I don’t want to be awake. It’s been a perfect night for sleep, rain in Stockholm. Tin roof, comfy bed, the whole kit and caboodle. Real as can be, exhausted by additional pain from flying while disabled, I lie here wondering how will the special chronic repetitive pain syndrome diagnosis is going to play out. Later today I check into Uppsala universitet sjukhuset smartkliniken, that is Uppsala University’s pain clinic for a one week assessment. From this poking and prodding of both my mind and body it will be determined if a team of specialists will have me back for a month long stay. How does one rehabilitate chronic pain? I am too far gone to think about the entirety of it but will say, from what I have read, my brain is scrambled, the coding has been buried or tiny mice in my head have chewed through the wires. I am never free from pain, rested and refreshed or in the slightest comfortable. Hope is on the table and I want to be that kind of human who believes, ” change is gonna come, yes it is.” Lm attempts to move forward and cry the entire few hours and minutes I have left with fear and angst using the “why me spiel”. Rock is in place, ready for whatever comes next and has tucked Lm into a safe space for the time being. Real as it gets has taken center stage and I, the woman almost sixty years old will wrestle with fervor to let the rainy, dark morning give me some time for my eyelids to grow heavy, for my own purring snore to begin and perhaps I’ll be gifted a dream where I am unchained from my physical limitations and run a muck carefree.
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.
Narrator: RealMe. Little Me needs to step away for a good long while. I am by the North Sea where I have spent several special occasions in this very old gatekeeper’s cottage; it’s familiarity soothes something deep within me, a place so primal and eternal that I feel reintroduced to my own heart, my dogged determination and please bare with me when I whisper to you my secret idealisation, a very old soul called ME. From my bed with floral bed curtains in green, muted red and golden hints I sit carefully propped up to convalesce both my body and my mind. I look out of the iron crossed windows, down to marshy meadows where the inlets water is smooth; no winds have begun to blow which I often enjoy as they give me a natural resource to recharge my vitality . Tuesday I fell in the bathroom in my beloved 1700’s farmhouse injuring three ribs and spent the better part of two days in hospital and Doctor’s appointments. This has occurred one week short of my flight to the best CRPS, that is Chronic Repetitive Pain Syndrome, rehabilitation hospital in Sweden. I have had fear of how I’ll manage with my additional pain and travel with out conflict, yet when I woke this morning to the foggy gray skies, the solitude of the sea and the ease of no no frustrations a wisp of hope wrapped around me like the arms of an old friend and gently said, ” you can do this”. It is true, I can and I will. This special cottage is strong, durable and has seen centuries of storms. The spirits here unite and gather around me and lift my head up, warm my heart that was growing bitter and sway me so gently that I know I can control Little Me and face the new year with hopefulness. So, to you my readers I send simplicity, a lot of love from one survivor to the next. May a season of bliss welcome us into 2023.
The beat of Christmas is thumping from within her breast. Glossy flashes of overdone fun, stupored guest’s belongings trusted in Lm’s care remind her of unwanted overtures. Slurring, “Where’s my coat gorgeous?”. The squeezed cheeks, vile hugs from men twice her age who smelled of aged cheese and scotch. “That’s your daughter?”; oh, BadDad was proud then. Lm adored him still. He was all knowing, and she did not care what people said, he was her everything and no one could tell her otherwise. Rock is shoving a big fir tree down the stairwell, it’s walls now likely full of black mold. “What the hell! We can barely breathe in here as it is!”. Lm does her Scarlett O’Hara impression and falls as if fainting when Rock sets up the full Scottish pine. “Shall I drape myself in red velvet curtains, hang mistletoe and pluck a goose?”; Ah, Rock has a reaction from her finally. “Tell me about good times Lm! Must we roll in the stench of unbearable times always?”. Then Lm speaks, “FINE! BadDad is like gumbo, a bit of this, a tad of that and somehow he always made his fuck up’s better. He knew he could lie to others in front of me and I would never cross him. I miss him. I miss his daydreams, his enthusiasm, his blue eyes that could cry so dramatically, the same eyes that broke me still have a family, MY family. I had to forsake them to save us. Five of my seven half-siblings believe in him, celebrate Christmas right now with him and it’s painful. Three are strong women who would never take what I did from him. How am I to feel when he lied to their mother’s, cheated on them and even though my first little sister from Elle knows enough to stand up for me, she retreats. Why? It’s a hell of a lot easier to have the abused one far away in another country.” “Do you want to change it somehow?” asks Rock. Lm smells the fresh scent of the forest greenery and looks lost. She then starts to make popcorn and finds a needle and thread to sew a traditional cranberry popcorn chain. “I know one thing Rock. Thanks to you. TRUTH is the dystopian playground for the likes of us. We can no longer play with the others but at least we have one another.” Rock the protector, the foreman of all that is rightuous is wrong. Wrong in his predictions that is; Lm’s strength and courage surprises him yet he is thankful that Lm may just be able to go on with her life, with him on her shoulder and together they can burn the secret files from her past. Or can they? To cut the ties is a frightening thought. Can Lm stand up for herself and can Rock help her to heal? There is not much time left and God knows something must change permanently soon. Her physical pain, her cptsd and feelings of being erased tower over her. In the shadows of the well meant Christmas tree from Rock she feels her Daddy’s hand, his old love and wonders if he will ever tell her siblings, his wife, or even himself the Truth. Christmas is lost in old songs, unrequited love and Rock knows, “Pa Rumpa Pum Pum” fills Lm’s heavy heart with the kind of memories that creep upon many lost souls whether they summons them or not this time of year. Lm blurts out, “So you want a good memory Rock? Will that make you feel better? It sure as hell won’t help me but I’ll do it for you because it is Christmas Eve.” Lm stands and shares the memory of caroling with BadDad’s mother whom she adored. “My cousins and I went to neighbors and sang Jingle Bells, The Little Drummer Boy and more. That’s a good memory. Why? Because BadDad wasn’t there.” Lm tries to straighten the tree and carefully adorns it with her popcorn and cranberry chain. “To bad you can’t eat, Rock. I’m craving rice pudding. The door to Lm and Rock is slightly open and she feels the cold, frosty air. Integrating with Rock is a far off dream; whether it’s due to the spirit of hope and love that Christmas brings or her secret fantasy, Lm wants to feel whole again.
