Mania. For how long? At least over a month, by my count. I am adrift on the sea of uncertainty, swishing around with the currents and tides. The paddle for this rowboat for one was swallowed up with one big gulp awhile ago. Or perhaps, I cast it into the water during a blind fit of rage. Events are just as hazy as the fog that rolls in an out daily, hourly. Time is mostly meaningless, and cannot be measured by any instruments known to this world. Or probably any other, for that matter.
Reflections are rippled, even on a still day like today, the first still day in recent memory. Still does not mean peaceful. Stillness is the absence of motion, the absence of Emotion. In is almost as if the sea, complete with the rowboat, has been contained in a stagnant bubble, frozen in time. The world continues, the linear path of time unbroken, and one can squint toward the vanishing point on the horizon. I am not a part of that anymore. I am separated from it all, with the absence of the ebb and flow of life.
The clock has stopped. The pendulum is still. It happened in the blink of an eye. In a moment, something great opened up with a mighty snap, expelled itself from me, and left me as a husk. Was it the emotional poison from my veins? Have the personas finally vacated my mind? Nothing exists save this deafening silence and this void. It is not a hollow, though some may accidentally interpret it as such. It is a vacuum, the absence of time, space, and matter.
Surreal. For as many times as I have wished, no, desperately desired to vacate my own existence, I had never considered how the lack of it would be experienced. Perhaps, somehow I had felt that I would simply disappear from the timeline entirely. Then, in some ethereal state, like in the shows and films, I could witness events rearrange themselves as if I had never lived. However, it has portrayed itself to be unlike any expectation I could conceive.
No, I am simply a token, a placeholder in my own life. I do not march in unison with others across the line, down the path, through all manners of terrain. When I speak, only wispy, stock phrases slip from my lips. I stare, my eyes unfocused watching all of the distortions in the fabric of reality ripple in and out. Little snags, where if one were to focus just hard enough, they could see into eternity. That is the trick. The human eye cannot look directly at it, or it will vanish. That is the nature of such distortions. Humans are not meant to see such things, as their minds are unable to comprehend the exact nature.
I am human, undoubtedly. At least, in this body I am, tethered to human limitations and bound by the laws of this world. As for my mind, well, I cannot say. It just seems so unlikely that a typical brain can observe the true reality, while remaining perfectly still. Since before my own memory began, a vague feeling occurred that if I were to cease to exist in the capacity that I do, meaning I had become a passive bystander to people and events, then the timeline would remain unchanged. As I am noticing, it has.
I do not refer to abandoning my duties, or having my physical form or presence removed or altered in any way. It is the indication of the concept that if I were to cease to exist in my present mind, then the world would continue, completely unchanged. It has, as long as I maintain daily routines. Mindless, involuntary actions, no critical thinking – cleaning, cooking, carrying on stock conversations.
Let it be said that no conversation here is without a presence of mind. In part, I remain here, even when the rest is largely, how should I put this? AWOL? No, because that insinuates that I am simply misplaced or even just displaced. It is most along the lines of voided.
It is not a matter of disinterest. My mother called me last night. I asked what she wanted, and she informed me that it had been several days since we talked. How many? I could not be sure how much time had passed. There is no measure within the nonexistence. At least three, possibly four. My memory failed me, and I had to check the day with her. Monday? Tuesday? I was intent on it being Tuesday. Monday, she asserted. Oh. And she enthusiastically invited my son and I to spend the afternoon with her and my father.
I was on the sofa. It was afternoon by then. There was a knock at the door, and my heart skipped a beat. People rarely visit my home before calling to ensure I was there and open to company. I peered through a slat in the blinds. All I could see was a mop of greyish, blondish hair below me. It took me a moment to recognize her. I opened the door and politely greeted her. I inquired as to what she wanted. Apparently, she had been trying to reach me on my phone, and she was getting nervous. I had forgotten about our engagement.
She excitedly took my sons hand, and I assured her I would join her in a moment. Leaving the house, even to go a couple hundred yards, takes enough preparation. I was unaware that an inappropriate amount of time had elapsed. My mother looked at me with a great deal of concern.
Nothing but a faint feeling of confusion. Where was the concern?
There is nothing wrong with me, because there is nothing about me.
