“I Think We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat!”

Winslow_Homer_004Superheroes usually have one thing in common. The angst, the fighting urge to push forward no matter the odds or the obstacles, no matter their own personal pain. They have to continue for the cause of the Greater Good because if they don’t, well, the world is lost. And so are they. I watched Blade today (this is the part where I warn those of you who haven’t seen it that there are spoilers to follow). Blade wanted so desperately to find the vampire that killed his mother. And even when he was given the chance to give up being the “daywalker,” being like them, he didn’t. Why? The war wasn’t over. He continued to live as a “monster” and struggle with his own battle because he knew it was bigger than him. Don’t believe me? The Dark Knight movie (again, spoiler notice) was the same way. Batman lost the one woman he desperately loved and sacrificed his own reputation, the one he had trained and worked so hard to establish, to make sure that Gotham had a hero. He realized, despite everything he’d sacrificed it couldn’t be him, so he gave it up. Just like that. I could go on and on and on. But I won’t. Because this blog isn’t about superheroes. It’s about little, old me. And how much I envy them. I know if you look at it from a psychological perspective (something I’ve grown accustomed to doing since this trip down the rabbit hole), superheroes are…well, insane. They’re adrenaline junkies with a death wish. They have unresolved issues in their own personal life and take it out in a tunnel-vision-sort-of-rage. But, if you think about it in a non-psychological perspective, think about it like a normal person (not that I am), superheroes are like the example people need when they have emotional pain. Note: I’m saying that at the beginning of this entry and will probably come to a less than similar conclusion towards the end. Sorry. Their personal vendettas, while they are what originally drive them, are set aside and they learn important life lessons through their overall goal. Their one achievement in life is to take down Dr. Doom, or destroy Magneto or end Lex Luthor. But in that struggle, they learn so much about themselves along the way. They love, they lose, they get hurt, they win. Things are taken from them, they take them back. Strength is sapped right from their body, their weaknesses are exploited and it always seems absolutely hopeless. But…but, Lois Lane managed to dig the kryptonite out of your side in time, or Wolverine regained consciousness just in time to free your hands from the handcuffs they’ve been locked in. The only difference between superheroes and us (and I’m not talking about normal people now, I’m talking about the freaks and geeks who read this blog. You know who you are), is that superheroes have a tangible, touchable, visible, viewable enemy. In our lives, there is no Lex Luthor. He isn’t a living, breathing person. He can’t be shot and the war is over. In Blade, Deacon Frost exploded in a blood bomb induced by EDTA (an anticoagulant). I can’t do that with my problems. There is no final resolution. And I know in the comics, there isn’t either. The Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum, Magneto tricks his way out of a plastic prison, Loki uses magic, the cycle goes on and on. But there are moments where there is some finality. You have some moments where you can take a break, you can put your feet up and rest for a minute, thinking that for a just a little bit, you can get a massage or take a bath and not have any problems. With depression? With pain? With personality? Nope. That shit is stuck to you like flies on flypaper in a creepy farmhouse. I’m stranded in the ocean, like I started to say. And sometimes, my little dingy washes ashore and for a few brief nanoseconds, I can grip the sand, thinking that I’m on my way to freedom. Freedom from the roller coaster of tidal waves and random storms, of shark fins that appear out of nowhere and threaten my existence with their razor sharp blades…I mean, teeth. But before I can even climb out to stick my sunburned toes in the sand, to feel the warmth of semi-solid ground on my calloused feet, the undertow rips me back out into the surf. I’m gone again. There’s no oar, no paddle, and even if there was, it wouldn’t make a difference. Whenever this happens, the swell is stronger than it was when I came in so I have to fight just to stay above water. I take my meds every day as prescribed, even sometimes having to take the anxiety meds as needed, I “cope:” showers, singing, movies, sleeping, (friends), whatever I can think of to not stick my hand in and let the sharks feast. I do whatever I can to not simply drop my whole body in and just sink. There’s a song by Blue October called Into the Ocean. I love that song. I would love to float away. The only…and I mean the only peace I get (and don’t get it confused, it is fleeting, at best), is the fact that I’m alone. I don’t mind talking to Poco, and sometimes to Allison, or Jackie, but for the most part, I’m most content when I’m alone. And even then, there’s unhappiness lurking like No-Face in the corner (spoilers for the movie, Spirited Away. Haven’t seen it? See it!). He offers me gold, all that I could ever imagine to get me to wallow with him and usually, it works. I do. I give in and I want to sit with him. I go to Barnes and Noble and look at nude photography, wishing my body looked like those girls. When I watch movies, I wish my body looked like theirs. When I sit in the shower (we’ve already discussed this oddity, haven’t we?), I think about how no man is ever going to want me, touch me, hold me, hug me, love me. I think about how Rooney Mara (Girl with The Dragon Tattoo spoilers!) was a ward of the state because she was so F. Up. Well, I’m a ward of my parents. Yes, I know, I am their child but you know what, 23 is not a child. In anyone’s eyes. The state, the law, the Army, any of it. I can vote, I can drive, I can have legal sex, I can join the armed forces, I can drink alcohol, I can rent a car and/or a hotel room. No one can justify that. Those superheroes I wouldn’t shut up about had justification for their actions. Sometimes, yes, they went a little above and beyond the call of duty and performed their vengeance a little too well, but nonetheless, they did their cause due justice. How can I be expected to do anyone justice? How can I be expected to have a child, or even have a relationship? Have a job when I can’t do anything physically? Maintain a state of living when the polls are too close to tally whether I even want to live or not? I broke down in the shower earlier, crying about how much I thought I disappointed my grandmother before she died. I was crying because of how much I allowed my life to be ruined by Mara. I was crying because I have yet to do anything. I have so many things I want to do but for one reason or another, they will never happen. How does a bird accept that he will never fly? Maybe I should be worried about those sharks around me. They’ve managed to keep hope alive that I will be dinner. I don’t know if that’s good or bad but the word “hope” was in that sentence. Wasn’t it?

