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The Blister on my Heal

It started as a slight irritation and then grew into a dull ache.  Soon enough it was a full blister, throbbing with pain, oozing with every step.

How ironic that her flip-flops were the cause.
Because she’s just that: a constant hurt that won’t subside.

He lent me the sandals, one day after the dog destroyed mine.
“Just keep them,” he suggested with a shrug.  “It’s not like she’ll be coming back to claim them.”
They were two sizes too big and covered in a hideous pattern of flamingos.  Even Jill commented that they looked wrong on me, yet I continued to wear them.

Perhaps I was too lazy to find new ones or maybe I was just used to being surrounded by reminders of her

When we first met, his closet was filled with all her stuff, everything she left behind and intended to return to, but never did.
When we decided to date exclusively, he removed up all her things and set me a picture of his half-empty wardrobe.  It made me smile briefly, until I realized the clothing had simply been boxed up and pushed out of sight, but not quite out of mind.  Just like her.  The bulk of it may have been packed away but some items still remained.  Her pink heart covered raincoat was still shoved under the seat of his car, a constant reminder of how fresh his wounds really are.

They still talk, comment on each other’s various posts and photos, but I know it’s never about me.  Because in her case, I’m the one out of sight.

Sometimes I wonder if I am the most insecure woman or the most naive fool who ever lived.
I can’t remember ever feeling such intense jealousy and resentment, especially towards a total stranger.  It’s disgusting.

Yet, he’s not without his own fears: that I’ll meet someone else, that I’ll up and leave, that I’ll change my mind.  In the end we both run the risk of getting hurt, we both have the potential to break each other’s heart, but that’s no reason to call it quits.


Since we made that transition into exclusivity I’ve felt bogged down with uncertainty and anxiety.  I’m constantly weighing the pros and cons, debating whether I should just up and leave, or try harder to let my guard down.  I wonder if he genuinely likes me or just sees me as something he needs to lock down.  I’m not an object, I’m not his personal prostitute, and I’m not her or his ex-wife.  I’m just me.  I don’t know how to be anyone else.
I know we have no staying power, but right now, being with him makes me happy.  Too happy.


I’ve thought a lot about it over the last couple weeks and have come to a realization.  The reason my relationships take on the same forms, it because I always get in my head about them.  I can’t decide if I should pull away or totally commit and I drive myself (and my boyfriend) absolutely crazy until it decimates and I fall to pieces, fearful that I’ve fucked up and made the wrong decision.
What if this time, rather than waste so much time and energy thinking about him, I focused it on myself and let the relationship run its course?  I’m happiest when I feel independent, so why not continue to live my life on my terms, whilst having a beautiful boy on the side.  My rules, my schedule, my life and if he has a problem with it, then the door is right there.  I need to put myself first and this so-called relationship second.

Easier said than done right?

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Afraid of Happiness

What am I afraid of? Happiness?

It’s interesting how when you start a new chapter in your life, whether it be a new job, a new home, a new relationship, you begin with the best intentions.
I’m going to avoid office romances.
I’m going to keep my bedroom clean and organized.
I’m going to keep my jealousy in check.
Whatever it is, you’re determined to do it now that you have a fresh start and for the first few weeks it actually works, you’re able to stick to it! Then you get comfortable and you slack off one day, then another, then you look for excuses not to do it. Then a week has gone by and you shrug your shoulders like,
Whatever, I’ve fucked up now, my chance is gone, there’s always next time. Right?

Well, life in the surf town was no different.

I thought, Hey, once I’m living in a house, with a job, I’ll fall into a routine: eat healthy, exercise, finally learn to surf, finally have some me time. At first, I was killing it. Then the hard realization hit me: I’ve lived here one month and besides Kennedy, I don’t have any actual friends, I have a shitty job where I make no money, and I can’t afford shit. I tried to carry on, knowing things could only get better, but soon I was drinking to pass the time (whilst trying to come out of my shell).  Soon after we invested in a $50 bag of weed and within a week, had almost smoked the entire thing, which of course, lead to the consumption of an entire block of chocolate, a box of candy and a bag of chips, to name a few. I gave up on running, I gave up on trying to improve my standard of life. I gave up on myself.

I got sad, really sad and began to feel hopeless and trapped. I desperately began searching for an exit route, anxious for another new beginning.

