I mean, he asked…
SO I DID SOME READING
Ten years ago I was a fucking disaster of a human being. Holy Moly.
But I feel such sympathy for that fucking disaster of a human being. I didn’t know yet. I just didn’t know. I hadn’t been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and wouldn’t be for three and a half more years. That diagnosis was like a magic lens that make all the fucked up shit pop into focus.
I even wrote about how I’d get hooked on people and not be able to let go. I wondered why I was built that way. I obsessed for yeeeeeeeaaaaaarrrrrrrrsssss about poor, poor K who was, yes, kind of a dick sometimes, but did NOT DESERVE years of fucking birthday emails from me in addition to me joining a Meetup group because he and his wife were in it. Even before I knew what flavor of crazy I was being, I should have known that I was being a creepy fucking stalker.
I was so angry at anyone who didn’t love me back the way I thought I deserved to be loved. I thought I was special and everyone else was cold and shut off. Turns out I was, like, super mentally ill. My shrink says all of those things can be true, I’m a special feelings princess, other people are cold and detached, and oh yeah I’m also like super mentally ill.
I see my BPD as being in remission. Like cancer. Like you gotta keep an eye on it and keep seeing your medical professionals on the regular, but you are not actively growing tumors or bleeding into your brain or anything. Woo hoo.
But there are nights like tonight when I feel nostalgia like indigestion in my gut, when certain songs bring back certain people. The only girl I’ve ever loved is a prostitute in Tucson now. The boy who went on vacation and never came back but didn’t ever tell me we’d broken up. My high school sweetheart who got married again and isn’t speaking to me again probably because his wife doesn’t want him to. Fucking Bruce who hasn’t talked to me since I told him that I didn’t really want to hear about his wet dreams through the medium of text message. And so on, and so on. My ghosts.
To paraphrase the late, great Carrie Fisher: Nothing’s ever really over. Just over there.
I started this blog ten years ago this month. I didn’t realize that before I signed in to post, but it’s a neat little coincidence.
There’s a lot in here that I find embarrassing now. Several things I’m probably better off not looking into too deeply tonight. But I can’t bring myself to abandon it, even with all the ranting about a certain someone, even with all the bravado and outbursts and so much documentation of a time before I knew what was wrong with me and how to, mostly, stop.
I have a very sturdy government job and have been relatively stable and working in government jobs for years now. I’ve been with my partner since Summer 2014, and we eloped last month at our favorite bar. I did a jello shot. I seldom drink anymore. I quit smoking. I quit vaping. I got very fat. It is all very stable, for me, and I think the me of February 2010 would be horrified at how boring I’ve become. But I’m no longer tearing myself apart, and that’s worth something.
And here’s some Frank Turner to sum it all up:
I thought that suffering was something profound,
That weighed down on wise heads,
And not just something to be avoided,
Something normal people dread.
I’ll probably post more soon.
I don’t write much these days.
I wrote a song a few months ago called “Imposter Syndrome.” Apparently it’s good. But other than that, I haven’t been writing.
I think part of it is that I’ve been busy with work (I’m working now!) and part of it is that I’m content enough and what I usually write about is angst. There hasn’t been a lot of angst.
But if I’m going to consider myself a writer, I have to write.
So I’ve got this temp gig working for a state agency as a receptionist. It was supposed to last for about two months, but I’ve been there for almost five. Maybe they’ll keep me, maybe they won’t, but it’s been a good experience. Having a job, having routine, is really good for me. Even when it’s a grind, it’s better than sitting at home hating myself. Now I can be at work hating myself. Ha ha.
It’s brought out a lot of insecurity, though, this job. Brought it to the surface, more like. Which is what “Imposter Syndrome” is about, that feeling that I’m a fraud and I don’t belong.
Amanda Palmer touches on that feeling a lot in her book The Art of Asking. You should really read it, I just finished it about 20 minutes ago, and it’s excellent.
Anyway. I’m going to try to write more (I always say that) and see what form my writing takes when I’m not ranting about the one that got away or some other agony from my oh-so-tortured life.
Thanks for reading 🙂
I just walked a mile and a half voluntarily. It’s part of my “I’m 35 now so I should probably get off my ass and try to make my life better” project. That might not sound like a lot of walking to you, but considering how sedentary I’ve been for the past nine months, it was an achievement.
I have my period this week, which usually (and currently) means dark moods and a deep well of depression that I have to continually back away from. In idle moments, my mind wanders and I start contemplating the futility of everything, and entropy, and the fact that it’s all basically meaningless. I have to pull myself away from that.
