Friday 13th…

… and nothing happened. Well stuff did happen. Like colleagues at work ranting against me again for asking to use an hour of overtime. Or me just letting it slip. Or me buying an inflatable swimming pool for our garden. Or taking care of a little rabbit for a week. Or my sister being in hospital. Or my kids’ summer break starting today.

I still feel disconnected and sometimes when I take my phone, I don’t know what to do with it. There is no need to check statuses and posts… There is a lot less scrolling.

I did not work on the new book today, but I finally folded my son’s, my daughters’ and my own laundry. Took me several hours. I also cleaned the house. Things I just couldn’t do for weeks now.

I want to be a good mother to my children, but some days I wonder about it all. It doesn’t make sense. I don’t. I have a hard time talking about my self. We took pictures at work and I was taken aback with how much it shows that I am not well. My eyes, my mouth. I look sad.

There are moments when I don’t feel sad. There are moments when I feel like a million bucks. I am feeling all sorts of emotions washing over me, I am carefree and me. In that moment I am happy. And I live without regrets. But, what I am struggling with is giving most of what I have to offer and not having anything in return. Sometimes it only feels like nothing, but that feeling of nothing or rejection makes me doubt myself. I hate it when I am like this, because I know exactly how I am feeling, but I have no clue how to change it. I was looking into therapists. Truthfully? I can’t afford it. It is too expensive. Being healthy is one damn expensive thing.

Since I am not active on any other platform anymore, I am wondering if I should borrow Satursongday from Nate Maingard. I would post a song every Saturday. I am not sure if I will do that. Having the ideas and acting them out are two different things. And I often have ideas that will never see the light of day.

Light of day… It’s night and there is a chance of sleeping in tomorrow.

This post is uncoordinated. This is how I think. I think about one thing and somehow it is linked to another thing that I don’t mention and that thought that I am not expressing leads me to the one I am writing. It is hard to follow me to times. But to me, it makes perfect sense.

Either I am entering a manic phase or my onyx beads that I have been wearing on my wrist for two days straight are helping.

Goodnight

C

untitled flash fiction 20180701 or With you, I want to live

“Do you ever think about suicide? About ending it all? Just vanishing? Being gone? Not existing at all?” he asked, avoiding making eye-contact. He took a sip of his coffee and looked at the people on the other side of the street. She didn’t answer. She didn’t know how. “I do,” he continued. “I think about it. All the time. Not about death itself, but how to make it easier for those around. And I wonder what they will say and who will miss me.” Their eyes briefly met, before he averted his gaze and looked at the clouds in his coffee. “I would miss you,” she croaked, cleared her throat and repeated the same words in a steadier voice. “Why?” he whispered. “Why” was a question that often made his life unnecessarily hard. That three-letter word made him dread and anticipate answers, all at once. “Because the thought of not having you close to me breaks me inside. The void you would leave would swallow me.” Tears welled up in his eyes. He didn’t want to make a scene, but she had a thing with words; always finding the words that forced his emotions to explode. “If you were gone, I would probably follow you. There is nothing keeping me here. If it wasn’t for you, I would not be here,” she whispered sadly. He didn’t know how to react and how to respond. He just covered her hand with his trembling one. She looked at their hands, then she lifted her head to look into his face – into his eyes. “Please don’t leave me behind,” she begged. “Never,” he replied. “I love you too much.” She nodded, wiping the corner of her eye. A tear was threatening to ruin her makeup. Lately, she had thought about taking her own life a lot. She led a happy life, but something dark was clawing at her thoughts. Something devastating was fraying the edges of her fragile soul. Holding on was much more exhausting than she would have ever thought. Why was living and staying alive so easy for most people? Why was it so hard for her? And him too. “Let’s promise each other to stay alive together for as long as we can. There are reasons to stay alive, right? If I remind you of them, and you me, we will be okay.” On the other side of the street, a toddler was crying in his stroller. From her point of view, it looked as if he didn’t like being strapped tightly in the stroller without any means to break free. “Freedom is just an illusion. A creation of the mind. The emotional cage we are living in is a creation of the mind too. It either helps us to stay sane, or we will break and grow insane.” He tilted his head to the side and took a sip of his coffee. It was as if he was seeing her for the first time. He had been too busy with his own thoughts, missing that she was not alright either. “Depression is a selfish bastard,” he thought out loud, taking his hand back. “We should go,” she ignored his statement, got up from her chair and put her bag over her shoulder. He stood next to her, kissed her forehead and let his hand find hers. She looked up at him. The affection in her eyes made his heart race. “I love you,” he blurted out. He had never said the words before, but they had never been this true and important to share either. A genuine beaming smile appeared on her face. She didn’t reciprocate his words. She didn’t have to; he felt her love wafting off her skin. Being alive wasn’t so bad, if he was allowed to do it with her.

