a new start: 1/30

i’ve wanted to come here for a long time. have in fact drafted about 5 or 6 posts, sat here several other times with the cursor winking at me, judging me. i don’t know why i could never just take the plunge and publish something.

except…i do, and it’s coz starting over is scary. and it’s also coz there’s so much to recap that i get totally overwhelmed trying to figure out how i’m going to capture it.

so, maybe i just don’t have to capture anything. maybe i can just jump in, and commit to one day at a time, for maybe the next 30 or so days. and then we can see where it goes. maybe, once i’ve gotten in practice, i’ll feel like going back and writing some of those hundred or so posts on the words we started with. maybe i’ll tell you about the shit sandwich of an ending with my long-time therapist. maybe i’ll tell you about the amazing trip i took to the UK to see pocketbrit a few months ago, before the world shut down. and, maybe i won’t. maybe this will just be space for whatever comes.

***

one of the things that brought me here today is actually that today is another another ‘day 1’ for me, a commitment to my health. over the past several years, i’ve done quite a few rounds of the whole 30, and i always feel better when i do. i first did it to support my wife, who was making dietary changes because of her autoimmune issues, at the suggestion of her naturopath. surprisingly, i discovered that some of my own food intolerances were similar to hers, with some additional ones thrown in, and that some of my chronic discomforts/health issues were improved when i refrained from consuming these foods.

when we are doing well, i’d say we typically eat whole 30 about 70% of the time. since the shutdown of the world as we know it, however, we were eating 100% crap, not to mention drinking like fish. and, i look and feel it. bloated, sore, swollen, irritable, impatient, full of self-loathing. (i mean the latter doesn’t ever really disappear, it just wanes slightly.)

so i thought i’d commit (to myself) to write here about how i’m feeling. how my body is doing. how my mood is. and pretend that it’s about the whole 30, knowing that it’s a tiny bit that, but mostly, that it’s about getting back to me and this space, and trying to tune in with where i’m at.

i have to warn you, it will likely be raw and not all that cute. with no eating or drinking feelings, no therapist, continuing to work (i’m considered essential so have been working throughout the pandemic) with no social outlet, full-on physical distancing mode whilst at home, and also supporting a kid to do distance learning while the wife works in the home office? nowhere much to go, and no one to go anywhere with? yikes. i’m not selling it, lol.

and, i hope it will serve to keep us connected, pocketbrit and i. we still talk every day by text, but the phone and video calling is more sporadic. we both have less time on our own, and although we have more free hours in some ways, it seems to get filled with the bullshit minutiae of pandemic times. so, we miss each other, really really hugely, lately.

i hate it.

***

so maybe i’ll actually start today’s entry, now. (i thought i was avoiding the preamble but see above at all the ambling i have done!!)

i woke up, late, from really interrupted sleep, from a series of odd and upsetting dreams. the latter of which was one where i was living with my mom, who suddenly believed me about my dad having sexually abused me. didn’t require evidence, actually believed me. apologized to me. loved me and hugged me and was on my side.

but the dream was also full of other things that are big sources of shame. the examples may have been trite, but the themes were obvious. (my brain is an asshole, not remotely subtle.) like, having people not believe me  about something (in the dream, it was that i didn’t like soda.) having made mistakes that led others to judge me (as being irresponsible, impetuous, fill in the blank, my dream was full of this theme. the one running through it was that i missed a deadline at university that everyone knew about, everyone but me.) having to tell someone something very difficult, and hurting them (in the dream, it was a man who was courting me. madly madly in love with me, thought i was the most gorgeous wonderful person in the world, and i had to tell him i wasn’t into it.) being ‘too late’ and having to live with the consequences (in the dream, i was stuck retaking a full-year biology course, even though i had already taken it, and it was going to affect when i graduated.) ridiculous, but i was already exhausted by the time i woke up because of the life i had led in my dream.

the rest of the day didn’t pan out too great either. i got blisters on balls of my feet, going for a walk. i wanted to buy a bike, but there were none in stock. i picked up the wrong hardware to repair something, and my wife was mildly annoyed and i got triggered, and then so ashamed for not being able to stop my descent into littleness. i wasn’t there for pocketbrit, who really needed a friend. my kid suddenly wanted to talk to my estranged parents, after weeks of being completely disinterested in skyping with any of her grandparents.

