One of those nights…

My last nights have been bad. I had nightmares, almost every night. Completely out of the blue and in no relation at all with my life. Most times, the nightmares are about my kids or my mom. And I reached a point where I prefer not to sleep at all out of fear to have a nightmare again. But, to be honest, no sleep is not an option either… It makes me even moodier than I usually am. But hey… The kids think that I am easy-going these days. That’s something, isn’t it?

I am spending my nights differently… Taking selfies and putting one million filters on them. (Or only two: vignette and b/w)

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Reading stories on the mighty internet, or reading books; watching movie after movie; playing stupid games on my phone… Whatever kills time.

Tonight’s movie:

Fear

Released in 1996 and directed by James Foley. Awesome thriller with Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon and many other known faces. A love that turns into an obsession… One of those movies I have seen too many times. And also one of the first times that I got in touch with the music of Bush.

Seeing that the film is 23 years old, it is charmingly outdated too

Good night…

Milestone

Dear reader,

As you know, I am pretty hard on myself all the time. I am not very nice to myself. But, you are. You never hold it against me. You are never pressuring me to write more poetry again. You never tell me to stop whining. And I thank you for that. This blog is my safe haven. And yet, I censor my posts all the time. Not too sure why though. It is what it is. I feel safe to ramble here and to let my mind wander. This is where reality and fiction merge; which means that a lot of what you can read here is fiction. A lot is reality. Which is which will never be known. Or maybe it is easy to identify, once you get to know me.

A milestone is in reach for me. Two hundred ninety-nine (299!) amazing people are following this blog — peanuts for some, mind-blowing for me. I am just a no one in this world really, and yet you all mean the world to me.

I am not obsessed with stats (anymore), but I see you see me. And I thank you. I appreciate it a lot.

I intend to keep going with the flow and write whatever wants to be written.

Again, thank you

You matter. Remember that. You matter.

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!

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.

101 things I dislike

Throwback to 2016 when I wrote this list. It’s been a long time, and I updated it somewhat — not a lot.

Can you relate?

Without fear of being judged (read: with near panic like fear of being judged) I will try to come up with 101 things I don’t like.

1. The colour orange

2. Flying

3. The cold weather

4. Snow

5. Chocolate

6. Ketchup

7. Christmas songs and decorations in November

8. Waiting

9. Being ordered around

10. People who don’t say thank you

11. Rude people

12. Unanswered questions

13. Lemon

14. birds

15. Feathers

16. The sound of my alarm clock

17. Being tickled

18. Being taken for granted

19. Negative people

20. Emotional vampires

21. Instruments that are out of tune

22. Cocky people

23. Jealousy

24. Drivers not setting the turn signal

25. Wondering if my English is good enough and if others understand what I am trying to say

26. Doubting myself

27. People who make lots of noise when they are eating (!! Important one)

28. Fruit

29. Killing animals – even flies

30. Not being taken seriously

31. People who aren’t getting the job done right

32. Belching

33. The smell of vomit

34. Touching door handles in public spaces

35. Not seeing anything at a concert

36. Payment declined – for no reason

37. Forgetting my pin code

38. Water touching my ears (anything touching my ears)

39. Swimming

40. Crowds

41. Ignorance

42. The smell of cold smoke

43. Sprite or any sweet beverage

44. Anything bitter

45. Having a stuffed nose

46. Being surprised

47. Offering presents

48. Shopping for clothes

49. Animals

50. Meat

51. Saying goodbye

52. Deadlines

53. Gory horror movies

54. Going to church

55. Thinking about negative things

56. Mess left by the kids after eating nuts or grains

57. Jazz

58. Musicals

59. Long fingernails

60. Not having enough sleep

61. Chanel no 5

62. Visiting a home for disabled people

63. The sound of chalk on a blackboard

64. Expensive rents or mortgages

65. Working in a garden

66. Sketching, drawing, painting

67. Pens that aren’t working

68. Coffee with sugar

69. My double chin

70. Milk

71. Hairy feet

72. Star wars

73. Harry Potter

74. Lord of the rings

75. The way eyes itch from allergies

76. Almonds and nuts

77. Bread (with the exception of French baguette)

78. No toilet paper when I am on the loo

79. Autocorrect

80. Forgetting to save my work when I just wrote 500+ words

81. 0 likes on stories or poems I thought turned out great; 21 likes on mediocre poems or stories