How I hate staring at this empty box. How I hate to feel as if any creation that is spawned from my mind in these moments is an unreality. Is it not real if we believe that it is real? Or does a consensual reality have to exist among the majority to term it as such?
I might start using terms that I have either overheard and paired my own functional definition with, or terms that I invented myself to describe some kind of phenomenon that currently has no solid description.
I know I exist in a parareality today. Time is not syncing up correctly. In the slower moments, I am alone in a room with myself. I am caged in this prison, running wildly around the barred perimeter, thrashing desperately and angrily. Those are moments where The Voice is not my friend.
The Voice, I forgot to mention in my last post, had stated at one time in the recent past that we are no longer at odds, because the greater enemy was outside of myself. We could no longer be internally warring for control. Personally, I considered it to be another trick and dismissed it. But, as if right on cue, there was The Voice, sharing subconscious insight to help me navigate my troubled waters.
Listen to me. Work with me. I see things that you do not.
It has dawned on me. The Voice is naturally residing in my extraconscious, the bridge between the conscious and the subconscious. It is the only place where parareality and personas can co-exist with the exterior reality. Truly, the exterior reality doesn’t change much. But, the interior reality is a different story entirely. The Voice is the voice of my deepest fears and darkest secrets conceptualized and personified. And, we are at odds for a reason. The Voice announces things coming from my subconscious that I do not want to be true.
However, my states of consciousness are distorted. My conscious mind is having perceptual dysfunctions. These distortions pass through a short-term memory and are interpreted by The Voice and others of the same nature residing in the extraconscious. The short-term memory releases the memory into the subconscious to be stored in the long-term bank and paired with another event or emotion. Unfortunately, that usually generalizes the emotion paired to the events with similar events and vice versa.
When things are pulled back through the extraconscious, The Voice feeds back many judgmental opinions, hardly based in any conceivable fact. Even when there are facts, they are subjective and distorted, creating complex delusions from the word GO. In times past, I was usually able to rely on information coming in correctly, but hardly ever information going out. However, the information coming in does not seem characteristic of everyday stimuli.
Hallucinations and delusions, walking just a millisecond out of sync with the reality that surrounds me.
I am unsure as to whether this is considered a hallucination. Since I was small, I could feel an emotional climate around me. Just as some animals can sense the weather changing, I sense an emotional climate that has shifted, even slightly. I can anticipate emotional storms, mine and others. But, it was always perceived as just a feeling in my solar plexus and my crown, and faint words and phrases from the detuned radio in my head. Yes, there is a lot of noise in there, mostly static. Today, there are words I am grabbing at.
I can physically feel it as an internal sensation, just as if it were an organ.
When I am in motion, I can jar this sensation out of my hypervigilant scope. Or, I can choose to find a way to render myself unconscious and just sleep it off. I like the former, because of several reasons. Firstly, medication that is supposed to put me under is ineffective right now. And second, I am clinging to any kind of reality that I can. Losing any of it is worse than not being able to process it correctly. Correctly? No, there isn’t a right or wrong. Ummm, I’m at a loss for words at the moment.
I need to shake this before it rocks me.
- I’m Going To Give All My Secrets Away (asthependulumswings.wordpress.com)
- Conscious, Subconscious, and Extraconscious (asthependulumswings.wordpress.com)
- Subconcsious Freedom Therapy – Forgiveness (ahmritanaturalmentalhealth.wordpress.com)
- Conscious vs. The Subconscious Mind (socyberty.com)
- Fabric of Unreality (solaceofsavagery.wordpress.com)
Foreword: Trigger Warning! The following topics include very sensitive subjects. If you suspect that you may have a trigger contained within, please refrain from reading. Reader discretion advised.
Blink. Blink. Blinking away. The cursor sits at a standstill while I stare ahead, poised, awaiting the words to flow out of my mind, through my arms, and out of my fingertips. Nifty title for some heavy stuff. And though there is plenty of content, I have no clue how to provide an introduction. A part of me flinches, and I find my fingers stiffening in hesitation.
No, you’re going to do this today.
