“You don’t believe in yourself.”

I believe in myself, I just don’t believe in anything else.

My skin is at an all-time low now that I’ve, once again, increased my dosage of Lithium. I don’t know if it’s helping. It might be. I don’t feel so full of despair, or at least it’s not overwhelming. But I start my last year of undergraduate school tomorrow and that could be change. I’m not ready to wake up at 6:30am, to drive 45 minutes to campus, to block out the sounds of young, obnoxious voices droning on and on. I’m not ready to be so physically and mentally exhausted, and so drained. I’m not ready to read four different books at once and struggle to retain the information.

I’m not ready for any of it.

I dyed all of my hair teal and this seems like the opposite thing for me to do, considering I don’t want to be seen. At all. Ever. By anyone. Encouraging attention is the last thing I want at this point in time.

My friends have too much faith in the world. Or too much faith in me. Maybe both. I’m not capable of much. I can barely scrape by while doing the bare minimum.

I want to land a teaching job without needing a PhD. Or, if I need the PhD, I want it to be worth it. I want to be held in high regard. I want people to know my name, to read my writing in various magazines and papers and yes, books too. I want my talent to be recognized. I want a modest house in the Pacific Northwest and a job at a modest college. I want a dog and gardens in the yard. I want my friends to always be by my side, even if we separate physically, and I want someone to love me. I don’t want to succumb to suicidal ideation. I want to eat healthy and go hiking on the weekends and have a good dentist and decent health insurance. I want to feel good about myself. I want, I want, I want…

I had a dream the other night that I shot myself in the chest with a revolver and a giant bloody hole was left, and then I told the person in front of me to shoot me in the head, and then I woke up. I don’t know what this means.

I do believe in myself.

I do.

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Plebeian

It’s all confusing all of the sudden. I don’t know what I want. Or maybe I do, but I feel like an asshole for admitting it. I want a relationship without the work. Dating is tedious and expensive and, most often, a waste of time.

I don’t feel like I belong anywhere now. I have no structure within myself, no sense of security. A giant part of what I thought I knew about myself collapsed and I feel lost and bewildered, and grasping at the air for answers.

If I were a Deadly Sin, I’d be envy.

I envy those who are happy. Those who don’t have crippling mental disorders. Those who don’t need to take medication after medication. I envy heterosexuals. I envy homosexuals. I envy people who know their place. I envy people who have the confidence to flirt, to smile disingenuously at another person and get their shit for free just for passing as objectively attractive. I envy people who simply fuck, just fuck someone because it’s what they wanted. I envy people who get what they want.

Tomorrow I will wake up and be the same as I am now. I will not have a book, or even a novella, or even a single story or poem, in publication. I am not going abroad, ever, in my entire academic career. I don’t have money, but I do have a spending problem.

I’m going to wake up and make tea, eat a banana, fall asleep on the couch, and smoke cigarettes on the patio by myself, all the while wishing for something, anything. Water to close over my head forever. A mouthful of blood. A new self.

Something.

Current Jams XIV

“Happy” – Mitski. The non-stop heartbeat-esque sound in the background of this sound makes me feel anticipation, and although the anticipation is never satisfied, this song earns its place on repeat. The slightly ominous trumpets accompanying the low, almost agonized vocals makes for a cathartic experience. Favorite lyric: “And when you go take this heart, I’ll make no more use of it when there’s no more you.”

“Past Life” – Tame Impala. The limited use of sung vocals in this song makes this a really intriguing thing to listen to. The distorted male voice speaking about an eerie day of encountering “a lover from a past life” takes you on a journey that maybe all of us could relate to–an ordinary day turned strange. Favorite lyric: “So I go about my day as normal / But I can’t seem to pass it off as just a random event / It consumes me / I thought I was moving on but I guess I was just switching off.”

“Stronger Than Ever” – Raleigh Ritchie. I kind of always passed over this song without much thought–I never truly listened to it. But today I really listened to the lyrics and realized how well, in this moment, I could relate. It has almost a crescendo effect, starting small and meek and becoming loud and triumphant…perhaps mimicking life. Favorite lyric: “I’m not alone, I’m not alone/ Who am I kidding? I’m sad, no ideas coming / It’s driving me mad and I’m fighting it / It’s turning me bad, I’m loaded, rage is taking me over.”

