Saturday morning musings

Trigger warning: self-harm

The heat does weird things to me… My mind and thoughts work even weirder than they already do.

While having a cup of coffee, I saw my self-harm scars for the first time in a while. I mean, I see them all the time, but I saw them.

I am an eccentric person, there is no use denying that. Even when I self-harm(ed). Every scar is a reminder. It is a mark of this or that happening. There is the scar that reminds me of that weekend in October. There is the scar that reminds me of the pain when Jamie passed away. There are the scars that remind me of my twin flame. The scar for Paulo and the scars that remind me of my teenage years and the pain I couldn’t deal with. There is the scar from my lowest moment ever. There is the scar that my grandma mocked “if you want to kill yourself, you need to cut your wrist and not your arm. But you are too stupid for that too”. There are the scars from being overwhelmed with life.

Every mark on my arms has a reason to be there.

I am under the impression that they are more visible right now, maybe because I’ve got a tan, or they are swollen from the heat, I don’t know…

What I do know is that I am not ashamed or embarrassed by them. I am not hiding them. The scars on my skin are telling my story. Silent, without screaming and without being flashy.

I believe that I am a person with many layers to peel away, but I am very picky who gets to see and peel those layers away. It’s hard for me to trust and be open with people, but once I am, I am 100% me. And it’s not easy to handle me… I am Very aware of that.

Anyway… These were my weird thoughts over a cup of coffee this morning. 😘

I am what I am and what I am needs no excuses

What’s in a picture? A stream of consciousness.

Sometimes, I see life differently. There is beauty in the mundane and there is magic in the things we see daily. I took the above picture without being aware of it. In fact, this is only a tiny part of a larger photo, but this small part is so much more expressive than the rest of the picture is.

Every day on my way from work back home, I have to stop at the same red lights before entering a roundabout. That day, it was raining and as I was waiting, I took a photo of the street signs to send to my son. I did not send the picture because the light turned to green. I drove home and did everything a mom does when she comes home after a ten-hour shift. In the evening, I scrolled through my phone and looked at the photo, and I noticed the reflection on the right end. I zoomed in, cropped it, added a little bit of contrast, and was in awe of this little piece of magic. You can see the rain on the pavement – a puddle, and the wind moving it. (or aftermath of a car driving through it.) You can see the lights turning from red to orange… And the reflection of a couple of posts. That’s all there is to see. And after this explanation, there is not much magic left.

I had no intention of posting this photo on the blog because it is on IG (micqu_1), but this morning I had a conversation with an online friend who was unable to sleep. I wanted to entertain him. Little did I know that by the end of the day his blog would gone. It leaves me sad and I am wondering what I did wrong, because that is how my mind works: he is gone – must have something to do with me. It sounds conceited, but I cannot see any fault in my behaviour. Maybe that makes it all worse. His last message was that he hopes he helped me in some way. But the truth is, I did not ask for his help and I did not need it either. I know, that is hurtful too – it sounds as if I did not need said friend; but those are two different things, in my book. I don’t want or need anyone to save me. I don’t want or need anyone’s help – except if I explicitly ask for it. And that – as you all know – is something I rarely do. What I crave however, what I need, is people to be silly with, to take the weight off my shoulder for a moment or two.

I am not weak, I never was. I am not strong, I never was. But I get lonely and needy sometimes – quite often. So much so that I even invited an almost stranger for Christmas – he declined (sadly), but it is all good. My neediness is not about being saved, it is about being seen and about approval. It is about being liked with the walls I built for myself, and without them. It is about being liked despite the ugliness I carry in my soul. It is about being liked with my nerdiness, my flirty side, my intelligence, my clumsiness and my absolutely inappropriate sense of humour. I am not looking to save or fix anyone, but if I can help in any way – by listening, laughing, sharing music, writings or whatever comes to mind – even money in a special case, then I will do that. I am not a very open person, in fact, quite a few people think that I am distant and unapproachable. It is not true, I am just very careful and don’t easily trust for fear of being judged. But we judge and are judged all the time.

