Monday, August 10, 2009

stranger than fiction

a) my feet prickle with light and nerve, i am kidding myself when i say ' things will take care of
themselves '

b) my eye twitches. i am kidding myself when i say ' i have control '

c) change is on me and my body lets me know it's fear: twitch. tingle. scratttchh. the body is a
myterious channel from the brain and spirit. an article talks about how we know who we
are, how patients after brain trauma can develop identity issues and think they are imposters
of themselves or those they love are imposters of themselves and i pull back and glance at
my undone nails and the slight pucker of my knuckle and gaze at these two hands and know
that they are mine, and wonder how well i know myself, after all these years. i know myself
in the context of my life: here with Mr. Curry and my children, and the years as a single
mother with Dakota, and the years before Dakota, the childhood years. i am two people:
one person beaten to a pulpy, nerve popping spine pain slobbering fearful mess by anxiety
and panic, and another person who has worked years, ' sharpening the blade of my soul ' as
CWLewis says, soothing my way out of panic like a dog being coaxed from underneath a
porch by a kind woman with food in her hands. when too much change occurs at once, and
the measure of that is relatively small, it seems to me, then i begin, like a bad electrical
connection, to short.

d) zzzst zzzzssstt pop miscarriage at 13 weeks. zzzt my 2 favorite people at my place of work leave,one fired, the other moving far away. zzzttt POP the other woman i work with closely has
a stress test- for the heart- and leaves anxious, as i explain to her the deep breathing i
have practiced over the years to manage, to calm the savage beast, to trick the heart into
complacent beating and the hormones into their beds. she leaves, and has a heart attack on
the stress test, on admittance to the hospital has found that she is at 27% heart function and
also has a blocked artery. the doctors aren't sure what is going on, maybe a virus. zzzzt. pop.
Mr. Curry is struggling, needs space, and I feel the aching, relentless yawn that comes when
he is unable to calm me when i am afraid. he is a loving husband, a good man, he is allowed
by me his struggles, because i know for sure this is how we will stay man and wife and in love,
by giving each other space in our marriage for individual struggles and triumphs. but. it
doesn't make it easier when he's retreated and i feel 10. maybe 9. maybe fetal. zzttt Dakota
left for camp and felt a small lump which he told Mr. Curry and myself about and i felt it and
it felt like.. a lump. a doctor would say ( i've been there before with lumps ) wait a week, see
if it goes away. come back if not. i think it's a lymph node. that night, i sweat. i try not to be
irrational. i talk to myself. ' maggie, don't waste precious hours feeling intensely about some-
thing that does not exist.
' the next morning it's almost gone, that lump. i think of Kate McRae.
i pray for her harder. ztttttttZTTTPT the kids start school soon. 3 new teachers, paperwork,
inumerable tiny things to remember and be responsible for as a mother. a working mother,
trying so hard to finish my novel. i love my novel. i love the protagonist, Parish, and her
husband, Henry, and all the characters and the story and the words, and i want to write them,
and i am, but school-- a time eater, a maker of homeworks and rigorous bedtimes and early
risings and paperwork and meetings and backpacks and !

e) when in doubt, hug.

f) i hug a LOT. my children get kissed and hugged an unreasonable amount. so does Mr. Curry.

e) i would like to be taken care of. my mother once told me the common thread that unhappy
adult people have is they are spending their lives waiting for someone or something, God or
a parent or husband or X, to take care of them. they never truly squarely face the fact that
while a Universal love or spirit or energy or God etc may be present and available for strength
and help in life, the actual grunt work is done alone, by our hands, our feet, our mouths, our
work. the essential aloneness is a truth i feel. although i also feel the connection. these are
both true and run parallel throughout life. if we are lucky. i am lucky. i am loved, and i love.
but sometimes, when i am afraid, that doesn't feel like enough. i want to be consumed and
uplifted by someone else, so i can rest and look around with meek baby eyes as if i am a
swaddled infant in someone's arms. i believe that this desire might make me actually ill.
being ill is this state of helplessness, where you do not have to decide, but then- you do not
GET to decide, even if you change your mind, or feel better on Sunday. i remind myself.
i want to decide. even if it means being afraid.

f) maya angelou wrote a children's book called ' Life Doesn't Scare Me ' that i bought for my
children. i bought it and i thought, ' i wish '
andrea of ffft said...

