Too hot to keep cool

I am clueless. Very often. What is happening?

And what the hell will happen to humanity if we keep going on like this?

The answer is: I don’t know. (Quote from one of my favourite movies: Reality Bites, I need to watch it again soon)

Fucking hell… I am speechless when I see the megalomaniac people, the egocentric ones, the selfish ones. Hate seems to be more valued than love, negativity is praised and “cool”, while positivity is weak and spiritual hippie crap. On the other side, being frail is accepted, flaws are welcome. Mental health issues are en vogue and everywhere and almost worn as a badge, as well as negated and diminished in the same conversation.

The world is full of complexities and opposites, and I am clueless about how to navigate them and about what will happen to us in these times of turmoil.

We will all go down. Fuck me… No one gets out of here alive.

But I am realizing more and more that serenity helps us get past any obstacles.

Most things are in our head, and reacting negatively makes everything worse instead of better. But positivity is so scarce these days, and, I, for one, have not learnt and experienced a lot of positivity in my formative years.

My mind is all over the place. And I am clueless. I often am. How can we sit back and watch as the world turns itself to dust?

What are you doing to make a change?

Me? I watch what I consume, recycle all my waste, take care of the environment, reduce the use of plastic… And, I work at a nursery where I try to educate the kids and share my values.

I also share my liberal values with my kids. I have discussions with them, explaining why I do the things in my own special way.

Yes, I am odd, but I am unique, and no matter how low my self-esteem can be, I also know that my presence enriches the life of everyone who is invited to walk on a part of their journey next to me.

It is too hot to keep cool…

Cathy

#tbt what a difference 17 years make

This is an old picture of me. I like it quite a bit. In a time without photoshop or filters, I looked like this when the sun was about to go to sleep and the first half of the bottle of wine was empty, lol

There are not many pictures of me as a young woman; here I was 19. (My husband took the photo in 2002)

I was in Brittany with my husband, my sister, and three German guys whose lack of knowledge of the French language made for a couple of running gags that are still existing 17 years later. My sister married one of the guys and ran off with him. She never came back home again. (Well, she did, but only about a handful of times in all these years…)

The woman on this picture is not the same woman I am today. And that is good. Physically, I stayed the same height, just a little wider – more to love?! Emotionally, I am a different person.

Writing these sentences is quite trying. I am not my best friend and focusing on nice things to say about myself is hard. I wrote a lot that put me down but erased all the negativity again.

The woman on the picture is a strong one. She achieved every goal without any emotional support. In fact, she was often told that she was stupid and not good enough for anything at all. A lot of my emotional damage comes from this time and the years before that. Caring for my mom as a child was challenging, but I was naive and didn’t know it any other way. It became a burden when I was a teenager. I believe that if I had been treated with more love and care from my family, a lot of my mental issues would not exist. Maybe that is a bold statement. Maybe I was born this way. Maybe I was born with a predisposition… I don’t know.

But yeah, this woman on that picture, that version of myself had a goal in life. And I achieved it. And despite everything (and the mental health…) I became a successful woman. And I did it all without any help from my family. Granted, I often wonder why no one was ever there for me in times of need, why did I have to fight alone; but in the end, it doesn’t matter. Because I got shit done. It would have been easy to find excuses, drop out of school and do nothing – but that was not how I was wired. And so, I got my driving license, I got my professional degree from a university of applied sciences, I have a family with loving children (and they are loved and supported unconditionally) and I was told often enough that I would never become a good mom when I was pregnant with my first child… No matter what I did and no matter how many successes I had to celebrate, my family always found something negative to say about it, and I was always a failure for them.

But what can we do? We all fight battles and we all have a past. I am not trying to belittle mine, but my own experiences aren’t better or worse than yours. The only difference is that they are mine…

Below is a picture of me with my two angels. They didn’t want to let me go to work so they decided to pin me down to the bed by climbing on top of me.

What a difference 17 years make!

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.

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.

Hands on my skin

Feverish dreams
Tossing and turning
The past and the future
No lessons I am learning.

Hands on my skin
I cannot push them away
Taken against my will
“Stop” I whisper and pray.

But you didn’t stop
And you never will
I move on
I am standing still.

Twenty years later
You are still in me
You made me who I am
I will never be free.

Forced inside my body
Tattooed where you have been
I was fifteen when you had
your hands on my skin.

Vulnerable and emotional
Most days I grace you with silence
I don’t want to remember
You and your violence.

But today a friend told his story
And I feel brave this very instant too
It is not easy to speak;
To validate you.

I never forgot you and your smell,
I never will
Haunted in my dreams
Feeling the old chill.

