trust. Not blindly sending out, never hearing squat again. Not teasing me, almost making the cut. Not dependent on some mysterious board decision or someone else’s assessment of whether or not they can pull it off. The sound can be exactly what I want. Oh, I know how to make you shiver!

Managed to get back to reading Dutch. My language skills are weird. Don’t know if everyone goes through this or not. It’s like puzzle pieces falling into place. I look at the sentences; sometimes I get it right away and sometimes not, depending on the words used. If I don’t get it, I stare. I re-read. And then it kind of slides into place. Something clicks in my head, and I get it. I don’t know how I’m doing it. But every time I do do it and run to my dictionary to check and see if I’ve got it right, I’ve got it right. Reminding myself I did this with English. I have one or two memories of doing it. As a kid I didn’t question that kind of nonverbal understanding. As an adult, it scares me a bit. Makes me question myself. I keep asking ‘is that right?’ But the words are coming. My head gobbles them up, whether or not I want it to. I can feel it. A word becomes a stand-out for me. I become uncomfortably aware of it in all its versions. Slowly the meaning gets seared into my brain. It’s weird. Just plain weird. I’m not getting the language from repetition, tho that helps in recognition. It’s something deeper than repetition. Once again, I can’t explain it because I just don’t have the right words. Or maybe the right words don’t exist, at least in English. Maybe I’ll find them in Dutch.

Want to get out of the house today, if my stomach lets me. Go for some fresh air and walk around the neighborhood. I know I need it.

I’ve been off for months.

I need to re-establish balance.

Hang in there

Bad things come in three. I was told that as a child and, strange though it seems, it’s held true in my life.

Today’s calamity: a broken molar and infection. Just back from the dentist. Found the infection last night, headed off first thing today. It’s not at the root, and there’s nothing they can do about the break, so it’s out with it. The doc said I have to go to hospital for the procedure, that he was afraid if he did it there’d be complications and I’d end up at hospital anyway.

Oh, yes. Let’s compound my dental horror with a phone call in Dutch. Got through it, though. I have an appointment in two weeks, and hope between a little bit of good luck and my pain pills that I can make it to the appointment without my face ballooning up or me screaming in agony.

Hell.

And that’s on top of me gathering up every ounce of courage yesterday and making that appointment with the psychiatrist (set for 22 March).

Gods. Getting old sucks.

My bro has an appointment here with some web consultants this morning, so I’m not smoking in the house. And I cut my smoking short outside the house, because it’s early and everyone’s dragging toddlers and small children around to school or creches. Ye Gods! Nothing will make you feel more like a drug addict than standing outside a building at 9 am. blowing a joint as people take their kids to school.

Doing my best to be brave. Really, really afraid right now. Doodbang (scared to death), as the Dutch say. Best to distract myself as much as possible.

I’m not fucking around; took a pain pill when I got back from the dentist and I will continue to gobble them the moment I feel any bit of pain from my jaw. Fuck it. I’ll deal with any backlash from a morphine spree once the problem is solved. Just wanted to be absolutely fucking clear on that.

Managed to bumble through the remainder of my homework. My brain worked hard to understand the article and accompanying questions. Don’t know that I actually got it; I’ll find that out on Monday. But I gave it a go, and didn’t just throw my hands up in the air and NOT do it. I get points for trying, right?

Finished Roald Dahl, started on the second book. So far, so good. It’s a story. Some of what I was reading was nothing more than lines of sentences strung together. No adjectives, no motives, no reasoning. Just ‘he did this; he said that’. SNORE. I know that’s the soup de jour in literature, particularly American literature, but SNORE! I find it boring. If the moon doesn’t sail or the stars don’t twinkle…well, it’ ain’t my world. Go live in your grown-up, no frills, everything in shades of grey with lashings of sadomasochism shit hole of a world. Go fuck each other, lie to each other, betray each other, cheat, steal, and be the horrors that every mother everywhere dreads.

I reject that. Totally.

