Caius Martius. (Trigger Warning)

3 Aug

The sun is finally gracing me with its presence today. It’s needed. The clouds and rain that have been filling the sky every morning have felt oppressive. I could never live in the British Isles. Maybe that is why Ralph Fiennes often looks depressed. I have a nerve in my shoulder that is pinched by muscle tension, and the nerve affects my right arm and hand, at times causing it to be numb. This is painful, but it’s personally troubling as I have a phobia about losing the use of my hands. I no doubt have this fear because I am afraid of losing the ability to write. I have used writing as a way to express myself when I was not allowed to speak for fear of being physically struck. Now I have been harboring this fear that I may lose the use of my dominant hand, which is total bullshit. However, it is the type of fear that manifests when I am highly triggered.

Due to the effects of PTSD, my memory is like a block of Swiss cheese. Some of the drugs I use for anxiety sometimes have an effect on my memory as well, and the occasional effects of dissociation do, too. This plays into another fear that I have, the fear of some disease like Alzheimer’s or dementia attacking my mind; the fear that after all the things my mind has endured, it would collapse in on itself once it could rest.

As it stands I have some indication that my brain development was affected by the conditions in which I was raised. I have difficulty with spatial relations. I think things will fit where they won’t and I have difficulty with abstract concepts of volume. Basically, when I put away leftovers, I often pick containers that are too small because I have difficulty surmising the volume. Sometimes it makes me sad. Most of the time I don’t care.

I’m watching Coriolanus, a film based on one of Shakespeare’s least common plays. I am sympathetic to Caius Martius, the main character. It takes place in Rome, and Caius Martius is a war hero. He’s not just a war hero, he’s THE war hero. He lives and breathes war. He’s banished by his own people because they perceive him as too proud and calloused. In fact, he is lost without conflict, and when asked to play the role of the smiling, medal wielding, dress uniform wearing glory boy, he refuses. He feels it is his duty to defend Rome, and that showing off his medals and battle scars is arrogance. He exists to defend Rome, and to bask in some sort of glory is unnecessary and akin to gloating. He wants to circumvent the pomp and circumstance and get back to war. He is perceived as if he is snubbing the people’s voices. He wants no praise, he only wants action. He is then cast out of the country for which he lived and fought.

Caius decides that as he has been banished, he banishes THEM. There is no love lost, for he has lived for the purpose of defending them, and now they can face fears and foes without his defense. He decides that the place he once lived and fought for, the thing he would have died for, is now his enemy. The ferocity with which he defended Rome will now be turned against it.

I’m very empathetic to Caius. I suppose sympathetic also. I was protective of the biological group with which I was raised. The loyalty I had for them was not reciprocated. It is similar to the dynamic of Caius Martius. I have struggled in my earlier years to keep the beast of hatred at bay. I find I still battle these feelings when I find myself triggered. I battle the urge to give in to my hatred when I am triggered by lecherous fools, men who look at me as though I am a thing, and when memories of the poisoned milk of the mother come back.

I hope each one of them overcomes suffering. For all intensive purposes, they are all dead.

Crying with Cary.

28 Jul

It is morning, and I have coffee, sunlight, and my kitten. I actually have all the laundry clean (put away is another task altogether, don’t judge me!! Haha!!) and the home is not a cluttered mess. As the anniversary of one year at this address is coming, I am happy with my progress. Things have been unpacked, put in place, arranged, and rearranged. I have decorated and been able to create an environment for us that is calm and restorative. I finally get to put fucking butterflies and flowers everywhere. I feel safe here. I haven’t experienced feeling safe in a home for some time. The last place we lived was an exercise in tolerance and learning boundaries, and feeling forgotten. It still makes me angry thinking about it. I suspect that it is on my mind because it felt like abandonment of another kind and I have been processing that a lot lately.