You will never leave my soul
And no matter how far I run
You are already there
Declaring “this was fun”.

I was a victim of your lust
Not strong enough to kick you off
But a lot of time has passed
Is my forgiveness me being soft?

I don’t think it is
But I deserve more than the past
I own my present and the future too;
A future that will last.

When I want to give up
Your voice is part of the reason
It is hard not to give in
It is a battle to live to see another season.

Feverish dreams
Tossing and turning
These are old memories
Yet they are still burning.

Too many men and women survived the same ordeal
Superheroes in their own right
Broken but strong enough to see
Life is not made of darkness, it is made of light.

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.

Random_20180602

I write because I can and because I have to. It is my therapy. Often, I write impulsively, so that you only see a momentary glimpse into my internal landscapes. I am happy with the people who are currently in my life. I am worth way more than I allow myself to be and I am grateful that they see it too. They love every inch of me. They accept every part of baggage on my back and in my soul. And I love them just the way they are. Flaws and all. That is how it should be. That is what gives me the strength to let go of old weight on my shoulders. I am happy that I am still here… As I mentioned before, I don’t take rejection very well. And I take it even worse when it comes from someone I adore. It almost ended badly. But, I am still here. Strong. Confident. With my ups and downs. The best version of me yet.

Written impulsively too.

xx

Throwback link

Throwback Link

I am happy. When I am happy, I am most often not inspired to write. My need to write often comes from a dark(er) place, hence the short writing notes lately and no new poetry at all. One of these days I will learn to channel the happiness and let it float into my writing.

I am sharing the above link, because it is still valid and quite coherent – for my standards. As you will notice, it has no likes and no comments, it was not tagged – that’s the reason for that. Feel free to explore the blog, there is a lot of content that has no tags but is worth your while.

I hope you are happy too.

Cathy

I thought about Jamie today with a smile. He used to be my best friend. This song always reminds me of him. (Jamie passed away in 2015)

most successful post

Once in a while, not often, I look at the stats of this blog. These last two months have seen more traffic on here than all of 2017. It’s amazing, thought I am not sure what changed.
My most successful post has been shared on March 28th, 2015. It’s actually quite surprising, because the post has not been tagged, but one person with a very wide social media reach – Nate Maingard – shared it with his followers and I guess that did the trick back then. It was a very naked and bare post and although I don’t agree with all of what I wrote at this point in time, I want to share it with you.

A very personal post

I feel the need to write this. It may be impulsive and it will be very personal.
Everything that happens inside of me, feelings, emotions, I need to deal with it on my own. More importantly, I never find the words to say what is wrong.
As a teenager, I cut myself. It was my outlet and my way to let go of the emotional hurt I felt. I grew up in a broken home, with a very ill mother. Her sickness and the way I cared for her from a very early age on, made me the person I am today. With all the implications of her illness, I was never shown love or affection. I grew up in a household full of adults. Grandparents, aunt, uncles, my mom and my sister (three years older than I am). Love and affection was nothing shown in my family. I wasn’t hit or abused. Not physically, instead, I was ignored or yelled at when I did something wrong. From an early age on, it was expected that I help my mom. My earliest memory goes back to when I was four years old and helped my mother with her daily hygiene… I won’t go into details. Suffice to say, no child that young should need to do these things for their parents. I was bribed into it and I was told if I refused or reluctantly helped, that I didn’t love her enough. And since I loved my mom, I did as I was told. And I broke inside, bit by tiny bit.
Emotions were bottled up and I found a friend in music. It was my safe haven, somewhere where I could flee from my daily life. I never had many friends, I wasn’t allowed to go out and I wasn’t allowed to bring anyone home.
I was thirteen when I first cut. I never hid my wounds. Nobody ever asked about them. Cutting was like a valve to release the pressure I felt. In a way, it felt as if my skin was too tight and when I cut, I fit in again. Little things could trigger it. I remember one particular cut that my grandma saw. I remember how she laughed and told me that if I wanted to kill myself, I should cut my wrist. No help there. It was a cruel thing to say, but I was used to it. Back then, I felt alone. Like a freak. An outsider on every front.

Despite it all, I was a rebel. I started to meet with the wrong people, fell in love with the wrong people and saw them destroying themselves with drugs. I never did anything. Was I a coward or too headstrong? I don’t know. I simply didn’t like to see them lose control and I didn’t want to see it happen to myself. Drugs were never an option for me. If it had been, I would not be here right now. I would have died with my friend. (he died of an overdose in 2012). I didn’t go home during the days anymore. I went to school and wouldn’t go back home until it was evening. I would do my chores at home and hide in my room with the music turned up. I wrote pages and pages in my diary and I also started to write poetry. It became an outled and I stopped cutting. I simply stopped. It was hard at first. To take the pen instead of the cutter. But I succeeded. I was proud of myself, but I had no one to share that feeling with. It’s the story of my life.