Oooooh... most fabulous! All of it. Glad to find you too!

Laoch of Chicago said...

"When in doubt, hug," is a fine sentiment.

Mary said...

My husband has bi polar. When he retreats I feel myself fearful.

And anxious.

And grateful for medication so I can continue to care for our three kids.

Remember to hug yourself.

ruthpclark said...

Absolutely beautiful.

Ms. Moon said...

All of what you said is true and anxiety is horrible. Breathing and hugs- they do help.
And I think that when an artist cannot make her art it is a constant buzz in the brain which creates more anxiety. At the very least, it prevents that sweet, fierce high you get from doing it.
Oh honey.

Anonymous said...

Nurturing ourselves takes awhile to learn.

Living without fear is something I think about a lot but have never come close to achieving. Fearless I would love to be, but as soon as I conquer one fear, another stage of life begins and another set of fears along wiht it. Sad but true.

Anonymous said...

I believe my comment posted correctly this time. I don't know what happened last time.

adrienne said...

maggie may,

all true and all difficult.

i am with ms moon, and i feel it; like a clogged pore when i cannot 'make'...serve my proper function and fill my proper space in this mixed-up, mungled-up, shook-up world.

i also think that there are, or have been places and peoples that although imperfect, found a better way to deal with the mundane, the gruntwork.

side by side in a field, next to a kiln or oven; when all hands work together the lifting isn't so heavy.

backpacks and new teachers every year? i often wonder at who those things serve.

Patois42 said...

Breathing in and breathing out. Hugging tight and releasing.

Shaista said...

Out there in the blogosphere there is a woman writing a book and concordant blog about The Happiness Project. Trying to implement every tip and trick and resource available to explore happiness. Have you heard of it? But John E. Haggai says "Happiness is not a state of becoming. It is a state of being. You don't acquire happiness. You assume happiness."
I like that better. But what does happiness matter when you are worried about your son? I shall keep him and you in my thoughts xx

Glimmer said...

I am the calm one in my house. Sometimes the calm runs out and I need solitude to replenish it. If I don't get that, everyone suffers.

That concept is very difficult for all of us to understand and act on. Our worst times seem to come when the "bank" is overdrawn. But I have to make sure to take care of that myself, not wait for permission or to feel guilty. That is my responsibility and not something else for other people to worry about.

magnoliaamber said...

C'est la vie... POP can happen everywhere. And time will heal in its mysterious way, and you will also heal yourself in your own way:)

I like the flow of your post, you expressed it very well how things pass us so fast that we sometimes couldn't hold onto it.

Keep going maggie...


All This Trouble... said...

My sentiments exactly.

(You and Ms. Moon get the very same comment today. The two of you are reading my mind.)

Petit fleur said...

While you are breathing deeply, imagine you are growing roots from your feet which reach deep into the earth. Take a minute to really visualize and feel your grounding.

Feel better.

Chris Stone said...

"my mother once told me the common thread that unhappy adult people have is they are spending their lives waiting for someone or something..."

I wonder if this is more of a waiting for Godot moment in history, but then, perhaps people have always wonder that.

enjoyed your post!

Petunia Face said...

I know exactly what you mean without any of the exactitudes. No miscarriage, no lump, no job for co-workers to leave, but yes, I'm afraid, too. There has to be some solace in that? That we are all afraid?

xoxo, Maggie. Hugs to you.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Love to you, Maggie. I know you will be just fine. Just keep breathing and hugging.


Elizabeth said...

I particularly liked the last paragraph about the need/desire to be cared for. And the response to that. I often feel like that and often the desire is just so fucking strong and I just can't bear that it doesn't come "true." And then it subsides and I sign and get back up and carry on.

Here's a virtual hug to you and some solidarity.

anna said...

oh yes. all of it but most especially e) has been top of mind for me lately. As usual you remind me my shit is not unique. thankyou for your honesty and bravery - you speak of real life.

