random love

Inpatient

Inpatientwas a blur and a huge cliché but with one unforgettable connection.

I don’t know how I got to thinking about this woman today.
But here we are…

Even the most severely medicated patient feels her cold wall of silence, one that staunchly taunts the staff: just try to get me to give anything up. Because no.
And fuck you.

But I meet her gaze one day and it hits me- she is trying so hard to keep it together, which makes me instantly care about her. She’s not okay but she is fighting so hard to convince herself otherwise. Call it survivor’s instinct but we identify something in each other, which leads to our first conversation on some bench-table thing outside. It feels so nice, being outside; the natural light a warm and welcome relief from many a fluorescent bulb.

She is tough.
And not just because she’s a damn tough gang member who has been living The Bluest Eye. But because she is committed to dealing with her demons, regardless of how she is perceived by her biological family (completely untrustworthy), her gang family (traitor), the father of her child (unworthy). Her life doesn’t allow for a mental health check-out without some severe consequences. So she has to make this count.

As she tells me her story, my heart sheds shocked tears.
She was Pecola.

Later that night, as I sit in my room and process, reprocess what she shared, I cry for her. Hard.

Two days later, when someone open-shuts the door to her group therapy session I happen to catch a quick earful. I hear her crying for herself. I think it’s the first time she has let herself cry in a long time. Possibly ever.

It was both of our first times in this kind of place.
I never did go back.
I never saw her again but to this day, ten years later, my heart crosses its fingers for her.

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about Japan

Suicide

Truth or tactwins Japan’s popularity contest.

But.

For the first time in 15 years it’s fallen below 30,000 people.

Yay.

My brain can’t really relate to those figures so I need an explanation in this vein:
Prior to 2012, 30,000+ people committed suicide a year= 1 suicide every 15 minutes.
2012 proud stats, 27,766 suicides committed= 1 suicide every 20 minutes.

I get that statistics and accuracy aren’t really a sure thing but when the aforementioned figures are also supported here and there, my skeptical ass knows those numbers aren’t so far off.

So combine an historically proud suicide method with the present-day ubiquity of said death and two things happen: a strange romanticism surrounding suicide emerges and desensitization strikes.

Regarding a certain romanticism, there’s a forest- Aokigahara Forest (Sea of Trees) that became an extraordinarily popular suicide spot after the novel Kuroi Jukai (the black sea of trees) by Seicho Matsumoto was published.  It’s a beautiful site that when combined with a lyrical work, somehow soft focuses a cruel, selfish and tortuous exit.

I can’t count the number of trains that have been delayed on account of suicide in the one year I’ve lived here.  In fact, if I’m late to work, suicide on the tracks is often assumed and as I write that, I realize I have been thoroughly desensitized.

Sadness.

Suicide isn’t a taboo subject but avoiding that road to perdition- psychotherapy- sure as fuck is.
Yep, I’ll be talking about that before too long.

Topical fact:
Dazai Osamu, writer who really wanted out of this life
1st attempt: solo, with pills.
2nd attempt: with a 19-year-old bar hostess, drowning (beach of Kamakura).  She died.
3rd attempt: solo, hanging.
4th attempt: with his wife, pills.  Both survived.
5th attempt: with his new wife, drowning in the Tamagawa canal.  Both died.

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random love

Good grief

The other dayis another familiar.

You need to try to master the ability to feel sad without actually being sad.

~Mingyur Rinpoche,
(quoted by Laurie Anderson, November 21st 2013 issue of Rolling Stone)

I believe in the good grief.

There was a five-year period in my life where I grieved.  A lot.
There were deaths and a most significant break up.  One terminal illness was such an intimate part of my life, I might as well have been in bed with it.

A dear friend recently shared a death experience.  The feelings, confusion and questions brought on by the grieving process- how and when to deal or not deal- makes me think, look back and consider who I was then and who I am now as a result.

Grieving is inconvenient.

I realize that the sly workings of grief overwhelm at the most unexpected moments.  I think I am okay, I feel myself smiling because I feel a genuine, warm happiness from within when suddenly, my heart is hollowed out and I gasp, in shock that I am felled so immediately and completely.  It doesn’t matter that the tears don’t fall because I’m wrecked from the inside, can’t catch my goddamn breath and there goes my plan for the next few hours because I must simply feel out this pain.  I am immobilized.

Except this time when I look around, you aren’t there.
This time it’s the death of us that I grieve.
There’s no you to talk to, cry with, come home to.
It hits harder, sadder because before, with you, sharing the grief was so…unlonely.

Time can help.

But it’s not the ultimate panacea.  My heart still breaks 2, 5, 8, 10, 13 years after the fact.
It’s not as raw but it still hurts and…truth?  Sometimes, every so often, it is as raw.

