Thursday, July 21, 2016

Arms.

Truth or dreams.  Truth or dreams?
That isn't a question, is it?  We have to have truth, behind our dreams.  We can't have dreams, or hopes, based on something that is irrational and empty of substance.  We can't live for a dream, based on memories from the past.  No one should live that way.  It rips people apart.  It drives them mad.

Truth makes dreams come true.  Truth fills dreams up with color and happiness and beauty.  Hope has to be based on some truth, yeah?

I'm not sure if it's just the depression and craziness that runs in my family, or if it's PMDD, but I tried to sustain myself on memories.  I tried to sustain myself on feelings, and safety I felt in the past. Those safe places aren't there anymore.  I didn't find new ones.  I just kept clutching the comfort of the past in my hands, not bothering to open them up... and see they were empty... I was holding onto nothing.

Haven't you ever done that?  Held on for too long, and subsequently you didn't let yourself move on, and accept truth?

I can still feel the safety of my grandparents' house, when they were loving and living.  I can still smell it--Grampy's aftershave, and dinner cooking, and warmth and love.  I can feel the beautiful, ornate handle of the old wooden door in my hand (replaced by a crappy, cheap, generic, and ugly door by my brother and his wife when they lived in the house after Grampy died).  I can see my grampy in his chair, visible from the door, just as I walked in.  I can see his smile.  I would know nanny was in the kitchen making dinner, or she would be on the couch, closest to him.  

I remember even further back.  I remember figuring out how to open the door with two newborn baby car seats balanced on my wrists.  

I remember so long ago--charging through the door, without knocking, when I was a kid, and finding my nanny and grampy bustling about in their house.  They never looked surprised to see a grandchild suddenly appear in their kitchen.  They always said, "Joanna!" and hugged me.  

I want that to be the truth of now, not just the past.  I am so blessed, and happy that I even experienced all that love and joy.  That was my truth for most of my life, so far.

I guess the more damaged I felt with depression and PMDD, the more I wanted all the safety and happiness I had ever experienced in my life, to surround me and hold me tight all at once.
I want my mommy.  I'm so scared.  I'm so lost.
I told her that, a week or so ago.  She didn't know what to do. She told me about the medications that could work for me.  She told me about medicine and that she had to go.

But, see, I have accepted that fact: that my mommy is gone, somehow.  Somehow, I accepted it, and stopped hoping a long time ago... but, when I'm really scared, I can't help but cry for the mother I knew, and the mother I really need so desperately right now.

I miss my dad.  He farms all summer.  We have had spinach from the farm.  They are in corn season now.  Michael loves cucumbers.  Stella loves corn.  I love summer squash, and cucumbers, and fresh tomatoes and...  We'd have to go to the stand and get vegetables.  Not pay for them, obviously, but collect them like customers.  My parents live around the corner.  My father drives home from the farm every day.  I don't understand, sometimes, except that people do what they can to survive and sometimes that's all they've got.  I still feel sad.

I'm scared of how quickly time slips by, and the people we love slip away.  They aren't around the corner, or through a door, or talking to you daily over email, or chatting.  They are just gone.

I don't want to have to keep accepting the loss and the grieving, that seems to last so long, when someone leaves.  I think after my grampy died, I stopped having the ability to let go completely.
I'm realizing that, now.
I stopped letting go, and started pulling harder and saying, "No, no!"
Oh, Gosh, even when there was no way to stop someone from leaving.  And even when I should have let them go.

You think I don't know I can't control other people?  I can't control life and death?  I can't control anything but my own self?  I'm a smart woman.  I know.  I know.
But that doesn't mean I always feel like I can live with it in a healthy way, or accept any of that truth, when I am feeling so fucking sad, I think it will kill me.

I needed people to stay.  I needed people to not disappear.
I needed a truth to believe in.  And, I am trying to not need anyone.  I'm trying to ever let myself sink into the loveliness of someone listening, or caring about me.  I'm trying not to let myself get comfortable in the happiness of finding safety in world that doesn't exist--not for long-- or in arms that will only temporarily wrap around me.  I don't want to relax into those arms, folded in half, listening to whispers of love and assurance, ever again.  I don't want to feel someone else making me feel safe.  I will stay rigid in any arms, and keep myself safe.

