With a pencil
I am so bored at work. I am bored of working. I feel like I am wasting my time there but I have to work so that I can pay the rent and a life. I have started to read and write there at quiet times. I am writing with a pencil. It is satisfying, the way the pencil gets shaped as I write, the sound it makes and the grey colour. I have so much creative energy but when I rush home so that I can finally get on with ‘my things’ I can’t focus. I am tired, restless. Then my inability to get anything done and enjoy it makes me anxious. The relaxation techniques and breathing do help but they also bring a lot of emotions to surface.
I feel quite down that I have to do all these things to get through the day. Force myself to have a shower and get dressed on my days off, breath slowly at a supermarket, not be able to decide what to eat, get dizzy with hunger and have to force myself to eat, just something. I love food and I feel that my life is further diminished by my inability to enjoy it.
I don’t like to talk about it (work) too much. I have to defend my choices, often to near strangers, of not going after the London dream and I am fed up with it. It is another topic that winds me up. It bores me, exhausts me. I just want to be in peace and live.
I haven’t been able to write anything decent lately. I have started writing, in that way of simply telling, about all that happened when the company was first founded and how things developed with Tom* and Martin. I have written what I can remember, however it comes to me, trying to resist that pressure to explain and trying to ignore the feeling of being judged. I sometimes write with my eyes closed so that I wouldn’t get distracted by the way the text looks, which is another downfall of mine. Downfall or talent, that obsession about words, their shape, their sound and their several meanings, the insistence that language is a revelation, a way to truth but that it can also kill. But I haven’t been in the right state of mind to write, I have gotten angry, anxious, began to vent out, gotten tired, that knot tightening in my stomach, pressing my chest. Those guns appear out of nowhere and threaten with fire.
It is too big of a task to write it all as a story, chronically, so I have had to settle with notes here and there. What is in the past doesn’t stay there but is present in the present, with consequences and flashbacks. Writing about it like that is as true as telling a story of it from a beginning to an end.
I am sheltering myself from that force, that presence, memory that wants to rip my mind apart and control me. I don’t know whether to reveal them all by writing what I ‘hear’ in my mind or whether to close my eyes and take deep breaths, turn towards that place of peace. Those mocking sounds fly above me still as I write this. ‘Place of peace?’ I don’t answer. But I am not sure how often, if ever, I find it, that place of peace. I first wrote ‘turn or find that place of peace’ but then realised that saying that does not describe the truth. There is no bliss, I merely remind myself that everything is ok and breath. I feel exhausted and the need to rest. I daydream of it. I dream of my muscles being relaxed, of waking up rested from underneath white crisp sheets.
I also have a feeling that if I would continue to reveal those voices they would bounce back or more would appear like an in endless game of wooden dolls in a Victorian amusement park.
There is a trigger but I don’t want to talk about it. There is nothing I or anyone else can do. I was out walking with Laura. It had hit me two days before. I would have cancelled on her but we had been talking about this day out for ages. I was relieved that she is a fellow Finn. She does not need to be entertained, she understands silence and awkwardness. I resisted the thoughts for a while. I did not want to say it in my mind although that I did say those words, underneath, as if in the background. Eventually I gave in, it just hurt too much and I didn’t know where to turn to for relief. I repeated louder in my head ‘I want to kill myself’ or I let it ring in my head, I sometimes don’t know which way it is. I thought about slitting my wrists. I saw myself doing it in my mind’s eye. Then I wondered if I would really feel better if I did that. I realised that I wouldn’t and for some time I felt even greater despair. Pain, regret, uncertainty, as if I had been thrown into a dark pit without being able to get out. I doubt that my resolution to pour it all into art is enough. I saw beauty that day, colours, sounds but I was numb. I had no strength, no courage. I didn’t want to go on. I laughed and chatted with Laura, felt that we got to know each other a bit better. We had white wine and cheeses, one of which was so strong and smelly that neither of us could eat it. We finished our lunch by having ice cream by the river. I tried to enjoy everything I could, the rays of sun, the songs of birds, those details that make up my stupid life. I have no future, all I have is the present even though I suffer.
I have to say these things, write them out but I hear or feel mocked every time I do. When I describe my feelings and thoughts I seek relief, to be seen and understood but words are too pretty to convey the ugliness and violence of pain.'You suffer?', ‘Your feelings?’ I hear that presence or memory say, mocking, questioning, undermining. I try not to hear it. I am aware how unattractive I reveal myself to be and I often wonder whether it would be more reasonable to keep all this to myself.
I feel that I have lived a lifetime hiding this. People have come and gone and I have fulfilled my role. At work I am somewhat of a mystery I suppose. Always lovely, always positive, working hard and never complaining, good old stable Carita. My work mode has become second nature to me, to move so quickly, so lightly and with such grace. It has its merits because acting like this because taking that role lifts me up when I have had to pull myself together from what pieces anxiety has left me with. I cannot however forget how I came to behave in this way. It is method of distraction that I adopted to safe guard myself from the intruding comments of Tom. It worked with him because he only occasionally came to the coffee shop but it didn’t work with Martin. He wanted something for himself. His presence quickly became suffocating. Many were initially- and still are- fooled by his charming manners and his good looks. I get anxious and lose my ability to put things into words when I try to tell anyone what it was like working with him.
I have written that last sentence several times. I have to remind myself to breathe, all the time hearing ‘You’re making this up’. I used to try to prove within my writing or on the rare occasions within telling anyone about some things that I wasn’t making it up or whatever I felt I was accused of but it doesn’t work. I still feel hunted. Maybe it is a better ploy to reveal it although I am afraid that I will be judged, told that I am mad, wrong, unreasonable. That what I see and feel is not true. Essentially what my father did to us.
I feel very vulnerable in revealing what goes through my mind but I am exhausted by it. I want to live, have fun, have a life. I have lost so much already.
* some names have been changed