As If She Had No Control: Day 23

It’s the power we grant it.

Why does he call me and just want to say Happy Birthday and then he ask me if he should buy me something?  Why do I freeze?  I mean, I had just spent all of that energy complaining that he said Happy Birthday in the morning and proceeded along sending me frustrating political articles from Reason and I was in a strange state of mind, but I felt in control of it.  I felt in control of my usual birthday sadness spiral.  I was going to mostly sidestep it.  I was going to cook pasta and eat apples because I knew I was busy, that today was my mother’s pet scan, that we’re having a special dinner on the weekend…

But those hormones, and being too busy to eat, and having my writing excitement have a wet towel thrown over by forces beyond my control, and somehow I start to spin.  It’s slow at first.  One of those tiny spout hurricanes.  I knew nobody at work would know and I sort of prided myself on not telling.  On being grown-up and not bothered.  Finally, end of day, when I left, I told the person I was helping I had to go because…it was my birthday and he could text me if he needed anything and he shook his head like I was crazy.  I’m not going to bother you on your birthday.  Of ALL DAYS, go, be, celebrate.  And I shook my head about and said, no, no, no, it’s fine.

And for a bit, it felt fine.  I mean, I have a boatload of people who said something on Facebook even if half of them only still follow me on the off-chance they can sell me on Rodan and Fields or give me financial advice, and a boatload of people who couldn’t possibly need to remember it’s my birthday at all and who I know love me and it’s fine.

It doesn’t matter, and won’t tomorrow, but when he said he wanted to buy me something. That he didn’t know what I needed, because I didn’t tell him such things. And did I want him to buy me something?  Hugs and to make me feel better and…he wanted to buy me something…just…something, I guess and I just kept saying, no, no, no, no.  It’s not important, not required.  I didn’t want anything and he shouldn’t worry about it.

And then the small talk until I said I just felt…bleh and bad and hormonal and not cool and we’ll talk tomorrow.

Suddenly, the birthday curse hangs very heavy and low and I feel, despite clearly being cared about and loved and told so by more people than I have digits on hands and toes to count, forgotten and maligned.  My sister even bought me tacos, more or less.  I have zero reason to go down into this pit of a place in myself beyond expecting to.

It’s just…why do this? Like, I know I’m not going to ever be the girl who gets surprise flowers at work or is whisked off to Thailand, but it’s my birthday…do whatever you want to do and don’t make me have to hint and cajole and ask for it to be special when I’ve just gotten started really wrapping my head around the fact that you don’t want to actually date me.  That I have no title, no position, nothing to share out and find validation from…I just get the emotional labor.  We’ll just talk and whatever else it is we do until the end of time.  So.

Okay, always the bigger can of worms than I intend to open.  I don’t want to think about anything really.  Self-analysis is overrated.

Under a Super Blood Wolf Moon: Day 20

The most metal of moons.

I need to change this website.  I know I do.  I’m not entirely sure how to go about this.  But the endless icy sheets of black and white, even the blurry little weed breaking through the crack on the screen no longer makes me smile when I look at it.  I need to just hire someone?  I don’t know.  Just change the picture, that would be a start.

I am needing to do something different tomorrow.  All of it.  I made real shit choices today, this weekend, this month, really.  So.  How do you stop the engine when you’re rolling right along into a hotter and hotter fire?  You are here, for one.  You turn off the other noises and you give yourself over to a bit of self-reflection.

I have written a lot today, none of it really suitable to share.  That’s been the sum total of it.  Did leave the house for a brunch I absolute did not need to have.  I’ve spent the day bleary.  In some conversation with J, consoling him for his bleariness and ignoring my own.  Honestly, this is the hardest bit of it. The up and the down.  I don’t blame him for it or even judge him for it, but finding yourself attenuating your moods to someone who is equally fluid when it comes to being able to tolerate themselves is a rough gig.   Yesterday, I’m queen of the universe for him, today, exhaustion and sad posting and a bevy of other people suggesting how to break out of the mental funk while my suggestions get little more than a shrug.

I’m reacting much more poorly than I’d like to all this.

