Today has been one of those shit-filled days, those days when I don’t want to be here or anywhere. I say filled with shit because that’s how my head feels. Stuffed and ready to pop. I’ve got all sorts negativity churning inside of me and nothing is digesting well. I hope I can metaphorically vomit this shit out. In attempts to, here I am writing.

***

I was awaked by a call from my love earlier. I’ll call him, the loverface, V. Vet because I met him at a veterinary clinic where he works as a vet tech. So anyway, he calls me around noon and wakes me. I wake with a big smile because I love hearing from him. I get lost in his voice. There’s nothing more reassuring to me than to hear from the person I’m romantically involved with when I first wake. And not only am I romantically involved with this guy, I am madly in love. This is terrifying. I spent two years in my previous relationship (this was while I was in hiatus from blogging) and it didn’t work out in the end. The end, which happened in June of last year, was as painful as breakups can be. Considering that I have Borderline Personality Disorder however, I’m quite proud of myself for not falling into the deep end. Said previous relationship was the most stable one I’d had, but it ended just as quickly as it started. Maybe I didn’t really love him? I would ask myself

This guy though. Sigh. It is different with him. He reminds me too much of Monkey Man. We have a deep connection that I didn’t have with my ex. And I’ve never fallen in love so soon, even with Monkey Man I didn’t fall so soon. Love can be as scary as it is uplifting. I’m sure you know this from your own experience. When you’ve loved someone who died from addiction, it is even scarier–terrifying–to then fall in love with someone else who also struggles with addiction. Yup. This is the case with my current fella. V. Vet is an alcoholic. He’s tole me all about it. He’s mostly sober now, or “in recovery” as I like to tell myself or he likes to tell me. That’s always my reassurance when I get doubt. He’s in recovery P. He says he doesn’t want to be the way he used to be P.

“You inspire me to be a better person,” he says. He always says.

***

Well, that wake up call today was not only literal. I see it as a metaphor now. See, he sounded off from the start of our talk. The conversation he lead was annoying the shit out of me. We’re both very excitable people so we tend to interrupt each other a lot, but today I knew he was off, more so than usual. Not only did he interrupt me more, but he just sounded beside himself. One thing to keep in mind is that he also struggles with mental health problems–psychosis and such–so it could be that he was having some sort of episode.

But… My intuition tells me otherwise. Our intuitions are carriers of truth, so I know my intuition doesn’t lie.

After that irritating conversation which I ended up with me in tears, I just hung up. “I’ll just call you back later,” I whimpered, “I can’t talk right now.”

I shoved myself out of bed and started my day. The day dragged from bleh-heh to fuckin bleugh. Everything sucks bleugh. All feelings escalated; the feelings of irritation turned into rage and then melancholy turned into depression. I wanted to lie in bed and cry all day. Then, around 3:00, I called him back. No ring. It went straight to voicemail. I did this two more times in the following two hours and it went the same: “… Please leave your message after the tone.”

Now this isn’t the first time it happened. Here’s where I begin to worry. He already sounded loopy earlier, I haven’t heard from him the rest of the day, AND when I dial his number it goes straight to voicemail. WTF. I tried to control my catastrophic thinking and replace all of the extreme situations I envisioned with to more positive or rational possibilities.

****

I was lying in bed just wanting to disappear when my dad called me to eat dinner. I reluctantly rolled my ass over there. I was hungry and shaky so it was a relief to finally eat. Just as I was beginning to eat, I got a call from V Vet. Ugh. Bad timing. But… FINALLY! Wait, he sounds even more fucked up that he did earlier. What’s going on? Could it be that he’s drunk?

My heart sank in further. While he babbled I decided to confront him and just simply ask, “Are you drunk?”

“No.”

“Have you been drinking?”

“No I haven’t,” he replied again with a mumbling and almost slurring roll.

“I want to believe you but I don’t,” I said.