Awhile ago, The Voice emerged from the jumbled noise in my head and spoke to me again. The Voice was back at feeding my paranoia and preying on my fears. I cannot understand how this conflicting persona came to be, though I tried to make sense of it in a theoretical psychology essay entitled, “Conscious, Subconscious, and Extraconscious”. I can only recall the emergence in my early teens, probably nearly coinciding with the onset of symptoms.
The Voice had never become external to myself. Until late April, mentioned in Lulu-Lunacy. Moments in time started happening where The Voice had taken on a complete audio hallucination. It had gone beyond paranoid delusion into a complete distortion of my reality. I would have believed that The Voice was a real external entity. It sounded as real as someone sitting next to me on the bus, whispering in my ear. The words were loud, crisp, and clear. But, there was no body to go with it.
I knew it wasn’t real, because I had been hearing it for as long as I could remember. However, I’ve always been able to identify it as a part of my conscious mind. This was detached. The words coming out were not words that came out of a deep, dark place. I had never considered going off of my medication. I had always regarded them as something that made me better. Instead, The Voice was telling me that the medication made me dumb, like cattle, so I could be led around by the neck.
That was my first experience with solid psychosis.
I started to believe that some kind of external source was putting The Voice in my head, and had been doing so for years. I just couldn’t hear it, because I was purposefully not listening. This reason The Voice was always one step ahead of me was because that external source had been monitoring me for years. I was chosen. And it was at this point that they wanted me to finally step up to take back my life from others who were trying to steal it for their own gain.
Yes, it was that real. Do I still think that? I have no idea.
Here’s the truth. I am not one solid person, as I began to mention in Conscious, Subconscious, and Extraconscious. I have a post drafted about my various personas and how some differ greatly from others. Really, it’s more of a spectrum. It’s almost dissociative, but not quite. A part of me is still present as a spectator while other personas take the wheel. But, I am almost in a disembodied kind of state. Sometimes, it feels like I am in a third person kind of state completely outside of myself. Other times, I don’t feel like I am present at all, and clearly I wasn’t. Chunks of time go missing and events get hazy.
Sometimes I feel like I am struggling for control of my own consciousness.
Then, there are the pararealities. I describe them in many of my more lucid, vague sounding posts. Most of the time, I feel like I am a time traveler. Except, I am not really akin to Doctor Who or Marty McFly or other time travelers. I don’t really go from this time period to other time periods. I live in pararealities. These pararealities run alongside and often overlap the linear continuum most people reside in. Here’s a visual representation of reality and pararealities:
To put it in words, I do not experience life and time in a linear way, though I do experience it in the same direction as others. Time speeds up and slows down. Some moments last forever, and sometimes days go by with a blink.
The parareality is a reality that is similar to our own, but doesn’t quite operate in the same way. It’s like living life a millisecond off of everyone else, either faster or slower. Sometimes, the parareality is a little more detached, like in the farther regions of the red and blue zones. But, they are adjacent realities overlapping in areas. More than two pararealities cannot be experienced at once, and although a spectrum may exist, it’s not like a theory of parallel dimensions where there could be dozens totally different from one another. They are much the same, but it’s often like putting a different lens on a pair of goggles.
I realize that what I am saying is complete insanity. It’s the realization alone that prompted me to stop writing and start dodging. Silence fell over me, because nothing I was thinking or feeling really made any sense when propped up against facts. And then The Voice says, “Or maybe it does.”
It’s a rabbit hole situation. I am Neo, and I’m opting for the red pill, though I am not entirely sure whether it is going to lead me to the real reality, or deeper into the delusions and hallucinations. It just feels like I’ve been taking the blue pills too long. Everything feels so forced. Life shouldn’t be forced, right?
Now, we get to the sick parts.
I have been keeping secrets. Apparently, it is what I do the best of all. I am so skilled at illusion that I can deceive myself without even knowing it to begin with.
Enough with the pomp and circumstance. Get on with it.
I am still taking my medication, though I do not want to. I don’t want to drink alcohol anymore, not because alcohol is bad for me and it makes me feel bad. (It is and it does). Alcohol is distorting a reality that my mind is already challenging as being real. That’s all good right?
No, I have ulterior motives.
I am continuing to take my medication and to stop drinking alcohol for a very disturbing reason. These are all efforts to continue to sustain an obvious mania that has been going on for – since at least late March, but it was a component of a mixed episode at that point. It didn’t become clear mania until late May.
