Oh Brother!

48

When I was young my brother would come into my room before my school alarm needed to wake me up. I’d still have about a half hour left to sleep when my light would turn on, then off, on, then off, and on and off…again and again. “What are you doing?!” I’d scream. I still see him at my doorway with a big smirk on his face turning to laughter then to exclaim, “Reh! Time to wake up!” And he’d run off leaving my light on. Reh had been our inside joke as kids. A way to jab you and yelp out a, “Gotcha!” I’ve never been a morning person so he knew right where to hit my soft spot. There’s nothing better than growing up with a good sibling. Someone to make you laugh at your most down moments, someone to turn to at times and someone who can be your best friend and worst enemy all the same. I’ve always looked up to him. I needed him to be able to roll my eyes with at random things, I needed him when mom and dad fought and I needed him so badly when I found out I got pregnant. He’s my reality check in so much that I do because your sibling won’t sugar coat anything for you. If it’s bullshit, he’ll say it’s bullshit and if it’s funny he’ll usually be the one that told the joke. It’s amazing how your told to find your role model growing up but no one tells you you may one day realize it’s the one you grew up with. Some days I don’t need anything but a good dose of my sibling. We aren’t close right now because of the changes I’ve made, some of the decisions I’ve made and some of the selfishness depression can desire. All of the sudden I became the sick family member and a lot became about me. Maybe I’ve made it that way. I wish I could scream so loud he’d know this isn’t me. I wasn’t that girl with the bruises from the guy she’d married. I wasn’t the girl who changed from herself so much even she can’t recognize. I wasn’t the girl who pulled away, not even during the times he may have needed me. I wasn’t the one who’d made those bad decisions. I wasn’t that girl. But I was. I had to be. I have to face the person I became and confront the person I want to be everyday, always the withering tale of the sad sap taking over. I didn’t mean to scare him during my suicide attempts and I didn’t mean to sit idly by as he was out busting his ass off at life and winning with everyday because he’s the fighter I need to train to be like. I want him to meet his match in me and make him proud just like I’d like to do with everyone. But his match he did meet in his girlfriend. My brother found what is the end all be all of life in love, his soulmate. He doesn’t realize he has everything I’d always wanted because he worked and waited so long to get there. I remember his first love coming over for the first time. She sat in my seat next to him and I wanted to sit there still. “Bitch,” I childlessly thought. What if she takes him away from me? Her pretty black coat over her pretty white shirt with her pretty face and pretty personality. It was then that I realized I did have a jealous bone in my body. I remember thinking, what would happen if we grew farther apart? I didn’t see then that I was predicting my future. I should’ve gotten paid to be a fortune teller of bad things. If only I’d worked harder. Listened to him when he told me I needed to grow up. But I tried everyday to. I just kept sinking farther into my comfort zoned hell. So tumultuously afraid to come out. But now it feels like he’s dead. Like I need to mourn him the way I did three of my friends who passed after high school. Every year one would go. Do I mourn him? The way I had to mourn my old best friend who warned me she was going to pull away because I kept standing her up? I won’t. He’s just too worth it. I wish I could put the worth I see in others onto myself now. To be able to hold my head high knowing I’m the person I want to be. Knowing I am walking around with well worth. Knowing I can walk tall, just like my brother.

