A Snapshot of Mental Illness

This post will suck. It won’t make sense, it will jump around. I don’t care. I need to write.

I’m sick of scraping by. Losing the business, combined with other money problems… Ugh. It’s a mess. I’m broke right now. Like, if I can just get x amount of dollars to get caught up, I MIGHT be able to pull some new business idea or money making venture out of thin air, and I MIGHT be able to beg borrow and steal my way into having enough capital to give that idea enough traction to HOPEFULLY succeed or snowball into something else that does.

So, since the plan I have been considering and brainstorming the most is along the lines of doing the professional dominatrix gigs online and on the phone again, I jumped into it in like emergency-we-have-no-money-sound-the-alarm mode, and I didn’t do the prep I needed to first. It did, however, force me to get much of that prep done, but in the meanwhile it feels like working tirelessly for nothing, because even as I’m theoretically laying the groundwork, I’m already absorbed in the money chasing part of it out of necessity. And that’s not at all what I wanted this to be, or what I wanted to build.

Despite the fact that I never have done anything prostitution related and I rarely even send my hubby a nude photo via text for crying out loud, I feel like a whore right now, in every single one of that word’s negative connotations. I feel like a sellout and I feel trashy and I still can’t get even a second to THINK, to figure out a solution, a way forward. My anxiety is in full on crisis mode, and yet outwardly I appear FINE, even to those who know me well enough to usually pick up on such things.

My mom just got home and interrupted me. I was trying to hold it together. I stopped typing. I tried to gently nudge her out of the room with comments about how I was in the middle of writing, I tried to hold it together, but I just started babbling about how I was panicked and money and ARGH and she wanted to pray with me and

-the sub intervenes-

So, I’m back. The sub made sure I got Xanaxed, drank some juice and did some deep breathing. He gave me his last cigarette because he is about to take bottles back and hopefully have enough to get more, but otherwise, that’s it until Tuesday. (By the way, this post is really not where I need any anti-smoking lectures, thank you very much).

In a weird way, that’s kind of the straw that broke the camels back. Before he had come home, I had been fighting to not light my last cigarette, to hang on to it as possible. Writing was a necessity for a bunch of reasons, but one of those was the need to keep my hands busy, to not allow myself the normal breaks I take while writing to smoke, and instead to just write stream of consciousness and try to calm myself down. Then I lit the last cigarette, and it fell away like the last life raft, and I broke. That’s how I worked myself here.

My mom kept trying to talk to me about something with my kiddo and school. I feel fucking horrible because I had to just keep finding new ways of saying “I AM HAVING A PANIC ATTACK AND I NEED YOU TO GO AWAY”. I can’t think about anything additional right now. The zillions of issues swirling around in my head all at once is the problem that is actively fucking with me right at this moment, and the last thing I need is another thing to worry or think about. I know it’s probably of low to medium importance, but it’s related to my kid so how selfish must I be to be telling my mom that I can’t hear it right now? He’s my kid, not hers. It’s my responsibility. All of it. And she already shoulders far more than she should because this illness that I can barely think of as anything but an evil, sentient thing that is actively trying to destroy my life, this stupid fucking illness, has trapped me in my bed, crippled me, tortured me, and beaten the shit out of me until all that is left is a life compromised of these same four walls, the people I love who are my lifelines to the rest of the world, and the world inside my head, where I spend more and more time, trying to battle to not just inhabit my body but make it go where I need it to go and do what I need it to do so I can accomplish SOMETHING. ANYTHING. I want to spend time with my son without needing a hand full of pills to do it.

And now my mom is back in here, with a bag of change, trying to strategize with me about how we fight the absence of money like it’s an invading army.

Okay, she’s gone. The sub is getting another pack of cigarettes from the change he scraped together. I’m smoking what would have been the last one. I couldn’t stop myself from lighting it when mom came in and wanted to talk the way we do when I’m not in a full-fledged fuck panic attack.