I am thinking a lot about roots these days. I don’t feel as if I have roots. I have a family – both parents are still alive, but they are strangers. I would never rely on them. Never. I never could rely on them as a kid or teenager, and now I don’t have to. But I feel rootless. There is no family, and yet there is. I mean, it’s my (half)sister’s birthday next Sunday and I am invited, but there will mostly be family from her mother’s side, not from our dad’s. And that is okay. It really is. But it will show me again, that she has a set of roots I will never have. I have my kids though, and I am painfully aware that I am their safety net.

How did I go from explaining about a photo I randomly took to stripping some of my soul? I don’t know. It’s not the music I am listening to, and definitely not the online meeting I suffered through this afternoon. No, maybe it is indeed that my mood is shifting.

With you in my life, I don’t go under.

a momentary lapse of reason

My heart is racing, but not in a good way. It’s the closest thing to anxiety. Tears are welling up in my eyes, and my throat is constricted. I breathe in, heavily, but there is not enough air to soothe my burning lungs, nor to slow my beating heart. Your lust pulls me apart at my seams, I will never be who I was. A violent surge of need shakes my core. If only you were real, if only you were not the fantasy of a poet’s mind. If only my written words could be a reality. If only…

But now, I am sitting here, imagining how it would be to be in love. To be loved in return. To be wanted and needed, and respected. And the pain, it grows in me. Every day, I get up and do what I have to do. Routines I don’t like anymore, with people who I once loved. If you were there, to care and understand, it would be easier, but you only exist in the pages of my journal. My mind runs many miles every day, to escape my self, my reality. Do I have a cold heart? Am I freezing? Can I even feel what I am longing to feel? Hunting ghosts and chasing phantom pains.

Heart still racing (or again?), I am thinking of you – my fantasy man. Your breath against my skin. Your lust filling my senses. I am brainwashed into loving you – loving someone who does not exist. Brainwashed into following your orders – orders I want to hear from my lover. But it feels so good, and I can’t resist these forbidden fantasies. Every release starts and ends with you on my mind – being almost perfect in fulfilling each other’s desires. I need someone who takes care of me and who loves me. Someone who understands me. Someone who cherishes me. But do I have it in me to accept such devotion? The intensity of one soul seeping into mine? I have never known and never experienced anything like this and it scares me. I am vulnerable and fragile. Not because my heart was broken too many times, but because I broke it myself too many times. Want, need, greed, expectations… it breaks the heart too. Or maybe, I left too many pieces of my heart in the hands of people who didn’t want it?

The anxiety comes and goes in waves today. It is as if someone is thinking of me and my heart races towards them, and when their thought is forgotten, my heartbeat slows. Is there such a connection of souls? I believe there is.
I am full of overwhelming need today, and there is no one who can begin to catch my falling mind. And I can’t outrun myself. Every touch is too much and not enough. Not enough.

*****

Pink Floyd – sorrow

This song appeared on the album “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” (1987, EMI)

After the night comes a new morning.

It’s close to midnight. I just took out the trash from the kitchen to put it in the bins outside. I intended to get ready for bed soon. But I got held up.

It is quiet outside, and cold. Freezing. The air smells like snow, and the wind is picking up. There were storm warnings on the news, but everything was calm until now. The trees are waving in the wind; it is the only sound I can make out—just the wind jostling the trees.

These days, I don’t like going outside during the day. I go for walks at night, when I am sure not to cross anyone. When I am in the garden, I go inside when I hear the neighbour’s voices. And, honestly, I am content in my bubble. I wonder if I am slowly turning into an agoraphobic person.

I don’t miss people. I don’t miss socialising because I get my fix of people online, without having to face them or having to speak to them – and let’s not forget, I (37) have three kids (15, 11, 9) and a husband (42) at home.

