Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My sinuses and sadness

When the therapist asks me how I am, I don’t know -- how am I? I’m laughing because on the way I forgot the door code, and someone else arrived who had also forgotten the code, and then we were laughing together because I thought there was a seven somewhere but the keypad only goes to five. But why am I still laughing? I don’t know, I don’t know how I’m feeling.

I want to say something about the other day when I saw the Rosen practitioner and I went to that place I’m trying to say it now and my head just closes like a wall, I mean now with this computer screen in front of me I have to push through it. Maybe I’m just exhausted, but the exhaustion came right as I was about to say that place, that place -- here it is again, like I can hardly keep my eyes open or if I do I have to squint, that place where I’m squinting my eyes like a little kid, squinting my eyes I’m so afraid and then there’s that other feeling like my head flies up in the air, drugs, this feeling is comfortable, in the other place I can’t speak to me my voice starts but there are no words no words for this place but then with the drugs I can just oh.

But then there’s another place, a place of waking up and I look around in the room and it’s like everything is dark, the lights are on but everything is dark my head split into my head and the room and something outside and nothing my head is nothing but tar -- the consistency, the color, the smell -- it’s all in there and I’m looking out into this tar, through the tar, seeing and feeling and stuck in this place, my room, this tar this squinting this endless squeezed shut blackout awake empty squashed brokenness this is a new day. A new day and where am I, my room, where am I, my head, my this, my what is this, my head.

I don’t know what’s drugs and what’s dissociation, what’s memory and what’s loss, what’s hope and what’s hopelessness. It’s all hopelessness, does that mean it’s all hope? I’m trying to say something about the drugs but then I just go there, a little kid I can’t speak because of something else not the drugs is what leads me to the drugs I mean the feeling of the drugs which makes me think maybe it’s not drugs it’s dissociation except drugs are dissociation and what about drugs and dissociation, drugs and dissociation and not knowing I’m a little kid not knowing anything except everything this pain and this floating, almost comfort, and then this blacked-out closed off awakeness, why do I always wake up? Why can’t I ever wake up?

But there’s that little kid, squinting, and the therapist says something about a boy, not a boy a kid, squinting and that’s me and I can’t say it, something about death. Something about dead babies. I’m squinting, am I squinting at the babies if I can just say it then it won’t feel so scary except I can’t say it. I keep saying maybe it’s just an idea, let me try it as a question, but then I can’t finish the question and I feel ridiculous, like I’m making this too large, this fear that they’ve killed someone, they’ve killed babies and I don’t know what’s me and what’s a metaphor, that’s the problem that’s what they steal from you and the therapist says you don’t need to rush, we have time, you can just experience the feelings and we can take time and that makes sense but still I want to say it, still I want to say it and I can’t and then our time is up. And I can’t decide whether I’m glad I didn’t say it, whether I’m glad that we have time, but they have a new tea in the lobby called relax, is that what it’s called? And I like looking at the plants, one of the therapists is a gardener so the plants are always healthy and the room feels calm even though there’s no air. Even though it’s incredibly overheated, 80° says the thermostat but I forgot to mention that this started with my sinuses, I was talking about my sinuses and how my sinuses leads directly to sadness it’s like one biological mechanism and the therapists wanted to know whether it was emotion stuck there but no I mean pollution, cigarette smoke, mold, all of these environmental hazards and that’s my weakest place and it just leads right to sadness but still she thinks I mean my emotional response is sadness, and maybe it is that too, but what I actually mean is that my physical response is sadness. Also I don’t like it when people say that it starts with the emotions, I mean unless it feels like it starts with the emotions -- growing up, if my father the psychiatrist said something was psychosomatic he meant it was all in your head, to stop thinking about it and it’ll go away. But it’s true that when I’m squinting my eyes like a little kid, a little kid maybe I’m even crawling and looking into the corners for what might be dead, me, and when I’m squinting it goes right to that place between my eyes, above my nose, my sinuses, my sinuses and sadness.


Anonymous said...

"I don’t know what’s me and what’s a metaphor, that’s the problem that’s what they steal from you"

What an incredibly powerful statement. The truth of that statement resonates with me on a pre-verbal level. I can't even articulate why I understand it and why I know it is true.

I can't wait to read your next book. You have managed to reach new heights (depths?) with your writing in each successive book. Based on what I've read on your blog, the next one is going to be gorgeous.

Sending you good vibes for a day/night free from pain and exhaustion.



mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Thank you, Elian!!!!

And new heights and depths, that sounds exciting to me -- so good to hear as I plot and plan and navigate this crazy new book :)

Love --