Here we go, yo

It’s a dank and chilly day here. I have a heat pump in my apartment, so when the heat is on at a reasonable temperature (at least for me), it blows cool air. Feels like the air conditioner is on. If I turn up the thermostat, the air blows warm, but candles begin to melt and I’m afraid my eyebrows will spontaneously combust. I am very grateful to have heat, and the financial resources to pay for it, but damn. Oh, well – First World problem.

Just had a bizarre FaceBook comment-ation with somebody I don’t really know…commenting on a friend’s post about the insurrection. This person had responded with claims that all of the insurgents who broke windows and enacted in property destruction at the Capitol last Tuesday were BLM activists in disguise, and wearing masks so they would not be identified. Um, no. I usually don’t comment on everything like that, but this one brought stars to the inside of my eyelids. i just had to comment…and tried really hard to not be personally insulting, but…damn. Ignorant assertions that made absolutely no sense were being hurled, and this girl can only take so much. Just…damn.

On an entirely different subject, or maybe not, I am sort of wondering where my gumption has gone to these days. Still don’t wanna clean up this hell-hole apartment, still don’t wanna clean up my truck, still don’t wanna clean up me. There is enough crap in this apartment they may need to support the floor at some point, and i am not a hoarder. i just don’t throw away stuff when i should purge…but i don’t buy tons of useless crap, or duplicates of the useless crap i already have. Stuff i need to throw out is more old but usable clothing (i have a wardrobe for a family of 4 or 5, all my stuff but different sizes that correspond to weight gain and loss over the years), old electronics that are obsolete or no longer work, empty boxes (for the day i move, which has been pending for 20 years), old and worn shoes…stuff like that. Gumption was my mama’s word. I just looked up the definition for that, and it’s “shrewd or spirited initiative and resourcefulness”. ok, i own that – shrewd, no. Spirited initiative…not really. Resourcefulness, spirited or otherwise…every once in a while. Just not lately.

I was listening to The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, and i think it’s how i operate –

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again

I feel like i’ve been fooled so many times it’s shameful. I trust people. I trust people when they say they love me, so these days I just don’t believe them unless they show me. I don’t expect them to show me anything, but unless I have evidence, I just don’t believe it. Betrayal is the flip side of trust, and I’m not playing that record any longer. People usually don’t understand that when i love them, it’s not a bite of the apple, it’s the whole fucking deal, seeds and skin and everything. And i bond with them, so when they hurt i hurt. Yeah, come to find out some of that is just codependence, but when i love them i really want to bond with them. In all honesty, though, i don’t quite know what that is supposed to look like. Because I have a dysfunctional view of it, I always feel that it should be a union without limits, without boundaries, but intellectually i know that is not healthy, or even possible. Unless i can be inside your skin with you, and we cease to be distinct entities, there are always boundaries of some kind. Because I am screwed up about it, I generally don’t set reasonable boundaries at all, so…anything deemed a capital R Relationship that involves me is, by definition, effed up. And I get hurt. I will usually want to hurt the other party, and punish them, but that is seldom how it turns out because…the second layer of the dysfunction is…i attract narcissists and borderline personalities like white on rice. i choose badly for myself. and it ends badly. so. as Mr. Miaggi (sp?) said in “Karate Kid”, “sometimes best defense is no be there”. so. i no be there any more. Y’all just go ahead and have fun. I’ll be over here, ready to pick up my guitar and play, just like yesterday…and i get on my knees and pray i won’t get fooled again.

