Song for today: Suspended in Gaffa by Kate Bush.

I am writing so much at the moment; I feel like only that, and listening to music incessantly, is keeping me sane.  Only of course it’s not keeping me sane. I feel the least sane I have ever been, possibly, which is why I’m so scared because the least sane I have ever been was probably when I was in a psychiatric hospital.  I feel so many things, and nothing all at once.  Psychiatric hospital?  Those words do not feature in my life anymore.  That is not me.  I’ve split off from that part of myself too, which is probably why it’s banging on my door.  With a wrecking ball.  There is no escape from myself.  But there are too many of me to really know what to do with; I feel like a very inexperienced playgroup leader in a room full of very demanding, needy, unruly children and I don’t know how to deal with them, so all I can do is shut them out and hope that they will go away.  And they won’t.  They’re crying and screaming louder and louder, but all I can do is curl up with my hands over my ears and rock back and forth.  I’m so terrified of opening the door.

I listened to this song again last night after giving a friend my blog address.  I’ve kept this hidden from most people in my life because it feels like yet another part of me that I should keep hidden.  Rambling, talking about therapy, talking about feelings that aren’t welcome in many places.  Some of the darkest parts of myself.  It’s not for everyone, only perhaps the people that have seen all the mad writing before or new people in my life that don’t already know me.  Showing someone who I already have such a long history with was really difficult, but actually a relief.  I think I feel a lot of shame, in a lot of what I do.  With who I am. Who am I to write?  Who am I to take songs and talk about what they mean to me, to analyse anything at all?  And yet the reaction was not one of shaming – which of course it wouldn’t be.  My friends are my friends for a reason.  But then that comes back into trust, and wanting to trust so much – and achieving it on many levels, but essentially not being able to trust yourself and your judgements, which is the key thing, perhaps.  I do trust other people, but I don’t trust myself to trust, and because I have got it so wrong in the past that barrier is still erected, keeping my immense vulnerability at bay and preventing me from receiving what I deserve.  And what I deserve is love, and understanding, but such a large part of me disagrees and it’s stronger, much stronger than the other bit.  It’s such a potent force that it’s like a gale force wind pushing a door shut.  All I can do is try and open it slowly, but every time I do I get knocked off my feet and have to let the force of it shut me out again.  And of course, here I am talking again about a door being held shut.  Is the wind holding the door shut, or am I?  Does the door open out or in?  I think it opens in.  Either way, the wind is me, in all my guises.

Which is where this song ties in, perhaps.  So much of it makes sense, and the video now too, which I have always just rubbished slightly (sorry Kate).  I don’t really tend to ‘get’ performance art but it appears to slot in so well with how I am currently experiencing myself and the world.  Watching the video, it’s windy, all around, while she’s in what looks like a run down, ramshackle barn.  It looks terrifying outside but there are also shafts of sunlight beaming through the cracks (“I caught a glimpse of a god, all shining and bright…”).  She’s beating her fists on the floor, like a child, complaining about the unfairness of it all, while she childishly sings, “And I want it all!” in the background.  It reminds me of the endless struggle with myself, especially what I’m going through right now, the petulance and the “it’s not fair” and the tantrumming (essentially).  Despite the wind, outside probably contains many good things, like sun, but not being one for “busting through walls” I remain inside, because it’s too scary to go out.  I’m stuck, so stuck that I feel like I am suspended in gaffa.  I am there right now, frozen and stuck and unable to move.  The part where she rotates in space, rigid with curled fists…that is such an accurate representation of where I am right now that I want to cry because it’s that thing where it feels like finally, someone gets it.  (And they are a mad, beautiful, eccentric genius, which is nice.)

I’ve talked about the camel part before.  Getting closer to something and then an obstacle coming up again, ensuring that you don’t see it, you don’t get there.  You can’t.  Hello, denial and repression!  Great to meet you…again.  And honestly, this line is one of my favourites in the history of everything: “Thank you for yanking me back to the fact that there’s always something to distract…”  Not only because there is, but also the way it scans, and the way she sings it.  Glorious.

And of course, Pandora.  I’m not a Pandora.  I don’t open boxes; I was always told not to, just to box stuff up and put it away, like a good little girl.  And yet I sit there every week, trying to pry them open, when I’m not really sure how.  And of course I don’t really want to, even though that is what I’m there to do.  I’m unsure of everything; how to open them, what they contain, how big the things inside are, whether they’re harmful, whether they can go back in afterwards.  Whether they’re safe, or whether they will destroy everything.  I have the overwhelming feeling that they’re destructive – nuclear – and so obviously I don’t want to open them up.  Why the fuck would I?  So why am I even trying?  Because I have to try, and because I’ve already started and I’m too far gone now, but it’s taking so long, and I feel like I’m trying really hard but not getting anywhere.  Except I guess that’s not really true, because I’m here, in no man’s land, stuck between two places that I cannot be in – one that I can no longer inhabit because it doesn’t exist anymore, and one that is an unknown land that I’m terrified of stepping foot in.

And then, in a childish whisper: “Mother, where are the angels? I’m scared of the changes”.  Which resonates so strongly, like I’m a wine glass and the song is a wet fingertip, circling the rim.

Alison Goldfrapp once tweeted this (apparent…can’t find a solid reference) quote by Picasso: “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction”.  I’ve talked before in therapy about how Picasso freaks me out.  Everything is all in the wrong place, it’s weird and it’s just not right.  But it sounds like Picasso gets me too, because he is telling me to destroy.  Because I have to.  Because I cannot create a strong sense of myself without it, without knocking down my endlessly renovated house on the sand.  I have to knock it down and finally build it on stone.

Out in the garden
There’s half of a heaven
And we’re only bluffing
We’re not ones for busting through walls

But they’ve told us
Unless we can prove
That we’re doing it
We can’t have it all

He’s gonna wangle
A way to get out of it
She’s an excuse
And a witness who’ll talk when he’s called

But they’ve told us
Unless we can prove
That we’re doing it
We can’t have it all
We can’t have it all

“I caught a glimpse of a god, all shining and bright…”

Suddenly my feet are feet of mud
It all goes slo-mo
I don’t know why I’m crying
Am I suspended in Gaffa?
Not until I’m ready for you,
Not until I’m ready for you
Can I have it all

I try to get nearer
But as it gets clearer
There’s something appears in the way
It’s a plank in me eye

With a camel
Who’s trying to get through it
Am I doing it?
Can I have it all now?

I pull out the plank and say
“Thank you for yanking me back to the fact that there’s always something to distract…”

But sometimes it’s hard
To know if I’m doing it right
Can I have it all?
Can I have it all now?
We can’t have it all

“We all have a dream…maybe…”

Suddenly my feet are feet of mud
It all goes slo-mo
I don’t know why I’m crying
Am I suspended in Gaffa?
Not until I’m ready for you,
Not until I’m ready for you
Can I have it all

I won’t open boxes
That I am told not to
I’m not a Pandora
I’m much more like
That girl in the mirror between you and me
She don’t stand a chance of getting anywhere at all
Not anywhere at all
No, not a thing
She can’t have it all

“Mother, where are the angels? I’m scared of the changes”

Suddenly my feet are feet of mud
It all goes slo-mo
I don’t know why I’m crying
Am I suspended in Gaffa?
Not until I’m ready for you
Not until I’m ready for you
Can I have it all

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