Well, it turns out that you can’t tell your therapist that you’re too tired to fake being a person all the time without her becoming very concerned.

I didn’t even get around to telling her about the massive panic attack I had on Tuesday.

So, she’s going to talk to my doctor. I’m going to see my doctor in a week.

I guess shit will happen.

Feels like a particularly bad time to lose my mind, but maybe it’s just a particularly bad time to have waited so long to get help.

Anyway, the podcast recording went great. I’m going to have a story in the Nashville Retrospective and in the Nashville Scene in April about the Looby bombing. I’m pondering pitching something to some bigger outlets.

This is the blanket I’m working on right now. The yarn is pretty inconsistent, but I like how it’s looking worked up.

It has these cool wiggles.

Still Here

Sorry for the silence. I used to feel like I had a lot to say, but I don’t so much anymore. I assume it will come back.

I did make paper, but it wasn’t dry before I left my friend’s place, so we didn’t print on it.

I’m working on an afghan that I really like and I’ll put up pictures later.

And today I’m going to record a podcast, which I’m pretty stoked about.

My parents have decided, at least for now, that they’re not going to move. They might think about it again in five years. I’d like to tell you that I have complicated feelings about this, but I don’t. I just feel relief.

And, frankly, anger. I just realized this as I’m typing this, so I’m not sure why this pisses me off, but it pisses me off.

I think maybe a little it pisses me off that I fucking broke this winter. I wanted to die. I laid on the ground in my back yard hoping the earth would swallow me up or I’d get hit by a meteor or something in this goddamn world would make sense. I splayed open emotionally and I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through.

And for what? For nothing. For things to be exactly how they were. For them to chicken out.

Which feels dumb to be mad about because I don’t want them here.

But it just also feels like this is how reckless and careless they are when it comes to me. That they would cause all this for no reason.

Also, I’m pissed about how cool I am and yet no one wants to date me. And I’m also super pissed about being pissed because I don’t want to date anyone right now. Which makes me feel like, even though I’m feeling better, my anxiety brain is still trying to find a way to make me feel like I’m fundamentally unloveable.

When maybe the world is just filled with dumbasses?

Ha ha ha. Lord. God. I’m so tired of feeling like shit.

Words I Made

On the left are some words from the bombing manuscript. I printed those! Like, that paper was blank and now it has my words on it because I wiggled my fingers and moved my arms.

I set the type for my name, put all the letters in order backwards.

I’m going to make some paper, next. Put words that I wrote on paper I made.

Then I’m going to have all kinds of feelings about it.

Me and Some Letters

Y’all, I spent the afternoon farting around printing things on a letter press printer and it was so much fun and cool.

I typeset my name and the press makes this incredibly satisfying series of “ka-chunk” sounds.

And there was a plate (I guess? I don’t know what this shit is called) of my own words. Words from the bombing book.

And it made me feel a way I don’t know how to articulate. A kind of existential wideness. Or something.

Stuff I’m Mulling Over

My friend is going to be a dad. He’s colorblind and I wanted him to have something for the baby that he could know he was seeing as it is. Maybe this is just my hangup because of the headspace I’m in, but the idea that everything in the baby’s life is going to leave you out in a way you can’t do anything about just bugged the shit out of me.

I just wanted there to be something he could know he sees as the baby sees.

I have a bunch of leftover yarn, too, so I’m going to make two or three for them.

I talked to the Butcher. It helped a lot and I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the necessity of drawing boundaries and whether and how I’m able to do so. And I’m trying to think of this time as painful because I’m repairing.

But I talked to my therapist about how I believe Life will make you eat crow from time to time and how I used to think that multiple personality disorder was a con to get you on Donahue. But now that I’m living through my brain doing this weird shit? Like, obviously, I’m not developing multiple personalities. But I’m in a room at one end of a long hall, metaphorically, with folks dealing with that at the other end of the hall.

And now I know the hall is real. So, I also see their room is real. And it makes me cringe about how I was a jerk about it earlier.

But she explained, too, that disassociation (and I guess multiple personality disorder now is considered some kind of dissociative disorder?) is a protective mechanism. The problem isn’t the dissociation. It’s when that protective mechanism malfunctions.

And that also made me feel better. Me and my brain. We’re trying. We’re both hoping for what’s best for me. And sometimes we know how to do that and sometimes we don’t. But it’s still coming from a place of caring about myself and wanting myself to feel safe and loved.

And I feel like that’s a good thing to know about myself.

Turning into the Skid

They teach you–or they taught me, anyway–that when your car loses contact with the road, because you’re hydroplaning or sliding on ice, you should take your foot off the gas and keep your steering wheel turning in the direction you want to be going.

So, if you start sliding through an intersection you’re trying to go straight at and your car starts to go left, you turn your wheel right. If you start to go too far right, you turn your wheel left. You’re still going to slide, no matter what, but the point is to try to make it through the skid without an accident.

I guess this metaphor is too on the nose.

I’ve been sliding sideways since Thanksgiving. I think I realized in time that I needed to take my foot off the gas. But I’ve really only taken the steps I need to turn in the right direction in the last couple of weeks.