“Paranoid Android” – Radiohead. While OK Computer has always been lower on my list of favorite Radiohead albums, it’s undeniably innovative and changed British rock and pop forever. There is truly nothing else like it. Like all other Radiohead songs (and videos), I’m left wondering, What does this mean? Maybe the guys were on to something when they wrote this song…perhaps we’re all just paranoid androids. The escalation from flute sounds and mild vocals to screeching guitars and wild drums is an interesting one, to say the least. Favorite lyric: “When I am king, you will be first against the wall / With your opinion which is of no consequence at all.”

“Wolf Moon” – Type O Negative. Only Peter Steele could make a song that’s essentially about menstruation undeniably sexy. I normally save my love for Type O Negative for the fall and winter, but they’re excellent any time of year, really. True to their typical style, this song is rich and intense, and Peter Steele’s vocals reverberate true gothic metal. I wish this song went on forever: Favorite lyric: “Don’t spill a drop, dear / Let me kiss the curse away. / Yourself in my mouth, will you leave me with your taste?”

“Ob La Di, Ob La Da” – The Beatles. It took me a full 22 years to enjoy The Beatles, and I’d definitely like to explore more of their music. This is a very catchy tune, with its repetitive piano score and happy-go-lucky chorus. I still can’t figure out why they have a dog barking in the background, but maybe that’s all part of the mystery. Favorite lyric: “In a couple of years they have built / A home sweet home/ With a couple of kids running in the yard/ Of Desmond and Molly Jones.”

“Love Out Of Lust” – Lykke Li. A slightly somber, slightly introspective, as well as abstract, song. I’m very particular with female vocalists and gravitate toward male vocals, but I really like the smooth yet almost gravelly sound of Lykke Li and he obscure, poetic lyrics. This song reminds me of feeling lonely in the middle of winter, really. Favorite lyric: “Rather live out a lie than live wondering / How the fire feels while burning.”

“Overnight Sensation” – BORNS. How can one not fall in love with BORNS? With his upscale pop tunes and falsetto voice, there’s not a whole lot to be disappointed by. I normally tire of love songs, but painting the picture of a dazzling woman one just happens to notice fares well for me. Favorite lyric: “You look like you should be a centerfold/ But I’m talking Playboy 1974 / They sure don’t make them like you anymore / Read between your tan lines, forevermore”

What have you been listening to?

Kurjuus

Your room is beginning to feel like a prison.

Even outside doesn’t feel much better. The air is thick and oppressive and you feel like you can’t really go anywhere–not that a change of scenery would really make a huge difference. Your problems follow you everywhere you go because your problems are, quite simply, yourself.

You want to eviscerate yourself and inspect every organ, every muscle, every piece of tissue that spills out of your belly. Your throat burns. You light another cigarette and feel like you might fall over for a split second. The phone rings but it’s not a number you know.

Hearing about everyone else’s lives is exhausting. You have nothing to say. Yet being alone wears on you–you want someone else to talk to. The silent conversations that take place in your head make you feel insane. But again, everyone else is exhausting. The way they smoke their cigarettes annoys you. The way they purse their lips when they want to say something cruel but don’t. The way they sigh. The way they look at you in anticipation of some sort of emotion, some sort of visceral reaction, only to be dumbfounded when they receive nothing.

Your self-deprecating remarks have worn down on those you call your friends, and you can feel them distancing themselves from you. But you are not happy, not even close, and you don’t know what else to say.

You may be completely lucid, completely self-aware, but that is not always a good thing.

You want to be able to breathe without feeling like you’re suffocating.

You want everything to stop hurting your heart so much. That’s all you really want.

 

Letter to My Mother

 

I suppose I don’t even know where to begin with this. I’ve written about you in essays, poems, and stories, and admittedly, the essay was the hardest to write, because I’d rather keep my distance from myself. Fiction allows me to do that, and fiction allows me to change certain things so an unknowing reader would never be any the wiser. But what happened is not fiction, as much as it may feel like it sometimes.

At the time, you were upset with my brother and I that we found the evidence to incriminate you. When confronted, you lied over and over and swore on everything that you, claimed, anyhow, to be precious to you that none of it was true, that the email was a misunderstanding. And we gave you the benefit of the doubt. I remember actually believing you and now I’m not entirely sure why. But one cannot misinterpret texts which you, indeed, left open. But you got angry with me for snooping and “invading in your privacy.” Blake and I did not believe you this time, and I threatened to take the pictures I took of the messages to our father. But we softened–I because I was worried about what actions my father would take against himself, not against you. Blake because he didn’t want the family to fall apart.

