Updated: Mar 3
It's whatever the day after Ash Wednesday is (Drop Thursday?) and I'm frozen. Not literally. But stuck. Trapped by what I vaguely understand is actual terror, watching my mind run screaming from every thought it circles inevitably back to.
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I'm trying to pack. I'm trying to send an online change of address form to the post office. I'm trying to make lists, make notes, move forward. Do reasonable things like make plans to say goodbye to friends. But every time my focus lets down, for a micro-second, I'm spinning and terrified and I just stop, and put my head in my hands, and grope for some feeling of security anywhere, for someplace to touch ground.
While I'm writing this, Ukraine is being pounded by Putin's ego, translated into bombs and blood shed for him by others. Ukraine is the most visible, at the moment, manifestation of what terror truly looks like, but by no means the only place where deep horror is unspooling on top of innocent beings. I'm so, so, soooo aware of how ridiculous it is that I feel terror, too, right now. Terror because we're bleeding money and my animal family is sick and we leave the place I wanted to be home, in just three days, for a place that never was. I get it. I get how, by comparison, my terror looks like self-indulgence.
I guess what I want to do is stop comparing, for a moment. Because, at root, I'm not afraid of credit card debt or the vast discomfort and inconvenience of upheaval or even, really, the tumors that may be lurking in my dog's brain, in my cat's stomach. Those are the things of life and even when they're hard, they're not the stuff of terror. But I don't lie to myself about my feelings anymore, if I can help it.
I'm in low-grade, panic-stricken paralysis. I'm SO FUCKING SCARED I almost can't function. The only thing keeping me from fetal-ing on the floor is the fact that I know I won't be allowed to stay there. And what that terror is actually about, is, I think, the same thing terror is always actually about. Not so much the situation around us, but the fear (or sense?) that we won't survive the situation around us.
I, right now, don't see myself surviving, in any essential way, what's actually going on with me. Which is only so much about the situation, and mostly about what the situation is making me face. I don't know how to look this starkly at how desolate my life feels and come out the other side of that.
I have things to do. I have to sort and tidy. Pack. There are (aren't there always?) errands. I have people to see, or proactively apologize for not seeing. I have to put gas in the car. And clean out the car... oh crap. That bag of clothes for donation I've been carrying around for months, never finding a place to donate them... I have an appointment to get my hair cut. I'm going to have to see people, today. Interact. Make conversation. I don't know how I'm going to do that. I'm so incredibly tired of talking to people about anything other than what's actually going on with me.
I don't want to have one more "fine" conversation. As in, "I'm fine." And then going on to talk about things as though they matter. Can't everyone tell I'm performing "fine"? I don't even think I'm performing it well. If you're reading this, and you saw or spoke to me during the years of 2020 and 2021, and the early months of 2022, I'm sorry. You were talking to a ghost.
If you saw or spoke to me later than that, I'm glad to hear it. It's nice to think, as I write, that someday these words will be in the past, some version of me will have lived past this horrifying (and utterly mundane) day and maybe she even stopped being a ghost, at some point.
That's one of the things I'm hoping to do with this blog. Write myself out of this. To be honest, I expected some small sense of relief to come from writing these words today. From saying, out loud, how scared I am, how stuck and overwhelmed and what it is I'm actually afraid of. I thought that doing so would gift me some space, some slight ease.
Can't say it has, though. It's just thirty minutes later than it was when I started writing, and all the things to do remain to do, my dog is still panting and twitching next to me on the couch. I'm still waiting on calls from two different veterinarians about test results. I still have to make a decision (soon soon soon) about lunch today. Will it be a goodbye lunch? Or will it be what feels like a preciously scarce moment of alone time before the deadlines get deadlier?
Doesn't bode well for this project, but honestly, having written all this, I don't feel even a tiny bit better, nor has anything shifted or aerated in any way. And that's just true.
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