Yesterday was one of those days a “good depressive citizen” (see last post) just doesn’t talk about. I’d wanted to visit with 2 friends in the early afternoon and overslept. I went online without thinking about it or having breakfast first like a sane person and got eaten by Facebook. Dog started barking at me; my friend texted asking for an ETA. I thought, “shit, I’d intended to get some things done before leaving today.”
I wanted to email my academic adviser but couldn’t figure out what to say. My situation isn’t the kind of thing that can be addressed in a 30-minute advising meeting; those are intended for students who pretty much just need to verify which courses they should take. It’s also not something that can’t wait a week or two – after all, it’s waited this long. I thought (based on his email, which directed students with an urgent concern that needs to be addressed this week to email him) that I’d have to commit to a meeting this week. Trying to think of a time that might work and how to juggle it with my other commitments on the same day was just too stressful.
Dog is medium sized and has a super-sized bark. It makes the oversized wind chimes I have hanging from the ceiling resonate. I’m not afraid of Dog, but when he’s standing right in front of me the bark rattles me. It certainly makes it harder to think straight; I become overwhelmed by anger and an urgent need to shut him up.
I felt guilty about being late but too frazzled to determine and communicate a realistic ETA. I underestimated the time I would need and started trying to get ready. A hasty snack, a much-needed shower, my mind racing with thoughts that had nothing to do with the task I was trying to accomplish. I always seem to think about the stuff I’ve been putting off when I need to go somewhere and can’t do anything about it.
For some reason I thought about my father’s brother, whom my parents had selected to be my godfather. He was supposed to take my father’s place if anything happened to him. Well, my father died, and for a short time it seemed like his brother might at least be able to put a band-aid on the wound. But then I realized he was trying to manipulate me and the shit hit the fan. The closest he’s come to acknowledging my existence since was leaning away from me when I was greeting people at my uncle’s funeral last year.
The anger I feel when Dog barks at me is a drop in the bucket compared to the raging storm that erupted in response to my memory of this old betrayal. I tried to file it away under “things to address with Wakana” – in a red envelope with the word “URGENT” in white letters across the front. But the damage had been done.
I sat on my bed and pulled the last pair of clean sweatpants out of my dresser. I’d decided to wear a T-shirt and throw a sweatshirt over it – nothing fancy, just warm and comfortable. But getting the clothes out of the drawer and onto my body was terrifying. My heart was pounding, all my muscles were tense, my breathing rapid and shallow. I couldn’t move.
I tried to push it all down. I threw my clothes on. I searched for my hairbrush, Dog meandering in front of me when I needed to move quickly and somehow being right behind me when I turned around.
I was about a third of the way through brushing my hair in the bathroom when I realized that I felt like I was running away from a horrible monster. I looked the part, too, except that I wasn’t sprawled on the ground from trying to run in high heels. The tears overwhelmed me; I just couldn’t take it anymore. I sat down on the toilet and cried, angry loud sobs echoing through the room.
My arms brushed my hair, I glanced in the mirror, gave my stamp of approval, and rushed out the door. Both friends were understanding, but one was very loud and that just rattled me even more. We had gathered to play a board game that took several hours the last time we played it, so we set it up as soon and as efficiently as possible.
Fox has a shirt that says “The dice are trying to kill me.” I should have been wearing that shirt, except that it’s an understatement. They were succeeding. I was miserable, but I still wanted to have a chance at winning so I kept taking bigger risks than I should have – and suffering the consequences. It was a gamer’s nightmare.
All the while the loud friend was trying to push the game along. He lectured me for paying attention to what was happening around me instead of planning my next turn – not out of any attempt to help me do better, but because he wanted me to get my turn over with so he could go. At one point he accused the other friend and me of being grumpy. We just looked at each other.
I realized too late that I was starving. Hunger, one of the things I’m supposed to stop and do something about, had gone unchecked for too long. It was almost time for dinner so I decided to wait it out. The not-loud friend won the game. Dinner was delicious and helped me to feel human again.
I got home a bit late but really wanted to watch Frozen, which had arrived in the middle of my efforts to get ready earlier. I didn’t get to go see it in theaters – another thing I’m angry about because it looks like it would be worth seeing in 3D.
I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I will say that I was very angry about how the protagonists’ parents handled the situation and could relate to Elsa all too well. Hide the most powerful and dangerous part of yourself, be a good girl, and learn to control something you don’t understand without any guidance or support. They could have at least given her a realistic definition of the word “control.”
I had 5 mostly good days in a row, and that’s incredible. They involved a lot of socializing. Yesterday, I’m not sure to what extent the weather contributed, but I really needed to spend the day in my ice palace. NOT playing games that take me out of reality, but having some space to explore and express my reality. I could have taken the time to write a very different blog post. I could have found some other way to express my emotions, perhaps through art and/or music. I could have called Wakana.
Which leaves me with today. I’m so tired, all I want to do is sleep and be close to Fox. I have two music lessons scheduled for this afternoon; my thoughts about them are a bundle of contradictions. I want to have the lessons, if nothing else because if I cancel a the last minute I can’t make them up (school policy). I also feel unprepared, guilty about not practicing and embarrassed because I know I won’t be able to play with the level of control I would like to develop. But hiding until I have it won’t work; I need my teachers to help me develop it. I’m so exhausted, all I want to do is sleep – if my mind (and Dog) will let me. It’s so tempting to go ahead and do that, then see how I feel about going to my lessons. The ice palace might build itself today, whether I want it to or not.