février 28, 2003

change

Can we ever be entirely happy? Should we be?

Have I mentioned that I think a lot? I'm constantly questioning the world around me, trying to understand... well, everything I guess. People, identity, my place, my thoughts, feelings, emotions. It can be exhausting sometimes. And also exhilarating.

Yesterday I was thinking about the concept of happiness. In considering whether I am going to go back to school or not, I have to address the fact that if I do this, I'm going to be struggling financially for another few years. Which means renting, not having money to spend on luxuries, taking longer to pay back debts I already owe... there's a lot of implicatons there. In short, material happiness is going to be beyond my grasp for a while yet, if I do make that choice.

And yet, is material happiness really important to me? Judging by the past year, I'm not entirely sure that it is. There are definitely more important things in life. So I got to thinking, what kind of happiness really is important to me?

The way I see it is that there are four fairly distinct strands that weave through our lives and each of these leads to a certain happiness or contentment. There's material happiness, which I guess encompasses the physical aspect of our lives. Intellectual happiness, where we are challenged and fulfilled by what we do and who we are in contact with on a daily basis. Emotional happiness, where we love and nurture ourselves as well as those around us and are treated with love and respect in return. And lastly, spiritual happiness, where we have come to terms with our Higher Power, or where we fit into this world on a spiritual level.

In thinking about this, I realized that going back to university is what will fulfill my intellectual happiness. I need to learn, I'm happiest when taking in knowledge or outputting knowledge creatively. And my life in the past five years really hasn't contained a lot of that. I feel rather like I've been stagnating intellectually and I need to keep expanding and growing. And I thought, if I have my intellectual happiness fulfilled and the emotional happiness comes with time (spiritually I'm pretty okay with where I am at the moment), then do I need material happiness at the moment?

As I walked (walking leaves me time for pondering the big questions of life) I wondered if it was ever possible to have all four strands of happiness at the same time. And indeed, if it is possible, is it actually desirable?

Isn't striving for happiness, or at the very least, contentment, what makes us grow and learn? If I was entirely happy with all aspects of my life, what impetus would there be to make me stretch, to seek knowledge and understanding?

Obviously one needs at least some happiness in their life, or what is the point in getting up in the morning. Something has to make you smile or give you comfort, otherwise you're flirting or dancing intimately with depression, or worse.

But I do wonder if maybe it isn't better for each of us to have that balance in our lives, the balance between comfort and discomfort, between standing still and taking a deep breath and moving forward, striving for betterment.

Having at least one strand of happiness then allows you to focus on another and make positive choices about how to gain that which you seek. Having two allows you to narrow your focus even further and gives you a safe base from where to aim for the bigger and better fulfillment of the remaining strands.

This, of course supposes that you want to be happy and that you recognize your unhappiness and use it as a instigator for action rather than a reason to re-act. That's another subject in and of itself.

But maybe all this is a small answer that perennial question "why me?". If unhappiness becomes a force for change, then maybe it's a necessay evil. Of course that's tautological, if you're not unhappy there's no reason to change.

But isn't change and growth ultimately what life is all about?

Posted by rachie at 11:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

février 27, 2003

butterfly

I feel like I'm emerging again.

I went out last night, third time in a week. it's been so great to have social contact at last and I'm feeling a lot better because of it. saturday night was dinner at elly's with some of her friends. they made me feel accepted and comfortable and it was a great night with lots of laughter. I've needed laughter so badly lately.

they've asked me to go to a dance with them on Saturday week that's been organized by the lesbian bookshop in york. 'the scene' is pretty non-existent in this city, but that doesn't bother me too much - I'm not into clubbing, although a boogie every now and then is nice. the main thing at the moment is meeting people, and I seem to be starting to do that. elly's friends seem keen to include me in their social calender which is a good ego boost!

last night I went out with some other people from work and had a great time. the great thing about working in the place I work is that these people deal with mental health problems on a daily basis and many of them have personally suffered from depression as well. so they have a great understanding and sympathy for what I've been through and have given me the validation and affirmation I have needed. plus, with other gay people working here, it's comfortable and easy to be open about my sexuality and to feel as though I fit in. a world of difference from where I was before, that's for sure.

so out last night, out tonight with neighbours for dinner. away for the weekend. and other positive things to look forward to. well, life is looking up. I feel good, even happy. I'm starting to feel confident and stronger. I'm starting to like myself again and I'm starting to feel okay with the mistakes I've made and the choices I have in front of me.

