Month: August 2015

Evermore (10)

A lot of time has passed since my argument with Dr Dunn and I’ve had my share of ups and downs, like being hospitalized for six months after a bottle of pills I took, didn’t take.

I wasn’t trying to kill myself and I resent that he calls it a failed suicide attempt. I just was so sick of living, I didn’t know what else to do.  If I had other options, I’d have done something different.  I’m sure of that.

One morning I asked myself the age old question: Should I kill myself or have a cup of coffee? And this time, I was all out of coffee. The whole thing was an embarrassment and a misunderstanding.

I don’t want to say too much more about it. It needed to happen.  I guess. Because here I am, feeling serendipitous about it all.  And that’s progress.

It took a long time to get my meds right after that, I fucked up my chemistry permanently it seems, but eventually I was released and allowed to move back to my home on Wonderland (though I’m no longer allowed to live alone) and surprisingly enough, when I walked through my front door again, it felt like I had come home.  Wonderland is my safe place to land.

I don’t have room in my heart for anger anymore.  I let go of the frustration I felt towards Dr Dunn and him for leading me down a path where I thought there was no future for me.  That I would have been better off dead than cut of from my children.  And I felt lighter inside.  As long as I could get out of the hospital, I’d say yes to all of their rules once again and for good.  That made them happy, and I was as close to happy as they’d let me get.

You have to understand, my old life was taken away without my consent a long time ago. It’s neither here nor there at this point what I really think. But something about Wonderland makes me feel ok with the permanency of this arrangement.  Finally.

He bought the house, put it in my name. It’s mine now. And in some really strange way, it feels like mine. And I’m resigned to life without my twins. They’re getting older.  Their idea of home has been redefined too. And, like me, they’re probably comfortable in the arrangement.  It would be selfish for me to go back there now. So I’m going to stay.

My roommate is nice but she’s not the one who is gonna save me from myself if it ever came down to that again. She can barely keep her own head upright.  But it’s nice to have someone to share the hammock with while we listen to Jared write his next album. There’s something energizing about creating neatness for the sake of others. Order and routines.  She brings me tea when she’s made herself a cup.  I don’t leave wet towels on the floor.  We split the groceries.  It’s ok.  Really.  It’s ok.

I’ve come to accept that I’m not going anywhere, any time soon (or ever).  But I am looking up. Most days.  Like good old Sisyphus, I keep pushing my big boulder up the hill and when it starts to roll back down, I cry, like everyone else would do.  And I let it land where it wants to land.  And I mourn for what was.  But I also march my ass right back down the bottom, assess the damage and within a day or two, I start pushing that goddamn boulder back up the hill. Because that’s what needs to be done.  And I need to get it done.  Once and for all.

Evermore (9)

I told them today.  What I’ve been needing to say for months now.  It sent everyone in to panic mode and it didn’t exactly yield the results I was hoping for.  But … at least I finally spoke up on my own behalf.

“I need an exit strategy.”  I said.  “A plan.”

“A plan for what?” my therapist asked half-heartedly.

“I need to start doing whatever it is I need to do, so that I can go home.”

He sat up straight. “Well I don’t know if you’re ready …”

“I’m ready. The only thing holding me back is you.”

My group members shifted in their chairs and tried to focus their stoned eyes on me, but no one spoke up. Lifeless like the room we joined in week after week.  They likely felt the same as me but hadn’t yet had an epiphany like mine. They were medicated in to mush.  Riding a ride they were never going to get off.

I was immediately chastised by the expert on what’s right and what’s wrong with me: Dr Andrew Dunn.  “That’s not very nice to say and also quite inaccurate.” he said as he scribbled copious notes on the yellow pad on his lap.  A gesture that usually increased my anxiety and sent me in to panic mode. But not today.  No, not today.  I’m not going to hyper focus on the flicks of his wrist.  I’m not going to bathe in paranoia or try and peek at what he wrote down.  I’m going to accomplish something in group today goddammit.

So I continued to speak:

“But it’s true. I think I’ve learned all I’m going to learn from you. And I want to go home. It’s not healthy to wallow for this amount of time. The disconnect has gone on long enough.”

“You feel ‘disconnected?'” he asked.

“Jesus Christ.” I sighed.  “Of course I feel ‘disconnected!’  I am disconnected.  I want to RE-CONNECT! And I can’t do that here.  Not anymore.”

“You sound very angry.”

“I’m not angry.  I just have a new clarity.  And I’d like to know when I can go home.”

“You can leave whenever you want.” he added quite nonchalantly.

“I can?”

“Yes.  Of course you can.”

“I thought I … I thought I had to stay … until, you know, you said I was better.”

“It would be against my advice, as a medical professional. But this is a free country. You are welcome to leave at any time.”

“You’re patronizing me!  Stop patronizing me!”  I stood up.

“Relax.  Take a deep breath.”

“I am fucking relaxed.  I am.”  Tears started falling from my eyes involuntarily.  I didn’t feel strong anymore. I sat back down.

All of the emotions I was fighting hard against rose to the surface, I felt weak and pathetic and needy and this talk was most definitely not going according to plan. I was supposed to be assertive and confident. Not confrontational and flighty. I looked around the room, surely someone else would agree with me.  Point out my successes, how far I’ve come since we started here.  Someone had to be an ally.  Someone?  Anyone?

No one spoke up.  And I wanted to crawl under my chair and burrow my way out of here.  I couldn’t look my therapist in the eye.  Too afraid of what I might see. I couldn’t look at my fellow group members, too betrayed by their silence.

