...and instead of greeting it bright eyed and bushy-tailed, I'm evading its presence entirely...as if my caking on face cream, meticulously-selected nightware, and whitestrips will prevent everything that is Today coming to fruition.
Today I have to work. Today I have to meet with the head of the school district to bless my Spring 2016 Practicum and background check. Today I have to call my therapist and make a goddamn appointment because I have had too many days in which I've felt like I was naked in public, or should be naked in public, or want to be naked in public...against every fiber of my previously eating disordered body never wanting to be naked anywhere again ever. Today I have to take a shower. Ideally, naked.
Facing Today is a struggle, as it is presented Wednesday, September 16, or any other incarnation. I don't know where I lost traction, why I feel off the rails of a clear trajectory leading me from lucrative and carefree bartendress to respectable and personally fulfilled Counselor status...but here I am: desperate for a Fix, a confirmation that I am something beyond that which I have made clear is my intention, via values, 30-something Self, and personal Best Practices. How am I here instead of there? How am I looking toward validation in a Little Mermaid costume (nearly two months out) instead of a universally respected master's degree (and my heart's most consistent desire) in less than half a year? Despite fully recognizing the progress made since Exodus 1/22/15, I find myself resorting to tactics, tricks, and manipulations of self I need to reach deep into the Barney Bag of Victoria's Secret desperation to finagle.
I am 30. Unmarried. Childless. Single. Independent. Easily paying the mortgage on a darling little brick bungalow that affords me the luxuries of creativity and organization...if and when I choose to exercise either/both rights. Not to mention the implied freedoms to host social engagements, cook delicious & healthy meals, spiral through my own magnificent OCD-fueled structural processes...and yet...and yet...potentiality of social, culinary, and self-improvement tactics remain unfulfilled, mounting, and collecting dust. Surrounded by color-coordinated lists, ambitiously-plotted-yet-incomplete projects of grandeur, and countless other such indicators of what I Could Be if I Simply Got My Shit Together, I feel overwhelmed by my own ennui.
What now? What does today present that makes me feel so desperate to forget, distract, avoid? Though I certainly don't put enough stock in my own existence to concern myself with how or what other people will think of me in my obviously addled state, I obviously do...though I'm presently too preoccupied by my own internal mental balancing act of everything I need to tackle in order to present myself as a semi-competent individual capable of navigating society while also wearing clothes. Preferably matching.
How could I ever believe myself ready to be in a relationship? With someone bright and spry and hopeful, nonetheless? At 30 years old, I have become Miss Havisham, which is really the most idyllic resting point for a former English major.
The feeling that someone's been inside your home since last you were.
...less than an hour ago. At midnight on a Friday. Now a bunch of your shit is missing. And your freshly-cleaned floor is freshly fucked by fucking freshly muddied workboots. Honestly.
Despite his best intentions, Jason Wisneski has done opponent Tom Sieber, and subsequently the Democratic party, the ultimate political favor with his abhorrent comments. By making his first prim time soundbite one of both ignorance and cruelty, he further drove the wedge between left and right in an already hyper-polarized climate. Shrouding his ill-preparedness for real, insightful political debate in a petty Us vs. Them attack that proved baseless and tactless from any perspective, he draws only negative press for the party now denouncing his affiliation. After countless conservative gaffes at the national level, Republicans can't afford another loose-cannon lunatic spouting irrelevant hate-speak and slinking behind blame on the liberal media when all goes awry. If Wisneski does choose to stick it out through Tuesday, I believe the voting public of Northeastern Wisconsin will have no problem expressing their disdain for his behavior by declaring Sieber the clear victor. Should you choose to continue your political career, Mr. Wisneski, I would advise you get to know your constituents and our values first: while we may disagree on policy, we can all agree that kindness and integrity are the cornerstones of our beloved community, and no win is worthwhile without both.
Breathless by the conclusion of my rapid-fire recitation of single-gal "wins" in the month since my last appointment, I smile brightly at my psychiatrist: "I really feel great."
She shakes her head incredulously, though I don't detect the slightest bit of suspicion. "That's fantastic, Katy. I'm so happy you're doing so well. You know, if you continue to look this radiant, you'll have a boyfriend in no time!"