I'm starting to be me again and that's a pretty good feeling.

Posted by rachie at 11:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

février 25, 2003

stepping outside

As I was walking between jobs at lunchtime today, I pondered the nature of my feelings. The anti-depressants are definitely helping, but I still get down, like I was this morning, and I still spend far too much time thinking about The Girl.

I'm still having trouble with the acceptance thing and as I walked along, I decided this must be down to the fact that I feel like I don't have closure on the relationship. Part of me wonders, if I had handled things differently, if she hadn't gotten that job, if she'd been prepared to make the commitment and move somewhere with me where we could both be free, would it have worked?

I torture myself with these questions over and over. Questions that have no answers. The what-if's are pointless. As much as part of me wishes she would suddenly call me out of the blue and say she can't live without me and she's coming to be with me, the realist in me, the adult that knows she won't/can't/doesn't want to do that, knows it won't happen.

I don't want to become on of those sad desperate stalking ex's. I need to move forward. The reality is, I wanted more than she could give and she wanted less than I could give. Sometimes I think she lost more than I did, even if she doesn't know it. She lost someone who loved her completely and without reservation. What I lost was more an illusion than anything. It was something I never had to begin with.

She made her choice, and it wasn't me. I haven't been seeking closure, I've been seeking to keep the hope alive, and it's been slowly destroying me. Part of my psyche has been refusing to accept the closure I do have, part of me wants to keep hoping that this will really prove to be the fairy-tale.

It's not going to happen. That's not reality, it's not healthy and it's not allowing me to move on. I'm getting there, but not fast enough.

As I walked this afternoon, I thought about that part of me that won't accept it and I stepped back and looked at myself. I stepped outside of the feeling and looked at rationally, which is something I could not have done before the meds.

I hesitate to call that part of me my inner child, but in a way, that's what it feels like. This small, scared child in me that is seeking love and approval. That just wants someone to tell her it's okay. That part of me was clinging to The Girl because she was my security, my proof that I was lovable. That’s the part that feels so frightened and hurt and angry.

But the really weird thing was that when I realized this, I suddenly felt this overwhelming sympathy and love for that part of myself. I've been reading a self-help book on self-confidence lately and one of the things I read last night was about learning to be your own best friend. And stepping back outside the feeling and realizing where my pain comes from, I suddenly realized, I don't have to be so hard on myself.

I looked at myself and thought, if I was someone else, would I want to be my friend? And the answer was yes. And would I ever be as hard on a friend as I am on myself? Unequivocally, no. So why am I beating myself up over this? Why am I abandoning myself? I have no good answer for that.

But what I do know is that I need to nurture and comfort that part of me that won't accept. I need to be there for myself and make it safe to accept that she's not coming back. Because I have me now, and that's all I really need.

I'm becoming my own best friend. I'm looking after me, loving me. I'm going to do things that make me feel *good* for a change, instead of feeling bad and then punishing myself for feeling that way.

It is over. And it's just beginning.

Posted by rachie at 09:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

that kind of love

you know how every so often, you stumble across a song that echoes how you feel so completely?

this is one of those songs.

Who would sell their soul for love,
Or waste one tear on compromise?
Should be easy enough,
To know a heartache in disguise.
But the heart rules the mind,
And the going gets rough.
Pride takes the fall,
When you find that kind of love

I can't help feeling like a fool,
Since I lost that place inside.
Where my heart knew its way,
And my soul was ever wise.
Once innocence was lost,
There was not faith enough.
Still my heart held on,
When it found that kind of love.

Though beauty is rare enough,
Still we trust:
Somehow we'll find it there.
With no guarantee,
It seems to me,
At least it should be fair.

But if it's only tears and pain,
Isn't it still worth the cost.
Like some sweet saving grace,
Or a river we must cross.
If we don't understand,
What this life is made of.
We learn the truth,
When we find that kind of love.

'Cos when innocence is lost,
There is not faith enough.
We learn the truth,
When we find that kind of love.