voices

It’s cold and I wrap my cardigan closer around my shivering form. Still, I don’t want to turn around and walk back home. I enjoy the peaceful quiet and loneliness that surrounds me. The wind blows, almost cutting my skin. I feel the cold sand sticking to the soles of my bare feet.

Nobody is at the beach. The sky looks grey, almost black and I know, that in a few minutes, it will open up and soak me in cold rain. I stop and turn to look out over the vast ocean. The waves are nothing more than white lines that crash eventually. The ocean looks threateningly big and violent, and once again, I feel small. Very small. Insignificant. Around me, everything seem to be big and meaningful. Me, I am a grain of sand. Not important at all. The realization hits me hard, making my eyes sting with unshed tears. I pretend, that it is the chilly air, but I know that I am lying to myself. It is not the first time that I am doing this.

He is back again. His voice in my head is back. Torturing me. Making my life hell.

There are days, when everything seems pointless to me. Every battle is lost, and I feel obsolete.

The lines between reality and the torment in my head blur, and I wonder how it would feel to drown. Not that I have any intention to walk towards the freezing swallowing ocean, but I wonder.

There are days, when I long to feel the serenity some people find at the beach. Finding inner peace and being able to keep that feeling inside, and letting go of everything else seems easy for many people. But not me. No, not for me. Nothing else matters anymore.

There are days, when it would be so much easier to simply give up. Listening to the voices in my head, obeying them, and fading away from the face of earth. Who would care anyway?

I shake my head, trying to make these thoughts stop from building toxic roots in my mind. Getting rid of that awful voice that is trying to pull me under proves to be impossible. I don’t want this. But it is stronger than me. He is stronger. A hole I fall in from time to time, orchestrated by his words. Manipulating me like a puppet on a string. Sometimes, it is so deep that there is almost no way to get out of the dark and lonely place again. Sometimes it’s not deep at all and the right scent, the right words, and the right notes can make me see the light again.

I struggle. An inner war is raging inside of me, when all I want to do is to strive for inner peace. It looks so easy for some. For me it’s a constant struggle.

The rain starts to fall. In a matter of minutes, I am soaked to the bone and frozen to the core of myself. I know, that I should move and go home. I know that I should put on my socks and shoes. But I can’t. I cannot move. Paralyzed. Something is holding me back. My hands fall down at my sides and I feel my shoulders slump. My head bends down and I fall down to my knees. My soaked cardigan is heavy on my skin. Pulling me down with an invisible, yet invincible weight on my shoulders. I bury my face in my hands. Accepting my defeat. Shivering in the cold, with my long wet hair pasted to my face. I cannot go on. I cannot keep fighting myself. I have to give in. I cave.

I give up.

For the first time in a long while, I am willing to give up and give in.

“Take me with you!” I yell into the cold and empty space. It is the last surge of energy before my inner self combusts. My heart burns with the emptiness inside. Ashes, are all that will be left within when all this is done.

I cower on the beach. Lonely and alone. Painfully aware of all of my flaws. Painfully aware, of the hole that is swallowing me. Too tired to fight. And why should I fight anyway? He doesn’t let me fight.

What is there left fighting for anyway?

This place holds no shelter for me anymore. I want to fade away and vanish. Too jaded to go on. Too hollow.

It’s like I am in a trance.

