four hundred & somethingy-something

**trigger warning for angry, somewhat crass references to child sexual abuse**

tonight, i went through all the blog posts that i didn’t write over this past year.

all the words we carefully chose, sitting, lonely. the huge spreads of days i didn’t write, all the dates, all the half-written posts that continue to sit, waiting to be completed.

and i felt this crazy huge swell of grief.

scrolling through all those words, all those dates, all those months, it was like looking at scratches on a wall in a prison cell. it made me feel so sad, not in the least remembering some of the major, life-shifting goings-on that happened during those days.

i hit a major, major impasse with my t. like major. like nearly six months of not seeing her, not seeing anyone, feeling completely alone. of being suicidal, of pinching myself so hard that i was covered in bruises, of very seriously considering checking myself in to hospital to keep safe. of shoving everyone in my life away, including pocketbrit. i doubted everything. that any of the abuse happened. that it mattered remotely to anyone, including me.

i received a note in the mail from my dad in may, his version of an apology. for “any indecent act” he did in my childhood. a two-liner, a bomb he dropped into my life after (blissful) months of no contact, never to be referred to again. he doesn’t even know i got it. no one has asked and i still haven’t acknowledged receiving it. i mean honestly, what is the point?! don’t get me wrong, i panicked and shook and dissociated about it for days…and then i got angry, so fucking angry. how dare he. how dare he treat it so casually, how dare he “apologize” to me and ask forgiveness in two lines, in a fucking note?! plus, to which indecent act was he referring? rubbing me and sticking his fingers in me when i was three and four and five, and then listening to me masturbate? or did he mean when he got me to jack him off? did he mean the confusing relationship where he would come to me at night and whisper how disgusting i was as he did things to my small body and then get up in the morning and teach school and then come home to coach my soccer team? all of it feels pretty fucking indecent to me. all of it. i want to scream, suddenly, thinking of this again. i’m pressing my fists hard into my eyes to keep in the tears, i’m so tired of crying.

huge roadblocks in my marriage. frightening moments in parenting a child with a likely mental health diagnosis in her future, trying to support her whilst feeling entirely decimated. health scares of all sorts. really, really big blowups with pocketbrit, desperately sad and angry ones where horrible words were said and retracted, where scars were healed and new ones laid, alternately. surgeries of family and friends. persistent and unrelenting back pain. stupid job with stupid long hours, repeat ad infinitum – and containing the worst of my mental health crises during vacation/time off. euthanizing our beloved elderly cat at home, burying him in the backyard, and the ensuing and horrible grief of his absence. a new feline family member added, a few months after. the joy she brings.

and, finally, after much discussion and planning and waiting, meeting sweetest pocketbrit. hugging her for real. hearing her laugh with my kiddo, in my house. cooking and drinking and teasing and hiking and doughnut-eating and napping and canoeing and movie-watching and loving littles. it’s only been four weeks since she was here but it feels like a dream. except, it happened, i have the pictures to prove it, and the glow in my heart when i remember her, when i remember how we were both exactly who the other thought we were, and the comfort in that. the security in that. the longevity in that.

because we created this blog to keep close to each other, to connect. and the thing is, for all of the days that we didn’t write here, we did connect. every single day, we did: via text, email, silly photos, phone, or video call. every single one of the days that we didn’t write here, we connected. sometimes less, sometimes more. sometimes angrily or defensively or with shame. when we were little and when we were more grown up. but every day.

that’s something to be proud of, too.

so, yeah, we’re going to figure out this blog. because i love the idea of it, i love the outlet of it. we are both treading water pretty mightily at the moment, and daily survival is a bit higher on the list than the blog, but we will work it out. i hope the two people who read the blog with any regularity will still be here, though if not, that’s okay too, it’s always been for us, here, at the sea.

three hundred & sixteen: excitement

the overwhelming emotion i feel about seeing pocketbrit, in a mere four weeks…

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it also makes me think of the pointer sisters song, i’m so excited. which is a rockin’ song, to be sure, although not my favourite of theirs. and i am even somehow managing to not feel ugh about it, because my mom really loves the pointer sisters and generally i’m pretty ugh about my mom.

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at this point i’m just grateful to still be here, to even be able to be excited about anything. i know i keep saying i’m shit whenever i show up to write one single entry every blue moon, but i’ve been extra particularly horribly shit, and so has pocketbrit.

the upswing is that we are finally meeting soon, and i am going to hug her really tight to me and possibly not let go for several hours, which should make for an interesting airport experience for a lot of people. and i’m excited. really, really excited.

