In March of 2013 I was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility where I ended up staying inpatient for 8 days. Both the slew of events leading up to the hospitalization and the paralyzing aftermath of this level of psychic disruption altered the course of my life for years. Though the most extreme episode to date, until relatively recently losing my shit and falling deep into despair and harmful delusions over surface topics chosen as buffers was not uncommon in my adult life. I have been under psychiatric care since age 17 and as any emotional young woman is commonly labeled my diagnoses ran under bipolar, major depression, borderline personality disorder, even Asperger’s Syndrome at one time when my inner mind was so chaotic I had to obsessively organize my surroundings in perfect symmetry and line. When it came out last year that I’m another missed case of PTSD, a woman misdiagnosed as anything at all on the spectrum of mental illness rather than treated for the trauma her abuse has caused, I decided that I would eventually share my psychiatric experiences as they happened in real time to demonstrate the devastating results, in simplest terms, of calling a woman crazy when you should instead be asking who hurt her. I am a survivor of child abuse and while what I experienced was so difficult and terrifying that I’m still recovering all the narrative memories of it, I exhibited every classic sign in relationships, in social settings, in my behavior, and writing and art, why didn't any of the adults around me say anything? Ask if I was ok? What about the mental health professionals who would rather diagnose and medicate a young woman for a mental illness akin to modern day Hysteria than question the character of the men who are closest to her? What I am sharing here never had to happen if someone had just paid attention. But I realize it’s much more common than we know. It’s all too easy to blame a person who is reacting to provocation for their behavior instead of looking for their oppressor. In a culture that’s already neglectful of the mentally ill this sets up an almost impossibly alienating experience for women who have been abused, have no support plan, and no one to just say “I believe you.”
Below is a journal written days after release from a psychiatric care unit of a local hospital in Chicago, March, 2013.
SPRUNG LOOSE BUT STILL LOCKED UP 3/13
I wasn’t sure what would happen. It was my knees. My damn knees. They hurt so much. I couldn’t stand it. I couldn’t sit down anymore. But standing around? Where? Should I pace? That wouldn’t be ok, a sure sign of anxiety. My roommate. I had nowhere to go. I could have done jail cell workouts in the mornings. But she was in there, sleeping, always. I had nowhere to go read after her arrival. I had to be social. Hang out in the common room. Watch TV. I don’t like TV. At least not that kind of TV. Save for the MSNBC moments which I don’t get at home, when I was alone in the mornings. But I had to get out. I felt safe. I was scared, but I felt safe. Being in there… it was maddening, but it was safe. I was away from the things that I was so afraid of facing again. And I knew that, didn’t I? I was hesitant. I couldn’t quite figure out a way to frame the question because how do you ask, “Will I be ok?” How do they know? They can only say You have a better chance now. It’s up to you. If you do this and this and that. Do you feel like you will be ok? I didn’t know. I really didn’t know. And now… I still don’t. I am paralyzed. My wrists itch. Where the hand connects to the wrist, the joint to the arm. Where they can be dislocated and separated. Maybe just sawed right through. When I read my intake form the resident wrote that I wanted to cut off my hand with a chainsaw. I was upset about this. Because I had clearly said buzz saw. How the hell would I manage to hold down and control a chainsaw with one hand?? Now I have that on my record and I look like a moron. That was what I was thinking when I looked at that form, not “Jesus Christ I am insane.” Or “that was scary” or “I’m glad I’m not thinking that anymore.” No. I’m thinking that I look stupid for appearing to want to sever my hand by clearly nonsensical means. Nonsensical emphasis not being placed on the act of hand severing, but rather the choice of tool. God fucking dammit. I shouldn’t have left should I? Did I know better? Maybe if I were in a single room I would have had the strength to accept my situation. But being institutionalized is humiliating. And it takes a certain type of self-awareness to embrace it and do what you need to do. I got arrogant. I read that book. I wrote almost daily. I didn’t write enough. I didn’t have personal space. But I started having too much faith in my powers of introspection, and general powers of thought and analysis, that I figured I was smart enough to be ok. I got this, this hospital thing. It makes sense, I see where we’re all going with this, why you’re here, why that guy’s here, why I’m here, and why the system is what it is, I get why these restrictions are this way, why this structure is in place. This all makes sense. So why should I do this any longer, now that I have placed all compartments of this experience? Well Jesus Christ Caroline this isn’t a lab report it’s a goddam hospitalization. I was there to get better