Just write

Alright. I'd decided to give myself a short break from daily writing (something that I only do once or twice every couple of years). It's been a week and while I don't feel as if I have anything to write, the practice must be in practice again.

So alright. I'll write.

There's the easy stuff to write. The crazy phone calls. The lady whom, out of literally nowhere in the conversation, did a complete 180 and blurted out that "the Indians are parroting real people" and then went on with the call as if nothing had happened. The other lady who spent 30 minutes saying that she doesn't blame us for her card troubles, it's that Mercury is in retrograde. The ever present "I'm not giving you my social security number!" people who then happily give me the entirety of their banking information to pay their bill.

And there's nothing that's particularly difficult to write, either. Just a general sense of having nothing to write about at all. But that's the point of writing - to write even when you don't want to, even when you don't HAVE to, even when the only thing you can write about is how you have nothing to write about.

Ridiculously meta, but there it is. I can give myself a week or so every few years. Anything more than that and the habit starts to fall. That does me no good.

Willow_Granger here on LJ wrote that she says she never really had hopes and dreams beyond finding love and establishing an independent life. But I kind of think those ARE big dreams, and even if they aren't, they are still dreams. Still goals. Still things that we ought to be happy with when we achieve them.

But that satisfaction is easier said achieved than actually achieved.

As I do, I look back at the decades and ask myself "What did I want?" I think, for most of my life, all I wanted was freedom. To be able to stand on my own, as my own, away from what I grew up with.

I've done that. And as a result, the dreams and goals from that are much smaller. Sometimes I wonder if it's because I see freedom as such a small goal that anything else I could reach for must be small as well.

And other times I wonder if it's because freedom is such a large goal that after accomplishing that, little else matters in the grand scheme.

Maybe. I don't know. This is just what being in your mid-30's is like, I guess. Whatever it is, I'll write about it. I'll just write.

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Ribcage

These moments used to bring blood. When I'd finally grown past using red scrawls to paint the pain somewhere outside of me, I would heave things across the room. Use things around me to punch holes into the four walls that contained me. I no longer throw things.

I write. I've always written but now the words are the full force of what rages within. Words are the filter, the voice, the cage, the key.

Too much poetry. Too many years. Yesterday I remembered I am nearly 35 and it all felt so far behind me. Today, having cleared out the last of Cassie's items out of storage, donating all but her children's things and the few folders spilling over with pictures, I feel so close to the broken thing that they tried to make me.

They. Always "they." I'm so sick of "they". Katherine Elizabeth Malott. James Malott. Name them. Fuck the public sphere. They tried to break me. They tried to break Cassie. Maybe they did break Cassie, if what I pulled out of her storage unit is any indication. They did not break me.

But god, it hurts. It shouldn't hurt. It shouldn't hurt anymore.

It hurts a lotCollapse )

That's me. That's a baby picture of me - or it would be, had my face not been burned out of the picture. Better than burning the effigy of my journals , why not just burn the face of the very small being that brought your ruin? That tiny, pudgy little thing that brought down the castle walls with claymores and trumpets?

Cassie didn't burn the picture. At least I don't think she did. She's a memory junkie like me. And if she did? Some part of me can forgive her in a way I could never forgive them. But it wasn't her.

There are other pictures. My mother, young, early 20's, long before the woman who blamed me and my pre-teen sister for seducing our stepfather, for tempting him into raping us, took up residence in her faulty bones.

Or maybe that woman was there all along.

It used to matter. It doesn't matter anymore. I no longer care what made the difference, what changed, where it changed, or why it changed. One of the benefits of years of therapy is that the why's begin mattering far, far less than the turns of the events themselves.

There are pictures of Cassie, 8, 9, 10 years old. I know now that Jim had began abusing her at 9. It's like looking at the past but with a legend this time, with a map that marks where it all started to go wrong. Continent sized, red and blaring warning signals, blinking and screaming through the decades....sounds that we only now can hear. As if Time and History were things pried apart by galaxies and the knowledge of the past has only now reached us, light years later.

