Two people are reading, or should I say would read if I blogged. So maybe I should blog. But what about? Hmm.
. . .
I’m feeling anxious about money again. On Wednesday I went to my bank to see if we couldn’t do anything to make it so they don’t hold my pay cheques until they clear. And once again I was made to feel like a criminal with words like “fraud risk” being tossed around along with the arched eyebrow question about being paid in Miramichi but living in Sackville. I’m so shady. This after I trudged out there in the piss pouring rain.
This is why for years and years I had nothing to do with banks. Cash in pocket was the motto. The only reason I have an account now is so I can pay the landlord. The whole ordeal really bummed me out. I mean REALLY bummed me out. Not that I expected to be welcomed with open arms and treated like a normal person. (Remember, I’m very shady.) I didn’t expect to have a complete breakdown about it afterward though. That was a most insane surprise. I guess it brought back some stuff, cell memory or something.
I was so overwhelmed with feelings of worthlessness that I exploded into the hyperventilating almost puking sobbing loud enough to wake the neighbors ugly cry. I cannot remember the last time I had that cry. Surely it’s been 7 or 8 years. I cry a lot, yes. I cry over movies, tv shows, books, websites, funny things the kids say–you name it and I’m ready to cry over it. But I cry quietly. It’s a tear thing. Tears streaming down my face, blinding me, runny nose, the occasional whimper maybe. Most times though, you could sit with me in the room and not even know I’m crying, unless you looked into my eyes. Occasionally there is a light version of the ugly cry, with some sobs . . . but the gut twisting ugly cry . . . wow! That never happens. I mean it’s been so long that I kinda forgot it existed, I thought Ugly Cry Lite was the big one. It is so NOT the big one!
So I had myself a great big ole bad-assed ugly cry that had nothing to do with the fact that I needed to find extra money somewhere so my rent wouldn’t bounce; that I had no coffee, no cream, no milk, no bread, no wine, no soap, no salt, and numerous other sundry items; that I may possibly be late paying my credit card bill . . . unless I get a cash advance on my credit card to pay my credit card; that I couldn’t go to the ballet today, or anywhere all week that wasn’t free; that I got paid on the 4th but I won’t actually be able to access any of that money until the 15th; that I have some loose change in my wallet, quarters mostly, and that is all there is and has been since Christ was a cowboy . . . nope, none of this caused the cry. Yeah, it’s all very inconvenient and enough to piss anyone off. But if I hadn’t gone to the bank meeting I would’ve just been pissed off and that would’ve been the end of it. Instead I went to a meeting to see if there is anything that can be done. Big mistake. I should’ve known better. Have I learned nothing all these years?
Self-esteem, self-worth, self-image–all these things are a daily struggle for me. It was right around 2000 or 2001, sometime in there as I hit my 30’s that I started to pull myself back together after hitting bottom. And I mean, when I hit bottom, I REALLY hit bottom–physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. I could not have sunk any lower. I thought I would die. I wanted to die. I tried to die at every opportunity. I created opportunities to die. But I lived. No matter how many risks I took, no matter how much I tried to help my death along, it never happened. I kept walking away. So around about the turn of the century I came to understand that I wasn’t going to be allowed to get out of my life so easily, that if I wanted something else for myself, I’d better do something about it because nobody else was going to. And I started confronting myself, my past, my demons. I wrote it out of me and I weeped. I spent a year locked in my bedroom writing and sobbing. I stopped taking pills and drinking everyday. I stayed sober for a year to make amends for staying drunk and high for three. I swore the next man I had sex with would be someone I loved. No more one night stands. No more men just for the sake of not being alone. And I read books and I did the self help exercises, staring at myself in the mirror and telling myself that I was good enough, that I was worth something, that I didn’t need anyone else, that I’d be okay on my own, and I didn’t believe a word of it, but I trusted the books that said if I did it long enough I’d trick my brain into believing. And I admitted I had a disease called arthritis and I quit smoking and I walked on a treadmill and I tried to eat more healthy. And my metabolism vanished and I gained weight like never before and still I didn’t smoke. And I declared personal bankruptcy and started over. And I spent time with myself finding out what I wanted to do with my life, imagining what a good life looked like and telling myself that I deserved to have a good life. And I made progress. I continue to make progress.
And then I go to the bank and am called a criminal and I fall apart. I cried in the rain on the walk home, unable to hold the tears back even that long. I couldn’t even talk to my mother on the phone, I was too upset. And then I burst into the almost forgotten ugly sobs. And I was right back there again. Worthless. A fuck up. Getting exactly what I deserved. I don’t deserve any better. And suddenly the cup wasn’t half full or even half empty it was shattered, non-existent. I thought I was past all those feelings. I thought I was stronger, that nobody could touch my self-worth anymore. That I’d done the work and I was good to roll. I guess I was wrong. It’s a precarious house of cards and I can’t take my eyes off it for a moment or someone could bring the whole thing down. Good to know.
Listening To: Breathe, Anna Nalick