All Secrets Known

Hope

A New Beginning

Time to start living

Like Just before we Died.

 

Hurt falling through fingers.

Trust in the feeling

There’s something left Inside.

 

Call 

All wounds are healing

Strong

Truth is worth saving

I want to feel alive.

 

There’s no going back to the place we started from.

All secrets known.

 

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Flashbacks

I feel really weird today. My C-PTSD symptoms seem to be creeping back into my life. They were gone for so long… maybe a

year. Now I’m that crazy guy that tics. I don’t really care because I’ve gotten so used to it and people in NYC are used to ignoring everyone else. I’m having flashbacks again. They’re usually depicted in the movies, inaccurately, as someone in a trance, freaking out in a grocery store, as if they’re back in Vietnam dodging land mines. I’ve heard this can happen but it’s rare. I would describe flashbacks as memories and their associated emotions that become louder than the environment I’m actually in. It happens a lot when I’m commuting or walking down the street: whenever my mind has a chance to wander. Something triggers a memory and suddenly I’m feeling intense emotions as if what I’m remembering is happening right then and there.

You’d think I would flash back to traumatic memories from childhood but I don’t. I flash on recent things… like the time I was waiting in line at Duncan Donuts and ordered a donut and felt bad about it. Or I’ll recall the time I sent that angry email that I shouldn’t have. Or that time I couldn’t remember someone’s name and stammered a bit before recovering.

In therapy I learned that there is a kind of psychological filter most people develop that allows us to forget all of these trivial blunders. They just don’t matter and a healthy psyche knows this and allows us to fully process the experience in the moment and then it rolls off our back. Everyone forgets a name… I’m not perfect… who cares. That kind of thing.

I learned that somewhere in my early development this filter was eroded in my psyche. I think of that classic black and white footage of buildings being blown apart by the blast from a nuclear test.

It leaves me exposed. Trivial or perceived blunders are really painful and they haunt me. I’m trying to remember what helped me get rid of them.

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Gifts for the Universe


I’m past two interviews for a new job opportunity that completely came out of nowhere. Its a marketing design job, which is what I’ve done for the past 8 years in NYC. The company is very well known. Let’s just say it’s named after a fruit that keeps doctors away. (!)

Nailed the phone interview. The first in person meeting couldn’t have gone better. In fact I don’t know I’ve ever been so at ease and confident in an interview. I have all of the experience they’re looking for in spades. I am setting up the next round of interviews for next week.

This is a very competitive position, so I’m trying to stay grounded and remember that while it’s gone very well it isn’t a sure thing. BUT… if I got it this would be like a gift from the universe. Like the universe is saying, “oh shit you need health insurance. Here you go.” I’d be able to get back onto my proper medication (I’m starting the less effective generic version which is still damn expensive when you’re paying out of pocket). I’d be able to see my psychiatrist regularly (which is crucial with bipolar since our meds are adjusted in an ongoing basis).

The workload would be intense I’m sure and I’m prepared for that. I plan on being very protective of my sleep, eating healthy, getting to the gym, and getting to my Dr no matter what job I take in the future.

Normally I wouldn’t tell anyone about this kind of thing. I like to keep the possibility of good fortune to myself so I don’t jinx it. I’m kind of superstitious I guess. But I’ve got a good feeling about this one. We’ll see what happens.

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Goodbye Therapy

Since I’m losing my health insurance I’ve put my therapy sessions on hold. I have a great therapist — she’s been a big help over the years. She really knows her job. I’m a smart guy and I need a really smart therapist to offer insight that I don’t have access to.  I’ve worked with her every week for almost 5 years. I’ve grown and healed so much in that time.

While now is far from an ideal time, it may be a good thing to take a break. As she says, I’m a mess, but I’m a strong mess lol. I’m taking these changes as an opportunity to invest in myself, chart a new life path that meets my needs as a 32 year old man. I’m starting a job search to gain a higher salary and a benefits package. I may even start painting again.

It is scary though… to be on my own. I’ve depended on therapy to help me through rough weeks. I’ll probably be relying on friends and family for support a bit more now.

