Et le temps court…

My bed is empty. My mind is full. I am tired, fighting a headache. Lying in the dark, I am listening to the rain. The window is open, and I feel the breeze on my skin. I know I should be asleep, it would ease the headache and maybe prevent the bad mood I am sure I will suffer in the morning. But I can’t fall asleep. I had troubles letting go the last few nights — dreams; not a nightmare, just unsettling dreams.

I have so many things to say and to share, and yet, they don’t matter, and so I keep them to myself.

There are times when I share most everything on my mind. I let my fingers write, and my mind think, and I just float on that wave that jumps from one thought to the next. I can’t seem to do that right now. (Although I am doing it) It just feels like stealing your time and attention. I know that you give it freely or else you wouldn’t be here, but my mind is trying to tell me that no one cares and that I don’t matter?

Why am I sabotaging myself this much? After all, I am an okay person. Ordinary, but okay.

I ordered new music today (her name is Calla – animal choir). And I watched two movies (untamed heart and pump up the volume) with my favourite actor (Christian Slater). I also listened to music by Coastlands (postrock from Oregon/USA), burnt down an incense stick (sandalwood) and ate pizza (prosciutto). I read a couple of pages in my book (the I undiscovered gyrl by Allison Burnett)…

Who cares?! I want you to care, to be honest, because I want you to care about me. But again, who cares about this narcissistic vanity.

Do you dream about specific colours? I am used to having dreams that repeat themselves. They used to be in a green hue. Like a green veil or fog in front of my eyes… Nowadays that fog or veil is blue, but the images I see – the pictures in my dream are still the same.

Maybe the breeze and the rain will let me fall asleep eventually anyway… Who knows?

The title of this post is French and could be translated to “the time keeps running”

*hugs*

Cathy

Unforgettable

One of my biggest and most irrational fears is to be forgotten. Rationally, I know that we don’t forget the people we like. We don’t forget the people who we invite in our lives or hearts. And yet, I am afraid to be forgotten. Once in a while, I ask people not to forget me. It must sound strange to them; maybe even annoying. Just, at that moment, my mind needs a reminder that I am unforgettable.

I am a piece of work.

Un-asleep

2:45 am. I can’t sleep. I woke up from a dream – not a nightmare, but unsettling too. I keep trying to recall my dream, but it is gone – lost in the corners of my mind. I just know that I was wrong about something. I did the worst one can do when unable to sleep; I took my phone and checked notifications. I was on Twitter and on a whim, I unfollowed a couple of accounts, the one of my former favourite band too – turns out they are a bunch of pretentious bellends. It took me almost 20 years to see it. I still appreciate their music; it was the soundtrack of my life, and yet… I really don’t like the people they became. Or is it me?

Am I drifting away from the person I used to be? I feel empty and overflowing. Sad and happy. Tired and wide awake.

How did that happen? When did everything change?

In a little more than 2 hours my alarm will go off, and I need to go to work. Early shift. I like that – if only it started later, lol.

Birds are beginning to chirp outside (the window is open); my husband is snoring next to me, and my mind is thinking too loud.

Period.

Dear readers, if women and their monthly ordeal is nothing you want to read about, then please skip this post. If you are curious, don’t say you haven’t been warned; this is about a woman’s period.

I am a 36-year-old woman who gave birth to three children — the natural way. (Maybe I will write about the births of my kids one day – spoiler: fucking hell, it hurt!)

Every woman is blessed (cursed) with a week of menstrual flow each month. For me, it started when I was 11 years old. I remember the day very well, even 25 years later. I wonder if every woman does. I had my first period the day that I was allowed to go shopping with my sister on my own for the first time. We met with her friend and two guys. I even know that I wore jeans and a T-shirt with Michaelangelo’s painting of the Sistine Chapel. One of the guys pointed out that there was a naked dude on my shirt… Lol, he was only 15, of course, he was shocked, and I felt very grown up.

