Trust

I murdered four people before breakfast yesterday. One I poisoned, and watched him twitch and foam at the mouth before his head fell onto his plate. One I suffocated, holding a cushion over her face until long after she stopped moving. Two I knifed, slipping the blade in like I was sheathing the damned thing, until they fell to their knees, blood dripping from their mouths.

And it was glorious, glorious! I wrote like one possessed, and for all I know, I am.

My day out at the comic shop seeing the guys was fine. Spent most of the time talking to E, which is becoming a habit – but E just volunteers some time in exchange for a few comics; the rest of the guys are actually trying to make a living out of the shop, so, you know – I get it. While I’m kind of sad not to talk with everyone, I’m always happy to see so many customers. Means the shop is doing well, and the guys have a chance. …Gotta admit, I kind of begrudged the time on the way there. The place is all the way on the opposite side of the city, two metros and a 15 minute walk away. Takes me an hour to get there, and that’s if I make a quick metro connection downtown. Couldn’t help but think that I should be writing during that time – I left the script just before I killed everyone off, and was hot to trot to get to some mayhem. Somehow that begrudged time off was a good thing (again). I’d been fuzzy on how, exactly, everyone was going to die, but I found when I boarded the metro for the long journey home, I’d worked all that out. I knew not only how to kill off the four characters I was writing, I also knew more about the final installment of The Terror Trilogy – that’s what I’m calling it. Catchy, no?

Got to the gym for a decent sweat. Didn’t push. In fact, I was off the cross trainer early because I felt something pull by my ankle. Figured it was from standing in the comic shop for three hours the day before, stationary, talking. Did my abdominals, the treadmill, and the free weights without any pain.

Came back and read thru Taman again. Hallelujah! My head is now so deep into my new script that I was able to read it with fresh eyes. Found a couple of lines to change, and one typo that escaped my previous perusal. Bothered by one line of dialogue. It fits, it’s tight, and it works – but I believe I’ve borrowed the line, or paraphrased from something else. Gotta modify that. …Think I may pass that script onto J for a read. I don’t know if I’m still just very invested in my characters, or if I’ve really written something this engrossing. All this time after writing it (I know; real time isn’t long but writing time IS) and I’m still tearing up at certain points. It’s poignant and heartfelt without being schmaltzy. Or so I hope.

Tonight is rehearsal for the upcoming play. Looked again at the schedule, and found I’m paired with the director’s girlfriend almost every damned time. Ugh. The one person I don’t want to see again. For one, their bit isn’t really that funny. For another, it’s her… So I’ve decided three things. One, I’m going stoned. Two, I’m bringing an emergency joint. Three, I’m leaving as soon as the rehearsal part is over and they begin talking about money and jobs and everything that triggers me.

My brother surprised me yesterday. He’s made no bones about the fact that he does not like the theatre, he doesn’t think the play sounds funny, and he just doesn’t give a damn. I’ve been making sharp remarks now and then about it. Oh, I understand…and I know he doesn’t like theater in the first place. But I wanted him there. It’s not like I’m guaranteed to bring in a bunch of friends! I’m bloody well asking shop keepers and practical strangers because I still haven’t broken thru that Dutch barrier to real friends. Anyway…I knew the sharp comments were petty and small when they slipped out, and chided myself every time something came out of my mouth. My brother…he said he’s coming. Coming to film me, so he can put it up on the internet. Part of that, I know, is just his wanting current stuff to promote us on our site. The other part is the part more important – the part that realized this is important to me, and whether or not he actually likes the damn performance, he’s going to support me.

Oh, and let’s face it all, shall we? There’s a third part to his compliance: a chance to play with his new phone. He’s been hooked on it non-stop since he got it (it really feels like a modern household; he even watches television glued to the damned thing).

…I’ll concentrate on that second part…

No more excuses, no more dithering. This week my language lessons start. Haven’t picked my books up at all over the break. Been trying to tune into conversations and what I hear on tv, though. Lately, anyway. Trying to get my ear back into hearing it. I’m intimidated by it again – though I shouldn’t be. I know it’s there, somewhere in a file marked ‘Dutch/Nederlands (which is an improvement, because it used to just be marked ‘Dutch’). Just gotta access it, and trust. Trust to my memory and my intellect. Trust that I’ll fuck up a few times because I’m rusty. Trust that it’ll be okay, I’ll pick it back up, and in reality my brain never stopped working on the language even though I haven’t opened a book in weeks.

Trust.

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Sick of it. Literally.

Felt it start yesterday afternoon. The scratchy throat. The cough that hurt. This morning I awoke with full blown laryngitis, an annual side-effect of my summer allergies. I’m sucking lozenges, gargling with salt water, drinking juice, and taking it easy.

Suck-ola. Found myself getting angry at my doctor without ever actually visiting: I’m well aware that if I made the foray over to her office and actually wrangled an appointment within the next 48 hours, I’d be told to suck lozenges, gargle with salt water, drink juice, and take it easy. The only reason to go is to have medical proof that yes, once again I am ill. Seems I must justify myself to the medical community before anyone takes me seriously. As usual, I’m physically drained with this, and don’t want to do much more than vegetate in front of the tv. So, as usual, I’ll do that first line of defense on my own and see if it clears itself up.

