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Two steps forward, one step back - Catherine Fischer [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Catherine Fischer

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Two steps forward, one step back [Mar. 9th, 2004|06:32 pm]
Catherine Fischer
[mood |numbempty]

Death, divorce, desertion. They say things come in threes; I dearly hope I have paid the piper, now, and will suffer no more. Please let this be the lowest I will go. Save me from fair-weather friends, who kick me in the teeth when I’m down!

Numb from the loss of the love I had thought would last forever, I have sunk myself in my studies – there is, after all, endless work to be done, to avoid the emotions I cannot contend with, and cannot allow to overwhelm me. And so I wasn’t doing too badly, last weekend in the new silence of my apartment, with exams all this week and next – and then I received notice from someone I thought of as my best friend down here (who avoided me through the crisis – last week, the worst week of my life) that not only can she not deal with my depression, but my misdirected anger and grief (while inappropriate, I admit) has really upset her (but she didn’t discuss it with me at the time). This, in effect, is what Kevin did – only wished to be there for me when times were good, and there was fun to be shared. All I really needed was to feel loved, and valued – many of my classmates, who I do not know very well, were able to offer me compassion and a willing ear, which was what I needed most. The sense of abandonment is awful; worst of all, this was the most important part of the partnership I thought I had with Kevin – an alliance against the slings and arrows of the world, to tell me that I am TOO loved, and valuable, and worthwhile, despite what those OTHER people say and do. Except that I wasn’t. Thank god Dave has taken to checking on me regularly; I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so alone. So suppose I am too intense or too emotional a person – what then? Try to conform myself to be like others (most likely unsuccessfully – I am what I am), or at least pretend, so that I can find the love and acceptance I’ve always wanted? Or give up and learn to live with the rejection, isolation, and depression? Neither are choices that appeal to me. Surely there are other people out there like me? I begin to understand why my Dad has chosen to live a life so solitary; I’m not sure how I’ll find the wherewithal to trust again, at this point. Although there’s no underestimating my ability to blind myself to reality, convincing myself that what I really want is there, right in front of me.

Last night I woke up at 2 after a bona-fide nightmare that someone insane had broken into the house, and I surprised him while checking to make sure all the doors were locked. I was so frightened I walked around in the kitchen for a while, since there wasn’t anyone to talk to. Finally went back to sleep and dreamed of Kevin telling me he didn’t love me anymore, packing up and leaving all over again. I never, NEVER want to live through that again. Woke up with a neck spasm that wouldn’t quit. No escape in dreams, no escape waking. Watched “Waking Life” twice in the last couple of weeks – it’s the movie that one of our professors is taking his exam questions from – and keep thinking about the ending, where the Dreamer fails to hold on and drifts away. I would love another flying dream – maybe one where I didn’t have to come back (as there’s nothing to come back to; very few would miss me, and they, having found their niches in the world, would recover). How much can 3 distant friends and an interest in a someday career sustain me? How fair is it to those 3 precious friends to dump the burden of my need for love and acceptance on them? People keep telling me I should seek professional help – but that just seems like rock bottom to me – when what I need is to feel loved, how much can I get from a paid stranger? I want so badly to hide from the world for a while, and try to create a life afresh, rather than continue to plow through the ashes of this one.

**********************************

Well, a bit of kindness goes a long way – my small animal medicine prof, whom I very much like and admire, emailed me to congratulate me on doing well on his exam, in his own inimitable way (“Very well done on your medicine as well – nothing like a sweet smooth one hundred yes please baby”). Then he emailed his RSVP to my invitation to come watch a movie after all our exams are over – in Afrikaans! (Thank god for the internet. I was able to translate.) Says that he’ll be bringing South African wine and snacks, which should be interesting – more than that, I’m looking forward to enjoying intelligent and worldly company – there’s a terrible lack of appreciation for the arts, philosophy, literature, and the sort of culture I love and miss, down here. He and his girlfriend (who is also a prof here) have traveled the globe; he spoke to me a bit about living life in extremes last week (which I guess, in some ways, I have done, although perhaps not as interestingly as he has).

And so I settle in for a long evening of studying for my clinical pathology exam tomorrow. Saved for another day. I pray for no dreams, tonight.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: lograh
2004-03-09 02:58 pm (UTC)
wha? (goes to back-read your journal) crap, I'm so sorry I missed your last post! *hug* that sucks..

congradulations on your exam result, here's hoping the one tomorrow goes just as well.

ouch.. I'm so sorry such happened.. I wish you weren't so far away, I'd be able to swing by your place tonight just to check up on you otherwise. As it is, the bus doesn't quite cover your neck of the woods. :(
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[User Picture]From: mortaine
2004-03-09 03:09 pm (UTC)
I suspect that people love you when you're "up" because you "up" is such an amazing thing to behold. You're larger than life when you have all this positive energy going around you; it's hard not to get caught up in the momentum, to throw yourself into that swirl, to embrace all that gorgeous energy.

Unfortunately, I suspect it balances when you hit the hard spots, when you're depressed, and you have a similar amount of negative energy that must be very hard to handle, for you and for your friends. Worse, it's such an enormous hit for you, that's when you need people the most. It's not fair, but isn't that always how it goes? Your greatest gift is also the thing most likely to drive people away?

As always, we're here for you. In fact, if you send me your snail-mail address, I'll send you real honest-to-goodness snail-mail cards and postcards and letters and stuff (I have some cute environmentally-conscious postcards that I got recently). I am sorry I haven't responded to your email-- I'm a big ol' flake and started editing the novel last week, which is a rotten excuse, but it's mine.

Random pet-ness:
Hammer sprained his back knee this weekend. The big goofball needs to start acting his age.

There's a black male cat at the animal shelter who's 10 years old. Think Allegro would like a younger brother?
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