Your love pushed me through walls of pain, caused me inexplicable grief and forced me to face myself. Your love has kept me believeing that life can be better, that past’s can be put to rest and life is worth living still. Your love is constant, even when you roar, stomp or confront my bitterness. You are surprisingly tender and need me when I least expect it; I feel honored by your vulnerability. Now, I face more pain; pain not from threat, regardless life breaking. I sit and watch you live from the sidelines and want so much more for you. I want to roll in the grass, make love in the forest, move my body in sync with yours…but I can’t. I can smile and feel the tears spilling from my eyes, laugh sometimes at your ridiculous attempts to amuse me, but I can never be the lover you once knew, your strength or release. For this, my true love, I am sorry. For it is not me who leaves you, alit by the frame of my spirit that awakened when I saw your arctic eyes, felt your strong embrace and the one I have known as my lover from our first kiss. No matter where pain takes me, nor the realms that seperate us, know. KNOW. You are the love of my life in beauty and in sorrow.
“It’s that TIME of year, the gruelling, catastrophic melancholy jingles of good tidings deepen Lm’s bastard of a headache.” Rock reminds Lm it’s not her “JOB” to be jolly. Lm thought last year was tough with her mother visiting; fibromyalgia, brain fog and her severe spinal pain made being merry impossible; polite and engaging was a morose daily event. Lm’s mother still does not get it even though she says she does. Her mother wakes at seventy-nine years old in good health, fully dresses, puts on her jewellery and lipstick then the giant elephant, PAIN in the ass, Lm woke slovenly, unrested, clad in in her night clothes, needing the toilet and wishing her mother to be quiet. “Good morning!” “How do you feel today?” Blah, blah, blah would ensue, and Lm would use the bathroom then excuse herself to her room again. She had wanted to shout and completely lose her fucking cool and say, ” I don’t know what a good morning is!” “I feel like shit”. What a tiring memory; simply recounting it drives steel bars through Lm’s ears, clanging, banging, whistling to the point of insanity, “Tinnitus”, Rock recalls. Lm glares at Rock, “Shut up, you don’t have ears.” Now, after having covid last March 2022 Lm has made a steady decline, like a little steam engine riding it’s breaks she slowly took each turn, believed she was in control and would not careen into the mountain sides and land in a big heap culminating into a pile of unsalvageable parts. Yet, she did. She is a heap of bitter moments, throbbing bones, more and more fatigued each minute as she lies entangled within her dreadful blob of perpetual turmoil. Dreams are cruel and vivid now. Christmas music isn’t cutting it for her and Rock pushing her to wash her hair, take more pain meds only irritates her. An unwelcomed mouse gnaws in the ceiling above her bed and her eyes burn from lack of rest. Sleeping is her game now. Fa la la la la. Rock is not as strong now. He has always carried her with crushing will and managed her weaknesses; it’s obvious he is vulnerable, too. She has clung to his ability to push through the physical pain, the abuse, the sickness, the past, the failures and smile. He can’t do it alone now and is scared. Who will help Lm? Who will see she is too weak to fight much longer? She does have two promising doctors now and soon will fly off to a special hospital for chronic repetitive pain patients. What about her CPTSD, BadDad, unresolved “Black Sheep” night terrors? What about suicidal ideation? No one wants to hear this part. Amsterdam is sounding like a good place to depart this goddamn nightmare. Laying on sofas, forgetting words, sleeping for hours now while it seemed like a romp in the snow wasn’t so long ago, a wintery walk through the forest, cooking masterfully with passion, playing a game of cards with the kids, being the “I got this” kind of mother. Lm knows she doesn’t have this now. She won’t climb a mountain, canoe or see Botswana nor make it back to her favourite old haunts with her husband. She dreams of parties and dancing, remembers her youthful beauty and laugh. She can’t take care of her surroundings and just wants out. Rock can’t console her more. He has run out of ideas. There are no good surprises coming. She will sleep through the holidays, check out her last shot at being “better” at the special pain rehabilitation centre and then come back, just the same, turn sixty in January in an uneventful way and wonder no more “why me?”. She will let go of Rock, stop dreaming and stop trying to make friends stay. No MORE existing through this shit, she will give in. She doesn’t want to be felt sorry for, sympathy and prayers. She wants OUT! Because NOBODY truly knows what it takes for her to live. The anxiety, lying in a pool of regrets, wrong turns, and basically her dumbass MINDFULNESS journey leading her right back to what she really is, useless. A total drag. Someone who holds everyone she loves back. Pride has left on the last ship out of here. Divided. Lm is now a thing. An “it”. Rock stumbles and TRUTH agrees, the two of them are in for a big last fight before the bell rings and the winner is declared. Honestly, in the boxing ring of life, he doubts either will rise again.