I started with using pads, but I didn’t like it: the mess and all; it was a lot to handle, and I was still a child. I was reluctant to use tampons at first… The thought about inserting anything “down there” was not something I could imagine. But once I started using them, I actually preferred them to pads. I felt better with them. More secure. And if they are worn correctly, you don’t even feel that there is something inside your body. I was blessed to have a light flow without cramps before I gave birth for the first time. (PMS, though that has been a tough one from the beginning, and I am full of cravings for chocolate, even though I don’t usually have a sweet tooth) My cycle was never just 28 days long as you learn in school, but that’s okay; I got used to it quickly. I was on the pill for quite a while, but I definitely stopped taking any hormones after the birth of my second child. Everything in my body was rebellious, and nothing was normal anymore… After a birth like the second, who can blame it?! I was in labour for 5 hours and only had one real contraction before the girl was born. After that, I had a laughing fit. Between child two and three, I didn’t really care about contraception. And after my second daughter (and last child) was born, I got an IUD. Currently, the one I have is made of gold. Lol… Not even kidding. Because I am worth it!

With the IUD, my monthly flow became more prominent, lasting longer, and I also developed cramps and other pains. PMS stayed the same… I am really very angry and irritated the day before I get my period; and chocolate! Who ate my chocolate?!

A couple of months ago, I began thinking about all the pads and tampons that I used and will use in my life. (I get those brainfarts once in a while.) I mean, I probably have 15 more years to go before menopause will start (or more). Sanitary products are expensive and a massive source of plastic waste. I am not someone who is militant about protecting the environment – I admit it, but I try to live a conscious life and to teach my children to live conscious lives too. I want to leave a good planet for my kids and grandkids. And just all that monthly trash – it is a lot. To think that I have two daughters and sooner rather than later, they will need pads or tampons too, they will make more waste and spend more money on hygienic products too. Is that really worth it? There must be something else.

I was searching the almighty and all-knowing interwebs to find a solution, and I found the menstrual cup. I was sceptical. I found out that there are two sizes – for women who have given birth and for those who haven’t. There are various materials available, and contradictory information too. I read a lot about it and did my research (I always do), but something that kept me personally from getting such a cup on the spot was the fact that I am wearing an IUD. A couple of sites advise against using a cup and an IUD because the cup is held in place with a vacuum. They are concerned that once you remove the cup without removing the vacuum, the IUD could come loose.

I decided to ask my gynaecologist about it, and she explained to me that it is practically impossible to pull the IUD out with the vacuum. Needless to say, I was relieved. She gave me a couple of tips and a brand of menstrual cups that is silicone free. I ordered one right away online and began using it this week. And this brings me here, to this moment. I never thought that I would write about my period one day, but I am so excited this month, that I want to share it. Honestly though, who cares? Who cares that the cup is so much easier to use than I ever thought? No leaks, no spills, nothing. I don’t feel that it is there at all. The only disadvantage I experienced until now is the fact that the toilet looks as if I slaughtered an animal when I empty the cup (It can take up to 12 hours worth of flow… Three times as much as a tampon for me… Cost effective!) I have yet to find a way to make it less messy. Because no matter how you do it, you will come in contact with your blood; you will have to touch and insert your fingers into your vagina to loosen the cup or to put it in. If you are uncomfortable with that, the cup is not for you. Definitely. But honestly, this is your body, nothing about it should be gross, even less something that happens every month. It is another way of getting to know yourself better.

What I like, is that I don’t have to think about changing a tampon at work or when I am not home. I don’t have to think about leaks or spills – on heavy flow days I have to change my tampon every three hours (and I am using big ones, lol), the cup took six hours and more, with ease before I emptied it. I will not have to worry if I carry tampons in my handbag or if I forgot them. I will not have to worry anymore if I have what I need at home, in case the period starts earlier than expected. (When I was younger, I had to count the days on the calendar to know when my period was due. Since 2011, I am using an app on my phone that has a countdown. I love it. Very easy.) The cup seems to be the right solution for me right now.

