the act of naming things, but get to the bottom of it

maladaptive daydreaming hid me from my monster. I dissociated to escape:

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder/Body Dysmorphic Disorder

  • Having things symmetrical or in a perfect order–everything has to be perfect

 

  • Ordering and arranging things in a particular, precise way–has to make sense in order, the right numbered order or we have to start over.
  • Repeatedly checking on things, such as repeatedly checking to see if the door is locked or that the oven is off–repeatedly making lists, repeatedly going over lists, telling myself the same list
  • Compulsive counting–compulsively checking the time, needing to know what time it is, needing to know the minutes are passing
  • Excessive cleaning and/or handwashing—overshowering, constantly looking at dirty apartment, “my dishes are never clean” “nothing is clean” I don’t want to clean.
  • Obsessively touching stomach to feel if it is skinnier
  • obsessively pulling up shirt to look at stomach
  • obsessively thinking about stomach
  • if stomach is perfect it is the right order, things are right, correct.
    • cannot look in mirrors or obsessively look in mirrors
    • controlled eating
    • obsessive exercise
    • binge eating
    • eating does not bring joy, stressful, now I have globus hystericus and think I will choke if i eat
    • I have to stand up drink water so I dont choke, say mantra.
    • “Another person, refusing to eat because of an obsession about choking or contamination, may become extremely thin and develop medical complications.”

 

 

  • Can’t control his or her thoughts or behaviors, even when those thoughts or behaviors are recognized as excessive–constant
  • Spends at least 1 hour a day on these thoughts or behaviors–constant state of ritual
  • Doesn’t get pleasure when performing the behaviors or rituals, but may feel brief relief from the anxiety the thoughts cause–constant obsession with lists, order, everything is right. if things are right, no one dies. I won’t hurt myself or others if things are right.
  • Experiences significant problems in their daily life due to these thoughts or behaviors

Some individuals with OCD also have a tic disorder. Motor tics are sudden, brief, repetitive movements, such as eye blinking and other eye movements, facial grimacing, shoulder shrugging, and head or shoulder jerking.—constant teeth grinding, constantly playing with a straw, moving hands, nodding.

 

When their distress gets overwhelming, people with OCD will often engage in compulsions: repetitive activities aimed at getting rid of distress and regaining a sense of control. Compulsions develop over time, and sometimes they have nothing obvious in common with the content of the obsession. Anything that relieves distress is reinforcing, which means it’s going to seem more appealing the next time that distress shows up.

 

–the straw is the repeated behavior that I use. I pick up the straw and clench my jaw and pace and have the obsessive thoughts. I then spiral in the obsession and compulsion which is why I go on long walks so I can act out without it seeming too dangerous.

Drinking to numb the anxiety:

 

Symptoms may come and go, ease over time, or worsen. People with OCD may try to help themselves by avoiding situations that trigger their obsessions, or they may use alcohol or drugs to calm themselves.

 

 

I have OCD. that is what I am healing this year.  if I put down the straw, I will collapse. it is my final tic to remove.

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I was so broke
and depressed.   sometimes I forget
that. it was the depression that was pinning me
to my apartment after you left;
keeping me locked there
keeping me imprisoned.
I let someone use my old Access card to pick their
lock so it did come in handy
after all.

I’ve put on no weight but I’m
satiated and all security is an illusion.
numbness had me
making more terminable plans
with bathtubs
bu some small joy always carried me:
my cat Alize,
always and

a used and discarded turquoise shelf
I found when I was out.
I hung it loosely on the wall,
without commitment and the wood
became immediately blackened by my incense cones.
the corners splintered and were
dripping rosary,
rarely dusted and topped with pictures
of my deceased:
Nana, Papa, Anselm Hollo,
other clients, friends I knew
in childhood and
unknown cousins,
guinea pigs,
first dog Pepper,
my first dead brother
or third dead uncle.
always drink or suicide,
something tragic when it comes
to my family but
I’m still here and
brave, I think.
in a few different ways
but I want cleansing

so I tear it from the wall,
I’m stripping the floral siding
with my fingernails,
peeling the paint back to white
to present to you
a dusted start.
I wear black skirts with lace
lining for the cats,
rain boots when I go out,
drawn shades with a smirk,
and nothing when you start
to come about.

6.

“we’re not conquering cities,
we’re conquering different parts of ourselves.”

 

–notes to self

 

well, they always start
the same way:
in winter, it always starts in
winter when I am my weakest.
I am usually unsettled,
raving at the window,
the frost,
the cracks in my joints announcing
themselves in arthritic temper.
  you’re so young
I’m so young at this.

inexplicably manic
during the darkest months,
at times I know I should
be sleeping but  I am reaching
for anything that reaches
back.

in truth, I am a nihilist and
men didn’t teach me that
nothing ever matters and
nothing is ever coming back.
I watch my days get dragged away by tides
that become encroaching swells
and think to myself,
well, it always starts
with a storm.

