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

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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….


It’s Not That Difficult to Let Go

Not anymore.

After all the times I’ve been left behind, it’s not that hard to walk away.

After all the times I’ve been lied to, it’s not hard to ignore the words.

I’m not quite sure when it happened; maybe when the promises were broken, over, and over, and over. 

Maybe when the excuses piled up so high, I couldn’t see over them to the truth, anymore.

Maybe it was when I realized that, no matter what I said, or did, they were all going to walk out and never come back.

Maybe…it was when I realized I was losing a part of myself every time one of them walked out. 

Maybe it was the self-blame I poured on myself, thinking that there must be something wrong with me, for them to all treat me as though I didn’t matter. As though my feelings were completely disposable.

Or the self-doubt that haunted me, when I was ghosted, and couldn’t get any answers to my questions as to why.

Maybe, it was when I realized that, if I kept going the way I had been…I was going to lose myself permanently.

So, I had to change a few things.

One of those things?

I can let go, now.

I can walk away, and it won’t hurt, this time.

Because I know it’ll never be what I truly need, what I’m really looking for.

You don’t love me, you never did.

You never will.

So, when the time comes…

I will let you go.

And not look back.

Odd Loss

For the past week I’ve been dealing with an odd feeling. A sense of, almost, overwhelming, loss & depression that I can’t really explain well. It pervades my waking moments, & has even interrupted my sleep a couple of times.

It’s the loss of Alan Rickman.

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I know, we’ve lost so many idols in just this last week. Bowie, Lemmy from Motorhead, and, just yesterday, Dan Haggerty, who played Grizzly Adams, a much – beloved show from my childhood.

But, for me, those other losses are faint, far away & muted by the fact that 1) I’ve never met them, 2) while they had an impact on my life, it just wasn’t as much as some others.

No, I’ve never met Alan Rickman either.
But, the effect he had on my life was much more profound than even I knew.

I first noticed him in, of course, Die Hard, as the villainous Hans Gruber. With his rich, accented bass voice, he made me find a guilty pleasure in watching him spar verbally with Bruce Willis on screen.

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In fact, my favorite lines from that movie are pretty much just him.

Hans:”Schiess dem fenster, ”
Other bad guy: “Hunh?”
Hans: “Schiess dem fenster! ”
Other bad guy: *puzzled look…*
Hans: “SHOOT. THE. GLASS!”

He’s pretty much the reason I watched Die Hard, after that first viewing so long ago. There was something – charismatic- about the way he played that character.

And, since learning of Alan ‘ s death, I’ve been going back to find all my favorite movies of his, rewatching them. And finding new movies I never knew about, and watching those too, simply to witness again the simple brilliance of his acting.

Yes, of course, there’s the Harry Potter series. I haven’t marathoned it yet, but I will tonight, since I don’t have to babysit.

But, in no particular order… here are my personal favorites.

Blow Dry- both Alan Rickman AND Bill Nye? A British haircutting competition? Are you kidding me? Of COURSE.

Sense and Sensibility – He might not have played the heartthrob,  he didn’t even have a major role, but the character he played had depth, heart, & a very quiet core of immovable strength. I’d have chosen him, just like Kate Winslet finally did toward the end.

Galaxy Quest- Brilliant, funny, tongue-in-cheek.  By Grapthar’s hammer, yes.

Love Actually- Yeah, he played a weak-willed, cheating husband in this one…but I still see the redeeming qualities. I’d have taken him back, & I don’t forgive cheaters.

CBGB- I just watched this last night on Netflix. I’d never even heard of it, but when I searched his name to find movies of his, there it was. And it was riveting & funny. Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley ) was in it too, & that was even funnier.

Sweeney Todd- As evil as they come, himself played Judge Turpin in this musical gore – fest with Johnny Depp. And, he was oily, gruesome, cruel, & still compelling. Brilliant. Oh, and yes, he sings!

And, of course, last but nowhere near least…

Harry Potter- Professor Snape. So many things could be said, and it would never fully describe this character. Rickman himself said that he didn’t like talking about or trying to explain HP, because he felt it took away from the individual experience, & he wouldn’t be the person who took the imagination out of it for the kids.

Alan Rickman.
So many more movies I need to see, before I come close to assuaging the sadness I feel at his loss.

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I still don’t know why this loss has hit me so hard. It’s confusing, but I’m going to stop analyzing it.

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Because I’m going to simply honor his life- by honoring his work.

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And, one of these days…It won’t hurt as much as it does right now.

