“…How hard it is to maintain an openness to things changing. Sometimes I find myself stuck in the unfairness of the situation or just how hard things are…Human Nature…we get stuck really easily…things that are beautiful verses things that are painful doesn’t matter. We want to cling to them. We don’t want to let go of feelings.” -Elsa Kennedy
Fiction. Based on a True Based on a True Propinquity
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
Something they don’t tell you about addicts— they taint your perception to breathe only chaos. If you let them in, let them live in your heart, they take all the can. Whatever necessary to feed that monster. One day you wake up soaking in your own innocence. When you search for the answer; it’s there in that addict’s teeth.
Paranoid Schizophrenia. According to the DSM if you show two or more of the following symptoms over a period of a month or longer, then more than likely you have paranoid schizophrenia. Well, My First Mistake, here you are:
Delusions – check. If the black sedan following our every movement in a city of 635,974 wasn’t a delusion, then I don’t want to live in this city any more. Especially when it was every single, unmarked black sedan.
Hallucinations – check. Again with our black sedans. Except that one time, oh, you remember. You saw the driver. Black sunglasses too, at night, no less. Men in Black style, trailing two young adults. How I didn’t see this then, I will never know.
Disorganized speech – check. Or, to be fair, it could have just been you coming down from the highlands. But you would pace my thin kitchen muttering to yourself. Listening to jazz and rap simultaneously. Jumbling lyrics of two or three songs and then demanding I keep up with your train of thought.
Catatonic behavior – check. Then again, this could also be descent from your high. But listen, you would lay in my bed, sweating for hours. Not a few hours. You’d lay there for ten, eleven, twelve hours. Not moving. Maybe not even breathing. Just sweating. Detoxing the methamphetamine out of your blood.
Diminished Emotional Expression – check. You took a lit match and placed it directly on the top of my left hand. Looking directly in my eyes while you did. There was nothing in your eyes. Not light. Nor recognition. You were light years away from my ashy blood. I did things back to you. To try and illicit a reaction. Remember, I threw a plate directly at you. Hard enough for it to shatter on impact. You furrowed your brow. But that was it. I hated you then.
Maybe your seemingly schizophrenic paranoia was a result of your addiction. Or vice versa. I’m not your doctor, thankfully. What a lost cause that would have been. All I know for sure is when rats with schizophrenic dispositions are exposed to methamphetamine, their paranoia is exacerbated.
As a woman I know fear. Around every corner I wait it out. Who is more stubborn? Me or the unknown on the other side of that dark corner? I was always afraid. From the first time a man followed me onto and off of a bus. From my Father’s screaming mouth…To you. Maybe that’s what lead me to you. Familiar sense of threat. You were a reliable monster; I knew what to expect with you. I knew what weapons to use against you. Primarily my body, my heart.
Sex is fighting to get inside each other’s skin. Tearing, violent, passionate. For us, sex was another facet of your addiction that ultimately bore into my soul and carved a place in my heart. Your addiction became my addiction and all I saw from here to the horizon was unification. My worth was jumbled up in your lust. It’s taken years for me to untangle that from my veins. Scars on my back, legs and arms to prove it.
“Well you look like yourself but you’re somebody else, only it ain’t on the surface. Well you talk like yourself… no. I hear someone else and now you’re making me nervous.” ‘You’re Somebody Else’ flora cash
When it was over, that carnal ritual, you disintegrated, evaporated before my eyes. Every single time. I’d rub my eyes from physical exertion and when I rolled back over, you were gone. Replaced by the monster. The “you” I could stand to look at floating away to a parallel universe. In your place, glassy eyed and vacancy – hungry beast sleeping until the other addiction came calling.
Your paranoia fed a preexisting fear in me. Even with you gone, it clings to my skin. Often I have wondered if it’s narcissism. Am I just so consumed with myself that I think everyone is out to get me? Hopefully not, but as I have grown up and learned more about your kind – the monster kind – I think you taught me to only see the world this way.
“Look both ways, that man over there probably wants to get you. Lace your keys in your fingers, I won’t always be here to protect you. Wear your hood up so the men in the black car can’t identify you. Look both ways. Monsters are prowling.” That’s your mantra playing on repeat as the soundtrack of my life. At least it was back then. You did a really good job convincing me I was safe with you. Even that one time I walked in front of a loaded gun. For you. To get you. Not your gun. The gun some angry stranger pointed at you, and then at me. Blind foolishness heard you, felt you.
“Rather be the hunter than the prey… You’re a natural. A beating heart of stone, you gotta be so cold to make it in this world.” ‘Natural’ Imagine Dragons
Chained to the wall
Fists balled tight
Banging, smashing knuckles on concrete
LET ME OUT LET ME OUT
PLEASE LET ME OUT
Trapped by necessity, obligation
Prisoner by my own shortcomings
Never good enough, never enough at all
LET ME OUT LET ME OUT
Please let me out
Restrained, hopeless, defeated
Blood spews from shattered hands
Marred, tainted, heartbroken
Let me out
I just want out
Did you ever talk about hearing voices?
In a very backwards, play-the-record-in-reverse-kind-of-way, you would scream about conspiracies and fluoride in the water. It was always fluoride in the water. Danger, danger, we are slowly being poisoned and we let it happen. We listen to our FDA and dentists and swallow the lies. That is you, coming out in my words. “They, Them.” “Out to get us.” “We let it happen.”
I think back then I heard you pluralize us and I thought you meant you and me. And I loved it. So naive, I loved being paired with you. Even when I didn’t know what you were, what you are. Being a plural with you meant something. You figured me out pretty quickly. Saw me and my admiration. Turned it on me, too. Used it to manipulate me. I am sure my bed was a much softer place to land when you were coming down.
Did you pick me out of some illusion of sympathy, did you think I shared the disease?
No, oh, no. I didn’t use any kind of substance during our first round. When we first tried I was cleaner than a newborn after her first sink bath. Later on, I am sure you loved watching me smoke pot and get high with you. You loved watching me drink. It was never for you. I smoked and drank because I was heartbroken. And not over you.
When I finally figured out you were using methamphetamine, because yes, for a long time I had no idea. My heart shut down. Honest, earth laden love, the kind of love that is tangible, turned to ash and blew away on the changing winds. I never really got it back. Habit and self destruction led me back to your bed year after year. Having sex with you was petroleum jelly. A barrier for my open wounds to the outside world.
A lack of my own self worth kept me relying on that barrier. I liked it because it meant I didn’t really have to see myself. And God forbid that. Please Lord don’t make me look in a mirror – she is too ugly.
I am too ugly.
All of the versions of myself, except maybe this one, are covered in thick layers of oily, black sludge. Each layer is an explanation. The very first layer, probably my father. The next, definitely my mother. When I look for the grime now, I could scoop it up in both hands. It would fit there, in both palms and not spill over. Not anymore.
I have worked very hard to clean myself of those sludgy layers. Done a good job, too.
But now, when I hold that sludge, I sob for the little girl that had no one. For the little girl that found You, the monster, and clung so tightly. Your fangs so evident, and everyone else’s weren’t. So, with you I knew to always hold a weapon. Which was so much safer than my father, than my mother. I let you taint me because I could control that.
But every day since you, I have to rewire myself. Again and again and again and again and again.
I am worthy for love and happiness.
I am beautifully flawed.
The only monsters I need to slay are my own. Not yours, and not you.