I am also doing these things to keep my weight down. Did you know that Wellbutrin has been known to exacerbate symptoms of eating disorders?
Wait, Lulu. You don’t have an eating disorder.
It’s probably pretty clear to those that have ED. The restrictive diet, the compulsive exercise, talk of negative body image. It’s never been something I wanted to admit. First, I didn’t think that it was a problem. It’s not, not physically anyway. Second, even if it was a problem, I didn’t want anyone to catch on to the behavior. First, because I so fear obesity. I didn’t want anyone to stop me. And second, because I didn’t want anyone to look down on me anymore than they already do. It’s bad enough that I hate me most of the time. (Unless, I’m manic when I love me).
I binge sometimes when I’m sad. I purge it when I’m disgusted. I purge when I’m nervous. I purge when I feel self-destructive. I purge when the scale is giving me an unacceptable number. I restrict when I’m very sad and self-loathing. I run to run away from all of this, to run away from myself. I run to see that number plunge. I restrict to spite myself. I restrict to self-destruct.
I have an eating disorder(s).
Finally, I am still in the grips of self-injury.
I am not proud. I am not showing off. I am not crying out for help, because at this point, I don’t even think I really want help. I am being honest, because my dishonesty was killing me. I’m supposed to be discussing mental health topics. And here we are. The very start of everything. Honesty in the face of the monster.
Truthfully, I can’t take all of the credit. If Pendulum didn’t have an audience, I would have been discouraged enough to abandon the blog. If I didn’t have such wonderful friends here, I might not be inclined, or even inspired to write. Thank everyone for their eyes, ears, fingers, minds, and hearts.
Now, for this blog-o-versary behind-the-scenes edition of Pendulum.
Little known fact #1:
Pendulum was not the first blog I created on WordPress. Some people know about the other one, but I’m not really supposed to directly give the secret away.
No, the inspiration for a blog actually came out of a kind of spite thing. An old, friend-turned-rival had a personal blog she used to keep updated with friends. It contained some cute antecdotes about her life and some concert and album reviews, nothing incredibly revealing. While I had no inclination to start a very personal blog, I did want to have a humor blog with some antecdotes about my own life.
By the time June rolled around, I was in a very isolated place with my life affected by disorder. I felt like I was hiding behind some alter-ego (when am I not? Let’s be honest!), and I was suffering in silence. I always had been.
After a forum and a friend, Pendulum was born.
Little known fact #2:
Pendulum started with a self-injury post, To See if I Still Feel (a Nine Inch Nails lyric). But, what is lesser known is that it was accompanied by a half-hearted suicide attempt. It’s coded throughout the post, but I never really came out and said it.
Pendulum literally saved my life that day. That was the day that I really realized that there are other people out there who are like me, who have been what I have been through, and get it. That’s always been the problem in my life. There are few people who get it, and those that do only seem to want to have a pity-party competition.
It wasn’t followed up by comments right away. But, it was a start.
Little known fact #3:
“As the Pendulum Swings” was not the original choice for a blog title. However, the blog title that I wanted was already in use by my other account. At that point, I was very much in hiding about bipolar disorder, so I had to sever from it. I literally sat at my computer for a half an hour, staring at this blinking, expectant cursor.
It is not named after the Linkin Park song, “In the End“, though many times I use the full name of this blog, it does go through my mind. All I could think about was my time ticking away, pendulum swinging back and forth, dragging my emotions with it, with all of the futility and loneliness of my existence. And that’s how it came to me. My life is like a pendulum. With an upswing, there will be a downswing, and so on, and so forth. There is no end until the clock runs out. And then, you’re dead. And no one knows when that’s going to be. Today, tomorrow? Old, young? By my own hand, or by a stupid accident?
So, this blog was named to detail the swinging pendulum of my life, and go with the ups and downs.
Little known fact #4:
Tallulah grew out of several different names throughout this last year. Those that have been with the blog prior to February will remember the screen name of LunaSunshine. LunaSunshine was named for the tattoo on my back of a moon and sun, my own visual representation of the duality of my nature and the stark contrast of parts of my life. I knew Luna was “Moon”. I just couldn’t do any better for the “Sunshine” part.
