Getting better

Getting better

I must be getting better. All my hard work over the last year or so, especially the last six months. I came back from the separation, thinking we were going to see each other every week, do something. It’d be like the date nights we never had. He wanted to be friends. It was his idea to see each other at least every week or two or a couple times a week. Sure didn’t work out that way. Still, I must be getting better because even now with this last chunk of jaw-dropping madness today, I don’t feel suicidal. I’m not even lying on the floor screaming in a blackness. I don’t have the urge to ingest anything. I made a cup of peppermint tea because warmth is good for anxiety. And jaw-dropping madness generally leads to anxiety.

See, yesterday I caved to his demand that we only meet do to something fun. I temporarily let go of the requirement that we deal with resolving a now shrivelled and ancient conflict from the last time we got together a month ago. I caved, and I even came up with the fun or creative thing. He built on it. He liked it. But now the goalposts moved, as usual. The bizarre language reminds me of the crazy soldier I painted at his request for the cover of his apparently unpublished book. General Madness, his name. Rule from on high: I must not ever refer to anything in the past. Frankly, I don’t see how I can function like that.

I was strong enough to cave, but not strong enough to subject myself to this. I can’t afford the emotional risk and inevitable cost anymore. I’m trying to get myself a life, and that’s time-intensive.

Plus I value the past. Context, ya know? And that old cliche about repeating the past. I think that’s exactly what he must want: to continue the pattern from the past. Ever since our split he’s refused to examine it unless it is to bash me. I’ve squeezed a few apologies out of him by calling him on his shit, but they aren’t a bountiful self-sustaining crop. More like a square mini-watermelon grown in Japan with great management effort and follow-through. And probably not as good as a fat old field-grown watermelon, straining its thin skin in the Texas sun. Crispy and juicy at the same time.

So, here we are, almost nine months after I got back, and he wants no contact. Just wow, after 12 years of friendship. I know I haven’t done anything that bad, and I have to put this down to his incapacity. After all, he was self-diagnosed schizophrenic from the start, based on his strong hallucinations, but we thought it’d be okay, given he knew they weren’t real. I was proud of his ability to handle them, and so was he. I trusted him. But I didn’t research the complications of schizophrenia, at all. No official diagnosis there, but he fits the patterns I’ve heard about from those more experienced than me. My cousin who does a lot of charity work recognized the schizophrenia before I ever mentioned the word. I just told her how baffled I was by what was happening. The paranoia, the strange fixed ideas, the very low EQ, and tendency to lash out at the very person who most supported them. And BINGO was his name-o.  He can’t deal with me, but that quickly translates as “I’m not worth it to him” and that hurts.

So I lay down on my bed, under a soft flannel blanket that used to be only for meditation time. Heat is good for anxiety, I read, and so I acted on that advice. And I tuned into my body, my feelings. I took a watchful and meditative stance in my mind.

I cried. I went to my safe place. I imagined I’m a crying kitten, a tiger kitten. My mother is big and soft and wrapped around me. Cat armpits do not smell bad in my experience, and cat bellies can be quite nice. And this is wrapped around me in a big way. I just imagine feeling it. It soothes me. Takes me away from all the realities I have experienced.

The cat takes my back and the little fairy-girl takes my front. She came from a dream I had, of a strange little girl putting her arms around me and kind of burying her fase in my belly. Disturbing, but then I thought about it and it was like being kissed by a fairy, loved at my centre, accepted. I don’t have kids, but I’m going to be born out of myself, out of that belly formed from stress eating and stuffing down emotions with numbing quantities of food. Cat at the back, fairy kiss at the front. For the moment I feel safe.

I really should take down the cable from the bathroom hook. I’m not going to kill myself. I had a really bad day a few weeks back and I dug that thing out of its box, and I actually put it around my neck. First time for that. Seems like I won’t be needing it, though. I am alone, there is no contact, and I don’t feel suicidal or needing to indulge and ingest, to fill myself up, deaden the panic and all the other feelings. Instead I’m sitting with them and being willing to let go in general, and embrace a life of new good things.