Script: 4000 words and climbing. I’ve barely begun act 1 scene 3, and have a lot of territory to cover in the next 2000 words. But I’m allowing my characters a bit of verbosity. Easier to cut than to stretch a story. I like my soviet agent. A lot. She’s menacing without being outright threatening. My characters are fleshing out and surprising me. One is funnier than I expected. Another more vulnerable than I thought. And it’s not just the women; the men are more than I expected, too. These disparate roles are ready made for personal conflict.

To round off my life, my brother is on a kick of disregarding me and my personal space. Dirty dishes left piled in the sink. Washed dishes left in the rack, never put away. Miscellaneous shit, like an extra water bottle I’d emptied and put aside for personal use. Oh, was that yours? I didn’t know. Well, did you put it there? No? Then what makes you think it was left there for you? Did you imagine Santa Claus came in overnight and left you a present? Hanging his rain-soaked clothes directly over my face towel, thereby soaking said face towel with underwear and sock drippings. Get the picture? Feels like I don’t exist, my work doesn’t matter, and half the time I’m just in his way.

…Was gonna write ‘I’m sick of it’ and then I realized I really AM sick of it. Literally. Funny how that happens so often in my life.

Well, let’s make this a short illness. Pick up the box of tissues, the lozenges, the water, my pills, and head off for a nap.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

3 (not so) Easy Steps to Trusting Yourself

  1. Say  you’re going to do something.
  2. Do it.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2.

I’m gonna do something. Don’t state unmeasurable goals. Don’t say ‘I’m gonna lose weight’ – there’s no time limit and no weight stated. Say instead ‘I’m gonna go to the gym three times a week’ or ‘I’m gonna eat a salad every day before I have my dinner’. These are concrete and measurable goals.

Do it. No excuses, no alibis. Commit, and follow through. As long as you follow through, no self-bashing allowed. If your head starts to berate you, saying ‘Sure, you went to the gym but you never even worked up a sweat’ or ‘Great, you had salads but they were slathered with dressing’ – tell your head to go to hell. The trick to part 2 is just to do it, not do it well, not master it or get it all done in one go. Just DO it. All that crap your head is telling you in step 2 should be shoved off to step 3.

Repeat steps 1 and 2. Now is when you master it. Now is when you find your stride. In the repeats. It’s called practice, and everyone needs it. Push a little harder at the gym. Use less salad dressing. Take what you began with in step 2 and build on it.

We have this weird self denial going on: sometimes – even when we know a thing will take a long time to manifest – we act like it should be happening instantaneously. I see people at the gym like that all the time. They come in, they put heavy weights on, they power lift for 20 or 30 minutes, and then they don’t come back for a week or more. Or someone ‘diets’ for a week and expects to see a big change in the scales.

If you’re making a real change in your life, it’s long term. Long term not just to get there, but also to maintain.

And kiddies, trust is all about long term.

If someone with a perfect track record fucks up – badly – even once, …well, you doubt him or her next time, don’t you? Even if you don’t want to. Even if that person is your closest friend. Some part of pipes up and reminds you of that disaster and the possibility that it could happen again. Same is true with yourself. Fuck up on a commitment to yourself just ONCE, and you’ll have to work twice as hard to regain the trust you just lost.

Two tips:

  1. Start small. Build your trust in yourself like you would with a child. Ask yourself to stand up, first – not run full out like an Olympic champion. You’re a baby. Stand up and keep your balance, then give yourself a gold star. Yeah, it’s tough. Tough to tell yourself you’re doing well when you feel a fool, or when you feel you should be able to do more. Ignore it, and praise yourself. After you stand, take a step. Then two steps. Expect to fall on your ass more than once. Get up, and try again.
  2. If it helps, make a list. If you’re a self doubter, a self hater, make a list of everything you want to accomplish every day, like a grocery list. Then check ’em off. At the end of the day, praise yourself for all the checked off items. Move unchecked items to tomorrow’s list. Keep at it.

The good news: once you begin to establish trust with yourself, it snowballs. The process becomes easier.

And just like anything else, keep at it. Fail a few times. Take time off from it. But always – ALWAYS – come back to this basic equation. It’s a key component to life, and one most of us aren’t taught.

Take it upon yourself to learn it.

Working on it

The rain that’s been promised for days is pouring down the window. Supposed to go out in that. Get the shopping done. Pick up a few things. Head to the gym.

Ugh.

What I’m NOT supposed to do is open up the script for more work. Buried my head in it for eight hours yesterday. Take a breather. Do some of the shit that doesn’t get done when I write. Don’t want to, naturally.

The script is almost ready. Prepping up a lighting and sound effect list; don’t want someone to pass over the story because they think pulling it together is too much work, so I’ll do it for them ahead of time. That’s a pain. Page references are needed for cues, which means prepping and running a PDF to check where things fall. And I’ve got to do this for A4 and US paper size, so twice through it. Bugger the US, anyway. Just HAD to change standard paper size by a little bit here and a little bit there – ONLY to make sure things got fucked up between countries. I swear it.

