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23 August 2013 @ 01:48 am
I have been waiting to say this until it was significant, or at least until it looked like it might stick. I started taking medicine for Major Depressive Disorder in March and have continued to take it (on almost a daily basis) since. I am really bad with medicine. I tend to take it for two weeks and then just stop. I remember that I should take it but can never come up with the motivation to actually take it. It's like getting out of bed some days. I know that I need to. Part of me really, really wants to. I know that I have to do it if I am going to be dependable and if people I work with are going to respect and trust me. Yet, I just can't physically do it. It's as if I have no control over my body. Batteries are dead and there is nothing I can do to move myself, even in a dead, mechanistic sort of way.

So now that I am in graduate school and have a big girl job, I have been doing my best to take them. Sometimes I just forget and don't take them or don't want to take them. They prevent me from sleeping deeply. They change my responses to things. I don't really have moments where I don't feel pleasure at thing I generally like but I also am more likely to feel anger, intense anger. It's not irrational anger or anything potentially dangerous to myself or others. I value life and respect others and would never, ever do anything to another person. But I have the energy, the courage, to feel what I normally prevent myself from feeling. That is a good thing in the respect that I should feel anger when somebody wrongs me. On the other hand, after twenty three years of depression spent largely without medicine, I am not accustomed to giving myself the privilege of feeling anger and therefore do not know how to process it. But, all in all, this medicine stops anxiety from torturing me. Without it, I am torn apart by the fear that I have not held my weight or that I have let somebody down or disappointed somebody. I started seeing a counselor in March as well and he says that this comes from my upbringing and the immense amount of guilt employed by my parents.

I still feel all of these things but not to as great of a degree. I feel better. I notice my feelings change when I don't take them. I am like one of the characters on Mario Kart who drew the black cloud and is constantly stung by it. So to avoid all of that, I take them and am proud of myself for doing it (I am rarely able to be truly proud of myself so that is evidence that I have taken them today). On the other hand, that part of me, the part I send away with medicine every day, is the person that I have grown up being. She is the person I think I am. My issues are so tied to me, as they are to everybody, that I feel as if I am sending myself away. Andrew Solomon explains this perfectly in his novel, The Noonday Demon; I recommend that you read it if you ever have a chance.

Anyways, I don't want to take on the negative stigma of being "emo" as people without Depression might consider these last few paragraphs. I work hard and I am very passionate. I attempt not to pity myself and that is my biggest problem. All of these things I have said have taken a lot of soul-searching. I never noticed them before. I have many, many things for which I should be thankful and in some twisted ways my Depression is one of them. But I am very glad that I am taking medicine. Part of my doesn't approve but she can sit in the corner and disapprove. That's ok. You are never going to please all of everybody, least of all yourself.
28 July 2013 @ 08:13 pm
This is the third in a set of entries. Please see the former entries by clicking on this entry's tag or by scrolling down to the two previous entries.

More walking. It makes me think of that time I read the Hobbit, well the dozens of times, because every time I sat down, I got through ten pages and felt compelled to nap. I'm not quite sure if it was from boredom or being tired for the characters. I suppose I'm a bit like Bilbo Baggins, whining and wishing for the comfort of home, a home to which I might never return. I hear that he becomes a hero in the end. Based on the beginning, I find that very unlikely but I suppose I will never know if I don't read it. Surely nobody in this group is going to tell me. I begin to wonder if I will become a hero by the end of this, whatever this is, because I have never been told. Unlikely as well.

I do always carry that book with me, wherever I go in case I will finish it. Not finishing a book haunts me. Unfortunately, I left without any warning and left it behind on the stand. I picture it now, sitting there on the finely polished mahogany, the ink shining in the lamp light. I can feel the smooth edges of its cover at my finger tips and the rough edges of those dog-earred pages where I gave up on it so many times. I feel myself open the book and look at the title of its first page: "An Unexpected Party." I think about my own unexpected party and the irritating silence of knowing nothing when I know my home so well I can walk through it a hundred miles away. I begin to stare at the map and to look at it. I hear steady, familiar footsteps in the hallway, the sturdy soles of my father's boots as he walks in to change. I hear the joyful, warm, laugh of my mother from her study. She is probably reading one of my grandmother's letters from Prague, lively letters about her days in the year before she got sick. Now and then when my mother begins to miss her or forget that thing she used to say (what was it?), she will read them and store them in a safe place for the next time.