…Still have not made a phone call to get my orthopedics adjusted. lol. Seems like small shit now.

I can and will rise above this. It’s not the end of the world, not the end of my life. It will not cripple me nor destroy me. It’s just one of those things. A hiccup, a bad fall, an accident. Not my fault, not anyone’s fault (except, perhaps, the hack dentists my mother took me to when I was young who just drilled my teeth mercilessly).

Got a tension headache. Again. Made mention to my jaw physiotherapist about having cluster headaches; she told me that’s definitely stress and tension. Meh. Maybe you should just take my brain out and solve the whole bleeding problem at once! No more thinking, no more stress, no more pain. Wouldn’t that be nice?

…Fuck.

Now I sit, waiting. Waiting for the dentist appointment at the hospital, waiting for the psychiatrist appointment… I do not like waiting. Especially when I’m afraid, and I’m afraid of both these things. My brother is doing what he can to help me. Hugs, understanding, all of it. I don’t know how I got so lucky with him. But thank you again, Universe, for making it so.

Hang in there, baby. I remember seeing the poster above (or one very much like it) in my grade school office. It was new back then and I found myself liking the adults in the office all the more for putting it up. It made them a little more human; up ’til that point I didn’t know adults might feel that way. Certainly my robotic female parental unit never gave any hint of feeling that way (or feeling much of anything, actually). *sigh* Is everything going to keep reinforcing this child-like feeling in me? Like, for the rest of eternity?

Or is this just the Universe telling me I am a child? Or that I need to grow up? Or that it’s all okay and I just need to accept it? Please! Can you spell it out in the sky with letters fifty feet high? Everywhere I turn I get triggered. I am so tired of trying to be adult. Of trying to be brave. I just don’t want to do it anymore. I want to cry and shake and be held, and hear ‘it’ll all be okay’ and BELIEVE it.

The best I can do right now is keep telling myself to hang in there.

Hang in there.

Hang in there…

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…

Zin

The Dutch call it ‘zin’. Zeal. Zest for life. Interest in things other than how much toe jam has built up under your big toenail.

I felt it flood back in me yesterday. Got on the cross trainer. Took it slow; it’s been a month and I’ve been smoking like a chimney. Got my heart rate up to the 140s, did my 30 minutes, and ended up picking up speed throughout so I did a decent distance.

Wish I could say it’s been pain free, but it hasn’t been. My back is still a problem, and if I chew regular food on the right side, that tooth hurts. Gods. Like I want to tell the fucking dentist THAT. I’m afraid it will result in more tinkering, which will mean more pain, and more money because Goddess knows the damned dentist won’t do anything for fucking free even if he’s screwed up your teeth and it’s probably all his fault anyway. I don’t want to pay either price.

Today I see my very cute physiotherapist. I always look forward to that. Half physio, half head shrink session – I come out of his office feeling better physically and mentally. Good. Feels like I need to bounce a few things off someone other than me or my bro. Get an outsider’s take on things. …Okay, there’s really only one thing I need to bounce off him. Therapy. I’ve got a push me/pull me thing going with the idea. Part of me stubbornly says NO with absolute authority, the other recognizes that I really might need someone to talk to. Every time I think I’ve made up my mind, the other part of me starts acting up, talking loudly in my brain, giving me every reason to change my decision. I can’t seem to stick to my choice. More: I don’t know how to commit to that course of action.

Was pleased to find my least favorite pair of jeans (the stretchy kind that always feels a size or two too small for my hips) not only slid on easily, but buttoned up without pulling the fabric together. Geez. Lose a few pounds and those hated pants become not so bad to wear. Not so pleased to know the weight loss comes from just not eating. Had at least a week there when I wasn’t eating much of anything, and another two weeks with food intake very low due to mouth/head pain. I’d like to lose the weight without feeling like I need to go extreme with my measures. That doesn’t seem to work so well for me. Keep things steady with diet and exercise and my body stubbornly refuses to let go of one ounce. Go extreme, and the weight drops off me. Bugger.