That’s when I recognized the patterns of self-depricating behaviour and it lead me to wonder: Am I trying to sabbotoge my own happiness? Or do I have an actual mental illness? Let me elaborate…

For all of my life I’ve had high highs and very deep lows. I can be ontop of the world one minute and down in the dumps the next. Nothing really has to happen to set me off. I can create a negative possible scenario in my head and then I’m sweating, treating it like an actual REAL problem (of course, these thoughts never materialize.) I cry at the drop of a pin. I wake up sometimes thinking, “Why even bother?” and then I wont, for days, weeks, until I decide with a sudden burst of enthusiasm that its not too late to turn it all around.

I have a very addictive personality. I can’t just have one beer, it’s got to be 6, or 10, and I can’t buy a bag of weed and ration it, I’m gonna smoke the entire thing in a couple days. I can’t just have one cigarette when I’m partying, it’s gotta be the whole pack. Whether it’s sex, food, drugs, whatever, for me, it’s always in excess. Moderation doesn’t exist in my world.

My mother and aunt have both been diagnosed as bi-polar. My aunt went to rehab for alcohol and is now a member of Overeaters Anonymous as well. My uncle almost lost everything because of his drug problem. I know this is a real devastating illness that could be affecting me, but I don’t know what to do about it, mental illness is still really hard to openly discuss. I know a counsellor is probably my best bet, but they’re expensive and the last thing I want is to ever be medicated. I would perfer to talk it out, perhaps seek some spiritual guidance, but the thought of diving into my past, of divulging those memories locked deep within… it freaks me out! I guess discussing my problems with a neutral, trained professional provide great release, but the idea is so terrifying.

As scary as it is, I need to find a way to stop the self deprication. It’s frustrating, I can see myself making the same mistakes, I know exactly where I’m going wrong, but it’s like I’m stuck in this endless loop of misery, to break free would take all my strength and focus, but its as if I can’t be bothered, which brings me to my second theory:
I want to deny myself happiness. It’s as if all those feeling inside, the lack of self-worth, the insecurities instilled in me by my father, by my classmates, by my ex-boyfriends, they’re all weighing me down. All those negative words, I’ve begun to believe them and now I seek to punish myself by telling myself I don’t deserve it.

I mentioned how I tend to seek out boyfriends and then fancy myself as stuck and just wallow in self pity and hope for a change.
Well in coming to New Zealand, I did the same thing. Kennedy and I share a room, we share a van, we share a life. I’ve begun to feel a little stir-crazy, my mind is pacing, desperately seeking an emergency exit.
Don’t get me wrong, I love NZ, I love Kennedy, I want to spend the year here. But things have gone off track and I’m desperately seeking another fresh start, I know I can’t run from myself and that’s the sad truth. I don’t want to lose sight of who I am again. I just found myself, I can’t lose her.

The rational part of myself is chiding me for never sticking with anything or following through. I have a lot of changes I need to make to escape these repetitious behaviours. It’s not going to be easy, but I think in order to be sane, I need to quit smoking weed. I don’t want to quit smoking weed, I love it and the way it makes me feel numb and let’s me zone out for a while. But after 2 months of not smoking, I can see how badly it slows me down, makes me unmotivated. I can’t smoke even a little without getting paranoid and insecure. I’ve tried making weed a “sometimes thing” but its no use. If I’ve got it I’ll smoke it, once I’m out I’ll seek out more by any means necessary. It’s going to be extremely difficult to quit, but sitting down and wiriting it out is a good way to deal with my emotions.

I guess we’ll see if I can’t turn this life around.

1

Never Too Late

I’m depressed.  It’s gotten to the point where I have to admit it, at least to myself, because  it’s effecting my life so profoundly.  The worst part about being so sad is that I have no reason to feel this way, my life is great and I’m about to head off on this great adventure.  I should be over the moon, but instead I’m quite the opposite.  When I’m not working, I feel anxious and reluctant to be at home.  I think about all the things I could do with my free time, about all the things I need to do before I leave the country and the closer it gets to the date the more I procrastinate.  Instead of getting organized I binge drink and chain smoke and indulge in copious amounts of weed only to pass out into a restless sleep void of rapid eye movement.  On the nights that I actually go to bed sober I toss and turn, restless, my mind goes over my to-do list and I start to panic.  When I finally fall asleep (perhaps at 3 am?) I have crazy dreams.  In the morning I stare blankly at my own reflection and wonder who the girl looking back is, because she’s not me; she has huge black pillows under her eyes, her skin is riddled with acne, hair unwashed and unkempt and she never smiles, not once.

My anxiety is not entirely due to my travel woes, I feel anxious about dying alone without ever doing anything with my life and having no one to blame but myself.  I’ve been so insecure lately especially concerning my appearance.  Stress has destroyed my skin: my cheeks are covered in acne, I’m talking huge cysts that cause me physical pain.  I’ve seen dermatologist after dermatologist and everything they prescribe is only a temporary solution.  I’ve always struggled with breakouts, but never like this.  I feel so helpless so I pick endlessly at the pimples; it’s as if I’m punishing them for invading my face.  It’s gotten to the point where I hate leaving my house because I don’t want people to see me.  I hate serving and having people stare at my face all day, because I constantly feel like they’re judging me.
I bemoan the fact that I haven’t gotten laid in what seems like a lifetime, but the truth is even if I had an opportunity to have sex I would probably turn it down.  I don’t feel sexy, my confidence is at an all time low and I don’t want to be in such a vulnerable situation.  I think about the last couple men I’ve been with and how badly they disappointed me and I just don’t want to put myself through it again.  So instead I bitch and complain about how I can’t even give it away while making no real effort to do anything about it.  Story of my life…
What’s wrong with me?  I wanted to be this strong confident woman who was happy being alone, who was patient, who didn’t need a man to have a fulfilling life.  Will I ever become her?  Or am I doomed to make the same mistakes?  Can people ever really change?  Or maybe I’m just too lazy to put in the effort necessary to become a better me. I don’t know anymore.

Last night, unwilling to go home, I slammed a bottle of wine and literally cried to Kennedy.  “Wahhh life is tough, feel sorry for me, my life sucks.”  The usual.  This morning I woke up with a start.  My mouth was parched and I was sprawled across Kennedy’s bed.  Flash backs of my antics began to flood my hazy brain: constant crying, whining, general self-pity.  I was supposed to get a ride with Kennedy to the lodge so I could retrieve my abandoned bike, but I was alone.  She had left without me.  I tried to recover my missing phone and fell into hysterics.
Don’t fall apart over this stupid shit I lectured myself.  Pull yourself together woman!!!
I resolved to make today a better day.  I put on my jeans and located my phone.  I washed my face and tried to make my appearance somewhat presentable.  I filled up a plastic water bottle and started down the street, thumb pointed out towards the passing cars in the hopes of catching a ride.  A parks worker picked me up and, to my delight, did not attempt to engage in small talk, but instead drove me to my destination in silence.  I rode my bike home in the pouring rain letting the water wash over me.  When I got home I made a pot of coffee and sat down to eat a real breakfast.  I took a long shower and organized the chaos that is my bedroom.
This is why I’m depressed, I told myself I eat greasy restaurant food every day, I drink and smoke excessively, I’ve stopped exercising, my surroundings are bedlam, I don’t sleep enough and I don’t take any time for myself.  This needs to change.  You owe yourself more.

Work was fairly slow and I made it through the day in pretty good spirits.  I came home and had a real dinner and now I’m here: sitting in my warm bed, writing out my thoughts, working through my issues while a near-hurricane storm rages outside.

It’s never too late to try again, tomorrow’s always a new day.

1

Negative Nancy

Shortly after I decided to swear off men, the energy surrounding this beautiful place shifted. I can pinpoint the exact moment I felt it.

The night of Violet’s birthday my roommate Kathy had joined me and actively voiced her desire to do mushrooms, she even had a gram all ready to go. I assured her that Violet would bring plenty of mush and we’d all partake with her.  A few of us arrived down at the beach and began making a fire.  Kathy began growing concerned that it was getting late and that she wouldn’t have enough time to come down before she had to go to work, so she decided to eat hers.  I accompanied Violet back to staff housing and made my enquiry.
“Dude! I just sold the last of it! I have one left though, you can have it.”
Not wanting to leave Kathy tripping alone at a party full of people she didn’t know, I did what any good friend would do: I ate that mushroom capsule.
The crowd around the fire was growing and I could feel myself getting higher.  People’s faced became covered with geometric patterns, but yet I was still engaging in full and sensical conversations.  Kathy and I went on a pee mission and when we entered the bushes we both gasped.  All the leaves were glowing neon green and appeared as thousands of hands reaching up, beckoning me to lie on them.  I collapsed backwards onto the awaiting hands.
“Wow,” Kathy remarked, “Your hair looks like it’s alive, growing into the bushes. You’re like… their queen.”
That was my last happy memory of the night.

Back at the fire, I was continuing to have in-depth conversations whilst staring off into space when a couple guys started talking to us, one was named “Alex.”
“Do you wanna go splash in the water?” He asked me.
“Of course!” I exclaimed and the two of us began skipping out to the ridiculously low tide.
“How do you know Violet?” I asked.
“I don’t,” he said, “I just moved here after being discharged from the military… Should I marry her?” On the way back to the fire he picked me up and threw me over his shoulder and began running with me.
“Stop!” I screamed, “Put me down!”
“Ask me anything!” He commanded as he released me. “Ask me how many men I’ve killed, go ahead, ask me!”
“No,” I stated, “Are you just fucking with me because I’m high?”
“What? No, why would I do that?”

Back at the fire I tried to stay away from him. Kathy and I sat off to the side of the now 50+ person bonfire and listened to my friend play guitar.  Suddenly “Alex” returned and started screaming at my friend to play Bob Dylan.  When my friend ignored him he screamed, “You people are all fucking retarded!” and stormed off.
“Oh my God, I’m so scared of that guy!” I cried, “He’s going to kill me!”
“It’s okay,” Kathy insisted, “We’ll be fine, you’re just high.”
We made our way through the crowd and found our beautiful Kennedy, all swollen and chipmunked after having her wisdom teeth removed, chewing away on weed fudge.  The 3 of us ran out onto the wet sand and towards the surf and admired the glowing phosphoresces that appeared under every step we took.  We stared back towards the lodge, the sky was overcast, but the stars were still shining through in an eery, sinister way.  In the distance, the various lighthouses cast ominous lights. Something felt different, not right.
Back at the fire Kathy became fearful of “Alex” and insisted she and I go back with the now departing Kennedy.  I was in the midst of smoking a joint in the hopes of calming my nerves and promised I would return shortly in the company of my friend Jack.  I assured her that he was completely sober and would keep me safe.  The two of us began our trek back and sure enough “Alex” appeared and began to say some hostile things to Jack.  We both walked away, “Man that guy’s weird,” Jack commented.
“He’s the one that’s going to skin me!”

On the way back and as I came down, Jack began to retail me with ghost stories from the very bay we’d just been partying in.  Apparently, a tourist shot himself in the head there and on occasions a spooky presence had manifested in that spot.  Suddenly he stopped. “Do you hear that?”
“What?” We listened carefully and in the distance we could hear a grinding metal sound.
“A bike?” I suggested.
“Maybe, but whoa, what’s that?” He pointed up beyond the tree-line where two bright lights were circulating towards the sky in perfect unison.
“What the hell is that?” I asked.
“Headlights,” he declared.
“But why are they moving in a circular motion like that?”
“They’re headlights, let’s go!”

Back at the lodge, Jack went up to get a drink of water from the hose while I sat on a beach chair waiting for him.  A little ways down the beach I could see a bright blue light.  Although I was coming down, I was still having weird visuals and I couldn’t tell if the light was coming towards me or was on a stationary post.  It seemed to be moving, but only up and down and if it belonged to a person, shouldn’t they be close enough that I could see them?
“Hey Jack,” I called as he came down the stairs, “Is that light on a post or a person?”
“I don’t know, but it’s coming closer!” The two of us ran up the path with Jack’s blanket wrapped around us for protection.

Back at staff housing we were all reunited and safe, but I still felt uneasy. As I tried to sleep I felt fearful that “Alex” would find me. I wracked my brain for any information I may have given him: that I was staying at staff accom, that I worked at the lodge, the neighbourhood I lived in, but I came up with nothing. I assured myself that I was safe and that tomorrow would be a better day, but the negativity began to grow and fester.

To be continued…