It occurs to me the root of my dilemma is that i don’t really understand what love is, and have always presumed there is some hierarchical model of it at play. Blood family love beats romantic love beats friendship love beats acquaintance love beats…like? I don’t know. My blood family was never a particularly demonstrative bunch, except when i was little my grandmother would hug and kiss on me a lot, and she always let me know how pleased she was with me (even when i was doing something not so pleasing). I knew she loved me, unconditionally, even though i didn’t know that’s what it was.

i knew my mother loved me, but that realization came later, in retrospect almost. I knew that i could count on her for providing what I needed – food, clothing, shelter, necessary expenses like tuition and field trips. Wants … i can’t say i never got what i wanted, but wants were generallyl considered luxuries and somehow immature for a child. (wtf?) She was sick when i was itty bitty, then kind of normal when i was in puberty, then everything (and i mean EVERYTHING) fell apart when my grandmother died. Her mother. MY GRANDMOTHER! i thought my grandmother WAS my mother when i was little because my mother had been down for the count, recuperating from two surgeries and then hepatitus (fortunately all in succession, not simultaneously). Much later, she would tell me that she had gone into shock on the operating table for one of those surgeries, and nearly died. So, she was pretty sick. I remember her being in bed in my grandmother’s house, and i had to be really quiet around her. It was just another bedroom in the house, but i would tiptoe past and try not to make a sound. that was kind of hard, since i was about 3 or 4, but i tried really hard. My grandmother made life tolerable, and fun. She taught me how to put together jigsaw puzzles and sing nursery rhymes and play with the dog and say my prayers.

Later, she taught me how to brush my hair and tie my shoes. She brought me to school, and picked me up. i went to kindergarten early (i think i was not quite 4, since my birthday is at the end of December) because my mommy was sick and my grandmother worked, so it was like day care. i was so immature and screwed up, even then, that i didn’t have the guts, or know how, to say i had to go to the bathroom. i distinctly remember one time (and i am sure it was more than one time) that i peed on the chair, and knew i had done wrong because, well, you just didn’t do that and it didn’t feel right, and of course there was a puddle left on the chair after i got up. i didn’t say a word, and told myself that nobody would notice or at least they wouldn’t know where it came from, but i felt like it i needed to keep an eye out for somebody to find out. i hoped that wasn’t going to happen, but i was nervous about it.

it was not a good feeling, and i remember it well. that pattern of “maybe nobody will notice and hopefully they won’t know it was me” has stayed with me for the rest of my life. these days, i try pretty hard to be aware of when i am wanting or feeling the need to revert to that extreme avoidance of the truth, and do something different. but the firing mechanism is still there, the wiring is still there. the guilt, the dishonesty, and the avoidance, avoidance, avoidance. i think some of how i have tried to circumvent that wiring is to simply not make mistakes. i hate making mistakes. it seems like a fate worse than death to me. unfortunately, i am SO imperfect that i get lots of practice recovering from my errors. damn this being human crap!

I’m not quite sure why my 4-year-old self needed to come forward at this point, but finding the root of a pattern that doesn’t serve me well is a pretty big deal. I don’t know how I got into the habit, the pattern, of not accepting love (and it was daunting to say that just now). I suppose there is some part of me, even then, that did not believe that someone could continue to love me in spite of me doing bad things, stupid things, things that might hurt them. How could someone love THAT? All i know is that it’s part of who i am to give love to other people, to want to be there for them. Maybe I expect something, I don’t know. I’m an extreme loyalist, so even when they behave abominably, I am still there, supporting them, telling them it’s OK.

I suppose the line is crossed at betrayal, though…when after all the loyalty, and the rejection is SO intentional as to be insulting, so blatantly cruel, as though i was not even a consideration, the eradication of my whole person, when the give and take has been reduced to starvation levels. when i feel that i have been made a fool of…that somewhere i am being laughed at…THEN it is beyond the pale, beyond redemption. there is usually so much water under the bridge at that point that i am drowning, and i am totally alone. and i am enraged. i am unapologetically and inconsolably enraged, to a white hot level of…impotence. there is nothing i can do, nothing that can repair this gaping hole in my heart, in my soul. i have no resources, i am missing a part of me, but i go on, as always, because i have to survive. but, you over there, stay the fuck away from me. i don’t want to breathe the air you breathe, hear your voice, see your face. you, and all the rest of you…stay. the. fuck. away. and don’t ask me if i still love you. that is none of your business any longer.

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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