I feel her hand on my shoulder now as a I read, only to realize that it is Louis's soft paw. I pinch it and he licks me. I once read somewhere that to dogs, hugs are a sign of power and dominance and they don't interpret them as an expression of love. That may be true but still I wonder, if all he has to judge from is my body language, if he knows from the way I put my cheek on his head as I carry him and stroke his paw that maybe he knows how much I love him, even now, already, because until further notice, he is all I have and I love him for that. All the same, I put him down for a bit to walk beside me. He prances and periodically runs into my leg, bouncing off my shoe.

We make four more turns and then hit a dead end. The old man just blankly stares at the red, wooden wall in front of him and the super-spy stands behind me, staring vigilantly back down the alley. The old man scratches his head and looks up. I vaguely begin to feel... exposed. I look above and see balconies on either side of the once lifeless alley. A calico sits on the balcony above me, her tail twitching slowly and confidently, as if she is conducting her latest masterpiece. She turns and walks through an open door. I pick up Louis. Within moments, the entire red, wooden wall swings backward from invisible hinges and in we walk. James Bond takes the horse by the reins and leads it into a stall. The old man walks straight through and beckons me with a wave over his shoulder. Louis and I follow. Bond puts an arm out in front of me and silently gestures for me to put Louis in with the horse. "I'm not leaving him in here." I grip Louis and step around Get Smart, walking into a stone room before he can stop me.

There is a red table with benches and the old man is sitting at it alone. I sit down beside him and he rubs Louis behind the ears. Secret Service stands by a door with his hands at his sides. So much personality, that one. Then in steps the most fierce creature I have ever seen.

She steps up to the head of the table and puts her hands down upon it. Looking straight into the old man's eyes. Her's are a sharp, brilliant emerald green. Her jet black hair is tied back in a very tight, and seemingly painful, French-braid. Deep, fierce pieces of solid, unnaturally red, the color of blood, hairs weave throughout the darkness of the braid. Her features are all very sharp and her face very stoic. She wears black combat boots, black military pants, and a fascinating sort of fabric that shifts color as she moves in and out of what little light there is coming through holes in the slats of the wooden ceiling. I don't know whether to avert my gaze or stare.

"I see you made it." She has a surprisingly soft, patient voice.

The old man looks at me and nods. "Without much difficulty as well."

"Wonderful. Are you hungry?"

"Starving." The word is out of my mouth before I can consider whether I should speak.

"I highly doubt that but you must be very hungry. I'll have dinner brought in." She looks to the corner of the room, "Sit down, Peter, nobody is going to be coming through that door, I assure you." Peter? I would have sooner expected Ivan the Terrible. Whether it was from the distraction of my thoughts or something else, he is seated before I have seen him move and the woman is gone. It's very strange to me that they both have the same stealth of a jaguar, both quick and in some unspoken way, predatory.

Louis takes one look at Peter and crawls into my messenger bag. With those jet black eyes picking me apart, I don't blame him.
29 June 2013 @ 02:48 am
**This is the second of two entries in a story I am beginning. If you want to read the first entry, please go to the entry prior to this one or find it by clicking on the tag attached to this entry.

I begin to search for a name. I want it to be profound, something that will prove my wisdom at so young an age. It's a lot of pressure to pick a name. No wonder so many people name their children after themselves. It's not honor. It's cheating. I look at him again. He has a chubby black nose and soft eyes with which he could conquer the world. He's calm and small. Napoleon. I'll name him Napoleon because I want to prove that I am ironic and because, well, he is short. Perhaps he will prove to be feisty when he isn't sleeping so much.

I look at him and smile as he flops on his side after relieving himself. Not a promising start for an ambitious, demanding conqueror. Louis. I will name him Louis because he will love the life of leisure I can give him as soon as we rid ourselves of this mess. I catch his eye and rub my finger against my index and middle fingers as if I have food, seeing if he will come to me. He takes a big breath and sighs. Not likely. It figures. Three others to give me companionship. One doesn't speak and only observes, making you feel as if he is searching you, picking you apart for wounds if he should ever need to save, or worse, strike you. The other speaks with an accent that is grating to me ears. He is kind enough but I can't bear much more of the twang. It's like a bad Western-- and I hate good Westerns. Besides, he likes to walk ahead with the horse. Whovever thought it was wise to feed a horse and then let him walk in front of the pack obviously didn't think enough.

And last of all, a dog who is about as animated as a stuffed animal.

It seems as if there are three movies going on simultaneously. True Grit. Some sort of movie in which the president is in danger and has a body guard tailing him. And Homeward Bound. Make the any Lord of the Rings movie. Because all we seem to do is walk.

