1995: Struggling with Health, Noise, Confusion

From my journal for September 11, 1995

I want to write about my odd feeling yesterday and today.  I’m sure it’s at least partly the cold that makes me feel thick-headed and dazed, partly Dana being away that makes me feel lost and precarious, the bottom dropped out.  Then there was the frustration of seeing the beautiful day and not being really part of it (except for a short while while dancing outdoors — when a flock of birds flew over us and I had that sense of oneness of all things) and the fear of the airplanes.  I suppose all of that could account for my sense of being in some bizarre place, a collage whose pieces don’t fit — perhaps the walls are breaking down between the worlds: the world of beauty and the world of horror.  Perhaps I should say: the world of natural beauty and the world of human horror. 

This reminds me a little of the spring feeling of being “rent and torn,” but it’s different now.  That, I think, felt more like being torn in half, or down the middle, there seemed to be two parts or two layers, and they were contrasting: cold and warm, bright and dark.  This feels more complex, there are still the tearing contrasts, but there seem to be more layers.  I have a sense of death being ready to pounce.  I think this is how I might feel if I had a fatal illness, the familiar world seems very strange and fleeting, as though I had never seen it before and will never see it again.      And I recognize, as I write, that in the equation are human beauty and love, human loss and pain: there’s the joy of our dancing, of preserving these dances (I told them of the joy of the peasant women as they emerged from the tunnel), there’s my love for Dana, and my failure to give it sexual expression, and my sense of loss that he’s so far away.  I’ve been reading The White Witch, which describes the non-sexual love between Froniga and Yoben, and makes it clear how strong their love is that is capable of flourishing even though that powerful instinct is denied.

My failure to be sexual with my husband was because of the early trauma. When I get excited — or angry or afraid — my system starts to rouse to be sexual, or fight or run away, and then goes into freeze. At this point I have no idea that this is what’s happening.

I showed a video of peasant women doing a folk dance. They form two lines, hold hands across and raise their arms to make a tunnel, and then each comes through the tunnel, opening her arms to the sky with joy as she comes out.

The White Witch is a novel by Elizabeth Goudge. Froniga is the witch, she is half Gypsy and uses herbs and psychic powers for healing. Yoben is a Catholic priest who was tortured and became a Gypsy as a disguise.

Here I’m talking about the airplanes whose noise gives me a very hard time:

There’s nothing I can do to make it stop.  It just hurts so much, and it doesn’t quit and there’s nothing I can do, and no one who really understands.  I was typing at the computer when the last one came over and I just put my head down on my arms and started crying.  I’ve been sobbing hysterically while writing this and praying to god to please help me, but of course nothing changes.  Actually I guess such prayer is really re-stimulating because it’s too much like asking Mom & Dad to stop hurting me.  I have a bunch of things to write about the parallels between the planes & my alcoholic parents, but I feel too hopeless to bother.  It would be very much easier to be dead.

Feeling completely broken.  I did manage to walk the dog, using the walkman to listen to Maki’s Russian tape.  I didn’t enjoy the walk, just did it for the dog.  I was reading the print out of July but it sounds like someone else’s life, the life of someone who’s dead.  All those creative projects, never to be finished now.  Nothing means anything.

I’m cooking beans and almonds — I had a cup of tea and a cheese sandwich earlier in a spirit of angry rebellion — I’ve worked so goddam hard, years in therapy, all my discipline around diet, and nothing to show for it, I still can’t deal with the airplanes, can’t begin to describe the pain they cause me, can’t understand why I fall apart so badly, don’t see any point in going on — all this work and I still don’t have any life.

O yes, something about seeing how much attachment I have to getting something done, “keeping it together,” going on with my life, “taking care of myself,” refusing to break down — in this respect I am my mother’s daughter.

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