Suzi tried to make a video

And she’s so excited by the “amazing advancement in technology” (I swear she’s 60yrs old sometimes) that I thought I’d embarrass all of us by uploading this video of her trying to use the Clips app to the interwebs for all eternity.

It’s extra funny to me because we have the same app on our phone and computer which she uses all the time and yet she’s apparently never noticed!

Anywho, enjoy

Kate

(Welfare) Check, Mate.

So, remember that little passive aggressive tweet to the bank I mentioned in my last post? Well apparently it caused a flood of panic for them and their little anti law suit brigade which resulted in me receiving a “welfare” check from our little village police man. (as in the village is little, not the cop – he’s actually rather imposing..)

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Now I know the Sarge because he’s a local, his kids go to the village school, he’s very nice, about as Aussie as you get and we chat about random things while waiting in line at the servo or doling out soft drinks to sugar high 7yr olds at community sausage sizzles.

However, other than the odd 7am random breath test where we joke about how putting vodka on cornflakes might help us start the day, on a professional level, our paths had not really crossed; until yesterday.

You see, somehow I have avoided being flagged as any sort of risk to the local constabulary, information that was supposed to be passed on, wasn’t, I talk my way out of situations quite well, paperwork gets lost or not filed, the last one is evidenced by the fact that I still held a gun licence for several years after being hospitalised for multiple suicide attempts.

So anyway, Officer Gaz rocked up in my driveway at the same time as hubby came home from work yesterday afternoon, luckily I’d already had a sobbing hissy fit to hubby over the phone prior to their arrival so he didn’t have to guess too hard that the reason for the police being at our home may have been that I’d opened my big fat trap to the wrong person and they’d instigated this little visit from the authorities.

Hubby walked into our messy bedroom where he found me wearing my at home “I hate myself outfit” which involves no bra, a baggy, old, stained t shirt and leggings (yes as pants… oh the shame) with a hole in the bottom while hiding my tear soaked cheeks under the covers and posting that last blog post, he looked me up and down awkwardly for a sec and announced that Officer Gaz was also here…

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My first comment was “OMG NO!” actually, thats a lie, it was “fucking bank!!” Quickly followed by “OMG No! Holy crap I’m not exactly looking sane here, don’t you dare let him in!!” To which hubby replied “Uhhh… he’s already in the living room” So I hissed back “Well let me get dressed first then!” Hubby nodded awkwardly and walked out again. He puts up with so much from me.

After quickly surveying the room and realising jumping out the window and running away was less than practical and probably wouldn’t end well for me, I decided to play it cool, pulled on semi respectable clothing in two-seconds flat and tried to rub the $2-hooker-esque mascara tear stains off my cheeks while walking out saying “Hello Gary how are you, wanna take a walk?” In my most non-chalant ‘I’m not crazy’ voice.

Apparently I had caused quite a stir back at bank headquarters and Gas explained that he had to “come and do a welfare check, mate” after stifling an inappropriate giggle because one of my inner devils made a dark humour comment about the term ‘check mate’ being used in these circumstances, I convinced Officer Gaz (with minimal crying) that I was just having a bad week and was disgruntled about my customer service experience and had expressed my frustrations in a rather poorly thought out manner and was not an immediate threat to self or others.

He eventually got on his radio and called off the ambulance and hospital who were apparently on standby to come tackle me to the ground and lock me away again for a while.

Now note that I live on the fringes of a teeny tiny town where stigma is rife and gossip is life blood, everyone knows everyone and therefore everyone knows everything about everyone. I had thus far somehow managed to keep my mental illnesses under wraps and I was NOT under any circumstances about to let myself be dragged back to hospital alive at the risk of being spotted. (Yes, I am being overly dramatic and yes, I was smart enough not to say that out loud!)

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That’s one good thing about country cops, they are bound by law not to gossip about this kind of thing and they’ll be more inclined to let it pass with a cuppa and a quick chat, they also know the social repercussions of people finding out about this sort of thing probably ends in my having to move house so if possible it’s better to forgo the mandatory handcuffs and psych eval you would get in the city.

After our little chat Gaz commented that he felt comfortable leaving me as I had “no history of self harm or mental health issues” which nearly made me bite my tongue off before finally deciding to be honest with him and fess up that I did actually have quite a history but that didn’t mean I wasn’t ‘safe’ now.

He seemed to understand that my honesty about this was an unspoken trust pact between the two of us. He won’t use my history against me today and I won’t do anything to make him regret that choice today.

I figured being honest was a safer bet than have him get back to the station and pull a file on me somewhere that exposed the several months worth of previous non-voluntary hospital holidays I’d had and get suspicious that I may in fact be lying to him about my sanity status and change his mind.

It’s funny how people can beg for help and nobody will give two hoots and yet you can make a misguided off the cuff comment and all hell breaks loose as you find yourself desperately trying to prove that you are safe to be among civilisation.

– Note that next time you want help for suicidal ideation and the medical system isn’t interested, just call your local bank instead! *eye roll*

So, Officer Gaz left me with my family and I made an awkward explanation to my children about how making rash statements on social media is not advisable because this can happen, but the police are still doing a good job by checking that people are okay.

I also spoke to the bank again on Twitter and told them I was okay and apologised for scaring their lawyers them because, I have been on the other side of a suicidal telephone call a number of times when I worked for that un-namable government organisation – given the statistical unhappiness of the population I dealt with, calls can sometimes end in them receiving welfare checks rather than welfare cheques but the person in the call centre never gets to any outcome resolution and that can be hard to deal with.

