Song for today: Spark by Tori Amos.

I haven’t written for so long. In general. There used to be sheets and sheets of paper, or multiple email drafts. There are still some email drafts now, but nowhere near as many. Today I feel compelled, though, because I feel as though I need to work things through, to get them out, instead of having them stagnating inside.

I am sitting/lying here on my (tiny) sofa, where I have been for most of the day. My water bottle by my side, untouched. (Having trouble drinking, again.) Listening to my favourite Spotify playlists, with melodies and lyrics that reflect where I am and what I am feeling so that they can swaddle me, cocoon me with their notes. My comfort shawl, that I crocheted myself to try and help me feel safe when it doesn’t feel so, is draped over my shoulders, covering me up, the fluffy sparkles and blue/grey colour trying to maintain connection. My crochet project (a blanket for my friend’s baby) has allowed me to keep busy in a gentle way while I’m off ‘sick’ (head sick). And some of my best allies are here; Bri is behind me but Bun and Bev have been keeping me company all day:

IMG_20150225_161553

The last few days have been brutal, and I’m not sure why. I’m trying to figure it out. But I have gone from being motivated, wanting to do my course, enjoying it, being excited about my life etc etc etc, to being, as I described it on Monday, like I am vacuum-packed. Shrink-wrapped. So stuck that I cannot move, left or right, forward or back. I am squashed into a tiny space. Suspended. (“I know you didn’t mean it like this, but when you said suspended, I thought of a suspended bus stop – you know, when they’ve got the tape all over them. And it’s thinking, oh god, but I’m a bus stop! I can’t be out of action, I have to serve the buses! And it panics because it can’t do what it’s supposed to.” –paraphrased from therapy yesterday, god love her. I couldn’t stop grinning.)

And even though I didn’t mean that, it’s also true. I feel like I am suspended in the air, but also that I am out of action and feel panicky about it but can’t do anything about it because I am stuck there – here – with tape all over me and I can’t move. Although…despite being stuck, I am also whirling, spinning, like a tornado. I can’t stay with one thing. I don’t know who I am because I keep changing and I don’t know how I’m feeling. I feel as though I have gone from being ‘me’, cruising along, driving my car wherever I want to, mostly in control, to being hijacked and driven somewhere completely different. Like I have been taken over, like an alien invasion. I know that this is also me, and that’s where it is so confusing, exhausting and, at times, excruciating. So…the one causing me all this trouble is me, then. Great!

I got pissed off on Monday and showed it. Managed to keep talking, even though I was angry. I can’t even remember what I was angry about. Oh yeah, I do, but it’s too long to write about and it was one of those moments where I had to shrug and say, “yeah, you’re right, and I know you are because my initial reaction was to tell you to fuck off.” And there was also the, “WHY?! Why do I have to sort it out myself?” “Because it’s your life.” She looked at me, I looked back, and then scowled.  “Yeah but it’s not FAIR!” “No, it’s not. But that’s the way it is.”

When I got home on Monday I felt as though I wasn’t done. I kept running through everything we had talked about…my family, my feelings and my actions at the moment, the whole feeling/being ‘weird’ thing, and how even though it’s twisted as a bad thing it makes me special so I don’t want to let go of it (“I think on one level, you’re scared that if you’re not this weird person, that if you lose that then I won’t be interested in you anymore”), my running back to what is ‘safe’ even though it’s not and is harmful to me… She described it as a security blanket, one that’s all manky and soiled, one that she’s trying to yank off me and one that I won’t let her take away. “We can see it in the room, when you run back to it.” It felt like it had brought up so much, and I wanted to talk more. So despite my fears of being too much, I texted on Tuesday morning and asked if I could speak to her, or see her. And she had a free session, so I went and thrashed it out some more. There is so much in there, so much about being terrified to have people care for me, I don’t know how to do it and I resist it so much but of course, it’s what I want. I just have a mountain of defences in there.

