First of all, I apologise for not posting for several days. I think I can now safely say my 365 Day Blog Challenge has well and truly failed (no surprise there) but my 21 Challenge hasn’t (sort of) as I am still determined to do twenty-one things, I’ve just had to be put them on hold for a wee while in order to save my mental health.
Which, for the last several days, has been veering all over the place. Mostly into a deep unfocused depression that has consumed me and my concentration to frustrating and frightening levels.
I’ve spent the majority of the last five days sitting in my unit watching bad movies, bingeing on junk food, self-harming and generally wanting to die. Meanwhile, the voices I hear are once again increasing to uncontrollable levels. In fact, they’re the worst they’ve been for a very long time indeed.
Second of all, trying to look on the positive, at least I’m crying again.
Rapunzel (from Tangled) decided I was an evil demon intent on killing Pascal (her chameleon, for those who don’t know) and that I should be killed before getting the chance. After pursuing me half-way across Melbourne (yes, apparently Rapunzel lives in Melbourne) on foot we began a Mario Kart-esque chase through the back streets and alleyways of the CBD using random Wacky-Races style transportation and absurd weaponry (including inflatable cockroaches, edible mice and pocket-sized dinosaurs). This epic chase ended after we launched ourselves off the West Gate Bridge into oblivion. Pascal was descending rapidly toward the ground but I was able to reach him with my hands and hold him protectively close. Seeing this act Rapunzel used her billowing hair as a parachute to save both Pascal and I. After landing safely there were kisses; the sort where balance is lost and you end up rolling on the dusty grass becoming entwined in hair and lost to the joy of your lover.
Which is when I woke up and spent the day in a shithouse mood of ever escalating depressive thoughts. My tears came the next morning, courtesy of another dream…
I was naked (not too strange for a dream) and walking through Adelaide (not too dissimilar to actual events in Adelaide). I know it was Adelaide because there were metallic pig statues and giant metal balls. As I walked through the deserted streets I was suddenly grabbed from behind and hurled off the bridge into the River Torrens. Finding myself struggling to swim I doggy paddled to the bank and dragged myself from the water only to be kicked in the face and pushed back in. Cue a fight with a darkened shadow as he attacked me. With his strength too great for me to overpower he threw me onto the bank and began raping me for his own amusement. As he did I became aware of a Greek Chorus of figures sitting not too far away. Nibbling on popcorn and sipping soft drink they relished in my pain and treated it as entertainment, egging my attacker on and demanding more pain be inflicted in increasingly more vicious ways.
Once the tears started, they didn’t stop. I just lay in bed for hours staring at the ceiling and weeping like some grotesque teary snot monster. Partly over the faces of the Greek Chorus, all of whom I recognised from past lives, partly because of the painful memories this all too real dream evoked and partly because of the state of my ‘life’; locked in a revolving prison of memory, trauma, fluctuating moods and isolation.
When I feel ‘normal’ I battle to climb out of the prison but lack of funds, support and the belief I don’t deserve to be alive (the voice of my abuser, I know, but still something I can’t shake) means I never get anywhere.
I’ve hoped for a long time that a ‘good cry’ would release my pent-up emotions and enable me to focus a little more, but it didn’t work. I realise now that this was because it wasn’t a ‘good’ cry; it was a ‘bad’ cry, brought on by fear and trauma. So after the tears finally subsided I climbed out of bed, pulled a few clothes from my bag (I may be housed but I can’t afford furniture) and spent the day milling around having conversations with the ghosts that haunt me.
This has been the pattern since Saturday. Trapped in my house by anxiety, drifting out only briefly to obtain supplies and suffer a panic attack before retreating into the ‘safety’ of my abode and bad motion pictures. I am smoking more and more, hating myself more and more and, for the first time in a while, consuming alcohol outside of my assigned ‘four days in a year’ ritual.
As I sit in front of bad movies I despise myself for not doing anything worthwhile with my life but I know when I’m like this I’m just not able to. This post, for example, I’ve been writing on/off for the last twenty-five hours (and counting). A paragraph here, a sentence there, followed by a session of self-flagellation that focuses me enough to write the next paragraph, and so on, and so on. In 2007 this process helped me write a novel, now, I can barely manage a blog post…and if I can’t do this, how am I supposed to work or provide something meaningful to society?
So yes, not in the greatest mood at the moment.
It’s been suggested after so many years of nothing I start living again. Absolutely. Would love to. Have genuinely missed it. But? Ummmm? HOW? After all these years of isolation and homelessness I’ve forgotten how to live.
As I mentioned to my counsellor last week I think sometimes how much easier it was on the street. Sure, there was the occasional brutal assault in boarding houses, the frequent verbal abuse on the street and months upon years of increasing self hate but at least the assaults and verbal abuse made me feel noticed and needed whilst the self hate gave me something to fill my time. Plus, there was the daily survival – find somewhere safe to sleep; check, find food; check, look for accommodation; check – that gave me something to focus on each hour.