I thought to myself that for someone who says she does not need a family, I sure wound up with a ton of their shit. I then thought "Why the hell would ANYONE need a family?"

I still do not know the answer to that. I don't think I want to know. The answer could not possibly be worth the pain. No answer on Earth could be worth what I'd have to drag myself through to understand it.

As it always goes, the pain shudders with anger and wild, swinging impotence. There is never anything to aim this at, save a world I fill with words. There is no closure. There is no end to this. There never will be. All I will ever have is what I have now, stuffing paragraphs like bandages into desperately wanting wounds. A forever unfufilled need to believe that the pain doesn't matter and a sorrow that I will cradle to my dying breath.

That and a martyr complex that mocks me just as loudly as the knocking mess that beats beneath this ribcage.

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Run

Cassie is in Texas, as my father tells me her FB says. There is only one who lives in Texas that she would have gone to. The one who made Cassie fall in love with him by taking a baseball bat to her collarbone. It's as if the X-rays the hospitals took to check for internal bleeding somehow made the most perverse Valentine's Day card.

If she's not clean, either the drugs or he will kill her. If she is clean, he'll kill her.

I used to think she was suicidal. She isn't. If she wanted to die that badly, she would have already done so. She's not suicidal.

She's an endless middle finger extended to the universe. She's an animal whose chewed off 3 out of 4 legs to escape the bear traps she insists on lining her path with.

And you can't run very far or very fast when you're down to one leg. Someday I hope she doesn't have to run at all.

Except if she's with him. If she's with him, then my god, she'll need to run. Run away from him. Run fast, run far, run quickly. I don't know if she ever will.

But if there's a God, she'll remember how to run eventually.

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Boldly go where many have been, the year 1966

* Jesse and I have been watching through the original Star Trek series. While I've seen plenty of clips, I've never watched the actual show. I now understand why fans went 12 times beyond Browncoat when the show was cancelled. The show is beautiful, revolutionary, and tackles some pretty big concepts.

* I also understand the Kirk love now. All I'd ever really known was Priceline Shatner. Kirk Shatner? Holy fuck, panties melting at warp speed!

* William Shatner is 85 years old. He is eighty-five years old. I had NO idea he was that old.

* This led me to bemoan his impending death, as the hourglass of Life at 85 years old is inevitably trickling the last pieces of sand through the stem.

* He was also 36 when he landed his iconic Star Trek role. I am almost 35. WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!

* Your answers about writing were amazing. Incredibly illuminating and layered. I intend to take all of this up with Jesse soon. Maybe the pieces of what tortures him about his writing are things that you guys know to be solid and comfort. Maybe it will help make it make sense to him.

* It helps it make sense for me.

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Jesse and I have been talking a lot about writing lately. He's had these incredible ideas for fiction and has been handwriting thoughts, poems, paragraphs. Words just spill and yet it seems for every word he writes he feels they are less and less solid.

I understand this in periphery. I know what it is like to write and write until your brain is nothing but crusting lalphabet soup and find you've said nothing you wanted to. I know what it's like to spend days, weeks, months, writing the useless, all the while raging at the reach that is two inches past your fingertips. I know what it's like to be sick of your voice, to become wildly annoyed at your own words, at how you write. I know what it's like to question the validity, the purpose of writing

But I don't think that's what upsetting Jesse about his writing. I think part of the disconnect is because the reasons we each write are different. Even his personal writing doesn't breach the journal territory, and I can't write fiction to save my life.

If I could understand a bit better WHY he writes maybe I could be more supportive.

Why do you guys write? I've got journalers and several of you also do outside writing. How is that different for you to journaling? How do you guys split the difference?

Dating a writer is definitely a contrast to dating someone who doesn't write. There is way more connection and love, sharing of work and personal effort and frustration over corralling our inspirations. It is comforting to be with someone who understands when and why the words are louder than anything in the world.

It's just not a fool proof, immediate understanding, either.

