Reassessment

Jax and I had not been a couple for awhile. We decided together that I would go off my meds and we would try for a baby. And I got sick. All by myself.

I understand, I really do, how very unapproachable I was, but he should have tried. In the end, I approached him. I apologized. We had a good talk. I was left feeling more alone. He never apologized, but at the time I was willing to shoulder the responsibility. I was very unapproachable.

We decided to give it another go, but it never went anywhere so I approached him again. I asked him how he felt and he confessed he couldn’t get past a couple of things. I was defensive. I felt abandoned. But there was no going back. It was over.

So I went out with someone. It was then that he told me he’d been chatting up this girl since the 4th of July. Would he never have told me? He let me go on thinking all this time that there was still a chance for us. It took a lot of courage to face him, fearing rejection – and finding it! But it was the right thing to do.

And all that time, he was seeing someone else. I don’t understand how people don’t consider omission a lie. He deceived me. He never once came to me truthfully in that relationship. I really was all alone.

I’m hurt. I’m so embarrassed. I’m ashamed of my behavior. And I’m so angry! He’s convinced that everything bad about us was me. He did “everything he could.” He did nothing! He left me to guess at our standing, and forced me to initiate every conversation. He should have told me.

I thought he was a good man. I don’t think he’s a bad person, but I do find him weak. It infuriates me that he sits there martyred, convinced he tried everything. I see no effort or companionship at all.

Auditioning was a good trick. I got Adelaide. I will go back on my meds just to get through the show, and I will recover.

Botox was a good trick. They called for actresses aged 25-34 years.

I am alone. I don’t believe that I can find what I’m looking for. I also suspect that I wouldn’t be satisfied with it if I did. I do see my own faults, and the reasons for our demise that I’m responsible for. I have lost hope, though, and that makes me really sad. I don’t think others believe in honesty like I do. It’s not enough not to tell lies. You have to tell the truth. Not to is a lie. I don’t think others feel that way.

I think it was a really shitty thing for him to do, and I’m hurt.

*****

I had to go back on Facebook. It’s where cast notes and updates are posted. It seems everything I missed was saved and waited for me. I tried really hard not to read what my brother Aaron wrote to me there. I missed most of it, but caught the last line, which was that Dan had a bad night. “Get over it.” Also, arguments and I go together like – something poetic – so he thought nothing of it. That’s not true. I’ve never argued with him. I’ve only ever spoken up when the racist rhetoric crept up. And it always did.

Dan attacked me. He was wrong. I didn’t do that. It’s inappropriate to tell me to get over it. What he did was very serious and frightening. I’m not responsible for any of it, but I am blamed for it. It’s far more than that that I’m unable to let go now. It’s my family’s lack of concern for my well-being. It’s the discovery that I am truly unloved and alone.

I’ve only ever fought with my mother. And everyone has fought with my mother. How is it that others can have disagreements, but not me? I’m just a problem to be dismissed and ignored. And belittled and blamed, apparently. The bottom line is they don’t love me. They don’t care what happens to me. When they see it themselves, they reconstruct it to make me the author of it. No one is held responsible for how they treat me, but if I have feelings or responses to it, well… Shut up, Christie. Get over it.

I’m going to finish this show and disappear into obscurity. I think it’s a wise plan to go away and live quietly with my cats and plants. I’m going to save on rent and invest in a nice, new car to see me through the next couple of decades. After the kitties die, I’ll travel until I don’t feel like it anymore. Then I’ll find a way to put a roof over my head and live until I don’t.

I do think I can get out of this deep chasm. I don’t expect to find happiness, but I can feel better. It’s sad to lose hope, but I can’t have relationships. I expect too much and punish too severely. If I don’t complicate my tenuous grasp on mental health, I can get through the rest of my life without hurting anyone else. Including me.

I can retire from musical theatre at last. I got Adelaide. It’s all I’ve ever wanted from the stage, and I’ve had some amazing surprises and fun along the way. I’m glad I went back.

