I have spent the past few days feeling pretty crazy. The mediation really wiped me out, and i had gone into it with only about 4 hours of sleep, so by the time we got home, I was really fried.  But I had a ton of work to do (I can’t refuse any work these days, despite needing to write two diss chapters in three months, because I don’t get summer funding and I don’t have enough money in the bank to pay my bills and rent for the summer).  About 8 pm I got hit with the crazies and I cried hard ’til about 12 and then leaked and sniveled and writhed ’til about 2 am – I was on my feet in the art room filling orders, so I could go through the motions, but it was mostly uncontrollable and scary and consuming and vast… something. I still don’t have words for this stuff.  Intellectually, I now know that those episodes will eventually pass, that I’ll come out the other side of the worst of it, more or less, and that things will stop feeling unbearable.  But when they’re happening, all that stuff I know intellectually evaporates – it doesn’t matter or isn’t real or something.  But that they can hit me like this even after all this fucking therapy and medication and paying attention and shit is really frustrating, and that they feel so awful and so overwhelming and uncontrollable that I am afraid I’m going to die, except I kind of want to die so I don’t have to feel like that anymore, is simultaneously scary and maddening. I mean, it pisses me off – it’s fucking ridiculous.  It especially pisses me off (and they are probably exponentially worse in these situations) that this shit is largely happening, or at least to the extent that it is, because of OTHER PEOPLE FUCKING WITH ME.  I really get tired of that victim card, and I get disgusted and enraged that somebody can push my buttons like this. I can’t quite put words on how furious it makes me, that somebody else is fucking with my equilibrium like that. It makes me fucking murderous when I’m done being paralyzed by crazy-emotions-and-physiology-land.  I mean, “what klonopin?”  And “why me?” and all that other useless shit.  When do I get to stop working so hard that I’m killing myself, huh? When do I get to stop living like this? Shit like that.  It’s useless, a useless sticky tangle.

I am SO FUCKING SICK OF GETTING HIJACKED.  I am so sick of my own brain and body just hauling ass on me and going on some methed-out, sawed-off, toothless rampage and whatever it is that is “me” in there that is not “brain” and not “body” getting the shit stomped out of it. I am so sick of the bottomless and completely irrational fear – or fears plural I guess, ’cause there’s the sort of fear, ,I guess it is, that hits me during these episodes that is not really amenable to being put into words, and then there is the fear of this shit hitting me when it’s not hitting me, if that makes any sense. I mean, I had to call the lawyer and explain to her that my common sense sometimes gets hijacked when I feel backed into a corner and so I was worried about being in teh same room with that asshole b/c if I lost my temper it might make my daughter’s situation worse.  I had to call the lawyer and explain to her *how I’m basically fucking crazy and liable to lose control of myself at any given moment* – OVER SOME DOUCHEBAG.  I mean, this would make a lot more sense if I were taking fire or driving a truck in a convoy in a war zone, but no, I can handle shit like that.  It’s some balding, pudgy, middle-aged suburban douchebag with “little man” syndrome who has the power to send me into a tailspin.  I can run night-fire training exercises, plan squad ground maneuvers, write a book-length manuscript, learn two dead languages in two years, claw my way out the trailer park and into a PhD program, kick cocaine, leave the booze alone, kick opiates, throw a 200-pound opponent to the mat, hit a (slowly) moving target at 300 meters with an assault rifle, which I can probably still clean and load in my sleep. And some little minivan driving fuckhead can just run over my life, just like that.  I just can’t quite find the words to convey how furious and disgusted that makes me.  It makes me want to kill somebody.  It just unpacks all my crazy and dumps it out on the floor and pours gasoline on it and starts throwing matches.