I was told I became a "side hugger." I don't allow hugs to comfort me.  I don't hug people, unless it's my children.  I know I am scared.  I fear arms.  And yet when people tell me, "What is this?  That's not a hug?" I try to do better.  Be better.  I wanted to be a hugger, again.  I used to show my affections.  I know hugs can feel like heaven, when we need them.  But I don't give them out.

And at one point I did.  I sank so deeply into them, I fell over.  Silly me.  I'm scared again.  Of arms holding me up.

Here's the truth:  I will forever be the safe arms wrapped around my children.  I will feel them snuggle against me, and fall asleep, breathing steadily, syncopated with my own breath and heartbeat.
I will be their truth.
I will keep them safe.
I will love them.
I won't disappear.
I won't let that happen.
They will never feel what I feel.
They will never feel this sad.
Never.






Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I'm not perfect. I hate making mistakes.

I will admit: I often write posts when I'm in a... certain mood...a particular emotional state, if you will.

Gosh darn it, if I ever do go back  and read old posts and I see typos, or glaring mistakes...
 I just want to punch myself in the face.
It's unacceptable.

I do go back and make corrections, and rework the writing, from past posts quite often.  I fix my mistakes.

Maybe...  Hmmm... I think about the things I wrote from the different perspective...
Or I just realize that what I wrote was too crazy, even if I was feeling it at the time.
I always want to fix things.  I want to fix all things, and make all the things in life--my life--just right.  I want to, and try to with all my might, make everything how it should be, and what I want it to look like, and feel like.

I'm a fixer.  I'm a corrector.

Gosh, wasn't that my job?  It wasn't to fix or correct student work, but to at least mark it up and help them learn how to fix it on their own.  I would write encouraging suggestions, or compliments, to balance the red marks, circling typos and misspelled words.  Ha.  Okay.  Yes, I would sometimes write, "Um...  Did you spell check this, or even read it before handing it in?  How about you do that, print it again, and give me that new copy.  We will recycle this one, so we don't waste paper."

Oh, snap.  Mean teacher.  Mean Mrs. Coleman...

But, for goodness sake...  I spent so many hours with essays spread all over a table in front of me, or on our queen sized bed at home, and I would read every word, and take great care and time with each piece of writing...  To get to a moment where I realized that the student didn't take any care at all...  I was not pleased.  They stopped that nonsense within the first month of my class.

When I read my own writing and see typos, I fix them, of course, but first I cringe... then I realize no one really reads this, or maybe they aren't noticing them, or they are reading it as a whole--seeing me, and my thoughts as a whole--and aren't hung up on... my mistakes.

I'm the one who is hung up.  I'm the one stuck on the mistakes.

And I wish I could fix every damn thing, not just in my writing, or in anyone's writing, but in life... in life.  In Life.

I have to stop that, huh?

Friday, July 15, 2016

Push.

I've been far too negative in my writing, lately.  Gosh darn it.  Stop complaining, right?

I was in crisis mode.  I guess I still am.  Life just seemed to pummel me.  I guess it does that to everyone.

Stupid medical stuff, that honestly feels like it will never end... Never.  End.  Blood tests are all over the place.  More tests.  No relief.  It feels like nothing has changed.

Nothing has changed, really, with my health care.  New doctors, no solution.  Not in the past year or so.

But, then... I haven't changed, mentally, either...  I mean, not just medically speaking, I haven't changed how I think or how I feel.  I haven't changed my life to any great extent.  I haven't tried so very hard.  I let myself stay.

Stay.

Stagnant.

And I know that is the worst thing anyone can do.  It's terrible to be sick, have depression, experience really difficult or painful events in life, but I can handle things differently.  I can try to think differently and stop letting myself stall out... stuck.  I resign myself to being stuck, and I feel like I don't have the energy to get unstuck.

