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Reflections/Forty Days (asleep)
"Rekindle" by Brave Bird [A cute song—sounds like, coming-of-age]
I'm counting to ten
You’ll run out of time
Do you know that I cheat?
There's no time to hide
You're drawing my bath
In the kitchen sink
I was too young to stand
Maybe too young to think
That the world is so bad
Because there’s no place to hide
You found me too fast
Was eaten alive
And I feel like I'm sad
Try to make myself cry
If I fall down the drain
What a fun way to die
July 16, 2020 Thursday
I guess I'll begin with my dreams. Pretty normal, except the other night when I had a dream that I was a young boy, and me with a group of kids were told to all board the back of an army-style truck (the kind with the truck bed covered by a tarp and low benches going down the side, with an open back). I didn't want to, because I knew the old man was going to kill us. I kept looking around for an alternative way up the mountain, but all the ski lifts were dark and hanging still. The other kids didn't like me (I had one friend only), or were at least very annoyed with me, piling into the truck and complaining that I was, idk, spoiling the fun or something. I remember the old man's smile as he looked back at us from the driver's seat. He wanted to cut us open. He had yellowish gray teeth, scraggly hair—overall, a cliché, the kind of old man that you'd find at the beginning of a movie, a red herring of a villain, and the characters later find out he's a super nice guy who spent his entire youth caring for his dying mom or some shit, I dunno. He looked like that, but he was actually just as shitty as he looked (so much for depth). I hopped out of the back of the truck and started running and telling everyone else to run. Some of the kids began to realize and clamored to get out, but it was too late, and everything exploded and I got splattered with their blood and my friend's arm jettisoned outward and landed at his mom's feet (the rest of his body in pieces scattered somewhere else, or shredded by the blast). I crawled towards the adults and they all got really mad at me for letting people die. And somehow I'd lost two thirds of my tongue to the ordeal (burnt nub like acid). I think that comes from this short story I read yesterday, "A Worn Path," in which the old lady Phoenix's grandson was perpetually in need of medication because he had swallowed lye some years before and his throat was scarred.
I had another dream a couple days ago, where I ran into Adrian and we sat on the curb (me, reluctantly). He asked me some questions about my life and vice versa—just small talk. Then I told him I had to go and I left. This has to be one of the first Adrian dreams in a long time that hasn't ended in anxiety/anger/shame. I felt okay, but relieved to leave him behind again. When I woke up, I was wondering if I had forgiven him, but then I remembered that things don't happen like that. I didn't just "forgive" him. I think I healed a little, though. I know there will be times in the future where I will be angry and bitter at him again. Hurt. But I feel fine right now. I was going through a folder on my desktop labeled "Friends," and there was a picture of Adrian and I sitting next to each other in the dark lounge of a food shop downtown, should-to-shoulder (like a damn dog, if he was sitting near me, that was not enough—there had to be contact). I was making a face because Alexis had taken the photo while I was in the middle of eating an empanada. Adrian was looking moodily into the camera, all sharp angles and, because he is very bony and with a conventionally attractive, he could've been the front cover of some stranger's EP. I remember there was a jazz band playing live. Anyway, I looked at that picture for a minute or so, and I felt sort of—sad? Not in a bad way, though. Nostalgic?? But I don't want to go back; I stand by my decision to end our friendship. We looked happy in that picture, and we were happy for a lot of moments after that too—remembering specifically the late-night drives we took midsummer after senior year; we stopped in the cemetery and ran around for awhile. But I also remember him touching my elbow and I flinched. And I remember him getting a speed ticket at 4 AM and I told him to stay at my house that night because I was worried he was too tired to drive home, and he laughed when I dropped my phone in the driveway and it cracked, which pissed me off because I was really upset about it, which he wouldn't understand, because he breaks things all the time and never experiences the consequences. He kept me up for the rest of the night, which annoyed me. I felt bad leaving him downstairs alone. I was relieved when he left my house at 9 in the morning; he gave me a stupid little toy, it was a rubber fly. Why the fuck did he give me a rubber fly? Boys be giving me toys all the time. Stuffed animals and shit. This is STILL true. Why!??!?!?! I don't want!!! A fucking stuffed animal!! I'm not a stuffed animal/toy girl!!! I was so mad at him.