I watched a documentary about Winston Churchill yesterday, and the man was just brilliant. He openly wept. I love that he was open with his showing of emotion because Churchill is considered a paragon of the British Empire, and the British are not known for showing their feelings. He was a remarkable man that found himself restless in peace time. That breaks my heart, because I wonder if he ever felt peace within himself. He did so much to keep others safe and restore peace, but did he ever get the chance to appreciate what he achieved?

During the Battle of Britain he went for a walk every night in a nearby park while he stayed at 10 Downing Street. His bodyguard apparently expressed some anxiety over Churchill’s evening walks and Churchill told his bodyguard that he was protected by something larger and pointed to the sky. He felt he had a destiny to fulfill and he was determined to do it.

As I watch Cary Grant, I’m ready to cry again. I cry every day, I think. I used to wonder if something was wrong with me, but I don’t give a shit anymore if I cry. I had to spend a lot of time holding my tears inside for my safety. I am done doing that. There are certain things I cannot seem to tolerate anymore. My birthday is coming soon, and it seems within the weeks leading up to it, I get some sort of “life lesson.” The one that I think I am learning is that I don’t need to tolerate my boundaries being violated, and I can say something about it. I don’t have to be quiet anymore, I don’t have to fear for my life if I speak, or if I cry.

Damn, Cary Grant is the most charming man on the screen. I think there are some charming men in our midst today, but there will never be another Cary Grant. NEVER. To quote Rose Nylund (Golden Girls if you aren’t familiar), “hubba hubba, zing zing! Baby, he’s got EVERYTHING!” I mean, he even did LSD. He wanted to overcome the things that had been hindrances in his life psychologically. That takes courage for anyone, especially a man who had his status. The part of the movie where he feels heartbroken is on the screen right now. It is time for a box of tissues. I’m going to cry, because I can.

Subversion.

27 Jul

There is no feeling quite like abandonment. That feeling is one that has been indelibly etched into my memory. To explain it to someone that is not familiar with it seems like it would be impossible. It seems like we have all experienced it on some level, at some time in our lives or it wouldn’t be an issue maintained by our society. However, it is, and that is indicative of its largesse.

Many of us felt it perhaps as children, and carry it over into adulthood because that is what we learned. I felt it a great deal as a child and I have in the past set up scenarios as an adult to reinforce that belief. Vesting my time and interest into something or someone that was obviously unable to reciprocate or offer equitability. Equitable seems to be the best thing to use when I am assessing something and trying to figure out if it is good or bad for me. I cannot rely on cultural norms to tell me. My culture does not comply with reality. My culture celebrates Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and those are not things that I can do. I suppose it is not accurate then to say it is “my” culture, but it is rather the culture in which I live. Because I cannot rely on that culture and I cannot rely on what I was shown in my developmental years, I have to approach things that feel shitty with some kind of model to get some sort of clarity.

It seems that since I have been familiar with abandonment since I can remember, in some way it felt like that was what was normal. That was what I experienced consistently with each biological family member, so I speculate that my child mind was processing that as a natural event in a relationship. As an adult, this has led to a host of pain and depression. Trying to forge relationships while expecting them to fail is incongruent at best.

I am reflecting (or ruminating?) on abandonment today as I feel slighted by my kitten. She’s not really a kitten anymore, but she is too petite and pretty in my opinion to call her a “cat,” and because I dote on her, I feel like kitten still works. She has been moody because she hasn’t been neutered yet (I know, it has to be done, and I’m making the fucking appointment today), and now that her “cycle” has wrapped up, she’s not responding to my affection like she was before it began. This creature means so much to me. Her happiness is paramount (which is another reason she is going to be neutered). She was a feral cat when we adopted her, and she seems to be enacting that behavior somewhat. Today is the first day she has spent time near me. This whole fucking sequence of events has triggered the feeling of abandonment.

