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I want to fall asleep

My little eyes are at half staff. That’s usually a very clear sign to anyone who knows me well that I’m tired. It’s a pretty day. The clouds are oh so fluffy and inviting outside. You might think this is a free write, but I promise you it’s not.

I think there are different kinds of sleepiness for me. This is the “I’m Likely Going to Stay Like This Until I Give Into This or Force Myself to Get Moving” sleepiness. On the whole, pesty, but with a little effort, easy to shake off. If I want to put in the effort, that is.

Then there’s the “Sleep is Playing With Me” sleepiness, where without warning I can easily find myself having the most vivid dreams out of a few precious seconds of stolen sleep. (No, that’s not right; it’s not stolen sleep if you didn’t mean for it to happen. Whatever, I’m going with it.) When that happens, I feel like I’m bugging out on some kind of hallucinogen, so jarring and lively are my dreams. Funny thing is, those dreams are never anything very elaborate. I hear many voices speaking at once, tons of colors, and simple shapes, like triangles, squares, concentric circles, that sort of thing. It takes several minutes of slapping my face to totally shake that off.

I’ve also experienced “Painful Sleepiness”, where I will allow myself to sleep for a few seconds, and every teeny tiny sound will cause me to wake up like bombs are being dropped outside, jolts, jumps, and all. By the end of it my nerves are usually so jazzed that when I try to sleep in earnest, I need to force myself to stop believing I’m going to be freaked awake again. No fun. Whatsoever.

This morning I was visited by “I’ve Slept For Hours…No I Haven’t” sleepiness. I normally wake up some time around 7, and this morning I was awake at 6. So I did my best to get back to sleep, cuddling in, and managing to sleep. Then I woke, convinced I must have overslept. The clock said, “Only 5 minutes had passed”. So I try for sleep again. And soon I wake, again convinced that I’ve managed to doze the morning away. Which is true. I dozed three more minutes of the morning away. Grr. “Sorry, warm bed,” I apologize as I leave the covers, “dumb body has its clock wrong again.”

And at this very moment my “Get Moving” sleepiness is morphing into “I’m So Tired My Eyes Are Tearing And My Muscles Are Twitching, And If I Don’t Do Something IMMEDIATELY I Will Be A Zombie For The Rest of The Night.” Fine. Rooibos, here I come.

But, on second thought, the idea of being undead is suddenly becoming appealing. Think it’ll get me out of making dinner tonight? Couldn’t hurt to give it a try.

BRAINS!!

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Your school days

My last post was just shooting from the hip, as just getting started usually makes me want to keep going. But it did make me think of something I hadn’t thought on in a long time. All the little distractions and feelings of being in school. What was it like for you?

There are times I’m convinced that if I were a child going to school these days, I would have been diagnosed ADHD. I turned nearly everything into a toy and used whatever I could for a distraction. When I was a kid my mother had a policy of not buying anything for my sister and I that was too…”gimmicky”, like glittery sharpeners, or erasers in fun shapes, or folders with characters on them. Everything had to be plain colors, plain shapes, less we get distracted by them. Especially during those precious early weeks of school. Still remember the year that those mechanical pencil boxes came out- the ones with tons of little compartments, snap out sharpeners and erasers, and the funny smell of vinyl. When my best friend got one, I literally spent the first class that day doing nothing but pressing all the buttons and opening every drawer, putting pencils in and seeing how many would fit, hopelessly fascinated- until the teacher took it away from me. And that happened to me a lot.

Critters were always a welcome distraction in the classroom. Whenever we’d have a class pet, I’d spend most of the lesson looking over into the cage, wondering if the pet was listening and if he/she was as bored as I was. Or I’d imagine what school was like for them- you know, before they were sold to the pet store and made to go to human school. Was the pet a good student at his/her school?

