Today, I saw that an old post from November 2017 was read a couple of times – today. I am not one who looks at the stats all day long, but I noticed this because it is a special post to me. (That said, I usually take a moment in June to reflect on the first half of the year on the blog… Expect a post about that soon)
I remember that particular post from November very well. I remember exactly when I wrote it and why. I know what happened before and what happened after.
It’s quite painful to read all of these words again. They were at the beginning of a dark and depressive phase in my life and I am not completely out of the woods yet. I have been fighting and struggling for three years.
Recently, I discovered that I am actually a mediocre writer at best. I keep repeating the same words and phrases; I keep replaying the same scenes and moments. And my writing became dull. Unimportant. Irrelevant.
There are many many amazing writers out there. There are musicians who write lyrics so powerful that they make the listener tear up.
I am not one of them. Not anymore.
I am sorry.
I lost my most important muse and stopped listening to the music that makes me feel. It is as if I am overwhelmed all the time, yet numb too. It is as if I am censoring myself and hiding behind the mask of the person I am expected to be.
I am exhausted. I haven’t slept properly in four days. And I can’t do it anymore.
This Corona thing is different for all of us. I admit I am coping well enough. I feel lonely but also relieved that I don’t have to deal with as many people daily. I am most happy at home or in my garden. I am not trying to improve or learn something new. I am just being a mom and taking care of the house. I neglected that a bit in the past, but now that we are at home all the time, I want our home to be clean and tidy.
I am lonely, however. I am online a lot, more than I already was before the lockdown. And at one point, I became obsessed with news about the progression of COVID-19 in Luxembourg.
I noticed something with my husband yesterday: we kiss when one of us leaves the house or comes home. Now that we are both home, the physical contact is reduced to a bare minimum. I mentioned it, and as so often, it was countered with a joke. You see, we laugh a lot, a big part of us is banter and calling the other out on their bullshit. We never fight, and it is all in good nature, but the intimacy, the physicality is missing.
But I also need to admit that I have many times when I don’t want to be touched when I don’t like the feel of skin against mine. I flinch away. From my kids too. I try to apologise, and lately, I began telling my kids when it is okay to touch and hug and when it is not. It makes it harder for everyone around me to know and understand that I need those hugs. They keep me together some times.
When I was a child, I was not hugged, not touched, and I was never told that someone was proud of me or that I did something right. I was ignored, insulted, and ridiculed. I remember a big hug from my grandmother when I was seven, and she told me that a girl from my class had died in a car crash. She had been run over by a drunk driver. I remember a couple of slaps, but what I remember most is the cold shoulder—not being heard or looked at. Not having a voice or being allowed to use that voice.
I was a timid and taciturn child. I was not really bullied but singled out for being the only kid with Italian roots and divorced parents. Add to that that the kids from school didn’t understand why my mom was in a wheelchair. I didn’t understand it myself, but since it was my normal; I didn’t know it any other way.
My childhood and the emotional abuse I endured left deeper wounds and scars than anything else ever will. It is the reason for all these self-esteem issues. For the depression too. In my head is this voice that tells me that I am not loveable and that I don’t deserve anything good happening to me. I don’t trust people and don’t confide in them. My mind is constantly working, but no one even knows the half of it.
When I was a teenager, I craves affection and attention. And so I began flirting with many boys and men. I just wanted to be loved and appreciated. And I was never short of boys who were willing to flirt. I had boyfriends and received love letters. My first time having sex was me being abused. After that, I took my distance from men and boys. It took a couple of years before I let anyone physically close again – he became my husband.
I am a sexual woman. I like flirting, and I love writing my more smuttier one-shots. Heck, People are checking this blog for those posts alone.
I am starving for affection more days than not. And I want to be good enough, loveable enough. I want to be funny enough. Interesting enough. Clever enough. Sexy enough. I want to be enough. But there is this barrier in my head. I don’t know when I will attain this “enough”. Enough is never enough. I need to feel love from other people to feel love for myself—a vicious circle, bound to leave me with a couple of new bruises. But I can take it. I can channel that kind of pain and pour it into my poetry and writing. I may not be the most amazing person, but my writing is often decent.