Looking for love and affection. It never stopped.

I met the man I married when I was sixteen (almost seventeen). He lived a life very different from the one I lived (and was six years older too). In a way, he saved me.
I went to school and started a specialization, all without the support of my family. They didn’t care as long as I was there to help with this and that. In their minds, I never missed anything. I had clothes, a roof over my head and monthly pocket money. They didn’t understand that I needed more. I was told that I was/am egoistic and self-centered. Maybe they were/are right. I finished school in 2004. I was the first and to this date only one of my family, who went to school and got a degree that allowed them to go to university. I had plans. But then I became pregnant with my first child. In 2005 I gave birth to a beautiful boy. I love him to bits. I moved in with his father and for the first time in my life, I didn’t need to take care of my mom. I now had my own little family. I was devastated with feelings of guilt and I was told more than once that I destroyed my family because I was so selfish and had a child. I was twenty-one. Old enough to make those decisions for myself. After my son’s birth, I fell into a deep hole. I cried a lot and I didn’t want to live anymore. I loved him, but it was not enough. I felt useless and worthless. Lonely too. I had 1 (one) friend and her life was very different from mine. She was single and worked and I was jealous of her. She was free, while I was still tied to someone. In hindsight, I know that I had postnatal depression. It took months to find a way out. But again, I did it on my own. I was a recluse. Gained a lot of weight, lost most of my sparse self-esteem and hid. More importantly, I didn’t talk about it. Again, words failed me. And reaching out was out of question. I was weak and frail, but I didn’t want to show it. There were times in my life, when I drove in my car – alone, and I wondered if I should just put my feet on the pedal and drive off the road or into the next wall. Of course I never did. I only ever had one car accident and that was when I thrashed a parked car’s side mirror when driving by. And rest assured, those thoughts are not in my mind anymore. But they were and I will not deny it.

Life went on for a couple of years. I found work and I liked it, but I never wanted to leave my child alone. I got married at twenty-four. I was with my partner for seven years then and I had told him that either we would marry or I would take the child and live a life on my own. It wasn’t my finest moment, but I felt like wasting my years with someone who didn’t show me that he cared. He cared. I just didn’t see it.
I became a mom for a second time and soon after that for the third time and I felt content. I didn’t work anymore and although I missed the freedom of it, I enjoyed being with my children and being there for them. I spoil them and show them how much I love them. Every day. I didn’t have the time to let my thoughts drift to dark places either, My sole preoccupation was to be the best mom I could be.
My life seemed to have turned around, until in 2011 something was triggered inside of me. To this day, I don’t know what it was. I began cutting again. I was twenty-eight. I didn’t do it often. Four times in all, but I did. And at that time, I realized that I had to do something. I had to work through my own emotional baggage. I began writing. Fiction and poetry. Nonfiction too. I shared it online. Shared many very personal things about me too.
I don’t know what I expected. I didn’t expect to find people who liked what I wrote and the way I wrote. I didn’t expect to find people who found my poems to be meaningful and powerful. It was a nice feeling. I felt valued and didn’t feel the need to hide my own emotional roller coaster anymore.
I never told my family about it and when I finally did, they laughed about it. Saying I wasn’t good enough anyway. To this day, none of them has read anything I have written. They can’t judge if I am good enough or not, but they do. I am different from them. That’s enough to judge me.
I just only wanted to be loved and be accepted for the damaged person I am.
There are still many days when I don’t feel appreciated and the internet has made me quite vain too. It build some of my long lost self-esteem, but easily destroys it too. There are days when I wake up and have sixty or more notifications on my phone. I chose to share my writing on a site called Wattpad.(link is on the about me page). It’s a great site for immediate reactions to your writing. I need that. I need that immediate response. I share my poetry on here too, share the links, just like I will share this one too, on twitter and I get no reactions at all. That is when I feel unappreciated again. I support so many people and rarely feel that support in return. It’s not that I expect it, but it would be nice to be acknowledged. It would just be nice, that’s all.
Recently, I am much more in tune with my internal self. I know exactly when a bout of depression is lurking around the corner. I can feel it creeping up on me several days before it strikes. And when it happens, there is a wall that comes up. I write more poetry then and I can’t wrap my head around writing fiction. Which only makes it worse, actually. That writer’s block just pulls me under deeper. And I feel useless and untalented too. I often wonder why anyone should read anything I write. Whether if it’s a poem, a short story or my full length novels. The answer is, I don’t know. The answer is also, because they are good. Yes, my grammar lacks here and there, but I am improving every day. English was the fourth language I learned!

