Thursday, May 28, 2015

生.

Sam is frustrated with me.  He keeps trying to talk to me, then leaves the room, then comes back, then leaves the room again.  I listen to him, and I respond to what he's saying, but I'm not saying the right things, or he wouldn't need to keep talking about the same thing over and over, right?  He wouldn't be so frustrated that he has to stop talking to me... or listening... Listening.

PMDD.  Why would any sane man try to talk to a women with PMS, let alone PMS, when she was in the luteal phase?  I mean... We could either just say crazy shit, or nothing at all and look at you like you're a big stupidhead.  

Right now I don't really feel anything when he is talking right now.  I feel nothing at all.  I have no emotional reaction. I don't feel like he's a stupidhead.  I just can't hear him.  I'm not even hearing myself.  


I'm on default: 死, most of this time of the month, which doesn't make sense to me, (even though I understand my diagnosis and all the hormone shit) considering the kind of person I am inside.  I'm full of life and love.  I always was...  Yet, half the month I want to die? That's the solution my brain comes up with for all that weighs on me: the stones of misfortune, or poor health, or loss, or confusion, or just life...  To die? 

For goodness sake, how can my brain come to that conclusion, that all is so hopeless or that there is no way to move in any direction.  Life and people don't trap us, we trap ourselves.  We trap ourselves.Yet, I'm entering that place now.  And I do want to sleep things away, instead of facing them.  I want something to happen to me.  I actually think about how I wish someone else would kill me... oh what a relief...  !! I don't feel capable of either living or dying on my own.  I feel nothing except the desire to feel nothing.  And that's the weirdest way to think, I tell you, even when I'm experiencing it.  It's scary.  I am scared of how I think. 

I understand that only we can change ourselves--or only I can change myself--from an intellectual and philosophical standpoint.  I am a fairly rational person!  Yet, my emotional mentality at times moves into such a place, where I can think that's not true at all.  I think, "I need help," "I can't do this alone," and most of the time, "I can't do anything and no one else can help me either.  I'm doomed."  

.  If you've read any of my blog, you know this to be true, and I'm not just being silly.  It's doomsday for Joanna half of every month.  

I recently read A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, and I won't tell you the entire plot, or anything, but at the end of the book the girl's great-grandmother writes the Japanese symbol 生, just before she dies.  It's a very moving part of the novel, (which is excellent, by the way), because she writes this important message just for her grandson and great-granddaughter.  "Live."  She tells them to live.:  "For now.  For the time being."  This seems like a simple and obvious statement, but for too many, it's actually an order against what they are feeling and thinking.

Ozeki, p. 362

"Live, damn you!"  People are shaking me, yet I'm flopping like a rag doll in their hands. 
"Sure," I finally spit out in response,  "Sure, I will live.  Thanks." And they seem satisfied.  It's easy to be a rag doll.  It's fairly easy to stay alive, even.  I mean, we can not eat for 21 days, and as long as we drink water, we'll survive.  But, that's different than 生.  Alive.  Living.  Live.  

You see.  Too often when they set me down, I collapse at the joints.  I'm still just cloth and yarn and thread. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Doll Parts.


When I was in high school, I loved the band Hole.  Of course I liked Nirvana, Live, Stone Temple Pilots, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime, Pearl Jam, and all the rock bands from that time period, (we had pretty darn good music in the 90s), but I really liked the girl grunge/rock bands and no one else I knew listened to them.  Veruca Salt and Courtney Love (Hole) were my favorites.  I also liked Garbage, Belly, Tori Amos, and the Cranberries.  Remember the movie Empire Records?  That soundtrack was great... yeah...
Anyway…  In college I gravitated towards less angry girl rock and more melodic and kind of sad chick music type stuff.  Tori Amos was my favorite in college.  I also liked Ani DiFranco, etc. because she played in Burlington all the time.  And, of course I grew up listening all the bands and artists my mom and daddy loved (Dylan, The Animals, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Hendrix, The Hollies, The Eagles, x Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, The Mamas and the Papas... oh, and then there were The Pogues, Silly Wizard, The Chieftains… Now that stuff was more for home, although I have some stories about the Pogues and the Irish bar on Church Street when I was in college.  ;)    