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The Fight Part 2

47

Crunching me into the wall with the door, he made his way in. “Get out of here! You’re going to get out of this house right now, I don’t ever want you here! Get up! Get up now, Andrea!” His anger grabbed both of my arms yanking me upwards. I let all of my body weight fall so he couldn’t. But with all of that fire and determination he managed. I never had seen anyone like this. I couldn’t believe not only how angry he was, but what anger can get a person to do. You can turn into something I can’t explain, something mightier, if you will. His hands underneath my elbows, I’d made it to a standing position. “NO, DON’T!” I said. He mocked me. “You’re going to get out of this house and I’m going to make you get out if I have to!” He shouted.  And I remember thinking, jesus, I want out…I need out. What am I doing here? I’m finally getting what I wanted, I’d put up with him long enough, and now he wants me to leave, it’s the perfect remedy for the most imperfect couple. We were like a walking divorce. Today, I just put him off into one of the bad symptoms of my depression. He belonged in a category of stuff I guess I had to go through that I would’ve never have decided on unless my mind frame was in the condition it was in then. “You’re going home back to your parents, Andrea!” Too scared to realize he was still giving me exactly what I’d wanted…I just needed a ticket out. But I grew up in a world where you only marry once, and I was determined to punish myself for making this mistake, and at the same time to make the most out of it. So with each day, I looked at it as the marriage I wanted it to be, not the marriage that it was. When I was 6 my mom cheated on my dad with my swim coach and watching my parents go through that hell, is something I can’t explain. But they made it through regardless, and now they’re like soulmates. But my mom would ask me when I was a kid if she should get a divorce, and I’d tell her exactly how I *ahem, sort of, felt. Basically, I took the political road and told her, “This has to do with your husband, not my father.” But the truth is I wanted to tell her to get a divorce. Hell, all they did was fight. Everyone’s temper was incessantly on the ‘on’ button, I hated it. But either way, they made it through, and I was determined to make this one through as well.

I gripped the door frame as he kneed me in the back. He had to knee me I guess because at the same time he was using his hands to uncurl my fingers from the frame. I gripped tighter. “NO!” I mustered out, crying so heavily by this point and too scared to make a sentence. “Yes!” He exclaimed. “You’re out of here, bitch!””You’re going to your real home, where you’ve wanted to go back to all along!” And albeit I did, for some reason I couldn’t think of going home and admitting to a failure to one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I don’t believe that we make too many mistakes in life, because everything we do has some intent to it. It’s when regret comes into play that we call them mistakes, but we meant to do them in the first place so it doesn’t really make sense. You either regret or you don’t. You either screw up or you don’t. But a mistake one does not make when purpose is attached.

One by one, my fingers were getting peeled off, and as I’d try to re-grip them on, eventually I lost as his knee and other hand grew stronger with each breath. Once he had me all peeled away, I felt both hands on my back, thrusting me out the door with two shoves. I’d tripped over the step at the front door, making me take two steps outside the door leaving me hunched over. I could still hear him. “There, now get the fuck out of here, bitch!” I went to turn back to the door, and he slammed it inches away from my head turning to look back at him. Here I was in a city I hadn’t a clue about, so so far, away from home.

The Fight

46

Curled in that ball in the bathroom. That’s where I sat crying wanting someone, anyone to burst in the front door to save me within that moment. I never thought I’d be one to accept violence into my home. I’m a fighter with a punch I’d only know once, to my future unfriendly gentleman who’d decide to be the fourth person to call me ‘fat.’ I’d simply had enough. Enough turmoil in my own world, I should only be courteous enough to accept so much from others. So, that night I’d stand there eyeing him for a moment, when ‘blam!’ I don’t know what came over me, but I ran like a little girl afterward scared of the police being called. I laughed as I pulled up to the front door and to the safety net of my home. The police would never be called that night, and on this night things were happening so fast yet so slowly I wouldn’t have time to think about calling them either.

I got married young, but felt so old at the time. Twenty one and I was getting hitched. But it all came fast and as I look back it wasn’t all out of love but more convenience I’d come to realize. He was going into the military and I was in college trying to figure out what it was I was meant to be doing. He didn’t get down on one knee, hell he barely even proposed over that phone one night, but either way I said yes, and kept my part of the commitment up. We had to move to a new city about an hour away from Seattle to Tacoma which was something I don’t think I was prepared for either…to not know a soul and start completely over. But we found an apartment in a town where one block would be really nice and then teh next street would be not so nice, even a little scary I’d say. Needless to say we couldn’t afford the nice places, so we had to settle for the latter.

