Monthly Archives: September 2011

News Flash: I haven’t figured my shit out yet and fuck you Buddha, I am the Queen of Resistance!

I know you guys were all “Oh, look, Kim is finally making some progress!” after I wrote that last post re: Me and Buddha Me

Even I believed that I had made a little baby step toward sanity.  And maybe I did.  But since then…?

GIANT STEPS BACKWARD.

A lot of them.

While acceptance sounds good and is probably (absolutely) the best way to go, I’m sticking with resistance and resentment, naturally.

Why practice acceptance and calmness when I can spend every waking hour with anxious thoughts churning in my head and no resolution, ever?

Why indeed.

Except “why” is never the right question, really. 

The answer to “why”, in my experience, is never very satisfying.

I think asking “why” is just inviting pure speculation or, perhaps worse, the actual, horrific truth.

Why did you murder those people?

My childhood was fucked up.

Is that true?

No.  I’m just speculating.

Then why did you murder the people?

I just felt like it.

But why?!!

My childhood was fucked up???

(I have an unnatural interest in serial killers, FYI)

Anyway.

“Why?” rarely leads to a satisfying answer, in my humble opinion.

But I digress.

It doesn’t matter “why” I’m choosing to be the Queen of Resistance (!!) with ninja resentment skills, I just am.

Except it is not satisfying at all, because I’m pretending that I’m not the Queen of Resistance (“It is what it is……”) and hiding my ninja resentment skills (“I’m so happy (insert someone else’s name) has this exciting opportunity right now!)

So, maybe the key is to dive into it, embrace the resistance (Resistance!), roll around with the resentment (Resentment!), feel all the icky, horrible feelings that I’ve been trying not to feel (or at least not admit to feeling) and let loose a hugely satisfying FUCK YOU to all of it.

(I realize that this may not, in fact, be THE KEY to getting past all the resistance (Resistance!) and resentment (Resentment!), but at least it is a fucking plan, and that is more than I had 10 minutes ago.)

(Plus, I’m not at home right now, and won’t be until tomorrow, so I have some time to be with my issues before I have to cheerfully resume my caregiving.)

So.

Let the embracing and reveling begin!

I am the Queen of Resistance! (think french pronunciation, s’il vous plait) and I am Unhappy with the Way Things Are.  I don’t like it!  At all!  It’s Completely Fucked, I say.  I object!  Yes, that’s it, I strenuously object to all this Shit!  Put that on the record, Jeeves.  Furthermore, I hereby proclaim that all the land shall be aware of my ninja resentment skills.  How?  I shall resent all the people, of course!  I resent You and You and even little you.  If you are not having a completely miserable life that is seemingly dictated by events/people beyond your control, I hereby resent the SHIT out of you.  If you’re my siblings who are doing the very best you can to be supportive, I love you with all my heart and I resent every minute that your lives aren’t dictated by Mom’s illness/needs/desires.  It sucks, but it is true.  Are you in love?  I Resent You!  Do you have a group of supportive friends who do girl things all the time?  I Resent You!  A great marriage/relationship?  Oh, How I Resent You!  Do you have a job/income?  Resentment!  Perhaps I would be less skilled in resentment if I were not the Queen of Resistance.  Or vice versa.  Who knows?  Not I.  (Not me?) (I don’t!) 

If I had really made it safe for myself to feel these feelings, I think I would be feeling a little better right now, having gotten some of that off my chest. 

Unfortunately, it’s not really all that safe to be exposing this stuff out loud on my blog, so I’m a little cringe-y and “yikes!” about it all.

I suspect the trick (if, indeed there is a trick) may be finding a truly safe way to express this stuff and get some assistance in processing it from someone who isn’t related to me, or my Mom.

I’m pretty sure that is called “therapy”.

I think I just decided that I absolutely need therapy.

(and oh, how the monsters go wild “but you can’t afford therapy because you can’t have a job because you have to take care of your mom and even if you did have money for therapy how could you fit it in around her Dr. stuff/needs and you’re never going to be able to find a therapist when you live on the farm, which you have no choice about, or do you?  therapy would help to figure that out….”)

SOMEBODY GET ME A THERAPIST!

Stat!

xoxo

kim

p.s.  I got to see my awesome son on Friday and I get to see him again tonight!  Yay!  He loves college!  I love him!  I love being able to hang out at my Aunt’s house and be very close to him without appearing to be a stalker… 😉

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I found Buddha on the farm. Or he found me. Anyway, we’re still here.

