Daily Archives: June 2, 2017

Disturbed and Perturbed

I fed six shrieking kids last night. Fortunately they sat outside at the picnic table so I didn’t have to do more than cook mac and cheese and provide paper plates and forks. I don’t know why I agreed to it, maybe I was just that glad to have my kid home even though the noise of constant kids is already breaking me down.

Then came drama. My kid opted to play with the older kids two doors down so the devil girls mouthed the older kids then their mouthy loud mother got into it with the devil girl’s father in MY yard and he told me his girls are not allowed to play with those older kids. Fine, but my kid was getting along fine with them prior to his kids showing up. To make matters worse is the race issue, only made an issue by HIS mouthy kids who seem to think skin color is indicative of superiority. Hmm, where did they learn that from?

The shocker was when devil dad invited all four of the posse (I’d call them a gang, but that’s a bad term, too, I guess) plus his own two to sleep over at their house. Not once in 5 years have those parents offered to do ANYTHING, they won’t even let kids in their house supposedly due to a bite-y dog. I was relieved to finally have my kid back but I wasn’t feeling too great (the meds, guess Cymbalta and Wellbutrin together are to blame for my newfound sleepiness and nausea) and my kid’s almost 8 and never slept over anywhere but grandma’s, grandpa’s, and R’s. So I cut the apron strings, in spite of my own anxiety. Their trailer is right behind ours, can see their front door from my step, so it wasn’t like she was miles away. Still…it was a big step for me. Alone time with the dark thoughts is not good right now but I put her needs ahead of my own.

She returned home today at the time I specified and I gave her a shower while she said she stayed up all night and she cried for me, and the other girls made her clean up all their messes but it was okay because they had McDonald’s (why did I feed them all mac and cheese again????). I bathed her and gave her breakfast, within 30 minutes another kid was knocking for her. I tried to play My Little Pony Shopkins with her but the child is so bossy she doesn’t allow free thought. ‘Do this” “Pretend this” “say this”. She needs to learn that if she’s got the story all plotted out and doesn’t want to include others then she can play alone. Awful of me? Maybe. Still. I let her play with Riley and wasn’t five minutes they were asking for food. I hate seeming stingy by saying no but my God, I can’t afford to feed her and me, let alone 6 other kids, day in and day out. And before I get any comments on how I am the adult. duh! I know this. And I realized earlier I would never allow any man or woman to treat me the way that child does. Guess I’m just wishy washy during these deep depressions and she’s likely learned to use that to her advantage. No do-overs here, just cleaning up the mess that’s been made. And in our situation, with limited funds, a crap ass down with zero activities, there’s not much for any of these kids to do during summer but play together. I just don’t know why it has to be my yard. Guess the picnic table replaced the swing set they destroyed as a beacon.

So…Oh what would it be like to write coherently and stay on topic? So I went to sleep-ish at 7 thirty last night…And I say ish because I was up several times but I was so tired (fuck you, meds) I didn’t have the will to stay up. This morning I took my meds and spent two hours trying to stay awake and feeling comatose. Last time I was on Cymbalta, I got hypomanic for a couple of hours afterward. But then I wasn’t on Wellbutrin back then. Guess this mix is just sleep inducing.Which is one of my deal breaker side effects. May be mythbusting time, take away Wellbutrin temporarily and see if the grogginess sticks. Bad Morgue? Yes. But I’m a professional at this shit. Gotta be when your doctor is too busy to be bothered with you.

We ventured out to Dollar Tree. By then all the sunlight and road work and traffic had me so rattled I barely remembered why we went out there. And doing anything with the “I want” monster is hellish. Then a fire truck, cop, and ambulance all appeared in the square, sirens blazing and my first thought, as always, was, “Least it’s not at my house.” That set me off further so I scrapped other errands to come home to safety and try to get my brain on track.

I have a sink full of dishes I am avoiding. Monday I kicked so much ass and now I simply have nothing left. I will try to tackle it all later but Tragic Hate Ball says not to hold your breath.

I just seem to get worse by the day and I don’t even know why. Public outings and noise have always been a trigger but since I had my daughter…it’s like I have dry socket of my central nervous system. Everything is a trigger and my nerves are raw and throbbing when even a breeze blows. It was never this bad before. I don’t blame my kid. It was my old shrink who said the entire pregnancy/birth process could shock my brain better or it could get worse.
I lost that roll of the dice.

