tonight my soul has been pricked.
for years i have avoided the whole “writing business” business. i’ve written loads of poetry, several kid’s books, and started a great many other works that i have not yet finished. but the process of trying to pitch myself is somewhat overwhelming, and i give up before i begin.
i think it’s the daunting pressure of greatness hovering over my ego that does me in. i worry that i won’t be taken seriously. that my work will not be good enough. i worry that i am not great.
not everyone is going to be great. i know that is not the whole of the writing world. but i feel i have a story for someone, somewhere, that will move them to tears, or quicken them to action, or spur them into a new way of being. i feel i have something magical for someone, some magic boost of energy or hidden weapon they need, and i worry that i will fail to shine the light in the right direction. my world – inside my mind – is full of mystery, magic, shimmering life, and impossible realities, and i worry that there is no way i can possibly translate what my experience is to another through a measly work of fiction. words fail me, and i cannot always paint the picture i wish to share.
but then i remember. not everyone is great. not every writer is brilliant. but the STORY may still be brilliant. with all my short comings, insecurities and procrastinating tendencies, i am just a tool the story uses to make itself known to the world. and so i tell myself:
less ego…more writing.
or Why I Must Never Be Angry
There are several emotional states that are universally known to man, regardless of race, religion, education or overdue fines from the library; Fear and Anger are just two of them. But today proves to me why I have a longstanding Fear of becoming Angry.
I started off this morning in a testy sort of way. I had a weird dream last night, that involved a lot of running from people, hiding, trying to avoid being initiated into the sex-slave-trade business, and breaking through windows to escape from crazy men. Clearly, waking up I was a little off my center, and slightly touchy all morning. When I got to work I was sort of in a panic state, with my heart beating hard, my breathing exaggerated and difficult, and sort of shaky. Not just because of the dream, but because I actually HAVE done a lot of running, hiding, and avoiding in my life, and be reminded in my sleep is not a ton of fun.
I told my co-worker I was grumpy. She nonchalantly smiled at me and said, “OK”. Whew. One down, 700 more to go. Cause it being a Saturday, I was fairly likely to encounter that approximate number of people in the next six hours. Right away my foul mood seemed to impact my environment. My other co-workers said it had been fairly slow all morning, however as soon as I clocked in things starting going haywire. Lines of people came out of nowhere, strange requests popped up having to do with people losing their pants, and suddenly I was re-reminded that it was in the Full Moon bracket (two days either side of the full, and the full, and sometimes I throw in a few extra days when lingering effects still persist). Then one of our computers froze.
“This is your doing”, was sort of the message I got from my boss. I couldn’t deny it, really. I have been known to set car alarms off just from walking by. I stood next to a computer one day minding my own business, and it hopped off it’s ledge and started smoking when it hit the countertop. When I’m in a good mood things can go really smoothly; all the lights suddenly turn green when I’m driving along the road; my sports teams win as long as I cheer them on. Of course, if I have to go to the bathroom they will suddenly throw an interception, but when my mood is high, I seem to be able to impact things around me. And the reverse is true as well.
Which is why I tried very hard to never be angry. People will tell me that anger is just an emotion, and it doesn’t matter if I’m angry, because everyone is at some point. But they haven’t seen the things that happen when I’m in a bad mood;
like things breaking for no reason all around me, or clocks and computers seizing up, or … well, today, when all hell breaks loose as soon as I come to work. So yeah, my big Fear is my Anger; I’m kind of afraid of being some sort of a Stephen King novel,
or horror movie character. I’m like, “don’t make me angry…you wouldn’t like me when i’m angry”
this week has been kind of sketchy for me. a couple of different times at work i had to pretend like i wasn’t crazy. an incident occurred where another person’s sanity – or more accurately, INsanity – was exposed and people were talking about it. about HER. a woman alone, by herself, talking in two distinctive voices. this seemed to rattle the mental cages of several people around me, which i guess is pretty understandable. most people don’t have multiple voices that they use interchangeably.
