crazy, happiness, life, love, mind, psychology, relationships

When no one owes you anything

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– I want to feel safe. Am I asking too much? – She was desperately crumpling the napkin, sickly dramatic and hysterically panicky.  – What should I do to feel safe?

Her mind mercilessly threw at her ample reasons for being scared, “I will get fired, my boyfriend will stop paying my bills, I will end up broke and in debt, I can’t do much about it, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.

Her stable job, the house in a walled community, annual vacations in Spain, and weekends in spa salons did not silence her fears and painful insecurity. Sleeping pills were only a short-term turn-off button, a temporary night relief. Her mornings started with swollen eyelids in the bathroom mirror and the loud cry for help running through her mind and echoing from the walls, the floors, and the ceiling, “I am insecure, please, please, please, help”.

 – Have you ever felt safe?

She slowly shook her head blinking excessively through the cigarette smoke.  – It must be my childhood, it was crappy, I never felt loved, no one really cared, I was abused; physically, mentally, sexually ….

She loved rationalizing her fears, it made her sound smart and romantically miserable.  Her helpless sex appeal attracted men and women, everyone wanted to help, she willingly accepted help; nevertheless, feeling insecure, immature, and lonely.

One day, I ran into her in a local grocery store. She looked so different, so glowing that I could hardly recognize her. We exchanged usual hugs, kisses, and compliments.

My polite “how have you been?” was answered with a brief and quiet smile, I got curious, I wanted to know that was going on.

 – Well, – she took a deep breath and reached out to tofu cheese. She was religiously vegan and crazily passionate about animal rights. She thought animals give unconditional love; she cared for them, and hated humans. – Well, – she repeated, carefully studying the package ingredients, – Rick dumped me.

 – What??? – I felt shocked. Rick was one of her dates, a wealthy guy who gave her descent monthly arrangements and took care of all her bills. – I am so sorry, who is providing for you now?

 – No one.  – she put the tofu back on the shelf and slowly turned around, – I am by myself, and I lost my job.

There was no regret in her voice, she sounded surprisingly calm.

 – How are you feeling?

 – Crappy, and freaking unsafe, – again, her voice was amazingly nonchalant. I sensed no panic, no sorrow, nothing.

 – You do not seem to look that …. that stressed, please… do not think I am saying it to make you feel bad, I am just saying that I am observing…. I… I … -am so sorry…. – I knew my words sounded pretty awful, the more I spoke, the more stupid I felt.

 – No, no, please do not apologize, – she giggled, briefly tucking her hair behind the ears; at that moment, she reminded me of a Disney chipmunk, huge eyes, cartoon smile, animal quickness, and nonchalance, damn nonchalance. – Rick told me he got tired of being treated like a wallet. He said he found a woman, and… and fell in love. And my job… I never actually liked it, I resigned the day before he left, so … I finally got what I was always afraid of: no money, no stability, nothing.

 – What are you going to do?

 – I do not know, – her voice changed, she got more serious, – After all these years of running away from poverty, hunger, and … and from everything that I call unsafety, I ran into it. And it feels different from what I expected. It feels bad, it feels ugly, but it still feels alive. I am still alive, not dead, does it make sense?

I nodded, she continued – Yes, more alive than when I was with Rick, I used him for money and… and for his cock. Craving for safety, I kept taking but never gave anything back. Now, I am unsafe, but I am not craving, I am no longer a safety addict.

 – What are you going to do?

 – I wanna get my hair braided, and then, then I do not know.

 – How are you going to live?

She suddenly broke out in laughter, – like I lived before, my dear, panicky and unsafe. But here is the thing.  – She stopped laughing and gave me a long and expressive look, – No one owes me nothing. No one will spend sleepless nights thinking how to make me feel safe and happy. It makes no sense to use anyone, and to expect anything. Now I get it, it is a relief. It is a f*cking RELIEF!

She proceeded to a check-out, looking nonchalant, skinny, insecure, and happy, crazily happy.      

crazy, happiness, health, life, mind, psychology, relationships

Dead-end, Endless Mind Games

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The dead-end was everywhere. Everywhere she went, everyone she met, every life situation she faced was infused with the gloom of hopelessness and despair.

In relations, in career, at school, and with friends, she felt the doors kept slamming in her face or even worse, she saw no doors, just the concrete wall, cold and unbreakable.