Began a food diary. Been having extraordinary gas. I mean…I could always belch. But now! Duck or run for cover, because the blast of my burps will throw you across a room. Upshot is, I think I have irritable bowel syndrome. So, the food diary. Keep a record, and look. Is there any link to what I’m eating?

Writing down everything that I consume also drove one other thing home for me: I don’t eat much. Two small meals a day. Thinking I might have to eat more often, and try to keep something in my stomach during the daylight. Great. Now all I need is an appetite.

How can I consume so little, yet still be so fat? – Or am I really someone with THAT skewed of a body image? Looking at myself in the mirror…all I see are the fat bulges on my thighs, the tire around my stomach, the bat wings on my upper arms. Old, and fat. Flabby. I know I’m not as heavy as some people. Yet…I can’t let go of calling myself fat.

Sometimes I wonder if I am really crazy. So crazy I can’t acknowledge how crazy I am. I wonder if some of the hateful things people have yelled at me over the years are true: if I am as bad as they claim I am, if I am a liar, delusional, and so far gone it’s impossible to even talk to me. It’s a frightening thought – that outside of me, I am viewed as a nut job. That my vision of the world is so colored, so WRONG that I can’t even make out what the truth is.

…Then I remind myself of my history. The whole narcissist shit. The family: my mother, my sister. The entire set-up to accept partners who hit me, who raped me, who treated me like a dog.

And I don’t want to blame the narcissists all the time. I want to acknowledge that I had part in it: I caved. I let them beat it out of me. On some level, I allowed it.

It’s hard to trust myself or other people.

But I’m working on it.

Make This Work

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Blink, blink, blink. Damned annoying, this blinking line on my empty page. It just sits there, accusing me of not writing. Don’t you have anything to say? C’mon. I know you want to.

Friday was a day of utter sloth. Didn’t even get out of my pj’s. I cried and paced and fretted a storm up. Somehow that seemed to make yesterday even more difficult. I felt fragile when I left the house, as if the slightest upset was going to break me. My natural inclination was to avoid all contact with humans. I felt perversely pleased when I hopped off the metro and realized I’d spaced the fact that it was Saturday, and that meant open air markets downtown. A perfect opportunity to prove that natural inclination wasn’t the best thing for me.

Maybe it was the fact that I wore my yellow hoodie out on a semi-rainy day when everyone else was wearing dark colored rain gear, or maybe it was just the dregs of my anxiety reaching up to tinker with my paranoia knob, but it sure seemed to me that I received more than my share of looks as I wandered up and down the market aisles. I don’t know why on the days I most want to hide I seem to stand out, but I do. My iPod was blasting out an album from Sunscreem, my sunglass were on (half to deflect the blinding occasional sun and half to just hide), and my steps were even and measured as I walked and shook my head at each seller trying to tempt me into buying something. I spent no money and talked to no one. But passing through that swift running river of humanity like a salmon jumping upstream to spawn somehow calmed me, as if each person that bumped me knocked off a corner of that shell built up around my heart. By the time I reached the metro I was almost sorry to be heading home.

I felt good enough when I got back to tackle more language. Part of that was translating a letter I received from the hospital that changes my upcoming appointment with my rheumatologist. The missive is brief, and to the point. It tells me nothing I want to really know, other than the date and time of my next visit. And the fact that I’ll be seeing a different doctor. Almost missed that bit of info; it was scribbled in by hand. I spent a good hour online, searching out my rheumatologist’s contact email to ask what’s going on. I want to stay under her care, not go through yet ANOTHER doctor (this would be my third rheumatologist in 2 years). Give me some consistency, please!

And flux is the word…is the word…is the word. Nothing feels stable right now. My doctors are being changed, my language class is gonna change, my brother’s sensei who once seemed so promising seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. It’s like the universe said, ‘Oh, look! They’re feeling a bit more stable. Let’s change things up’. Can I reiterate AGAIN that I really don’t have any friends here, so the people that are leaving and being replaced right now in my life are the ONLY people I have a relationship with outside this house? They are the ONLY Dutch people I know who are helping me navigate this new life. At one time or another, they’ve all been called upon to translate something, answer some questions, or help with this or that.

This is NOT helping my trust issues.

Also feels like I have a sore point that’s growing to a head, like some nasty boil on your butt. It’s over old tasks that should be simple, yet still aren’t done. Things like taking in some old electronics for recycling (2 years). Or changing the toilet seat (6 months). Due to the nature of these tasks, they’d usually fall to my brother. But he’s in that rut again. I’ve seen it before and waited years for something that ends up taking an hour to finish. The problem is, the only way I know of making it happen at this point is to stand over him and nag or do it myself. Since I’m not limping or in agony, I’m choosing to tackle them myself. I just wish he wouldn’t force my hand like this. Just FINISH the damned thing, will you? Yet he, who has something like 2 dozen releases for sale because he’s a music making machine, seems to have problems following thru with these tasks. It drives me crazy.

