Postcard #23: Bad Egg?

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.

Me.

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.

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4 comments on “Postcard #23: Bad Egg?

  1. forestfae says:

    I was just about to ask you wether you have ever been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, when I saw it mentioned in your tags.

    Valentina we all have issues, even the most seemingly stable persons from the most seemingly stable backgrounds. Your dad’s disdain for your weight might be a reflexion or mirroring of some deep seated issue within himself, or it might be as simple as him beeing mean-spirited in the moments when he takes jibes at you about the weight.

    You are only ever to be held responsible or accountable for your own actions, thats it.

    There is a book that I would like to recommend to you, in it amongst a thousand other things of importance, it very clearly shows why we choose to be born to the parents that we are. For 30 odd years I was very hard on myself for being actually even related to what I perceived as tainted blood, but now I have some more insight into WHY I chose to be born to them.

    Michael Newton Journey of Souls.

    This is not some crappy new age fluff written as sugar coated opiate for the masses, but hard facts and tests run in an controlled environment .

    • Thank you for your kind words! I’m that obvious, eh? LOL! I have a very healthy attitude about my bi-polar disorder nowadays, especially after learning how to deal with it in so many creative ways.

      You’re absolutely right about my father. It’s a conclusion I’ve come to time and time again. However I think it’s strange how he tells me he says those things out of concern. Perhaps this is how he justifies it, or he feels responsible for the condition of my body. What he doesn’t see is the hard work I’ve been putting into improving my health these past seven years! All he sees is the “fat” part of me.

      Instead of destroying myself over this, and letting the rage and sorrow stop me from enjoying life, I took responsibility by taking time out to let out the pressure. To the average person that would be to work it out at the gym or beat up a pillow, for me the emotions are too overwhelming, so to eliminate prolonged suffering, I radically accept my feelings and go to a safe place to get them out in the moment. Once done, they don’t linger so much in the long run. I am also borderline personality disordered (fun, eh?) — a disorder that is now redefined by the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Disease as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder — Borderline Type, non -Impulsive. The best way I know how to deal with the ups and downs of emotional states is to control them with meditation, the routine of daily ritual, and applying the techniques I’ve learned from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (a type of therapy that goes beyond Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, derived from Buddhist meditative practice and mindfulness techniques combined with alternative western healing techniques to build self esteem) created to better regulate emotional regulation and distress tolerance so that, when a crisis occurs, your suffering does not have to last very long. This type of therapy has been very successful with people who suffer from my disorders, survivors of sexual assault, obsessive thinkers, and chemical addicts where self-harming behavior is repeated/relapsed even after several treatments/times in mental wards and rehabs worked. After starting this therapy this year, it has greatly helped me to re-program my mind to become more aware of the causes of why I feel the way I do and get into healthier habits of dealing with the emotional dysfunction. In all cases like mine, I’ve read that nearly all stem from being raised in an environment where we were brought up without validation, constant discouragement, and abuse (physical, verbal, and sexual). Children brought up this way are conditioned to become adults who have chronic low self esteem and a slew of other dysfunctions regarding self image.

      I believe that, if indeed my soul chose to be born to two emotionally damaged and selfish people, then I must have been wanting to heal them, OR toughen myself up. I’ve really had a hard time of it standing up against situations where I was unfairly treated, yet there are many times when I let things be too much. I can be very submissive when I should be protesting loudly. I am very patient and forgiving, I can endure a lot of crap from people and recognize that they are just hurting and don’t mean to hurt me, but when I hurt too much, I have to bend so I don’t break. Every time I think I will break down for good, it doesn’t happen. Every broken heart fails to break my spirit, so this must mean the Gods are showing me I am stronger than those who hurt me, and I am stronger than even I think I am.

      Thank you for the book suggestion! I have heard, read parts of Mr. Newton’s Journey of Souls. I don’t agree completely with everything he’s written, but he makes some points that are good food for thought.

      I also think that my parents were lucky to have me as their daughter. The rest of my siblings have long ago estranged themselves from my father. I’m the last one who has stuck around to see to it that he’s at least has someone to check in on him. My brother used to help out, too, but now he’s had too much and he even refuses to see me! All because I’m very loyal to the old man, even when he takes advantage of me and steals my money to go gambling.

      Today my father called my cousins to see how I was doing. He knows I’m not okay with the things he said to me, but he’s a stubborn fool who cannot apologize and face me again, well, at least not for a long while. He’ll wait til weeks later to pretend as if he never said anything cruel. Then it will start up all over again. I don’t know how long he will be on this Earth, but my conscience is clear.

      I took care of him better than he ever took care of me.

      • forestfae says:

        My pleasure, and everyone one of them is meant sincerely.

        Yes it is that obvious (to me anyway). As for the book, some of it really did give some startling insight to me personally about the ‘whys’ and ‘how comes’.

        Parents can sure test our patience and spiritual maturity.

      • Yes, indeed, parents sure can, but I know a lot of folks who also have very supportive and wonderful parents, too.

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