What gets to me most is that I am never alone. There is not a moment when I can be completely alone without anyone around. We are living in a house, with three floors. But it is quite open, and some walls are still bare. If you are watching a movie on floor 3, you can hear the dialogue on floor 1. (Same with phone calls and all that).***

Always having someone close, that’s draining for me. And I am living with people who I actually like. Still, it gets suffocating.

So here I am, leaning against the front door’s frame, feeling the cold wind on my face, breathing. Breathing in. Breathing out. Smiling. Breathing in. Breathing out.

For now, I am okay—ups and downs; the usual. I am busy writing; for work, for me, for others… I am listening to lots of music, old and new. I am even discovering new skills in the kitchen – and I was already quite talented there…

Another three weeks of lockdown are ahead of us in Luxembourg. Covid-19 cases are still on the rise, and people are dying every day from complications associated with the virus. Three more weeks of homeschooling and being mindful and grateful. I am a lucky woman. Nothing will ever be the same.

It’s after midnight, and I close the front door. Rain is beginning to fall. The trees are still dancing in the wind, casting shadows under orange streetlights.

Tomorrow is a new day, and we are still here, still sane and safe and healthy.

Goodnight.

*** you enter the house on floor three. There is a small open space used as an office (by my husband, Patrick), a bathroom with a bathtub, and two bedrooms. The master bedroom and my son’s room. Going down to floor two. Here we have my daughters’ bedrooms, a bathroom with a shower, a technical room, and my book/CD shelves are here too. Going down to floor one. Here is an open space living room, dining area, and kitchen with access to the patio and the garden. There is also a half bath and something we call basement (with the washing machine, dryer, freezer, many tools…) Our house is rather small, even if it sounds big. It gets cramped to live here as a family of 5. We are living on 139m2 (which equals 1500 sq ft). There is no garage, no attic, no basement. I love our home, though. We had this house built for us and moved in December 2017. It’s the first house that feels like a real home. I will grow old here. And that’s a happy thought.

What if things were different? (stream of consciousness)

March 2017

In 2017, my exhaustion was already visible in my eyes. The depression that accompanied me for the last years was just beginning. I had no idea then how much worse it would be. I just knew something was very off, but I had no idea how to keep myself afloat.

Sometimes, I wonder if my mental struggles began because I had to start to work. The timing is uncanny. Don’t get me wrong; I love my job. I love working at a nursery and teaching the babies and toddlers new things. I love seeing their evolution and helping them to accomplish new milestones.

But

Since I started working in late 2016, I stopped writing fiction. Since I started working, I am sick more often. Since I started working, I had migraines more often (twice monthly until I started acupuncture). Since I started working, my mental health began to decline. Maybe it is just a coincidence. But what if it is not? What if I would be happier (and saner) being at home, taking care of the house and the kids, and spending my time writing?

I love getting up in the morning and going to work. I love how fast time flies, and I even love the “rush hour” when the kids eat (or we feed the little ones) and before they take their nap. I am working part-time. I could have the best of both worlds. But my work is exhausting. I am not only playing with kids. I am constantly observing them, writing reports, planning new activities to stimulate their mental and physical development. And of course, the planned activities need to be carried out too…

I have been home again (on paid sick leave) for the last week. I can almost feel how I am getting calmer and how my mood takes a boost. I am still in a lot of pain, and after my injection a week ago, I was ordered to rest and do nothing. Or not much. And it makes me feel good. Or better. I need this time-out to care for myself. I neglected myself for far too long.

And of course, my emotions are on a rollercoaster. I feel guilty for being happier at home alone (and in pain) than being at work. They manage well without me. Just like the last time, one colleague got in touch; I am not missed. And that bugs me; I have to say. My work is good, but clearly not as good that it makes people miss me. Maybe it’s because even at work, I keep to myself? I don’t know. With my injured shoulder, I am not much use at work anyway. (And due to varying pain-levels, I am not reliable right now either.)

Now, these last weeks, I started writing again. I am also working on changing our family diet: fewer carbohydrates, less sugar, no alcohol, but many more vegetables and protein, and lots of ginger-flavoured water and green tea. The kids are not happy, but the change is visible. Not on the scale, but we have more energy, and stupid as it may sound, our skins look better too. It’s the little things.