(view out the front door of Amache Studio on the farm)

(oh, and i probably shouldn’t have posted this, it’s not like i’ve resolved anything here…just revealed more of my horrible, selfish nature and yet another voice in my head… you’ve been warned.)

Here’s what I haven’t been doing since I last wrote, almost a week ago:

1.  Writing.

2.  Driving back to Denver.

3.  Practicing acceptance.

Here’s what I have been doing:

1.  Sitting down to write.

2.  Driving back and forth to town.  Just to make sure town is still there…

3.  Struggling.  Resisting.  Creating constant turmoil in my brain.

And then I started reading “How to Be Sick:  A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill And their Caregivers (emphasis added!) by Toni Bernhard, and things started to change.

I’ve flirted with Buddhism for decades.  Meaning (of course) that I’ve read a lot of books about Buddhism, without ever really trying to practice it in any meaningful way.  It appeals to me on so many levels, I just don’t know how committed I am to being that good

For one thing, I seriously doubt my ability to maintain the “loving kindness towards all beings” thing for any significant period of time.

That being said, this “How to be Sick” book is serving to remind me, ONCE AGAIN, that acceptance is much more pleasant than constant suffering + suffering over the fact that there is constant suffering + guilt about wasting time suffering.

Acceptance.

Who knew?

(that is a joke, y’all…. cuz a LOT of people knew, even me, then I forgot.)

Anyway.

So, I’m reading this book (and I’m still not done with it) and I start to notice that there is a new “voice” in the mix, you know, in my head.

Me:  “Hey, Mr. Smooth-Talker, who are you?”

Buddha-Me:  “I am your Buddha-nature.”

Me:  “I start reading one book about Buddhism and all of the sudden I have a Buddha-nature? That seems a little too convenient.”

Buddha-Me:  “I’ve always been here.”

Me:  “No, dude, I’VE always been here, you are NOT a regular.”

Buddha-Me:  “I’ve always been here.  Sometimes you notice me, sometimes you don’t.  You change.  I am constant.”

Me:  “Huh.  Now what.”

Buddha-Me:  “I don’t know.  You’ve been pretty busy struggling and resisting everything this week, it’s been hard to watch.”

Me:  “Sorry my head isn’t a more hospitable place to be right now.  Not only is the Mass of Dark Matter still just sitting out there teeming with issues, now I’m stuck on the farm with my Mom, who is totally depressed and sick and has now decided that we need to move here, like, for the duration, whatever that means.  Which brings up all sorts of crap for me — I know she just wants to be in her house (which she loves) surrounded by her stuff (which she loves) and around some friends (who she loves) but her doctors/clinical trial program are at least a four hour drive away from here (in good weather) and we have to go see the Dr. at least one time a week, which translates to a FUCK TON of driving for me (she doesn’t drive) and my life is there and my son is there (or at least closer to there than here…) and while I could grow to love this place, I’m not smitten right now — I’m really not in love with the constant wind, the dust, the bugs, the smell from the feedlots (when the wind blows a certain direction) the water (it’s very hard water that is treated with some chemicals specifically formulated to Make Kim’s Hair Limp and Unmanageable and Ugly) or the fact that there is no coffee shop with free Wi-Fi and a comfortable atmosphere for writing within 50 square miles.  Plus I have all this outsider fear/anxiety.  We moved a lot when I was growing up and, consequently,  I was always the outsider/new girl/weird chick from somewhere else and now she wants me to do it again.  Here.  Which I’ve already done once in my life and then had to move again.  I’m barely keeping myself out of a Great Depression right now, how is that going to work when I’m isolated on the farm with my depressed Mom?  That scares me.  A lot.  Anyway.  What can I do about it?  I have no choice.  I’m the designated caregiver.  (And don’t you know there are some issues about that….) It’s not like I can just quit.  “OH, now you’re really sick and it’s all downhill from here, I don’t think I want to do this whole “caregiving” thing any longer, work it out with your other kids, Mom…” And, of course, I’m not working (because I’m the caregiver) so my vote on where we should be really doesn’t carry much weight.  Which doesn’t feel good (AT ALL), but pretty much is just the way it is.”

Buddha-Me:  “You don’t have any control over a lot of things that are impacting your life.”