not to research the history and theory behind institutionalizing the mentally ill and assessing all those around me. Sure. I got some helpful information about myself. I’m pretty sure it’s accurate. (Editor's note: It wasn't.) Pretty sure. And I got some sleep. Which is really important. But I don’t feel any better. True, I’m not crying. I was crying. I broke down. But I am scared, still. Just thinking about the work that awaits shuts me down And most importantly, most fucking importantly, I can’t be around my tools. My scissors, my kitchen knives, sharp things. I see them and they scare me. I had to fumble through my little sewing box to find a pencil for my mom today and I got incredibly nervous pushing all those scissors around. It’s not as strong a reaction but when I was in the ER and the nurse took my blood I couldn’t look at it. Normally I like to watch, see the needle go in, the blood spurt out into the vile or snake down that thin rubber hose and oddly that calms me, but in this case I felt the needle and I saw blood and my whole body was shaking, my stomach turned, heart pounding. I had to look away. I don’t know if I was excited or disgusted. Afraid. I think it was in fact terrifying. And in a lesser way when I was sifting through those scissors today I had that same shaky reaction. The fluttering heart and dizzy eyes. This is not ok. First of all how will I be able to make these hats if I can’t be around my tools. Do I just try and the bad feelings will adjust and I will forget about it? Or will my comfort holding the objects make it all too easy to stab them into my hands? Secondly, how am I safe here alone in the first place? Right now it’s ok, itchy wrists and all, but I have been distracted by my mom all weekend. What happens when she leaves. What happens if I have to try to save this semester, or maybe what happens if I am left here with idle time? I would like to read and write. Honestly. I want that time. I don't want to make those hats. I want to make them because they would be awesome. And I made a commitment. And I don’t want to flake because I am too old to flake. But Jesus Christ if I pick up a pair of embroidery scissors and want to slice the webbing between all of my fingers what the fuck is going to happen? Because right now the webbing between all of my fingers has started to itch. I don’t think I can do this. I was afraid to leave but I was afraid to stay. I think in both scenarios I would have been miserable, but unfortunately this may have been the wrong choice. The longer I wait the worse this will get. I have to make a decision. I know what anyone in the mental health profession would say, I think, if I told them what I have written here, but it’s almost too hard to accept defeat, and almost as importantly, to let others down.
I hope I sleep tonight. And I hope I figure something out soon. I can’t be candid with everyone. I can’t talk about my dark mind in the meeting tomorrow, but I somehow have to discuss my difficult predicament. I just want to sleep then run then read a book, eat some pistachios drink diet coke and watch the Daily Show. Talk to S then read or write a little more and go to bed. Get up and do it all over again. That’s all I want to do. Something needs to be solved here.
Man that guy at the coffee shop this morning. He was the start. That tone. He used a tone. He thought he was being like… suave. That's what he was going for, Suave. And he almost pulled it off. If I weren't so focused on changes in tone generally it would have sounded sexy the way it was supposed to like interested like Hey and maybe he wouldn't be endearing maybe he'd be intimidating or scary or too tall but no he's a big tall nerd with glasses that are just too large and he's beautiful which is how he's been afforded the chances to practice that stupid tone of voice and I'm sure he gets plenty with it and goddam his little maroon sweater and his dumb glasses and I just want him in his underwear on my couch chattering because I know he's the type to chatter and I want to hear what he has to say. Am I objectifying him? Maybe. He was chattering with those chicks this morning I already know. Why do I like manboys. I guess I don't like anyone really who takes him or herself too seriously. I don't like myself when I'm serious either. Life is so weird and fucked up and dark and not ok sometimes we need to be able to get to a place where we see light and silliness and really the kind of hope and optimism that only children are capable of before shit gets a hold of them and they get jaded the fuck out. Maybe being an adult child means you're not held back with those constructed filters either. Pure honesty. Not yet trained in bias enough to judge it. I like manboys. Some of them are too difficult too afraid haven't worked out enough of their shit but some have already been to the dark side have welcomed the jading have done enough of their own stupid adult male constructed bullshit garbage and end up settling nicely into grownup children eyes and arms open smiling often psyched almost always, telling the dumbest stories with the most enthusiasm and never letting you forget how special you are because if anything can make a manboy happy it's the ladygirl who takes care of him. Fuck. I think I need another coffee. Almond milk please, and can you make it a decaf.
