Howdy do. I’m just gonna skip all the formalities and apologizing (mostly to save myself the humiliation and embarrassment at having been underground for so long) and get right to the bare bones: things have been…well, weird. I’m finished my first semester at Towson State. My teachers were ethically questionable and a bit insane but I passed all of my classes. I would have preferred higher marks. I have to listen to my parents brag about Thomas’s grades for the rest of winter break since he got (almost) straight A’s this semester. And it’s his first semester at college. He’s home right now though because yesterday was Christmas! And quite a Christmas it was! My dad is suffering from a bad case of gout, coupled with a UTI so he’s pretty much immobile and had to stay stationary for the unwrapping of presents. Once all that was over, he was forced to retreat to the basement, where he stayed with fever and chills the rest of the night. I played with my new touchscreen laptop (it folds too so it can act like a tablet!) and other gizmos. It was quite a Christmas. I baked a lot too, something that I don’t normally do. Cooking isn’t really my thing. I just don’t really tend to stay committed to the whole task. It starts off really fun but then I get bored and don’t want to do it anymore. After presents though, I got a massive migraine, where my face hurt and the roof of my mouth felt like it was being jammed up through the top of my skull. It was horrible. I had to lay down and stay in bed for a few hours until it subsided. Besides that, Christmas was relatively quiet. But that’s not why I’m writing. Christmas is a holiday that Christians celebrate all over the world so it’s pretty uneventful, as sad as that is to say. What I wanted to talk about is the fact that a) I’ve lost even more weight and now I’m suddenly very body conscious and b) my doctor treating me for CRPS approved me for the spinal cord stimulator. I called the pain clinic and am now waiting for the game of phone tag to proceed so that we can get this surgery scheduled. It’s the Friday after Christmas so I’m not expecting much, and they schedule these things way in advance but the sooner I get it done, the better. I’m going into a flare right now; I can feel it. I’m already in doctor-ordered physical therapy (which is not helping) and I’m trying to be as mobile as possible but I can only do so much. This flare won’t be stopped for much longer. And that’s not cool! I’m having a good time for once. Me and Vladimir are in a really good place. He got me a penguin Pandora charm for my Pandora bracelet for Christmas. He even drove all the way to my house just to see me for an hour or so on Christmas when I said I couldn’t drive because of my migraine. We’re going to get married; I know it. Then, my foot has to rear it’s ugly…self and remind me that it can’t be that simple. And my body image is acting the same way. I’ve finally dropped closer to my ideal weight, the number I set as my goal when I suddenly woke up and realized I’d gained 50 pounds. It’s great and wonderful to be fitting into smaller clothes and moving easier and all of that but now I’m also panicked about gaining the weight back. I’m constantly worried about how my “extra” skin looks and how everything appears from the side. I even thought about taking laxatives earlier because I had eaten a bit more than normal and didn’t know how to even things out. What the hell?! I don’t think I’m a vain person; I have no problem walking around in public without makeup on and looking like a total mess. It takes quite a lot to embarrass me. But all of a sudden, now that I’m smaller, things matter. My complexion, the hickeys Vlad gave me (that was an awesome time), whether or not you can see my gut in these jeans, all of that matters now. If my nails are cut evenly, if my glasses are on my face straight, if my pants are both tucked in or pulled over my shoes. I operate under rules and regulations. That’s the only way my world functions, even if I’m the only one who knows those rules and regulations. But having the sudden, added pressure of not knowing what rules are more important than others, of not knowing what rules are being broken and what rules aren’t? That is something that I cannot handle. I never know what is going on, what people are staring at. I don’t know where to put my hand, or if I have a booger or if they can see the crease of my underwear. It’s humiliating and totally exhausting. Public outings are costing me energy and effort that I sort of don’t have. And then, when I lay back, and feel the tendons in my hips, or clutch my ribcage and count the individual ribs, I know it isn’t enough. I need the exaggeration to be more exaggerated. I am extreme person. And there is no limit to the amount of extreme I will go. And honestly, standing on this little piece of ice, this quickly melting piece of ice, staring into the abyss, not knowing if there are narwhals or orcas or polar bears in there…is absolutely and utterly terrifying. But thrilling at the same time.
