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2020-09-17 23:22:42 (UTC)

sick little world

"Fallin Rain" by Karl Blau

My mind is like a spring in a clock that won't unwind
I can't see, I can't think, I can't feel, I'm out of time
I'm up there, I'm down, tell me where is it going to end
You say: "Start at the beginning of the end, my friend"
I hear thunders and I can feel the wind
I can see angry faces in the eyes of men
And don't forget Kent State were kids lay bleeding on the ground
And there's no place on this planet where peace can be found
So there'll be stabbings and
Shootings and young men dyin' on the ground
It keeps goin' through my brain and I can still hear the sound
I hear talking of people: "The whole world has gone insane"
All there is left is the fallin' rain

September 17, 2020 Thursday 11:24 PM

tw: at some point I talk about a childhood incident involving some form of molestation, and I also talk about self-harm at a different point; overall, this is a bummer

I was like, "Why do I feel like this? Lol." And I think it's because I just finished reading Flaubert's "A Simple Heart," and, while I found it very dull for the first 6 pages (out of 21), I got sucked in by Félicité's innate positivity, and I felt the ups and downs of her life acutely, and it eventually depressed me. I don't think I'm supposed to feel hopeless coming out of a story like that—maybe hopeless isn't the right word for what I feel. Empty, maybe. It was 20 pages encompassing an entire life, and those satellite lives. That's a lot of happiness and sadness and nothingness to cram into a small space. I'm reading it for a theory class aimed at creative writers, and it's clearly doing its job—I'm thinking, already, about the definition of a "short story" and short story structure and what gives a written work worth, etc. etc. Kind of. Superficially, I am considering these things. But on a much deeper level, I am just mourning. Mourning the end of the story, the re-entrance into my life. Not that my life is, uh. Anything to sneeze at. I don't know—something ended, another thing resumed. Call me sentimental, it gave me a feeling.

Felicité clearly mourned things, gave them reverence. An absurd, irrational, almost grotesque amount of reverence (thinking, in particular, of her pet parrot, which she gets taxidermied). She unwittingly carries everything painful with her, loves and re-loves and re-mourns in the same cycles and it begins to erode at her, until she is the one that gets to leave. But she is never bitter, and that is very interesting to me, and maybe the saddest thing about her.

I feel bitterness quite acutely. I feel most negative emotions very acutely. It is difficult for me to forget this last weekend, the weird inwardly-turned violence of it. What if I'd been born the kind of person who aimed their hurt outward? I think my parents would've put more effort into my mental health, LOL. Only because outward violence towards other people is much harder to hide than cutting, which graduates/erodes into self-bruising, which graduates/erodes into pockets of... of I don't even know. Of whatever this is? I haven't cut myself in years. I was not as attached to it as I was the hope it symbolized; hope for help. Not that I would've admitted it was a cry for help. I would've said I deserved it, but I don't think I necessarily thought I deserved it. Well, I did, in some way, but mostly I wanted someone else to know that I thought I deserved it, so they could tell me I didn't.

Anyway, I am much the same now, only instead of attempting to hurt myself physically, I sort of just...

It disturbs me, how blind I am to the current situation. Is this the blindness of being present, or the sort of blindness that suggests I am in a weird state of mind that I won't be able to parse until I'm, like, 24 and sad about something else and working on a new set of coping mechanisms?

Whatever. There are some days that I think I will kill myself. Not even that I want to, nothing specific. Just the burning fear that I will do it, or that I won't. Age-old tension. My very noncommital and socially-distanced flirt with the afterlife. But if the afterlife made any move towards me, I'd be sprinting in the other direction, and I would feel very happy and new-eyed for the weeks following. A whole new perspective on life and living and what "matters."

I have a creepy dread, which is that I am slipping backwards, and have been slipping backwards. A creeping feeling that the identity crisis is setting in. Which annoys me, because people are always saying it's going to happen, and I was like, "Well, I won't let that happen, I'll prepare," but everything I thought I was doing to "prepare" led me to this moment, where I'm in my senior year of college and I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know if it matters, but everyone tells you it matters, and they only say it doesn't matter when they're trying to make you feel better about how lost you are.

