This is How you Lose Everything

wallace

This post is written post psychosis, with a heavy heart, full of guilt and nausea. As David Foster Wallace once said:  “There’s good self-consciousness, and then there’s toxic, paralyzing, raped-by-psychic-Bedouins self-consciousness.”


There is a buzz in my head: a sound bleating so loud I can’t ever sleep nor eat. [I] seem to have lost control of my impulses: run around listening to a whispering and looking upon strangers who I once thought were friends. The whispering is particularly ugly, in form it might be some faceless shadow; in reality it is probably a part of my brain that wants me dead.

  • Why must my brain continuously fling these horizontal variations at me? I stand. I sit. I punch the air quotes. I pray to some other form that the pain flies away. Metaphorical existence — The only form of courage I can muster to bring myself back some days. Hegel once said: “The spoken word unites the objectivity of the corporeal sign with the subjectivity of gesture, the articulation of the latter with the self-awareness of the former”. But what happens when there is a part of your brain disconnected from so called rationality; this battered part that only reacts by slowing down interactions and contiguously outlining words, crossing out literal meanings, and inserting interpretations unaligned with the text. I tell my students every day to provide textual evidence when their answers don’t match the text. Is this what we learn from reading and understanding text: how not to let psychosis take over your brain?
  • I lost someone who I thought and still think was my twin flame. Again there is no sense of reason in thinking that divinity exists. If divinity exists why did I lose everything again? The other day we were reading a story where a family is losing their home and the mother said it must be the intention of God for them to lose their safety. My student claimed that such a quote was a misunderstanding of the situation, the loan agency was to blame. I asked: does blaming God give the woman a sense of control.  [If God is in control, he may save them.] The church did always say: ” your deeds will save you.” Who will save me?
  • The fractions keep popping in my head. After my sister told me that my relationships always end due to my unhealthy interactions, I kept visualizing 8/6 and how it could also be 4/3 and how they both reduce to 1 and 1/3 and kept checking to see if 1 and 2/6 would truly reduce to 1 and 1/3. I’m not really sure what the fractions mean, I just spend so much time solving them.
  • Party on the L train; except the L train is always late or stuffed with people, or else it gets stuck in the tunnel or leaves you right by where you and your twin flame went to the street fair, seeing the state of hipsters, you both ran. You know that the relationship ending is not entirely your fault. And you know that at least September is over and with it that part of your brain that wants to kill you is finally dormant. You make a home out of nothing and start to sleep again.

 

Hope is that thing with feathers. And although you lost it all, you didn’t lose your hope.

 

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The gnat is causing quite a spat

Is this how it feels to die?

like a spinning nostalgia that isn’t just metaphorical but literal?

“i killed the ego”

is that the superego speaking?

the chemicals push out images of some form

a crippled fraction lingers in my head.

the crack in the back of the couch is pulling me away; my hands are holding

my iPhone

while this verbal mastication digests

the images of some night

far away,

i killed the gnat and

he said great.

The Truth morality as written from a white chair

As inspired by both flushing my hair down the toilet and this David Foster Wallace quote:

(The interesting thing is why we’re so desperate for this anesthetic against loneliness.)

The reality is that I wrote the poem first and found this quote afterwards;

some simple honesty relaying that I did not find hope in this seemingly distant case of mutual suffering.

 

You drop the hair into the spinning resin

Watching the slush of water

spin itself away,

Taking away layers of damage,

you hope at least, that the spin

is a delta adding the change from rise to run,

changing your interactions with the world.

When will your slope recline?

No longer do you hear or feel helping hands

instead there is frustration as you attempt to put out the fire

the fire that constantly haunts you,

the fire that drove you to hospitals, to hands, and

eventually confirmed your greatest fear:

if you push enough the lingering hope turns away;

so you are awake writing something-which can’t even call itself a poem

and scream casually into the void.

