Half and Half; The Division of Self

Chronic Pain; The Modalities of Madness

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“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.

Why Does TRUTH Matter?

The Philosophical Dialogues Between RocK and Lm ; Part I

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

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 at TJ 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.

Resurrecting ROCK

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.

Why Don’t You…

Pimp your blog. Add some bling. Make it shine, stand out, shout, attract, organize everything so it’s more appealing to the reader? Lm is biting her lip again. Truth is Naked. Truth isn’t fluffy and for a good time. It’s simple. Truth should not be camaflouged with frivolities. Lm has locked herself in a small closet where she has hidden the memories of one person who she won’t forgive. Ever. Wait, she has someone new! This is not news to ROCK who knows her best. Lm is never forgiving herself for letting people who loved her do mean things and get away with it. Her hair is falling out now and she holds onto a picture of herself at fourteen. What the hell is wrong with me? She kicks the door and is like a feral street dog in Thailand. Roaming, pleading, desperate to find a kind soul. She can’t be touched but is needy. She waits for the moon to rise and then she will sneak out and climb high into the tallest tree and fall to the ground and die. No. That’s not good enough. If she lives with more pain then she has lost again. Her suicidal ideation is a huge issue. She never wanted to die but now if things don’t turn around she would be okay with it. That last breathe and that white light with angels lifting her soul peacefully, leaving her cage, the one that hurt all the time could go to the damn compost. Maybe. Another day. ROCK wishes he had the ability to smoke so he could have something to quell his anxieties. He stands firm. There is nothing that she can do to herself when he is near. Baby birds fall from trees all the time and live. Lm is NOT like a little robin who knows nothing about what’s out in this cold,cold world. She is mumbling. She is circling around and yelling at her own inner child. He wants to intervene but he knows she must do the work. One day, ROCK believes he will transform as well and Lm can join him as one. When this day comes they will be free and walk away, with arms, a cigarette in hand and blow smoke rings into the sunset.

“Come out and take it, you dirty yellow-bellied rat, or I’ll give it to ya through the door!” – James Cagney partial quote from the famous film “Taxi”1932

Scene 1, Take 1000 ROCK Leans Against Lm’s walls of pain and reminds us all that she may crumble but she is one tough cookie.

