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.

Bonfire of the Sanity

I’ve never been a believer in the “bad luck” of Friday the 13th.

However…

Today, could have been the exception to that belief.

Men…can be so thoughtless, hurtful and cruel. (Yes, I’m sure women can be too, but since I’m not bisexual or gay, my romantic relationships have never involved the feminine gender)

Everything seemed to go up in flames today.

The man I’ve been talking to for 3.5 years? Well, on New Year’s Day, I told him that I wasn’t going to wait anymore. That I was tired of always coming in last place on the priority list. I’d told him months earlier that if he couldn’t make me a priority & actually keep his word by the end of 2016, that I was done.

The time lapsed, he still hasn’t decided that I’m important enough to merit meeting face to face, so…I ended it.

At least, on my side.

He…won’t stop texting & attempting to call. He’s furious that I’m actually sticking by what I said. 

He’s blaming me for the situation.

Every decision he’s made, he’s made on his own, for his own reasons, & tells me about them after he’s already decided & taken that step. How is this my fault?

So, I threw my phone in my purse & ignored him for most of the day.

I hate confrontation & arguments.

Cue the next thing.

Another man I know, who I dated in the past, starts sending me mixed messages. He’s never wanted the “forever” thing, so I never bothered to bring it up, knowing it was a moot point, & would never come to pass. I’ve never let myself say the “L” word with him, because I do want monogamy, commitment, & marriage again, someday. 

But today, in the emotional turmoil I was experiencing with E, I start getting messages from this other man, that sounded almost romantic & sentimental. (I say almost because I don’t know what to believe anymore with this, whether it was meant as a “haha-funny”, or if it was supposed to be taken for real).

I’m so messed up in the head right now.

PLUS, (yeah, there’s more)…

I sent an email the other day to a man I knew a few years ago, who I dreamt about, & felt compelled to contact. We were emotionally close at one time, and confided in each other a lot of personal stuff. We were close to seeing if we could “make a go of it” romantically, when he suddenly backed up & disappeared.  It destroyed me for a long time, & I’ve never completely gotten over the loss. Not just as a romantic prospect, but as a dear friend, & someone I’d come to think of as Chosen Family.

I didn’t expect a response at all, as he was pretty clear about not wanting any kind of relationship with anyone, ever. (Miles of bad relationship road behind him, & a fear of getting hurt again)

He responded, & wants to talk as soon as he returns from a work trip he had to go on.

Flaming unicorns on pogo sticks.

My sanity won’t take much more.

My brain is on fire, my heart is in pieces, and I can’t see the point of continuing with much of anything right now.
So, after I finish this post…

I’m putting down the phone, face down, so I don’t have to see it’s mocking screen…and I’m going to pour myself an adult beverage.

Or six.

No, I’m not laughing as I write this.

I’m completely fucking serious.

And I’m seriously completely fucked.

No Home

Something I figured out tonight… something I’d thought about before, wondered why many times…but never had an answer until now.

Why don’t I feel as “grown up” as most of the other 40-something’s I know? Why is it, that I feel so abnormal, so out of place with my peers?

Most of the people I know my age, talk about their jobs, their kids, their gardens & recipes. They talk about their spouse, & where they’re going for their next vacation, or about how the car “just isn’t running right, so I’d better take it in”. 

I hear them discussing things like regular adults, day to day stuff, “grown-up” stuff.

So why am I still stuck contemplating my navel, & why my relationships always seem to turn to shit?

Grief.  It’s grief. And the fact that most of those other adults don’t feel it all the time, as I seem to be.

Sure, I know it sounds odd, so let me explain my reasoning.

Grief – is Love with no place to go. It’s Loving, but not being able to give that Love to someone. Not having a “home” for it. Grief is having so much love, & never being able to show it, or having the one you love throw it away. It’s Feelings so strong you seem to crack at the seams, and they leak out of your face, sliding down your cheeks, only to fall to the floor. It’s the desolation of knowing that the Love you have, has nowhere to land, either because the one you love has passed, or simply left you behind.