but i can relate. that woman probably (surely) had multiple personalities, as do i. and the people that were freaking out about the whole situation work with me every day. if they knew I had multiple personalities, is this how they would behave? make fun of me? laugh about my oddness? run around and tell everyone else at work that i was crazy?
i kind of think the truth of the matter is that most people don’t know a person with MPD. or they don’t KNOW that they know someone. i guess it’s fairly rare. or at least, maybe lots of people have it but they don’t know it cause they can’t afford treatment. a lot of therapists aren’t trained specifically for this area of mental health, and finding a good shrink/therapist is hard for us MPD’ers to do. it’s not like trying to find a good dentist; there just aren’t that many people out there who have treated Multiples, let alone specialize in this area. and then there is the cost issue. so if you don’t have awesome Canadian medical insurance, you may not be able to afford to be told you are a nutball.
anyway, with people kind of making fun of this “crazy” throughout the week, it was hard on me. i felt shame. embarrassment. i felt fearful. i was jittery and switchy and had a hard time controlling my body. i wanted to run away and hide. because it isn’t easy being a Multiple, and it isn’t socially acceptable.
i’m not socially acceptable.
and that sucks. because those of us that have this condition have it because once upon a time, we were scared shitless and couldn’t do anything about whatever we were scared of. so we ran away to another part of our minds and created different worlds, people, languages and memories.
we aren’t scary monsters that need to be locked away in a dungeon.
we aren’t contagious and about to spread our ill on mankind.
we aren’t wicked cast offs from the fiery pit of hell spawned by Satan as a curse on the head of mortal man.
we’re just…many. many of us in one body. we’re just people. and little. and scared.
so don’t be mean to us. ok?
there’s a demon in my belly
just dying to get out.
it’s in my ribcage
pounding against my heart and
throwing itself against my lungs.
sometimes i can feel it’s
stretching up toward my throat
trying to gag me –
to silence me –
to choke the life out of me.
so i drink a gallon of water
to try to drown him out and
flush him away.
comes crawling back to me,
assault my body
and invade me again
if i as much as open my mouth
c. 2009 denelle hobbs
it’s like this … i have all these ideas, and projects, and books to write…rooms to clean…stuff and more stuff. and i get this wave of inspiration, or this brilliant flow of creativity. and i’m motivated, not sleeping because the ideas won’t let me, and the hunger to create keeps me up all night, kooky on caffeine, or wakes me up early so that i am groggy and can hardly make it down the stairs without breaking a leg or squishing a cat. and then it happens. i get to the computer and it all leaks out of my brain. all that good creativity, oozing out of my ears. all that brilliance, spreading over my cushion as my head collapses onto the couch and my eyes force themselves shut. it’s like this:
although, the journey may be the best part of the whole damn mess of life; climbing this creative ladder may be more of what i need than a final product.
hmmm…not very Zen today, am i? maybe i just need more coffee…
today has been …. interesting. right now the wind outside is fierce and howly, the sky dark and foreboding, and the trees are shaking so much they look like villains in a horror movie. but it’s been a lovely, melancholy rainy kind of day.
it didn’t really start out that way at first. i had a trigger this morning.
usually a trigger that makes me switch personalities, or go into a post traumatic type of mindset is fairly upsetting; a violent scene in a movie, or a killer with an axe is a sure bet; loud, thumpy music that invades my home via the neighbor’s car; smells i can’t avoid. all these things can trigger me and send me into a panic, or switch me right out of my current personality and into something/someone i’m not prepared for.
today, however, it was a cartoon! just lounging around the house today as my sister got ready for work, and she had on old cartoons. i love the Flintstones, so i was surprised when i became anxious while watching an episode, and so distressed i had to turn the channel. then i was just flipping out for a while. something about this particular episode triggered me – one of me anyway – and it took some fresh air, a little rain, and Jimmy John’s to make things right in my world again.
damn dangerous cartoons!
today is a hard day.
