I feel more and more like I’m at a complete loss with it comes to the country around me. If the legislation against abortion freedoms weren’t bad enough, we also have a man who was a hero during my childhood teaching men how to get away with systematic rape. I live in a place surrounded by schools but without citizens able to use basic research skills about who started the KKK. As if the founder matters when it’s still a thriving social club. The water that flows from my tap isn’t fit to use for watering my plants or drinking. Black people are being killed in front of their children for no reason and well-known, loud activists are forgetting because whatever happens to people of color is fine, as long as the rich white folk are kept rich. Women within a ten mile radius of my home want to stop hearing about our president’s history of sexual assault because it bums them out, without giving thought to the victims and survivors left my millions of men who think consent is not continuous. I’m told to be fearful of terrorists abroad when it’s more likely that I’ll be shot at an LGBTQ event. I’m embarrassed to be in a place that screams about it’s freedom when we’re keeping more people in prison than any other country in the world, but are unable to give the same prisoners tampons.
Because of my tendencies towards disassociation and years of therapy, I’m good at finding ways to compartmentalize and cope around chaos. Despite my mental ninja skills, I’m finding myself at the end of my rope. I can’t sleep until things blow over. I don’t have enough money or the lung capacity to smoke these feels away. Drugs are expensive, hard to find, and not going to solve the problems. I have always been an advocate of talking things out. I talk to my mother, a woman who had been raped, beaten, threatened, and abused for the bulk of her life, and she wants to empower an entitled regime. My mother isn’t stupid. If she were, it’d be easier to accept her repeated opinions. A woman who cut my hair last week told me that all leaders do things that are wrong and the world isn’t fair. Is that ok with America these days? Are we really fine with our leader being a known liar? Is an alternative fact just as good as a fact, or do we not understand the difference?
I am blessed with several privileges that enable me to have a head start in most of life’s battles. I had the money to get a degree in my twenties. I have my health, my limbs, and most of my mind. I’m a pretty white girl and am largely left alone by all law enforcement. I have concrete skills that make me more valuable as an employee than someone who didn’t have my upbringing. I’m smart. I’m good at networking and talking. I’m a better communicator than most people I know. Maybe it’s a power trip, but why can’t I make any sort of goddamn difference? Maybe my disadvantages (incest, mental illness, gender) are enough to make me insignificant. I call my senators. I go to the rallies. I read about the bills and I talk to my friends. I vote. What the hell else can I do? How can I make something better when the avenues to do so are entrenched by the bullshit that keeps us feeble?
Falling into despair doesn’t help. I want to help. I want to be proud of where I live and of the people I call family. Nonetheless, I do not have the capacity to live a lie. I’m gonna call stupid what it is, and I’m going to spend time reading and learning the truth. There’s still a truth in my mind.
There’s also always the hope that I’m just a computer program in someone’s virtual reality and none of this is happening.
Times like this to help to enforce the idea that suicide is not an opinion in my life any longer. I can see why one might consider such a fruitless act, but I can mentally list it alongside a number of other dramatic, unproductive acts.
Since the only reality I can trust is the one more frequently before me, I have been trying to push myself into work. I can freeze moments and go back, perfecting the light and smoothing the colors. Reality can be altered from it’s original state only so much. If I fade the whole background to a solid state, will anyone notice? If the image in the foreground is pretty enough, does it even matter? No one will notice but me. What is my opinion worth?
I have to dig deeper through cinematic stores to find new horror to distract myself from the horror outside my doors. Last night I watched two girls eat their dad and was able to fall asleep shortly thereafter. Smaller things, less significant in the grand scheme, irritate me more than they normally would. I feel like I should be able to control a handful of things, and when even those are beyond me, I am at a loss. I can’t control my body, my home, my calendar-why am I even trying to work on societal plagues?
Days and nights blur together and I sleep between. I wake up wearing brown, making bread from scratch because it’s more comforting to the high-ups. Is this happening? I turn to see Jared, and the walls fade away. He holds me, his hand on my face, and maybe that’s real. Alone in the bathtub, a candle flickers and my stomach aches. Is a physical feeling more real than what my eyes tell my brain? What can I trust when nothing makes sense, when everything is being felt through a film of disbelief?
I miss my girlfriend. I miss the comforting feels of a blue state. I miss my friends up north and the way communication is valued.
Jared keeps me going. Hearing Amanda’s voice, seeing her when we can chat, gives me strength. Two smart, strong, independent and respectable people love me, rely on me, and find comfort from me. That helps a fuck ton. I have a car and a camera and a credit card if I need more. Over the weekend I was safe to give myself over to a friend and a fiber. I hung upside down and felt all the blood rush in my body. I am alive. I may not be sure when I’m where, but I am in existence. I have things moving within me, and sometimes I can feel them.
I am increasingly grateful to be free of dead relationships. I don’t carry Steph as a burden, and while nightmares persist, I am leaving more and more of Niki behind. I don’t have to take care of anyone. I am surrounded by independent folks who know themselves, and can even explain it out loud.
Balance, moderation, and purity tumble over my edges and smooth me out. I hope I look like a piece of ocean glass after I’m done.
A tiny lion hems me in, behind and before. She guards me from the darkness and licks the water from my face. I don’t think I’ll ever be without a cat again.
July brings my thirty-first anniversary of life. I’ll be reunited with Rick and Sansa, allies I have long missed. Mid-month I am pitching a proposal to a committee of kinky folk, aiming to get involved and aid a sect of my people. I want to weave back into this city, its scene and its activism. I am constantly re-committing to myself that my commitment is myself. I will not let unclear boundaries make me responsible for more than I can confidently accomplish. I am able to say no.
The oven beeps three times to let me know it’s been preheated. My easiest food this year has been a bagel. Currently I’ve been exploring the everything bagel and the use of cream cheese. More examples of the gifts my partners give me.
Life continues. Jared’s awake and the sun snuck up sometime while I was writing. Tonight I see friends, assuming I can keep my shit together that long. I need to floss and clean the floors. Maybe chores at the tethering factor to reality. I hesitate there though, because Liz cleans in the Inner World. Another tally to the side that says reality can’t be defined or distinguished.