Living For Me

July 29, 2014 at 8:46 pm (Uncategorized)

Have you seen the documentary, “I Am Divine”? It’s about the famous Divine, John Waters’ muse. Divine was a person who lived by his own rules, a kind and generous freak of nature. This got me thinking, who’s rules do I live by? A co-worker approached me today at work and asked me why I dyed my hair purple. I told him I’m having a not-quite-quarter life crisis. On further reflection, I keep thinking about what I should have said instead. I find my self wondering why I didn’t yell at him, “I didn’t do this for you!”. It was like he was implying that what I had done had made me less attractive, as if I should care. It made me suddenly insecure. I felt like I had made a mistake. Who was he to undermine my own ideals of what beauty is and my own self worth? 

 

The reason I mention this film is because I feel like Divine had it figured out. Yeah, there’s always self-doubt and fear; but fuck that. Fake it until you make it. Be who you want to be and to hell with anyone who thinks any different. Divine wanted to be a movie star and without making any kind of compromises, he made it. He stands for everything I look up to; confidence, perseverance, glamour, and humor. He took everything that would make him a freak and owned it. I might not be a 300 pound drag queen, but god damnit I’ll dress how I want no matter my size and I’ll be bald if I want to. 

 

I’d like to think I’m channeling this energy every time I put on a gold leotard and skip around the park or stage. I want to live like Divine did, by my own rules. I want to live for me.

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Rainy Day Rant – Who Let You In Here?

December 13, 2013 at 5:16 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Today the weather has decided to shit out the typical snowy mix that comes with early winter in the midwest. Being unemployed, I typically don’t do much during the day but now I am trapped inside my house with no excuses to avoid writing any longer. “Oh, but I was going to go to the gym today!”; no I wasn’t, I just wanted to productively procrastinate. So here it is, a new entry for you the reader, crafted out of boredom and a general dislike of other indoor activities.

 

It’s strange to me to think on my time growing up as the weird kid in school. Meeting me today, you’d assume I was that kid but you’d be missing the isolation and doubt it caused me. Moving into the city I have found an acceptance and adoration that was so absent in my life. I was never the girl who thought I was worth anything but in the last 6 months, I think I can finally relax.

There is a bar across the street from where I live that I have adapted as my second living room. It’s the kind of place with 8 kinds of whiskey, although no one orders anything besides Stag. I was there one night for some bullshit band and there were two girls at the end of the bar. They both were wearing matching flowy numbers adorned with crosses while stumbling around in too high heels. When they originally walked into the bar, one of them pointed out to me that they went to high school with me. I couldn’t help but wonder, why the fuck are you in MY bar? Later, I saw the bartender pour something out of a fancy glass bottle into a slender glass. I asked, “what is that?”. He answered, “Vodka and cranberry”. I scrunched my nose and yelled, “who the fuck is drinking THAT?”. He pointed to the trespassers at the end of the bar. I laugh and tell the owner about my discovery. “You don’t even go here!”, she yells at them as I try to keep vertical while holding my sides.

This story sums up my feelings I think when I talk about living on the south side. The sense of entitlement, the feeling like I know something others don’t. I feel elevated when compared to strangers, which must be what the rest of the world thinks when they look at me. “Oh that girl is dirty. Those tattoos are hideous, she should feel ashamed”. It’s all very weird you know? Who am I to judge these girls whom for all I know are very sensible people?  It was in that moment that I realized that I have become a horrible cunt, the kind which made me feel so alienated and horrible all of my life. It’s hard to resist the charms of being a part of “the club”. As social creatures, we all crave it. I am no better than these girls and yet I’m sure they have thought the same of me. 

Hopefully going forward I can be more aware of my cuntish behavior and be more inclusive. I don’t want to perpetuate this culture of cliquey weirdness that south city breeds. I want this community to be able to accept the outsiders, the freaks, AND the vaguely attractive band girlfriends. Who are we to judge the merit of these normal folks out for a night of fancy? Just because they don’t smell like a gutter and have a nice haircut doesn’t mean they aren’t allowed in my bar, although sometimes I feel it should. 

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Whore Stories

July 29, 2013 at 1:10 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve never lived on my own before. The whole experience of being a completely autonomous human being in control of their own destiny is foreign to me. Getting out from beneath my family has been a strange and revealing process. It feels cliche to say that I’m learning about myself and finding out who I really am, but I couldn’t be more sincere about the thought. 

I have learned the following things about myself in the first month of living on my own:

I love cooking.

Yard care is important.

I am not a free spirit.

 

Maybe free spirit isn’t the right word, but it has been tossed around more in the last few weeks than ever before. My friend told me last night that in my house, I am not the free spirited one. Me, the girl who wanders south city in a bear suit while yelling at strangers to suck my dick with a full face of makeup on and a drunken saunter. Apparently wearing said bear suit to weird south city orgies disqualifies me from being the most free spirited roommate in this house, just so you have some perspective here.

I have officially become the cranky mother of the house. I’m not judging the morals of these women, I am judging the safety of their choices. Want to have sex with weird dudes? Go crazy, you’re only young once. What I don’t agree with is having said strangers in my house eyeballing my things and trying too hard to be nice. I am terrified of you strange guy, please quit commenting on my gundam memorabilia; you make me uncomfortable.

