Aaaand I’m Back…

What an absolute crap week! The stars were definitely not aligned or something…I had a shitty attitude all week and then felt totally convicted by it which just worsened my mood.

There wasn’t any one thing, it was a culmination of many, and each day just seemed to darken. I felt myself being drawn into a darkness in the pit of my stomach that continued to grow with each passing day. I slept more, I cried more, and I snapped at everyone and everything.

I tried listening to praise music and it made me angry. I tried praying and I got distracted. I just wanted to scream and cry and eat everything that wasn’t nailed down and then bitch about headaches and being fat.

I wish I could be one of those people who throws themselves into exercising when their emotions are in full swing. Imagine how in-shape I would be…yeah, round is NOT my shape of choice! But instead, I choose more unhealthy options and then beat myself up over it and the cycle starts again.

I miss being able to call mom when I’m having these moments. I miss being able to stop over at Jackie’s and just let her tell me to knock it off. (She’s the only one who I’d allow to do that)…I miss their wisdom and the way they could calm me down.

This grief shit sucks! I feel like I’m constantly stuck on a bad amusement park ride. I feel guilty when I’m having fun and I feel childish when I’m bawling my eyes out so lately it’s just been manifesting as annoyance and anger.

I need a road trip and some time in nature. I need quiet in a peaceful setting because my heart is crying for it, longing for it…but the irony is that I don’t want to be alone. I also don’t want someone to fill the void with words or platitudes or advice. I want someone to drive with me and walk with me; someone who will sing to the radio and let me scream until my throat is raw; someone who will hold my hand when my body starts shaking from the rawness of it all; and someone who will just let me cry until I’m done.

I want to hit things, and shoot things, and let out every single bit of darkness inside, and then I want to curl up in a ball and be held while my broken pieces begin to heal. All without judgement or condemnation.

And then, I want to laugh and sing and dance; I want to be silly and carefree; I want to be light-hearted; I want to dance in the rain and splash in puddles and look for shapes in the clouds and count the stars at night. Loneliness, in every way, sucks.

Mother-Son Day

Sometimes he makes me so angry that I want to kick him in the face. Sometimes he hurts my heart so deeply that I want to run away. And sometimes he melts my heart so completely that I never want him to leave. He’s almost 21, he’s my firstborn son.

This morning, he made me breakfast in bed. Garbarino’s Jalapeño Cheddar Sourdough with scrambled eggs and strong black coffee. Then we spent the day movie watching at AMC in Dubuque after stopping to walk through a downtown Dubuque park with snow sculptures. Then he took me for a quick dinner.

I love this kid of mine, even when he frustrates me beyond belief!

I’m Worn…

This is hard for me to remember lately. I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m tired, my heart hurts, and I’m just not me.

I’ve stopped sleeping well because of the crying which leads to headaches or the nightmares that keep me from wanting to close my eyes. I feel the walls closing in on me but still feel safer within them than venturing out of them. I’m snippy and angsty and my stomach constantly hurts.

I go to bed crying and I wake up crying. I go to pick up the phone to call them and reality smacks me upside the head and I cry. I even hear them call my name in the middle of my sleep once I do fall asleep and I quickly wake to nothingness that starts the tears again.

I’ll get through this but grief takes time…and I need to work through it MY way. I’m so tired of others telling me how to handle this. I’ve heard the “time to get back to reality” line – this IS my reality now and I have to figure out how to cope.

People tend to forget once the funerals are over that you’re still hurting. People don’t reach out and touch base because you apparently shouldn’t actively be hurting still…people sometimes suck.

Add to the heart-wrenching losses over the past months, the fact that I have a man-child who suffers extensively with depression and anxiety and is once again without a job and I don’t have any groceries or the money to buy more. Lives spiraling out of control and stress that also keeps me up and in tears.

I’m worn…

“I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

– Tenth Avenue North lyrics –

Don’t Sleep

Written by me a long time ago…a dream I actually had. – sometimes I hate closing my eyes.

Don’t Sleep

by 1Kiki© 2010

My eyes sprang open. Where was I? Why couldn’t I catch my breath? Was someone after me? I felt very disoriented, but that was nothing new as of late. My pupils adjusted to the darkness and my ragged gasps of breath began to slow to a more normal pace. I recognized my own bedroom and I rolled over to reach for the clock by my bed.

Pushing the button on top illuminated the numbers that told me it was 3:40am. My heart was still pounding and my ears were keenly aware of the sounds around me as I slid my feet onto the floor. Maybe if I got a drink of water, I could calm down enough to get back to sleep.

Drowsily re-entering my room, I tripped over a suitcase at the foot of my bed. What in the hell? I thought to myself. That wasn’t there before! Not only was my foot throbbing from the impact of striking the suitcase, but once again, my breath was catching in my throat as fear seized my heart.

Something isn’t right, I thought. Too many nights have been interrupted with these nightmares, each of them different but somehow connected. When I wake from them, something odd takes place in my reality. This time it’s the suitcase, last time it was the bottle of mouthwash that mysteriously appeared on the bathroom counter.

Maybe I’m losing my mind. Perhaps all of the stress over the last year has finally taken its toll and I’ve snapped. Maybe I forget small details like leaving the mouthwash out or packing a suitcase and leaving it at the foot of my bed. But why? Why are the things that seem to manifest out of nowhere in my reality tied to the horrors of my dreams?