          So, I was listening to Hole last night, and I remembered all the words to their songs.  Isn’t that funny how that much time can pass and we remember these words?  Things stick in our memory.
       My, oh my, I listened to some angry, dark songs.  And I think I felt some of it too…  There are moments in high school stuck in my memory that weren’t so pleasant for me, that I don’t ever talk about because they seem inconsequential.  
         I was a new, shiny thing when I got to SHS and to beat it all, I was Mr. Janiszyn’s daughter.  I was the coveted, and the unattainable.  I remember sitting in a cafeteria study hall and this senior I barely knew slide in between my friend and I next to me and start telling me, “You have to know how beautiful you are,” etc.  I think I said, “I don’t really have any thoughts on that subject.”  He creeped me out.   
Junior year?
         I was wearing shorts and hidden under the table, he put his hand on my thigh and tried moving it up further and further.  I was 14, in my school cafeteria.  I pushed his hand away.  I remember feeling confused and violated.  Who the Hell just touches someone like that?  I wasn’t used to any kind of male attention, really.  How did I go from being a fairly invisible, smart girl in middle school, to this…  THIS!  A guy touching my thigh?  WTF.  
         All the Springfield girls hated me before I even got there.  They had heard of Joanna Janiszyn, because I had gone to lots of baseball, and basketball games with my dad, and the older boys had seen me…  And therefore the girls had heard too.  
          I remember this very big-boned, scary girl named Jaime, in my French class turning around and saying, “Melissa wants to fight you.”  
         I probably had the wide-eyed, confused look on my face I do now… It seems so silly anyone has ever wanted to fight me.  I asked her why, and she said, “Because she’s with Jesse, you know.”  
        And of course I asked, “Jesse who?”  He was a senior boy who was apparently smitten on me.  He had talked to me at some sporting events and he thought he had claimed me as his own and told his Melissa this. I never really knew the whole story.  I just remember assuring Jaime that I didn’t have any feelings about Jesse, what-so-ever.  
       “You mean you aren’t with him?” Jaime asked.  I bet she was referring to physical stuff (haha, yeah, I'm just realizing that now... which didn’t even enter my innocent, naive, boys-have-never-shown-me-attention-14 year old brain, but I assured her I knew he was friends with my dad and came to some games in Bellows Falls to hang out with my dad, sometimes. I didn’t know him very well.  She seemed satisfied that no fight was needed.  
         My mom laughed when I told her that Story.  She said, “Jesse has been visiting dad to see you, and trying to flirt with you all summer.  Joanna, you are ridiculous.”  Flirt with me?  Eh?  

I am doll eyes, doll mouth, doll legs
I am doll arms, big veins, dog beg
Yeah, they really want you,
They really want you, they really do
Yeah, they really want you,
They really want you, and I do too

I want to be the girl with the most cake
I love him so much it just turns to hate
I fake it so real, I am beyond fake
And someday, you will ache like I ache

And someday, you will ache like I ache
And someday, you will ache like I ache
And someday, you will ache like I ache
And someday, you will ache like I ache

I am doll parts, bad skin, doll heart
It stands for knife
For the rest of my life
Yeah, they really want you,
They really want you, they really do
Yeah, they really want you,
They really want you, but I do too

I want to be the girl with the most cake
He only loves those things
Because he loves to see them break
I fake it so real, I am beyond fake
And someday, you will ache like I ache

And someday, you will ache like I ache
And someday, you will ache like I ache
And someday, you will ache like I ache
And someday, you will ache like I ache
And someday, you will ache like I ache
And someday, you will ache like I ache