I've been sitting at the bottom of that dark well for a very long time.  I haven't even looked up.  I haven't looked up.

I have to, now.  I have to stand up, and look up to the circle of light, and see something more than darkness inside myself.  I know that.  I know I have to push the darkness away, and look up, even if I'm seeing the sunlight through tears.  I'm allowed to be sad.  I'm allowed to be angry, even.  But, I'm not allowed to give up.  That's not how life works.

Life.

Live.

I got that tattooed on my foot for the love of all things Holy.  Live.  To Live.  Because I knew and know how easy it is to stop.  Stop living.  And just float, and fade...

I've put myself in this hamster wheel.  I climbed right in it, and I just keep going... But going nowhere.
I'm going to try and stop that nonsense.  I'm going to try.
Because I can't tell you how many people have given up on me, because I gave up on myself.  They left. They couldn't help fill someone up with life, who had the cap screwed on so tightly, protecting emptiness.

I don't want people to give up on me.  I'm so damn sad that I pushed them away.
I'm sad.
I don't feel better.
I feel horrible.
But I am looking up.  I can see.

I can see.

(Or...  I might be lying).



Monday, July 11, 2016

Just say it.

Explain it to me.

I have been destroyed.

And I have destroyed myself.

Through it all, I've been a good mommy.  I love my babies.  They hold me here.
Being a mother...  That's all I am, all I know...

But I want more than that for my children.

I'm feel like I'm just a wisp of life now, to anyone and anything but my babies...  I'm good at appearing whole and solid, but my children can see through that.
No one else can?
So what...  Do I do?

Tell me. You fucking robot trolls that "read" this blog.  Because I'm talking to no one when I write.
Always.
Now.
Always.



Crashing, hit a wall
Right now I need a miracle
Hurry up now, I need a miracle
Stranded, reaching out
I call your name but you're not around
I say your name but you're not around

I need ya, I need ya, I need you right now
Yeah, I need you right now
So don't let me, don't let me, don't let me down
I think I'm losing my mind now
It's in my head, darling, I hope
That you'll be here, when I need you the most
So don't let me, don't let me, don't let me down
Don't let me down

Don't let me down
Don't let me down, down, down
Don't let me down, don't let me down, down, down

Running out of time
I really thought you were on my side
But now there's nobody by my side

I need ya, I need ya, I need you right now
Yeah, I need you right now
So don't let me, don't let me, don't let me down
I think I'm losing my mind now
It's in my head, darling, I hope
That you'll be here, when I need you the most
So don't let me, don't let me, don't let me down
Don't let me down.

Don't let me down
Don't let me down, down, down
Don't let me down, down, down
Don't let me down, down, down
Don't let me down, don't let me down, down, down

Ooh, I think I'm losing my mind now, yeah
Ooh, I think I'm losing my mind now, yeah

I need ya, I need ya, I need you right now
Yeah, I need you right now
So don't let me, don't let me, don't let me down
I think I'm losing my mind now
It's in my head, darling, I hope
That you'll be here, when I need you the most
So don't let me, don't let me, don't let me down
Don't let me down

Yeah, don't let me down
Yeah, don't let me down
Don't let me down, oh, no
Said don't let me down
Don't let me down
-Daya


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Back Seat

I was handcuffed and arrested in my driveway.  I was led to the back seat of a police car, and I had to slide in, alone...  Sit there, alone.   I was worried about my sister.  I was scared she was scared.  She was scared for me.  She was scared that I was scared.  

I was wearing a freaking sports bra and yoga pants, darn it.  Who doesn't let you put some clothes on before they give you sobriety tests?  I just don't know.  I just don't know.  At least my sister was allowed to run over and give me her jacket, once she realized I was going to be ARRESTED.  (Her jacket was waterproof, darn it).
We're kind of the smartest ladies I know...
Here we are waiting for Harry Potter #5...
In a book store.  Because we're smart!
I was in shock, and trying to put on a happy face for my little sis.  I was okay, it would be okay.  "This is just craziness.  Craziness."