It's stupid to think, but that's how it was. In high school, my goal was to get through the year, pass classes because I liked learning and I didn't like disappointing people (and I thought people would be disappointed if I didn't do well). And then, in senior year, that turned into challenging myself, becoming "smart" like people said I was, which is something that can only be validated by involvement in STEM (obviously not true but such was my repressed belief, and such continues to be my repressed belief). And then it became about college. I don't think I ever thought about college, except as a definite eventuality. I knew it would come and then when it came to doing the work, I became excited at the idea of leaving the same old. And then when I came here to school, I was trying to adjust, obviously, to being on my own while also trying to understand my own reasons for pursuing science (hint: bad reasons on shaky foundations), and discovering how fragile my artistic self-esteem was. And then I was working towards a literature degree and I was doing well, and then the next year I wasn't doing well and suddenly I was someone who was learning "russian" and it was more interesting and more viable than being a (bad) writer. And I was crawling through that year on the tide of an identity crisis that began that summer, the sudden realization or sensation that not only had I DONE nothing, but I had wanted nothing, and I still wanted nothing, except maybe to just exist, but that last option is for some reason quite unacceptable to me, and unacceptable to the fragile self-image I have built up, as a person who is "smart" (because I did my work so that I didn't disappoint anyone, because I didn't have anything better to do, because I have a good memory and a positive attitude towards learning).

Who knows where I disappeared to in those months following the induction of Lamotrigine into my sensitive system, but I was apparently elsewhere, in some place where I could handle stuff sort of, and I didn't have to think as much about what the future was going to be like. Although I wonder if all that was just a placebo, a self-made delusion, to just sort of get myself through the dregs of the year, and once I got home I was exhausted and I slept for what felt like a month, every day empty-headed and slipping into some distraction world in the form of games or books or something (mostly games), YouTube videos in the background to drown out thoughts, and I wasn't anywhere, especially not the future, although I still had a lot of nightmares about the past.

Now I am re-confronted with my very comfortable reality, which I say bitterly, because although I am comfortable, I am just... All the words I want to say are cliché. Little pre-made and eroded vessels that are supposed to float to you some vague understanding of what I feel when I describe myself as a "waste of space." It's not that I don't see the irony in it. Not ironic is the obvious sense, but in a more cosmic sense. Or perhaps cosmic is being a little too generous, since I am really more comparing superficial values that only make sense in human society. But my sense of irony in saying those words, about how I am value-less and hollowed-out, is kind of about my own comfortable little environment—my electric keyboard in the corner, the piles of pillows on my bed, the desktop and laptop on my desk, the pictures on my walls.

Such is the definition of my world. Everyone and everything outside of it of it falls away. I go from bubble to bubble. Sometimes, after I've been driving, I get out of the car and I feel confused because everything looks different, and not just because I've, you know, driven somewhere else—it's like my eyes are suddenly consolidating the two burning images in a new way, and I feel a weird twinge of concern, because I'm like, could I even see when I was driving? How did I manage to get here safely? I frequently feel young and anxious and blind getting in the car. It reminds me of my Hippie Aunt, and I refuse to be like her, so I ignore my slight terror when I drive on the freeway. Hippie Aunt can't drive on the freeway and one time she backed our (my) Honda into another car and put a dent in the back and she told us not to tell my parents because she would tell them herself (we totally told my parents and she did not ever mention it to them; she honestly probably forgot, or hoped we forgot. I don't think it was malicious, just self-preserving, out of a distant shame/defensiveness that comes up around her brother AKA my dad—but who knows, I'm making a wild guess).

Lancelot is closing his private practice. He told me this today and I feel... upset, probably. But also resigned. Makes sense. Some part of me, I am sure, is angry and betrayed by this, but if I am honest, I have felt angry and betrayed for months. My treatment with him stagnated last December, which I didn't really want to admit but I think it's true. I am going to miss him in some ways, but most of me feels guilty and embarrassed and eager to forget him. He will probably visit me in future nightmares until I forgive myself for whatever transgressions I seem to believe I have committed towards him. I know it's his job to listen to me and try to help me, but I can't help but feel like all I've been doing is thwarting his every attempt, and eventually (silently) taking small tidbits of his advice and then feeling too embarrassed to tell him.

I know he knows me, but also it feels like he doesn't know me, or I wish he didn't, and I wish I still had to explain myself and get angry with him for not understanding, but I don't. He knows it all, he got to the end and there's not much there, or at least not as much as I thought. Which, I suppose, is good, but when you have an absence a new thing must fill it. No occupancy, is the current state of affairs, given my general moodiness, but when that lifts—like it did, from about January to a fuzzy end beginning in April—then I will start furnishing it with other things and I will be both scared and sad for the end of the bad thing. It *is* a matter of when, and that may be the source of my quiet dread, is that it will lift and I will be somewhere else and I won't... I won't know what this feels like anymore. I won't feel so strongly that I throw up, and in a weird way, I am attached to that and desperate for it. It feels like the extreme I keep wanting.

But I want both things—I want to be capable and independent and confident, I want to be destroyed and shaking and starving—and they are not compatible in a way that is sustainable, which is very difficult for me to accept.

