Today was so good for so long… but of course it devolved into chaos, anger, tears, and screaming. Because why wouldn’t it? Because I’m still here. Because I’ve been offered 1,000 opportunities to fucking leave… but I haven’t.
And what does that mean? That means I’m fucking choosing this. And if I’m choosing it, I’ve got no right to seek sympathy.
People I’d Go Back in Time and Throat Punch: An Ill-Conceived, Nonsensical Rant in Free Verse:
I. As always, my father. (Reader will insert their own tired ass trauma here; it has been decades, I am sick of listening to my own shit.)
II. Whatever misguided, do-gooder of a “Gifted” teacher put a pen in my hand in early childhood and made it seem like this was a reasonable way to conduct one’s life.
III. Whatever idiot trotted out the flashcards and vocabulary test that got me into a special class full of special children who were going to grow up and live special lives, in the first fucking place.
IV. Whoever the fuck decided it was a good idea to herd precocious youngsters into a classroom and get them all puffed up with their brilliant, insufferable uniqueness. (What. A. Dick.)
V. My grandfather, for allowing my mother to ruin her whole life with my father.
VI. Myself, ten minutes ago, for deciding, yet again, to try and be clever rather than medicating the shit out of myself and going to bed. (As if, at 41, on a diet of gin-mules and leftover cocaine, I was going to manage to be interesting and not pass out on the sixth verse. Like this is my first night in this body. Jesus fucking Christ.)
It’s a bit easier to quit something when your mind isn’t addicted but your body is, and you finally get a diagnosis that shows your mind that the reason you’ve not only been feeling like absolute shit all the time, but have also been dumb as shit for months, is within your control.
I kept doing the cocaine because it distracted me from the physical pain and the extreme exhaustion that I thought was a fibromyalgia flare brought on by constant anxiety. Obviously, I realized that some shifts I was extra tired because I’d been up all night doing blow and that getting more blow to make it through the current shift was not indicative of a healthy mind, but I chalked that up to a character trait of my industry and assured myself that as long as I wasn’t doing it in my off time, it was okay. And I wasn’t doing it every day, the way my father drinks; my bills were still being paid.
Then a routine doctor visit showed that I was anemic. Not super surprising, as I’ve never been a big eater anyway. I started being a little more strategic about Iron intake. And holy fuck did that make everything exponentially worse. Eventually, it came to light that while, yes, I am anemic, I’m not exactly lacking in iron. My stupid cocaine-addled brain has Essentially decided that iron looks enough like dopamine that it will do, and since it really, really wants to be swimming in dopamine 24/7 (like it is during a coke-binge) it’s just been gobbling up all the iron that enters my body. Probably for six months; possibly nine; definitely three.
The word is stomatocytosis. It’s a nice word, particularly for a poet raised in a family of scientists. Not so nice to feel. Apparently the reason it felt like my fibromyalgia was suddenly on PCP is that the pain caused by this type of anemia mimics that of a sickle cell flare-up. And my eyes, mouth, and throat were so painfully dry because it dries up your membranes; that also explains the laryngitis. My lower back hurt because my kidneys were starved of iron- the same reason a friend had noticed weeks ago that my eyes and skin looked yellow, I had mild jaundice. And the shortness of breath that I was scared was Covid? My lungs, starved of oxygen because my red blood cells couldn’t carry enough.
Meanwhile, and worst of all, my brain’s hoarding of the iron was also impeding its own functions. It’s basically all gummed up and operating as it would if it had dementia. Which explains a lot. Not that I don’t deserve the moniker “space cadet” that I earned as a child, and not that I don’t legitimately need to see someone to address probable Adult ADD; but this shit has gotten way out of hand. I’ve been having trouble reading. Reading. The one thing I’ve always done well. The thing I almost scored a perfect on both times I took the ACT. Spelling, even. I’ve had to rely on spellcheck lately for some really stupid shit. I could read when I entered kindergarten, for the love of fuck.
I’ve been using recreational substances of varying types, to varying degrees, since 1994. There have been two notable occasions where I suddenly became aware I had a problem, and I stopped using those things. Both were years and years ago; I’ve been able to dabble in both substances over the years, carefully, with no issue at all. But this. This just snuck up on me. I am 100% hopelessly addicted to a few things: Coca-Cola, Marlboro Blacks, and shopping. And I know how those things make me feel, as well as how I feel if access to them is removed. Ie, I lose my absolute shit immediately, loudly, insanely, in as ugly and as public a fashion as I feel neccessary to ensure their return.
This isn’t like that. I don’t feel at all like that about coke. I just like it. (Vonnegut would probably not approve, but he’s not here, so: it’s like this, for me, “Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt.” That’s what it does. Who wouldn’t enjoy that? Especially someone with depression, suicidal ideation, and an abusive marriage?) So I thought it was fine. I thought the symptoms of this physical addiction were my pre-existing anxiety and fibromyalgia. Would I have pegged them for addiction if I were normally healthy? I’d like to think so. But who knows?
So. Now I’m really on the wagon. I feel okay mentally. There’s nothing to do physically except drink water, rest a lot, regulate my iron, and not put shit up my nose. It’s been 3 days. That’s not a long time to not do a drug, granted; but it’s a pretty good chunk of time to not at all want to do it.
I wish it were possible to make a Facebook poll to which people in your life could be expected to respond with perfect honesty: Think long and hard, guys; wouldn’t your lives really be a little better, a little easier, without me here?
Husband says he’s leaving in the morning. We fought tonight. Bad. My new, gorgeous necklace from Guncle (that came today) got broken. He picked me up by two body parts, but I don’t know which. He was screaming “whore” and “I hate you”; he said every time he’s been depressed since we’ve been together, it was because he was “feeding off me”. Apparently when he finally dropped me, it was from a short height, so he was screaming at me when I went back into my room and was pseudo-fetal, holding my head– but I couldn’t move it. It was pounding like crazy and I was so nauseated. I’m sure there will be bruises. If I can get to any of them, I’ll post photos tomorrow.
He did ask for a divorce and say he hates me and never wants to see me again. So.
Honestly, I think I’ve just subconsciously decided to let him escalate until he fucking kills me. Anything else would just take so much energy, so much strength; and I don’t have it. Not anymore. I don’t even care anymore.
When we fight, he always gets to some point where he screams at me to shut the fuck up. And I can’t… after the way I grew up, I will be Goddamned if some man is going to silence my voice. The fact that I step closer to him, so my voice is even louder as I continue verbally defending myself, apparently is the problem- according to him. “I’m crazy”, so when my 103 pounds step toward him, his 285 pounds simply have to react with physical violence, because “who knows what I’ll do”.
Then I’m in the air for a minute. Then the edge of the coffee table is in my hip, and then I’m on the floor. “I’m so sorry, I love you, that will never Happen again, I’m so sorry” comes later, of course. Every time.
And I would have left a thousand times if I had the money, and if not for my cats. My innocent babies who have never done anything wrong. I don’t think that he would hurt one, but what the fuck would I know?
None of my family wants me, really. And I know that my Godparents would give me money, but I could never pay them back. My bestie has been begging, for years, for me to come down there. But I hate it there. And they’re still on lockdown partially- it’s the worst time possible for a waitress to move to New Orleans.
I’m stuck. And honestly, as a person who has studied psychology since she was 12 (29 years), yet decided not to throw him out the very first time this happened… I fucking deserve it.