The Knowing

Aftermath of September 4th Earthquake in Chris...

Aftermath of September 4th Earthquake in Christchurch, NZ. Bridge Street. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About three days ago amidst the thoughts that race around inside my head there was a moment of quiet. From within the space that opened a thought appeared that felt more like a knowing. It was simple but clear.

“There’s going to be an earthquake”.

I live in Northern California and was raised in Washington state so I’ve been through earthquakes. When I was 3 I remember being in a play pen as it slid across the floor in our living room during an earthquake. Some thirty years later I was sitting in a therapy session when the ground began to roll like molten lava beneath my feet. I’ve had fearful thoughts before about the possibilities of earthquakes. I’ve tried to be mindful in my home of how I place things to avert danger if one should strike. But it’s not something I give much thought to these days, given my other concerns. I haven’t even gone so far as to anchor tall bookshelves, though I think it would be a good idea to do so. But this thought I had, it wasn’t an anxiety thought. It was a knowing.

Over the past couple of years I’ve had several experiences where I’ve suddenly known something that seemed to come from a place I don’t understand. I’ve often felt connected to people who have already passed. On many occasions I’ve felt as if my Mom, who passed away last June, occupies my body. My father was with me in presence for at least a year after his death, but it seems harder for me to find him now that eight years have passed. I’ve sat with patients who have lost loved ones and felt the spirits of their loved ones in the room. I’ve had sudden knowledge of a patient’s husband dying and then looked on the internet and found his obituary. I have a lot of people on the other side now that love and support me unconditionally and I often feel them guiding and supporting me.

So when this earthquake thought came along, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I didn’t tell anyone because I’m really sensitive to other people’s judgment. And often if I feel something intuitively I will go around from person to person seeking validation of my internal truth. And if I don’t receive it, or perceive that I don’t receive it, I judge myself harshly as crazy, psychotic, or otherwise mentally disturbed.

I considered texting the thought to myself so I would have it as evidence if there was an earthquake. I considered writing it in my journal so that I could show it to someone. I didn’t do either of these things because I forgot. A couple of days went by, no earthquake, and the thought slipped to the background of my mind until last night when my partner woke me from a deep sleep somewhere after 3 AM.

“I think we just had an earthquake,” she said, alarmed.

“Really?” I asked, still half asleep. Then immediately I thought of my knowledge earlier in the week. “Could it really have happened?”, I asked myself before falling back asleep. When I awoke later I confirmed via my phone that the earthquake had really occurred. The confirmation of this and my thought early in the week landed with a thud in the center of my belly and has been sitting there since. It’s the same place where my diagnosis of Lyme Disease sits. They are both bits of surreal information about myself that I don’t know how to digest or what to do with.

I immediately began checking the texts I send to myself to see if maybe I had texted my premonition to myself. Nothing. I started looking through scattered random papers I always have lying around to see if I’d written it down somewhere. I wanted to be able to prove to someone that I felt this earthquake coming before it happened. But as providence would have it, There was nothing. I have no way to externally validate to another person that this really happened, not even to you.

I know it happened, and somehow that is going to have to be enough.

Lymecraft

It started the same as every other Monday. It is Monday, isn’t it? I was in bed watching some idiotic morning show. That’s who I hang with these days. The morning show people. My mind registers that Sharon Osborne’s hair is fifty shades of fuchsia. And there was [what's her name's wife], you know, that rocker chick. There was someone else too but I can’t for the life of me remember who it was. I could hear the clickety-click of my son’s fingers on the keyboard as he played Minecraft in the next room. This is what we do, he and I. He chases after creepers and I chase after my thoughts.

hush

11:00 phone consult with clinic. Breath. Held.

I already saw the results, I say to myself. I needed to hear her say it. I asked her to say it. Everyone I’ve spoken to today, including myself, said the same thing. “Well, at least now you know”. Like I said, I think that is a valid statement. It’s been a hard-won victory, and now I know.

why does it feel hollow?