The Philosophical Dialogues Between RocK and Lm ; Part I
Rock is calm, in control and direct; he nudges Lm after days of her hiding so deeply within herself that she hasn’t eaten properly. She developed this unhealthy habit as a teenager along with over exercising, mega dosing herself on over the counter diet pills and eventually she was given “black beautys” by her worst addiction, TJ. That’s the TRUTH. Her first love was older, maybe twenty-one going on twenty-two when she met him on the city docks in Annapolis, Maryland; he fulfilled all the longing she had for her father’s attention. When BadDad had visited her in Nashville she was treated like a wealthy princess, shown off to his friends for her beauty and good manners which he was proud of. When she ran away to live with him he had married the wonderful Elle and she longed to be with her baby sister, D. Expectations were quicky extinguished. BadDad was curt, often critical of Elle and used Lm to find younger girls to hit on. Lm never knew how to deal with this and just pushed it into the stairwell with everything else that tried to break her spirit. She was naive and desperate for love; TJ was smooth, like Old Spice commercials, a sailor, a good drunk, a good Catholic, and a sex addict; he introduced Lm at barely sixteen to a wide variety of drugs. TRUTH. “You could have overdosed!” Rock is actually still surprised Lm is alive. “Yeah, well I didn’t, did I?” Lm is snarky, angry atTJ to this day. He was the one who slept with everyone she knew, in fact he slept with other girls while she waited for him in his best friend’s room. His best friend was a good person and although drugging and drinking, too he maintained some sort of faint resemblance to decent ethics. She would go to him (aka “Moby”) and sob; he always comforted her and he didn’t hit on her which gained her trust. Soon TJ introduced her to crystalmeth, cocaine, hashish, uppers, quaaludes, hard liquor, acid (LSD) and the habit of daily pot use. Her mornings were black coffee, amphetimines and saltine crackers, just enough to start the day. Lm’s father couldn’t do much because he wasn’t around enough and well, he had no room to talk. Lm new about his teenaged lover, his mistresses and flings and tried to bury the secret life he led behind Elle’s back. Her desperation for being seen, loved, adored, and wanted was now a sickness and TJ took full advantage of it. He would show up at her school in his old station wagon which he and Moby named “the Whale”; they started a painting company and lived on an old boat docked not too far from her house. She had been transferred to an elite private school after failing religion in tenth grade. She refused summer school and thus was tossed to the next VIP high school and it was life changing. She made friends, met really nice nerdy boys she liked but TJ had a good grip on her. She felt obligated to him and missed out on much of the fun with her new classmates. Other than BadDad and a few drunks hitting on her, TJ would become the one who broke her into small fragments of a girl, he would groom her just as her father had and she would take all of his emotional and mental abuse in a grotesque self deprivating way, for she had no identity; she was only HIS. Rock forces Lm to nurture her inner child, sip some tea, come forward with all TRUTH day by day. Why does TRUTH matter? Rock says, “Denying your own experiences leads to a deep sickness.” He is never giving up on Lm and promises to help her heal and in turn she can heal others. It’s dark twenty-four hours a day right now and Lm is also physically unwell. She can’t accept her pain within her heart, or that which engulfs her soul; how is she to accept her physical pain? Rock wants to hold her but he can not. He wants to teach her to hold onto herself. Rock said, “Lm, if I could punch TJ in the snout, I would; but we of all people know violence solves nothing.” Our only secret “mean” wish is that TJ and BadDad suffer for what they did to us. Lm whispers, “Why must I suffer in my dreams all alone?”. Tonight she may not sleep; it’s her only gaurantee that she won’t wake in a cold sweat, with those fat salty tears burning her fair freckled face.