I was always really mad at him. He never understood what I was trying to say, and I never liked the way he still pretended like he DID understand. I never liked the way he put up a front; a very poor front. A deceptive sort of deepness about him; it felt like when he spoke, he was performing, and the performance changed depending on who it was or what he wanted to achieve. This is called code-switching—but it was more than that. It was much more than that. It was like he was just pretending to be a person, following the lines of a natural narrative, shaping a character. I loathed it.
He was always around, even when I told him I didn't want him to be around. On the bright side, he taught me some level of assertiveness (taught me how to argue with a friend, that is). He dropped by my house with cookies one night. Before, he had asked if he could come over, and I told him no, but he didn't listen. He came over anyway, because he was hoping he could stay, but he didn't say that because I didn't let him. I was really mad. Especially mad because I knew how it looked. I *knew* it looked like I was being the asshole, even though I had set up a boundary and he had crossed it. "He was just bring you cookies!" I know. But I told him I didn't want to see him and I was serious. See? Here I am. I'm still desperately defending myself from his cloying affection. He just kept pushing, and pushing, and pushing, and pushing. He didn't respect my wishes. He didn't believe me when I said no. It felt like no one believed me, so I wondered if they were right (I know Alexis and Liv believed me, at the very least. But part of me is still super paranoid that they were just lying to me).
The night on the bunk bed, and the way everything was slipping and sliding and we were dancing and he laid me down on the bed and rubbed up against me and I froze, partially turned on and partially horrified and absolutely unable to take action and I wasn't mad at him until I got sober the next day. I'm sure he was confused. *I* was confused. But now I know that this was an escalating symptom of what had always been a lack of respect for my boundaries, and my own weakness (my warring desire to be close to him, but then the opposing part that hated him).
The thing is, the only way I can stop from feeling guilty is by explaining it to myself: that particular time, he should not have done that. He did not control his impulse and I was too young and drunk to know what was happening. He was also drunk, but I don't forgive him for that. Especially because he never had the thought, that it might've hurt me. I should've said something. I don't know. Maybe we were both stupid. But even now, if he were to come up to me right now, I would be cordial, but I would never be able to trust him again.
The halloween thing is something else entirely. Toxicity on both of our parts. We were literally screaming at each other in the middle of an Albany street, outside of a house party (this was almost 3 years ago, when I was 18). One of the drunkest nights of my life. I remember, with a lot of guilt, that he showed me and another girl that he had a half-chub (us lying on the bed, he standing at the edge of it) and we asked if we could touch it and we did. And then I ran to the bathroom and retched a few times. He sat with me on the bathroom floor and held my hand (I took it away when I was sober enough). It was 6 in the morning. I asked him why he thought I was pretty (we'd been fighting all night about him being in love with me or some variation of that—I was angry at him always pushing at me, he was angry at me for being angry). I don't want to think about his reply. I sat on the front porch until my sister arrived to pick me up. I cried on the bus ride back to Providence. I decided I couldn't have a friendship like that anymore—where we were always fighting, and he was always wanting, and it was always ME resisting and always ME giving in, always me me me—being responsible for every fucking moment, and it's not HIS fault, no, he's just a kid, one generally known for being irresponsible (mr. runs-to-class-and-is-still-five-minutes-late-every-single-time), so HE doesn't have to change. I bore the fucking brunt of everything there. I'm sure he feels the opposite, since I was always getting mad and not always for good reason. So he probably feels like he was always being yelled at for no reason (I can imagine him saying something stupid, laughing, like "maybe I like to be abused" idk it's been awhile).
Adrian's probably changed in some abstract ways, he probably doesn't think about me, or if he does, he's probably just as angry and hurt as I am. I am going to continue feeling I deserve to be mad, and he will continue feeling that he deserves to be mad, and we will never speak again. So I guess I am still angry, but mostly angry that there is no clear villain here. We should not have been friends. I let myself get taken in by the feeling of being loved, and he liked being close to me. I don't know if I'm thankful for those nice moments. I can't change that they happened, I guess. I am sad when I think about it, maybe because I know they were rare and brief and none of it should've existed in the first place. This is the place where I'm supposed to accept that it did happen and that it *always* would've happened that way, but I'm not quite there yet. I am only in the place where I can understand that we were a bit younger than we are now; that I won't have a panic attack if I see him again; and that I am glad it's over.
