This Spin

The nights have been getting so cold for a while now. I have been absent from my writing, and instead of forcing myself to write a poem or a weird essay or some shit, I thought maybe I’ll just sit and write. Conversationally. I’ll just…write. Let my agenda fuck off and the words just come. That’s like giving your inner critic a Tom Collins. Several of them.

I’ve been busy painting my new home into a modern minimalist artsy but thrifty home I want to feel like I am myself in. Tall ceilings, gray walls, white trim and windows, no curtains this time, keep it clean and light, black metal and soft wood lighting, Picasso’s framed poster “Blue Nude,” simple frames sparingly up with my daughter in black and white, the white warm linen shade propped up by couch on angular wood legs, hardwood flooring, no rugs. There’s a writing desk where our family photos cluster nicely together all cozy. But I want room. Room to breathe and think and be myself and I’ve always wanted to do this but for some reason never thought it was “me.” But I’ve always loved the way atmosphere in a room (I’m a lighting fanatic, even particular bulbs) can settle over you like a calming smell or certain albums. Certain feels that settle and relax your skin.

So I have been, in my painstakingly slow paint sessions, cleaning, short work shifts, three a.m. walks under the street lamps in my silent neighborhood, I have been using all of this time to settle in, yet further into myself, and out of myself, with forward momentum.  I thought maybe I had been escaping into things for months and months, maybe even in a certain someone,

…but the truth is I was looking at myself in the mirror the whole time and just waiting for my image to come into focus. And it isn’t really a mirror but a black frame propped up against the plaster wall of this old house. I am not hyper-focused, I am just….there…wondering what it is that seems to turning over and over in me, trying to tell me something.

And there were evident facts, like the person I told everything–everything to–told me I was “incredibly scarred.”

and

“Well, look at your life, your past, your scars, all affect now-look at your job, at what your write.”

And that bothered me, because it hurt, because it’s true. And I handle it. But that’s not what was turning and pushing its way.

I have a date next month with an old friend. He’s coming to town for the holidays. we’ve been talking. But no, it’s not that. There’s no pervasive anxiety with that other than wtf am I going to wear.

New flashbacks came up–a memory lengthened and highlighted and felt. Yes, the awful thing I saw in that flashback is real, because I remember it like I remember sleeping with my stuffed Kermit when I was nine. Every night. But I also know that the more you start to heal, the more you start to live your life, the more new doors open. So I scheduled an appointment with my psychologist and to discuss a few fears I know I can master I just choose not to write about.

PTSD does not go away.

But you manage.

Because the beautiful things in this world are worth the terrible. And I am mastering something ever so slowly but surely–the scary things, the fears, the fears of rejection, abandonement, attachment blah blah blah–all of these things are becoming…okay…because I let them have their room, and feel them when they arrive, but I am now able to recognize when that’s what pops up and affects me. When you feel the shit, set it aside, and put yourself in check–rejection and even abandonment stop hurting–because you take the power away from those that held those in their hands over you, and you stop, and it all comes from within. I am not abandoned because I have MYSELF, I am not going to be hurt by this or that rejection I risk every day with more honest words-I am not going to hurt because I do not reject myself. And I feel like I am in my center again and it spins and pools and it is lovely. This center is becoming so familiar to me, as familiar to me as anxiety, now it is this nest, this pool, this safe place to push for more and more life, more experience, more love, more curiosities….

The thing turning in me is this: I am living. I am challenging the borders I have limited myself by and I am pushing them back kind of easily. And with the choice of deciding to try new things like different approaches, kinder words, more blunt and honest words, standing up for myself, stopping pleasing people-one at a time; knowing the kind of woman I am without needed descriptive labels–I can’t describe who i am, but I like her. And there’s no need to explore any further.

Time for a Change

My writing is too cathartic.  It’s not real to me anymore.  Maybe because I’m coming out of that journaling and into actual writing.  Where is the humanity in my writing? I spent too much time on myself.  Self-absorbed.  Thinking I’m the only one with problems.  I’ll work on it guys.