That’s when the conversation ended. Two conversations ended with me crying today. Sigh. By this point I had left the dinning room and was in the bathroom crying. I figured I’d just get in the tub and take a shower to calm myself down. I didn’t want anyone to notice how upset I’d gotten. I cried and washed my hair. Then cried some more and washed my face. I paused to lather my body with soap only to cry again as the water washed off the soap. Once I was dry and dressed, I reached out to a friend who I knew would understand. We texted back and forth for a while. Whew. I just may not explode. I even practiced diaphragmatic breathing. Now on to blogging P. That should help too. Keep it up! Use all of your arsenal woman! YES! I’m using my skills! 

And… just as was in the middle of writing this post, I got a third call from him. Let me just say it wasn’t very pretty and I’m still feeling shitty.

I’m left wondering, if he’s good for me the way I am for him? I know what’s good for me. I love him. I also know what I need to do right by me. I’ll have to figure this one out. Le sigh again. It’s not easy and it’s making the trigeminal neuralgia pain flare.

****

Here’s to a shitty day turned into a shitty night. I can hear the thunderstorm outside and all I want to do is run out in the rain. Maybe I’ll get lucky and be hit by lightning.

Advertisements

In Memory of a Man…

March 23, 2013

… A mental Monkey Man.

********

Chances are that what I don’t get blogged today, I won’t blog tomorrow, so here I go before another day passes.

Yesterday was the “anniversary” of the day I got the call that Monkey Man was found dead. I don’t even know if I should call it “anniversary”. Something about the connotation of that is upsetting me. So anyway, I’ll just say, a year ago yesterday, I got the news that Monkey Man was no longer with us.

Those of you that followed me back then know the story.  I will not repeat it, nor do I want to. Yesterday, I spent most of the therapy session talking about it. And slowly but surely I realize that I am moving past this. The pain will never be completely gone, but I am ok with that now. I am working at managing my life and actually FEEL ALIVE today.

Brunet Young and I discussed so much and I felt relieved. I told her how sometimes I feel “happy” that he’s gone and feel like a “bad” person for that. We later found that maybe “happy” wasn’t the right word. No, not at all.

I cried in front of her for the first time. There are just too many emotions to describe or begin to recognize when someone you love dies this way–by their own hands. And there is A LOT OF ANGER! I for one have dealt with anger management problems all of my life (common in peopole with BPD). She suggested maybe, in a way, I’m relieved, definitely not “happy” about it. And that’s ok. It doesn’t mean I’m, a “bad” person.

Why else would so many of the depressing blog posts on here be about him?

****

One thing I did this week was draw this portrait in memory him. A.F., his stepsister gave me this picture she took of us sometime in 2006-2007. It was what she calls the “happy summer”. Strangely enough, I was very depressed then, but Monkey Man was glowing and everyone said it was on account of me being there.

The relationship I had with him was so intense, so wonderful, so terrifying, so loving yet so abusive at times. I learned a lot from that relationship.

But I did love him and I know he loved me.

Correction, I do love him. I know he’d be proud of how well things are going for me these days. I found a text he had sent me on my phone about two months ago, it reads:

“It’s ok my love. U r one of the most powerful people i know. I wish i had the strength u have”

R.I.P T.H.L

Art brings me comfort.

portrait of me and Monkey Man

Pen and Ink © paz
When we were younger, fatter, in a sense healthier (at least he was) and stoned. circa 2006.

Road Kill

February 6, 2013

Shitty afternoon.

I was upset, very upset. It was 6:15 and I saw the email: “Please answer me. I drove 110 miles to come see you” it read.

I thought he’d been held up by a traffic jam, but it turns out he’d been outside my house–around the corner somewhere waiting for me for over half an hour. There was miscommunication. I told him not to knock if both cars were still in the driveway. Well, it turns out I’d forgotten my bro’s beat-up-and-broken-down BMW is in our driveway. So GB thought it best not to knock. His phone broke so he emailed me from his laptop. How was I supposed to know? I felt terrible.

I was waiting for him to come by so we could fuck. I know, that sounds crude and vulgar but it is what it is. I don’t fuck a lot and I haven’t even mentioned GB ’cause I didn’t even know he existed before my hiatus from bloggieland. But that’s beside the point. I went out to see if he was out there then I realized the message had been sent at 5:34. I replied with various emails on my phone and he said he’d headed back at 6:00. Fuck! I felt a surge of anger, towards myself. Why wasn’t I clear about it. White car, blue van, blah blah. I miscommunication.