After a long hiatus, Rock was found face down in wet leaves, stashed behind the family pet’s gravestones
For some newer readers, you might consider going back to the very first post in October 2021; Rock has been crucial to LittleMe’s growth, always her protector and strong. As Lm gets healthier, crushing her past with a mortar and pestle grain by grain she hid Rock and escaped his wise, solemn advice. Why would she do this to her best cover, her internal bodyguard since she was so small, she couldn’t talk? Rock knows and is upright, straight forward so let him explain why, despite her bravery, she still needs him and always will. ROCK is all knowing, a TRUTH teacher, and he sees what Lm is thinking before she acts. Without him, Lm (despite feeling she can take on the world), well, simply put, she can’t. Lm suffers from childhood trauma, chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, CPTSD, depression, and extreme insecurity because those she loved like BadDad let her down, not once but to the deepest, darkest, unforgettable place that creeps up on her, breaks her and torments her still. “Lm?”. Silence. Damn. “Lm? I’m back, still here for you. Are you under the bed? Are you in the stairwell opening memories without me?”. He waits. He hears a whistle, the kind a small child tries to make but it’s more like a soft blow of wind with a hum. “Come out Lm and let’s talk about what you’ve been up to. “Lm is indeed under the bed. Out stretches her hand from the same old bed she fled to when BadDad memories became too big when she was young. She feels Rock’s gritty surface, whimpers and doesn’t retreat. Rock is everlasting, part of her until her last breath; she wraps her smallest self around him as tears flood the floor. Rock is good at cleaning up messes and doesn’t mind. “We are closer to being one, but Lm you are not ready. I will know when it’s time to merge.” Rock wants to keep her safe and tells her, “Don’t hide me away again, we need each other Lm. Do you understand why now?”. Lm nods her head up and down and wants to articulate “Yes.” She can’t talk right now and is grateful Rock returned. “Tired of keeping up that big girl smile?”. Lm nods again. “I got you. Rock is here. Rest your heartache, leave your longing, stop waiting for the sky to open and for BadDad to hear you, admit his sins, to regret his lies and wrongs. It IS NOT going to happen Lm. He does NOT care and never will because you remind him of who he really is. Rest child. I will stand guard; I will keep you from starving for his love.” Lm lies in her puddle of tears with Rock. She is sorry to admit, she is not even close to being healthy. Rock knows Lm also has much chronic physical pain and is tired of fighting, that she is weary. He assures her she can close her eyes, but he knows he can never stop her dreaming.
As many older readers know this blog is mainly a reflection of LittleMe’s aka “Lm’s” real past where she identifies truthful occuranses which have caused her much anguish from childhood. She has a professional diagnosis of cptsd, a severe anxiety disorder which can be triggered easily (including panic attacks, nightmares, and low self esteem); she bounces back and forth with her better self and iconic protector, ROCK. Rock is ever present and takes care of her when she is having setbacks. He also pushes her to do the work to heal. Lm is also a writer who posts fairly regular short stories, poetry, prose and other forms of artistic expression. She also lives in a state of severe chronic pain and was diagnosed with CPS, or chronic pain syndrome. She loves life, animals, nature and especially forests; she is extremely protective of her family and the few very close real friends she clings to. She sets the bar very high to develop trust in others, even questioning her deepest sense of self frequently. Lm dodges people who she finds detrimental to her continual quest to clean up her mental and emotional health. I appreciate all of her readers who keep giving her support and encourage her healing process. Be Well. Be You.