I am thinking a lot tonight. I was watching Gone with the Wind (1939) tonight and after that, I can’t quite seem to find sleep. It is 1:30am.
And with my thoughts going in circles and me thinking about my grandmother tonight, I realised that my emotional wounds, the one’s from my childhood and teenage years are heavier on my mind and soul than physical wounds ever were.
Writing this reminded me of Robert’s blog post. Pain is relative. Pain is not relative. Emotional pain is relative. Physical pain is not.
On that pic, you see me with no make-up and my favourite t-shirt. (Pink Floyd). There is a beer mix in the back, and – get your head out of the gutter – that phallic shaped thing with the colourful bubbles is a Galileo thermometer.
I often wish that I was a normal 37-year-old woman. But how does a normal woman my age behave? I am a bit crazy around my kids too. Often, I am dancing or singing or wearing a plastic crown. I write about music – a new review is in the making. I ramble about unimportant things. But if these things and themes and subjects matter to me, then they aren’t unimportant, right?
I just hope that my kids will be less damaged than I am. They know my moods. They don’t fully understand them yet, but they are tuned in to my manic moments and to my depressive episodes too. I try keeping them out of it all. Not to wear a mask or to lie to them, but to stop them from worrying.
In this Corona times, I am less alone, yet lonelier than ever. I am coping quite well for now, and I hope I will manage these next three weeks of lockdown too.
If you use Spotify, take a look at this playlist. It has many many many songs (over 1100 songs to be exact.) It is a mix of what I like to hear and you can find a mix of very different genres. Once in a while, I delete songs that I grew tired of or skip too often, but for every deleted song, there are two added and that’s how the list grew. I hear a song and I add it to that list. I have other private lists, but this one is the one I used daily.
This blog-thing here is very selfish and egocentric. It is about my thoughts, my stream of consciousness, my options, my opinions. Me.
I am not qualified for many things. I don’t know much about music or mental health. I know about education and pedagogy. I know about raising kids and living on a tight but not too tight budget. I know about childhood trauma and divorced parents. I know about unrequited love and self-harm. I know a lot, but I am not an expert on many things.
I haven’t seen anyone who doesn’t live with me since Friday 13th. I haven’t spoken to many people either. But I have been continuously texting. I am online – all the time, and I am checking the news a lot too. 1333 confirmed infections today, 234 more than yesterday. In a country with approximately 620k inhabitants, this is a lot. And weirdly enough, I don’t know anyone who caught the virus. It’s odd, or maybe it just shows that I am a recluse most of the time anyway.
I am very active online these days, sharing a lot – mostly music related content or trivial things. Even on FB, that I keep for family and my close friends, I took part in challenges I would have ignored during other times.
I don’t know if this is healthy, I doubt it. But I am also grateful for all the amazing people who are interacting with me. Some of these people have been on my periphery for a while, but only ever at a distance, and now they are getting closer. Is it because I am willing to let them closer? I don’t know.
I don’t have cabin fever; at the same time, I am not in my best mood. Is it because I ate too many carbs after not having had any for weeks? Is it my natural female cycle?
It is a fact that I am busier now than I was before the lockdown. I am more present and as weird as it sounds (or as bad as it makes me look) I am making time – and finding time for things I used to ignore. Working out (I am proud about it, even if it is only 5 to 10 minutes a day) cleaning the kitchen daily, drinking enough tea and water, spending conscious time with the kids and saying ‘no’ when they ask to watch TV (instead we play board games or play silly games outside on the garden – it was never important for me to spend time outside with my daughters – now it is).
The Covid-19 virus is a moment to reset our lives, and I think I am doing a good job. I am focusing on the important things, and I am taking care of the people who matter to me, by getting in touch with them regularly – it is their choice if they respond or not – you can almost read the disappointment on the screen, my blood-related family does not care, once again.
I feel connected to people, and even though I am not too well (mentally), it makes a lot of sense. I am not alone, and for once, I understand this, and I feel it too. There is a lot of bad happening right now, but somehow, there is a lot of beauty in this situation too.