Alison Krauss - 'That Kind of Love'

Posted by rachie at 09:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

février 24, 2003

risk

I've been thinking a lot lately about the direction I want my life to take from here on out. I'm at a crossroads and this is my opportunity to do what I really want to do, for myself alone. However, that takes the honesty and the courage to work out what it is that I really want to do and then to go for it, however hard that might be.

I've been thinking about teaching for a little while but for several reasons, I'm not entirely convinced that's the right direction for me. It's not something I have a great passion about doing and for that reason, I've had some apprehension about jumping into it, both feet first. With all the nightmare stories I've been hearing here in England from teachers, it's enough to make me think twice.

A couple of weeks ago, I started a second part time temp job at the local college. I'm working in the School of Arts and it so happens that they have a Cultural Studies component to several of their courses.

Several years ago, I was all ready to go to Australia to undertake an Arts degree in Cultural Studies, since it wasn't offered in New Zealand. It went by the wayside, thanks to some health problems and various other issues, and I dropped the idea. But working with modules involving cultural studies has reminded me how much I loved academia and how much I loved cultural studies. And that I was good at it.

So now I'm wondering. It'd mean more money owed. More struggle and more stress. Probably two years to finish my degree and another year for my MA. And then a PhD? It's a possibility. A strong one. I know I could do it. I know I'd love doing it.

I'm not good at taking risks. The few I have taken haven't always turned out the best. But I don't want to stop taking risks because of that. I've survived so far, I'll continue to survive. And if I take the risk, maybe I'll find that purpose I've been looking for….

Posted by rachie at 11:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

remembrance

There are moments I simply ache for her. Her touch, her warmth, the sound of her voice. I think, if I could feel her fingers on my skin, her arms folded around me, I wouldn't feel this aching void, this pain, anymore.

I remember too much.

I remember the feel of her. The way she made me sing. The way she made me laugh, wrapped up in each other, hidden away in the countryside of home.

I remember when there was nothing between us but love and desire and promise. I remember our time at home, before her fear. Before I hurt her, that very first time.

I remember her eyes when I told her I loved her. I remember my amazement when I realized I did. I remember how it felt to take her hand that day at the zoo and not care who saw us because I was so proud of being with her.

I remember the very first kiss, tentative and full of hope. I remember the very last kiss, tentative and full of hope. I remember the feeling of her mouth on me and I ache. I remember that we used to talk about everything and we used to be honest and I ache.

I don't need her, but god, there are moments I want her with everything that I am. I don't know that I'll ever love anyone the way that I love her. I'm not sure I'll have the strength. Or the weakness.

It still hurts like hell.

Posted by rachie at 10:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

février 21, 2003

wandering

I had a great time last night. it was great to get out and socialize with someone close to my own age. and not only that, but someone who understands what I've been through and who understands the issues around being gay and being in a gay relationship and the problems that can and do exist around that.

It's strange, but until you're part of a minority, you really have no idea what it means and how it feels to be part of a minority. How you are marginalized by society and culture and how great it feels to find people who are part of your culture and who understand you and how you think / feel about that part of you that places you within your minority.

Not that all my friends aren't wonderfully accepting and fine with me and my sexuality, but there's something about being able to share that part of yourself fully with someone who thinks the same way as you do. Who faces the same issues that you do. It's a support network that I think is invaluable if you want to survive when it's inevitable you're going to be marginalized.

At one time, The Girl was that for me, that support network. We shared our journey in discovering who we were and what it meant to be different, to be gay. But somewhere along the way, she seemed to choose a different path than I did. She seemed to back away from embracing and exploring that part of her. Maybe it was too dangerous, maybe it simply wasn't important to her. We're different people I guess, because I can't understand, after facing that crossroads and admitting that yes, I am bisexual/gay, not wanting to explore what it means to be gay and how it alters the way I fit into the world.

Because, to be honest, I've never really felt like I quite fit into the world before. But, now I can be honest about who I am, I'm starting to understand my place, where I stand and who I am. And I want to know more about who I am.

and I think, finding friends who, like me, are gay might be a good place to start that exploration. I still wish The Girl could take that journey with me, but I can't have everything I wish for. And maybe I need to do this stretch of the road on my own, to really discover who I am, for me and no-one else.

I have a lot to think about lately.