I kept trying to think of what boy it was from my childhood that he reminded me of and I went to those Italian meatballs like Mark and David D my favorite boys ever in Ms. Bowe’s class most definitely David my Secret Santa who gave me the one thing I’ve kept in my possession the longest of my life, along with my 4th grade diary, where incidentally that kid's not mentioned once. But his eyes I can see his eyes. I always go back to that. Mark was similar they both had that look David was just short. He was also really sweet and Mark was sweet too but a popular kid so he had an attitude and picked on Chris his sidekick. David didn't have a sidekick, he was labeled as kind of a loser but I always laughed at his jokes and bounced them around with him. He had a lot of life, I think that’s why, he had a ton of energy and was excited by shit, he was a smartass. And I guess he liked me, I don’t know that I understood that. I was supposed to be going out with Mark, the first official couple in the 4th grade, until I dumped him when I remembered boyfriends were lame, sidekick Chris interviewed me with SpyGear strapped to his chest while I reluctantly repeated the prompt "because he's a fucking asshole!" and watched him outside in the bushes hands to ears shaking his head in disbelief, then started wearing my Leave Me Alone t-shirt, and I’d tell David in particular “Leave Me Alone or I’ll Kick Your Own” not because I meant it, but because I knew he’d think it was funny. I distinctly remember the look on his face when I opened that present, when we were all sitting in the circle on the floor in Ms. Bowe’s class, I think Mrs. D’Amico was subbing, it was rumored that Ms. Bowe had a nervous breakdown because we were a notoriously bad class and she wasn’t too stable to begin with so while she had an unknown illness we terrorized subs one after another most the year until she came back at the end and we had to pretend to be nice to her. She looked like Nancy Kerrigan. Also the same year. We yelled WHY ME a lot. Anyway I remember opening this little box and there was a little pin of a Toucan, a grown ass Brooch. At the time it was kind of dumb. I guess, right? I just remember being a little embarrassed. It was jewelry. From a boy. In 4th grade. While he stared at me shyly from across the floor. The memory of that face is so vivid. The gaze of fear and anticipation. I never wore it. I just put it in my jewelry box and it sat there for years. So many fucking years of my costume jewelry dressing up with my girlfriends putting on shows and taking pictures of ourselves, playing every kind of character I could play as I went through my phases in middle school and high school experimenting with art and fashion, this little gold plated or maybe just brass and patina toucan pin never came out. I had so much shit. Come on I love objects and accessories and baubles preferably throw-away cheap and weird it all piles up and when I move either to college or another state or even another apartment I sort through all of it, give bags to friends or sell off to thrift stores, and move right along. Every time I cleaned out my jewelry box, case, armoire, I kept that little toucan pin. I don’t know why, but I could just never part with it, I knew it would be relevant someday, I told myself for fashion. In Minnesota I started going to the antique stores in Hopkins and found that one Jewelry Store Anne and Jacks only open 3 days a week. It was a fucking gold mine. Their prices were insane and I’d just load up on bakelite bangles, brooches, any kind of treasure from those stuffed ziplock bags I’d see the old ladies come in and haggle over with Jack receiving next to nothing for. Good news for me, what am I getting out of the $10 case this week? I bought a silver-backed white and turquoise enamel peacock pin with its fan attached by a hinge so that it could be bent back and forth slightly. Another time I picked up an eagle with spread wings covered in rhinestones. A sparrow here, a raven there, eventually I accumulated quite the collection of bird brooches. I never wore any of them. They just nested in my jewelry case with that Toucan until I moved to Chicago and the antiquing went reserved for barely annual trips back to Minneapolis when it stopped completely a few years ago. I experimented a little with the gorgeous loot I had during my early to mid twenties. I even did manage to wear the Toucan on a gold chain one summer night in 2008, with a black tank top, dark bluejeans, and if I’m not mistaken black and white platform wedge L.A.M.B sneakers. WHAT ELSE would I be wearing in 2008. But as the years went on and my tattoos quickly piled up the color and accessories in my wardrobe started to vanish. So with each spring cleaning more and more bags of jewelry would be gifted to my sister and friends with nothing to replace it until I am now down to one little half empty leather box atop my dresser that I haven’t opened since I moved here 5 months ago. In it there are plenty of plain silver, glass, and bakelite rings which I do wear occasionally, some stud earrings which I don’t, a couple necklaces that were gifts from my mother and grandmother, some costume pearls, rhinestones, various lengths of chain, and my bird brooches, the Toucan included. An easy assumption to make about why people collect things is that they want to recreate the feeling they had when they bought or obtained or received the original item. Obviously nothing is as pure and satisfying as an original spontaneous moment so a true collector will forever be searching for the unattainable piece to complete any set of objects. I wonder if I’ve been. I wanted that Leave Me Alone shirt a couple years ago from my mom. I asked her to rebuy it for me the way she originally felt compelled to when I was such a bitch in the 4th grade. 1994 forever goes down as my favorite year. Favorite year of my existence. I neglect to mention how important that kid was. He wasn’t allowed to be he wasn’t cool. But I liked him. We were like unspoken besties. Everyone ignored it because Mark liked me so much so I was also supposed to be his girl until I called it off and declared I wasn't anybody's girl then started pushing boys to the ground and making them kiss the dirt. What does this have to do with anything. It’s that kid’s face. It’s his eyes. That’s what I’m attracted to. That’s J’s face, it’s A’s. It’s that bartender. God I remember so clearly. When I opened that box. Mrs. D’Amico who loves baubles herself was like OOOOhhhAAAHhh Carrrriiiieeee. I’ve never gotten rid of it. I wore it once when I was 23 and going through a bad jewelry phase. I almost just wrote I Miss Him. Jesus Christ. The boy who told dick jokes, missing dick jokes to be exact, under his breath in music class in 4th grade. Biting off dicks, stealing dicks, obliterating them all together. All while looking at me with those adoring shy eyes. Who would be a better first love. I wonder how he’s doing these days. I wonder who’s stealing his dick now. I hope he's loving it. I hope he's taken care of. I hope he has everything he deserves. He deserves to have everything. He certainly gave plenty to me.