Amy

Found Myself Today Singing

farmnflea2Well it’s been awhile since I’ve written just a post on what’s up with me lately.  Maybe because what’s up is confusing and yet somehow dull to me.  A couple of great things are happening–I’m seeing a new psychologist who leaves around the bend across the lake and I think she’s…brilliant.  Fucking brilliant.  The first time in fifteen years I felt like, in therapy, “this is the one.  She can help me help myself.”  It’s good dammit.  Good.  I quit smoking.  It’s day four.  My singing voice is already almost fully back!! I’m drinking tea instead of coffee to cut the cravings for a cigarette and I can’ t believe how much better I already feel.  Right now I’ve got the house to myself, blaring the blues, some Aretha, some Richie Havens “Freedom”, some OneRepublic, quite a mix.  I feel so damn good today.  So calm.  Even with the cravings.  Maybe I’ve been so much more at peace because I’m on a right path–my path–and I’m ready for whatever happens in therapy.  I’m stronger now.  I’m willing to get rough.  After the first session I went home and cried so hard I was actually doing that embarrassing hiccup thing, because I felt so exposed and vulnerable to myself, not to anyone but myself.  I have this steal shield I use in the mirror to keep me from believing shit is hard, to keep me from believing I can’ t do it, that I’m weak.  I ask for help from no one, and I just can’t change that.  My sister was crying and asking me why I don’t open up, because it’s too much and too hard alone, and I love her dearly for it, but I just can’t.  It’s not my…style.  You get so used to handling the hard shit alone, pushing down your shoulders and making you sink a little, so you take bigger steps, you gain more muscle in my opinion.  I want to rely on myself, and learn how to do it better.  I was also crying so hard because she got so much out of me and i don’t know how, but I looked at myself, really looked at myself, and i was disgusted by what I saw.  So disappointed, yet I’m so used to disappointment that it wasn’t too much of a crusher.  What she’s doing with me is instead of me blathering on the same tired old story about what all happened to me, is we’re dealing with (first) how I’m dealing with it all in the present.  She’s taken me back to such basic steps I was

HelenMPhotography
HelenMPhotography

blindsided and felt like I wanted to hold her hand because I’d forgotten the importance of ‘the now.’  Back to building blocks, which feels good because I haven’t known up from down in a long time.

Why does it still seem I am still trying to prove myself to myself? Anyone else do this?  I think of therapy/dealing with complex ptsd/bipolar/dissociation/adhd as a challenge, and I must win.  I must defeat what has beaten me down, I must not let one person own me.  I must be the master of myself.  I can almost taste it, yet I’m so far.  As long as I keep going, I’ll make it.  The longer and harder it is, the better it’ll turn out, I know that.  It’s about patience.  I’m by no means rushing into therapy like I used to, expecting results I could hold in my hands, read and educate myself out of a hole.  Oh no.  It’s more holistic than that.  It’s a 180 from that.  Now I go in and I’m like a child eagerly waiting for guidance into what I already know but can’t tap.

Another thing I realized is when you’re in deep water long enough, you get accustomed to it, and for awhile you take the rest of the punches and hits with your chin up, you allow yourself to fully feel the swells of pain that can strike, but what is pain anyways but a tool for success?  Anyway, yeah, you get accustomed to it, but then somehow, after so long, you quit treading, and you float comfortably, until someone comes along and steals your fuckin floaty.  And you see yourself, comfortably numb to all around you, your life–stuck in this swirling eddy of memories and fears and even, at its worse and most embarrassing–self-pity and complacency.  I will not settle for this.  I will not be okay with the woman who fucking sits there il_570xN.445156906_6aipanymore.  She was begging for me to wake up.  And then I wonder–is this another bipolar mood trick?  Am I really feeling this or am I on the upside of the disorder, seeing things that I will only see and feel for a short while ?  Well, if that’s the case I’ll just keep coming back to write about it.  Music.  Music is everything.  It reminds me that I am alive.  That I have a say in things, that my emotions are real, valid things that I can feel without doubt and shame and embarrassment.  I have a say in things.  I have a say in how this shit’s gonna go.  It already went down, I swam through the murk at the bottom, I barely rose, but I’m slowly rising to the surface, its a long way.  And I can look back at the shore but I’ve come to far to go back from where I came, it’s time to swim to a new shore, a new island of Amyness.  🙂 I can’t go back to what I was, that wasn’t living, from the age of sixteen to thirty I wasn’t living, and I’m still not, but I’m trying, and I’m aware and that’s the key.  That’s living.  It may not be pretty, I may look at myself and just think “aww shit” but I have choices and options.  I remember when it all changed–a specific point.  I was sixteen (already haunted by memories of sexual abuse and living in injustices via my mother and stepfather and the lack of my real father) and I was in my room in the basement listening to “Free Bird” over and over and I was looking in the mirror and I just couldn’t see myself.  I wasn’t there.  Just like that.  I disappeared.  This is also when the bipolar began, I just know it.  I can’t explain it, it would take  to long, but it was.  I forced myself to cry and I just stared at my tears as if they were fake, and i was a fake, a fraud, who felt nothing.  I was empty.  And I would spend the next fifteen years or so trying to fill TheMapleTeaHousethat.  Until the psychosis and PTSD hit and i went to the bin–when I completely shattered.  To a million fucking pieces.  But piecing it back together—I get to create what I want to be.  Not just what i want to SEE, but I what I want to BE, because my feelings are back in full force.  I am not empty anymore.  I think all my life I waited for the break, so I could start over.