Visiting Hours

Stephen Pimley | Daily Life,Friends,Illness,Memories,Thoughts,Writing | Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

On some levels I regret going and yet I know that it had to be done. She deserved the company, even if I left empty-handed. As much as I hate to admit my weakness, I always want to see her even when I feel that the exchange will be uneven. Who could say ‘no’ to her hugs anyway? She’s too damn beautiful to refuse. I was expecting she would be a bit disheveled given the circumstances of our meeting. Nothing seemed out of place, not a hair less perfect than I remembered. She had every right to hate the place she was in. I just wish I could convince her to treat herself the way she expects the doctors to. I believe in her strength. She can get through this. She can live again without a head full of numbers and measurements and comparisons to the ugly lie she sees in the mirror.

I left her eyes a bit red, a bit watery. I think she worries my time is running low. Nobody should ever worry about me. I have no immediate need to rush to action because I have no drive left. How is it that other people feel compelled to be? Why is it they consider living such an achievement? Not everyone deserves the luxury. My friend deserves to live, and better yet than she has been offered thus far. I… I don’t understand what is so different about the way others interpret the same sights, sounds, and smells that I do. Maybe, if someone like her could love me then this stone would move. Of course, it is never going to be her responsibility to feel something that doesn’t come naturally to her.

My friends all wish I could I could give myself the attention I give others. What do they see in me that I don’t? Is it a mirror image of my relationship with them, or something else entirely? Would that they could see the beauty in themselves as I do. Little roots of love dripping through their veins seeking to brighten up every far corner. This void extends beyond the darkness of our past, to every little crevice of being we failed to bless with our presence and attention. I like to think that with enough love we can bridge even the gaps between us. I like to think that with enough visiting hours the deepest of pains will no longer keep a person chained in the dark. We all have someone to visit and to care for, be it a friend or family. Perhaps even ourselves. Would that I could visit myself. Someone please tell me the hours.

Rebounding Again

Stephen Pimley | Daily Life,Dreams | Monday, March 24th, 2014

Holy fuck my brain.

I woke up and my legs were both covered in a bright red base coat of bio-luminescent paint, further detailed with a floral pattern in every color imaginable. The types of flowers and their arrangements were distinctly different on the left leg than the right and I wondered if there was any significance to this. I wasn’t even sure if the patterns were really on my skin or just a temporary hypnagogic hallucination, so I sought to document the moment. I got out my camera and tried to focus on the design, but every time I snapped a picture it started to move and warp away. The pattern shifted as if it was trying to hide itself from the eye of the camera. It swirled into a blur of colors at the center of the viewfinder then Sepultura’s “Arise” began playing. I held up my camera in astonishment at how it suddenly started playing music instead of taking pictures. In doing so I revealed that behind it was my old radio/tape deck alarm clock from the mid 90’s and I had hit the Play button by accident. I fumbled with the buttons as the music grew painfully loud in my ears. I could hear people having a muffled conversation in the hallway outside of my room and I didn’t want to disturb them or even alert them to my presence. A fraction of a section after I stopped the music it started up again. My vision panned to the right where another tape deck had begun playing the exact same song. I stopped this tape as well, then lurched across the bedroom trying to clear my head. I found my jeans crumpled in a pile on the carpet and stared down at them trying to summon the series of thoughts and actions that would result in my legs being placed through them. A few seconds of jazz music filtered into my ears then vanished. “That was definitely a hallucination!”, I exclaimed in triumph. There were no other radios in this room and I finally knew that at least this time it was all just my mind playing tricks on me. I *pushed* against some unseen wall in reality trying to force my way back… to another place where my footing was more solid. I woke up on the floor of a school classroom. In my sleep haze I had been documenting my dream experience to my teacher while the other twenty odd students poured over small netbooks, apparently oblivious to my presence. The teacher commented on how wonderful such a dream must have been and how jealous he was for my youth. I replied, “No sir, in fact it was quite terrible to experience and the entire time I found myself wishing it would end.” He shrugged as if I just said the most absurd of things but he didn’t want to press the matter. He handed me a netbook like the other students had, and ushered me over to my desk and chair. The screen revealed some sort of day-to-day simulation of human life broken into city-sized groups of students around the world each categorized by an era of history and a lifestyle they were choosing to emulate. As I walked around the room to observe other students interacting with their experiments I also began to fly and the room itself became the simulation with twisting paths linking each distinct city otherwise isolated by the life choices of its inhabitants. I woke up in bed and my legs were out from under the covers and in the air. They were thrashing violently in muscle spasms so powerful that they must have begun in my dream yet had to run their due course even now that I was fully awake. I tried to regain control over my body but even as I did I realized that the surface of my legs was bright red and flaking dead flesh everywhere. The closer I looked the more I saw crevices where the flesh had dried up and separated revealing dried blood. I hobbled out of bed and somehow found small comfort in knowing that I would have a decent excuse to miss school today. Recovering from my severe dehydration in the hospital would surely be better than having to be around so many other kids. A man was sitting on the foot of my bed as I began to dress for the day. Laughing aloud, he commented on how horribly I slept. He went on and on about how much noise I made in the grip of my dreams and I that could be heard from his bedroom across the hall. I tried to avoid thinking about it as I was already ashamed enough of my dreams, further still that everyone else knew about them. I woke up again. Did I wake up? There was so much more, but the pieces slipped out of my hands before I could get to this side of reality. My head is still reeling.