I don’t want to write today. I want to talk. I want to say it out loud. I want to fucking yell it at my walls. I Miss You. Where Are You. I’m Sorry. Come Here.
I made a mistake. And it makes me feel a little ill to write that but it comes out anyway. I don’t know the extent of it. Maybe a month maybe three. Maybe 2 years I don’t know I DON’T KNOW. But I know I acted too quickly. And I know I hurt you and you are too fucking dense to understand why and maybe now you get it and now it’s too late to get anything and I’m stuck here walking outside in the heat breathless fucking Breathless because it’s easier not to breathe than it is to cry in public. Everything. It’s in everything. How can I still be sad about this. About a person I have absolutely no connection to, no social media, no photos, no internet searching, no text history to pull up and stare at and think about and interpret a hundred different ways depending on my mood. Nothing. I have nothing but a few emails and one phone call that says everything and nothing at all because I was too dumb to let it just go straight to fucking voicemail. Like a normal fucking woman who screens phone calls because men don’t know how to say shit. Haven’t I watched enough episodes of Sex and the City in one lifetime? NEVER PICK UP THE PHONE. I feel like I’m conditioned to the drunk dial lifestyle of picking up at 4am and listening to J or A or even K go off on all the many things they think of me from Meaningless Whore to Love of Their Lives all of which might just lead to a little sex next time someone’s in town. 11:58AM on a Wednesday?? SCREEN THAT SHIT YOU IDIOT. Screen and wait like 4 days to journal and freak out and lose your goddam shit then tie it all back together after a long walk in the heat and summer rain before even thinking of making contact. I should know better. Then again so should he.
I’ve been hoping to meet more trustworthy men. That seems like the solution, right? Isn’t that it. Just like, hey, shy bartender, you seem safe, be a temporary emotional replacement while I get set up for a minute. Or yo, guy who seems like he wants to open up to me OH NO FUCK NO NO NOT YOU. I forgot about those. I also forgot how much everyone lies. All the time. Like they have no idea how obvious their lying is. Am I the only person who laughs when men say shit that’s just not true? Or who smirks at something I’m supposed to be buying? I should know this, A was a liar. But he told me he was up front so I just knew when to acknowledge a lie, when to know to whom he was lying and about what, and when to just smile and want to believe what he was saying because I knew his intentions. But he, too, was safe. So I didn’t care. None of these crafty motherfuckers are trustworthy. At all. It’s been 2 months. How does it take me more than 2 months to link up with someone enough to even just let them see my tits. I have to post a fucking censored version on Instagram because no one in my life except the one I can’t send it to is deserving of a private text and even he doesn’t get one until he meets them in person. Standard titpic rules. Otherwise you’re a man I’ll never sleep with and I’m just fucking with you. Oh yeah, sorry RD, that was pretty mean. He was adorable I was still mad at A, casualty of a shitty breakup. Good photographer though, also evidenced by his beautiful cockshots, best of luck to him.
Hey wasn’t RD a real sweetheart? Yeah he was. Probably why I wouldn’t go out with him. Before I learned how to like nice men. Well. Isn’t that lovely. Not like I can compare posting innocent Dickpics on Instagram to leaving town when I fall in love with someone I shouldn’t be with anyway. Just because they’re both good guys. Just means I have to try a little harder not to scare away all those shy bartenders. BTW how'd that motherfucker find my website?? Note to self: Learn How To Lie.