So now, end of the Sunday shame spiral: I am here, spattered with gravy from the undying pot roast, and everything is a mess.  Petrified to check my work email.  Checked it as best I could and nothing was radioactive so I feel instantly much relieved.  My plan to combat this and come back to some form of recognizable :

Become Willing
Find my Fitbit
Drink an entire glass of water (a whole and entire eight ounces)
Charge my phone and fitbit and put them somewhere I can find them in a few short hours.
Defenestrate the undead pot roast.
Not get so distracted by nonsense that I can’t finish this post
Finish this post.
Remember I have my drink in the fridge in the morning.
Brush my teeth and try and wash my face in a format that my face will find tolerable and not set to itching over.
Fix my sheets so I don’t find falling asleep completely impossible.
Set my alarm.
Figure out what the heck I want to wear tomorrow out of the bundle of laundry I did and tossed aside out of some sense of boring laziness that sure as fuck fucks me over now.
Possibly order groceries for tomorrow.  Possibly just plan to go to the grocery store?
Trust in the process.
Remember to reschedule therapy.

In Triplicate


It is nice to be mouthless.  Something I could never have reckoned with as a girl who wanted Hello Kitty to be free to speak her Hello Kitty thoughts.  But it is nice not to have to tell you stories of distemper and distaste, not to have to show up and look weak, not to have to…

Sometimes I sit still and I feel as though I have got the whole nation, the whole world’s despair not only over their choice (willing or otherwise) of leader, but of every last little discomfort in their lives.  Every last thing going wrong shuffling about in your head, oh cripes, it’s here in mine. It’s not right.  It’s killing us.  It’s too much.

It’s not yours, something like the Faithful Light will remind me, you only have that slag heap over there.  That’s it.  All the rest of it is not yours.  But, I think, I see it.  I know that it exists – hungry babies, pissed-off fathers, the snow in the morning, this grinding in my skull, that any day something horrible will happen – it will, it’s unavoidable – the inevitable brokenness of every last thing. I have just been ignoring it for a while, but it’s true.  It’s true how terrible it is.

But.  I sit longer and it is also true that I have ice in the freezer which makes the water better to drink and which makes me feel full.  I have a mentor who texts me to come in later, to feel better, to get my spunk back.  I have a mind that reads spunk and still laughs.  I have a mother sleeping soundly in her bed surrounded by my father who loves her and a dog that believes she is the closest thing there is to God.  I have kind friends who multiply the thin wisps of kindness I deign to blow hither and thither.  I have a dear maniac and a dear brick of a cat.  I am not so terribly sick as I might be.

I also had my card today so I was able to buy gas and lunch.  That felt entirely luxurious.  That and despite the panic attacks, the ones that keep ramping up because I feel so down about my ability to quash them and the insurance shit and the money shit and the other shit, I was able to get home before the snow fell.   That’s good.

I did a few things today.  I did what I was asked and a sliver more.


So I am going to run off and try and write a few things before this computer crumbles beneath my fingertips.  There’s always Fallen London and some DAI to chase around.  I am okay.  A few hours here and I feel better even if I’m having the neck/shoulders/teeth grinding thing which upsets everything terribly.  I am alright.  Eventually, maybe we’ll stretch our legs and try and climb up to that next rung on the ladder.  But tonight, alright’s alright, alright?

Before You Say No


I have felt what I would call depressed this past week.  Low-energy, depleted, deflated, self-abnegating, overwhelmed, trapped, thwarted, so thwarted, and scared out of my wits.  I am not sure that many people who have interacted with me would be able to tell, but I have.

It is this wet, heavy coat.  I have not taken it off, but I have let it fall off my shoulders for a bit.

I was surprised today.

It is a curious thing how as negative as you care to be, the world will sometimes extend an arm around you and gather you up if only for a moment in a gesture of warmth and caring.   Sometimes this happens just as you are realizing that there is a life beyond your panic, that you’re a sunny-side up girl at your core, that okay, eventually, you will get your teeth handled and eventually your neck won’t hurt and as spazzy as you are in this instant, you will be alright.

Sometimes this happens when your boss and mentor decides that the necklace you’ve put on layaway (the one you secretly think bears your soul in the facets of its vintage glass that can turn five colors when you hold it towards the light) should be yours.  Your boss/mentor and her husband who you adore and respect up and decide that you are doing a good job and you just deserve it.   You just get to have it.