Maybe it’s not even the strange dudes, maybe it’s the caliber of such dudes. Guy, I know you’re only here to bang my friend. We all know that’s why you’re here. Quit trying to make some sort of peace offering with your curly fries and half assed conversation about The Walking Dead. Oh, you didn’t know it was based off of a comic book? You are out of your depth here mr. frat-tanktop.

I don’t care who fucks who, the thing I find intolerable is the utter lack of style. Being cool I think can be boiled down to not what you know, but how you act. After years of field research, all you gotta do is calm the fuck down. Don’t talk too much out of your ass, don’t pretend to be something you’re not, quit caring what other people think. There’s something very zen about the aura of cool. Do your own thing man. I don’t care if we have the same taste in music, just be yourself. People can sense desperation and fear, that’s why James Dean was a cool motherfucker.

Maybe I’m just not dumb enough to be a free spirit. Perhaps being designated as such a thing just really means you have no critical thinking skills or self-preservational ability. Does being free spirited mean you’re impulsive and prone to delusion? Are freespirits aware of the long con of the douche-bro types and just play along for their own gains? Or are they just that naive and malleable?

In the end, this point in my life I guess I have to figure out if i’m ready to grow out of it yet. How long can a girl parade around regurgitating trivia and shaking her tits in people’s faces?     

I think my friend Emily put it best when she said, “Steenie? Yeah, she hates everyone equally.”

Free spirit my ass.

 

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Eskimo Sister Blues

March 7, 2013 at 12:10 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Last night I went to a punk rock show on the bad side of Cherokee street. After dark, the little mom and pop taco stands shut down and the salvation army shutters its store front. I do not dare walk alone on this street for fear of being accosted by roaming droves of wild men, throwing me lines like, “where your man at”, and, “what’s your sign?”. If I’m lucky, one of these wanderers offers to “throw me my number”. Not once have I responded in a positive manner to these people. I often wonder if that works for them in other areas of their lives.

I start the night with half a bottle of Seagrams whiskey and a bowl courtesy of my friend Kaj. He had come dashing to my rescue earlier from the clutches of West County. I was in a strange way by the time we made it to the venue. The car ride over from his apartment was peppered with talk of an egg salad orgy in a whiskey fever. I said in earnest, if that was the weirdest the night gets, I will be disappointed. We roll up to mushmaus completely wide eyed and bushy tailed, looking for any excuse to act badly. The venue is about 45% cleaner than when it was inhabited by its former tenants. There is noticeably less garbage smell. The room is fitted with giant bay windows and hardwood floors. There’s some sort of colored film over the fluorescent ceiling lights. I sit alone on the floor against the wall, drinking my 54 oz diet coke and Seagrams concoction. I didn’t really feel like running around and being social in the state I was in. I sat there and watched as the place started to mill about me. People drunkenly swerving about like some sort of sad spectacle. There’s a hum of chit chat punctuated by ear splitting guffaws from drunk girls. My social anxiety lessens as I stare at what it means to be young and hip these days. Yes, this is my grandfather’s Lacoste sweater and no, you can’t have it.

Kaj leaves me to babysit his backpack full of beers as he goes off to schmooze. I awkwardly check my facebook and laugh at peoples’ attempts to woo one another. It’s maybe eight o’clock and I hate people already. I should stay off whiskey I decide. The lights dim, people congregate, punk rock happened. Austin pacing through the crowd as he bopped along to his garage made hits. The drummer Kyle did his best Meg White impersonation while dressed as the Tommy Lee Jones Two-Face. There was broken glass everywhere. I vaguely remember someone picking it up and eating it. Things got hazy at some point, but that’s to be expected.

The next band, Dad Jr. eventually is given the green light to set up their stuff. For some reason no one can explain, Zach is bleeding upon arrival to the show. Some one apparently gave him a teddy bear to wipe it off with. They ended up throwing the blood covered animal around for a while from what I gather. I also was informed that the whole band ended up with splatter on them somewhere. It’s not a party until someone gets hurt or humiliated right? During act 2, Zach also was waving around a large QT similar to my own. Prior to this, Zach had talked about peeing on stage or at his shows many times. I see the yellowish liquid sloshing about in the cup and instantly kno where this is going. I retreat to the back of the venue, hoping to avoid the splash zone. Zach takes a swig of the piss cup. A girl in front pleads with him to let her drink from the same cup. He tries to warn her. She says she doesn’t care what was in it, Zach shrugged his shoulders and handed the plastic piss vessel to the broad. Zach watched with a look of shock and amazement on his burly viking face. The set was ended with a thorough thrashing of equipment and general chaos.

Another band plays, they rock, I dance drunkenly with my Eskimo sisters. As we stood there, the three of us, Grace just says,” Am I going to be the one who says it?”. I reply, “oh you mean the fact that the three of us are Eskimo sisters?”. She lets out that trademark cackle and nods. I shake my head. I try to explain how it’s no good, that there’s something bizarre about the incestuousness of South City. I yammer on about how I have had my share of bad experiences. I think no one ever has the balls to say what they want at this age and I find this the most confounding.