-Kate

 

Phone Calls and Fragility’s

I fear there’s only one sure answer to that question I keep asking myself. “Will this ever get better? Will I ever get better?”

My first world problems are overwhelming my feeble little mind right now. The others seem to have abandoned me in my hour of need and I’m desperately wanting / expecting Suzi to come galloping in on a white horse and save me from this, save us from me. She always manages to keep so calm, the little things slide off her like water off a ducks back and yet the same things drown me.

I’m having problems with impulsive suicidality again, after a hellish Thursday I thought I was actually improving because yesterday I felt pretty good, my car even decided to breakdown and it was still fine, I don’t even remember feeling upset or bothered at all, I don’t remember much at all actually, in hindsight maybe it wasn’t really me in the drivers seat- I’m vaguely aware of seeing my parents and borrowing Dads car but that’s about it for my recall of yesterday.

Today the plan was dropping 16 off at work and doing the groceries, so got ready, even put on makeup (it’s been a while) I dropped him off and checked my banking app to move grocery money only to find the app wasn’t working and it wanted me to call the bank for further information, so I did – and that’s when everything fell apart and I spiralled instantly back into “what the fuck is the point of living”.

When I rang the girl was lovely at first & said it’s prob just the app and I might need to reinstall it but she’d check quickly anyway. Then suddenly her whole attitude changed and she got all stern and said I’d need to go into a branch and show 100points of ID, I asked if there was an issue and she just repeated that I’d have to go to the branch.

I said that’s fine but were they open today being a Saturday? She asked for my location and the nearest open branch was over 200km away which I obviously couldn’t get to.

I started getting worried and told her I didn’t have enough fuel to get home and could she at least tell me if my bank card would still work or not despite not being able to log into the app and then she just started repeating that for ‘my privacy’ I’d have to go in to the branch today for any more information – which we had already established was impossible given it was already 11:55am (they closed at 2pm) and over 200km from me… I asked ‘generic’ questions that wouldn’t be privacy issues but she just kept saying over and over that I had to go into the branch. At this point I was triggered and in tears. She kept repeating it like a robot and rudely at that, so I ended up hanging up on her because I felt stupid, embarrassed and defeated.

Why this? Why now?

I couldn’t risk the embarrassment of filling up fuel and then my card not working, luckily one of the kids had some cash on him to cover me because by now I was crying so much I could barely drive home.

So now I won’t know until Monday WTF is going on, is my money still there? Is it safe? Has my identity been compromised? My business is attached to that account too – is its money safe? I don’t know anything and they refused to tell me any basic information.

You see, this hurts extra hard because I had a similar thing happen around a decade ago, a company made a mistake that caused me to have my name incorrectly flagged as a ‘fraud’ risk and it caused extreme emotional pain because of the severe impact it had on my credit rating that affected my ability to refinance my house and even buy a mobile phone I was totally ‘locked out’ and despite the fact I was never rude to them (directly, I was plenty angry in private) they refused to give a reason for why they wouldn’t talk to me the wouldn’t escalate my issue to a manager and most would hang up on me as soon as I gave my account number – In the end it took over 4years to fix THEIR mistake. That was so hellish and humiliating and this persons refusal to speak to me today took me right back to that heartache.

The trouble with me being in this fragile state right now is I feel ok for a bit and lull myself into a false sense of security because I somehow forget what ‘this’ feels like and I will leave the house to grocery shop or similar then a tiny trigger will just snap me back into instant crushing suicidal depression and I dissolve into a blubbering mess and forget what any other emotion even feels like.

I know this is my issue, not that of the person pulling the semi invisible hair trigger, they’re just doing what they have been instructed to do by their management- however I can’t help but think a more empathetic attitude from a phone banking customer service rep today could have saved a whole lot of heart ache even if she couldn’t have helped me.

The two reasons that I didn’t give up and commit suicide right then were I had my children in the car and it wasn’t my car because I was of course borrowing my fathers. Same thing having happened when I was on my own and I would have given up right then and there. I kind of did give up, just drove home on autopilot sobbing my heart out and climbed into bed posting an unnecessary passive aggressive tweet at the bank in question and instantly regretting it when they responded.

I have an appointment with M next week, Hubby’s on his way home so I’m ‘safe’ I am just so sick and tired of things getting difficult and once again I’m devolving into this singular option mindset. It’s just so exhausting

Into The Lighting

A cool evening breeze has finally given us respite from the scorching heat of the past few days bringing with it a silent yet tremendous light show that is eerily illuminating the dark night to the perfect beat of the appropriately soulful and sorrowful music currently playing on my iPod.

It seems that recently, in almost every moment I am reminded of how much greater than me this world is, and yet how powerful the affect is that we each have upon it. Our choices, small and large all directly impact ourselves and indirectly influence those around us.

These individual experiences that we all share change us forever, some for the better some for the worse, but what they all have in common is the simple fact that no matter how seemly insignificant our decisions may seem at the time, we will never quite be the same after making them.

The butterfly effect ripples through these tides of evolutionary change and amidst the cycles of human repetition we seem to so predictably follow there are subtle differences, tiny changes in a choice, in a thought, in a way of life.

Change is considered to be frightening and yet we have experienced nothing else our entire lives, we have been constantly evolving from birth, it is simply the speed in which it sometimes seems to happen that scares us.

We can’t outrun our shadows yet we cannot simply stay still in those shadows either, for they themselves will inevitably continue moving, changing, evolving too.