No word on anything I’ve written. Really would have expected to hear something from the local director by now. He’s had the full trilogy for 10 days. Have paranoia creeping up on me. Everybody hates it. Hates me for something I said or did. I’m on the out, and no one will tell me. The local group won’t do it, the US group thinks I was too pushy in even offering it, and S hates me for the comments I made on her writing. Reminding myself of all those things you have to remind yourself of when paranoia grips you: I’m not seeing the whole picture, all sorts of things could have happened in other people’s lives to slow the process, take a deep breath, dude – you’re being paranoid.

The factory that is my brain is always going. Three shifts, round the clock. Ideas are beginning to take shape. I’m beginning to feel that excitement that takes hold me when I’m working on a story. Before I allow myself to dive into it, tho, I must take care of some outside things. Get back to J on his story. Do that work my bro asked me to take care of. Think about and do Dutch. And get back into exercise full swing. I really want to say fuck it to all of that and just sit here, smoke J after J as I spin out my tales. Allow myself to fall back into it. Trying to be more than that, tho. Trying to be a good person, a good sister, and a good student. My writing is in direct conflict with those goals. I am selfish when I write. I don’t think about other people; don’t even listen to other people. Only my inner voice, the writer: she gets all my attention, and she’s an attention hog. But she only works with imaginary people, whom she can control totally. I want the full monty, with real people. That takes work. So my brain is on notice: half speed only. If you work, you work in private. On the back burner, quietly simmering. Someone else is taking the forefront for a while, and if you can’t outright support her the least you can do is shut the fuck up.

I need to stop smoking so much. Burning thru stuff. Not only is it bad for my health, it’s bad for my pocketbook. If I want to get my hair cut this year (and I’d desperately like my hair cut soon), I need to cut back. If I want to buy some new clothes, I need to cut back. Ipso facto. Smoking is currently the biggest expense in my life. But I’m also terribly bored, which leads to me wanting to smoke more. It’s a vicious circle. I cannot do some things, like Dutch, non-stop. It’s counter productive to my learning. And I don’t have much to do if I’m not writing. Exercise, sure. But that’s a short time period each day. There are hours to fill before and after. And then there’s my general health to consider: get out more, do more, and I fall ill more easily – which sends me right back into hermit mode.

So…I got the ‘zin’…what now?

Lay bare the new

Sent out one of the longest emails I’ve ever written. To my theatre connection and support in the states. It included notes on the trilogy, and PDFs of the script. It’s not their submission period. I’m probably a bit out of line with even sending it. But…and…I just couldn’t let A put in a submission for Blue Whale yet again with this group without informing her of the entire work. So she’s got it, with full explanation and disclosure.

I’ll admit it… I hope I get an email along the lines of ‘I just couldn’t stop reading it. It’s fabulous!’ Truth is, I’m not sure I’ve got my point across in the three acts. I’m hoping people get it, but you know how that goes – people can be insanely dense sometimes. Guess I need a little outside assurance on the whole thing.

Still no whisper from the local director. He’s had the full monty since New Year’s. Hello? Do you like it? Hate it? Are you on vacation somewhere and haven’t even read it? No idea.

Thinking about writing. How often I’ve seen or heard that old (and arrogant) phrase meant to encourage newbies: writers write. What a load. I heard that at 20 and didn’t understand. I heard that at 30 and thought I was doing what I needed to do. I heard it at 40 and got fed up with everyone, told them to all go fuck themselves and they’d never read my stuff again. I think I’ve finally got it. When you get to the point where you can churn out 1000 words on nothing and make it interesting, you’re there. Then, all you need is a story. But if you sit in front of your computer thinking, not knowing what to write, not knowing how to start…get writing. Everything. Every day. Make your damned shopping list into something interesting for me to read. My advice: tackle the small form first. Hone your skills on short material. The longer stuff will write itself. The story will spin and weave at its own pace, and suddenly you’ll realize you’re onto something.

