I shouldn’t have to live if I don’t want to.
Broadband at the new house is slower than dialup. So, I’m using up my phone data to post this.
My health has been worse lately. To say I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle would sound too cliché, but I’m not sure how else to put it. If the cliché fits and all that…
But, things did take a pretty dark obsessive twist right after the move. I’ve never been good at cleaning or keeping house well. I started to listen to the criticism in my head leftover from a verbal attack on my person from someone who thought they were doing my husband a favour by telling me that I was killing him by not doing enough housework.
Now, like many of us who suffer with chronic ailments, I am not a lazy person. I just only have so many spoonfuls of energy. And, housework is one of those things that drains all my spoons quite quickly, leaving me with a total deficit to then be able to look after the kids and do other things I need to do.
My husband never complained about the house and was not pleased that this person had taken it upon themselves to ‘speak for him’. And, at the time, I ignored it and went on.
But, after the move, the critical words in my head had a voice, and it was the unkind and judgmental voice of this person. For nearly two weeks I wore myself out being a clean freak. Like never in my life, I was trying to keep on top of the housework. And, with nothing but the aching in my sick body leftover, I was sobbing uncontrollably throughout the day and the least bit of stress was sending me to the point of wanting to grab my pills and take every one.
Of course, there was no energy to do the therapeutic things that help me cope with my pain and depression. No time or strength to make music or art other than maybe a quick selfie snapped and put up on Instagram. There was no energy to enjoy snuggles with the kids. There was no energy to enjoy some sexual healing with my husband. I was too exhausted to even read. I tried to keep up with mindfulness meditation, but even that got, ironically, invaded with thoughts of, ‘PULL YOUR WEIGHT. YOU’RE USELESS. GET UP AND SCRUB THE SURFACES’.
I hated this voice. And, hated how I was feeling. The anger, the rage came in like a flood. A murderous thing, eating at me. I’d imagine him standing there, while I was scrubbing, and screaming at him to fuck off. But, I kept scrubbing.
Until my husband begged me to stop, that is.
See? Telling this person to fuck off, perhaps not to his literal face, but in my head, is the thing I needed to do. And then, I needed to DO something else.
Because… what I do, my life, my house, my value to my husband and kids, is none of this person’s business.
What do I do with my time? I create. I make pretty things. I make music, which is magic. I take great delight in sex and relish it. Believe me, my husband appreciates this more – would rather have this – than a spotless house.
And, sometimes, I meditate. And, yes, I sleep a lot. I sleep to escape the pain and pressure for a while. And that sleep keeps me going when the waking hours are too much.
So. A surface wiped now and then and a sink full of dishes washed on occasion. I have opuses to write and pictures to take and pleasure to give and books to read…and, this painful life to endure as long as I can…and it is only by these means I have any chance of doing that.
So. Indeed. Fuck off.
I am a fish out of water.
We wouldn’t say that a fish was a failure for not being able to breathe air and deal with life out of the water.
For many years I have called myself a failure for my inability to deal with life. But, I’m not going to do that anymore. It’s not the fish’s fault that it can’t cope with life out of the water. It simply isn’t equipped to function in the air.
Of course, I hear you say, we would call the fish a failure who couldn’t breathe water and swim. You would say that I should be able to cope with life but, because I can’t, I’m a failure. And, perhaps you’re right. But, consider, you may not be. I may truly not belong in this world.
You can continue to call me a failure. I just won’t listen and won’t be calling myself a failure anymore. I know I don’t belong in this world and no matter how hard I try, like a gasping fish, to succeed at this life, it’s not going to happen. I’ve tried. And, you know, I haven’t been able to do it. I have not failed. I just haven’t been able to do it because I’m not equipped to.
Being forced to move house would be stressful for most people, but when one has a number of physical and mental health problems, the situation takes on elements of torture and sheer agony.
There isn’t any place on my body that doesn’t hurt.
My main job yesterday during the move from one house to another was to try to keep the kids occupied and out of the way. I did a poor job and ended up falling apart in town, sobbing uncontrollably in Wilkos; cold and wet from the rain and feeling very alone and without a place to safely hide and dissolve.
I wanted to have energy today to get things sorted in the new place…which I’m sure I’ll eventually get used to, as one does (right now it’s just a weird, uncomfortable place and I have that overwhelming feeling of ‘I just want to go home’). But, I have no energy and can’t even be bothered to eat. And, I wanted to write more here, but my brain is now fogging up and pretty soon I’ll be in that monosyllabic place where all I can do is point and grunt. Pain has a way of reverting me to a cavewoman.
At least the kids like the new house and, even though my grand ideas of being able to sort it out and tidy up and make it a show place of beauty just isn’t going to happen, there’s a roof over our heads and walls to keep out the world. Time and life, as it relentlessly does, will go on.
Yeah, ending this post now. It’s something in my control to end.
It’s time I wrote about this.
A few months ago a friend of mine I have known for a few years now came for the first time to see me perform. Her amazement at the difference between the person who makes and performs music and the painfully awkward, strange person she sees almost daily at the schoolyard reminded me of something I need to make clear to those of you who have been avoiding coming out to a gig for years because you just think ‘someone like that couldn’t be very good.’
I see it all the time, in the people who have seen or talked to me elsewhere and then seen and heard me perform. The shock. The sheer amazement. That not only a singing voice can be so vastly different to a speaking voice, but that I could actually entertain people instead of repel them – it’s one of the many reasons I would like to be a hermit that never darkens the outside world EXCEPT to step on a stage and perform.