You see, it was raining... pouring... my little sis was sad. She's been sad for a long time. I've been so sad for awhile, too, now... and we needed to talk, and it's not not easy to be sad, and talk, and be crying, with 9 year old twins around: Especially Stella, who would want to know the who, the what, the how, the why, the where...  

I said let's go somewhere.  We'd park somewhere quiet and safe and talk and talk, talk, talk.  I'd drive her truck.  She was crying.  I'd never driven her truck.  It has a sensitive steering wheel apparently.  It was "swervy," and I remember that.

It's not like I don't remember it all, because it is all crystal clear.  I remember swerving, later, heading back towards my house. "Whoa, sorry about that, this is a crazy steering wheel."  A two-hander for sure.  I'm a swervy driver.  I'm a swervy girl, I guess.  

And, I was silly.  I get very talkative and ridiculous when I'm nervous and scared.  I might have mentioned Snoop Dog, and Gin and Juice. I know I told him I was uncomfortable being half naked.  But, truly, I didn't understand what was happening, it was moving so fast.  And I was worried about Mikhaila being worried about me.  

I was not really paying a darn attention to what the police were telling me... in my driveway...  It's hard to, when you're on a main road, with headlights in your face, and you're wearing a bra.  

"Um, you want me to walk like that right here?"
He demonstrated, with one step, on a packed down tire track.  
I was standing in a completely different place.  I held out my arms and took a crazy step, not trying to be sarcastic, but I guess I was a little. "Yeah, except no one can do that right here.  I'm on a slope, look at the rocks, and it's washed out from the rain.  Can I walk on a flat, safe area?
He told me to put my arms down and walk.  
"No, that wasn't the point, I'm saying no one could walk like that right here.  Can I walk somewhere else."
He didn't respond.  
"Forget it. We have that."
That being a breathalyzer.

Guess what's not a good idea to do?  Diet or pretty much fast/cleanse to look better in a bikini, 5 days before you leave for a beach vacation.  It's just silly business.  I hadn't eaten, really, very much at all in 5 days.  I drank a lot of grapefruit juice.  I ate only chicken and turkey and carrots.  That releases Ketones into your system.  Ketones can mess with your BAC.  Or maybe it just wasn't working.  He made me do it a few times, saying it wasn't working... or I wasn't doing it right.  I don't know.  I just thought it was one of those experiences I could write about (oh, I am!) someday.  Like, "Remember the time the police thought I needed a breathalyzer test?"  Then I thought, later, in the car... "Okay.  I can write about the time I was cuffed and wrongfully arrested."  
Experience.  
Life.  
Gotta experience life to be a good writer. But what the fuck?  I didn't want it to actually be real.  I'd like it to just be realistic.  Like, "Thanks guys, got it, that was way different than how I would have written the getting arrested part of my story.  Won't see ya later... 'cause I never have encounters with police, but... Thanks..."

I shouldn't have thought it was kind of funny at first.  I had no idea why any flashing lights would be behind us.  I thought maybe my sis's car wasn't inspected or something.  Maybe a taillight was out.  I joked to her, "We're just two hot girls in a truck, and I don't have a shirt on."

Nope.

Yes, I had taken off my jacket and tank top because there were sopping wet after walking around the cemetery in the rain.  We had walked and talked and cleaned lichen off stones, and read the names.  I told her, "The next stone I see will be the name of your first baby."

It was Mary.  Mary was the first name...

That all sounds morbid.  But it wasn't.  We wanted the names to be uncovered, not hidden... We wanted them to be cared for.  And we just needed to spend some time alone together.  Somewhere quiet.  Safe.

We talked and cried.  We cried and talked.  We had a very small amount of some drinks, just as we sat there... we were just... being sisters... talking... about things we couldn't talk to anyone else about... not anyone else in the world...  For a few hours... 3 or four hours actually.