During these difficult times, lots of people are losing their careers and their livelihood. Musicians and artists too. If you can, support your favourite artist. Some are putting out A Song A Day.
Many incredible musicians are doing this, but I want to single out someone special. Tom Morris. He put his first song on Soundcloud today, and what can I say?! It is a brilliant song. Tom records his songs in under an hour. It is audible, but even in this raw state, this reached me right where it is important to be touched. The lyrics are very relevant, and again, I can relate. Now, if you follow this blog-thing, you know about Tom Morris and how much I like that guy. He is talented. A beautiful mind and soul. He is one of us – and I can never repay him for the impact he had on my life with a simple hug.
If you have a moment to spare, please, support Tom on Patreon. (I have a certain sum of money set aside each month that I use to support artists on Patreon or to buy music and books, it is the only luxury I allow myself these days.)
These are just 4 musicians who make very different kinds of music. They are all on Bandcamp, and they also share their music on Twitter. (The above are Twitter-Links)
Music is very important in times like these; for me, it is – as you may have noticed these last days.
I don’t have much to say anymore. My poetry muse left me a while ago, and all I do is rambling. I believe that we change all the time. I never intended this blog to turn into a diary kind of thing, but in times when my voice is silent, and I can’t speak, I found that writing eases my tensions, and it turns my thoughts into words on a screen.
Let’s keep evolving.
Today was another less great day. The pain in my shoulder is back full-force.
I made room for routines (getting up at the same time each day)
I have been working out every day – yoga, squats, planks, jumping jacks…
I have been eating healthier (since March 1st… it was a challenge)
less alcohol (part of that challenge)
I made time for music
I began making my own bread (there is one in the oven now)
I discovered overnight oats (they are delicious)
away from the usual responsibilities at work and driving the kids around from here to there, I feel more relaxed
watching less TV (yes, you read that right – less!)
drinking lots of tea and water
I enjoy homeschooling my kids and like spending time with them a lot. (I added this one because I am growing very tired of all the memes of parents being overwhelmed with their kids and only coping with alcohol. Parents who actually spend time with their kids and raised them well will enjoy this time – it is an exceptional time, and the kids will never forget it, we should make it count.)
Sure, these don’t sound like life-altering things, but for me, they are. In my line of work, getting up every day at the same time is impossible, because of the shifts we work. Some days I need to get up early, and other days I can lie in… Right now, I have the luxury of sleeping longer than usual, but not being lazy either. I have breakfast every day at the same time, I work out every day at the same time… (with the kids, during their homeschooling break). Routines are nice.
Anyway, my bread is done, it looks and smells delicious….
Thank you for your support and your friendship, and at the recommendation of gigglingfattie, I will accept the challenge and write for the AtoZ Challenge in April. I want to step away from my comfort zone a little more often.
Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
Share a link to your best post(s)
Truth be told, when Bill Fonda nominated me for this award, I had no idea what it is. I clicked myself through a couple of links and found rules and questions, and I saw a community of awesome bloggers. I feel honoured to be asked to be a part of this. Thank you, Bill.
“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion. – Okoto Enigma
3 things about myself
I hate nominating people because it makes those feel bad who are not nominated
My poetry and short stories are fiction 87% of the time
This week, I googled “how to answer to the question ‘who are you’?” because I never know how to respond and end up stating facts about me, but not who I am. Example: my name is Cathy, I am 37; from Luxembourg; working at a nursery… Those are facts, but these things don’t define me.
1. Be honest … before coronavirus, how often did you wash your hands for more than 20 seconds at a time? Honestly? Several times daily. I work at a nursery, and hygiene is very important when taking care of babies and toddlers.
2. Who is the most-famous person you’ve ever interacted with? Tell us about what happened. I had to think about this one for a while. I listen to lots of music, and maybe I consider someone famous who is not known by people who don’t know the artist. I decided to mention the one who has the most followers on social media. Nathan Maingard. For a while, I felt quite connected with this artist, with his music and the way he saw the world. He interacted with his supporters and fans a lot, and he had a group of people who became friends through his music, and because of the way he shared parts of his journey. It was enlightening. Nothing special happened, just connection. But, I admit, I was very proud, and a little bit embarrassed when he read one of my poems on a live stream. That was special. Thank you, Nathan.
