Having a keyboard under my fingers feels so normal to me. It’s weird and fantastic at the same time. I haven’t written in quite a while (as usual) but I am here to tell you a winding tale about a birthday, a nose piercing and a few ups and downs. There is some self-harm mentioned so **trigger** warning to everyone that may have an issue. I’ll let you know before I start talking about it if you want to skip over that part. Alright, here we go, my children…

My birthday was this past Sunday. Now, I have an easier time making a big deal out of other people’s birthdays. The spotlight is away from me and easily focused on another person. Plus, most people love celebrating their own birthdays. Anyway, hanging out with friends I met at work on Friday and a casual evening with Lily on Saturday meant I was just about spent. I felt the love in every ounce of my body and had such a fun time. When I went to my parents’ house though, that changed very quickly.

I share a birthday with my maternal uncle. It’s pretty cool, sharing a birthday, because it gives you a special connection to that person that no one else seems to understand or have. Maybe a bit to metaphysical, but still true! Anyway, he came to visit and brought along his friend, Debbie. Now, I love Debbie. I’ve known her since I was a little girl. She’s always bubbly and energetic and fun, albeit sometimes it’s a little much. But overall, she has a good heart…an honest and true aura, if you will. I also invited Ms. Dolores on a whim, thinking it would be enjoyable for her and my mom to catch up. They rarely see each other; Ms. Dolores sort of lives like a hermit and is very hard to reach by conventional means. I’m talking, a carrier pigeon might be easier than trying to send her an email. I also invited Brendan, obviously, but he had to work that day so he was going to show up later. The gang’s all here!

My uncle, Chris, wanted a dish called Chicken Kiev. It’s something to do with breaded chicken and onions…I don’t know. My father made it and it was delicious. The food was great. My problems started with my mom. I got my nose pierced as a birthday present to myself. I really wanted a septum ring and was happy with the outcome. I didn’t tell my parents because I’m now old enough to make most decisions on my own. I had cleared the acceptance of the piercing at work and even planned on buying enough rings that I could flip them up if I needed to look more professional. It was all considered and worked out. Except for my mom’s reaction. I had pegged both of my parents as being disappointed, as they are with most of my decisions, but not overly so. I was ready and armed with a prepared defense; this jury would believe me and would not convict an innocent man! Well, they did. They formed a mob and demanded his head on a pike. I had my back to my mom as she came over to give me a hug and I warned her I had pierced it. When I turned, she cried out and gagged, turning away from me. She shook her head and just kept saying she couldn’t look at it. My own mother couldn’t look at me on my birthday. Thomas and I had been planning a walk so we left for the trail after that. That moment was the beginning of the end for me.

We walked, Thomas dutifully listening to my sob story as I told him how much that hurt my feelings and how I was angry that everything I did was wrong to them. Towards the end of the trail, I started to feel better. We’d changed the subject, were talking about faire folk or something. Then, a jogger passed us. He was wearing a t-shirt that said “Rowan University.” That was where I was interested in going before I fucked up my life. That was where I could have made a decision and instead, chose to do nothing and idly watch my life crumble to pieces like sand through my fingers. Thomas was reassuring and full of brotherly love, but I couldn’t shake the feeling. I couldn’t shake that this was how my life was always going to be. Full of disappointments and a reminder of those disappointments flashing like neon signs every single day.

We left, went home and had dinner. It was really good. The conversation was more directed towards our guests, which was fine with me; I didn’t have many nice things to say. Brendan showed up just before it was time to open presents. I was thankful and smiling, but underneath the table, I was holding his hand. The conversation with my mom was still reeling through my head, like a warped record whose needle kept returning to the rim, driving deeper in until it couldn’t, and pulling back to repeat the process. We left, everyone scattering to their vehicles and off in different directions, the darkness swallowing the warm evening.

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I bought razor blades a few weeks back in a rather desperate attempt to make myself feel…anything. I was depressed but not quite at the bottom of the pit. I wanted to hurt physically, so I could drain the white noise in my head. I bought them and promptly lost them in the depths of my car, only to find them shortly after restarting my medication. I got off track with it, something that’s rather usual for me, and was feeling the effects. I should have thrown them away but I didn’t. I kept them. I can’t explain why, I just did. I would idly twirl the little case at red lights, listening to the soft tink of them hitting the plastic, thinking. I got in the car the night of my birthday and knew, knew that I wanted the mental pain I was in to stop. I knew there was a way to do it but I also knew there were consequences.

When you cut, normally (at least not me), you don’t worry about scars. You don’t care who sees or who knows, you just want the urge to stop. That was true of this night but not entirely so. I was worried about the people that know my history seeing what I’d done, knowing that I’d relapsed and being afraid. I didn’t want to hurt anyone else but the pain I felt inside was unbearable. I asked Brendan if he’d be upset if I cut and in a rather neutral tone, he declared he wouldn’t be. I’m not sure if he was enabling but he was as supportive as he could be and I was thankful for it.

