Warning: Relapse

Honestly, I find the words evaporating before they can come into focus in my mind. I grasp at them, trying desperately to hold to just one. Please, just one to represent this. Let me have only one.

So, here I write. My first stream of consciousness entry since the very beginning of this blog.

Where to start? Is there really a starting point? The perfect place to run along the thread, coursing up and down, and through the fabric of my life. Maybe. Maybe not. I seem to get the idea that there is no beginning, and respectively, there is no end.

So, maybe I can begin with a narrative, rolling around in my mind, each time it stirs.


I am not perfect. My flaws are becoming more visible each time I look at myself. Painfully so. Everything feels so forced.

I make mistakes. I succumb to those words, the ones that usually just make a dull buzz in my head.

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In these times, the moments of darkness, it becomes louder, slower, more pronounced.

I. want. to. die.

A buried mantra, rising from dormancy.

My ears heard a beckon in my sleep. I rustled. I could sleep forever. Another summoning. In fact, I wanted to sleep forever. My eyes opened to dull grey haze, sunlight buried miles deep in cloud cover. And the words whispered to me, I want to die.

 

I had remembered my dream. It was a recurring dream, the same theme, different places, different faces. All but one. C.S.

In each dream, we are separated in some way, whether it be a wall or a world apart. We aren’t just separated, rather more like severed from one another. I am not whole. I feel that in the very depths of my shattered soul.

In this most recent recurrence, we were literally separated, not divorced, but not even living in the same place anymore. I shared an apartment with his ex-best friend. He was sick, and I took him to the hospital.

While there, I started to feel preterm labor. It was a child I hadn’t told C.S. about yet. Though we had T.D., I didn’t want him to feel obligated to stay in a marriage with me because of an unplanned pregnancy.

I just went back to the apartment. The same dingy, dark, trashed apartment that is always in my dreams. I must have done something really bad for him to discard and disregard me in such a way. I called him. I wanted nothing more than to be whole again. I needed him to come to my aid.

He refused. “Why would I want to come to that dump to see you?”

I begged. And he still refused.

I returned to the hospital, knowing that the labor would get worse. I just knew it wasn’t something that couldn’t be fixed.

Skip the labor scene. I don’t remember it, even if it did occur.

And, I went into a dark exam room, to lay on the bed with the paper sheet, in a paper gown. I saw a pad of paper sitting on an end table. I flipped through and it coldly read, “What seems to be your problem today?”

I threw it, and went to gather my belongings that were housed in a communal room, supposedly watched by a guard. Except when I went to look, they were nowhere in sight. I saw a woman sitting next to the man, holding my exact purse. I insisted it was my purse, and ripped it away from her. I pulled out my handmade keychain, looking for some proof I was who I said I was.

I got a nametag out and I had apparently been using a different last name since my separation. I went for my I’d in my wallet. A voice came from behind me.

“Her name is Em. I’m her husband.”

C.S. stood there, disappointed and disgruntled.

 

And I awoke, horrific feelings still intact. Worthlessness, abandonment, disappointment, heartache, soul-fractures, incompletely incomplete, with holes punctured through my being. I mourned that child. I mourned my broken marriage. And I wondered what lay in wait in my conscious life.

Noon. Lunch. Eggs and bacon for my son.

No excuses. Not, the infamous, “It’s five o’clock somewhere.” I poured myself a shot of Wild Turkey and nursed it. The next, I gulped. Sunday is a terrible day to drink in Pennsylvania. When you’re out, you’re out. So, I moved on to vodka.

Anything. I would do anything to erase that awful gnawing feeling. That feeling that you are being dragged into the pit, clawing and screaming as the inky blackness envelopes you, curling like vines upward, and strangling the very life from you.

I’m not going to launch into this speech about how embarrassed or downtrodden I am for my shortcomings. Not because I feel justified in my action as a result of a faulty rationalization. Because I am human. I have some permissible margin or error, right?

But, I will make certain admissions based on very stark realizations.

I was starting to get ready for work, when I realized that not all of my laundry had been returned to me. T.D. had clothes. C.S. was fine for the week. But only a few articles returned to me.

I started to get upset. Dressing for Pennsylvania weather is tricky. When the sun is shining, but it’s 30, and you know that you be out after dark later, it complicates things. Some of my classrooms are hot, and some are cold. I need layers. My sweaters were too hot.

I lost all confidence in any choice, and became flustered. T.D. screamed in the background and C.S. preached at me on the phone. I wasn’t going to make it in time. I wasn’t going to make it.

How could I even walk out of that door like this, without any guarantees that I could make it intact?

I want to die.

My parents pounded on the door. I carried T.D. down the stairs and set him down. I was shaking so badly, it caused tremors in every single electrified muscle. Halfway through the living room, my legs gave out. My whole body fell limp, and I could no longer live in my mind. I crawled to the door, and opened it.