And it was another really amazing session and I still wasn’t done. So with ALL my courage I emailed and asked if I could see her AGAIN this week, because I really wanted to. It felt different this time – not like I was desperate and would die if I didn’t see her, but that I just really wanted to. I acknowledged that it might not be possible so asked if could I speak to her briefly if I couldn’t have another session, and that either way it was fine, but if she couldn’t then to please be nice about it because even though I had been able to it ask was still monumentally difficult. And she emailed back, nicely (of course, because she is nice – but often her Rigid Boundaries of Doom don’t feel nice, reminding me of an exchange with Nick where I showed him an email from her that I thought was really warm, for her, and he called her the Ice Maiden, haha), saying that it seems positive to her that I was able to articulate my needs to myself, and to her. She didn’t have any free sessions but I did speak to her at 4pm, just for 8 minutes. I told her that I’d been snuggled up with my comfort things in an effort to feel safe. And I explained about this song.

Last night as I was trying to sleep, the line, “you say you don’t want it, again and again, but you don’t really mean it” popped into my head and kept playing over and over, like a mantra. I was confused for a while and didn’t really understand, although it felt perfect, like it was able to articulate things in a way that I hadn’t been able to. I am so resistant to everything and it’s just a defence. I played the song over in my head from the beginning. “She’s addicted to nicotine patches.” In yesterday’s session, she talked about me being addicted to her, to therapy. How beautiful as a metaphor. Nicotine patches are what you use when you can’t, for whatever reason, have cigarettes. They are a substitute, they provide the substance but not in the way that the person really wants. They’re not cigarettes, are they? They’re not quite real. She’s not quite real. She’s a nicotine patch, therapy is a nicotine patch for the real cigarettes that I really fucking well want to smoke. Knowing that they don’t exist and that it isn’t possible doesn’t make it hurt any less.

Then: “she’s afraid of the light in the dark.” I have always loved that line, but now it takes on new meaning. She is the light, therapy is. I am used to it being dark, and I’m scared of the light, I’m scared of it taking the dark away, in the same way that I get pissed off, angry and ultimately terrified when she tries to contradict everything that I have ever known and felt about myself.

This used to be my favourite song, for years, starting when I was…16? 17? It was written about a miscarriage but it has always made sense to me. It has been a fixture in my life for a long, long time, and despite not having listened to it in months, possibly years, it came back when I needed it. There are more lines in the song which are resonant but I can’t go into them right now because I am exhausted and need to stop writing now. But, lastly, the single and album covers:

spark

 

spark2

 

FromTheChoirgirl

 

Photocopied, not a representative version of herself. Stuck, between glass, looking as though she’s vacuum-packed. Exactly how I am feeling now. I really thought it was beautiful, the way it came up and ended up being such a mirror of my current self. I feel less alone now.

Lyrics:

she’s addicted to nicotine patches
she’s addicted to nicotine patches
she’s afraid of the light in the dark
6.58 are you sure where my spark is
here, here, here

she’s convinced she could hold back a glacier
(between cotton balls and xylophones)
but she couldn’t keep Baby alive
(I’m getting old)
doubting if there’s a woman in there somewhere
here, here, here
you say you don’t want it again
and again but you don’t really mean it
you say you don’t want it
this circus we’re in
but you don’t you don’t really mean it you don’t really mean it

if the Divine master plan is perfection
(swing low)
maybe next I’ll give Judas a try
(swing low, sweet chariot)
trusting my soul to the ice cream assassin
here, here, here
you say you don’t want it again
and again but you don’t really mean it
you say you don’t want it
this circus we’re in
but you don’t you don’t really mean it you don’t really mean it

how many fates turn around in the overtime
ballerinas that have fins that you’ll never find
you thought that you were the bomb yeah well so did I
say you don’t want it
say you don’t want it
say you don’t want it again
and again but you don’t really mean it
say you don’t want it
this circus we’re in
but you don’t you don’t really mean it you don’t really mean it

she’s addicted to nicotine patches
she’s afraid of the light in the dark
6.58 are you sure where my spark is
here, here, here

Video (which itself has incredible imagery):

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