I figured since I was outside with the dogs I’d get the mail–use my DBT skills and whatnot. Then it all came rushing in. I started choking, the tears fell and the sobs ran. My frustration had built up, but it wasn’t just that, it was today. Today is the day. Specifically.

****

One year ago today, I hung out with Monkey Man for the last time. We watched the Superbowl with his friends, ate brisket (first time I ate red meat after years), we cuddled, I played a prank on his friend and broke my arm; said friend’s girlfriend made tea for us while I took one of Monkey Man’s painkillers and smoked a few puffs of his weed. The night didn’t end well but it was beautiful. It really was. It was just chill. Simple. Nice. It had been a long time since I’d had a relatively peaceful evening hanging out with him, so this night stood out and little did I know I’d be the last night I’d have with him. I thought “yes, he’s getting better”. And my fears of getting a call, that call you get when an addict finally does it–all of them dispelled that night.

****

But I’m reminded of a Peaches song, “Fuck the pain away”. That’s what I wanted to do today. It’s just that… I wanted to curl up in someone for just one moment. Instead, I crossed the street, key in hand, and noticed a dead squirrel. I looked at it, took a picture with my phone, and for an instant I felt ok, not because of the poor squirrel’s fat but the sense of peace its little head held. It almost looked like it was dreaming.

I thought, maybe that’s what Monkey Man felt before he passed? I hope…

(c) paz

****

addendum: A cat has been nibbling at it since then. C’est la vie.

Grateful Today

November 2, 2012

When you’re down under the defunct skin of depression, it’s difficult to see anything in bright light or feel anything pleasurable. It’s difficult to be grateful, even though you realize there are “good” things in your life, you’re so bereft of health, positive, motivational feelings that it becomes void. You KNOW there are good things, but your subconscious traumas take over, particularly in people with BPD. You only feel the shit smothering you in nastiness. And then you feel guilt for not feeling “appreciative”. The pain is just too strong, too overpowering. The lenses have no view of, or recognition of enjoyment.

Now, today, I am grateful for the beautiful weather, for water, for being able to swim, for my eyes and ears (though they fail me), and for my hearing aids which help my ears. I’ve learned to accept them and use them more often. This doesn’t mean I’m no longer a musician. Oh yeah, I’m grateful for music!

I’m grateful for my body, though it’s hard for me to love it. I am learning to love it for what it is–T-Rex-Duck arm and all. Swimming has helped with that.

I’m grateful that last night, even though I got drunk, I did not self-harm. I’m grateful that I ran into a lovely fella from the university after therapy and he asked to hang out. I’m grateful that he came over and we jammed a little. I played the ukulele and piano for him (though I was shy about it and stopped midway). And he taught me a little Arabic scale. He brought a candle that a lady who hosted us–the activist group we were in–at her home in Detroit for the U.S.Social Forum. That was back in the summer of 2010. I can’t believe he kept it this long.

We lit the candle and he sung a prayer in Arabic for the Day of the Dead (it’s a Mexican tradition, but other cultures have similar celebrations and rituals). His soft fro was lit by the flickering candle, and I thought of Monkey Man’s red and gold beard. I though of all those close to me who have passed on.

It was just… pleasant.

****

Tonight, I will add to this on my Facecrack page.

********

What are you grateful for today?

I’ve had a good week though I’m having a shitty night. I really want to drink and pass out, but I won’t. Or at least I’m trying not to. I was gonna post another song, but this one’s been in my head all week and I’m feeling lonely at the moment.

I like being by myself much of the time, but I can’t stand being alone– that empty feeling– and especially that feeling of being abandoned. Alone has nothing to do with being with one’s self. It, like many things in life, is just a state of mind. I can and have been surrounded by hundreds of people and felt completely alone–empty, devoid of human warmth, of connection.

