Two Whole Weeks of Terror, February 1971

from my journal.  entries are undated.  A lot of this is in a post from January 2016

how calmly does the olive branch
observe the sky begin to blanch
without a cry, without a prayer
with no betrayal of despair… 

This poem is from a Tennessee Williams play: Night of the Iguana

wow. two whole weeks of terror — standing at the edge of the Abyss and looking down.  utter lack of meaning — that is hell — that is the sin against the holy ghost  (the vulgar devil under michael’s foot)  seeing myself weak, shabby, ineffectual, a typical ‘old maid’  (but not a maid!)  a pitiable creature, without even a job to redeem her.  I even came to a final cold place where suicide seemed the only alternative to terror  (a betrayal of despair, though)  and my fantasies were of how to get the sleeping pills, not how I would be rescued.  walking through a long dark tunnel — no sign of light ahead, no memory of light or warmth behind  (the cold, the cold is so appalling)  and I keep walking because the pain is so great and worse when i stop.  praying the plane will crash.  ogod.  wishing i could still believe in god.  praying to apollo and knowing it won’t work because i don’t believe — I have plunged into weaving as an antidote. 

I have achieved limbo — no hope yet, but suicide no longer a reality — have decided to stick with despair.

Tell my sister Jo if she comes home someday and finds me dead it is because the pain became too great.  a mercy-killing?  I would gladly trade my crippled mind for a crippled body if I could have a sound mind with it.  (my god what guilt is that supposed to expiate)

bad day today — confusion
what i so desperately need is a place to rest my mind.

i think i will go back to collecting sleeping pills
the pain is so great and the rewards are so small
what is the point of endurance?
‘i am a rock, i am an island’
to be like the rock and endure…my life is only a flash in the life of the rock after all.
‘nobody ever loved me and nobody ever will’
i feel so paranoid and ugly and lost, and i know that i do it in my own mind, but i can’t change it.  could there be a worse hell?
stumbling across the frozen waste, the sun glints off a piece of ice, fresh and cold here and i have left the company of thirteen far behind.

“sleeping pills”  I actually didn’t have any way to get them.

‘Nobody ever loved me and nobody ever will’  is a belief that I wrote and thought many times.

another night of the iguana to be faced & feared through
i am afraid to go to sleep.
yea though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death
what do i do wrong?  why has no one ever loved me — why do they all leave so quickly?  am i too involved or too cold?  i don’t know!  i don’t know!  i must be an incredibly awful person that no one has ever loved me.
yeah, even david.  two screws and he’s done.

“am i too involved or too cold?”  Erica was able to explain this by telling me that I had in inaccurate mirror in my mother.

whatever im going through is so strange.  first the terror and now the numbness and confusion.  i can’t seem to bring my mind to bear on anything.  it chatters on and on, i can’t even find a place of silence to rest it, and yet i can’t make it work for me either.  can’t make it focus and grasp and follow one current of thought out to its conclusion.  a strange blankness — not the emptiness of silence for which i would be grateful, but the blankness of immovable conflict.  

i keep going through the same sets of images.  what can be done to break the ice jam and get things flowing again?

life in one hand, death in the other;  black stone and white pills.  all i want to do is sleep forever, but i am afraid if i take the pills all ill do is sleep for a few days and wake up miserable.  when i was in the hospital there was a boy who took 100 valium and all it did was tranquillize him, it didn’t kill him.  im afraid if i take the mellaril ill just wake up again and nobody will know or care what happened.
theyll all just say im stupid and silly.
im so tired, so tired and cold.
just a warm place to fall asleep

It’s a good thing I didn’t know that too much mellaril can be fatal.  I had saved some from when I was hospitalized in California.

the fear is back — the numbing deadly terror.  how long can this go on.  i feel so horribly isolated — no one i can run to and held and comforted.
people = mirages, all snatched away,
   help! help! help!
so cold.  to wait through the night
        with no betrayal of despair

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