GARBAGE; Uncluttering Lm’s Mind
ROCK wants to help Lm clean out her mind, release her memories into the sea like ashes of another self. He wants to help her create a beautiful new sense of self. It’s a job that no one can truly help her with as she is full of fire. He is not phased by her pissy shouting, her spit fire retorts nor when she knocks him over if he tries to lend advice. Truth has only one meaning, “cut the crap” and say what you mean. She has been foul lately. She has begun to speak to new people, coming out of hiding about her childhood, her shame, her sense of failing brought on by two gnarly parents, abusers she kept in her life because she was desperate for love. She wants to hear the words spoken outloud to her; she wants her mother to say, “I was physically abusive; I crossed a line and you didn’t deserve it”. She wants her mother to say, “I regret not allowing you to develop your sense of autonomy in a healthy way; I prevented you from following your dreams”. Lm wants her to say it, not think it. She knows her mother is fully aware of her behaviour that drove Lm to live with her beautiful other mother, Elle, her baby sister D and BaDDaD. Even though BaDDaD was risky to be around she knew Elle would not hurt her and she would have her precious D to hold onto, care for and love. When she initially got to her new town she was given freedom she’d never felt; she could walk out the door and go to get a slice of pizza and sit at the city docks watching sailboats out in the Chesapeake Bay; this alone was all she wanted. The sun sprinkling down and bouncing off the soft waves made her calm. She would get ice cream with D and watch as she licked the wooden spoon, careful that her baby sister would not get her first “brain freeze”. She started a new school and then she began to lose her way inside. In psychiatric terms it’s called “transferance”. Despite choosing to leave her mother, she also needed her; the cookie making, funny stories and playing scrabble and their shared love of beauty. Lm began to unconsciously try to become more like Elle. She wore Elle’s clothes without permission, she tried to behave like Elle in the mirror and no one understood her perserverance to create a bond that was like the one that she would truly hold onto throughout her life with her own mother. Her mother was not a horrible human being, in fact she was quite self sacrificing and had been through a very rough childhood. Often Lm would see in her mother’s enchanting brown eyes a hint of sorrow and try and cheer her up. The mother and child bond is complex, never perfect yet nevertheless necessary to evaluate and often, despite the obstacles, worth the effort to understand. Then she hit a big snag, one that she has to expunge from her own self-loathing NOW. She met her first big love who would later leave her with a sense of dirtyness, worthlessness and scarred. She would grow to hate all men, never sure how to please anyone and her family never intervened. BaDDaD didn’t care enough to stop it. Her mother had no idea what she was living through when she fell into the hands of this nice Catholic boy with bad, bad, bad, bad, BAD behaviours. He was in some ways, a replica of her father’s hidden side, full of lies and deceit; she continued to go back to him for she had no true persona, no guidance, just a broken sense of identity. Her only interests were finding love, being loved and clinging to the wrong people for it. His name was Tom. Since there are thousands and billions of Tom’s she doesn’t care to give him a break and a hidden name. He deserves to be outed for what he was, likely still is and how he used and abused her. Tom treated her like a doll and knew he was treating her poorly; he often would sleep with all her friends and other girls when she was at home with D and family; he introduced her to drugs and alcohol and soon, nothing mattered but him. She would pursue him, often waiting in his shared living quarters with his best friend K while he was having sex with another girl in his room. K would hold her while she cried and say, “I don’t know why he is like this”, drying her tears with empathy. This would go on for several years until Tom’s father sent him away to study. They met when he was twenty-one and she sixteen. Throughout her twenties she would suffer inner crisis struggling to know who she was, why she wasn’t happy or good enough. She did not know how to be herself and was lost in her own garbage of memories. Rock has led her to the point where she is tossing memories into boxes and trash bags, loading her past up and readying her for the dump. Lm is not garbage, in fact far from it. She is stronger and stronger each and every day and her slip-ups still arise now and then, yet she is prepared to let go, to savor her life and with her sword in hand, she is determined to battle her inner warriors. No one, no woman, no girl, no person should feel weighed down by their TRUTH. The car is ready, the engine started and all the rubbish that has held her back for so many years is being tossed memory by memory into a gargantuan hole. Lm is learning to save herself, not wait for someone else to save her. Rock is proud and will always be on stand-by; they are merging, if a stone could weep Rock’s tears would break the dam that has held back Lm’s growth. Thank you Rock for believing in Lm’s goodness.
