Honey and Garlic


Impossibilities.  Some we’ve crossed today and others have crossed us right back.

Today was therapy – it seems like it happens all the time lately, but that’s only because whole months fall away from me in perfect sheets. It is hard to quantify how to “push oneself” in therapy because how do you subdivide the thinking you do outloud about yourself into helpful and just mindless chatter?  You just do it and wait for the feeling of knowing.

It was fairly mindless chatter.  Me trying to not exactly say anything at all and yet still fill an hour with talk about my inner life.  Stress about this, happy about that, striving in that way, failing in another way.  It was just about par for the average course.  Something about it was disconnected.

Then, Mildred, as a matter of course, was discussed.  The therapist gently suggested that perhaps I could stop having such a negative reaction to her, that I could be kinder to that part of myself and recognize that much what her attempts to limit my life were about was simply protecting me.   The inference was that the agitation I feel towards her is holding me back in some way.

And it rather surprised me when I said very clearly, in probably a voice more akin to the Faithful Light than anyone else (believe me, I know this sounds like some sort of masturbatory self-insert sci-fi personality swap novella), that I couldn’t do that.  I had to deal with my anger towards her first.

And I meant it.  Holy Christ, I meant it.  I felt a rush of an honest, unfiltered emotion.  No, I explained, she’s taken too much from me.  She’s hauled me around like a dolly by the neck.  She’s hurt me and I don’t pity her.

The therapist quickly saw that this was a thing and changed her tack.  There’s work to do there.  You could feel it.  After a session of feeling sort of floaty and neutral, suddenly, there was struggle. Suddenly, something was cut open and inside was rancid, raw, begging for water and light.

She wants to own me.  She wants to sit on my throat and murmur at me.  She wants to wrap the thick blanket around us until there’s only room for a flashlight and a breath.  Nothing can catch us there and if I struggle or pull, she’ll gasp, “they’re coming” and for the longest time, I couldn’t help myself from shrinking down, too.  Trusting in the insanity of her fear.  Mildred has, quite truly, been inflected in everything for the past twenty years and in that time, she’s slowly siphoned off opportunities, experiences, hopes, wishes.  And I have made sure she’s never been made to feel uncomfortable.

I don’t want to do that anymore.  To live by the illogical ravings of a shut-in pisses me the fuck off.  The defense of the prey, to scuttle, shrink, sigh.  Yes, it forces you forward.  Yes, demands are made of you that aren’t made of someone who claims her fragility for convenience.  Yes, you are failing sky-wide.  But you’re doing it for you not the sicky in the basement who moans your name and when you come with a tea and cookie yanks it out of your hand and screams that you’ve burnt her.

Oh, Mildred, up yours!

Push the Lady Over


Huh.  Solitude is as big a Kong as King Kong.

I have this sort of relationship with solitude.  I think, at times, I’ve tamed it and I take comfort in its particular company. It feels like I can crave its singular experience at every moment during a long work week and sink into its grip like I’m being saved from a fire. Now and then, I realize how impossibly isolating it is as it seeks me out and demands I dance the special dance that pleases it.  There are times when you see that this is no friendship, really, and it feels as frightful as being held above the Empire State Building in a massive palm.   Eventually, it will drop you.   I sat there as this epically long movie finished up, rather non-plussed, alerted to how Jacksonian it felt – how much of LOTR you could see in how it was put together as a film, but soured overall.

But, damnable Christmas, this year we talk back to you.  We talk back to the strange voices that occur when you sit in a big, frigid house surrounded by cookies while everyone else is asleep at 7:30p.m. and snow falls lightly out upon the cul-de-sac that never was precisely home.  Here has been, since it was built, my parents’ house and I come here for holidays and relaxation and minor psychotic breaks.

This year, though, we say, what the fuck, Christmas, do you have to do with anything?

Everyone packed up and rolled out in a hurry.   It wasn’t a hurry, of course.  We spent all day watching TV (Miss Fisher on the parents new, larger TV looked smart plus Elf and Santa Clause and snippets of a half-dozen other holiday films and random House Hunter episodes) and eating leftover appetizers while my mother made a ham I was too full to eat.  My sister’s boyfriend and his brother joined us and they both are good guys and we played a creepy board game as he, her boyfriend, loves board games.  I felt properly relaxed about it and good and then, whoosh, everyone decided it was time to return to their real homes.  Meanwhile, I didn’t quite want to break the magic, so I thought I’d stay here one more night.  But then the eerie and the tired and my feel feel weird and I just feel odd and detached and the brain starts to bubble up with its own weird holiday internal monologue I am supposed to just absorb and spend a week suffering under.