I don’t know, precisely, how to deal with things like this.  My dad giving me money (which in turn lets me give money back to my sister that I owe her).   My other sister saying Let’s go to this show you love.  My mother making me lunch.  People doing these kind things that say that you have been on their minds.  You exist, if only as an idea, to them.  When you are away, they think about how to make you happy or happier.  This is odd to me.  The people I have love me, they just love me.  And that just is, but this is an act of love and support.  Makes me want to be a better person.  To be thoughtful for others.

In that vein, I put my writers group on hiatus.  It’s just not fair to show up there without really having shown up – without really doing the work that I’m asking everyone else to do.  To not be interested, to be around people who are less interested, it just becomes a drain.  I will see if the new year will find me in a better position to do it, but right now…I look at things like that in terms of gas money and just driving that far to hear one person’s fanfic is not something I am into right now.

It’s not in service of building me up.

I am thinking too big right now as far as that goes.  Right now, getting myself into the bath is as big as the dream is stretched.  That’s okay.

And the gnashing of teeth

mt-remarkable-national-park-1533111-640x480 (1)

It’s a real gn sort of day.  Everything feels like it has this GN sound at the front of it.  GNUUUUUGH.

I don’t want to commemorate it.  I want to forget it. I want to be free of the memory and safe in the fact that I am safe and home and in the darkness I know and trust.

But here we are, gnawing at this bone of shame.  So I’ve put on Beautiful Midnight and am getting ready to excavate this hard place I was not expecting to go.  GNAR.

So my car got impounded this morning and while that is important, what is most important is that for a brief, bowel-liquifying moment, I was sure it had been stolen.  I had no idea why it would be, only that it was not in the spot we’d left it last night.  It was the most surreal instance I can remember in a year of surreal living.  It had to be there, but it wasn’t.

So after calling the police, I learned that it wasn’t stolen.  Just absconded by people who apparently have the right to abscond it whenever they feel they care to.  So I have called the impound lot a few miles away and my sister went with me and we walked down the dark corridors of the sketchy but entirely toward sort of office rathole where they keep cars that have been towed away from home and paid my excessive and debilitating fee and went to work in the middle of the day.

Now, having paid that bill, I am not entirely sure how I am going to get everything handled through the end of the month, including keeping myself fed.  It’s just a charming sequence of events I didn’t need.  I just feel like Queen of the doormats and the run-down, stepped-on, shit-eating idiots.

I have to remember that as awful as it was…I still got through it.  I am not disintegrated.  I am alive.

I am glad the work venue changes tomorrow.  I am glad that I am not going to starve even if things get really tough and I have to go and siphon food from the parents.  I am glad that everyone’s kind about it. I’m glad that I have people who want to know why I am upset.  I am glad that I can just say I am upset in front of them.

In other news, I am less glad about dudes who do not get it.  I am working at being better at making them get it.  It being the fact I do not want to talk to anyone who addresses me with wat sup? I don’t.  I have a boundary and that’s what’s written on it.

Also, n.b., waiting for something to appear out of the blue, to arrive when it is least expected, is still waiting.  It’s still hoping.  It’s still training your mind to look for signals, it’s still taking up room in your head.

You are still taking up space in my head.  You oughta pay rent.






The Waiting


I feel off.   Off in the sort of way that ebbs and flows out of my life.  It has a real quality of a tradewind, a current, a pull rather than some inherent quality of me.  And right now the wind is blowing a might bit panicky and depressed.   I want to do what I can to correct it or at least throw up a sail.

This is food.  This is money.  This is stuff put in pots and set to boil over in the back of my mind.  Nebulous chattering, dumb and distracting insinuations that frighten me into believing asinine statements as true.  We can’t make it to the next stoplight.  I am going to fall down.  I can’t absorb that.  I can’t answer the phone.  I know the truth, I know what’s going to happen and it is AWFUL.  It is terrible and it can be easily avoided just by avoiding this trigger.

It’s bullshit.  It’s not the place or time of day or the thought that denies me my senses, it is my regular capitulation to the unquestioned mind.