I know it’s hard to accept guys, but I don’t want anything from you. I don’t want you to pay my way, or pick me up, or tell me how pretty I am. These things are nice and I do appreciate them, don’t get me wrong. The fact is, I don’t want a relationship right now. I want to have a guy I can call at 2 am no questions asked, no bullshit spewed. I don’t want to play these games with you sirs. I don’t want to be wooed unless you really think you are man enough to handle someone as amazing as me. In my experience, the guys who I like end up being misogynistic trash. I don’t want to compete with you, I don’t want to have to bend over backwards for you, and I certainly don’t want you to put me down. It’s that weird alpha behavior that people think is ok that makes me want nothing to do with relationships. Oh yeah you’re cool, I get it. I’m cool too. I’m not trying to dominate you or emasculate you because I know more about a band than you do. I’m not trying to pull some power trip on our date so why do you think that’s ok? Is that what you think women want or is that just how you are? Does it make you feel good to tell me how inferior I am to you in whatever way? That’s not what I want to sign up for dear readers. I want some one t treat me as their equal. I get it, I’m great. This comes off as narcissistic, I know. The fact is, I know I’m worthwhile. I know that I am a desirable and interesting human being. I like that people recognize this. I don’t however like being put on some sort of pedestal. I am not fit to be worshiped. In fact, it makes me seriously uncomfortable when people are over the top towards me. Can’t we just be friends who laugh at each other’s stupid jokes and lay in bed naked watching netflix all day? Why does interaction with the other sex have to always be some big to do? Are these standards really that hard to measure up to?

I get uncomfortably drunk after Bruiser Queen finishes playing. I walk outside and follow Kaj back to his car. I play look out as he pisses on some dark shop front. I drunkenly knock him back. We do that weird drunk glare thing. You know the one I’m talking about. I hear more glass breaking in the background somewhere. We leave back to the apartment. This is the point in the night where I want to fight/fuck/kill something. I am full of social contempt. I want to watch the world burn, as cliche as it is.

We make it back and another six or so people show up. Kaj disappears early on. I try to go find him and just end up kicking him in the chest a few times while he laid in his bed. I sit back on the couch. The conversation is going no where. I watch as Zach plays grab ass with some ginger girl on the couch. I have no idea who she is. I am bored and feeling spiteful. I see Adam talking to Gabby. I guess I’ve got another sister to add to the family. I crash hard on the couch, boots still on.

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South City Cool

February 25, 2013 at 2:10 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Living in St. Louis is said to be like living in the biggest small town you’ve ever seen. To outsiders, this city is no more than a pit stop; no one’s idea of a destination.  Sometimes, I think about how i’m going to leave this cespool and start my real life in the big city. I’ll occasionally daydream about the claustrophobic feeling that only CTA can give and wonder when my big escape will be. I think, will the change make such a marked difference? Will I leave these familiar streets and find something so remarkable, it makes the whole journey worth it?

There’s a weird stalemate between having unabashed pride in our little backwater town and absolute disgust. No one group is more guilty of this than musicians here. The general attitude vacillates between thinking our scene has some of the most dynamic and talented artists in the world, to believing there is nothing worthwhile happening on any given day. I joke about how being a starving artist in LA means that you are doing just that. In St. Louis, it just means you’re homeless.

I get bored living here. I am told this is a normal thing and that it happens regardless of where you choose to live out your miserable existence. From time to time though, this city can still reaffirm how great life can be. Last night was one of those times.

Saturdays are my typical days off from the shameful grind that comes with being something called a barista. I like to classify myself as a glorified dishwasher but with less self worth. The plan for the day: record shopping, comic books, beers. Only one of these things managed to happen as I spent most of the day waiting on my car to be released from the auto-shop. I emerge from the suburbs at around five, ready for a night of general mischief.

I stop at a local restaurant and meet my friend Kevin for dinner. We sit ass to elbow amidst the Saturday night crowd. I forget that normal people live on the weekends. I’m used to seeing the streets and bars empty; this noise and energy makes me uncomfortable. Kevin tentatively makes small talk with me, worrying about what the cougars eating next to us might over hear. He tells me some sort of road stories while wildly gesturing to fill in the details. This is the part of my story where I eat too many lentils which I will later regret. I tell him how I want to get my conceal and carry permit, he flashes me some handle tucked into his jeans. He pays for dinner, we make some vague plans and go our separate ways.

The next stop I make is to what a friend of mine calls, the winchester. It’s the Cheers of South City. It’s open mic night and I happen to get there before anyone else. The bar is quiet. No one is there save for me, the owner, and my partner in crime; Zeei. We have a drink and talk about my latest dating disaster. No one can figure out where I meet some of the crazy assholes that try so desperately to woo me. I try to blame it on my animal magnetism and large chest. This seems to make the most sense.

A few people wander into the bar. At first glance, the host of the open mic is the only person I recognize. The other two folks sit at the far end of the bar. A few minutes pass and I realize that I had in fact met these people before. We chit chat for a second about our outing together on some mystical party bus adventure the month before. There is no way that you can walk in anywhere in this city and not know a single person there. This must be that small town charm that people keep insisting we have. Zeei and I finish our drinks and head out to FUBAR, a music venue down the street.

Tonight, there are two shows scheduled we learn a we walk into the bar. I was there for my friend’s record release on the bar side while on the venue side high schoolers did their best Zach de la Rocha impersonations. Two rednecks kept muttering about teenage slits while I stood outside smoking a cigarette. I toss my butt and yell loudly, “slits and clits, AMIRIGHT?”. I walk back into the bar while laughing to myself and shaking my head.