What was I thinking?  I’m never going home. I’ll never be labeled “well” as long as that dipshit is in charge. I am stuck here.  Stuck here for good.

“Does anyone else have anything they would like to share this afternoon?”

Ugh.

 

Evermore (8)

It might sound like a dream, having everything you need at your fingertips or just a phone call away. Not participating in the nine to five.  Or having to worry about bank account balances. Cutting checks.  Reading email.  Going grocery shopping.  Putting gas in the car.  All the mundane tasks that we do as members of this society day in and day out.  But it’s not really a dream. Because when you remove all the minutiae from life, all that’s left is living. And what kind of living am I really doing when everything is being done for me?

Not much.

There’s a line that I crossed, somewhere in the early days of my therapy, that I feel I can’t uncross.  I don’t know where it is anymore.  Or how to get back there. I keep moving forward and further away from my real life and who I am supposed to be.  I have become a perpetual patient.  Incapable of doing anything without analyzing it to death.  There is no meaning in what I do, but I spend countless hours with very high paid professionals looking for depth in the simplicity of what I have become.  Significance in the inconsequential. And it’s not there.  It never was.

I need to stop looking.

My insurance company or perhaps even my soon to be ex-husband, who knows, has paid these people over two million dollars for all of this and I’m still sad.  I’m still sick.  What did that two million dollars get me … us?  I’m probably worse now than I ever was if I’m really honest. At least I was still participating in life sixteen months ago, even if I was constantly fantasizing about my death.  I got up in the morning and I made tea.  I changed diapers. And I switched on the television.  I read the news.  I cared about things. Other people.  My children.

What do I do now?  Who do I care about?  Do I care at all?

I have all the pills money can buy.  All the therapy a human mind can sustain. All the peaceful surroundings one could ever need to get back on track.  But it’s not working. And there’s no end date in sight.

My prison has a claw foot tub and hard-wood floors.  A pool and a small guest house.  A gate at the end of the driveway that I operate.  And famous neighbors.  And I’m sick of it.

Evermore (7)

I had my lawyer on the phone and I was screaming.  She was trying to counsel me but I wouldn’t stop screaming.

“How did she get my goddamn address?  Who knows where I am?  Who did you tell?  Then how did she know where to send the goddamn package?”

And I have no fucking clue what her answers were to any of my questions.  It doesn’t matter what she had to say really, I wasn’t being very rational and I needed to vent or I was going to do something drastic. All of my therapy has taught me to get it out, don’t keep it in.  So there I was, following doctor’s orders.  Venting.  Loudly down the telephone line.  While the meter was running.  $495 a hour.

“I will make sure that never happens again.” my lawyer said in a reassuring tone.

“I just don’t think it’s very good for the healing process to be blindsided like that!” I shared “I should feel safe to open my mail. And now my neighbor … he’s getting the mail instead of me.  I feel very vulnerable.”

“What does your therapist suggest?”

“I haven’t told him.”

She was quiet for a moment, then let out an audible sigh before continuing in a monotone. “Well. I suggest you talk to him about it.”

“This is a distraction from what I’m supposed to be focusing on.  I’m really disappointed that I’ve been exposed like this…”

“As I said before, I don’t know how Miss Samantha got your address but I will make sure she does not attempt to contact you again.”

I said nothing.

“Ok?”

“Yes.  Ok.  Fine.” I acquiesced.

The day was heating up and my body was sore from stress and guilt and the complete sense of panic that seized me when I looked at the contents of the package.  I needed to regroup.  Get out of my head and in to a better mental space.  The best way to do that, I’ve found, is by neatly packing a joint and enjoying it out by the pool.  The higher I get, the more my mind relaxes and I’m able to keep my emotions in check.  When I’m high, I’m mellow, no surprise there, and I need to be mellow.  I need to maintain balance.  And the weed is medicinal grade so I get just high enough, not stoned.

So I was smoking in peace, rocking back and forth in a hammock the owners of this house left behind when I heard someone tinkering on a guitar nearby. Barely. I was a tiny bit faded at this point so I sat up to try and hear more clearly.  Definitely guitar. Acoustic.  And then I heard singing.  No actual words – just jibberish.  But it sounded pretty good. And I’m pretty sure it was coming from Jared’s residence.

Emboldened by the confidence weed bestows upon me for whatever reason, I slunk through the trees separating my property from Jared’s and walked up the drive between our two houses so I could hear better.  Part of his house sits high above the drive, built against the hill, but up against the road, looking down on my house. I think he was in the room just above where I stood.

I’m not the biggest Thirty Seconds to Mars fan, I know the band exists but that’s about it.  That’s not an insult to him or his fans, I just haven’t heard much about them (I’ve been busy) but I was liking what I was hearing from my spot in the yard.

I can appreciate a unique voice and his attempt at controlling it.  He has a nice sound.  Nothing flashy.  But definitely catchy.  I listened to him play on. It sounded like he was writing a new piece.  Trying out a tempo.  A story. Making a melody.  It was enjoyable, listening to his process for a little while. Undetected.

I finished my joint while leaning up against a concrete wall below an open window but I didn’t leave.  I kept listening to him play.  I sat down for awhile.  Almost begging to be caught.  But I was mellow and unafraid.  Relaxed and distracted.  I think I might be able to write a song someday. Or maybe just lyrics. I was writing them in my head as I listened to Jared play.  But I doubt I’d remember how to play guitar, though I did it every Sunday for the church well in to my twenties. I should pick that back up.  Maybe. It’s good to have plans.  Someday.

Eventually Jared stopped playing and I slunk back to my house feeling a lot better about everything.  The music felt like a gift.  My own private concert.  And I needed that … badly.