I can recommend the menstrual cup wholeheartedly. If you are tired of pads and tampons; if you believe that it is a waste of money and doesn’t do any good for the planet, then consider a menstrual cup. That said, the first days I used a pad because I didn’t trust the cup. I was paranoid about leaks and blood stains on my clothes.

I cannot make any promises to you about how you will feel with the cup, but since I am a person who likes everything fast and easy and simple, and the cup is just that for me; maybe it is an alternative worth thinking about for you too. And hey, if it is not, then there was no harm done.

So, that was it. My ode to the menstrual cup. It is 3:46 in the morning, I have a migraine (again), I am tired, and I can’t sleep because of RLS (restless legs syndrome) – I wasn’t bothered with that in a while… Maybe my tired mind just wanted to get rid of all these thoughts, and this post will be incredibly embarrassing in the morning when I get up. Maybe not. Maybe it was necessary to write something like this for once — an other genre of stream of consciousness.

TC

Currently reading

I am currently reading the book pictured above: Kurt by German author Sarah Kuttner. It was released last week.

Whenever I am asked about my favourite writer, I am reluctant to mention one, but this woman is definitely a favourite. Her books always touch me, her writing is flawless.

I am not sure if there are English translations but if you read German, try “Mängelexemplar” or “180° Meer”.

That’s my weekend sorted…

xx

Cathy

The Man Who Changed My Life

Sitting down to write is becoming harder and harder. I cannot hear my voice anymore and sometimes, I wonder if I can hear it but don’t recognise it as mine. I was a spoiled writer for a while. I sat down, and the words would just flow out of my fingers and onto the screen. It is not like that anymore. It all stopped being easy in 2015.

In September 2015, I met Dan. Dan was a dream come true, and with him, I grew considerably. He helped me to become an adult. And I was already 32 at that time. I never met Dan in person, we had arranged to meet, we even were in the same room, but we chickened out. There was a massive build-up to that day we didn’t meet. Three years. We spoke on the phone, shared secrets, had incredible phone-sex too. It all sounds so weird and unreal. But it was not. Something fit. Profoundly. I felt abject loneliness without you. The love I felt was real. The pain I felt was real too. Dan is a musician. I used to love his music, his compositions and his lyrics. His music made me into the person I am today. And yet, I can’t listen to it anymore. Too much of him, too much that does not fit the person I saw glimpses of.
Truth is, he treated me like the best thing that could have ever happened to him. Truth is, he treated me like a piece of shit when he was busy with his life. Our relationship (if you want to label it as such) followed a particular pattern. He would get in touch, and I had to drop everything, or he would be upset and grow silent for weeks. I didn’t want that to happen, and so I did everything I could to humour him, make him feel happy and understood, give him a reason to come back. At the same time, it is not as if he manipulated me into doing things I didn’t want. But he just didn’t care about me.

I was a welcome distraction. When he was agitated or nervous, I was there to take the edge off. In the beginning, we spoke about many things; we had a real bond. But that changed and to this day, I am not sure why. He grew distant, and I became a mere sex-toy or masturbating fantasy; I knew exactly what to say to make him cum – and he knew what I needed to hear to get off too. I hated it, but his attention was too important to me to stop it. We were toxic. Several times he tried to end things. The first time he did it, I experienced my first anxiety attack. It was humiliating, and he was the one who helped me through it. We did not end things. The second time he tried to end things, he told me to ignore him and his messages. I was fed up and agreed. Until he got in touch a couple of months later and everything was like it used to be. I spent nights with him on the phone. Sleep deprived, my kids noticed the change in me.
I was happy and bubbly when he was a part of my life. Then he cut me off again. And came back and cut me off.

