Clingy

A comes home on Tuesday. He called tonight from his barracks. I could only hear about half of what he said, I think because he’s so rural, so it was an awkward conversation. He becomes frustrated when I’m unresponsive– when I’m not talking enough to him, or not fully answering questions, like I’m irritated with him or something. This has been a pattern with boys, and it terrifies me to no end. I had an ex break up with me because he felt I was always “disconnected.” So by admitting that I was having trouble hearing, I thought I would ease some of that. You know, “this is why I keep saying, ‘uh-huh,’ and ‘sure.'”

And yet… it didn’t help. When I admitted that I was having trouble hearing, I felt awfully guilty. It still felt awkward.

I don’t know what’s going on with me right now. I’m anxious about having him back. Of course I’ve missed him, of course I love him, of course! But it was awkward on the phone.

I shouldn’t be worried. I can’t even form a cohesive thought right now, god knows why. Honestly, I’m exhausted. I can’t think straight. I can’t focus on anything beyond what is happening right now. This is an incredibly exhausting place to be in. I think that’s probably what’s going on with my nerves.

In other news, I still stalk A’s ex. Now that she doesn’t live in NYC, it makes me feel less of… well, anything, really. I just get bored and my own friends are less interesting. šŸ˜‰

Anyhow, one of the things A and I have discussed about her is that she tends to hold onto things very tightly. She needs to belong. So she is super loyal to her hometown, super proud of her college, converted to Mormonism for her first husband (YEAH), GOT MARRIED AT 21, and of course, A was also one of those things. That seems to be part of the reason they lasted as long as they did. Even when they were going in different directions, he was her stability.

I look at her Instagram and I can really see this trait. When she’s in a show, all she can talk about is the show. When it’s over, she misses it. When she’s working at camp, she’s 100% IN LOVE with camp, and when it’s over, she misses it so much and posts about it all the time! The show is not present anymore. Nor is NYC.

Now, I get attached too. When I’m working on a project, yes, I do get invested in it. And yet, there’s a sense of overwhelming neediness to her postings. “Miss my crew today!” “A box full of fun memories!” “Sad to leave my best friends in the world!” And all of this about people she knew for a month, maybe.

I post about my shows. I post about my life. But I don’t ever really talk about what I “miss.” Here I do, sure, like about last summer in Jersey and whatnot, but never really anywhere else. I guess I’m lucky that my life is full enough that I can focus on each new project as it comes.

So. I guess I’m being judge-y, but there are my two cents.

I’m glad I’m me and not her.

How the fuck am I supposed to do this? How am I not too broken to be another person’s one person?

On Jun 20, 2013, at 5:26 PM, Awrote:

As of late, due to the general hectic-ness of life, you’ve been feeling your feelings. Which is great.

Because of you feeling your feelings, you’ve been more internal as you’ve been going through the world. Also fine – totally understandable.

I think what I’m feeling is just a sense of being left out. Often I find, whether I’m the one coming home or the one home already, when I ask about your day and things that have happened, I’m getting a short answer in response and that’s about it. However, I’m often looking to discuss it a bit more.

For example, today: it was your first rehearsal for a new play. Granted, you didn’t do much and you were reading through the play-within-the-play, but I guess I was expecting more conversational traction from that – people in the cast, your expectations, any other design stuff that wasn’t brought up, your general thoughts.
Now, if you’d prefer not to talk about it, I understand and I don’t mean to nag or place pressure; it’s just an example of how I’ve been feeling of late. I miss you. In no circumstance am I trying to make you uncomfortable, or would i want you to be anything but real with me –

I know there’s a lot happening right now and if you really do need all that space I will most assuredly grant you that and do whatever I can to be of help or comfort. I just wanted to let you know what was going on in my head and how I’ve been feeling. Bear in mind this all may certainly be magnified by what I’m going through and how I’ve been pretty non-social of late, but it’s still what’s going on with me.

Also there’s just that silly part of me that wants to make sure everything is really ok.