A purge is coming soon to my life. A purge of my closet. While putting away my laundry I rooted around in there for a bit and found a T-shirt that (1) I had not seen for over a year and (2) had now grown so shabby that I’ve just got to chuck it into my rag rug pile. Like cockroaches, if I find one, there’s more. So I’m gonna be ruthless. There’s a dress I bought (cheap) that I’ve never worn. It was one of those I’ll lose some weight and then it will look great purchases. That’ll go in the donation bin. The rest – mostly raggedy shirts – will get thrown into my rag rug pile, which, by the way, is by volume the largest thing I’m carrying around. Just old clothes and scraps, all waiting for the day I think my hands are in good enough condition to make rag rugs again. I’m beginning to wonder if my rag rug pile isn’t akin to that dress I bought for some future skinny me that hasn’t materialized. If I’m not stockpiling this stuff for a day that isn’t coming.

Well, you never know. Just yesterday I wanted some sheet protectors and searched high and low through my unpacked boxes until I remembered that I got rid of all of them before the move. Had literally hundreds. Didn’t need them at the time and couldn’t envision a time I would need them. Now I need them and don’t have them. Typical. My life runs that way. It’s part of the reason I want that closet purge: I won’t lose the weight until I get rid of the clothes I bought in anticipation of losing the weight.

Now if I can only make this work in other areas of my life…

One More Mountain

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I think the whole feel good movement off the famous Forrest Gump line ‘Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get ’til you bite into one’ would have been remarkably different if Forrest Gump existed in the Harry Potter world, where candies and chocolates could have vomit flavored filling.

I think those feel good people would have shut up then.

Because then the line would have to be something like ‘Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know when you bite into one whether or not it’s gonna taste like vomit’. That puts a whole different spin on it.

Got a lot of sleep. Almost 9 hours, and I was dozing in my chair for an hour before I went to bed. Could have slept more, or I felt like it. It was only a nagging headache flitting around my brain that made me get up. I don’t know if the sleep and headache are stress related or RA and allergy related. I’ll deal with them first as real, physical problems. If they don’t abate, then maybe it’s all stress.

Tried to rest yesterday. My wrist and foot pain have been high, and I can’t seem to do much before I pull up with a sharp hiss. All this sitting around is difficult. My body needs rest, but my head doesn’t stop telling me I’m lazy, I should do this or that, I’m such an awful person for taking so much time off. Been compromising, and doing ‘easy’ things (easy in that I don’t have to exert much physically). Got the appointment for my passport renewal set, and pulled all the paperwork (a shitload) to print. Wrote out a draft of the letter to Heike, telling her I’ve quit smoking and that I will not be returning to Addiction Central. Still no call from her. And no need to turn off my phone, either.

…Writing that letter to Heike…difficult. Fuck! I can’t even form a goddamn sentence about it. Yes, I’d say it was fucking difficult! Obviously!! Still goddamn fucking difficult, isn’t it? I’ve got to fucking resort to fucking swearing to get anything out right now goddamn it goddamn it goddamn it!!

Okay. No one has this address. It’s still a safe place for me. I’m still a faceless nothing, not on record, not being watched other than by the usual BBBN (Big Brother Bullshit Network; call me paranoid, others have). This remains a safe place.

I’m smoking. My break did a lot; I am no longer smoking as much or as heavily, nor am I smoking the highest grade marijuana, or even the second highest. I’m down to mid grade mixed with a little bit higher grade. About 4 a day. I feel I CAN take it down to less, even quit outright if that’s what’s needed. But it’s not needed right now. What’s needed right now is something to help me over the paranoia still in me from that panic attack. I SO don’t want to experience that again. Ever. Please. This is a straight out fear reaction. I’m terrified of that. Can’t function at all when it happens. And mega problems functioning for hours/days after.

How is anyone supposed to live a life when that happens?

I know what I need to do is make it safe for me to remember these things, right? But no one seems to be able to tell me how to do that. It’s not a do this, think that, and you’re done kind of thing, and I want it to be. I want an instruction manual. I want to know that if I invest the time on it I’ll make progress, like learning a new language.

But there are no guarantees.

The only thing that IS guaranteed is more pain. Pain from reliving it, going thru it. Maybe over and over. The goal is – what? To grow so immune to the fucking triggers that you can finally slow down the film and dissect it without getting emotionally involved? What? I don’t get it. ‘Forgive myself’?!? I remember one decision time. Not the specifics of what the decision involved, only that I saw two choices in front of me: honesty, which would prove my innocence but condemn someone else which I felt would crush my parents; or take the blame, which somehow I felt would be easier on my parents. I don’t know WHY I felt that way, but I did. So I took the blame. Because that’s what loving my parents, particularly my mother, looked like. Taking the blame. Shouldering the responsibility that was passed onto me.

I made that choice. Right then and there. It was not a novel choice in my life; I’d been making decisions like that over and over again as I grew up. I was – as I see now – groomed to make that choice. That only makes me angry. Realizing now, FULLY realizing, that other people grew up with parents who really supported them blows my fucking mind. It was always just a fantasy to me, never reality. Those cases were fairy tales, stories. I saw it in films all the time.

