Thank you to all of you who have started following my blog since the post “Flying Ford Anglia” was posted. I’m glad you all enjoyed the post and started following, but a fair warning…you may not know what you’ve gotten yourself into.
I like to write, and I like to imagine myself a writer, and sometime I manage to come up with something that is witty or curious or just off the wall enough to make someone laugh. However, this blog isn’t all full of crafted phrases and thought out ideas; it isn’t always something that deserves a thumbs’ up or a LIKE. It is full of angst and swear words; crabby responses that can’t be voiced in front of a real person; minor ponderings of a soul gone astray. It may interest you, it may not; but I wanted to let you know right off that it is ALL over the place.
But primarily, this blog is about my struggle and/or ease finding happiness in a crazy mixed up world. This world is so chaotic now – what with random terrorism being more common place than shocking, and children mowing down their playmates with semi-automatics. I don’t really know how anyone manages to go through this life without an occasional panic-attack, but I’ve been assured by some that they’ve never experienced one.
Not true for me. In fact, lately I’ve been having all kinds of anxiety. My heart pounds in my throat, and I can’t sleep through the night. I’ve developed dark circles under my eyes, and l have a haunted face that I wear around the house. You probably can’t tell this when I’m at work; I try hard to keep a stiff upper lip and carry on. I smile and laugh and offer friendly service. I go out of my way to help or nag, and sometimes complain about people that annoy me. But inside lately is a belly of acidic juices churning to the beat of grumpy music. Inside I’m a bucket of nerves that are like little live wires cut free from the electrical pole, squirming around, sparks a’ flyin. I walk around looking like a normal (albeit odd) adult human being, but inside I’m raw and just a little thing. In fact, I’m scared to death.
I sort of suspect that this is because of the third grade. For those of you new to my scene, I have multiple personality disorder, and I’m struggling with working through that rather large can of worms. Presently the worms are all coming from third grade, I think.
Third grade is an elusive situation. I can’t really remember anything. I have pretty much blocked the whole year out, and know only primary basics; like we lived with my grandmother that year, and my older sister chose to sleep and hang out in the garage, up in a pile of boxes that were stacked on top of each other reaching almost to the top of the garage ceiling. We had moved out of a house we were renting, and whatever we could stuff of our belongings went into my gran’s garage, and my older sister buried herself in there like some kind of little mouse nestled in wood shavings. And I only know this fact because she recently told me about it.
The stuff I know from that year in my life is that I was sleep walking a lot, and the next year I developed an ulcer, chronic headaches, nose bleeds, and asthma. And the fact that pretty much the whole year (minus one or two vague memories) is obliterated from my memory makes me think something was pretty scary at that time in my life.
So all of that to say, right now – with my heightened anxiety over nothing, or little things – I sort of think that third grade personality is wanting to come out, wanting to deal with her stuff.
And it’s freaking me out. I’ve spent my whole life squishing down bad memories and scary monsters. I’ve spent a great many years lying to myself that there are no skeletons in my closet, and bolting it up just to be sure. I am scared to death of the memories of a little nine year old girl making their way into my life, and making a shambles of my existence.
But I guess, to be who I need to be, and to embrace the beauty of the darkest side of my soul, I must.
So hang on if you want, follow if you dare, the ride may be bumpy, I just don’t know…
i’m dealing in the dark right now. that’s not to say i’m selling drugs. or that when i shuffle my hands i have all the lights out. no, i’m just coming face to face with some of my ‘evil twin’ issues.
we all have a darker side; a darker nature. it’s not always hard for me to look at, because i don’t mind having tattoos, fetishes, and an odd sense of art and beauty. but when my failures, short comings and neurosis are exposed to others without me INTENDING that to happen – well, that gets a little embarrassing.
i guess i’ve had OCD since i was little. second grade for sure. one year i kept a pumpkin in my room after Halloween, i guess because i liked his crooked grin. i’ve always liked Halloween the most (except for those few years in LA when i thought it might be more useful to pray for children being abducted and sacrificed in Satanic rituals rather than hand out sugary treats. hey, not all my personalities are completely rational). anyway, my little pumpkin grinned at me, with his crooked impish smile day after day. and then his smile got more impish and crooked, cause he started deteriorating.
