Archive for the ‘Wrath’ Category


New Developments!

June 8, 2009

Physical manifestations of my stress and/or self-loathing:

Perpetually clenched fists

Bruxism both sleeping and waking

Relentless headaches (no doubt bruxism-related)

Inadvertently holding my breath.

That’s right, kiddos, I’m forgetting to breathe.

And did I tell ya that the part-time job I was offered fell through because it was grant-dependent, and said grant was denied?  The hits just keep on rollin’.


No therapy today.

May 11, 2009

You might have seen Daphne Merkin’s article on chronic depression in the New York Times Magazine.   I’m not in the same league, at all, and I can’t imagine living as she has.  I suppose I should be grateful that I’ve only now begun to deal with counseling and drugs and such, but this is what leapt out at me:

But even as I talked and laughed with the other guests, my thoughts were dark, scrambling ones, ruthless in their sniping insistence.  You’re a failure.  A burden.  Useless.  Worse than useless.  Worthless.

That’s the loop.  While I can ignore it some times, particuarly if I’m going about easy, punching-the-clock type of things, when I sit down to write or think about academic work, as I did today, since there’s a deadline coming up for an important conference in a very appealling locale, it starts up again. 

Why try?  You’re going to do all this work and get your hopes up and then you’re going to get shot down.  Again.  Why waste everyone’s time?  You don’t really have anything to offer.  Nothing to say that can’t be said better.

And even on the rare occasions that I can temporarily drown out that chorus, I’m completely overwhelmed at what it is I’m supposed to do.  Which is write, every day, for the rest of my life.  Or for the rest of the year, at least.  Sit down and write, in spite of that drone which assures me of nothing but failure.   And yet I’m failing now, as it is, by not writing.

Bravery is supposedly being afraid of something, and then carrying on with it anyway.  I don’t think I’m very brave.  And even if I were to pull myself together, skirt up, and do this thing, what sort of self-hating insanity is it to dedicate yourself to a profession that almost literally drives you crazy?  Is that bravery worth lauding?


People Need to Chill the Fuck Out about Swine Flu.

April 27, 2009

This post has nothing to do with flu, I’m just already sick to death about the fear-mongering going on the MSM and it was either type that here, or yell it out the window of my apartment.


Monday is therapy day, which is yet another reason to dislike it.  If you needed one.  The last two weeks have been especially bad, as I’m realizing that several months into this, I don’t feel one whit closer to feeling more hopeful about my prospects or abilities, neither do I think that I’ve really figured out what it is that I’m afraid of, or concerned about, or whatever it is that puts me on the edge of tears nearly any time I think too much about it, or dare to sit down and look through files.

I do feel like I’ve managed to wall off my school/diss work into a little corner of my life, and mostly ignore it, in favor of the things that are pretty good.  However, that crammed little corner, which is black and bloated with poison, keeps bleeding over into the rest of my life.  Weekly therapy is where I drain that emotional abcess, so to speak, but it hasn’t been healing.  While that is a graphic and gross metaphor, it feels spot on.

I’d rather have swine flu.


Blue Monday

April 20, 2009

Today is a grey, crappy, rainy, blustery day.  As if my internal life were reflected in the atmosphere, you might say.

Had myself a blustery chat with Ye Olde Therapiste, wherein I talked about:

1.  Robot Boy’s grandmother, who has taken quite a decline recently, prompting him to schedule a quick trip to visit with her this coming weekend,

2.  Which has also put any vacation plans–to Costa Rica or anywhere else–on hold until we know what’s up with Grandma.

3.  My post today at Harpyness on not being sorry, and yet how I’m completely consumed with guilt and remorse and constantly feel sorry both for and about what seem like my unending failures, and

4.  Needing to meet both with my dissertation director, so as to more-or-less “come clean;” and the placement officer/career counselor dude, so as to be assured that the best I will be able to do for the fall is tape together a number of adjunct positions and thus earn a subsistence wage; and not feeling confident that I could do either of those things without having a humiliating meltdown.