Posted by rachie at 11:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

février 19, 2003

food!

for months now, I've been having trouble with my weight. in that, I couldn't put any on. if anything, I just kept on losing. let's face it, 132 pounds on a 5'10" frame doesn't go very far and I didn't have a lot more I could afford to lose.

but the big problem has been, lack of appetite. most days I've had to force food down, nothing has been particularly appetizing and mostly the thought of eating has simply left me cold. added to that the fact that I have an issue with my stomach which was causing no small amount of pain, it was getting to the point where it was thoroughly concerning me. Especially when I started throwing up what little I had eaten...

and then last week. when I looked on the nhsdirect website, I discovered in their section on depression, that lack of appetite and weight loss is a major symptom of depression (although the reverse can also be true). the doctor felt that my lack of eating anything was also adding to the stomach issues and that upping my meds for that in concert with the anti-d's should sort it out.

so, now that the meds are kicking in? I can't. stop. eating. All day yesterday and all day today I've been ravenously hungry and eating everything in sight. It's wonderful!

it's amazing how a simple imbalance of a chemical in your brain can affect not only your psycological wellbeing, but also your physical.

Posted by rachie at 10:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

février 18, 2003

better

things are looking up. day by day, I feel just a little better. I'm gaining perspective. things don't seem/feel quite so huge now. quite so insurmountable. the constant, nagging fluttering of fear that has made its permanent home in the pit of my stomach is slowly starting to wane.

the empty, swimming space in my head is still there, but now there are moments when I don't feel it quite so much. when I start to feel like I might feel normal again some day.

there's more to say, there will be much more to say in the days and weeks to come, I can feel that now. I believe it. things are starting to make sense again. some things still don't. some things never will.

but I'm starting to feel better and I have the tentative beginnings of a social life! a drink after work on thursday with a friend from work. and dinner on saturday at same friend's place.

it's a small start, but I gotta start somewhere...

Posted by rachie at 11:10 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

février 17, 2003

Hope

It's weird how you can spend so long being depressed, barely coping and not even realize how close you are to not coping until finally you actually do stop being able to manage.

I've been walking that tightrope for months now, some weeks better than others. All the time I've been able to tell myself, 'I'm not doing too badly. I'm coping. Things are going to get better. Just get through this week...'

Last week, I didn't get through the week. I didn't cope. My emotional world collapsed in on me and the black cloud that's taken up residence in my head pretty much obliterated any light I'd clung to for the previous few months.

Usually, I can't stop thinking. I can't quiet my thoughts for more than several split-seconds. Right now,the landscape of my head is an eerie ghost-town, devoid of much thought or hope or motivation. I'm simply existing, I'm not really experiencing or feeling and definitely not enjoying.

In some ways, I feel as though the depression is a deep pit I was struggling my way out of, and when I made it near the top, the earth around me gave way and I've landed back at the bottom. And I'm too exhausted to start clawing away at the slippery earth again.

So, I went to the doctor. And I'm back on antidepressants. Which in and of itself, isn't a bad thing. They should kick in in another week or so and then maybe things won't seem quite so bleak. Maybe I'll be able to think again and I won't feel a complete social misfit the way I do now.

Maybe eventually, I'll hit an upswing and this blog might actually have something positive posted in it. It all pins on that one word right now. The one word which sums up everything I don't have and yet must have to get through this.

Hope.

Posted by rachie at 12:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

février 14, 2003

space

I'm taking it. I need it. My head is full of it and yet, I feel I have none. my head is swimming with space and confusion and intense emotions. there is no room for thought and yet think is all I do. I never stop thinking, feeling, hurting, loving. sometimes I thinK i will never be free.

i'm going away for a couple of days. leaving the dampness of the north, giving london a wide berth and heading south to family. to safety. to warmth and space.

hopefully when I come back, I'll be more myself.

Posted by rachie at 09:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

février 12, 2003

help

i've done it. i have an appointment at a doctors in the morning. i've hit a wall, demonstrated by the fact that I broke down twice in tears at work today. thankfully, the people I work with are the sweetest, kindest people I could possibly have asked to work with. I was sent home with an order to 'take care of' myself, have a hot bath, have a bottle of gin if it helps.

