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…)

Training

I work in a job where we are sent to trainings twice a year. Today I spent an entire day in training. We were a group of sixteen strangers. The training was about self-conception, our effect on the parents, and the use of verbal and nonverbal communication.

One exercise this morning was very uplifting. A stranger sat across from us. Facing one another, the stranger had one minute to compliment me. This was done twice. So… I had two minutes of compliments today and also gave two minutes of compliments.

Here are some things these strangers said to me which left an impact (or got me thinking). One man and one woman made these statements.

  • There is something mysterious about you
  • Very open and welcoming
  • Warm
  • Gentle
  • Humourous
  • Bright smile
  • Beautiful eyes
  • Curvy (yes… That too was meant to be a compliment)
  • I feel safe and accepted just sitting face to face with you
  • Very high tolerance for everyone, regardless of gender or anything else
  • Dynamic
  • Available to your friends
  • We could talk for hours on end if we met for a drink
  • Outgoing
  • Intelligent
  • Interested
  • Calm
  • At ease with yourself
  • There for your friends
  • You seem to be a person with a positive attitude who can find a solution to every problem
  • Would love to work with you
  • Beautiful when you smile

These are the ones I remember. The ‘you’ is me, of course. These things were said to me by people who I had never met before. It’s incredible how uplifting this exercise was. And, I recognise myself in the things they said, too.

I do want to add though: what is mysterious about me? Can anyone explain this to me? I’ve been told this more than once and I don’t know what to make of it.

Also, try to pay compliments to a stranger for an entire minute. It’s long…

Anyway, this made my day and I wanted to share.

xx

Cathy

ask me gently

Ask for my hand, I want your fingers wrapped around mine.
Ask for my kiss, I want your breath mingled with mine.
Ask for my soul, I will sell it too you and give you everything that used to be mine.

 

Someone said that this was subtle erotica… made me smile because it has not been written as such, but it could be read as such… and I never tire to say that reading is a subjective experience. xx

Set me free

Through the open window the breeze comes in.
It settles on my naked skin.
You’re close, closer than you’ve ever been.
I can feel it – within.

Your presence seeps into me.
You will never set me free.

The night hides your daily dose of pain.
I would take it off you, but every time I try, it is in vain.
I wait for you; each and every night, again and again.
You became the most tenacious, reappearing part on me – a stain.

You’re more than I will ever be.
You will never set me free.

No begging and pleading will make these memories go away.
And even when our bodies part and our souls go astray,
There will always be a reason why we met that day.
And a reason why I couldn’t stay.

You are nothing more than a distant fading memory.
One, that will never set me free.

Catherine Micqu xx

I am fighting a war today. With me and myself. I am tired. And a woman. (sorry, TMI. I know). But my thoughts suck tonight. And there is only one person I would like to call. But my head tells me to let him be. And it makes me even more miserable. I feel as if I am sinking. And then the addict inside wakes up. Come on! Just once. You’ll feel better afterwards. Trust me. But as I said; I am fighting. And running in a circle. I try to escape myself, but – a circle. There is no escape. And I would talk to a friend. But in this kind of mood, my mind tells me that I don’t deserve to bother someone else with my ridiculous self-made problems.

Sometimes, I feel like I am running out of words and out of sound and all that comes out of my mouth are trivialities, because I simply can’t find a voice to tell the people around me how I really feel. (From this ancient post moods… )

 

The Cure  -Plainsong

 

SO I sit here and keep fighting. I am alone. No kids around. The music is loud. “Disintegration” by the Cure. I might need a cure for my own disintegration soon too.

A week or so ago, a friend told me that one of my qualities is that I never lose my humour. It just gets darker.

 

And I wonder, if I really fill his holes, why doesn’t he send a life sign. Nothing in weeks. Maybe he doesn’t want his holes to be filled. Maybe he likes to stand in the rain and the way it soaks his soul. And the creative in him can use the feelings of hurt he inflicts on himself to write. And I will be the reason for the rain and the pain. But I am not. I can’t be. Please don’t make me into someone I am not.

 

drowning internally One of those poems I have written a long time ago. From time to time, the emotions in it become true again.

 

xx

Cathy

I’ll never stop giving up

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 meager 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 center 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 labeling 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 savoring 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.

 

If I give it up

Give it up

Give it up,

I’ll never stop giving up.