Two days after the fallout. Christmas has been over for two days and people are still running around like mad, still shopping and stealing parking places like they’ve lost their minds. They’re still cutting you in line so they can get the best deal on wrapping paper before the store sells out. The TV is still flooding your room with merchandise and sales. It’s utterly insane. Welcome to Corporate America. And for me, for people like me, the ones who have spending problems, the ones who struggle with this forced happiness and pretend merriment because you are really trying to steal that last copy of The Hobbit before the bitch next to you gets it for 70% off, this sort of time is like Hell. It’s pure torture. That’s why the day before Christmas, I spent my day in bed, claiming my stomach hurt until I psychosomatically made it hurt. I even skipped Christmas Eve church service, which is like one of my favorite services of the year. I was supposed to participate in it this year and instead, Thomas read my part because I claimed I couldn’t get out of bed. And yesterday, I skipped seeing Saving Mr. Banks with my mom because I was too depressed to function. My dad came home from work and, upon hearing this proclamation, stormed into my room, flicked the light on and proceeded to drill me with questions about why I was depressed and what was wrong and if I was cutting. At the time, I didn’t appreciate it. But after he took my mom to the movies, I greatly appreciated what he did and dragged my sorry ass out of bed. I started a new medication last night that is supposed to help with…well, you know, I don’t even know what it’s supposed to help with at this point. I can’t keep up anymore. But this holiday season, it’s so weird for me. I don’t have a bunch of friends to blow tons of cash on. I don’t have tons of parties to go to, or places to visit with people other than my family. I don’t have people to celebrate the new year with and get drunk. I don’t have anything exciting to look forward to. I mean, I went to Ms. Hubbard’s holiday party, and I hung out with Jackie, but that was the extent of it. Of course, I had a good time with my family on Christmas day: we took Poco to the beach, where he practically lost his mind. It was hilarious. Anyway, like I said, this constant up and down, this constantly trying to gauge the rest of the world’s mood and balancing mine against that is so confusing. And I shouldn’t be doing it like that but that’s sort of how things work. I’m sinking lower and lower, even with the beginning of a new year coming towards me. The promising and prosperous start of a new time, a new chance and a new beginning, and I still feel like killing myself. Yea, it’s that extreme. It’s ridiculous. I know I can fall farther. I know I can sink deeper. I know this water can get thicker. But I’m losing my will to swim already. It’s pathetic. Maybe I can convince my parents to let me go for a drive. I don’t feel like writing anymore.
Christmas is almost here. “You grew up hearing about it, but I never figured I’d be there.” I wrapped a ton of presents today and I’m actually still not finished. For a family that doesn’t place much value on material objects, we buy a lot of crap for each other. I’m stressed to the max though. Of course, like everyone else on the fucking planet, Lucy, duh. Gosh. No, but seriously. Like I said last time, the feelings of anxiousness and compulsion are super strong because if I stay still, all the darkness of every single molecule in time and space is closing in on me. I can’t describe it any better than that. And my mood swings, this all-or-nothing thinking. I can’t even wrap my brain around why this is happening. My mom said the usual: it’s stress, you just finished at the community college, you’re at a transition in your life, bla, bla, bla. But I don’t buy it. I don’t know why I can’t handle transitions like everyone else. Powerpoint presentations have an easier time transitioning and they aren’t even alive. And I’d like to think that I’m sort of, well not really but kind of, over the whole “self-sabotage” thing. I know I say it basically every time it happens, but that’s not what this feels like. God, I’m quoting and rolling my eyes at myself. Maybe that means that’s exactly what this is. I’ve been cutting practically every day for one reason or another. And usually, the reasons, in hindsight, are really stupid. But at the time, the feelings, the emotions are completely overwhelming and I feel like a supernova. The smallest thing will set me off. So I have to relieve the pressure. I look like I’m turning into a zebra. I thought I was making headway with the DBT skills. It was getting easier because rather than having to consciously think about using them, they would sort of just come to me. I could be like, “oh, I should be distracting myself right now,” or “I need to do some opposite action” and it would naturally occur. But then, all of a sudden, I’m slicing up my wrist like a Christmas ham and freaking out because I feel like everyone in the mall is staring at me accusingly. After all this time, after all this shit I’ve been doing, you’d think I’d have a handle on it by now. Part of me feels like this is bullshit. You know, the whole I’m-going-to-quit-therapy-and-go-join-a-commune. But then I’m like…nope, that thought doesn’t even finish. I can’t give myself credit for all the “work” I’ve done. Other people don’t have this problem. Other people don’t have to do this, so why should I celebrate what I’ve been through as an accomplishment and not some form of punishment for some crime in a past life. I talked to my dad a few mornings ago, and he said he was proud of me. And he acknowledged everything I went through. He told me that he knew it was difficult, and that with the hospitalizations and the therapy and the medications, he knew it was a struggle to complete school. But I did it. And that, that moment, right then, was the first and only time I’ve believed that my dad was actually proud of me. But, of course, the moment was more fleeting than a speck of dust in a tornado. I subconsciously reminded myself of everything I just said and it simply went “poof!” And now my parents are talking about sending me to get my bachelor’s degree while my brother is pursuing his. And they don’t think there’s anything wrong/weird about this at all. But I think it’s very, very weird. I mean, if the school has a good program then I want to attend, but I also want to preserve the relationship with my brother. I don’t know. Something about this, just doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re suggesting I go to the school that the favored child go to. Just like sloppy seconds. Again. When they suggested Thomas go to Rowan, the school of my choice if I hadn’t fucked up, I was crushed. Why would you send the child you prefer to the school of choice for the other child? Like that just seems really weird, twisted and messed up to me. But they don’t think this is strange in the slightest. I don’t know, I almost feel like they’re trying to turn me into Thomas. Like they’re trying to make me conform me into his little mold, hoping that if I fit, if they manage to stuff me in there and make it work, I’ll turn out like him. Of course, telling them this would be ridiculous. They wouldn’t listen. It would be me being ridiculous, me reading into things too much. I need a cigarette.