As you can see, I had a lot of time to think. Rest assured, I don’t regret anything. Everything happens for a reason. I needed to get a job because one income didn’t pay the bills of a family with three kids. Easy as that. Writing doesn’t pay the bills, working at a nursery does. At what cost, though? Is my physical decay (melodramatic Cathy) due to my mental struggles?

Did I recently explain that I don’t believe in regrets? Well, for me it is true.

Regrets make us live in the past, and the past often makes us miserable. Either because we were hurt or because we are longing for the happier times that we think we remember. Every choice I made, every decision I took brought me to the place where I am now. And even when I am depressed and melancholy, I believe that I am learning from this experience. I sound like a lunatic. I firmly believe this. I also think that people step into our life for a reason, and we are learning from all of them: the good and the bad. I don’t ever hate anyone. In fact, I am always trying my best to see every side of a story. The funny thing is, when we interact with someone, we exchange parts of ourself for parts of them, and like that, we will forever be a part of each other. (Obviously, I am alluding to people who are close to us for a part of the journey… Although strangers can change our lives too – I am dropping that train of thought for now. I am turning in circles, and my head hurts, lol)

Sometimes we have to let people go. And it is hard because selfishly, we want to keep them in our life. They make us feel good, and we choose to ignore how much they are suffering. And again, I could never be angry with someone who needs to protect themselves. I understand it. And I accept it. That doesn’t mean that it will not make me sad. After all, I am a very sensitive and emotional woman. Compassionate too. I struggle with people leaving my life, though. The more they mean to me, the harder it is to let them go. That’s the same for everyone, right? I can’t deal with rejection very well. It makes me feel wrong and unlikable. It unleashes a myriad of negative emotions inside of me. No matter what happens and why friendships end or evolve in different directions, I always blame myself. I am not good enough, not beautiful enough, not engaged enough, not intelligent enough, not funny enough, not serious enough, not sexy enough – I am simply not enough.

I would never change the past. Again: no regrets. I would not even change my childhood or adolescence, where I was emotionally abused and neglected. Because without it, I would not be who I am. And I am unique with all my flaws and shortcomings.

I am weird. Sorry. I am in a weird mood.

Tbt photo

I was actually trying to find a picture of me when I was pregnant; I mean, I have three kids, how hard can it be? Very hard! I found exactly three photos, and in only one you can actually see my belly – but that picture is blurry.

The idea for this post came from the many pregnant women in my life right now. Four of my friends are pregnant. And they will all give birth between November and December. There is my colleague at work, my neighbour, my sister-in-law, and an old friend from school. Try as I might, I cannot really remember my pregnancies. I mean, I do, yet I don’t. When your life and body are turned upside down for almost a year, and after that, you are sleep-deprived and suffering from breastfeeding dementia, I think it encourages memory loss.

The picture I shared was taken 12 days after my son’s birth. I was a couple of weeks shy of my 22nd birthday.

I love that picture. It’s very serene and peaceful, filled with love; protective too. That little guy on the picture is 14 years old and tall and handsome. He is an amazing human being who does his thing, never following any trends or pressures. I admire him. I want to be like that too. But I am an attention seeker, and I need to be validated all the time. Funnily enough, the only thing that I am very sure of is my parenting skills. I am sure that I am messing up all the time, but those three little people who grew from me and within me, are the best I ever created.

I want them to be fearless and kind and grateful. I want them to be considerate and never sell themselves short. At the same time, I want them to be modest. I want my kids to be good-hearted and tolerant. I want them to be open-minded and accepting of things and people that are different. I want them to be curious and thirsty with lust to learn and to live. Above all, I want them to know that whenever they fail, they are loved, and their mom – their parents, are there to consolidate them and help to resolve any issue that might arise. So far… I think we are on the right track.

When I feel down or bad, when depression devours me, then I talk to my kids, hug them, or just watch them, and I am reminded that I am needed, that I am not here in vain. I have a purpose.

