Present

I believe I was born having bipolar disorder, but as a child through most of adulthood, the more I comprehended the harder the world became to handle.

Maybe it was my dad’s first heart attack as my earliest memory, seeing him carted away by nurses in white shoes. The whole situation was unnatural to me. I must have been a toddler, still. Daddies were not supposed to seize on floors and be lowered onto tables with white sheets. White nurses shoes did not belong on the wooden flooring. I wondered if I would ever see my father again. He wondered this himself, I found out later.

In my earliest memory my world as I knew it was ending.

What effect did this have on my mind?

For years, I hated the color white. I had a phobia of buttons because I could see my fathers heart beating and I worried it would burst. I naturally gravitated towards darkness as more and more unfortunate events happened, both world and self inflicted. Darkness was familiar, and light was something bad, or something that could be taken away.

The first poem I memorized was Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice… age 7. I would accompany my father who was a docent at a few museums and go around imagining I was flying away on the embroidered turkish maroon carpets, armed with a  silver dagger at my waist, the emeralds, rubies and sapphires glinting from glass cases like fallen meteorites sizzling. I would run around the exhibits chanting about the end of the world.

The first poem I wrote was for a school assignment. It was about how hope is the key to the world. Age 10.

I have been told I am a light soul, but I can be overcome with melencolia, darkness, depression…..destruction. My best friend Cassie would write of how she was herself, Sophia, this sane rational girl but their were her “gremlins” as she called them who were evil and often in control.

When Cassie died I wanted to,  too. I would have happily tossed myself into a pyre to bring her soul back. Being temporarily blacklisted from the EU, I could not attend her funeral. I never said goodbye. Igor. Cassie. Zak. Greywinkle. From my first friend in High School to my most recent close loss of my family cat.

What effect did this have on my mind?

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Being a naturally peaceful person, not cut out for the brutality of life, I was often picked on. I had long frizzy thick hair and would sit in backs of classrooms reading or drawing. I paid attention in English and History. Math bored me. So did Biology and Science, although as an adult I find both fascinating. I believe, if one studies anything, a subject, a religion, anything at all, they need a teacher or a guide with a passion for what they do. Apathetic teachers and I had a mutual feeling of casual loathing, some teachers I loved and inspired me, and I did better in their classes, they usually ended up getting fired/suing the school board or leaving for a better job.

I studied humankind around me. Sometimes I wish I was born male because, just maybe, I would have made a better choice. I noticed that the pretty girls were popular and picked on less to my untrained eye. It was basically exercise/learn how to fight or change your outward appearance to survive in the human jungle, and at 16 I made the easier choice. I tinted my hair with blonde highlights. I made a friend who was higher in popularity than me in the high school hierarchy, and she was fun: she lived for the moment, which was a better place than being in my head most of the time.

I started wearing makeup and dating boys. I did not even like the boys. It just felt like that was the thing to do to be considered human, to be liked, to be treated nicely.

I kissed the first boy at 15, because I wanted to get it over with. It was sloppy and gross, and during some movie starring Ashton Kutcher trying not to drown. I didn’t see that boy again, Billy.

I had my first enjoyable kiss at 16 with someone I was actually attracted to, Lamont Kish. He was a skater, and this was during my first “transformation” period. Streaked hair and bikinis and spandex. When we kissed it felt like one of those rides where you are stuck to a wall as the speed increases. You are spinning and stuck in one place at the same time. We were the only ones who existed, frozen in place as the world spun like a dreidel.

We broke up because of silly high school stuff. We actually got on quite well when alone together; he introduced me to Stephen King, and gave me a copy of The Regulators when King was writing as Richard Bachman. I think I threw it in my families garage after our breakup. I was too shy to even really understand how to text guys (how was I supposed to flirt???) so I would often give my phone to my more popular friend and she would tell me what to write. He didn’t text me back enough. As an adult, I understand the world does not revolve around me and people are busy. If they have any respect, love, or care for you they will get back to you when they have time. If not, it doesn’t really matter. Because you will still be you and the world won’t end. As a 16 year old, I had no concept of this notion and became angry with him, and it ended.