I’m not giving up. I read this Hollywood Reporter interview with the lawyer defending Kathy Griffin for the whole bloody Trumpire head picture thing…And she’s getting death threats same as Griffin. She was quoted (and I repeat this loosely), “Yesterday, the devil whispered in my ear that I am not strong enough to survive the storm.”

“Today I told him…I AM THE STORM.”

I like that. I didn’t think a lawyer could say anything that would resonate with me. Who knew.

An Inelegant Deficiency: Anxiety, Writing, & Loss

Set us free: British Library, London

“It’s an act of faith. It’s going on when you no longer believe. It’s walking right into that wilderness.” – Natalie Goldberg, “Wild Mind”

“I’ve had an elegant sufficiency, and anything else would be flippity floppity.” – my mum-in-law

What gives you comfort? And what do you believe in? How do you go forward when all you can see is failure, and grief, and loss? How do you walk “right into that wilderness“?

When it seems like all you ever do is fuck up, over, and over again? When we see that life is sad? 

I write about loss a lot. Maybe it’s because I’m pushing 60, so close, ever so close now, and with what seems like precious little to show for it: and that what I do have, I don’t deserve. Or maybe it’s because I’m posting a card to an elderly relative, not knowing whether they’ll make it through their operation, or whether that card will go onto the doormat of someone who will never open it, never see it?

I write a lot about death, too.

True loss: London memorial to the women who also served.

Gods’ plural truths, I try and appeal to my better nature. Sometimes, though, it seems the “better” part just doesn’t exist. That god(s) created me, not in his/her/their image, but that of a maudy, angry old cow.

The quote from Natalie Goldberg is about writing. It was Goldberg’s response to a woman who had started several novels, got to around page 180 – no mean feat – then would “lose interest, or wouldn’t believe in the story anymore”.

I let the writing slats get kicked out of me, not long ago. No one’s fault but my own. I took something to read, but couldn’t face it. A waste? Not entirely: for one thing, it made me finally replace my printer cartridges. Cue much swearing, but I did it.

And so now more slats have been kicked out: and, once again, it’s down to me.

Time and time again, it is writing which helps restore me: which comforts me, and gives me hope. Am I writing the poem a loved one requested? Am I making my way to page 180 – and, gods help me, beyond – on my current work in progress (WIP)? Editing & publishing my next short story collection?

Nope, nope, & nope. I’m blogging. Which admittedly is better than putzing around on FB, Twitter, or YouTube: my usual refuges in times of stress, and anxiety, and sadness. Which, in turn, is at least better than hiding in bed, or being stuck to the settee.

Of course, my life isn’t all gloom and doom. For one thing, this merry traveller recently returned, after being missing for nearly a month:

Back in the camp chair again: Al, Beltane, 2017

All the things I love are still here: okay, not all of them. But there is enough: compared to many of the people I meet, I do indeed have “an elegant sufficiency”.

And it’s up to me to rediscover it.

I love you still: Detroit, 2006

Tagged: ageing, anger, anxiety, bereavement, cats, grief, Kate Bush, loss, mental health, Natalie Goldberg, nostalgia, poetry, Wild Mind


So the new site went live with content yesterday and I got almost 100 hits.  They almost all came from Facebook; I had linked it to my personal page and a lot of people read it from there.  I got a lot of support from people and hope it continues.

Today is the last day of the residency.  I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I learned a lot about myself and my writing here and a lot about what I can do with my writing to make  it better.  I got a lot of validation but also some suggestions from everybody on what to not to do.  Some pushback, of course, but I think my reading at the beginning blew the lid off and let other people read controversial, brave things as well.

We are workshopping my final piece today–the dancing one.  I really hope to find out what I can do for it and get it out.  I submitted more things last night and pulled Hurricane Baby away from someone and gave it to someone else.  We will see how all that turns out.

Bob and Terrie have already headed out to go to Williamsburg, I think.   He said they were leaving early so that I what I assume.  I so hope she does well.  I so do.  But this is her first real experience being way away and not having us fairly close.  I hope she has learned how to behave on the job and how to keep herself from getting into trouble. That’s my wish for her.