So much love,
A
xoxo

On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 6:24 PM, B wrote:

Lover,

I appreciate this email more than you know. Sometimes it’s easier to get thoughts and feelings out in writing– I know that’s the case for me– and you reaching out like this reminds me how much you do care. It also helps me understand better how you’re feeling. I want to know how you’re feeling, especially when what I’m doing effects you.

Frankly, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know why I feel this way. I hate that it pulls us apart. I don’t know why I don’t want to talk. Maybe it’s because I genuinely don’t have anything to say. Or I feel like I don’t have anything to say. Right now, I don’t have opinions. I don’t want to "do" anything. I’m not interested in anything. I’ve mentioned to you how the world can feel like "too much" for me at times. This is one of those times.

I’m not okay, babe. I’m never going to be completely "okay." We can pretend that mental illness is like Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook, but it’s not. It’s quiet and pervasive and distancing. It’s not cute. This email took me over an hour to write because I literally have no words. Nothing I could say could possibly be worth saying.

I feel like this is bullshit and sounds like I’m trying to "excuse" my behavior, which I know makes you feel left out and isolated. I wish I could tell you why, and I wish I could tell you how I was going to fix it. I can try. I WILL try, and I’ll do my best.

I’ve never spent this much time with anyone. I sort of include my parents. For most of my time at home, they found me utterly unbearable. It wasn’t until I moved out that we had a relationship at all. This EXACTLY is why Chris broke up with me. This is what got me down to 90 pounds and got me to cut myself up. I’m terrified that I’m hurting you, and I’m terrified that I’m pushing you away. I am terrified that I don’t know how to weather these patches with someone else. As you can see from the whole of this paragraph, I have NEVER done so successfully.

I don’t expect you to respond to this. I know I’m an over sharer and I’m already second-guessing myself. But there’s also a part of me that feels like if I can muscle out SOMETHING, that’s better than the nothing i’ve been giving you.

I recommend reading this blog article. http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2013/05/depression-part-two.html

I love you more than anything. I have never loved so hard and so deep. I promise to continue to try and let you in.

Your B.

Dearheart,

I know and understand as much as I can. I’m not sure if recent events in life have exacerbated the distancing, because – to be honest – it’s never felt as much as it has the past week or two. (Unless I’m just in some kind of place because of edit-stress that allowed me to feel it fully.) But either way, I just wanted to let you know about it.

I love you. I love how much you love me, and the way that you love me. I know you’re trying to be the best, most productive you you can be. Remember that I like and love the you that you always are.

I’m so happy we’re life-sharers.

Can’t wait to kiss you tonight.

A

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Getting excited (well, trying to)

“Bored”– from my last post?

Pretty sure that was just feeling depressed. Low energy? Apathy for favorite activities? Lack of motivation? Yeah… that’s the thing. There it is.

Talked about it in therapy today. IĀ  got off the train at 72nd, and per usual, pulled out my phone to check my texts and email. Got an email with an announcement from my company– one girl they cast (who I knew from high school, who I got an audition) had received an “exciting opportunity” and would have to withdraw from the play. R will replace her.

This shouldn’t cause a huge reaction. Does it really matter? R’s a great actor and right for the part. I should be happy for the other girl.
But no. I felt my heart break. Because where is MY “exciting opportunity?” Where is my thing that is so important I can drop everything else?

And this really has no reflection on this show. I’m excited about it. I like these people. We have issues emotionally, friendship-ly, but I love to rehearse and perform with them. I trust them. And yet… I’m not excited excited. I don’t want to tell the world. I don’t want to like every related status on Facebook. I don’t talk about it in advance, giddily, any chance I get. No. It will be fun. I will feel artistically fulfilled in a basic way. But… I’m not excited.

In fact, there’s nothing in my life I’m “excited” about. Not this show, and certainly not the next. Not my agent, not my day job, not my union card, not a trip home (who knows when the next trip home will be), not anything really. There is nothing in my life I want to shout about from the rooftops.

And when I feel this way, I become heavily, disturbingly nostalgic.

I miss my high school, a literal bubble in the woods where only we existed and you knew everyone who trudged past you in the snow.interlochen715
We knew we were the best and our only focus was our work, our craft, the active blood, sweat and tears in reaching for what we want most in the world.