So I guess I should be feeling better that it’s likely this legal shit is going to go away (though with this guy, I am not counting my chickens before they’re hatched), and I should be feeling better that klonopin exists and I have a prescription for it because I finally found some psych industry people who are helping me instead of hurting me (and boy is that another rant).  I should feel better that even though my life has kind of been a minefield the last year or so, my overall goals and plans haven’t sustained irremediable damage (my daughter’s are another story, but she’s her own person in a lot of ways with a lot of this, and I can’t live her life for her or force her to have different priorities).  I should be feeling better that on the financial end of things, I actually have too much work instead of not enough work, because this is preferable to the opposite.  I should be feeling better that I have nevertheless avoided a lot of pitfalls and traps – things could definitely be worse, and I know that.  I should be feeling better that when I gave my father a little talking-to about his interpersonal skills, he actually sort of listened, and furthermore, something somewhere has gotten through to him because FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY 38 YEARS, HE CONGRATULATED ME ON SOMETHING that he brought up of his own volition, instead of thinking of me entirely in the context of how I directly affected (or not) his day to day existence, and/or taking the moment to try to shame me for not being/doing x, y, or z, or not measuring up to someone or something else he’s heard of or knows about.  (And furthermore, I did not let my jaw hit the floor when he did that, though you honestly could have knocked me over with a feather at that moment, I was so stunned.)  Really, things could be a lot worse.

But I live with this kind of daily, or at least very regular, and very real, fear that I’m just going to snap at the wrong time in the wrong place, that the bottom is going to fall out and I won’t be able to control it and it’s going to fuck my life up, or my kid’s life up.  Little minivan suburban pudgy douchebag does not scare me – he enrages me.  He makes me so angry that I want to stomp his skull until I have broken it and he fucking squishes under my boots.  And one of the reasons he enrages me is that people like him *make me afraid of myself.* And it’s really frustrating because I have really tried to design my life so that I don’t have to deal with shit like this.

One time when I was about twelve or so, when my parents were in the process of buying that land out in the boonies from a guy we’d been renting a house from and who my dad was friends with, he was over on the property with the friend and they were drinking some beer or something and I don’t know, talking about property lines or power lines or lumber or something.  This guy was weird – so weird that somebody could write a book about him, come to find out, down the road – but like most narcissists, he had the ability to be really charming and disarming and make you doubt your own radar and brush off that nagging feeling that something just wasn’t quite *right* about him.  I was only nine or ten or so when I met him and started hanging out with his daughters, but even I had the idea that something just wasn’t quite right about him and I always avoided being alone with him.  He had this sort of ostentatious generosity that I did not trust – he would take his kids and their fifteen closest friends and take them to Chuck E Cheese, or take them water-skiing, or throw a giant birthday party, and he was always *pushing* his “generosity” and his money and his favors on people somehow.  My parents have never been the kind of people to trust/welcome that kind of thing – they were never even on government assistance a day in their lives, and getting one of them to take a gift or loan of money is a freakin’ no go – but this guy really just insinuated himself into every aspect of our lives. He was a weird kind of control freak like that.

Anyway, at this point dad was not out of his “get drunk and drive the truck into the ditch” era, so his not showing up for dinner was never much of a cause for undue concern. But that night instead of his coming home drunk or us getting a call that he was in jail, there was a noise on the porch instead, like an animal had crawled up the steps and was trying to get in the door.  Mom opened the door and my dad was lying there, covered in blood with a broken ankle and a broken arm and a broken face.  He and the friend had gotten into an argument, and the guy had about 50 pounds and six inches on my father and, according to my dad or at least his pride, sucker-punched him.  Dad had crawled/stumbled the mile through the woods from the new property to the house and made it to the front door and up the steps.  I don’t really remember exactly what happened next, but I recall that my dad spent a couple of weeks at his parent’s house after they set his ankle and arm, and that his “friend” showed up the next day and tried to sort of apologize to my mother, I think, except in a weird sort of way that made it sound like he blamed my dad or it was my dad’s fault, and that he gave some cockamamie story to the parish priest who actually showed up at the house and tried to give my mother some lecture about forgiving her enemies or something, which set my mom off on a blasphemous rant that should have won her an award and sent that little Irish priest with a duck-tail haircut scurrying off with his tail and his rosary beads between his legs.  I’m not sure how much of that I remember and how much I was told later, and I’m not sure if the images I have of my father laid up in the bed all busted and bruised are from photographs that his parents took when they were trying to convince him to document everything and sue the guy (except people like us don’t sue people like him, because people like us don’t have enough money to buy “justice” and this guy had enough money to buy God).  I am just not sure how faithful memory is here.