In the meantime, it was 2017. He was planning a tour with his band, and the last concert was in my home country. We made plans to meet, and I arranged everything – even a hotel room. But days before the big day he ignored my messages and didn’t get in touch anymore. It was a horrible time. I cannot deal with rejection and being rejected and ignored by him – wow… It was the worst feeling ever. Our opportunity slipped through our fingers. It took months before he got in touch again. And this time, he really broke me with a couple of things he said. It really hit me hard. And some of those things keep repeating in my head. Almost a year later. Who cares? Not me. It doesn’t matter; you don’t matter. I was never interested in you personally, I don’t care about anything you do. It was just for my pleasure. Even now, I get angry when I think about it. How could I have been so obsessed and blind? Why is he a charming man to most people and he showed his asshole side to me?

Between September 2015 and 2018, Dan was a constant inspiration in my writing. When I was finally able to make peace with the situation, I stopped writing. I have not kept any evidence or reminder of our time together. Sadly; or maybe it is better this way.

He is in everything I write, the memories we didn’t make; the emotions I wanted him to have; the thoughts I projected on him. I wanted him to be someone he couldn’t be for me. And I suffered to the point where I was ready to destroy myself.

For a while, I wondered how I could even live when he didn’t like me. I became obsessed and kept checking his social media channels and to keep him in my life like this. It was unhealthy. And I am ashamed of my behaviour. He never promised me anything. Quite the opposite actually. Will it hurt you if I tell you that I can never fall in love with you? I cannot love you.

And I realised something very important: what I felt for him was not love. I just liked the attention. His attention. He saw me, paid me compliments. As long as there is cum in my balls and a mind in my brain; I will never forget you. In his own way, he made me see myself with different eyes. I am grateful for that. And if it hadn’t been for him and a massive telephone bill, I would not have started to work.

Missing Dan became a comfortable feeling. It allowed me to wallow in my misery and melancholy without taking responsibility for it – he was to blame. Now I know that it is bullshit. He is not to blame at all. It was not his fault. It wasn’t mine either. I guess I was just one of a few after all. He used to say that it was different with me. I loved it when he said that, but I never believed it. I am naive when it comes to him, but not that naive. Still, I wonder why he was so open and trusting with me; incautious. Does he do the same with all the women who are drawn to him like moths to a flame? It stings to know that I was probably replaced for someone else — younger, fitter, freer.

In a different life, we might be the perfect couple. In this life, we are best when we are apart. You are the only one who can fill the holes in my mind, in my soul, and in my heart.

I am sure that I am breaking a couple of promises I made to him by writing this, but it is time. It is time to let go.

I didn’t share too many details now, but if I polished our story and added more romance, it could be a bestseller. Famous rock musician meets married mother of three and saves her from a dead-end life. Heck, I even lost 20kg because he challenged me.

Dan had a lot of power over me, but I don’t regret it. I gave it willingly. I needed this. I needed a man like him in my life. He woke me up. Because of him, I learned a lot about myself, and I am very grateful about that.

Today, with months of distance between us, I can think back with a fond smile. He is not a bad guy. He just doesn’t give a damn about me. And he is fighting his own battles, like every one of us does.

Why do I feel the need to write this now? I don’t know. Maybe because I am finally able to say that this chapter of my life is definitely over. My own behaviour in this entire relationship was new to me. I was overwhelming and intense – still am; I am not sure where this intensity came from. I would have run too. Some days I miss the feeling of him in my soul. I miss the words he said, and I miss the way he made me feel. And I allow myself to feel that way. After all, he was an important part of my story. He let me go through hell without knowing it. He raised me up – but that he knew.

So, in the end, Dan is gone. My muse and inner voice are gone too. The woman I was for and with him does not exist anymore. Just tiny parts stayed the same. Who am I? Who cares? And why can’t I hear my writing voice anymore? It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I learned my lesson well. And no matter how damaged and bruised I am because of all of this; I don’t hold any grudges; I would probably do it all again.

I just want him to be happy; I want him to find serenity and love – because he deserves it; even if it is not with me.