Several bands play their own versions of Promise Ring covers for the next few hours while I get progressively drunker with Zeei. Our mutual friend Stephanie is working on the venue side so we walk over and visit. She tells us about car problems, I chat to her about setting up a proper DJ gig, Zeei drinks another beer. We get bored sitting by the parents of the band on stage and decide to open up the pit. Awkward arm flailing ensued. Butthurt glares were being exchanged all around. Me and Zeei decide it’s not our scene and return to the proper side of the bar.

Finally, the band I came to see started playing at around midnight. They do a great job channeling all of my inner punk child’s chi. I bounce around the pit for a while until I realize my ears haven’t stopped ringing in two hours and I am now suffering a sudden and severe headache. I leave midway through the set and return to my car.

Zeei decides to take Stephanie home. We make more vague plans for later.  We go our separate ways.

It’s a little past midnight and I dive over to the other side of Grand Blvd to another local bar called Mangia. My friend Sean is working the door. I shuffle in and say hi. He’s drinking black coffee and looking aloof as always. He offers me a sip and I burn the shit out of my tongue. I insist that it’s some black magic that he wields to drink such a beverage. We chitchat. He buys me a beer. We continue to send each other texts for the remainder of the night judging everyone else at the bar. We joke about the over weight ginger preacher man doing his best Danzig voice while slurping his whiskey loudly over the PA.

Mangia is the place where all of South City congregates when it’s closing time everywhere else. Being one of the only 3 am bars on the street tends to have this effect. My friend Shanna and her boyfriend show up eventually fresh out of The Book of Mormon. We kibitz about how jealous I am and how great the show was. We proceed to drink more beers and take drunken instagram photos. I’m ok with this because she reminds me of some sort of fuzzy kitten that I would in all likelihood smother to death with my affections.  She is adorable and I want to take her home with me.

The band continues on shouting about dildos and drunks. I feel like i’m the only one in the bar listening. I hoot and holler from the back, it’s not often that I get to be drunk in public with no responsibilities. It’s at this point where I decide that me and this band are kindred spirits. Shanna and I slam our hands in time to the music on the table. People behind us pop rogue balloons from an earlier event. It startles me every time.

My phone is dying as I check the time. It’s almost 2 AM now. A parade of strangers starts to filter through the bar. Upon closer inspection I realize that I know evey person in this densely packed space. There’s the cute brothers from Tennessee, the random girl from my DJ gig last week, the headcase that no one wanted to be around. These are my people. The late night drunken street people. The crowd mills around me, everyone has to make the rounds and say hi. I sit and watch the interactions going on. It reminds me of synapses firing. I think to myself how the room is electric. I can’t quit thinking in tangents. I want to ramble on about it to someone but I figured no one wants to listen to my mutterings.

My friend Kaj shows up. He hands me another beer, entranced by the bar band. As he sips his cheap swill, he thanks me for telling him to come and saving him from a long night at the lesbian bar two blocks over. I tell him he’s welcome.

The crowd continues to swirl about. There is a dim hum that fills the gaps between each patron. I’m starting to lose myself. Sean is trying to convince me to go to some keg party down the street. I think about going. The guy makes a solid argument. My phone is dead. I am alone here.

I tell Sean that I need to charge my phone and then I’ll make a decision. This starts the process of me leaving the bar. I spend the next thirty minutes saying my goodbyes and being sucked back into frivolous drunk talks about nothing. Another man professes his love for me. I sigh and try to dodge another person at the other end of the room. I walk outside, people are huddled together smoking and carrying on. Another round of hello’s and goodbye’s follows. I often skip this part of the night and just duck out. No one remembers this part usually any way. It’s some weird bar formality that I feel pressured to preform. I don’t usually have the energy for this.

I walk down the street to another friends house. I go inside and charge my phone. We talk about life and whatever. I doze off.

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Steenie’s Big Day Out: Day One at Inpatient Care

February 13, 2013 at 1:30 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

I woke up unsure about the time. The room is dark and I can hear voices in the hall as I stare at the ceiling blankly. I get up and brush my teeth for once. I put on a bra and deodorant. I don’t want the crazies to judge me.

I aimlessly walk into the main hall.  It still looks dark. I decide to get on the phone. I call my mom.
She says she can’t hear me. I refuse to yell into the receiver. It’s awkward enough talking in a cowded room let alone yelling to your mother about how your time in the loony bin is going. I ask her if she brought my phone with her to work like she promised. She didn’t. I ask if she could bring me some pants later, the ones I was wearing were covered in stains. She says she doesn’t have time. I’m trying to look upwards. Someone told me once that looking up is supposed to keep tears from falling and smearing your makeup. It’s no use.
My face can’t be buried into my hand any deeper. I rub my forehead a couple of times before I start pulling at my hair. MY fingernails embedded themselves so deeply into my palm, they leave red marks when I hang up the phone.
A nurse comes over to ask me if i’ m ok. I say i’m fine.
Another nurse wants to talk to me. We both agree that things are weird. She asks a million questions. We nod at each other and she walks me down to breakfast.

I have biscuits and gravy, eggs, and bacon. The nurse goes out of his way to get me hot sauce. This makes me feel better. I sit by myself. A silverhaired lady tells me to sit with her. I politely say no. I’m not here to make friends.
After breakfast we’re told to line up. I was expecting recess now. I wonder how dodgeball would play out here. We file quietly back into the common room.

