New Notebooks and Old Friends

Visited with my sister-in-law and her munchkin tonight. We’ve sort of lost track of one another, only to recently reconnect at her daughter’s birthday party a couple of months ago. We we’re married to brothers. We’ve been to a lot of the same emotionally eviscerating places. It was really good to see her, and her mom, and the little Roo again, at the party.

It’s hard, when things get fractured, and you’re both working. She’s seeing a fella up the road a piece. We’re both busy, and I’m avoidant, so.

Takes a while to get back on track.

But it was nice, tonight. Another friendship that seems to pick up like a perfectly paused movie that hasn’t moved an inch no matter how long ago you got up to go to the kitchen.

If that metaphor does anything for you.

Looking forward to a new Monday habit.

Also, I have been hanging on to this little bastard of a notebook for about four months now.

The sweatshirt is one of my favorites, and even though I’ve been rocking the one pair of jeans that still fits me lately, imma whip out some leggings tomorrow and wear my brutal honesty shirt.

I just rediscovered it at the bottom of a laundry basket I have been avoiding folding for a couple of weeks.

#shitavoidantssay

I’ve been trying to give my inner critic the benefit of the doubt lately, and accept that the depth of honesty I’ve been indulging in here makes me an ass clown, but I don’t actually believe it.

I don’t.

You know why?

Because we should be talking about this shit. We should be talking about what it’s like to have lived a hard life, and how much harder intentionally living a good life is. It’s counterintuitive, but it’s true. When all you’ve ever known has been dysfunction and dissociation and numbing and running, it’s real hard to stay straight, and rooted, and engage with all the shit that actual life entails.

And it hurts. Really fucking bad, not evacuating your capacity to experience life, it hurts. Believe me, when you’ve been through shit, you know it hurts to deal with it when you’d rather be intoxicated all of the time instead. Because intoxicated is a rough, tiring way to live. But it actually feels better than most of the life experiences you remember and have to reconcile when you stop numbing out.

Especially when they’re not all your fault. The ones you aren’t responsibile for are the hardest, actually. So you have to also deal with all the ways you took ownership of bad shit that happend to you that weren’t because of you at all. And you start talking shit on yourself and then that becomes another bad habit you have to break because it feels better on top but underneath it’s killing you.

Ugh. The point is, I look at people like Kevin Hines, who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and lived, and I look at how his entire life led up to him making other people feel less like shit by talking about the time when he felt most like shit, and I think that’s the only goddamn reason to survive the shitty shit you survive in the first place.

There’s a reason my two completely dead-ass serious suicide attempts didn’t work, nearly two decades ago.

And it wasn’t because I was ambivalent.

It was because I did not have access to a more reliable method.

It was because the world needed these two badass little women I’ve been given to raise.

And it was because I am supposed to be one of the few people who will talk about that shit with very little restraint.

It’s because other people going through it need to know that there’s a little fucking pinprick of light ahead of them, but they’re going to have to crawl to it and dig their way out. But that it’s not impossible. Not entirely. Even though their brains, and the shitty people around them, want them to think it is.

It’s because clinicians need to understand that what they think should help isn’t always helpful, and that’s not always because a consumer is resistant and abivalent, but sometimes it’s because, even though they think they are, they aren’t fucking listening. Or they’re not hearing, no matter how hard they’re listening.

It’s because I still have stories to tell that someone needs to hear. Someone must need to hear them, or they would have died on the vine in the years and years between them happening and me finally trying (like hell, at times), to deliver them to a page. Decades, some of these stories have been riding around with me. There is no reason for them not have been dumped by now except that someone needs to hear them. If someone didn’t need these stories I would not still have them in me.

So. For the first time since therapy took a weird fucking left turn and I employed my typical slash-and-burn method of social amputation, I’ve been filling a brand new notebook.

I think the story I’ve been struggling to write has been a struggle because I was trying to stretch a chapter out into a whole book.

It’s still my Greatest Hits. I’ve just had a longer career than I thought.

I started singing way earlier than I’ve wanted to acknowledge.

Metaphorically.

Also, I’ve started singing again. Literally. Someone asked June, once, when she was happiest in her whole life, what’s the one thing she remembers. Was it a smell? A food? Something she was doing?

She told them she was happiest when she could hear me singing. I used to sing constantly. I also used to talk constantly. Like, I would just narrate the whole day. And sometimes I wouldn’t stop singing until after bed. I don’t know if I’m any good but I’m pretty sure I’m not bad. And it’s helpful to have to breathe intentionally. It’s good for me. I tend to outsource my basic bodily functions, meaning that I don’t have to pay attention to them, meaning that I’m still living in that state of high autonomic arousal without even realizing it.

Between the FitBit reminding me of my heart rate and a policy of ambient a capella singing, I’ve been forced to attend to that shit more intentionally.

I don’t know whether it’s helping, but it’s not hurting. So it can’t be bad.

So. That’s that shit.

Happy Monday.

Stupid fucking Monday.

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