Me:  “No, I don’t have any control and that is the problem!”

Buddha-Me:  “Is that true?”

Me:  “What?  Yes it’s true – you just said it!”

Buddha-Me:  “No, I just acknowledged that you don’t have any control over some things that are impacting you.  I didn’t say it was “the problem”…”

Me:  “Oh.”

Buddha-Me:  “The things you can’t control are just things you can’t control.  They exist.  Your Mom is very sick and needs a caregiver.  You are the caregiver and you’re not willing to quit right now.  Being her caregiver means you have very little control over your time.  So what is the problem?”

Me:  “The problem is that I don’t like it.  Any of it.  I want it to be different.”

Buddha-Me:  “But it isn’t different.  It is what it is.  You know that.  None of the churning and angst and sad and fear going on in your brain is changing anything, it is just making you crazy.”

Me:  (heavy sigh)

Buddha-Me:  “What if you just accepted that this is how things are now and stopped the struggle?”

Me:  “It sounds nice, in theory.  I am just not sure I know how to stop the struggle.  It seems like it should be easy, but it feels like it isn’t so easy to do in real life.  Which is dumb, because the struggle is not good for me or for my Mom.”

Buddha-Me:  “Can you even imagine stopping the struggle?”

Me:  “Kind of.”

Buddha-Me:  “Well there you go.  Progress.”

(Stay tuned.  This discussion is difficult to have, and difficult to write (it’s been 2 days in the making already…) and it isn’t finished.  We’re driving back to Denver tomorrow (for real this time) and then busy with Dr. appointments Tuesday/Wednesday – I plan to write (ha…) from the hospital Wednesday, but no promises…)

xoxo

kim

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Here’s the SITREP, yo.

So.

SITREP is the military abbreviation for Situation Report.

(I was never actually in the military, but I’ve had sex with a lot of people who were in the military, so I feel like that qualifies me to use military talk.)

(That isn’t exactly true.)

(I haven’t had sex with “a lot of people” who were in the military, I’ve had a lot of sex with a man (or two)(not at the same time!) who were in the military.) 

Anyway.

The SITREP.

At this very moment, I am in my Mom’s 100+ year old rock house on our family farm in extreme southeastern Colorado.  It’s beautiful here (in a prairie/farm kind of way) but the main thing is that it is quiet.  QUIET.  I’m sure it’s not always this quiet around here, but today there are no farm machines around, there is no traffic noise, there is no construction noise, no dogs barking, even the cicadas have been quiet this morning. 

Here’s what I hear:  The wind in the trees.  Birds chirping occasionally.  My fingers tapping on the keyboard.  Mom turning the pages of her book upstairs.

PEACE.

My brain likes this quietness.  My body relaxes into the quiet.  It stirs a realization that our life in the city (ok, a suburb of a city, but compared to the farm, it’s a city…) is almost unbearably loud. 

We have no TV service out here at the moment and the internet access is sketchy at best, due to the location and the super-thick rock walls.  For the most part it has been good to be somewhat cut-off, but I have to admit that I went a little nuts yesterday when I couldn’t get any of the 9/11 Memorial Services, etc.

I’m better today.

The Great Anti Anti-Depressant Experiment of 2011 is still going on and I have to admit that I’m kind of shocked that I haven’t required inpatient treatment by this point.  I’m only half-kidding about that.  There have been some tough, tough days but overall I’m managing to keep my head above water. 

(Note that my sassy Virgo sister might disagree with my conclusion that I’m keeping my head above water since she talks me off the ledge at least once a week.)

Here’s what I have been good about:  cleaning up my diet (sayonara aspartame!), taking my nutritional supplements once a day (need to be taking them consistently two times a day). 

Here’s what I want to be better at:  managing diet, taking supplements, sticking with an exercise program, riding my old lady bike while the weather is still awesome, sleep management (getting to bed at same time, getting up at same time), explore gluten-free diet, writing consistently, asking for help more consistently.

The Mass of Dark Matter is still out there, but writing about/to/for it seemed to help.  The great comments posted here and the private emails really helped me to appreciate the work that I have done, and to see where more work might need to be done.  Anyway.  It feels less awful in some ways, but I still haven’t been able to concentrate on (a) writing anything meaningful, or (b) addressing any of the issues contributing to the MDM.

Except.