But what I do know is that all this, seeing my bull-headed, strong-willed, independent to a fault father crumpled up and busted and bleeding on the steps of a house that we did not own, that was owned by someone who would apparently do anything he pleased at any time to his “vassals” and serfs and minions *just because he could,* opened up a big wide door in my universe.  As chaotic and noisy and turbulent and beer-soaked and occasionally scary or violent as my extended family was, things made a certain sort of sense. There was a rhythm to it, a sort of cause and effect and flow that you could catch on to and adapt accordingly.  Grandma would be thin-lipped and snippy one Sunday and doling out switchings and rosaries and penances left and right if you made a peep or left a lump in the gravy or suds on the silverware, but that was because Granddaddy had come home at 2 am the night before drunk, from the VFW, with a huge paper sack of turnip greens, and gotten her up to clean them.  You could tell by the set of her lips and her tone of voice that it was a good idea to stay out of her way, and you could tell that after his sixth PBR, Granddaddy would fall asleep on the sofa with a National Geographic on his belly and if you were quiet, you had some free time to dress up the dog, or climb under the house, or play jacks, or ride your bike.  Mom slammed a lot of cabinets and threw a lot of shit, and dad drove the truck into the ditch alot, but there was always a sort of vocabulary or language to it, and anyway it had always been like that, and some days were worse than others but then there was ice cream on Sunday. It made sense why things were like they were.  It was predictable enough if you were paying attention, and nobody ever died from a whipping, and despite all the little unpleasantries and novenas, it was safe.  Your family was there and they protected you and the world wasn’t going to come into Granddaddy’s house and mess with his “chirren,” and you would like to see it try.

So I think when my dad showed up at the door all crumpled, he brought the world with him, and things stopped making sense.  The old internal logic was gone.  My father had met something that could actually hurt him, and we were in a delicate position living in a house that belonged to the man who had broken his arm.  He could throw us out ass over teakettle in a heartbeat, and he could ruin my parents’ reputation and thus their business and livelihood in the process if he wanted to.  And there wasn’t really very much we could do about it.  And my father couldn’t meet him at  high noon for a shootout, couldn’t beat his ass in the backyard, couldn’t really do anything.  I had long been aware that the world wasn’t always very friendly and wasn’t fair, but I realized then, maybe, that it wasn’t really safe either.

I have spent my whole life trying to minimize the ability of other people to fuck with me, dictate my life or actions, intimidate me, or mess with my opportunities.  And since I had teh_blondie, I have spent my whole life trying to make sure nothing was going to pull the rug out from under her feet without meeting every available ounce of whatever that I had to prevent it. And I guess that is a fool’s quest, an unrealistic thing to try to accomplish, an unrealistic way to live – I guess it’s setting yourself up for failure.  Because when shit happens where all the unjust and stupid and petty and crooked and crazy shit out there shows up on your doorstep, despite your taking rather great pains to avoid it, it kind of feels like you’ve wasted all your energy on nothing.  And if you have to lose, or you have to suffer, or you have to go to the mat or tap out, it seems especially pathetic for the agent of that downfall or episode or whatever to be someone despicable, someone who by rights ought to be inconsequential, someone who should not have anything near that sort of power or agency.  it would be a lot better to get knocked over or out by some giant force of nature, or some massively evil person, or some natural disaster or something.  It would be better to get taken down by something clearly superior in force or strength or sheer mindless presence.

It’s really quite difficult to swallow, that some useless ignorant junkie shithead, or some narcissistic overgrown frat boy, or some little balding, sputtering, impotent, bespectacled soccer dad, can manage to knock your fucking dominoes down.  I don’t deal with that very well at all.