Your misinformed preconceived ideas of what consititutes a person who is talented, able to perform well and entertain people, is sorely wrong!
The fact is, many of the most talented people in the world suffer from some form of social anxiety or are neurologically untypical in some way. The great majority of artists (really good artists) draw their inspiration from their pain and difficulties with this ridiculous thing we call life.
Of course, the reverse happens. People who have seen and heard me sing before getting to know me better are just as flumoxed by my inability to handle what other people just take in their stride as ‘normal’. But, that’s not as bad, because I’ve already won them as fans, and their inability to comprehend my inability to function in ‘everyday life’ is not so much of a problem…except when it is. I also remember immediately after Robin Williams committed suicide, an uber extroverted positive type friend of mine remarked something along the lines of, “I don’t think he could have actually killed himself – he was so funny and seemed so happy.” I love this woman, but this statement is pure ignorance. Depression just doesn’t work like that. And, more often than not, the great comedians are the ones that struggle the most with severe clinical depression and thoughts of suicide. One who only sees the talent and doesn’t see the struggle is in danger of losing the whole person.
I was also talking to another musical friend of mine last night. She is very talented. She is highly educated and intelligent. She also has Aspergers and suffers from severe anxiety, among other things. We were both lamenting how we have encountered the attitude (even from health professionals) that ‘we are too intelligent to be mentally ill.’ WTF????!!! This is just ridiculous. Would you tell a well-educated and articulate person with cancer that they were too intelligent to have cancer?
So yeah, it works both ways…but, what I am mainly focusing on in this post is the former problem of getting people who avoid coming out to hear me because they can’t believe that someone who isn’t capable of making a phone call and struggles to get out of bed in the morning would be able to entertain them from a stage. PLEASE, get rid of the preconceived (ignorant) notion. You’re missing out on some good music.
Now, I realise, I’m probably preaching to the choir here. And, those of you who read my blog have already been won over, while those of you who are thinking ‘someone like that couldn’t be very good’ are also the ones who would never ‘waste your time’ reading my blog.
Do I sound a bit angry? Sorry/not sorry. It’s just frustrating. No one wants to be judged on just one aspect of their personality and ability. And no one wants to be judged on their DIS-ability. Yes, I have issues. Yes, they are a pain in the arse and make life a burden a great deal of the time. NO, they do not stop me from being a talented person worth listening to.
And that goes for everyone who is ‘different’ in some way.
Take your bloody filters off.
Accept both sides of the coin.
We are fucked up (so society would say), but we are also awesome.
Everyone can use a touch of Satchmo now and then. 'Give me a kiss to build a dream on, and my imagination will thrive upon that kiss. Sweetheart, I ask no more than this: a kiss to build a dream on.' #louisarmstrong #satchmo #kiss #dream #akisstobuildadreamon #imagination #sadsong #15secondcover #songclip #instavideo #autumndawnleader #songmistress #powerfulvoice #piano #musiciansofinstagram #musiciansonig #songoftheday #videooftheday #artistsofinstagram #singing #microvideo #emotional
I recently rediscovered Instagram and, in doing so, the world of “micro videos”. It’s keeping me creatively occupied during this particularly trying time, offering bursts of talent, like shops giving out tiny samples of perfume or food.
It’s the creative flavour of the month, a needful outlet; a challenge, to encapsulate, in a mere 15 seconds, the essence of a song and/or performance. A calling card, of sorts. Maybe these bite-sized music videos will catch the right ear, or maybe they’ll collect virtual dust like so much of what I do…but, for now, they’re a fun way for me to express.
I say challenge up there, like it’s a good thing. In artistic and (specifically) musical endeavours, this is so. In general, however, I don’t like a challenge. Life overwhelms me at the best of times; I’m just not good at it…this living thing. I struggle. But, art…
I may not be able to handle the struggle, but what I can do is make things of beauty and value in answer to the struggle…not an answer for, but in answer to.
Life is cruel. I hurt. I cry. And then, I create.
Maybe, just maybe, I win after all.
Anniversary presents are nice, but it’s the every day giving that makes a marriage.
When you make those vows, you’re so hopeful that there will be more health than sickness and more richer than poorer. Life often has other, crueler, plans.
Often growing up means growing apart, too. Or, worse, you refuse to grow at all. Problems arise when one or both can’t accept the person as they really are and keep trying to make them into whatever fairytale vision they had for the other on that vow-day.
Marriage ain’t for everyone. For it to really work at all, through all the shit life throws, requires the one thing this world lacks so greatly: love. But, people’s idea of what that is is so far from what it really is that it’s no wonder problems abound as they do.
Convention sometimes must be thrown out the window. Accepting the reality of your partner and supporting them in whatever self-discoveries they make. Allowing exploration instead of fearing it.
Today is my 11th wedding anniversary. I’m ill and we have no money to celebrate. Yeah, that sucks, but if I had to choose between the big, yearly, token gifts and the every day gifts I receive from a man who I know loves me, I’d go with the latter every time.
He brings me coffee in bed every morning because he wants to soften the blow of another morning coming.
He makes me laugh and laughs at my jokes.
He still makes love to me. Not out of some obligation. But because he still really wants me.
He ignores people who say he’d be better off without me (including me when I’m the one who says it).
He supports and celebrates my music.
He takes care of me, even though it’s not easy being a caregiver to one so ill, and does it without making me feel like the mistake/waste of space I so often feel I am.
Expensive gifts are nice…but they can’t replace these priceless ones.