You know how I have Compulsive Honesty Disorder (a/k/a Obsessive Disclosure Disorder)?  Well, I do.  I think I’ve written about it, but now I’m not finding the link.  Anyway.  Trust me, I have it.  So.  I’m feeling the need to write about how, while I totally have a Moratorium on dating and (arguably) sex, which is totally still in effect, it turns out there is a Grandfather Clause (Gross.  No.  It has nothing to do with actual grandfathers.)(I have nothing against grandfathers, that just isn’t the point.) buried deep in the fine print.  Which may or may not have been invoked recently.  So I’m just about ready to write about that.

My artistic genius mother (with fabulous hair) started a Clinical Trial right after her 68th birthday party (a/k/a “Lamarpalooza”) in mid-July and, frankly, IT SUCKS.  I’ll spare you the details, but “nightmare of epic proportions” is not an exaggeration.  Luckily, her Clinical Trial oncologist is a SAINT, and once she realized how little quality of life Mom was actually enjoying, she decided to cut Mom’s dose of the Clinical Trial drug in half.  (Of course Mom always has the option to go off the medication altogether, but her latest tests indicate the nightmare drug might actually be working in the sense of inhibiting new tumor growth and spread of the cancer, so it’s not all that easy to just say “no more” to the drug.)  Anyway.  That was last Wednesday and while she still has the overwhelming fatigue, she has had little to no pain in her abdomen.  No pain = no pain medication = Mom has a life.  Yay!

My kid appears to be enjoying the hell out of college…. 🙂

And he isn’t being a total dick about communicating with me, which makes things a lot better/less traumatic.

One more day on the farm and then it’s back to Denver tomorrow!

xoxo

kim

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I can’t write on account of the Mass of Dark Matter surrounding me. Here’s proof.

Here is the situation:

I CAN’T WRITE.

I CANNOT WRITE.

I AM NOT ABLE TO WRITE.

I’M UNABLE TO WRITE

NO CAN WRITE.

FUCK WRITING.

I don’t know what is wrong.

I don’t think it is “just” writer’s block.

(as if anyone would ever call that cavernous depth of hell “just” writer’s block, hello….)

It’s more.

There’s a large mass of dark matter surrounding me and I guess I’m going to have to fucking interact with it if I’m ever going to be able to write (or do anything else remotely meaningful with my life, ever)(dramatic? yes. overly dramatic?  fuck no.)

Me:  (long, heavy, dramatic sigh of deep, deep sorrow and exhaustion)  “Oh alright.  Hello darkness, my old friend….”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Cute.”

Me:  “I’m trying to hide my intense hatred for you by acting playful.  Playful interaction is supposed to be good for me, but it is hard to be playful and fucking annoyed as fuck at the same time, which I am.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “I know.”

Me:  “Is that what you want?”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “I don’t want or not-want anything.”

Me:  “Lovely.  Let me guess:  you’re Vulcan…  I knew there would be some repercussions from obsessively watching all things Star Trek related all my life.  Now my neuroses are alien.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “No.”

Me:  “What does that even mean?  You’re not Vulcan?  You’re not my neuroses?  Can you help me out here?  Why am I doing all the work?”

(Oh, perfect, now I’m having discussions with myself and asking one part of myself why the other part is having to do all the work in the conversation… is this at all normal?)

Mass of Dark Matter:  “You’re creating the work.  Why do you struggle so against me when you created me?  You know what I am.”

Me:  “No, Mr. Mass of Dark Matter with Vulcan tendencies, I don’t know what you are.  And while I want to scream I DIDN’T MAKE YOU and other things that make you feel stupid for saying that I made you, I am aware that you’re in my fucking head, so I GUESS I have some part in your creation.  But I refuse to take total responsibility (that’s what she said…..) AND I’m not at all clear on what you are.  While you’re clearly an ass, you don’t seem to be a Dreadifuss Beast.  Or any other kind of everyday monster.  You seem to have shades (or maybe echoes…) of the RRLM, but that doesn’t explain everything, plus he is everywhere, so that doesn’t help….. OH MY GOD.  You’re not Vulcan at all.  I just realized that you are soooooooo not Vulcan, you, my fucked-up friend, are the BORG.  Which, if you know anything about anything, is WAY FUCKING WORSE.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Interesting.  I can see where you might conclude that I am more analogous to the Borg than to Vulcans (all of whom are PRETEND, FYI).  This means that you have correctly sensed that I am made up of all sorts of parts/things/issues which were once unrelated, but have now been stored in a huge container, ME, and are now working together towards a common goal.”

