bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: emotional wreck

Definitely.

To put it bluntly, I have been having a rough time as of late.

I tried posting about it, but for some reason, WordPress kept erroring out, so here goes another post.

 

We will see what happens.

I sense that there’s another complete overhaul of my life coming.

~~~

I woke up this morning with an earworm, that if nothing else, shows me to be a child of the 80’s:

 

(And just to note, it’s more like ‘at 4:00 AM’ rather than ‘at the midnight hour’ — but other than that, most things about this experience are about the same, relatively speaking.)

~~~

 

Some days, I need poetry.

Even if these are someone else’s words, I need them.

Sometimes, I need words so desperately, and often it takes someone else to write them, or say them before I can rest, before my busy, angsty meat-brain will be quiet.

~~~~

An open love letter to your inner child.

To the child who couldn’t understand

why nobody could understand.

To the one whose hand was never taken,

whose eyes were never gazed into by

an adult who said,

“I love you.

You are a miracle.

You are holy,

right now and

forever.”

 

To the one who grew up in the realm of “can’t.”

To you who lived “never enough.”

To the one who came home to no one there, and

there but not home.

 

To the one who could never understand why

she was being hit

by hands, words, ignorance.

 

 

To the one whose innocence was unceremoniously stolen.

To the one who fought back.

To the one who shattered.

To the never not broken one.

To the child who survived.

 

 

To the one who was told she was

sinful, bad, ugly.

 

 

To the one who didn’t fit.

To she who bucked authority

and challenged the status quo.

 

 

To the one who called out

the big people for

lying, hiding and cruelty.

 

To the one who never stopped loving anyway.

 

 

To the child that was forbidden to need.

 

 

To the ones whose dreams were crushed

by adults whose dreams were crushed.

 

To the one whose only friend

was the bursting, budding forest.

To the ones who prayed to the moon,

who sang to the stars

in the secrecy of the night

to keep the darkness at bay.

 

To the child who saw God

in the bursting sunshine of

dandelion heads

and the whispering

clover leaf.

 

To the child of light who cannot die,

even when she’s choking

in seven seas of darkness.

 

To the one love

I am and you are.

 

You are holy.

I love you.

You are a miracle.

Your life,

your feelings,

your hopes and dreams–

they matter.

 

Somebody failed you but you will not fail.

Somebody looked in your eyes and saw the sun — blazing — and got scared.

Somebody broke your heart but your love remains perfect.

Somebody lost their dreams and thought you should too,

but you mustn’t.

 

Somebody told you

that you weren’t

enough

or too much,

but you are

without question

the most perfect

and holy creation of 

God’s

own

hands.

    — by Alison Nappi, as seen on the Rebelle Society here

~~~~

Yesterday was that sort of day.

It was all on me, and no one could do a thing.

(It was the sort of day that I tend to wonder if I really should make t-shirts advertising Mr. L’s masonry business*, as it is very much still in business and obviously thriving, and that is likely due to me and my stubborn avoidance maneuvers.)

It’s my own damned fault – well, most of it — and a lot of that hit me when my therapist derailed my carefully constructed fortress of ‘everything’s fine! look at me, I’m meeting expectations’ when she said:

“Here’s a thought: Could it be that (your carefully constructed fortress of ‘everything’s fine! look at you, you’re avoiding again’) is just another reason that you could be — I dunno — hiding behind to keep yourself from having to make a decision?”

And I won’t lie.

I burst into tears.

She told me that it was OK, that it’s quite possible that I’ve never made a decision in my life without such an agonizing mental struggle, and that that is what we were here to be working on, and…

Then, she excused herself, and left in the room suddenly.

And I composed myself to the slow steady tick of the clock.

I am not OK.

It is not OK for me to hide behind this or that ‘reason’ — it’s just another form of lying….to myself.

It is not OK for me to avoid — that’s just another dodge of the inevitable

 

I should just shut my excuse-hole, and practice saying the truth, which is:

“I have not made a decision.”

 

And when I am asked why, I should say:

“I haven’t any excuse for my behavior.”

 

~~~~

*sneaky tons of bricks everywhere

 

 

 

 

The latest words that the Internet has offered me taste strange, but not unfamiliar.

Some days, I don’t have to look very far into the Internet, before I find a sneaky ton of bricks.

First, there’s these:

By our nature we are drawn to relationships because of the sweetness we actually crave to experience.  But that is just what draws us in.  Just as fruit draws us in to forward its own procreation, relationships draw us in by their own sweetness, so that we will come to the pit, experience breakdowns, discover ourselves and be forced to evolve, just as nature does.

Breakdowns are designed to happen.  They are meant to happen for the purposes of our own evolution.

Garrison Cohen

How strange it is that a few days ago, I was talking with a friend, and I suddenly found myself unpacking emotions attached to an event that occurred in my past that I’d never allowed myself to feel, because the event was a source of anger and shame.

Sufficed to say, that unpacking led me to a realization that I did not like about a situation with which I am presently struggling.  I’d like to say that now that I know of it, I’m not going to hide from it, but then again, I’m pretty stubborn.

Childish, even.

I do not want.

I will not go.

I refuse to move. 

I did not move.

I don’t want to see.

I don’t want to know.

 

 

I am afraid.

 

I can’t, I said aloud, to Him, later that evening.  It feels impossible.

 

And so, not too much later, I was surfing the web, avoiding my husband, and vacillating between tears and anger…

 

And I see:

 

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.  Impossible is not a fact.  It’s an opinion.  Impossible is not a declaration, it’s a dare.  Impossible is potential.  Impossible is temporary.  Impossible is nothing.

Muhammed Ali