“Maybe the neighbors will hear him yelling and call someone,” I’d thought. I needed help. This situation was new to me, before this all my husband would do would be to come at me really fast and then hurriedly stop, like he would be flinching he was really going to come up to me. Then pull himself back with the same amount of speed. I knew he had a temper. I continually make all of these excuses for him, not realizing I am actually becoming one of those women. One of the ones thrust suddenly into the world of domestic violence and exhibiting all of the signs. If he were showing signs why didn’t I see it, when I know looking back that I did? I still give justifications as to why I stayed. In a world back at home I could’ve been, with all of my friends but still feeling the loneliness we all feel without having someone to love. I think that scared me more, was that loneliness. But as I see now, I was lonelier than I ever could’ve imagined out there with him in a city I knew nothing about. I wasn’t between a rock and a hard place, I was just between a rock and a rock. And rocks aren’t fun. I wanted to be somewhere where I wanted to be, I just couldn’t foresee how to get to the unseen.

“No, no, NO!” I’d scream again as I could feel him burst open the bathroom door. The more he opened it, the more it crunched me into the wall where I was curled up. I tried putting my hand to the door, mustered all of my strength into that one arm to hold it shut, but his anger was fierce and when you mix it with determination you’ve got a lethal combo. I though his yelling at the door before hand might be all of it. Maybe if he knew I was upset, he’d stop, I’d think. But for some reason it was fuel to the fire. “What are you crying in there? Crying like a little baby, Andrea.” “Your just a baby.” “BOOM, BOOM, BOOM,” his pounding fists and they’re echo made me wince. And when he’d make me wince before this day, like when he’d fake coming at me, would leave me so angry that he’d be threatening, I always would come back at him and do the same. He knew I was a fighter and I don’t know what angered him more. That I was in here sobbing, or when I’d fight back. I’ve always believed that no one gets to take you. No one gets the privilege of taking who you are, but I’d lost that when I let the guy that got me pregnant come and go warping my mind as he pleased. Is this a male thing? I’d wonder. I hope it’s not a people thing, because that is when I want out.

 

Patience

45

Within each moment I walk, I wonder if the value is upon the people so blessed with the days that are good. Am I wondering such a far off sort that I could too walk with these people one day? Do you value your happiness just as I loathe the amount of self soothing I must constantly do? One day I’ve decided that there will be a big lesson in all of this, it’s the waiting I’ve grown so impatient. But that one day, I know will hopefully come when all of this questioning will make sense. Then I wonder if life makes sense to anyone anyhow. Maybe I am among the norm and I just don’t know it. Are you? Are you in the class of people where you feel singled out but really are the most fun at the party? I wonder if there’s others out there like me. Feeling the despairs within each day so prominently so, that all else falls by the wayside. I should find some value in all of this, but I can’t see well enough to the world I live because of all of the pain I trudge in the snowiest of days. I will get through this, I must. Otherwise, what’s the point of fighting? I’ve fought each and every day instead of living one that I cannot die out knowing there may be more in store for me. There just has to be. Has to be life beyond a horizon I fantasy because leaving my house doesn’t happen unless I am forced. I lie within these walls jailed beside of myself because I can’t live within myself anymore. I’ve stopped being my worst enemy but have yet to accept myself all the same. I stand to look in the mirror still to be unrecognizable. I am human, but I am transparent whereas once I was fluently in my own skin. I suffer from something everyone goes through. We all have periods of grief, sadness and loneliness. It’s just that mine is constant. Incessant with each day I’m alive but not living. It never goes away. That’s the best way I can explain to those that don’t understand. It’s like constant grief only the loss is myself, I don’t know where I went. I do know today is better than yesterday, which is more to be said for than most days I still conquer. I’m not dead. That’s the most positive thing I can think of, but is still better than most thoughts spilling into a bleaker mind. With no control of my thoughts, all of the ones that do come are mean. My demonized mind, out to control every fiber I walk, is out to see that I fail. But fail I cannot as I resume little strength, but strength nonetheless. It’s the patience that helps me avail each passing moment. I am patient I will suddenly begin to feel what once was. Patient that one day some of this will make even the most considerable amount of sense in an illogical mindset. One day….one day patience will rule all else out and I will be one.