But I haven’t been feeling “alone” or lonely lately, which is almost strange for me–to NOT feel alone. I’ve spent most of my life feeling alone, distant, cut off from the world as if an opposing magnetic force shielded me from humanity.

Tonight I do feel very, very lonesome. That shield has been placed over me again. See, I had plans today to go to a Halloween party. I was so anxious. The anxiety had been building up. I haven’t even properly worn a costume since I was probably thirteen years old. I don’t even think I’ve been invited to Halloween parties since I was a small child (maybe a few exceptions). Anyway, I even talked to the therapist about this Halloween party and how anxious I get despite the fact that I’ve been more social lately. I love Warrior D, so I was looking forward to going and seeing her. She’s the one throwing the party, only her home is waaaay far up north Houston. She’s also the only person I’ve told about my overdose in May.

****

Well, all my plans for tonight went down the fuckin’ drain (I don’t get plans, making them and all). It makes it harder when you don’t drive in a city that is built on nothing but highways and SUVs. It doesn’t make it easy when everyone bails on you last minute. And it doesn’t help that one of the “borderline” characteristics is having a deep-seeded fear of abandonment. I’m just coming to terms with it. But I can’t help to feel abandoned (albeit momentarily) by any little insignificant thing like this. They couldn’t get me to where I wanted to go, so now it means they don’t care and I shouldn’t give a fuck about anyone. I depended on them; I hate not being able to have that sense of freedom independence grants you, hence, I suck and so does my existence. That’s the twisted way my mind interprets the situation. However, I’m intelligent, I’m calmer these days than I have been all year. And I’m aware. I’m working on using more balanced/adaptive cognitive restructuring here… I won’t see things in black and white and I definitely understand why the others couldn’t make it out to give me a ride. I understand their side.

Wish I had some weed though.

********

So now I’m chillin’ with the dogs trying to use self-sooth by cuddling with them, keeping busy and using the distracting coping mechanism taught in DBT; I’m writing this and maybe watching a movie later or taking them for a walk. I thought about reading some blogs or some poems from this book I got at the university, but I’ve been having the reading spasms. I just can’t seem to read much these days.

Guess it hasn’t been a COMPLETELY bad day. Nah, it was a nice, pleasant afternoon. Houston decided to finally feel like fall; the chill brushed in to our coast.

I don’t even like to use the words ‘good’ and ‘bad’ to describe most things. That’s why I won’t say tonight is bad. There have been a few disappointments, but it happens. Though days like this are when I miss Monkey Man the most. I felt alone with him much of the time (especially when he was high and drunk out of his mind), but at least I got some comfort of a warm body and of knowing he was filled with me and I could be filled with his lovin’. I did (and still do) love him.

Well, I’m out my magnificent mofo’ bloggies and MFFs.

****

Oh, and here’s the lovely Amy

****

“Got so sick of cryin’, so just lately, when I catch myself, I do a 180”  ~Amy Winehouse

I’m catchin’ myself. Catchin’ the Mouse. Catching the Pretty Little Demons and tuckin’ their sleepy thorny heads in to bed.

Mouse love

Criminal

September 16, 2012

I’ve been a bad bad girl 
I’ve been careless with a delicate man 
And it’s a sad sad world 
When a girl will break a boy 
Just because she can

Don’t you tell me to deny it
I’ve done wrong and I want to
Suffer for my sins
I’ve come to you ’cause I need
Guidance to be true
And I just don’t know where I can begin

What I need is a good defense
‘Cause I’m feelin’ like a criminal
And I need to redeemed
To the one I’ve sinned against
Because he’s all I ever knew of love~ Fiona Apple

********

All I can think of to describe this is the lyrics to the song “Criminal” by Fiona Apple. I swear that woman writes out my life story. I’m sure a lot of you “sullen” girls know what I mean.

There’s this Canadian guy; I’ll call him Eg. I’ve known him in the virtual world since 2007. I mean, we’ve been online buddies. We used to chat a lot on MSN and on Skype. Well, Eg (not to be pronounced as egg!) just sent me a text that shook me up a little, no A LOT. First, I need to back track…

I don’t know if I should write about this in an open post since you guys (you know who you are) already know that I don’t like to share too much about others around or close to me for their sake.

