Without Preface

I’m going to confess this to you.

I feel weird.  I don’t know.  I knew this time of year would be stressful and it is and it isn’t.  I’m accomplishing the bare minimum I need to get by, I’m sticking, imperfectly to my diet, I’m trying to get some poetry published and actively doing that.   Today I was grumpy as fuck about how Monday it was, though,  How people kept wheedling their way into my agenda and how I didn’t feel like I had a grip on any of it.  I wasn’t working on any sort of new ways to cope at all.

But, end of the day, I’d gotten my books done and they’ll be ready first thing in the morning pretty much and the market paperwork is done.  It’s at least something, you know? So I went to my parents because…I didn’t trust myself coming home.  I was a stone’s throw away from self-destruction at the hands of a fast-casual restaurant which will remain nameless.  I just wanted to feel numb.  I just wanted to not have to be a martyr for this unobtainable bullshit I didn’t care about.  For about 30 seconds, I honestly, deeply, drool-fully cared about eating.  Then I remembered all the things I typically don’t wait that long to remember – how much effort I’ve been putting into the weight loss run I’m on, how destructive doing that would be because it always is, and that I’m just hungry…too hungry to think and therefore, I need to eat something correct before I can decide mindfully to fuck myself over.

I think I feel so off because of what I’m dredging up with Calling in the One.  I feel like chum for the sharks of my psyche, just bobbing out in the open water right now.

I want to do so much and my energy to combat it, to attack it, is just not there.   But I told myself today how maybe…it was okay.  Maybe I’ve learned enough to know that I don’t want to go down this miserable road or that I can walk a road and not take on its properties as I go.

I need a break from that place.  This place, too.  Need to see it with fresh eyes.

….

I think I took the disappointment I blogged about yesterday, along with that of a lot of coinciding events (or absences of events) and knotted them together into this katamari of belief that I’ve never seen the center of.  It made me honestly feel like everything on the list provided:

I am alone. I am bad. I am a brat. I am a disappointment. I am dirt. I am disposable. I don’t matter. I am a failure. I am fat. I am gross. I am incapable. I am inferior. I am insignificant. I am a loser. I am a mess. I’m not enough. I am unlovable. I am unimportant. I am sad. I am a screw-up. I am selfish. I am sneaky. I am smelly. I am stupid.

All of it at a core level, intermingled with anything good I felt about myself.   There isn’t a way to get rid of it without boiling off the self-confidence and self-security to distill it.

What did I make this disappointment mean about the world and other people?

I made it mean that the state I was in was unacceptable to address the hopes and aspirations I held.  That I could get by, but I’d only ever be happy if I transformed.  Wholly and utterly.  Because there was something wrong with me – maybe I’ve mentioned this elsewhere in the archives but it is right in front of my eyes at the moment – I remember this profound moment of a girl in 7th grade who I didn’t know beyond a name – asking me why I was the way I was.

I didn’t know what that meant.  I still don’t know what that meant.  She didn’t explain before or after the bell rang and I, silenced by the shockwave of being seen, judged, and found wanting, never considered gathering up the gumption to ask what the hell was so terrible about me.  If it was obvious to a stranger, then, it wasn’t from my fevered imagination and

I still remember another girl making fun of my clothes.  Another making fun of Target – where my mother worked.

I think I’ve walked around convinced of something I don’t understand – that I exist in a way that is contrary to what girls should be, what boys would like.

And for a long time my little sister was a center of this negative comparison.  She always had a sharp word for me, was the the embodiment of all these nasty little people and memories and the Quinn Morganddorffer of our house.  My empathic head got busted by time after time, as I found myself completely unequipped to deal with how she was able to cripple me with a look.  All these beliefs…I marinated in them.

It also reinforced this idea of needing to preserve family unity.  Because of course they have to be there for you, even if it’s on their own terms, even if they could zero in on the sore parts of yourself and made sure that’s where they put their hardest kicks.  Losing that means losing everything there is.  And the isolation screw turned ever inward.

Slowly, I found some teachers that wanted to support me, that made me feel good about my writing again, and got me into more challenging English classes and I felt like I could put my identity into being a Word Girl, despite my ambivalence and anger toward being as such because at least it was a known quantity and the people in those classes had some respect for that  and in some ways I was starting to come together in Junior/Senior year.  But everyone’s emotional lives had been jelling for years and suddenly, it was time for college and I…spun out again.

I’m still spinning.

I’m not depressed, just trying to be aware of all of this.  More to come, I guess.

Weep Little Lion Girl

It’s like a word train, one hooking right after another and frequently stopping to block traffic for no obvious reason before chugging along again, slightly briefer or longer though never quite making sense.

After a long session of preening and poking about and taking pictures of myself with my bright red lipstick and my cat’s eye eyeliner until I found one I really, really liked, we went to the mall today.  My little sister and my mother and I.  I didn’t buy anything because I was kind of in a daze.