Constellations of memories light up Lm’s brain, she can’t sleep as they flicker on and off stopping only when the sun rises and even then there is a only a tiny dimmer switch to rest with her pain. Physical pain was once easier than the psychedelic light show her mind set loose just as she tried to sleep. Now the two sources of pain have made a unique blend that she must try and swallow and go on with each day in conscious repression. Steven Hawkings would be proud of her discoveries, even if she hasn’t shared them with others. She is like a small wild flower in a glass vase much too big for her beauty to be noticed. She lies at the bottom, her petals dancing with color and no one sees her. The pain is like over watering an African Violet, she is drenched and can not do anything about it. Entering her thoughts is risky, for one could be sucked in and not find their way back to safety. She will hold on to you, beckon you not to go and the swirls of ruby fire lit asteroids will attach to you. Escape plans must be made and to survive her pull and force of neediness you must be strong.
EyesOPEN, Gray, Blinding visions, first feeling the pain of waking, assessing my spirit’s cage carefully. Roll over to wake and see nothing to greet my loss of self. SickWith me. LittleMe, MiddleMe, OlderMe, AngryMe, SadMe. I see sundrips upon my skin, they are playful, like the child I once was. I do not feel free but bound and stranded within my soul’s carriage. I am half way nowhere and there is noone to save me but ME. Do I have the strength to fight for Lm, my self worth, my existence or don’t I? That is the real debate. I feel like I am on satin sheets, sliding downwards to an end, an end of what? This life? My consciousness is aware of other’s expectations; my mixed emotions are more like a forced collaborative art project in mixed media. I remain a conglomerate of my past and I can’t get over grief just because it’s part of the healing process assigned to me. I can not recreate a new me from a piece of yarn, a stroke of a paintbrush or one poem. There is no recipe or delight in growing a new version of self if I can’t even remember who I am anymore. I wish upon stars and hold amythyst next to my chest, I breathe in chance and exhale death. I am not so sure ROCK can carry me further. If I lose him as my frontline force against the world, I will lose me.
Where has ROCK been? Why no writing? Lm rose above his domineering persona and said, “Fuck Off!” She pushed him into a hidden closet on the fourth step. She is OUT! She is running, diving, jumping, rolling, shouting, sobbing, vindictive, angry, broken, lost, alone and we must help her before……before she doesn’t turn around and trust us anymore. Her team is on the sidelines and she is sufferring. If you see her be gentle and slow to approach her skinless, impaired and descending self execution. She is so tired, she is so burnt, so ready to yank off her mask and spare no one a break. She is running numbers,scanning through all of her files; 001001001001001001001001001001001001 and Lm will reveal every single detail of her deeply buried pain. She will name the names, she will spit at you and she doesn’t care anymore. She hurts everyday, all day and all night and with ‘kin, not one cares to know, hear and show they respect the TRUTH. If the Onekin, (her description of her siblings are numbered as she runs a virus check through her brain NOW), stood up. If Onekin really wanted to be part of Lm’s safety net, well let’s just say Onekin has had a whole lot of information and still adores BadDad. Hurt? Hell yes it hurts. And there is more for Onekin to know. Lm is debating opening the door with so much sickening pain that it would hurt dear Onekin. Lm does not want to hurt Onekin. Or Twokin, or Threekin, or Fourkin, or Fivekin, or Sixkin, or Sevenkin. Lm only wants TRUTH. To be seen as the survivor she is. She is so insecure and was doing so well. What happened? Triggers do not go away. A gun was drawn that set off memories and Lm is wildly spinning into a tornado of such sorrow that she may not ever make it back to ROCK. She can’t live a lie, she does not trust anyone. SHE DOES NOT TRUST ANYONE! 001001001001001001001001001001001001001001001001……..