Today a series of poor decisions, hard decisions and uncontrollable consequences along the rippled road of other peoples time meant we said a temporary goodbye to a young girl we don’t know well really, yet care about immensely.

She has made brief but meaningful appearances in our lives and while they have made minimal impact in her treacherous journey, they have changed ours for the better.

Today she must face yet another series of changes far beyond her control, far beyond her understanding or capacity to emotionally cope with and yet she will; just as she always has, because she has to.

She will also learn devastating news today of how a separate series of poor decisions has now left one of the few consistent young family members still allowed into her broken world critically injured and forever changed, if not forever lost.

I hate that I can’t fix this when I feel like I should be able to, I hate that it fills my soul with sadness and yet like a callous shrew my eyes are unable to make tears, instead my heart ties itself up into protective knots as I drown in a desert of my own powerlessness.

The sky bursts with flashes of white, threatening this parched, sunburnt land with their devastating potential and rumbles of thunder sound in the distance; but it is clear no rain will fall from the heavens tonight either.

I close my eyes as songs of sadness ring perfect metaphors into my soul and hope she will survive this life.

I take a deep breath and slowly let myself drift away with the music, into a world where for just a while anything is possible, where we have the futures we desire and the pasts that no longer haunt us, into the night, into the lightning.

The Two Sides of The Road

I’m out of town right now, driving into a posh little village in the highlands where old world charm has embraced modern medicine and the local folk are well to do enough to warrant an imaging centre with an MRI machine.

They are scanning my head today, the new random doctor I went to for migraine pain relief at 8am on a public holiday wants to help me, fix me, bless his heart. 

He thinks I may have a tumour, which is an inaccurate yet understandable conclusion considering my symptom history, but alas it is hard to explain to him that my particular type of crazy can’t be surgically removed. 

Years ago I may have been excited by a medical doctor who didn’t immediately throw me in the too hard basket or bundle me straight off to the psych ward, but by now I have accepted that there isn’t going to be a visual representation of my ails on a scanner that will check off a list for a nice neat little treatable medical diagnosis. 

Yeah, it’s all in my head; but that’s okay.

There are two different worlds here in this quaint little town, they appear as alternate dimensions coexisting seamlessly despite ghosts of opposing realms popping up momentarily to collide one’s truth into another’s.

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Upper class ladies filled with small town egocentricities shop for vegan soaps and gossip about their neighbours affairs, while gaunt broken women with dirty clothes and crooked smiles gather near dumpsters in hidden allyways. 

One may never know the other existed, depending on which side of the bustling street you wish to look. The aroma of organic coffee beans wafts gently from one realm into the other, but the shadow side bares the generic bitter taste of real world life. 

Living in a perfect bubble, perhaps wilful ignorance serves best as across the street a man named Brian pays $5000 for a new suit, grabs his morning latte from the smiling barista who calls him by name each day even though Brian has never bothered to reciprocate, he dashes off again in a hurry to be somewhere important most will never get to go. 

Neither of these worlds are like mine, we run in different circles. A lean to either side perhaps dependant on the given day, the given mood. 

Shop windows reveal exquisite class and sophistication with enough mismatched beads to create a false sense of casual whimsy. Perfectly put together vintage-bag-lady for only $799, Gypsy skirts and tie dyed scarves with a price tag high enough to fashionably bring out your inner hippy. 

I hate that I love it so much.

There are two types of modern hippy, there are those who wear the clothes, drink almond milk in public and peruse antique furniture stores while secretly fantasising about their hot Swedish massage therapist named Sven…

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And then there are those who live the lifestyle full time, taking from the earth only what they need and eating home grown organic vegetables quietly in the shadows because they truly believe in a cause greater than themselves. 

You can tell the difference quite easily by the number of selfies on their social media accounts.

I fear we are more the former, despite idealist parts of us yearning desperately to clutch onto more than just flowing fabrics and dive into the elusive and over romanticised freedom of that gypsy road less travelled. But alas, we also like our hot showers and our iPhone…

A sirens wail snaps me from my day dreams as police lights flash into view and I notice a scruffily dressed woman yelling obscenities at a man twice her size with tattoos for skin as they stand in the carpark of a picturesque ye olde lolly shoppe.

 The woman redirects her rage toward the approaching policeman and I keep walking past them towards the imaging centre with my head down, I take a long sip of my organic kombucha through the candy striped paper straw and like everyone else, I pretend not to notice. 

 

I wonder if MRI machines can detect societal blindness?

Crouching Liar

Dear M,

Maybe you understand me better than I do, or maybe you haven’t got a clue how this is going to work out in the end either. 

I’ve never actually asked you if you’ve had to deal with a person like me before, perhaps I am frightened of your answer. What if you have, what happened to them? Could you save them? 

Forget I asked, I don’t think I want to know really and I imagine it is also hard for you to think about. Fact is we can’t save everyone and frankly, not everyone deserves to be saved.

The edge of this cliff top is crumbling and I can feel myself slipping, just don’t know whether to aim for the rocks or the water today because tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I can feel that hard dive into the waves of self destruction rapidly coming towards me, it’s hard to admit but it almost feels strangely appealing right now, the thought of just allowing myself to descend into the madness and escape reality’s cold grasp for awhile. 

Guilt is relentlessly scratching like sandpaper on my sunburnt soul, I found out my friend Keira had the absolute shit kicked out of her last week by some bastard she had shacked up with because she’s fucked up and vulnerable. This latest effort to outrun her shadow put her in a far worse place, good decisions aren’t her strong point. 

