Author Archives: ofeli

“I did not die, and yet I lost life’s breath”

 

~ Dante, The Divine Comedy

I was reading through my suicide book from last year. There weren’t many “chapters” but the ones that existed are startling to see now.

This is the time of year for anniversaries. A year ago today is when I finally figured out that no person, past or present could save me and the time of me saving myself had come to an end.

 

I spent a few hours trying to figure out who to call and ended up calling my local behavioral health center. I remember the conversation well. The receptionist asked me why I was calling and I told her, “Well, suicidal ideation, all I think about is dying.” And then I started rambling, trying not to cry.

She said their next available appointment wasn’t until December but she would put me on a list to get in if there was a cancellation. She asked me if I had support and I told her that, yes, I had many people who love me.

I reflect on this now because of the change in me. I know a year ago I was “going through the motions” and that’s scary. It’s scary that I kept repeating that I’m dead, this is the end, I’m going to die soon.

I was so anti-medication back then. Once I had made my appointment, that step alone helped me improve just with hope that maybe I would get out of that dark pit.

The pit isn’t gone but I feel like I don’t spend so much time in it and I have to thank my psychiatrist for that and all of my friends who stuck around when I was nothing but a nihilistic trainwreck.

Love is an enigma. It can make or break you or have no effect if you are strong enough for that. The love of my friends, those that would be up at 3 AM so I could talk to them about a toad I found on my back porch, those that took me out of work to go for a walk so I could disassociate and look at the birds, I love them all.

I know lately I’ve been mentally exhausted because demons don’t die, they go away but they don’t die. And the fight is never-ending. I know I haven’t been communicating as often with people as I should but I try to always be available to listen because I’m not the only one with monsters and demons and toxic pasts.

<3 love.

addicted to unhappiness

Today is the first time in nearly a year that I’ve felt good about myself in an overall sense: beautiful, smart, confident, all of that gushy stuff.

That’s not to say I haven’t had moments where I’ve felt awesome in some area. Switching jobs made me feel good. Seeing my baby sisters made me feel good. Getting my voice again made me feel good.

At my psych appointment yesterday, I told her that I don’t want to take one of my medications anymore because it is making me gain weight. She didn’t believe me so she weighed me. I told her that feeling fat causes my BDD to become unmanageable, regardless of how much Zoloft I take.

She asked me why the first psychiatrist put me on that and I told her it was his kneejerk reaction (I assume) to the way I was feeling when I first came in and he was just trying to pull me out of the suicide ditch I’d made for myself.

That anniversary is up next but today I feel good and it had become such an unfamiliar feeling that I kept trying to figure out what was wrong. After taking inventory of my life and emotions, I concluded that nothing is wrong, that this is what happy feels like.

My first selfie on this blog in a while, or anywhere else public. Showered with some leftover eye makeup (need better makeup remover wipes!)

 

Anniversaries – two

Last year, on top of keeping a journal, I also kept a calendar where I marked important things. Things ranged from appointments to behaviors to triggers and anything significant (not all horrible, sometimes just things people would say to me that’d make me laugh).

October 6th, 2017 was the last time I cut myself. And tomorrow (technically today I guess though it is just after midnight at the moment), is 6 years since my mother was killed in a car accident. And I know each blog I’ve had, I’ve always pointed it out and I will probably do so for the rest of my life.

Because sometimes I still can’t believe she’s gone. This week I laughed when I bought computer glasses for work because they reminded me of the ones she had in prison, the ones she called “birth control glasses” because they were hideous.

I laughed again when I thought of the time she convinced herself that a moth had taken residence in her ear and would say, “But Felicia, I can hear it flying around!” She was like I am. Just convinced of things that are in my bubble and once self-convinced, cannot be unconvinced by others.

In my calendar, by this point last year, I had started drinking more. (To be fair, it started in the beginning of August, when Jared died.) I marked each day I drank (drank, drank again, etc). I’m glad I kept records because I forgot so much and it’s good to track progress.

My suicide book is not gone but transformed into a book I save solely to write intrusive thoughts, in mostly vain attempts to clear my mind when the medicine can’t kill them all. So I have placed this anniversary next to my mother’s and it isn’t a big one compared to what came later in the month, what came in November, December, January. The year has been full of intense changes, returned loves, and the excruciatingly slow process of self-examination and modification based on new knowledge.

Remembering my mom is sometimes a checkpoint for progress: how am I holding up? Am I the same or different? By how much?

I miss my mom a lot, forever. I miss myself from a year ago, only sometimes.

the creep and the morgue

As an exercise in trying to write more often, there will be stories like this – memories that sometimes pop into my head from childhood or wherever in the memoryscape.

