So why don’t you slide

Earlier, S asked if I fancied a takeaway – curry from our favourite restaurant – and I agreed. Later he went out with a friend to buy some tools. They’re working on the basement beneath our flat, as technically that’s included in the rent. It’s currently filled with the last owner’s belongings; stacks and stacks of paintings, canvas, frames, lamps, chairs, books… Bob was a hoarder, and a painter. His work’s pretty good actually. Now he’s dead and his wife is in a nursing home (she went downhill very rapidly when he died), somebody has to clear it all. The basement is pretty big, taking up most of the floor space of the house, so it’s a mammoth task.

Anyway, while they were out I got a call from S. He asked me if I wanted to go to the restaurant with his mates instead of getting a takeaway.

Did I do the right thing when I said, “it’s okay, I’m not up to it. You can go along anyway”?

I wasn’t lying. I’m truly not up to it. I tried going for a short walk earlier, and by the time I returned, I was struggling to breathe and sweating like crazy. It’s been so long since I’ve had ‘proper’ exercise. That walk used to take me five minutes. Today, it took thirty.

Straight away S’s tone changed; the first time I’ve ever really heard it do so. He said, “oh. Okay. But we were going to have a takeaway.”

I shrugged him off, “it’s fine, I’m really, really not up to it. We can do it another time”.

He agreed, but… he didn’t sound happy. It’s only when I ended the call that I began to feel that familiar twinge of panic.

Image

Oh god. Oh god oh god oh god you fucking idiot oh god oh god.

I have never once done something (to my knowledge, anyway) to make S angry or disappointed. Unlike my relationship with O, I’ve managed to keep my irrational emotions in check; at least until I’m alone. I’m so determined not to fuck this up. I know it’s classic BPD to say, “oh, I love him so much, he’s my everything, I want to be with him forever” but all that’s got me in the past is a string of disastrous relationships and far too much bitterness. I almost have my head around that now, and the medication certainly helps me keep the more extreme aspects of my behavior in check. So while I know that these feeling might be BPD tricking me and that mental illness has a habit of making me cling to somebody like fuck… I want to believe this is real. I’m pretty sure I know, deep down, I love S with all my heart; how could I not? He’s the only man who has never condescended me. Who has never given me reason to suspect him of wrongdoing. The only man who I’ve felt comfortable enough with to let the mask slip.

I know I love him.

And now I’m scared.

scared-woman

So what did I do? I went straight for the Tramadol.

I’m now sitting at the kitchen table, trying and failing to calm myself with a joint. The urge to crawl into bed and hide under the duvet is overwhelming.

Lighthouses

Lighthouses, they don’t bring you to me,
my torch burned out and lights always fade,
I’ve told this story, I’ve walked this line,
this path of betrayal which we both made.

My touch, does it mean little to you now?
I stand on the sidelines, too afraid to speak.
Always the one who stood in the background,
you’re seeing strangers, but do you ever see me?

A new world, one I can’t bear,
cast out to sea with no strength to swim,
not waving, not drowning, just watching the lighthouses,
throwing their lights on everywhere we’ve been.

Beacons, they never clear your path,
and too many obstacles for me to remove,
a tiny flame long since snuffed out,
the control of strangers with their arms around you.

I draw maps, but they just lead you astray,
who’d ever think you’d be the one who would leave?
So strong, so solid, a thing of perfection,
something of envy, at least that’s what I believed.

Lighthouses, they can’t ever bring you home,
sex destroys everything and love always lies,
strangers surround you and I crash with the waves,
you’ll never come to me first; I’ll never shine.

(c)

Love Story

Faith
was a myth I never quite
believed.

Trust
was a lie, a few
empty words.

Love
was a story I wrote
for you,
and you took it away
so easily.

I turn the pages
but you changed the ending.

