Songbird

Chester.

I wanted to write about this last night, but couldn’t. It was raw, & I’m not sure if I could’ve even written a coherent sentence without breaking down.

I still feel like an open wound.

As though a friend died.

And I know, some might not understand, they might say…”But you didn’t know him, he was just another celebrity, blah, blah, blah…”

Not to me.

Chester has never been just another celebrity, or just a singer to me.

Linkin Park has never been just a band, and their music has never been just anything to me.

Pts. Of Authority was the first video, the first song of theirs I ever heard or saw, on MTV, back when they actually still played real videos. 

I immediately fell in love with their style & their heart. Mike’s ability to rap his anger, his frustration & his Alpha status, Chester’s cracked-glass screams and his plaintive cry to the audience to hear his heart and his pain…they understood what was inside my head at any given moment. As though they were snooping through my daily emotions, and my nighttime dreams & nightmares, they seemed so in tune, so in synch with exactly how I felt.

Hybrid Theory, Meteora, The Hunting Party, all these CDs have given me outlets for my emotions in one way or another.

Their music has gotten me through some of the darkest, most awful, deepest depressions of my life.

2007 saw Minutes to Midnight come out…and in 2009, my best friend/soul sister passed away.  Her nickname? Midnite. She passed, literally…minutes…before midnight… And Linkin Park was there for me with Leave Out All The Rest. (which to this day, I still have difficulty listening to without losing my shit)

Their album, A Thousand Suns, released in 2010, was the music that got me through my divorce in 2011. I listened nonstop to that CD, playing it over and over…screaming and crying through the lyrics.

Living Things came out the year after, in 2012, and helped me work through the pain of starting over, post-divorce. It helped me work through being, once again, a single mom, trying to make my own way in the worlds of parenting, dating, and handling emotional baggage.

And… This year’s One More Light…breaks my heart…and mends it…and breaks it again…over and over.

The song, Heavy, so exactly describes what it’s like having anxiety, it makes me wonder, again, whether the guys have set up cameras inside my head.

Good Goodbye… Is just brilliant. Both song & video. Although, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to watch any of the videos for a while that have Chester in them. Not without breaking down.

But…Sharp Edges…wins. Hands down, my favorite song on the album. I love them all, I really do. But that one – for some reason, just grabbed me by the heart & won’t let go.

Just like Linkin Park did all those years ago with Pts. Of Authority.

Just like Chester did with his cracked-glass pain-filled cry.

Just like Mike did with his Alpha rapping and his smooth synchronous singing.

I never got to see them in concert.

It might sound selfish, but to me, it tears a hole in my heart every time I think about that fact. I will never see them all together in concert. And the tears start again.

I hope the band does decide to stay together. I do. Someday…I hope to be able to see them in concert, even if it’s with someone else singing the other lead. But I know that’s not the top concern on the guys’ minds right now.

My heart goes out to them, and to Chester’s family. Their pain is immeasurable right now, I’m sure. 

As a fan who loved his music, and as someone who feels as though she’s lost a friend… I leave you with this:

Songbird on my window, 

Please sing a song for me

As I sit here crying

I’ll join the harmony

Songbird the end is nearing

I hear it, I am not wrong

You’ve flown, my eyes are tearing,

Songbird, please…

Just one last song….


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The First Night

The quality of the sound is different, somehow.

The sound of the absolute silence of my house, for this, the first night of me officially living alone.

OnlySon moved out on Monday.

And EldestDaughter left with her horde today.

I’ve had days & nights on my own before, sure. Plenty of them. OnlySon went practically every weekend to his father’s house. I’ve had summers without the kids since the divorce.

It’s not like I’ve never had the house to myself…

But it’s never been this official.

And a part of me feels as though I’ve been set adrift. 

Unmoored, I am not sure which direction I’m headed in now.

I no longer have children to raise.

I have no spouse or SO to share with or answer to.

Some might think this is a reason to celebrate, to cut loose & go all “Yay Me” all over the place.