No, we gotta talk back, because it ain’t the day.  It’s me just being lonely and that is SO natural and SO acceptable and SO pointing me towards wanting to feel the complete 180 of this.  This is my sign, rocket scientists, to keep on rolling myself.  To keep on towards my house and my future and not linger here in what was.  To connect with the friends online who are already making me laugh and remember everything that exists outside of this little depressive blip.

It’s just a day, darling.  Don’t matter how sad they make King Kong’s eyes, still somebody’s gotta shoot him off that tower.  Now give me a kiss.

The Abby Singer: Day One Hundred Sixty-Six

956795_99040154There is nothing like the idea of vacation to fuck a person up.

We had a wonderful day.  Of course, it had abbreviated jags of shouting, shitty food choices on my behalf, and too much Law and Order.  But it also had a baby mountain goat as we coursed along Highway 50, watching the Arkansas river surge and gallop alongside us like those white horses in Lord of the Rings were real and running the Derby.  It continued to be amazing that we were out of the zone of comfort, that we were in the place where the maxim goes, life begins.

I was great at being still enough to appreciate all this until after I had lunch where I think the caffeine from the strong coffee we got at the cute coffee shop in Penrose started to rattle and activate and I’d just poured down some diet coke on top of that and suddenly, the street felt like it was closing in, like my blood was running faster than my eyeballs could process our speed running down the highway, and I thought really sure that I was going to get the chance to show my parents how regressed I was…that they would get to/have to see me have a full-throttle panic attack.  There would be screaming and freaking out and my sister would have to stay calm and pull over to the side of the highway and I didn’t even know what then.   It just would be awful, and useless, and…almost necessary, but I closed my eyes, breathed just enough, yanked around the choking bags hanging off of me, and the feeling passed.  Came back a bit…at the rare highway intersection, but I can almost take a strange pride in the fact that my parents didn’t have to be involved in it, that it didn’t have to escalate.

All of these mental gymnastics and this heightened biological state has left me feeling a touch…vulnerable.  The good old feeling that I would like to find the darkest, smallest, tightest hidey-hole there is and just slide down in there until…what.  I don’t know what the timer would be set to.  I just feel raw and failing and on the ropes.  It doesn’t make sense.  But I’m even starting to prey upon my previously held beliefs that going to Italy is going to be marvelous.  The thoughts are starting to cause some  next-level panic and trouble and as a result, Mildred, good ol’ girl, thinks that I should find a way to back out.  That I’m going to be pickpocketed, dizzy, boring, my friend is going to leave me in some random place either out of some unknown malevolence or because I’m just that unbearable to be around.

But just like the panic could be breathed through and managed and understood and tolerated, the Mildred and her wolves of fear can, too.   Perhaps we have to stop with the caffeine, but this doesn’t have to be forever.  And I want not only to go, but have gone, to go that much further beyond comfort and into real life.


Red Eye: Day Twenty-Five

I am here, not just because you haven’t had your daily dose of my fucking crazy, but also because my thumb is starting to throb from my hardcore gaming today and I need a break from that.  So I’ve got Winnie’s radio show on, a cold glass of water and a bigger sense of the world.   It is okay.

I feel marginally better today. Spent the majority of it in front of the tv and the rolling waves which I think is definitely giving me a real vertigo.   That’s happening.  What’s harder is the question of how do I reason with irrational thought, the skulking devil on my shoulder trying to freak me out.  Right now, I’m at least recognizing that it’s very silly.  It may be happening and terrible and awful and scary, but…it’s also silly.   Very rather silly.

I’m going to tap tonight and tomorrow morning.  I know that will help calm all this fire and waving about.  If I don’t do it, I will only have myself to blame.    But, ugh.  If yesterday, I had to talk about it – today, I guess, I don’t.   Nothing changes the fact I have to drive myself to work tomorrow and I have to drive myself home, so that’s it.  I’m annoyed that this has even gotten as far as it has.  If I get uber-panicky again, which hopefully the tapping will help control, I might have to call the therapist to meet earlier.  Because this is not something I can let get out of control.  I want my life to keep progressing.

Very happy to report that my friend who was dealing with some very serious depression has re-emerged on Twitter today.  She’s been away for the better part of a year, not responding to texts and calls and our group has really missed her.  We’re going to Skype soon and probably talk about going to DragonCon, costumes, and make each other pee laughing.  That’ll be good for me as well, I think, for her.  Our group has been such a buoy for me through all of this.