I’ve got to chill on P. It’s a physical thing. It is. It’s that look. I’m into that look. It’s that mouth. God that huge fucking mouth. And his strong jaw. And like nose and face and messy hair. It’s all of it. He’s so fucking gorgeous. He’s so tall. I hate this. Seriously. Never. Never met a man that I have been this attracted to. Physically. No, sexually too. Just at all. He is captivating. That’s what he was he was captivating. I am so fucking frustrated that he blocked me on Facebook because I can’t see pictures of him. I am like dying because I can’t look at pictures of his face. This is how fucking… well how pathetic I am. How sexy he is, how attracted I am to someone I haven’t seen since August, how something like that can stay with a person, maybe just me, and how fucking crazy I also am because this is just stupid. And what am I going to do. I want to like email him and ask him to send me a picture of himself. I can’t. I can’t that’s totally fucking insane. But. I want to see his face. It’s so beautiful. It’s so fucking spectacular. And I want to tell him more. I want to talk to him more and tell him how fucking sexy he is and that I just want to do shit to him and make him do shit to me and like no shut your mouth just shut up we’ll figure out how to talk to each other later let’s just fuck and like you just fucking be there and be hot and goddammit so I was thinking about having sex with him last night and totally ruining my underwear just the way that I am I swear to god I think I already came I don’t even need a fucking vibrator if I just squeeze my legs together I’ll fucking get off, anyway I was thinking about him and wanted to actually masturbate and the whole time kept forcing myself to come up with fantasies about J because I don’t want to keep visualizing sex with this man. I don’t. Especially when all the emotional shit I have around him is so fucked up and not ok and very Daddy Issue in a stupid way. Like the bad way. The really pathetic part of my relationship with my dad where he needed my validation and I pitied him because he didn’t deserve it so he forced it out of me. Ugh. UGH! So dumb. But like. The beauty. That’s something real. Because physically he looks unlike anyone I’ve ever seen or ever been involved with. He’s the men I see from afar or on TV and get fixated on. He’s that tall man in my summer class at SAIC that I was too afraid to talk to so I just stared at him from a row back and held shallow breaths every time he spoke with that deep powerful voice. Yeah. It’s that. That’s something. That’s my type. It’s a problem. Because I’m willing to overlook all of the terrible way beyond red flag rather just fucking BAD shit because all I want to do is stare at this man and eventually get him to have his way with me. It’s not ok. I’m like. I’m suffering. This is erotic torture. And not the fun kind. Jesus Christ. Send me a picture.
So. The beard. I keep fucking thinking about the beard and I’m going to have to say something because it’s driving me crazy and I can’t fucking… because I know what it’s about for me. I got to the bottom of my problems with beards. I mean those assholes with the beards where you can’t see faces are fucking assholes. But close shaven facial hair I’ve always been into. Always. That picture of Charles looking down at me is like the hottest thing… still. Still it’s amazing. Charles with a full on beard no. But that… that really tight one. Always done it for me. Ray’s was never well-maintained. He always looked like shit. When I ran into him and he was working downtown he looked amazing. It was way under control. But. That wasn’t the point. What ruined beards for me was really something that only ruined Ray’s beard, and that’s when he told me his reason for having one. It wasn’t just the reason which was fucking terrible and dickless enough, it was that he told me in the first place. He said that he had grown it out for winter then when thinking about shaving it again his ex wife told him not to - beards are IN right now. So hey - keep the beard, right? GROSS. Ok she’s the thing that she is I don’t know the bitch but I’ve seen her Instagram account I'm not too surprised. But Ray? We weren’t dating at the time. Because I told him to shave, he did, and I fucked him immediately. Then he grew it back. Honestly he looks better with a little hair on his face, I felt like I was kissing a 16-year-old. But it was just… it was his unkempt beard. It was his fucking do whatever women tell me to do requirement BFA so I can be cool story. And it was positioning his ex wife next to me to see how I’d measure up like he did the whole time we were together. All of that. All of that around a goddam beard. I didn't bring it up, you did. Just SHAVE YOUR FUCKING BEARD. It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t make you this or that. No man is more or less man based on how he grows, treats, prunes his fucking facial hair. All a beard does is shade or balance the contrast on a person’s face to either detract or bring attention to other features. It’s an aesthetic tool. Not symbolic, no no. The only symbolism you can read in a beard anymore is that it belongs to a fucking asshole who thinks it says something about him. Beards are like makeup. We can use concealer and foundation, play with contouring if we need to shift balance around. Maybe darken our eyes, pop the lips. Men can just grow hair and cover things entirely if need be, maybe bring ALL the attention to those smoldering eyes and soft lips. I’m down. Short shorn beards. Fine. FINE! Prince did it. Prince looked hot as shit. Why don’t all you motherfuckers start shaving your faces like Prince. Sorry. Sorry. We’re trying to suggest rugged manliness here. Well. Got some information. Prince? REAL DOM. Yeah. All you beanie wearing motherfuckers I see daily? Eyes to the ground when you pass me on the street. I know which of those beards I’m letting go down on me next. And I’m pretty sure he’s going to ask before I have to.
It’s not beards. It’s you. Well some of you yes it’s your beards take care of that shit. Everyone else. I’m sorry for yelling at your face hair when I just wanted to call you out for being a pussy. The general population of male face hair didn’t deserve it. I apologize to well-intended beards. Prince - call me.
My word is my enemy.
Relationships ruin us.
Sex wins but only by definition of one.
People aren't connected, they're complacent. So in fact settling is not just real, it's necessary.
Men are like plants. You learn just what basic conditions they need to survive, you tend to them like they couldn't last without you, you never do anything that would confuse their ideal environment, and you'll be just fine. We're living in a placating nation. We're two steps away from wiping their assess for them. Maybe I'll never meet a guy who totally gets me. But that doesn't mean I have to pretend he's something more in order for us to match.