This is all rambling just to say: I love my children. I love my family. I cannot for the life of me, imagine to be without them. They make me whole.

My husband plays a big part in this too. We have been a couple for almost 20 years now. Mind you; I am 36 – I know, I know, I am bragging, but I am allowed to do that here on my blog. I would never trade my husband for another man. He is handsome, intelligent, makes me laugh, doesn’t judge, and even after all these years, we are still talking – about everything. There are no secrets, no lies – everything is out in the open. Sometimes, we say things and grow silent because we don’t know how to react. We tend to ignore those elephants and keep living our peaceful lives. Once in a while, I am afraid that these things come back to bite us in the ass, but in the end – we are a strong couple. And we are this strong and weird and odd and unconventional because it is us.

My husband is the love of my life. So very different from me, but I don’t care. He is the most amazing man, and I want to grow old and fat with him. I want to make mistakes and cry and laugh and forgive. So far, I did all of it, and he never ran. Try finding a gem like that!

This turned out to be a stream of consciousness-y post.

Time to say goodnight.

I hope you all find someone to love, to have, and to hold.

*hugs*

Et le temps court…

My bed is empty. My mind is full. I am tired, fighting a headache. Lying in the dark, I am listening to the rain. The window is open, and I feel the breeze on my skin. I know I should be asleep, it would ease the headache and maybe prevent the bad mood I am sure I will suffer in the morning. But I can’t fall asleep. I had troubles letting go the last few nights — dreams; not a nightmare, just unsettling dreams.

I have so many things to say and to share, and yet, they don’t matter, and so I keep them to myself.

There are times when I share most everything on my mind. I let my fingers write, and my mind think, and I just float on that wave that jumps from one thought to the next. I can’t seem to do that right now. (Although I am doing it) It just feels like stealing your time and attention. I know that you give it freely or else you wouldn’t be here, but my mind is trying to tell me that no one cares and that I don’t matter?

Why am I sabotaging myself this much? After all, I am an okay person. Ordinary, but okay.

I ordered new music today (her name is Calla – animal choir). And I watched two movies (untamed heart and pump up the volume) with my favourite actor (Christian Slater). I also listened to music by Coastlands (postrock from Oregon/USA), burnt down an incense stick (sandalwood) and ate pizza (prosciutto). I read a couple of pages in my book (the I undiscovered gyrl by Allison Burnett)…

Who cares?! I want you to care, to be honest, because I want you to care about me. But again, who cares about this narcissistic vanity.

Do you dream about specific colours? I am used to having dreams that repeat themselves. They used to be in a green hue. Like a green veil or fog in front of my eyes… Nowadays that fog or veil is blue, but the images I see – the pictures in my dream are still the same.

Maybe the breeze and the rain will let me fall asleep eventually anyway… Who knows?

The title of this post is French and could be translated to “the time keeps running”

*hugs*

Cathy

Un-asleep

2:45 am. I can’t sleep. I woke up from a dream – not a nightmare, but unsettling too. I keep trying to recall my dream, but it is gone – lost in the corners of my mind. I just know that I was wrong about something. I did the worst one can do when unable to sleep; I took my phone and checked notifications. I was on Twitter and on a whim, I unfollowed a couple of accounts, the one of my former favourite band too – turns out they are a bunch of pretentious bellends. It took me almost 20 years to see it. I still appreciate their music; it was the soundtrack of my life, and yet… I really don’t like the people they became. Or is it me?

Am I drifting away from the person I used to be? I feel empty and overflowing. Sad and happy. Tired and wide awake.

How did that happen? When did everything change?

In a little more than 2 hours my alarm will go off, and I need to go to work. Early shift. I like that – if only it started later, lol.

Birds are beginning to chirp outside (the window is open); my husband is snoring next to me, and my mind is thinking too loud.