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Losing Insurance

My ex is pulling the plug on my health insurance. My psychiatrist probably charges $150 per session, and my therapist about $100. The meds that I’m on now, that have worked wonderfully and kept me stable, are both $400 per month. I can’t afford any of this.

I wondered if things would get bad enough between us that it would come to this. At first I felt a bit panicked. I have been paying for it since my separation. Nevertheless communication has broken down so much that he feels the need end it.

Looking on the bright side, this is the last card he has to play, the last manipulation. And while it will be a struggle I know I can get though it.

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Say Goodbye

Today was a hard day.  I drove from Brooklyn to northeast Pennsylvania to say goodbye to what had been my summer home for 9 years, and to collect my things. This farmhouse and it’s 300 acres of land has been in my ex’s family for generations. His grandfather passed away in 2003 at which point the family (who have all moved away from the area) came to clean the house. I was a part of this. It was a difficult thing for the family, grieving the loss of their father and figuring out what to do with this old and neglected house that no one really wanted to invest time or money into.

My ex and I decided we would adopt it and use it as our place for summer weekends. Please understand just how run down this place is: mold and mildew rises from the basement, the water intake is a spider-filled cement pit on top of a hill that is clogged with mud every spring. I would hold onto my ex’s legs and he hung upside down unclogging the pipes. Every drawer in the kitchen was broken. Every cupboard had something moldy and rotting in it… probably blankets. There was a stair case hallway that could only have been organized by hoarders. As well as the three boarded-up rooms upstairs that had decades of junk stored in them.

Ceiling plaster breaks and falls in this place. It’s had ants, mice, and bats. Every spring something major would break. One year it was the pipe running underground to the water source: water had been left in it over winter which expanded and burst the pipe. Another year the wastewater pipe clogged. The toilet caved in through the floor (did I mention the damp and mold problem?).

At first I was terrified to sleep in this place. It was so creepy. But I did it for my ex. And as time went by we made it our own, and I came to love it.

Over the years I painted the garage, painted the trim, raked the leaves, scrubbed the porch, built framed screens for the basement windows (mold!), painted the pig scalding cauldron the family proudly displays in the yard as a planter, stripped then repainted outdoor metal chairs from the sixties. I cleaned out closets and organized them. I painted old furniture. I tore down a damaged drop ceiling. I painted the kitchen and the bathroom after a furnace blowback coated the walls with grease and soot. I built a fence to hide the compost behind. I helped my ex garden in the hot summer dirt for days, collecting spider bites as we transplanted tiger lilies along the road. I removed dead animals from the yard. I helped a lamb untangle itself from barbed wire.

May was when we opened the farm for the season: wrestling with the plumbing and the fussy pump in the basement. My mother and sister joined us and planted gardens around the property. In June the fireflies came out and we would sit in the yard at night and watch the hills glow. In July we would hang out at the local town’s parade. We’d watch shooting stars laying on the driveway at night. I’d bake cakes from recipes I found in Martha Stewart Living to make my farm seem a bit tasteful. In August we’d hike in a local park full of waterfalls. I’d play guitar by campfire. We’d watch the sunset from a special spot on a hill. We watched hawks. We discovered a beaver dam in the woods. One time we were scared by a hissing mink. We would bring our cats to visit. My childhood cat actually passed away at the farm.

He and I made that place what it is. No family members spent time there before we fixed it up, lived in it, and brought it back to life.

This place is my home. We would rock in rocking chairs that I purchased for our anniversary, hold hands, and dream about the future and all the possibilities for the land and the house.

There’s a cemetery nearby where every generation of my ex’s family is buried. We planned on being buried there together.

Today I drove and collected my belongings. I couldn’t bare the thought of waiting until May, when my ex will be opening up the place with a new boyfriend, supervising me as I pack up, robbing me of dignity.

As if I’m a stranger in that house.

I have no financial stake in the place, but it was mine. Now my ex refers to it as, “his family’s house.”

I said goodbye in an angry way. In the way I needed to. I didn’t even want a  lot of the stuff there. I just wanted to collect the part of me that lived there, and save it, and keep it mine.


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Dear Asshole

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