Drifting back toward a sleep deprived unconsciousness; my last thought was I’ll be sure to call someone for professional help in the morning. Surely someone might be able to tell me if I’m losing my mind and possibly existing in periods of fugue states. 

He’s chasing me again. I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck warning me of danger. I’m running through Union Park in Des Moines, Iowa toward the Heritage Carousel. Maybe there will be a Good Samaritan there who can help me. I can see there are people everywhere.

Parents and grandparents were standing with their children and grandchildren waiting for a chance to pay their 50 cents for a ride on the turn-of-the-century, hand-carved, hand-painted carousel.

As I get closer to the carousel, I notice the people are frozen like mannequins. I desperately need help or he’ll catch me. I can’t see him behind me yet, but I can feel that he’s getting closer. I’m standing among the crowd of people/mannequins screaming for help.

“Someone please help me! Call 911! I’ve been running for my life and I think I lost my phone. PLEASE!!!”

No one answers me; blank stares are on the faces of everyone. A shadow flits by out of the corner of my eye and I turn and see him. Immediately I know his name is Frank, I don’t know how I know, I just do. I also know that he’s intent on killing me slowly. His greasy, shoulder length, black hair is pulled back into a ponytail. He’s wearing cutoff blue jeans and a green t-shirt that says “I Practice Good Hygiene” written in white across the chest. Oddly, it reminds me of the bottle of mouthwash in my bathroom.

I’ve turned to stone. I can’t will my feet to move or any sound to come out of my mouth. My eyes are fixed on him as he moves toward me like a panther stalking its prey. He has a suitcase in his left hand. A slow grin spreads across his face as he reaches for a handful of my long hair and he jerks my head back hard.

I drop to my knees in pain, another scream stuck in my throat. He kneels and opens his suitcase. It’s a veritable horror case of death. He binds my hands and feet with duct tape. He stuffs a dirty rag in my mouth and covers that with duct tape as well.

The sun glints off metal as he pulls something long out of the case. A quick flick of his wrist brings the sharp instrument down from the outer corner of my right eye to my chin. A burst of flame seems to sear my face as the pain registers in my brain. He reaches out a calloused finger to wipe the coruscating blood from my cheek and then he licks his finger clean.

“Time to have some fun, you won’t be getting away this time!”

His maniacal laugh sends a chill down my spine as the dread settles in my stomach. I’m stuck in this dream now and I realize this time, I’ll never wake up.

Sparking Creativity

Have you heard of International Dot Day?? Check it out – it’s brain child is my high school music teacher. He inspired me at an impressionable age to listen to the music inside my heart. He made me believe that it was okay to let the masks crumble…he believed in me at a time when it felt like the rest of the world was against me.

Now he sparks creativity in the hearts of people all over the world. And that creativity starts with just one dot. Just one dot is all it takes to make your mark on this world.

Now, I’m certainly no artist. However, sometimes, in my mind, I am. I remember at a very young age making my first “scenery portrait ” and it was of a stream and grass and trees at the base of a bunch of mountains with the sun setting behind them.

For some reason, every time I needed a bit of serenity in my life, that was my go-to piece of “art”. When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I did an alcohol painting on a piece of tile with that same theme. And tonight, using q-tips to make my dots, feeling my mom smiling at me for trying to be creative, I went for serenity once again.

I miss her so much…more than words.

Masked Insignificance

Sometimes I hate closing my eyes. Sometimes it’s because of the nightmares, sometimes it’s because of the darkness, sometimes it’s just for punishment. Old habits are often hard to break and seeing the insignificant being looking back at me in the mirror when I’m having one of THOSE days, makes me stay awake and try and punish myself by listing over and over all the ways I’m worthless.

I don’t need accolades, and I’m not looking for pity – it is what it is. Most days, I can silence the whispers from deep in the recesses of my brain, but other days they just get the best of me.

It hurts being surrounded by others and feeling so incredibly alone. And I still haven’t learned how to just reach out and ask for someone to help get me out of the slump.

The whole day has passed and I haven’t done a bloody thing except stress eat my feelings and now I feel even worse about myself. So I’ll call it a night, pull my weighted blanket over me and plaster a smile on for the world tomorrow. I’ve been doing this song and dance since grade school, I’m pretty good at putting on the masks.

Hauntingly Beautiful

I’ve walked this path more than once. The shadows beckon me and terrify me at the same time. The whispers in the wind, they comfort me and make my heart race. I yearn for the sunlight to warm my face and yet, the darkness wraps its arms around me like a cloak.

A hauntingly beautiful melody sighs through the trees as my footsteps echo on the darkened path. The melody is familiar, but only to those of us who see the beauty in the shadows; only to those of us who understand that chaos and order, darkness and light exist in absolute harmony.

The whispers recognize me, they welcome me, and they pull me deeper into the abyss of darkness, the melody reaching its crescendo, making my heart leap into my throat. Tears spring to my eyes and cascade down my cheeks, I want to stay here and wallow in my self-pity and sorrow.

Just when I’ve settled in to stay a while, a new melody begins and I look up to see a minute point of light. I stand and the heaviness of the shadows try to hold me in place, but the new chords set my feet in motion. The light brightens and calls me forward with each step, and there’s now a symphonic melody pushing me forward.

I step into the light and song bursts forth from my lungs as a smile forms on my lips. I turn around to blow a kiss to the dark abyss I just emerged from and whisper “I’ll see you again, old friend”. And I hear that hauntingly beautiful tune fade away as the sun dries the tears on my cheeks.