Dying Truth

8.8.15

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A tarot reader in New Orleans once said to me:

“He will come.”

 

And I hold onto that dying truth

Like the last shards of a broken version of myself

When I cry myself to sleep.

 

I am sure I have put myself back together again

But there seems to have been a missing piece

Although I have searched

Through fog and dust and tears and blood

I can’t find it

I just keep looking

And I’ll keep waiting,

Until he shows up

On my doorstep

With ice cream and coloring books.

 

 

I used to color in the psych wards

Even though it was against the rules

They let me fingerpaint

That one time when I had escaped my reality

 

Even though images of my death

flashed

I felt somehow more at peace than ever

When I gave the best of my pictures

To the young girl who was going to Bryce–

At least I was somehow useful

though it was so sad:

“I have no one to take care of me.”

 

I realized that’s all I ever wanted

 

But can he find me?

Does he feel as hopeless

As I feel every now and then?

 

At least I’m free

Cause when I was in Gen Pop that time

A girl said:

“She’s a richy-rich girl, but she ‘aight.”

Which has basically been everyone’s assessment

Of me always….

Although, as Mr. Nice Nasty pointed out:

“That’s the best compliment you could get in jail.”

 

 

At least now

I can say I have lived

 

most people just do what they’re suppose to

 

I’ve let go of the life

I’m  “suppose” to have

 

never really setting out to get married,

I suppose I can’t complain I am still single

 

But I do feel a twinge of regret,

Like, well, what now?

Even though he fell off that train

He probably has more peace

Than I.

 

Although it’s not a bad life,

It’s just that I get lonely sometimes

Waiting for the man

That tarot reader spoke of.

 

 

Note: The tarot reading was indeed accurate—I was married 10.15.17.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Another Life

download-2So what I hope is a final diagnosis has been unleashed upon me.  It was given to me years ago, by the only good psychiatrist I have ever had (previous to the current time), considering the deep south is full of imposters and those whom actually little knowledge of diagnosis.  Schizoaffective, Bipolar type.  This means I have elements of both bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder.  Also, I have been diagnosed with PTSD.  I think the PTSD is severe—I can’t tolerate bright lights, a lot of people, or noise.  I am overly aware of sounds and sensations.  It feels like a PTSD thing, rather than a psychosis thing, but I am also experiencing elements of psychosis.  I hear music, and I know its not there.  The Dr.’s seem surprised I have this awareness; yes, there is insight, but I don’t know why.  Perhaps because I have been down this road before, and I know the deal.  First, the music that seems so soft.  I turn off everything that it could stem from and I still hear it.  I ignore it and tell myself it doesn’t matter.  But it does.  It does, because mental illness steals from me.  I see my former Master degree cohorts becoming Directors of organizations and departments; I see my high school friends whom have been married for 10 years; I see my former co-workers have babies, and I realize there are things that otherwise would have the ability to do, but because of my illness, I do not.  I am 37 and psychotic and depressed (a severe mix) and I will not recover more than likely in time to have a child.  I will be rocketed back into psychosis, my mind thrown away.  I wonder if this will ever end, or if every good day simply leads back to a sideways one.  I feel well enough to walk the dog, and feel grateful for that.  We walk and walk and I wonder, what are the lives like of the people inside each house?  Are they like mine?  The kids in 421, playing rap music and laughing; the old lady in her lazy boy, always in her lazy boy with her housecoat on, with no curtains on her windows.  The couple in the house with orange lights, their only Halloween decorations.  Am I the only one going insane?

Schizoaffective disorder effects .03% of the population.  If I tell bipolar people, those who know what stigma is like, that I have psychotic features they recoil from me and say “I don’t have that;” If I tell a “normal” person, they immediately take a step back at the word, schizo, horrified and confused.  The Dr.’s say that the ability to seem normal and functional and “present well” is part of my illness, and I wonder who else is out there, who is like me, but is “presenting well.”  It is a little scary, to tell you the truth, that we are out in the world like normal people, that other people have thoughts like me.  My therapist likes group therapy for me, and although I try it, I realize that anxiety/depression groups have no understanding of anything more severe, and bipolar patients compete for whose sicker.  I can “win” that competition quite easily if I wanted to, but I don’t try, it doesn’t make sense to me.  Why would I want to be the sickest person in the room?  I have been that person my whole life, and I don’t want pity from anyone.  I shy away from telling anyone but my fiancé what is going on internally for me, because I think it makes people sad. I don’t want people to be sad.  I used to be unable to pick up on others emotions or reactions, now I seem intimately attuned to them.  People feel sad and sorry for me and it just causes me more pain, so I don’t talk about my illness, but that allows it to grow.  So I realize that I must; I casually make light of hearing mumbling voices or music.  People seem to take it better this way, like they understand I am sick, but I don’t really act like I am, so it is ok.  In reality, I am in so much pain that it hurts to think.  I try to reel in my thoughts and go in a different direction, sometimes it works.  Sometime, it doesn’t, particularly when Gretchen is whispering in my ear.  You know how you have a voice in your head, that’s your own voice?  Everyone has this, but I have another voice, that seems separate from me, but it’s my own voice, speaking to me in third person.  “You shouldn’t have done that,” “you are a fuck-up.”  Some people have this, and its still normal, but when it is more often, and so demeaning, it into dances on the edge of psychosis.  I call this place “the borderlands” and sometimes I live there.  This is where Gretchen also lives and speaks to me.  I try not to give her power, but sometimes she overcomes me, she is me, but not me at the same time.  Gretchen spoke her name to me suddenly one day, and it surprised me because it gives me power over her to some extent, as to know someone’s true name give you power.  I am changing my own name, again, to become someone else.  Like the 8 of cups in tarot, I am walking away from everything, have walked away from almost everything, to be reborn into what I hope is another life.