I hear a noise and startle. Thunder and lightening are keeping me company. I wake up from my trance, and see where I am; realize what I am doing. I’m trembling from the cold, and from the shock of my train of thoughts. A heavy smile creeps up on my face. She is here to save me.

It’s always like that.

Two personalities are residing inside of me. Fighting to get the reigns over me. One of them is overly optimistic, always positive and supportive. Always honest and chatty. The other one is a suicidal pessimist. One day, he is going to win. One day, she will not be there and win the internal battle at the last minute. I know it. It scares me. I know that he is stronger.

I get up and the sky clears up too. No more rain. The wind calms down. I am dripping wet. Sand is sticking to my clothes. But I survived the storm.

Finally, I move. I move towards home. Wherever that is.

“Home is were you hang yourself…

…some pictures on the wall”

I enter my home. It’s empty. Almost no furniture. No voices. Nothing. I can’t stand the quiet and so, my first move is to turn on the music. Loud. To drown out the last of his thoughts. The hardwood floor is wet from my clothes and I shed them. Struggling to get the wet cloths from my freezing skin.

I take a shower to wash away the morning and the cold. But his voice is persisting today. He wants to see me perished.

In the back, I hear her voice. She’s screaming loudly.

“This too shall pass.” I nod my head. She is right. Maybe. I sigh into the foggy steamed bathroom mirror. It’s going to be a long week. It’s going to be a daily fight. I wish I could hibernate. Let them fight it out and whoever wins can take over my body. Whoever wins gets to do whatever they want with me.

“Fight. You’re strong. Don’t let that bastard get to you.” Some days, I am a fighter.

“Give up. You can’t win anyway. I am stronger and you know it.” Some days, I submit and lose the battle in my head.

***
(Originally written in May 2014, slightly edited today.)

No words to say

They don’t see what I can’t tell, they can’t understand that I am not well.

Everything is perfectly fine, apart from me and my mind.

Another morning filled with silent tears, this is the worst in years.

I can’t go on and I can’t give up, but I need to make this stop.

It’s crippling me, breaking me into pieces; the overwhelmed feeling increases.

I know they love me, they see me, but even their love can’t free me.

How can they see what I don’t tell, and that I am living in my personal hell?

I dread the moment when i lose my strength and cave. Until now, I have been brave. For now, I safe. Please, keep me safe?

ramble_20180608

I spent more than 14 hours at work today. I was there at 7:30am and got home at around 10pm. From a professional point of view, my day was a success. I have been told many times that the kids love me – we had a party with the parents tonight, and had the opportunity to talk with many parents in a relaxed mood we had created at the nursery. I worked my ass off today, not sitting still and getting things done. (Even ripping my favourite jeans.) I was brave and smiled and made small-talk. A busy bee with a smile for every parent and every child.

The other part of me, the one I hid, was the part of me that was on the constant verge of crying. I wrote two posts this morning and was in a good mood, until suddenly I wasn’t anymore. And I don’t know what triggered it. I cried before I left the house this morning. And my mood did not improve. It was a challenge to be social today. But I think I did a good job hiding my inner turmoil.

I am tired. Not only from work, but from everything. I haven’t eaten properly in two weeks. I have some kind of stomach bug that won’t go away. I cannot eat any proper food without getting sick. It’s exhausting. I am living off soup and tea these days. It is annoying and I am constantly thinking of food. But I don’t dare eating out of fear to be sick again. It is a vicious circle. I don’t feel sick, but I can’t eat. (I lost 3kg… Lol… But as soon as I start eating again I will gain 6kg, lol)

I want to be a good person. I am a good person. But there is that voice in my head that keeps telling me that I am toxic. It tells me that I am a burden, and that it’s easier to ignore me than to be with me. And I hate that voice. I know it is wrong, but I cannot stop these thoughts. And because I am aware of this, it makes it even harder to believe that anyone should like me. Why should anyone like me?

Why should anyone read these posts? Why should anyone care about someone like me?

On a good day, I would say “because I am loveable. Because I am worth it.”

Today, I say “I don’t know. I can’t see a way out.”