 

When I was 10, my dad was informed that my great-grandma was dying in California and so we all went, dad’s adoptive brothers and all.

My great-grandma wasn’t lucid and I hadn’t even seen her since I was 5. I remembered her as being kind but old as fuck. I was indifferent to the dying thing when you’re old but I maintained my reverence to avoid getting an ass-beating later by my dad.

At some point of hanging out in the hospital room, I went to find the cafeteria to get some hot cocoa (it was January). I had already been to the cafeteria once with some of my adult relatives and found it without an issue. I had even memorized the way back because I was terrified of getting lost (different stories but I often got lost as a toddler in the mall or K-Mart and that has stuck with me, even as an adult).

I made my way back to the elevator with whatever I had bought and I looked in (I think we were on the eighth floor) and saw some creep standing in there, sneering at me. I stepped back and walked away to find another elevator (because I was also terrified of being kidnapped).

I remember I walked back toward the cafeteria but made a left turn in the hallway, searching for another elevator. I found one and no one was around; I got in. I remember that the buttons didn’t look the same as the ones in the elevator from before.

Now that I’m older, I realize I didn’t find a passenger elevator. I had gotten into a service elevator. I remember the way they were labeled didn’t give me any option to go back to the floor where my family was so I just clicked some randomly. The elevator started going down and down.  Then it stopped and the doors opened.

All I saw was a huge room that reminded me of a bunch of weird refrigerators and it was cold and really quiet. I didn’t get out, I just pressed some more buttons trying to get the fuck out of there. It was the morgue (I know now) but I remember feeling such dread and dealing with the creep from before would have been less scary to me in that moment.

I was a smart kid and somehow managed to get back to the cafeteria floor and trace my way back to the elevator I KNEW would take me where I needed to go. I made it back without panicking and no one even realized I was gone for longer than I should have been (which is the scariest part of all).

And that’s my story of how I ended up in the hospital morgue as a little girl, by myself. I never told anyone about it back then. My dad would have been pissed I got lost but it was partly his fault for making me so paranoid of strangers.

Not a really traumatizing experience but kind of creepy.

Prison

We would visit my mom almost every weekend the last year she was in prison. She would say, “If any of you ever end up in prison, I will get back in so you’re not alone in here.”

And now I realize something about those words and that promise.

I (more than usual) allow myself to think of my mom and the hole I have inside me because of her death. Her promise was about more than physical prison.

I spent so much time without my mom growing up, even hating her at times and refusing to speak to her for months, years. Having her back let me feel the true depth of happiness that I’d forgotten from childhood.

And she was always there to listen to me and support me even when she knew I was wrong; she always backed me up, she always stayed with me, on my side.

And I realize now that I am just like my mother and when she was gone, I was alone again. I hold my awareness she gave me through experiencing her behavior like the blade of a knife. I am just like her but instead of running and leaving things or people behind that I may cause pain, I turn it on myself. I deal with it alone because my mom was my fellow prisoner, because the bottomless pits inside of were never going to be filled but it was better to have a partner when trying the impossible.

I think it’s somewhat of a selfish reason to miss someone but she wouldn’t think so. I don’t even remember the dark parts of her anymore, just the light. And for that I am grateful because being alone is worse with too many dark memories.

 

 

paintandsuch

thoughts about the dysmorphia are pervasive and intrusive, occupying up to several hours a day.

kevin laminto

My skull is a house and in the eaves there is this sparkling chaos; it is lovely and upsetting, terrible and exhilarating and I breathe it in more times than what is safe.

I slept through the last year and sleeping beauty isn’t me. I did not wake up to a prince assaulting me with a kiss; I woke up to a monster that climbed out around my sternum and hung around my ears, throwing magic dust in my eyes so everything became distorted. It was not a separate monster: I am the monster.

My dad always told me that if I slept when needed and did what I was told, the cucuy would stay dormant. Lies. The monster isn’t in the closet or under the bed, the monster is me and chained into my head.

I try to repackage myself by stabbing the intrusive thoughts with forceful psalms I make up when the beast is sleeping. No one surrenders.

I let surgeons fail at repackaging me. The love of men cannot repackage me. No knife or mortal thing can make me beautiful. Sometimes I make myself beautiful, other times I see my face change seven times in five seconds and recognition fails to fire off.

The blue pills tame the little monster with its chaotic hands and words just enough for sleep to come over me in a fog. My dreams are full of men telling me they wish they could love me but something is wrong with my face, something is wrong with my body.

Something is wrong with my brain.

 

 

“I’m so good at beginnings, but in the end I always seem to destroy everything, including myself.”