Interlochen-Arts-Camp

And I miss last summer. I miss the Buffalo Bill House. I miss our mornings at the gym with Rusty the dog, jamming out to the songs on the radio. Late nights, full of white wine and guacamole, dressing up and feeling special and like everyone’s little girl– someone to treasure and support and be ceaselessly proud of.IMG_1397

I miss feeling like anything could happen, like this was the first step in a long journey that would change my life. The pride of being a crucial part of something bigger than myself. Being wanted. Being needed for this step, and the next, and the next.IMG_1412

I miss family dinners. Loud chatter. Silliness. Teasing.IMG_1402

I miss performing. I MISS PERFORMING. God, I miss performing. Walking out in the darkness with two sticks of chalk in my hand, backpack slung over my shoulder, rainbow plastic bracelets stacked at my wrists. The comforting, never boring routine of my role. Enter on this line, grab wrist and left shoulder for the fight, roll onto my right buttcheek for the throw. sit on the wicker chair stage right, listen, listen, listen, laugh, laugh. Let his words cut through my heart, feel the fight seep out, then build back up, slam the door, wrap the chain around the knob, wrap twice around my wrist, lean out, holding the door shut through the screams, eyes wet, looking towards the audience, shaky silence, shaky silence, look out. Black out. (and that’s just a brief selection from two scenes).IMG_1306

Rehearsal. Performance. Onstage or off. The sound of the words. Eventually I knew each one.IMG_1212

Mornings. Coffee brewed by someone else. The last of the cool, wet, nighttime air dissolving in the humidity of coastal Jersey.IMG_1267

For more, if you care, click on any “new jersey” tag. It’ll take you there.

My therapist asked me if there was a way I could take those incredible, warm, loving feelings and instead of holding them outside myself, making me sad, allow them to penetrate and give me some comfort.

I don’t know how to do that.

But I’ll try.

(Sorry about the ramblingness of this post… I started a post and then it turned into another post. Ah well).

 

Unfinished

I feel like I’m dying.

That phrase keeps repeating, on loop, in my head. I’ve felt so much worse than I do now, but when I’m narrating the feeling of this moment, what I feel when feeling overwhelms…

I feel like I’m dying.

I’m drowning in myself. My skin and muscles and fat are bloated and I– the little “me” that is myself– is buried deep inside and suffocating. I can’t read. My eyes won’t focus. I can’t eat right (too much or too little). Crowds hem me in and terrify me.

Food. I fucking hate it. I lost five pounds from vomiting and not eating for five days. Go me. Fuck you. Suddenly I remembered that empty feeling, that skinny feeling, that feeling that felt so manic and good. But I eat now, remember? So I couldn’t eat small portions or only on occasion. And when i tried, I ate too much. And eating too much is the purest form of self-harm I know. Food turns me into a monster. My body feels flush and bloated. I feel dehydrated and my lips are chapped.

My sister is here this week (Sunday thru Saturday). And she wants to “do” things. Which I’m fine with to some extent. But I’m, frankly, depressed. And I repeat:

I feel like I’m dying.

Tuesday was rainy and wet. We walked up to the Cloisters in the rain and wind. We got there, at last, soaked, and wandered through the museum. I love it up there. But I did feel distant, separate, slightly off. When we were done, I knew that I was hungry and ready to go home and curl up. Which we did. My sister fell asleep, and when I woke her because it was time to head to midtown to try and get Book of Mormon tix, she said, “Jazz club?” Which is the last place I want to go when I feel like shit. I said, fine, A and I will go down and do the lottery, and if we get tix, you can come down and meet us. She said okay.

I was in no mood. I sobbed over A’s subway sandwich before heading back, planning how to tell her I couldn’t possibly go out again. But I get there, and she’s curling her hair. I try to come up with a soft way of saying “I just can’t,” and finally just say, “I just can’t.” She’s disappointed, subtly, and I feel like I’ve done something wrong. Same thing happens

 

FUCK I LOST IT ALL. I finished this fucking blog entry after two fucking days and fucking wordpress lost it.

FUCK.

 

I won’t bother. Here’s this. The only thing worth sharing, anyway. See this musical. It makes things slightly better.