But still on your head the hair sits

so you await the moment when it will all end;

There must be some connection between hair and suffering

you always tried to align both metaphysically,

The only real metaphysical truth is that beyond society

we are alone,

figments of some imagination

always falling short.

so hush little baby, don’t you cry

The Selfie: A Mirror of Depression

Scene:

The camera is held at the point of establishing a full shot, subject begins under the water in a bathtub. The viewer hears the roaring of the pressure, in the background a song plays. As the subject’s head submerges from the water the pressure decreases, just the rush of the water hitting the still conservation is heard and the music becomes more noticeable. (ay ay amor canta y no llores…)the song loops around these lines, which the subject cannot hear; the song seems to envelop the glaring sadness in the subject’s face as the camera pulls away from the scene and focuses first on the subject’s face and then pans out: the face as the focal point of the zoom. As the subject rises out of the bathtub, and turns off the water, some water falls on the side of the tub, demonstrating the form of apathy that the subject has for maintaining order. For the split second of nudity the camera will focus on the tiles of the floor, clean but covered in the residue of human flesh (dust) at the places where the tiles converge. A towel is seen swinging across the camera and at last the subject enclothed in the vile color of some serene blueish-green fabric walks out of the room as the camera goes from side facing to following the subject’s backside. The door swings on the camera a slight pause to seeing the subject and recognizing the voyeurism of following a person, who beneath a fabric is but a human body. The camera suddenly in the room again sees the subject who has put on some underwear, the body non-consumed and glaring sports the imperfections of a life lived: scars, marks, the flabbiness of excess. The subject now established as a person, opens a bag, a bag with the potential for coloration, a powder of rouge is taken out and a brush is held by the person who presses on it, bringing the powder now in a form of specks to the face; the hand makes circular motions near each cheek bone, the face now flushed rather than pale looks at the circular mirror. Out of the bag, the person brings more powders to the counter, the fingers dig into the powder and find the creases above the eyes, yet again painting outlines to hide the real flesh. Once the person is satisfied the excess powder is wiped on the puke green towel, leaving behind a brown mark. A black tube is taken out and uncapped, revealing a thin and flexible brush which is pressed directly above and under the eye, leaving some black line, the hand cannot shake and the natural wrinkles must be straightened as the line must be straight. The person looks at their face with each second becoming less themselves and more of a mirage of color, and puts the cap back onto the tube. The subject repeats the motion with a similar tube but this time outlines their lips. After the outline is made, a tube is uncapped and slithered across the pout. Now the cheeks look less pale, the eyes more urgent, the pout more structured. A t-shirt is found, tight enough but not calling for attention, the camera pans out as the person throws on the ware and the camera spins as the person stands. The last part is coming: the subject grabs a phone, opens up the world, find the right angle and presses the button to capture the perfect still. The camera alternates from shot to subject. At last the subject sends the pic to somewhere or someone, looks at the mirror one last time, and wraps their body in a blanket on what is called “their” bed. They immediately notice the glaring light and turn it off. The last thing the viewer sees is the immediate sense of darkness as the person’s bed squeaks; their body once again finds its way to the bed. With the hope of some connection, the person holds the phone to their face, both vacant, but as the hope fades the subject lays their head next to the protruding light of the screen and closes their eyes. the camera pans out noting the darkness and the only light being the phone. The light suddenly flares out and there is nothing but darkness.

Reification and Wasted Vulnerability

It’s always a white man, the white man who can make ungrounded arguments and thinks that he is so sentimental and deep. Meanwhile I sit on the other side, panicking at his lack of understanding and empathy. He is the one saying that his uncle with the walking disorder deserves no pity: As though people can be expected to act in non-burdensome ways even when they are ill. He says mediocre things like “I’m not good at math but I passed my statistics course”. I stared at him with a stoic smile, but wondered how someone can be proud of mediocrity. But then I remember how upper middle-class white people have the privilege of being mediocre. This privilege comes from not having to tackle systematic inequality and never being denied an argument based on their identity. And then I disclose too much, I disclose too  much to prove that his oh so deep argument is actually a misunderstanding of normality. He says nonchalantly: ” the only life that can seem normal to oneself is one’s own life”. But hello my own life has never seemed or appeared normal. With the shifting moods it has only felt like a life that moves too quickly and I can barely catch up to: as though my life is a train and I am running to make sure that the door doesn’t close on my face. I told him about the bipolar that plagues me. He interjected by praising mania, exclaiming how jealous he is of people that are bipolar, and that yes he is aware of the coming doom, but the mania sounds amazing. Mania is not what the movies show it to be, mania is decisions which leave you empty, in problems, which push people away because everything moves too quickly and you have no inhibitions to control your interactions. I told him that it is not what he thinks it is. We moved on to the cliche topic of how terrible 2016 made everyone feel. He chimes in to say: “Now is the time to figure out how you would behave during the Hitler Era, blah blah.”He proclaims his knowledge that as a white cis-gendered hetero man with blue eyes, he faces no coming persecution. Everything at this point becomes noise, I am being pushed to an extreme discomfort and I don’t know what to do. I feel dirty, as though every part of me is soiled and unworthy. This man so confidently walks around being a disgusting excuse for a human being. All the microaggressions remind me that to indirect racists I am a stereotype, not a person but a reified phenomenon. Not real but an object; an illusion, an invisible figment, a sort of problem. I looked at him who has excused himself to go to the bathroom, and attempt to form a connection through a smile, he looks back, panic stricken, a half smile forming through force, and I know that apart from wasting 4 dollars on cold-brew and basically sabotaging my sleep, I have wasted so much vulnerability on someone who wanted nothing but a surface connection. I went back, I hid, I felt sad. This is the experience of having a complex identity, one who does not fit into definitions of normality, who as a woman am too direct, who has been able to succeed through the obstacles within education and don’t directly fit into the narrative of mediocrity, and yet as I sit with this particular white man, I start to hate everything about myself, particularly the part of me that isn’t mediocre enough to validate this man and in turn is validated. I have a great amount to learn and love still. I don’t know what normality can feel like, nor do I want to though.