The guy from last night keeps reintroducing himself. He interrupts people and is noisy. I jok that his name is Kenny Rogers. He doesn’t get the joke. I feel irritated and slow. I start getting anxious. I’m now the one interrupting people. Is this what they label impulsive behavior? I sit and psychoanalyse myself.

Sitting in a group, it’s weird listening to others. This is especially true with Kenny. He makes me uncomfortable.
He keeps talking how people take advantage of him, how he takes things personally, how he gets put down.

I don’t know how to sit here and be still. I have to keep writing.

I feel like there’s nothing much to say in my group session. I’m curt and impatient.

I move to the common room again. Kenny plops himself down between two patients while they’re having a conversation. Without pause, he starts grilling one of the women about her problems. She deals with him like a champ. I hope I don’t lose my temper and snap at him. I lack patience but I have to remind myself he’s sick. I need to learn patience.

I’m getting more anxious about my appearance. I don’t know what to o with myself.

Kenny asks the same girl if he could win a pageant. No one wants to say no. No one knows what will set him off. For fuck’s sake, he makes me uncomfortable. They talk to him about winning pageants until he switches to complaining about his name. I tell him that it’s better than mine.

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Steenie’s First Admission to Behavioral Health Inpatient Care

February 6, 2013 at 7:05 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

This is the first post I am going to make of many detailing my time in the hospital. I spent four nights there total although it felt like weeks. This is for people who want to know what happened, I’m too sick of talking about it to explain anymore.

Thursday:

My mom keeps telling me I’m minimizing my suicidal feelings to the cops. She wants me to be admitted. She called an ambulance about twenty minutes ago and an officer is asking me questions. “Is there anything we should know about in this bag? Marijuana, cocaine?” I laugh at him and tell him there’s nothing that fun in there. I’m sitting in the back of the ambulance, an EMT is taking my vitals. He keeps asking me if I want to kill myself. I tell him, it’s fleeting. I show him the bruises on my legs that had blossomed into bizarre patches of brown and purple. I told him I did this. I want to be admitted.

On the drive to the hospital, he asks why I feel this way. He’s looking for an answer for my behavior and I don’t have one to give him. I tell him I can’t get out of bed most days. I tell him I have fits of panic and can become inconsolable. He tells me sometimes you have to just deal with it. That’s what everyone keeps telling me. I laugh.

He asks if I was on any drugs. I tell him no. It’s the truth. I understand a lot of mental health problems are mimicked by drug use. This for once is not the case. I am genuinely on the bottom of things, looking up. I’m trying to find a way out. I claw at myself. He tells me that drugs are a crutch and that I need to control myself. I cry quiet tears the whole ride to the ER.

The cops walk me into St. John’s. They carry my bag for me. They insist. My mom crawls out of the front seat of the ambulance and follows us in. We have to wait for a room to open up. It’s busy.

I am admitted to patient observation room 20. The TV is behind plexiglass. There are no hanging wires in this room and there’s a toilet underneath the sink. A large beige shutter hangs over the sink, I guess in case I’m deemed at risk and they’re afraid I might try to drown myself in the basin. There are also cameras situated in the top corners of the room, adjacent to each other.

The nurse walks into the room. She’s skinny, about my age, seems nice. This all may be due to her being new to the job still. I’m glad she’s relatively civil to me. She’s the only one to not bruise me while drawing blood throughout this process.
She tells me to take off my clothes. She continues to stand there. I ask, “you have to watch me?” She nods. I make some sort of joke and swing my hips at her.

I’m watching some commercial for the Hobbit after the nurse leaves with all my earthly belongings. I’m staying calm by jotting notes down. A cop is sent in to listen to my statement. I tell him everything about my crazy. My tantrums, my anxiety, my weeping, my fleeting thoughts about everything. I tell him about the fight with my mom that led me here for the second time. I tell him the battery of bruises are self-inflicted, that I have a history, “fleeting suicidal thoughts”. If i am to be admitted, if it’s not based on merit it will at least be based on principal.

My mom writes down the playbook of psych meds in my note book, coaching me. She tells me, “don’t take the depacote or the lithium.” I nod and laugh. She leaves to smoke a cigarette.

The nurse comes back to take a blood sample. She accidentally snaps me in the face with the rubber tourniquet. She looks horrified. She tries to apologize profusely. I continue to shake my head and laugh. If i were in her shoes, this would be the least of my fuck ups i’m sure of it. She laughs nervously.

I am required at this point to piss in a cup. The nurse pulls out the weird toilet and tells me to try. I am successful. I’ve never been more proud of myself.

My arm is already developing a bruise from the blood sample fiasco. I can feel it pooling. My eyes are dry and my head is starting to throb. My mom is back in the room now, arguing with the insurance lady. The lady is talking too loud.

A younger guy comes in, asks another barrage of questions.
My $14 nail polish chipped I noticed, I am unhappy.

Dad shows up eventually and looks ragged. He tells me he just finished working a double. I can see the stress in his face. He doesn’t say much. He talks to my mom about his schedule, they jibber jabber for a while. He hardly speaks to me. I instantly feel awash with guilt and shame. He is exhausted and I have dragged him out here to be present for my first world breakdown. I hate myself. He’s falling asleep in his chair. He doesn’t deserve this. I am a selfish brat.

