I’m a half hour past bedtime if I wanted to get seven full hours. I always think of Annie, and staying up at her place near Biola when we were prepping for her wedding. She told me she needed eight hours every night, and even missing one hour would make a difference in her day. I don’t know if it’s being able to go numb, or if it’s years of poor sleeping habits, but I don’t feel it as much. I feel it more than when I was in high school. But then again, I feel a lot of things more than I did in high school. More and less, in strange exchanges.
I’m befriending a co-worker at the new sushi place. She’s 18 and likes to ask me questions about my life. I wonder if I looked at Jane the way this girl looked at me today. I miss Miss Talton and the long hours of conversation and glasses of wine. I miss Tina and JJ and Steph; wise women helping to guide my steps and explain away the bad decisions. I grew much more in their company. You’d think a more developed tree would have cast a shadow that prevented me from feeling sunlight, but it wasn’t that way.
Sometimes I am judgey-faced. Mostly in relation to Steven Fanara. I dislike this quality about myself, but at the same time, I see all the areas where I let judgement flow from me; where I accept with love and understanding. They outnumber the moments I fail to be open-minded, don’t they? And maybe some things should be judged…it’s a mark of my own values and beliefs, isn’t it? I don’t think less of Steve, I just disagree. Strongly, in a few cases. And it’s new and nice to disagree. Even more so to say, particularly to a man, one I consider strong in many ways, that I think he’s wrong. It’s empowering and accurate. It doesn’t mean anything bad about Steve; not any more than it means something good about me. It’s just how I feel.
I wish I could channel the acceptance I gave Shawna. I accepted everything about her, even the actions that hurt Ari. I wasn’t blind to the pain and possible mistake of what was happening, I just didn’t hold it against anyone.
On my 25th birthday, I hosted a candle ceremony for myself. Friends and family picked a word to describe me, one of 25 words that meant something to them specifically. Shawna picked love, and talked about how my constant, unwavering acceptance of her was love.
So then, do I not love Steve? Or am I still butt-hurt over the break up? I think no more and more on the latter…I am so much happier now; as is Steve. We weren’t a good fit romantically. I’m infinitely happier in my current dynamics, and I am happy having Steve in my life as a friend and ally. But it presses on my mind: why the judgement? I don’t think I’m any better. In many ways, I’m less than Steve. Isn’t he following SARK‘s advice in ways I only daydream about? I don’t know…but it’s annoying as fuck.
Matt asked me how he could encourage my writing.
I love that man.
My body is thinner than it’s been since high school. Maybe even smaller now, post-flu. I wake up in the night and find my hands on my waist, how it draws in sharply from my hips. It catches me off-guard, and I wonder whom it is I’m touching. I am getting to know myself again. I like what I’m learning. I appreciate my physical strength, the speed of my stride and the power growing through my arms. It’s new and nice. I also like the color of my eyes sometimes. Self-acceptance is creeping into my heart like a vine.
It’s been 27 minutes, and my head still reels. I’m incredibly sober, and that may be a reason sleep evades me…my mind churns in words and images, ideas and plotlines, characters and truths weaved in and out and over and through the thoughts in my head, like rope, binding and holding and securing. The freedom of restraint blooms over me and I’m overwhelmed by words.
I need to seek out New Nathan. It’s been too long, and he brings good to my life. It’s hard to pinpoint what specifically, or how, but it’s clearly good, and I miss it. I should text him.
I can hear the 3am train. I used to hear it at Watermark, over a year ago, when I’d stay up re-watching AHS and the boys were asleep. Denver sounds like radiators clicking and trains rushing through the night.
2015 snuck up on me. I think it’s because I was sick. Christmas slid by me, and New Year’s followed closer this year than it normally does, I swear. My sister’s 27th birthday is in a couple weeks.
The anniversary of Jim’s death passed me by this year. I didn’t even notice until a couple days ago. I still have nightmares, and flashbacks happen every few weeks, but he doesn’t hold sway over my everyday any longer. Liberation is possible. I need to be telling other survivors…I think back to those who fed me words of such insane hope, and how much I needed them. I could be so much more useful than I am. I used to be. I need to find that again.
At least I’m writing. That counts for something, right? I’m writing and breathing and talking and trying. That has to mean something. And really, 2014 was a hard fucking year for me. I am still getting back on my feet in a few ways. I’ll make a difference again. I’m certainly not going to fade away, not now. Not after everything.
My co-worker said to me today, “Is there anything you haven’t done?!” I’d just told her I used to speak ASL. It made me feel well-rounded and smart. I replied, “I haven’t made a sustainable income for more than a year!” In some ways I feel I’ve won battles and have achieved so much, and in other ways I fail as a “real adult”. Does anyone ever outgrow that slight panic of failure? Do we ever stop hearing the disappointed tones from those we imagine watching us? In reality, I’m fairly sure no one is watching me. I’m so wrapped up in watching myself, and I hope many others have the same condition. It’d make me feel better, anyways. And it is all about me. lol
I have to try and sleep again. Is lying in my dark room better than the dull glow of a monitor? I hear my mother’s voice telling me that at least I should rest if I can’t sleep. I wish my mind would rest. Maybe water…I do well in water. Maybe I can pretend I’m floating if I run a deep enough tub.