It's super crazy to be locked into a cell.  I mean.  I sat there for a moment, then realized I had no idea how long I would be there, and that we were leaving for Maine later that morning... because by then it was early morning hours, and although the bench is concrete, I felt bad that my shoes were so muddy from the cemetery and our totally rain damaged driveway, so I took them off and used the jacket as a pillow to lay down.  I didn't want to get the "bench" dirty.  And I thought, "Rest.  Just calm down and think."

I took off my socks too, because they didn't match, and that's just a big faux pas for me... I mean, I threw them on because my sis needed me.  I didn't think anyone would see them!  Yeah, I thought about that... because I was sober... and just my normal, ridiculous self.

While we were filling out paperwork, "Hey, I know my rights, I get one phone call," then I set it down, of course and told him I was kidding.  He was laughing a lot, but maybe because he thought I was just totally drunk or something... I mean, who's that funny, while getting arrested for a DUI, when they are sober?  (No one.  The answer is no one...  Just me.).

And I felt like getting mug shots was kind of funny.  I asked the cop what kind of expression I should make?  Like, I shouldn't smile, since this isn't a happy event, but...  He said, "Just don't laugh, probably.  No one will see them anyway.  They aren't public."  I wasn't laughing, I was just kind of making crazy faces at him implying I felt like him taking my picture in the form of a mugshot was a whole lot of craziness...  He laughed, then I guess I did.

And, I wasn't laughing, like, "Oh, I'm silly buzzed girl."  I was laughing because I was scared and nervous, (and for the record whenever I have to pose for a formal type of photo... like my driver's license, I start laughing.  I hate it.  I hate getting my picture taken!).  

It will be okay.  I know it will.  I'm really, really scared that I'm going to be facing the reality of this being real, and other things when PMDD, luteal phase hits me again... I won't be so level-headed, or able to think about it in a rational manner.  Ohhhhhhh, great!  That will be when I have to appear in court?  PMDD is scarier than the police, or anything they could throw at me.  It's already scary on its own.  It's scary.  And I'm already sad.  But...

Anyway, it was pretty damn crazy, and I'm pretty sure I'm not a big fan of getting arrested, or just having cops giving me all kinds of business when I'm just wearing a bra, on top...  Ya know?  

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The sea.

I can hear the water meeting rocks and sand and earth right now.  Waves are lapping in towards the land. We are in Maine.  We are in a lovely rental right on the ocean...  So I can hear it, even when it's dark.   I mean I hear the waves, the sea, even when I can't see them.  It's night.  We are staying in a carriage house, with a wall of windows looking out at the ocean. It's beautiful.
And, we are a family, on vacation.

Love is all that I have so, let me love who I want, oh
All the dreams that I’m chasing, break my heart then replace it
Love is all that I have so, let me love who I want

And it's a beautiful sound...  The waves crashing on the rocks... the tide...  It is a sound that makes me think of childhood, and happiness,  and my grandparents, and moving literature...  But I hate that I also, clearly, think of something else...
Of walking in...
I'm luteal, and even my favorite place, and favorite time of year aren't keeping me safe.

We’ll never get it back, but we’ll try
Some things are best left behind
We’ll replicate old days, they’ll haunt us.


I've been so deeply buried lately...  So dark.  I haven't been able to see or think with clear focus.
Nothing makes sense.
Nothing.
Walking into the ocean, and swimming towards the line where the sky touches the water...  That makes sense on nights like these.

Love is all that I have so
me love who I want oh
All the dreams that I’m chasing
Break my heart then replace it
Love is all that I have and 

This wasn’t what I escaped for

If you could just hear my whispers
I’m screaming under the waters

You held me up on your shoulders

But i got caught in the tunnels
I never came back to save you
And you were waiting so faithful

And so I'm going back years of my depression, and thoughts, and writing, yes?  To the furthest reaches of my blog...  of Edna...  The ocean calls to me too...  Maybe it always has, and that's why I ended up so...  Unsettled...  Tossed around... Caught in a moon surf...  I haven't changed?  I'm not all better yet?  I'm not all better?!  I'm not better...