The world has been trying to take her down since she was a toddler but she holds on by the skin of her teeth and keeps fighting. I respect that resilience, it’s not a quality I possess.

Death scathed her with the tip of his sickle this time, scarring her even further inside and out. While I hope the abusive asshole that physically attacked her rots in jail, I know if I am honest with myself that I too deserve to rot for this crime as I am partially to blame. 

Good intentions are meaningless when they come from a place of incompetence and naivety, even an encouragement toward personal growth can damage someone who isn’t ready for it. I should have known better, what the hell did I think was going to happen? Particularly when I threw her to the wolves and offered no further support or advice other than to hold on tight and pray for safety.

It should have ended for me long before that particular conversation ever even took place, yet it didn’t. No, I screwed that up too and now my debt is insurmountable.

Death leans casually against the wall of my bedroom smoking a cigarette and sharpening his sickle, he winks at me with his smarmy smile and says with his Southern drawl and a misleading twinkle in his eye “Now why on earth would I ever let such a good employee like you leave me?” Then he takes a long draw from his thin cigarette and laughs his evil smokers laugh. He owns me and he knows I know it.

My dusty regrets fester and circle inside their cerebral graveyard on a crackling loop, over and over again because I’m blessed with this curse of an immortal, yet deeply fragmented soul and most days I want to throw this damn so called “gift” right back at that damn unicorn so hard I shatter its bloodied teeth with the impact. 

Somehow I always manage to dodge bullets like a blind ninja warrior, bullets that should penetrate my heart and evict this worthless broken soul from its vessel but instead I survive, a codependent coward masquerading as a warrior; crouching liar, hidden flagon. 

Love,

Kate

Square Wheels

167A9239-43F2-48FF-8989-A1426292B2FA.jpegWe’ve had a few emergency psychiatrist appointments recently, due to a continuous state of fight or flight and yo yo like mood swings that include but aren’t limited to paranoia, mild delusions and an intermittent, sudden yet intense need to die immediately.

M calmed me down when I saw her the other day, as she does, and they’ve put us on the cancellation list for another appointment in December too because hospital simply isn’t an option because of past traumatic experiences and the next appointment wasn’t scheduled until February.

I suppose nobody likes the idea of a Christmas funeral. On the way out of my session M said to call her in the meantime, anytime, “if the wheels fall off”. 

At least that made me smile, I do love me a metaphor with decent pun-able mental imagery. The trouble is, I don’t quite know what constitutes the wheels ‘falling off’ anymore, last time I would say they properly fell off I think we were already sectioned in hospital, then when that car crashed, well it really crashed. 

That little incident only just deemed us repairable, but I for one haven’t quite been the same since and days like this when I lie in bed exhausted by the effort of simply existing, not so deep down I still wish they’d just written us off.

I wonder how we can move forward from here, life is overwhelming and confusing and frankly it probably always will be. Nobody is coping, suicide shouldn’t be an option because if causes so much pain and yet living feels unfathomable. 

Do I call her before or after we run off the metaphorical or perhaps literal road? How much distress counts as too much? We can be sobbing hell bent on ending it all one minute then instantaneously I find myself blankly numb and somewhat aware of the situation yet I can’t truly relate because I’ve suddenly forgotten the feeling of that emotion and often the trigger of it the next. I know that’s a weird brain coping mechanism, but it doesn’t really feel like it’s helping me cope, just delaying the inevitable.

What is good enough reason to call? I feel like I shouldn’t call unless we’re actively dying yet I can’t call then because then there’s nothing she can really do for us anymore, not if she was going to stay true to her promise anyway. 

I would prefer that she wasn’t left with undue guilt for going against her instincts but I’m also not about to risk forcing her hand. 

We are both gambling here, it’s taken a hell of a lot for me to trust her, I am trying really hard and she knows it. But she is putting a lot of trust in me too, if something happens and there were implications that she didn’t do her ‘duty of care’ I would never forgive myself because she has been so amazing and I wouldn’t be able to write this now if it weren’t for her support. 

In the end you can’t save everybody and I make sure I always choose my words carefully when I speak to her about what is rattling around in this head because there must always be room for plausible deniability, just in case.

Last night I was swerving pretty badly and I’ve definitely got a flat right now. But I’ve been driving like this for so long now that I’m not sure if my rims are just damaged beyond repair, because as often as I fix those bloody tires with all the therapy and medication I can muster, time passes and I always seem to find myself just drifting back into the gutter again. 

I think I must have square wheels.

Speaking of squares and subject changes, Mr 16 pointed out to me that saying ‘be there or be square’ makes perfect sense because if you aren’t there then you aren’t ‘a round’. Been hearing that saying for like 30 years and never figured that out before… How bout you?

You’re welcome, internet

 

All Out of Magic Wands

I want to die right now.

I’m just so fucking exhausted and sick of being in my head, I don’t understand myself and frankly I’ve got no desire to even try to anymore. Maybe this is why some people actually wanted lobotomy’s. Just fuck it all.

The reasons to live haven’t really outweighed the reasons not to for a really long time now, at least it feels like that, but logic reminds me that my perception of time is painfully skewed at the best of time because whether it’s 5 years or 5 hours, timelines have to be differentiated by logic these days because they feel exactly the fucking same. 

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I’m probably actually very happy, I’ve just forgotten again. Who knows? Not me.

I feel like I can’t be alone, particularly with myself, not because I’m “unsafe”, because it’s torture. I can’t be near other people either though, that’s even worse.