I groan just from the irritation of my own negative thoughts and feelings. I can't stand even myself. I lean my head up against the wall and feel the rough bricks hang on to a few pieces of hair. The young man immediately reaches over and pushes the back of my head away from the wall. "Thanks." I mouth. He only checks to make sure no hair is caught to the brick.

The older man is gently picking up crates and barrels down the alley. He finds one and retrieves a wad of papers. I was hoping for more. A key. Something that proved something. Anything at all. That we had a destination. He smiles at me and then spits.

The end of the crate digs into my thighs. I walk up to the horse and feel the leather saddle on his back. His tail swishes almost silently behind him. I grab a carrots about of my messenger bag and hand them to him. Beside me, the older man picks up the crate and pulls out a cap, like a newsboy cap and shoves it on my head roughly but with what I can assume is as much gentleness as he could muster. Then, without another word, he starts to saunter back down the alley and, though I want to stop, I want to scream "Where are we going?! I have a right to know!" I follow him. And Louis catches up, steps on the back of my pants and I pick him up. He licks my ear and we keep ambling silent in our small convoy through this labyrinth of bricks.
29 June 2013 @ 02:29 am
There's three of us. I don't know where we're travelling but I know we must do it urgently. There's also the most adorable chubby puppy I have ever seen, brown with a round face and even rounder eyes that melt you to the ground. We're accompanied by a white horse with the most beautiful white hair I have ever seen.

We enter the city through a gate. I don't know what city or even the general location of the city but it feels partly European with the narrow road between two sides of the street, on both of which sit lodging. The road is stone paved and there are some fires in lanterns just at the gate as it rolls downward behind us. Something in the deafening sound as it hits the ground settles me.

I shift a books of Irish folk tales in my satchel as it sticks out, pushing it down in the bag and putting the pup in there, letting it open so he can calmly look out, observing the street around him. He presses his cold nose against my hand. The horse walks gracefully beside me, his shoes making virtually no sound, almost as if they are lined with a layer of cloth.

The old man, my escort, with the handlebar mustache and the kind brown eyes, smiled anxiously back at me, checking to see if I am still there. His dress reminds me of an American from the midwest with his jeans and flannel button-up. His brown boots carry him steadily onward down the street.

Behind me, there is a young man, mid 20s I would say with jet black hair eyes that catch everything from a speck of dust to the wrinkles in a flag waving over a doorway. I start to walk under an awning and he sternly pushes me away, point to a tiny, unnoticable tear in the red cover and then to a post bent outward.

The young man turns to look about him and whistles the quietest whistle I have ever heard in my life. The older man doesn't even turn to him. Instead, he immediately turns left and takes us down an even more narrow alley, one where I can touch the walls on both sides. I don't like this. I begin to feel like a mouse with a hawk looming overhead, waiting on him to drop down and end my short existence.

I stick my arms out and allow my fingertips to graze the walls, taking in their rough stone textures and the chiseled and weathered cracks among them. Another soft whistle. I turn around and he shakes his head, pointing to the pads of his fingertips and then pretending to place them on the walls. Fingerprints, got it.

After a long and agonizing 15 minutes of claustrophobia, we emerge from the narrow passageway into yet another silent street, this one with a fire burning. I sit down on a wooden crate and let the puppy out so that he can relieve himself. I don't have a name for him. I suppose I didn't think they would let me keep him long enough.
29 June 2013 @ 02:05 am
One of my greatest fears is to pursue writing and to fail miserably. To find what I feel that I already know, that I have no talent and am less than ordinary, that this is all I will ever be. This leads to brief periods of writing with great oceans between them of academic writing. I love academic writing. This is something I do well. I am passionate about it but I don't dream about it. I just do it because it interests me. I think I would go crazy if I did not do it but all the same, I believe that it is a part of my mind and not of my soul. Writing, always has been a part of my soul, the part that gets eclipsed by doubt and lack of leisure.

I am going to try. I am going to try this. Seriously. Not hidden in a closet where nobody can hear me typing, avoiding telling my professors that yes, like every other graduate student, this is a thought, more a yearning, that I entertain daily. I don't want to write because I like books. I love books. But that isn't why I want to write. I want to write because it is how I communicate, the only way I communicate with myself. And because I feel bound to it. Because I believe that writing is so much more than telling a good story. It's about fascination and physically creating what is already within one's mind.

I am seriously considering applying to graduate programs in creative writing after completing my current graduate degree in literature. I have been wanting to take a break between grad school and doctoral studies and have finally realized why. That writer in the closet, the one who used to write until five in the morning because she couldn't sleep, is finally begging to come out.