I see myself as basically stuck on this earth and in this life, and I know it’s my job to make the best of it and not bitch too much. I don’t really see the point sometimes, but I’m trying. What else can I do?
I have had a lot more energy! I want to get out and do things! I’m trying to get a job! But there’s not a lot to do, and no one has hired me yet, so there’s this drive to make progress but progress is very slow and not entirely under my control.
I was supposed to go swimming today, which means I proclaimed yesterday that I was GOING SWIMMING ON TUESDAY but it didn’t happen. I wasn’t exactly lazy, more exhausted. I knew that even if I got myself to the pool, which would be a bit of a slog, I wouldn’t have the energy to swim for an hour.
But the distance I just walked is further than that from here to the gym, so… maybe tomorrow? Maybe?
I am doing my best to stay away from the pit of despair and instead be hopeful and inspired and brave because, as I said, I’m stuck here. If I have to live this life, I might as well try to make it a good one. So that’s what I’m doing.
[Title song is Get Better by Frank Turner]
I turned 35 two days ago. I was pretty freaked-out by that number, but I’m feeling okay about it now. I still feel about 16, deep down. I’m trying to treat this birthday like a New Year, in that I’m making resolutions and trying to just… make my life better. You know?
It’s been months and months of sitting on my ass, feeling decrepit and sorry for myself, and I’m sick of it. I’m not back to 100% and there are things I can’t reasonably do, but there are a lot of things I can do and should at least try.
So I’m visiting doctors to try to get better, and taking my pills to try to stay sane, and I still feel like crap and kind of like dying, but there’s hope here as well, and that’s keeping me going.
When I turned 30, I freaked the hell out. I’m glad I’m not doing that now. Getting older is so weird. I don’t feel different, except in the ways that I do. Older, wiser maybe, a lot more exhausted. Today I’m swinging between panic and excitement.
So this post is just checking in, I guess. Hello, Internet. I’m still here.
[Title is from In Love But Not at Peace by Dar Williams.]
[I just read through this and it’s messy and inelegant and I don’t know if I’ll keep it up for long because BLAH it’s depressing and doesn’t really have a point but whatever here goes.]
My mom sent me a piece from the Washington Post the other day. A woman had written about her sister’s suicide. It’s good, you should read it.
She talks about how her sister felt worthless. A lot of people who kill themselves apparently think the world would be better off without them.
I don’t necessarily think the world would be better off without me. I don’t usually feel worthless or like I’m unworthy of existence– at least, those aren’t usually the thoughts that are in my head when I think about hurting myself.
I’m just sick of everything, and I’m tired, and I want to stop.
I’m doing a workbook with my therapist, it’s all about how to learn to cope with all these feelings. And it talks about various ways to distract myself, redirect my attention, cope without harming myself.
They advise drawing on your wrist with a red pen if you feel like cutting. So there are red pen marks on my wrist, tracing old scars. It didn’t help, and now I’ve got ink all over my arm.
This isn’t a cry for help. I just want to give a snapshot, however fuzzy, of what suicidal depression feels like.
Everything feels pointless. I eat because I get hungry. I’m living mostly on bread and butter. What’s the point in eating well? What’s the point in anything? I sleep because it’s a good escape and because my body needs sleep. I manage to sleep mostly normal hours these days. But sometimes I nap because it’s better than being awake, dreading everything.
I feel angry for no reason that I can tell. I feel frustrated. The idea of doing anything other than the bare minimum makes me want to scream. Being alive makes me want to scream. The anger isn’t a usual thing. It’s a special emotion this week, rage. Don’t know why.
I’m tired of being broke, but no one is hiring me, and I don’t know if I could work anyway. I’m tired of asking for help, but I need help.
I wish I could just be left alone to sort of… fade away. I just want to be allowed to subsist on my bread and butter and tea and not have anyone demand anything of me.
Wanting a better life is hard. I don’t have the energy to try right now. And it feels like all the effort does little good or no good at all. All this trying for so few results.
I have a patient and understanding boyfriend, but this is all way too huge to lay at his feet or ask him to handle. This is me. This isn’t his problem and he can’t fix it. Not his circus, not his monkeys.
I stay alive because it would make people sad if I died. If killing myself were as easy as flipping a switch, I can’t say that I’d still be here. But it’s hard, and it’s messy, and I don’t want to do that to people.