I settle on watching Robin Hood Men in Tights while I continue the intake process. I make a nurse fetch me a sandwich. It’s been hours. It tickled me that I could just ask for something and someone would just go and get it for me. The sandwich itself reminded me of elementary school cafeteria food. Plain turkey on a roll. No cheese. I could have gummed it. My eyes are still dry.

Both of my parents and I are waiting for a bed to open up so they can move me out of this room. All I hear is the background noise of sword fights and my parents furiously tapping on their phones. I want to grab them and throw them against the wall. I want to smash their toys into pieces. I wish my eyes would quit this nonsense. I’ve already put half a bottle of eye drops in them. The bastards.

It’s 12:30 AM. The security transport van ran out of gas. I am still waiting to be moved. My mom is talking circles. My dad is sleeping in the chair. There is no such thing as time.
My mom went out for a cigarette and she comes back in waving he arms about and yelling. She somehow managed to get into a confrontation with the security van driver while she was outside for those five minutes. She is in a full tizzy. I shake my head. Typical.
The nurse tells my parents to follow the van over to the psychiatric unit. The security driver couldn’t wait. The dick.

I make it to the proper building and the nurses at the front station take inventory of my belongings. There’s a strange clockwork orange vibe as they carefully check through each of my items. I try to not giggle in recognition. I am the anti-hero of this tale. I am the bastard brat who gets everything they deserve yet the reader feels a strange sense of empathy towards me. Love me, I’m awful.

I’m not allowed drawstrings and my notebook is confiscated. They’re scared i’ll tear out the binding and garrote someone. The nurse responsible for me sequesters me into another room and asks me more questions. She seems tired. She doesn’t laugh at my jokes. I walk back out to the nurses station.

I am given an ambien. I turn around from the desk and a petite woman with an Amelie hair cut is standing in the middle of the common area stark naked. She has a lost look in her eyes. I try not to look at her directly. I stare at the floor instead. I grab my notebook from the nurse and finish my thoughts.

A short man appears and approaches me while I’m sitting and jotting down details from the night. He
tries to shake my hand. I am unsure whether I should touch him or not. His eyes are electric and he scares me.

This place is strange but not in the way I was prepared for. I’m still processing my surroundings. Hopefully this ambien kicks in soon so I can tune out for a few hours. it’s almost 2 am. People are up and pacing. They make me nervous. I am not ready for this 8 am wake up call.

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Steenie’s Intensive Out Patient Shenanigans – Day 1

November 28, 2012 at 5:13 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Today was the first day I decided to go to an intensive out patient program. It was recommended to me by a failed ER visit earlier this week. I was hoping for my own psychiatrist, but most in my area are booked until March.

 

March seems like an awfully long time to wait to talk to someone while you’re having a psychiatric crisis doesn’t it?

 

It’s 7 a.m.. I lay awake after an estimated three hours of restless sleep. I weigh my choices. I can either go to school and face reality, or I can stay in my pajamas and head to the nut house. 

My mother barges into my room shouting. Apparently if she comes home to find me still wallowing in bed, she is kicking me out of the house. Typical.

 

She leaves for work, the house is quiet again. I pick at a bagel and take my morning meds. The amoxicillin for my tooth tastes weird.

I look at myself in the mirror, I start to cry. How did I get like this?

Baggy purple eyes, ratted hair, swollen cheek. I look like a homeless street fighter.

I manage to make it out of the house and into the car. I pocketed a vicodin for later.

I get to the building, the “Edgewood Center” and fill out what seems like an endless stream of paperwork. I suddenly become thankful that I have rad health insurance.

I sign in and am shown around the facility. I am assigned a pager and receive a folder full of worksheets and informative pamphlets. I can’t help but laugh at the pager, bulky and old looking. It’s covered in deep scratches and worn off numbers.

 

I walk into my first group session 20 minutes late. Everyone stares at me and I suddenly feel the enormity of things. This is the first step, I tell myself. I’m going to get better. I have to get better.

I sit through the rest of the hour, listening to other people’s stories. They’re boring. Not like mine. One girl complains how she’s spending her birthday here and she relapsed yesterday on xanax. I laugh because heroin is her drug of choice, she was just feeling lonely. I thought peer pressure was for children. I’m not like her, she’s an idiot.

Another girl is constantly interjecting about her own experience with heroin addiction and how she goes to meetings and has abusive boyfriends. I tune out and start to doodle on my folder. She’s arrogant and tries too hard. I’m not like her, she’s exhausting.

 

An older black woman talks about how she couldn’t leave the couch this thanksgiving while she visited her family in Houston. I feel bad for her. She seems lonely. She allows herself to be controlled by a prior relationship. She seems obsessive. This was confirmed when she admits to hiring a private investigator to follow around her boyfriend to see if he was cheating. He was ans she still couldn’t cut things off. She makes me sad. I don’t want to end up like her.

 

We take a short break, I talk to my appointed doctor. He asks me questions for an hour. I tell him the same things I have been regurgitating for the last 72 hours. I’m sick of talking about it at this point. I’m not special, my problems are irrelevant, just make me better already. I don’t need to dig up my inner demons, I just need some Valium so I can function daily. 

 

I go back to group. They’re working on a worksheet about coping skills. Depression: go exercise, meditate, watch a movie. Anxiety: exercise, meditate, talk about it. Fear: take a benzo and forget about it.