And I'm listening to it call to me now...  It's so close...  I could walk right into those waves... Become part of the sound and the ebb and flow...  Part of the sea.

I know I can't.  I shouldn't even hear those whispers, of the water.
I do though.

Bulove is all that I have now
gave my blood just to find out
Your tired heart that I buried
Won't you ever forgive me? -Archis

I hear the infinity and power and inevitability and predictability of the tide, beckoning me all the way in.  I'm scared to drown.  I'm scared to be pulled under the water.   I just sucked the water into my lungs...  Recently...  Because I'm stupid...  And because I can't believe there is safe shore in sight anymore...

I won't walk out into the darkness and cold water of the Atlantic tonight.  I believe in something more than Bon-bons and sentiments sent abroad of affection to my babies.  They need me on this sand:  these rocky beaches... Even if I feel like I can't stand up here, and my feet are bruised or bloody from barnacles and stones.  They don't think about my feet.  They need my arms.  They need my heart.  They need my mind...  And I need to stop coming back to this place.  I need to stop giving up, and try.

And I have to think.  And make choices.  A choice not to listen to the temptation, the calling of the sea, and stay right here.  I mean, I'll sit and breathe, and remember all the years we have come to Maine, and how happy they all felt.

Yes, I'll just listen awhile longer...  It sounds so perfect and peaceful.   Ahhh, how much I want to know that is truth--the peace, the happy--and feel it deep inside, even when I'm not in the salty waters.

But, the waves are so rhythmic and lulling.  They call to all of us, because it's life.  I hear it.  I hear the tide. Do you?

Friday, July 1, 2016

Not a Pretty Girl.


I am not a pretty girl
that is not what I do

I ain't no damsel in distress

and I don't need to be rescued

so put me down punk
maybe you'd prefer a maiden fair
isn't there a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere


Can I write?  I've been crying for so many hours now.  
I woke up with swollen eyes.  
I don't need to be rescued, but I guess I sure look like I do.  I'm sure I look like a mess... Like a helpless heap of a girl.  

Not a pretty girl at all, though.  

I don't feel pretty inside.  I don't feel pretty in any way. Happy girls are pretty.  Audrey Hepburn said something like that.  

I am not an angry girl
but it seems like I've got everyone fooled
every time I say something they find hard to hear
they chalk it up to my anger
and never to their own fear
and imagine you're a girl
just trying to finally come clean
knowing full well they'd prefer you
were dirty and smiling


I can't come clean.  I'm all dirty.  I'm all dirty, but I'm crying.  I'm crying rivers through the dirt on my face, down my neck...  Dirt...  Memories...  Wet tracks along a dirty face.

and I am sorry
I am not a maiden fair
and I am not a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere

No one needed to save me, but maybe I wanted to be saved.  God, I wanted to feel safe... I wanted to know that if I was trying to swim to shore, someone might meet me halfway, if I were too tired.  
If I were too scared.  
If my limbs stopped working. 
Because all the other people were pulling on them, holding me in the water.  I wanted someone to pry the fingers off my skin, and pull me free.  Free.  


And I am a patriot
I have been fighting the good fight
and what if there are no damsels in distress
what if I knew that and I called your bluff?
don't you think every kitten figures out how to get down
whether or not you ever show up


Maybe you're just telling to wait on the branch, telling me that jumping down even a short distance would ruin everything.  Ruin everything!  
Wait there, to be helped down safely. Trust me, I will keep you safe...  
Except that's not right.  I have to protect myself and know how to fall...  I have to be brave, not just safe.  

I am not a pretty girl
I don't want to be a pretty girl
no I want to be more than a pretty girl



I remember coming to an understanding that I had to be a pretty girl...  That I was a pretty girl...  And to be defined so singularly--because that's what happens--made me so angry.  I was smart.  I am smart.  I am just really, really dumb sometimes.  Dumb to believe in anyone but myself.  

Dumb to not believe in myself at all...  


(Ani DiFranco)