It’s been a little while since I’ve blogged last. I need to catch up and blather on about the holidays before I burst. Okay, Christmas Eve was fun. We had decorated the tree a few days before and even hung lights outside on the porch. We went to church as usual and had a beautiful service. I watched White Christmas and stayed up until like 1 AM, finishing wrapping and labels and such. On Christmas day, I was up first at like 5:30 AM. I tried to be patient and managed to stay in bed until Daddy went downstairs about 6:15. Thomas was up by 6:30 and it was only a matter of time before Mom was up too. We unwrapped presents and for some reason, I had more things than Thomas. Normally, the packages are pretty even, except when I get clothes. Thomas doesn’t like getting clothes for Christmas because he’s so picky about the way things fit him. I got some clothes this year but not as many as other years. Anyway, I got the iPod I’ve wanted, a few movies, clothes and an emergency car kit. I was so excited for that one! I wasn’t expecting it because I’d only mentioned it once to Mom. It has a window masher, seatbelt cutter, flashlight and beacon on it. You know I’m paranoid about going over bridges and such so having this thing is perfect! After Christmas, we came down to Virginia to visit Uncle Fish. Of course, I was really apprehensive about going but we went anyway. It wasn’t so bad. Uncle Fish isn’t better but he isn’t worse. He’s talking and watching TV rather than sleeping all the time. It’s refreshing to see him doing a little better. I resolved that I would stay when my parents left because I don’t have to go back to school until the 28th so that’s where I am right now. I’m sitting in Uncle Fish’s dining room, writing to you fabulous people and wondering what the hell I’m doing here. Being with Uncle Fish has been a little easier since I’ve been down here but it seems like everywhere I go, there’s a constant reminder that this could kill him. And I don’t know what it will do if it does. I can’t handle death, I just can’t. Hell, I can’t even handle leaving the house anymore. My compulsions are getting worse, especially now that I’m down here. But I feel like I’ll regret it if I go home. And I’m so effing sick of living in regret. I’m so sick of it. It’s not good karma to live in regret. I’ve been praying as I should be and protecting my family by doing what I’m driven to do. I know that the treatment to OCD is to fight the compulsions and deal with the anxiety that comes with that but I just can’t do it. I just can’t. If I do and something bad happens, I would never forgive myself. Ever. And there’s already so much that I don’t forgive myself for. Bryan’s death, Grandma’s death, Bruce’s death, the estrangement of Kim and my dad, my mom’s miscarriage. I never knew that I was supposed to be doing the compulsions but if I had been then none of that stuff would’ve happened. And now I feel like I’m going to cry because it’s so true! I don’t understand why I’m being punished. But I feel like I need to right the wrong. Even saying that I don’t understand feels so horrible because a criminal should know exactly what their crime is without the judge telling them. I mean, you should know what you’re accused of before the trial right? My keys are all greasy and I don’t know why. I always get stuck at this part of the entry. Well, sometimes I get stuck. My head is so heavy and full of ideas that I can’t get them out on the screen anymore. It’s hard. It really is.