Someday, you will ache like I ache


Senior Year.
       When I was in high school I think the Doll Parts song rang true to me, and now I understand why.  I was that way.  I was the girl with the most cake.  I was a Junior, and parked with my friend Heather where a lot of people our age were hanging out.  A guy who graduated when I was a freshman leaned in the window and said, "Ah, it's Joanna Janiszyn, one of the prettiest girls who ever walked the halls of Springfield High School."  I was pretty embarrassed at the time.  But, I guess I looked shiny, and perfect, and pretty on the outside, until my senior year, when things cracked apart.  I'm sure I was a bit of a mess before then too, because all teenagers are, aren't they?  But seniors year, after shit went down, I was able to tell myself that I was lucky that I had dated someone like Ryan Johnston in high school, and that he had sexually assaulted me, because I had learned something about myself:  that I could be manipulated and controlled in a way that was completely against my strong and righteous character, and that I was too trusting.  So, I would never marry someone like that.  I would never marry someone who controlled me and made me lose myself.  I would marry someone safe.  I would marry someone who wasn’t anything like Ryan Johnston.  

Violet
And the sky was made of amethyst
And all the stars are just like little fish
You should learn when to go
You should learn how to say no
Might last a day, yeah
Mine is forever
Might last a day, yeah
Mine is forever
They get what they want, they never want it again
They get what they want, they never want it again
Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to
Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to
And the sky was all violet
I want it again but more violent, more violent
I'm the one with no soul
One above and one below
Might last a day yeah
Mine is forever
Might last a day, yeah
Mine is forever
They get what they want, they never want it again
They get what they want, they never want it again
When I get what I want, what I never want it again
When I get what I want, what I never want it again
Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to
Go on, take everything, take everything, I dare you to
I told you from the start just how this would end
When I get what I want, what I never want it again
Go on, take everything take everything I want you to
Go on, take everything take everything I want you to
Steal all of my lovin'
Go on, take everything take everything I want you to
Go on, take everything, take everything I want you to
Go on, take everything, take everything I want you to
Go on take everything, take everything, take everything, take everything

         Goodness, all kinds of people hide their true selves behind their exteriors, yeah?  I thought--no, I think-- some people just naturally see the insides of each other.  They know you and you know them.  Isn't that beautiful?  I don't think those people often find each other or end up together. Most of us spend our lives polishing our facade.  We worry about the mortar cracking, and try to patch it up when no one is looking.  


Dying

You see the cripple dance
Pay your money, baby
Now's your chance
Eyes like cyanide

I am so dumb
Just beam me up
I've had it all forever
I've had enough

Remember, you promised me
I'm dying, I'm dying, please
I want to, I need to be
Under your skin

Our love is quicksand
So easy to drown
They steal the gravity, yeah
From moving ground

Remember, you promised me
I'm dying, I'm dying, please
I want to, I need to be
Under your skin

And now I understand
You leave with everything
You leave with everything I am
Withering

And now I know that love is dead
You've come to bury me
There's nothing left here to pretend
Anything

Remember, you promised me
I'm dying, I'm dying, please
I want to, I need to be
Under your skin

I'm dying, I'm dying, please
I'm dying, I'm dying, please
I'm dying, I'm dying, please
Under your skin

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Kindness.

Sometimes we get packages and regular mail together, so our mailman will drive up our steep, annoying driveway, when the top is often filled with lots of toys or building materials, and cars, and even our big pool...  But he drives up, anyway, to make sure the package gets to our door and not just leave it on the porch down below.

Stella and I were outside planting all these various perennial bulbs that Sam had bought for me a few days ago.  We spent time thinking about where we should put each plant and why it would fit just right there, or over here.  Stella was watering the gardens, when I saw the mail truck driving up the driveway.  I advised her to not spray the mailman, which inspired a 'duh' expression from Stella, who said, "I wouldn't do that mommy!"

The mailman gave me an envelop and said he had a bigger box in the back.  He explained how FedEx passes off deliveries to the postal service when they feel like it's too difficult to find a house, or if there were tough driveways for their bigger trucks to maneuver.

     "Weird," I said to him.  "I hope they pay you to make the deliveries for them!  Next time we'll give you a tip."  He laughed and I told him it was always okay to turn around up there however he can, even if he has to drive on the yard.  He said, "Really?"
     "Trust me, we don't care," and gestured towards the mess that was all around us.