I feel awake! It feels like I slept through the entirety of June and more. Probably more than 40 days, but 40 is a good number. I have no claim over it, being non-religious and all, but it's a nice idea anyways—that I entered a weird limbo state, where most things sloughed off, and it was just me, 12 hours of sleep, and slow trudging through Jane Eyre (whereas I read quickly in May, my reading rate dropped off when June came). Obviously, there were some days when I had more energy, but overall it felt like I was empty-headed. Not unhappy by any means—just empty, and unwilling to take in new ideas, let alone produce them. I was just unconscious and it feels like I just woke up last week.
I went through my first "episode" that I've had in a long time. I was beginning to get anxiety a while ago. Probably start of July. Most alarming were the thoughts of suicide. The passive wondering about ways to kill myself, late-night google searches that read something like "What does it mean if you want to kill yourself but you're happy?" because I wasn't sad at all. Sat on the toilet n thought about death. Wasted a lot of money on Sims 4 expansion packs. Anyway this culminated in, last Monday, me waking up full of energy and anxiety and ideas and knowing I was gonna go thru some shit soon, lmao.
Like, I think I had already had trouble sleeping. I slept over at my sister's on Saturday. I always have trouble sleeping when I'm on her couch, but it was worse this time, because I couldn't stop thinking about how painful things were, and how I just wished things were easy and I was worried that I would never be able to live well because I would just ruin everything for myself and I wanted so, so badly to die, not because I wanted to die but because I was tired and I wanted to rest. I felt cheerful again the next day, but that's just because daytime is distracting and night is quiet and you can hear all the stuff in the back of your head like waking dreams saying funny stuff with the same intonations as your family uses, only that's not your family, it's your thoughts, and you feel invaded a bit, because you can hear their gestures but not their words and why is the dreaming part of you awake right now, when you're sitting in your bedroom nowhere near asleep and in fact playing a game? Their voices rise up sometimes in your head and you wonder if this is normal. It is normal—it is. You're used to that voice, only usually, she sticks much closer to you, she says half-thoughts, but they still feel relevant, whereas when she hasn't had time to herself, I guess she runs amok and becomes other people. I don't know if this makes any sense. It's not a hallucination—just thoughts, happening in the background and without me.
Anyway that dream-talk is a consequence of over-socializing, and it's not nearly as malignant as the voiceless despair that rises up out of all the quick little image-words. I can't think of a shape to fit it into. It is devastating. I knew it would pass. This too shall pass. I think I remember saying once, a long time ago, on this diary, "This too shall pass, my ass," and I stand by that but also, it does pass. But then I wonder if it's "worth" it. I'm always comparing and contrasting the values of experiences. Maybe that's my problem!
Point is, last Monday, I felt creative. I started like 3 projects all on the same day after waking up at like 9 in the morning (or was that the day I only got 3 hours of sleep after waking up at 2 AM unable to get back to unconsciousness? That happened sometime last week but I don't remember when). This was the first time I had started literally anything in a long, long time. Like, since May, probably. Or before? I don't know. I knew I was on borrowed time, because I already felt the frenicity setting in (beginning, of course, with the stomach-burning feeling). Lo and behold, the axe fell on Tuesday/Wednesday, when I got stressed over a work thing (we're editing scenes!!). I now know I overreacted and that I am not performing poorly at work, but at the time, I was basically incurably anxious. Oh. Wait. THAT was the night I couldn't sleep. Yes, I remember now. I couldn't sleep for shit and I spent the entire next day basically comatose. All I could do was lay down and watch Youtube while doing puzzles. Anything that required any level of brain power would've sent me into a spiral, which in turn made me anxious, because what was I going to do if I was this week all the time?
Anyway, I e-mailed Lancelot on Thursday like a responsible patient, but we couldn't talk until our regular meeting a couple days ago. It was fine, because literally on Friday morning, I was cured off all terrible feelings. I feel good and light! I love my parents! I feel creative! I feel awake!!!! I don't know what's coming next. But I have to go for now, because I have a project to do for work and I want to get it done by 2 AM (it is now midnight). Bye!