I blush and thank her, affirming that I absolutely believe I'm on a good path, that things are falling into place. It doesn't seem necessary to tell her that with two jobs, a new house, graduate school, a darling new puppy who loves long walks and sunshine almost as much as I suddenly do, and a litany of lost time to make up for, my schedule isn't really conducive to a relationship. Or that I don't appreciate her projecting idealized traditional values of partnership and domesticity on to me, as if my whole quest to get my self right has been solely in preparation for an elusive He-Who-May-Someday-Deem-Me-Worthy. Or that now in my Feminist Renaissance I have no plans of replacing "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" parlor-art with some contrived canvas declaration of the "Home is wherever I'm with you<3" camp. Or that boyfriends - bless their four souls - have so far proven themselves to be an alchemistic nightmare, given the horrific cataclysms resulting from each dalliance with my romantic ~chemistry. Or that based on my previous experience as Girlfriend, I've decided it might not be the role for me, thank you, but perhaps I have a shot at a different one...one that had gone largely unexplored during the previous decade of my adult life.
Nah, there's no need to correct her. Obviously a sharp and articulate woman (she is a doctor, for Christ's sakes) she clearly didn't mean any offense with her statement, undermining my goals or minimizing the success I had already found as if the Ultimate Payoff was still ahead. She called me radiant, and that was kind and lovely and it made me smile that much more. I left my appointment still smiling, and evidently, haven't stopped.
It's good to look radiant. It's even better to feel it.
...and then it was the very next day and I found myself at a dog park hiking with a Snuffleupagus and J, circa Summer 2010: Pre-treatment 2. And, largely where I have remained since. And it's a secret ~no one knoooooooooooows uh-wha-oh!
I camp out here on weekends, and, lately during more weeknights. I have my own key and like being able to come here just to read or get work done and not be bothered to eat. Well until he comes home. Or until I go home. Or until I have to interact with someone. I think someone called me skinny over the phone the other day. That was weird. Just like with Brian, I find solace in being away from messages to eat...and it's not that Jon isn't an advocate for me getting healthy, putting on a substantial amount of weight, for cooking delicious food and going out for fantastic dinners and being able to wear a swimsuit with confidence and not have my pants falling down my ass...it's just nice to have my own little haven to destroy myself and isolate in again.
I recently reconnected with an amazingly infuriatingly perfect carbon copy of my would-be perfect neurotic successful self...with whom I went to college but was too envious/intimidated by/socially aloof to pursue as a buddy. Our two girldates have been heaven for those who love cruel irony and stark self-realization:
1) dinner the night before I started with my new therapist/the week she started with her new psychiatrist
2) crazy labyrinth grocery store fish-out-of-water adventuretimes + baking for corporate-mandated Food Day
Two peas in a tiny, nutty pod are we. And I worry I can't be her friend because she's killing herself and it's so awful to think of watching as it happens and not doing anything to fix it/reverse it in myself while it's staring me in the face. And here I sit: Friday night, alone, fervently wishing I could get all sorts of fucked up tonight just to push myself further from...anything...feeling guilty about a handful of popcorn I had earlier when I considered eating dinner but instead decided to throw away some leftovers from his fridge. Because the organic heart-healthy vegetarian black bean chili I'd had for lunch made me feel too full after not having eaten breakfast because I'd had a butternut squash nacho @Taste on Broadway that I *shouldnothavehad* after being spoon-fed pumpkin dumpcake and "Katy just try a bite!"-of red velvet poke cake @Food Day. ...which could account for the not eating breakfast (on account of the rice on the sushi the night before...which just ADDED to the tomato-lettuce leaf bloat that was compounded in the vicinity of its untouched half-sandy plate-mate.
I THINK TOMORROW'S WEIGHT CHECK SHOULD BE FINE. AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT FINE WILL MEAN UNTIL I MAKE IT THROUGH TOMORROW WITHOUT JUMPING OFF A BRIDGE.
Ooh, speaking of dramatic acts of desperate women, I told B Fick once and for all to go fick himself. It all happened over the course of a weekend...specifically July 20, the weekend of his sister's wedding that I declined his invite from. ...then renigged on that, then nigged again, and finally just wanted my sweater back and it ended in
"You are a slimeball. I hope someday you find peace with yourself. Or get hit by a bus. Either one."
...as it should have ten years ago. This after his wounded lonely little boy self told me he never really liked me, he just liked messing around with me. Who wouldn't!
Or something less awful. I don't know. I suck. He sucked. But he's gone now for good and that's gotta mean something.
And here it is almost 11:00 and I'm feeling neurotic because of a dude. Again. Bitches be nuts, that's for sure. How I would love to not feel like my brain was sliding out my ear for 30 seconds.
Ah what the hell. While I'm in the neighborhood.
I presently find myself keenly hermited away on a Friday night: nails freshly painted, hair damp and smelling like apples, Lil' Wayne video on (again) as I wax poetic and make to-do lists regarding books and music and projects and conversations.