But, that means…they don’t really understand who I am at my core.

I am a caretaker.

I like and thrive on having people I care about around me to share my life with, be they children, an SO, Chosen Family, you know…loved ones.

When I’m alone… 

There’s no one to care for.

And there’s no one here who cares for me…so…

What’s the sense in staying?

Time to figure out how to get gone.


The Pendulum Swings

Yesterday was…awful.

Mom called in the morning while I was at work, & told me that Dad’s best friend had passed away. This man was someone I’ve known for practically my whole life. His daughter & I were best friends and nearly inseparable from kindergarten through 5th grade. (The following summer of 1981 we moved to ND)

He and his wife were like second parents to me, as I spent almost as much time at their house as I did my own.

But, he was also the father of the boy who molested me when I was a teenager.

After Mom told me of his passing, I attempted to go back to work at my desk, but couldn’t concentrate. My head felt heavy, & I could hear a buzzing, ringing, in my ears as everything else around me started to fade out.

Then, the panic attack began.

I told my supervisor I had to go home, & bolted from the office before I went into full-meltdown mode. I didn’t want them to see me like that, couldn’t let them see me like that.

It was my worst panic attack yet, save one I had while separated from my first ex (whole other story). 

Tears rolled down my face the whole drive home, but I held my shit together till I got in my front door.

Then – game over.

If you’ve never had a real, full-blown panic attack…you have no idea how frightening one is. I hope you never have to experience it, because it’s…well…I’ll try to describe it.

As soon as my front door closed, the trembling started. I’m not talking about just “feeling shaky”. I’m talking – my whole body went into earthquake mode.  Someone just watching would have probably thought I was having a seizure, or that I’d just gotten out of ice-cold water, I shook so violently. I had to sit to take my shoes off, & struggled with the zippers because I couldn’t keep my fingers still long enough to grasp them.

The cold set in. My house is generally warm, as I can’t abide being cold. I usually have the heat set at 76. But, yesterday, I couldn’t get warm. I wrapped one of my fleece blankets around me as I stumbled through the house to the fridge for my water, & it still wasn’t enough to warm me up. It took 2 blankets & my 2 cats (curled up with me in the chair) to finally warm me.

After taking another dose of my anti-anxiety meds to try to quell the panic attack, it went to the next level. Hyperventilating.

I almost blacked out, so it’s a good thing I was already in my chair when this hit. It dragged on for what seemed like forever, swinging between hyperventilating & hitching sobs. Coupled with the shaking trembles, it most likely would have looked like a grand mal seizure. 

Finally, the meds started to kick in, after interminable seeming hours, and I started to calm. It was most likely just a handful of minutes, but time stretches out unceasingly when in a panic attack, your brain screams fight or flight!! And there seems to be no end, no exit, no rescue. 

And when you’re dealing with this alone, with no one there to comfort you, there’s no surcease of the pain until your body, quite literally, shuts down. The adrenaline of the attack does eventually run out. It has to.

But when you’re panicking, it doesn’t feel that way.

When you’re in PA mode, all you know, all you see, is the black, horrific, panic. It’s a heart attack, stroke, earthquake, flood & mental apocalypse, all rolled inside of your head & body.

It, quite literally, feels like the end, while you’re in it. Logic has no place there. None. It’s not a matter of “just breathe, you’ll be fine”.

You can’t “just breathe”, when every breath has to be fought for.

You can’t “just calm down”, when your heart is racing so fast you feel like a jet engine is going to bust through your chest.

For me, tunnel vision set in, & all I could see was whatever was directly in front of my eyes, but my brain wasn’t truly processing even that. It was in overload.

Once the attack finally crested, & I started to come down, it was like falling off a cliff.

I crashed. 

I slept, weighted under 2 blankets & 2 cats, it was more like falling into a coma, in that I didn’t dream at all. It was just – black sleep.

