Sunday, August 15, 2010

less than zero

My heart races not in the gallop of gallows but the quick-pat smatters of a child's feet on linoleum. I am free of zoloft: free of repressions, subconscious and chemical changes that carve away at my personhood, free of minimalized orgasms and the creeping vine of subclinical fatigue- free of my combat fatigues. Free also of constancy, of the working control panel of my emotional mind, the tiny receptors and inceptors of neuron and chemical that create the patina of my days, free of the pause button before the avalanche of thought and emotion, free of nights without floating anxiety before my eyes like small motes of decay in the retina.

I am free to know I did the best I could for Ever. Free to worry that a snappish tongue and sandpapered voice is hurting Lola. Free to adore my husband for his quiet shepherding of my volatile moments. Free to examine again, each one an object in the curio, the collection of my fears.

Unnatural grieving- there is such a thing, labeled and written in the books. The kind of grief I know I will experience if X happens, or Mr. Curry dies younger than I expect. Grief like this has the hallmark of a person who loses someone essential to their sense of safety and sense in the world. Yes, my children are essential. Yes, my husband is essential. Perhaps an hard rock childhood throws your balance for a lifetime, making you vulnerable to these kinds of necessities. When I am on a walk and the leaves are skittering in their snaky voices and the wind is blowing and the sky opens and the light dims, I am filled not only with joy but with the deep knowledge and comfort that my husband exists in this and is my companion in our understanding of these leaves, this wind, this light. We look at the world apart but when our eyes meet we are understanding each other in a way that I have never known with any other person in my life. How is it that I would ' grieve normally ' if that were taken away from me? I fear it.

Sleepless in Seattle has the sheen of bull all over it, but the truth it contains resonates with me past the fighting and days or weeks of pain and distance that will take time from most married couples, the disagreements, the profound disappointments, the irritations that chip away at the important. What it got so right was the sense of homecoming. That is my place with Mr. Curry. I suppose that it is a similar feeling believers have with God, but in a very mortal and tangible expression.

What struck me so deeply with Inception was the loss of home that occurred simultaneously with the death of the wife. A fitting metaphor: extradition. Removal from your home. Flight into fantasy, dreamworlds, unsure of reality.

I have been more unsure of reality than most people I come across who seem snugly rooted in the absolute truths of time, birth, death, objects, body. My mind, which often had to leave in escape during childhood, has always felt tethered reluctantly to the egg of my skull. Loving and being loved by Mr. Curry gives me the comfort of earthly grounding because he sees me so clearly. I am seen. I am here.

This is why daily I am so aware of seeing those who are often left alone. The elderly treated in deference but often as strange half human half angelic creatures, not quite alive or dead, but waiting. To meet the eye of a person is a simple thing. A profound thing. Teenagers, too, often left as amusing and strange creatures from another species, especially those who are different- the emos, the true geeks, the socially bizarre, the heshens, sluts, the painfully shy or pierced.

Without zoloft I have to remind myself every hour, every half hour, to breathe, to watch the tide of emotion as it swells, breaks and recedes in the same pattern as birthing contractions. Go with it. Where else will I go? To escape is the human impulse. To go with it is the only way through to the other side. I breathe, I try to keep my mouth shut, to smile at my children, to temper every over reaction and childish fit of frustration with the adult mind that is still there but overshadowed. I remind myself how lucky I am, that in another time I would have gone my whole life without this drug, and who knows what I would have become, after therapy and yoga and nutrition and breathe were simply not enough to balance what was so horribly electrified in my youth, through circumstance and a long legacy of brilliant but imbalanced minds.

Less than zero- to go to the end point of the ray and bend over, fingers gripping the edge of the sidewalk, peer into the complete unknown and uncontrolled. To fall into. To let go. To emerge through the nothingness into something new. To tesseract.

xo
maggie may
cinta / sepi / sayu said...

oh how can it not be? lovely.

Elizabeth said...

awe-inspiring --

may it stay calm for you --

call me any name said...

moving! stay with it, be kind to yourself

deb said...

maybe you have had enough time to build up a trust in yourself?
perhaps that will keep you home.

and thank you for saying what I feel about being in love and married to this. if there were no him, I used to feel I would not exist. Now that my children are getting older I exist in their eyes too. Not in a small child have to way, but in an older child/adult choose to way. who knew.

Petit fleur said...

I had a hard time when I came off my Prozac after becoming pregnant, so I feel you here.

Hang in, you're doing great!

Also, something that seemed to help me was leaving little reminder notes to myself. "Life IS good!", "breath deeply", "Find the center",etc...
Love you,
pf

SJ said...

Tesseract....

I know exactly what you mean.

Love you MM

Jason, as himself said...

I know something of the feelings you describe. But I am not brave enough to go there.

