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hiding

when i’m scared, or nervous, feeling guilty, feeling like a weirdo, feeling depressed (or manic), feeling ugly, feeling social anxiety, having a panic attack, blah blah blah, i hide. there are lots of different ways to hide. it’s good for a short term escape, but really shitty for dealing with problems and trying to be a part of society.

when i was in high school it was all about new wave and punk. a favorite hair style was having it shaved on the sides and strip of long hair down the middle, sort of like a flat mohawk, or shaved all around except the long bit on top. i, like many of my friends had hair like that. i had  it, and i expect they did, too, to cover my face. i had long fringe/bangs that hung down over my face. if i didn’t put it up in a ponytail, i could barely see. i remember sitting in a history class and getting yelled at for having my face covered like that, because the teacher thought i was asleep!

high school was a tough time for me, my family life was a disaster, i was an alcoholic and undiagnosed bipolar 1. i had a lot to hide from.

when i was a child i built “pillow forts” to hide in, mostly from my angry mother or simply because i needed a safe place.

my anxiety and paranoia are so bad that i often have to hide like that, too. i’ve been known to hide in the closet, or under my desk. i hide the fact that i’m crying sometimes, or that i’m feeling really crazy and don’t want anyone to know. i tend to blurt out how i feel, so it’s important to hide all that. i can hide so well that i can answer the phone in the middle of a sobbing panic attack, as though there was nothing wrong.

sometimes i hate hiding. i’d like the world to know how hard life is for me. it’s a coping mechanism, of course, and i suppose it’s better than having no way to keep yourself safe.

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school!

one of the things that i feel proud of myself about is my education. i loved school,and spent all my time on it. i suppose it’s really not surprising, since my father was a university professor and my mother was a high school teacher. he specialized in american military history and she taught geography and social studies.

i  wanted to be just like my dad. i got an early start because our house was full of history books. we  even had a little shelf for the books he wrote. i soaked up as much as i could, from reading the books and talking with him.

i went to high school in St. Louis (USA), at a catholic girls school. it sounds worse than it was!! the education was excellent and the school was more diverse than any other in the area. after that i moved as far away from home as i could. i chose a university in the San Francisco bay area, i was so excited to be in california, it is such a wonderful place. the school i went to met all my expectations. sometimes i feel like life started when i got there.

my first class was astronomy; it was amazing. the professor knew so much and the class was brilliant, i busted my ass and working as hard as i could, in every (almost lol) class. it was all extremely stressful, sometimes i was overwhelmed by the work load but i got used to it and was successful. i wasn’t  diagnosed with bipolar disorder yet; i look back and wonder about how amazing high functioning i was. it makes me wonder if my meds have have been more of a curse than a blessing. but, i don’t want to dwell on it.

the first history course i took was chinese history, a subject i knew next to nothing about. it was so much fun! i studied irish history, european history, oral history, english, women’s, military,roman and latin american history.i even took a course in sports history!

when graduation approached i was sad because  i wanted to stay forever. i got accepted into a phd program but then i met andrew. i wasn’t willing to walk away from my true love. so i didn’t go to graduate school. shortly after that i was diagnosed with a variety of mental illnesses. that pretty much ended my chance to have a career.

the story isn’t that sad though, i have andrew. and that’s plenty. .

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kiss the ring

midnight mass on christmas eve is always crowded. i bent and kissed the bishop’s ring i saw the way everyone looked at me and realized my behavior was unacceptable, shocking even. sometimes when people get angry they say things are unacceptable. what a futile thing do say. there is no such thing. there is no too much, no too little, no limit. you think no pain will go on until you can’t stand it but you can. you have to stand it until you’re dead.

bear claw

people don’t understand. they don’t know what it is to need. i just need one more pill and i’ll feel the way i want to. that’s need. mostly need is waiting. need teaches you how to wait, but not wait quietly. waiting strung up tight. i told her she was anal. haha. she sputtered in anger. turned red. i surprised myself by having to try not to smile.

bird house i try not to smile, but if i do i stretch my lips into a half circle, with my lips pressed together, tight. i still have that appalling scar on the tip of my nose. we were at the zoo and the monkeys made me scared. i felt like i was going to faint. i felt that once in gym class. i don’t know if i really did or not. i always wish things were worse.