(c)

When I met O, I had such hopes and dreams for us; just as I had for every other past relationship. He was to be my saviour, a knight on shining armor to rescue me from every mistake I ever made and every man who ever made me feel worthless. At the time I believed that nobody – not a single other person in the whole world – felt as much for somebody as I did for O. I adored him. Clung to him like a limpet. Demanded his attention 24/7; at the time, I honestly believed I was doing the right thing. I thought he appreciated knowing just how special he was to me.

And for a long time, we wrote a love story together. O was just as attentive and clingy; demanding to know who was texting me or why I’d not answered my phone. We were perfectly destructive for each other, but the constant friction created a passion which kept us coming back to each other, time and time again. 

Then it all changed. He broke free of the bonds we’d created and walked his own path. I thought I had the ending all worked out, but he added his own epilogue. 

Unspoken

Sitting together and so far apart,
a thousand words unsaid and truths unspoken,
I never felt more alone, more out of place,
as I do tonight,
sitting by your side.

.
A bottle in my hand and a cigarette in yours,
I open my mouth but no words will form,
it all seems so trivial when I feel this broken,
when you’re sitting so close to me,
yet not here at all.

(c)

Writing about 2008 is more difficult than I ever imagined. On one hand, I almost feel uncomfortable writing about my past relationships now that I’ve been with S for eighteen months; I know he probably wouldn’t mind, but it must be weird for him to know I’m writing about my exes. On the other hand, it’s only now that I can see just how low I sunk; I knew I was falling apart but what I didn’t realise is that I’d totally cracked long before it got to this point. I can see that now. It’s difficult to think about. I acted in ways I’m not proud of and damaged my body god knows how much with handfuls of amitriptyline, tramadol, diazepam, co-codamol, small antidepressant overdoses to get me through the night in a dazed drug-fuelled stupor instead of having to deal with the reality of everything in my life going incredibly wrong. 

O and I… we stopped speaking one day. Conversation turned to bitter arguments and shouting matches. Slammed doors and a smashed laptop. Midnight chases down the street; it was always me doing the running. I just couldn’t face any of it. 

I remember sitting on his swivel office chair, gulping from a bottle of cheap peach schnapps and watching him smoke cigarette after cigarette, sitting on his bed and brooding. He threw me out that night. 

Of course, we got back together. We did a lot of getting back together. 

Attached at the hip – another oldie

Stars hung low in the sky tonight
Suspended by threads less fragile than ours
Street lights flicker and tobacco burns
A single light glowing in the dark.

The moon covered by a cloud
But hung by a rope, stronger than anything we could have made
Skin deep promises count for so little
On these nights by the windowpane.

A burned out joint in the gutter
A feeling of being anything but high.
Standing smaller in the dark than I’ve ever felt
In the dark, beneath the night sky.

The wind chills my fingers as I watch the road
Waiting for cars, but nobody comes
Just flickering night lights to pave my way
An illumination on all that I’ve done.

Lighting the shame, the guilt and the doubt
A spotlight upon my every move
Why can’t they see, this was only about me?
This was never about my feelings for you.

Stars hang low above my head
On threads made of promises, kisses and sighs
Threads hold us together, attached at the hip
Built of deception, coldness, heartbreak and lies.

(c) 2008

Dear Diary: 17th/19th January 2006

< 9th/10th January

< 11th/12th/13th January

< 14th/15th/16th January

Tuesday 17th January 2006

College was just horrible. Felt ugly, fat, and the mirrors just made me feel worse. I always feel so unattractive in college; maybe it’s because everyone else seems to have great hair. Fell asleep at 7pm, woke up at 11 and now I can’t sleep, again. I’m totally dreading being on reception duty in college tomorrow, but I just can’t force myself to sleep.

Ended up crying to O over the phone tonight; he feels so far away. I’m just exhausted, at a loss what to do about a million things. I hate reading back through all this; it’s so depressing. Not the way I wanted it to be at all. But heck, I’m a serial whinger. That’s why I’m public enemy number one, right? Because I dare to have feelings. I’ve faced worse than all this, I know I have. So why does it feel like I’m dying inside?

