Reardan Metal

“It’s your responsibility.”
“You’re the eldest and must be mature and set an example.”
“You just/must try harder.”
Just shut up and do your work!”
“Don’t fail.”
“Don’t cry. It’s shameful and you’re making a fool of yourself.”
“Don’t falter.”
“Be strong.”
“Be perfect.”

These are a few variations of the commands/rules lashed out at me as far back as my memory goes. I wasn’t given the opportunity to play or be child-like within my household/extended family and culture. I was six when I was saddled with watching my sister, two younger cousins and children of my parents’ friends. I did get to play but not freely; I always had to be on watch for any disappearances, accidents, signs of hunger, fights and bathroom breaks. I had to learn how to prepare simple meals, feed/change babies, soothe and carry the same babies, protect those younger and weaker from those much larger and stronger than even myself, to provide for and shelter my younger sister in the absence of my parents, to keep plowing ahead no matter how tired, confused and lonely I was. I accepted this as my inherited duty and rarely complained because there was no one to hear them and guide me. As I got older, the responsibilities grew with heavier consequences. Clean the apartment/house, head out into the wild of early 1990’s LES of Manhattan with a 8, 6 and 5 year old in tow to shop for groceries or whatever task. When I was nine and one of my greatest obstacles was beginning to darken my innocence, I realized with stark terror that there was nobody to help me! I cried out in agony to my ancestors to God to hear my plea and save my body from the brutality inflicted. Nobody heard and nobody answered.

I’ve always always been handed a burden, a responsibility much greater than my years and experience. I knew I was simultaneously the black sheep and a leader-in-training but with no master to advise me. It didn’t matter to my parents or relatives how much I strained to uphold and carry out my duties to their standards and if I cracked, my only option was to continue on: there were too many depending on me that a moment’s respite was unfathomable. It’s one of the worst feelings to be taken for granted and whipped harshly when you drop the ball in confusion, hurt or simple exhaustion. Bereft of kindness and genuine concern, I taught myself how to forge white hot anger and pain into a fortress that would allow me to take every and anything thrown my way: whether it was a duty, chore, challenge, criticism, unjust punishment, I had the tools of quick intelligence, astute observation and lightening quick response. I took my heart that wasn’t nurtured but was repeatedly tested with cruelty and crushed under disappointment and indifference, placed it inside a diamond solid vessel and knew that I would forever have for a heart, only the hardest of stone. I didn’t need anyone any longer: I had myself, my mind and my pleasures. I would never again rely on a another person for emotional comfort or stability (until the time came when I realized how incomplete I was w/o emotional growth). The essence of me would never be violated against my will ever again. Only those I deemed worthy would ever be allowed past the stony countenance and the best of luck to those seeking to capture a heart buried deep within a labyrinth of challenges demanding one to look deep into one’s self. I ask nothing of my friends except that they understand I will not put up with bullshit and that they strive to be someone they can love, to be better than the rabble overpopulating this Earth. Of my lovers, well that is another post for another day but in short, it is nothing less than what I seek in my friendships but a hell of lot more and then some…

The point of this entry is to illustrate the beauty of resolving to endure those personal trials that should serve to make you better, stronger. The reason people rely so heavily on you is because you are capable but you do not have to bear their burdens with your own against your volition; especially if they do not fully appreciate your ability, dedication and work. DO NOT sacrifice your happiness for someone else, ever!!! That is the first step to self-immolation – it shouldn’t be that way, don’t allow it. When that whip cracks and you struggle to pull that oppressive cart of overloaded duties, only do it for you, because you seek to gain something. When people seek you out to watch you break or worse, inadvertently encumber you with troubles because they do not value you, you can do one of two things. Endure until the pressure is relieved or impossible made possible so that you can triumphantly stand and face your opponent/oppressor and tell em to fuck off. OR tell them to fuck off and just walk away without ever tormenting yourself with inevitable failure. It’s at odds with what we are told starting from infancy: to give of ourselves to those weaker, less capable. But I believe that people who are “incapable” aren’t trying hard enough or at all because they are relying on your sense of guilt and duty to carry them around like an unrequited king. A little effort goes a long way and when people complain about not being given a chance, they want something given to them that they did not earn because just working towards a goal is a chance to change your situation.

Rejoice because you are not insane for feeling so wildly conflicted between your happiness and responsibilities: the two should never be in competition. “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Rejoice because you now have a big piece of the puzzle to a relatively small question. Do you have to sacrifice your time, your joys, your very life for that of others? No, never =o)

The Best Man (part I)