Now, even lesser known fact. At a job I worked over a year before this blog, I earned the nickname of Sunny, just because of my demeanor. Believe me, it was really difficult some days. Sunny was something that stuck with me, because no one had ever referenced me in such a manner before. I didn’t know I could even be perceived in that context.
And during an episode, just before my son’s second birthday, I dyed my hair bleach blonde, a color I hadn’t worn since it was my natural color as a child. I guess it marked some kind of stability for me, because I’ve managed to keep the same color for almost two years now. Before that, it was bouncing between brown and red, based on the episode I was in at the time of the purchase of the hair color.
Now, back to the evolution of the name. Another blogger started to refer to me as “Lulu”, and somehow, it fit. It just stuck. No real rhyme or reason in a real life context. And maybe that was why. A clean break, you know?
How did it evolve into Tallulah? Actually, there is a post entitled, “A Proper Name” that gives explanation to that. Tallulah has always been a name I wanted to name a daughter, if I ever had one. I realize that’s not an option. Tori Amos wrote a song called, “Talula”, which carried a special meaning for me. To me, it spoke of the projection of the ideal woman, whether it was mine to begin with or not, and holding it as a standard, where if I don’t embody it, then I will be abandoned by the ones I love. It’s kind of like “behave, or we’ll stop loving you”.
It fit with “Lulu” already, so that was that. Stark was just something that paired well with it. It was not intentional, as it just popped into my head, and it has nothing to do with Iron Man. In fact, I have never seen the movie. But, I will make a kind of weird admission that Robert Downey Jr. looks kind of hot in a GQ sort of way in the commercials.
Lesser known fact #5:
This is my first mental health blog, but not my first blog about my personal life. In my younger years, I had been inclined to share things via short lived blogs on Livejournal, Darkjournal, Blogspot, Myspace, etc. In fact, I have had flame wars with my husband via blog sites, obviously much prior to our relationship and subsequent marriage. I found hard evidence that my ex had been cheating on me, via blog sites. My husband found out he had a stalker (same woman as the one my ex cheated on me with). And I’ve even had to end several friendships over flame wars on blogs.
The very last time I had a falling out on a blog site was when I was finished with blogging entirely. I didn’t appreciate how a friend dragged an incident where she was completely in the wrong into a public light. Then, she went as far as to try to spin it, and take the focus off facts and onto slanderous statements. I quit after that. We closed down all blogs, old email accounts, and most social networking sites.
And finally. . .
Lesser known fact #5:
My husband is well aware that I keep this blog. He knows it has a public address. He can access any and all of it’s content at any time. We share passwords, and there aren’t supposed to be any secrets. Totally accessible. And he hasn’t read a word.
I’m amazed at the lack of curiosity. I don’t blame him though.
Day 10 : Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
This is a rather difficult post, because most of the people that I could’ve written about in this topic were let go years ago throughout certain circumstances. A lot of things change when a person gets married, and even more so when a person has a child. Many people fall away, as a result of the social structure changing. Even so, many people were disassociated voluntarily, most through unfavorable circumstances. That being a marriage to a highly desired man. Or, a certain amount of jealousy toward my family and the woman no one expected me to become. And lastly, over interpersonal struggles that had been present for many years.
Plainly said, I don’t allow a person to exist in my life who does me harm.
With one exception.
Family. An antiquated notion anymore, and yet we all still are drawn to the traditional definition of such.
What is family? It has different meanings to different people. For some, especially many that were raised by people that are not related by blood, family are the people closest to you, care for you, and treat you as if you belong. They are the people who love you unconditionally, and would do anything to oversee your health, safety, well-being and general welfare.
For others, family are the people that are kin by blood, or by marriage through blood. These are the same people that share genetic matter with one another. It is the blood that bonds, and should generate those protective and loving emotions. The family contains a mother, father, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins (however distant), and grandmothers and grandfathers (however prefixed with great or otherwise). It is the hierarchy that provides the structure and governs the family system.
In this setup, certain rules of conduct exist. Family members are expected to treat others with a kind regard and respect at all times. Family members are not permitted to have all-out fights, as it insinuates contempt for another, and spells a potential of a deviation from the family. Although, if there is a deviation from the family system, that person is excluded, because they abandoned their duties to the family, meaning that they have not the love required. Family members are obligated to each other, even when there is a dislike between two members. Dislike can exist, but can never be expressed openly. And family members are private, to be kept within the family system. No outsiders.