Breezy

44

If I could feel the coolest breeze on the warmest days i’d be sitting in the shade wondering how the two intersect on a day like today. If we take all of the problems and hardships of life out of the equation all we are left with are the simple things…which is all we need anyway, to be quite honest. If we focus on the simplicity, we lose sight of all the complexities which is where most of the problems started. People may look at simple as being feeble minded but I think it’s the most thought provoking of all. Thinking basic thoughts and living simple ways leaves our minds more open to the necessary breathing room life has to offer. I wish someone could take out the complexities of my mind and throw it right back up like puke in an attempt to detoxify myself. My mind needs to breathe in a way that’s suffocating all in it’s own right. Please take me away. Take me to the never ending time when the simplest things can be relished in the simplest ways all so we can walk with no despair. I found the home of a certain simplicity once and like the wheel, went bankrupt all the same. Does simplicity occur in despair? Or is despair the simplest form of misery in hiding? I just want answers. Answers to the questions and the right questions for unforseen answers before hand. I feel the warmest of the coolest breezes. Now in the night, I look for warm gusts within the cold. Waiting for life to once again intersect.

Green Eyed Girl

43

Liking myself was never the plan. Hating myself wasn’t either. I actually have stopped looking at mirrors because I don’t recognize the person at it’s surface. Everything looks familiar, but it’s not home. It’s not what I have always known, not what I’ve been known to be and is surely the thing I’ve never prepared for. What would you do if you looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize the person before you? It’s like meeting a friend’s twin for the first time. It’s like you can’t put your finger on it, but something’s just not quite right. I stand in my room looking forward to the reflection bestowed. I search within my  eyes to find some familiarity. “You’re green eyes,” I tell myself. “You’ve always loved your green eyes. Hold onto that.” I find I talk to myself much more these days. No one could ever understand the havoc breached within my mind frame, so I let my voice be the one that interrupts it. It’s like an intruder whose come inside to throw off my mind recounting each and everything I do, always to repeat the last failure, or the failure’s I looked to earn. In my mind I deserved each and every bad thing and that was what I was here to own, the faults.
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Doses

42

I started out with seven diagnosis….MDD, ADD, OCD, Anxiety, PTSD, Insomnia, BPD. Im now down to two…MDD and PTSD. But going through seven made me think I was down for the count every singe day. Today I actually have energy. And today like all of my days are full of more life than I ever thought I could see from the dark ones. Today I was supposed to be dead. And looking back I realize I was. At least for all of my yesterdays I was. And all of my days were filled with animosity. Animosity from me, from all of the bad things and from all of the good that I saw, as the bad. It’s like I couldn’t live in the moments because living IN the moment meant living IN the pain. And they can’t prescribe a pill for this pain. Holy crap they tried. Alas, I’d have to wait it out in the timeliest fashion like watching paint dry. The days just got to be so long. I’m almost at the point where I might consider a day to go by fast but not quite yet.

“Well, they make a new medication now that could really help with your symptoms,” doctors would tell me. And I was always the first to know about new meds being tried, something new to prescribe in place of the one that didn’t work or a new one to add on to the other I was already taking because it was supposed to really “be effective.” You’d think they would’ve stopped around seven or so but doctors don’t keep track of how many medications you take. At least mine never did. Even when I’d say 13 was too many…it’s not like anyone was going to listen to the suicidal girl with tons of diagnosis. “Be proactive,” that’s what we get told. But be proactive to who? I’d take anyone that would listen. But no one did. Even after I’d stop taking them and then try to take my life. They just thought it was another reason to add another pill or replace one. I was on upwards of 15 at one point. I’d had about just as many suicide attempts.

Then we have my back. The meds I spoke of before where only my psych meds. I haven’t yet told you about the Percocet I was prescribed for my back problems. As far as I knew it was a herniated disc. That brought on the kind of pain that makes your back feel like it’s breaking in half every day. It was preventing me from doing everything. And I never knew herniations could hurt so badly. So when I took the Percocet too quickly and was quite harshly judged by the first doctor, who was filling in for my regular doctor too. But my regular doctor decided to prescribe me fentanyl. Which I had no idea about at the time. The opiod crisis wasn’t in survival mode quite yet. And it wasn’t that she prescribed me fentanyl, and the strongest dose that they made, it was the doctor after that who prescribed me Vicodin along with it. Even with the fentanyl I would get cramping in my back but it was hardly anjything to scoff at and I just thought the more pills would make it all go away. “That’s the point,” he said.