My meds were working and now they’re not. They kill my sex drive, which really takes a lot of fun out of life. You don’t realize how important that is until you turn into a cold fish who can’t enjoy intimacy. I’m sure it’s lots of fun for Travis as well.
I had another tooth removed and now I can barely chew. So that’s fun.
I’m sure I’ll feel better soon.
Post title is taken from “Ordinary World” by Duran Duran
I just spent six days in the psych ward of Providence Portland hospital. It was boring, but I feel better.
Things had been shit for awhile. I’d had trouble leaving the house by myself for six months, only occasionally making it further than the grocery store without someone to keep me company. Most of the time that person was Travis.
Travis and I have been together since July, 2014. He is over eight years younger than me. He is quite tall, he plays the bass, and he is a good kisser.
Travis doesn’t want private details on the internet, so I’m going to try to be careful here.
When we met, I was a cab driver, and he worked at my local e-cigarette shop. He still works there, actually. I gave my number to the sweet boys at the vape shop, and he sent me a text one night asking for a ride. Two weeks later I went to his apartment and never really left. Sounds like the beginnings of a fantastic love story! And it was, kind of.
But I am troubled, you see. And he is not entirely without troubles himself.
When I went to the hospital, it was because we’d been fighting all day and I became hysterical. He was being a shit, but I went nuts all out of proportion to what was going on. It had been a long time coming, I think, in that it got me to finally go to the hospital and get some help.
We are two stubborn, bright, funny, loving, intense, troubled people. We would be hard on anyone. We are hard on each other.
My paternal grandparents, from what I hear, sometimes couldn’t stand each other. They’d divide the kids and go live in different houses. My Grandpa was loved by everyone, my Grandma was apparently an evil witch. They managed to raise nine kids together and make it to see their fiftieth anniversary. I don’t know how they did that. I don’t know how anyone does.
Back in the old days, marriage was for life. Richer or poorer, better or worse, love or hate. Divorce was frowned upon, people were encouraged to work it out. That isn’t true anymore. People go through half-a-dozen marriages sometimes, or more, before they die. My dear friend Bruce is on #3, and he’s only 37. I have never been married, but I’ve had a few longer relationships. Sometimes they end with me throwing things.
I don’t know what makes love last. I don’t know how much you’re supposed to fight to keep something going when it’s so easy in today’s society to just walk away.
What I do know is that I am immensely lucky that I had Travis to come home to when I left the loony bin.
That’s enough for now.
“Don’t borrow trouble” is something my mom says to me when I’m worrying about something I have no control over. It means that it’s silly to stress out about things before you know what you’re up against. I think it’s a pretty good idea, but it doesn’t always work.
At the beginning of summer this year, I started having weird symptoms. Some of them could be dismissed as symptoms of known or suspected illnesses, but all of them together seemed like something I should pay attention to.
This was in addition to the joint pain, headaches, stomach issues, and other assorted FUN! things I always have going on. The above symptoms were either new or worsened.
The extra-alarming thing about all these symptoms is that I’d experienced them back in early 2012. At the time I blamed them on the car accident I’d had in November of 2011, and my neurologist diagnosed me with Post-Concussion Syndrome.
PCS doesn’t reappear 3.5 years later. I have had no recent head trauma. So it’s gotta be something else, and it’s not a coincidence.
I’m still having that FUN! assortment of symptoms, but with some new, exciting ones too!
Those who know me might think I’m something of a hypochondriac, but this isn’t true. I just happen to often be hyperaware of any weird things going on in my body because I have so much annoying shit wrong with me already. I might unnecessarily jump to conclusions, but I don’t diagnose myself off WebMD. I talk to real doctors, I research things, and I don’t “borrow trouble.”
…but I’ve had my suspicions on this one. And it’s because of The West Wing. Yes, the TV show that ran from 1999-2007. It’s a really great show, you should watch it.
Martin Sheen plays an idealized president. It’s unrealistic and wonderful. Anyway, fairly early into the show (maybe the beginning of season two?) we find out that President Bartlet has a chronic, incurable disease. It causes a bunch of crises and good TV drama. Yay.
It planted an idea in my head.
But I try not to borrow trouble.
I’m trying to get disability. I went and got evaluated by a doctor last week as part of that (long, arduous) process, and when I told him my symptoms, he asked…
“Have you ever been screened for multiple sclerosis?”
But that’s what I’ve been thinking too.