Grief – is Love, lost and confused, spinning back on itself in the hope of finding resolution, only to discover there’s no doorway back to how it was before.

And these other adults, the people I watch, they don’t have to worry about Grief in that way. 

Because they have their purpose, they have a place for their love to go. They have their SO, their contented life, balanced &, for the most part, fairly whole. Grief, when it does strike, doesn’t consume their whole world. They’re able to get through it, because they have that balance, that Love with a Home to go to.

So, they talk about their gardens, and their weekends, their jobs & kids & pets & what they’re going to make for dinner.

And me?

Well, I know my home is not here. 

Not anymore.

Where it is, I don’t know. 

Someday, maybe, I’ll find a Home for my Love. Until then…

I am Grief.

Only on the blog will you find me this open. 

Out in the “Real World”… I’m fine.

Taking a Moment

I learned some very sad news today.

My father’s best friend, a man I’ve known my whole, remembered life, has only a year to live.

And I can’t seem to wrap my head around it.

I want to cry.

I want to rage at the sky.

I want to curl up and sob, uncontrollably.

And I’m not allowed to do any of those things.

I’m supposed to be strong. I’m supposed to be support for my parents, understanding, compassionate, supportive.

With everything that’s been going on in my life right now, this is going to sound extremely selfish, but I just want to go home, lock my doors, curl up on the floor, and Not. Feel. Anything.

I’m tired of being strong for everyone else.

I’m exhausted, standing on my own, with no one to hold me, tell me that they have me, and I can crash for a while.

Fuck this.

Ask for honesty, and get silence.

Tell someone you care about them, and more silence.

Why do I care about anything, anymore?

It only brings pain, silence, and distance.

So, I’m taking a moment to grieve.

To grieve for this family friend.

To grieve for my Mom and Dad.

To grieve for myself, and my own losses.

Friends.

Family.

Affection.

Honesty.

The possibility.

Delete, delete, delete…

How many times will I do this?

How many times will I tell myself “never again”?

How many times?

Obviously, I’ll never learn this life lesson.  I’ll return in my next life, fresh-faced & naive, and face this lesson again. 

And again.

And again.

Because, somewhere, down in the bottom of my heart, even after all the times it’s been fractured & pinned back together…

There lies a shred of hope.

And I can’t seem to kill it.

It’s not done with me, yet.

Whatever is going on, the wrongness I’ve been feeling lately, it’s still there.

My anxiety & depression have been riding me for days, holding me under water, not letting me sleep.  And I’ve been trying to restrain from posting here, since I know I have a tendency to word vomit and regret it later.

I’ve been trying to shake this off, but it’s not working.

And I don’t know what else to do, but retreat.

*delete, delete, delete*

Storms

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I’ve been unexpectedly weepy for the past couple of weeks.  My emotions have been following the local weather’s habits, I guess, with quick, raging storms, lasting anywhere from minutes to hours, reducing my brain to splinters, & my heart cracking with the strike & boom of the lightning & thunderstorms.

A sudden turn of phrase, a snippet of song, a hard thought, dissolve in my eyes & rain down my face, choking my voice.

All the emotional fallout that’s been tucked up in my pockets since the surgery, have turned me into an occasional human hosepipe, and I can’t figure out how to stop it.

I know it’s because of the stress I’ve been under, lately.  Family drama, neighbor drama, personal drama, it’s coalesced into a hard knot seated just behind my breastbone, heavy and solid.

And it’s almost impossible to talk about.

Some of the drama is not mine to tell, but I have to hang on to it, anyway,  because of familial obligation.

Some of it has been rehashed over & over with friends & family, but in the end, it’s still my decision, difficult as it is.

And some of it… there’s only 2 people I can talk to about it.  One of them, my nephew, I can tell, because he knows me so well, & is utterly trustworthy.

Unfortunately,  the other person…well, I haven’t been able to tell, because I fear yet another disappearance. 

It happens so often.

I wish I could just turn all of the emotions off.

Stop the rain of tears.
Stop feeling.
Stop caring.
Numb.

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