i didn’t know anything about composting and biological decay, so one day i lifted his head up, to look inside. a head full of black, spider-webby growth looked up at me and made me crazy. dark ickies, growing right inside my room; creepy, stinky moss stuff sending pores of poison into my nostrils. OCD!!! i mean, there are many other reasons i am OCD, which might get covered later.
anyway, i’ve known i’m this way for a while, but i usually try to find jobs and situations that HELP me manage my condition. have a routine. work at the same desk. have a consistent schedule. but now – because of circumstances out of my control – i’m working in an environment that is forever changing and completely unpredictable. it is chaotic, busy, and rapid response is needed all the time. it’s not that i’m not smart enough to handle the pressure…i just have a way of doing things that minimizes my stress reactors and freak out responses. and i have no real set way of dealing with these things in my current position and situation, so my OCD becomes very apparent, even to those who don’t work with me.
this is embarrassing. i feel like an idiot when people notice and comment that i’m doing the same thing over again, or i got confused about what to do next because they messed up my piles of stuff. i feel exposed and naked when someone notices that i have re-packed a box of books and materials because i didn’t like the way they fit into the container, and i think i could get more in there if i rearranged things. and it’s really embarrassing when i freak out over something stupid and meaningless because i am tender, sensitive and uncertain about my lovability.
it’s embarrassing being me sometimes.
i mean, it’s wonderful and fascinating as well.
colorful and magical. it’s exhilarating, curious, fun, and
hmmmm…now, why was i embarrassed again?
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.
I’m not really sure when it started.
I can’t really put a finger on the day I realized that I have a thing for benches. At some point in my life, I just started to notice that whenever I walked by a bench I tended to sit on it. I would be in the middle of a conversation with someone, walking along a street, and then suddenly they would turn around – mid-sentence – and find me sitting on the bench, swinging my legs.
“Sorry,” I’d say with a big Cheshire grin. “I have a thing for benches”.
It didn’t really matter if it was raining and the other person wanted to run to their car to keep their hair from getting messed up. I just told them I’d catch up.
It didn’t matter if we were going to be late or if we were in the middle of a very serious, vulnerable conversation. It just didn’t matter. I had to sit.
I don’t know what caused this particular neurosis, or if there is a name for it, but I have to sit on a bench when I’m around one. But once I’ve sat on one, I don’t have to go sit on all the rest in the area; that one will give me the fix I need.
Maybe I was a pigeon feeder in a past life, and the fond memory of the birds coming to my feet to eat seeds, bread, and popcorn draws me unknowingly to these interesting pieces of furniture. Maybe my philosophical side yearns to sit, just for a moment, and consider the deeper things in life while my physical side is making its way to the used book store.
I’ve never really known anyone else that has this problem, this “Leg Narcolepsy” that forces me to collapse happily onto a hard, uncomfortable structure. I wouldn’t normally select a long piece of hard wood to sit on, or a cold length of heavy metal. Not my idea of leisure resting. But when it’s a bench I manage to set aside my discomfort for the sheer pleasure of the sit.
So here is my thing with benches, and more to follow, I’m sure. Though very utilitarian and practical, I find them works of art on their own.
I’ve talked in the past about my Wild Child (see one and two). This is an aspect, or one of my personalities that I have been dealing with lately. I guess this person has been wanting to come out again, and maybe that’s why my mind has been working on issues that concern her so much lately.
She came out not long ago, for a little while. I was by myself somewhere, so no one was around to witness the brief transformation into this person. I’m calling her Leila. I don’t really know if this personality ever went by another name, but Leila suits her well. When I was by myself and this personality emerged, I felt a sudden playfulness, and a fierce power that I don’t often have. An assuredness. But the others in my ‘system’, the other members of Team Denelle, had a little freak out when she surfaced. It was only for twenty seconds, as she looked around the area and surveyed the situation, and the others came storming out to regain control.
I told my sister Bodhi about it that night. One of my littles was out and talking to Bodhi, and described Leila as having “exotic eyes”. What this little meant was that Leila is seductive.