But now, nearly two years later, I fantasize about what would have actually happened if I had taken it to my father. It would have been a mess, sure, but what happened regardless was undoubtedly a mess as well. I don’t think you realize how wrong it was of you to request that your children keep such a vile secret from their father, and pretend as if everything was the same. And last July, when it all became unraveled…I don’t even remember what exact emotions I felt. I remember repeatedly calling Blake but he was working. I remember texting him, and being exiled to the garage while you and my father talked for hours. In the days and weeks to come, I could barely function. I spent most of my time furious and upset, often crying. I remember sitting on a bench on Park Avenue and wondering which men walking by you had slept with. I wondered if you had slept with any of my professors, or any faculty at my school, or anyone I might have known. It filled me with disgust that I had to wonder that. I could not function as a normal person.

Blake told me not to tell anyone, but of course I did. I told all four of my closest friends, because why wouldn’t I? I was hurting, and am hurting, and I do not regret doing so. Bennett spent many hours with me as I cried and cried over your actions and your complete disregard for said actions. You played innocent and tried to downplay all the things that kept getting regurgitated, all housed on your computer and phone. I cursed you, called you a whore, said you deserved nothing, and although it has been a year and I know you have all of your meetings and therapists and other “sex-addict” friends to support you, I still stand by what I said. Whether or not sex addiction is a real diagnosis, I honestly do not care. I don’t think it excuses anything. If an alcoholic collides with another car while drunk and kills another person, they are held responsible, so what is the difference when it comes to your so-called addiction?

Speaking of therapy, I suppose I am glad you’ve found a support system, but I think you (and my father) forgot about your children. You roped us in from the beginning but decided not to take care of us like you’ve taken care of yourselves. Every time I saw Dr. Kumetat I would talk about you, my mother, and also my father, and cry, and become angry, and I had no solution for myself. He was right that hanging onto anger is toxic and only hurts me and no one else, but what am I to do when I live with you? And your marriage counselor’s suggestion of me moving out felt juvenile and petty. You took us to one single meeting with a woman who invalidated our feelings and basically told us to get out of your lives when, in fact, we are not the problem, you two are.

I do not know what to think of you as. You will always be my mother because you did, in fact, give birth to me and raise me, but you also committed a series of acts that demean your position. Would a mother really do such things? That is up for debate, I suppose. I am still filled with rage, rage that overwhelms me with just the very notion of your existence. I can’t stand the click of your nails on your laptop or phone (perhaps it reminds me of dirty activity, now that I think about it), or even the mere sight of your face. I hate that we resemble one another physically, because I am nothing like you. I will never be like you. I am so glad I do not want to have children, for many reasons, but one of them being that they will never have to, also, be deceived by their grandmother. You anger me. You anger me so much. And I do not have any idea what to do about it other than leave the room when you appear.

Going back to how I told my friends, I’m sure that would upset you. Don’t worry–I don’t think they had any opinion of you before, anyway (aside from Bennett). I wish I could have told more people. I wish I could have broadcasted it all over the internet, but I am somewhat sane and have somewhat decent judgment so I never did. But it, frankly, pisses me off that you received no punishment for what you did–you did not lose your husband, not even temporarily, your dog, your house, your kids, nothing. You kept it all. And you kept the respect and love of friends, colleagues, and relatives because it was all swept under the rug and kept a secret. You even post photos of bouquets of flowers for hitting “personal milestones” to Facebook–so clever! But god forbid anyone actually know why. Sure, maybe it’s unreasonable to request a widespread wildfire of shame to be bestowed upon you, but I am still angry because absolutely nothing has been done. You can claim to feel bad all you want, and while I’m sure that’s valid, I think you are unaware of how horrible a person you actually are.

I could go on, but there is no point. This is a futile situation. It’s not like I want you dead, or even gone, I just want you to know exactly what you have done and to suffer even a little. To suffer the way I have suffered. The way my father has suffered. I stand by everything I said–I think you deserve nothing, no matter how many times you have apologized and will apologize in the future.