The world didn’t end, though.

My mind always went to extremes. I never felt like I fit in anywhere….even at theater camp, I would hate the forced sports activities, mosquito and fire ants would devour my skin. I burned.

I always loved reading and writing, but I need to get better at fighting. Naturally, I am a peaceful person in an restless world. Maybe as I grew up, I lost some of my faith. I lost some of my belief. But I took it to an extreme. Just because a man abused me, they were just a angry red blot and humankind is so vast. Still, it’s incredible what a violent act can do to an already troubled mind.

19 ½. Rape.

What effect did this have on my mind?

My moods still rapidly cycle. I can’t control this. I don’t want to control this.

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I am okay with who I am am today because I know even if the world does end, as David Bowie said, “I don’t know where I will go from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” And if I am going to believe anyone, it will definitely be The Goblin King who Fell to Earth.

It is one thing to make a subconscious decision at 16, it is quite another to still try to cling to an outdated image at 26.

I’m questioning everything right now because for 5 years I thought I would die.

At 26 I did not die and now I know I can’t cling to that anymore. I know that if I was meant to die I will die and that will be it. I know I will have days of depression and melancholia and days of mania and joy. I accept this. I understand I am still growing, still evolving, but I accept this too. I think of my moods like clouds, sometimes dark and stormy and heavy with rain and sometimes light and white and fluffy. The sun still exists, even if you can’t see it. So does happiness and love and warmth and spirit and soul.

The important thing here is: Say the world does end. Your personal world as you know it may end, but that doesn’t mean you will cease existing.

It took me 5 years to accept that

1) Cassie would always be alive through me, because I knew her and I love her. I will always love her.

2) She moved on to another plane and I must carry her torch. I must become stronger, and put myself first. This does not come naturally. I still put my dog before me, but that is still a relationship, and one of my favorites: My dog cannot judge me. I care for her and she unconditionally loves and supports me. Even the wording here is wrong: I naturally will shower in the evenings and wake up later in the day unless I can’t sleep like tonight or set an alarm, but walking her as my first thing after coffee is simply taking care of her need and I am ok with showering later on in the day. So I am not “putting her before me” in anyway: I just still struggle with the triangle of self obsession and need to be cautious in how I speak, and act.

I do prefer animals over most people. I believe their souls are far more evolved.

I am writing a fantasy novel involving an apocalyptic scenario. But my novel is about what happens next. After the world ends. Because I want to know what happens, and if I don’t, I want to create a world out of the forest in my mind.

Hope springs eternal; it cannot be abused.

Neither can faith, or belief.

I had all the answers I needed from when I could read and write.

Destruction and darkness cannot consume me when I have the only key I will ever need: hope.

Hope is all humankind will ever need. It is very easy to get caught up in the complexities of words, feelings, emotion….society. It is very easy to question, and even hurting myself  made sense for a time, because I wanted to be the best at everything: the world hurt me, and so I hurt myself more than the world ever could.

But I am still alive. I would be lying if I said I did not want death. I crave it the way I do drugs, the way I would listen to Jill Tracy’s “The Fine art of Poisoning” or Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black”. I miss the souls I have loved who passed on.

“Dirk thought of his parents on the precipice, wanting to sink into the cavern of night and wild coyote hills, away from the hammering headlines and screaming TV’s and the death of fathers” -Baby Be-Bop.

Sometimes I wonder if it is only natural and human to crave death, or simply an escape…..to feel so overwhelmed.

But there is a small nagging voice, or maybe a light green cricket named conscience that is chirping away like my fiance when a television episode ends “Yes, but what happens next?”

For me, next is one day at a time, one word at a time, one piece of writing or video or chapter at a time.

Next is acknowledging my personal flaws and establishing boundaries to protect my soul from the chaos of the world and my own mind.