I've had the bath but not so much with the alcohol. has never proved a bright move in the past, and I doubt it would now. my head is already foggy enough.

simply put, i've been depressed before and I know I need to get help. now.

I really wanted to beat it on my own this time, but I simply can't. this is a chemical imbalance and I can't think or wish it away. it's affecting too many areas of my life and I need to take back some form of control. and if that's by admitting I need help and getting medication, then that's what I need to do.

but this afternoon, I'm going to bury myself in a blanke and catch up on some tv watching.

Posted by rachie at 02:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

février 11, 2003

numb

sometimes, examining your own faults isn't always a good idea. especially when those closest to you seem to delight in throwing them back in your face.

last night I hurt so much I just wanted to never have to wake up to this kind of pain again. This isn't the heartbreak hurt. This goes deeper. This goes to the core of who I am.

People use words to wound and I have no protection at the moment. Depression has stripped me of any thickness of skin, or any armour of self-confidence. Every day is a struggle just to get out of bed.

I had another argument with my mother on Sunday night. She's the only real human support I have over here, but we have a relationship, which is, at times, tense.

Simply put, when I get emotional, about anything, she freezes. She doesn't know how to cope with tears and pain and I've lost track of the insults she's hurled at me over the years when I've been upset. everything from being told to grow up to, as I it was on Sunday, I'm manipulative. it was a weekend of body-blows, but this was possibly the very worst.

the irony of all this? my therapist, who also, on occasion counsels my mother, talked me into telling my mother how much her constant and overtly stated disapproval of my being gay (more on that in another post) affects my self-esteem and lends to my depression.

my mother didn't want to hear that. after all, she's only expressing her opinions and feelings and so apparently, by getting emotional about this, I am apparently trying to manipulate her into saying she's okay with me being gay.

which, you know, if I was, I'd find something that was a lot more successful than just getting emotional.

I can almost handle this. Almost, because I know my mother and I know her weapons only too intimately. I know what's behind them and I can try and not take it personally. but then she tells me the therapist told her not to let me manipulate her.

this isn't the first time, by far that my mother has used the words of others to hurt me and knowing how she twists words, I don't really know what to believe. but god it hurts.

and so, my already fragile trust in the therapist is in tatters (to be addressed in the next session). in fact, I'm having a damn hard time trusting anybody right now, including myself.

how can I trust myself when I can't even think straight and react appropriately? and when evidently other people have trouble trusting me too? so much for building my self-esteem.

I am not a bad person, I know this. my main problem is that I am far too sensitive. but when your faults are pointed out to you on a daily basis for your whole life, it becomes really difficult to put them into perspective. to see the whole picture without the bad points magnified completely out of proportion.

I have to find a way to close out these negative messages. I can deal with all the implications when I am more ready to deal with them. that's just not right now.

right now I've gone beyond hurting to utterly numb. and, to be frank, that's starting to scare me.

Posted by rachie at 09:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

février 10, 2003

clarity

I got what I needed last night. I got truth, I got perspective. I wish I'd gotten it earlier. I've made a lot of wishes lately. I've also made a lot of mistakes. I'm not always very grown-up and I'm not always very clever.

But I was given something invaluable because of it. I wish it hadn't taken me re-acting to get that. But what's done is done. I got truth and it's given me a frame of reference. Things have fallen into place.

Not that I like that place any, but I can accept it now I understand it.

I can let go.

Posted by rachie at 12:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

friends

some days start out well and get shitty. then there are the other days that start shitty and end up pretty much okay. both days this weekend have been the latter. I have some great things going on in my life, not the least of which, is my friends. even when they're half a world away.

it's in those moments, when I realise how much my friends love me, and care about what happens to me that I find I can smile again. those moments when my friends tell me things I might not want to hear, just because they care about me enough to risk being honest with me. they trust me enough to know that I'll be able to deal with that honesty.

I know I'm far from perfect. I know I do stupid things and make stupid decisions and sometimes just don't act like a grown-up at all. I know I can be manipulative. I know sometimes I'll do whatever it takes to get what I want. I know sometimes that backfires quite spectacularly. I know I wear my heart on my sleeve and that makes some people uncomfortable. Take my mother. Or don't, because that's another post, or several hundred posts on it's own...