I can’t decide what to do with my life. It’s getting me down.

Thursday 19th January

Reception training again. It was so unbelieveably busy and I felt like I’d go crazy. Still, I coped with it; which is something. I get the feeling I’ve overbooked someone, but it serves them right for putting someone so inept in charge of appointments.

I’m really worrying about getting all my course assessments finished in time. I know compared to most of the class I’m actually ahead, but still… it doesn’t feel good enough. I’ve only got until half-term (mid February) to complete, then I have to cough up another £52 for a level 2 logbook.

The diet’s going okay. Cheated a bit at lunchtime – pasta – but it’s okay. I can get back on track. It’s hard at college because everyone usually eats out together on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and it’s hard to stick to a diet when faced with all the things I can’t have. Plus, I don’t want to look like a snob if I don’t go with them or don’t eat. I hate admitting to being on a diet, because somebody always says “you don’t need to!” when I so obviously do. It’s embarassing.

When I started copying out entries from one of my old diaries, the idea was to follow it through right to the end. Then life took over a little and I forgot about it; reading about the past and the tangled mess of college, my relationship with S, and eventually therapy… it was difficult. Looking back with the benefit of hindsight can be painful. I did so much wrong. 

After deciding to go back to my old diary, I discovered it’s lost. The A4-sized black book filled with biro scibblings and breakdowns is nowhere to be seen. I’ve searched under my bed and through my bookcase, and there’s no sign of it. Hopefully I’ll find it when I start packing for the move, but for now… it seems the past is lost. I don’t know how it’ll feel if I never find it. Things have a habit of disappearing in this house.

In the corner, by the door

Tonight, like the last, I thought too much
My mind the enemy like too many times before
The candle by my bed burned out long ago
And somehow I find myself sitting on the floor
In the corner,like I’ve always known
That safe place I always retreat
My head plays tricks on me tonight
In the silent dark, I admit defeat.

Tears flow, the pain won’t end
I sing a song but I can’t sleep
I sit in the corner, cigarette in my hand
Fragments of poems laying around my feet
Too many words, too many lies
When all I need is to hear the truth
Too many heartbreaks, too many times
Too many thoughts of losing you.

My head full of thoughts I’d rather not think
Crippled with images I’d rather not see
Playing like a movie with no happy ending
You and her, when it should be you and me
Sick imagery I can’t forget
Burned forever on my heart and soul
Disappears when you hold my close
But tonight, again, I am alone.

And nights like this, I can hear the rain
I can convince myself it’s all falling apart
I can miss your skin and your breath more than ever
I can feel the cracking of my heart
Once again tonight, I fall from grace
Sitting in the corner, by the door
Heart weighing heavy and thoughts of you
As I sit here, alone on the floor.

These are my words, all I can offer
My prayer to you and all I held dear
This is my heart and these are my feelings
My pain, my heartache, my loneliness, my fear
I close my eyes and count to ten
But it’s not a dream and I can’t undo
All the wrongs I caused unwittingly
All the pain I caused to you.

Tonight, like the last, I’m wide awake
In the corner, by the door
Can’t shake the pictures, those sick lullabies
Can’t shake the feeling you might have wanted more.

(c) 2008

Knowing your fiancé is cheating on you is a strange feeling. Painful, more painful than anything I ever imagined, and somewhat desolate. You feel alone, because even the person closest to you has turned to somebody else for whatever you can no longer give. Yet he still wants to be with you. He wants to be with her, too. He wants to have his cake and eat it, and because you can’t imagine how you’d ever survive without him in your life, you let it happen. You cry and scream when you find evidence of her in his bedroom – a picture she drew for him (what, is she like 12?) or a curly, long, brown hair on his pillow – but you still accept his kisses and let him make promises because he’s all you have. 

And you don’t want her to win. You want to be better than her – a better girlfriend, better in bed, a better person in general – but eventually you can’t fight anymore. She wins. He runs to her. 

Then back to you.

To her.

To you.

For months. And you let it happen.