82. Questions with obvious answers

83. Gossip

84. Talking bad behind someone’s back

85. Losing track of people who once were an important part of my life

86. Wasting time (mine and the time of others too)

87. Forgetting things

88. Broken promises

89. Being unable to speak straight sentences lately (stuttering, not finding the right words)

90. Dentists

91. Being late (me or people being late)

92. Being intense

93. Migraines

94. Fishing for more things I dislike

95. No network or wifi

96. Social media knows everything about us (bye bye Facebook)

97. Being watched while crying

98. Being stared at

99. Not knowing how other people are seeing me

100. Oranges

101. That I found 100 things I dislike…

Are you surprised? Why? Now, what do you think?

I am made of…

…music.

Tonight I am.

Ups and downs. All the time. I had one very good week. I am not used to it and mentioned it many times. Then came the fall. It always does. Strangely, when it happens, and I try to reach out, no one is there – everyone is busy. Maybe that’s just a subjective feeling; I don’t know.

What I do know is that music is the most soothing thing for me when my mind is acting up.

I went on a date tonight. A movie date to see Bohemian Rhapsody. I grew up with music from Queen, and I know many songs. I read books about Freddie Mercury. Most notably the one by Jim Hutton. I like the band. I do. But I am not a superfan.

Hearing all those amazing songs in a movie theatre tonight was like balm for my soul. Music should always be playing this loud.

Of course, Who Wants to Live Forever made me cry, it always does.

But, the strangest thing happened too. There was something like magic in the air. The film ended, and the credits were rolling. The lights were on, and the exit doors were wide open, but the audience didn’t move. It was as if most people were just enjoying a couple more minutes of great music played loudly. And most people had that smile on their face, the blissful smile that only music or a live show can bring. It was quite extraordinary. And I loved it.

So… Shit mind and mood aside, music made me smile again tonight. It made me light. I know that tomorrow will be different again. I cried a lot these last two days, for no reason. Or seemingly so. I wish I were normal. I wish I didn’t burden people with this; with me. But I do. Because I am made of music. But I am also made of emotions. I am made of all the small pieces that make me whole. (Everyone is, I am not special)

Thank you.

stream of unedited consciousness

Today is tomorrow, agree?

I was wondering, most of my friends these days are real but online. The ones who are most important are the ones I have never pulled into my arms. What if I passed away? What if they did?

I am not suicidal, but I am thinking about accidents or things like that.

Those who follow this blog more closely might have read the name Jamie before.

Jamie was the most fantastic man. His birthday was two days ago, he would have turned 36. He passed away in 2015 from Leukemia. Jamie was my best friend. I only knew him virtually, but he was my best friend indeed. We shared everything. I trusted him, and I believe that he trusted me too. He made me a better person. I like that he keeps popping up in my thoughts almost daily. Music reminds me of him, but also other random things we talked about. When he passed away, it was a mutual friend who told me. That friend was informed by his husband. (No typo. Jamie was gay.) Although I consider Jamie my best friend, I did not know his husband. I remember when Marcus told me about Jamie’s passing. I cried for hours that day. And I felt jealous that Jamie’s husband had not gotten in touch with me personally.

Thinking back at all of this, and thinking about my current situation, I wonder how my friends would be informed. If they would be informed at all. After all, I am not on Facebook anymore. Not having Facebook feels like being alien or invisible. But at least in case of emergency or something similar, everyone would know.

I don’t want to vanish. And one of the worst thoughts for me is to be forgotten. I try to touch people… with my writing, but also with my entire daily behaviour. If I succeed, that is not for me to judge.

I just know that I am as real as I can be. Which can be intense and overwhelming for the people who are close to me.

Compared to other blogs, this one is not frequented at all. A handful of people keep checking in daily. (I see you, and I know who you are. Thank you!!) Also, ever since I have the ‘buy’-button on the blog, I haven’t sold one copy of my book. That’s okay though… I am just curious to know how it works, lol.