I am a nihilist,
nobody had to teach me
that and no men
held that void quite like
I can hold that void.  
they mocked me and I let
them and mired in my
constructed reality I now feel
a thirty year repression
birthing from a well,
from a heavy pour
and it carries eels like
lightning, the nose of sharks,
their discarded carcasses like
past betrayals coming next.
you like rain?
a little deluge for your
flight.

I feel no obligation
to anything:
my rectitude,
our plans,
or my penciled tips
on how to revitalize
warehouse row,
I’m tired and
my want for self grows and ends
in impatient provocation,
your spiral notebook,
the bottom of the ocean
as the engine fails.
and you say
well, anything can be
contained in a cloud.

to which I reply,
catastrophe as well

“the well” or “the triumph of death in 13 pieces”

 

i’ve been out to lunch since we got here.
it’s another change in seasons,
spring and everyone is out to
brunch celebrating
maternal lessons,

begotten lies, or if they’re more
triumphant; forgotten spite.
spring hats,
spring sandals,
spring grief,
sometimes things just go away
like missing pieces:
backs of earrings in the hotel room
at your youngest cousin’s wedding,
origami florets you sprinkled at your mother’s ankles
when you were just learning how to fix
the pancakes to give appreciation;
diplomas, expired passports, birth certificates,
various certifications,
everything a lover gave you,
hand me downs, or cute owl
pajama sets that were xmas gifts
callously discarded in the great
“I saw a bed bug” throw
everything the fuck away fest.
     I have nothing left.
anything that reminds you of your
lineage: scrapbooks and family
heirlooms, voicemails from your dead
brother pleading for you to
come back, the ashes swinging from
your neck, and now your
dad

they don’t really mean much.
you’re here and you can prove it if they ask
with this giant gaping hole in the center of
everything
that you at last had the guts to crack;
the diamond she stole,
all winter blooms,
the time you had left,
grand ideas slipping out of your ears like ripples of
eureka!
plopping on your floor for the ants to devour
before they ever land.
you should have tried harder.

because love is boundless I can’t possess it;
it consumes me with its humility,
strangles like history,
swallows like tidal waves of
unyielding southern humidity,
and  I can’t escape it.
feelings for the flesh that steal me are so
palpable, like ghosts, I’m moaning
exorcism! and synonyms for
hurry up.
the climax is the body’s clever parapraxis,
and love?
I want this thing gone

so I can be empty with my tea
and good ideas
shopping with the other women.
I’ll slice open those ants and rip my
thoughts back out,
write down our fused imaginings,
send you the book stuffed with their dead little toes
and threatening locks of my ashen dead hair.
I’m vanishing inside of myself again.
I knit a sweater full of verses I’ve never heard,
wrap it tightly for the winter.
wear the world like vapor,
my fortune cookie says
and something adds:

my dear girl, you are so lonely
you have created all of this
          (the world just falls from my shoulders)
you are mourning events,
people, places & things that never existed
                      (cut it open, pull it out)
wipe those ruby red eyes
     and take a look around
                (before it disintegrates)
but my house is a burning building
so I better bounce.

I had one fawn over me
but he fell in the giant yawn
I stomped in the yard
and like my bright wishes,
he’s also passing me by
carrying something I don’t get
because it’s real and it’s found
he is holding it and I am
     eyes shut tight   catarina
thinking about it
again when someone grabs  
my arm.

“how to forget everything day 67”

“don’t be afraid to be this luminous
to be so bright so empty
the bullets pass right through you
thinking they have found the sky
as you reach down press

a hand in this blood-warm body
like a word being nailed to its meaning

& lives.”

 

–Ocean Vuong, Ode To Masturbation

It started in the city, or at least, it felt like it started in the city. I had marched for a long time to get to this party and all along I was whistling. Nothing brazen and loud, but quietly. I guess it was more like a hum with the occasional whisper in the wind as I pursed my lips together in an effort to make noise. I wasn’t making much noise, in fact, it felt like a long creep to your place.  Letting my arms dangle, I moved my hands in a mild gestural manner: an old habit of mine. I have a nervous disposition, I told him once over Thai. My fingers stretched against my tights so I could feel the nylon. It was more dense than nylon but my shins were lined in goosebumps. My legs were wrapped in a thicker fabric like leggings, but sheer so the wind cut through. I don’t remember carrying anything like a book-bag or purse. Room floated around me and it was past dusk, it was dark. It was night when I arrived. I had marched a long time through the city to get to this party; this specific party in which I was going to confront a few of them at once. There was a guest list and I was on it. I was dressed appropriately although I did not look at my face in a mirror so I cannot tell you what I looked like only what I felt like: like vapor rising past an edge. I was shifty.

 

The last thing I remember before turning the corner to get on your block was that I had no idea if I had driven or not. It was strange. I had the sensation of getting out of a car earlier but truly I didn’t have any recollection of it. It felt like I had walked for miles. I dissociate. When I opened the door to your place, it felt familiar; not the place but the way I entered. It was as if I always open the door on my own. There was a gathering in the center and you turned to greet me with a chilling apathy and I smiled with every tooth. I embraced you which was out of my character. Perhaps to soothe a beast in you. You said:

 

You look taller.