Earlier this morning, when I first woke up – woke up an hour before I needed to be up, I lingered there with the fan on the single sheet, just breathing.  I read a few things, including Sara Benincasa’s brilliant essay on how she, and how we, live our lives and (if you’re an asshole jerk that needs to fixate on this), sometimes gain weight along the way.  Then I fell back asleep and dreamed about a freakish suburban cannibal.

The bad mojo: I am drafting off the energy voids and vacuums of others.  I am absorbing their anguish and uncertainty.  Or, perhaps, I am seeing anguished and uncertain faces surrounding me because I need to address my crap.

This is a hard place.  This is a place to work and I am already smiling a bit and already thinking about how much more helpful it will be to try and flub and fail than to

My mother mentioned that someone she knew who applied for a job at the post office before I applied for that Fed job I was looking at just now heard.  I’d essentially written off the exercise and was trying to adjust myself to the lay of the land as it currently stands so I was worrying about what would happen if I got an email right now about it.  It would throw everything into tumult.  My boss who is so angry at the position she’s been left in with the recent departures at work would only have more to deal with.  It would be hard and everyone would think there was something wrong with us  – regardless of whether or not there actually is – and, and, and.

There is no email one way or the other.  But I have felt panicked and upset all day, not entirely about that, but it’s fed the sense that I am not okay.  I also went without caffeine today.  Day one of the zero soda challenge I have suddenly embarked upon as of yesterday.  Tomorrow – whether or not it’s better – I’m excited to see it.  I’m excited to try and excavate a bit more.  It will be okay.



Bonsoir Lune

it-s-a-happy-world-1194421-639x852It is quite a thing for a girl in my position to overdose on the taffeta and organza orgiastic nightmare that is Say Yes to the Dress.  Its delusion and its wastefulness and its unbearable brides insisting that a 10,000 dress rather than a 1000 dress or a 100 dress is going to ultimately make a difference beyond the comfort level of an ego on a single day of a single life.

And perhaps, in this unknown world onto which I peer, the difference exists and is palpable.  From the screen, though, it is just Veruca after Veruca, even the modest ones are Verucas demanding spotlights for no other reason than to insist that the world kowtow to the fact that they have committed to a relationship.

Is that raw bitterness spewing onto the page tonight?  I feel like I have spent hour upon hour with women who can’t shop where I work until they lose twenty lbs and announce that fact when they leave as if to make sure we know that they know that we know. Women who can’t wear things their husbands don’t like.  Women who can’t walk around in a piece of fabric because they’re a certain age.  Women who hate the fuck out of themselves in a public, pleasant, social sort of way.

All the time at the shop, I walk around in an ill-fitting costume, tits akimbo, blobbo-arms bare to the shoulder, feeling alright about it.  Or mostly alright until I get two or three of slender, stylish ladies in a row who savage themselves and suddenly, I pass by one of our countless full-length mirrors (I don’t keep such a weapon of mass destruction in my house) and yeah, okay, I need to lose twenty pounds to work at this store.  To live my life.  To not die alone.  To breathe another breath.  But then I breathe another breath and I look at myself and I say, okay.  Maybe you need that, but you have to finish this shift.  And I finish the shift and come here thinking about how penny-ante and asinine my worries are with what’s going on with my mom, my country, my world.

But still.  In my country, the thought is not obliterated.  The endless ache of less than remains. And I do, tonight, in this hot, dark space, feel the absence of a thing I desire.  A hope I want to cling to.  What I have to cling to is letting me slide down into places I don’t care to be.

You have not replied, you have not restarted our…liaison. This is okay.  This is not okay.  This is what is.  This could be the thing that saves my bacon.  Saves me from refreshing a webpage every two minutes for the rest of my life.  Eventually.  It is fine.  I like the tenterhooks, except, of course, when I want to throw the whole laptop through a wall and let me go with it.

I have therapy in a few days, therapy that I can hardly afford anymore, but by law have to keep paying the insurance for (I love you, Obama and having this insurance will be important when they discover all the sicknesses I am surely riddled with) and I am already half-deciding not to mention all of this.  It’s not real and I know that.  That it’s already a giant leap over a chasm I may or may not be able to ford seems less important than the fact that I have no say or agency or actual embodied experience of you.

Really, what I want and need to say is that I am ready to do the work.  All of the work in all of the ways that it is.