I also know I take my friends for granted and I shouldn't do. I need them to keep me honest and also to lend me a shoulder or a helping hand when I'm in need. I'm learning to show them everything I am, instead of just what I want them to see. I also know they're bright enough to see everything before I open myself up to them.

and yet, last night, a friend who has known me longer and better than just about anyone, told me that she is seeing new facets of me when she reads this blog. that's scary shit right there. what if, after twenty-three years of friendship, she sees something she doesn't like?

nothing, that's what. she loves me. she knows I'm human and have flaws. and I'm sure there are some she'd rather I didn't have. but she loves and accepts me just as I am. and if she can accept me and love me after twenty-three years of mistakes and the shit that we've been through together, then I really can't be all that bad. right? I mean, if she can accept me, someone who knows so many of the stupid things I've done, then I think there's a chance for me yet.

bottom line is, I'm so glad I have the friends I have. And I know I need to make more effort in keeping up with all of them. especially the ones at home. so, if you're reading this and I'm not emailing you enough, I hereby give you permission to kick my ass. hard.


um, have I mentioned yet that a lot of these posts are simply stream-of-consciousness?

Posted by rachie at 12:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

février 08, 2003

my so-called life

I've not been coping so well lately. You can probably tell. I have time on my hands, I don't have focus and I've been using the time to work through my problems in my head. That's not always a great thing, but that's how I'm coping right now. I have a lot to work through.

After all, imagine this "hypothetical" situation....

  • Your best friend comes to visit you for several months and during this visit, you come to the conclusion you are madly in love with her. But she's a she and so are you and you have to actually confront the fact that you are indeed gay, or at the very least, bisexual.

  • You freak out and you back off until such time as you realize you really do want to pursue a relationship with her. Even though she lives halfway around the world.

  • September 11 happens

  • You tell your friends one by one that you are together. Thankfully, they take it wonderfully.

  • Three weeks later, she goes home and you don't know when you will see her again. You spend most of the day crying.

  • Your uncle kills himself four days later.

  • Two weeks later, you come out to your parents. They don't take it so well. But in the end, they deal. However, your mother thinks you're going to hell and tells you this several times over the next year or so.

  • Until, a month or so later, they tell you, three days before your thirtieth birthday, that they're divorcing. This turns your life completely upside down especially when your father announces he has a girlfriend and will be moving up to live with her in a new city.

  • You spend Christmas as a family in the home you love, knowing this is the last Christmas you will all spend together and that house is going to be sold soon because your father deems it so, even though your mother doesn't want to have to leave it and it's the house you thought you'd bring your children to.

  • You find out your mother's beloved cat is dying.

  • Your Dad's cousin, whom your Mum is close to, dies.

  • Your girlfriend comes out to her mother and it goes badly. She resolves to hide it from the rest of her family, even though you have decided to go over and be with her.

  • You go through a hellish final month at work.

  • You move from your flat which you love into your mother's house; are diagnosed with adult ADD; your brother's girlfriend has their first baby, your first niece; your father leaves the city after spending very little time with you, even knowing you are leaving the country soon; so you help your mother pack a whole household in four days; you both move out of the house you both love and into a flat and finally you leave the country, your friends, your adored cat and beloved grandparents to be with your girlfriend, all in the space of about two weeks.

  • Your grandmother goes into hospital with pneumonia the week after you leave.

  • You both go to a dear friends wedding and have a wonderful time. Your girl even dances with you. In public.

  • You really enjoy your first two months in the new "land of opportunity".

  • You discover it really *is* as difficult to work in the States as the INS lead you to believe.

  • You start getting isolated and depressed for a number of reasons.

  • The relationship with your girl falls apart and you don't know how to make it right again. Your depression deepens and you start to become irrational.

  • You decide you can't cope with the situation you find yourself in, you feel devalued and lost, and the only control you have is to extricate yourself. She doesn't fight you on this, which only hurts all the more.

  • Your mother arrives from home and things go from bad to worse.

  • You tell your girl this isn't going to work and you're not coming back. She agrees that this is the best thing. Which isn't what you really wanted to hear.

  • You go to New York and get drunk and fight with your mother and find yourself wandering around NYC alone at midnight in a completely self-destructive frame of mind.

  • You leave the new country for another new country with no idea where you are going from here.

  • You spend Christmas with your mother but without your family and without your girl and the future you thought you had.