I’m craving company but I don’t want to be near anyone. Go away, come back! Everything is a Pink song around here right now isn’t it? So fucking pathetic. I feel like I’m unintentionally faking every single interaction I have with anyone. Please, someone tell me what the fuck I’m feeling at the moment, because I honestly have no fucking idea.

Last night we had a family gathering with hubbys relatives from interstate and as per my own and probably everyone else’s frustration I was suddenly very aware of myself yet again not being in control of my chatter, not shutting the fuck up when I should and laughing too much.

It’s like introvert people-hating me dissociates to hide from the inevitable gathering and braces herself for the fallout while peeking through her fingers at extrovert me creating havoc and destruction. 

The feeling is equivalent to having one too many glasses of bubbly and watching your friend who has also had too many glasses of bubbly make a complete fool of herself but you’re drunk and completely powerless to stop it. Only everybody’s sober.

On the surface it was a fun night I suppose, I got to see my special niece too who is just growing up into the most beautiful intelligent little girl. Fuck I hope I haven’t genetically passed any of my fucked upness to her. Simultaneously best yet potentially worst manic decision ever right there.Thank God she doesn’t actually have to live with me so at least the environmental risk factors don’t apply to her. 

Godspeed to my own kids.

Today. Got 6hrs sleep so that’s a win, the world isn’t my own but I’m apparently in it anyway, my fingers are moving where I put them, people seem to see me, I think I see them. So many cops everywhere today, they’re real too, I’m sure they are, must be a blitz on or something.

Trip to the hardware store, again people looking at me funny, is it my clothes? I’m so fucking ugly, and I am wearing something I really don’t think I should have worn, even though I’ve worn it 100 times before.

Maybe I need to make myself a work shirt with the company logo on it so I don’t have to rely on early morning me’s ability to pick suitable clothes? I’m in the aisle searching for the specific adhesive I’ve been sent to pick up, I finally spot it and a woman’s voice yells at the top of her lungs at the little kid next to me scaring the absolute crap out of me. The kid jumped, I jumped higher. I don’t know what he did but I feel both extremely sorry for him and the need to leave the store immediately as fast as I can.

People looking at me again on the way out and I hope I’m not thinking out loud – God imagine that… I have to hold beck the urgent need I feel to explain that it really wasn’t me yelling at the little kid like that. I wouldn’t do that.

I put my headphones on and drive the adhesive out on site to this overwhelmingly beautiful house that looks like something from a magazine cover while gently reminding me of all my inadequacies.

The owner spots me before I can dump and run and invites me in to take a tour of her newly renovated home, my heads in the clouds but thankfully my body seems to be talking back to her and saying all the right things, I just want to leave. God let me get out of here, back to my headphones, my music, my distraction from forced existence. 

I’m suddenly sitting here again, I must have made it back, back to the familiarity of my messy desk, finally alone in the workshop yet still surrounded and rapidly running out of ways to escape myself.

Wish I could die so it would all finally stop. This living thing really isn’t working for me right now, don’t think it ever really has.

Shrink tomorrow. Surely she’s run out of magic wands.

A Million Shattered Dreams

I am currently sitting in my sanctuary, finally sitting at my computer for the first time in nearly six months of being confined to writing on my phone. Pink! Is blaring comfortingly in my ears, I have always liked Pink’s music but I had never really gotten caught up in the hype or listened that closely to her lyrics. Well now I am and faark there’s some relatable wording there.

It was Callie of all people that actually brought this to my attention, as previously mentioned, Cal doesn’t come around much – at least not to me. I have previously bought her pancakes (when pushed into it by Suzi around a year ago now) and on another more recent occasion I conceded and bought her a toy dragon because she had wordlessly expressed in the most convincing manner that she had fallen completely in love with the one that I had just purchased for my niece…

And that was the extent of our relationship, until Pink’s song “A Million Dreams” started playing on the radio. I watched that “Greatest Showman” movie and honestly got nothing from it, it’s just not my style at all. I have a rather strained relationship with Disney at the best of times and this song certainly fits that genre perfectly, but when that song came on suddenly I felt Cal come up closer than ever before, she just loved it and wanted me to play it over and over again, I have been informed that Suzi sings it to her to help her sleep now which is lovely but an odd thing because despite my baseline understanding of this whole identity dissociation thing going on with me,  I still have trouble grappling with the fact that I am being told details about this entire ‘world’ that is apparently only existing inside my mind, from the occupants of that world, yet it’s not a world I am privy to seeing/accessing completely myself…

So, we were driving home and I started actually listening to the lyrics of “A Million Dreams” which are definitely relatable to someone like myself with Bipolar disorder who has experienced the euphoria of hypomania not to mention my growing understanding of, and relationship with those other people that seem to live in my head with me…

“I close my eyes and I can see
The world that’s waiting up for me
That I call my own
Through the dark, through the door
Through where no one’s been before
But it feels like home

They can say, they can say it all sounds crazy
They can say, they can say I’ve lost my mind
I don’t care, I don’t care, so call me crazy
We can live in a world that we design

‘Cause every night I lie in bed
The brightest colours fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake
I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see
A million dreams is all it’s gonna take
A million dreams for the world we’re gonna make”

Anyways, this song seemed to bring young Cal comfort and as she is extremely shy and nervous so I supposed that comfort can only be a good thing to encourage although I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid of Callie coming a little too close to the surface and talking to people ‘as me’ because I have ALWAYS been frightened of people’s perceptions of me, specifically that I am not appearing ‘crazy’ and Callie is a 5yr old (ish?).

