Thursday, July 28, 2011
School is over. I'm scared for fall, when I will have to stop hiding behind summer and Do Something with my life. I worked so hard to finish school...my "real life" was delayed for so long. But I guess I never believed in a real life for myself, and now faced with it I'm at a loss. I feel incapable of moving forward, and I seem to keep fading further into my past.
I started DBT once a week, and still am not sure what to make of it. It's all familiar, stuff that's been thrown at me for years. But I don't know if I can let myself try.
I started seeing a therapist last week. I was dead set against a woman, and didn't even like this woman the first time I met her. But it's not like anything I've ever done before. I'm broken down into pieces and I talk to them. It's scary and I want to run back into the games I've always played. But maybe it can be different this time.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
"oh, her? the quiet one?"
"Why are you so shy?"
"How come you never smile?"
Questions I've heard my whole life. I've inhabited silence until it swallowed me whole, until words disappeared from my lips nearly entirely and stayed in my head, unable to float out. I turned inside out, frozen in myself. My silence protected me, and then it ensnared me. I played dead.
I am always wondering who I could have been in words and facial expressions, who I could have let in. But I am still scared of letting out.
No one ever asked the meaning of my silence. They took it for absence. My silence is not nothingness, it's dense and expansive. It's a language of its own. Therapists and hospitals have left me in it alone, taken it for checking out, for defense, for opposition.
"What is your silence about, in here?"
My eyes spill over. Like someone is dangling a life preserver in front of me and I can't reach it. I am new to words not written on paper. My words are learning to walk on crutches.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
I got this box when I was 8.
As I got older it was used for other things
I found it in my basement the other day, thrown into a cardboard box a couple years ago when we had to move quickly. I don't have to hide my razors anymore, they sit out next to my bed with my contacts and glass of water and notebooks, a normal fixture. Gone are the days of lock and key, cheerful childhood plastic boxes.
Once when I was sectioned, they took my box of razors and my knife and stored it neatly in a locker. When I was discharged home they were handed back.
Friday, May 6, 2011
...Nobody watched me before, now I am watched. The tulips turn to me, and the window behind me Where once a day the light slowly widens and slowly thins, And I see myself, flat, ridiculous, a cut-paper shadow Between the eye of the sun and the eyes of the tulips, And I hve no face, I have wanted to efface myself. The vivid tulips eat my oxygen. "
Saturday, April 23, 2011
a girl who keeps slipping off,
arms limp as old carrots,
into the hypnotist's trance,
into a spirit world
speaking with the gift of tongues.
She is stuck in the time machine,
suddenly two years old sucking her thumb,
as inward as a snail,
learning to talk again.
She's on a voyage.
She is swimming further and further back"
Monday, April 11, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
I collect fathers like fallen change scooped desperately into hollow pockets, abandoned by adult daughters or disappointed sons. It’s ironic, myself a deserted daughter. But these fathers try to redeem themselves and I want their care, any care. I want to be contained and cared for in the purest form. I listen to stories retold over and over, absorb scolding and advice, bask in the glow of the smallest praise and recognition. It’s pathetic, this 20 something grown-up 6-year-old adopting dads who are an imperfect illusion, dying to be the perfect child for the reformed bank robber, the lonely liquor store manager, any older man who will see the fragile broken girl and not cross a line. I wear the pink plastic watch he picked out, ask the right questions, accept rides home, a ragdoll child dying of thirst, whoever you want me to be.
“…pretend I am a person
and love me back into my flesh”~marge piercy
Saturday, March 26, 2011
So close to graduation and I'm struggling to hang on. I broke down at my internship talking to my supervisor. One of the staff members has been questioning my weight/eating. I walk through my days like a black hole, sucking everything in, unfilled, and giving nothing.
No one wants to know, and I don't blame them.
Monday, March 14, 2011
I self-destruct and I bring bad luck
And then I always change my mind
My friends they all go away
And my love it disappears
Try to forget that we ever met
And start over next year
I break my teeth, I bruise my heart
I get it together and it falls apart
I hold my breath, I bury my head
I run back home and stay in bed
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Already I walk around school with eyes that see it as the past. In a few months it will be permanently behind me, and I'm already mourning it. the fear and uncertainty of the future makes me view the past few years as safe and simple. It makes me forget the anger and isolation, the barely-here, the loneliness. I spent the entirety of my time here buried in myself. I didn't have the "college experience" of friends and parties. I had plates of lettuce and bags of vomit, hidden boxes of razorblades and stashes of pills.
was wasting away, shivering, the pain of bones against wooden chairs in long lectures. Stumbling across campus, hospital bracelet dangling off my wrist while moving into the dorms, my mother doubting I would make it through the year. She was right. But I can't remember anything but standing shivering on a scale each morning; an apple; the size of my jeans. the blur of waiting rooms and barely caught breath, frenzied nights of floating on nothingness, speeding through Nietzsche and rambling essays.
was my return after another semester lost. My highest weight, starving but bloated on anti-psychotics. I don't want to leave my dorm, my old body swallowed whole by this stranger in the mirror. I remember nothing but blood and blades and my mental map of bathrooms.
Year 3 is a fog of falling asleep and nearly flunking classes, a haze of seroquel and zyprexa and lithium. My photo self-portrait showing my suffocation in this body, this mask.
Year 4 was only halfway through, no more strength to force smiles and lift myself out of bed. my brain too devoured to read a single textbook page.