I have an appointment with a neurologist in two weeks. I am not panicking, or not much. I am trying not to borrow trouble. But I’ve done a LOT of reading, and… damn. It sure sounds like MS. There are plenty of other things it could be. But none of them fit quite like MS does.
It could also be a brain tumor! I wouldn’t prefer a brain tumor.
It could not, however, be “nothing,” as someone recently suggested. This is not “nothing.” Trust me. Something is wrong, and I have a feeling it’s going to change my life in ways I can’t yet predict.
I don’t know what’s wrong yet. I am trying not to panic. But every night I find myself researching MS, learning how it’s diagnosed and treated, wondering how it’ll affect my life, whether it’ll be mostly annoying or totally devastating. It manifests differently for everyone, it seems. Some are inconvenienced. Some are crippled.
I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep.
They’ll do blood tests, and probably an MRI, and probably a spinal tap. Those are to rule things out more than anything else, because there’s no definitive test for MS in a living patient. They can find indicators, but they can’t prove it. It’s just an educated guess. Which will probably involve a spinal tap. I am not looking forward to the spinal tap.
I’m not really looking for advice right now. Since I don’t know what I’m up against, I don’t know how to fight it yet. But I think I’m going to buy a day planner to keep track of my health, mood, level of activity, food intake, and other related things.
I also don’t really want to be told to keep my chin up. This is scary and I’m being as brave as I know how to be.
I’ll keep ya’ll posted as I find out more.
I saw K the other day. I had the advantage of knowing it was going to happen, which was nice because usually one doesn’t know about accidental encounters ahead of time. K and his wife were at the store where my boyfriend works. He knows her from previous store interactions, and I’d seen her review the shop on Yelp… nothing stalkery. We figured out that this customer he had was someone I knew of. I’d told him the background.
And I was on my way to the shop. My car got totaled a couple weeks ago, so I was taking the bus. Travis texted me that H (the wife) was in the shop and I asked “Is he there too?” And he was. So. I had about 15 minutes to decide what I was going to do. I seriously considered hiding out until the coast was clear, but I thought– no. I’ll go about my day. I’m not going to hide, nor am I seeking them out. If they had been there when I arrived, my plan was to sit quietly in a chair until they left. I didn’t want to bother anyone, but I wasn’t going to hide.
Turns out they left just before I got there. We passed on the sidewalk about a block away from the shop. I studied my shoes. I expect they did the same.
I know that the greatest (and, for the foreseeable future) only thing that I can offer K is silence. Peace. But it took me a long time to realize why.
Regardless of where the blame lays for how things ended and what happened before, I have behaved abominably since. I didn’t mean to. I thought I was right to be outraged that I’d been cut out of his life. I thought she was to blame for keeping us from being friends. I was venomous. I was pushy, vindictive, and petty. I didn’t do much in the last five years to bother him, but what I did was more than I should have. I continued to write to him, even after he asked me to stop. I started trying to move into their social group (during a time when I was in the grip of the worst crazy I’ve ever been through in my life.) I wanted to make them uncomfortable. I wanted to be noticed. I was angry, and it showed.
Last night, laying in the dark with Travis, I told him I had a secret I wanted to confide. And then I told him that I’ve been blaming Her for years, and it’s not her fault. I told him that I’d acted really crazy, even if I didn’t know it at the time (and I kind of knew it at the time,) and that the damage done was my responsibility, not hers. And he said that he knew that I knew that. And I realized today that the act of admitting my fault, and forgiving this woman who had nothing to do with what was wrong with me and K, had lifted a weight off my chest that’d been crushing me since Saturday afternoon.
If I could say something to them, I would tell them how sorry I am. But the damage is done, and they don’t want to hear from me. And damn it, they’re right.
About a year ago I had a dream that I was dying, and K came to visit me because he didn’t want me to die without saying goodbye. I woke up really sad and knowing that this was so unlikely as to almost be ridiculous. And about two weeks ago I dreamt that we met on the street and he forgave me.
But truth be told, I don’t really think about him much. When I lost my mind, a lot of things fell away because I didn’t have the energy or space for them anymore. I didn’t have room for grief or resentment of things long past. Letting go of K was harder than I ever thought it would be. It took almost six years to do it, but finally it just sort of didn’t matter as much. Loving him carved places in me that will always exist, loving him shaped me and changed me and made me very happy and very sad. But it’s been over for a very long time.
It still hurts, but it doesn’t matter anymore.
(title is lyrics from “Fireproof” by The National)