I don't care much about love. Or companionship. It doesn't motivate me. It only gets in my way when I stumble across a shitty situation. And I get stuck with men who don't matter for far too long because I've been taught that it's all supposed to fucking matter. It doesn't. I matter. My shit’s sparkly cool. I've never even let it grow. I've never shown anyone. I try to show these dickheads I date and they're dismissive and unappreciative because they're too daft to understand what's going on. Relationships kill. I see women dying constantly. Flowers wilting. Lights dimming. Men are idiots. Good for conversation. Great for sex. Horrible partners. I don't want my life drained anymore. I just want a motherfucker who knows how to fuck and how to mind his goddam manners.
Sex wins. But only by definition of one. That's like, 95% of my power. So I think I'll take it from here.
I can’t stop thinking about P. It’s bad. Seeing him sparked this new thought about how I’m supposed to naturally exist in relationships, what I’m so poorly trying to write about right now. I could use him as an example - what I had set out to do - yet it somehow all comes back to Ray. It may be because I suddenly feel like Ray is now reading this shit and I’m trying to send messages to him. I may be trying to make amends this way. It’s stupid. It’s contradictory to the whole basis of this website. It ruins my writing. Completely. What I should be talking about is the tall one. He’s the one who led me to all of these thoughts. He’s the one I’d fuck right now if I saw him. In a heartbeat. He’s the one I fantasize about in a totally new way that I’ve never really seen in men before. If I saw Ray today I’d sit him down at my table, pour him a glass of Pendleton, and just make him talk.
Fuck man. I’m really mean. I have no idea how mean I really am. I always think that I’m just defending myself. In reality I’m picking on someone then putting him down when he fights back. If I’m not using my words to make him feel bad I’m creating such an inhospitable or insulting situation that he has no choice but to disrespect me in order to fight back himself. This usually comes in the form of rejection. Which I don’t stand for. Because I somehow know that he doesn’t mean it. Or doesn’t actually want to leave. It’s always confirmed by his return. Which I never let him forget. And the cycle continues. I’m a fucking cunt! I was particularly bad to this one. Like - really fucking bad. I may have actually done damage. Why? I was so fucking into him when we met. When he was drunk. I was actually drunk too. But we were being ourselves. And I let my guard down. He treated me the way that I naturally demand to be treated - like a fucking Badass Lady of the Universe, and I ate it up and put my hand on his leg and gave back warmth and words and a nice little make out session. I felt something special for him, even just in one first meeting drunken attempt to hang out all night and make it into my apartment. In true form I’m the one who picked him up, by being a fucking bitch and making fun of him up front. Without even introducing myself. But something about him was special. Why I had to turn it into something else so dark and fucked up and volatile I can only guess.
I liked him when he was drunk, each time. It’s more like I liked myself. I calmed down. I let myself feel vulnerable. I let him look at me like the thing that I am. And I allowed myself to be that thing instead of locking it up every time we saw each other as some sort of punishment or statement that he didn’t deserve it or maybe he did but he’d have to force it out of me. I have no idea what I wanted him to do. I think I just wanted his support, I wanted someone’s fucking support, but I didn’t want to ask for it. I wanted him to prove that he meant it. I wanted to beat it out of him. Which obviously is not possible. I’d just ended up terrorizing him and making him feel like shit, I focused all of the attention on his problems and denied that I had any of my own. I have a lot of fucking problems. If I saw him today I’d say Dude, I have a big problem right now. Will you just let me chill, maybe let me lie on you, I’ll touch your hair, we don’t have to talk about anything, or maybe we can talk about something stupid? Can you entertain me? You’re really funny, just do that for a while. I got the feeling that he had some emotional depth. Maybe not in any way capable of sharing it with another person, but I had this urge to tap into it. Of course I antagonized it. I found it and exploited it. Instead of just trying to connect. I think I’ve been so focused on finding an intellectual match that I forget about just being appreciated for what I am, regardless of whether or not the man is exactly the same. I’m never going to be with anyone who is exactly the same. Ray isn’t even exactly the same. He worked his ass off to keep up with me. Right now maybe I can get other things from a man and give my assets as a gift instead of a some sort of competition. I should have done that with P. I should have stayed open. He would have liked me. I think we would have gotten along really well.