Year 5, I'm at the end. It's taken me so long to get here, so many lies and faking and fighting. I didn't plan on making it here. I have no idea what I'm doing.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
'But me,' Brandy says, still in the bathroom doorway, still looking at her chipped nail polish, 'I'm making the same mistake only so much worse, the pain...and in the end my whole body is my story.'"
-Invisible Monsters , Chuck Palahniuk
photo: Francesca Woodman
Friday, February 11, 2011
"My body is a torn mattress,
Disheveled throbbing place
For the comings and goings
Of loveless transients.
The whole of me
Is an unfinished room
Filled with dank breath
Escaping into gasps to nowhere
Before completely objective mirrors.
I have shot myself with my eyes,
but death refused my advances.
I have walked on my walls each night
Through strange landscapes in my head
...I can't go out anymore.
I shall sit on my ceiling.
Would you wear my eyes?"
photos: Francesca Woodman
Saturday, January 22, 2011
"I have been close enough to death
to know that there is a time
when life is indistinguishable from pain,
when you want to turn your face
to the wall and pass through it
into the fog that slowly lifts on the wind
and goes into the air and the earth,
and each molecule becoming something else"
Friday, January 14, 2011
"I walk wakeful and every day
is a calendar square like a prison yard
to pace. Every day is laid on
me and torn off like a bandage
on a slow dripping wound"
As a child, every year I headed toward felt dooming. I rushed to not waste them; the future was a brick wall. Now at 25 I feel like my life is over. I'm not excited to graduate in a few months. I have to, because I don't belong in school anymore and I can't fail at this yet again. But I don't feel like I can have a life afterward. I definitely can't work with kids or teenagers. i see a group of teenage girls on the bus or a child holding hands with a parent and I feel so much grief.
I just want to feel safe and contained. I continue to search. At 25 I still stare at yellow-lit windows of houses at night while I walk, wondering when I will return to two parents who’ll wonder where I’ve been, who will ask me how I’m doing, take care of me. At 25 that is never going to happen. I’m supposed to be that for someone else and I can’t. I had my chance but it wasn’t enough. Nothing is enough for me. I suck up love and concern like a black hole. I can’t be filled, there’s never enough to sustain me. If you didn’t get what you needed back then, is anything after that ever enough?
What do you do when you’ve never lived? When you can’t recall a single day spent in your body instead of outside it, or a day spent outside of your head, the judgments that swirl around. I wish I had regrets. I have nothing solid. I spend nights looking at pictures of other people’s lives, trying to remember what my life felt like. I remember the past like I lived a hundred different lives, none connected to me, but only to the people who were with me. If they aren’t with me now all is lost; I can’t hold on to the feelings, they slip away. Each chapter of my life passing is like a death.
I was six and sobbing after any good day passed, scared I wouldn’t be able to hold onto it. I was right. That was the year I started saving everything, and was given my first journal; continuously replaced and furiously scribbled into, minute details, because if they were forgotten had I ever even existed? What child barely starting out in life fears time running out, pressing down? I was six and my summer of needles and hospitals and legs splayed open had changed me. I understood the future with a sense of doom, with the approaching procedures and symptoms I was powerless to stop. Time was a wave and there was nothing to cling to. My life soon became one eternal clinging, as if to lose anything is to lose myself. My self tied with others, with objects, any reminder or proof of my own existence.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
It's hard to choose a random name, pick up the phone when you're at your most vulnerable, and pray that the person on the other end, with all this power, won't be an asshole. Since ending with my therapist over the summer, I've taken that risk 3 times. The first two times I was dropped after just a few words about my history. This last time, about a week ago, I was hopeful despite myself. Dr.Q hadn't hung up on me or suddenly lost all his openings; his voice sounded calm, and he fit me in a couple days after my call. His office was off of a gorgeous street in Cambridge, within walking distance from my house. I was holding out for this day like a life preserver. Had I learned nothing?
I tried to overlook the rumpled shirt, running sneakers, and choice of hat wear, the sitting back in a recliner, and the barely-acknowledging of me, the girl in front of him, look beyond the questions he instantly dived into between jotting notes. I know some therapists like to get through their questions and all that, but they weren't even good questions. For instance, he asked and wrote down the age and occupation of my boyfriend, but never asked how long I've been depressed, eating disordered, didn't take family history, etc. I barely got to talk at all, in fact; everything I said was brushed off or talked over. You would think that 20 years in practice would have taught him to at least be able to listen.
We briefly went through my history, stopping to argue about medication. He said if I worked with him he'd strongly suggest that I be on something. I told him that wasn't an option, that I've been overmedicated and had horrible side effects. Medication doesn't work. He said, "Well if that's your attitude it's not going to." Yeah, no shit. That's called a placebo effect.
I said so many telling things that he couldn't even hear. He didn't so much as ask me my treatment goals. And his solution? I'm supposed to go out and buy the book Learned Optimism, read the first 100 pages and really take notes. And pay special attention to chapter 12! That's when it tells you what you need to do! Well thank fucking God. What was I doing in all these hospitals and treatment programs? All I had to do was read chapter 12 in this fuck's book! I just need to be less pessimistic! He said I seem "fairly intelligent" and should find a job where I really use my brain. "The key to happiness are in work and love." Wow, who knew it was that simple.
Well Dr. Q, you asshole, I'm glad you, with your almighty psych degree, know what's best for me while knowing nothing about my thoughts and feelings. Thanks for all the great advice I didn't ask for. I'll be sure to read that book even though I'm so malnourished and crippled by depression that I can barely focus or concentrate on anything. Of course, I won't forget to "focus on the positives" even though i'm crippled by the past and hardly functioning day-to-day.
If I ever see that book I will burn it.