I’m a fucking mess. I don’t know how to stop this swirling, this feeling like my brain is a kaleidoscope that someone keeps twisting, rejumbling and reconfiguring me every few seconds. Young. Old(er). Bitchy. Apologetic. Ashamed. Angry. Feelings that normally are the domain of a specific alter are all running through me like rocket fuel, and I don’t know how to stop it. Is this what integration will be like? If so, I don’t fucking want it. At least not right now at this moment in time.

I have all this stuff from my business in my house. Boxes everywhere. Probably thousands of dollars in merchandise, easily, if I were to list everything on ebay and actually make it work.

EXCEPT I CAN’T STOP FREAKING OUT LONG ENOUGH TO DO ANYTHING.

The problems just sit. They just pile up and wait, silently growing, while I grapple with just the fundamentals of surviving the hell inside my mind, and then as soon as I try to make the least bit of forward progress, all that stuff just crashes in on me, like the pile of random stuff on my bed that I can’t find the energy to organize and box up either.

Even when I have the energy, it feels like that’s all I ever do to anything: box it up. Box up the merchandise. Box up the various hoarded whatsits that Mom is refusing to let go of. Box up how I feel about things. Box up myself when the ‘me’ that I am presented with is just too ugly or horrifying to accept. Box it. Lock it up. Deal with it tomorrow. Kick the can down the road just a little bit longer.

There’s a quote from Quills tickling my brain, but I can’t stop typing long enough to look it up… something like “I write what I see, the endless procession to the guillotine. We’re all lined up, waiting for the crunch of the blade. The rivers of blood are flowing beneath our feet, Abbe. I’ve been to Hell, young man. You’ve only read about it.”

My Dad is dead. The one person who I knew, really really knew, deeply enough and profoundly enough, to recognize the same pain and anguish that has crept and interwoven itself into every moment of my life, is dead. Gone. It’s just me, now. All the broken pieces of what used to be a human being. Whatever I am, I am alone now. Even if he didn’t understand that we were the same, I did, and when he was here, there was at least someone else, one other person on this giant spinning rock falling through space, ONE PERSON who I knew understood the Hell that I understood. The Hell of going mad, of being a real, intelligent, thoughtful person, and then watching that person who used to be you unravel before your very eyes, watching the mental structures that everyone else takes for granted wash away, until all that remains is chaos.

I’ve heard and seen all sorts of depictions of what Hell could be like. From religion to mythology, books to television shows, word of mouth to research on the commonalities of those with near death experiences. And none of it scares me the way that my own mind scares me. None of it seems worse than the constant mental agony that is always there, even if I have tried to temporarily shove it into yet another box. It’s always fucking there. It never stops. This constant unraveling fractal that goes on forever and yet is being split down it’s seams, is a constant reality for me. That’s just called LIFE in my world.

I always get back up. That’s what I always find my consolation in, my one existing comfort that I rely on to carry me through. I always get back up and keep fighting. I will never stay down. No matter how much I get hit, I’m going to keep standing back up. I will not be silenced. I will not be held down. That’s the principle, the pinnacle, the one thing that always gets me through.

So why don’t I believe it? Why can’t I feel it right now? Why can’t I stand proudly in the knowledge of that truth? Why do I instead live here, in the bowels of my own personal hell, hating that I am even held to that one standard that is left standing?

I’m so tired. I’m so tired of fighting. Fighting for my next breath of air. Fighting for my next moment of clarity during which something can be accomplished. Fighting for a chance to find worth enough in myself to even believe I deserve to live.

I didn’t ask for these demons in my mind. My father, even though he gave many of them to me, didn’t ask for them in himself either. Now, I’m a mother, and I’m supposed to hold myself together enough to be a functional human being and raise this beautiful, incredible child who I don’t deserve to call my son, while trying to shield him from those same demons. Trying to have a relationship with him while shielding him from ME, and hating the fact that somehow, like an idiot, I believe that to be an achievable balance.

This is the gift from my father’s family. This self loathing, this self hatred, this conviction that there is evil inside of oneself that needs to be stomped out like a weed. We all have it. My dad, his siblings. Their children as well as me. Their children’s children. Some of us express it differently than the others, but this same plague seems to run in our very DNA. Even the few of my extended relatives who were raised separate from the rest of this insane family have it.