I drew a bath, sat in the hot water and splayed the four razors on the edge and chose one. I dragged it over my wrist and forearm. God, the rush was so what I needed. It was almost like a drug. I immediately relaxed. My mind was still whirling, thinking of all the disappointment, all the lines, all of it. But the pressure behind it was gone. The driving force that made me want to scream out and cry had disappeared. I was as close to myself as I was going to get that night.

I only ever seem to cut in rows of three. When I got to work the next day, my manager immediately asked me about them. I lied and blamed it on my cat, declaring that he’d scratched me in the process of giving him his daily medication. Whether or not he believed me, I can’t say, but I did feel the genuine concern. Another coworker asked me and where I could have been just as honest with her, I wasn’t and told her the same lie. I’m beginning to spin a web that I don’t want to. I want to be honest with my coworkers. I like them, I care about them, but this is something that I don’t think they can, nor want, to handle.

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I’ve returned to group, I’m seeing Craig once a week instead of once every two weeks. Things have started to spiral downhill again. I’m not sure what to make of it. But the keys under my fingers, having it all out and here definitely helps.

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“It’s The Best Time of the Year”

IMAG0169Christmas 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.

Retreat to the Shadows

twilight-eclipseI desperately need to write right now. I’m in the school’s library, biding my time, waiting for my Sociology class to start. I was working on my Medical Terms and Ethics assignment but that is tedious and let’s face it, boring! There are several things turning the cogs in my screwed up brain right now. First, I think I’m starting to like Montreal. Before, I didn’t let any potential feelings fester because I was worried about the long-distance situation. It didn’t work out with Vladimir, so how would it work out now? But there’s no denying what I feel anymore. I’ve been reading Twilight, which is only adding to the effects of high school giddiness associated with new feelings for someone, and all I think about is him. The way Edward treats Bella, with such care and respect, I see him. I don’t know what to do. And now I don’t have a best friend to confide in. That brings us up to bullet number two. I’m in the library, like I said, and I don’t know what to do about this whole “loneliness” situation. I’m tired of sitting at home day after day, with nothing but my twisted feelings to keep me company. I’ll admit, Montreal does help a little on that front since he’s always so eager to talk to me, but it’s not the same as having someone physically with you. I get a lot of face time with my parents though, since I’m not driving anymore. It’s been tricky, trying to work out a schedule with all my appointments and classes but we’re managing. Well, they are. I’m slipping down the slippery slope of sadness. I told Allister yesterday. Existentialism has become my shadow. I sit and question whether or not reality is really as it seems, whether or not I’m where I think I am, whether or not my life is worth living. And I think I’m starting to hallucinate. Little flecks, like when someone whips around a corner but you only catch their fleeting figure in the corner of your eye, have been plaguing me all day. I don’t know if it’s because my anxiety is ramped up (it’s the first day of class for me, officially the second day for the college) or if it’s because I’m actually hallucinating. And the whispers. Oh, the whispers. If there were a film crew recording a horror movie in my head, they would have the ultimate soundtrack. The haunting, soft tickle of sound that comes when people hush just as you round the corner, or the swish of pants as someone scurries behind you have been accompanying the visuals. I’m trying to calm down. I really am. I’m shaking really badly, though that might be from physical exhaustion from wheeling myself to the library. I think some of it is that I’m worried I’m going to run into Mara. I don’t know what I’d do or say. She’d probably ignore me and I can’t blame her for doing that in the slightest. I’d ignore me too. I think that’s the only thing I’m worthy of, is ignorance. I have nothing to contribute to humanity. I’m no Nobel Peace Prize winner, no astrophysicist who’ll blow up the asteroid headed towards Earth. I’m a nobody. Sometimes I like being a nobody. It means there aren’t any expectations. No one is relying on you, expecting things from you or waiting for you. When I’m a person, when I’m something of substance, people want. That’s all they do. They want money, they want a ride, they want food, they want love, they want sympathy. It’s exhausting, being somebody. At the same time, when I’m nobody, I sit here like this. I shake, anxiously waiting for the next flicker of imagined movement, the next hiss of pretend voice, and wonder what the hell is wrong with me? And of course, I manage to capture exactly what I want to say when no one’s around. When people ask me “what’s wrong?”, I stare at them as if I don’t speak English, then stutter out some pathetic, half-thought out answer that has nothing to do with how I’m really feeling. When I go to see Allister, I’m a little more successful but it’s still not quite as profound as this is. We (as in me and Allister) discussed medication adjustments as a possible “cure” for the shadows. That’s what I shall refer to the sounds and the fleeting sights as: the Shadows. In my pain journal, inspired by that book I read on managing pain, I named my pain Ravenna, after the beautiful but dreadful queen in Snow White and the Huntsman. I think it needed a name that could be respected, but hated at the same time. The Shadows are the same way. Created to destroy me, but working slowly like the perfect poison. I plan on calling Dr. Ordella, the dentist and Social Security today. I have a lot to do. In the meantime, I’m going to sit with the Shadows and eat my lunch! I’ll write after my next class.