I pulled myself onto the sofa and curled into a ball. And I cried, “I can’t do it. I can’t go to work like this.”

“Get yourself together,” my mother advised.

I wasn’t talking anymore. I was on autopilot, hyperventilating, “I can’t. I can’t. I just can’t, I have to call off.”

I did. My boss could sense the extreme distress in my voice. I lied. I told her the sitter called off because she was sick. I couldn’t bear to tell her the truth.

I’m in no mental state, because I’m having a nervous breakdown related to a recent bout of ultradian cycling that hurled me into a long awaited depression. You’re better off without me today.

And my mother asked, “Did something happen?”

“No,” I answered in a fractured voice, holding back tears, “this is just the natural course of things. This was three months in the making. Three months, almost symptom free. And now this.”

The grand herald of my depressive episode, here to announce it’s presence. And to present a list of events, in no particular, predictable order, that will push me further into this hell. This hell. This is mine. Of my own making.

And I have to face it alone. Because as of today, everyone in my life has made it abundantly clear that they are, quote, “Tired of my shit, because I’m always like this.”

That’s me. Like this. Fucking up since the mid-eighties.

This post brought to you by Tallulah, my Blackberry Bold.

A Dangerous Game

The night before last, I had this dream that was absolutely horrific.  Stay with me if you can.  This is a little long.

The dream was like a video game. It started out with me receiving instructions from someone. They said that I’d have a delivery in the mail. It was a very precious item that many people would be after me for. Namely a woman. I don’t remember her name.

Next thing I knew, I was either in a large apartment complex or a bad motel. I’m not sure. I’m thinking bad motel, because I don’t recall seeing any of my belongings there. It was a tiny place where the living room and the kitchen shared the same open space. Everything was drab and kind of nondescript. There was an antique style armchair – dark wood and burgundy velour fabric. That was about all that could fit into that tiny room. Right across from the door was a huge, open closet, with only a lone hanger on the rack. It looked extremely lived in. The TV was one of those old style TV’s that had a wire clothes hanger for an antenna. (Those don’t even function as televisions anymore). That was against the wall between the two doors.

I was standing there, peeking out of the glass side door that led to a huge wooden patio that was completely enclosed. It was an entire floor up, and the stairs leading down were precariously steep. Beyond that, all I could see were trees, mostly palm trees. In the very far distance, I saw what might have been a coast line, but it was misty. I couldn’t really see a whole lot.

Then, the doorbell rang. I let the heavy drape, maybe yellowish with green palm trees embroidered into them. It was dark in the room, and the room didn’t have any other windows but the big, glass, sliding door. I carefully edged my way to the front door and asked who it was. He said it was the delivery man. I told him that I didn’t want the package, but he insisted. There was no return address. I unlatched the chain on the door, unbolted it, and opened it. I saw outside to notice that the motel was in an L shape, with the black iron railings and only two exits to the parking lot that existed within the L, one on each end. He wheeled in a huge box, and practically vanished.

A huge box, great. Now everyone in the area has seen it. But that was probably the point. I opened the box to find it filled with peanuts. Tons and tons of white packing peanuts. I dumped the box out, realizing that the dolly was a ruse. Even the delivery guy was in on it. At the bottom, I find some kind of metal item. It was symbolic of something, but I can’t quite remember what it looked like. Maybe a metallic cross. It looked old and worn. It was larger than my palm, but not too large to carry in a fist. I clenched it in my fist, and headed for the patio.

I practically jumped down the stairs. I knew that someone set me up, and that they probably watched the whole thing go down. I hit the cement, and I began running through the trees.

I knew there was someone on my tail. I came out of the trees and onto a beach. I turned around, and I saw her in the distance. She had jet black, shiny hair, and dark eye makeup. She wore all black and had two thugs with her that were looking for me. I went into a crowd of beach goers. They were all just kind of laying there, soaking up the sun, despite the mist that surrounded the coast line area. Nobody seemed to mind me running through the area, kicking up sand. I was hoping to get to the mist before she noticed me. Or else, she wouldn’t be foolish enough to shoot into a crowd.

I’m going to guess what came next was a warning shot. I wasn’t hit, but it was a single fire from a handgun. I kept running for the mist. And now, she was hot on my tail. Her thugs stayed behind, probably to guard any area that I could use to get out. I ran, and my legs turned to jello and my body was heavy. My lungs ached with every gasp. She continued to fire at me with the pistol. I got into the mist and ran down the shore. I still couldn’t see the water because the fog was so dense.

I came to a grassy area and darted out of the mist and toward a parking lot. It was close to the shore. Not close enough, because she managed to graze me with a bullet. She had to have been running out by then. I busted in the window of a car door with my elbow (impossibility), got in, cranked it up, and sped off (complete impossibility).