The feeling of putting all your emotional cash into a bank account that suddenly bounces a check is akin to what I am experiencing. It seems that if I take an abstract concept and find some analogy or metaphor that makes it a tangible thing I can start to digest it? I don’t know for certain. Maybe that is why I love poetry so much. So much metaphor, so much use of language in unconventional methods to describe FEELINGS, the things I was not allowed to have if I wanted to be safe. Feeling abandoned by my kitten over the last few days has sparked a shitload of things. I keep asking myself if I am experiencing hormonal discord because I keep crying, but I am not. I am triggered because I want to feel my kitty nearby and she wants nothing to do with me. It doesn’t matter that she is not human, it doesn’t matter if it is not a personal choice, and it doesn’t matter if it seems silly. I feel abandoned by her. I gladly give her anything I can and she has been reciprocal mostly, but she isn’t now. She is opposed to my company, and it hurts badly because I cannot find what to do to make her want to be with me. There is nothing to do, because she has free will regarding whether or not to love me. She has to love me of her own volition. Obviously there’s a lot going on here besides the cat situation.

Abandonment sucks. I am not being abandoned by my cat, but it seems that way to me because of the way my mind processed so much trauma. I WAS abandoned when I should not have been, that is clear. I do not have to engage in relationships that leave me feeling abandoned. I write this to myself because I was not taught this, and now that I have learned this I want to remember it. I can choose to participate in relationships that are equitable, and so I do.

She is sitting across from me now, sleeping. :)

Today.

20 Jul

It is today. There is no other. Only one day like today, and that is this day. I will go through this day feeling anxiety and pain, as well as a struggle, but this is what it is to be here, to be me, today. I think about him as I go through the day because he has been on my mind since Saturday morning. I think about what today is like for him. I don’t need a crystal ball to know what it is like for him. An educated guess will do, because it’s always the same. He’s trying to do what he does every day. He’s trying to escape.

I think about him as if we were sitting outside talking, as if he were a slightly different person that would be open to my compassion. I want to say things to him.

You let it all destroy you. You made choices and they were destructive. It didn’t have to be that way. For fuck’s sake you were one of the most intelligent kids in the school system. I remember your ASVAB score being so high that they want to put you in the Navy and get your ass into the CIA. You weren’t even out of school and you had this option. The older one had it too! You were both offered opportunities based on your astounding intelligence and a way out of that shithole, and you made the choice to throw it away. I wasn’t offered any escape pods from fucking Tattooine, I stood there staring at the tail lights of each of you driving away and leaving me there in the bleak and hostile environment. I owe you a thank you, actually. I’m glad you left, and that the older one left, and that the father left, and the mother was never there. I grew to see that people are essentially good when given the chance. I was able to see that without all of the influences of you and your wrathful savior I was GOOD. I was kind, and humble, and able to see that the world is not a lost cause. I still am good. No matter what you tried to impose on my mind I knew I was free to defy you. Did you know that? As you threatened me to stop crying or I would be struck again, I was thinking about how you could never own my mind, and I could stand before you filled with the most contempt imaginable and there was nothing you could do. You thrust your fist into my abdomen so often that I became desensitized to it, and i would actively be thinking about the hate I had for you while you were doing it. I took your shit and used it to strengthen my resolve to be compassionate and non violent. i did what doesn’t usually happen. In all the opportunity laid before you, you missed the most important one-the opportunity to choose your fate. You, the one who taught me about opportunity with a ridiculous fable, are the one who also taught me what a life of missed opportunity looks like. I have forgiven you also, if you wonder about that while you’re dissociating from whatever activity you are engaged in that is meant to make you blend. At first I wanted to forgive you so that I was free. I realize though that I really forgave you when I did it because I wanted YOU to be free. You broke my heart and taught me fear without rational thought.

I thought I had so much more to say, I’m pretty glad I don’t, actually. Now I will go about my activities, and most likely take a sedative before I leave my home because social interaction is taxing at this point in my life. I will get through those moments, and many more like them. However, these moments are not the only thing I see when I look back at my day. I see a day that is a beautiful fucking gift that sometimes has a moment of discomfort (or two or 200), but those are merely colors of thread in a tapestry that is so much greater. I got to wake up today. There is no other day like this day. I have free will on this day. I have the opportunity to make good choices today. I have the opportunity to share these feelings in this format with whomever chooses to read them.