Then there was an incident… We were in the car, (we being myself, my husband and two of our kids) driving into town and the radio was on. I was half in half out with dissociation anyway, we have been unwell lately, stress has us very dissociated and seems to of brought on a hypomanic episode with a few fun little paranoia and hallucination style symptoms thrown in the mix. Anywho, Hubby was driving and I was mentally off somewhere in la la land watching the *colours dancing around the world in front of me when “A Million Dreams” came on and I felt Callie there, she was excited to hear the song and wanted to watch the colours too. So, I closed my eyes to make them appear more vivid against the black background of my eyelids and as they kaleidoscoped and danced around three dimensionally in perfect time to the music Cal became completely mesmerised.

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Cal’s Dragon

Now, Hubby didn’t know what was going on, he doesn’t even know Callie exists so when he glanced over and saw me with my eyes shut he assumed I was sleeping and decided to be funny and tap my shoulder and shout BOO! Now, we jump scare each other all the time because we are just that kind of cruel family I suppose, but anyway at this point Cal was pretty much co-fronting without either of us realising it and she freaked the fuck out.

The sheer terror felt in that little girls heart in that moment was absolutely devastating, I was unable to move and she didn’t know what to do or what had happened and burst into tears while trying to be completely silent because she thought something was going to happen to her if she made a sound, it felt to me like she honestly thought she was going to die right there and then and I couldn’t do a damn thing to help her. I don’t remember ever feeling so powerless.

She just kept showing me an image of herself hugging her dragon over and over and over again, she wanted that damn dragon so much and I couldn’t give it to her because it was at home and we were driving down a highway with three other people who had absolutely no idea what the fuck the problem was here. I’m not entirely sure what happened next, we had our eyes squeezed shut and I was internally trying to comfort her, tell her it was just a joke Hubby was obviously looking at me and figuring out something wasn’t right he was apologising but I couldn’t speak at all, the kids in the back thought the whole thing was hilarious.

At some point I got control back and she was gone, the kids were distracted arguing about some irrelevant thing, different songs were on the radio and all of Callie’s sadness had gone with her, but I was left completely alone. Like completely. My head was silent, I couldn’t feel the presence of any of the others at all and it was such an awful and lonely sensation of blankness.

Time is weird after that, a few weeks must have passed in a blur of confusion and fear, mistakes and attempting to live my ‘normal’ life by myself, it turns out I actually have an awful lot of help from ‘The Others’ to do basic things like remember to clean my pets, make the kids lunches and how to use MYOB at work etc. The routine that gets us through the days was suddenly absolutely unavailable to me and I was completely lost without it.

Luckily on the Wednesday when I had to pay people at work Suzi was back and fixed a huge amount of errors, checked emails and got things done. Unfortunately she left again and it broke me. Apparently she was still comforting Callie from that car incident which left me struggling with overwhelming feelings of guilt and anger, I felt bad for letting Cal get hurt like that, I felt angry at myself for not being able to cope alone and angry for Suzi abandoning me when I was relying on her to help me work. Not to mention I felt ridiculous because I was mourning the disappearance of ‘people’ that arguably didn’t even exist.

The absence of ‘everyone’ really messed with my already messy head. I started questioning the reality of The Others, I started getting really paranoid and jumpy. I work in a workshop environment and there are loud noises all the time, usually these just get blocked out but now every time a compressor started up or a nail gun went off I jumped through the roof. Reflective surfaces keep releasing 3D style hooded demonic faces toward me making me jump, while I know they aren’t real and I am not afraid of them hurting me or anything they still take me by surprise.

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Whenever I went somewhere I started noticing how many people seemed to be looking at me, staring, giggling. I started noticing how many security cameras there were seemingly everywhere, I started noticing that my location symbol on my phone was intermittently on even when I wasn’t using anything that supposedly needed access to it.

I realised that a customer I had heard of but not physically met before that shared the name of a guy who sexually assaulted me when we were teenagers, also spelled his name in the same unusual way and I started to wonder if it was actually him even though I had previously determined that it couldn’t be for a number of reasons.

When he came to pick something up at the workshop I freaked out and hid in the breakroom. When I looked out of the breakroom window I noticed that there was something that looked suspiciously like a security camera pointed right into the window from a antenna on the opposing building. Then I hid on the floor of the break-room for an hour because he Just.Would.Not.Leave.

Every time I drove there was an overwhelming number of Mustangs, once a source of connection with the universe they were now a conflicting symbol of confusion. I started deciding that I couldn’t do it anymore, my next psychiatrist appointment was weeks away and I couldn’t last that long. I started working out how to go about ending the nightmare for good when my phone rang, it was my psychiatrists office offering me a random appointment the next day because they had a cancellation.

I thanked the receptionist over and over and cried with joy before freaking completely out wondering how they knew, was my psychiatrist bugging my phone? Reading my mind? HOW did she ALWAYS seem to know when I was dissolving into a puddle and come to the rescue? Surely this wasn’t a coincidence?

My psychiatrist was incredible, she promised me gently that while the universe may have orchestrated some uncannily perfect timing with the appointment there was nothing of a mind reading note going on, she calmed me down, assured me that its normal to need help getting through things in daily life and while I was feeling abandoned by Suzi, she would come back and I would be okay. She said the incident with Callie had triggered a PTSD style response in me which was why I was so jumpy and paranoid at the moment and that Callie is safe, I am safe, and it would ease but I am seeing her on Tuesday again to be sure.