I kind of sort of always knew though. I knew he was fond of me. See the thing is, he lives in Canada! AND, I had met Monkey Man a year before. As you might know, Monkey Man and I, well, we revolved around each other in a cataclysmic storm. Monkey Man would throw it in my face: how much I hurt him, how much I broke his heart, how I don’t allow people to love me, how I was cold. He did this a lot in a passive aggressive ways, and it hurt me. This was especially the case in the years 2009-2010.

Anyway, I digress.

Eg seemed to back off when I talked about marrying Monkey Man. And well, we hadn’t talked much in the last year or so. Except, ever since I found out Big Drummer Bear (don’t you just love these names) is married, I sort of kind of… Ok, I went to Eg for… I don’t know. I just started talking to Eg. And he started calling me. He paid long distance just to call me! Of course, things got sexual, as sexual as they can be long-distance.

Today, I got this text message from him:

“I know we have an innocent fun thing going on and I appreciate more than you know… but it’s starting to mean more to me than it probably is to you, which is find because you lost someone close. You know what I’m getting at right? I want to say it, and I want to hear it back, not if it’s gonna cause you pain.”

To which I replied:

“I know what you’re getting at, i think…”

****

I know, not the best answer. But I had no idea what else to say. What was I supposed to say? Then he came at me with this:

Eg: Sorry, i’ll take it back if you like. I guess I was just in a romantic mood… I’m ok if you want to forget about it… thought not fully.

Me: Don’t be sorry. 🙂 It is sweet. Don’t ever take back anything kind. You know I’ve always been fond of you… I’m just really fucked up. And yeah, his loss still affects me every day.

Eg: Sorry.

Me: Don’t be. But thanks… The fucker practically killed himself [deleted]. Sorry, you probably didn’t want to know that. But it causes a lot of anger and sadness and too many mixed feelings. By the way what’d you mean you said you’d had a few rough days. You don’t have to tell me. Just wondering.

Eg: hmm, so should we say goodbye?

Me: No! Unless you want to.

Eg: [something about his brother]

Me: [deleted]

Eg: No we can keep having fun… its nice just needed to say, even though you don’t wanna hear it. I think I’m in love with you.

Me: Jezus. im not sure what to say to that. You just hit my chest right now. I don’t wanna hurt you.

Give me a minute or two. 😉

Eg: I wasn’t expecting a response. We’ll keep having fun on the phone and that will be it.

********

I don’t know what to do. What the hell is wrong with me? Ok. I know, nothing’s wrong with me. bleh, blah. I still don’t know what to do. I’m an asshole aren’t I? But I didn’t mean to, you know? I don’t intend for these things to happen, though I see a pattern forming. I enchant and then I run off. Fear of abandonment much? Unsure sense of self? I wonder if I’ll keep sabotaging myself. I’m not saying this particular situation is sabotage, but most of the time it is.

I really do feel like a criminal right now. 😦 My chest feels tight and I want to cry. I wish I had a close girlfriend to consult with about this… Well, I guess I do. Maybe even more than a few. There’s Eloise. I just prefer to keep to myself for a while and think. Then again, I tend to overthink things.

And of course, I have my MFFs here on WordPress…

I still want to bang my head again the desk.

****

Today is my pop’s birthday. Maybe I should just focus on that now.

Confrontation

September 15, 2012

Brunet Young went out of town this week, so I didn’t get a chance to have my weekly therapy session. She said she’d call to “check” on me or something along those lines, only she put it more gently. Overall, I’m feeling great though! I think the Lamictal has toned me down a bit. I don’t know.

Last Thursday (I’m seeing her Thursdays now), I confronted Brunet Young about the BPD diagnosis my Ex-Young Therapist had given me. I’d been meaning to ask her why Ex-Young Therapist was so hesitant about giving me the Termination Reports and why she said I couldn’t have the Evaluation Summary. It took a lot of courage to ask this.

****

“She wasn’t supposed to give you that,” Brunet Young replied.