Silence… Alone in my head…

I want more

Coffee and a cigarette. I drink tea and I don’t smoke. Classical music. Loud. What about post rock and progressive? Too loud. For now. In front of me, a book. It drew me in. An autobiographical striptease. No niceties. Just truth. Me at the center. Recognizing that I sit here, day in and day out. In a haze. I’m sad. I am numb. I can’t be. I can’t do. Tomorrow, I will get up and do whatever I need to do. Today I sit here. There are no thoughts. Blank. Empty. When did I become this empty? I am full of thoughts. Of doubts. Full of shit. Yet I am empty. Where is that explosion of emotions? I wish I could cry. I can’t. I close my eyes, tilt my head to the side and with two fingers I rub my forehead. Just a moment of quiet. I open my eyes and look into the distance. There is nothing to see. Just all the things I can’t do. Life. I can’t do life right now. I don’t have the energy. I wish I knew who to blame. No one to blame. It’s not about them or what they don’t do. It’s about me. The lack of me and the question why I even exist. I am not doing anything. Just sitting. Starring. Sipping coffee and waiting for the day to be over. It’s only morning. And I am tired. Tired of not knowing what to do. I know exactly what to do, but those are not the things I am referring to. I am not lazy. But I am not here. No one’s home. Too many times I dreamed myself away. This time I didn’t come back. Apathetic. I forgot who I am. Who will I be? Deeper and deeper. I drown. Not in self-loathe or self-pity. I just drown. Around me, a cloud. It keeps me away from all the important emotions. Indifference. At the same time, I’m restless. Nervous inside. Irritable. Lost. But I don’t want to be found by just anyone. It has to be the right someone. And so, my thoughts come and go. In quick succession. If I could just do something. And use the word ‘just’ a lot less. There should be more. But there is nothing but grey. And I am a hostage. Caged by myself. And the voice that keeps telling me to be someone is getting louder again. Leave a footprint. Impress people with your skills. What skills? Believe in me! I can’t believe in myself. I am just an addict. Addicted to words people say and don’t mean. Hurt by those same words when I see that they were just that: words. Meaningless. When they meant everything to me. Another sip of coffee. It’s cold. The coffee. Not me. Starring in the distance again. Everything is blurry. Absently rubbing my fingers under my nose. They smell of cold cigarette smoke. Disgusting. Song number 8. I hear the word peace. It’s like waking up. My focus is broken. Did I just write these words? Should I read them again? Are there typos? And if there are, will they make me look as pathetic as I feel? Inadequate. And I think of that group I am a member of on Facebook. Very hidden, because it’s closed. The same people share on the same days. A song on Saturday. A reason to be grateful on Monday. I am an ungrateful bitch. I don’t own anything to anyone. And isn’t that a lie I tell myself? But I don’t want to be grateful for shallow things. And the meaningful things – they are mine. I don’t want to share them at a given time. And my songs? Just as weird as I am. Not ‘Music for the Masses’. If I could just hide. That thought clashes with that other longing. See me. Long months ago, close to three years now, I came up with a couple of sentences that capture me quite well:

See me, don’t just look at me. But if you look at me And see me, please love me

I look out of the window. The second-last piece of music plays and I look at the jewel-case next to me. It’s called ‘The Trees’. It sounds as if there is an imminent catastrophe. Nothing soothing in this music. I rub at the corner of my mouth. Left side. Unimportant details. Two word sentences. No style of writing. For a fleeting moment I wonder if this is hard to read and then I remember that I want it this way. Short sentences. Broken thoughts. More impact. The piano plays faster. My fingers type faster too. I close my eyes. Dive in the music. Head first. My fingers keep pushing buttons. I taught myself how to type. And then it stops. And all I want to do is plead for the song to go on.  But it doesn’t. I haven’t been able to let my fingers glide over the keyboard like this in a long while. Guided by the music. Me and music. Music and  me. I know nothing about music. I just know that I love to be touched. The music stopped. The spell is broken. The mood is lifted. Not much. But enough.For now. My thirst is not stilled. There is still hunger. Longing. Want. Need. But what happens when I get what I wanted and thought I needed? I will never be satisfied. It is never enough. There has to be more. Always more.

Some people get by
With a little understanding
Some people get by
With a whole lot more
I don’t know
Why you gotta be so undemanding
One thing I know
I want more
I want more

I’ll leave you with this. Oh and by the way… While I wrote this, I was listening to Max Richter – the Blue Notebooks

I submit to you

I submit to you.
And I surrender my lust to you.
Claim me as yours,
Put a bracelet around my wrist.
Not a collar,
For I might choke.
I will never kneel for you,
I am too free-spirited, I admit.

And yet…
And yet!

I submit to you.
And surrender my lust to you.
Mark my soul,
Never my skin.
Give me your orders
And I offer my control.
You take care of my needs
And I’ll take care of you.