Reflections on 2016

cw:rape, mental health and medication

I woke up today and actually felt like a different person, as though a weight lifted and I’m plateauing back to rational. 2016 for me was a stretch of a year, one which made me face myself head on. The lithium medication left me stranded in a small internal hell that I couldn’t represent externally. But I stopped taking it, and even while on it forced myself to be productive. I do remember how inadequate and guilty it made me feel any moment that I was not being productive. I ended my relationship with Dan. I still don’t know how this makes me feel. A great amount of my choices are based on my mood cycle so I never quite feel connected to them, only in some distant way do I feel like they affect my current actions. I’ve gotten very good at compartmentalizing but this has also allowed me to survive the downfalls and bad choices that I have made recently. The resilience to continue despite wanting nothing but to stop has proved to be my best character trait, better than anything I could portray externally. I experienced a third case of rape this year; it left me angry, energetic, self-destructive. I think these feelings are staring to fade, becoming a quiet hum while instead I just want to make real connections. I became for a while this person who kept displaying inappropriate emotions and critique. I think 2016 served to humble me: it showed me that I am no one and that I am not superior to anyone, just living through this capitalist reality. I have a lot to externalize in the sense of repressed sadness but I think that eventually I will be able to and the days are staring to get longer rather than shorter. I think that I am ready to go back and to be at peace again. I beat the beast that was trying to suffocate me and I am in a non-cliche way new.

Insignificance

I ripped the candy wrapper,

Did you hear the news?

I ripped the candy wrapper.

I do not remember ripping it,

it must have happened beyond my consciousness

but I ripped it.

I broke it, I tore it, I killed it.

In some way parallel to how I handle relationships.

I ruin, and wreck, and never even intend to or notice.

So then I become apathetic to it, I don’t even feel sadness.

I blame it on:

the season,

My drinking,

my sadness,

and I find a new tv show,

or another person to distract me.

Because in reality I am sad,

I feel remorse and yet did I truly ruin it,

or did they just leave?

I convince myself that it is the latter, that way I did nothing,

I can’t fix it, and it is insignificant.

I stare instead at some image

and forget.

 

 

 

Fragmentation: my trauma

The fragments pull,

what fragments and how exactly can objects, or ideas, or parts pull and in what direction?

I suppose the fragment of forgetting,

the fragment left behind by compartmentalized pain,

What exactly do we mean when we say trauma?

It all goes back to the concepts of consciousness and memory,

but we discussed that memory is often reinvented, remade

the balloon suddenly appears and it is red

never-mind that you never consciously perceived it,

but it is there,

an explanation to the fuzzy image that distracted you and made you vulnerable.

Perhaps the falsification of memory allows us to exist beyond violation.

We not only invent after the fact but interpret memory in whatever way

allows us to exist, allows us to not jump when the subway zooms by,

so when I woke up with no memory,

I remembered the question, that I would have theoretically posed:

I never expressed my consent, except in remorse,

in the crawl on the floor, in the rising anxiety, in de-realization,

in letting you touch me again,

until I couldn’t anymore.