I drove to the local grocery store to talk to Jay. (I don’t know why). I knew that he’d figure it out. But this store didn’t exist in my hometown. It was in this beach town, probably somewhere in Florida. Palm trees grew wild. But it was misty like northern beaches. I don’t know. I ran into the store, and I was convinced that she wouldn’t follow me in. There were security cameras and people everywhere.

Inside, the grocery store was identical to the one here. I stood by the bakery and talked to Jay. I showed him the relic, and he was clueless. He had no idea what I should have been doing, or what I could do to hide or get away. He did tell me one thing. This was a video game. If it was similar to Grand Theft Auto, then I wouldn’t die. I’d wake up at the local hospital or in my own bed at home, whichever was closer.

That was when I saw her and her thugs down the aisle. She lifted a rocket launcher. I stood there, wide-eyed, as Jay calmly stood is ground. She fired and I squeezed my eyes shut.

I woke up in the armchair back at the motel. Now, my family was there. I was so happy to see T.D. I had no idea what happened, but I was glad that it was over. Until someone called on the phone. I answered my Blackberry and it was the same man who gave me the instructions in the first scenario. Great, here we go again.

“We don’t have much time. You will find a package that contains a group of items. Try not to be suspicious, but hide them. And do everything you can to keep her from finding them.”

Her? The black-haired woman?

The doorbell rang. C.S. and my dad already seemed to have known. They coaxed T.D. outside with the box and instructed me to answer the door to distract her.

I opened the door, and it wasn’t the black-haired woman at all. It was a dark blonde woman. She was about my height (short), and much more stout than I am. She acted as if I was supposed to know her and invited herself in. She disregarded me entirely and surveyed the scene. T.D., C.S., and Dad were all back inside now, wrestling around as if that was what they were doing the whole time.

“Lovely,” she grumbled. “I shall require you to make accommodations.”

“Of course,” I answered, pretending that I had a clue as to what was going on. I pointed to the one bedroom door in the very back. She huffed her way down there.

I ran out of the door, and suddenly, the outside changed. It wasn’t outside anymore. I was in an upscale hotel. I ran down the hall, trying to find something I could use to distract her. I saw a spa, and ran in to make her an appointment. Through the mist, I saw her lying on a table, wrapped in white towels, with the whole spa get-up. She had the green mask on her face, and cucumbers on her eyes. She lifted a cucumber for just a second to see me and she said snootily, “Oh, I’ve already taken care of it. Don’t worry about lifting a precious finger.”

This was my opportunity. I knew I needed to hide the contents somewhere else. I jumped down the patio stairs again, and found several freshly dug patches of dirt. I used my hands to sift through it. It wasn’t really packed down. I uncovered these shining relics. One was a silver ornate, ceremonial knife, and the other was gold. One looked like a small scepter with a ball of onyx in the center. There were other tarnished gold relics buried with them that I couldn’t describe. Maybe crosses or other religious symbols? They were ornate, but encrusted with gunk.

I heard her voice in the distance and attempted to bury them even deeper. They were in too shallow of a hole, but I didn’t have a shovel. I clawed at the dirt with my hands, threw everything in the hole, and tried to cover it back up. There wasn’t enough dirt. It was still too shallow. And I started to panic.

End Dream.

I didn’t have enough time to sit down and do a dream analysis on it.  That’s what I’m working out right now, because after the chain of events yesterday, I need some answers.

The Ink is Bleeding Through

I’m not sure what is real anymore.

Have a read. I’m hoping this is not a problem that is unique to me. And I’m really hoping that this isn’t permanent and there are personal insights.

I have been dreaming lately. I’m glad for it, because I notice that I have more stability when I’m having more REM sleep. I think the medicine change did the trick. But now, it’s causing a problem I’ve never had before.

I took a nap today. I had some awful dream I won’t go into. In the dream, C.S. and I were grocery shopping and he picked up a bag of ice. Later, while making a grocery list, I had to ask if we brought ice. He told me no.

My dreams are bleeding into reality!

I thought he bought the ice. I really did.

I had to think really hard as to whether or not an exchange happened between my boss and I. She addressed me and said, “Em (she calls me), is anything going on? You haven’t been yourself lately.” I was totally befuddled. I replied, “No, I’m fine.”. Then she started disciplining me for having a poor attitude toward my co-workers and my students.

No, that’s not logical. I’m always in a good mood, even if I’m a little less than social or enthusiastic. I’ve never been mean to a co-worker or student. And I have never, never, never exhibited an attitude problem. The kids make me a soft, warm person. There is no irritation or malice there.

It couldn’t have been real. It wasn’t logical at all.

I know how it is happening. My dreams have been unusually vivid and fluid lately, allowing me to include mundane events and details. My short-term memory is a little less than sharp because of the Lamictal, so my brain isn’t banking the memory correctly. It gets thrown in a catch all pile that sorts it into long-term chronology. It’s getting filed wrong.

I’m scared. I’m absolutely terrified that my line between reality and fantasy is starting the blur. Fantasy is bleeding over. How long before I totally lose touch with reality?