What the fuck? I really like Brunet Young but I don’t get why she said Ex-Young Therapist wasn’t supposed to give me that form. I inquired about it, and she basically explained that: telling the patient he/she has BPD is detrimental to the therapeutic process. For me, the fact I now know this bit of information has given me a sense of validation. Isn’t an invalidating environment one of the contributing factors of borderline personality (BPD) development?

****

“I feel like all these years… all I’ve gone through has at least been validated.” My voice began to shake, “A name has been put to it. Now I feel like, like I’m not JUST an asshole.” I started chuckling.

“That makes sense, I can see why you’d feel that way. The thing is, we are required to give a diagnosis even when we think there is no reason or need to place one on the client. In some cases, we go with what only fits closest.”

Ok. Then what’s the point of categorizing certain behavioral attributes?

My hands trembled and I kept rubbing my aluminum water bottle. “I think I’m a pretty intelligent person… I mean, it’s not like I’m going to just throw my hands up in the air and say ‘Well, I have this and such and I’m doomed’. I’m no different than… than I was before I knew. I’m not going to put myself in a box! I’m not going to quit trying to improve myself and look for ways of recovering.” I went on telling her that what upset me was that I often talked about BPD in regards to online forums I visited and my friend Ryden who has BPD. I would mention how much I could related to people with that and yet, she didn’t say a word about it.

Brunet Young was silent for a moment. Then she looked up with gentle eyes and said, “I know YOU wouldn’t put yourself in a box or quit trying P, but many others with this would. That’s the thing.

She said she’d be sure to talk about why I “fit” the BPD criteria next time we meet, this coming Thursday.

“It doesn’t matter,” I replied nearly in tears. I don’t cry in front of people, so for me to nearly burst into tears was astonishing, to me especially.

“No, it does. It does matter. We’ll discuss it.”

****

I’m glad I finally asked. I can see why a BPD diagnosis can be withheld from a patient/client, particularly those who have more “anti-social” tendencies. For one, the patient might use it to justify for acting out of line, or they might feel discriminated against. I can see how it might conflict with therapy for SOME people to have that information disclosed. I figured perhaps my Ex-Young Therapist was afraid I’d base my entire identity around the diagnostic criteria for BPD, but I HAVEN’T. Have I?

I don’t think I have. I think too much outside of the box for that nonsense.

Yeah, I’ve researched and read a lot about it since finding out, maybe a little too much. And sure, I understand the implications behind such discretion. But as I told Brunet Young, I’m intelligent, and therefore, I sure as hell know that we are not the same (those with BPD) just because of a diagnosis. I told her I realize how arbitrary diagnosis for mental illnesses/disorders are in the first place.

Even among fellow BPDers (or whatever you want to call it), there is an infinite array of expressions of “symptoms”. I know the difference between a set of “criteria/symptoms” that BPDers share and the indefinite, individual minds–the being, the self, the person, and the personalities we hold.

We are not our labels.

In fact, I mentioned this when I found out. People are people regardless of their mental problems, illnesses, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, culture–I can go on and on. But it’s because this information was released to me that I feel more confident to talk about the darker sides of my experience; I’ve already told Brunet Young things I wouldn’t dare tell Ex-Young therapist like the overdoses; the day I threw a whole load of books at Monkey Man, rolled out crying and banged my head repeatedly at the side of his godfathers house; all those drugs we did together; and my mother’s suicide attempts. It’s because of knowing about BPD that I learned a lot from books/articles/blogs–like “The Buddha and the Borderline” by Kiera Van Gelder–that I no longer feel so alone.

****

I’m nervous about seeing her this Thursday. She said we’d discuss why Ex-Young Therapist wrote that on my Termination Report. The thing is, there’s so much I want to say and don’t know how. I feel mute when I roll into that room (though lately I’ve been talking fifteen miles a minute and typing three-hundred words per second). I don’t want to cry. I only cried when I told Ex-Young Therapist Monkey Man died.

I don’t know. I just feel awkward now.

But, I’m glad.

********

addendum: Today I swam like a champ! Would’a been cool if I swam like a chimp too. Can chimps swim alright?