On this rare evening alone and not working but ALSO not sleeping, I'm feeling a lot of sketchy energy for as zen as I otherwise should be with a weekend of ~whatever in front of me.
Regarding my ambition for MY evening, we have scanned the spectrum: from getting sucked into watching Kris Kardashian wrestle with yet another midlife crisis to working on my midyear review self-assessment (after spending eleven hours hyperventilating about it from the time I woke up and went to work this morning) to reading the next chapter in Go Put Your Strengths to Work to feeling depressed to watching Awkward to feeling slightly less awful and slightly more hopeful and maybe just a tad open to the idea that maybe I can just chill out and trust that things are okay, and will get better, and I can just calm the fuck down.
I feel like I've lost track of my life in the years since...well over a pretty long span, but things have blurred strangely in the treatment haze that's been the last few years, largely punctuated by failed relationships and new lows and the further numbing of my soul. Despite my best intentions to write and generally communicate more, since brief spurts of ~inspiration in treatment (and strung out between strints...) I've largely checked out of the universe. I've started to return lately, reconnecting with Arielle from the terrible bastard of an Italian-redneck restaurant I worked at nearly four years ago, to my wise little owlet supermodel sister Makenzie, even attempting to forge new ~friendships with people from (both) work(s) and good souls from college (!!!!!)
...but I'm fucking up in a lot of other areas. All of it in this unfortunately compounding, "YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG WAY!"-way that makes it easy to excuse one's self from following through with promises or being present in someone's life without some anxiety provoking ~expectations you're clearly failing to meet.
After I got out of treatment January 2011 (oh, and the Packers won the Super Bowl), I was so ready to take it all on. I had applied to the graduate program for counseling at UW (never finished the personal essay lol), I was ~healthy and okay with (the prospect of) staying there, I had forged some incredible bonds with some very beautiful girls who reminded me how much it matters to feel others' support and how incredibly much it ALL matters, things were looking better with my family than they had in years (see our Christmas photo: it's absolutely the best we have all simultaneously looked because we're ACTUALLY SMILING!)
...but I was balancing Brady and Brian, pretending my superfriendship with Brady could be placated as just that while I "worked on body image and trust and communication" exercises with my pseudo-boyfriend who lived two hours away and saw me a few times a month for makeout/blackout sessions. And in doing that I lost my mind.
And then it was summer and I met Doug and we spent a weekend in Door County and I fell head-over-heels in love. With him, with my life, with everything that I'd let fall by the wayside as I spun my wheels trying to get two guys to shake up their worlds for me. ...while pretending either/the combination of whatever small percentage of them I was getting was enough to shake up my world.
And then it was October and I realized I was pretty fucked again (all I ever had in my kitchen was wine and the occasional trace of a new ~diet: the All Mung Bean Diet, Atkins (ftw: I don't like bacon!!!) , puking, CELERYCELERYCELERYDIETDEWDIET, etc. So I went back to treatment...reluctantly allowing Doug in for bits and pieces of the ~struggle - strained nightly conversations during which I was wracked with guilt and anxiety because I was away and had nothing to talk about and hated my body and was pretty certain I would never want to be naked again and I didn't know how to ask him about his day without lamely asking, "How was your day, dear?" and immediately needing to blow my brains out. After the absolute disaster that was my surprise overnight weekend home for the 24th/25th, I came home New Year's Eve Day (the same day I landed in Ireland seven years ago!) and rang in 2012 wishing I could get FUCKED UP and feeling like a walrus in a dress that I had once loved but now felt completely disgusting in.
Valentine's Day was a disaster in failed domesticity. Just a complete shit show.
We pressed on, because of the love and the fun and the sweetness and the acceptance. But the guilt continues to metastasize, and with it my feelings of self-loathing and inadequacy, which tends to deplete me of any spark to TRY SOMETHING ELSE, TRY ANYTHING ELSE JUSTFUCKINGTRY and lull me into an apathetic malaise...and suddenly it's March and I'm skinnier again and I've stumbled into a Taylor Swift video sitting on the porch swing looking at the moon over the Fox @B Fick's parents architectural monstrosity.
...which sets into motion a cataclysmic clusterfuck of poor choices, lies and sneaky bullshit. And then suddenly it's Doug's graduation weekend which would mean playing hostess to his 40 out-of-town relatives and I'm feeling like a guilty crazy fuck, so while he goes out to dinner I offer to stay in and make good on my promise (two weeks ago) to finally clean his house for the weekend's festivities (which I was too busy working crazy overtime or cheating on my wonderful, loving boyfriend with a reheat from ten years ago.