Cathy

(In italics are direct quotes…)

Throwback – I’ll never stop giving up

*stream of consciousness*

I sit, and I wait. Sitting and waiting. And I hope that no one will ask what I am waiting for. I would answer “Life”, and they would quote John Lennon “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans”. And they wouldn’t even know that it’s not a simple quote but that this sentence is a line of lyrics from a song he wrote for his beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy Julian. And I would bite my tongue because information like that is plenty in my brain. It’s just – no one cares about it. And that’s why I keep sitting and waiting. For life to happen. And to understand it. But that is not entirely true. Because from my place, I have a nice view. I observe and analyse, and I keep to myself. The things I know, are not the things I need to share. But on the other hand, all the half-truths and snippets of misinformation I know, are not the ones others want to hear. It’s a circle. And if I don’t find the right corner to get off, I will stumble, and my clumsy attempt to catch myself will end with me lying face down enduring the spiral, the slipstream that brought this upon me. Upwards or downwards? Which way does it go? Maybe just sideways? Either way, I will end up puking on the floor and emptying what little is inside me. All of it, until the heaving is dry and the acrid smell of bile chases everyone away. Everyone left the building. Including me. I need to pay attention to the little things. Hold on tight to the pillars of this meagre existence, to keep myself from stumbling. And while I am doing just that, all these unfiltered thoughts are rushing down onto the screen.

I put the cigarette to my lips and inhale. No filter. Rolled with my own shaky hands. Because – yes, why? Because it is edgy. Cool people roll their cigarettes themselves. It’s all pretending anyway. Oh yes, I’m a great pretender. Who gives a crap about my cigarettes and my thoughts. But I keep writing. Someday, the romantic voice inside of my head suggests, someone will read the mix of weirdness and eclecticism my brain produces. They will beg me to publish a book – a memoir – a biography of this writer and all will be good. At least, I have dreams. The other possibility, far more probable, is that the words stay unread. I will die in a stuffy room with overflowing ashtrays and too many empty bottles.
Maybe a cat or two. Sheets of papers with the start of the next big novel is strewn across the floor and the bed — music loud and on repeat. And in the centre of it all; me. Picture me like Jimi Hendrix, suffocated on my own vomit. A rock star death. Don’t be alarmed, though. I am not a rock star. I don’t play the guitar well enough and all in all, I am just a coward who never did any drugs. On second thought, aren’t most rock stars ridden with anxiety? Isn’t that why they turn to alcohol and drugs and whatnot? Always on the hunt for the next high? But one day your brain (and your soul too), are just too used to the girls screaming your name and the papers printing your photographs, your name in the headlines. And while you pretend to crave your privacy, the thought of being left alone and forgotten scares you to death. And so you power on, with some chemical help, because you couldn’t do all the shows and interviews and all that other crap that comes with being famous, without it. I don’t envy these people at all — not one bit.

And so I stare out onto the lake. The sky is grey; the water is too. And I wait for the next idea to come up. A real writer wouldn’t wait. They would write. Or am I wrong and a real writer would draw charts and write every idea down? Being organised? Where’s the fun in that? So – no labelling my ideas. Just sitting. Waiting. Staring. Smoking. And while I am doing that, the music plays softly in the background. It’s not loud enough to drown out the voices that keep telling me that I am a waste of talent. I can still hear them judging me and how I spend the days. For them, I am doing nothing. For me, I am savouring the moment. It’s as a friend told me once: We need time to understand who we are before someone else comes along and makes us into the version they want us to be. So maybe – just maybe, my answer to the question “What are you waiting for”, would not be “Life”, but maybe the truer answer would be “To understand”. I guess the reaction would be close to the same. They would urge me to get up and do something.

But, if they don’t see it, does that really mean that I am not doing anything? Because in my mind, eccentric as it may be, I am doing a whole lot. I am not giving up.

