An Open Letter To Joey

Joey,

I don’t use real names on the blog, as a courtesy, to protect those I speak about here. 
You, however, forfeited any right to my protection when you betrayed my trust and shredded my heart.

So, you are the first person I’ve ever outed on my blog in the, oh…let’s see… 9 years I’ve been writing on it? Hope you feel so proud! What a major accomplishment.

When I asked my coworker to say “hi” to you, I really expected nothing in return. You were so cowardly 4 years ago, when you ran away from our relationship then, I honestly didn’t think you’d bother to respond this time around, so yes, it was a surprise when I got your text.

And yes, I’d forgiven you for what happened back then. Stupid of me, in hindsight, but that’s how I am. I can’t hold grudges, and I forgive people, because I figure that…somehow, I deserve to be treated like crap. I don’t know why, but I do, and always have. Maybe that’s why every relationship turns out the way it does, Because you accept what you think you deserve.

Then, YOU asked ME if I’d be willing to give a relationship between the two of us another chance. YOU started this once again. WHY?? If you were just going to bail out at the first curve in the road, what the fuck were you doing asking for another chance?

You said you wanted to take it slow. I said OK. I said, all I needed, was that you “be honest with me, & don’t shut me out”. You said “Ok, I can do that”. 

Liar.

The first chance you got, you shut me out, told me that your phone broke down, & you weren’t getting texts for 2 days. Yeah…sure, cause you wouldn’t be panicking if you didn’t hear from your kids for two days? Right. Whatever.

But, I gave you space, trying to not be “that girl”, the clingy girlfriend that people snicker about behind their hands. You wanted to take it slow, I was giving you slow & patient.

WHAT THE HELL DID YOU WANT, JOEY??

Did you do this just to break me again, you bastard?

Did you do this just to watch me fall apart?

Did you do this just to see if you still had the power to hurt me?

Well… *clapping hands in slow motion* Good. Fucking. Job. You win, asshole.

You hurt me.

Boo yah.

Fuck you.

I deserved better than this.

I deserved better than being ghosted, being dumped by someone who asked me for another chance. 

I would have given you everything I had, my love, my patience, my empathy, my understanding, my compassion. You have no idea what you gave up, because you have no fucking clue who I am anymore. 

And you’ve given up any rights to ever get to know me, ever again.

You took all of that…and ran away & hid. For what fucking reason this time, I’ll probably never know.

And now…I no longer care.

I’ve buried your name, buried our relationship, and buried any future there might have been.

This is the last time you will appear here or anywhere in my life.

You are dead…and I bury the dead, Joey.

I Bury The Dead

I had a rough time last night. 

Drank too much.

Cried – way too much.

Probably talked too much.

Spoke to an old friend, someone who was kind enough to take pity on drunk & crying me, who talked me down from my emotional ledge.  

Something we discussed stuck with me.

He asked me what I was going to do today.

I replied “Recover”.

He asked what I meant by that, and I answered that when shit like this happens to me…I bounce.

And then I had to correct myself.

“Well, after all the shit I’ve been through, I guess I don’t really bounce anymore…I just bury it, and move on.”

He asked why I bury it, why I don’t just let it go?

“Because I bury the dead. And if I let it go, I don’t learn from it, and it happens again.”

Then I laughed at myself, and said it didn’t really matter what I did, because it always happens again, anyway. 

Every time I open up and trust someone with my heart, I end up with a knife in it.

But, after thinking about it for a while, I did realize something.

I can’t let these things go.  Because when I let go of the hurt, and the wrong done to me… That’s when I forgive them. And they get another chance.

That’s what happened with J.
And look what he did with his forgiveness.

I’m too trusting, too forgiving, too nice…and I find it impossible to hold a grudge. But when someone crosses a unforgivable line with me, I can cut them off like split ends and they cease to exist in my life.

Just ask my brother.

So, no.

I won’t let it go.

I won’t forgive.

I will never forget.

And he will never be allowed another chance to hurt me, ever again.

This is why I bury the dead.

Too

Well…that seems to be the end of that.

Another one bites the dust.

Silently, disappearing, once again.

He chose to do the one thing guaranteed to hurt me, and shut me out. Left me in the dark, in the dust, and vanished.

He had borrowed a DVD set from me, however, so I drove to his house today while he was at work, and asked his daughter for it. She was nice enough to hand it to me, even checked to make sure all the discs were there, and I thanked her and left.

Since he refused to answer my texts, I figured he didn’t want to see me, either, so this way…now he doesn’t have to, and I have my property back with no fuss.

It hurts.

Yes, it hurts.

So, tonight…I drink.

To forget, for a little while, that I was stupid enough to trust, once again.

I’ve been told before that I’m Too nice. Too forgiving. Too trusting. 

Maybe I need to learn how to be a bitch.

Maybe I need to become hard, stop caring. Stop feeling. Turn off my heart.

Can someone teach me how to stop being Too?


Crawling

The darkness inside my head is so absolute right now, it’s difficult to identify the light.

Please don’t assume that I will take the “copycat” option, because I won’t, I can’t. 

But right now…I can’t say that it hasn’t crossed my mind once or twice.

I’ve thought about the subject of suicide for the majority of the last 2 days, since hearing about Chester over the radio. 

I’ve been locked in a cycle of numbness, shock, deep depression and tears, and something approaching normalcy- which is the mask I have to wear out in public and for work, so I can keep my job.

But, alone…my brain is stuck in a cycle of horrific awfulness, sadness over the loss I feel because of Chester’s death; it’s an overwhelming void inside.

Only one person in my life really gets how I feel about this band, these people who belong to this group, Linkin Park – my Beloved Nephew. Because he feels the same way about them. He knows, because he’s been through some of the same type of shit, and has had the same type of reactions to their music.

How the music gets under your skin, inside your head, and takes you someplace else. Telling you that it’s completely OK to feel angry, to BE angry, and to USE that anger to fuel yourself, to use it in your fight to make it past your demons, to surround yourself with all the emotions you feel, both good and bad, To wear them like a GODDAMN CAPE and USE THEM to pull yourself out of the black.

It’s OK. I don’t expect anyone else to get it.  Music is subjective, it’s art, and not everyone is going to feel the same about the artists others enjoy. 

And given what I remember and have experienced of grief, I know that loss takes time to work through. 

(Insert psychobabble logic here)

But, fuck.

It hurts.

It hurts so goddamn much.

And the only one I can reach out to who understands is hundreds of miles away.

So I go through this alone.

Fuck.

Crawling in my skin
These wounds they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real

There’s something inside me
That pulls beneath the surface
Consuming, confusing
This lack of self control I fear
Is never ending, controlling

I can’t seem to find myself again
My walls are closing in
(Without a sense of confidence)
(I’m convinced that there’s)
(Just too much pressure to take)
I’ve felt this way before so insecure

-except from Crawling, by Linkin Park

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….


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.