Hopping Fences and Bowling Pins

Update time.

So I was in Baltimore last Wednesday through yesterday morning. My boyfriend and I drove there and back. We got back last night, and I opened this morning. I really thought I would be more tired than I was. For some reason, I was wide awake my entire work shift. I thought about all the things I would do today (meaning cleaning the apartment and my room). Only my room ended up being completed, but that took a few hours, so I’m good with that.

I brought a lot of stuff back from Baltimore (aka why it took hours for my room). I organized, threw out a lot of stuff, and moved a lot of things around. I think it looks pretty good now. I brought some of my dad’s things home, like a few of his bowling pins, his Marine hat, his spoon collection, some decorative stuff, etc., which I put on display. My dad’s spoon collection is actually pretty awesome. He has a lot of really unique ones in there, including a spoon with Kennedy on it, and several ones from different countries. It’s nice to have some reminders of him here.

I had a lot of fun in Baltimore. I got to see a lot of my best friend/her fiance, which was amazing. I love being with them…they’re incredible people. They’ve stood by some of the worst parts of my life, and many of the best. I can’t wait for their wedding. It’s actually in a little over a month. I went to her bridal shower while I was there, and I’m heading back in a few weeks for the bachelorette party. Hopefully that time I can fly and not have to drive 12 hours.

I’m sort of in a funk, and I’m not entirely sure why. I had therapy today and just kind of went blank. I’m happy with things in general, but I also feel stuck. I don’t completely know why. I’m progressing with school, but everything else seems to be weighing me down. Well, even school can do that to me. Now that my three spring semester classes are over, I’m back to working 35+ hours a week. I need the hours, badly, but it is incredibly draining. I also have two summer classes coming up, plus training to be an online crisis text line counselor. That training is up to 5 hours a week, I believe. I want to make time for it, but it’s so hard to come home from work and keep going. It’s nice to come home from work and do nothing for a bit. Or watch Netflix. I miss watching Netflix. How sad.

I got my cat a bow tie collar, and it’s super cute. It’s pink with green fish.

My apartment complex also stepped up today and started really helping us with our rat problem. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that before on here, but it’s been terrible, to the point of my roommate buckling down and writing a very lengthy email to the leasing office. It had dates, pictures, times, etc., backing us up. It was a great email, and apparently it worked. It would be nice to not have rats in our apartment (dead or alive, really). They brought in some poison traps, which they placed throughout our apartment and on the outside of the building. They also said they’d be coming by every day to check on them, as well as talking to the contractor about repairing the holes where they’re getting in. Fingers crossed that this all works.

I wanted to bring home some of my journals from Baltimore, but there wasn’t enough room. I have a million journals from over the years (since I’ve always journaled, but it was amplified by having way too much time in treatment). Some of the entries I skimmed over were memories I don’t recall, which is frustrating and weird for me. For example, apparently I ran and hopped over the fence at a residential treatment center I was at several years ago. I only came back when they threatened to call 911. I don’t recall any of this. Eventually I will get them all down to Georgia with me, but I really needed the room in my car for more important things.

I’ve also decided that my favorite thing to eat right now is an egg/avocado with olive oil on toast. If you haven’t tried it, do it, because it’s awesome.

Okay, I need to go to bed soon. Signing off.

-May 16, 2017

Short Story Time

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Today I’m going to post the first rough draft I have for a short story. I’m in a creative writing class in school right now that demands I write a short story and share it with the class for feedback. I’ve made several attempts at writing one I feel “good” about, to no avail. This one, I feel…”alright” about. In my opinion, it’s hardly a short story. It’s a glimpse into a life. There’s really no tension or too much plot development. To me, it’s just a glimpse into the story of a life. It does include some facts from my life, and some fabrications. That’s what I did to make it fiction and not the latter. Even being fiction, though, it portrays one night (of many) in a life of someone (me, perhaps, or anyone else) suffering from PTSD. I have a lot of other diagnoses and shit in my life, however I’m solely focusing on the PTSD here, for the purpose of it being a short story.

Take what you will, and leave the rest.

And remember, I don’t claim this is anything fantastic nor is it a finished product.

But thank you anyway for reading 🙂

(NOTE: It may be triggering to some, because it is specific in some details. I’m including this warning because I don’t enjoy triggering anyone.)

————

A Truth That Demands to be Seen

He’s gasping for breath, right there in front of me. I’m screaming with all of the energy I can bring forth, yet no sound is produced from my gaping mouth. I lunge, but am forced back by a wall I can’t see. As if I hadn’t just been thrown backwards, I lunge again, and again, feeling the impact of the blow against my frail body physically, but emotionally unable to stop my futile attempts.

HELP HIM. HELP HIM. SOMEBODY HELP HIM.

Why can no one hear me? Where is everyone? Why can’t I reach him? Why can’t I save him? Please, make it stop. Make it stop. Make it…

I jolt up in my bed. It’s dark. My heart beats to the drum of a hummingbird; so fast that it seems impossible. Sweat is rolling down every limb, causing me to shiver in this already frigid room. I know this feeling all too well.