********

Janis had a voice in tune with the angels and demons. Her Pretty Little Demons must have been beyond pretty, gorgeous even, much like mine. And I’m not saying I’m gorgeous here; it’s just my demons are.

So, today’s song is “Summertime”. The mood in this song is so melancholy and yet the lyrics have a mixed tinge of humor and sadness, of sarcasm and anger, of positive and negative thougths battling between this girl from a rich dad and gorgeous mom. A girl who will someday fly. I love that thought as trite as it may seem. Will she fly as an angel in death? Or will she do great things in her life? It’s up in the air.

It’s like the essence of the song describes my childhood, my youth.

I know all about having a gorgeous mom, about melancholy and being mixed up with ambivalence, confusion and ambiguity. But my dad on the other hand lost his business in Colombia when he decided to move to the States for me. He sacrificed everything he’d worked up for until that point. I always felt so guilty about it. Ironically though, the guy who took over his photography studio after we left was shot while some hoodlums broke in to steal anything they could. Colombia was in deep political unrest at the time.

********

Well, it’s summer and summertime living is easy for us southern girls. ha! Somer time is ‘a leavin’.

Summertime for me has often been a time of remission from the “mentals” (usually, not always); the only brief remissions I recall. And this summer seems to be no different, despite the burdensome circumstances. I have been getting relatively “better” since July.

****

I also recall many melancholy summers in my childhood. I was a melancholy child even before the suicidals hit. Oh I do.  Child melancholy. Adolescent melancholy. Adult melancholy. It just gets worse. It’s just another bucket filling in the well.

Oh summertime though. Weren’t childhood summers the best? If I recall clearly, even my childhood melancholy summers where better than my remission adolescent and adult summers.

Summertime is  ‘a here y’all. Don’t you cry girl. Don’t you cry. Remember you’re the “mean challenger,” the “brave girl” who never cries.

Yet I’m crying now.

Oh I have so many stories about what this song means to me. So here’s just one of the many….

********

Once Upon a Summertime

I became extremely close to a dirty-blond haired girl way back in 2003-2004. She had big eyes like mine, only hers were green–mine are brown. And she had gorgeous big, pursed lips. It got to a point where I had an intense crush on her. I’m still not sure why.

Back then, I was involved in this organization called the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls and used to joke that they were a cult of lesbians–I wish they were because at least then I wouldn’t have to wear white dresses and do stupid rituals for Jesus. No offense to Jesus. I’m sure he was a cool dude. I’d have kicked it with him, but I doubt he enjoys all that adoration.

This organization was VERY religious and very strict. I caught hell for wearing a brow and nose ring. Anyway, that’s were I met this wonderful girl. The day I met her, we laughed at the rituals and the white dresses.

Don’t get scared; they didn’t harm me. Well, they did once when we went to Corpus Cristi but that’s another post altogether. This Rainbow for Girls thing was more like a cult of Mason’s Christian daughters who claimed to do charity work (the reason I’d joined was because I wanted to do charity work), but instead of doing charity, they only bickered. Anyway, me and this girl (I’ll call her Emma) connected because we both felt out-of-place there. We were both outsiders.

Emma was a wild one, a  free-thinker like me. We had one of those intense connections that immediately sparked! And one summer, we had a road trip with the other Rainbow Girls, the not-so-free-thinker-ones. In the car, Emma and I jammed to Joplin. Me and her, her and me. We laughed a lot that girl Emma and I.

This girl, Emma, knew ALL ABOUT Janis Joplin. I mean, if you know anything about Janis Joplin, you know that she was from Texas. You’d know she was born in January 19, 1943 and began writing plays in the first grade (oh how I’ve always had a thing for most Aquarians I’ve met). You’d also know that she went to Lamar State College for a stretch between gigs before becoming famous. And since you’d know she grew up in Texas and that Lamar State College is where she went for a while; you’d know Lamar State College is also in Port Arthur, Texas, not too far from Houston where I grew up.