Me:  (panicking cuz the Borg are scary as shit and they always win, practically)  “What is the common goal, total destruction of ME?  You’re telling me that my shit got together and formed a coalition to fucking destroy me?  You don’t hear about this little phenomenon in Psych 101, do you?  This is advanced fucking nightmare shit.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Settle down.  No one is trying to destroy you.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Our common goal is to hide inside this Mass of Dark Matter so you don’t go around trying to address every single one of us, especially in writing.  That would be a disaster and you would be hurt, or worse.  When we are all together like this we are MASSIVE and TOTALLY UNAPPROACHABLE… at least that is how we want to be perceived.

Me:  “Mission accomplished, fuckheads.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Exactly.  Believe me, you do NOT want to poke around in here on account of the gravity and the ever-present slippery slope.”

Me:  “Well.  Fuck.  What am I supposed to do?  Who/what is in there?  Just give me an example.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “What did I just say?  No.  Don’t even start.  It’s not safe.”

Me:  “Look.  You’re probably right, but just give me an example.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Nice try.  No.”

Me:  (bluffing) “I guess we will just have to go to real therapy then, and you will all be destroyed.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “You can’t afford to go to therapy, or you would totally be there.  Anway. I didn’t want to do this, but I suppose I have no choice but to show you just how uncomfortable it would be for you to continue to try to “playfully interact” with this stuff.  I don’t think you’re going to like it and I don’t think you are going to want to publish it, in any form, to the world.”

Me:  “It can’t be that bad.  I’ve shared a lot of scary stuff in my writing.  Show me what you’ve got.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Alright, but keep in mind that you asked for this.  Also, this isn’t even the thing with the biggest gravitational pull in here, so, if you think this is bad (and you will), imagine what the worst stuff is like…

Me:  “Just do it already.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Okay, well, part of what is in here is your fear that you can’t have a life of your own as long as your Mom is alive.  Which is horrible enough in itself, but then you have the corresponding, heretofore silent, fear that even if your Mom’s illness weren’t an issue, you wouldn’t be having a life anyway.  You’re worried that your time is up — you’ll never find work again, you’ll never fall in love again, you’ll never have the relationship with your son that you want, you’ll never participate in life.  You think you’ve had your chance and you squandered it and at the ripe old age of 46 it’s all over.  Done.  You think your destiny is to end up with nothing and no one.  You act like this is not what you think, but deep down inside, it totally is.  A year ago (when your contract ended) all you wanted was to be hired by a group of mean women practicing bullshit semi-law/social work.  That is how “big” you allowed yourself to think.  Now, because those women didn’t hire you (which would have been a fucking disaster) and you stayed in child welfare so long that you’re totally burned out on ever practicing law again, you think you’re unemployable.  And even if you were employable, you don’t think you can work with other people ever again because somehow you’ve lost every single social skill you had ever acquired over the last six months of not working.  Sounds far-fetched, but that is what you think.  You say you want to be a writer, but you don’t believe that it can happen.  You think you’re too old, you didn’t get the right education, you’re not motivated enough, you’re not interesting enough, your imagination sucks and the truth is too difficult to write.  Especially while your Mom is alive.  And you can’t really imagine doing anything else, which makes you worry that you’re just lazy/dumb/lazy.

Me:  (pregnant pause)

Mass of Dark Matter:  “I warned you.”

Me:  “That’s heavy.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Hence the “Dark Matter” part of my title.”

Me:  “I’m not sure how to playfully interact with all that.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “It’s too big and too heavy to interact with at all, much less “playfully”…

Me:  “I wish it wasn’t really my stuff.”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “I know.”

Me:  “GAH!”

Mass of Dark Matter:  “Exactly.”

THE END

and/or

STAY TUNED…. (?)

xoxo

kim

p.s.  this little conversation has been EXHAUSTING to write/read/think.  which usually means something useful will come out of it — just not right now.

p.s.s.  it seems like i write the same fucking blog post over and over, just using different things to describe my brain.  is that true?  or am i exploring different things?  i need to go read my own blog to figure this out….

 

 

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Filed under My Big Book of Me, The Great Anti-Antidepressant Experiment of 2011