I don’t know when Leila first came about. It might have been as early as ninth grade, when I started flirting with a maitre de at a restaurant, and he was in his twenties. I looked quite a bit older than my fifteen, and I’m not entirely sure if the memories I have of this man are imaginations, fantasies, psychic visions of his life, events that might have happened but didn’t, or actual bits of reality. Probably my imagination. But I learned the mojo at some point in my life, and Leila has it.
Leila is the personality that went to work several years ago and was immediately told by a good friend “girl, you’re getting laid today”. And then within the hour my on again off again asked me what I was doing for lunch. I guess going home with you for a quickie, is what I should have said…because that’s just what happened. Leila used to walk into a room and command attention, turn all the eyes toward her, and smile knowingly as men gasped in her presence. It’s not that she is the most beautiful woman ever known to man; but she sure knows how to work what she has. She can make the men fall for her, trip on her words, stand in line for a chance to be rejected by her. But like I said, she doesn’t come out often.
Others in the System get nervous; is she going to do something wild that will get everyone hurt? Is she going to seduce the wrong kind of man? What are we supposed to do with all this power? Leila is overwhelmingly powerful and strong, and that doesn’t always mean safety, especially to the others in the team that have been hurt, abused, and exploited. So Leila might be out for a few minutes, or a day, or a month before the others come grab her up and stuff her inside the safety of the church. I’m thinking one of the reasons I have been so spiritual my whole life (but only ONE reason, there are a good many) is because I have needed to hide my power. I’ve needed to control myself, and turn my light down a little. My light shines so brightly, it often draws too much attention to me, which was very dangerous in my past. So I have hid in the church, in the guise of virgin, or acolite, or martyr. I have sacrificed and given and tithed and fasted. I have punished myself for my intense sexuality and my innate love of the male species. I have chastised myself for my lust, desire and passion, and tried to contain a natural and beautiful fire within the pews of a musty old belief system that didn’t fit my reality. And Leila would stay in the church, for however long, twiddling the days away without letting her vibrating presence be known.
Until recently. After her half minute of glory, when her exotic eyes roamed freely again, I did some work trying to understand and accept this personality, and that very weekend she came out again for a whole day. I went to an outdoor event, hosted partly by the group I work for. The day was beautiful; blue skies, clouds sprinkled in the heavens, wind slightly stirring the leaves on the trees. It was perfect and comfortable. Leila showed up at the event, and one of my friends was there to greet me and hug me; I didn’t even know she would be at this event. Interestingly, there was another person I knew there, only Leila had never met this friend, and so didn’t recognize him until someone pointed him out and named him. “Oh,” said Leila, “that’s him.” She hadn’t recognized this familiar face even though she saw him when I came to the event, because Leila is always hidden away, and she’d never come out in front of him.
Leila loved the rest of the day, the weather, the event, the men that couldn’t stop looking at her. One man wanted her to get involved in a group he ran. Another man asked her what her interests were in this or that. Another man seemed to stare at her from across the space, keeping eyes on her often, but seeming to be shy when she noticed his glances. He seemed especially interested in what she was doing and where she was. Leila smiled at all these behaviors, and remembered how good it is to be out among the living, where she can be fully appreciated for all her fabulousness.
I can see why the others have tried to trap her away, though; she is decisive. Or not. She is determined. Or bored. She is playful and sultry, or temperamental and stubborn. She is what she wants to be, whenever she wants to be it. This isn’t something that our society deems acceptable from women. Women are supposed to be nurturing and giving; long suffering and understanding; patient and kind. Women fix the wounds of others, they don’t inflict them. Women follow after the leaders, they don’t become them. Women are supposed to complement men, not out shine them. And Leila doesn’t give a fuck.
Leila is Leila.
She is her own storm. Her own energy. Her own life force.
If she is too much for you, you better get the fuck out of her way.
If you want to know her, you might want to think of offering her a bite to eat, or a nice margarita.
If you want to love her, you’d better come with a lot of tools in your arsenal, because she is fickle and charming and difficult and silly and ornery and generous and more than a galaxy of amazing…
but not everyone can handle all of that so she usually stays locked up inside the church.
But now I’ve found the key to her prison, and I’ve set the captive free…
In the dead of the night
while children are sleeping
I walk the wet grass
on tip-toeing feet.