Yep, you’d know, you’d know how inadequate she must’a felt there. You’d know that in high school, she’d earned the name “pig” for being pudgy and “nigger lover” for her “tolerance” and love of blacks and her hate of racism–which she witnessed a lot of in Port Arthur and at Lamar, I’m sure. You’d know that that’s why she often left to live with her aunt in Venice Beach, California.

Surely, you’d know this, but even so, you wouldn’t know all the things this girl Emma knew. Emma and I felt her PAIN. This girl was a DEDICATED Joplin fan–must be still. I became a hardcore dedicated fan thanks to Emma.

A year after that summer, in the spring of 2004, I went on a road trip to the northwestern plains of Texas with Emma. Just us two. We went to visit her then-fiancé in prison. She and I had a thing for bad boys, only she’d slept with many and I hadn’t… yet. She was only a year older than me but had been engaged more than once. I hadn’t even had sex or a boyfriend.

I remember getting so upset when I was in that line of booths where you talk to the prisoners through a connected phone behind the windows. I got upset because the people next to us was a family of five–a mom and her three little kids. The dad was a prison inmate. The oldest child was about ten. They were all visiting their daddy, and to me it was so sad. I just sat and watched the man talk to his kids behind the glass while Emma talked to her fiance. And I wondered if it were better for those kids to visit that man, their father, or not. I was so depressed then. I remember wheeling myself to the restroom past these gates where men in solitary confinement stayed. And I just sat on the stall and cried and cried. When I got back, I sat there just looking at them but trying not to look too hard. I always felt things like that, intensely.

Springs have never been good to me, but sumertime is a little different.

****

On our way back from the prison–oh those lovely Texas prisons and there are loads of them– we stopped at this old ma-and-pa shop looking for a place to eat spaghetti. Emma got herself a Southern Comfort plaque, and we planned to see if we could sneak our way into buying some Southern Comfort whisky back in Houston.

Janis had been a “troubled girl” like Janis and I, so she drank a lot of that Southern Comfort whiskey (we ended up not getting the whisky after all).

She was my “date” at my senior prom. She wore a tucks with high heels and I wore a beautiful black and green dress. I didn’t enjoy myself. I only cried after it was over.Then Emma told me that she was planning on going to Lamar State College. She never did. She went somewhere else. She also told me she had BP (bipolar disorder), but back then I hadn’t had my monumental mental breakdown, so I hadn’t been diagnosed or sent to any psychiatric clinic. I was still struggling in silence. So I felt awkward telling her about how much I empathized. I did tell her I empathized but not REALLY EMPATHIZED like I did on the inside. I guess I paid no mind because I was trying to put “mind over matter” like a good Christian Scientist would. I still suspected BP or something similar in myself.

****

What do you think happened between me and dear Emma?

Yep.

Very borderline is what happened.

Our intense friendship broke–just as intense of a rupture as its union. We dissipated from each other as quickly as we had bonded. I see our little summer escapades as a chemical reaction between atoms, forming new molecules, new bonds–that became our friendship. Then, the borderline in me and the bipolar in her was the catalyst.

Then again, I could over analyze it like I tend to. Or oversimplify it.  Of course, life is just like that. Some people drift in and out of our lives. But for me, it’s everyone I’ve been close to. Maybe that’s just how life is for some of us.

In 2006, Emma and I rekindled our friendship online. And for a brief moment, all was well between us again. Then one day, she let me down. She asked me out to a Greek festival and the day of the festival she didn’t return my calls. I instantly went from loving her to hating her guts! I wanted to tear at my skin and pull all of my hair out.

“How could she do this to me?” I thought. “Why wouldn’t she at least call back and say she was sorry, that she wasn’t going, or that she couldn’t pick me up because something held her up?” When I emailed her about it, she didn’t reply. “What did I do? She obviously hates me. No one will ever like me.”

I insulted her in another email and cut her off completely though I missed her terribly. Now was that just life or some of the “borderline” in me?

Soon summertime will become “autumn time” in this part of the world. Molecules come together; molecules break apart. Warmth becomes cool.

****

Enjoy!

addendum: Monkey Man L. had a vinyl record of hers I really wanted. mmmhmmm. I would have wanted it as a memento. I think his sis too it. Well, she deserved it.