Throwback – I’ll never stop giving up

*stream of consciousness*

I sit, and I wait. Sitting and waiting. And I hope that no one will ask what I am waiting for. I would answer “Life”, and they would quote John Lennon “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans”. And they wouldn’t even know that it’s not a simple quote but that this sentence is a line of lyrics from a song he wrote for his beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy Julian. And I would bite my tongue because information like that is plenty in my brain. It’s just – no one cares about it. And that’s why I keep sitting and waiting. For life to happen. And to understand it. But that is not entirely true. Because from my place, I have a nice view. I observe and analyse, and I keep to myself. The things I know, are not the things I need to share. But on the other hand, all the half-truths and snippets of misinformation I know, are not the ones others want to hear. It’s a circle. And if I don’t find the right corner to get off, I will stumble, and my clumsy attempt to catch myself will end with me lying face down enduring the spiral, the slipstream that brought this upon me. Upwards or downwards? Which way does it go? Maybe just sideways? Either way, I will end up puking on the floor and emptying what little is inside me. All of it, until the heaving is dry and the acrid smell of bile chases everyone away. Everyone left the building. Including me. I need to pay attention to the little things. Hold on tight to the pillars of this meagre existence, to keep myself from stumbling. And while I am doing just that, all these unfiltered thoughts are rushing down onto the screen.

I put the cigarette to my lips and inhale. No filter. Rolled with my own shaky hands. Because – yes, why? Because it is edgy. Cool people roll their cigarettes themselves. It’s all pretending anyway. Oh yes, I’m a great pretender. Who gives a crap about my cigarettes and my thoughts. But I keep writing. Someday, the romantic voice inside of my head suggests, someone will read the mix of weirdness and eclecticism my brain produces. They will beg me to publish a book – a memoir – a biography of this writer and all will be good. At least, I have dreams. The other possibility, far more probable, is that the words stay unread. I will die in a stuffy room with overflowing ashtrays and too many empty bottles.
Maybe a cat or two. Sheets of papers with the start of the next big novel is strewn across the floor and the bed — music loud and on repeat. And in the centre of it all; me. Picture me like Jimi Hendrix, suffocated on my own vomit. A rock star death. Don’t be alarmed, though. I am not a rock star. I don’t play the guitar well enough and all in all, I am just a coward who never did any drugs. On second thought, aren’t most rock stars ridden with anxiety? Isn’t that why they turn to alcohol and drugs and whatnot? Always on the hunt for the next high? But one day your brain (and your soul too), are just too used to the girls screaming your name and the papers printing your photographs, your name in the headlines. And while you pretend to crave your privacy, the thought of being left alone and forgotten scares you to death. And so you power on, with some chemical help, because you couldn’t do all the shows and interviews and all that other crap that comes with being famous, without it. I don’t envy these people at all — not one bit.

And so I stare out onto the lake. The sky is grey; the water is too. And I wait for the next idea to come up. A real writer wouldn’t wait. They would write. Or am I wrong and a real writer would draw charts and write every idea down? Being organised? Where’s the fun in that? So – no labelling my ideas. Just sitting. Waiting. Staring. Smoking. And while I am doing that, the music plays softly in the background. It’s not loud enough to drown out the voices that keep telling me that I am a waste of talent. I can still hear them judging me and how I spend the days. For them, I am doing nothing. For me, I am savouring the moment. It’s as a friend told me once: We need time to understand who we are before someone else comes along and makes us into the version they want us to be. So maybe – just maybe, my answer to the question “What are you waiting for”, would not be “Life”, but maybe the truer answer would be “To understand”. I guess the reaction would be close to the same. They would urge me to get up and do something.

But, if they don’t see it, does that really mean that I am not doing anything? Because in my mind, eccentric as it may be, I am doing a whole lot. I am not giving up.

###

Author’s Note:

Written in March 2016.

I haven’t had a cigarette this year… And, I don’t know how you feel about it, but I think that the last paragraph in this piece of writing is the most important thing I have ever written. Whenever I encounter people who are struggling with their mental health, whenever I am struggling myself, I remember these words. I am not giving up, even if people are not seeing that I am fighting.