It was not pleasant.

Afterwards, I went up to school for a quick errand, and saw that my diss director was in his office, and although 49% of me was thinking “Fly, you fool! Flyyyyyyyy!”, 51% said “Good god, woman, get in there and get it over with!”  So I went in there and said really all I trusted myself to say: “Well, the long and short of it is I’m burned out, and I don’t know how to get un-burned out.” I didn’t get into details of how long I’ve been struggling, how little I’ve produced in recent months, or the therapy and meds, but the cat was out of the bag.

I think I kind of shocked him (to the extent that he can be shocked), although I can’t be sure.  He paused, expressed sympathy (“I’m sorry,” and “it happens to all writers”) and then advised me to:

1.  Keep a scheduled, dedicated writing time (just an hour), even if I don’t write a thing, just to sit and think is necessary;

2. Try a different angle–a new section or chapter, a new and weird idea, just to see what happens;

3. Take a break–but not too long, as not-writing tends to breed more not-writing (and my life is a testament to that bit of wisdom); and

4. Take care not to strangle it (which is what I’m doing when I’m not ignoring its ensuing gasps for breath).

Nothing revolutionary, but true all the same.  He encouraged me to keep with it, that struggle is part of the process, that even if you’re not cranking out pages, or only cranking out shite, if you sit with it, work is happening in your brain, and if you can get out of its way, so to speak, it will come.  We talked about the undeniable crapulence of the job market, and he said that “slowing down a bit” (HA!  HA HA HAHAHHHHHAAAAAA!) wasn’t a terrible idea.  He assured me of my ability (or rather, he tried to, I can’t say I’m sold on that) and the worthiness of my subject matter, and asked me to set a time to meet with him next month and see how things are going.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do.


Helpful/Not Helpful

April 15, 2009

Helpful:  Getting a lot of kind words and wishes on my birthday.

Not Helpful:  Realizing I’m 34 and still have no career to speak of.

Helpful:  Rhymes-with-smell-shoe-chin.  I’m feeling closer to “normal” than I have in at least a month.

Not Helpful:  Orange Cat’s many medicines.  His eye doesn’t seem to be healing.

Helpful:  Looking over my CV and thinking:  this is okay.

Not Helpful:  Learning that a co-worker of mine (in a different discipline) just landed a job here in the city, even though she’s barely half-done with her rather pedestrian formalist diss, and her contract at our job lasted another year.

Helpful:  I’ve started doing a workout DVD, since that’s sposeda help with mental as well as physical health.

Not Helpful:  Realizing that while my weight is fine, I’m puny and weak and embarrassingly out of shape.  Also:  sore all over.

Helpful:  Blogging at Harpyness.  It’s nice to be able to write something, even if it’s not professionally useful.

Not Helpful:  Blogging at Harpyness.  It’s frustrating to be putting all my writing energy into something that’s not professionally useful.



Try, try again.

March 30, 2009

“Mexico” is a bad drug for me.  The side effects of  bubbly-head should have worn off my now, but no.  I am pretty useless when it comes to thinkery in this state.

Tomorrow, calling the doc for something else, or possibly going off entirely.  Bad stuff.

In other news, I may bug out for a couple of weeks in May or June to Costa Rica, to work at a sloth rescue center.  My therapist recommends it, even.  What the hell else am I doing with my time?  Not writing.


I’m not Miss Manners, but…

March 1, 2009

I know it’s pretty fucking rude to arrive more than half an hour (and counting) after the planned and announced meal time when friends invite you a nice sit-down dinner, particularly when the meal time is already rather late in the evening.  I ain’t runnin’ a diner here, folks.

At what point does my rudeness at going ahead and eating the rather time-intensive dish I made before it’s ruined trump the guest’s rudeness at arriving late, with nary a call?