Today, when I hung up the phone with Lancelot, I felt really strange. Overwhelmed. Partway through his explanation, I felt the shutters close on my limbic system; they had heard everything, notarized the reports and sent it up the chain. I had taken in everything I could for the day and I was done. I know those shutters well. I went in to the kitchen and said some words about it to Maria, in an attempt to sort of satiate the peculiar unidentified feeling I might call "emptiness" if I were being lazy. And then I started cooking a thing that was vaguely inspired by borscht, but really ended up being more of a spicy-ish cabbage soup. It's pretty good and it will probably feed me for several days. I made eggplant parmesan on Sunday and I only just finished it yesterday. I am happy that my sister got me an insta-pot.

In some hyper-caffeinated ranting this morning, I told Maria that sometimes I thought my sister didn't think about me much, but then I started reflecting a lot on ADHD and how little I really understood it, and I wasn't just thinking about Caroline, I was thinking about Adrian and Matt, and incompatibilities, and I think I must miss my sister. I certainly miss my mom. Thinking about that is the first thing in this entire entry that makes me want to cry. As usual, I don't miss my dad much, although I love him. When I am near my dad, it's very similar to being far from my dad. We talk some, but it doesn't feel essential most of the time, except for once in awhile when NPR is on the radio and Dad isn't working for some reason, or we're taking a long drive, and he tells me about his research, his grad students, different events in the world, and population, and Bach, and I tell him about school, or my feelings, or I ask him questions about all those other things and try to offer my own thoughtfulness on the subjects. I miss those moments, but they are rare and they can happen easily in a phone call, if he happens to have time, and I don't... feel bitter about him having time or not having time. I definitely did, at some point, but I am mostly just very proud of him for trying to make the world a better place and for being a good person. And I miss him, if I think about it that way. It takes a bit of thought to miss him, but I miss him just as much as I miss mom and Caroline.

Caroline's way reminds me of Dad. She works a lot and is extremely focused on focusing on her goals. Whether she focuses successfully, I don't know. I don't feel like she ever tells me anything, but I think I'm just stuck in the habit of never giving her space to speak when I'm with her. Forever the little sister. I hope she and Joshua work out, because I think they balance each other very well, and it makes me want to cry to think, to think of people like Ethan, and how they treated her, and how alone she must've felt. I was her little sister. Ethan was family. She couldn't exactly tell me. She is used to not telling me things.

I thought about Stephanie a lot this summer. I still don't think of her negatively. I sometimes think of her mourningly, but I have a hard time believing she truly had any ill-intent towards me. I am not angry at my family for taking steps to protect me, and I am not angry at Stephanie and her family for reacting defensively. I just hope my family was the one to overreact, because the alternative is that Stephanie purposefully hurt me. Although I suppose it is not necessarily that clear. She was a troubled child; that did not necessarily persist until adulthood with the same vigor. And besides, I maintain that there was truly nothing sexual about the situation. It wasn't sexual, just invasive. Some perverse curiosity, some irresponsible knowledge of vaginas and birth and babies. And a sense of silence. I wonder what we did in the bathroom afterwards—did I go to the bathroom? Was I able to wipe myself at that age, or did she wipe for me? I know we washed our hands, but I only know that because my only memory after the pencil insertion is the way, at the landing outside my sister's bedroom, she held her fingers to my nose and told me to smell and she giggled because it was gross or something, but I recognize the smell even in my memory, as the smell of myself, which still exists, and I find that weird. We must've washed our hands and gone back to sleep. Caroline says the next day, Stephanie convinced everyone I was sick with a fever even though I was fine, and I remember that, but I didn't realize its connection to the first memory.

My sister, I think, had said that if I kept bring it up and re-remembering it, it must've really hurt me (which, in all fairness, I had been bring it up a lot in my diary at 18—I was on my own for the first time, out of my hometown, and thinking about dating, and thinking about my own feelings of anxiety towards intimacy, which, naturally, I wanted to blame on a singular event. Things are not that easy. I think, in retrospect, my sexual anxiety comes from... generalized anxiety disorder, lol). I do not remember fondly, the weird trickery that led me to my old therapist's office on my first winter break back home, and the crying and fury that ensued. For the most part, I try not to remember, but sometimes I do and it feels like a different person.

But most memories feel like a different person to me. Almost every memory except for the sensitive ones, which feel very intimately me, like I am directly responsible, and they are still warm and malleable, or I just think they're malleable, but really they're more foam-like, locked in shape and with a fair amount of shock-absorption. Good things frequently feel dissociated from me, moments in which I've achieved awards or made someone laugh, sometimes feel desperately far away, and I feel happy that they happened, but also very envious, because I have little faith that I can do anything that good ever again. It was a big fluke.

Anyway, it's becoming late. I am tired. I don't feel bad. I just feel... I am still confused about how I feel. Maybe the shutters are still closed. Limbic system, out of order. Cooking today was nice. I think I should start watching some cooking shows. Maybe this can be my coping mechanism.

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