Deep into the labyrinth
I fly like an angel
guided by starlight,
spurred on by heat.
My hair is a comet
that streams out behind me
The wings that I wear
are a gossamer white.
I chase down your shadow
and run from your memory
I drink to your fortune
and succumb to my plight.
I pour out my heart
and leave it before you
A scattering of breadcrumbs
to show you the way.
I sit in the center
of my dark, empty labyrinth
I call out your name
and bid you to stay.
the skin is so tender there,
so soft, so smooth.
i’m surprised at how easily it
opens for me.
like grating cheese
or cutting off a pat of butter.
it just opens up ~
and offers my inner secrets to
the bathroom tile.
and out seep my skeletons,
and cascade to my feet
like a little gothic convention
gathering in the night.
drip. drip. drip.
down to the ground
as though they have jumped from the
into the sea of grief
which is myself
and my skin.
and my bathroom floor.
which is now collecting these
secretive, skeletal remains
and is busy hiding the secrets
in cracks and
a splash here, a splash there,
a little sticky clump on the
it clumps up so fast, into
stringy little ropes, which makes
me wonder ~
are the skeletons trying to
form a rope on purpose?
are they trying to climb back
into my head to keep
hiding from the world?
or are they just trying to kill me?
‘cuz i can do that myself.
I’ve had a curious bit of synchronicity this last week.
Over the last six months I’ve been taking steps to become more open and vulnerable with people. Many things have made me close myself off from people, and I’ve shared a number of them here, and probably more issues and incidents will be shared in the future. But regardless of WHY I’ve closed myself off from people, I decided several months ago that I needed to open up again. Since then I have been looking at relationships – mine, and others around me – and trying to re-teach my brain about love, people, and the state of genuine interaction.
I’m reading a book called “Click”, and it’s a brilliant, lovely, fascinating piece of work. It’s written beautifully, and it’s the most interesting thing I’ve read in years. I’m actually listening to it on tape, which is even better, because the narrator/reader is tremendous. His warm and intimate style of reading makes the information come to life like a fictitious story full of all your favorite characters. As he pours out data and statistics and scientific experiments, I find I’m riveted and interested in everything he says. Stranger still, I’M RETAINING THE INFORMATION. Books on tape have never really been my thing. I’m not the best auditory learner. I like to see information with my eyeballs, and read the sentence out it inside my head. I don’t know if it’s a part of my mind that gets distracted, and maybe that’s why books on tape don’t always work for me? Or if it’s because my parents never read to me as a kid, except for that horrible book of Bible stories. I don’t know, but when I listen to books on tape, I have to rewind a lot, because I want to be sure I get all the sentences right, or because I’ve somehow missed a few bits of conversation that were important.
With this book, I’m retaining it all on the first go ‘round. Which is surprising, because it’s non fiction, and I’m frequently sketchy when trying to repeat solid facts I’ve heard. The book is about instant or rapid bonding, what they call “clicking”, and how it happens to people and why. The authors talk about things you can do to encourage this kind of bonding in situations and relationships, and offer examples and personal stories from the lives of many different people. I came home last night to tell my sister about it, and I must have rattled off six of the different experiments listed in the book, along with theories of the authors and anecdotal bits and pieces from random parts of the book. I surprised myself by remembering in detail story after story, experiment after experiment. I can’t think of another book I’ve ever read that has imprinted itself so powerfully on my brain so quickly. It’s like it branded itself on my gray matter, and I’m now walking around replaying the tape inside my head, over and over again.
I had a chance to see this book come to life this weekend, in my own experiences. It’s now several days since I told my sister about Click, and I’ve had two ‘chance’ encounters with people that were more about clicking than chance. Ran into a friend from work at a social event, when we both meant to be there at different times than when we arrived. The random conversation we had led straight into the Click talk, and I am excited for him to read the book, because I believe it will truly help him in a lot of artistic ventures he undergoes.