*****

I went off my meds at this time last year. We decided officially to consider ourselves a couple. The 4th of July was a very giddy time. We drove high above the city and watched fireworks across the entire valley, canoodling, giggling, high as the 4th of July.

Jax claims that there were some things he “just couldn’t get over,” but he did, until he met her. I sensed him pulling back and talked to him about it. He cited those things, and didn’t mention her at all. Omission is a lie.

He hides until the problem goes away on its own, or someone else does the dirty work. I do the dirty work. I have to have authenticity, cohesion, understanding, honesty. I went to him, every time. No answer was his answer, and it was up to me to figure it out. At last, I sussed out that we were finished. He confirmed. He called it off, but he didn’t say a word. I talked about it face to face, and then I went out with someone.

You know, when we first started flirting, I tried to put the brakes on it. I didn’t want to jeopardize our friendship. We did it anyway. Merging out of it, I felt like we moved almost seamlessly back to friends. Until I found out. He’d been chatting her up for a week. That’s why we were through, not because of any sudden deal-breakers he found in me. Was he never going to mention her? What if I hadn’t gone on that date? How long would he have let me hope that someday we might get the “and then some” back?

This is exactly how he left his last girlfriend to start up with me. I made him promise to tell her. I was afraid she would hate me, but we had to tell her the truth. She was so nice to me! When we went to her birthday party, I thanked her for being so great about it. She thanked me for telling her face-to-face. She’d guessed, but Jax never said a word.

I got upset with him for not telling her. He said he did, but she forgot. She drinks a lot.

He did the exact same thing to me when it was my turn to be cast off. He’s a liar.

I have to let it go. I’m so pissed, and so sad. I understand a lot of it. I hold myself responsible for most of it. But I can’t trust him, or respect him. I have to let him go.

Burning Man

My roommate, briefly my boyfriend, gave me one of his Burning Man tickets long ago. Out of my entire group – something like 16 people – he’s the only one who got through the queue. Anyone who makes it in can buy up to two tickets, so mine was secure.

He met a girl on the 4th of July, and brought her home overnight the moment I got it out of him. Naturally, I humiliated myself. I was an absolute bitch. I suppose there’s no harm in that anymore. My sister’s husband established almost 6 years ago that I am, in fact, a bitch, and it’s been confirmed and condoned by my family.

(I wasn’t really that bitchy. I just wasn’t that nice.)

Jax has now taken back the ticket he promised to me. He’s taking her.

In exchange, he offered me one month free rent if I use it to go on vacation. I thanked him for buying me Botox and went about taking back gifts I had given (which I’ve since returned. I have no use for them. They’re his). He clarified that the offer applied only to getting me out of town. I told him I’m not planning to go to Germany until next year. He will have sold the house by then, and gotten rid of me already. “Thanks anyway.”

And that’s that.

He’s been working 6 and 7 days a week for 4 months now. He took today and Monday off to take her camping. He’s never taken time off for me. We went to Miami last year, but he doesn’t work in winter. He took a trip to see his brother, and permitted me to come along for some of it. I wasn’t worth … much of anything, it seems.

He’s in love. Joyful, giddy, determined to lose 50 lbs, motivated, floating, giving promises once made to me to a girl he met 2 and 1/2 weeks ago. Gifts, too. My gifts. Now hers.

Vanity

Six years ago, I got Botox before my 20th high school reunion, and broke out in hives. I Googled Botox and learned that if you’ve had any kind of allergic reaction to it, you can never get it again. So I got Botox. I thought maybe I’d go into anaphylactic shock and die. I felt very clever outsmarting my life insurance suicide clause, and satisfied that Jax wouldn’t kick my cats out onto the street to fend for themselves or die.

I haven’t died. I’ve had no adverse reaction at all. (I walked home from the clinic then, a mile in jeans in summer. I think I just got too hot.) Now I’m looking forward to 6 months without scowl lines and hoping to look young enough for Adelaide in Guys & Dolls.

