[trigger warning]

Let us paint a mental canvas together.

Imagine a plant or an animal, gender isn’t important, choose whichever you would like to suffer more. The being has spiny little fragile arms all over it’s sometimes puny and sometimes imposing body.The tiny and sometimes long arms have their own set of thorns that grab bits and pieces of everything they inhale , hear, touch, taste and see.

The body may lay dormant and stuck for a bit. An arm caught on a sweet Jameson sweater or stuck on another entity that requires energy. . the arms will absorb all there is to take from that spot and poof! It will begin to move with new knowledge, pain and often hope. It will begin to tumble.

This is my–Tumbleweed.

My mother often described me as a gypsy growing up. As early as I can remember I was hopping out a window and rolling around town. I traveled miles on foot, bike, skateboard or shopping carriage. I was always on the move. This was true until I was discovered as a tumbleweed. I remember being thrilled at the discovery. Yes, that’s so true! I felt a reckoning and purpose that finally all my hard work, experience, education and giving birth to two babies ten pounds plus had finally made sense in the universe.

{No not really}

Quite frankly I am a sap. And everything sticks to me emotionally. Not unlike, Pizza the Hut, in Space Balls.

{The big difference being –  all the ugly is on the inside}

It started when I was in fifth grade and I overdosed on Dexatrim. I like to believe that I of course did not want to die. I just knew I didn’t feel good –  as I was. The point being that I am sure I had just finished reading, Valley of the Dolls, or something dreamy from Jackie Collins. God I loved those lives. The lives I absorbed through words when the prospect of being a member of the family at the New York Art School AKA Fame had dissipated. Its my thing and always has been. I read stories, I listen to stories and I absorb them to be consumed at a later time. I like to believe I have gathered enough survival knowledge from my obsession with Everest and all places extreme, I haven’t had to test it much Thank God.

Although, I have extreme panic attacks in lots of places that even gently nudge me over my comfort line. I am laughing out loud thinking of the time I was at a family amusement park with my mother, sister and the kids. We piled onto a kiddie sized pirate ship; happily anticipated the squeals of laughter when the ride started.

What they did not prepare themselves for was the mother who panics when the bar touches her legs. Nope wasn’t ready for that.

“I need to get off.” Really. “Hello! I have to get off!” And I clamored on, until safely off the ride, to watch them have fun. They were too young to be embarrassed and well, quite frankly my sister and mother probably giggled a bit.

This situation has happened many times on rides, including horseback. Have you seen the size of a horse! Fuckers are huge when you sit on top of them. I liked them as a kid. Had this weird thing about drawing horses, I did it all the time along with Snoopy too.

{Go figure}

Anyway, there were also a couple of horses that lived up the street on a farm. I guess it was pretty rural back then. We would look at them and others would feed them, I was scared to death of the size of the jaws on them. I didn’t feed them more than once. The point of that story is I screamed and sobbed in front of a group of my friends at the time to get me off the horse. We were on a horseback riding trip.

{Asshole. Always one in the crowd}

Needless to say,  when speaking of my planned trip to base camp at Everest to get stoned and give massage and bodywork to climbers  – I am speaking of the woman I wish I could be. Not the pussy I often feel like.

A few days ago I had the idea that maybe I should start cutting again. Another behavior picked up along the way. I haven’t cut for years. I have not taken an object and mauled my face or body to show the world really how ugly I am. It had been put away for later. I don’t like blood and over the past twenty years I have found so many other ways to experience pain. I have discussed cutting in therapy in the past, I have researched and written stories about self-mutilation. I had not had the impulse to do it in so many years it was startling to have the thought impose. I thought about it. I toyed with the thought, I played with it in my mind for a while.

What would I use? Where I would cut so nobody would see? How would it feel and would I be able to stop at just one time? 

I pressed my nails into my skin a few times to see how much I could get away with. It didn’t take much to take skin off. That is what stopped me I think. That and the blood. Somewhere along the line I have adopted the knowledge about myself to know that I never do anything once. And, I spend a ton of money on face creams to be fucking it all up with scabs. How would I ever explain that to anybody in my family. Its bad enough I have a problem with over explaining and giving a speech on everything as it is. Trust me – nobody wants to hear my rationalization of why it would be acceptable for me to intentionally cut my body. I die on the inside at every story I have ever read about somebody who self harms. I want to embrace each person and make them feel the energy of love and acceptance. I never could though. I cannot embrace that pain – it’s too close. I cannot accept that kind of love for myself. I know I am loved. I feel love. What it boils down to is that I do not feel worthy of that love.

Over Christmas I watched Black Swan, with my brother-in-law. I recognized so many behaviors in the main character and wished I was watching it alone. I can’t watch it again.

{I shouldn’t watch it again}

I don’t feel bad for myself and I don’t generally entertain self-pity. I am aware of the notion that what hinders my ability to accept that some behaviors can be described as insanity are my addictions. Picture the recent ad for a large major insurance carrier with that silly pig on the zipline.

Adrenaline! Adrenaline! Adrenaline!

Not all that uncommon at all – everybody likes a good time. It’s when everything is done to the extreme that begins to cause a problem.

What is all this pain anyway? Why when I am so afraid of dying, do I participate in or even consider means of relief that are harmful? What is the force that drives the idea into my soul that I am such a monster? I had recurring evil devil nightmares up until I was almost thirty. I would be reading a large book opened to the middle and the devil would be pulling me into the spine and body of the book, me being unable to scream or fight with such evil. I was terrified constantly of evil. Of pain. Of sadness. Death. Disease. Illness.

Today I am working on borrowed energy. Somebody I love lost their child. Its inexplicable and there are no words to make something like that go away. It clearly is not a shake of the head moment for them. I am reminded of the idea that what I do as a woman and a mother will never guarantee me the comfort of knowing my children will always be safe.

When I spoke to my friend I heard pure love in his voice. He was accepting and speaking to everybody who called – He is practicing tumbleweed behavior. Feeling all of the love and support from family, friends and strangers alike and memorializing his child. Today I will share my love for him by showing love.

I will pay it forward.

Chronicling my stories and putting together essays in my head or on paper is often like watching back to back to back, Lifetime movies. I find myself revisiting spaces and people who I had put away so many years ago. Feelings and behaviors are rearing their sometimes hideous faces and mocking me into submission or at least consideration. It is impossible for me not to immerse in some of that feeling while going over it with so many variables and adjectives in the folds of my memories.

Wondering what would have been different always comes up. What is most interesting about that is that I am finding that I wouldn’t have made many different decisions. I would have said the word no more.  We cannot control the circumstances we are dealt. We are born with a set of parents and that’s about it.

Everyday I become more and more the woman I was born to be. Make no mistake about it –  sometimes it is weeks or years that I feel I am only going backwards. What is consistent in my life experience is that there is always something or somebody that gives me hope. I am truly and soulful at heart –  an eternal optimist. I will always immediately think of a bright side. It is my darkness that squelches that first thought most often.

“SCARS.  Markings in the dry clay disappear. Only when the clay is soft again. Scars upon the self disappear. Only when one becomes soft within.”    –365 Tao, Deng Ming-Dao

Copyright © 2011-2012. Eggs.Smoke.Sex. All rights reserved.

Words and images on this blog are copyrighted and not to be reproduced in any way without my express permission in writing. Please contact me with any queries at cognitive-ly@live.com

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