Once again, I am writing impulsively. I cannot help it. It is who I am.

My thoughts run in circles. It could be so easy, but my damaged mind makes it so hard to be some times. And being is all there is.

Tell me to breath. Remind me to keep breathing.

Demons

I tried to kill my demons in different ways. I drank them to sleep. I cut them out of my skin. I drowned them out with loud music. I silenced them with words I read. Nothing helped. This demons are pestering little buggers. They will not leave. Once in a while their voices are quiet. But never for long. They like to torment me. Do you want to know what they say?

  • You’re ugly and fat
  • No one likes you
  • You want too much of everyone. No wonder they all run.
  • Untalented
  • Shut up, no one cares
  • Why should they?
  • Stop whining
  • You will never be good enough
  • You deserve this
  • Suck it up

This is just a sample, but these fuckers (“you swear too much”) never give up. There are days when I shrug it off, flip them off and go my own way. But doubt – man, doubt is a powerful thing. Once the seed is planted every good thing happening that very moment turns into something rotten. Why should anyone want to spend time with me? I should leave these people and their lives alone. And by spending time with me, I seldom mean real face to face encounters. Truth is, I dread meeting people. I hate to pick out clothes and shoes and do something with my hair. No matter what I am wearing, I am afraid too be judged. And after the judgment comes the rejection. At least that’s how my mind works. And I can’t handle rejection. I frightens me. It makes room for doubt. (Even the smallest and most unintentional form of of rejection does.) For the longest time, I thought I was alone in this. Maybe I was naive or something, but I couldn’t grasp the idea that other people are suffering too. I mean, apart from me, everyone is perfect. Their lives are perfect. It’s horse shit, of course, I know that. But that is not how my mind works. The grass is always greener on the other side. That’s my mind. Not seeing a tree while standing in a forest. That’s my mind too. And I hate to look vulnerable. I am already eccentric enough as it is. I keep my coffee in the fridge.

After I wrote that last sentence, a demon reared its head again. Why do you write stuff like this? No one will read it. You don’t matter. No one cares. Maybe that is true. Maybe no one cares, but maybe it makes people feel less alone. We all have our battles. Some days I wish I were a normal person. Some days I wish my mind wouldn’t play these tricks on me. Some days I wish I could see what other people see when they look at me. But it never happens. I have to deal with this. And I do it mostly on my own. I cannot find the words to speak about it. I cannot stand the look of pity in the people’s eyes who know. I cannot be a public failure. I cannot let them see… But I am here… Failing at life in plain sight. Failing. But also succeeding. And I have the scars to prove it. I have thousands of poems to prove it. I have laughing lines around my eyes to prove it. I am not failing every day. Some days, I am succeeding. Some days the demons are quiet. Those are the good days. They happen too. For no reason. Because I am learning that things happen for no reason. If I could only think less. Or maybe, keep thinking the same amount, but with more thoughts in favour of myself.

Because, truth be told, despite being trapped in a tunnel with only slight rays of light, I am an awesome woman. Maybe not awesome, but worthy. Worthy of time, understanding, and care.

Thank you

It’s going to be okay

Life’s a bitch, but it’s going to be okay.

My daughter had a nightmare about me dying. I tried to comfort her as best as I could, but there was a thought I couldn’t shake. I will die. Some day I will. And I cannot change it. And when she was finally asleep again, i felt guilty. So many times i thought about dying. I thought about ending my life. No – I will not kill myself, no need to worry. But I have these thoughts and I am aware that those are thoughts normal people don’t have. I cannot save my children from all the hurt that the world will inflict on them. It’s impossible. But I can try and not add to it. It pains me when my seven year old is bullied. It hurts that she didn’t want to tell me because she didn’t want to make me sad. It pains me when she tells me that she will come to me with everything that bothers her but that I can also come to her with the things that bother me.
Parenting is the best thing I do. It’s one of the few things I am sure of. But there is so much wrong with me that I worry that I will never be the parent they need or deserve. The world is crazy. And I am too.
And I am scared to share. I used to share a lot. But back then, people from my day to day life didn’t read anything I shared. And now I allowed some people in. And I feel ashamed and frightened to share who I really am. I hate this. And I want to scream “help”, but I can’t, and to be fair, I wouldn’t listen to anyone anyway. I need a hug from someone who isn’t a child. Who knew that being married also meant being lonely and longing for human connection.