Her mornings felt greyish, by noon the depression gradually waned turning desperation into the slightly lighter afternoons when her mind started generating more and more new ideas how to break damn the wall, how to fight the dark endlessness, and to finally make a change in her life. She got involved in copious projects insanely wasting herself on buying stocks and selling lipsticks; her afternoons were the time she had sparkles of hope that she is moving somewhere temporary silencing the dead-end anguish.

Her evenings started with routine workouts and phone calls from men offering the sugar-baby fix: “How much do you need to leave your job and stay with me, hun? You and your son are pretty amazing, give me the number, and you will get paid as soon as you move in” .

  • It is crazy, you are crazy, – her body was shaking with tears and laughter. Small, pale, anorexically thin, showing ribs through nearly transparent skin. Anemic and unable to look through the dead-end. Desperate and distressed – the more she tried the less resolution she saw.

She knew that going to bed at night slightly hyper with new thoughts and ideas was a very temporary relief; since each morning began with falling into the gloom of a new depressive episode.

I tried to help. I tried to plant a seed of common sense in her hysterical, “I will NEVER EVER change anything in my life”. I gave her some reasoning, which I thought would work, but she was blind and deaf, totally married to her problems and obsessive about doing, doing, doing, acting, acting, acting to find the way-out.

It happened late in the afternoon when I left a beauty store absorbing Florida warmth with every cell of my body. I felt her in a usually strapless dress, holding a rose soup, and looking for the vehicle. Petite, nervous, and fearful. I suddenly realized that it does not make any sense to argue that the dead-end is only in her head; and that her frantic efforts to act are as illusory as the problem that she created.

I realized that she will always be here, scared, tiny, subservient and naïve. She is one of myriad personalities the mind creates on a daily basis; and proving to her that neither her dead-end, nor she exists is a waste of time and energy.

I got tired of reacting to her drama, enticing victimization, the infinite desire to resist and fight. Her presence did not bother me, I did not care.

I found the vehicle, put the scented soap on the front seat, and smiled to the rear-view mirror. I was not sure which personality I saw, but I did not care, it did not matter to me any longer.

 

life

Violence Through the Velvet Glove

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 – You are a unique woman, you are intelligent, beautiful, and magical. I have always wanted a son to inherit my business. I had bad luck before, my wife was mentally ill, extremely dysfunctional. And I have found you, you are sexy, smart, and we will start a family, – Dave’s voice was deadly cold and dispassionate.

 – You have a daughter, my dear.

 – I want a son, a family, you are the ideal candidate, why banter?

 There was something cruel about his seemingly nice and smiley demeanor. Something that kept raising red flags in my mind, but I could not figure out what exactly it was.

– I want you to join me this weekend, – he kept talking, detached, serious, and cold. The day was chilly. We were sitting outside a local diner where he took me for lunch. I was wrapping myself in a shawl trying to stay warm on that rainy afternoon. – I have a nice ranch in Colorado, you will like it. I will take care of all your expenses, I will buy you a flight, pay for your own rental vehicle, you will have your own room there, you will be happy I promise. – His voice was dull, his smile was artificially pleasant.

I was quiet and freezing; I needed a hug, but he was not making any attempts to move closer.

 – Vixen, everyone wants to marry me. You have no idea how lucky you are. I am worthy of your time.   

 – You should … – I suddenly lost my voice. Breathing in cold air triggered bad coughing. – You should love the person you want to marry otherwise starting a family makes no sense.

 – I know exactly what I want, I chose you, and I will pursue you. I know you much better than you can imagine. – He was mercilessly cold, and it was scary.  – I did not mean to upset you or be an ass, I am just being honest.

 – I am too hysterical, too psychotic, too anorexic, and too pedestrian for you. You should find a better fit, – my body was shivering, my mind was unable to focus, early signs of sinus infection got me anxiously irritated.

 – Stop telling me what I need, – metal voice, polite manners, and a smell of freshness from his polo shirt. He clearly used a high-quality laundry detergent.

 – I am panicky, I worry all the time, – I kept going talking with my hands, hurrying to express myself prior being cut off again

– This is what makes you so appealing to guys, Vixen, your panic attacks.

What do you mean? – I stiffened in astonishment, the shawl slid under the table exposing me entirely to the humid and windy afternoon.

 – You are very helpless and naïve when you panic. You open up quickly, you get horny, you give yourself to a man completely, you can be used in all different ways, and it is very hot. I love your panic attacks. – The wind was blowing harder, leaving goose bumps on my naked shoulders and clogging my ears. He was fascinated with my panic attacks, it was concerning, it did not sound right. – I have learned about you much more than you think. I know you date other guys Vixen, that’s fine until we commit to a relationship.

