Trying to Talk

So. I’m not doing very well at updating this.

I have a lot I would like to say here. And I am very consistent in not saying it.

So, I must ask myself why, if I have things to say, the words to say them, and a place to say them, do I persist in saying nothing?

Really, it is an easy answer. I really don’t feel that I am entitled to say the things that are on my mind or in my heart. Not here, not in ‘real life’, not ever.

So it all goes unsaid.

Except in that brilliant, scorching interior universe between my ears, where it gets said, shouted, stuck on endless loops like a bad dj mix. Everything that needs said gets said in my interior world. Inside myself, I am drowning in miles of unsaid words, there is no way to swim in them.

Paranoia is real. At least, it defines my reality. I simply can not believe anyone has good intentions toward me.

Surrounded by friends, encircled by a functional and loving church, I carve a private, screaming lonely Hell for myself. And I abide there.

The rational parts of my brain nudge me out from my Hell. They encourage me to expand, to try to reach beyond a diagnosis, to step out onto the floor and join the dance. And I am tempted. It does not seem such a reach to join a way of life I watch voraciously. But it is.

I have become skilled at living a simulacrum of life. At times, I can go to parties, at times I can visit with friends, at times, I can go to church. And I know that no one but me can see the gaping chasms that unfold around my feet.

In making this blog, I hoped to spin a bridge of words that might bear my weight, I wanted to find a path into the light. And I did know that it would not be easy. It is not easy. I wonder if I can follow through and build. Because, in building a bridge, you must trust in what you have built, and walk right to the edge, in order to build more. My tendency is to find a place and dig.

Digging and building actually look very similar. They both involve frantic activity and moving a great deal of dirt. In the end though, only building results in forward progress.

I do not want to be here to only engage in self-indulgence. I do not want to be here to only engage in attention seeking behaviors. I want to be here to find a path to progress and grow. The paths to move beyond schizophrenia that our society offers have failed me utterly. I am past belief in the next pill, the next therapist. I don’t even know if I believe that the mountain of pills or the army of therapists have helped anyone like me. The few schizophrenics that I know who have managed to thrive have all done so by their own interior processes. Some few get balance or perspective from a particular pill or one particular therapist. Most other schizophrenics I know keep digging for that one pill, that one therapist. I am weary of digging for the needle in the haystack. I need a better way out of here.

My options are fairly limited.

Some indigenous people in parts of the world that are not Pittsburgh, PA, USA 2014 believe that schizophrenia is not a pathology, just a different way of processing information. In those cultures, schizophrenics as we define them are healers, shamans, witches. I daydream of moving there. But I don’t want to go far away, learn a new language, leave my kids, and try to see the mess in my head as something other than a pathology-I very much doubt I could do those things.

Some groups of indigenous people knot or tie the hair to calm overactive spirits. That seems more accessible. So, on December 10, a friend is going to take my stubbornly straight red hair and somehow use her skills to turn it into dreadlocks. It might be a small step, or perhaps it will be huge. I’m trying not to pile too many hopes or expectations upon it. But I am both excited and fearful of having this done.

I have never once had a good relationship with my hair. I don’t like how it looks, I don’t like how it feels. Left to my own choices, I keep it buzzed into military ‘high and tights’ and return often to the barber so it does not get very long. I began growing the hair to try to be attractive to a man who did not find me attractive. (it didn’t work) So now I have this pile of hair.

I have no patience with the hair. Zero. I can’t afford to go to a salon and have it ‘done’ in some fetching way. Even if I had the cash for a hairdo, I find having someone ‘in my hair’ revolting. But, yet…I’m going to try this dreadlock thing. And a month away from my ‘dreaded date’ I am already devising self-soothing techniques to be able to sit with the process of having my hair dreaded. My hair is thick and straight, and this will take some time.

As much as I want to believe that somehow putting these dreads in will magically fix everything, I am resisting that temptation. But I also feel the need to balance that by not scoffing the possibility of the dreads helping significantly into oblivion before we ever begin.

The work I need to do remains the same, dreads or no dreads. But I do feel like I am taking a new and different step in how I view myself and the world around me. But in tiny tumbling faltering baby steps, I am beginning to weave my bridge cables. I remain hopeful that in time, my bridge will bear my weight…

Author: belladonnareed

Pamela Alexander is a 48 year old mother of two and mild menace to society. She resides in a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA with her sorely oppressed partner, and flatulent dog and a cat. She smokes like a chimney, swears like a sailor, and has been known to drink. When she grows up she hopes to move to the West coast of Mexico.

Please share your story. I'll try to listen compassionately and answer to the best of my ability