Terrifying moments, as referenced in my last post:
Spiraling road up the side of a mountain in Southern California, 1992: My car wouldn’t start. I was on an afternoon joyride in my little, tan Dodge Colt. I had pulled into a gas and food mini-mart with a few small booths. A man approached me. He said, Would you like to go with me for a ride into the mountains?
My life at that time was generally so terrifying that it didn’t phase me. I said no and got up a few moments later and went out to my car which did start and I left and never went back there in my mind.
A little before that I got lost driving in the mountains somewhere outside San Francisco when we went to visit some of my ex;s personal and professional friends there. It was very frightening. Miles and miles of winding roads, finally I ran across a Fire station and they set me back on course. I figure that at that moment I fielded the bad moment in San Francisco when I visited former roommate S. and got lost in down town San Francisco and found my way out. This afforded and permitted the later paradigm shift where that person was happily lost in a both scary and lovely way, never to go there again in the present tense.
That takes me back to the terrifying moment in Cambridge at the end of the 1982, Fall Semester when I was trying to write a final paper in a Philosophy course about Modern Literature; I was grasping for something I didn’t have; I was failing out of my other 2 courses, only taking 3. One professor tried to fail me as I was taking the course pass fail and he was pretty angry with me. I had bounced from a behavioral psych course to a French Language Course to his Chaucer course, and, as it was so late in the Semester he told me I couldn’t go Pass/Fail. So, I don’t clearly remember but it was too late in the semester to enroll fpr a grade. It was the opposite, they WOULD ONLY enroll me Pass/Fail. I guess it was grace that I complained that i knew I had earned a D (D-?). At that point I believed I was in the course for a grade and I wanted my D. That is the truth. I knew that I had passed the exam and had gotten a C on the paper. I was mostly going by High School knowledge.
All that was followed by but not necessarily causing a suicide attempt so everybody was back-pedaling on it and they let me go back. But, I probably shouldn’t have.
It was just so terrifying all alone in that little bedroom in Claverly Hall in December of 1982, when everybody had gone home. I wrote a really good paper on Edgar Allen Poe for the American Literature course but couldn’t turn it in because I wasn’t even remotely prepared to sit for the exam. The Senior Tutor advised me to skip it and take the Fail. He just didn’t understand how lost I WAS.
It was a question of extreme mental stress that was so extreme that it had become physical. Everything was etched in Black and White and I couldn’t talk. I was sweating profusely with a foul stench. My little sister heard the word “recluse ” and this was terrifying to her about me and also to me. Because I wasn’t going anywhere or seeing anybody. I had left Summit, NJ, where we were living, years before; and didn’t really have a place there.
Then. I was on the psych ward in Summit.
The mental stress worsened until I met my ex back in 1989. after going to the state hospital and was deeply mentally and physically disorganized because of the second suicide attempt (the overdose that left me in the ICU with the clamped catheter that damaged me)–the physical damage and also the horrific pain and problems mentally physically and emotionally from the awful medicines I was taking. Still, “Hope springs eternal: I met Alex at a dance in Reading and I hoped to marry him. I was no longer able to work.
That went off the rails with the first phone call and here I am today.
He was an answer to all my fear. A Canadian Scot; to answer my ethnicity and nationality woes; a Canadian military officer’s son. Bright blue eyes, burly and strong, soft, almost black hair. He smelled like water. That was probably his most salient quality. At that time I was washing my nutrients and my very life away with 10 tall cups of coffee a day. It was suggested to me at the state hospital to do so and I was holding on to that as a band aid treatment for my whole life: the coffee and cigarettes in my mother’s garage, and driving the whole, country area in my little Dodge Colt.
I was in a holding pattern, waiting for my ex.
He bespoke of the Autobahn in Germany and driving 150 miles an hour.
I learned from him that I was a horrible driver. All that I will say to that now is that today I am a competent one.
I was held up by the bugaboo of the cat Daisy who wasn’t really mine, she belonged to boyfriend J. in Somerville. My mother took in strays.
Daisy went to her and had kittens.
And, I had SO MANY ISSUES WITH CATS goiog back to my early childhood; and he was a Scot of Clan Chattan, clan of the cat.
Today, I am drinking normal amounts of coffee, a couple of mugs a day, and I smoke a relatively moderate amount of cigarettes, a little up at this time but still under a pack a day.
After the overdose in 2016 I couldn’t drink water for months because of the breathing tube, even for a long time after it had come off. It is only coming back to me now. The single most important thing in life. I used to live on saccharine coffee and saccharine drinks. I no longer fault myself on drinking luscious sweet drinks such as naturally sweetened coffee and fresh orange juice. At the boarding home I went to after the 2016 overdose,, the normal enjoyment of food was explained to me. All foods are food. You can have a candy bar or a bag of chips if you are hungry. You cam eat if you are hungry! I LOST WEIGHT THROUGH THAT. Now, I have put it back on again, what with my mother’s death and all; but I am trusting the Lord on this. I understand that this is up to the Lord and not to sweat it.
Alex was so bright and commanding.
My father queered it from the start.
So, in the end it was a healing relationship. However painful it seemed at the time there was so much good in it.
So, this kind of trails off at the end and leads me to a song I often hear in my mind about the farm managers house in Fallbrook that we went to when I was pregnant with our son;
“The long and winding road…that leads to your door…”