Sinking

In my fragile state

I’m sinking.

No fight is left

No struggle worth it.

Sinking

Sinking

I asked to be saved

But no one heard

I demanded a rope

To pull myself out

But I couldn’t reach it.

I am sinking

Sinking

Thinking.

Overflowing numbness.

When I close my eyes,

I am vanished – gone

And no one knows I even existed.

Leaving no trace.

did you make your bed?

Some days existing is hard. Breathing can become a struggle. Being is exhausting. Getting out of bed feels like an unachievable task.

Yesterday a good friend shared a thought with me, and it made total sense. It is about making ones bed in the morning. Here goes…

As I stated above, some days it is hard to find the strength to get out of bed. Making ones bed becomes an insurmountable task. I never bothered to make the beds. I never even considered it. Until we moved, 3 weeks ago. From the first day we lived in our new home, I made the beds. It felt like the right thing to do. Weird and out of character, and yet… The right thing to do. Now, the thought of my friend: if you make the beds, you have a first achievement of the day. Because it is a mundane task, but you did it. And if you had a bad day, you crawl into a made bed at night and you can fall asleep with the fact in mind that you got up that morning and did something. Making the bed was an achievement.

Now, for most people it doesn’t sound like a lot. If you are in a depression, the smallest things become your biggest achievements. A small task can be an insurmountable mountain. (I used the same words twice in two paragraphs, am I losing my mojo or am I just tired?)

It took me a while to admit to my situation. To address it. To ask for help. To speak about it. But it slowly dawns on me that there is no reason to hide the truth.

I am suffering from depression. And it is okay. I am going to be okay. (She said and hadn’t taken her medication in two weeks.)

I am going to undo my made bed, sleeping. Now… Remember, small things can have a huge meaning.

xx

Cathy

Thinking about last year…

Where do I start? This year has been the best and the worst in a long while. But how and why? Well… On the outside, everything went really well. In February, I started the best job I could ever wish for. I am very happy there. I celebrated my tenth wedding anniversary with my husband in August. We built a house together and moved the family into said house last weekend. I reconciled with family members who were mere distant memories. I got a raise at work and a trainee, despite the few hours I work. (26 instead of 40). My kids are doing more or less well. Financially, everything seems to work out too. We are not rich, but we can afford to take the kids to the movies and to the restaurant once in a while. I had to get a new car in April. It drives me from a to b, but it’s not my favourite…
On the outside, everything is looking up.
The inside though, my internal life is a mess. I suffered from a sever bout of depression this year. Worse than ever before, and for the first time, I asked for help. I couldn’t go on the way I was. Asking for help felt like failing, but it also felt like being in control of my damned emotions again. My behaviour was toxic. I cut my skin and pretended that I was marking myself to remember things. I was in complete denial of my own needs and suffered willingly for someone else’s good. For a while, I took meds – I am not taking them right now, and they helped, but I also know that I need to get on without the chemical help. I was overwhelmed with the fast success and I felt inapt and unprepared. For everything. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone is a scary thing. Emotionally, this year was very draining. From dealing with the past and worrying about the future, to coping with the present. I tend to assume and overthink. I often suppose and project, instead of knowing, and that’s what gets me every time. Add people to the mix who are sending mixed signals and are slipping through my fingers when all I want is to keep them close – let’s just say that it was the “coup de grâce”. The cherry on top.
My low self-esteem and the fact that I seldom allow myself to praise myself or be proud of an achievement makes life even harder for me. As it did this year. I guess, my ups and downs are palpable in my writing and in my poetry. Mostly the downs though, because I don’t need to write as much when I am okay. (Or even in a manic phase.) I scare people away with my moods. I am quite overwhelming at times.
I also made friends and lost friends this year. Acquaintances became friends. Daily parts of my life. I was mentioned in the acknowledgements of two different books and a song was written with me in mind. I saw some live music, not a lot, and I bought some of music, I always do – nothing new.