It makes me want to vomit. I have google, I don’t need this nonsense. You people are inane and wasting my time. Is any of this really news to anyone here?

 

We break for lunch. I drink a carton of chocolate milk. It reminds me of grade school. I miss those gross lunches. 

 

We go back for the rest of the group session. An older woman, maybe 40, starts to talk about her overbearing mother in law who passive aggressively picks on her. I was rolling my eyes until she gets to the point where she starts to talk about killing herself. She said she wanted to go in the garage and turn on the car and fade away. She then couldn’t bear the harm that it would do to her husband and kids. Her solution: they should come in the car too. She discussed this with her husband, she said she could read the kids Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. They would fall asleep and they would all go peacefully together.

This woman scared me. I felt badly for her but this was another level I was not expecting. This woman let a fragile old lady bully her to the point where she was ready to murder her whole family and kill herself.  This was when I decided I do not have an illness. I do not need help. This lady needs to be locked up before she hurts someone.

 

After this darkness, it was my turn to speak. I told them how I was a 21 year old student that’s had a hard time lately. I told them how I would have melt downs, how I wouldn’t sleep for days, how I can’t function very well these days. After explaining the nonsense in my life, the doctor stopped. me. She asked me if I realized that while I was talking about some traumatizing things, that I would laugh about it. I told her, my problems are nothing compared to that poor lady who wanted to murder her family. Every inconvenience and issue I have is trite and pathetic. I don’t really have problems, just things I like to complain about. I have it good.

She asks me to not compare myself to others. She tells me I have real problems. I still don’t think that’s true. Oh, some one died. That sucks. I need to get over it. There are lots of worse things out there and I should be grateful that I am as lucky as I am. Complaining just makes me feel like a pussy who can’t appreciate what I have. Like I have room to complain, you know?

 

After this, I get paged back into the nurse’s office. She gets more of my medical history and demands a piss test. I comply. Tomorrow I have to get up earlier and get blood drawn while fasting as well. They want me to quit drinking. I told them i’d thin about it. After all, i’m not there for substance abuse, i’m there for mental illness. If I want a beer, why should my mental state keep me from it? Seems trite to me. 

I then went to get my meds filled and got sticker shock. There I was, thanking whatever false prophet that I have health insurance. Being sane and well is not cheap. This opportunity is one that should not be wasted.

I’ll see how tomorrow goes.  

 

 

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Steenie’s Super Fun Happy ER Adventure Time

November 27, 2012 at 6:14 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Yesterday, I realized that I had not slept in three days. 7 am was creeping up and my dog was stalking the squirrel outside my window. I rolled over and pulled the covers over my head, and shut my eyes tight. My breath was heavy as the dog walked over from the window and nestled herself against my back. I had to get up. I had class to go to. Things to do.

Last night, midnight, I was watching a documentary about the sphinx in Egypt. I start bawling. I’m clawing at myself, shaking, on fire. I can’t stop the thoughts from flooding around me, overwhelming me. I cried for hours.

I spent hours fiddling with my guitar, painting my nails, planning grandiose trips to Chicago. I consider grabbing a few things and running off. I don’t want to sit here anymore. I’m bored. It’s 4 a.m.
Wouldn’t it be perfect? I could just sleep on floors until I got a job waiting tables and I could finally start that band. You know, the one where I become a cult hit and I have my own line of shoes at Macy’s? Nothing could stop me from being happy.

I talk myself out of it, I have responsibilities. I’ve have school in three hours. I need to sleep.
I lurk Reddit, learning about economics and a litany of useless talents. It’s 5 a.m., I wonder if I should just get up and make breakfast.
I think this is a great idea. I’ll make bacon,eggs , toast, waffles, omelettes, and a strawberry banana shake. Of course I have to go to the store first but it’s only 5, I have plenty of time.
I look back at the clock. It’s 6 a.m.. I guess I’ll just lay in bed some more. I don’t like pancakes anyway.

I roll around for another hour, listening to the christian evangelical station on the radio. Apparently they need me to buy their audio cassettes so they can send shoes to Uruguay.

It’s 7 a.m.. I get out of bed. I walk over to my mom and tell her that she needs to drive me to school, I haven’t slept in three days and the vicodin on top of that makes me unsure of my general road safety.

She has appointments she says.

I ask her, what should I do? My hands are trembling, my mouth is dry, and I pace around the house while she gets ready for her day.

I tell her i’m tired of this. I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m scared.

She takes me to the hospital.

Conveniently, it’s the same hospital her own appointments are. We walk in, do paperwork, and wait for triage. My mom leaves. The nurse calls me in and takes my vitals.

My right arm is brown and purple from the IV I had on Friday. The nurse eyes it, I bet she thinks I’m a junkie. She asks the usual questions; who are you, why are you here.
I tell her, who really knows right? Like, existentially, no one knows. Who am I really? She didn’t appreciate my humor.
I tell her how I haven’t slept, I panic, I see things, I’m inconsolable. She asks if I’m suicidal. I tell her no, just overly existential.

I sit some more. Apparently mondays are the worst days for ER visits. They see 100 more patients on mondays than any other day. I have no sense of time. This doesn’t bother me.

They move me into a room eventually. They make me put on scrubs and take all of my stuff. I don’t know why they do this on account of there being all sorts of fun things in the room I could hang myself on. I make a mental note of the different materials at my disposal.

