wait, what?

I don't think the days of the week structure is working for me. Always find myself wanting to write about something on the wrong day, then when that day rolls around, I forget to use the computer at all and just watch five or six hours of Law & Order instead. (Our L&Os are Criminal Intent and Special Victims Unit. We watched so much Criminal Intent today Eames's witty quips actually started to irritate me.) So lately when I go on the internet all I do is read up on things, get bored, then play Snood for awhile because we don't have Solitaire.

This week, for example, I wrote a song. I wrote it on Tuesday, so at the time I thought to myself, "well, it really ought to wait till next Monday, so it can be a Musical Mondays." But that's silly.

Earlier on Tuesday I'd gone to our local mental health place for an intake appointment. Ah, free mental healthcare. I only went to the healthcare services administration website in the first place because I saw Glenn Beck making fun of it. Figured anything Glenn Beck makes fun of is probably worth a second look. And using that website, I was able to find a place literally within walking distance of my apartment. Your tax dollars at work!

The people there have been very nice so far. The lady doing my intake even wrote out her assesment right in front of me, and I got to read it upside down while she wrote it. Never had a mental health person do that before. I've even read on other blogs that staff at psych hospitals generally don't like to let patients see their charts, so I guess it's not limited to the therapists I've seen. But just talking out the general outlines of stuff with a pro who had no emotional stake in my problems, didn't have an agenda, and from whom I didn't have to hide anything, gave me some new perspective. When dealing with my emotional issues I've mostly focused on effects rather than causes. My feeling has been that since I don't remember my own experiences well enough or specifically enough for it to be conclusive, the best I can do is work with the way I am now. But that shouldn't be the end of the story.

Even though I have made a lot of progress in recent years, have gotten at lot of my fears reduced and my fear-induced reflexes retrained, there's more yet to be done. I still lack the self-worth that is needed to turn my natural ambition and drive into something useful and away from various forms of self-sabotage. The negative assumptions that created those bad habits, of both thought and behavior, are assumptions I had to have formed in reaction to experiences. And until I can figure out what those experiences were, I have a much lesser chance of being able to get at them to expose their flaws.

When I got home I felt pensive and hopeful and nervous and all kinds of ways--a swirly emotional cocktail that had to be reduced somehow before I could get on with being alive. So I sat down with my guitar and strummed and hummed until I got a line that stuck to a melody. Built it from the title on up. When my life is more active and the creative juices are bubbling up from all sides, it's more like the song comes to me and bangs on my brain until I decide to write it. This time it was more like I went out into the woods and stalked a song until I grabbed it by the tail and dragged it out into the light. Still, I like it. In a couple of places the emphasis isn't on the syllable you'd think, but it's hard to hear it in your head without the guitar. So I guess until I get a chance to play it for you, just read it like a poem. Or something. I dunno.

like a mirror (chameleon song)

you can't run away
and you can't turn invisible
forget about protecting yourself
the doors are all closed
and you're small and exposed
time to turn into something else

like a mirror

the faces you know
start to bend, start to flow
and turn into the faces of demons
you've got to think quick
you come up with a trick
that you hope will trick them into leavin'

like a mirror

chameleon hands
twist what you understand
till you find out you're the one who told lies
crumble or act tough
it is never enough
to hide you from chameleon eyes

and if you don't like the weather
wait five minutes
if you've pulled yourself together
wait five minutes
if you are what you're supposed to be
wait five minutes
if you haven't got an enemy

cause nothing scares a chameleon, ah
nothing scares a chameleon, ah
nothing scares a chameleon away

like a mirror


jhedeen said...

Crystal you really stick with the writing don't you? That's got to help your mental health--and by the way, I have accessed extremely low cost mental health care myself. I remember thinking, wow, someone gets paid to listen to me! and doesn't interrupt! But it is nice to have that uninvested viewpoint--an outside ear. As you hear yourself telling the "ear" the events that have gone on lately, you can suddenly realize (at least I did) that things HAVE been pretty tough recently. Without them even opening their mouth (ears can have mouths too!) you start to realize maybe you're not so crazy after all--just struggling under a LOT of weight and worry. Or whatever--I may be putting my stuff on you. God bless you Crystal--I love your quirky insights that even Gary Larson couldn't come up with! I pray for you practically every day--job and joy! :)

Lorena said...

You write really well. I'm still puzzled as to who you are. And for some strange reason, I always have to know who people are. Two guys posted comments on my blog for over a year, and I thought they were women. Turns out they're both blokes.

As for you, so far so puzzled.

I guess I have to read earlier blog posts to figure you out. It will probably be enjoyable, too!

Fiat Lex said...

Aunt Julie--
Oh, totally. One of the reasons I procrastinated getting counseling for so long is that last time I hired a therapist it was pretty pricey. Although another part of it was me thinking "well, I'm just feeling down cause times are hard and I've been unemployed for awhile; when I get a job I'll start to feel better", which is kind of silly. Like, don't I need help more when there's more than one thing bugging me, even if most of 'em are kind of obvious? XD Ah well. The important thing is to be moving in a good direction.

And yeah, it is kind of a boost to have someone who's paid to listen. Today I went in for the second part of my evaluation, and one of the questions the lady asked was "why did you decide to seek counseling?" I pointed to her note paper (she was taking copious notes! right there where I could see them! so cool!) and quipped that part of it was the self-esteem boost of having someone not only paying attention, but taking notes of everything I said.

As for the sticking with writing, thank you for the encouragement! I really feel like I have been slacking off lately on that front. It's weird, you know. I started out writing as a way to get a handle on bad feelings, but now that I've been doing it for awhile it takes a certain amount of energy just to get going. So hopefully as I get to feeling better I will write more verse!

Thanks for stopping by! So as not to keep you in suspense I am female, despite the male pic, "about me" quote taken from a novel with a masculine narrator, and non-girly beige color scheme.

Eh, so I heart ambiguity. Most of the people who read this know me in real life, so it hadn't occurred to me till now just how ambiguous I come across!
I really enjoyed backreading your blog, and hope mine provides you with enjoyment in equal amounts. :)

Lorena said...

I really enjoyed backreading your blog, and hope mine provides you with enjoyment in equal amounts. :)

Thank you for reading my blog. Where did you find me?

Your blogs are highly entertaining. For a while, I actually thought that YOU were the older, foolish college professor, ha, ha..

Fiat Lex said...

I found you on PersonalFailure's blogroll. She tends to have excellent taste. :)
And I am flattered that you thought I was older than I am! *bats eyelashes* On the Internet it is a great compliment.

kisekileia said...

If you're not sure what you remember, or aren't sure whether it was abuse: For what it's worth, recognizing experiences that I've had as abuse has always kick-started my healing from them. It's a way of naming bad things that were done to me as WRONG and BAD and NOT MY FAULT, and also as REAL. I can see how it would be hard/problematic if you're not sure what was real, though.

Fiat Lex said...

My clearest childhood memories are mostly of times when I was by myself; no possible alternative accounts of a thing makes it "safe" for me to remember. The nuclear fam had a pretty potent "rewriting history" trope that went around and around like a bad flu bug, before after and through the divorce decade. Between that and my tendency to disassociate during moments stress, I spent my first two decades starting from a position of zero trust in my own memory.

Which is, oh yeah, a big handicap to counseling. And why in self-analysis I tend to focus on effects, and work back in the direction of causes with a carefully restrained panic more appropriate to, say, a Parkinson's sufferer attempting to defuse an explosive device on a moving train.