I still see it. Now I look at strangers in the street and think about it. I wonder if I can see it in their faces. Everyone seems happy to me. They have purpose, things they care about. Are they faking it, like me? Or are they actually part of this freakish group, these people who had parents that supported them? My parents threw money at the problem. Or my mother did. Well do I remember the shopping trips, the afternoons off from school so she could take me here or there for a ‘special’ day. My older siblings called me spoiled. But you know what? Money is cold. It doesn’t give any comfort or love. It doesn’t soothe anything. Not for that little girl inside me. She needs something else.

So I’m doing the best I can. Day by day. Minute by minute. Probably screwing up a thousand things, but hey! I’m still trying. If I’m the only one who can get thru this, the only one who can really change things for myself, then who’s to say I’m not doing exactly what I need to do to get me thru it? As long as I keep allowing myself to confront it, to explore it, little by little, isn’t that all anyone can ask?

I accept that. I’m doing exactly what I need to do, at the pace I need to do it. I once climbed a mountain during a very bad RA attack. Putting one foot in front of the other was difficult. Yet I did it. I stood at the top of that mountain.

This is just one more mountain.

Square One

WARNING: RAGE DUMP AHEAD! ANGRY RANTS INCLUDED! BUCKLE UP YOUR SEAT BELT AND WATCH WHERE YOU STEP!!

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That’s it. I’m done. Never again will I sing the praise of any doctor. Never again will I depend or count on any doctor. Because as soon as I do they’re put thru some cruel Dr. Seuss machine so all they can do is sit there are ask ‘what do you want ME to do about it?’.

My huisarts appointment was … I was gonna say disappointing, but that’s too small a word for something that made me come back and cry my eyes out for the rest of the day then fall into a zombie like stupor from which I may not come back. Apparently I’m a fool. Or an idiot. I don’t know what roles each doctor plays in my life, that’s for fucking sure. She can do nothing, or so she claims now. Her words: “Maybe Yoda had a bad day”. A bad day. The way I see it, everyone asks me to suck in my anger, deal with my hurt feelings, and NO ONE ASKS ANY OF THE ASSHOLES DOING ANY OF THIS TO STOP OR MODIFY THEIR BEHAVIOR. Fuck! My huisarts wouldn’t even give me the cold comfort of at least saying she thought what went down was fucking unacceptable. And I saw the switch; I’m now labeled as an addict, so I’m not worth listening to or believing.

The anger I feel now is core deep. It’s what’s keeping me standing upright. It may keep my body rigid for the next six months or more, I don’t know for sure. I’m so fucking angry I’m not even cursing much. Big danger sign there. I’m holding as much as I can inside, because apparently there is no safe place in the fucking WORLD to let it out. What I’d like to do is get into a room with Yoda and scream at him til my throat bleeds. Throw a couple of things on his fucking desk at his smug fucking face. Threaten him with the Grand Bipolar Barbwire Dildo; he thinks rape is no big deal, let’s shove THAT up his ass for an agonizing half hour and then we’ll talk about how it wasn’t an issue, he shouldn’t be angry at me for doing it, and doesn’t he want to go out and get butt fucked from a big black dude now?

While feeling such righteous emotions (OH! How I’d really LOVE to shove that dildo up Yoda’s ass!!!), I must now contact Heike to tell her all because my huisarts just threw up her hands and said she couldn’t help me ; I’m in the system now, and I have to deal with it from within the system. I’m guessing with the way things go that I won’t be able to do this over the phone, that I’ll be forced to go in to see Heike for one more appointment in person, where I’ll be under all sorts of peer pressure to come back, to talk to Yoda about what happened, to continue along with this fucking BULLSHIT. I refuse. I’m going hardcore all the fucking way. Cold turkey. I will not do this AND be expected to keep weekly appointments with anyone; fuck that. I’ll get thru it by myself like always. No help. No outsiders. Fuck you, doctors. I don’t need your fucking help. Not now, and not once I’m no longer smoking. I’ll have to go in and go thru the fucking motions, tho. Like I said; I’m in the system. Either I complete it now or I live with ADDICT written across the top of my file.

And I’ve learned: trust no one. Never tell the absolute truth. Never. I guess my mother was right about that. I was sure a fucking idiot to trust in all this. From here on out, anything I do or say that’s outside of the Prozac style life everyone here lives will be viewed as my problem. It won’t matter if I get attacked, hurt, even raped. It will be MY problem. I’ll have to change. Can’t get angry because NO! The fucking Dutch can’t handle anything close to real fucking anger. They just roll over and display their belly in complete fucking submission to anything and everything that bulldozes over them. Yeah, that was a fucking diss on the Dutch. I’m fucking angry enough that shit is coming out.

Now I’m so very glad no one has this address. No one knows it’s me out there. It’s is now, officially, my ONLY safe place in the entire fucking world. The place I can say exactly what the fuck I’m thinking with NO censorship. They say you gotta bleed that poison out before you can heal. How the fuck am I ever supposed to heal without getting this out of me? And how the fuck can I get it out of me when anytime I DO express anger here the only reaction is to fucking hospitalize me?