I don’t know why I still have such tender feelings for this man. We were so fucking horrible to each other. But I feel totally at fault for it. I pushed him into it. I wasn’t ready to meet someone new. And I wasn’t ready to meet a new kind of person. But in reality - isn’t he the kind of person that I should be with? Someone that I immediately pay attention to, who makes me feel as powerful as I am, who taps into an emotional tenderness that I rarely have, and who makes me laugh? I feel so much regret over everything that happened with him. It makes for great stories, he became the perfect punch line, but really it’s only because I wanted him to be. That’s how powerful I am. I can make a man into anything I want him to be. And I have to start understanding that. And finally make a man into someone I can trust, who will be here, who will care. They’ve always been here. Ready and willing. And I turn them into big raging dicks. So I’m sorry P. You didn’t deserve it. I got these crazy vibes seeing you on Saturday. And I hate to say, but I’d fuck you in a heartbeat. Oh whoops was I talking about sex? That too. You're good at sex.
I've been writing all day long. Since breakfast. Which was early. Because I woke up way too fucking early. I don't think I ever actually slept, so after my yogurt and blueberries I came back to bed really hoping to nap. Instead I swiped open my phone. And have been typing, one finger, ever since.
The problem with this is that I'm not writing essays, journals, even outlines. I'm drafting emails. After I've written and edited for an hour I reread a tenth time, decide it's too long and no good, then open up a new blank page. They're all to one person. Who probably doesn't read them. Who likely just has them filtered to a spam folder. But for a couple weeks now I've been writing those emails. Slipping right onto that send button all too often. What do I need. What am I trying to pull from him? The silence should tell me enough, right? Leave the poor bastard alone.
One reality of decoding a traumatic past is that it makes you see just how badly you fucked up prior relationships. In fact it makes it all too clear. Suddenly understanding how your first formed connection with a male operated, and continued to function, sheds light on how you treat others. Or even worse - how you misinterpret them. In finally dealing with what I was denied a chance to deal with for an entire lifetime, I've suddenly become overwhelmed with guilt. Imagine. The motherfucker who made me feel guilty for being a victim somehow manages to instill guilt in me for being so fucked up by this that I don't understand what it feels like when a person genuinely loves me. But I can't help it. That's where I'm at. So I draft emails. Send some. And they're all about the same fucking thing.
It's clear now, ok. I'm sorry. My wires were crossed. I did love you but I didn't know how. You scared me with how much love I saw in your face. What I never talked about was how I was being terrorized the whole time and just put all that crap on you. Like when my brothers used to beat the shit out of me so I'd try to hurt my little sister but she would cry and I didn't want to make her cry so I resorted to psychological torture. It's all the same thing. I'm sick of people fucking with me. I just assumed you were fucking with me too.
But what am I writing these emails for? He doesn't need this shit in his life. He has a girlfriend, they're happy, they're doing just fine. What's he going to do, congratulate me for that gold star I got in therapy? My relentless need to apologize for what I've done goes deeper. It's selfish. It's desperate. It's a losing tactic by far. But I want the motherfucker back.
Wait wait. I don't know how I want him back. I just know that I want him in my life. He was my best friend. Before the fucking. And after it. I'm on some sort of misguided mission to reconnect with the best connection I've ever had. He knows it was too. So what the fuck man. Just reply and set a meeting place.
Something that I have a really hard time understanding is that people are perfectly comfortable getting just about enough needs met by one person then calling it a deal. Dating, relationships, and the idea of marriage all feel so suffocating to me because it inevitably limits the capacity for how far you can grow. This may only be a fear of mine, and not everyone's reality, but it seems as if in coupling up we enmesh with our partners and no new ideas enter the circle. It's frustrating. It's probably why before I met him I'd always have a best friend and many fucks. Fucks taking all forms in or outside the bedroom. It felt like I had room to explore others intellectually and bring my findings back to the primary relationship, a man I would never sleep with, therefore never having the opportunity to meld.
Is this just my fear of intimacy? Or is it exactly what I'm seeing in his current relationship and I know what the fuck I'm talking about. Is it why he ignores me now, he doesn't think the same, he has different ideas?? Or did she see us texting and shut it down. Oh. That's right. That's the other problem with relationships. Possessiveness. And I'm all too familiar with feeling like someone's property.
So what exactly am I emailing this man for? Do we even want the same things? Does he even want to think actual thoughts? Why can't I just leave him alone and let him be happy. He'll find his way back if he actually misses the thoughts. But he won't if I keep telling him "Dude I've got all the thoughts!!" No one wants to be told that they could be having a great time somewhere else when they're already having a good time where they are. Who gives a fuck. Buzz buzz. He'll find me when he gets sick of folk music.
Really I think I've just been listening to too much Ray Charles lately. You know every time I put on those records I think of him. It was our purest musical connection. I felt him through that shit. Felt real close. But that's me and Ray. Since I was a kid. And that's the kind of relationship I'll keep forever.