In other words, stop trying so hard. Stop trying to be interesting or original.

Gods, I wish I could say that to J about his writing! It is what I think he’s trying to do: be very original and create an entire world. Kudos. We all do it. But…it’s too much. *sigh* Still don’t have my notes written out for him. Still haven’t finished reading his story because that’s how little it interests me.

Ach, if I ever teach, fantasy writing will be banned. Nope. Write in black and white before you flesh in those chroma colored characters.

Small victories: no pain in my teeth. Yippee! Still brushing cautiously. Another day at the gym. Not so yippee. Had a back spasm near the end of my hour’s walking. Still having pain in my hip area. And really! I feel like I’m not even using the gym if my heart rate doesn’t go over 140. But I’m doing it. More Dutch films. Hearing more. More understanding is coming back to me, getting the gist of the spoken Dutch before reading the English subtitles. Good. Better. Should invest time in reading my Dutch book, but it IS officially still my holiday time…

Heaving a sigh of relief. Received a letter from the government about my bro’s company. My bro was in a dither, but trying really hard not to show it. I felt immediately it must be some sort of mix-up or crossed wires. We just got everything cleared. So my bro met with his native Dutch speaking friend, and popped downtown to talk to someone. Yes. It’s a mix-up. Some paperwork somewhere along the line didn’t get put through even tho it’s there. Whew! Did not need another 6 months of running around like mad eejits.

Purposefully avoiding a lot these days. The news. Climate change. Equality. Seems these topics are in my face 24/7. I expect a lot of people feel that way. Every day, there’s something new. The biggest storm. The stupidest tweet. More sexual allegations. When I couple the news with the knowledge that nothing is really changing yet, nothing seems to remove certain people from office no matter what they say or do, I lose heart. Totally. Always comes down to fantasies of me with a gun in my hand. Those are ugly thoughts, full of anger and rage. I guess a part of me feels that some people will never change, and the world really would be a better place if they were just dead. Doing my best to find understanding, but that’s damned difficult. It’s difficult because people always have a choice. They can be assholes or not. Simple as that. Everyone gets hurt. Everyone has issues. Some people think that gives them the right to shit on others. Those are the people who need to die off. Accidental shitting on someone, or doing it and then regretting it…I understand making mistakes. But setting off to destroy someone with your words, your lies? No. Kill them. And all their spawn, because they’ve taught that to every single one of their children.

Speaking of parents and children, been thinking about a very harsh punishment system. One that punishes the family of criminals. If you’ve raised a criminal or a psychopath, you should be responsible for what you did. Don’t sit there and looks stupid, or hold your hands up and say you don’t know what happened. You knew – or should have known – about this. You chose to have this person. You took responsibility for feeding it, giving it a place to sleep, teaching it your ethics. If your experiment created a psycho, you should pay. …Harsh, right? I know. That’s a reflection of my anger level.

…Put that aside now. It’s Saturday; time to clean. High time for a good scrub all around – including me. Scrape off the old, and lay bare the new.

A New Thought

I feel undeserving. Just opened up my writer’s email and found this:

I wanted to let you know that unfortunately, we selected two shows for our spring event and your show was ranked third. However! I think this show would be the perfect for the Capitol Fringe festival (it’s a summer play festival in Washington DC that showcases tons of original works, sponsored by local theaters and actors.) If you are interested, I would like to put together a proposal for the Board of Little Theater of Alexandria[where I am the governor of seasonal planning] and propose that they sponsor it for the summer of 2019. IF they approve and IF it’s accepted to the festival, it would receive several weeks of performances at a venue in DC. In exchange for using your script, LTA would sponsor everything – we’d get a director, audition actors, provide rehearsal space, and cover all associated costs with promotion, props, staging, etc. Because we would be paying for everything, we would not provide any money to you for rights. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in I can work up a proposal to take to our Board (and show to you as well) to see if they would be interested.