Now we will see how my professors take this. And dreaded admissions committees. J.K. Rowling help me.
30 March 2013 @ 02:59 pm
If you don't have to pour your entire soul into the pursuit of something, what does it mean to acquire it? Aren't the sacrifices we make for something, the very thing that make finally attaining it all the better? Because if everybody had it, it would be like breathing, important but not directly connected to your life or your purpose. What you do with those breaths, especially those that you hold or take in preparation for something that terrifies or overwhelms you or taken deliberately as you pace yourself through a challenge, there is your answer.
18 February 2013 @ 05:02 pm
First of all, I hate that now whenever I write something on this journal, all sorts of ads and spam are added as comments. It's annoying.

Next. I both love and hate my life path or whatever you want to call it. I love what I am studying but I hate how quickly everything moves. I feel like if I take a half hour to write something on here or to relax that I am behind. It's as if I am stuck on a treadmill that is constantly running and if I don't keep up and ignore all the life going on around me, I will fall off into academic ruin. Why does everything in life have to move so quickly? We're constantly told to slow, down, enjoy the ride and then hit by all of these bills, academic, and financial demands that prevent us from doing so. Thanks for being an idealistic tease, World.

On the upside, I am reading some wonderful books.

Rant over. For now.

Back to this mountain of work that never, ever, gets any smaller no matter how many dents I make. You know that they say, you cut off the head of a hydra, it grows back two more. You finish one novel, you get assigned a hundred more.
16 December 2012 @ 02:23 am
You make everything more difficult. You make everything more stressful. You constantly and constantly make more work for me.

I feel as if I am a single mother, balancing a master's program, a big girl job, and an apartment and taking care of and cleaning up after you, constantly-- except, I'm not. You're 24, older than I am, and you're not my son. You're my boyfriend. But here I am, begging, nagging, and constantly reminding you to not throw your underwear on the floor.

Don't leave five pop cans on the coffee table for three days.

Don't leave empty yogurt cups on the stand.

Put your books away.

Stop throwing your coat on the kitchen chairs.

Stop putting your fucking shoes on the table so the dog won't get them and instead clean your closet so that you have room to put them there.

For god's sake, you moved here in July. It's halfway through December. Go buy a god damn dresser instead of a video game and put your fucking clothes away and stop piling them on my desk and in totes everywhere so that I can't even walk in the bedroom.

Your Batman poster fell down three weeks ago. Get it off the kitchen table and put it back up.

Take back the library books I had to hand pick for you which are thrown across every corner of the apartment.

The fridge is starting to stink and I cannot handle it. I cleaned out my stuff. Take out the damn containers of food from October and Thanksgiving that your mom sent back with you and clean up after yourself.

I know gender roles usually assert that women mature faster than guys, that we are more responsible, cleaner but fucking bullshit. I shouldn't have to live with a god damn slob of a sloth because your mother never made you do your own laundry.

I am in school and work. You only have a job. As my partner of four years, you would think you would want to support me. Get me through this. Not fucking stress me out and take and take and take and take and take from me until there is nothing left to take. I love you but I absolutely hate the way you completely disregard the way I feel and pay more attention to the fucking tv and computer than consideration of my god damn needs.

I have a twenty fucking page paper due today at midnight and I had to clean. I had to buy lunch. And only after I pissed you off after snapping and calling you underachieving did you get out of the god damn lazy boy (which was appropriately named by the way) and start slamming shit around and screaming. We have neighbors and, oh yeah, I'M WRITING A FUCKING PAPER YOU SELFISH PRICK. I don't know, maybe earlier, when I wanted your attention, would have been a great time to talk this out. Great timing. Considerate as usual.
29 November 2012 @ 09:22 pm
For the next two weeks I am going to be in a double Hell Week of academia in which all of my major papers, presentations and exams will be due. I hope it ends with as little agony as possible or my heart may explode from the mounting pressure.
26 November 2012 @ 03:57 pm
If I could write a letter to you, this is what I would say. So without tearing our family apart, without any repercussions, I say here what I ache most to say when you lose control, when you are being rude, judgmental, and cruel, yet I most retrain myself from saying.

I don't fit into this family. You're right and you're telling me something I have not always known and been acutely aware of.

I am smart, smarter than you are intelligent enough to realize. I simply don't display it because that's rude and because I feel no obligation to do so. It means nothing. I just have nothing to talk about with you so rather than bore you with my interests, I try to be engaged in your preferred avenues of conversation.