...and suddenly it's the next day and find myself wearing jammies alone in my bed. Apparently in the time warp that was the previous night after I'd locked the door behind him, poured myself a house-cleaning drink/put on my house-cleaning jam/started phone-sexting my homewrecker ex-boyfriend SLIMEBALL who once years ago laughed at me when I called him from the emergency room after a bike accident that resulted in a concussion and a broken collar bone (and a Hanson tattoo). Yep, that guy. And here I was, drunk-texting jibberish until I pass out on the living room couch where Doug and his mother will later find me next to my wildly tweeting phone.
And I'm not wearing pants. Why would I be?
And then it was the next day and he graduated. And I was not there. And neither was my family, or his new XBox or the amazing masterpiece of Mod Podge'd kissy-pictures. And it was awful. And I still can't wrap my mind around how awful. I didn't experience the final blow: I just woke up in a drunken haze, magically shielded (albeit woefully hungover...which resulted in further detachment as I slept through any actualization/reflection time) from what had to be a pretty fucked up mess.
Would appreciate people not harass my poor little carcass of a Livejournal with dead YouTube links that one time led to murderous clown porn (or something else horrifying and unsolicited)
If you would like to communicate with me, comment with words. If you want to use my web space because, well, it's there and you want some of it, to you I say, "GOOD DAY!"
That is all.
I don't know what my objective was joining all of these ED-related communities...part of me wanted to start a revolution of rebellion and smiting the conventional self-loathing that has characterized so much of my regression into complete ambivalence.
DMB Caravan is less than two weeks away and I am absolutely terrified. I feel physically disgusting, which exacerbates the psychotic urge to isolate and avoid and ultimately curl up in what I've allowed myself to believe will "inspire". I took two days off of work - which I know was financially unwise, but my brain is absolutely spiraling and grinding and making my teeth feel nervous for the inevitable spaz-grind. I just have absolutely no motivation to do anything except sit and reminisce about times in my life when anything was possible.
Nix that: no motivation to do anything except sit and...inevitably fall asleep. And if I can't inevitably fall asleep within ten-or-so minutes, wash down enough sleeping pills with a glass of cheap wine to conk me out for at least twelve hours.
...and then what when I wake up? Off to work where I can be both objectified and taken for granted? It's kind of like all the things I used to love about waitressing (the fact that I was somehow "important" [cynical reality: imperative, however un-importantly as in the case of *human order conveyor*] to somebody at any point in a day) have begun to projectile-vomit backfire on me with increasing predictability,
When did everything get so complicated? How did I fuck up so majorly from where I was just a few months ago?
^^Autosaved draft from last summer. Oy. Shoot me right in the ol' face.
I broke today.
I was feeling jubilant this morning. Jubilant. That was the only way I could describe it. …and I had looked for a less exuberant synonym so as not to rub it in any of my fellow sufferer’s faces that – today at least – I wasn’t miserable and desperate too.
Because I wasn’t. I was jubilant.
I thought I was overtired: I’d been up until almost three, breathlessly marveling at the snowglobe of swirling glitter right outside our door. I thought maybe I was going through a manic phase: derivative of the NFC Championship, the promise of bountiful Diet Dew powering two full days of freedom, my surprise trip home that felt every bit as magical as the Disney commercials where the parents ambush their kids with an impromptu trip of a lifetime. I considered it a powerful revelation related to Nicky, my eating disorder, and ultimately my priorities: she was the freest spirit, the most effervescent character, the absolute embodiment of jubilance – despite my grinding recognition of her being the aesthetic antithesis of everything I thought I valued.
I could do everything: giggle with babies, smile at strangers, hold doors, say thank you, extend myself so sincerely with joy and passion comparable only to that of Mr. Scrooge at the triumphant finale of A Christmas Carol.
I must have been getting cocky with my euphoria, so I decided to completely fuck it all up intentionally before it unexpectedly got fucked right in my face.
Skull fucked. Skull. Fucked. That was my ~Feelings description driving home Saturday. Because that was exactly what I’d let him do. What I did to myself.
I wanted to smoke up before my drive…yeah…yeah! It was a two and a half hour drive…back to Green Bay…in surprise form…obviously provoking tons of anxiety with each turn of the odometer…a nice little smoke would grease the kaleidoscope wheel of my brain, effortlessly sliding me through ugly and beautiful thoughts like a bar of soap through my hand.