~~~~

 

I don’t feel better.

 

 

The foolishness of every day.

Even before my life began to go straight to hell in a handbasket, I try to begin each day by going out for a walk.

Sometimes I will bring my dog, but lately, I have not.

Often, I will listen to music … but again, lately, I have not.

I try to go for these walks within time-frames and within spaces where I’m highly unlikely to run into any other people on the way.

This is why I prefer to walk on grass or dirt rather than on sidewalks or streets.

This is why I have always preferred my walks to occur very early in the morning, or very late at night.

This is why I prefer my prime destination to be the ‘middle of nowhere,’  or the in-between places – in the woods during winter, along deserted beaches in the off-season, or through abandoned parking lots in the economically depressed part of downtown.

(And, yes, I know: walking around the economically depressed part of downtown very late at night is likely to be asking for trouble, as I remember how my parents used to insist.  And, truth be told, the older I get, the less likely I want to risk that sort of danger.  I’m not a city girl at heart, and so I’ve come to prefer living in more rural places, since  I’d rather walk among trees, and underbrush, and dirt anyway.)

And when I’m feeling particularly desperate to be alone, a cemetery is always a sure thing.  (And even if I do see another person, it is highly unlikely that anyone is looking to strike up a conversation, or insist on a social interaction in a cemetery, I assure you.)

 

(Too bad that Florida doesn’t have very many cemeteries.  It’s hard to bury bodies in swampland.)

 

And so, with the latest turn of events, I have been looking for a time and a place to walk, and think, and be blissfully alone to sort out the jumble of my thoughts.

I’ve even abandoned listening to music.

Music has always been very emotional for me.   (Up until recently, I would have told you that I’d felt music was my daily salvation that would help me through damned near everything Life could throw at me,  and yet, the latest shufflings of my iPod have done nothing more than emotionally unhinging me at the most inopportune times.)

So I have given up listening to music for now.

Yes, I have been that melodramatic.

Truly, I am heartily sick and tired of myself.

And so, yesterday, I went out for a walk.

From previous experience, I’ve come to realize that to be out walking any time before 8 AM is my best bet.

I’d planned to avoid both the school bike/walker route, and the particularly favored dog-walking /jogging times and routes of all of my closest neighbors, so no walking on the sidewalk on the left side of the street that runs for three miles between my home and Walmart between 8:00 -11:00 AM.

Instead, I resolved to stick to walking in the grass as usual, on the opposite side of the road, weaving a path among the trees and creek that runs 500 feet from the road.   I actually planned to follow and walk along the drainage ditches if I had to, just to avoid any chance interaction with joggers, bike-riders, and dog walkers.

I thought for certain that I’d be alone.

Several months of walks have borne out this certainty.

At 7:00 AM, the ground is wet and soft and very muddy.

I decided to not care if my sneakers got ruined, or if they would take all day to dry afterwards.

I resolved not to care if mud and dead vegetation would be splattered up to my knees, or if  weed sticker pods scraped up my ankles or stuck in my socks.

I didn’t care.  I needed to walk.  I needed to walk and be alone.

Instead, much to my dismay, I was not.  It was not to be.

The main drainage ditch that runs along the creekbed behind the cul-de-sac of my neighborhood is being dug up by a construction company, under request of the town’s HOA, starting this week.

There are workmen everywhere.

Music blares from the cabs of  several pickup trucks; that seems to be the foreman’s truck over here, perhaps that is the crane operator’s truck over there….

That’s an easy-listening soft rock station playing –  which is uneasy listening for me — as I hear love song after love song:

I love you more today than yesterday/But not half as much as to-morrow…

followed by

Have I told you lately/That I love you?….

Or worst of all

When a man loves a woman…

Motown.  Soft rock.  Classic rock.

Yellow tape runs along the grass, several workers wave me over, telling me that I can’t walk over there, nor over here: why aren’t you using the sidewalks, m’am?  Be careful, watch your step…  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry, m’am.

I hear their laughter, their chatter, their arguments and complaints about the heat, and the wet, and the smell of earth as it is turned over and dumped in messy piles, smelling of dead vegetation and sewage.