I was just on Pinterest, debating on if I wanted to scroll my cursor over this tab, click the “New Post” button and write. Obviously, I did. I debated because I’m not really sure I want to see what I have to say on paper yet. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to say this. I think I’m sabotaging myself on purpose. I mean, I’m not doing it consciously. Well, I sort of am. Okay, for example. I got up this morning, ate breakfast, watched a little TV, and then went and took a shower. I debated for a while about what to do after that so I went downstairs, had lunch, watched an episode of Star Trek. Then, I got bored. Rather than take a walk, clean my room, decorate the Christmas tree, or some combination of the aforementioned options, do you know what I did? I took a nap. I went upstairs and climbed right into the bed I had vacated only a few hours before. I slept for two hours before I had to pick Thomas up and head to reflexology. If I didn’t have an appointment today, I highly doubt I would’ve done anything productive. I don’t know what to do with my time now that I’m not in school. Like tomorrow. I’m seriously wigging out about tomorrow. I have Group (big G- Group is important!) tomorrow but I’m riding with Allison. She’s a girl who’s in Group that lives near me so I told her I’d give her a ride. It means I’ll be sitting there a little early since she has a previous engagement but that is perfectly okay. It gets me out of the house and in the company of other people, which seems really important right now. I’m not sure if it’s the holidays that are stressing me out or if it’s the empty void of time and space that I have in my life thanks to school bowing out. For some reason, doing anything more complicated than staring at a computer/TV screen, sleeping or eating is suddenly impossible. I can’t take it! And Montreal. Don’t get me started. I stopped texting him a few days ago (I think I stopped on Saturday…it’s Thursday!) because he was being clingy again. I can’t stand the “I miss you and love you so much” texts, especially when they’re being sent every hour. And I know it was a little immature to just stop texting him but for me to start talking to him was going to lead to conversation, something I desperately didn’t want to have. But instead of leaving me alone like he normally does, the messages kept coming. It was a text every few hours. It was a message on Facebook, then another. Then, a tweet, directly to me, calling me “[his] baby.” Oh my God, that one made my stomach turn. It’s not that I don’t want him to call me baby or anything, and I’m not ashamed to be in a relationship with him but the directness and public affection is too much, especially when I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that I’m in this relationship for the long haul. That seems so impossible to me. I really don’t think I can do it. Every time we have a good time, it’s followed by a sudden and impulsive urge to run, screaming in the opposite direction. It’s just something about committing to someone, to making that final decision, that is so petrifying. And honestly, this might seem like a stretch but I think it can be related to my irrational fear of death. Okay, hear me out. Think about it. Death is final. I believe in the afterlife and heaven and everything but death is definitely the finite end to life on this Earth. There is no turning back. That’s why it’s so scary for me when I think of my family dying. If my dad dies (oh my God, even talking about this seems like a horribly bad idea. I’m going to have to atone for this atrocity in a few minutes or whenever I’m done blogging this entry. If I remember, I’ll let you know about it in the next entry), there is no more talking to him, no more hearing his laugh, no more seeing his eyes light up when he smiles. It would be the end of my life as I know it. The same goes for my mom. If she were to die, there would be no more hearing her soothing voice, feeling her gentle touch or being wrapped up in her warmth. It would be over. And if I lost Thomas? Well, let’s just say I would absolutely lose my mind even further than I’ve already lost it. Oh great, now I’m crying. Glad I’m typing this in the comfort and safety of my bedroom and not in my usual hangout (the library). Back to my point. If I lost any of them, it would be final. And being in a relationship works the same way. Committing to someone, whether it be marriage, dating, having children, whatever, means that my life is permanently changed. And I’m not sure I can handle that. So when he publicly posts things like “how’s my baby doing?”, I naturally freak out. My knee-jerk reaction is to abandon ship and swim to the opposite shore. I know the cure would be a little OA (opposite action!). I still haven’t sketched that superhero I told Allister I’d make him. Maybe I’ll do that tonight and give it to him tomorrow as a little Christmas present. OA usually comes to my rescue, and it surprises me every time when it works (I don’t know why, I should come to expect these things) but for some reason, this time OA hasn’t come to save me. I guess I just haven’t been fighting my instincts long enough. Talking about all of this was a little bit of OA because I don’t like talking about it. It’s difficult, even when I’m with Allister. I feel as though my words will bring about whatever I’m talking about it. Like if I’m talking about the death of my parents, somehow that will come to fruition because I said it. I know I’m not that powerful but is it worth risking it? Like what if I do have some cosmic karma that’s just waiting for me to slip up? There’s just so much uncertainty. I think I’m going to work on that opposite action superhero drawing now, just to get my mind off of things.