I just remembered who it was. It was Queen Latifah. I’m really concerned that when little lesbians grow up they will think their career options are limited to being comedians and talk show hosts. The Queen had Scarlett Johansen on and I can’t even tell you what Scarlett said or did. That’s pretty abnormal. Why does Scarlett keep doing those weird movies? She is freaking me out. The last one I saw, “Under the Skin,” reminded me of my Lyme life. Always sinking into thick black goo and then being immobilized. And ironically, so close to the title of “Under our Skin,” the documentary about Lyme Disease. The Blockbuster sequel is coming out in August. Bring popcorn and wear long sleeves!!!

if its funny it can’t kill me

jack-nicholson-classical_160255-1920x1200I called my Ex of 7 years give or take, my son’s other mother. “I have Lyme Disease” I said plainly, out loud, for the second or third time. She said, “Are you sure it’s not just menopause?” I wanted to laugh out loud crazy at that one. That’s the same reaction I had when I learned that the CDC’s Lyme doctors said Lyme Sufferers are looking for some way to explain the aches and pains of daily living. I wanted to laugh out loud psychotic crazy to that one.

Back beat in my head to the song by Florida “Now that you’ve found Love….” with words, “Now that you’ve got Lyme, what are you gonna do-oo-oo with it? Over and over… OCD is a cruel lover. I spent my life frantically washing my hands to avoid some unknown invader from entering my body. And now this.

I totally get it that people are totally not gonna get it. I mean, they are not gonna get it when it comes to what I’ve got. Until a short time ago I would have had the same reaction. Oh that Lyme thing. Damn. That sounds bad. Didn’t that chick on Housewives of Beverly Hills have that? I’m probably the only one who would think that. I watch the Housewives too. Even when I am thoroughly annoyed I still look at it.

Speaking of Housewives, a few months ago my partner, son and I were visiting Hollywood where her dad lives. My partner was born in Hollywood so that makes her a celebrity to me. She finds my fascination with all things Hollywood so boujwa. Ha! But she, her dad and my son and I all went and had dinner at Sur. I mean THE Sur from Vanderpump Rules. And when we walked in our table was right by the bar and I got to talk to Rob and Tom and I saw that wispy chick that was Tom’s girlfriend. I didn’t say “Hi” to her because I was afraid she would start crying and then I would probably try to counsel her or something. When I walked up to the bar and saw Tom, I blurted out, “You would make a really hot lesbian!” Damn. I just can’t seem to stop myself from saying things when I really shouldn’t. Because then I had to go up to him later and try to apologize and I was worried about what I’d said because I worry so much about what everyone is thinking about me all the time.

funny how you can never imagine where you end up

Suddenly I’m a member of a club I never wanted to belong to (no offense to our members). We’re kinda like the Leftovers in that TV show. We are here, but you don’t see us that much. We are peripheral. We aren’t smoking but we are wearing our pajamas or sweatpants. We spend a lot of time in bed. I’m discovering that we are here in alarmingly unhealthy numbers. We all have different stories but so many of our experiences are eerily similar.

I saw Ellen today too. Not her show but a commercial she was in. I’ve had a bad case of Ellen envy for the last year or so. I mean, I’m a lesbian, why can’t I have a talk show? I’m funny! I want to host the Grammys and take a selfie that goes round the world.

It’s Monday, right?

good night, vietnam

Kennedy Vagina.

chronically undiagnosed:

This is how I want to write. But instead I get jumbled mishmash : (

Originally posted on The Manifest-Station:

Kennedy Vagina By Amy Turner

When I was nine my mom dressed me like a Kennedy and told me my vagina stuck out. It was 1984. I had been prepping for a third grade dance recital for retired Balboa Bay Club Patrons when I turned to her, modeling my hot pink Capezio kitty cat costumes with marabou cuffs. My mother stared and said, “Hmm. You know, your vagina sticks out. Just phmph. Just sticks out.” Then she made me turn to the side.

We looked at my 9-year-old mound stretching the cotton-poly blend, and I thought it appeared perfectly normal. She kept saying, “Just…sticks out there, doesn’t it.” I let her continue to stare and laugh. A soft shake started inside of me. The rattle hum of defective. How does one’s vagina ‘stick out?’ What does one do about it?

“Put on your coat and I’ll take you down,” she said.

View original 1,049 more words

Colts

I went to Home Depot today. As I was walking wandering through the aisles looking lost, a tall figure passed to my right. I’m saying “figure” because at first I wasn’t sure of the person’s gender. At first I thought male. But I found myself drawn to look closer.