My plan now: deal with Heike, close off Addiction Central (probably in person *shudder*). Try to not lose it when I do it. Quit smoking as of Monday. I’m giving myself a few days to do a fast taper down. I’ll be clear here: my quitting smoking will mean I’m gonna hang on until my fingernails are bleeding and ready to rip off before I resort to smoking a small joint. That may mean one a day, one every other day, or one a week. I may not resort to smoking at all. There have been plenty of times in the past where either I didn’t have enough money or the connections to have smoke. I got thru it. I’m still here. I’ll drop a note off at my huisarts telling her the date I’ve quit and to please contact the original place that was going to assess me but didn’t want to take me because they felt I was smoking too much and ask them to recontact me, I’ll be clean as of such and such a day. I don’t want to go in to see my huisarts to tell her that…I may not go in to see her again and just seek out another doctor. I don’t know. I ended up walking out of her office yesterday. I will NOT mention anything to my rheumatologist. Right now, she’s the only doctor I have a good relationship with and I don’t want to risk that. My RA will be dealt with completely separate from anything else going on.

The only reason I’m continuing, btw, is because my brother is convinced I need some medication in order to calm down and ease my mood swings. I’m doing it for him, because he’s been there for me for a long, long time and he shouldn’t have to deal with my insanity any more. And yes, he said if our only option was to pay for a private psychiatrist just to get the fucking prescription, he’d do it. That’s how much he thinks I need medication. Not a heavy dose of anything, but a steady dose of something. Makes me feel bad that he thinks I NEED it. But. He’s my only support, my only trust worthy person right now. So I’ll do what has to be done, and I’ll try to not have a bad attitude while doing it.

Back to square one.

Proberen

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I did not hurt myself. Even took a long walk in the sunshine. No pushing, no rushing.

Letting go of what happened at my appointment is much more difficult. One problem I have with my own method of thinking before I react is that I lose the moment. You can never go back to deliver those perfect stingers. Yet my head keeps churning them out; should have said THIS when he said that, should have, should have, should have. I am reminding myself that I will, I will, I will say all the important things to my huisarts. I hope she is as enraged over what happened as..well, as a decent person should be. But her reaction is her reaction; I still have to deal with me. I still have to find a way to soothe myself, to tell myself that I’m not a bad person, that it wasn’t my fault, that I didn’t deserve it. Most importantly, I have to find a way to continue with this process.

Trust is never an easy thing with me. I trust people – right up to the first untrustworthy event. Then I never trust them again. Some would say that’s a fault; I see it as learning from my mistakes. To get over an untrustworthy event with me is a major undertaking; it takes a hell of a lot of work. And the more severe the initial incident, the less likely I am to put myself in any situation where any amount of trust is required with that person. I am also unlikely to call anyone out on trust issues; to tell people that I’ve been slighted reveals my vulnerabilities, and I’m hardly likely to do that when I feel like I just got dissed in some manner. My trust in Yoda, and by extension Heike and the entire Addiction Central clinic I’ve been going to, is shattered. I’m doing my best to not let the shrapnel hit anywhere else; my paranoia is jumping out, painting everyone in the mental health care system with the same brush. Not everyone will treat me like that.

The many things I left unspoken is what got me out of the house yesterday. The sunshine and a few errands helped, and gave my walk purpose, but they were not the reason I put my shoes on. I put my shoes on to try and stay a step ahead of my brain, to try and get away from the incessant replays of scenarios that I can’t seem to break. It didn’t help. What did help was plenty of cold, frosty air; enough to numb out my legs and sting my cheeks (both sets). Get chilled enough and that’s all you really think about.

I ended up walking to my bank branch to ask about internet purchasing. AH! All my questions are now answered. Apparently if I found a game manufacturer here in NL that I liked, I’d have no problems buying on line. It’s only when I buy outside of NL that there’s a problem. And of course that’s what I’m trying to do. Bottom line: I need a prepaid credit card. In talking with my brother after I got home, we decided to buy a prepaid credit card for the house. He needs things, I need things, and neither of us want to fuck around with TRYING to get thru all the Dutch our computers automatically swap to as soon as we do anything with our bank or any company in NL. Ach! I’m all for challenging myself with the language, but honestly! You got to know what the fuck you’re doing on some level. Give me the damn English.

Been wanting to slight myself on my Dutch; I haven’t gone back to computer lessons or to go over any of my homework. What I have been doing is 10-15 minutes of drills on an app I loaded on my phone. It’s sort of a flashcard thing; it gives you 20 words in quick succession and then asks for spelling and word recognition. If the damn thing could correct my pronunciation it would be killer. And it won’t help me form sentences, just learn words. Still. More than half my problem is that my vocabulary is too small, so this suits me well.

Ik moet proberen. I must try. Proberen (try) is my new word (thank you phone app). Interesting how it almost looks like ‘problem’, isn’t it? I wouldn’t be surprised to find the same root word in both ‘problem’ and ‘proberen’. That would be very Dutch. One wouldn’t need to try if there wasn’t a problem to solve, yes? I’ve got plenty of proberen to get thru in my life, then.