After he left Stella put down the hose and sat on one of the swings, facing the garden she had been watering.  She said, "That is a friendly mailman.  Why was he talking so nicely to us?"
Stella loving her grampy up.
I explained that he was a friendly person, and that he was also one of her classmate's fathers.
     "Did he talk to you in a nice way, because he is her daddy?"
     "No, he is just a friendly, good person.  There are lots of friendly and kind people in the world, Stella.  It feels nice when you meet someone like that, though, doesn't it?"

She was sitting on a swing, and she looked down, dragging her toes on the dirt... pensive...  thinking... "Mommy, when I meet someone like that, it makes me think of...  Well, I don't want you to be sad."
     "It makes you think of Grampy John, doesn't it?"
She looked up and smiled, sadly, "Mommy, he was nice to everyone.  He cared about everyone."
     "You're right, he did.  It doesn't make me sad to think about Grampy John.  It makes me happy when we talk about him," I said, watching her smile creep back.  "And he would be proud of how kind and caring you are.  Grampy was very special and I'm glad you think about him sometimes."
    "I think about him all the time, mommy."

Sunday, May 3, 2015

When I'm Gone.

Watching Anna Kendrick.
      Right now I'm watching my sister, Mikhaila, and my daughter, Stella, practice the Anna Kendrick, "Cups Song," routine.  They both say they knew how to do it at one point, or thought they did.  They just needed some practice, they said.  I'm trying not to cry.
     This moment: this moment in time, and place, and situation, and sound, and sight is something I have wanted to see since I can remember.  My sister and my daughter.
      "I'm just trying to become the best teacher I can be... Haha, I really am," Mikhaila giggles as she focuses her attention on Stella, but realizes I am watching them.
      They have the same mannerisms, talking with their hands, and expressive faces, even when they aren't trying to copy Anna Kendrick's video.  They are a lot alike, really. Mikhaila is watching Stella so attentively, being so very encouraging, and smiling.  Stella is delighted, and being her feisty, expressive self. 
     "I can't sing that fast.  I'd have to be a rapper to keep up with that beat," Mikhaila says and Stella smiles. "You just want to make it a competition of who can do it faster, don't you?"
      "No, I just like doing it faster."
      I was 10 when Mikhaila was born and she was my little buddy.  I think Mikhaila always wanted my daughter to be her little buddy, even though she's my best friend.  It's the natural succession of things, right?Stella is trying to do "cups" so fast, she has to keep flattening her palms against the cool glass of the doors behind her. "This hurts my hands," she says.
         "That's because you're doing it so fast! I'm a little scared of you right now."  
         Mikhaila looks up at me and says,  "She's a youngin', she's got faster reflexes."
         She and Stella Giggle.  "I'm like, uh..." Mikhaila says, mimicking the speed and force of Stella's version of the routine.  She can't keep up with this eight year old fireball.  Who can?They finally got it, to some sort of "performance ready," although Stella keeps changing the plans and the rules.  Mikhaila is laughing as Stella gives her instructions...  Oh, I remember a little girl just like Stella...As they grow in confidence, I film their performance, and suddenly Michael throws a rubber snake into the mix.  "Machete Snake!" he yells, and runs off.  
          "We've got one child who made cups lethal, and one child whose got a machete snake.  I'm a little frightened of your children right now," my sister takes on her perfectly serious, not serious voice.
        Stella begins again, ready to keep practicing, despite the snake attack, and Mikhaila looks at me, smiling knowingly, and starts clapping and slapping her cup.
 
      

Emergency.