So, while I’m concerned about the coming and going, I’m totally excited about the week passing by quickly.  I’ve got Friday off.  And I don’t know how long it will take to finish this game, but hopefully, we’re getting close.  Probably on sequence 9 of 12 since I’m trying to get the majority of all the collectibles and such, but I’m not fussing over it.  The game is just immense as I may have mentioned.

Food/diet, etc.  cannot go by the wayside just because my mind is a bit of a tangle right now.  So I’m going to go to the grocery store for lunch tomorrow and get a few things so that I can increase my carbs, but still eat healthily.  Because again, I can see what I’m trying to pull.  Mildred’s working on a coup here, and I’ve got to put my foot down and say she’s not getting away with it this time.  If she’s the Templars, I’m the Assassins and we’re just sneaky enough to slow her roll.

Space Cadette: Day Nine

The bank teller was confused by the pink in my hair. She asked me if I’d gotten my hair done for the weekend and I said no, I’d had it for a while, unthinking.  Then, she asked me if I’d been downtown yesterday, and the hell if I know what that means because I was kind of downtown in our small town right at that moment and I kind of forgot what day it was and then I thought it was some sort of weird come-on, it was so I tried to be Switzerland and said “I don’t know, maybe?”  Then she asked me if I walked or ran?  And I, simpleton, thought she meant to the bank.  So I said, quite seriously, I drove cause I had to go to the grocery store afterwards.

She looked at me completely blank-faced and completed my transaction.

I realized as I walked back out to my car.  Apparently,  she thought the pink streak in my hair meant I’d been in the Race for the Cure this weekend.   I told her I drove the race.   Ah, the vagaries and challenges of human communication.

So.  My loves, let’s get down to hard tacks.

I am trying very hard to take care of some organizational business tonight so that I can get to work and not be another space case because I don’t know where my shoes are or how to breathe.

I also don’t know what to do about Mr. 1.99% Crush.  Today’s upgrade comes courtesy of another 30 second encounter with said sir.  He turned up with his flag today…and his boss.  They both talked briefly to my boss, talking about relatively inconsequential things in my doorway.  I, being shy, and dumb, without proper face on, and not fully trained in the ways of Calling In Ones, smiled but kept working away.  Super Laura Linney in Love Actually-style.  Then, quick as they arrived, minus some talk about flagpoles I inwardly chuckled over, they were gone.

Maybe ten minutes later, my boss stops in front of my desk.  He says, “Oh, I shouldn’t have monopolized all his time when he came here to see you! (My boss did not and would not have used the word monopolized, but it’s the right word.)  He hesitated like he was trying to decide if he should tell me this, but then, he says that he stopped by earlier to set something up with Mr. 1.63% and rising Crush and he offered to take the flag then, but Mr. 1.87% Crush said he wanted to bring it down and say hi to me.

In what can only be described as a bright and sharp tone, I told my boss I thought he was lying to me and he sounded almost genuinely offended.  He asked me why I would think that, in that paternal way he has, and I did not answer because he pays me and I pay the therapist.

Like I’m supposed to believe that Mr. 1.99% Crush has even .005% Crush on me and wanted to say hello.   I don’t want to be self-abnegating, but our interactions have been profoundly limited.  There’s no reason to need to say hi to me unless you want to and surely no need to go out of your way.

But he didn’t even say hello, really.  Maybe because his boss was with him on this courtesy call.  But maybe I am being lied to and he’s just being nice.  Or shy.

It’s hard for me to believe he’s just shy.  He’s obviously *not* shy.

It feels very Parent Trap all of a sudden and I want that to stop.  Like I don’t have the wherewithal to make this happen, and feeling like a chess piece in the “Let’s Get Everybody Married Off” game isn’t so charming. But I don’t want it to stop at all because I know the end is coming so swiftly when I post here my discovery that he is married or dating or gay or a bear or a part-time child murderer or something genuinely me trying to date him deal-breaking and I don’t have the werewithal.  Not yet.  I mean.  The last time I was asked out in real life, it was by some kid’s mother on his behalf, and I laughed until she went away.   I know it’s not going to work out not because it CAN’T anymore, but just because IT NEVER DOES. So I feel like this…this is painful at the same time it’s fun.  It’s a diversion, a badly needed social diversion to play at him being interested in me.

Maybe I shouldn’t write about this.  Maybe it makes me look as undateable as I am to be analyzing this with a fine-toothed comb and magnifying glass.

So.  Yep.

A Game of Graces

So here I am, in the moment.