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Midnight Confession

I can’t seem to sleep.
Too many thoughts running through my brain, all at once. Too many things, vying for my attention,  all important,  all beyond my ability to control, right now.

But I think…maybe I figured something out.

One of the reasons they all leave.

I’ve fallen in love many times, with different men, and yet- they all have ended up leaving me.

All except the one I haven’t been able to meet yet.

And, I think the reason is me.

Because I fall in love.

I always seem to. Easily, and completely.

My affections are easily engaged. Someone catches my eye, for whatever reason it might be.

Their sense of humor, their intelligence,  their intensity, their smile, whatever the initial reason is…and I engage.  A light is switched on in the back of my brain, way back in the primitive part of my psyche.  Some instinct tells me that I need to know more, learn more, feel more.

So, I get to know them.

And, when there’s a true spark on my part, I start to care. I want to be there for them, emotionally, physically, all of it.  I want to take care of them, and I want them to care back. 

It’s natural, right? Wanting the reciprocation?

But, some part of them, for whatever reason, sees that need in me, and they think “How can she feel so much for someone so quickly?  She must be flighty, and her feelings can’t be real.  She’ll say the same thing to the next guy that walks past.”

And, they’re gone.
Just like that.

It’s happened too many times to be a coincidence.

One, said that he “just wasn’t ready”, that he never made any promises,  that all the talking had just been…whatever. Maybe, he was reliving the past for a while, pretending we were still kids, & it was just for the sake of nostalgia.

One, said he’d never commit again, then proceeded to date me off & on for about 2 years,  disappearing completely at one point, when it looked as though we might be getting “too serious”, only to show back up later, saying he missed me, but only wanting to be occasional “friends in bed”.

One, showed all the signs of wanting to really be serious, pushing the relationship faster than I was even really ready for, but I went along with it, thinking that maybe, after 20 years and us having been married when we were young, well, hell, maybe this time we had a chance to make it work.  Then, he disappeared without any explanation whatsoever.

And one, told me that, after all the talking, getting to know each other, getting to care about each other,  told me that he couldn’t be in a relationship with anyone, because he saw any close relationship with suspicion, and as a weakness that would hurt him.

All seemingly different reasons…all with the same result.

And the one thing they all had in common?

Me.

Me, caring about them.

Me, being alone again in the aftermath.

Me, picking up the pieces by myself, trying to figure out how I could be such a rotten judge of character, how I could consistently pick men with commitment issues, with so much fear.

I trusted.

I lost.

And then, I’d trust again.

My special gift, impossible relationships.

And now, trusting someone that I’ve never met face to face, that I’ve been talking to for 2 1/2 years, waiting, always waiting for him to keep the promises he keeps breaking.

I try to love.
I keep the faith that somewhere, it’s out there.
But, it seems to be that only other people actually get to find and keep it.

And I stand here, outside, looking in the windows, my hands in my pockets as I walk past those happy lives, them completely oblivious to the person outside, envying their joy.

And I walk home.

What the Letters Taught Me

B – taught me that I was strong enough to walk away when it became obvious that love was dead, & I was no longer a partner, but a “comfortable convenience”. I learned that I could turn my life inside out, upside down, & sometimes – that’s what it takes to get back on track.

A- taught me that I am still fun to hang out with. That, after years of being passed over, I was still desirable. Still able to laugh & be silly, and that smart & sexy are still part of my repertoire.  But, I also learned that when the future shows you no change coming, no forward motion, you need to step off the path & wander your own way for a while.

J- – broke my last “give a fuck”. It was a pivotal point in my life. And I learned that I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life, but, if I end up that way… I can survive. I will never let another human being destroy me that way. Ever.

F- taught me – that sometimes… Love isn’t enough to fix someone else’s issue. And I learned that it doesn’t matter how I feel about someone if they won’t let me get close enough to prove it. Dragons are feral, wild & skittish creatures who will walk their own path, no matter what, or who, gets hurt & left behind.

And – E- well… E has so far taught me the meaning of patience in the face of insurmountable troubles. I’ve learned that I am more willing to wait than I ever thought I could be capable of.  I’ve learned that I can still have faith, still have the ability to BELIEVE in something that others just can’t, or refuse, to see. 

And yet… There are nights when I sit here, alone in the dark… And I… I am still alone. My “give a fuck” is still broken. I still doubt my own worth, sometimes.

Because the biggest thing I’ve learned over the last 5 years?

They always leave.