My favourite books this year were “You” and its sequel “Hidden Bodies” by Caroline Kepnes.

My favourite movie was “Paris 05:59 Théo & Hugo”.

My favourite musical release? I couldn’t tell. I simply don’t know since I didn’t listen to all that much different music this year. Though, Spotify lists the following as my most listened artists this year:

  • Pearl Jam
  • IAMX
  • Anathema
  • New Order
  • Kate Bush
  • Tadgh Daly
  • Lone Wolf
  • Fabrizio Paterlini

I read a lot and I wrote a lot, but I couldn’t reach the 400 poems I wrote last year. But I also drank and smoked too much, lol. Again, self-destructive behaviour is one of my patterns.
I loved a lot, and hated very few things, and no people. I stood up for myself and cowered behind bad excuses at times too. I cried more tears than I shed the entire decade before. I felt anxiety and excitement…
And at the end of it all, I am daring to let go of an idea that has been planted in my mind for too long now. I kept holding on for the wrong reasons and now, my mind and my soul have to reconcile and accept that my heart is saying goodbye. I am letting go.

I had a good year. Intense and emotional, but successful too.

To everyone I accepted in my world and didn’t push away – please stay.
To everyone I accepted in my world and who betrayed me – fuck off.
To everyone I accepted in my world and pushed out – I am sorry, but it had to be this way.

To everyone reading this – thank you.

I know my flaws and my qualities and they help me survive.

Thank you all for your support and friendship, have a happy new year.

xx
Cathy

(A lighter version of this was shared on Wattpad…)

drink up the light

Wasted years
Wilted flowers
Silent tears
Memories for hours.
A piano in tune
A melody for her
We will meet again soon
And the past is a blur.
Pain lets her breathe
After a silent night
She’s in way too deep
Chasing the light.
But the music plays on
And the sand fills a glass
Before long
She will walk amongst the stars.

It’s okay

Recently, I read on the mighty interwebs that “it is okay to not be okay”. Usually, I would agree. But life taught me differently. Sadly, I might add.

I have not been a good friend to my oldest (best?) friend for the last months. There are a couple of reasons. One of the most important ones is her constant negativity not being compatible with my depression. It took me a long time to admit that I have indeed depression and to seek help. And yet, I haven’t told anyone in my close circle of friends and family about it. I did however confide in someone who probably couldn’t care less… But that’s not the point.

I pushed my friends away more and more. And her too. Whenever we met and I tried to talk to her about me and that I am not well and that I don’t know how to deal with it; she made everything about her. And there came a moment when I couldn’t deal with it anymore and began to keep our contact to the barest minimum.

Yesterday I sought contact, writing a message and apologising for the last months. What I got was an accusation of creating a “wall of rejection”. Again, I apologised – and I probably said the lamest thing ever. “It’s me, not you.”

She didn’t even ask “why?” And it gives me the feeling that it is not okay to not be okay.

The thing is, if we honestly want to know and have answers, the question to ask is “why?” We don’t ask though – most often out of fear to hear the answer and not liking it.

If she had asked “why?” I would have dared to open up. I would have dared to say “I am not okay and I am trying to get out of this emotional dark hole.” Yesterday, I would have talked and explained. But she was not interested. And maybe that says a lot about our friendship. Too much?

Why is it not okay to not be okay? Why is it still a taboo to say when you’re not alright?

Why do we never ask that one-word question and why do so many people don’t want to hear an honest answer?

Everything is okay. But I am not. I am well enough to fonction and I am well enough to be passionate about this or that. But I am not well enough to pretend, and I am not well enough to spend time with negative people (not even those who I appreciated dearly once)

I am a giver, a feeder. But once in a while I have to take and get something in return. It is hard to ask for it. It is hard to admit that I am struggling.

Life could be perfect and maybe on the outside it is… But on the inside it is not. And that’s okay.

It is okay to not be okay!