I audition tonight. I’m sick with nerves! I honestly don’t how I do this over and over again. Auditioning is HELL! I know I feel this way on opening night, too, so anxious I’m convinced backstage before my first entrance that I really will vomit this time. I never do. I still don’t know how I do this. I think maybe its getting harder, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just that I’ve built Adelaide up so high as my ultimate bucket list part, that this last-chance shot is really freaking my shit out.

What am I thinking? I can make a 4-month commitment and somehow hold my shit together long enough to do a show? What am I doing? I guess I’ll go back to my doctor and get on some goddamn meds. Goddammit.

I’m gonna do it. Whatever the outcome, I’ll feel proud and content that I tried as hard as I could. I’ve been taking [very expensive] voice lessons from my musical director from Avenue Q. (She’s not more costly than anyone else; Good instruction just takes money.) It was worth it, and I loved hanging out with her. I’m ready.

I’m terrified!

It’s good practice. I got this! I own this! Adelaide is my part to win!

*****

Well, I got a call-back, but it was based solely on networking. I was in a show with the director. I’m glad that my work ethic and what I put onstage speak for me. I’ll take it! That said, it was not my best audition. I think I must have really psyched myself out. Grrr. It is disappointing, but I still have to count it as a win, because I showed up, goddammit! I’m barely breathing this week, so well done, Christie!

I’m not satisfied, and I’m not yet able to stop replaying everything I did wrong. It’s disheartening to have a bad showing, but it will pass. Historically, I’ve  done better at call-backs, so I look forward to playing with some characterizations and catching up with old chums from past shows. I’m not looking forward to the dance audition. I am excessively out of shape again, but this is a good way to start anew on clearing out the cobwebs and getting fit, sharp, and out of another bad funk.

I’ve quit smoking again. Except for one drunken binge night a week and a half ago, I’ve really only snuck the odd fag here and there. I feel good about that, and expect my skin to regain a healthy glow. So far, Botox is lightening the burden of years, and it has a couple of days yet to reach full effect. I love it! Now that I’m safely unallergic, it looks like I’ll be shelling out an easy $1000+ every year to maintain my youthful good looks.

(Don’t go to an aesthetician for a pick-me-up, btw. First thing she did was point out my age spots, formerly known as freckles, and instruct me to return for a laser light treatment, ha! I admit I’ve been thinking down those lines, so perhaps my $1000 yearly vanity budget will be… somewhat higher than that, even. 🙂 Hey, I don’t have kids to put in braces, college, or therapy. I do what I want.)

Things are looking up. I suppose that’s all they can do after such a painful week. I really try to hold off on falling all-the-way apart, but that was just awful. It really was just… awful. My whole world came down around my ears. I’m hearbroken, still.
buddha

Sometimes maturity is a choice to accept one’s wrinkling, or freeze it with toxins.

Down The Rabbit Hole

I’m swirling down the drain over here. It’s a new me and I don’t really recognize her. The old me would be in bed, unable to function. This one’s at work.

I’m actually better at my job in the midst of existential ennui. I’m nice.

I’m having the strangest feeling of having left the matrix, seeing things for what they really are, and returning to the mundane world. I feel like I have intel that few eyes have seen. I certainly never saw it before. It’s a cinematic moment.

Useless information, really. I learned that I’m a fucking idiot.

So, yeah. I’m creating a whole new persona over here. I don’t know what it’ll be.

I think life is about finding out what you’re afraid of. At least that’s what I’ve been doing. To restate, life is about nothing. What I’ve been doing is creating meaning.

I no longer think life is about finding any sort of answer or solution. It’s just what you look for. I’ve been looking for fear. I found it. My whole life has been a process of finding the scariest thing I can possibly imagine. The next thing to happen is I live it! Lucky me! What am I afraid of and what will it do to me? What won’t kill you.

That’s the end of that sentence. I have no cute platitudes for you.