Mel said...

Oh how you write. And what you write. I did not have to use my imagination to understand what you meant by c) or to know the power of a hug in the face of it all. I hug the ones I love and breathe with them and feel their heart beats and try to make mine play along. It's the only trick I know.
Thanks for giving it words.

Zip n Tizzy said...

I'm experiencing the kindergarten anxiety, not because I'm afraid to let go of my baby, and not because I'm afraid for how it will be for him, I suspect he'll love it, but because of my own experiences with school – I'm not ready to go back.

regarding e) the second e), it's an interesting thing having kids dependent on us...We can think that we've handled the taking care of ourselves so well, until we find ourselves truly taking care of another and knowing that we've GOT to get it right, that we really take issue with how well we were cared for and what was at stake.

I think you've got the right approach. Hugs and lots of them.

krista said...

my anxiety has taken to waking and weeping at three am in a quiet house, or a house loud with a screaming baby who must feel my energy. she must or she would be sleeping. and how is it that we feel so strong and we love these men so hard...these men who pull away to gain strength? and why does my heart tell me it's me when i know it's not? blocked arteries seem to hold metaphors in their place.

Derek said...

the site is amazing - thanks for the visit and comment over at mosteverybodylivestheirlives...Derek

Mwa said...

Hugs to you all.

Kate Moore said...

What's that saying: Fear makes you hang on tighter. I used to like it. Made sense. Holding on stops you from falling. So I fell. Many. Many. Many times. Turns out I bounce. :)
Thinking of you and yours.
PS: I lost a follower and all I posted was some toy animals.

Amber Rae Paulson said...

P.S. Black Kids are great friends of mine. Literally. I have known all of them since teen age years.

Captain Dumbass said...

I think 'e' is the reason a lot of people have affairs, especially later in their marriages. They lose that feeling of being... needed? Appreciated? The centre of attention again instead of one of the bit players.

Shana said...

That sounds overwhelming. Yet my first response is, "hug it out, bitches," you know, Entourage style.

Maggie May said...

hug it out bitches! yup.

amber that is so cool. i love that song of theirs, i love the chorus and children and Cure-y voice.

thanks all for the props. i'm working on meeself. today i focused on Lola as i stayed home sick. i hugged her, and we painted together, and i cleaned house, and we took the dogs on a long twilight walk, and read books.

Maggie May said...

katie- ' i lost a follower and all i posted were some toy animals '

is my new tee shirt. awesome!

Elaina M. Avalos said...

Your letter "e" is one I can so relate to. I blame it on the feeling (somewhat unjustified truthfully) that I raised my mother and took on burdens one should not as a child because of a fucked up father. That need to be taken care of is one that I've talked about for a very long time.

I'm not sure I'll ever find that in a human being. At least not in a way that meets all of that need. But I think I'm finding it in other ways.

I appreciate how candid you are.

Unknown said...

I've nominated you for a blog award, if'n that's something you're in to:

Lovin' your blog,

Lola said...

I hear you on the school year starting causing anxiety. It's been so nice not having to deal with the homework, the rushing around in the morning and the boy feeling the weight of his struggles with school.

He's been so happy this summer, back to himself, and I don't want that to change.

We also had the lumpy node issue with our son, and there's no way not to worry. Hope it's all gone now!

Anonymous said...

I can so relate to this post... and so many of the comments. So wise, so young. e) of course is the nail on the header.

jb said...

What a great post Maggie. So honest and all true. I love e) f) and e), we all need more huggs and we all need to love ourselves first and foremost or how can anyone loves us back.

If I was Jerry McGuire I'd say to you "Maggie May you complete me" lolol. I hope that someday I will find a soul as rich as yours to hug and love are truly amazing, love and I'm humbled to have found you.

With great love and respect

Heidi said...

Beautiful. And honest.

anymommy said...

Gorgeous. point e) resonated through my whole body.

molly said...

WRITE WRITE WRITE!!!! and keep writing, i'll be the first to buy your novel!

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