 

two hundred & eighty nine: imagination

i don’t know what we’d do without our imaginations.

this whole blog is based on a cottage by the sea that pocketbrit and i have entirely co-imagined: the fire pit. a swing on the porch. a tall stone fireplace with our worn grey sofa. our new addition, a rocking chair, wide enough to fit small ones and the grown ups who love them.

when we are lonely, and scared, and sad, we have to imagine each other there, together. currently, we don’t live near enough to do anything but that…imagining hugging and being close. imagining snuggling. drinking hot cocoa and walks in the rain and hunting for puppies. weathering storms internal and in the skies both.

but the love here? the closeness, the care, the tenderness? is anything but imagined. our friendship, the respect, the desire to be present for each other? is beyond real.

and means so much more to me than i could have ever imagined.

💜

two hundred and eighty one: vile

interestingly (in contrast to my esteemed british co-conspirator), when i think of this word, i imagine it being said with complete and utter disdain and disgust. like, to be used only for the grossest of the gross things that happen.

like sexually abusing little kids.

two hundred & seventy one: brick

a couple years ago pocketbrit and i were playing a game of 20 questions while i was waiting to be seen in the ER. and she used an expression that i hadn’t heard before (this happens regularly), which was bricking it. it made me laugh out loud, i recall, because i knew what it meant, coz it’s kind of similar to us saying shitting bricks. but when i recently went to an amusement park with my kiddo and rode a really crazy rollercoaster i thought of her, and of this expression.

(and then also thought, ouch, thank goodness we don’t shit bricks, those fuckers have sharp edges, eep.)

backdated, written june 23/19

two hundred & sixty nine: serenity

when i was in my teens, the sitcom seinfeld was hugely popular. and its popularity persisted into my early 20s, when reruns were on. i’d seen it once or twice, but i didn’t love it like everyone else seemed to. i can admit that a large part of it was because people were always telling me to watch it (i hate being told what to do, so i didn’t, on principle); i also enjoyed the haughty, eye-rolling response i got when i told people i was refraining from watching the show because they were telling me to watch it. i’m smiling thinking of it, actually.

(as an aside, i’ve done this with other popular series/movies/books, too, throughout my life. most recently with game of thrones. yeah. that’s right. get over it.)

i know it’s ridiculous and kind of childish, but, well, there you go. i’m a fairly ridiculous and childish person, if you haven’t gleaned that yet.

but one of the episodes that i actually did find amusing was the one where george read a self-help book or listened to a self-help meditation sort of thing, where the prompt was ‘serenity now.’ except when he used it, he’d shout it at the top of his lungs, SERENITY NOW!!!!

maybe i should watch the friggin’ show. no one’s telling me to watch it anymore, i think i’m safe. and frankly, i could use a bit more funny in my life. it’s a bit lacking in that department lately.

written june 22/19

 

 

two hundred & sixty four: activate

ugh this is such a fucking therapy word.

worse, i use it fairly often.

i usually say it when i don’t want to say triggered, because that has become so incredibly overused in general parlance for things that are not remotely related to trauma or abuse. i use it interchangeably, i guess, because it makes sense to me, as a concept, and as a visceral response in the wake of trauma.

for me, being triggered feels activating: when a bunch of things in my body and my brain light up, while a bunch of other things shut down. and folks, lately, i am mega activated. my cat is dying. my work is draining me. it was just father’s day. my parents keep texting me. my kid is hating me, and, on the daily, accuses me of all kinds of mean horrific things because she is struggling and somehow i am her favourite target. my wife just had surgery that for some reason scared the shit out of me. i have no therapist at the moment. i am missing pocketbrit something fierce and cursing the idiotic number of miles and bodies of water between us.

so yeah, i am activated, all right. i am not sleeping, i am young, i am jumpy, i am easily terrified, i am weepy. i hate all of it.

two hundred & sixty three: light

pocketbrit is so right, we do love us some good rays. i know i have some better ones than these but i can’t seem to find them, so they’ll have to do.

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nearly eight years ago, when i was therapist shopping, part of what drew me to my current t was her bio online (it is not online any longer). in it, she spoke about light and also capital L Light, and i liked that. she also quoted beautiful lyrics from a prolific canadian singer, so that was the start of my loving her.

i’m trying to make my way back to her but it’s just been really difficult. it’s felt dark and dismal and scary. not easy. not light.

backdated, written june 17/19

two hundred & sixty two: trapped

sometimes i feel trapped in my brain.

it’s where i’ve always lived, because i hate my body and i like to pretend i don’t have one.

my brain is rarely still. it is usually analyzing and shaming and interpreting. listing things and reminding and tallying. if it made a noise it would be incessant, like a creaky rusty box fan or the drone of an airplane that never quite approaches or leaves.

backposted, written June 17/19