Forgive typos, on iPad and meds kicked in a n hour ago. Seroquel- it's like alcohol and drunk posting, but without the complete decimation of my life.

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Diabetes is serious shit, yo

I got a special gal!

Pimpin' this one out: A newcomer to LJ, a very, very good friend of mine! Check her out, friend her, LOVE HER AS I LOVE HEERRRR!!!

http://willow-granger.livejournal.com/

As far as the rest goes:

Patrick, when diagnosed with diabetes in Jan, made the inadvertent mistake of switching his diet exclusively to nothing but veggies and chicken. That's it. For weeks. What he didn't know (and I guess this is not something that happens to everyone) is that diet can aggravate something called gastroparesis.

It's when your stomach stops digesting food. It just sits in your gut for days. This was problem one and it's gone now. He can pretty much eat anything and it goes through as usual. We joke that it allowed him to lose weight (over 150 pounds inside 4 months), but my lord, it was in the most miserable way possible.

What he is struggling with now, though, is neural neuropathy. At least I think that's what it's called. Essentially, he's lost most of the use of his feet and hands.

It is reversible and the feeling and use of his hands and feet are slowly returning. He's able to type at work and mostly able to walk without a walker now. But he still has to have someone put his shoes on everyday and make sure his toes are straightened, as he (1) can't feel if his toes are curled up and will get jammed in the shoe and (2) can't move his toes to uncurl them himself.

All in all, it's another several months before he can fully dress himself and drive and whatnot. But he's finally getting better. It just turns out that diabetes, when left unchecked and when you damn near refuse to go to the doctor's ABOUT your diabetes, has consequences. Long consequences. The doctor's give him another 6-9 months before he's back up to full speed.

It's the first time in Pat's life that he's been physically falliable. While he's been put on an anti-depressant, he's been remarkably calm about the whole thing. I asked him how he was able to do that. His reply was that it was easier to accept once he realized that he had done this to himself.

As someone whose had to fix a lot of self-inflicted damage, I understood.

Not only was it the first time Pat had to face his squishy, human mortality, it was the first time *I* had to face his mortality. As Patrick is not anywhere near as creepy as I am, those thoughts hadn't really occurred to him.

They occur to me and I've been trying to sort through them without placing the whole hysterical thing on HIS shoulders. He's got enough to worry about.

I was sixteen years old when we met. I will be 35 very, very shortly. Over the last few months, I realize - I truly, truly realize - that neither of us are going to live forever.

I'm not sure what to do with that.

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12 years

This is me, 17 years old to 24 years oldCollapse )

That is what lines the bulkheads of this ship. It is what comprises the anchor. These are the moors, the masts, the sails. Those pages, scattered and yellowing with age, often seem so much more the relevant foundation of who I am today than any of the 3,000+ entries I've written on Livejournal. Such a short time of my life, comparatively. Only seven years as opposed to the 12 years I have here.

It's easy to see why. Those were the years after I'd torn myself away from my family, the years I tore my own skin with razors and needles. They were also the years I finally began to get help and sought stable people. The effort was an immense undertaking, the results of which would not fully show themselves for years. But I had to take any brief cessation of pain as proof that it would get better someday, if I just kept trying.

Sometimes I think that's the hardest part of looking at those scrawled pages, the haphazard shoved together folders - the day by day, minute, blow by blow account of every goddamn banal, terrifying, beautiful, and impatient word - I was trying. Either I was trying to kill myself in the most sideways, cliched ways I could or else I was trying so desperately to make all of the pain count for something.

It counts. It counts so greatly that they have not yet invented the number that could describe the weight of its importance.

I'm just not always sure what it counts for. This is the struggle today, the words that both haunt and comfort. What was it worth? Does it matter so long as my life is my own? Is it okay to want to know the price paid for what you have?

But that's why I have the last 12 years. That's why I have all of you. The journey took a decidedly different turn the day I put my writing in the public sphere. Those seven years in that picture built me.