and, hearing their voices in my house was just horrible. as bad as it always is, but maybe a bit extra, after the dream. i never go on camera, or talk to them, but it doesn’t matter. i have to hear them talk to her, and her to them. and i’m torn between needing to listen, needing to be a good parent, wanting to make sure they’re not being inappropriate with her by pressing her for information, or making her otherwise uncomfortable, and wanting to fucking run. wanting to dive under my covers with pillows over my head, or flee from the house, into air that doesn’t ring with their voices.

but here’s the thing, none of the options are good. none of them are better than the others. they’re all equally shit, because i hate that they are in our lives, in any form. i hate the posturing and pretending, i hate our daughter listing off all the things she wants (knowing she will get them in the mail in 2 to 3 weeks time), i hate them buying anything for her, i hate the birthday cards and cheques they still send us, despite us not opening or cashing them in nearly five years, i hate that the scenario in my dream will never come true.

my mother will never choose me. she never has, and she never will.

one hundred & twenty four: scream

i have a recurring dream where i’m trying to scream but no noise comes out. or only a small slow puff of air. but in the dream, i’m so incredibly desperate, eyes bugging out, arms waving, i’m trying my best to let people know i need help, i’m here, don’t leave without me…

lately it’s all kind of seemed like that. like i’m stuck in that feeling of screaming, of needing help but nothing is coming out.

*

as an aside, i also keep imagining those cartoons or movies where people open their mouths to scream and their uvula is vibrating at the back of their throats and then you’re transported down into their digestive system via some invisible gondola with crazy psychedelic colours rippling out everywhere and the scream getting more and more muffled…

or maybe i’m just getting inspired by that weird counting sesame street skit with the really catchy tune. (also, i don’t know why they don’t include the one for #1?)

(and no, i’m not on drugs, unless you count being slightly addled by sleep deprivation and having just taken nighttime cold medication…)

Tired (122)

I am tired. I walk around looking lovely (sarcastic) with bags under my eyes that I’m too lazy to cover with make up. I am clumsy and stupid and forget things, and I need my 2+ cups of coffee in the morning to try to resemble a normal person.

I’m not really the best person for going to sleep to begin with, I’m more of a night owl… Early mornings, no thank you. But even when I do go to bed at a decent time, getting to sleep is a whole different ball game…

There is the just lying there, no matter how shattered you are, brain going haywire, refusing entirely to allow you to sleep. Making you more anxious and more angry as the night turns to day and you’re still bloody awake.

Or, maybe you do fall asleep, but your deep sleep for the entire night of actually okay sleep resembles 14 whole minutes (fitbit doesn’t even grace that with a percentage because its so bad).

Or, you fall asleep but you’re woken up covered in sweat from disgusting or mean dreams. My more than a decade long recurring dream of being hunted down and raped after they’ve murdered my family…. Now that one im definitely tired of.

Or, an all time favourite (though thankfully rarer these days) of waking up somewhere in your house in the pitch black after sleepwalking, and not being able to work out where you are, (trust me it’s surprisingly harder than you think it is, and involves plenty of bruises the following day), and having a panic attack when you can’t figure it out.

Or, a CSA special… Trying to go to bed, but feeling young and scared and unable to shut off the trauma state. Of watching the door, listening out for footsteps. Normally taking place on a day your body is already going crazy with memories. Sensations that you can’t get off your body, uncomfortable or painful or just plain gross. Those nights are always so much fun.

And of course not sleeping well is definitely not unique. It goes for everyone from time to time, or even frequently. Everyone has those nights or spells of bad sleep. But im tired of being tired now, id love to wake up actually feeling rested for once…. Wouldn’t that be bloody amazing? And how much difference would it make to all the other stuff? Actually feeling rested? Lots, I bet.

*****

And there are lots of other things I’m tired of…. My parents, my family, my job, my brain, my hurts and all the feelings I really actually don’t want to feel. I’m tired of having crappy days, I’m tired of not getting what I need, I’m tired of life right now, dramatic as that absolutely is. And it’s a crappy time of year for me, but seriously, I’m over it already. Give me a lovely warm summer already, I beg you.