These are snippets from my personal journal. I’ve neglected this site for a few months now. In these months we’ve moved from Louisiana to Tennessee and I still have not settled into a routine.
September 14, 2020 just before lunch
I’ve always struggled with editing while I write, as if the act of saving an unedited piece will somehow haunt me. So in this document, I’m just trying to flex and work out my writing , something I haven’t done habitually for a while now. Social media takes more than hours away from me in attention. It also gives me the chance to write blurbs here and there, like letting out a bit of steam from a pot about to boil over, but this is detrimental to me actually writing, to NEED to write. And I’m doing it again. I’m already in my head thinking about what I’ve just written and how I could distill it, make it shorter, better.
October 8, 2020 10:36pm
So much for daily writing. Is there anything I WILL stick with? If only I could chase “it” as I chased that high in my drinking days. I don’t even like calling it my drinking days because it was so much more and so much worse. “Drinking days” sounds so Oxford 1940s fraternity: Cardigans and argyle socks and pints at a pub. It wasn’t that.
It was knowing I was too drunk for the subway. If I come down in that 2 hour wait and ride, I might come to at the end of the line. Six am and an impossible way to go. It was letting him feel you up, shove his filthy fingers into you in the back of the cab for exactly that, a cab back to Brooklyn.
Oct 12, 2020 12:40am
My son is teaching me to love myself in a way I could never have imagined. Or perhaps, I could have imagined but never could have known until the experience. I’m struggling for the words to describe this, because much of it sounds trite or over worked into self help and best friend platitudes already.
It truly is simple: he is showing me what may have served as self protection to child Valerie, is now debilitating and standing in my way.
I’ve internalized being “other” for so long: undesirable, unwanted, in the way, a burden. No place for me. My sister’s voice still rings in my ear about how “needy you are Valerie”. How ”you can come across as love me love me”.
Those things hurt at the time because I thought them true. Her word was gospel. Now she was also a child when I was, but she made these statements as an adult and to adult me. Today though I can say, if I was a “needy” child, it’s because I did NEED something I wasn’t getting. An adult blaming a child for needing attention speaks more to that adult’s self awareness, not the child’s. This is another thing I‘ve learned from being a mother.
Oct 15, 2020 9:46pm
A friend pointed out that I will name and vocalize the “unspokens” or energy I feel in a particular moment or interaction. Yes. Yes the subtext, the gestures. Pointing out the things people are saying but are not saying, is dangerous.
I think I just realized why disability , being a disabled person, may sit easier with me than others. I‘ve been practicing for this most of my life. I already feel a burden, a monster an other. This is a familiar place to be.