This does not make me a snob. I can't help that I prefer literature and art and academics to boob jobs, scary movies, having children at a young age, and dropping out of school. I don't think it is my interests or my differences that make me above you. I don't try to make you feel inferior. I love my family, regardless of who they are, what they are, what they do. I don't judge them for their choices yet I am constantly attacked and ostracized for mine.

I actually have a heart-- and if you would get past yourself and your own selfish thoughts and impulses, you would recognize that I am not trying to hurt you, separate you from any part of the family, or put you down. You just don't understand me.

You are bitter, and unkind, and hurtful and completely unjustified in your being so and in spite of all of that I love you because you are my family and because you are my aunt. I love you in spite of all of this but you have never had the heart to grant me the same love and consideration.

I was in college for four years and you never even knew the name. You didn't even congratulate me when I graduated from school. I am the only child out of the first five grandchildren in our family who has not dropped out of high school. I graduated with honors. I went on and graduated from college with honors. I am in graduate school. When this isn't being ignored, it's the evidence with which you use to say I am stuck up, that I don't belong.

An education means nothing but just that, that I have received an education. It doesn't mean that I am a good person or a bad person or any sort of person at all. It means nothing other than the fact that I have studied for four years and sacrificed to put myself through college.

I worked two jobs in high school, three in college, and am a graduate assistant now to pay for graduate school. This has been by no means easy and you persecuting me for it doesn't make it any easier. I don't expect a throne or a red carpet to be unrolled when I come home. At this point, I don't expect anything from you. I just don't want to be judged anymore because I decided not to get pregnant at seventeen like your daughter and to drop out at fourteen or to do drugs like my brother and to drop out and have to get my G.E.D. or the others in our family.

I don't think they are terrible people for their decisions. I don't understand them. I lead a completely opposite life but don't expect them to alter their own lives in order for me to approve or understand them.

But somehow, in this surreal, twilight zone of a family, unwed, uneducated, teenage mothers and high school dropouts who do drugs and beat people up are commonplace and I am left outside on the fringe to be picked at, ridiculed, and constantly attacked.

I'm not perfect. I have my own problems, my own break-downs, my own heart breaks. I am a little more restrained, less open emotionally, but this makes me no less human and after all of this years I am tired of this treatment. I am tired of trying to avoid it, ignore it, or put you off as easily as possible.

I'm done attempting humility and being accused of being egotistical. I have done some very big things for myself and I have a bright future. I am tired of being ashamed of it or acting like I am not doing something of some worth. I am. Does it make me any better or any more important than any of you? No. But it makes me something. I am something. I am someone and I'm going to be someone.

This has not been handed to me. I have worked for this and put my tears, sweat, and entire heart into this. I took that world, that family, that environment into which it was born and created myself, starting from the ground up. I had no handouts, no help, nothing. And I did it. I got out. So persecute me for it. But I'm no martyr. I won't take it with stoic acceptance.

You are a bitter person who starts drinking at nine o'clock in the morning because you can't wake up to your own life, a life fashioned out of alcoholism, laziness, and ignorance. I would have nothing bad to say about your life, nothing to judge, if you would just let me alone. I have never pointed this out because I never had a problem with it. What you do with your time is your business. But these decisions have made you bitter and are the source of your jealousy, the jealousy the motivates you to push me out of this family.

Since I was a little kid, you all said I was spoiled, stuck up, a brat. And for the longest time, the truth is, I believed it. I loathed myself as much as you did. Some of that still creeps up from time to time. But now, looking at myself, my thoughts, and my feelings, I don't believe a word of it. Part of me will always be insecure about such things but I know better. Because I have never turned the knife on you with which you constantly and have always been cutting away at me. Flesh heals but other things do not. Emotions do not heal.

You are a terrible person-- not because you pulled your kids out of school when they were hard to wake up, or encouraged them to quit school and have children, or because you did so yourself-- and it is because in the midst of all of your decisions, you have created a person as well and it is something I can no longer ignore. I'm not a child anymore and now I am old enough to know that your suspicions and accusations of me have nothing to do with me. I'm merely a projection of everything you hate because you want it now that you have done everything to prevent you from having it.

This isn't junior high, Aunt Lori. Be a woman and take responsibility for your own choices and stop punishing me because I made others. You and you alone are responsible for your self-destruction. You could have a wonderful life if you stopped hating others and starting doing something about it. A case of Bud Light might give you a brief reprieve from your problems but it won't fix them.