That’s when I looked down to see my boots and my knees, a little shaky and wrapped in black, and then I felt the sweater as you turned to put your arm around my waist and I held it there. There was one moment in time in synthesis and I held it there. This is what I am wearing. Even though you delivered a tepid reception, you grabbed me like I was yours. You brought me closer to the kitchen but a dark swarm took over my body. I looked sideways to follow it. My friend Reagan approached me from the other side. I’m being flanked.  I was distracted long enough to ignore the person skulking out the back door.

 

“Hi!” she embraced me like we were sisters and pulled me to the couch.

 

Funny how recollection tricks you. There was someone else in the kitchen who slipped out the back door as I sat down but I would tell you then on the couch that never happened. I would embrace Reagan like a friend even though I barely knew her. I would tell you it was comfortable even though I felt set up.  I looked down at my dress. A dress. I’m wearing a dress.

 

“How are you?” she smiled brightly in my face, her dark hair hanging over her cheeks.

 

There was nothing memorable about her except her green eyes. They were beautiful to look at in my moment of rising panic.  I swallowed like I was swallowing an apple core and I held her hand like we knew each other forever. Turning to look for him, she squeezed it.

“Let’s catch up, hon.”

 

I kept turning my head to understand the new layout. There were candles lining the floor to the stairs but the staircase was on the opposite side. When I turned back it also appeared that the stairs were in the right place even though there were none near the front door. It was like the room was cut with mirrors and drapes. It felt like a stage. I don’t think there is an upstairs.

 

“ I want to see my reflection,” I suddenly said.

 

“Hahaha omg,” she patted my leg. “Listen, I don’t know why you would trust him. He’s an alcoholic and manipulative.”

 

I swallowed again and stood up.  I should confront him. Where did he go? I walked away from her and realized the entire party had cleared. It was just the three of us. He greeted me without his shirt and I saw a tattoo. There were two. The bigger one, I couldn’t read it though.

 

“Are you staying or leaving?” he said.

 

His eyes were blue and that was normal. Blue like a fresh paved lake of ice.

 

“I’m leaving,” and I shuffled past Reagan without acknowledging her again.

 

I headed towards the door that was on the right side even though the kitchen and stairs were misplaced. I stepped out before I could change my mind, before I could stop and pause and demand my reflection. Let me use the bathroom. There were no cars anymore. No streetlights or streets. I held the hem of my dress, once feeling thick like a sweater felt thinner, lighter, more spring but still black.  I had come to the party in all black and now I was shivering. It had dropped a few degrees in the forest. I was staring at a forest. I was staring at a row of trees and yellow eyes were popping out of them. They were slow, methodical and walking towards me. My hands were gripping the handles of a bicycle. I can’t bike through this. Turning around to plead with him, he was already closing the door. My eyes narrowed at his side as he leaned against the frame.

 

“Can I just stay here a while until the wolves go away?”

 

He shut the door without a word. I turned to face the forest I had just somehow safely walked through and pretended it was a street. I pretended the people were people. The people were hungry. The entire pack settled at the entrance and watched me. Gripping the bike, I turned back to make sure, yes, he shut the door and yes, he wasn’t coming back. A giant red oak square with a brass knocker stared me in my face and the man I had been chasing vanished inside. I looked down.

 

I become so enlightened at the turn of it

I start writing with a desperation.

 

That’s what the note on my arm said.

 

And what did the note on his ribs say?

 

I interrupt myself. I am scrambling to remember the whole thing before it fades. It is 5:30 in the morning and I am in pain; not from separation but from untended rhythm. Maybe I never noticed my dreams had cadence or style or meaning, yet, I have pages full of them. I begin again.  I have to begin again. I stopped myself from compulsively flipping through last year’s journal. Sitting is my weakness. The morning overcomes me and dawn is nice. I am too tired to move so I stay. It was a tattoo on his chest, not his ribs. He had two and I could only read one. They were connected over his body like a map.

 

I tapped my head with my pen and sat. Sometimes the morning is foggy and I just need a second to breathe. Coffee is too stimulating and I just need a quiet moment to breathe. One was so giant I couldn’t read it like it cascaded across his whole body,  I reread my note from earlier and I put the pen back on the paper. Mania is a curse of the unrested and dutiful investigator. Jaw clenched already, my migraine set in but I continued. It said:

 

One was so giant I couldn’t read it like it cascaded across his whole body, and the other said love exists with or without hope.

you are God-drawn,
celibate,
obsessively
testing yourself and
binded by conviction.

you are wrapping yourself
in your lovers’
unhinging,
your lovers’ veins,
your lovers’ disdain
for the way they scream your
name into the pillow
and you’ll be around
come never.

you are distant.
you are giant.
you are waving your hands
in the air and calling it
time magic.

oh, you are quiet in your cave,
becoming whatever you say
you are.
becoming whatever you say.

be careful what you say.

“the magician”

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