Probably the only thing that got me to focus with all my ability was fairs and events. Book fairs, career week, science fair (my personal favorite), plays, parties- that was the stuff I lived for. Even now, the scent of a match still reignites the memories of helping my mother put away her students’ science fair projects, setting up the displays for the parents’ arrivals, skipping and sliding down the empty hallways when no one was watching. My sister and I, and the other staff kids would often get extra treats for having to stay in school for the science fair prep, and we made a lot of fun out of it- playing with board games from any classroom, messing with the gym equipment, being allowed in the kitchen (which was a strict no-no), and checking to see what kinds of books the older kids read (how sad I was to discover that younger kids generally had the better books). ┬áMy mind has done an excellent job of stripping the information I received from school away from the methods in which I learned it all (and, of course, that likely happens to most). But happily it allowed me to keep, rather intact, memories of the discoveries I made on my own, and thinking on it does give me something to smile about today.

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So blue

If blue were something to be…what would it be like? Would I feel as the color coats me, finds a way through my skin to make sure it matches what I am like inside? The weight of paint, the chill of liquid…outside, and it sinks me down. I can’t touch anything else, or it will become blue, too.

What shade will do? Grey blue, soft cerulean, or would I be a blue so intense that in low light it makes my eyes feel like they’re vibrating? This color has a smell, and it’s not the scent of sadness.

Or would the color come from the inside, like painless bleeding? Well, painless as how the flesh knows pain, but something is leaking. It’s still heavy, though.

Let the pigment wash off; that’s what tears are for. I’m ready to be another color, something light, though I know blue will always be part of the rainbow. Thank you, blue, for letting me experience you.

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It’s just water

My head is bowed forward. My eyes are closed. It’s trickling down through my cheeks again. I know what this is. I’ve been here before.

Something about letting the water flow makes my breath catch, over and over. There is pain, like being squeezed by a rock, only on the inside. My hands are shaking, as the item in my hand comes loose. My voice is shaking, too.

I feel my chest heaving, and I wish I could stop it. Is this place helpful any more? What more is there to express? You’d think familiarity would make me resistant. But all it does is make me frustrated.

The memories take me in. The memories make me relive. The memories…make me laugh. I adjust the towel around my shoulders as I shiver.

I’m not there any more. Not in the place where water on my face was always a bad thing. It’s an early morning, I tremble in cold, and all the water on my face is just the remnants of a freshly washed head, the quivering and pain from leaving the heat of a comfy bath. “Do I have to get so danged cold every time I wash my hair?” I think as I pick up the comb my shivering fingers dropped.

Funny, how the water running down my face could transport me as they did. But this time I can smile with soggy cheeks. This time, there is no salt, no stickiness, no sorrow. This time, it’s just water.

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Get uncomfortable

What’s on my mind? Seems like a simple question, but there’s too much there. Do you quantify it by weight, by size, by effect? It doesn’t matter. There is a lot, and more than I can define.

With so much of what has happened in the past several years, things around and within me, I’ve come to realize the truth of what I believe, and how strongly it affects what I do, as well as what I think I can do. And the belief I have internalized most strongly, likely as sacred a belief as believing the sky is blue, is that I am inherently and permanently inadequate.

Yet…it’s such a clash because I see myself inside and…I love her. My inner self fascinates me to such an extent that writing about it makes me feel rather silly. But she wants something of me. Her freedom. For so many years I took it on as my goal in life to protect her from anyone who would have her be different. And after such a long captivity, I was pleased when I realized she survived relatively unchanged. But she is not satisfied remaining protected. Now feeling safe, she wants to be free. And it terrifies me.

I hate the fear that has kept her bound for so long, yet…it’s safe. Will she die if she is exposed, if her spirit is allowed to inhabit my arms, my skin, my voice? She did once, when I was very small. And for her protection, I made a very diluted copy of her, the one who inhabits my body now. Maybe I’m scared for her death…and my own, should she be given freedom.

But there’s no lie that can swallow the truth. The diluted spirit that possesses me now…is already fading. While she grows stronger, it grows weaker. There is nowhere left to go. I believe her inadequate…and myself as well. If we were to merge as one…would the belief change?

To best fear, one must act in spite of fear. To best shame, one must act in spite of shame. There’s no easy path to adequacy for me. I must be content in the discomfort, breathe while in the unsureness, until I realize I’ve survived. Inadequacy comes when something is measured against something else. This time, there need be no sense of inadequacy when I’m the only thing against which to measure. A measure I already fill…adequately.