Weeding through…

Weeding through the medical records they sent me.

As expected, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before. The most interesting document is the initial assessment from my psychiatrist when I was about 9 years old. The words seem to echo hollowly, almost appear meaningless: “very perfectionistic, overly sensitive, shy, withdrawn little girl,” “extremely irritable, quick to flare, overly sensitive, etc,” “devaluing of herself, may make threats about wishing she was dead, talks about herself being a ‘bad person,'” “overachiever… wants to be the best and do the best.”

It sounds simplistic too me, almost offensively so. Words about “no signs of depression,” “happy and content most of the time,” “no unusual fears or phobic reactions.” I know, I know,Ā that this was an initial assessment and things changed. I have my mom’s “book,” in which she basically wrote diary entries about my emotional health.

Even going through those entries, which I’ve read before too, are tiring to me. They seem one-sided, clinical. I know, I know, they can’t be any other way, but I wish there was something more here.

In these piles of papers, these yellowing sheets of lined notebook paper, I want to find an explanation. I want to understand what happened, who I was, where I was and how I survived. I want an explanation.

In a letter to my therapist and psychiatrist from my father, he writes:
“we’re both concerned that B’s egotism is so extreme that it impairs moral judgment. She seems utterly unable to summon empathy, and when she does her purpose seems more manipulative than empathetic.”

“B reports that she feels depressed. We know that she feels like a ‘bad’ person when her behavior is inappropriate, but we can’t help but feel sometimes that her apologies are manipulative.”

“To be frank, lately we can barely stand to be around her.”

I know, I know, that my parents love me more than most anything else on the planet. But flipping through these papers, notes, letters, diagnoses, clinical terms and records of meds increased and decreased, up on the Klonopin, down on the Risperdal,

Love and Updates

So. A didn’t take the tour. It took days of talking and thinking and worrying. I tried to keep quiet and allow him to make the decision solely based on the logic of the choice (minus my extreme emotional response), but of course that was impossible.

We pressed the “send” button together.

I think he’s still struggling with it (which I understand), and I feel supremely guilty STILL (which I think he understands), but there’s such a huge part of me that’s relieved.

We came back from his folks’ place on Sunday of last week, driving the rental with the kitty on his lap from Southern PA to NYC. Spur of the moment, since we had the car till late, we stopped briefly at the apartment to change and drop off food, and then he took me across the river to NJ for an amazingly fancy and expensive steak dinner (I had lobster tails, obvi). We had two glasses of wine each, salad, sides to split, our entrees, and desserts. Amazing. I felt guilty about the cost (unhelped by his constant financial worries and vocal stress about paying for that evening’s meal), but it was so lovely to be treated. I am a strong, independent woman (obvi), but we live such an even-keeled life (sharing chores, sharing bills, sharing responsibilities of all kinds), that being treated like a prized possession, worth splurging on, was amazing.

This last week, though I worked days, we kept ourselves busy with a week of fun. Tuesday night, Nutcracker at NYCB (my first live Balanchine Nutcracker, though I’d worn the video to shreds) followed by sharing a bottle of wine and desserts at a bar where we shared one of our first dates. Wednesday we had comps to Golden Boy (the Odets play) on Broadway. Thursday, therapy (I was having extreme anxiety about seeing “my company’s” show that night and about the very mixed feelings about seeing my mother, but I actually left feeling strong and uplifted– go therapist!!) then kitty vet appointment, then “my company’s” show. Which was terrible. And made me feel… less bad than I thought I would… but still. And having A there, actually, in a way, made it worse. I felt bad for exposing him to bad theatre and embarrassed for being associated with those people, but then, it was lovely to have him there to prove that I am a strong, lovable woman. Friday we went to the Big Apple Circus!!

So, it was a good week. Ups and downs, of course, but I love “doing” thinks, and I love him, you guys. Again. Ups and downs, discomfort and disagreement, but love. He’s my other. I’ve never felt that way before.

God, I wanted to post something specific… I thought about it days ago. But for some reason I can’t remember. I swear I’ll be back at some point… Lots to talk about, especially before I take A and the kitty home for the holiday next week.

Love you all. More soon.