i feel it today; all that craziness in there. i feel confused and nervous and scared, little and sad and oogie. it sort of feels like i’m at an amusement park, and there is a ride that is too old for me, or i’m too short, but the guy lets me get on anyway – even though my face reveals that i’m not entirely sure i WANT to be on the ride. and now there is no way off. but i’m not equipped, you know? it just feels like today, i’m just not equipped for life.
a big thank you to my dear friend Tony, who just showed me an amazing amount of love and encouragement. i just came out to him as a multiple, and his first reaction wasn’t awkwardness or the icky face. and he didn’t do what another friend did to me recently, which was to say “let me process this and i’ll get back to you” and then i haven’t heard from them since.
i’ve told a number of people now, about my diagnosis, and the reactions are all different. but surprisingly, not many people have straight up shunned me. but Tony was i think the first to just jump into the deep end and start asking questions: when was i diagnosed, how many of me are there, do they all have names, or something like that. and all really good questions, which makes me wonder: why are you working with computers, when you have a really obvious knack for dealing with crazy people?
when dealing with old wounds and injuries, prying them open to expose to the public on a blog is cathartic, therapeutic, if not a little strange. but it’s freeing in it’s anononymity. opening up these issues to family and friends is more dangerous. there is a greater degree of rejection immediately at hand. will my family still love me? will my friends accept me? who can handle the truth, and who will run from this information?
well, Tony, whom i’ve known since i was maybe 10 or so, was supportive, loving, and interested in my story. and i can’t ask for more from a friend.
all in all, a good day
i’m supposed to be working on my book today. for those of you who are frequent flyers here at accidental happiness airlines, you may recall that i am writing a book of memoirs. no? oh, well i did tell you, so you must have missed that blog. this was the weekend i intended to finish up the final editing; but life’s little lessons get in the way, and i see i must face some of my demons before i share them with the world.
Demon #1: Shyorcifel (also known as fear of intimacy)
i’ve been getting in touch with friends from my past, and i see that the vast majority of folk my age have spouses and children and homes. i began to scold myself today for not having a lover, and what is wrong with me, and all of that kind of thing. but i realized pretty quickly that the reason i am still single is that i never let anyone get close, and i never let men (or most of my friends for that matter) see the real me. it’s scary to think that you would hope in someone to love you on your worst day, with a big juicy zit on your nose, and no makeup on, walking around in yoga pants with holes in the ass, and then your supposed to trust that this person loves you when they’ve been around you at these times? when you’ve done something sinister or selfish? when you’ve told about your horrid past and how messed up you are? see, it’s easier to just never get to that level.
and that’s why i’m still single. so i have to wrestle with the intimacy demon and work out the kinks in my emotional vulnerability quotas.
Demon #2: Keeperoscipase (also known as Obssessive Hoarding)
ok, i’m not actually a hoarder. i lovingly refer to it as ‘being a Picker’. i collect. and while i love my books and papers and ephemera, my toys and clothes and crafts, i’m not going to be auditioning for “Hoarders” anytime soon. but – having watched my first episode today – i can see that i am made of the same fabric as these others. we are people who are afraid.
afraid of losing someone. afraid of letting go of the past. afraid of living in the now, and the uncertainties of life. afraid of forgetting something, or not having what we need, or throwing away something important or of value.
afraid of letting people in. afraid of looking deep inside. afraid of admitting we’ve been hurt, killed, beaten, worn down, abused, neglected and abandoned. afraid of being seen for what we are: weak, vulnerable, and hurting.
but hey! look at that. the entire human race is in this category. and while i might wash my hands too many times after tucking away another thirty copies of fiction titles i’ll never read, you might be socking down your thirteenth bottle of Labatts, or losing the use of your right arm due to a slip up with a bookie.
we’re all of us broken, wounded, beautiful creatures. and the fascinating part of life is watching each of us uncover the treasure beneath all the outer layerings of crap.
moving day at the zoo.
and i know that change is good, and this change too will be good. still, right now my life is very up and down, inside out, and loaded with raw emotions that spill over into all areas of existence, like a waterfall of insecurity. still, if i can find a piece of paper, i can make myself a boat, and sail on down the waterfall, adrift on a sea of questions, but protected nonetheless.