The last 12 years, the next 12 years, is what completes me.

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I am a credit card brat

Caller 1:

CALLER: I made my payment on Saturday. It's Monday. Why hasn't it cleared yet?

ME: It can take up to two business days for payments to clear. I'm so sorry, I know that's a hassle.

CALLER: Can you push the payment through?

ME: I'm sorry, sir, but the account is too young (opened less than a month ago) to release the payment. It usually takes about two business days for both our bank and our customer's banks to finish talking to each other. Your payment should be open tomorrow morning.

CALLER: This is RIDICULOUS! I have never heard of this before. No other financial institution makes a customer wait days for a payment to clear! You're not helpful at all! You're just acting like a credit card brat! I want you to call me back later to discuss this!

ME: Again, I'm so sorry for the inconvenience, but this is actual general policy for most banks. You must have a wonderful bank to immediately clear all transactions. Unfortunately, it does take a little time for us. It will be clear tomorrow morning.

Also, my system isn't set up for outbound calls. I can get you to an account manager who can arrange for someone to call you back if you'd like.

CALLER: NO. I WANT YOU TO CALL ME BACK.

ME: I'm terribly sorry, sir, but I won't be able to do that. It's only a few minutes wait for me to get in touch with someone who could call you back -

Mere moments after from being called a schoolyard nameCollapse )

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Maybe not

Upon reading your guys comments this morning, I paused. Writing what I did this morning and seeing your responses made me realize that something is going on. Or NOTHING is going on and that's causing its own something.

So I picked up the phone and put in the referral for talk therapy. It'll likely be a couple of weeks until I can get the initial visit. That's okay, I feel like I caught this one before it got out of control. Stay ahead of your diagnosis, cover your bases, be an advocate for your own mental health.

Wishing I was crazier isn't so much staying ahead of my diagnosis. Calling in for professional help before it drags me off a cliff IS. I thought to myself, bemused and amused, how often I have had to do this. Seek out professional help, call the treatment team, be aware of your crazy, one step ahead of the pills and one step behind the worst of what my head tells me.

I know what I miss. Intensity. Tears. Feeling like I've lost myself in the moment. God, adult living is so fucking metered. I wonder what I've got to give the world if it isn't something that comes from the deepest well, scratched and bubbling like hot oil to the surface. Like a deeply sliced wound, one so deep that it takes actual time for the blood to seep up from the bone and spill over your skin.

You don't get to do that when you have to be grown up. And this isn't normally a problem, because grown ups generally don't want to do that. They don't resent not being able to drown in themselves because they swim, not dive. They know where the rocks are and slide into the water on the other side of the quarry.

Me? I feel like I'm losing sight of the rocks, and goddamnit if my bones don't want to hear themselves cracking.

See? Who writes shit like that? Oh, I'm probably just being dramatic. I had a fantastically aggravating day at work, filled with bad calls, awful people, and a wide swath of a population who have somehow managed to get credit cards, even as its obvious by their attitudes they're only toddlers.

God, if only. Come morning, those calls.

I talk so much. If I were to really get down to it, all that is probably happening is I'm being a whiny little bitch. Complaining about having to work for The Man like I'm some 16 year stoner kicking against putting in an application in at McDonalds.

But maybe not. Thus the call for talk therapy this morning.

You guys are right. You guys are always right.

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Wut

Years of therapy and medication have finally made me fit into myself. I no long spill over. Things are contained. I have spaces where things go inside, where I place them. I don't come apart at the seams because what's inside doesn't threaten to burst anymore.

Did I actually lose something? Did whatever used to just wreck me, crash over me, just...go away? Did it get smaller? Is that how come I now fit inside of my edges? Did I lose something, or is it still there? How did it change?

And is all this talking about how I'm sadder that I'm saner...is this just a normal reaction to all this...living a normal life, with a full time job and a wakeup schedule and a bedtime?

I'm feeling so much more stable lately. And it's making me feel like I'm losing my mind.

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