“You Kept Me Up with All Your Manic Energy”   – Waxahatchee, “Brass Beam”

 

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I just planned out the next six years of my life.  I am getting married in 25 days, if you didn’t know, dear readers.  So, my manic brain just said, you must do everything now.  And so I listened to the voice in my head – getting well, finances, child, finishing the book I am writing, getting a job, moving to another city, and then back again, getting another job after two years at home with the baby.  Some of this stuff I can’t even predict, but oh, how I have tried.  I wrote It all down as my fiancé slept.  We hadn’t had sex in a week-the longest we have ever gone-and tonight the primal sex sent me spinning.  The dog even thinks I am crazy. I have been whirling through another 1,000 words of writing my book.  My memoir.  I started it Friday – 6 days ago.  Which, in my state of chaos and self-delusion, I think I can finish in 6 months.  I do have 3,176 words in a matter of four sittings.  I twirl my engagement ring on my finger and write and write while thoughts fly.  I am hyper-aware of everything and super zoned in on myself at the same time.  I chain-vape and it feels like I am getting somewhere, even though nothing is actually happening yet because it is just 4am on a Wednesday morning but I think I can take over the world (although this time, maybe I will try it clothed.  See post: “Never throw your cell at a cop and other fun learning experiences”).  I simultaneously can’t collect thoughts and also have an abundance of them.  No, I am not on drugs.  I am on the residuals of sex and mania, mixed together like some forbidden cocktail.  And I have drunk the cocktail as fast as possible, at hyper-speed, actually.  It hits me like a line of cocaine.  My fingers don’t keep up with my mind as I write this.  I am on Hi-fi speed like a scratchy record playing the same part of the song over and over again.  Skip. Skip. Skip.  I jump with a jolt at any idea, and they all sound grand.  Except the financial one, which makes me irritable. Next thing I know, I am raging at Facebook and Trump (like the former matters).  However, on Facebook, I see shiny, bright people with lives that feel so elusive to me.  What is it even like to feel normal? Did I ever even know?  I have enough insight to know I don’t know.  I plan how my memoir is going to win awards, and I will be signing books for those people on FB that I am “friends” with that I don’t even like.  I am amazing.  I feel amazing.  I sometimes question am I happy, or just manic; right now I know the answer, but I don’t care, I just keep going.  My Fiancé comes downstairs and I say “I hope I didn’t keep you up with all my manic energy?”  “No,” he replies,  “I took a melatonin to sleep, so I just came to check on you.”  He probably woke up because of a trippy melatonin – induced dream, I think, and continue on, telling him I have planned out our lives until the year 2023.  He knows I am manic, and so he says sleepily, “That is good.  We will have a good life.”  I laugh and smile, and continue on – why sleep now? It is 5am and so I make coffee because I think that’s what I need, even though I know it isn’t.   It is 5am and I am as electrified as I was yesterday morning, waking up to a nightmare, except in a good way I think.  I listen STILL to the SAME album I have heard 500 times in the last week, except I skip all the slow songs.  That will slow me down, and I can’t stop now.  I can’t I can’t I can’t.  I keep myself “up with all my manic energy.”

Never Throw Your Cell at a Cop . . . and other Fun Learning Experiences

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“Loving NOLA Life”

So I went to a new therapist last Friday.  She said something that stuck with me, “You have the ability to compensate.”  Which meant, that despite what is going on with me, I can pull off presenting well.  I can make you think I am ok, and all is well.  Despite a psych hospitalization and using cocaine at the time, I was able to do well in a master’s program and graduate.  Although, I know people thought I was an asshole.  Which probably was the case, although, truly, I was sick.   I think I had to learn to compensate at a young age – I have had depression as long as I can remember – there was no other way to be! This has actually served me well, because It means I have been able to function despite mania, intense depression, drug use, and now, dissociation.  Except the latter proves more difficult to manage presenting well.  People can’t tell, but when asked to do something simple like fill out paper work, I am unable to do so.  I write the wrong thing in the wrong place, and even the therapist looks at me funny. Creative writing or working on a project helps me, though (hence six new blog posts and a new blog design).

Therefore, I have decided to start on something I have always wanted to do – my memoir.  I know I am only 37; but with 5 psych hospitalizations (including many of those for psychosis-including the time I ran around totally naked to save the world, cause if you are a superhero, you should be naked), serious drug addiction and getting sober, a lot of experience traveling and living in many different cities, experience in the BDSM lifestyle/going to the local dungeon, experience as a stripper, nearly partying through “Katrina” in New Orleans and attempting to get out at the last-minute (Chaos!), interning at The National Organization for Women in DC and meeting well-known politicians (Hilary told me “thank you for working on the behalf on women!), Coach surfing on the East Coast and Midwest (with a cat!), hanging out with homeless people and “rainbow kids,” (they are a little smelly, but I love them!), protesting Condoleezza Rice in her hometown (which is mine in Alabama), marching in DC as a protester, being in the middle of a tornado, losing a fiancé when he tried to jump on a train, the fact that any given family reunion could end in a brawl, running from the cops, throwing a cell phone at a cop (don’t do that by the way, it will not end well for you), participating in pagan rituals, dating a guy named “Jesse James” (really, that was his name!), going to jail three times and being propositioned for sex in the holding cell by a self-proclaimed murderer, doing five days in “gen pop” (if you don’t know what that means, that’s a good thing), experience as a therapist myself in an inpatient unit– I think I have something to say.

At least I hope I do.