My original blog post disappeared and I was very sad.  I spent a lot of time writing this particular piece, and reflecting upon my time at the ER and about what led to me needing to be there in the first place.  The general consensus of the medical professionals was that I needed more intensive treatment for my depression.  What were at the very least, fairly "normal" feelings for me on a monthly basis, were not something the PA, the nurses, or the HCRS professional could grasp as normal, or even "okay" in any way.  They said they had admitted people for much less than what I was telling them and what I had done... But I'm intelligent about my PMDD and depression, and I understand that situational stress can push me over an emotional cliff, if it's serious enough... and it has been many times... I had just never texted my EMT sister to ask her about the shit I had taken, when I was in the process of passing out.  I guess I knew it was something more serious--the feeling of not wanting to wake up.  It was more than a not caring, or being careless; I consciously hoped that I would not wake up.  I wanted to sleep, and not feel anything, and I hoped that relief lasted forever.  So, anyway... here's the beginning of the old post... that's all that was retrievable from the blog feed:

"I used to welcome sleep; I looked forward to sleep. Sometimes, being awake seemed so unbearable in my worst emotional and psychological states of PMDD, I would feel relief and even mild (yet tired) excitement if I were able to get into bed early and could drift off into another world easily... I liked dreaming. Being in bed *all day* maybe takes away the respite of bedtime. Laying on my bed for hours in daylight, staring at the wall, or doing something mindless because I am unable to close my eyes, exacerbates depression, and makes sleep more difficult at night. If you can get out of bed, do it... do it. Don't stay in bed all day.  Get out.  I can't sometimes..."


I'll try and fill it in, as I remember it.  I figure that can be therapeutic, right?  Let's do it!  Alrighty...

...I can't get out of bed, because I'm frozen in a feeling of apathy, that is impenetrable.  I don't care if I move or breathe or do anything.  I feel nothing.  When I feel nothing I still have a sense of all that I am missing, and I sink deeper into the mattress and hide further under the quilt.  And that night, I really just wanted to go to sleep, after a day that didn't feel so great...  And I know I wrote about how awful it feels to be a mother and to love my children so desperately, and so deeply, yet still feel the urge to sleep the big sleep...


Wow...  I can't go back a write something I've already let out of my system.  I know that the concern was the "impulsivity" of my actions.  I would drink and take sleeping pills, and prescription pill all together, without a thought of the outcome--Impulsive in the not caring what would happen.  When you feel trapped, even if it's in your own mind, you just want out.  Sleep is an out.  "Make me sleep" I can think, but then the not worrying about waking up was an issue for the second shift, (midnight to deep into the early morning), PA in the ER, who was also named Sam.  And so I sat there, in a propped up hospital bed, with an IV and monitors, making sure my organs weren't going to shut down, for over 5 hours, wide awake.  The nurse was surprised, after all that sleeping medicine and the sedatives that I would not pass out.  I told them I had thrown up as much as I could before I got there.  That didn't seem to matter.  It was that I had done it in the first place, and that I had known I had taken enough to need to throw up too...

And Finally, Sam the PA, who was sitting on a stool next to me, alone, (after Sam left to get some personal items for me at home), said he could only put it into the perspective that if I were his family, if "You were my family, if I were that Sam," he said pointing at my Sam's empty chair, "I would want to want to be alive, and I would want you treated for this depression as aggressively as possible."  I told him I understood, but I tried to explain how PMDD would mean that I would be feeling better, less impulsive, I thought, within a day.
I agreed to stay the night there, and sleep, instead of going to an inpatient facility, and I was moved to a hallways, where there were little room, with a heavy sliding glass doors, and a security guard sitting outside the room.  It was quiet.  There was an elderly woman with dementia in the room across from me who was being taken off of a medication, and she had become aggressive in her assisted living facility and was now sedated and sleeping, I found out later, when her daughter came to visit her the next day, wondering what she would do next, what was there to do next....

 The nurse brought me warmed blankets and said, "goodnight, try to sleep," and after asking the security guard to show me how to lower the bed so it was not in an almost sitting position, and asking him if he thought scratching poison ivy made it spread, (I couldn't stop scratching my legs--he whispered in that the internet said that scratching wouldn't make it spread), I laid down on the blue vinyl mattress, covered with a white sheet, and I covered my legs with a blanket, and hugged one that was still warm against my chest, and I started to fall asleep... It felt safe and good.  I felt safe and sleepy... but as I drifted off, I realized I still didn't care if I woke up.