…*sigh* My whole body snapped like a bowl of rice krispies when I got out of bed this morning. My toes still sound that way. Not a lot of pain, or not more than I usually have. But a lot of noise!

I walk this line every day. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I do my best to move forward while not harming anyone or anything – these days, that includes me. I balance my RA, my emotional roller coaster, my triggers, my unbridled brain. While I’d like a whole new way to deal with everything, I don’t want to unbalance myself when there’s no other support system in place. That’s what it feels like everyone is asking me to do: unseat myself and allow myself to get dragged behind the horse called Shitty Life long enough for them to figure out exactly how I’ve got my foot caught before they stop the fucking nag to unhook me. They’re not listening to me scream that I’m pretty sure I know how I got my foot caught, won’t you please help me stop this fucking horse? Which means, on some level, they don’t believe me. Trust me.

Als ik moet proberen, zij moeten proberen.

 

Break the fucking wall down

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Another tough day. My mood finally broke around 7 p.m. I laughed. I’m not sure if it was all that good; the laughter verged on the hysterical, and went on for a few minutes. Hysterical or not, it felt good to laugh that hard and have tears in my eyes from something other than depressing thoughts. And my face isn’t crunched up into a pout or frown this morning, I can feel it.

Managed to get a few things done yesterday. I chose the visible jobs: dishes, making my bed, and getting the recycling out. My brief stint outside to toss the glass into the correct bin was enough. The wind was too cold, the grey sky a bit too bright, and I really didn’t want to be out there. I kept my shoes on all day, though. I guess I was hoping that I’d feel like a walk later. It wasn’t ’til 8 or 9 in the evening that I realized I still had them on.

Afternoon was swallowed up with horror. A weak horror film, to be sure, but the gore was enough to take my mind off myself for 95 minutes. I know Heike and Yoda said watch comedy, but the last thing I wanted yesterday was to watch comedy and NOT be able to laugh. That’s such a lonely feeling. So blood and guts it was, and it did the trick. Afterwards, I WAS able to put on comedy and enjoy it. Not laugh hard; that came later at my silly attempts to correctly make a Dutch vowel sound. But I relaxed.

Somehow I kept to 5 Js.

Two fresh baggies of green, green grass are sitting on my computer. Nope; I didn’t get them. My brother did the run. I have to pay him for them once he gets up. I sat yesterday chewing over the thought that I must get some more smoke for myself and do it SOON, but I was in no condition to make that long of a journey into public. I was crying too easily in the morning and just didn’t feel I could trust myself to keep it together. Twice while playing games I teared up. Nothing more depressing than crying while playing games. All of that added to my worry, and of course that made it worse. My bro reminded me that it was great to have such a life changing idea like taking control over my smoking, but I had to remember it couldn’t be done overnight. I need to keep flexible with myself. So I let go of the expectation to do it all alone, and decided it was okay for him to run for it as long as the money came out of my smoke stash.

Today I hope I can do a few more things. [Note: I wanted to add ‘that I let slide’ at then end of that sentence. I’m refraining from that.] I’m refusing to list them because I’m refusing to keep track of it today. There’s nothing that’s a ‘must do’. I’ll do what I feel I can do, when I feel I can do it.

Feels like I went back to the starting block over the last 48 hours. Right back to the beginning, like a glitch in a video game. Hit that one obstacle and BAM! You’re back with no extra powers and have to go through all that crap again just to get back to where you were. I guess I didn’t come with a ‘save’ button.

…I’ve gotta wonder about the Universe. On the heels of my rant about my family, I’ve received an email from my uncle asking me my opinion because he really values it. Is this my wake up call? Is this the time to rip the veil from my eyes and see that my opinion is valued and always has been valued? My untrusting self does not believe my uncle’s opinion speaks for the rest of the family. I DO value it, tho. I took the time to write a thoughtful reply.

I know the set up from the previous paragraph. I’m supposed to say my opinion has always mattered and always been important – to ME. And it has; I’ve not backed down in my stances despite the fact that they’re very unpopular in my family. I just wanted someone to stand up with me, to say ‘hey, you’ve got a good argument, well done!’ or ‘I agree with you’ rather than calling me a tree hugging communist traitor. That’s not asking too much, is it?

*sigh* Enough of the past. At least for this post.

Small, putzy projects are attracting me today. Little organizations and clean ups. I want more visual confirmation that I’m doing things. AND I need more to keep me busy on a daily basis besides housework. I know THAT trap; feeling like I’m only here to clean up and do the fucking dishes because that’s what I end up spending all my energy on. That thought has already reared it’s ugly head a few times. Time to devote my energy to MY projects, not just busy work. That’s a step up in commitment. And in confrontation of my fears; there’s something about this new stuff that scares me beyond all the production work that’s difficult. I don’t know if it’s too raw for me or what. But I will acknowledge repeated failures in my attempts to further my songs, particularly in singing. I need to get over this.