As many of #RealStuffbyRealMe readers know Lm has been a bit unhinged lately; ROCK has been trying to take a breather and sighs as he remembers with unbridled compassion her earlier feisty days. Okay, you are right, stones don’t need air. Rock is more like a highly trained navy seal and would fight from the bottom of the big, blue sea for Lm. She has sunken on dry land however and he can only protect her from selfish indulgences she turns to when masking her pain. He shares in his best Cagney impression a memory he hasn’t thought of in years. There is so much about Lm that others don’t know. At nineteen, or was it eighteen?… she sailed with two licensed sailors in their early twenties from the well known Annapolis, Maryland, USA yearly boat show to Fort Lauderdale, Florida! There was TJ, with light brown, sea-salty hair, soft blue eyes and a reputation for knowing everything one is to know about sailing; he was a ladie’s man of sorts, one who knew the ropes of the sea but had a deficient vocabulary and well, Lm found him simple. The captain was sly, short, and had quite the interesting nose; he was boastful with a big mouth, pushy and an extremely mysoginistic character that Moby Dick would have spat upon. He learned quickly that Lm would not comply to some unspoken norms that went with the gig. Lm being completely daft and desperate to escape her home life jumped for the opportunity to go along. Apparently, many galley gals were expected to entertain the captain at sea with more than just their singing. She ducked his sexual advances, refused to laugh at his flirtatious nature he called “joking” and was on guard fully after the forty foot Nordic left the Chesapeake Bay and entered the Atlantic. The boat had been bought by a wealthy Floridian and the crew was to be paid very well (except Lm, another story, another day). In many ways she was running away from BaD Dad and Elle’s impending divorce and the non stop crying and yelling, yet she was also running away from a broken heart. Her first major boyfriend who damaged her trust as much as her father in all future relationships had called and advised against her going. This only gave her more incentive as he doubted her ability to handle life at sea. He was a jerk and in all facets of the definition of a decent human, he failed. Lm will most likely go on and on about him to you later. Now caught at sea with the creepy captain and his side-kick, she was in a storm that they were warned about by the radio weather monitor; it was approaching fast with wild winds and waves from four directions. On a sail boat with no way out she had to brace herself and go through it and believe in someone she despised. Storms are nothing to scoff about at sea. Harnessed in at the stern and both hands tightly on the helm she did exactly what captain said, “stay on this precise course and don’t let go.” The winds were steadily building while the guys worked the sails. She ducked as the boom swung from side to side and despite the captain being a very conceited man she was literally praying to God she would never sail again if he just guided these two sailors safely inland. After the storm they took an unplanned pause at the port in Beaufort, North Carolina. She and the guys got off the boat speechless and ran straight to a bar full of fellow wild water sailors. Drunk and scared she met a curly dark haired girl named Tilly with ankle bracelets and a big heart. Tilly was not afraid of anything and was as free as the winds which Lm believed could have killed them all. TJ and Tilly were seasoned and tanned by their multiple yachty-ness experiences and hooked up that first night; they were in full crush mode and she was welcomed to finish the journey with him and the captain. The captain was even more cocky toward Lm now that TJ had a pretty girl in one night and grew more and more agitated over the slightest things. In a snarky voice he barked at Lm to bring him a sandwich. Lm had been hiding out below in an aft bunk for as long as she could. Frightened yet angry at his savage ways she took two pieces of bread and peeled plastic away from the fake processed cheese food, then slapped some ham on it. She was not happy about his behavior toward her although she was grateful he chose to listen to TJ and take the intracoastal waterway and navigate toward St. Augustne, Florida. She looked at the sandwich and took a bite off the corner and spit it out as she was a strict vegetarian. Nextly, she took a squirt bottle of French’s mustard and wrote RAT on his sandwich in bright yellow and orange. She stepped up from the cabin, handed him the sandwich on a paper plate and quickly went to sit with Tilly who was dangling her legs over the side starboard. The captain had one hand on the helm when Lm gave him the plate and he didn’t notice it’s appearance or say thanks as usual. Both girls giggled. Then they heard “Bitch!” and watched a ham and cheese sandwich fly over there heads and into the salty waters and float away. Lm was not asked to make any food for him again. Believe ROCK when he tells you that when Lm says she smells a “RAT“, she is spot on. She does adore all other rodents however.

ROCK Smashes SCISSORS

So the beautiful girl with a reputation of kindness and generosity was entering a classroom in a below ground level stairway located outside the entrance. No one was around. Maybe she was tardy. Regardless, there appeared the boy, whom she had said no to many times and he grabbed her arm and said, “come with me”. She said no, that she had a class and he persisted. She was not one to make a scene and was afraid. He pulled her across an empty lot to the public housing where he lived. His mother was at work and his little sister in school. The beautiful girl struggled and yelled NO and STOP loud enough that a neighbor heard her and looked out and saw him forcing her into his mother’s apartment. The girl was forced to have sex. She didn’t want to and the boy said, “,Now no one will ever want you. You are ruined. You are mine”. Then the boy and girl heard the door open downstairs, it was his mother. He dressed quickly and ran downstairs. His mother said the neighbor called her at work. She asked if it was the beautiful girl who had broken up with him and he said no. He said it was nobody special, he said she was embarrassed and if his mother stepped outside she would go out the back door. The mother obliged but was not happy. The girl crying, dressed and ran back to school never telling anyone anything. She felt dirty, bad, ugly, worthless and no longer like she could have a better life.

The boy possessed her, he lied and made up tales so big that she soon stopped trying to care. She wanted to go to college and had a partial scholarship. His plans decided her fate always. He convinced her to marry him and they drove to a state that would hitch them up. She tried to convince herself it would get better, he promised the world to her and then she got pregnant.