 – Did Heather tell you this? – the threat was here, close, knocking on my temples, causing heart palpitations and shivering down my spine.

 – I do not discuss the woman I chose for the marriage with a prostitute. Come on, you really think I am such a fool and do not know what is going on in your personal life? I always stay informed, otherwise I would not be who I am. I know you are feeling scared now, you are so cute.

He was right. I was scared. The smiley mask of a blue-eyed, sandy-blonde, and well-mannered guy fell off revealing the claws of a cold-blooded and cynically relentless stranger. It started raining again, cold drops on my skin and harsh wind in the ears caused excessive eye-tearing. I was getting sick.

 – So, I feel anxious, I panic, and you like it? – my voice was calm, but I emoted heavily through my gestures.

 – Stop twisting what I say. I will go slow, no rush, I understand that you need time to get used to me. I will work on your self-expression later. You should not be too emotional.

The person under the happy-polite-and-easy-going mask was smart and controlling, I was an open book, a toy to play, a pet to train. My head felt heavy, my throat was sore. I thanked him for lunch, gave him a hug, and hurried to the nearest grocery store for lemon and honey. I needed to treat my cold.

 

life

Fears, Panic, Anxiety, Coping

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Anxiety attacks feel like being entirely submerged underwater, unable to breathe, to see, to hear. Fear takes over everything, and the whole world shrinks as panic grows.

The mind keeps repeating “what if, what if, what if” freezing me with horror, taking me to the nightmare of being homeless and hungry over, and over, and over again.

 – What is your biggest fear? – I asked Heather the other day, she got pensive for a second and laughed nervously.

– What are your plans for this weekend? – she quickly shifted the subject, opening up and showing her real self was not something she was ready to do.

– Shopping.

 – I thought you will be with Dave.

I shook my head,There was something wrong about Dave, something fake. He kept smiling playing the role of a real gentlemen with chivalry and manners. “I am from Michigan, and I am a gentleman, Vixen”. At the same time, he was persistent about taking me to his car and bringing me to his place. “You will love it, it is nice and big and on the water”. His invitations were denied. I like big dicks and sincerity; big houses and fakeness do not impress me much.

Panic hit me in the face that morning. I had difficulty breathing and tried to drink some water to relieve tension. My throat shrank, as I was attempting to swallow. I crawled under the blanket; feeling the softness of the plush with both legs was comforting. I started stroking myself under the covers, watching the bluishness of the fish tank water. I wish I were like my tetras; eating, swimming, mating. Watching the fish was relaxing. I felt better. Another attempt of sipping water was more successful, I felt the refreshing coldness in my stomach and smiled. The fear of poverty and hunger got smaller. I was ready for pull-ups and shopping.

Jim kept texting until I block his number. I needed a new job, he wanted sex. I asked for help, he asked for the permission to stop by and f*ck. There was obviously no match between us.

Heather gave me a call later offering to go boating. Watching the sun and the water had always been the biggest healer. I eagerly accepted the invitation and threw a couple of apples in my purse for lunch prior leaving my apartment. Boats always balanced me out, healed my panics, gave me the reality check I needed. The brackish water was calm and greenish. We had to proceed slowly in order not to hit manatees, I kept waving to elderly couples in passing boats, watching lovely seafront villas. Air in the ears, water on my skin. The panic waned, I started smiling, back on the boat and happy again.

– You previously asked me about my fears, Vixen.

– Yes, – I stopped rubbing sun-screen on the shoulders and looked at Heather. Surprisingly, she remembered our recent conversation.

– I am afraid to get old.

I saw the fear in her eyes and gave her a hug. – You should be happy if you manage to die old my dear. Not everyone is that lucky. Plus, you have enough savings to enjoy your life once males stop providing for you. You will always have the lifestyle an average girl will never be able to afford.

– I know, – she giggled and nervously changed the conversation.

Our fears were similar in severity. She was scared to lose her beauty and her power over wealthy guys, I was scared to lose the roof over my head unable to feed my son. She coped with her panic through faking happiness, I welcomed my demons since running away from them made no sense. I neither hid from myself, nor fought with the inevitable. I observed the panic, listened to the crazy mind-talk knowing that sooner or later the anxiety will walk away, and I will be able to move on. It was my way of coping, and it helped.

My anxiety was gone, I slept good that night, and woke up rested the next morning.