###

Author’s Note:

Written in March 2016.

I haven’t had a cigarette this year… And, I don’t know how you feel about it, but I think that the last paragraph in this piece of writing is the most important thing I have ever written. Whenever I encounter people who are struggling with their mental health, whenever I am struggling myself, I remember these words. I am not giving up, even if people are not seeing that I am fighting.

Superpower

It is a common question: “If you had a superpower, which one would it be?”

I used to say: “I want to be invisible.” But I’ve grown out of this answer. If I were invisible, it would be to snoop around and to listen to other people speak when I am not there. Being as emotional and sensitive as I am, I am not sure I could take it though. What if people weren’t nice behind my back. Or worse, what if they didn’t talk at all?

Next option would be “reading minds.” But here too, I think I’ve grown out of it; partly for the same reasons mentioned above. Add the constant noise, because it is all or nothing. What if I can’t be a selective mind reader? I would go crazy within hours, and I would probably hide somewhere where the voice couldn’t reach me.

I think, my superpower should be teleportation. Being where I want to be and with whom I want to be in the blink of an eye. I would visit my friend in London. I am sure we have a lot to talk too, and I want to know more about her everyday life. I would visit people in New York and Texas, and in Greece too. There are people in Australia I would want to meet in person… But most of all, I would be able to visit my sister in Germany whenever I felt like it without planning the ride there or organising a hotel to stay; just pop in for a coffee and be back home a while later.

I wouldn’t want to fly, or do everything in supersonic speed. I wouldn’t want to shrink or be a giant; I wouldn’t need x-ray vision or whatever else…

I thought about invulnerability and living forever… But again, I have too many arguments against it. I could never find happiness if the people I loved died one by one. And that Queen-song comes to my mind – who wants to live forever?

I am modest, I think.

Did you ever think about superpowers? Which one is yours?

Throwback – it’s the little things

  • Crying during a movie
  • A song that turns back time and carries you to one specific moment
  • A book you can’t set down
  • Tea that has the right temperature
  • The sun shining through trees
  • A formation of clouds
  • A rainbow
  • Thunder and lightning
  • A right pressure on the spot where your back hurts most
  • A child saying your name
  • A child giving you a hug
  • Birthday wishes from people you thought had forgotten about you
  • An evening with friends
  • Hugs (but hugs aren’t a little thing)
  • A song on the radio that you like
  • Your child singing along to your favourite song
  • An entire paragraph that was written without a typo
  • Writing the first words after having felt uninspired for a long time
  • Not setting the alarm
  • Empty plates
  • A decent parking spot
  • One last chewing gum when you thought there weren’t any left
  • A smile from a stranger
  • Giving a busker some money and the gratitude in their eyes when you offer to buy them something warm to drink
  • Old pictures
  • New songs
  • The smell of my pillow
  • Clothes that are still warm from the tumble dryer
  • Smooth skin
  • Even numbers (grocery shopping, gas pump)
  • The scent of my favourite perfume
  • When the hurt goes away
  • Being aware of life’s beauty
  • Not forgetting life’s challenges
  • Sleep
  • Lists
  • Realising that many little things make some big things
  • A kiss
  • A good dream
  • Serenity
  • Thinking without succumbing to melancholy
  • An old voice message that still makes you smile
  • A memory
  • Knowing that everything will be alright (even if it doesn’t look that way)
  • Being present (are you there?)
  • The clock that says 23:09 or 08:02
  • Sunrise
  • Not feeling regrets
  • Remembering a friend who has passed away
  • Thinking of people who changed our lives (I am thinking about you daily lately – are you there?)
  • Notifications
  • Stars
  • I am what I am
  • The wind in my hair
  • The soundtrack of my life
  • The perfect shade of your favourite colour (raspberry or aubergine)
  • A picture that touches you
  • A song that pulls at all the right strings
  • Being understood without the need to explain everything in detail
  • A life in pictures that were never taken
  • Everything and more