Next is appreciating what I have-my fluffy white dog with Cassie’s sweet hershey’s kisses eyes, my fiance.

He made me a cup of tea and served it to me in this today:

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Meeting him was unlike anything else I ever experienced. He is the air to my fire, when we fight it is loud and angry and raised voices and shattering glass but when he hugs me I can feel his love radiating from his heart through his arms like rods of steel as he holds me against his chest.

Somehow, even in my unbalanced mental state when we met, my soul reached out and recognized his. His eyes are the emeralds of daggers forged in the endless fire of passion, he brings my imagination to life and I love the sound of his laugh, like the crinkling when you tear into a freshly wrapped birthday present. I feel so safe when I am in his arms. I nestle against his heartbeat as his eyes sing like a thousand songs and sonnets. Infinity.

And somehow I know even if we fight or succumb to life’s poison, even if we flee thousands of miles away, we will always find our way back to each other. That we are so much more amazing together than apart, that we complete each other.

My twin flame lived long enough to know I had found my soulmate.

I may get mad at you, and you at me, but I know we will always love each other.

But I still have to get stronger. Being beautiful only leads to more harm, in the end. I need strength. I want to love you more fully, to work longer, to sleep more and put my racing mind to rest without death. At the moment you are asleep and your breathing is even. Sophia my dog with Cassie’s eyes is snuggled on my lap. And I am ceasing to type to wonder in the knowledge that my small family loves me and me them no matter what this world brings.

For this moment, I am stepping out of my mind and fully embracing my present.

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The Rape Joke

https://www.theawl.com/2013/07/patricia-lockwood-rape-joke/ 

https://www.theguardian.com/society/shortcuts/2013/jul/26/patricia-lockwood-poem-rape-joke 

“The rape joke is that you were crazy for the next five years, and had to move cities, and had to move states, and whole days went down into the sinkhole of thinking about why it happened. Like you went to look at your backyard and suddenly it wasn’t there, and you were looking down into the center of the earth, which played the same red event perpetually.

The rape joke is that after a while you weren’t crazy anymore, but close call, Miss Geography.”

The joke for me is that I couldn’t admit it for 9 months

I was terrified to admit it happened even to myself and still struggle with depersonalization disorder and dissociative anxiety

The jokers are the people who wonder why rape goes  unreported,  yet are so quick to judge on something they have never experienced, how droll indeed.

The joke is the frilly black and white polka dot dress I wore that day in excitement and anticipation,  becoming torn and tainted in the struggle. Instead of keeping it for evidence, I stashed it in a bag and threw it away when seeing family in South Florida.

The joke is how I started to hate myself and whenever someone else hurt me I would self harm because I couldn’t stand hurting another after being violated so completely.

The joke is the addiction struggle

The joke is the medication tango

I became my own abuser, how ironic is that?

The joke is how I am still so afraid. 

How sex with anyone I actually love is near impossible at times because of this fear, and the fear of the fear; What if the flashbacks return? Will I cry and shake uncontrollably afterwards?

When I couldn’t look my parents in the eye upon telling them, I just remember my mascara-tinted tear stained lashes staring down at my “It can’t rain all the time” Crow tattoo. It was the hardest thing I ever did.

The joke is how my father now has Parkinson’s and can barely remember my name, does he remember? I sometimes wonder. The joke is how I don’t want him too, he is in enough pain. The joke is how I often wish I could forget it all too, but I can’t while sober.

The joke is how my recovery is bringing so much back, and how often days feel like an uphill battle to make peace with my own mind.

The joke is it happening in a producer’s office overlooking the filming of Sherlock Holmes 2, and having to explain to anyone how Sherlock Holmes is a trigger for your PTSD feels both ridiculous and ridiculously insane.

I really don’t want Sherlock or Doctor Watson mixed up in my abuse trauma, it’s hardly their fault this happened.

The joke is how I know I need to face this, but right now my brain feels too overwhelmed to try and joke.