I would be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about packing a day-pack and leaving this housing experiment behind me. For that is what it feels like, a pointless experiment. Housing a homeless person is only the first step, but many believe it to be the whole staircase. This house – or rather, this meaningless existence – I fear is doing more damage than the streets caused.
For example, in the last five days I’ve watched:
10,000BC – seriously awful film, saved only by the cute-as-a-button Camilla Belle.
The Mummy Returns – “ZOMG totes awesome film!”~no-one.
Fool’s Gold – mildly entertaining, Alexis Dziena great, but not as good as she was in Invasion.
The Green Lantern – whoever greenlit the CGI facemask…to the wood shed this instant!
Jurassic Park: The Lost World – Up there with Spielberg’s worst films, with the sole exception of the trailer attack, which is brilliant.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – woeful, even worse than the last installment, utterly hated it.
Sahara – just, no.
2012 – drinking game idea; every time there is a “quick the runway is being eaten by an earthquake” scene, skull!
The Day After Tomorrow – this is a guilty pleasure…Adrian Lester, Ian Holm, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum, Austin Nicholls…love this movie!
Dante’s Peak – v.cute that on-screen daughter has same haircut as Linda Hamilton, atrocious dialogue and everything else.
Twister – forgot Phillip Seymour Hoffman was in this movie, I would now like to forget it all over again.
Jurassic Park III – better than The Lost World, but only because Laura Dern and Sam Neill are in it.
When a Stranger Calls – like I said, Camilla Belle is cute-as-a-button. A particularly hot, MTR annoying button.
Watchmen – worst sex scene in the history of cinema! Blights the entire movie for me.
Jurassic Park – I adore this movie. Have done all my life. Even before it was made. Best line: “Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth.”
Tucker & Dale vs Evil – best movie I’ve seen in recent memory, brilliant from start to finish.
And throughout all I’ve been thinking I’d prefer to freeze to death on the street than watch such garbage. Why bother living when this is all I can achieve? Watch better movies I hear you say? Can’t. Not when I’m like this. No concentration.
I was walking along Elwood beach with the sun blazing down upon me when I was set upon by Harley Quinn and a posse of goons and captured. Tied to the white structure atop Ormond Point Harley Quinn mercilessly tortured me for information pertaining to the meaning of life. She was under the impression that I – and only I – knew what this was. Only I didn’t, so the torture continued until…
…I woke up, realising that a self-inflicted cut I’d thought I’d patched up had begun bleeding again and stained my bed sheets. Yay!
So, as the twenty-seventh hour of writing this post continues, I wonder if I’ll ever be able to write coherently again. More than anything I realise that no matter how I think I’m doing in terms of my mental health, it doesn’t take much for things to slip back into chaos. A few short weeks ago I felt better than I had in a long time, now, after reading a few articles on emotional abuse nearly two weeks ago, I feel worse than I can remember being in recent memory. For me to consider going back to the streets is enough to illicit personal alarm bells, let alone to drink outside of my February/May/July/October must-drink days.
Yesterday, sneaking out in the comfort of the middle of the night, I called a help line. Their advice, the expected, ‘can you call someone to keep you company? Sometimes having a friend to distract you is the best thing at times like this’.
I nodded in agreement and then hung up. I know I’m alone, hence the bloody phone call, thanks for rubbing it in. You do realise I’m working on it, it’s just not all that easy to talk to and trust people anymore.
I think this evening I will watch another dodgy movie (Reign of Fire, Bats or Push?), finish off my wine, and see if I can induce another random dream with a few too many little white pills*. My mind is starting to believe that re-reading my reflections on being homeless series may also be needed. Nothing better to scare myself off the streets than to focus on the brutality of my last experience there.
I do apologise for this post. When I was writing the blog many years ago I would ramble on incoherently from time to time and promised myself I wouldn’t do it this time around. But I just needed to do…something…other than what I’ve been doing lately…and this is all that came out!
Hope everyone is doing well and feeling better than I have of late. If you’re not, hugs to you, I’ve been told it gets better. But I think, although I’m not certain, their nose got a little longer when they said that :p
In last week’s session with my counsellor he joked about putting a ‘this post took XX hours to write’ at the bottom to show how anal I can be when it comes to editing, re-editing, and lack of focus. Thus, for the fist time:
This post took twenty-seven hours and forty-three minutes to write (!) I feckin’ hate my mind sometimes!
* – note, I’m not taking dangerous overdoses, just a couple extra to assist in sleep. No greater dosage than I’ve been legally prescribed in the past for bad times like this.