Today, I am out of PA mode. My anxiety is still very high, but I’m watching it. Keeping quiet, avoiding going out, & taking meds as needed. 

For those of you who do have anxiety & have experienced PA, you know the aftercare, & what I’ve been through. I know another attack could happen, so I’m being careful. Doing all the things I do to relax, soothe & comfort. Reading, to keep my brain occupied on something other than the situation. Wearing my comfort clothes to feel good against my skin. Burning candles and/or incense as needed to use aromatherapy to soothe. Staying away from caffeine, as that can trigger another attack while in heightened stress moments.

And blogging. This helps me, almost as much as the meds. Because this is my emotional outlet, my “scream into the black” of the internet. My way of getting the words out of my head, onto the “page”, & away from my emotional distress.

The worst has passed, and I’m still here…but the pendulum swings. And the moments are tentative & tenderly susceptible to another PA. Hang on, we’re not out of the woods entirely, yet.

Some Days I Want To Die

Because somedays I don’t see the point of being here, anymore, and my brain lies to me and tells me that- I’m really not making a difference in any way, and that, while my family (chosen family included) would miss me, sure, they’d learn to live with it, & it’s not like I really make a difference there, either.

Yes, I know these are lies my brain tells me when I’m depressed. And I’d never suicide, because I know how horrible that is for those left behind, but the depression still holds me down, head under water, emotionally, until I feel as though one long nap would be the end of it, & it could be peaceful & less noisy, & very little mess. 

It’s the same as the lies my brain tells me when it fills me with anxiety about anything and everything it can dredge up out of the depths of my id. 
Don’t go out, something will happen, & you’ll end up embarrassed, or hurt, or made fun of, & then you’ll just want to curl up & cry. Stay home where nothing can hurt you.  This kind of thing never ends well for you, anyway.

Oh, and remember that thing you said to that person? How stupid was that? You would’ve done much better to say…this. Or to just keep your stupid mouth shut, cause then stupid wouldn’t fall out of it.

And did you hear what that woman at work said to you today? Oh, you thought it was a nice compliment? Really? Did you really hear what she said & the look on her face & the tone of her voice & how she was talking to one of the other women later & just…stopped…talking when you walked by? Yeah…let’s discuss this some more, shall we?

And remember that thing you did 5 years ago? Let’s dissect that into all its tiniest meanings over the next 7 hours while you’re pretending to sleep. Oh? You weren’t pretending, you were actually trying to sleep? Well…not anymore. Good morning, Sunshine!

Oh, there’s a man interested in you? You know he only wants one thing, right? And you’re not getting any younger, so forget about getting that “happily ever after”, cause they all leave, eventually. Why would they possibly want to stay with you? An aging, anxious, depressed, overweight, grandmother. Yeah, there’s the brass ring. Take what they give you, because that’s all there is anymore, Chickie. You aren’t going to get what you want.

And the ride never ends, with subject after subject being over-analyzed & subjected to the highest-powered microscope possible.

So, yes, some days I want to die.

And some days I feel as though I’m just a passenger in my own skin, & I watch the automaton doing the work thing, & the talking to other people thing, & the taking care of the animals thing, & I marvel at the wonders of modern science that could create such a life-like robot that can carry passengers who watch the day go by out through the eye-windows.

And I’m glad on those days that I could just lie back & let the robot do it all, because the depression had me under water again, & the anxiety told me that if I struggled, I’d snap my own neck for sure and then where would I be?

And some days, there’s just no up…only sideways…and it’s all I can do to hang onto the cliff’s edge with my nonexistent fingernails, & shift to the left, digging for another foothold.

So, some days, I dye.

Yes, black hair.

It was time to go dark.

After all, it’s been pretty dark on the inside lately. Time to let it out.

Fine

I’m fine.

Except when he calls. Because I won’t answer, I let it ring, silently, while I attempt to get ready for my day; putting on the mask I have to wear for the next 8-9 hours, so no one knows there’s anything wrong. But I know it’s ringing, even when it’s laid, facedown, on my sink. I know it’s ringing, 3 or 4 separate times, because he simply – Won’t. Stop. Calling.