Just “ish”  got back from the assertiveness class.   I think the thing on my plate now is remembering what this all is about.   They called me heroic because at the  very end of the class I talked about not driving and how slowly I was coming to the point where I could do it more and more.  They all became excruciatingly kind.  I’d been quieter, until that point, a bit wound up in my head because of the driving and because of money and the things I am frustrated about and the things I’m not being assertive in regards to.   But it comes to me that the point of this is to get where you want to go.  That it works if you let it work.  We say that at my office all the time and I always feel resistant towards the phrase because I think it sounds gimmicky in regards to what we do, but it’s true.  We provide opportunities.  You can do what you will with them.  The intensity of their caring made me feel rather overwhelmed by the power of this.

This meaning anything you got.  The writing.  The therapy.  The diet.  Work stress. The future.  I know what I want, I don’t think I’m ambivalent about what it is, but whenever any barrier or obstacle turns up, I prove to be a terrible coward about it.  I think I’m gung-ho but then I sabotage everything.   I kick the can and kick the can and and kick the can and then despair.  Really, what I need to do, what I am doing in the tiniest, micro-movement, is to run up to that can and let it spring open.  See the snakes and the diamonds I’ve left inside and let those snakes run free.  It’s a bad analogy.  It made better sense in my head, but  there’s enough meat there to leave it.

For clarity:

I want to have a little, comfortable house of my own.  I want a person in my life who loves me better than anyone else and who I love better than anyone else.  I want to be healthy and well.  I want to become a writer who trusts her own voice.  I want to have money in the bank to cover what I need, plus some extra special stuff on a regular basis.  I want to have a kid or two.  I want to re-engage in the intellectual processing of the world.   I want real things and intangible things and I want, above any of that, to never second guess my right to want any of it.

Ugh.  The sound of my own inner voice is peeving.  I went to the store afterwards and got some low-carb things for dinner and some shakes for breakfast for the next four days.   I got the chicken in the oven.  We’ll have some asparagus and carrots and cauliflower along with some water.

Getting ready to talk to my friends and I can cheer them up and thereby get a grip on me.   I am glad I took the class.

“Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can’t build on it; it’s only for wallowing in.” – Katherine Mansfield



The Quaintrelle

Oh, goodness.  This is going to be hard to accomplish in 30 minutes.  I will try, though.

I have 29 minutes to review the day’s events both for you, dear reader, and myself before I return back to reality and bring myself to face the evening and the new day which follows.

Suffice it to say, therapy = yes.  Equals good.  Equals helpful.   I didn’t let myself think much about it and basically snuck away five minute before the session and turned up with everything kind of a blur in my head.  I felt like I have all these separate quadrants in my life that needed assistance and once I found her office, I tried to organize these thoughts as I sat in the waiting room.  As I sat there, I heard a woman inside possibly crying, possibly just exerting some sort of strange noise and there was the smallest doubt that perhaps just having made this attempt at finding the office was enough to spur me into complete self-renovation.  That I really didn’t need to pay to cry about it.  These were brief, cabbage butterfly sort of thoughts and as soon as the woman and the therapist both exited the room (the woman not seeming to have actually cried, but looked sort of nervous and exhausted, but in one mental piece) I gathered up my coat and marched in, determined to be serviced.  To get my head officially shrunk.

And it wasn’t quite like that.  She asked me just a few brief questions, and I started just rolling with everything, mostly work, but in answering the question, avenues of thought started to kind of open up and I could see and hear my blockages, whatever, in front of me.  I felt like an hour was hardly any time to say anything, so I keep talking and finally, when I trail off, she looks straight at me and just says “Breathe.”   And that’s when I started to cry.

Because it was incredibly hard to just sit there in the moment with all my stress and anxiety and wanting her to help me and feeling like she couldn’t possibly actually help me at the root where I’ve fucked things up so deeply.  But that’s just what were going to do.  Sit there with it.

And eventually, we talked more about work and writing and feeling trapped and unable to complete things and that I start projects and feel like there’s no point in finishing them because they’re not perfect.  We talked about the fact I was perfectly dispensible and this was a good thing because maybe my leaving means something wonderful for someone else and just as I was preparing myself to move into what will be a great job and new phase for myself there’s someone out there who is training and working and hoping for the providence that having my job will bring them.  And I loved that thought.  That they were just waiting for me to get out of the way.

And at the same time, we talked about the fact that it is okay that I am not ready to leave right now.  That it was a process and we’re learning and I’ve got some little steps to do and I don’t know the timeframe when I’ll be ready to leave.  I can just be where I am right now.  I can just be here, where I am, right now.    And then she showed me some techniques to help me with my state of mind, tapping, and whatnot and I left, really high on the possibilities.

Work pretty much threw me back down the pit, but I am excited that in two weeks, I get to talk to her again.

So, hopefully, I’ll write more about this tomorrow when I’m not exhausted from trivia, but wow, who would have thought?