So I’ve mentioned how my back and really my neck have been killing me every morning?  Well, it’s sort of extended well past morning right now and it’s been stiff and painful all day and after the mall goings on and my pre-menstrual emotional upheaval, my dear mother was getting concerned for me.  And this is not in the basic attention way I like and crave.  She was actually concerned that something might be wrong with me which, whether it’s true or not, is not something I actually want to share with anyone or actually try to face and resolve.   But my mother has read books on pressure points and massage and really, at this point, my neck was bothering me so much that I felt entirely meek and sort of past defending my completely false sense of personal gravitas that would usually prohibit me from letting someone take care of me or touch me or anything like that.  So naturally, she’s appalled at the knots in my back and how stiff I was and my little yelps of pain as she pushed into the knots for 8 seconds and eventually she had me lay down on the floor and she was rubbing this pain cream into my back and shoulders and it hurts so much I just start involuntarily crying and all my liquid eyeliner pools below my eyes and I can’t explain to anyone that the tears are not just because she’s pressing where it hurts and it’s hurting but because it’s foreign touch, a sensation so foreign to my skin and I’m laying there in front of the both of them just completely wracked with agony and loneliness and emotion and all the stress of work and the way I sit and my hunched over shoulders bent to protect me from any stray eyeballs and the empathic trailings of the hundreds of randoms at the mall battering around in my head like a bird at a window.  Just overwhelmed with emotion, so it’s spitting out of my face, and it’s making my mother’s concern even more severe.  She says it shouldn’t hurt like this and my little poetic brain so flush with all those hormones that have the semiotic gift, reads a thousand layers into that statement and more tears come and I can say nothing but thank you.   Thank you for helping me.

Of course, then my sister says “Maybe your back hurts because you have such gigantic boobs.”  Which is funny, now, to type.  But then it felt pretty shitty because when you’re in this sort of semiotic free-fall, everything connects to the meanings of everything else and you sort of trip through your own memory, illuminating everything as you go.  I think about tits.  About being among the first in fifth and sixth grade to have them, about feeling swollen and broken and unready to own any of it.  Completely ashamed.  Back then, I figured that if you bent your shoulders and hunched a bit, you weren’t thrusting anything out at anyone.  You weren’t asking for anyone to be aware of you at all.   Long hours of computer work, abject shyness, whatever it is, I am slowly crippling myself just by living.

She says these kind of things in an effort to help me.  Or so she thinks.  She points out that my lipstick is too bright and messy.  She tells me my jeans are too short.  Am I wearing that?  Why am I not answering her? She rhetorically asks.  If I’m going to be such a bitch, we’ll just go home! I used to think that she thought she was better than everyone, but I’ve seen enough of her insecurities to know that’s not true.  What’s true is this: she just thinks she’s better than me.  I try and consider if there’s anything in that to motivate me, but right now, I just don’t…know.   I want to be mad at her in the vein of our usual rivalry, but what rises to the surface is that if she thinks she’s better than me, maybe she’s not the only one.  Maybe given every thought in my head today about how she dares to walk around in the world without pulling at her clothes to better cover herself, her appraising eye turned outward instead of in, I must think she’s better than me, too.

But I always forget that the revelations I come to when I’m in that sort of headspace are not always coming, whole cloth, to everyone else.  So I gather myself up, slowly, dab out my raccoon eyes and breathe and try and have a good dinner and I drive home and have  a nice visit with my friends, however brief and try and keep pushing my shoulders down.  I do feel better, but maybe also more keenly aware of how big the hurt was and how much could come back.

I am a good person, but sometimes I just feel so stuck in a quagmire.

Social Scurvy

It is all a coincidence, of course, but there is something strange about the fact that I randomly selected tomorrow as a vacation day and tomorrow we expect a death of snow.  How much is a death?  However much it takes, I guess.  I will have to take some honest stock tomorrow.

The guy upstairs is very quiet and not so friendly lately.  I don’t know why that is.  I suppose he has problems of his own, one of which is having a daughter, a ten year-old daughter which one imagines is a situation fraught with problems.   This is not a situation I can imagine myself entangled in, so I observe from my chair at the end of the hallway and direct people into their respective bathrooms and acknowledge them and let them know there’s two stalls and not just the usual one and hope the guy is alright, that he’s getting by and that the miserable boss of his (not mine) treats him well enough to survive.

I thought that today.

Still no phone.  It’s on backorder with no date as to when it will arrive.  This is what you get when you delay – more delays. I have ordered a few christmas presents which is positive.  Step in the right direction.

Enough dithering, I want to not be fat.  I want to not be able to control myself among others and lose my mind when I’m sitting here alone, processing.  Eating with absolutely no physical reaction, no stopping point, no desire or delight.  Just madness.  I’m feeling gross and frustrated and thoughtless and I think…that’s terrible.   I know that I’m reacting to the stress of trying to pay bills with no money, trying to deal with feuding co-workers and exhausted bosses and this sexless, boring, creatively-neutered existence by eating.  I’m replacing all of these voices in my head, these cropped-up hopes and sequestered fantasies, these raging reconstitutions of my failures, with this orgy of fat.  I don’t want to not have done this right.  I don’t want to be found out as this flawed thing whose only secret inner life was the madness that tolerated nothing but its own existence.

So, I’m making a grocery list right here in the midst of my self-loathing and disappointment and the stink of frozen pizza on the table and the candy wrappers about me and my half-drunk soda bottle.

We begin not in the morning, not after a good bath, not just a second from now – but here, now.  I have time tomorrow to go to the store and get good food, but none of that matters if I don’t get good food when I’m there.  Tonight was all frustration and I got this stuff because this happen has taken root again and we have to drive it out.  Drive it and get it behind us, Satan! Or something equally dramatic but a little more secular.

This is how it works, guys, cold turkey.  Or maybe this is how it will work since we are at the outset, but I’m sick of being a whiny bitch about my life and instead, I’m going to do what I can to change it.