Stephen Pimley | Dreams,Illness | Saturday, December 7th, 2013

I wish I could stop dreaming up apocalyptic scenarios that wake me up in the middle of the night. In that state I haven’t the strength to resist and I force myself back to sleep in an attempt to “solve” the nightmare through lucid dreaming. The problem with dream worlds is if you push too hard they unravel and my brain wants to come up with the worst conclusion possible in every situation. People die all around me and I am paralyzed with the belief that I should know how to save them if only I were a better person.

Stephen Pimley | Daily Life,Family,Illness | Saturday, December 7th, 2013

My mother was crying and bumming out my father and I, so I started rubbing her shoulders. She tried to pull away from me to leave the room and I told her I wasn’t going to let her go until she agreed to see a therapist. She refused and kept trying to pull away from my grip on her shoulders. So I gave up and let her go.

My father is telling her that she can’t sign up for another semester of college or apply for any scholarships because he may get fired any day now. Her reaction is that unless she at least gets her 4 year degree the last 11 years of her life (1-2 courses at a time due to her disability) of going to college have been a waste and there is no hope left for her. I tried to explain that her goals along the way should have been keeping her brain active and exercised, having more social interaction, and getting out of the house more than people with similar disabilities. Then she could congratulate herself on those accomplishments and not look at the whole thing as one big negative waste of time and money.

I asked her if there was anything she could see herself gaining from going to therapy and all she did was whine more about how if she couldn’t sign up for another semester of college there was no point in getting comfortable with a therapist if we might have to move soon. I really don’t know why I feel compelled to try cheering her up. When she is like this logic never gets through to her. She can ignore the most blatant of realities if that is what it takes to hang on to her negativity.

Stephen Pimley | Daily Life,Thoughts | Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

You know something is really wrong with your food culture when even the foods suffixed with “no sugar added” “natural” or “whole grain” require you to scan the entire ingredients list to verify it’s not just empty marketing. Meanwhile, if you can only afford or don’t care either way how much sugar, artificial dye, or synthetic chemicals you don’t even recognize are added to your food, you can simply grab the nearest box when wheeling your cart past knowing full well your assumptions are probably accurate.

Stephen Pimley | Daily Life,Drugs,Illness,Memories,Thoughts | Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Grocery stores are the most depressing places I have the displeasure of being on a regular basis. I don’t know whether it’s the terrible music, designed specifically to make people buy more; the shitty fluorescent lighting with every other fixture flickering at a different frequency; or maybe all the memories of panic attacks in the very same aisles as my heavy alcoholism robbed my heart of the ability to keep rhythm, and I had to hold onto my cart to keep from collapsing onto the floor.

Stephen Pimley | Daily Life,Family,Illness | Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Another explosive argument with the mom unit. The culmination was her screaming and crying, “I guess my memory is just always wrong because I’m a big fat fucking liar.” She still refuses to see a therapist because she went to one briefly five years ago and therefore she is the expert on whether or not it would help her. She claimed to recall a conversation we had in which I told her all the people in my support group were complaining about how their parents raised them. This conversation never happened. The real conversation only had me making a joke about that which I clearly explained to her was just a joke afterwards. Her memory is so terrible she takes fragments of conversations and twists them with her imagination to fill in the blanks. This would be entirely understandable if just once in her entire fucking life she would admit that this happens and not adamantly defend her false memories digging her heels in until she loses her shit.

