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10:10 p.m. - 05/29/03
::just sitting around being foolish when there is work to be done::
Wow. I didn't sleep last night (whoo*), and I had a crazy day of therapy, and I'm supposed to be writing a report on how gothic literature has changed over the past few centuries, but I don't care: I'm choosing to write this entry instead because ... I love this journal. Just looking at this layout makes me feel better, makes me feel more in myself. I know I made the right decision changing it because it already fits. It's like my name: it never felt foreign; it only fit, and that's so nice. Besides, I thought when I came downstairs just now that it was probably about 10:30, and it's only 10:10, so I have all sorts of extra time. I'll finish the paper and study for the history exams before 2:30 tomorrow, and in the meantime, I get to do something I love, even if it seems silly and frivolous. I get to write words with as little meaning as I choose and have them show up in a beautiful layout I did not design. Sweet and beautiful life.

Ok, not entirely sweet and beautiful. I did take my sleeping meds before nine o'clock the past two nights because I didn't have the choice of someone punching me into a short coma. Pain. Last night especially it was the particularly bad sort of pain. The kind where you're crying but it's more sobs (or inverted screams or...) than tears and afterward you don't feel better, you only have a headache. I listened to "Sand and Water" and cried. I thought about tiny bits of this huge Rogers-quilt; the smallest memories of spaces and sentences and jokes, and I couldn't get past the pain or feel that it was healing. It's brought up a lot for me to think of Sara going back to Rogers. It's always hard to convince someone you're grateful for whatever material they triggered, but I am. I finally articulated to Dr. R that my desire to return to Rogers (minus the hospital and sickness aspects) is as strong as my desire to recover. I also told him that I feel like I've continued recovery *in spite of everything* the past few years (excepting his help and the long-distance support of my loves), and even though I hate to say it (because I don't want to sound like anything but the recovery sales/poster girl at all times), sometimes I feel like my reward for that has been all this pain I'm in. My reward has been losing Rogers, which isn't true. That line of cause and effect is not true. But the fact that it feels true, even sometimes, needs to be spoken aloud. The fact that I love them, after all the time that's passed, without losing one degree of the intensity (even when I wanted to or tried so hard to do so) needs to be communicated. So today the doc and I talked about it - and we talked about my parents also, which made me mad because Rogers is home and the people there are the ones that I wanted to talk about (but obviously this shit with my parents kept coming up) - and I told him how I have this need to have them hear how much I love them (still). I have this need to communicate to them that I feel the same way now I did when I left, and I'm getting better in spite of it, but I need to tell them I consider them home, even if it somehow ends up being "my first home." I told him how I wish I could call Dave because I know Dave wouldn't placate me with what I want to hear; if I asked him if it was ok that I love Rogers, he would give me a straight answer. Of course, I don't know when Dave got to be the one who decides whether or not it's ok (how'd he get all that power and credibility?) and sometimes I think we residents own Rogers more than the staff will ... even though they stay longer, we live there, it's our whole world, and we experience it differently, more fully, because of that. And because it's where we start to come to life.

I would just really like the affirmation from them. I'm not even talking about reciprocation - not, "we love and miss you, too" - I just want to hear from them that they understand how I feel and don't mind me claiming that as reality. Don't mind me telling people I first found home in rural Wisconsin in a place that would barely make it onto a map without the hospital...

I'm not sure what to do with that, but it probably won't go away, which in a positive light- means that I have time to figure it out. After I start sleeping again, after I've (eh-hem) taken finals (let's not say the whole reality out loud just yet, ok?), after I'm a little more settled, I'm sure I'll have reason to look at it again. I had a scary week. I wasn't doing well, and that was escalating so rapidly as the week went on, at the same time I was desperate to somehow ensure Sara's safety. (Just because I'm working on codependency doesn't mean that I have to stop caretaking, you know. Oh. Wait.) Honestly, though, all "illness" aside, knowing someone you love has an illness as bad as this one (and I know how bad it is) is terrifying. But I talked to her tonight, and there's something about talking to her - beyond the amazing connection and the beauty of talking with someone who knows all about recovery and all about Rogers - that reminds me how *well* she is. I don't mean to minimize it. She's very, very sick right now and needs some real help and real resources. But she isn't beaten. She is not beaten and that's something that's hard to tell from an e-mail. It's easier when she's talking on my phone, when I can hear her thinking just how I think (on the good days) or making choices I'm trying to make. So on a very real note, if Dave doesn't call her back soon, I'm going to travel north and kick his ass. Thus, I had better get my own act together.

(Because the sooner we're both stable, the sooner we can hug and talk and be together all in-person-like.) Eep! I love how warm the phone is when we "finish" talking (it's really more of a to-be-continued sort of ending) and I love how soft I am inside when she talks to me. And Sara, being the first person-I-know-in-real-life to read this journal, you have to either find a way to skip or get used to hearing me babble about how much I love you. Because I refuse to stop doing that.

Speaking of love, Shannon called me tonight for just a moment, too. That was pre-chocolate-shake (sugar + mild caffeine = temporary energy), and so we didn't talk long. I was exhausted, attempting to write the gothic paper, and about to leave the house so some potential buyer could peruse it. But life is always better when I hear her voice, and somehow, it really surprised me to find her on the other end of my phone. I suppose because we haven't talk-talked since New York. But that was good also and must continue to happen. To think, I'll be free in less than one week, and actually have time open to do what I enjoy!

And I really need to sleep now, if I'm going to study for two finals and write an essay before tomorrow afternoon (marathon education, whee!), but I do want to say that I think I took a really good step letting someone from my real life (this specific someone) into this journal. I've had it for almost three years now (by which I mean it and atomgirl), and it's always been the outlet where I can say anything, where only strangers and former-strangers who I've met through writing venture. I think part of that is valid; it's for my own privacy. But part of it has to do with not wanting to risk hurting anyone. I don't want them to see what I write here because it's not always pretty or optimistic or smart. And that part needs to change. I don't even want people to think I'm perfect now...Let's stop trying to project that image, hey? And also - stop trying to protect people from things they already think and feel comforted reading. I have to stop thinking I'm responsible for what every word or move or breath I write/make/take does to someone else a thousand miles down the line. So, I'll start with working to worry less about how my journal effects people (and while I'm at it, whether or not my entries sound smart, interesting, or well-written...because that's annoying me, too) and eventually I'll get somewhere.

Somewhere other than [email protected]#$%^. We're on a waiting list for some ritzy apartment complex (weird, yes?) in a great neighborhood in the city. I'm so ready to go; I swear I'd pack if I had time.

And remind me to tell you the story from tonight where I end up on the tile on the bathroom floor thinking I need to go the ER, otherwise known as "Why Ovaries Should Be Optional." Too much information? Too bad. The way I see it there are plenty of boys who want to have kids (through sex with their boys) and can't, so they should have the option of having ovaries and I should have the option of not. Because seriously, I've never been in so much (physical) pain as I was tonight. I was sweating and out of breath. I was literally scared they would rupture or something. Well, anyway. I guess you don't have to remind me to tell that story. I think I just did. So remind me to tell you the weirdass dream with the paralysis, the two doctors, and the magic powers. That's a hell of a lot more interesting (and less worrisome) anyway.

love, loves-


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