Okay. So I’m scared, and I’m not sure why. The best I can do is work to make it safe for myself. Warn my brother that something’s going on and I have no idea what’s going to come out of me. Close the drapes. Put on my headphones. Just get the fucking words out of my mouth where they should be. Screw the delivery right now. Get. it. out. This is one time and place where being easy on myself isn’t going to work. I have to punch through. Do or not do. Break that fucking wall down.

Keepin’ the Balls Up

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Amazing how much energy I expend just LISTENING in language class. Active listening is tiresome. No wonder we make kids go to school and learn! They’ve got so much more energy to begin with.

Damn, I was right. One of the instructors asked me again how long I’ve been living here because I TALK SO WELL. Fuck. Maybe so, but I feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants: barely keeping it together enough to (1) say something coherent in Dutch and (2) listen well enough to understand what’s said to me. I feel like I’m drowning half the time, drowning in Dutch and drowning in my own sweat that builds up each time I try to communicate. So yes, they’re challenging me in class. But they’re also watching me closely: all I had to do today was tilt my head at the instructor when he said a world I didn’t know and he stopped and told me what it meant. And my bro has to live with the fact that he’s been told BY THE INSTRUCTOR that I speak and understand better than he does so he should work with me. They made us sit next to each other today so I could help him. lol! He’s not the only one: my brother sat on my right but I caught the guy on my LEFT looking over at my notes for the answers. Geez Louise! The PRESSURE I feel in that class is bloody awful at times. So I am very pleased with myself for having answered completely WRONG a couple of times. Shout out that wrong answer, Beeps! I ain’t no fucking guru; stop looking at me like I fucking am. I gotta mess up sometimes. Let people know I don’t know it all. Telling people I’m not so good at something and then having them see me get it right over and over again just doesn’t work. I gotta let myself fall on my ass HARD. Really mess up. See? I make mistakes. Stop copying me.

Bleh. Shake that shit off.

Got some homework to do, but I’m leaving it until tomorrow and/or Sunday. One of the last words we learned in class was ‘winkelen’, which is a verb meaning shopping. Maybe that set me and my bro off; don’t know, but we ended up winkelen at the mall for a couple of hours. Didn’t buy anything, just walked around and looked. And talked Dutch as much as we possibly could. So I be tired, and ready to rebel with all English all the time.

… I still don’t know about this party coming up tomorrow night. My fear is raising its head. I’ve got thousands of reasons NOT to go right now: my hair is grown out and shaggy, I don’t have anything to wear other than my jeans and a t-shirt, Doctor Who is on tv, it’s gonna be cold, I don’t know exactly where it is…. You get the idea. There’s only one reason to go, and that’s a reason I’m finding hard to shake. The guy claims he wants to be my friend, that he can let go of his sexual attraction to me. Maybe; that unknown adds to my fear. But here’s the thing I can’ let go of: he’s told me he’s just lonely. He says he knows a lot of people, but when it comes down to spending time together most of his friends ‘forget’ to include him. Well, shit. I can relate to that; I know a lot of people out here who probably could. What kind of asshole am I to turn away from someone like that? It’s not like I have so many friends I can’t fit him in my schedule! I don’t have ANY friends here yet. He’d be the first.

Trusting people. Letting them in. I got a real hard time with that. ‘Cause it hurts so much when they leave. Sometimes they leave of their own volition, sometimes they die. Either way, it leaves a hole in your life that just can’t get plugged up with anything else for so fucking long…! I feel crippled when that happens. Nothing can soothe me, nothing is okay anymore. The last soul I lost was my cat, Sable. Felt like someone literally had gutted me. It’s a pain I still don’t want to look at head on. I let myself cry a tear now and then, but I can’t open up that shaking, ready to vomit PAIN all the way yet. Sable was the first soul I LET myself love after losing my dad. ‘Cause when dad died, I NEVER wanted to feel that pain again. I know I’ve set myself up for it…If the unthinkable should happen and my brother dies before me, I don’t know that I could survive it. I really don’t. I don’t like to think about it. And I continually pray to die first.

Well, that’s a bit of darkness on a sunny afternoon. Didn’t mean to go there, but that’s what that pain is for me: horrible, dark, and all-encompassing. My current mania allows me to bulldoze over all that right now, but don’t think typing in the previous paragraph was easy for me. It wasn’t.

Still have to get back to the story I’m sitting on. Crossing my fingers that an early start tomorrow will produce the result I want. Shitus-litus. I still have to go back out to that new music platform and upload my first song. Bah! Who says weekends are for relaxing? Work to do, places to be, time to be spent. That’s my Saturday and Sunday in a nutshell. Gotta carve some ME time out, too. Time to do jack-all. Smoke ’til I’m dizzy and play fucking computer games ’til my eyes bleed. Yeah. Feel like I NEED that. I hate giving it to myself in some ways; doing it will just make the crazy-busy time all the more crazy-busy.

I gotta become the rock in the middle of the stream. Solid, centered, grounded, while the world spins around me. Shit, I’m juggling, people. Hope I can keep the balls up.