I cross the street.   Ah, good.  No sidewalk.   Scrubby grass and underbrush, another drainage ditch.  I watch some waterbirds – some kind of spoonbill, some species of egret –  as they are hunting for insects.    I relax a little.

At least, I realize calmly, I can’t hear that damned music anymore, thank heavens.

I wipe my nose, heading off the tears that almost came.

I hate my thoughts.  I hate my raw feelings.

I hear a sharp sudden whistle behind me.  A man on a bike glides past me, apologizing for coming up behind me, startling me.  I step out of his way, feeling shaken and stupid for being startled.

I walk a little further.  A little dog runs out in front of me, having escaped a nearby yard, barking, growling, fronting at me.  I almost stepped on zir.

This also startles me, stops me short.

I hear a woman calling loudly for the dog.   I think that she saw me almost step on her dog.

Her eyes are hard, mouth screwed into an expression of irritation when I look in her direction.  I don’t know if her irritation is with me or with her dog.  I try not to let that bother me.

I keep walking.  I look over my shoulder briefly, and her gaze is still on me.  The dog is now squirming and grumbling in her arms.

I don’t know why I suddenly feel badly.

I am walking, slouched looking at my feet.  I try not to think.  I’m trying to shake a persistent earworm of a song that unhinges me that has suddenly arisen in my head.

I look up, and see a teenage couple holding hands walking up ahead of me.  I think about crossing the street, just to avoid them, just to avoid their laughter that I can hear, their smiling faces that I can see as they look at each other.

I feel stupid and melodramatic for wanting to avoid them.

It is 7:20 AM.

Where are all these people coming from?

On any other day, it seems, 7:20AM would be almost a guarantee that I’d be the only one walking here.

Tires crunching on gravel, yet another bicyclist edges past me, around me, trying to avoid the grass.

I’ve always thought that if I walked in the grass, in the dirt, that that would be yet another safeguard against having to deal with bicyclists, and walkers, and dogs, and neighbors.

But I guess not yesterday.

And today, there are no guarantees, either.

People are walking on the other side of the street.  Dogs nosing the grass.  Bicyclists trying hard to navigate that narrow strip of gravel that edges the pavement, because they’ve been told to stay off the sidewalks until the digging and roadwork are finished around here.

*sigh*

~~~~

So.

Today, I walked up along behind the school, where a neighborhood had begun to be built a few years ago.    Sidewalks had been put down, and some streetlights had been put up, but no houses yet.

The economy crashed before houses could be put up.

I used to walk my dog up there, because it was empty and quiet, and practically abandoned to overgrowth.

I used to see cows up there in the fenced in fields close by.  I don’t know whose cows they are, I don’t know where the farm that they are associated with might be.

Last week, I even had my driving lesson up here.

The connecting streets that wind around this someday-to-be neighborhood were empty.

There was not another car or person in sight for over an hour last week.

So, there, I thought that I’d have another guarantee.

Another place to be alone, to walk alone.

And yet, today, there were more than a few bicyclists.

And several joggers.

I came upon three teenage boys smoking dope sitting on a crumbling concrete pylon.

All before 7:45 AM.

I gave up.

~~~

Where can I go to just walk and be alone?

I look up at the sky, and inwardly wonder if such a place could exist for me right now.

Suddenly this all seems like an unusually cruel joke on me, as I am trying so fucking hard to avoid other human beings.

I’m trying to find a place wherein I don’t have to worry about inadvertent interactions with yappy little dogs, or apologetic bicyclists, or starry-eyed teenagers walking to school…or fuck it…just anyone. at. all.

I’m trying to find a space wherein I don’t have to suffer hearing heartfelt Motown favorites and soft-rock romance classics right now.

In fact, I don’t want to hear any music at all, actually.

I just want silence and peace and the comfort of same.

But how far do I have to walk from home?  Where can I escape to?

I want to get away from people, animals, sights and sounds, all the visual and aural reminders of people, places, and things – and memories! – that I’d rather not think about today, the damage, the mistakes, and the realities that I’d rather not face today…

I don’t want to think.

I don’t want to feel.

Angry.  Sad. Lonely.  Desperate.  Confused. Fragile.

I am crying so much.  I am hurting so much.  Dammit, it feels endless.

And so I pray:

Please.   Give me a break.

( But Don’t you love the life you’ve killed? runs the endless loop of one persistent earworm that I can’t seem to shake)

I find myself whispering aloud: I am dying.  Please.  PleaseStop.

But then, something occurs to me.

And that something is connected to how I can almost hear that low dry chuckle of my sweetest friend (who is not so sweet today), who would most certainly insist:

You are not dying.   But you are struggling.   That much is true. 

~~~~

*sigh*

Relevant

One Art

By Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;

so many things seem filled with the intent

to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

 

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster

of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

 

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:

places, and names, and where it was you meant

to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

 

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or

next-to-last, of three loved houses went.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

 

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

 

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident

the art of losing’s not too hard to master

though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.