“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.
Rock watches from the corner of his eye as Lm takes a long inhale of a pretend cigarette. She is satisfied she is back in her dank quarters, just the two of them without disturbance. Rock has told her she is far from healed and that acceptance of her past eases her presence and will lead to a healthier future. ” Oh yay”, Lm replied, ” a healthy future is so enticing!”. Lm is not believing in Rock or the future full of smiles, love and peace anymore. She is overcooked, baked to a crisp and hard. Rock assures her that if she continues to tell her TRUTH, her story, that she will overcome all of her pain. Lm knows that even if one person saw beyond her soft blue eyes she’d be leary. Everyone, every single person in her world is backing away, and she knows that she has only her pain mentally, physically and emotionally to count on waking her at three a.m. She pulls out a drawer full of photos and sees herself at seven with BadDad and the nice girlfriend at a protest. She’s sad, looking down and he is oblivious. The word of the day, her life and relationships, with her mother and father is oblivious. Obviously oblivious.
“I really thought I’d lost my grip on you Lm!” Rock doesn’t sweat; he has kept a solid eye on Lm. “You’ve been out cold; this was your first setback in years.” Lm scoots close to Rock, leaning her weak frame against his rawness, his realness and stares blankly. Lm was triggered by chronic pain, severe non-stop agony, her attempts to keep herself together crumbled. She ran away from herself which is when the hauntings of BaDDaD and a feeling of distrust take control of her persona. She is edgy, frightened by her own meltdown. Rock pulls her up the dank stairwell and let’s fresh air in through the doorway to her soul. She inhales and shivers with small tears of disappointment. “I’ve been doing so well Rock, you are supposed to keep me safe! It’s your fault you asshole. You are an ugly piece of old cement, all dried up into the most pathetic piece of whatever. Who cares? Not me. Why do you scowl at me? Why can’t I lose you or better yet throw you into the sea where you belong. Stupid Rock! “I am part of you Lm, in fact I am you.” “Holy crap, now I’ve heard everything, you are me?” Rock is still and listens as Lm curses, throws handfuls of small pebbles at him and she pushes him down the stairwell. Rock is not hurt. He lies there in the dark while she rants and raves about what a fool he is. Finally she slams the door shut and bolts it herself then one step at a time she carefully goes to the dark, sad place where Rock is lying patiently. She lifts him up and stares at him. It’s a lonely place without him, the all knowing piece of her, the one that takes over the helm when she is wrought with pain, physical, mental or emotional. She wants to thank him but chews on her fingers instead. Her hair is a tangled mess, just like her heart. Under her breath she whispers, “I love you Rock.”
D N A ...and me, you, us. I feel you in my heartbeat, in my deepest known self ID EGO ...I knew there was someone missing; don't know how I Love You. My brother; damn how you look like him, how you look like me. Damn. I miss YOU. We've never met in real life. Skype, chats so polite and cautious are what we know. I am selfish; possesive,sick with sorrow and desperate. Thank the Universe, "God?". Mostly let's praise your smart birthmother, that you did not know HIM. The man with the sperm, the lies, the narcissitic persona; the overtaking birthfather we share. Lucky One. He flooded anyone near him with his tsunami of FIRST. I am jealous that you had a father who loved you, NO MATTER WHAT! A Mother that was so amazingly grateful you were placed into her arms Still you were the son of the one who was unable to give many of his genetic creations that he "kept" a sense of importance, of being wanted. He always was more important. I am so grateful brother you were given love, a family life that was whole. I am broken, as I never knew this profound love from our shared birthfather. I was his pawn, sidekick, the one who knew, saw who he was; I carried too much Truth, I was disposable to him as he bounced from woman to woman, lived lie after lie. You were saved. May I, if I am given one last gift, sit next to you, hug you and protect our connection? I am the gun with empty chambers,shooting at the bad but never succeeding in stopping the beast. I am the sister, the mother, the wife, the daughter who will, if I must, load the pistiol, take the fall to keep us ONE. I give you and all of BadDad's secrets a free card; It is not your fault that he did not care about us He is a fault, a barren soul; let's recreate our world without his demons. Triggered and Trust are both silent emotions. LittleMe Beckons you home, waits on the front porch far away With her heart entwined with yours. B R O T H E R ILOVEYOU.
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