Once upon a time – 5 years ago when I created this blog – I thought the meaning of life was to forgive. Why else would I have landed in such a shithole of a family? I was born to people who would abandon and abuse me before I could form memories, and never stop. Later, the abuse would become a uniquely mental form of torture called gaslighting. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. (Or look to the behavior of our prezident and figure it out from context.)

I’m afraid of pain, I know that. Now my only goal in life is to get out of it. I’ve conquered emotional pain, inasmuch as I’m in it. It won’t kill me. I have no expectations of relieving it, so I’m not trying anymore. I don’t need to. I know how to live with it.

I need nothing. I don’t need love. I don’t need money. I don’t need family. I have none of those things and I’m still here.

I need a roof. For now. I mean, if the apocalypse comes, well, on that day I’ll figure out how to live without a roof. We’re not there yet.

I feel like this blog has served its function. Five years ago, I moved here and created an address. At wildwesterngirl.wordpress.com, I intended to learn to forgive. I failed.

Whatever’s next, it doesn’t belong here. I won’t move until I have an idea what I want from my new experience. Til then, you can watch the transition, if you like, though I think that sounds unfathomably boring. For me, it takes the form of lists. Endless lists. Have at it.

I suspect my next goal in life might be to find out if I can get out of this new-ish physical pain. Interestingly, it entered my life 5 and a half years ago, just after the first divorce from my family of origin.

I might fail. I’ve done it before. I’m going to try.

My next blog will probably end up being an insufferable fitness journey. I don’t about you, but I’d rather indulge a stranger’s circuitous voyage through mental anguish than read online about how some bitch lost 30 lbs.

But I think that’s where I’m headed. I hate that girl already.

Hey! I know how to do that! Halfway there!

  • TASK ONE: Fucking downsize. I have too much shit.

It is nice that I work at an organization that takes donated items and does good with them. Or means to. I like that.

Oh, no. Intention does matter. My family means well.

Good for them. I’ll perch them above Hitler, Drumph and other despots on the spectrum of assholes populating or once populating the planet.

  • INSIGHT ONE: I’m still a fucking Pollyanna.
    Fuck.
  • INSIGHT TWO: I’m a nihilist. I believe in nothing. Even my angels are a lie. They seem to exist only to demonstrate what a fucking idiot I am.

My family killed Fun Christie.
End of transmission.

Fun With Numbers

Today, my odometer passed 144,444 when the trip meter read 22.22.

Last week, I saw license plates with double ones, twos, threes, fours, fives, sixes, and sevens. “Alright, angels,” I issued the challenge. “If you show me eights and nines, I’ll be impressed.” I found eights, nines, and zeros! (I watch the road, too.)

On Sunday, I saw a plate that said Y73 9LV, which I took to mean 1973 9 lives. I saw a reminder to hang on. I don’t really want to anymore, but that’s what I read. Maybe it meant, “You’re almost done.” I like that better.

I’ve been crying since Friday. I finally told my father what my sister’s husband did to me 5 1/2 years ago. Naturally, I thought he’d be disappointed in his son-in-law and feel for me, but he dismissed the whole thing as my “perspective,” which clearly deserves no credence or compassion. I told him to ask my brother, who overheard it (and didn’t even come out of the room). (There was time.) I told him to ask my sister, who held her husband off of me, though she still denies it came to that.

My dad told me that if someone crossed the line in his house, he’d make sure they left, too. “You’d tell them to leave,” I said. “You’d be firm. You might even be angry, but you wouldn’t scream and curse at them. If they refused to leave or became combative, you’d remain calm and involve the police. They’d understand you were serious about protecting your home.”

“That’s what I would do,” he agreed.

“You would never physically threaten, menace, and terrorize a woman, run at her from upstairs, with your chest puffed out, purple-faced, fists clenched, veins popping, in your holy garments!”

“No,” he conceded, “I wouldn’t.”

