Sometimes I feel like the softest egg in the basket…
Yet somehow I manage to never quite break, I only seem to. My cracks glue back together whenever someone else’s cruel remarks are overpowered whenever I remember the kindness and thoughtfulness of you.
I have something to confess this week. No matter how bright I paint my world and try to put on a strong face, I have episodes of grief and pain that would disturb you, my most lovely friends. I occasionally write about my pain and it doesn’t always relieve it. I fear that dishing it out too much in public just creates an image of me writhing daily in agony and feeling sorry for myself. I could delve into the many ways in which I struggle with mental illness, but that, too, would decorate my personality as one without credibility.
Who wants to believe in someone who is crazy?
I have thought about this long and hard, especially as I write about how I’ve used therapeutic magic (more on that later) to aid me every day during the difficulties I face. I have successfully adjusted my moods, yet I still have to sway backwards according to the amounts of stress I experience. When too much is too much, I’ve had enough and I give. Actually, I bend.
I have often felt embarrassed whenever I let the dark side of me rage and wail. I lose myself in a cloud of sobs, I can’t talk, I sink to my knees, nothing has meaning, I hyperventilate til I am dizzy, I faint with overwhelming passion, and my heart races to the point of attack. My whole body gives in to despair. I am frightening to behold, like a banshee. This seems to last forever whenever it happens. Like one’s life flashing before the eyes in the moment before death, yet I am left quite alive, surrounded by helpful nurses and doctors, but even they regard me with fear mixed with exasperation.
Even on medication and practicing meditation, the flood gates have to be let open in order for me to readjust — letting go means letting myself go wild, but safely, checking myself into a hospital when I feel an episode coming on — I know to turn to professionals when the need arises. I don’t call friends or family to help me. They are not equipped to assist me. All of you would be hurt to see me in pain. I want to spare you from seeing me go berserk. Sometimes its a back-and-forth thing, I cannot predict exactly what will trigger something deep inside me enough to send me into the ER. My fear is usually I will have a heart attack or I will, in a fit of blind anger or sorrow, accidentally hurt myself or someone else in my desperation to relieve the pain.
Does this make me a bad person? Have I now become untrustworthy? Will I still be a reliable narrator? How valid of a Witch am I now, now that you know I have a disability?
In the wee hours Tuesday morning, I cracked. After weeks of enduring pressures from family, health conditions I can’t control at this time, and debts I cannot pay off right now, it just happened, I cracked and did not bounce back. Usually I can distract myself, but there are times when there is no escaping it. The explosion will happen, the bottom bursts.
The final straw was pulled by my father and placed on my back to break me. My father has always criticized me for my weight. Yet Monday night he decided to add more to his repertoire of usual insults concerning my body, he called me pathetic, and that he has “given up” on me. He thinks I do nothing, have no ambition or cares, that I don’t amount to anything, but worse than that, he is ashamed of me. When I asked to come visit him at the veteran’s home, he scoffs, “I don’t want anyone to see I have such a fat daughter!” When we went out to the casino, he made it a habit to put me down in public. People laughed out of nervousness at us — this old, withered man yelling at his chubby daughter who made excuses for him — we must have seemed like some kind of cartoon.
I bit my tongue. The sorrow flooded my mind as the night passed. This is where those feelings of abandonment, un-acceptance, and self-loathing came from, the seed that grew into the problems I’ve had in my relationships with men, the awful gift my father gave me when he made my mother his mistress and I was born his bastard. Perhaps the real shame he has is that my existence is evidence that he cheated on his wife, proof he was never faithful. Now that he’s at a point where he is closer to holding hands with death, he ends up hating anyone who helps him because those of us who assist him are just additional reminders that he is losing his independence. He hits me where it hurts the most obvious — the one place he’s always been able to punch hardest — my big gut — and then when I get upset he says he calls me pathetic and fat and ugly out of “concern” — really? Sorry, Dad, it’s abuse.
He’s not helping me. He’s driving me crazy. And I let him get to me, but I did not show him my crazy. After the casino fiasco, I rushed myself into the ER, howling like a lame coyote, dropping to my knees, looking as pathetic as Humpty-Dumpty after his fall.
How the hell is anyone gonna put me back together again?
Um, one person.
I did not really need the help of the doctor, but the hospital is the safest place to be observed in case anything should go wrong. The first thing they wonder is if I’m drunk or stoned, next they take away all of my belongings and put me in a room void of anything I could hurt myself with. The room is empty, boring, there is nothing to do, everything is white, and, no, it’s not padded, and I was not put into a straight jacket. It’s not romantic or frightening, it’s just a room. The bed is flat, uncomfortable, but you can scream all you need to in there without disturbing anyone which is a blessing. There should be more rooms like that around. A real kind of “panic room” made for panicking inside so you won’t wake your neighbors while undergoing a manic episode.
I liken this kind of hospital room to a meditation room, a place to find your peace when everything else has failed to help you create peace of mind. It’s always made me laugh that nearby there is another room called “Spirit Office” that makes me think there’s a place in the hospital where spirits go for coffee breaks in between healing people and helping souls depart!
I’m sure it has a practical use and doesn’t have anything to do with the kind of spirits this Witch deals with, yet it makes me laugh whenever I’m feeling bad. What is a “Spirit Office” anyway? I’ll have to Google it. (It’s actually an office for Chaplins, stationed 24/7 for spiritual services, duh)
After a three-hour stint in the white room, I raged myself into a calm. My cracks no longer seemed so bad and I was sent home. For these last two days I’ve been resting. Meanwhile, I’ve also been writing…
I am not sure if I always have the clarity and strength to write boldly enough about the subjects I aspire to write about. I want to assure you that, for the most part, I’m pretty damn normal! Yet I can also equally assure you I’m weird, too. Weird enough to have a unique perspective on things… However I do deal with insecurities that hold me back. I want to be sure I’m up to the task. I write from my heart, not always from my head. My words get messy and metaphoric. My opinion may not be very logical, or maybe I am selling myself short.
I’ve examined the blogs of other Witches and have found that blog writing is a very personal, informal kind of writing, one step upward from journal writing. It’s not magazine writing, yet it can have that style. It’s up to the writer. Lately, in my writing offline, I have been busy composing articles that aim to please other people, not myself, and I’ve gotten stuck trying to write in a way that makes sense to them, or what I think will be their kind of logic because I highly respect their principles and expertise. Yet I’ve come to the decision that this restricts my creativity and blocks my voice. No offense to my friends who write the way they like to, but I, too, have my own way, and despite a desperate part of me that longs for approval and acceptance (just like I long for that from my father, understand) I really have to be myself with all of you.
I think, cracks and all, you’ll still love me tomorrow.