  • You get incredibly homesick and desperately want to go home, even though you know there's really nothing at home for you.

  • Your grandmother goes into hospital and you are forced to confront the fact that she might die. You know you won't be able to deal with this on top of everything else. You freak out.

  • You realize that not only have you lost your love, you've lost your best friend.

  • You discover that your beloved cat may again be homeless and you have to work out whether to have her permanently re-homed, or take a leap and bring her to the new country, even though you're still not sure that you'll be staying, although you think you may, even though you miss all your friends over there so much and have few yet over here.

  • You're faced with months of admin work which really honestly bores you to death before you can move on and do something about a career…

In this "hypothetical" situation, how would you cope?

For me, some days are bad. I'm still depressed, still struggling to accept. Still trying to find some way to pull myself out of this hole. Some days there just seems like there *is* no bright side of life.

Other days are better. Other days I start to feel whole again. I can smile, I can laugh. I can feel good about myself. I can feel valued and wanted. I can feel like I *do* have a brighter future and I can begin to see a way of getting there.
Sometimes I feel as though I'm walking a knife edge between hope and despair and I keep slipping over to the dark side. But then I think what I've been through and what I have learned and am still learning. I think that I have survived through all this pain and I am still alive. I think I am tired of the pain but I know that one day it won't hurt so much.

In the meantime, I take each day on its own merits and when I have a bad day, I tell myself, tomorrow will be better. Sometimes, it is.

Sometimes, it's even good.

Posted by rachie at 06:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

hurting

Two nights ago, I hurt someone. Someone that I love so much that loving her has been like breathing. Someone that, though I was only her lover for a year, in truth, I loved her from the moment I met her. Someone that was my sun. Someone that was my rock in every storm.

Two nights ago, I hurt her. Because I hurt. Because I can't pretend that I can forget what we had. Because I got a box with pictures the other day of me and her and I can't even look at them without tears. Because I can't breathe without her and I need to learn how to breathe to survive. Because I miss my best friend. Because I can't be her best friend. Because it's like a scab on a wound and I keep on picking. Because I need to take a step back and gather up my life. Because I want her to change for me and I shouldn't want her to change for me. Because I want her to be happy and I don't make her happy right now. Because I want to be happy again.

Two nights ago, I hurt her. Because I need time and space to heal. Because I still love her. Because I need to breathe. I just wish I didn't have to hurt her in order to do that.

I'm just so tired of the pain.

Posted by rachie at 12:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

février 06, 2003

perception

she thinks I did it. in the words. I think she did it. in her actions. we're both angry. for so many reasons.

god, I don't even know how it happened any more. it was this irrevocable body slam of emotion that carried us in it's wake. it was things said and more things unsaid. it was pain and insecurity and fear. it was all wrong. one of us knew it first. one of us said it first. one of us walked away.

both of us hurt like hell.

Posted by rachie at 02:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

février 05, 2003

just breathe

I have nothing much to say.

except that today it hurts so much I can hardly breathe.

Posted by rachie at 06:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I am.

there are some things that simply can't be understood, no matter how hard you try. how a whole, perfect human body can come from two, tiny cells. how our personalities mark us as individuals, even more than a thumbprint, or dna samples. how, when our heart is broken, it feels like our heart is actually broken.

I've never understood myself. I've never understood why I think the way that I do. The way that I feel so intensely that it's as thouht the emotion is crawling out of my skin. I've never understood my sensitivity, although I'm starting to. I've never understood why people like me so much, although I'm trying to. I don't understand why I'm gay. I don't understand why it took me so long to admit it. I don't understand the way my head works. I don't understand why i find it so hard to understand.

I don't understand why. I don't understand.

I don't. I...

But, I am me. I don't need to understand me to be me. I am unique in the world. My thoughts define me. My broken heart defines me. my love defines me. me defines me. I don't need to understand.

I just am.

Posted by rachie at 01:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

février 04, 2003

raging

I feel angry a lot lately. sometimes it's an irrational rage that wells up inside me and control becomes difficult. it's anger that needs expression, but in a constructive way, not a destructive way.

it becomes tempting to act out destructively. to say things that I shouldn't say. to involve people I shouldn't involve. sometimes it's better to say nothing at all. it has been lately.