3. What’s one article or blog post you read over and over again? Please provide a link. This will be a short answer: none.
4. What’s the best blog you read? I don’t read too many blogs at the moment, but here are some I often read:
5. Why? No more than that, just … why? If I only knew, but I don’t. I often wonder about this too. Why? Sometimes, I think it is the worst question we can ask. Are we even prepared to hear the answer? Do we really want to know? When my kids ask me “why?”, and the answer is non-negotiable, my answer is always the same: ” because I said so, that’s why.” But often, yes I admit, I have no clue why.
I nominate all the people mentioned above, but I would also love to hear everyone else’s answers to the questions in the comments. Now, I know that most readers are silent readers, be brave – speak up. 💜
Do you remember when we first interacted? Remind me, please.
What is the most important quality a person needs in this day and age?
If you look back on your life, what would you do exactly the way you did it before?
What is happiness?
And last but not least, links to my best posts. This is hard for me, I am a tough critic, and it is hard to say which posts deserve to be shared again. But here goes:
The Busker is a short story that was initially written in 2013 and that I polished and reposted last week. I remember when I first shared it, there was someone who left an amazing comment, and I had to take a screenshot. (It took me a while, but I found it in the mess of pictures on my phone)
Bicycle Randomness – I like making lists. I am often struggling with my mental health, and compiling lists about myself helps me to get in touch with my inner self again.
Found This blog is about my struggles and thoughts. But it is also home to my poetry. I self-published two books which are available on Amazon worldwide and on my blog. I am proud of them. I dreamt about publishing for a long while until I realised that I didn’t need to wait for someone to discover me – with self-publishing, I had fate in my own hands, and I grabbed it with both fists.
I shared three very different posts, and I did it intentionally. There is a lot to discover on this blog—lots of words, but also lots of music. I hope you enjoyed all of this. ❤
Lots of love to you. Stay safe and kind and healthy,
Once Corona is done with us, we will all be fat from eating only pasta and watching Netflix, and we will be clad in toilet paper because we were bored during our (self-imposed-)quarantine.
All jokes aside, in Luxembourg, the government decided to close schools and nurseries and cancel every other activity for kids for two weeks or until further notice. This doesn’t mean that the kids don’t have to learn, because they all got schedules and homework. With email and WhatsApp groups, the kids and teachers and parents will be in touch and work together. Like a home office. Visits at the hospital or care homes are forbidden. Most concerts or theaters or different cultural events are canceled… Until the end of March (for now). And even though supermarkets will not be out of stock anytime soon, people are hoarding and emptying shelves. Funnily, I saw a pic of the ‘beverage’ department. It was empty, apart from the Corona beer. People are stupid.
I am not downplaying this pandemic, but I do think that if people were less selfish and egocentric, there would be enough for everyone. Instead, people are buying huge piles of soap or toilet paper, and those who need some are left empty-handed. Also… We are told to wash our hands and watch our hygiene, how can we do that when there is no soap left because one person bought so much it will last them for years? And… Is it news that we should wash our hands regularly with soap? I mean, isn’t that common knowledge? Will a bar of soap be worth more than a bar of gold in the near future?
In times like this, it becomes clear that we are selfish and greedy, and we lose all sense of kindness and humanity. Compassion is sparse as it is in today’s society; let’s not erase and forget this virtue in the wake of a virus infection that will probably affect many many people. (I wrote 70% of the world population, but that’s not a fact I checked.)
Stepping off my…?! Hm… I didn’t buy any soap and only have 9 rolls of toilet paper left!
Stepping off my plush carpet.
Be safe, be kind. Stay healthy, and take good care of you and yours.
PS: And as I am sitting here on my bed, checking this post for mistakes, I look outside the window and see a big and bright rainbow (and a more faint one right next to it). There is beauty and all of this. Seek for it.