I know eventually I’ll need to get paid. Can’t live on kudos alone. And some people would discount this note entirely because there’s no money involved. But I can’t get past the fact that this artistic director and governor of seasonal planning has now TWICE suggested taking my work to another level. She really believes in my script. I mean…look how much work she’s talking about taking on. Prepping for a festival, putting together a proposal, submitting to the board – that’s all her. I don’t do any of it. When I balance out the money they’ll spend on auditioning, rehearsing, travel to the fest and accommodations while there… I’m more than getting paid in my opinion.

Think I’ll offer her the full trilogy. She’ll either love it or she won’t. She’s already hot to trot on the first part.

Going to the gym on a daily basis right now. Had a huge, deep crack from my back yesterday and an immediate release of tension. Feeling better. Haven’t returned to my regular rotation yet; just doing the treadmill to open up my hips and back. But it’s a start.

Speaking of pain, I can brush my teeth now. All of them. Still a bit painful in one or two spots, but I can brush. Hip hip hooray.

Heard from S. We must have got our messages crossed. Either that, or my original message went missing in some cyber space black hole. She sent me her script. I…put on a teacher’s hat and gave her some notes. In fairness, she asked me to. And I was gentle, telling her ahead of time I’m being tough on her script because I think it’s worth the time and effort. English is her second language, so she’s got some basic errors that simply come from unfamiliarity with the phrases. While not technically wrong, some of her dialogue sounds a bit stilted. Gave her some suggestions. Her script is littered with passive writing – again, not wrong, just not in favor at the moment. Pointed these things out, gave her workable alternatives. The story was something else. She pinned it on a possession tale. Horror. I like horror. Sadly, she wrote from a film maker’s perspective – meaning she concentrated on her cuts and shots rather than the story. Her plot line was full of holes, full of unanswered questions. I brought these to her attention, giving her my take on the story. Sometimes writers are just blind to what they write; the story is so strong in their heads they fail to communicate it well. Left my note with a statement that I hoped it wasn’t too much, I enjoyed what she’s got, and I’m willing to talk more with her about these issues.

…*sigh* Made myself climb out of bed early this morning. Trying to force my way back to ‘normal’ hours. Hate that. It takes me 10 days to reset my clock to time off – staying up later, sleeping in, chilling. I get a day or two of bliss and deep sleep, then I have to force myself back to an earlier schedule to try and get ready for life. Almost not worth it.

Dutch. My brother’s been sneaky. He bought several cheap Dutch films over the break for me. Knows that in my current manic state, I’m more apt to take on an unknown film with subtitles simply for something new to watch. Watched 2 of the films. Thankfully, they’ve got English subtitles, so for the first viewing I was at least able to understand the plot. But I listened as much as I could. Found that as the films went on and I got used to the way each character spoke, I could make out more and more words. That’s encouraging. Not asking my brain to decode everything, just hear it. That’s the first step. Every once in a while, a light went on in my head – I know that phrase! Good. It’s coming back.

2018. I’ve got a Dutch children’s story to write this year. Months in the studio fiddling with sound for (hopefully) the performance of my work in Rotterdam. Research on a couple of levels: film script notation, historical references for future stories, weird and unsolved mysteries to base stuff on.

I’m not doing anything different. Or, I don’t feel like I am. So it’s difficult to reconcile this support. I find myself questioning it. Why? Why is this happening? Maybe it’s just a numbers game. Get out there long enough and eventually you’ll find someone who likes your stuff.

Or…maybe this is just karma. Maybe I’ve actually been doing things right. Giving so much, and now finally receiving.

Maybe I really do deserve this.

…Now, that’s a new thought.

Oddball

Back to three a day.

Went to the gym, walked. All was good – even thought some of the pain in my back was easing off. Then I walked home, and was hit with a muscle seizure that made me gasp in pain loud enough that passers-by gave me a look. Inched home from there. Said fuck that, took an extra morphine pill in the afternoon. And if it happens again today, so be it.

Got a bill in from the dentist. There goes any plans for January funds.