I pace around the room, look at all the odd colored dials and levers. I sit on a stool and spin around for a bit. I watch the shopping channel and make a note of how badly I wanted to smack the host’s face. Headphones are not life changing technology and Beats by Dre are not something you need for audiobooks you cunt.

The first professional comes in to see me. It’s a middle aged russian RN. He reminds me of Nico from GTA. He’s nice to me. He asks about my affliction and such, and walks out. He eventually brings me some water.

The next person to see me was this old woman. She was my assigned doctor. She didn’t ask me many questions asside from, are you wanting to kill yourself. In fact, that’s the only question any of these people have asked so far. I keep telling them no but I guess they assume at one point i’ll change my answer.
She wasn’t much help. She just tells me she deals with medicine so she’ll have a councilor see me.
Another hour passes. I’ve been in this room for maybe 3 hours now.
A councilor shows up at just about the same time my mother decides to pop back in. This woman was mousey and was missing teeth. She kept smiling and made me nervous. She wanted to know if it was ok to talk in front of my mom. I told her no and sent my mom to wait in the hall. My mom was not happy about this.

The lady asked me the same questions, do I want to die and all that. I told her no, I just don’t understand the meaning of existence and ya know, what’s it matter. I don’t want to die, I just want answers.
She nods and giggles and writes down more notes. I furrow my brow and wonder what she’s noting about me.
She asks if I drink or do drugs, I tell her no more than usual. I tell her how I don’t sleep for days, I cry for hours unable to move, I put myself in stupid situations, I interact with people in an unladylike fashion. I tell her I see things in my periphery that I can’t explain sometimes and how I put the milk carton in the cabinet sometimes. She doesn’t seem to be concerned with this. After all, I don’t want to kill myself.

Another hour passes and I finally manage to get a vicodin for my tooth. The last one I took had worn off hours ago and the pain was getting unbearable.

The councilor came back in another hour later with a piece of paper telling me about an intensive out patient program.
I start bawling. I had been sitting in the hospital for six hours for them to decide that it’s not their problem and they can’t do anything for me. They couldn’t give me this paper six hours ago and tell me to go else where? Nope. I didn’t want to kill myself so there’s nothing they can do.

I’m hysterical. I’m pulling my hair out. I’m convulsing in my chair. I’m screaming and wailing. MY mother is arguing with the councilor. She leaves. I continue to meltdown. The world doesn’t exist to me at this point. All I can focus on is this feeling of overwhelming sadness and hopelessness. I feel like i’m disintegrating. I can’t help but to howl and claw at myself.

The doctor comes back in and my mom argues with her. The doctor says I wasn’t like this when she saw me. My mom says, no shit. They argue some more, I don’t remember what was said so much. I was face down in my own lap on the stretcher while Jerry Springer was blaring from the television.

I’m still trembling and muttering and bawling. The doctor says she can’t deal with this, puts up her hands, and says she has to leave the room. I scream, I have to want to kill myself to get help? I don’t want to die, I don’t want to feel like this anymore!
The ER doctor leaves without saying anything else.

I’m hyperventilating, choking on my own breath.
My mom yells at the nurse to get my clothes, we’re leaving.
She tells me to calm down before they admit me.
I can’t.

I put my clothes on while sobbing. I can’t believe how utterly on my own I am in this. Even in my darkest hour, when I felt it was bad enough that I needed immediate medical attention, no one could do anything for me. I’ve never felt more hopeless in my life.

We walk out the front door after begging the RN to give me something to calm me down. My mom making a scene the whole way through the lobby, “We’re leaving worse than when we came in, how does that work?”. She’s screaming and freaking out too now.

I get a doctors note excusing me for a week so I can go to this outpatient thing. I don’t know if talking to strangers while eating boxed lunches will really do anything for me. I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do to get better. I cry the rest of the ride home from the hospital.

In typical mom fashion, we don’t go straight home. We go get lunch, we go to walmart, and we go to off the rack. I’m high as balls walking through walmart while my mom picks up her prescriptions. I almost fall into a rack of clothes while looking at something. I nodded out in the pharmacy waiting area. My mom had to retrieve me.

I got home at about 8 pm, 12 hours after this had started and I was no better. My mom insists that out patient counselling is bullshit.
I’ve got some numbers for a psychiatrist but who knows when they’ll have time to see me.
I talked to my professors, I might have to take incompletes for my classes.

I don’t know what to do. This is the worst I’ve ever felt. I feel like my life is collapsing and there’s no way to keep back this terror I feel. I can’t function. I’m scared.

I’ve talked to a lot of my friends in the past few days and they have been the most loving and supportive people I have ever met. Without their support, who knows if I would have had the strength to continue forward. Even if they don’t really understand, they offer their words of encouragement and love. They have no idea what that means to me when I feel like i’m tearing apart at the seams.
To have people in my life that I know I can come to when things get bad is something I’m not entirely used to but I am so incredibly thankful for that.
I don’t know if I would have the strength on my own to keep going.
Just being able to vent and get perspective allows me to see how crazy I am and let’s me get out of the delusions a bit.

I don’t really know what my next move is. I just want to be happy and feel normal. I’m sick of this crippling feeling. I still just want to run away but I know that’s not a real option. I guess I’ll continue to sit here and paint my nails and hope for the future.

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