I’m still sliding, though, and I wish there was some visual representation–some color I could wear or a hat or something–that would let people know my brain is not working correctly and that I need time and space and gentleness.

I talked to my friend. We’re okay. I still feel super fucked up about it, though.


On the good side:

I went to see my editor’s band. It was fantastic and, with the exception of having to be in a crowd where multiple strangers touched me, I had a great time.

My editor’s wife wants me to make some flowers for her spring collection. Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

A friend introduced me to Robbie Basho and I love it.

I’m going to have an excerpt from my book in the Scene in April.

My book will have a cover by then! Maybe sooner.

I got a lot of good coverage in Publishers Weekly: here and here.

I’m making a baby blanket for my color-blind friend and I’m loving how it’s turning out:

On the bad side:

Shit’s fucked up. I’m fucked up. I’m crying a lot and I’m so tired.

And I think my craziness has ruined a friendship that was important to me and I’m bummed and stressed out about it. And mad.

The anger feels like not a good thing.


One of the reasons I’m glad my therapist called this an assault is that it makes sense for me of why I’m still off-kilter even though I’m home and everything’s now fine.

I’m injured.

Take today, which was a good day. I put my afghan on display at the Frist Museum:

I had the delightful experience of handing the afghan to my co-worker and watching his utter confusion when he realized I was handing it to him to take home to his wife.

Then I threw a three minute dance party for my coworker and she laughed so wonderfully that I thought my heart would burst.

And then I went straight into a two hour funk. I needed to ask my other coworker to help me with a thing and I just couldn’t do it. I had such anxiety about it.

I sent him part of what I needed and apologized and told him I had to go home, eat, and pet my dog and then try again to give him the rest.

I’m very thankful that I can just be completely nuts to my coworkers and they’re so kind and understanding. But Christ.

But as I was thinking about being bummed about how my anxiety has made me into a weirdo, I thought about that word, “assault.” Because what happens when you’re assaulted? You get injured.

It’s like when you sprain your ankle and you get so bored just resting it so you decide you can, I don’t know, dance all evening and at some point your ankle is just like “No, I was not ready for this much activity yet.”

And that’s where my brain is. I am feeling better. So much better.

But I’m not ready for this much activity yet. I still need to take it easy.

How It Continues to Go

I had coffee with S. yesterday. She said some wise things. Made me assure her I’d talk to my therapist about other things.

I told my therapist that I am mildly sympathetic to my parents’ perspective on my life–that I have no one and nothing and my life is small and boring and I am unhappy–because that’s what I show them.

I don’t want them to meet my friends. I don’t want them to be here for things that are important to me if they can’t be supportive. I’m convinced that there’s nothing good of mine they won’t ruin and I don’t want them to have access to my good things. To people I care about.

But also, a thing I said to S. that I hadn’t quite articulated to myself is that it really pisses me off that I’m broken right along lines they put in me–the belief that I’m unlovable because I’m fat, that no one will ever love me for various reasons, that people must just pity me and not really like me, etc. etc. etc. And then they’re pissed at me that I’m broken RIGHT WHERE THEY BROKE ME.

The things I’m responsible for? They work okay. I have good friends and an interesting life I like. I like my job. I feel very, very lucky in so many ways. I have built myself this good thing.

The stress fractures in my foundation aren’t because I’m “too” anything–too smart, too ambitious, too weird. They’re there from them.

And I feel like they’re angry both that I couldn’t survive them in one piece and that I’m surviving them.

How It Went

Well, I came back to my office, did the phone call I needed to do, then shut my door and listened to The Wall until it was just impractical to hide from people.

I told my therapist everything I could think to tell her. She said, “So, you were repeatedly assaulted. Repeatedly verbally assaulted. And then they wanted you to do nice things for them.”

She asked me if I had any food in my fridge.

She asked me if I was leaving the house.

She asked me if I was fantasizing about being dead.

She asked me if I tried to kill myself.

Was I doing drugs?

Was it interfering with my ability to go to work and function?

I asked her if psychologically defensive narcolepsy was a thing and she said not really, but most likely my brain had just shut down in order to protect me and, if it only happened once, I shouldn’t worry about it happening again.

I told her how I feel like my coping mechanism for dealing with my parents–just going with the flow, being a leaf upon the river of their ridiculousness–contributed to me feeling unreal the longer I hang around them.

She said that repeatedly having your boundaries disregarded will make you feel unreal. And I’ve been thinking so hard about that, how we are who we are because we can firmly say “This is where I start. This is where I end. These things are me. These things are not me.”

But if you can’t enforce those lines? If you can’t keep others from rushing in and taking over, then, fuck yeah, you start to feel unreal. You’re missing your outside edge.

I also talked to the youngest member of the League of Publishing Gentlemen about this, too, about how my strategy between Thanksgiving and Christmas had just been that I could deal if I was not in my right mind.

And he said, “So, you could handle it if you were someone else.”

Which, ouch, but yes.

So, yeah, I’m back in therapy.

Also, listening to a lot of Pink Floyd.

Oh, and I finished this afghan except for the tail-tucking.