Breaking Down

I’m not doing so well. I don’t think anyone knows. I’ve only gotten a couple good nights’ sleep in the past week and a half. Mom’s having some much-needed work done on the roof, so most mornings I’ve woken up to loud banging and yelling – at random intervals so I can’t tune it out. Fox gets home from work very late, and I generally want to spend some time with him before bed. We’ve been seeing 3:00 a.m. or 4:00 a.m. regularly, sometimes going to bed closer to 5:00 a.m.! Then banging and yelling only a few hours later.

The worst part is the tone and content of the yelling as of late. I could deal with “pass me this” or “put that there” or even the occasional cursing. But a handful of days ago, a very angry voice joined the original,  obnoxious one. The things he yells border on verbal abuse. It reminds me of my father on our bad days. It’s like someone is amplifying the abusive voices in my head, which I thought I’d silenced. They’re growing bolder, trying to see how much they can get away with. How much will I let them torture me before I suppress them again?

It’s bad. All I want to do is sleep but I can’t. I spend most of my time playing The Sims 3. I’m very happy with how my game is going; I’ve played well past the point where I would usually stop playing a particular family and start a new one. But it comes at a cost: no matter how happy I am with my progress in the game, I’ll never really be satisfied with it. There’s always a new goal. And the time I spend on it is not only wasted, it seems to undermine my ability to be creative and motivated and active when I’m not playing. I find it difficult to think or talk about anything else. But I don’t want to stop!

I feel like I’m two distinct people each day. Pre-Sims Ziya is dedicated enough to learning to essentially re-do the first week of zir Coursera course, because ze misunderstood several important concepts the first time through. Ze downloaded music instrument apps and has enjoyed creating melodies and chord progressions with them and feels so alive while doing so! It’s a first step toward playing the actual instruments again. Ze is doing things like registering for spring semester classes and trying to access medical (dental) care despite the difficulty. Ze wants to be more active and uses the pedometer app on zir phone to track and encourage more movement.

Post-Sims Ziya is tired, apathetic, frustrated, and so hungry ze doesn’t feel hungry anymore. The only thing ze can think about is zir Sims and that is rather depressing – but possibly safer than anything relating to the real world, where ze is dissatisfied with zir life. Ze feels anxious and guilty about what used to be zir aspirations and now feel like obligations, a debt to be repaid (both figuratively and literally). Ze doubts whether ze can do it – and, more importantly, whether ze wants to do it. Does what I want even matter?

I feel like other people – mostly Wakana – are pushing me to get out of the house, be social, find a job, be productive, contribute to society. I look at society and think, “I don’t want to contribute to this! I want to burn it.” Everything going on in the real world is so fucked up. I used to want to have a life but lately it just doesn’t seem worth the effort. When I’ve tried to join new groups people have just talked all around me. I don’t want a retail job and it just seems like a bad idea to take any job right now, with the winter holidays looming. My schedule the last week of December is too busy to fit a job. It’s bad enough not knowing Fox’s availability. You know, assuming I could manage to impress someone enough for them to offer me a job, with the issues I’ve been having. I feel like crap.

I feel worthless, useless, a waste of time. I wanted to be with Fox on his day off (a rare one when we don’t have any plans) but he’s asleep, snoring loudly (so I can’t join him). I don’t really blame him: he’s been even more sleep deprived than I am and he’s working. Busy, on his feet, or traveling all day. But it hurts when he wants to take time for himself (usually going on the computer) in the only time I have to spend with him (or anyone) all day…

My thoughts are spiraling out of control. Images and urges to cut myself. Statements that are increasingly suicidal. I’m trying to argue against them, trying to hang on, but it’s getting harder. I don’t know how much longer I can do this. And winter is a very bad time of the year for me. It’s probably just going to get worse.


Listening to Myself – Part 3

I’ve been feeling much better since I wrote Listening to Myself – Part 2 about a week ago. I want to thank the people who reached out to me in response to that post: your support has meant the world to me. I’ve come to realize that I influence more people than I can possibly be aware of, often for the better… even in this time when I feel like I’m barely doing anything with my life. I may never see the whole, but I’m part of something important; something that needs me just as much as I need to remain a part of it. Connected.

I really needed to express what I wrote in my last post: feeling trapped, like I couldn’t express myself, like I needed some really big changes to happen or I wouldn’t feel like my life was worth living. Expressing those things – writing that post – was engaging in the very process of Creation that I felt cut off from. It was uncomfortable, and to be honest I feel guilty about the discomfort it caused others, but the very act of expressing those thoughts and feelings provided some of the relief I sought. It’s also helped me to start making some of the changes I need: volunteering, applying for jobs, spending quality time with Fox and Banji, creating art to enjoy the process, and starting to learn Tai Chi.

I’m so grateful for this space where I can express my most powerful, “dangerous” emotions safely. I’m so grateful for the people in my life who respond with concern and a desire to help however they can, without denying me my autonomy or pressuring me into silence.

I’ll admit my first instinct is to want to apologize for causing others – especially people I care about – discomfort and anxiety; sometimes it’s tempting to just take it all back and pretend to be “fine.” Let the machine run smoothly. But human emotions are important; they inspire us to do what is necessary for our individual and collective well-being. To say I “made” anyone feel a certain way is just plain inaccurate. I wrote a post expressing painful thoughts and emotions I couldn’t express anywhere else or in any other (safe) way. People read my post, experienced emotions (gasp!), and responded however they were willing and able at the time. That some responded with concern is nothing to feel bad about. It’s something to be celebrated! I’m part of a family; members of that family care about and do what they can to help each other through times that are more difficult, times of vulnerability.