I have a dark side, a side I've always been ashamed of, to some extent. I have a sharp tongue. a tendancy to overdramatise. I obsess, I blame, sometimes I become a victim. I can be self-absorbed. my passionate nature leads me to feel anger and hatred as strongly as every other emotion. sometimes they can consume me.

I've spend much time and energy trying to control my outward appearance, to pretend these flaws, didn't exist. then I went into therapy and was forced to face them, one by one.

It's been a long, slow process, and although I'm not entirely comfortable with my flaws, I'm learning to live with them, and maybe one day soon, I will be able to embrace them as part of the uniqueness that is me.

but I have finally learned it's okay to feel the anger and the rage. supressing emotions has only made me sick in the past and I refuse to let events in my life overtake me. Before this, I hadn't been a victim for a long time and I'm not going to be now.

So yes I'm angry. at times, almost out of control angry. it's not fair, but then what in life is? who ever said life was supposed to be fair?

and who ever said I had to be fair? i'm human and weak and I feel. I don't have to be what anybody else expects. I don't have to behave in a way that makes anyone else feel comfortable. I don't have to say what anyone wants to hear. I don't have to keep quiet in order to keep a tenuous peace.

I say what I need to, when I need to. I do what is right for me, in order to safeguard my integrity while preserving my personal honesty. I feel what I feel and I examine it in order that I further that honesty.

I won't allow myself to be dictated to any longer, either overtly, or covertly. I won't allow my fear, my entrenched reactions to words and deeds, to shape my course.

I choose to feel the rage and then let it go.

Posted by rachie at 02:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

février 03, 2003

questions

I've been searching a lot lately. Searching for truth, searching for peace. Searching for knowledge, understanding, acceptance. For a purpose. And it's lead me to some questions that maybe I've been avoiding asking. For fear of the answers.

Was it the girl I loved, or was it what I thought she could give me? Stability, security, a future, a home, love and approval, desire, adoration, a partner to grow old with…?

<a href="http://www.silentresonance.net/bittersweet/annals/000017.html"><i>"Life as it should have been."</i></a> It brings me to wonder if it is the loss of life as it should have been that hurts, rather than the loss of her.

I was offered these things for a fleeting moment and when they appeared just within my reach, they vanished, fading into nothingness. The pain confuses the issue, the pain that burns in my chest whenever I see her name, the turmoil in my stomach as her every word and action confuses me – and I find myself wondering what it is that I love about her.

So, what do I long for? Is it the home which I thought I shared with her? The security? The knowledge that I was loved completely? The place I thought I finally belonged. Except I didn't at all.

For a moment in the asking, I believed this was so. The source of my reactions to the things that she said, my belief that she suspects my loving her was nothing more than what she could give me.

And then I realize. I didn't even particularly like the house. I don’t particularly like what money does to people and I don't really care about having money. As long as I have enough to fill my mouth tonight, I'm okay. I didn't belong there and she couldn't be honest about me, so the loving without reservation was non-existent too.

<i>Life as it should have been</i> wasn't about what she could have offered me in a material or physical sense. It was about sharing. It was about spending Christmas together curled up in front of a fire. It was about holidaying together, exploring new territory, geographical, emotional and spiritual. It was about growing together. It was about compromising so that we could both have what we needed and some of what we wanted. It was about waking up in each other's arms for the next forty years and watching our children play with our dogs. It was about sharing ourselves and our lives.

That's what should have been. It's what never was. What *is*, is reality. It's where I am now, in a new country, in a job where they appreciate me. What is, is actually being wanted where I am no. What is, is the opportunity to provide those things for myself. A purpose. A sense of belonging. A home. Financial freedom. Self-respect. Security. Happiness.

Honestly, yeah, I wanted all those things. I found them an an attractive part of the package. I craved security and to be looked after. But, in a case of be careful what you wish for, when I got them, it wasn't right. The part of the package I really wanted was her. To share her life, to be her partner. To have her heart, not just the part of it she was prepared to offer but was also ready to snatch away in case she got burnt.

I still love the girl, deeply. Maybe a part of me always will. But I do know now, or I'm trying to know, that life as it should have been, never could have been. This acceptance thing is a long, slow, painful process.

Posted by rachie at 12:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack