Spiders

It’s the little things which cause the greatest disasters: raindrops cause floods, sparks cause infernos.

They’re crawling under my skin, sucking my blood, twitching my muscles, making me shake and twist and toss and writhe and rub my stomach and slap my face and scream and howl in agony and rage that never stops and never ever fucking ends!

Spiders…

I’m too big for my body! I can’t breathe; I feel as though I’m ready to burst from my chest, this tightening in my ribcage, as though a savage raging beast were pushing at the walls, pushing and rattling and roaring for the feeling of Closter phobia, roaring to be released, to break to crush to crash its way out!

That’s the only way I can describe it, the feeling that comes over you, the pain of being trapped! Trapped like this helpless thing, like a caged animal or a beast with its leg snapped beneath a metal bar, trapped in this wiggling mass of uncontained fear, trembling with fury, unable to stay still for the urge to wrap your hands around someone’s neck and squeeze because the need to transfer the pain somewhere else is so great and so pure and so violent and so demanding.

I’m looking in the mirror, hoping I won’t see the hideous mask of tortured anger, the anger with myself and the anger with the world which I’m not allowed to let anyone else glimpse. I see a monster in my face, and I quiver with the desire to smash my fist through the glass and watch the shards of shimmering life destroyed flying and splitting and gleam in the artificial light, watch the sparkling red flow down my arm and bubble into the sink and stain the porcelain with my 7 years of shitty luck and broken wishes…

I breathe and blink and sweat and shit and piss and walk and talk and eat and drink and occasionally bleed for the careless paper cuts; here, though, I don’t live.

***

So for the first time I identified with something I hate. My father is a self-centered, immature, unfeeling asshole. My mother is a dramatic, psychotic, passive-aggressive martyr, and I’m stuck here in the middle, stone-faced, watching her break down for perhaps the thousandth time, soaking in her own self-pity and misery, expecting an outpouring of sympathy and only receiving the one thing me or my dad can give: logic, cold facts, the truth, problem-solving, advice, action words…”tell,” “do,” “start,” “help,” “relax,” “stop,” “be.”

What’s the bottom line?

I realized for a certainty today that though in some twisted way I may love my parents, I hate them as well. It sucks living in a place where you feel like you’re above everyone, yet they feel they’re above you. I dislike both of them. How can I explain this better?

My mother looked on when my dad beat me up at age 13. My mother looked on each time he verbally abused both me and my sister. When we came to her to make it stop, she cried and screamed of her need for “peace.” She admitted without knowing I was listening in that she puts him before us, and now…

I don’t give a fuck, I’m simply a walking body in this house, breathing and blinking and talking…but I’m only truly alive everywhere else.

The cancer has caused my mom to be put on new meds which are weakening her bones. She is now going to lose her teeth. The front ones first, then later probably the rest. The hilarity, this bubbling laughter at the image which pops into my head of my mother with no teeth trying to eat a tangerine.

What did I do? Nothing, of course. I looked on.

She asked me, “When will someone take care of me for a change?” Fucking take care of yourself! Do it yourself! I’m taking care of myself! Hell, I’ve been doing that for 5 years now, you haven’t helped me, he hasn’t helped me, no one has helped me live through the revelations of my lesbianism and my atheism and my feelings of masculinity, the feelings that I didn’t belong here or anywhere, my self-loathing for being blind and unable to find a God damn sock that fell on the floor!

My need to change something, the feeling that I’m too big, I’m going to burst, like I don’t fit my body, I don’t fit the mold somehow, the puzzle pieces need to fit but they don’t oh fuck they just fucking don’t!

Did you help me through that, mom! Did you take care of your baby girl, your first born, your “love child?” Absolutely not, no, hell no you didn’t, you know why? You were too worried that he was cheating on you and buying her flowers and taking her to dinner and buying her rings and the only fucking thing you were angry about was that he was taking her to dinner and not you, and the reason I was pissed was because he was spending money on her kids and not his own…

I’m a failure! I’m not going to college next year and they’re all going to point and say “You know, nice kid, but really didn’t have it in her. Nothing like that lovely smart blind girl who ended up getting a full-ride scholarship to that prestigious private university.”

You know why? I was depressed and angry and sad and lonely and sunken into a pit of grief for my immortal soul as you drank your cheap boxed red wine and swallowed your pills and told your kids you didn’t want to live because he didn’t love you enough. I’m not going next year, and it’s because I was a wreck this winter, and you were absent as usual, and he was unwilling to help me…much too busy throwing his money down on mistresses and toys, 100 thousand dollars a year or probably more and he won’t help me, and you told me not to even ask him because he wouldn’t even consider it. I’m taking care of myself, mom! I’m doing it! Live with your choices!

What I was doing was contemplating the many ways I could creatively end my life–go out with a bang, end it in a way that would make my father’s cop buddies laugh in spite of themselves because I was a pretty dramatic and inventive kid.

But I’ve never been truly suicidal because I loved life, damn it I love life and wish I could grab her by the hair and shake her and kiss her on the lips and make sweet passionate love to her because she’s the love of my life, that beautiful life!

I’m a carbon copy of my father. I’m cold and insensitive and logical and methodical. I don’t understand emotions and don’t like them, anyway. And now I understand him better. She called him her worst enemy, and couldn’t come out and say that she hates his guts for the cheating and lying and cold-heartedness. She’s passive-aggressive, and I felt an acute impulse to spit at her and howl like a wounded beast: “Would you shut your fucking mouth if you have nothing to say!”

These sound like the ravings of a mad woman, and perhaps they are. It’s only a matter of time before we all go crazy anyway, and I prefer a head start.

***

This is the insanity inside of me, the flood of emotion which I can never push out and when I do, can’t understand. I can’t express it any more eloquently. Also, it is from last year during a time in my life when things seemed utterly hopeless, as if I were slowly burying myself alive in a hole made up of ice and frozen rock. I’ve now defeated all odds and moved out of the dark house on the hill *chuckles,* and have made it to college.

***

“Learn this from me. Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.” –Mitch Albom,     The Five People You Meet in Heaven

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