I’m fine.

Except when he texts, because I refuse to answer during the day, trying to remain focused on what I have to get through at work, knowing that he’s furious & accusatory; pleading one minute and threatening the next…I can’t even look to see what he’s sent most of the time, but then…have to look when I take a break, because, like a train wreck…you just- have to look. And then the shakes start. And I have to remember how to breathe, and when to smile, so no one knows there’s anything wrong. Doubling the anxiety meds some days just to take the edge off to appear “normal”.

I’m fine.

Except late at night, when I have to put my phone on vibrate, so it doesn’t ring in the middle of the night, when he’s frantically trying to get me to answer him – due to the time difference between here and there.

I’m fine.

Except that I can’t block the communication completely, my lovely phone plan not allowing me to block, but only to “auto-refuse”, which means I don’t see the calls coming anymore, but it doesn’t stop the texting, or the emailing.

I’m fine.

Because I refuse to tell people around me that he – Will. Not. Listen. To what I told him. That I’m done, I can’t take the broken promises anymore, and I need to focus on the life I have going on around me, instead of some long-drawn-out and never-manifesting wish I had that I could be happy with someone, that I could be loved by someone responsible & honest & someone with integrity & commitment to me in his heart.

I’m fine. 

Don’t worry.

I’m fine.

Because I will get this behind me, somehow, some way. I will do this on my own, because I refuse to be a burden or an obligation to anyone, and this is my responsibility to handle this fucking mess. I don’t want pity – I hate seeing it on anyone’s face.

So I don’t tell.  I don’t talk.

I’m fine.

Almost There

I’m almost there.  

Isolating myself has been easy…almost too much so. Pulling away was silent, unobtrusive, unnoticed, unmourned.

The walls get thicker, more soundproof every day, as I brick up the path behind me. The only sounds I hear is the ticking of the clocks, the wet slap of mortar as I trowel it onto those laid before, the dull “squish” as I set the next brick into place. My defenses will not be torn loose so easily again. 

And I nod to affirm that silent declaration.

Silence is an amazing weapon of self defense.

Interactions with the outside world are accomplished masked, outwardly pleasant, and brief out of necessity. The mask smiles, even laughs on occasion, tending to the daily needs, before retreating back into silence once removed when safely behind the bastion’s walls.

And no one notices the difference.

No one in the everyday sees behind the curtain.

Not anymore.

Only those trusted most, the secret, hidden, Chosen few know that which lies, frozen in silence, floating in Purgatory, until the day that comes bringing freedom.

I’m almost there.

Waiting in Silence.

Not Today

I just can’t hold onto the positive hopes.

Not today.

Because a couple of days ago, I told him that 3 1/2 years of waiting was enough. 3 1/2 years of late-night conversations, daily texts, occasional phone calls…but never a face to face meeting, was enough.  That 3 1/2 years of broken promises, one after another, was enough.  When words are only words, and never become deeds…how do you continue to believe in tomorrow?

Not today.

My heart is torn into pieces right now.  I know, everyone says…”It’ll change. You’ll find someone. Someone will come along and just sweep you off your feet.”

Not today.

Today, I mourn.

It’s over.

And it never even started.

This…THIS is why I have defensive walls so high and thick it takes a mountaineer to climb them.

Fucking men with their habit of ghosting, benching, promising & breaking, blowing me off, calling me “psycho” when I get upset after they refuse to live up to their word. Disappearing because of their own fears & insecurities, then laying it off on me as my fault because they can’t handle relationships & monogamy.

Goddess…I’m so tired of this.

I just want one man. One MAN, who can be an adult, is willing to commit, and can see that I’m worth more than just being a friend with benefits, or a hookup. I don’t want the games anymore.

And I don’t want to spend the rest of my life alone.

I’ll be just fine.

But not today.