B.

P.S. Told him, after a show we saw prompted it, that I trafficked in ED blogs. I’m now almost certain that he knows I have one. If he’s as much of a stalker as I am, he’ll find it. Which is maybe okay. As long as he doesn’t tell me. šŸ™‚

“You are like nobody since I love you.” ā€” Pablo Neruda

Happy Right Here

I told my therapist, when talking about my agent, that I was willing to lose weight, but that I refused to give it my whole brain. I choked up spontaneously as I said, “I’m just so relieved to not be putting my whole brain onto making myself a certain way or fulfilling some expectation.” I was really proud of this statement.

The truth is, I would LOVE to lose weight. I don’t know how much I weight right now (scale is packed, and I’m fitting into my clothes but I’d say definitely more bloated than usual from the BC), and frankly that both excites and scares me. I’ve never been an excessive “weigh-er,” but knowing my weight really can shift my mood and my brain all day.

This morning my boyfriend told me he felt “apathetic and useless” this week. He’s been really busy (both of us have) but when he’s not busy, we’re lying in bed and watching Slings & Arrows, or eating baked goods I made, or watching movies and drinking wine. He says that on the way home from house managing (at like 11pm), he knows he “should” and wants to be writing, but he ends up just sitting.

How familiar does THIS sound, ladies?!

My therapist calls these kinds of things “shoulds.” I’ll talk to her about a day I had and accidentally throw in a “I should have gone to the gym” or “I shouldn’t have reacted that way” and she’ll catch it. “Who says?” “What’s the worst thing that could happen if you don’t?” Sometimes, now, I feel like I give myself too much slack (stayed in today instead of going to an open call audition in Brooklyn, planned on going to ballet class but didn’t), but again, who says I “should” do anything? Why should the “shoulds” control my life?

I told my boyfriend some of my rationalizations: “You’re tired. You’re exhausted– your body and brain needs a break.” He says, “I’m happiest when my brain is going. I don’t like not using it.” And I replied, “Sometimes even brains need a break.” I realized that this conversation was exactly like a conversation I have had in my own head countless times.

Something I’ve learned in the last few years is how to respect what I want, not what “they” think I “should” do. No one is watching me. Brain can’t handle reading right now? Okay, it’s tired. I’ll listen to music on the train. Body refusing to want to exercise? Maybe try again later, but maybe just assume that it’ll be ready to go again soon and it’ll let me know. Dreading an early morning audition I’m not prepared for? Don’t go. Sleep in and don’t freak yourself out.

It’s constant negotiating; constantly reminding myself that I can be the decision-maker.

Now, I live with a boy. A boy whose diet is very different than mine (I don’t eat meat, he’s a carnivore, among other things). I’ve had more ice cream since moving in with him than I’ve had in the last year combined. I don’t think I’m gaining weight, though. I think the abundance of food is a comfort… I don’t feel like I have to gorge. I get to eat breakfast and sometimes other meals with him. I don’t feel like a pig when he’s around. I’ve barely binged two or three times. Sometimes overeating, but nothing that derails my day or even necessarily puts me over a major calorie edge. I can’t weigh myself. And y’know, I think I’m just all around happier.

So yes. I’d gladly lose weight. I know that I “should.”

But I’m so enjoying living in this moment, so enjoying not letting obsessive thoughts and other people’s “shoulds” get in the way of my happiness, that I wouldn’t sacrifice any of it.

I’m not fat.

I’ll dye my hair for her. I’ll get new pictures for her. I’ll learn how to put on makeup for her.

But my happiness is more important than a number on the scale. I may lose parts because of it, but I won’t lose the ones I’m mean to have.

I’m happy right here, thanks.

I believe that we, that this planet, hasn’t seen its Golden Age. Everybody says its finished … art’s finished, rock and roll is dead, God is dead. Fuck that! This is my chance in the world. I didn’t live back there in Mesopotamia, I wasn’t there in the Garden of Eden, I wasn’t there with Emperor Han, I’m right here right now and I want now to be the Golden Age …if only each generation would realise that the time for greatness is right now when they’re alive … the time to flower is now.ā€
ā€• Patti Smith