The other situation was even more interesting. Today while outside working on my biography, a handsome stranger walked by and we said hello. One thing led to another, and after he ran some errand, he came back to talk with me more. Really he was wanting to get my phone number, and find out if I was up for going out. He also flattered me by believing that I was a good fifteen years younger than I am. Thank you! But the real interest in the whole situation was the conversation we had. He was genuinely open and candid with me about a number of things that many men might be guarded about. He was casual and yet personal, and made it a point to let me know he was interested in me, but also let me know that he was also looking to make an intellectual connection. This isn’t going to be a romance, and I told him as much, because my intentions are elsewhere. But I was happy to experience this genuine meeting of the minds with someone out of the blue, and it was a spontaneous, refreshing conversation. And maybe meant to happen, because he said he almost walked a different route to where he was headed, and would then have missed me completely. We both agreed in fate playing a hand in the meeting today, and I can’t help but wonder what the encounter might teach me, or him, or both of us.
I’m trying very much to have better and more intimate relationships in my life. I’m trying to open up, and follow the path of love, and come down out of my hidey hole tower of protection. I’m trying to see people around me as just people, with souls that need purpose and hearts that long for love. I’m trying to open up to the world around me, and the strange fellows in it, instead of assuming that the mass of human fleshpots that walk the streets have nothing to do with me. The first thing they talk about in the book, the first tenet of these “clicking” relationships is vulnerability, and this has never fit me very well. But I’m trying that one on too.
I’ve been involved in a number of dangerous and life threatening situations. I’ve had someone choke me. I’ve had someone threaten to slit my throat open with a knife. I’ve been pinned to the wall. I’ve been hit in the face. I’ve had the aforementioned axe incident, where I was attacked by a man swinging an axe at me. I’ve been accosted in a public place, and THEN pinned to a wall. I’ve been pinned to the ground and assaulted. And all of this by different people, so it’s not like I got a handle on who was the consistent, reliable perpetrator. Soon, EVERYONE was a possible perpetrator. And eventually I learned not to allow my back to people. Because now my fear is that I will be attacked. It’s not like a conscious fear I’ve been aware of. All of these situations happened before my adult life, so I developed an undercurrent of thinking that involved people wanting to kill me. Because it seemed like that was the big thrill everyone wanted to get in on. So I became afraid of sitting with my back to people in a restaurant. I became nervous riding full busses. I heightened my awareness and threw up a bunch of walls, and tried to be sure I could see everything around me when at all possible. At least this way if some giant of a man comes at me wielding a sharp instrument I will be ready. This time I will be prepared to die.
Even with all of this vigilance, I haven’t been able to necessarily fend off the death threats. I’ve had two people talk about killing me while I was at my workplace. And several stalkers in my time. And now I’m being asked to sit at my obviously inferior workspace and allow the world to come and slit my throat from behind.
So I’ve been having numerous meltdowns. I cry all the time. I almost fainted at work when I showed my sister my horrid little hovel. My heart rate has been incredibly off the charts for days now. I’m twitchy and nervous and fearful. I hyperventilate when I’m brushing my teeth in the bathroom. And lying on the couch. And making a sandwich. I’m soft and sullen and wounded. I have a perpetual woeful look on my face. Or I think I do…I haven’t been looking in the mirror a lot, but the facial muscles I’m using FEEL woeful. Yes I know, they’ve told me they will work on it. It is hopeful that I will be able to turn my desk a different direction, even though I was told this was NOT possible the day they told me about this whole situation. So maybe it won’t be as bad as it was presented to me. Maybe after a while I will realize that the situation isn’t horrible at all, and I just worked myself up into a lather over the idea of imminent death, when the Death wasn’t really knocking at my door at all. It was just the Avon lady, maybe, with my order of frizzy hair control product.
Still, for the past five days I have been a bundle of nerves. Which just makes me have to run to the bathroom to get sick. Oh yeah! This might be one of my alters, and I don’t know if I’ve mentioned her or not yet. Nervous Nellie. Hi, glad to meet you. If you couldn’t tell, Nervous Nellie has had plenty of things to be nervous about, and now she gets to go to work in this state of anxiety and tension, and try to perform menial tasks and duties, like walking and getting a drink of water.
On the positive side, I have been wanting to learn to let people in to my life, my world, and my heart. I wasn’t planning on doing that by becoming a vulnerable, messy, wreck of a human right in front of everyone I work with, but there you go. Now the poison’s out of the bottle, it’s not like I can shove it back in.