One thought after the other. One foot in front of the other.

Mood is still calm and serene. I should be devasted, but I am free instead. And I miss Jamie so so much.

Names…

I have three kids.

My son’s name was found because there were only 3 left on the list:

Olivier

Nicolas

Christopher.

My daughter’s name came to me in a dream. And I woke up and I knew it. There was not one doubt and no arguing.

Giulia

Julie

Julia.

My second daughter’s name was difficult to find. We had a handful of names left. And finally I wrote them on slips of paper and we drew her name out of a hat.

Amalia

Amelia

Emily.

Are names important? My kids wouldn’t be different with different names.

A rose by any other name would still smell like a rose. (Sorry, I don’t know Shakespeare in English, I can’t quote it properly)

My name is Catherine Annette. I don’t know what people think when they read or hear that name. I go by Cathy, haven’t ever known it any other way.

When we read or hear a name, we have an image in our heads. Parents know how that exact thing makes it hard to name the kids.

I am serene and at a good place right now. Yet I often wonder how others perceive me. 💜

I must confess…

…that my loneliness/is killing me now/

Sorry… Britney wanted to sing along.

So… My confession.

Yesterday I listened to many records, and I even wrote about it. It felt so good. I still feel the ripples of the music I heard reverberating in my soul.

But… As much as I praised vinyl, I don’t own many records. They are very expensive, and I made a rule to just invest in vinyl that is special to me.

As for CDs… I own close to 2000 of them now. Of course, they don’t look as good (or special or edgy) on pictures than vinyl does.

I wondered today: who cares? No one does. I mean… If music affects me and you can’t relate to that, then it doesn’t matter on which devices I am listening. Plain and simple, no?

Music is my daily companion. And once in a while, like yesterday, I get the chance to immerse myself in. I hadn’t done that in such a long time, and these hours were precious. Priceless, really. As you probably noticed, I shared poems afterwards. Inspired by the music.

When I was a child, I had a walkman. I found an old radio with chipped plastic corners. Later, I got a stereo (when I was 9). Music was by safe haven ever since I was a child. Lyrics touched me. Made me feel strong. Made me feel weak. Made me cry. Made me laugh. I feel strongly when I listen to music. And I am well aware that most people cannot relate. But it is a part of who I am.

I am not a particularly huge fan of this band or that. I think I’ve grown out of that. But there is one band – Anathema – which I listened to since I was 15. Twenty years. I fall back onto them again and again because their music is like a soundtrack of my life. Their lyrics touched me and still do. It gives me strength. It makes me weak. I saw them three times. Last time was last November, and shortly after their gig, I wrote a post on this very blog. Something personal. (Link to when you click on “post“).

I don’t have many passions in my life. Music is one. (Listening, and I can sing okay.) Writing is the other passion. And often I am not sure if I am any good at it. I believe that I am. But that one (1) star on Goodreads makes me worry. Am I overestimating myself and my skills?

I have a friend who keeps telling me that if I invested in advertisement for my book Unquiet Minds, I could find worldwide fame. I don’t want that. I just want a couple more people to let me know that I touched them. Maybe it is all pretense. Maybe it is all just a pile of shit.

Words are falling out of my fingers, and I cannot stop them. One thought after the next.

Randomness.

By the way… I went to the movies today. I saw a Luxembourgish movie. Superjhemp retörns. Other superheroes are young and handsome and skilled. We have Superjhemp, an average middle-aged man who is working a dull day job. He is soft around the middle and gets his superpower from cheese (Kachkéis – cancoillotte) and beer. He flies with both hands in his pockets and has a fable to fly through closed windows. Overall, he is very Luxembourgish. As so often, this movie was adapted from the comics with the same name. And it was hilarious. I doubt though that non-Luxembourgers will find it funny. But it was.

Ok… So… This escalated quickly. All just to say, that I am an impostor and that I only own (+/-) 30 vinyls.

Thank you for allowing me this space to ramble.

Vote for my book. And buy it. If you want a signed copy, we can make that happen too. Get in touch: catherine.micqu@gmail.com

Thank you.

Cathy

Let this new week begin. 💜