[or it would make me semi-retarded, careening down the shoulder of the highway, paranoid to the point of incapacitation that the car next to me – and the one behind me too, actually – had jotted down my plates and was planning a Citizen’s Arrest]
So yes, pot. I needed it. He probably had it. I would casually ask for some and see what he said: would he eagerly agree? Blow me off? Could he sense my ulterior motive? Would he care enough to respond and provide, or just respond and ridicule…or, worse, would he just not care?
He doesn’t do that anymore. Exercise is now his drug of choice.
Don’t fuck around with that one: it becomes like crack and then you end up in a Home. (…where I am. Because I’m an addict. And a psycho. Remember? That’s why you wouldn’t bother putting forth any real effort with me: because I’m pretending to be insane.)
::banal small talk::
Wanna watch the game tomorrow?
I’ll be in Green Bay: hence the original request (aka I wasn’t calling you to see you, just for a drug hook-up that need not be explained in the painstaking detail I am obviously word-vomit explaining it)
Throw the phone out the window NOW.
And so it continued: me continuing to say things with the hope that he would JUST GLANCE AT HIS COPY OF THE SCRIPT, him saying things that were…not really wrong…just clearly not fucking right. And it was completely wrecking me.
I was getting absolutely frantic: I could feel the goodness being stripped away layer by layer every time I passed a mirror/subsequently projected something negative from him onto my reflection. Even in the interims between “Really? That’s your response??” outbursts, I was miserable, anticipating the multitude of ways he could disappoint me – not out of malice or even ambivalence, but simply because there was no way he could have not disappointed me. Another mind game with myself, another instance in which my only opponent is myself – which, optimistically, also suggests that I would also be the winner of said matchup. But in the end I was just the loser, and limped away, licking my wounds, wondering why he’d hurt me so, not taking ownership of the self-inflicted nature of every ache I was feeling.
Another day of misguided pseudo-guidance: these are the most adept professionals in the industry, and, though I’m physically more able to take on the world, my motivation and confidence to do it is still numbingly lacking.
How do I break out of this? How do I accept the fear and move in spite of it? How do I not allow the fear to cripple me into inaction and complacency? I know that I’m capable, but that doesn’t mean I can.
I remember building these elaborate marble mazes when I was a kid, with primary colored pipes, wheels, shoots, and other plastic contortions. There was obviously some skill necessary in building a good course: the blue swirly tube couldn’t go over the red Plink-o pan, because there just wouldn’t be enough momentum to propel the marble through it. Right now I feel like I’m surrounded by the contents of an upturned marble maze box, knowing full well that if I just start connecting stuff I’ll end up with something amusing…but I’m so stymied by the few foibles I could potentially encounter that I am paralyzed, unable to even start sorting through the pieces and messing around.
Was I always so lame? Have I always been so crippled by fear? There was a time when I could do things, complete things, hell, begin things – often with enthusiasm and even excitement. School papers, art projects, relationships: I saw possibility and opportunity instead of a blurry mish-mash of potential pitfalls and disappointing outcomes, each one bleaker than the next. It’s like the writer’s block I began to feel looming over late-night AP Lit papers my senior year of high school has metastasized into every other creative – or basic-functioning – nook of my brain. Not that prior to that I was cranking out cleverly anagrammed political commentary in haiku form, but I did care enough about…stuff…to do…stuff. I cared enough about my thoughts to organize and appropriately articulate them. I cared enough about what I had to say to actually say it – even just to myself.
Here I wake up every morning because I have to get weighed. This morning I immediately dove back into my tiny twin bed the second I was done, pulled the covers over my head, and promptly fell back to sleep until I was called again to fulfill another obligation. I didn’t shower, make my bed, or do my make-up: I’d be going to the Y after lunch, so it really didn’t seem worthwhile to get all prettied up, nor did it seem necessary to make a bed I’d just be sleeping in later. I spent the day wandering obediently from one duty to the next, then ticking away the minutes til that ended and I could move again, until all the boxes on my arbitrary itinerary had been ticked and I found myself back in the same rumpled bed I’d left with the same apathetic shrug I’d given myself.
Tomorrow I’m going to the mall. That’ll be worth some mascara and an “outfit” for.
…but then what?
I’m aching to text Brian. Absolutely fucking aching.
And I know it has absolutely nothing to do with him – I’m so far removed from believing he’ll ever be as good as I wanted him to be (eight years of delusions will do that), but it kills me to think that even someone like that, someone like that who is being absolutely fucking ached for, no less, remains so impossibly elusive. Am I so objectionable that even someone like that wouldn’t want me?
May a nest full of baby birds never fall into your hands!!