Sometimes it takes a friend from long ago to identify changes within myself.  It seems that I am more open and caring.  But then again if I didn’t evolve after confronting childhood demons, heartbreak, grief, and probing and challenging relationships, what a waste of life experience on me, no?

I can sit in death’s aftermath, maintain a clear line of reason and be optimistic about the future, even, but I can’t not be sad when I’m feeling the sadness.

Feel sad and not actually be sad?
I’m working on it.

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relationshipping

The line moves

The other daywith every relationship.

I’ve got boundaries on my mind.

Namely, the ones we set for ourselves.
The ones that change.
The delicate space between tolerance at maximum capacity (crossdressing, say) and the dealbreaker (transsexual, perhaps) fascinates me as it’s often a very narrow reach.

That narrow reach is where growth happens.
I become a different person.

For instance, prior to my trans ex-GF, I shot down open relationships; actually fairly early on in our relationship I said, “No way.”  But hearing her out and witnessing the subtle and dramatic physical and personality changes during her transition forced me to reconsider my position and we tried it out.  Although it turns out open relationships aren’t my thing, I don’t regret going there because that experience forced an ideological transformation.

Just like witnessing her transition so intimately effected another phrenic shift in the realm of my acceptance and tolerance levels, which were stretched in so many new directions.  The shift isn’t so literal as to mean that I’m open to coupling with a transsexual in the future without hesitation; rather, that my genuine attempts to maintain a relationship with a transitioning GF opened my mind to questioning my established boundaries up to that point.  

Every relationship has set me up for the next one.

My previously unresolved psychological scars from childhood led me to a string of unhealthy flings, experiences and relationships.  If not for my emotionally unsatisfactory relationships with men I would not have dated and committed to a long-term relationship with a woman.  If not for broadening my sexual identity I could not have given a transsexual relationship an earnest effort.  If not for a new understanding of my closely examined personal needs in a relationship, I wouldn’t…

I can’t fully answer that one yet.

The next relationship is always so different yet a natural evolution from the previous one.
Once the successive door opens there is no going back.

Thank you for the growth.

P.S.  Um, thank you WordPress for the Freshly Pressed feature(!!!).
P.P.S. Thank you all for stopping by, reading, commenting, basically giving my words some of your precious time…it means a lot.

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random love

This is personal.

This is personalI might be one of the unhealthiest healthy people in the world.
God, what a fucking grandiose statement, right?
Who is this bitch?

Nobody, sometimes.
A damn good friend/lover/partner sometimes.

I don’t remember every minute of my small self being locked in a dark closet for hours on end, day after day, weeks in a row. But I can connect the cause and effect dots between the entrapment three-year-old me suffered and the fucked up neural pathways that scarred my brain as a result. For instance, security is incredibly important to me. Because that means options. I could give a shit about my old ass having a comfortable cushion in the sun as I get closer to inevitable death but I care immensely about always having an out. I need to know I can run if I want to. Historically, I don’t run away but when I feel I don’t have that choice, I alternately freak out and go fetal.

I don’t think that’s so healthy.

Want to know what’s even more fucked up? A pattern emerged; a deranged acceptance of being held hostage (physically, mentally, sexually, hooray) became my familiar. I had no out again (age 8) and again (age 12) and again (age 15, 18, 19)— what, was I asking for it? If asking for it means being shocked into submission and unable to make out the words NO, STOP, I’m going to tell my parents on you, I’m going to call the cops, or just screaming my fucking head off, then yeah, I sure as hell asked for it.

In an attempt to get healthy, I’ve parked my disgruntled-at-best ass in front of many a therapist. I’ve sat silent while a certified woman sat even silenter; this was beyond a Mexican standoff and I totally lost when, five minutes before end time I said, “So this is your way of helping me?” I’ve entertained the crap out of another as she made me so fucking mad with each passing minute because she sure as hell wasn’t asking difficult questions, or entertaining me for that matter. I got really hopeful when I clicked with this really awesome dude but then I ran out of money. So it goes, therapist musical chairs, a routine occurrence among the obstacle course of getting help.

Currently, I just do the best I can.

Sometimes that means really awesome: maintaining healthy, meaningful relationships, moving across the globe and successfully assimilating to a new culture and language.

Sometimes it’s disturbing: the tears freefall while I rapidly figure out how quickly I can get on a plane. Out. Of. Here. Fuck my job, lease, funds. I just want to disappear.

Usually my best is good enough. Because I’m still here. Sometimes my mind still reels me back to that dark place and I want to give up because I can’t see two inches in front of my face and I still don’t have all the tools or coordination to unlock the fucking door.

But these days I smartly use my voice (I don’t even have to scream) and it reaches those who love me. We make sure I get out of that dark place.

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