Wish I would hear something from someone. Get at least one of these anticipated events pinned down to a day and time. Trying to remember at least half the world is still hung over.

Reluctant to move ahead on so many levels. Need to follow up with the jaw physio, but that means more money out, so I’m stalling. Need to call for an adjustment to my shoes, but that means dealing with Dutch, so I’m stalling. Need to get money on my phone, but there’s a hell of a wind storm at the moment, so I’m stalling.

Bloody hell.

The only thing I’m not stalling on is the gym and promised pain relief once I walk this out enough.

Hate the emptiness in my head. Echo, echo, echo… There’s nothing there. No ideas gripping me, no epiphanies to wrap my brain around – nothing. My senses deal only with what’s directly in front of me: do I have an appetite? My feet hurt; shut up and keep walking. I’m tired. I’m bored. See that mess? Clean it up. Make yourself useful, for God’s sake!

Ugh.

And what is with my brain? Noticed I’ve swapped around the numbers in my phone number on all my scripts, meaning I’ve sent the fuckers out with the wrong number on them. Geez! Well, I’ve been noticing problems with flipping around letters and numbers lately. A bit of dyslexia? Probably. I’ve always had problems with i/e or e/i. Just…got away with it in English, thanks to repetition and spell check. But Dutch? Ouch! It’s very evident.

*sigh* Learning another language has taught me so much about myself.

…Maybe it’s time to pick up film script formatting. Always said I wanted to take the thriller trilogy to film. It’s cerebral work. Half creative, half editing. At least it would be something to focus on for now. Flesh things out. Let my head have something to work on, but not too much. It doesn’t have to think plot lines. Oh, there needs to be some extended scenes and yadda yadda to make full length films, but the majority of what I’d need to do is think edits and camera angles.

Hm. Worth at least beginning the research on it. Remind myself of the format. Familiarize myself with the additional notations. Dream a little…

My bro is sensitive to my mood right now. He bought John Wick 2, which we hadn’t seen, saying ‘it’s something new, and I know you need that right now’. Goddess. I couldn’t ask for a better support. This is why my brother has my undying loyalty ’til the end of time. It’s the small stuff. The ‘buy yourself something fun; you need it’ or ‘take time off; you’re driving yourself too hard’. He’s the one who tells me when I go too far, do too much. I’ve got to have that. ‘Cause I can’t do it for myself.

Been thinking in the back of my brain about my maturity, or lack of it. Been called immature, young for my age, a child at heart… Sometimes I feel like that’s wrong. No. Oftentimes I feel like that’s wrong. Like people look at me and find it amusing, but they can’t puzzle me out. What’s with her? Of course, I look at them and wonder why they feel they need to be like they are: cynical, or devious, or lacking warmth because they think that’s the way adults act. Why shouldn’t someone keep their innocence, their joy over the small things, that fast, locked in love that comes from shared fun and trust? Shouldn’t we all be wondering why people say such nasty things to each other, why everyone seems so bent on tearing each other down rather than working together?

What good comes of being a dragon? Of working only for wealth, an illusionary thing tied only to this physical reality? What good comes of hoarding needed medicines or food?

I mean…I’m the last person to be called a fan of humanity. It’s rotten to the core, and I’m all for letting the species die out. And I’d still rather share what I have with others. Spread a little joy. A little understanding.

Is that what people find so ‘immature’? Is it because I’m unmarried and live with my brother? Is it the way I smile, the way I laugh, the way I play when I’m happy?

…I can’t figure it out. Guess I should ask.

I’m an oddball. Will I ever climb out from under that mantle? Oddball in school. Oddball in life. Oddball at work. Oddball at play. When you hear shit like, ‘you’re not like any other woman I’ve ever known’ over and over, you begin to wonder. And as time goes on, and others get married, buy homes, have kids, and plan for things, you look at that and think ‘ugh! no way; that’s not me’ and somehow that sets you apart, makes you even more different…

I don’t fit in.

Oddball.