― Kiera Van Gelder, The Buddha and the Borderline: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Buddhism, and Online Dating

Untitled (disappear) – a poem

You slid out of me, ectoplasm,
and I let you. You are
a phantom stranger in
my memories with strong teeth
and living hands that reach
into my head through
dreams that drench me
in ice-cold sweat and I feel
dead when I wake up after
midnight to feel you flee
from the fake bed in my head.
I watch you float through walls,
away, your smile is unfamiliar.

untitled #389

The darkness came.

Your fingers were hexes but so clean
for you to pose my bones to fit around them.
By you, I was emptied
like a dollhouse overturned by a child pretending
to be a hurricane.

The darkness left.

tristeza

We are unimaginative when it comes to imagining each other’s pain, personal grief. Why, when someone dies, does it feel like a crack in your chest and everything goes dry except your eyes?

Why is it this?

“Oh my God.” Tears. “I’m sorry. I love you.” I don’t know what to say.

We cradle our condolences in our hands and try to use them to hold people together. Even those of us that know and believe that Death’s plan goes hand in hand with God’s, we feel betrayal. It stings.

Tonight as I sat with Santa Muerte, praying for protection and strength, I asked that there be comfort for my cousins, my dad. We have lost so much in the last 6 years.

This is just another public announcement of mine, to hug those you love, hold them close. Drop what or who doesn’t matter, don’t embrace people, jobs, or situations that make your heart hurt, flare up your mental illness, or make you lose sleep. Life is short, it’s promised to all of us that it will be.

Death is unstoppable and the way you love should be unstoppable too. Be kind. Apologize if you need to or stay silent if that suits you but do no harm. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love.

Descansa en paz, tía Connie. Que tu viaje sea al principio.

 

:(

There will be a time where you feel fine and you will think "I don't need these pills." And you will want to stop taking them. DON'T. You're broken and the pills are part of the glue.
I was legit scared I was gonna be asleep when you had one of those last minute calls

“I couldn’t trust my own emotions. Which emotional reactions were justified, if any? And which ones were tainted by the mental illness of BPD? I found myself fiercely guarding and limiting my emotional reactions, chastising myself for possible distortions and motivations. People who had known me years ago would barely recognize me now. I had become quiet and withdrawn in social settings, no longer the life of the party. After all, how could I know if my boisterous humor were spontaneous or just a borderline desire to be the center of attention? I could no longer trust any of my heart felt beliefs and opinions on politics, religion, or life. The debate queen had withered. I found myself looking at every single side of an issue unable to come to any conclusions for fear they might be tainted. My lifelong ability to be assertive had turned into a constant state of passivity.”

― Rachel Reiland, Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder

one, two, stop

1.

he says come here and you go.
Consenting
Gutting

2.

Follow him into the forest,
the screaming of the vixen.
he gave me the gun
but I handled the trigger.
there’s water in the blood

3.

march
walk
dance
to his heartbeat

his humidity
skin
bones,
mine

acute

Nothing is worse than having to rely on others’ judgement because you are not capable of always making wise decisions or accurately assessing the character of a person.

I hate it.

X_X

It is unsettling how much you can so badly want someone to move out of your head, you can wish them happiness, give them apologies, and understand their treatment of you (all in your head) but sometimes they just won’t leave.

My brain is a battlefield.

hmph

Somewhere on my phone there is a video of me spinning around in my hotel room in San Francisco to this song. Erwin sent it to me last year after BlackHat (where I first met him) but it has been this year that the song has been one of my go-to “make me feel okay for a minute” songs.

He’s coming and she knows it
Even though she knows why
Footsteps in the hallway
Girl you haven’t got time

You gotta get out
Go far away
You gotta get out
Go far away

loveeee

My uncle is partly responsible for some of the art work I have collected over the years. While I don’t do Christmas or presents usually, I always try to bring my uncle something as he and my aunt are hosting dinner.

This year I brought my uncle a special candle I found because I knew it would look good with his collection. I had also taken a video of my reading room to show him and when he saw it, he went into HIS reading room and pulled a picture off of the wall.

Some back story, a while back, maybe last year (timelines are shit for me lately), he went from working with clay and sculpting to digital art. He had created this one image I loved so much that I asked if I could get it tattooed on me somewhere.

Anyway, no tattoo of it thus far but the picture he took down was one of his original copies of this picture. And now some of this art of his is hanging in a gallery in New Mexico.

Pretty sure my aunt thinks he’s nuts because he gave it to me but it isn’t much different from when he gave me that amazing Jason Soles piece a couple of years ago.

I love it so much.