Irish Gumbo said...

Oh, hell yes. Brilliant examination of the post-chemical mind. And? Your use of the word 'tesseract' officially makes you one of the coolest bloggers I have been fortunate to discover :) Many blessings to you!

Angella Lister said...

i am so moved by your clarity. this is how it feels for me too but i didn't know how to express that. so it is a gift to see it expressed for me. breathe. the moment is just the moment. nothing more. the next moment comes, and the next. no need to brace for imagined futures. it helps me when i say this to myself. breathe.

thank you.

Claire Beynon said...

Dear Maggie May, I always come away from your place humbled and inspired. Your transparency is admirable and full of grace. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Claire

Trina S. said...

WOW! What a wonderful post!

Im following now!

Thanks too for stopping by

trina
www.mommeville.com

Alicia D said...

simply amazing. i love the way you write!

michelle said...

...a long legacy of brilliant but imbalanced minds.

after yoga and nutrition and therapy...i love my prozac

xoxoxo

missb@dragonflyvintage said...

whoa. i just followed you from a comment on my blog, so this is my first time visiting...but i am intrigued and now want to know the story behind...

AND, note to self: look up word "tesseract"!

bettye

Annie said...

Dear Maggie,

I love Claire's comment that you are transparent and full of grace. It's a wonderful way to express the fact that you are so aware, and so loving. Love, in all of its forms, will see you through this. And yes, breathe, revel in happy moments, and work to set aside fear. Concentrate on the now. Find the one thing you can do in every given moment to feel better, and relax into your choices.

Your awareness of the pain and isolation of others is admirable, but you can't take care of everyone- no one can; right now you can take care of yourself and your family, and in doing that, with the help of your husband, you are giving plenty- you are giving enough.

Relax whenever you can. And forgive yourself when you get cranky- you're bound to feel unsettled this far into your pregnancy! I wish I could ease your racing mind. Give yourself quiet moments- walk or play music, sit outside, surround yourself with calming colors, or dance! Find creative outlets, or minimize stimulation- whatever works for you, and know that you are loved.

Therese said...

To go with it is the only way through to the other side. So true. Simple, yet fucking painful. Devour all the love around you, it will sustain you.

Thanks for making me look up a word :)

closet connection said...

i know what u mean.
it was inspiring!

yolanda said...

i must free myself too!!

love your writing, como siempre, brilliant!!!!!

love
yolanda lola

jennifer said...

hold on tight, maggie.

Still Life With Coffee said...

Wouldn't it be a gift if everyone became "aware of seeing those who are often left alone".
Love the post :-)

Marion said...

Congratulations on getting of the Zoloft. I feel your pain because I've been there and hope to God never to go back. May calmness and peace fill you to overflowing.

This is a beautiful post. When you said, "My mind, which often had to leave in escape during childhood, has always felt tethered reluctantly to the egg of my skull," I was nodding my head up and down. I escaped into books which became my saviors in my childhood. They still are...

Life is a roller coaster and I wouldn't want to miss a single dip or wave. Blessings!!

Lovely World said...

You will find wellness within the storm. I feel that is what I do everyday. Find that bit of peace that somehow makes it all okay. My husband and I are "practicing" emotions lately. We name them and tell each other we have the right to have them. It helps to have a friend to experience life with - and it sounds like Mr. Curry is that for you.

Babbling Brook said...

oh girl how I adore your blog.

I too was abused as a child, in every way. My relationship with my husband is both freeing and limiting because of my deep and undeniable need for him. I always tell my friends and family "if something happens to Andrew, just let me sleep myself to death."

I wouldn't recover. I know that with conviction, and sister-I'm a survivor.

Loves.

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

Maggie, you are brilliant with words. Tears ran down my face as I read this. Awesome, indeed.

p.s. I read A Wrinkle in Time in the 5th grade. I loved it then and I loved it now. You won my heart today with "tesseract".

~Amber Elise~ said...

My god Maggie. Thank you for this. I remember going through this myself. Remember it well. Your words are so unique, beautiful, and yet sadly familiar.

You are getting there. You are strong. You are free, a freedom that will get easier everyday.

As always, Thank you.

Wine and Words said...

I understand this having to leave your mind thing born of a twisted childhood. And I also understand the clarity of vision it creates of those left alone. And it very aptly describes why I am tenacious in my hold on people. It becomes impossible to abandon, after having been so, and even abandoning self time after time.

CitricSugar said...

Your writing is so white-knuckled and raw, and I am forever grateful for it.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Being willing to step into the fluid and the uncertain - though I think certainty is an illusion - and explore the process, for yourself, your family and share it with all of us...thank you. I hold the image of rocks in my pockets, to keep me from drifting away. Be well, know the extent of your wisdom.

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