Please don’t ask me why it matters. It matters because I’m an androgyny whore.

Her hair was dark brown, thick and long. She had it pulled back in a …., whatever you would call a masculine woman’s ponytail. Her skin was tawny and freckled. Her face was angular. I noticed small breasts just under her dark blue work shirt. Yes!

This all happened in just a brief moment. It wasn’t as if I stood gawking at her for a really long time like I wanted to. I moved on to the hardware aisle to look for some screws. Really.

I thought I would take the short way out and ask for help at Home Depot. That is hysterical now that I think about it. The dude in the orange apron told me they didn’t carry the screws I was looking for. After he walked off I found them further down the aisle.

I decided to cruise the plant section one more time (for plants). I was pushing my cart past the stacks of cement blocks and shit and guess who was out there loading bricks. I walked by her s-l-o-w-l-y  because I wanted to watch for a second. As soon as I passed her I felt as if her eyes were on my back.

I started thinking, “ohmygod, did she see me?, does she know I was checking her out? , does she know I’m a lesbian?, because I think most of the time I look like a suburban housewife….

I kept walking, pushing my cart. But then I thought, “I think I’m going to just turn around…

So I did and she was finishing gathering up her bricks. She was putting them on one of those big Home Depot carts that I avoid because I might take someone out with one. She turned to push the cart and as she did she glanced at me for longer than a second. Or at least maybe a full second. Then she went walking away from me, her tall lanky body pushing the cart. I love young butches that look like colts.

And then I started thinking, “Why don’t lesbians have anonymous sex like the boys do?” You know, like she would nod, and I would raise my eyebrows or something and that would be the signal. And really it wouldn’t have to be full on sex. Just some anonymous humping or something. Or anonymous making out.

I was driving home and thinking that after we had our anonymous make out session she could come home with me and hang some pictures or something. Or she could put my car bumper back together so that it doesn’t flap in the wind on the freeway. And you know I have some stuff that she could move around for me. Some really heavy shit.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Mold

I was molested by a school bus driver when I was in 2nd grade. It didn’t just happen once. I was in a new school and a new neighborhood we had recently moved to. It was the first year I was riding a bus. All the girls were given a turn at having the “privilege” of standing next to the driver and pushing the handle that opened and shut the door. It was a chance to be special and initially I jumped at it. Soon I was a favorite, perhaps because of my burgeoning eager-to-please-ness.

At that time, although it sounds archaic now, girls were required to wear dresses to school. I loved dresses. But that gave the Bus Driver Perpetrator an easy access point to get under our clothes. And that’s what he did as we stood dutifully next to him opening and closing the door, his arm hidden by our ruffled skirts. This asshole didn’t just use his bus driving to find victims. He also volunteered at the school and came to school festivals where he was one of those guys that makes balloon animals. I fucking hate balloon animals.

I didn’t tell anyone. But when the school announced that girls were going to be allowed to wear pants the next year, I silently cheered.

I’ve never really told this story, except to mention to therapists or partners, “I was molested by a school bus driver once”. I’ve seen the stats on the molestation of children in our country and I just figured that was just one of my turns. I thought of it today because I was thinking about touch. Wanted touch versus unwanted touch. When I was an adolescent and boys first started to touch me in an affectionate (nonsexual) way. I would freeze and hold my breath. For some reason I felt like I had to hold perfectly still or he would take his hand off my thigh or from behind my shoulders.

My parents weren’t touchers. When my mold me that she and my dad were separating I cried and laid my head in her lap. It was unfamiliar and awkward. She allowed me to lay there for a few moments, and she may have patted me. That’s the most affection I remember receiving from her.

I just noticed that in the second sentence of the last paragraph, I accidentally used the word “mold” when I meant to say “mom”. That’s frighteningly Freudian.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

California

English: San Joaquin Valley Tule Fog in an uni...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m sorry I departed so abruptly without saying anything. As I breathed life into your physical form you started to become too real. It scared me. I even mentioned you to my therapist, startling myself by saying your name out loud as if I was confessing.

“What is her name,….K _ _ _ _?” she asked. “Is she safe?”