Suzi came back again on Wednesday, we sorted the pays out, wrote how to do it down as a step by step process just in case – she’s still here now but still feels distant, strange. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain I have an awful sense of lonliness. Yesterday I had confirmation that Callie was okay and not hating me for putting her in that vulnerable position so that made me feel better. There was the fear of not knowing what is real at the supermarket that I already wrote about separately.

I hate this. I hate not understanding what is real, what is not. I hate not knowing if I will ever recover from this, I hate that I got an email from T weeks ago, my best friend in the world, but I don’t know how to reply, it’s been over a year since we spoke now and I don’t know what to say or how to relate to her or anyone in my real life that was once my friend anymore.

The only people I can relate to live on the internet and I hate realising today that I haven’t read anyone else’s blog in so, so long and that so much has gone on for everyone, loss, heartbreak and I wasn’t there to support you. I can’t make up for that time I lost but I love each of you so much and I have gained so much from your support and stories over the years but I fear I will never be able to re-connect because I am so selfishly consumed by my own head, lost in time that is no longer linear, no longer my own.

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For Cal:

Why is everyone looking at me?

Today I went grocery shopping with Miss 9. Sounds like pretty standard Saturday, except I spent most of the time unsure if she was really with me or not, doubting her presence and intermittently her actual existence at all.

People seem to look at me weirdly an awful lot at the moment and I’m afraid my thoughts are showing somehow. They pretend to talk to each other or on their phones then glance at me, their eyes penetrating my Ora and radiating some sort of ‘knowing’ sarcasm. It feels like they’re on to me, only I don’t know what I’ve done. Has one of the others done something?

Whispers, stares, sniggers. 

I wipe my mouth discretely with the back of my hand, no there’s nothing there, I make a mental check of my outfit, my hair, it all seems appropriate. Is there a kick me sticker on my back? 

Is it my weight? 

No, that’s not it, come on girl get a grip! 

I try and convince myself that it’s not high school anymore as memories of being singled out and shamed in public for my weight by bullies flood back into my mind and suddenly steal my breath.

“Stop it!” A voice inside tells me firmly, “there’s plenty of larger framed people than you in the store you are being ridiculous.”

I know that’s true, but I can’t find a reasonable explanation so I put the biscuits back on the shelf just in case.

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Miss 9 suddenly dances around the corner holding chocolates, “Muum, can we get these?”

“Not today” I reply calmly but internally panicking as I notice someone else looking at me funny, do they maybe think I’m going to try and fatten her up and ruin her life the way I did my own at that age? 

I look down at my trolley, it’s mostly ‘healthy’ if you can forgive the sausages. No, surely that’s not it, kids always ask for lollies and sweets, I glance back up and the man is still giving me a look that screams “WTF is wrong with you you crazy bitch?”

Then it suddenly dawned on me, what if Miss 9 isn’t really here? OMG!! Am I actually talking to myself? I looked for her but she wasn’t there. 

Surely she’d just skipped off somewhere again, why does she have to keep doing that?

I started looking around trying to be discreet while also desperately trying to find proof that she was genuinely there with me. Was her disappearing and reappearing through the aisles and taking things off the shelf was my imagination or actually happening? 

She suddenly reappeared and I hissed at her to stay with the trolley, I needed to be able to see if anyone else was actually spontaneously acknowledging seeing her there with me. 

It felt like rewatching the sixth sense after finding out the twist and desperately searching for plot holes because you were so damn sure Bruce Willis had been communicating with lots of people.

But he hadn’t. How the hell do I know if I have?

Do I even have a daughter?

I got to the point where didn’t want to answer when she spoke to me just in case she wasn’t actually there and I was talking to an empty space, yet I also had to reply because if she’s real then she’s a 9 year old kid, my 9 year old kid and you can’t ignore your own child!

Logic suggested that she was there with me because I wouldn’t have left her at home and I didn’t remember dropping her at Hubby’s work, but then I didn’t really remember anything before suddenly being present at the shop with a 9yr old I know to be my daughter asking me endless questions. 

The world around me was fast fading from dissociation and the overwhelming sensation that I was imagining her.

I silently tried to summon Suzi to help me, I can cope when she’s here, to which I received a vague, distant and kind of exasperated “you’re nearly done” comment. Damn it, why does she keep leaving me alone like this? She must know I can’t do it! She’s supposed to help me, is she just pretending to care but secretly trying to hurt me too? Why do they all hate me?

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I noticed that the checkout lady didn’t smile or acknowledge Miss 9 when I paid. We took the groceries to the car and Miss 9 talked to me as we drove to the workshop, I replied hesitantly but when we got there Hubby talked to her too and asked her if she had fun shopping so I guess she must of been with me after all and I was just being silly. I still cannot quite let go of that nagging feeling, what if Hubby has just been humouring me? Is he real?

What if people see me talking to thin air all the time and just decide it’s better to ignore it than tell me? 

Maybe it was real until the suicide attempt, maybe it was successful, maybe I’m in limbo or some sort of after death eternal dream like state?

I don’t feel like I actually exist, Am I Bruce Willis in this scenario? Frankly, that would be quite helpful if it meant the knowledge of that set me free because I don’t think I want to exist anyway, certainly not like this. I’m standing here looking around the world through the virtual reality lens in my mind-condo in the sketchy time-share ponzy scheme I got roped into without reading the fine print or realising the literal meaning of the term ‘time-share’.

I’m seeing M on Tuesday, but I know I can’t keep doing this.