‘”Can I Get Some Help Around Here?”

maid005B.123114107So, I’m useless. It’s been confirmed by an outside, third-party, not-in-my-head source. Alright, the source isn’t so third-party. It’s my mom. But she did say the word “useless” in a sentence that was used to describe me. She didn’t mean it like that but it sure as hell hurt like that. I’ve already been feeling pretty shitty: eating my weight in Fruit Gushers everyday (you know, those little gummy snacks that spurt juice when you bite into them?) and getting killer headaches no matter what I seem to do about the light situation in my room (turn it on, turn it off, dim it, no TV, with the TV, doesn’t matter- migraine ensues). Plus, I haven’t heard anything from Towson and what I did hear from those jobs, well, that was described post-post. As maternal figure put it, I need to find something to do and not be so “useless” around here. See why that stung? Now, in my defense (at least while I’m feeling up to defending myself), I don’t think I’m completely useless. Not in the house, anyway. The kitchen and family room are straightened everyday, the foyer is picked up and pampered, the dog doesn’t poop in the living room (dachshunds are notoriously hard to potty train, even in their older years) and sometimes I go OCD off the deep end and something that needed cleaning gets super cleaned. It might not look as good as if Merry Maids did it or Serv Pro or something like that but note: I’m not getting paid in extraneous cash. I get free rent and utilities, which may seem nice, is not quite the same thing. While Thomas is off getting quizzed about what he’s going to do while he’s at school in the fall, you know, what he’s going to major in, what teams he’s going to join, who he’s rooming with, all that jazz, I’m stuck here reliving the horror that was my first year out of high school. I’m not in any way saying that I’m not happy for him. Hell, I was posting pictures of the college decal his school sent in the mail that I immediately slapped on my rear windshield with pride. I mean, I can’t say I have one of those. I can’t say I ever gave my parents one of those. And now, it’s gotten to the point where people don’t even bother to ask anymore. We saw our pediatrician today (a visit for Thomas but I was there) and she didn’t even ask about me. I can’t even try to give her the benefit of the doubt of not knowing how old I am or not knowing whether or not I’ve graduated or anything like that because I’ve been in that office on more than one occasion with Thomas and she’s asked me then. I guess my answers have just gotten so boring that they aren’t even worth pretending to be interested in. I mean, even volunteering has limited me. With the pain from my RSD spreading into (what seems like) my hands, I have become physically incapable of a lot of things. Typing this has taken me much longer than it normally would. I got Starbucks today and after walking halfway around Target, Thomas had to take the cup because I couldn’t stand to hold it anymore. How am I supposed to be useful like that? Most of the time, people want volunteers that can move things, haul things, you know, are physically sound. They don’t want people that are in questionable health. They don’t want people that may not show up for work one day because they don’t feel well. How am I supposed to compete with…the rest of the universe? How am I supposed to compete with everyone that has a degree, feels fine or actually functions for that matter? I’m prouder than proud of Thomas, I really am, but there is no way I can substitute his success for my shortcomings. His amazingness and achievements in life will never be the same as me achieving things and becoming amazing on my own. Part of this comes from the ever so deeply-rooted, practically biological need to make my parents proud. But it also comes from being so tired of having failed. I’m not a failure. My name and “failure” are not synonymous. And yet, somehow, they are. I don’t even have that much to say on this subject right now. I’m so pissed off and flustered. I’m going to bed.