All aboard! It’s the Pain Train. My seat is permanent, my choices are few and I can’t go to the bar car, the toilet or be around others without making a huge fuss, therefore I choose to stay in my assigned seat. No one can help me; I own this pain. Looking out the window the world flies past and life is taking off at a speed I can’t cope with. The conductor is my nervous system colliding with my brain’s reactions to every tiny bit of stimulus. I see you and I care but I am off track and my brain signals are traveling at such a rate that I do not understand the smallest of conversations or even my own thoughts. This is not the train anyone with any healthy lifestyle wants to board; but it is packed. People are laying in the aisles and hoping for assistance, recognition and acceptance. Chronic Pain Syndrome or CPS is an official diagnosis now by WHO, (no not the band) , rather the World Health Organization. I was recently diagnosed with a severe form that has caused me to lose my vocabulary, shortened my fuses so to speak causing me to be easily startled, reacting with a scream or even sobbing as if the whole world is ending. In some ways, on some days, it actually does feel like a hopeless battle to live this life and ride this train. I have a collision of diagnosis. Degenerative Disc Disease, an inherited condition that I’ve known of since I was in my twenties turned from a back ache after gardening into the most severe form fast in my late forties. At that time I was given 20mg patches of morphine that I changed every few days. I believed this was as bad as it could get then. Yet, I was swimming, walking and riding my bicycle still. I also was cooking which I love to do. From there I slowly began to develop boney growths jutting inward toward my throat and spinal cord and I was told I had unfortunatly signs of early onset osteoporosis. I was put on a bone mineral supplement and more vitamin D and calcium was prescribed. Can’t get worse than this I thought, until it did. A spinal specialist said there was nothing that could be done. I not only have scoliosis, but also severe arthritis and various deformations head to toe. Earlier I had been sent to a university hospital rheumatologist who diagnosed me with fibromyagia, something I would not accept or grasp until I had the most severe flare I have ever had recenty. ( I am recooping now yet have a lot of work to be steadily on my feet again). The Dr.’s who upped the morphine years ago are unable to treat me now. I will say it barely takes the edge off on 30mgs daily slow release which includes fast acting oxynorm up to three times a day, muscle relaxants, anti-depressants, blah blah blah. The more boney growths, the worse my spine becomes. Earlier I was walking with a rolater and or crutches or a cane. Sitting was and remains one of my worst enemies but as I said, my seat is assigned for life. I then contracted covid in March of this year after three vaccinations; the very first time I went out into the city I caught it. I have not regained my strength, have developed chronic asthma and sleep as if in a coma or swing to the other extreme, experiencing severe insomnia and nothing will knock me out. My head hurts daily, I now have tinnitus and vision issues. The train chugs along and now I am in cue for a pain specialist rehabilitation hospital north of Stockholm. I never write about physical pain because I don’t know how to project the feeling with words so that others understand. I know that a really nice man, the husband of an American friend said the right thing one time years ago and it stuck with me. “Hello, it’s nice to see you are having what looks like a relatively good day”. It meant the world that someone knew my good days were fewer than my bad and that he also understood people like me don’t get better, we are chronically living in a state of pain that can ease up a bit but never leaves us completely blissful. For all the readers and writers out there who are living with CPS, I understand you now. I am sorry that I did not understand what my fellow passengers were experiencing until now. Mental health is important to address for everyone and somehow I let mine fall apart. Hopefully after my stay in the Pain Rehabilitation hospital (Uppsala University Hospital) I will be able to read with focus, write with more clarity, listen to others and converse, start walking for my overall health and socializing a bit more with those who have hung in there with me. I will still ride the train with you and I will try to reach out to all of you much more. Remember, you are not alone. We are on board together.