To the Grind

Some days, all I have for the world is, Well, I’m not going to commit suicide today. That’s what I can do. And then I treat myself like I’m very incompetent and get through the day.
Welcome to today, tribal loves. My head is a jumble, a mean mine field detonating in chorus. In an hour I’m supposed to be at work where I haven’t been all week, because I’ve been feverish with a more feverish child to care for. Parents have dropped off Gatorade and Ramen at the door (no Plague for them), peanut butter and milk once we were past the hump of the virus. I have hardly seen any humans other than my sick kiddo and his dad on Monday. And my therapist.
I thought therapy was great yesterday, then I realized that I tricked my therapist into believing the dramatic love-shit coming off my tongue was the most important thing I could talk about yesterday in her office.
Here is the light inside, and I have to touch it now or I won’t make it today:
I know that when I get there, it’s going to be all right. I know that communing is what I do, and it’s Friday. We’ll play music in the cathedral on the jukebox, later on the stage. I will be as gentle with myself and others today as I need them to be with me, and we’re all going to wake up tomorrow.
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Mission 1.0

I found this meme on Instagram today that said something like: Mental wellness is not Fight Club. We can talk about it. (I don’t remember the precise words, and I couldn’t find it again because I’m still pretty lost on that platform. Signed, I’m 43)

It made me think of this album of selfies I took in 2010 when I impromptu dressed up as Marla Singer from Fight Club on Halloween and met my fresh-from-jail, married boyfriend at a frog pond in Kentucky to make Adderall-love on the dock next to a car I probably didn’t have permission to drive that night (I’m sorry, Nancy and Joan). I took the pictures first. In some of them, my daughter is smiling in the background.

So we can talk about it. Mental health, mental wellness, sadness, addiction, recovery, sexual assault and abuse. We can and should. If we talk about people we love who hurt us, awful things we’ve done to other humans, and all the ways we try to forget or heal it, we make a sound. We howl to our pack, call to our tribe. We stop being Alone.

Alone is when suicide comes like cancer. It’s a shadow that shows up, the dark spot that takes some people out. I wish those kinds of thoughts on no one, and I don’t fancy myself unique for having them.

We also need to laugh. One of my favorite lessons I learned while spectacularly failing out of a great undergrad creative writing program (I stopped wearing shoes for the most part at some point during my schooling) is: There are no sacred cows. None, fuckers. So if you don’t think a drug overdose can ever be funny (or if you’re related to me), maybe you don’t want to read my blog.

My mission is to hold cyber-hands and laugh whenever we need to.

In other news: therapy starts Monday, I still hate washing dishes, and I don’t really want to go to work today. But I’m going.

Over and out. See you—hopefully—on the sunny side.

 

 

12/6/18

Grace is waking up as late as your dizzy, dizzy head needs to and knowing that a stream of angels will pass through today, that your bar manager is getting your day covered for tomorrow so you can move out of your apartment on time. It’s relocating your three customers on yesterday’s shift (favorites all–trusted–five years ago you lied and said you were a niece to one [you and another bartender who has resurfaced too] so you could visit him in the ER after he fell off his bar stool) to the far side of the bar so you could share the small space heater on the counter away from the doors. Love is when one sunbeam fought through the awful December sky and landed all over you and you caught one of them seeing you bask in it without any objectification fucking up the warmth.
 
This is what it looks like when your circle knows you’re tired. They carry you.
 
Your mother packed your boxes while you practiced the tease with Old Man _____ at the bar. Sometimes you held his hands on the counter. He’s a kind old man who hugs you and tells you to be careful when he leaves always. He’s the one who fell all those years ago. This, too, is love and grace.
 
You spent as much in the jukebox as you made in tips, but you made it through and home. That’s what counts on those days.
 
Today is different. Better and just starting. I could die this afternoon, but I probably won’t. The fact that I can even type that out means I’m wandering out into thinner trees. My Tribe will come like they said they would, and somehow this will get done.

OMG. WTF, Me?

If my daughter stands any chance of surviving her sexual trauma, I have to deal with my own.

Yesterday I hung on the neck of an abuser I love like fireworks. The only maniac who would huff gasoline with  me in ___________’s basement when we were kids. An ex-roommate who threw his lit cigarette at me the night after he (date? friend? roommate?)raped me and claimed he did it in his sleep. The cigarette, not the sex.

He walked in where I work right now–a cavernous “sports” bar that rarely has more than ten customers on the day shift unless you count the quiet stream of gamblers who sit on the four machines along the front wall and bother no one. The Greek owner never pops for any pay-per-view, the huge screen on the wall rarely has anything projected onto it, and all the liquor bottles have electronic collars that tie each pour to the register and measure them out.

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This isn’t what bartenders at sports bars dress like.

I’m here because I’m on leave but need a tether to the outside world. FMLA days from a university job that I NEVER should have taken, except I learned a ton and–whatever. I went publicly insane for a while. Again.

Here, we are.

When my Shouldn’t Be Friend walked in, I hugged him like I was surrendering. I didn’t mean to. I hung like death on him, limp, because we haven’t seen each other in a year, and the way I’ve always dealt with this particular pain is to never try to see him but allow myself to take advantage of it when The Universe throws us back together. So I did.

This morning I’m sobbing. I’ve been in my bathroom with my hair pulled back, searching for a hair tie but spotting scissors. Walking out, then back again.

This is the kind of pacing I don’t want anyone to ever see, the physical manifestation of too-much-happening-in-my-head. Boyfriend did one time. It was just a glimpse, but I heard the catch and dawning in his voice when he saw it (it elicited tenderness ultimately, not a break-up, but I felt him seeing me–I think it startled him).

I swallowed a dozen pills in that apartment, the cigarette one. I don’t remember trying to die; I just wanted to go to sleep. We lived next door to rock stars, played poker with matches pilfered from another roommate’s diner job. I called ___________ and told him what had happened. He came and sat on our third-floor porch stairs that night, but he kept being Friends with him. And so did I.

I won’t write my child’s story here; I can only tell my own. Part of my story is learning how to safely mother a sexually traumatized child.

Yesterday was a gorgeous, terrible lesson. I have to deal with my own shit. FML.