If I didn’t love my son so much, I would say that I should not have had children. That I should have chosen not to pass on my genetics. Bury this genetic evil with me. But even that wouldn’t stop it from going on, as that whole side of the family keeps reproducing like rabbits and would do so regardless of my decision.

My kiddo is almost completely cut off from them. There are a few isolated individuals who he is allowed interaction with. Luckily, we are spread out all over the country, and most of them aren’t an active factor in my life anyway unless there’s a major wedding or a major funeral. Since my Dad died, I have had virtually no contact from any of them outside my state. There are a few who are long distance that I wish I could see more, but with the majority, I am glad of the distance. I don’t want any more of this toxin around me than already lives inside of me.

That’s what it feels like. Poison.

I can feel all these different parts of me, my different alters, randomly each voicing their thoughts, their feelings, through my words. Paige, the little girl who will never stop wanting to be close to Daddy. Emily, the manipulative bitch who loves to actively put the rest of me down, who sees everyone and everything as a tool or a puppet. Nadia (formerly Verde), who was actually named after the feeling/disorder/genetic trait that I term a toxin or a poison, and her feelings of hopelessness and self hatred. Anise, the silent well of anger, always simmering, never boiling, but somehow letting the excess steam out through me nonetheless. All speaking. All me. And none of them me. Am I really just the sum of my parts? Is my identity nothing more than just simple addition, Paige + Emily + Nadia +Anise = me? Even if they speak through me, they are separate, so who the hell actually fills the cracks? Who am I if I am not merely the summation of them? And if that’s all that I am, then why do I make a distinction between myself and them? What is me that is not in some ways them too, other than this questioning voice, this never ending asking of why and of who? I question; therefore I exist? Could it ever be that simple?

The Xanax has begun to kick in. I can feel it dulling me, slowing me. I can feel the vividness of my fear and it’s memory ebbing away; a murky impression of it and this blog entry are all that is left.

I’m not going to re-read it. At least not now, not until I actually post it. I am afraid, because already, the memory of writing it is tenuous at best. The topics I talked about can only be remembered from the corner of my eye; if I try to focus on any one of them they slip away, into the shadows of lost memory. The idea of posting this, knowing that I wrote it free form during a panic attack, and now have little knowledge of what written within it, is terrifying. But I’m doing it. So here it is, whatever it is: A Snapshot of Mental Illness.

An Anonymous Outsider

Edit/ After The Fact Update: I have been basically doing self aftercare since writing this entry, and most of it has been comprised by listening to this song on repeat. The song isn’t just to make me feel better, it is somehow also an expression of all of the feelings I expressed above. So, I’m adding it here. Hallelujah, version by Rufus Wainwright.

Thanks for reading.

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13 thoughts on “A Snapshot of Mental Illness

  1. I can only say, dear God, I didn’t know one could live with such mental agony. I hope that getting your feelings out during the attack will help with draining out the poison that is hurting you. I won’t say any plactitudes here, all I will say is “You, my friend, are one helluva of a survivor.” I am stunned and awed by what you’ve been through. May inner strength find you and hold you close. Take care, sweetheart.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Some things you talked about here are not within the scope of my experience, but a few are, because of several bouts with depression. There are things here I can identify with and you have given them a voice. Thanks for your honesty about your situation.

    The hallelujah song is a favourite……

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Anon…I’m so sorry you are going through such pain and agony. I’ve only just read this post. You are going to hell and back except I’m not sure whether you have come back yet. You are incredibly brave and thank you for sharing your most inner being and for your pure honesty. I would say that I understand some of what you are going through, but I know that will be of little consolation right now. I’m so glad you managed to write this; to really let your feelings out and to be brave enough to share them with us. I hope and pray for some element of peace of mind, relief from this hell and calm for you. Sending you my love and healing hugs, Anon. Please take care of yourself as best you can and I am most definitely thinking of you, Cody xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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