“A Very Special Unbirthday To You!”

c169d9bf9ade0795367f4c1f9ba138c0I’m about to turn 23. My birthday is in 38 minutes. Well, technically I was born at night so it’s not for another few hours but you get what I mean! I was sitting here, watching Psych (as usual) and I was thinking about my life. I just got into this argument about disease awareness with one of Jackie’s Facebook friends because he is a moron. It got me thinking though. Over the past two weeks, my left arm has become completely useless. The RSD is spreading into my entire arm. My hand, fingers, wrists and shoulder swell every day. I have to do desensitization exercises and struggle to sleep every day because the pain is excruciating. I see a new pain specialist in two weeks (the soonest they could manage) but who knows how much damage will be done between now and then? I’m left handed. Losing mobility in my feet was one thing. Feet are a little easier to replace than hands. Dexterity, occupational functionality…all of that is so difficult to make up. And as I sit here and think of what I’ve accomplished in the last decade and 3 years, I’m on the fence about what counts. Right before my arm flared, I snagged a job working for an assisted living company. It was going to be wonderful. I had to take some courses (all paid) and get certified in a few more things before I would definitely secure it but it was totally mine. Monday, I called the woman and told her I was chronically ill and unable to work. What 23-year-old wants to say that to an employer? What 23-year-old wants to say that at all? To anyone? And this isn’t going to go away. This is something that is going to be here for the rest of my life, that is probably going to get worse, at least until I find someone who knows what the hell they’re doing to treat it. And at the rate this is spreading, I’m going to be full body before I’m 30. What about my life? Part of me is seeing the glass as full, not just with water but with air. It’s completely full to the brim. It’s overflowing. People overcome so many impossible circumstances that there is no way in hell I can let this beat me. It’s pain and part of that is mental. Part of me sees the glass as half empty, just water in it. What am I supposed to do with a life of pain? And at that, it’s not just physical pain. It’s emotional, psychological and social pain, too. I know life isn’t easy and it’s not supposed to be a cakewalk (I wonder where that phrase came from) but I do enjoy cake on occasion, and in my defense, it is my birthday in 18 minutes. How can I enjoy anything when it’s pain all the time? I feel like the Dread Pirate Roberts that hasn’t become the Dread Pirate Roberts yet. “It’s work, work, work all the time.” I just feel like at this point I should have found my niche. I should know the things I like and know the things I don’t (well, I think I have that down). I think I should have hobbies and a solid list of friends and a rather firm set of values, even of values change and shift, depending on life’s circumstances. A lot of the time, I feel like my pain (physical or mental) is punishment. I don’t know if it’s for some cosmic reason, like a reincarnation-type thing that I committed in a past life and the only way to learn the path to Nirvana to is to suffer through this…or if it’s simply shitty luck. Regardless though, I have to deal with it. And I have to watch everyone around me deal with it. Other times though, I’m not so sure. There are some genuinely good people in this world who have the worst luck. They suffer through horrible circumstances and come out the other side with grins on their faces and jubilation. I want to be more like those people. If I go down in a fiery crash, I want to be remembered as having a go-get-’em attitude, at least when it comes to this RSD stuff. We all know it doesn’t really apply to the mental stuff. That’s a different story. Pain. It warps you. Like water. And I love water. I spend a lot of time in water. Which is weird, because I spend a lot of time in pain as well. Sort of weird how we put ourselves in situations like that, huh? Anyway, happy birthday to me.