journal: a wallow

It’s hot in my apartment, and the nightmares won’t stop, so I’m typing this instead of bundling myself in a pile of sweat and nerves.

I was going to do better about being full here, honest here, but one or two comments silenced me. One of the strangest side effects of this life is how slippery my foothold always is now. Every whisper in the wrong direction is a typhoon that knocks me miles back.

Even after all that inching forward.

What a blow a whisper can be.

I wrote about my dream last month because it was the first good dream in a very long time. I’ve had nightmares of varying levels since the strokes began. Sometimes I don’t remember them, but I wake up with a scream knotted in the back of my throat. I swallow those knots down, and I’m pretty sure that’s how ulcers get started, but I’m not a doctor.

I’m really not anything, anymore.

I can see how someone would take that as self-pitying, but it’s really more of a conscious acknowledgement of reassignment. In prison, before you get a job, but after you are processed, you are an unclassified inmate. There are different limitations of unclassifieds.

Strokes have made me unclassified because sometimes I still can’t write words, and words are the backbone of everything I do.

This is why a daily blogging process is so important, and why I have to ignore the comments that make me want to ulcer myself with silence and knots.

Not every post is going to be a winner.

Tonight’s surely will not be. I have a sort of honesty-constipation. I only want to tell people about things I can wrap up like a bow, or summarize, or attach to a larger lesson.

But I can’t sleep so I am hoping typing out these worries prunes my mind of them.

The Prunes

Over the years, through varied accomplishments, I learned to love myself and trust myself. I married a man who matched that, plus more. He died. I had a wild few years, and now I find myself in a place surrounded by people who never knew the me who lived off her intuitions.

There is a girl in my life that I do not trust. This is a small issue. The world is full of different types of people. It’s just about knowing how to get along with your eyes wide open.

The people I trust have been mostly patronizing about my worries, though. This is a bigger issue. Perhaps I am no longer someone worthy of trust– and I know that my Best Beloveds here will say otherwise– but the internet does not follow me everywhere. It doesn’t see me shut down in grocery stores. It doesn’t see me panic at train stations.

Just like I must consider the negative blog comments (“Am I self-pitying? Exhausting in my re-hashing of lived experiences?”), I must consider the possibility that my intuitions were damaged in my repeated falls from grace and that other people see it better than I do. I have to consider the possibility that I shouldn’t tell the people who matter to me most about things that are bothering me, because maybe it just knots me into a place I am trying to swallow away.

Maybe I need to untie the knots and scream. I don’t know what that means in terms of real-life actual advice. I only know that I had already decided to let all this go, and yet my dreams keep showing me that I haven’t.

In real life, I will say nothing.

Most of the time, I feel very small now. This issue makes me realize how small. So small that even when I cry, even when I shout, my people can barely hear me. I sit on their fingertips and squeak that the sky is falling.

Who would believe such a chicken little?

I am probably wrong, is the thing. I am wrong and they are right, and there is no reason to pretend to believe in a trust that isn’t there, hasn’t been earned in this community that is my life now. I get it, and it makes sense, and I will apologize to everyone I’ve chicken little’d, but I miss it.

I miss being a full-sized thing with dreams. I miss telling someone what I can see, and having them be so grateful for the gift of my special sight. I miss my special sight,

and how it leaked into my nighttime and into my blank pages.

This part is self-pitying, but I have some right to be, don’t I? Here, even if not anywhere else?

So much has changed, so quickly. I am always sad in a way I cannot express, in a way I haven’t learned to share.

My dreams know both sides of things. They know how happy I am now. They know how much of my life is a miracle, and how perfectly I fold into my people, and how scared I am of losing everyone I’ve been so blessed to receive.

And, my dreams know how unseen I feel.

A whole me died, and I have to relearn my remains through mirrors and other people’s notes.

My dreams war the two sides, and the conflict makes for nightmare. My dreams focus on minor things, like a girl I don’t trust, or a comment someone made, or an article I read. If I grieve these issues like my old self wants to, I lose everyone again, because they don’t recognize the tears of a woman they never met.

You can’t carry a dead body inside a living one.

But my new self does not have the experience to solve these things. She flounders. She ulcers, she knots, she nightmares.

She wakes up and writes a blog post.

Not a good one. Not one that wraps up nicely, but definitely one with words.

It counts.

It has to.