How had I crossed the line? I was talking to my sister. It’s true we disagreed, but our voices never raised. We would quickly have come to understand each other, I imagine. If her husband hadn’t attacked me, I’m certain that my nieces, who witnessed the whole thing, wouldn’t have noticed the discussion at all. It wasn’t extraordinary.

He crossed the line! Even if we had been fighting, nothing can justify what he did. It was disgusting. It was violence intended to make me very aware of my vulnerability. I was meant to be terrified. And he didn’t tell me to leave the house. He just screamed, “Shut up, you bitch!” over and over and over. (I left.)

I told my dad that all these years I’ve dreamed that if he knew, he’d tell my sister’s husband he didn’t appreciate how he treated his daughter.

He defended him.

“Maybe you don’t consider me your daughter anymore.” He didn’t say otherwise. I really thought he’d find Dan’s behavior inappropriate. I would, even if I hated the person he did it to. It was wrong.

I don’t think I appreciated what that daddy rescue fantasy meant to me. It was ridiculous. My mother beat me for 19 years. He was there for 9 of them, and did nothing. When I finally punched her back… Well, she had me on the ground again, kicking the shit out of me. I finally stood up. Dad’s the one who kicked me out, and that was that. No one’s ever apologized.

(Incidentally, she had ripped my pajama top off. My father saw my naked breasts. In fact, he kicked me out while I standing there topless, still catching my breath.)

What should I have expected from the man who, when I confessed on my 17th birthday  that I wanted to kill myself, explained paternal responsibility to me? He thought of himself.

My father said that when he married my mother, he had made a commitment to God that he would protect and provide for our family.

“I’m the head of this family,” he explained. My heart was pounding so hard I could hear it. I thought he was about to say, “And without you, it wouldn’t be this family.” I thought he was going to tell me I mattered.

Here it was! He was going to tell me he loved me. I was special to him. To someone.

“Until you’re 18,” he continue. “I’m responsible for what happens to you.”

“Kill yourself next year,” is what I heard.

He was afraid of getting in trouble with God! He didn’t care about me at all. He should have wrapped me in his arms. He should have cared that I was in pain.

Not one person in my family has apologized for what Dan did to me. Not to take responsibility; Only he can do that and he’s not sorry. But I want someone to see me in here, to see that I’m hurting, that 5 1/2 years later this hasn’t gone away for me. Not one person has hugged me, held me while I cried, or told me they were sorry to see me in pain. Not one person has said, “I’m sorry that happened to you.” No one cares.

I should have protected the dream, I think, and never asked them to.

I was stunned to learn how truly unloved I am. I really didn’t understand how complete their disregard was. As far they’re concerned, I don’t deserve their concern. I’ve chosen a life of sin; I don’t matter. They absolutely do not care.

My heart is breaking.

I don’t know that I’ve ever felt loved. I don’t know that I could at this point.

I didn’t expect to be so upset. I just didn’t get it. I was living in a fantasy world. Well, yeah. The angels speak to me through numbers, but I believed this one. I needed it.

I don’t think they’re awful. I know they mean well. That’s different from saying they did their best. They didn’t, but it’s still true that they’re decent folk. They mean to do good, but they’re profoundly misguided. They’re sick. I mean, I’m sick. There’s a reason.

It’s best to divorce them for good. I’ve tried everything. I can’t keep doing this to myself. They literally make me sick. I need to recover at last and let these wounds become well-healed scars. I know that others have survived worse things. Some have gone on to live fulfilling, joyful lives, so certainly I can at least get by without this searing pain.

I have 9 lives. I have to be close to the end of those. Surely, I’ve saved the best for last.
chosen family

Oh God, this just keeps getting worse. I just asked my brother Aaron why he never stepped up for me, and he said I’ve rewritten history. He said he doesn’t remember Dan ever saying, “Fuck you, you bitch.” Neither do I. I’ve never said that.