Fuck this man. Actually fuck him. Yeah sure find out if you have chemistry etc etc but really for real just fuck the sexy bastard. Those pictures don't lie. He doesn't lie. Dirty fucking bird. What happened to my sex drive. All of a sudden I lose my orgasm because I have one fantasy about my male therapist because ok this is erotic transference from Ray because I get it it's Thanksgiving and all the feelings come back and they are some heavy fucking feelings and am I supposed to talk about the feelings so that I can get back to the fucking? I wrote about it all week. I wrote about it so much to such a monotonous degree that nothing was postable and I had to spend 3 days coming up with little shorts and good enough screen shots. What about Thanksgiving though. It's tomorrow. Remember last year? The sudden crash back into a relationship after a year of… that. Fear, anxiety, mistrust. The fucking anti dramatic drama. Then suddenly I'm supposed to bake a pie and meet his mother? When he's in London 3 weeks out of the month anyway? I was working so much, I got a self induced migraine, I bowed out of my speciality only thing I know how to bake someone else's recipe chocolate chip pies. I almost didn't show up that morning. My head hurt so much. I asked him if my ass looked fat. I think I used the word bodacious. Because it was, I had an ass for the first time ever, but it came with the extra 10 pounds. WHO THE FUCK ASKS HER BOYFRIEND ANYTHING, ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT HER BODY?? Let me rephrase. When have I, ME, ever in my life, big or small, needed a man tell me what my body looks like. That's none of his business. I take care of my shit and I dress so well who gives a fuck whatever I'm shaped like under there. He was my boyfriend clearly he dug it. Goddam. The insecurity and fear I had just jumping back into a Serious Fucking Relationship with absolutely no discussion of what had happened between us or what we would do differently. No communication whatsoever. All I got was a simple “I'm ready now” and I was so desperate for another chance I never just said “I'm not.”
Because I should have communicated too. I had a lot to give back, a lot of amends to make. We never made amends. We just forced, literally forced intimacy as if nothing had happened between the moment we fell in love immediately breaking up September 2013 and that Thanksgiving 2014. Fuck man. Surprising me in the shower, the fear in my eyes was real. That's some real ass intimate shit. I couldn't handle it. I didn't know how to be that woman so I copied what I saw in other women who do the serious boyfriend thing. I got really insecure about things that didn't matter. I stressed the fuck out over what to get him for Christmas. Like stressed. The. Fuck. Out. I tried to drop hints for what he should get me but in a totally crazy way because I didn't actually want anything I just wanted him to come home from Europe so we could sit across the table from each other and talk and stare like we used to do. How I do feel intimate with him. Brain chemistry. The meet. A connection. Not the idea of what being with him means or symbolizes. Or will do for me. Or for my future. Just like… total straight line I see inside your head you see mine oh we also gaze connection. And make each other smarter and better at our own problems. Life improvements not life comforts. He was a challenge I always won, and the same on his end. Just mutual growth. So. I'm here on Wednesday night without him because it didn't really matter, he just wanted… warmth is the only word I feel safe using. I gave him every kind of love I could. But when someone stops needing my brain and starts wanting that heart… I'm trapped. My brain is my heart. I don't see the separation, it's science. My mind controls everything, it has the upper hand which means its needs come first. When those needs are met my body gets warm and relaxed and comfortable and I feel love. Nothing sensory can tell me that I'm emotionally close or caring or cared for. Feed my brain and you're feeding my heart. I'm sorry. I'm sorry that that's how I work. I used to think that this made me more masculine in relationships. It actually is irrelevant to gender that's a totally archaic bullshit bias. It just now feels like it makes me less human.
So speaking of this lack of humanity. Here I am missing one of the only things I do value as a living animal and that's my sex drive. That was running rampant just a week ago. I have ample opportunity to fuck right now. I just, in the most adult conversation I think I've ever had, turned down an invitation last night. This new prospect… he's hot as fuck. He also does shit up my alley but way more evolved. Been looking for a teacher, for new experiences, not someone I have to bully into beating me up a little. One thing is clear, I can't sulk and think that I'm doomed because I'm not every other or at least most women in Chicago. I lose my confidence and likely confidence in my sexuality when I think that I'm supposed to be someone else. I'm not. I'm a hot hustling motherfucker. It's true. I just can't deal with Holidays when each one reminds me of someone trying to get close and me getting a migraine or refusing to bake a pie.
I have no idea what I'm legitimately looking for. But at this point I have to know exactly who I am, right? I have no regret or sadness over losing my entire family as a result of cutting my father out of my life this year, thus spending Thanksgiving brunch with a friend and gathering of her family etceteras, but I've gone into a stagnant state a numbing sadness knowing I've lost the only person I knew that I felt legitimate love for, and that he's found what he considers a different more appropriate normal basic ass legitimate love with someone else.
Yeah I need to get my fuck on. Just like now and a lot and well. It's the best way out. We'll deal with all the Christmas and Ray Charles when we get there. For now just… well I have a system. The dicks are back for sure. And fuck pretending to see them my dicks will remain invisible as long as I want them to. I have a system! I can do whatever the fuck I want.