The second is my family system. The family system that attempts to replicate those of 1950’s television families, and falls incredibly short. The reality of a family and the fantasy of the television family cannot intersect, because there is no commonality, except the tradition of family.
Now, I come from a heavy Scottish heritage. Scots are notorious for their clans and said allegiances. The thing about clans is that they are often family. And the thing about rival clans is that they are often family, too. They are several branches of family that had irreconcilable differences, due mostly to conflicting views and stubbornness against compromise. Scots are a proud people and intensely loyal. And that’s how a Scottish family system operated. Family looked out for each other, because if they didn’t, who would? And chances are, if you weren’t affiliated with a clan or didn’t follow a clan’s way, then you would be abandoned and left for dead.
What does this all have to do with someone I need to let go of? I need to let go of the antiquated version of family I grew up with. I need to expel the notions of the Cleaver family, and realize that it is nonexistent. Well, in my family anyway.
Everyone in this world has at least one secret desire that they know is absolutely impossible for them. That is exactly why it is a secret. One of my secret desires is to have family that unconditionally loves me, and treats me like I belong. I have always desperately wanted parents who treated me like they appreciated my individuality, and could come to terms with the fact that I am not the child they envisioned. I’ve always wanted them to be proud and express positive emotions toward me. I wanted loving parents, who weren’t afraid to say they love me, and show physical affection.
I wanted an extended family that I could really know. Scots are notorious for their huge families. I mean, that’s how you grow the clan, right? I have a huge extended family. I’ve stated this before, but my “sister” is not biologically my sister, from the same parents. We are related by blood as third cousins. Yes, my family is close enough that I know my third cousins. My son and her son will likely grow up as family, cousins, although according to the state of Pennsylvania, they are not related. (5th cousins. Who can say they know their 5th cousin?) But, as my extended family goes, my sister is the only one I continue to have a good relationship with.
I knew my Pappap. We had a fantastic relationship before he passed. I miss him. I really do. The anniversary of his death is coming up – 16 years ago. And he was the head of our clan. Hell, he was the head of two branches of our clan. (That’s how I know my sister’s family at all). And when he passed, the glue of our family started coming apart. He was the only thing that held it together.
But, just because my Pappap held the family together does not mean we were apart of each others lives. In fact, quite the contrary. My aunt, also serving in the capacity of my godmother, made the attempt. The fact was, she just didn’t like children. Another aunt of mine lived in distant California. Another aunt of mine was just too jealous of the fact that my mother had a daughter and she had two unruly boys. Another aunt of mine was a part of my life, and really was my friend. Until she met her now husband and moved away. Then, there was my young uncle, a bachelor and professional. He hardly made an appearance at any of these events. We were quite estranged for many reasons. Many that I couldn’t understand at the time.
As a teen, the question always lingered in my mind; Why don’t I belong in my own family? If I didn’t belong anywhere else in the world, why couldn’t I seem to fit into my family. In theory, there should have been a guaranteed spot where I would be accepted, understood, and loved unconditionally. But, as I grew more symptomatic, the more I was pushed away. The gap was noticeable at that point, and I came to the realization that I didn’t fit some kind of mould that was created for me. I wasn’t a lovely blonde girl with big blue eyes who spoke softly, smiled sweetly, and was brilliant in a humble way. I was something entirely different, almost monstrous.
It was at that time that I discarded any sentiments that I could fit in, because I knew it was just not possible for me. And I stopped trying. It actually inspired me to attempt to embody everything that was the opposite of what was expected of me. I didn’t want to conform, because I did not want to “belong” to anyone. Love should not have contingencies, and I should not be expected to be anyone but myself. That should be more than good enough to people who call themselves “family” to me.
That does not mean I discarded my longing for family. Family are the people who love you, no matter what. Feats or failures. Achievements or disappointments. They are the people who help you, not out of obligation, but because they really want to see you in a better place. They don’t judge you. They don’t hold grudges or debts. Family should be the people that are guaranteed confidants, supports, fail safes, and friends.