Aaron just told me basically what my dad believes. So they’ve talked about this before. HE’S REWRITTEN HISTORY, TO DEFEND DAN! He told me he doesn’t remember any cursing or profanity, and that Dan never raised his voice! He did! He screamed, “Shut up, you bitch!” over and over and over. I know, because I was screaming back the whole time, “All I’ve ever said to you is thank you! Thank you for being a good provider! Thank you for being a good father,” which is easier than the truth, that my nieces know their daddy loves them, so long as they don’t deviate from his very narrow command on what they must be and act like. Over and over and over and over, until my sister screamed his name and I ran upstairs.

A couple of times he said, “Don’t you ever stop talking!?” Hahahahahaa! and “You ARE a bitch!”  (That’s my favorite. He actually thinks I didn’t know his opinion of me. God, he’s stupid. All strong women are called bitch.)

“Shut up, you BITCH!” (I was playing nice for 20 years! I coulda made him miserable! “You call me bitch? Watch out! You’ve never met my bitch!”)

I didn’t say that. I just said thank you. Over and over and over until Mel yelled his name and I ran upstairs. IT HAPPENED.

I can’t believe this. I can hardly breathe. I was counting on Aaron. At this point, I don’t think he’s lying, but he is wrong. He was my only witness. I thought he’d step up for me, but he forgot the truth and sold himself and the whole damn klan a lie. He lied! To protect him! I’m losing it! They care so little they’ve rewritten a history that completely and utterly vilifies me. It nullifies me! It erases me.

Aaron, the one ally I thought I had left, has rewritten a history that protects that man.

That’s it. That’s all I can handle. That’s it. I’ve found it. I cannot handle any more than this. It happened. I’ll tell you what it is: It happened to me. That’s why it doesn’t matter.

And I’ll tell you who remembers: Dan. He knows what he did.

I’m not kidding, I can hardly breathe. Aaron was the one person I thought had my back. He was the one person I trusted. And he’s been telling them the whole time it never happened! Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.

I’m such an ass. Of course they’ve discussed this before. That’s what they do. They get together and judge me. Then they find ways to make it all my fault, so they never have to take responsibility for the things they do to me. Then they tell themselves they’re good people, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Oh my god, I’m so stupid. I don’t want to wait another 5-10 years for my cats to die. I want to kill myself today. Oh my god.

(Aaron took me to the bus station the next morning. “I don’t want to put words in your mouth,” I said to him, “but I wouldn’t mind if you told Dan you didn’t appreciate how he treated your sister.”

He said nothing. Now I know why. It happened to me, so it didn’t matter. And now he’s rewritten history. Worse, he’s forgotten. Dan first screamed, “Shut up, you bitch,” from the top of the stairs. He was right next to the room Aaron occupied with his brand new bride. What followed is not just my perspective. It happened. My brother heard it. Dan yelled again and again, “Shut up, you bitch!” until I ran upstairs and hid, crying, not sleeping until I could get online in the morning and find a bus. It happened. And, like them, Aaron doesn’t care. It happened to me, so he said nothing. He did nothing. He lies like all of them. And he believes it. They all do! I don’t matter. Period.)

I’d love to know what Ali thinks. I’m afraid to assume – now that I have a picture of how the incident has shifted, at least in Aaron’s view, and what he’s has shared with our father – that she, too, has forgotten the hatred of women and seething, violent rage Dan betrayed that night. I just can’t imagine it, though! She’s such a strong, self-assured person. I just can’t fathom it. However, I also can’t imagine Aaron and Ali not discussing it thoroughly. They’re such a strong couple, with strong opinions, each, and respect and love for one another. I have to believe that she shares his memory of the event?

I’ll tell you, the only eye-witnesses other than my sister, who denied it completely right after it happened, only to come around when faced with evidence and EXCUSE HIM, because I “didn’t act afraid”: My nieces. (I was perfectly groomed after a life of violence to never show fear, duh. I’d die first before giving him that. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t positively terrified, and it certainly doesn’t mean he didn’t do it simply because he seemed to fail to achieve the desired frightened effect in me.)