I should note that at no point in the conversation did I even call her a liar. Some times in the past I have lost my temper and said it but I held my tongue this time. Still, she accused me of “always calling [her] a liar”, to which I asked, “Did I just call you a liar?” “Well… You always call me a liar!” {Again} “Did I or did I not call you a liar? Just be honest.” This only makes it worse with her. Her brain can’t cope with the fact that reality and her emotions are out of sync with each other.

Stephen Pimley | Daily Life,Friends,Illness,Thoughts | Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Do you ever get so tired you can’t even produce body heat anymore? I was staying up in case she responded to my text messages and I even tried to exercise to reinvigorate myself. Instead, I literally fell asleep standing in my bathroom holding my dumbbells at my side. Then I took a shower and I was so damn cold I kept turning the water up hotter and hotter until the dial wouldn’t go any further. I felt like my skin should have been burning but my nerves weren’t capable of carrying the signal to my brain anymore. Somehow I managed to forget to dry my hair and I was about to drop into my bed when I realized my head felt cold because it was still wet. After all of that I only slept five hours and I woke up with no idea of what day it was. I was sure I had slept for 17+ hours until I looked at the clock on my phone.

I feel like such a sad lonely loser for missing her when we’ve never even met. Just knowing she was so close was reassuring to me. I don’t think I can even explain it properly. It’s like with my old friends from school that still live in this area. I haven’t seen any of them since 2000-2001 but I am somewhat comforted by knowing that if I could ever overcome my anxiety they are still within driving distance. This is one of the many reasons I am afraid to move when my parents leave the area and I have nowhere left to live. I never learned how to make new friends in person and I feel like if I move my new kid on the block get out of loser jail free card will wear out in my pocket long before I meet a single person.

Through all of this there is still that familiar voice in my head that says I deserve to die cold, alone, and homeless for all that I’ve done to ruin the lives of others.

Stephen Pimley | Daily Life,Family,Illness,Thoughts | Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

I woke up shortly before midnight. My mother lectured me about how I absolutely had to buy milk before morning so they could have cereal. I went driving to pick up that and some protein bars. Instead of taking the direct route home I got on the highway and just drove the opposite direction so I could relax and give the car some exercise. When I got back to my neighborhood I couldn’t make the U-turn I needed because six out of eight lanes of the highway were closed for an accident with a tractor trailer and a SUV. I kept driving and got on another highway. I circled back around and came home from the opposite direction I left from. I opened the refrigerator to put the milk away and there was another gallon my father had already brought home earlier today. I’m pretty sure this experience can double as a metaphor for my life in general.

Stephen Pimley | Daily Life,Family,Illness | Friday, October 18th, 2013

I went to the Concerned Families of Fairfax County meeting tonight on recommendation from members of my BPD support group. The Executive Director of the CSB (Community Services Board) was there to speak to their list of concerns about mental health services provided by the county through the CSB. I had read over the concerns list in a forwarded email but I am not at all familiar with the group or any background on what has changed so far. So basically I just planted myself on the far side and listened to what the county is trying to improve upon in terms of providing mental health services and subsidized housing. I got some contact information for a person at the CSB that could go over housing options for me should I be left homeless when my father retires and my parents move out the state in 2-3 years.

I did start to have a panic attack during the middle of the meeting but I got it under control after a few minutes. I could feel sweat dripping down the center of my chest under my shirt and I got paranoid that I wasn’t holding my face in the right position. I kept moving my mouth around trying to find something similar to what a “normal” face would look like. Sometimes my social awkwardness and inexperience really gets to me when very simple ordinary tasks elude my ability to compensate for my illness.

I guess the big story of the night is that a helped a nice lady with a physical disability get her wheelchair out of her van after the chair lift broke down in the parking lot. First I attempted to follow the instructions of a mechanic on the phone on how to reconnect the loose cable but for the life of me I couldn’t find where it was supposed to plug into. Maybe if there had be some bright overhead lights in the parking lot I could have managed. I ended up using the manual crank box to get the lift leveled so she could get onto it. Then as carefully as I could I pumped on the release crank to lower her down. After cranking the lift back up her mother(?) discovered that the hydraulic controls were working well enough for lifting that she was certain they could get her back into the van. I hope they got home alright and they get the lift fixed soon. I am normally pretty adept at fixing things but without prior knowledge of what the device looked like I was as clueless as can be.

Okay enough writing for now I really need to take a ton of ibuprofen because I took my paroxetine nine hours late and I already have a terrible withdrawal headache.

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