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Strawberry Bubbles

  • Today I felt elated, my problems of yesterday just magically fell away.
  • Today the colours of the earth shon brightly and vividly just for me.
  • Today I had alcohol.
  • Today I talked too much about personal things I shouldn’t say.
  • Today I spent a lot of money on things I didn’t need and couldn’t afford.
  • Today the universe commanded me to go somewhere and I was frightened by what I saw.
  • Today I drove my car too fast and imagined myself flying into the air through space and time.
  • Today I said everything was perfectly fine because I finally felt real.
  • Today I lied to myself.

🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩

Schrodingers Mind Games

Dear M,

A terrible thought dawned on me once a long time ago and it never quite managed to leave the dusty corners of my mind. It comes back to remind me of its presence at times when doubt begins to cloud my heavy heart. 

What if you aren’t real? 

What if I somehow just made you up?

Am I just staring at a brick wall having a conversation with myself when I think I’m talking to you? How would I ever begin to know the difference?

It’s terrifying.

Although, it’s almost easier to want to believe that than the alternative, that it is I who is not real.

For if I’m not real I can’t trust anything in my mind. People worry about others spying on them, which is surely egocentric foolishness because ultimately we are spying on ourselves, holding our minds hostage both with and from each other. 

We are the God we fear. 

Our own God that is, neither existing or not existing In the locked box of our mind or perhaps it’s more that it’s both at once. Schrodingers God?

Although perhaps by default and definition, if I’m not real then neither are you. 

Maybe only I am real, the entirety of the universe existing purely within my mind. Great philosophers have undoubtedly considered this possibility.

Gods. To all as unto self. 

A million possibilities, combinations of philosophic confusion as infinite as the universe… Perhaps that’s where infinity war got it from, I don’t usually prescribe to the comic worlds yet maybe they actually had a valid point. 

Only the creator of all can destroy themselves. It would be awfully lonely at the top. I imagine they would.

My beautiful friend E showed me how Hannah’s words are so much like your own that it must cast some doubts that you can both exist, at least not in the ways I believed you did. 

For reasons I can’t explain it’s almost easier to believe in the existence of Hannah than the existence of you. Even though logically one would expect that ‘proof’ of your reality is far more attainable than proof of Hannah’s. Hannah knows everything, she shares her wisdom with me in an unconventional manner but I couldn’t, can’t be expected to believe she doesn’t ‘exist’. To you, them, Hannah’s world is hearsay, I even if I did hearsay (hearsaw? Hear hear? there could/ should be a word for that but you know what I mean), it myself.

Hannah seems to know things I don’t, yet you seem to know only what I’ve told you. Not that I’m trying to accuse you of being Devine enough to read my mind the way she can, but sometimes you seem to and it’s so impossible for your presented version of reality that it’s exceptionally confusing.

Neither of you question my perceptions and thst acceptance seems so statistically unlikely, I can’t decide what the game is here, there’s always a motive, a hidden agenda. I am wrong more than I’m right as a general rule so I wonder if that means I’m just projecting some unprocessed imagining of my mother and her nativity onto you both, because if I’m absolutely correct in my anticipatory notions then that also means you must both exist and not exist simultaneously. 

Schrodingers mind games….

I fear that the sessions I have with you are at best evolving in a different context to which I perceive them to and at worst they are simply figments of my overactive imagination.

It’s crippling me, not just those particular thoughts and fears but a cacophony of doubts invading my mind. I am losing my grip, if I ever had it at all. 

I am getting interrupted right now and forgetting my point, children need things, as they do, food doesn’t make itself, although with all the technology we have youd think they could make an app for that – oh right Uber eats. Perhaps Uber chef? Call up and they send a guy out to cook low budget meals for you with what you already have in the pantry? And they definitely need an Uber-Bunnings, who can be bothered going to the hardware store on a busy Saturday? Yes, of course it would come with a sausage sizzle!! If you worked your timing right that could be dinner and a pair of gloves, bucket, lawn mower and paint roller! (Multitasking 101).

Anyway, I was going to ask you something, autocorrect is putting words in my mouth (fingers?) it said “I was going to ask you to die”, which is amusing given that my phone seems to know me a little bit too well boarding on scary as fuck which is a whole other letter, but just for the record the phone was jumping to conclusions and I wasn’t going to say that at all!

Oh God, now I can’t actually remember the reason why I was emailing you, it was vaguely important too not just a stream of my stupid consciousness lol… Damn… nope…. one other thing though, if Hannah is real, why did she go away back then, and if she isn’t real, then the rest aren’t real but why can’t I choose who to take with me? I’m really exhausted from thinking about this but I can’t stop, I don’t want to lose my friends, Suzi disappeared last week and I couldn’t even run the business without her at all! I need her and she left me but she came back for payday thank goodness and fixed all my mistakes. She keeps going away to look after Cal and I get it and I want to be empathetic towards cal and all that but I’m selfish and I really need a break too, I just know if I fix it the one ‘safe’ (god I hate that word) way I know how then she might just go like Hannah did last time and I need her here and I’m scared she’ll just up and disappear for ever. I don’t want to go broke just because Im a baby who can’t suck it up without Suzi mothering me every step of the way! I don’t think I’m ever going to grow up. Maybe that’s the problem, I got stuck in a time loop cause I wasn’t paying attention and everyone else carried on without me.

Sorry. I’ll go now, just feeling weird and needed to vent and I’m out of people I trust to vent to, don’t worry, if you bothered to read it you don’t need to answer this I know your busy.

K

Charles Heath - Author

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