I longed for parents who would provide me with support, affection, and guidance. I longed for grandparents who would fawn over me, and lend me wisdom. I longed for cousins that could be friends. I so desperately desired aunts and uncles that could teach me about life, give insight on my parents and adulthood in general, and be confidants. Instead, I got parents that berated me for being me, and gave up on parenting altogether when I turned seventeen, because in truth, they didn’t really want to be parents at all. I lost my grandfather young, and ended up with a grandmother who was indifferent to her grandchildren. (According to my mother, she was indifferent to most of her children too. I don’t take that personally). I had cousins who held a grudge because I was “the baby” and the only girl on this coast. My eldest cousin resented me for having the responsibility for looking after me during family events and vacations. I had an aunt who despised my existence, and another who attempted to use me as a surrogate child, and later decided she wasn’t cut out for kids.
And between all of these people, throughout the years, silent grudges and resentment started opening up. I had realized that I was caught by accidental crossfire, but it hurt just the same. All of the trauma still follows me, and I’ve felt like the only resolution would be to have that ideal family.
I need to let the notion of family go. The only way to resolve that trauma is to understand that definition of family is not the only definition of family. I didn’t have a mother for guidance. I stumbled around adolescence and had to find my way to womanhood alone. I didn’t have a father in the traditional “daddy’s little girl” sense. I had a dictator, who wasn’t much of a male role model for later men in my life. I had to fumble my way around dating and men myself. And in the end, I still ended up with a man much like my father, without the hands-on approach to family.
I need to give up on the idea that my parents will suddenly become parents, even though their sudden appearance as grandparents gave me false hope. They are who they are, and they’ll always regard me as the person I am, no matter how much I grow and change. My mother said to me, with a sigh, “I see a lot of myself in you. A lot of the things that you tell me about your . . . mind, it rings a bell.” It gave me false hope. It gave me this idea that she would become my mother and help me in hard times of my marriage and parenting. But, I know she won’t. My father will never be a father to me. He hardly ever was. He is at least a friend now, anyway. But, he’ll never brag to his friends about his beautiful, intelligent, talented daughter. He’ll never express pride or admiration toward me. Neither of them will.
That’s the way it is. I need to let go of my family and let it be what it is, instead of hoping that it will suddenly turn into something it never was, and never will be.
Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I excused myself to “put Trent down for a nap”. And I curled up in the bathroom, blanket wrapped tightly around me. A safe cocoon. A straight jacket.
The intrusive thoughts came in the silence. At first, they were indistinguishable from the rest of the noise. Then, one came out very plainly, rolling as a hardly audiable murmur from my lips.
“Why?” the sobs welled in my throat as the tears poured down my face. I smalled the sobs for as long as I could.
“I am so alone,” I whispered. My face contorted. My jaw tightened as my top teeth extended out. An enormous sob was lodged in my throat. With all of the power of will that remained, I silenced it.
“He doesn’t love you. If he loved you, he would have tried.”
“Your marriage has failed.”
The voices barraged me relentlessly with intrusive thought that had no real evidence. But the absence, the distance, was enough for me to formulate theories.
I was no longer slow dancing in the burning room. I sat at the piano, alone, playing out the most sour of melodies. This had been evacuated a long time ago. I took in a lungful of dark, black smoke, and now I was choking on it.
“You should runaway. Leave your phone and just hide. It doesnt matter that it’s 30F and raining. Leave this place.”
“I won’t give up my son.”
“Break shit. Starting with dishes and glasses.”
“And then take more of a shit storm than I can handle.”
“Take handfuls of pills to make you numb.”
The crying ceased, and besides the stirring, turning wheel in my head, I was tapped out.
Desperate, as people get before they die in a tragedy, I slinked back up the stairs and into the room. The house was silent, heavy with slumber. I reached into the back of the drawer. I took a vicodin, the drug that almost killed me the last time. I didn’t care. Come what may.
After I let the drugs settle in, I started the note. i explained the fundamental problems. No affection, save for the verbal foreplay. Disinterest and dismissal. Isolation and alienation. A communication block. Walking on eggshells to keep him happy and sane. Oppressive states of living, impossible expectations. All of the things I could never say to his face.
And that was only an overview.