“No,” I answered without hesitation. Then I started to second guess myself internally, knowing I had provided the “correct” answer but not necessarily the one I believed.

My last therapist called you “a loaded gun”. That was after I told her how you had shown up drunk at your Ex’s house who happened to be a cop. You told me some story about why your car had been impounded. But you also told me you were sober. I had to research online and find you had been charged with domestic violence.

I know, I know, it was a long time ago. And there’s no need to rehash the past. You know how I love to explore sorrow in all of its depths.

Back to the present, or the story I wanted to tell you, about what happened after you left.

Two years passed. And miraculously for most of it, I remained single. Once R found out that I had contacted you after promising I wouldn’t, any possibility of a reconciliation between us evaporated. She decapitated my favorite cock with a hacksaw. I finished my graduate degree and moved to California without her, but with someone else I met online. She had a daughter the same age as my son. After a short time it became apparent that we wanted different things and I made the choice to end the relationship. Or I should say back out slowly, as I tend to do.

Finding work in California was not as easy as I hoped. The licensing process for therapists in California is more rigorous than other states. And a  psychotherapist without a license must either pay someone to supervise them or find a job that includes supervision in the deal. I was living off of credit cards and the benevolence of my soon to be ex-girlfriend. I sent out so many resumes and cover letters that when I finally got a few calls I had no idea who was calling. I  got a couple of offers for jobs I felt mediocre about. And then one day I was laying on the soon to be Ex’s bed when my phone rang. A friendly male voice asked for me by my full name when I answered.

“This is her,” I said hopefully.

“This is Dr. So and So calling from Big Box Healthcare. We received your resume and want to talk with you about a position…”. He went on to describe exactly the type of job I had been looking for. “I do want to mention that the position is located in the Central Valley of California, and I notice you are currently in the Bay Area,” he said.

I looked up the location after I’d agreed to the interview. It was about two hours away from where I was living at the time. It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered at that point except that I was going to get that job, no matter what it took.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Bits

Fuck, I’m scared. It’s like this most days now. There is little comfort, just increasing pressure and worry.

I’m amazed sometimes at the synchronicity of things. An old song just came up on my iPod that I put on there in the year following your absence. It’s a country song, of course. There were a lot of country songs attuned to my loss that year. This one was about the regret of not fully expressing love to someone who’d been lost. It was just one of the gut wrenchers that developed into your playlist that year. Music was all I had to cling to during that time. No drugs, no alcohol, no sex. Needing a distraction, I started a saltwater fish tank and imagined telling you about it. I still have the fish tank and one of the original fish, “Clownie”. Once a pleasant diversion, the tank is an annoyance now. It’s just one more thing on the list of things requiring my unfocused attention.

I feel as if I’ve been blown to pieces and bits of me have been scattered everywhere. Everyday begins with the idea and the thought that somehow I have to glue it all back together. I’ll put a few pieces together, but nothing ever fits the same way again. The edges of the pieces are jagged and ill-fitting. Most days I just try to find two or three that match. I fear I will never again be complete.

How do I even begin to tell you what’s happened to me?

I feel like crap today, and most other days too. It’s not just depression. I lost my health. It’s not black and white, like cancer, or something you could cut out. I haven’t been “well” for about four years now. I’ve had two surgeries. Tons of medications. There have been gains. But so many setbacks. Each day is spent chasing symptoms. Sometimes new ones. I’m never quite convinced that the mystery of my health problem has been solved. I’m not dying, but there have been so many times I have wanted to be. My son is the only thing that kept me from taking my life on so many occasions. I feel as if I signed a permanent suicide prevention contract when he was born. It’s not that I think he’s so much better off with me around.  It’s that I know he would feel responsible and perhaps consider suicide himself. I can’t bear to leave him with that burden.

He’s almost 11 now. You would be amazed. He has thick dark wavy hair and big brown eyes like a puppy. He plays baseball. You were always so good with kids. He thought you were awesome. I still have that picture of you holding him in your lap from that day we spent at the Pier in Seattle. What a beautiful day that was. I can still feel the sun on my face, the salty breeze blowing in off the Bay. We were in the place that always suited us best. Our own little world, together.