Attempting to slow my breathing, I loosen my grip on my mangled sheets and look over at my clock.

2:03am. It’s Thursday.

Yesterday was a good day, wasn’t it? Relatively, anyway. Nobody died. They didn’t increase my meds. I only had one panic attack.

So what did I do to deserve the nightmares?

It’s just how it is, unfortunately. Sometimes I feel my existence on earth is intertwined with an existence in hell. These moments show that, as human as I try to be, I am haunted by a past that will never let go. These moments show that, I can try to live as “normal” as possible, but I will never feel that I truly fit the role. I am not that good of an actress.

I lie back down and hug myself with my sheets. Two sheets- that’s what we’re given, in addition to the one that covers the mattress. One pillow, two sheets, and two roommates sleeping soundly across the room. There are no windows in this particular room, though many nights I wish there were. I like to look out into the night, pretend I’m not where I truly am. I think about my mom and my brother, sleeping soundly a few towns over in the house I lived in my entire life. It’s a one story house, made of brick. Sturdy, familiar, and predictable. I think of my best friend and her boyfriend and their pug, probably also asleep by now in their apartment after hours spent doing homework and studying for things I wish I could join in on. My unwarranted jealousy of their “normal” young adult successes never ceases to leave the pit of my stomach, as hard as I swallow to make it go away.

The world seems so peaceful at 2 in the morning. Inside these walls, you’re met with a stoic silence that lets you interpret the truth. I can more easily pretend like there isn’t war being waged, people being killed, or anyone at all hurting and feeling alone. I appreciate that, on nights such as this.

I could try to go back to sleep now. I always do, at some point, fall asleep again. Sometimes I try to stay awake. Sometimes, being awake is almost easier. I can be in reality, knowing that I am sitting alone in a bed in a psychiatric hospital in the middle of November. Sleep isn’t the same. When I’m asleep, my head tries to fuck with me. Usually it works, just like it did tonight.

I see him often. I see the moments he was taking his last breaths. I feel the panic and inferiority of my presence at that hospice care facility. I remember nothing of that place besides the image of my dad. I remember only specific details of that day outside of that moment, few and far between. It was raining, I know that. When it rains, it means to me that the world is crying. They should have been, that day. They should have been.

Many days I contemplate why I am sitting here, in this hospital, and yet no one else present during his cancer is. Like no one else has images burned into their eyes and heads of my dad failing to be able to breath. Failing to be the person he was once. Failing to be able to live.

Why doesn’t anyone else appear to wake up at 2:03am, shaking and drenched in sweat, trying to convince themselves that it was just another nightmare?

I look again to the other bodies in the room, confirming the lies that try to catch fire inside my head are just that-lies my mind uses to make me feel more alone. They have different people, different actions, different moments…but we’re all in this game together. We all lay down at night, begging more than praying, that we get to sleep through that night without the agony ensuing. Hoping that when we slip from our waking hours into the depths of nighttime hell, that maybe the torture will be just a little less tonight. That maybe those “skills” we’re learning and meds we’re swallowing will do some good, provide any ounce of relief.

I lie, hands together at my chest in a fetal position, slipping back into the abyss.

Please, please, please.

-October 25, 2016

The Walls of Hell Are Yellow

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The walls of hell

Are a disgusting yellow.

The carpet is too.

Why they had that outdated yellow carpet,

I don’t know.

Seven years, it’s all the same.

Snotty yellow.

The doors are locked.

You’re buzzed in the front door,

Wait.

Nurse opens the second door,

You walk on through,

Door closes.

You don’t go back through that door,

Or the other door,

Until they say so.

Days, they say.

And days turn into weeks,

Weeks feel like months,

Or were they?

I don’t know.

Your first time, you get a tour.

Welcome to our humble abode,

We save lives here.

And you think,

Oh, this won’t be so bad.

In and out, sick and not.

That’s the lie we wanted to believe.

But how do you fix a soul in a few days,

Weeks,

Months?

The walls become your friends.

Their corners hug you

In a loveless embrace.

But would they exist without you?

Probably not.

There’s really only a few rooms,

All locked off from the next.

The glass bubble of the nurse’s station,

Always watching. Always waiting.

You spend your day watching the clock;

Meds, bathroom breaks,

Meals, groups,

Bathroom breaks, meds,

Meds.

Meds.

You take them, you refuse,

Did you ever have a choice?

Some of them truly love you.

You know which ones when you’re

A frequent flier.

Not the best reputation to have,

But it’s far too common there.

Some of them are there for a paycheck.

Can’t say I blame them.

Insurance pays well.

But most truly care.

And just like those walls,

You pretend it’s enough.

You spend years

In and out. In and out.

But mostly in.

Wondering all the same,

Of all the damn colors,

Why this snotty yellow?

  • August 29th, 2016