I decided to move forward with my impulse to leave. I planned on leaving my phone and hiding away at the trestle. Alone. A place of refuge where no one would think to look. Save for Chris, who would be unlikely to consider it.
I went into the bathroom donning only a bathrobe. It was warm. I discovered a boxcutter I had hidden nearly a year ago. the temptation was irresistible. It was the only way to make these thoughts go away. To make it all disappear and usher in the empty mind born only from numbess.
To my dismay, it was dull. I had to tear at the flesh on my still shishy hip. Five lines. One for each year we have been together. I could have kept going. I stared at the bleeding cuts, satisfied with the pain and the amount of blood I had drawn.
And I looked up into the mirror at the red nosed, disheveled girl with the wild look in her eyes. Something primal existed there. That girl wasn’t me. I was staring at a loathsome stranger.
I got up, ready to sear my skin with the hottest water I could withstand. I was ready to shave every inch of my body. I scrapped and scratched away the flesh staining me. I wanted to wash this day away.
It didn’t end there. I returned to the upstairs to find him awake. I questioned, “Have you read my note?”
“No, I’ll read it later.”
“You really should consider reading it now.”
Another excuse, “I have to make dinner,” while he continued to surf Facebook.
“It’s really important,” I pressed.
“Not right now,” he protested.
I was pushing now, “Then when?”
“I don’t know. Later,” he dismissed some more.
“A later that will never come.” I thought of all of the unread emails I had sent that went straight to archive. Not even remotely close to a priority.
“Because I don’t want to ruin my Sunday. The only time I have to relax before I have to go back to working 50 hours a week!”
In my mind, I said, “Which you *CHOOSE* to do.”
“Fine. If you do not care enough about our marriage enough to take time to read this, then I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. it can’t go on like this.”
“If you want me to read this so fucking badly, then I will.”
“No, just X it out. I’m done.” I meant it. I was finished with this marriage.
He did read it, mocking some parts of it, as I expected. I knew it wouldn’t be well received. If I spoke these words aloud, I’d suffer more dismissal and rationalizations. I’d suffer more pain through his outrage, pointing out my selfishness, neediness, clinginess, and what he considered to be my inability to see beyond myself.
We fought some more downstairs. Not tearing out throats this time. But in a heated argument. He quoted, “regarded coldy like a business associate”.
“Yes. Not even as basic as friendship. I am not a part of your personal life. I am never let in. In fact, I am pushed away, even physically.”
“I was sick, you know, after drinking more than half a bottle of tequila.”
“You’re always sick. Headache, stomach ache, body ache, anything that can hurt does.”
Sarcastically, he said, “What am I supposed to do. Go to the doctor and say, ‘My wife is pissed that I have pains’?”
“Yes, something. No more excuses. I will not except them.”
“How is it that one of us is perfectly happy? i am completely content.”
“Because the other person bends over backwards to make the other one is happy! I walk on eggshells to take your feelings into consideration and not upset you. It’s suffocating!”
He paused to think. Apparently, I had touched on something.
I know he’s going through something. But, this is no excuse. I don’t deserve this isolation. I do everything to satisfy. I don’t ask for anything out of the question.
I just want to be shown love. Satisfaction. I want him to want me. All of me. To recognize my efforts. To be delighted by my displays. To feel warm.
We reconciled. But, it’s Monday. Back to business as usual. No emails, texts. I didnt want to talk to him after work. I wanted him to suffer. To question if I was alright.
I thought it could be made up. I’m sure another disappointing date is upon us. He did take the time to set something up, likely out of guilt that he didn’t in advance. I wanted to spend some time on the sofa. And I was asked to sit on the floor in proximity to the sofa he laid on.
Daggers. I expected it. I wasn’t devestated. I was despondent. i warned him I was close to shutting down, just a day earlier. When I shut down, it’s over. i’ve given up. It would only be a matter of time before someone calls it quits.
Once a person is out, they are out. A wall will go up, impenetrable. And i will spend my time doing what I want, without any regard for his wants or needs. he violated mine. I may end up done with all of that.
Two more days. I’ll give him by the end of Thursday, the actual day of our wedding anniversary. After that, he’s on his own.
No more threats. Action.
I cannot suffer many more disappointments and rejections.