Thank YOU for bearing witness to my joys, my discomfort, my anguish, my hope, and my happiness. thank you for being with me today.

Geometry

13 Jul

I haven’t written in some time because I have had physical difficulty with my right arm and hand. Also, I have not been sure what to say. There is a quandary I face at times, and that quandary is whether or not to write. The idea that everything that needs to be said already has been said, and to continue to write may be just an exercise in ego stroking. Yet I cannot deny that I personally feel better about life when I am able to write the concepts and ideas in my mind. In that case, it is not of any consequence if what I say has already been said. If saying it in my own words helps me make more sense of things, then that is enough of a reason.

 

Memories have flooded me recently, and with them some insights. It has been a bit difficult, but I have been through these before. When the memories come back, it hurts like fuck. I let myself feel lousy, I cry a lot, and most of life feels painted with a pallor of sadness. After that I begin to see some greater process taking place. I see what behaviors I have developed or not developed in response to what I remembered. I usually see the negative first, and cry more. Then slowly, I begin to see that certain events created a behavior in me in some fashion, and I cannot deny that I am glad I have that behavior. So it would seem that these trials that I have undergone have served to give me the opportunity to be who I am. However, it is not without my own choice to be who I am. I have considered more and more lately the idea of choice, and how it plays a huge roll in who we are and what we become.

 

The most recent example of choice that comes to mind is a few days ago when I decided to look up what my middle name meant. I know what my former last name and my first name mean. Both elude to war. Greeeeeeeeat. I need more of that…NOT. Upon seeing the meaning of my middle name, I was stunned. It means “God favors me.” My first reaction was, “hell yeah!” Later in the day when I was anxious and depressed because I had been triggered, I wondered what the fuck being favored by God really meant. Did it mean God favored me when my food was withheld until I read my assigned pages of the bible? Was God favoring me when my brother Patrick forced me to listen to his paranoid delusions about the Christian apocalypse as a child? What about when he was punching me repeatedly in the stomach daily? Was that God’s way of showing favor? Am I as fortunate as Job and the Tribes of Israel?

 

Then the choice. Favored by God, eh? Maybe. I have had two near death experiences as an adult and countless spiritual experiences in both adulthood and childhood, including precognition. There have been times that I have felt a bit like Bilbo Baggins and his larger than average slice of luck. I could name examples taken straight from the phenomenology of my existence, but what I would really like to highlight as an example of being lucky, or favored, is that I have a life and I want to live it. I feel happiness now. Its not a fucking illusion, its not going to lead to some horrible grief. I won’t be punished for being happy. I don’t expect life to be perfect or completely without difficulty but I don’t ever have to face what I once did.

 

I am lucky because I made it out of that horrible wasteland with my sanity intact, my empathy intact, and my SELF intact. Now I live in a house that is shaped like a square. It has sunlight pouring through the windows and I am safe here. I have a happy marriage. My relationship with my spouse is not destructive or unhealthy or manipulative. It makes me want to keep living so we can continue living our lives together. No other person has ever made me want to keep living so I can be a part of a future with them. This is how I am lucky, and this is how I am favored. I have been spared in some moments, some I have used my head, and some I simply refused to accept so I fought back. Perhaps the war like name was required to bust out of that fucking abusive prison from which I came. Perhaps I am the favored warrior, one that gets to hang up the shield once the battle has finished, the warrior that fights for peace and attains it. I am proud that I can take care of myself and have presence of mind in a crisis. I still get triggered as FUCK and struggle with social anxiety. But, all is impermanence, and above all, I am still an eternal optimist. Anything is possible and I am proof.

 

Check it out!

5 Jul

My poem is on Kind Over Matter today!

http://www.kindovermatter.com/?m=1

Random Act.

30 Jun

image

image

Today I left a cold drink for the mailman. I hope he enjoys it.

not a far find

your average drug store junkie

agenda19892010

The value of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails, present itself as "an immense accumulation of commodities", its unit being a single commodity --- Karl Marx

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