I’ve been selfish. I haven’t wanted to share one iota of my feelings, moments, weekends, thoughts – basically any information about the man who has captured my heart, mind and soul =oD I want to keep him ALLLL to myself so that I can savor the most minute detail and relish the memories and ravel in the moment’s passion over and over as they occur, hee hee! He is intelligent, tall, athletic/talented, extremely handsome, a wonderful kiss-er and better hugger, strong, well read/rounded, too attractive, a classic romance-novel protagonist: mysterious, eager, a desirable lover on the whole ;-D I belong to him in all the ways a person can give of oneself without labels or paperwork: freely and completely ^_^ My heart rate increases when I hear the phone ring and his name shows up or I see I have a new message (text/email/IM) from my wonderful lover is me, he shares his point of view, opinions, thoughts and observations/judgments and has accomplished what all have failed at: balancing my extremes, my life ;o) When I can’t handle my pain or come to a conclusion on my own, he comes to my aid in that strong and silent way I’ve always looked for and hadn’t found til now: he’s my rock, a pillar that supports me without overshadowing or invading my space. He’s not leading me by a leash and treating me like a child or worse, like a piece of property. He’s not dependent on me for leadership, guidance and financial assistance 24/7. He’s my partner in every thing and way: we give and we receive. We laugh, we create, we find solace and amusement, we make passionate and frenzied love all night and we use more than words to communicate all day, we think, we read, we travel and discover, we enjoy, we share and we are fittingly complementary. The word love will never convey this overwhelming ecstasy which flows throughout my body and mind. Love does not encompass the intensity that holds my heart in rapture for a man not even 6 months in my life. But it is one of two words that I use to tell the man I have been waiting all my life for how I feel for him. Time is nothing for us: we’ve known each other, without actually being together until now, forever and Beck is my soul-mate no matter how we or you or anyone else cuts it. I know this though there are no words to explain how. And words are meaningless for a < Love 3 like ours that transcends all… Regardless of Time and Space, I’ll always be his and he is mine xoxoxo

I love you, Beck =oD

An outlet

I wish this entry could be about something as frivolous as shopping at an outlet center; alas, it is not that type of entry. There won’t be mindless quizzes nor shallow analysis or stereotypical labels. I won’t be blowing sunshine up your a**. I’m going to finish an entry I began nearly 2 years ago. Where do I begin? How about the middle whereupon the beginning will fill in the gaps and the ending being its own conclusion.

Unlike my childhood summers, the 2008 July day is a mild 80 degrees in the sun. I’m sitting on our raised deck, engulfed in sunshine but wearing the full ensemble of a winter day: black heavy cotton sweater over a long sleeved shirt and dark grey sweatpants. I am cold as anyone would be with ZERO body fat and void of muscular definition. There are 3 hospital bracelets on my right wrist; one states my full name, D.O.B., date of admittance as well as an identification number, another alerting (in red) nurses and doctors to my allergies and finally, the last one indicating that I am a psychiatric patient. The third bracelet is completely new and foreign to one so accustomed with hospital procedures: this is my first (and hopefully) last time forcibly admitted to the psychiatric ward. I am a whopping 97 pounds of flesh and bone, shivering not from just a physical cold but a void inside my heart and mind from which I need to fill or eradicate. There is only a matter of feet between me and my family but it may as well be light-years for the emotional void is just as vast. I am numb for the very first time in my life. I cannot empathize with family or friends and I’m apathetic about what goes on around me. It’s as if Time has slowed or my emotions have been frozen outside of my body: the eyes looking back at me in a mirror belong to a stranger. I thought I had managed to kill her off but this stranger is looking back at me in an almost mocking manner. She’s telling me that no matter where I go, what I do or how I live, she’ll always remind me of what once was and could be again. Right now, I don’t want anything more than to just sit on a weathered deck, completely clothed in winter attire and cease to exist under a docile July sun.

June 20th, 2008

Unlike the hospitalizations for severe asthma attacks, Crohn’s disease and what-have-you, I am not on a floor easily accessible to visitors and there are 2 security doors barring entrance and exit unless the guard or nurse on duty can identify a person and his reason for entry/release. It feels like a jail ward and not like a place meant to help people overcome whatever obstacle that barreled them in with no key to a lock that resides in a place they cannot find. One Flew Over The Cuckoo Nest is the ambiance greeting me when I open my eyes to the familiar I.V. line running from my hand. The wail that grows in my throat and chokes in the same place is followed by body wrenching sobs, so silent but violently coursing through my frail body. “What have I done?,” I ask myself in a horrified tone that is quickly answered by the last clear memories of gorging on a narcotic and lethal mix. A slender nurse enters my room and her eyes tell me she has been waiting for me to gain consciousness. She has blue eyes, blond hair in an outgrown bob cut and a nervous tick that makes her hands shake when she’s overly excited. She tells me her name is Nancy and if I have any idea where I am and why. I say, “I know I’m in a hospital and I’m here because…,” as my voice trails off I find myself struggling to formulate the words which depict why and how I got here. Nancy gently picks up the conversation and tries to lead me to the only conclusion. Softly, in the motherly tone only a mother can convey, she says, “Do you remember calling me? I tried to get you to tell me your location so I could dispatch an ambulance but you hung up. I was really worried because you were do distraught and you told me you were alone. You’re not alone. I prayed that you would be safe and you were admitted into my care about 10 hours ago.” Anger, shame, anxiety and sadness roll into a wave of a single tear. “I… I…I’m sorry,” is all I can reply. The tears keep falling and my breathing quickens. The scene in my head is of Nancy, on the phone, trying to console an inconsolable girl and genuinely caring for the safety and well-being of a perfect stranger who is intent on killing herself. The injury I inflicted on this woman adds to my guilt but she already knows this and tells me, “There’s nothing to be sorry about. You’re here and safe and we’ll get you back into one whole piece again.” With that, she pats my head, hands me a tissue and goes about her duties. I curl into a ball and turn towards the wall. The hate I have for myself is overwhelming and each thought of self destruction is at once mollifying and horrifying. I don’t recognize who I am and the thoughts just keep on going.

T.B.C. in parts – this is really draining on me but at the same time, it has to come out.