Last September, I was told to look into self-publishing, and I did. Between September and November 2014, I released three books. Self-published and it was a lot of work. They went through proofreading (and still have typos…) and they got reviews (good and bad), but I continued to write and post for free. Not long ago, I realized that once again, I had acted impulsively and although I was very proud about having published these books, they have strong characters and strong story-lines, I also realized that they need more work. I unpublished everything and I am on my way back to my roots.

Writing. It gave my life a routine and a direction. Music too. I spend way too much money on music and my shelves are packed to the brim with CDs, but I love it. I love it even more when the music touches me on a personal level and it doesn’t matter if the artist/band is famous or not. If I like it, I will buy it.

There are days when I want to scream and hide. I can’t because of the kids and my responsibilities. There are days, when I don’t want to get up and I want to sleep until the feelings and thoughts in my head stop torturing me. But it doesn’t happen. It’s a recent thing, but I learned to accept those phases. They are a part of me. They are a part of the person that I am.
I am starving for love and affection and I don’t see that change anytime soon. And even when I don’t feel good, I will not ask for help. I need to get it done on my own and at the same time, I wish someone would say that they know how I feel. Truth is, only I know how I feel and even while I write these many many words that probably will not be read, because I wrote them and nobody really cares about my thoughts and little hiccups, I cannot make you see inside my head. But I can maybe make you understand, why I am the person I am and how my mind works.
I was told that I am cold. I was told that I am strong. I even was told that I am amazing. I was told that I am too emotional and I was told that I am selfish. Maybe I am all of those things. In the end, the only thing that is real and true is that I am me. I am Cathy. I am flawed and damaged beyond repair. I am starving for something that I can’t accept, even if offered to me.
Under layers and masks, I am a woman (old or young, depending on the mood) with lots of thoughts on her mind. I am me. And I want you to love me.

****
I hope this didn’t scare you away. The post itself is completely unedited. As stated above, I am not agreeing with everything anymore, and the worst phase of my mental health began some months after that post were written, but I still remember that I felt a strange kind of pride to have put it all down and in words.

Have a great day…
… I will too

Cathy – the woman with the headache,lol

mind’s vomit

It’s too easy for me to cling to people who make me happy. This also makes it easy for me to doubt every little thing they do or don’t do, when I am overly tired or not in a good mood. (Like today.) Questions like: why? How? arise and there is no answer. Simply because some things happen without a reason. And that is perfectly fine or it should be. That, of course, clashes with my mantra of “everything happens for a reason”. It’s self-sabotaging and I know it. Logically, I know it. But I can’t prevent it. I can’t stop it from happening.

Is it a trust issue? Or is it a self-confidence issue? A mix of both? There are rare moments when I can see myself through the eyes of an other. During those moments I see a different person. Someone loveable.

I am a simple woman. Make me laugh and tell me how awesome I am and you will have a piece of my heart. But only if it happened at the right moment. The right moment being when I am in a free and serene headspace.

Yes, I think too much for my own good. And I doubt everything nice that happens to me, because in my life, happiness always came at a price. I am scared that my happiness is fake, and that if the people inspiring it are seeing me for who I am, they will turn their backs on me and take the happiness with them when they are leaving. Please don’t leave.

After all, I am leading a good life. Not always conventional, but a good life nonetheless. And I am not scared to ruin my own life; I am scared to make other people’s life a burden – as long as I am a daily part of it. I am demanding. Often, I am not afraid to ask for the things that fulfill my demands.

All in all, I am a pretty amazing woman. I am humourous, sensual, (I like to think that I am) intelligent enough to hold a conversation. I am kind and grateful, and trying to please those around me (without neglecting my own self). But I am also clingy and possessive and I don’t trust easily. I am not jealous. But I don’t deserve love, and I wonder why someone would spend time with me. It’s deeply rooted in my childhood. Things were broken inside of me and they cannot be fixed. Those damages overshadow the logical and they ruin everything good.

I am tired today. I couldn’t sleep. And these thoughts needed an outlet. I am unapologetic. And I know that I am overwhelming – in a bad way. But I am also honest about who I am and how I feel. No one is forced to read my words. But if you did read this far, I thank you. Some call this writing stream of consciousness. Today I call it my mind’s vomit.

Have a great day. Thank you for your eyes and ears.

xx