They were very young, but I just can’t imagine they don’t clearly remember the night Daddy’s thinly-veiled hatred for Aunt Christie finally boiled over into dangerous, violent rage, the night Mom yelled at Dad for the first time ever, probably the last. Melanie is gentle, but she was scared, too. I can’t imagine the moment Daddy called Fun Aunt Christie a bitch, over and over again at top volume, isn’t seared on their brains.

They don’t have challenging personalities and they are all decidedly, devotedly Mormon, and they love do him. He’s their Daddy, their hero, as a papa should be. I want that for them. That’s why I thanked him that night. I had been for years.

It’s true I’ve never liked him, or what he’s done to my family. He’s a shameless racist, homophobe, misogynist bigot. We didn’t spend every meal denigrating Others and explaining and rehearsing our hatred of difference until Dan joined our family. I’m endlessly disappointed my dad didn’t notice the shift in conversation, but instead joined and emboldened it.

Years ago, I consciously chose to focus on the positive. My sister was happy. Dan had succeeded in ways my biological father hadn’t. And he had a talent with animals, which says a lot about a person. So I started pointing out his strengths and successes. I even gave him a church magazine I found about Daddy/Daughter dates as the oldest, Rachael, was entering her teens. He didn’t know what to do with kindness from me, so after a brief experiment to reach out, I decided to live side-by-side in the same family, with no personal involvement together. I would always speak up against prejudice. It was never a secret where I stood or when I disagreed. It’s wrong not to speak out against wrong. And my nieces needed to understand that they were never alone, no matter who they were or would become.

There’s the slimmest chance Rachael would remember accurately. She’s the oldest, and she’s an artist. She’s had the most challenging relationship with her father, but that is still cohesive compared to anything I’ve ever known of relationships.

Finally, I could never ask one of those horrified innocents to recall or report on when they witnessed. But having lost my one ally, I’m sorta dying here. My mind clamors for anyone else that was there, anyone to remember me. Anyone to see. Anyone to care.

Post-Meltdown Post-Mortem

Well, first, it’s clear that I have not accepted inevitable failures. Til now, I hadn’t created something I couldn’t save. Each piece had a feature I disliked, but I was satisfied enough to share it.

I’m a perfectionist. It’s held me back throughout my life. If I can’t do it perfectly from the start, I don’t do it. It’s a limiting worldview. I’ve always admired and envied those who take real risks, unfazed by a public experience of trying something – sometimes horribly – for the first time. Or if they were frightened by exposure or humiliation, they braved it anyway.

So there’s that.

Also, I’m looking with new eyes at a belief I’ve held for 2 decades. That I won’t kill myself because I promised not to at 23. I did try once after that, but never again. It made a difference. It got me through the most dangerous years of this illness.

And so because I’ve had success at not dying, I forgot to be vigilant. Yesterday, I told my cats to fuck off, because I can’t kill myself until they die. It makes me sick to even think how that feels to them. I try to tell myself they don’t speak English, but that doesn’t matter. They speak energy.

They’ll forgive me. They always do. I didn’t yell. But they know. My pain hurts them, even if they just register more stress. Dis-ease. God, I hate it when hippies do that. But it’s real. Disease makes us sick. I don’t want to hurt them.

I have to look honestly at my future. I have to fix this shit or I’m gonna kill myself in 10 years. Why not? I don’t fucking care. It’s a tragedy when a young person dies with all her promise and beauty. When a sick middle-aged woman goes… Well, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a choice that belongs to her alone. Some forms of cancer kill. Some don’t. Why is mental illness stigmatized for the same thing? And yet…

It goes against instinct. If I were attacked, I’d fight to live through it. Even today, with a wish for sweet death, I’d campaign for my life. We’re programmed to survive, so if my wiring is telling me not to, my circuitry is askew. So, time to get real. I’m not well.

Awareness… is a good thing, right?